Thursday, September 28, 2006

8 - Answer(s)

Q: Joe Zaffarano - What is the proper length for the snare-quad solo in Conga?
A: The proper length of the Conga solo depends on a number of factors, such as the tiredness of the drum section, how many minutes are left in intermission, and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Removing those variables, my opinion is that the proper length of the snare/quad call and answer is 4 exchanges. This gives both parties enough time to show off a bit, but doesn't drag the drum solo section of the song out for too long. If time is short, then the solo should be cut down to as few as one exchanges. If the crowd is really into it, then I can see extending it to as many as 8, but anything more than that is really pushing it.

Q: Sarah LaBombard - Did Sarah find Oscar?
A: First, the backstory: While moving my drums into Monty's Krown for a gig last Saturday, Allison asked me what Sarah L's cat is named. I was highly confused by the random nature of the question, and I said that I couldn't remember, and asked her why she was asking. She pointed to a poster taped to a lightpost, which had a picture of a lost cat belonging to a "Sarah". Under the picture was the name "Oscar", and a phone number to call with information about the cat. Unfortunately I didn't write down Sarah's number from the poster asking for information about her lost cat, so I can't get any information about this. Sorry!

Q (repeat): Bill Jeffers - So how many dimensions are there REALLY?
A: After studying the issue some more, I'm sorry to report that I'm more confused about it now than I was when I began. I spent about half an hour reading the Wikipedia article about string theory, and then watched the "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" flash animation that was posted on Jolinko last week (that I imagine sparked the question). What I learned from my research is that there are 5, 10, 11, or 26 dimensions. I can wrap my mind around the concept of a fifth dimension, which ties into quantum mechanics, specifically the "many worlds" theory. The basic idea behind this theory is that there are infinite universes that exist based upon the events that took place in the past. For example, there is a universe in which Ron Ayers wants to destroy the Random Thread, and one where he wants to keep it. This "many worlds" theory has (apparently) been proven, and so I submit that the minimum number of dimensions is 5.

Once we get beyond the fifth dimension, I start to get somewhat fuzzy. Are there higher dimensions? I don't know, and more to the point it's impossible to prove at the moment. I think a more important question is does it matter if there are higher dimensions or not? By this I mean, even if there are higher dimensions, what does that get us? Are we able to make use of this knowledge in a productive way? I don't have the answers here.

On a slightly related tangent, I have some more thoughts. As I grow older I find myself looking at these "big" issues more philosophically than physically. If I look at an object, I don't think about what makes it up at a subatomic level. It's enough for me to just know that the object exists. By this I mean that when I look at an object, I am satisfied with the FACT that it exists. HOW it exists (the physics behind it) doesn't interest me as much as it used to. I loved physics in high school, and continue to find the subject of astronomy fascinating, but when I started to read about string theory and quantum mechanics, I realized that it's less about physics and more about metaphysics. These things can't be proven, only speculated about. I know that much of science is just theory, and I also know that there is good reason to believe in higher dimensions. But I view it as just that: "belief". I think that this matter can be settled someday, but that day isn't today.

I realize I've gotten away from the question you asked, Bill, and for that I'm sorry. But this is what's on my mind. Thanks for your time, guys.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

7 - Answer(s)

Q: Karyn Graves - What are you supposed to do with a tree that loses major branches in a storm?
A: Let me preface this answer by saying I'm not an expert in anything landscaping related. If people have better answers than me, please contact Karyn and lend her advice.

I did a bit of research, and found a few things out. Partly, the answer depends on how major the branches are. A tree can typically survive the loss of one or two "major" branches. Any more than that, and it becomes less likely that the tree will survive. You should trim the affected area to encourage the tree to heal. If the tree was reasonably healthy before the damage, then it's probable that it will survive. If more than half of the major branches are damaged or broken off, then the tree is less likely to survive. In that case you can wait it out and see if it recovers, or preemptively cut it down.

Here are some sites that provide more information:
National Arbor Day Foundation
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Minnesota Extension Service

Q: Brett Gobe: What is your secret ingredient in Tim Boss's 5 Alarm Smokehouse Chili?
A: I have actually never made chili before in my life. Not only that, I don't particularly like chili. Does this make me less of a man? Probably. But at least I'm honest about it.

