29 March 2003

I do not believe that the vertical component of Gandalf's run up the mountain could be faster than 5 miles per hour. I think humans can travel up staircases at no faster than 1.5 miles per hour. That means you go up one 10-foot flight of stairs in 4.5 seconds. It's not so difficult to sprint up one flight that fast, but to run up more than a few flights you have to slow down considerably. Do we assume that Gandalf can run faster than humans, in addition to having more stamina? I think he could probably run quite fast if he needed to.

I'm not even going to touch the east coast-west coast/mars-venus debate. We southwesterners have a different take. West coasters are flakes, East Coasters are bitter, neither wave hello at others for no reason as you drive down the road like we do.

I won a batch of cookies from a new intern who went to Yale. I mentioned something about her provost and she was adamant that Alison Richard was not their provost, and in fact it wasn't even a woman. So we bet a batch of cookies and I won by directing her to www.safetyschool.org.

We're about to start minor league baseball again in Albuquerque, and everyone's pretty excited. Here's an excerpt from the paper:

Question from pitcher Doug Botchler at a team meeting on Friday: "What is an Isotope?"

"It's from the Simpsons TV show," another player answered.

"Yeah, I know that, but what is an Isotope?"

"It's like electrons and neutrons," another offered.

"It's just chemical (stuff)," yet another player said.

The article's definition of an isotope:"a form of a chemical element whose atomic nucleus contains a specific number of neutrons, in addition to the number of protons that uniquely defines the element." Obviously that came right from the dictionary, and I don't think it's the easiest definition for people who don't exactly remember what a nucleus or an element is.

How would you have answered Doug Botchler's question?

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