Archive for January, 2011

CRC Press

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2011 by quantummoxie

Ever wonder what the ‘CRC’ stands for in CRC press (those guys that publish the really thick reference books in science and math)?  I was looking for something on their site and stumbled across their corporate history.  It turns out ‘CRC’ stands for ‘Chemical Rubber Company’ because they originally sold rubber aprons but published the first Handbook of Chemistry and Physics in 1913 and the rest was history.

Attention birthers

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2011 by quantummoxie

Disclaimer: I am not a liberal and I am not a registered Democrat.

In all this ridiculous birthing crap, all the emphasis has been on where Obama (and sometimes McCain) was born.  But, the Constitution limits the Presidency to natural-born citizens (see section of 14th Amendment below) which means if at least one of your parents is an American citizen at the time of your birth, you are automatically an American citizen at the time of your birth even if you are born in China or Mongolia or Upper Asshatter.

Specifically, according to U.S.C. § 1401, “a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years” constitutes a natural-born citizen.  This statute was established as part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution ratified in 1868.

There are plenty of things to bitch about regarding Obama, but the status of his citizenship ain’t one of ’em.  So let’s move on people.

Gettin’ jiggy with micromechanics

Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2011 by quantummoxie

My lame New Year’s take on “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” notwithstanding, rhyme and science can make for an interesting mix.  I just read a short article in my latest Johns Hopkins Engineering alumni magazine about Hopkins mechanical engineering professor K.T. Ramesh who requires his PhD students to include a “creative presentation” with their thesis.  2008 graduate Reuben Kraft not only made an abstract art painting of a mode 1 fracture, he wrote an accompanying song (to the tune of “To Be With You” by Mr. Big) that included the following lyrics:

Solid mechanics with computational twist

Materials and physics were also on my list

I want to understand how materials rupture

Getting jiggy with it at the microstructure

Unfortunately, Prof. Ramesh and his current and former students have not posted their creative pieces anywhere that I could find and the magazine did not include a URL for locating them.  Oh well.

Ramesh’s motivation for his requirement?  “I want my PhD students to see themselves as people and not just scientists.”  Word.