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Monday, May 18, 2015

Blue Earth, Green Giant, and Tidings from Mac

      We are taking a detour from the traditional PEOTS meanderings to our return road trip from The Cities through southwest Minnesota:






     We had a great time in Blue Earth as Maizie frolicked beneath the giant's size 78 shoes.

     Of course, in all the cement arrow searchings, this was the definite highlight. Congrats to Zoe, Macalester Class of 2015. May your meanderings in Ethiopia be long, safe, and fruitful! 



        What a great, l o n g trip it's been! Thelma and Louise-ing it. . .





Very bittersweet moments here,
Steph







45 comments:

  1. The good news: HIV/AIDS rates in Ethiopia are about 1.3%. Bad news: marriage by abduction rates are up to 80% in parts of the country.!

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    1. Marriage by abduction… Kind of takes all the romance out of it. Maybe Zoe can enlighten any men she encounters who may think this way.

      More nice road trip pictures, Steph. That last one, with the betasseled and mortarboarded recent Mac alumna, is a keeper. The one with the white furry-faced green giant is also good. In the Land of 10,000 giants, Paul Bunyan had Babe the Blue Ox. Perhaps the Green Giant could adopt Maizie the Pale Pooch.

      LegoHoHo

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    2. Lego, have you been to Blue Earth? Thanks for your well wishes and marvelous monikers!

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    3. Steph,
      Well, I’ve never been to Blue Earth. And I’ve never been to Spain, or England, for that matter.
      But I’ve been to Oklahoma, where, during the Dust Bowl years, the earth blew.

      LegJoadLambda

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    4. We liked Blue Earth. Especially Maizie! And plenty of blowing all around!

      Also, my sister-in-law's GPS called Macalester Mac A Lester!

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    5. Steph,

      Or it might have called Macalester:
      Ms. Barker;
      Mr. Coolidge;
      Ms. Williams minus the silent letter.

      LegoRecalculatingRecalculating…

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    6. I must be road weary. . .what?

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    7. MA Barker, CAL Coolidge, ESTER Williams.

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    8. Ah! Now I see. Duh. . .Good way to remember MAC.

      Enjoyed the wildlife refuge in Valentine, NB, this morning.

      Great Mexican food in Torrington, WY, tonight. Fort Laramie in the morning.

      A few new travel photos above but not a single cement arrow!

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  2. Seems to me that in order to get a Green Giant from a Blue Earth, you need to water it with the Yellow Sea.

    Good luck to Zoe, installing Positive Crankcase Ventilation valves in Ethiopia! (Sounds like a Tom Magliozzi Memorial Fellowship program.)

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    1. Thanks, jan! Pretty Creative Vexology there. . .

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    2. That was most entertaining, jan! Love the Chicago flag and laughed at Milwaukee's flag. Pocatello-hahahaha!

      Vexology vs vexillology: I was either annoyed about something or had limited 4G access to the internet in NB. . .

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  3. Fritz Mondale's speech was decent. He is pretty hale and hearty at 87 and marched in the processional. He is quite worried about the state of American politics.

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    1. Glad to hear it. He's the longest surviving post-retirement VP. And Carter is the longest surviving post-retirement POTUS. They both seem to be better appreciated as time goes by.

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    2. Did Mondale talk about his experience as ambassador to Japan? The current ambassador is Caroline Kennedy, whose father was elected president after becoming a war hero when, as he put it, "they sank my boat." After he was assassinated, LBJ became president, and picked Hubert Humphrey as his running mate the next year. Mondale was appointed to fill Humphrey's Senate seat. It feels kind of karmic. I can remember hearing JFK say, "the torch has been passed to a new generation..."

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    3. He did not mention Japan but spoke of his days at Mac with his wife, Joan.

      Garrison Keillor read bedtime stories to Mac students during finals week. . .Apparently very soothing. ;-)

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  4. Replies
    1. Oh sure, Paul! Nowhere? Just because PEOTS caters to the scientific-minded, and Puzzleria! panders to the never-minded, don't you think we would have relished having this potunboiler of a story linkable over in our magical cyberblogland of question marks? And what's more puzzling than an unboiled egg!

      (Furthermore, I once caught the Tangled Protein Clumps perform a concert at Madison Square Garden. They put on a better live show than Springsteen or the Stones.)

      (The CSM story spells liquefy as liquify (sic) (Yeah, I know, alternative spelling. You would not see any alternative spelling in a Will Shortz-edited dictionary!)

      Actually, unboiling an egg is child's play.We'll be more impressed when they unscramble or unpoach one.

      LeggoWhyIsThisEggSaladSuddenlySoRunny?

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    2. Both Alzheimer's Disease and Mad Cow Disease (and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) (and prion diseases in general) involve improperly folded proteins. Insight into unboiling eggs may well prove to be key in developing therapies, eventually.

