The Account of a Lifetime

December 10, 2009

Spectre of the Past Part II : 11/06-01/07

Filed under: Uncategorized — xisor @ 12:14 pm

09/11/06: ASSASSINS 2: The Return

Well folks, it’s back. And this time I’m (ideally) running the show.…

Should be fun…

20/11/06: A quickie for Raisin Weekend

Touch wood, but it’s all going well. Raisin Sunday was an absolute blast. I’ve a new son and a new daughter, in addition to Malcolm (or Mal-El) from last year. Have had a tremendous Mothers Tea-Party(me not being a mother…) but anyway.

Smashing fun!

Anyhow, I’ve had about gazzumpteen (ie 25+) Units of alcohol today, so should probably stop typing before something ebarassing happens.

Should hopefully respond to everyone who’s written on my wall fairly soon. I don’t mean to be ignoring folks…I just can’t find the time…speak soon!

<Brrrr it’s cold in my room now…best hit the hay!>

<Whips out lightsaber and fights imaginary enemies for a moment or three to help warm up>

27/11/09: The Hollowest Day


Well, I guess it doesn’t get worse.

Seems me and Viki are over. I can’t exactly say I’ve felt hollower…don’t even know where it’s come from…or where it’s going. Still, I suppose I’ll survive. I’ve come this far…

05/12/09: It’s called regeneration…it’s a trick we Cowdenbeathians have to sortof cheat death…

Well, life seems to be on the mend.

That said: rather than respond to folks who’ve messaged/walled recently- I’ll get around to you as soon as I can!

Just spent the last…oh…four or five hours attacking Quantum Mechanics.

For instance: If you’ve a particle moving up near a barrier, but with plenty-enough energy to get over it that it still stands a chance of being partially reflected? Indeed, in the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, they say *it* does get reflected, but there are proportionally more universes in which is simply soars over the top of it as you’d expect.

QM isn’t as fun as it sounds

That said, I worked it out (though it’s probably wrong) that the Continuous Assessment I’ve been trying to do is only, in the end, worth roughly 1/432 of my overall mark for the degree…which is correct ish. That is: 431 similar things to do for the degree (though I imagine I’ve done some already this semester…)

Even at that, it’s only 0.23%

And I spent 5 hours on it!

As I say, I’ll likely get around to replying/speaking/not being a secluded git in a day or three, apols for any delay so far.

So, bets on: What happens as you change the parameters K & L? I know that as L changes, for certain values, there’s no reflectivity as transmission goes to 100%, and similarly if you attune the E-V0 gap sufficiently…but anything else?


Well, this is fun. For the last, oh, five weeks now I’ve been busily researching the above three topics. Ever wondered why physicists aren’t busy wining the lottery or solving the NHS and such? Well, they’re always on about these fundamental theories, but what’s so fundamental about them?

Well, they’re rampantly fundamental. Everything can be reduced to them. Everything.

Problems in love? You’re two people. People are made of atoms and molecules, which are made out of a collection of very basic ‘wave particles’ themselves. They are all connected by the same laws of physics. Our bodies each obey the same laws of biology and biochemistry, and all the constituents obey the same basic chemistry.

But why doesn’t being able to solve the Time Dependent Schrodinger Equation in three dimensions solve your problems in love?

Well, I’m writing an essay (a review article to be precise) essentially to that effect. And it’s going horribly. I roughly understand the bulk of everything I’m trying to write about (I can’t use it rigorously, but I understand the concepts and implications), but I can’t think how to summate it all, how to relate it all, and how to detatch my own opinions from it all. To include my opinions I’d have to write up and get published an article or three on the topics of Self-Organised Criticality, Causation and other wonderfully gratuitous aspects of <s>idiocy</s> academia. And, although I’ve heard tale of the possibility of winning £500 for writing a suitably innovative essay on the nature of time, I don’t think I’ve got quite the sufficient scientific grounding underneath me. I’d say “yet” on the end of that, if I was able to say safely that I one day might. I doubt it!

