Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thai Language Group - Associations

I got curious about the Thai language group. The linked Wikipedia page is good.

Why the sudden interest? I was wondering in what language my name means or sounds similar to something really funny or raunchy. In it's native language my name is pretty serious. If you don't know, many Thai words generate these associations in English speakers with teenage thought processes - I'm in this group. 

Here are some links to a Thai first and last names.

Now you can choose a first and last name and get some pretty wild combos.
Here's one example : Dhipyamongko Phatipatanawong

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Four Years Since Surgery

Lunar Eclipse (
Courtesy of the US Naval Observatory Data Services, yesterday was Julian Day Number 2455916.5 . The Julian date for CE 2011 December 21 00:00:00.0 UT is JD 2455916.500000. The JDN, or JD, is simply the count of days since a given day in the past .  The year, month, day of month conversion is more complicated since the number of days in a solar year is 365.25 - 0.0078103 (J2000) and different from the fixed star frame sidereal year  of 365.25 +0.006363004, as of J2000). days. Subtracting  the JDNs  of two calendar dates gives the number of days between those dates. Of course, one must have an accepted algorithm for converting from calendar dates to JDNs  (and back). 

The official date of my surgery was December 21, 2007  -  JDN 2454455.5 which gives 1,461 days since surgery.   Since 1, 461 modulo 365 is one,  there was a leap year somewhere along the survival curve. :)  

Today, the winter solstice  occurs at 05:30 UTC.  In 2007 it occurred 06:08 UTC.    Happy Survival Day...the days get longer for the next 6 months or so - nice thought. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens - God Is Not Great

Christopher Eric Hitchens
In noting the death of Christopher Hitchens yesterday.,_Christopher

I add a few quotes from Thomas Carlyle
  • I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
  • It is a vain hope to make people happy by politics.
  • The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was.
  • Writing is a dreadful labor, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cleaning Plastic Lenses - Never Reuse Cloth

Lens cleaning cloths are an antiquated idea from the days of glass lenses and before fancy coatings.  In the days before paper towels and tissues, when toilets included bidets and cotton towels,  a cloth for cleaning glasses kind of made sense.  These days it's simply not a good idea.  Many modern eyeglass lenses are coated with a hydrophobic coating that causes water to form small droplets on the surface.  To clean your glasses all you need to do is wash your hands well and then gently apply some clean soap (liquid preferred) to wash off any oils on the lenses.  Then rinse the lenses under clean running water to wash off any particles and emulsified oils.   Shake gently to remove as much water as possible. Any remaining water can be soaked up with a clean tissue or paper towel.  No wiping or dragging.

Any time you attempt to dry clean a lens by wiping you risk dragging a hard particle across the surface and making scratches.  Could that be why those "free" cloths are provided?  Pretty things - nice and soft and cuddly.  I would use them for one luxurious nose blow and toss them in the trash.   Of course, a single-use, packaged, "cloth" impregnated with an ammonia solution is fine.  That's my take. Enjoy those high-index plastics with fancy AR coatings. 

Sure beats lead glass. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yiddish Word of the Day: Paskudnyak

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
source wikipedia
The etymology of the Yiddish term paskudnyak  is fairly clear.  In Russian the word паскуд (paskud) means bastard.   In Polish the word paskudzić  means "to bungle", mess up or botch.  The Polish noun for an abomination is paskudztwo.     A related word in Russian is  позорный (pozornyĭ) meaning dishonorable.   The Yiddish word means a really nasty villain,   - "bad to the bone".  

Tenth Anniversary of Surgery

It's been ten years since cancer surgery.  I have new camera. :)