Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blogger's Block (Themed Trivia)

I'm running on fumes currently. It's not that I've nothing to write, it's that I've scattered my brains and don't know where to go with it from here. There're too many things I'm invested in; "The Curse of Daniel Stone" being one, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, work and things upcoming, understanding the Deeper Mysteries.

I recently heard an amazing lyric that I really liked, which got me thinking of contractions and how they can and should be used. It's from My Morning Jacket's Librarian.
"What is it inside our heads that makes us do the opposite
"Makes us do the opposite of what's right for us?
"Cause everything'd be great and everything'd be good
"If everybody gave like everybody could."

Isn't that an excellent contraction? Everything'd. I like it. Make's me glad I use the double contraction will'n't sometimes.

Today I officially become an uncle. My nephew is Jacob Ian Stewart, but I won't get to see him until the weekend, as I am away on a business trip learning the importance of HEC-RAS modeling and open channel flow concepts.

There's not much to report on other than that. I drove to the Capitol Building last night, but I did not have my camera on me, so I couldn't take a picture of it. Suffice it to say that it is quite impressive. (For those of you that don't know, Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the most noble and prestigious of states.)

I also drove by Kentucky State University, which got me thinking about colleges and universities. It is amazing how all the buildings on most campuses look state-of-the-art and cutting edge, though inside there are still chairs and tables from decades past. Heck, even carpet and tile from decades ago. But still, the buildings themselves look pretty cool, and they seem to have this air about them that lets everyone know that Higher Learning is going on inside of them. I particularly like college libraries and research facilities.

How about some random trivia for you? The picture to the left shows a controlled experiment in a sluice gate, which is a laboratory modeling method of a natural or artificial stream. This allows the engineer (or whoever is interested) to study and analyze the affects of a Water Surface Profile, or the line the top of the water makes. Notice the obstructing block in the gate. If you look to the left of the block you'll see very choppy water, but if you went even further left the water would eventually stabilize. If you look to the far right of the block, you'll see stabilized water, but at a higher elevation than that of the far left. These stabilized regions are flowing at subcritical flow and are very steady. The very choppy region is the supercritical flow. The point near the left-edge of the block is the critical region, where the water is flowing at critical flow and is unpredictable. All of these characteristics are indicative of the water discharge, roughness of the channel, cross-sectional area of the sluice gate, and the channel bottom's slope. If you change any of those four factors you will generate a different looking water surface profile. Experimenting with different shaped blocks, weirs, and orifices create many different profiles, many of which are rather cool to observe in the lab.

That, friends, is just a small snippet of what it is that I do and what my Formal Education was all about. I sometimes wish that I would have had the desire to continue on and get my PhD, but I did not, though I do fancy it now and then.

I guess I'll just have to settle for the title of Darth and be done with it.

1 comment:

Krista said...

Congrats on becomming an Uncle how exciting! I'm glad your having fun on your trip, Very cool!

Love Everything'd, by the way! LOL!