Category Archives: Geekdom

Freakin’ Restart! ARG!

If you’re like me, you hate hate hate it when Windows automatically restarts your computer to install updates. Especially if you usually stay on top of updates and often have about 6 projects open on your computer that are ready and waiting to be destroyed by Windows XP.

Well, fear not good friends. I have researched the solution.

Step 1: go to Start -> Run
Step 2: type gpedit.msc

This will bring you to group policy editor.

Step 3: Go to: Administrative Template/Windows Component/Windows Update

See the “No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates Installations“?

Step 4: Right click on that and go to properties.

Enable, and you’re done.

Badda-Bing. Take that Windows.

Is itunes Random?

Anyone who loves music and would consider themselves a member of the “occasionally paranoid” club has likely wondered if their computer software is secretly plotting against them.

Old Man Schenk decided to prove it once and for all. He wrote a quick computer program (in Ruby!) and science ensued.


Great job Ryan!

Pi Day!

March 14th (3/14) is, of course, Pi Day (3.14… get it?). so this made me wonder what other days are out there. Let’s take a looksie:

January 2nd – Apery’s Constant Day
January 3rd – Plastic Constant Day
January 4th – Porter’s Constant Day
January 5th – Lieb’s Square Ice Constant Day
January 6th – Golden Ratio Day
January 9th – Brun’s Constant For Twin Prime Day
January 13th – Viswanath’s Constant Day
January 18th – Khinchin-Levy Constant Day
February 5th – Feigenbaum’s Alpha Constant Day
February 7th – e Day (Napier’s Constant)
February 8th – Fransen-Robineson Constant Day
April 6th – Feigenbaum’s Delta Constant Day
May 5th – Nuclear Magnaton times 10^27 Day
May 6th – Stefan-Boltzmann Constant times 10^8 Day
June 2nd – Avogadro’s Number divided by 10^23rd Day
June 6th – Planck’s Constant times 10^34 Day
August 8th – Electric Permittivity of Free Space times 10^12 Constant Day
August 9th – Coulomb’s Constant divided by 10^9th Day
December 10th(^3) – Molar Mass of Carbon 12 Day

Some might disapprove of my decision to include either one or two digits for the ten’s and hundreth’s place holders. Example: 4.3 or 4.03 could both be taken as April 3rd.

My personal favorite might be Nuclear Magnaton times 10^27 Day.

Mission Accomplished!

A few weeks ago Roland posted a link to this game on his website. It’s a game where you try to balance the lower ball on the horizontal bar while bouncing the upper ball pong style.

I became obsessed with this game. Today, I achieved the impossible and snagged the 40 second title.

Take THAT roland

I have no idea what that French means. If anyone wants to translate, I’d appreciate it.

The Leidenfrost Effect

I’ve been learning a bit about water and its boiling tendencies at my work lately. I thought I’d share with you the Leidenfrost effect.

The Leidenfrost effect describes the boiling of water on a very hot surface. If you take water and throw it onto a moderately hot pan, the water sizzles away very quickly. If you take water and throw it onto a VERY hot surface something else happens: the water forms into droplets and dances around the pan. Instead of boiling off quickly, it actually takes a significant amount of time.

What’s happening here?

It turns out that when the water first hits the pan there is a momentary “initial liquid contact stage”* during which the water that strikes the pan turns into a gas. The rest of the water droplet then sits on top of the gas instead of directly on the pan.

Heat transfer from metal to water is pretty good, but if you have to go through a vapor barrier first the heat transfer capabilities drop significantly.

How is this useful? Well, amongst other things, it helps explain things like walking on coals. When you’re nervous and antsy, the sweat on your feet will create little Leidenfrost vapor barriers between your feet and the hot coals. I wouldn’t recommend trying it though, because if you’re calm and the heat isn’t enough to cause you to start sweating, you will be seriously burned.

*ASM Vol. 4 Heat Treating Metals Handbook