Anyhow, the worst was stil to come. It was originally due yesterday at 5PM, but as I was sick to high heaven/as a parrot/some other saying on Sunday and Monday, everyone’s favourite Bruce (Dr. Bruce Sinclair, legend) saw fit to give me an extension until 10AM Friday, so I’m still working on it now. That wasn’t the worst. The worst was, when doing a cursory search of the internet for inspiration on what to write, I discovered the works of a certain Ukranian.

An Andei P. Kirilyuk to be precise. This Kirilyuk fella seems to think he has not only solved the core of my essay, but generally solved all of complexity and causality in modern physics allowing some sort of mutually deterministic and indeterministic maddness to arise from, what he terms, the Dynamic Redundance Paradigm.

Well, that’s handy. I now have access to hundreds of pages of material by some seemingly crackpot Ukranian pseudoscientists whom both proper and improper/irreputable scientific journals allike won’t touch with an intergalctic super-cosmic bargepole.

I’m absolutely sure my supervisor (one Santiago Grigera seen: here-… and here- knew all about this work, but simply didn’t tell me to see if I’d stumble across it. Y’see Santiago’s research is along the lines of quantum criticality and complexity, which is sortof heavily involved with the article topic!


Anyway, now for dinner.

16/12/06: Last night: A distontinuous function

If we integrate from me to my next door neighbour over the region of space-time [Last Night,Now] then we clearly find it was a discontinuous evening (morning, considering I only started drinking at around 2 am).

My essay was handed in late, waking up, with no memory of what happened after the party host mixed me and my next door neighbour a dirty pint each, five hours after the deadline. Brust in on Doctor Pickard, being like “blah blah garblahe blah! Should have been in before, but I have an excuse…not a good one, but it was finished in time, I can prove that. I only slept in…if that’s of any use…kthx”

I wasn’t supposed to speak to him though, he had little todo with it. So ran downstairs, almost knocked Doctor Wood over on the stairs, and burst in on (Doctor) Bruce Sinclair (or just Bruce, as we know him), and gave Bruce the same garbled speech. I don’t think he believed meor was at all impressed (as in he looked ready to shoot me, had he a gun).

In any event, it’s done now. And I still don’t remember last night.

What’s worse: I think there’s every chance I was sick in the Hall sink/bath in the toilets, and the cleaner had to sort it. Which is uncharacteristic. I normally would have tried to clean it up myself…especially when I’m drunk!

Bah humbug.

25/12/06: Revenge, She Wrote

<A mashup of clips from The Wrath of Khan to the tune of Murder, She Wrote would’ve accompanied this>

Just a quick note to explain my new video.

It’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but to the “Murder, she wrote” theme. Quite an interesting combination, and addictively catchy to watch. I spent a good day earlier this semester with this in my head, notably sitting through a Thermodynamics lecture watching Santiago (the lecturer) lecture to, what I percieved, the same tune. Most amusing (to me).

31/12/06: Crackpot Ukranian Pseudoscientist

Well, I emailed my advisor regarding the whole crackpot-Ukrainian-psedo-scientist-who-almost-ruined-my-article-essay-with-solving-the-problem-eight-years-previously shenanigan, and got a wonderfully reassuring response from old Santiago!

I think you did the right thing in disregarding Kirilyuk’s claims and
articles: not sound science I’m afraid. Don’t waste any time with them.

I suppose that’s official then? I am now a fully qualified pseudo-science detector! (or debullshitter as I like to think of it)

13/01/07 And in case I don’t see you…

Well, now entering The Fourth Day

Lesson one: Complain to High Heaven when the examiners set you four exams in four days right after Christmas and New Year

Lesson two: Don’t let relationship problems get in the way of your work for an entire semester. Sort one, the other or both of them ASAP!

