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Evolutionary Anagrams October 30, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Evolution, Puzzles.
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John Hawks (Anthropology professor at the other UW, U. of Wisconsin – Mad.) made some anagrams with an evolutionary theme and posted them yesterday.  I was going to try a couple out before I wrote an entry this morning, but they look quite challenging, so I’ll have to give them a go when I get back from school.  I listed them below, but you might want to check out the post to see what he had to say about them.  What a fun idea!

1. He’s a meat dinner loon.  1. He has meat dinners, loon.

2. Unhappiest torch.

3. Learn the DNA.

4. Hopeful Nassau caricaturist.

5. Introgression rune.

6. Hail, oh handier assumptions?

7. Transatlantic hoodwinker funeral.

Zuma360: New Zuma Game Blog October 28, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Blogging.
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I set up a separate weblog for my Zuma (the Xbox game) rantings.  It has opinions, tips, and goings-on from the Zuma world.  Check it out!

More from the internets October 27, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Science.
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In my household we’ve been poking fun at our poor Pres. about his use of “the internets” for some time, so it was a shared joy to see CNN do a video on Bush’s “the google” and “internets” usage this morning.  There isn’t a direct link to the video, but to see it go to CNN’s website, scroll to “watch video” and click on “Geeks agog at Googler in chief.” 

Pictures from UW October 26, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Uncategorized.
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Below are photos I took at the University of Washington today.  Click on a photo to see a larger view. 

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Vermiculture: I have worms! October 24, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Science.
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My latest science experiment is a worm bin: 

worms1s.jpg

It is totally home-made.  As you may be able to see, it consists of an old, green recycling bin (serves as a stand), a grey 3-layer cat box, a blue kitchen implement, and a spray bottle with water.  It also has cake pillars inside the second (lower) bin to hold up the first bin and allow air into the system:

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On the bottom in each bin there is old food (no meat or citrus) and a small amount of dirt.  This is mainly where the worms (red wrigglers – eisenia fetida) hang out.  On top in each bin there is shredded newspaper, a torn paper bag, and some leaves for bedding.  I use the kitchen tool to dig around, bury food, and harass the worms.  I spray the bedding with the water bottle to keep it moist. 

worms10s.jpg (Click on this picture and you can see the actual worms.)

The bottom of the first bin has holes, so that the worms can climb up to it when they run out of food.  This is the idea anyway, but they’re all greedy-guts so there are worms in both bins.

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Besides being a fun science experiment, this project serves a couple of purposes.  The first purpose is to create castings (worm poop) to nourish my garden (pictures of garden to come).  The second purpose is to have less food waste go into the trash.  A nice added benefit is that I was able to get these discarded plastic objects out of my garage without throwing them in the trash.

I learned something new reading the wikipedia article on redworms.  It says the process is called vermiculture and the product is vermicompost.  I had previously used vermicomposting to denote the process.  Whatever, I’m a worm farmer and that’s all you need to know. 

Semi-related note:  These pictures were possible because my husband and I finally broke down and ordered a new charger for the camera.  I hate buying things I know I’ve lost in the house, but it was necessary and now I can post lots of fun pictures.   

Major Decision October 21, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Uncategorized.
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I declared my major!!!!  Yippee!!eleventy-one  I have gone with a basic mathematics major.  After way too much thought and years of pursuing the applied math route I jumped ship at the last minute.  Here are my reasons:

1) Time considerations.  Only 40 credits left this way, vs. like, 90 the other.  As I get a year older every year without a bachelor’s degree, I think I should just get on with it.  I should have been much farther along with the other degree by now if I were to do it, but I kept getting sick and having to drop courses.  The university was harassing me to declare. 

2)  Chemistry makes me sick!  Literally!  That chemistry building at my university has terrible ventilation.  The first quarter I kept having to leave the lab every few minutes so I wouldn’t pass out and the second quarter I would get an awful migraine followed by sinus infection every-time I entered the lab.  Maybe there’s some way around all of this, but I’m not up for a battle with the university at this point.  I’m just ready to move on to the next stage of my life; happy to be well.

3)  Math is fun!  This is actually something that was deterring me from doing a pure math degree before.  I felt like I’d be taking the easy way out, but as my cousin reminded me, what’s easy for me is really challenging for a lot of people.  Maybe I spend too much time hanging out with math geeks. 

Math Puzzle Solution October 10, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Mathematics.
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Here’s my solution to the cryptarithm TWO + THREE + THREE = EIGHT:

329 + 38077 + 38077 = 76483 

T – 3
W – 2
O – 9
H – 8
R – 0
E – 7
I – 6
G – 4

Here‘s where the solution should be posted officially, but it’s not up yet.  You can also find new puzzles there every Tuesday and enter your solutions in a contest.  Does anyone know of any other good puzzle sites?

teh intarwebs October 9, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Science.
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I have no self restraint sometimes…

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Math Puzzle of the Month October 7, 2006

Posted by Sacha in Mathematics.
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Here is a fun puzzle that I hope math geeks and non-math geeks can both enjoy.  It is a Crytarithm, which, according to the math department at UW (where I stole this from) explains: 

“A crytarithm is a math puzzle where every letter stands for a digit.  Distinct letters stand for distinct digits.”

Here are the letters:

TWO + THREE + THREE = EIGHT

I just finished solving it this evening.  I’ll post my solution after Monday.  This puzzle is being used by the math dept for their challenge of the week, so I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone, but after Monday I’d love to see anyone else’s method.  I’m wonder if there is a more efficient way to solve it than what I did (as I suspect there is).

I think it would be fun to post a different puzzle every month, so hopefully I will keep this up.