If I were going to make chili, and I wanted to "spice it up", I would probably put some horseradish in it. Maybe some wasabi too, just for fun.

Q: Bill Jeffers - So how many dimensions are there REALLY?
A: Man, you had to ask a theoretical physics question, didn't you? Bastard. Anyway, the initial answer is that there are three dimensions in space (length, width, and depth), and that time is the fourth dimension. Beyond that it gets really complicated, and I won't even pretend to have a clue about this. I've read that there are 5, 10, 11, or 20 dimensions. What these are is above my current knowledge. But I'll tell you what, let me defer an answer to this question until next week. I'm curious about this topic, and I'd like to research it a bit more. So stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

6 - Answer(s)

Q: Brett Gobe - Can you validate my parking?
A: Um, no. No I can't. This is a blog entry, not a parking garage. If you want to park here, you can do it free of charge for as long as you like. You're welcome.

Q: Bill Jeffers - Will you drop you I'm a big puss attitude and play broomball this year or is your Skanatto contract keeping you on the sidelines?
A: I have not decided whether I will play broomball or not this year. My reasons for not playing since my first year are both time-related, and fear of injury. Call me a puss if you like, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of getting hurt playing broomball. That having been said, I am considering it for this year. I'll keep you posted, Bill. Thanks for keeping me in mind.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

5 - Answer(s)

Q: Brad Pettengill - What is the real reason why Ayers wants to get rid of the Random Thread?
A: Let's start this with a little bit of history. The random thread was started back in 2004 by Brett Gobe. His inaugural post explains its purpose:

Brett Random Thread 9/25/04 at 6:07 pm
This a product of boredom and being stuck working saturday nights in a library. Anyone who is around is free to add to the disscusion. Basically this is the sienfeld of threads, its about nothing. It is also to see how long a thread can go until the Jolt is forced to close it. The over under is 1000 posts.

It has been a running conversation ever since, as I'm sure you all know. Everything was going along smoothly until last week, when Ron posted the following:

Ron Random Thread 8/29/06 at 3:50 pm
Hey everyone. Just a heads up. I may have to destroy the random thread soon. I noticed the server load starting to rise up again with the school year starting, and as you can imagine, the query that pulls down this monstrosity is not very good. So I might have to kill it. I know I know. What can I say. There's always the LOST thread.

This set off what can best be described as a shitstorm within the Jolinko community. People created Avatars advocating the salvation of the Random Thread, and Ron was raked over the coals for this post.

So that's where we are. Now, as to the question of why Random Thread is being threatened with destruction. I have three answers:
1. (Serious, most likely) - Ron wants to shut it down for his stated reason. With nearly 25,000 posts, I can see how a query on it would be a strain on the servers.
2. (Conspiratorial) - Ron has entered into a contract with a book company and wishes to publish the contents of Random Thread as a novel. He will then use the profits from that novel to further his empire of destruction, and thus be one step closer to his ultimate goal: the domination of the known universe.
3. (Possible?) - Ron hates all of us. I don't think this is the case, but it's possible.

Q: Bill Jeffers - What year will Clarkson Hovkey finally win an NCAA crown?
A: Clarkson will win an NCAA crown in the year that they beat every team that they face in the NCAA tournament.

Q: Jennifer Walden - What part of the US will be most affected by this year's hurricane season?
A: In terms of geographic region of the US, I would say that the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina will be the most affected. They have been spared somewhat in recent years, and they're due for some damage. Not that I'm advocating this damage, mind you, I'm just predicting. And no, I have no basis for this prediction. I'm just guessing.

Upon further thinking about your question, I decided that the "part" of the US that will be most affected by this year's hurricane season will be the US media. 2004 and 2005 were very busy hurricane seasons. 2004 saw three storms cross the Florida penninsula, and 2005 saw not only a direct strike on New Orleans, but a record number of named storms. Because of this, the media spent the past winter stirring up hysteria regarding this upcoming hurricane season. Now that it's proving to be milder than last year, and their predictions of disaster shown to be wrong, they are made to look like fools. I think that their credibility on these matters will suffer as a result. Is this a good thing? I don't know. But I think that's the ultimate result.