Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Moving Up IV

Thanks to Noriyuki San, who is working on the MOA telescope (pictured), for getting up early enough in the afternoon to catch some sunlight here at Mt John.


Anonymous chimpanzee said...

Hi, I just returned to Hami from my eclipse site @Santanghu (37 km NE of Balikun in high-desert):

You can see my "amateur" sized telescopes (VS the 1.8m MOA telescope). This place was UNREAL. Over 100 deg at 6000 ft in pure desert near the Mongolian border. Man, was it HOT while setting up equipment!!j Got multiple blisters on both feet, which hampered my eclipse program. Eclipsed sun was partially occluded by cloud, so that was a bummer. However, wide angle intervalometer cameras caught the umbral shadow: approach & exit. I will upload a video shortly

Tianshan mountains (apparently glaciers at top!) feed water to the desert creating a green oasis called the Barkol Grasslands. Reminds me of some of your NZ pics: Glacier peaked mtns with lakes in the foreground.

You can see some pics at my solar eclipse 08 travel blog at:

Experiencing culture & people is great, kept running into cute girls:

Today, I was coming down the mountains & we stopped at small food stand at the base of some cliffs. There was this really cute 5 yr old girl, who looks like you (when you had short hair). When I get back to Beijing on Aug. 4, I will uploads some pics. I leave Hami in 6 hrs
@2am back to Beijing.

August 03, 2008 1:12 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Great, Chimpanzee! Yes, I'm sure the Tianshan mountains have glaciers, and I'd love to go there.

August 03, 2008 9:05 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Great photos of you and the mountain! For a scientist, living in an observatory is as close to heaven as you can get. it is an excellent place for inspiration.

August 03, 2008 7:24 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

I've got a bunch of new results regarding 1-circ + 2-circ matrices, magic matrices, and unitary matrices. Some of 'em: (1) All 3x3 magic matrices are sums of 1-circ + 2-circ. (2) All 3x3 unitary matrices appear to be equivalent (by adjusting phases) to a magic matrix. (3) All such 3x3 magic unitary matrices have the rows and columns sum to 1.

So the MNS matrix being doubly magic with rows and columns summing to 1 is not a surprise. What is a surprise is the simplicity of the form.

So this raises the question about the CKM matrix. To get it into 1-circ + 2-circ form, I wrote a computer program and now have the result. I guess I will have to write up a blog post.

What I do not yet have is a simple form for the CKM matrix from writing it in 1-circ + 2-circ form, but, then again, I haven't looked very hard for one yet.

August 03, 2008 9:23 PM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...


Just got back to Beijing on 8/4 after grueling 31 hr T70 train trip from Hami. Websites have been updated:

Updated my website:

[ you can see the Tianshan mtns in the far background to the South, from my observation site 38km NE of Santanghu. inner Mongolian Desert near the Mongolia border ]
[ note the 2nd totality video I just uploaded, fisheye lens that shows me running around during totality ]


Good program on PBS Frontline (search is on called the "Commanding Heights". It is about the Global Economy, & the title obviously refers to "position of Power". Like in military strategy, "he who controls the commanding heights, wins the battle". So "Moving Up IV" means that in principle you are making the right career move. I saw your recent post about issues in getting FQXI funding. Similarly, you NEED to get "commanding heights" (be in a position of power) to nail down the funding.

"Go into it with a GROUP of people"
-- Dr XXX, Caltech CS Dept

[ he & I were discussing strategies to get papers published, where the ideas are NEW & not receptive to the "establishment". He & 1 of his top grad students (now at PIXAR) had their initial breakthrough paper REJECTED!? Boy, were they MAD! I had the same experience during my PhD. Breakthrough research has its ups & downs.."it goes with the terriroty" as the saying goes ]

I leave on Aug. 7 (tomorrow), & when I get back I will wrap up eclipse & brainstorm on my (& your) funding situation. Proposal writing, strategies, etc. Believe me, something will HAPPEN!!

"It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN"

BTW, my aunt/uncle (who is PhD) are in Australia & are wealthy business people. Heck, they would funnel you that $22K no problem to fund you. The idea of "going to an empty well" (lack of physics funding) is just not a promising alternative anymore. Think Alternative Solutions!!

"Blue skies, baby, BLUE SKIES!!"
[ what you see in the mountain, from "commanding heights" ]

August 06, 2008 1:05 PM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...

Sorry, need to fix above broken links:

August 06, 2008 1:08 PM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...

Just got back from China last night, been furiously wrapping up eclipse project (only 1 hr of sleep last night). I mentioned the cute girl @ food stand in TianShan mountains that looked like Kea:

Other cute kids discovered (in Beijing at Temple of Heaven):

Bottomline: these kids represent youth/energy/freedom, which Kea still has (evidenced by her enthusiasm). I will wrap my project quickly, then get to proposal writing. My goal is to get some support for Kea, no more waitressing..please! I will be attending SIGGRAPH 08 next week in LA (@LA Convention Ctr), & meet up with various leading researchers:

- Academia
Stanford, Caltech, Harvard, USC, UC Irvine, Berkeley, et al

- Industry
PIXAR, Disney Research, Microsoft Research, et al

PIXAR especially would be interested in you (as a remote math teaching consultant), because of your engineering background & mathematical prowess. You see, it's a well known fact that these Computer Graphics engineers are lacking in mathematical rigor (as stated on websites at Caltech & Stanford).

You can spend half day doing remote math teaching over the Web (math tutoring), the other half doing your Category Theory research. This 50/50 approach is the way to go: Applications in the morning, Theory in the afernoon.

August 09, 2008 10:25 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Thanks, Chimpanzee, for appreciating how hard waitressing is for me. But it doesn't really matter what job I have: my employers are always demanding a lot of my time and not listening to me when I tell them that I want to work on physics.

August 11, 2008 7:42 PM  

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