Power and Powerfulness

OK, last night I whined.

If you're one of my LJ friends, you saw the post. If you're not, it's not worth becoming one just to see it. Believe me.

One of my personal rules is: It's OK to whine once in a while, as long as you offer something to the universe to make it worth tolerating the whining. Fortunately, provided an answer: I've made an appointment for tomorrow evening to donate blood.

Already I can hear the universe respond, "OK, Seligman, if that's what you're going to do, you can whine once every 56 days."

Investing in our future

I was asked to repost this Facebook status as a blog post, so that others could share it.

When someone asks what good the space program ever did, I have to point out: The sky is blue and the sun is shining, yet we know that a potentially devastating hurricane is coming due to weather satellites. Thousands of lives are being saved because we spent less than 0.5% of our national budget on space exploration and research.

The benefits of scientific research aren’t always obvious. Ben Franklin flew a kite in a storm… and so we had electric power 150 years later.

A Revelation in the Desert

I just learned (ten minutes ago) that one of the professors at my physics lab is going to Burning Man. He's never been to a festival like this before. I made sure he'd been warned about the challenges… but my concern was unnecessary. His son has been going to Burning Man for years, and is responsible for several art installations. This year the installation will be a wedding chapel, as the professor's son is getting married there.

When the professor gets back, I wonder if he'll look at me in a different light. He knows I go to pagan festivals, and he may have a new appreciation for what goes on at one of them.

Of course, this professor is a physicist. It would be really cool if he started getting ideas for sophisticated technical art installations for next year's festival…

For all the Latinos out there

I’m providing some minor assistance to Ricky, a AAA technician, as he works on my mother’s car. As we’re doing the usual car stuff (filling out paperwork, cranking the engine) he often repeats, “It’s all right”; e.g., “Turn on the A/C, the headlights, and the radio, then rev the engine to 150 RPM. It’s all right. Now turn it all off. It’s all right.”

I don’t notice this verbal punctuation, but Ricky still explains, “That’s what Mexicans like to say: ‘It’s all right.'”

I say, “I know a few Latinos, but I don’t remember them saying that. Maybe I didn’t notice. What’s the right word to use, Latino or Mexican?”

Ricky says, with great pride, “Mexican!”

He goes on to explain that Latinos come from Central or South America, but if you’re from Mexico, you’re a Mexican. I didn’t ask him about Spain or Puerto Rico.

So I’ve learned two things:

– It’s Mexicans who say “It’s all right.”

– There’s a difference between Mexican food and Latino food. I’ll have to try both in the future so I can learn to taste the difference.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.