Lesson three: Caffine supplements are of little use overall, but they have kept me going on less than four hours a night for the last four days, plus exams

Lesson four: After a few days of straight revision, little sleep, lots of exams things stop going in.

Lesson five: Don’t ever allow men to live that set the task of finding the determinant of a 6*6 matrix in an exam, for five marks. Especially not if they also wish you to calculate the minimum and characteristic polynomials of the matrix. And, most definately, do not allow them to die slowly if they also expect you to be able to quickly solve the resulting degree 6 polynomials in any sort of hurry.

Next and final exam is in ~6 hours (not 5 as I just told Emma, woops!). Probably should head to bed soon. Thermal and Statistical Physics. It’s going to be a complete failure. I understand the concepts and ideas behind it, and follow the mathematical derivations precisely and wholeheartedly. I cannot, however, replicate any of it. Which is precisely what an examination requires.

In any event, I expect I’ve utterly failed QM1, and I’ve maybe passed Maths for Physicists and Linear Maths.

Should probably be heading to Cowdentopia and Funfermline tomorrow (this) afertnoon for a nice ‘drown your sorrows’ even of alcoholism.

Well, at least come Monday I’ll hopefully be able to rectify my bollocking up of the Vector Calculus module by redoing the assessment stuff for Doctor Beturas.

Then, as soon as that’s done I can keep revising the stuff I’ve already failed (in prep. for next semester), whilst also trying to get a head start on the stuff for Transferable Skills and the other courses next semester.

But, anyway, time for bed just now. And then the abominable exam…

Have fun folks, I know I will!


26/01/07: The Whole thing’s a trick! Where’s Galactica

<Video showing the Adama jump-atmosphere-trick would go here>
There it is!

(Referencing my new video)

A note for everyone: Normally I harp on about Doctor Who, but feel it is somewhat important to let you all know about a wonderful thing called Battlestar Galactia. Sci-fi Drama, character driven and immensely endearing. It’s certainly not humans in rubber suits and sci-fi technobabble! It is, instead, simply wonderful. Watch some when you get the chance!


29/01/07: Result?

Applied Vector Calculus 5.0 Pass (5 Credits)
Linear Mathematics 10.6 Pass (15 Credits
Mathematics for Physicists 10.2 Pass (10 Credits)
Quantum Mechanics 9.0 Pass (10 Credits)
Thermal and Statistical Physics 6.4 Pass (15 Credits)

Ah well. Fantastic stuff in a totally not at all sort of way. All passes, which I’m exceptionally pleased at, but given that I’d only ever had one grade under a ten before, it really does highlight how badly the last semester went. No fails though, which was somewhat interesting. And a five, which is the first time ever. It’s also the lowest possible pass-grade, a 4.9 would have been a fail. Considering I only handed in one of the assessable papers for Vector Calculus, it’s of no surpise I done so poorly.

Also, 25% of my grade in Thermal and Statistical Physics was lost due to my not handing any of the Assessed Questions in. Bloody life and its ups and downs!

Still, a good round overall. My daughter Erin got a 17, 13 and 14, which was really impressive, though Alex Stone did substantially better. A 19, an 18, a 13 and, I believe, a 9 & 8. He was fairly gutted by the 8 IIRC, as he predicted which’d be the bottom grade wrongly. But that’s just him!

All in all, looking forward to hearing how everyone else done, likely better by leaps and bounds, but hopefully that should be enough to spur me on and catch up work wise. Should probably nip in to see my advisor (Dr Korolkova) later today or tomorrow to discuss the plan for next semester. Buckets of extra subjects (I hope), but unfortunately no General Relativity, as it’ll clash with my Electromagnetism course. Damn.

Anyhows. Latest Stargate, Heroes and BSG have all been pretty decent, so entertainment, at anyrate, is keeping itself up!

Enjoy, everyone!


Well folks, it’s back. And this time I’m (ideally) running the show.…

Should be fun…


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