      As for unscrambling or unpoaching, I say Just Say No. Years ago, I invented (who knows, maybe someone else has also invented it; never bothered checking) a basic egg recipe: Beat an egg, add salt & pepper, pour into a buttered poaching cup, sink a square of cheddar cheese in it, and poach. the egg ends up fluffily poached, with a melted cheese core (much better than iron, despite what some geologist might claim).

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    3. I knew you'd understand, ma.

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    4. Fluffily poached resonates with me. Unboiling eggs do as well, Paul.

      Safely ensconced in Denver. Kinda missing the wide open prairie and time with mom. . . and Zoe. . .

      Thanks for hanging in on the journey. Steph

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    5. > Fluffily poached resonates with me.

      Maybe because you're fluffily pooched. (Maize seemed to enjoy the road trip.)

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    6. My misspelling got me thinking: In last week's blog, when hinting about driving through Iowa, you mentioned your corniness. Is that how your dog got her name?

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    7. It was partly that and partly the Maizie books, though they are spelled with an 's.' I just have a thing for zzz. . .

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    8. I know it's rude as all get out to inquire about a lady's pedigree ...

      ... but, what's Maizie?

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    9. She is a rescue pup from the Dumb Friends League so we don't really know. Our best guess is a poodle and bichon frise mix. To us, she's just Maizie, winning hearts everywhere she goes.

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  6. Speaking of Ethiopia, one of my favorite all-time novels is set there: "Cutting for Stone," by Abraham Verghese (2009)

    I'm a big fan of Ethiopian food. (They call me Mr. Tibs....) There are quite a few good Ethiopian restaurants here in suburban northern New Jersey. The sourdough injera bread is great, and I remind my celiac patients that it's gluten-free, though I doubt I've made many converts.

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    1. The book looks intriguing, jan.

      The injera bread was good. The portions were huge--perhaps a 16" round portion with every meal.

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    2. It has to be big: it's not just your bread; it's also your placemat, fork, knife, and spoon.

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    1. Thanks, jan. I almost missed it as I've been using Duckduckgo as a search engine.

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  8. Your posting on that other blog of a square-wheeled bike and catenary track ties in with a question I was going to raise here, anyway. There's a section of unpaved road on my usual ride through the Great Swamp that's become seriously washboarded over the past month or so. In the past, it's been rutted and potholed, but now there are regularly-spaced ribs across nearly the entire width. I did some reading on washboarding -- Wikipedia's page has links to some good papers on the topic -- but I was left with some open questions (in addition to my rapidly loosening fillings). Mainly, I'm wondering why the washboarding extends across the width of a road, rather than just in the tire tracks, and why, with traffic moving in both directions, there isn't evidence of that in the washboarding? The theoretical and empirical studies I read dealt with a tire moving across a sandbox in one direction only. Any ideas?

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    1. Since Mom, Zoe, and I experienced the square wheel track at Mac, I was planning a catenary post for today. Now, all these very good questions, too, jan! It could take awhile. . .

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    2. jan,

      "Why, with traffic moving in both directions, there isn't evidence of that in the washboarding?" Yes, you would expect there might be some kind of "waffling," especially with the 2016 elections looming.

      All I know is that, if you're pedaling your MacBike over that rutted road, you will develop washboard abs.

      Steph, my Blainesville comments about the Booth curve-shaped tracks etc. being necessary for a smooth subway ride using octagonal and decagonal wheels was, of course, facetious.

      But, seriously, do curves exist that will provide smooth rides for wheels of n sides? That is, For n = 4, you need a catenary surface. What is required for n = x?

      LegoCatWhoAteTheCatenary

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    3. I think all the curves are catenaries, with decreasing "roughness" as n increases.

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    4. Thanks, jan,
      That makes sense. I knew you or Steph or someone else here would know.
      Sorry about the eXtra “x” variable I put into my post redundantly. I should have written just:
      “That is, For n = 4, you need a catenary surface. What is required for n = 3, 4, 5…?

      I just returned from a solitary morning stroll. It gave me time to ponder wheels and sides and surfaces.

      Imagine a surface consisting of consecutive semicircles of radius 2 (resembling a series of adjacent hillocks).
      For example, if one graphs these functions, moving eastward
      along the x axis: y = sqrt(16 – [x – 0]squared), y = sqrt(16 – [x – 8]squared), y = sqrt(16 – [x – 16]squared), y = sqrt(16 – [x – 24]squared), y = sqrt(16 – [x – 32]squared),…
      Or, y = sqrt(16 – [x – 8n]squared) for n = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4…

      A two-sided “wheel” of radius 2 would roll smoothly along such a surface. No?

      LegoNowIShallWorkOnTheSurfaceForAOne-SidedWheel!

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  9. I am slow to post this week. Catenaries, washboards, and ratios have been swimming in my head.

    Zoe is back in Colorado til June 6.

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    1. Forgive your Mom, Zoë.

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    2. Well, at least Mac got it right, Paul (see above).

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    3. I like the line thru the middle of the Z too.

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  10. Newest post on "Catenaries, Square Wheels, and Washboarding" is, at long last, up.

    --Sponge Steph, Square Pants--

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