Print Story Acoustic instability
By ana (Thu May 01, 2008 at 06:53:34 AM EST) So... dunno (all tags)
Um, stuff.

So every morning (well, 5 days a week) for the last, oh, 40 years or so, people have gathered down the hall from what's now my office and had coffee at 10:30. A great many projects and collaborations began as conversations over coffee there. Including something like half the papers that have appeared on my CV since I came to work here in 1995.

The space in which this is held is a bridge between two buildings, so there are only a few offices nearby. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, and hot-water radiators running just at butt height along them, perfect for leaning against, or setting one's cup upon.

In a crowded space, there's an instability that sets in at a certain population density. The noise level rises more or less linearly with the number of people (or perhaps the square, since we're talking about 2-person conversations for the most part) until it becomes difficult to pick out the conversation you're having from the background. And then, suddenly, it gets much noisier, because everybody needs to speak up to be heard.

I think I need collaborators who are less soft-spoken.

Otherwise, how are things?

The little dog is becoming socialized, realizing that just doing whatever she wants isn't acceptable. I think she really does want to please us; she's just a bit short of clue as to how to go about that. She's mostly learned to ignore the cat on those rare occasions when he allows himself to be seen (but he still hisses and runs off, which makes him an oh-so-tempting target for pursuit).

I get to be a single parent for the critters for parts of this weekend, since toxicfur and her work group are going to a conference on Cape Cod.

Oh, and speaking of the weekend...

There's an annual Walk for Hunger in Boston, which attracts vast numbers of people to town on a Sunday morning. This Sunday morning. So, not much chance of parking downtown.

No problem, says I, I'll ride the T. But not so fast. As part of a multi-year project to upgrade signals, the Orange Line is closed this weekend, and they'll provide bus service. On a day when the trains would be packed if they were running. Yeah, I sent in a complaint via their web page. Fat lotta good that'll do.

The summer's already getting crowded with stuff to do. There's a big deadline in late May for toxicfur. We thought we'd do a vacation after that; the Florida Keys were mentioned. But it'll be Memorial Day weekend before we can get out of here (along with 50 million of our closest friends). Then June 8 I have an undergrad coming to intern for the summer. There's one other colleague working on the project, but he'll be away much of late June and a week in July. So I prolly need to be around, nearly every day, in case questions come up (and I'm sure they will). And then we're into Hurricane Season, which is not a cool time to be visiting Key West. Dammit. On top of all that, my folks had their 60th wedding anniversary in March, and we'd kinda like to visit them when it's not winter and do dinner or something. What with last winterval's visit being interrupted by events and all.

So... dunno.

< Why? | Toyota makes well engineered cars >
Acoustic instability | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
So don't go to Key West. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu May 01, 2008 at 07:14:17 AM EST
Lauderdale, Pompano beach are both decent. Or Tampa on the west coast.

A little north at Cocoa Beach.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Ewww by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu May 01, 2008 at 07:45:22 AM EST
Tampa sucks. At least I didn't like it.

Cocoa Beach: my old home town. Well, sort of. Actually, I lived in Cape Canaveral which is the other side of the sign. That place has really changed.

Ron Jon's is now an entire shopping mall instead of the little shack when I lived there. The entire stretch of woodsy beach is now overgrown with condos. The port is unrecognizable. There used to be wide open spaces to practice with boomerangs and whatnot, and places to fish along the canal. Now it's packed to the gills with cruise ships and you have to pay to get into Jetty Park.

The space center has turned into a cost center. It used to be "free" (that is: paid for by taxpayers) but now costs, like, $30 just to get into the place. It's still worth visiting, but yikes, I paid for it once already.

Still, my parents still live just south of there if you need someone to show you around.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
As you probably know... by ana (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu May 01, 2008 at 08:05:58 AM EST
I've been to Cape Canaveral a time or two, on business (and "business"... watching the launch of something I worked on, without having anything other than spectation to contribute). And yeah, changing rapidly since the '60s, pretty much.

I lived on Orlando for 4 years in the 70s. One of my first visits to Jetty Park was to watch the Voyager 1 launch in 1977ish. I remember having just enough time to lament that we were too far away to hear the sound, before it got there. Now? Voyager 1 has crossed the solar wind termination shock. Wow.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
My god you're old! by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu May 01, 2008 at 08:45:04 AM EST
I don't remember the first one I saw. Some satellite or other, I suppose. I was living there for the first two shuttle launches, though. I watched the first from the roof of the Titusville Masonic Lodge with my bf at the time. I watched the second one from the beach near my apartment. I was on a visit home and saw the first night launch (STS 9?). Lots and lots of delays, it went up at, like, 3AM. But we did have passes to get close, so we were "right there".

Netflix doesn't have it, otherwise I would suggest we make toxicfur sit and watch Cape Canaveral Monsters. (A bit overrated at 2/10 stars.) But it does star The Moon Hut. Ah, the Moon Hut. I miss that. I miss Fat Boy's and the Knot House, too.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
Heh. by ana (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu May 01, 2008 at 08:56:26 AM EST
Yeah, when I moved to Orlando in 1976, my dad, who was an aerospace engineer, thought it was pretty clear there would be shuttles flying by the time I left 4 years later. He was mistaken.

I was at the Cape for the launch of STS-93, which, because of the orbit we wanted, had to go at night. It got scrubbed two nights in a row (one at T minus 6 sec), so eventually my boss decided to go home again and gave me her VIP pass. Very very cool, watching a shuttle night launch from just 3 miles away.

I recall boarding a flight the next morning in Orlando, with one of my colleagues, who, because of his membership in the ops team had the then-equivalent of a blackberry on his hip, reporting from two rows behind me, (and with 6-10 other project people within earshot) that the booster had fired correctly. "We have a mission," he said.

Otherwise, it would have meant going home to compete for space on the moving van they would have had to back up to our doors to haul away all the resumes.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
You know by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu May 01, 2008 at 07:21:57 AM EST
These days, anyplace along the eastern seaboard as far north as New York is a potential hurricane target. So why worry? Plan for Key West, check the weather, if it looks like a bad time re-route to Colorado.

things by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu May 01, 2008 at 10:22:13 AM EST
i'm afraid of finals. i'm not ready.

i'm trying to choose between two good options, one of which is scary.

i had a blast at coachella and then came home and got sick.

i'm now madly in love with the verve.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

Acoustic instability | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)