Skip to main content

Happiness Bucket Connoisseur Consumes Kindergarten Stockpile

Number 1, who is suspect of most things I say, (she thought the dollar coin the tooth fairy brought looked suspiciously like a dollar coin that had been on the counter earlier in the month), came home from her second day of Kindergarten brimming with excitement at the invisible buckets of happiness she'd learned about.  It turns out that we each have one of these buckets.  The theory goes that when someone is nice to you your bucket gets a little more full, and when you're mean to someone, their bucket gets a little more empty.  Of course if you're mean to someone, your bucket gets a little more empty also, because it doesn't feel good to be mean to people.

 I told her that her new theory was awesome, and then told her I'd be right back.  I had come down with a serious case of the giggles, and had to flee the room so she wouldn't think I was laughing at her new theory instead of with it.  As I fled, my mind wandered through all the unintended consequences.  Could she arrive at the conclusion that others were responsible for filling her bucket?  Could she wind up thinking she was responsible for their happiness, and honor-bound to keep trying to get their bucket full enough?

 A few seconds later, I'd managed to contain my giggles, decided I was overthinking the issue, and returned to the living room to find No. 1 almost in tears.  While I'd been gone, she had fallen victim to an unintended consequence of a happiness bucket I hadn't foreseen.  Her little brother--Number 2--upon learning he had an invisible bucket of happiness, had immediately eaten his.  Unsatiated by a single bucket of happiness, he had proceeded to eat No. 1's invisible bucket as well!

 Rocked by further paroxysms of held-in laughter, I told No. 1 that I'd get her mom to help with this one.  Thus far her mom had  managed to maintain her composure, while overhearing all this from the other room.

 Fortunately, it was fairly easy to get the whole situation set back aright.  After I'd once again finished my quiet giggling in a remote corner of the house, I got 2, our local bucket connoisseur, and we found 1.  I asked 2 if he could, by any chance, hurl 1's invisible bucket back up.  Delighted at being asked to pretend to vomit, 2 immediately obliged.  I retrieved said invisible bucket, wiped off the invisible goo with my shirt tail, and presented it back to 1, who was once again grinning from ear to ear.  1 has now taken to storing her invisible bucket in places that 2 can't reach in case he gets hungry again.

Oh, and the thing about the tooth fairy?  Number 1 would never say so, since she thinks fairies of all sorts are awesome, but I'm pretty sure she suspects the tooth fairy of stealing my coin to put under her pillow.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla



to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.



What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:



2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:



3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:



How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

Lost Phone

We were incredibly lucky to have both been in university settings when our kids were born.  When No. 1 arrived, we were both still grad students.  Not long after No. 2 arrived, (about 10 days to be exact), mom-person defended her dissertation and gained the appellation prependage Dr. 

While there are lots of perks attendant to grad school, not the least of them phenomenal health insurance, that’s not the one that’s come to mind for me just now.  The one I’m most grateful for at the moment with respect to our kids was the opportunities for sheer independence.  Most days, we’d meet for lunch on the quad of whatever university we were hanging out at at the time, (physics research requires a bit of travel), to eat lunch.  During those lunches, the kids could crawl, toddle, or jog off into the distance.  There were no roads, and therefore no cars.  And, I realize now with a certain wistful bliss I had no knowledge of at the time, there were also very few people at hand that new what a baby…

Lab Book 2014_07_10 More NaI Characterization

Summary: Much more plunking around with the NaI detector and sources today.  A Pb shield was built to eliminate cosmic ray muons as well as potassium 40 radiation from the concreted building.  The spectra are much cleaner, but still don't have the count rates or distinctive peaks that are expected.
New to the experiment?  Scroll to the bottom to see background and get caught up.
Lab Book Threshold for the QVT is currently set at -1.49 volts.  Remember to divide this by 100 to get the actual threshold voltage. A new spectrum recording the lines of all three sources, Cs 137, Co 60, and Sr 90, was started at approximately 10:55. Took data for about an hour.
Started the Cs 137 only spectrum at about 11:55 AM

Here’s the no-source background from yesterday
In comparison, here’s the 3 source spectrum from this morning.

The three source spectrum shows peak structure not exhibited by the background alone. I forgot to take scope pictures of the Cs137 run. I do however, have the printout, and…