Friday, November 23, 2007

Package for you, ma'am

I've been up to some mischief:

It looks a lot weirder there on its side (clearly I am having issues with Blogger and their photo hosting upload stuff), but it is, in fact, my regular coffeemaker, with some LEDs attached with magnets. Also some little button batteries. Fun! I ordered about a hundred LEDs to play with, and they arrived today. So I've been playing.

Thanksgiving was pretty good. I decided to make some pie at the last minute, so we were a bit late getting down to my mom's, but the pies were yum - a pumpkin and a pecan (I can cook)(I always put coconut in the pecan pie). Also my cousin and her cute little boy stayed with me--oh, pipe down, not that kind of cute, I mean "cute 5 year old" cute. Sheesh. Cousin J. brought some extremely good scotch. Extremely good scotch was new to me.

I now like extremely good scotch. Go figure.

And I've spent a couple of hours with my soldering iron, harvesting capacitors and a few other interesting bits, and I figured out which resistors of the assortment I got are which, and I am now ready (at last!) to assemble the nifty project that I've been trying to assemble parts for since, oh, October. You know how when you're trying a new recipe, you go, oh heavens I don't have those ingredients, and then you go out and by god buy the ingredients? That's kinda what I did. I have a nice little stash of electronic bits now. I burned my finger a little bit, but oh how nice to have it all laid out and ready to go.

The dog thought the LEDs looked delicious, so while I was out of the room, she jumped up and stole one.

She discovered that they are not delicious. Phooey! I found it in her crate, bent a bit, but fine.

I've been musing like I do about how deep the parallel processing in the brain is, and thinking about how the electro-chemical action moves in three dimensions via diffusion rather than linearly, like an electrical wire. I'm thinking this is our main advantage over even the fastest supercomputer: that we do things with 100 million parallel processors--you process sensory input and everything from your entire body all at once--and no computer comes close to that, nor would it be able to do anything with that amount of stuff going on at once even if it could get it to run. And my musing has been that this is mainly that our signal processing moves in three dimensions, while an electronic model basically just moves in two. When you add a dimension, the relationships between things change, like in a right triangle with sides of 3 and 4; 3 and 4 don't make 5, but if you add a dimension by squaring, suddenly they add up. And I wonder if there is a way to somehow model three dimensional signal propagation. Probably not. But it kept me up for a couple hours last night, playing with it in my head.


And its sequel:

"If God gives you lemons, FIND A NEW GOD!"

G'night, all :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parallel processing ... What do you think/know about us synaesthetes? The complex ones, not the 'this number tastes like chocolate' people.

And where oh where do you buy LEDs from? Your coffeemaker belongs on a starship. <3

~ jessieknits

11:06 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Hi, Jess :)

The LEDs are from

I got button batteries from them, too. Have fun, people!

And I don't know that much about synaesthetes, other than my own crossed wires in certain circumstances, when I perceive tactile sensation as taste. Verrrrry interesting subject though!

12:13 PM  

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