Saturday, October 24, 2009

Melbourne and My Big Friendly Family

I have fantastic family in Melbourne. People said I'd reach an age when my roots felt more important. I think I have. Its so neat to hang out with people that look like you and even have similar approaches to life. Really nice. I'm taking Karin back to "meet the fam."

Here's the international district in Melbourne. Here's my cousin Umut and my uncle Ibrahim.

I can call him Amca for now. They made me the most amazing lamb I have ever had!! They have an awesome restaurant that I can't wait to go back to. It's called Rumeli's.

My other cousins Can, Cihan and Candan live in Melbourne too. Man it was cool hanging out with relatives I didn't even know. Such a neat feeling. I was so welcome. Can and Cihan have a successful laptop business called MLN. Actually I had met them before when I was 16 back home on the farm.

Melbourne was really nice. I like Sydney a lot, but I was really taken with the parks and general openness of this city.

Their big cathedral is 20% bigger than ours.
So are their downtown parks.

Motorcycle parking in Melbourne is kindoff madness. Basically, it's on the sidewalk. Just about anywhere you think a cop isn't about to roll on by.

Also their version of basketball doesn't have a backboard! Talk about sporting. It's called "netball" I'm told. Nuthin' but net. Every time.

MotoGP (loud race)

Ok, first of all - big sports events aren't that fun for me. Especially ones that last 3 days. Especially ones where I'm camping with a bunch of bogans who are too drunk to realise that there aren't any girls watching.

I had a really good time.

Seriously, it was good. The sound of the 800cc bikes coughing and sputtering to remain on the limits of friction was so cool. Watching them come up and over the hump into the hairpin turn was so cool.

I feel guilty saying it, but I love watching other people crash. I'd probably love watching myself crash too if I could. I have a few epic crashes in my mental history.

Crash 1: Too fast around a turn with a hump, chose to go off the road on the XT350. Stayed upright! Peb's Corner.
Crash2: Bicycle going too fast on the sidewalk downhill into a fender that pulled out, flew 16' onto my TI92. Tacoed front tire, but ok. Lafayette.
Crash3: Tried to hop onto curb laterally and missed with back wheel. Eye stitches. Credit broken. Forgotten math exam? Retaken! Fail-win. Lafayette.
Crash4: Roundabout. Ligament ruptured and surgery. Ok now. North Sydney.

..................................................Rossi is too fast to actually take a picture of.

Actually he looked slower than the others , probably because he had more confidence and control.

This is my first campsite. It sucked, so I moved. This is sunrise, which means I didn't sleep well.

What is up with using brand new up-market tyres for a safety barrier???

I walked away from the race, to get some peace one afternoon. I totally found it!

Walking the track after the race was over.

The next race is tomorrow (Sun), so I'll be watching it at the Doncaster.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wheelies in the sky

Just in case you were wondering, this is what I will look like when I die:

No, no, no... not an inappropriately posed well-meaning donated-my-body-to-science cadaver in the Sydney Museum. No, I will be doing one-handed wheelies on my horse in the sky. Because I won't fear horses in the after life. Because horses can't smell fear in the afterlife.

Died of boredom? Not likely at the museum. More likely causes of death were there to liven up the learning experience. Like these livestock leg bones which at some point rampaged through fencing. The bone is completely grown around the wire. I call these "Western Pearls."

On to the minerals section, while Karin looks at the ethnic art section.

Silver. The minerals section was really good. Definitely as good as the Smithsonian collection, but not as big - which is fine because the high-points of a gem collection pretty much make it. The opals were better but they didn't have any fluorescing specimens.

Natural tin foil and natural lung cancer. My basement had asbestos in it when I was growing up. Some contractor who's sole job was removing asbestos from basements came and took it all out without even having a mask on. He'd have been against socialized medicine.

This is the most thought-provoking thing I found - meteorites. Basically posed as a footnote in a poorly positioned glass case in a hallway next to some stacked chairs, it contained some real brain teasers. Sure, some of the meteorites looked like they let the astro intern at them with a dull band-saw. But check this out: the one on the left has recrystallised on re-entry. AND THE PROCESS FAVOURED THE GRAIN DIRECTION OVER THE THERMAL GRADIENT! what??
Ok, so what's going on? Let's assume that the crystalline structure away from the heat affected zone (HAZ) is the original structure as it was chunked off of some distant amazing metal-planet.
  • The temperature at the surface was close to T_melt because the outer surface is smooth
  • The temperature dropped rapidly from the surface to the interior due to the quick heating (falling stars are fast), despite the high conductivity of most metals.
  • There may have been some massive spin on this puppy.
Ok so I have an idea - basically, the outer surface was hot, but not for very long before it touched down. I think the thermal conductivity of the crystal was orthotropic - different in the grain direction. So the heat penetrated more easily along certain directions, determined by the pre-existing grain. Approximate penetration depth of the transient heat front: sqrt(5*K*time/density*C). Assuming nickel properties:
density: 8.88 g/cc (8800 kg/m3)
C: 0.46 J / kg.°C
K: 60.7 W/m.°C

Then the penetration depth of the thermal front after about a 1sec fall would be:
d = 0.274m - clearly larger than the item itself. So, if we assume the penetration depth was the ~1cm seen in the photo we can solve for the heated time during descent - 1.3 milliseconds!

Karin just made this observation: meteorites break up on descent. So, with what we know about the surprisingly rapid nature of this heating I think this:
The parent meteor completely broke up about 1.3ms before impact and thus this chunk was heated for an extremely short period of time. Perhaps it even continued recrystallising on the ground as the heat conducted towards its core.


Scientists don't get mad, they get even. He was at a entomology conference in NYC, she scorned him and he named a bug after her.

Mom! Son! (big hugs)