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Monday, November 15, 2004


Forward motion

A few days ago I started another pass through my notes, which I am gradually expanding and connecting to one another. I'd started on physics, and set it aside to begin working on something else. Today I went back to that, and did more review of the concepts of particle kinematics, the mathematical description of motion. I got through that, but wasn't ready to tackle an expanded review of kinetics (the laws of motion). The needs of physics suggest I give some extra attention to mathematics, this time through.
I've updated chemistry recently enough that I skipped over that, but I've been trying to find a better way of organizing chemical information, and it's about time I expanded my notes on various elements.
I found enough clues in my review of mathematics that I can do the conversion between astronomical coordinate systems, from the usual system based on projecting the earth's axis and equator into space to one centered on the sun but oriented with the galaxy. This isn't really a practical area of study, but it's fun and useful for science fiction purposes. I'm attempting to construct a 3-dimensional map, or at least the data for one, and I have the beginnings of naming conventions for directions, so I can look at the sky and tell roughly where the sectors of my map are. Most of the nearest stars are small, red dwarf stars that are only visible with a telescope, and don't even have names, only catalog numbers, while most of the brighter ones are great beacons visible from far away.
I also skipped over geology, but did some work on expanding my biology section, as far as listing the major terrestrial biomes, or types of community, such as tropical rain forest, shrubland, and desert, and reviewing the rudiments of biological history as outlined by paleontologists.
I miss my trusty (25-year) old HP-25C calculator, back in Nebraska. I decided that the computations I've been wanting to do, which involve trig and exponential functions and the like, were enough to justify spending some of my precious earnings on a "proper" scientific calculator. There's nothing like having the right tools for the job.

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