My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

6 Articles in March 2007

  1. Do you know the Muffin Man?

    Today in chemistry my two friends and I somehow got on the subject of the Muffin Man and his place of residence. Being Mythbusters fans, we agreed that the Mythbusters should test the myth of whether a muffin man does, in fact, reside on Drury Lane.

    Meanwhile, the Build Team can see if ogres really do have layers...

    And that brings us to a new poll!

  2. Cylons among us

    Almost a year ago, I blogged about the season 2 finale of Battlestar Galactica.

    I was upset then, or shocked would be the term, I guess. I got over it though, and the finale was one of the best episodes thus far. This season's finale, however, has raised that bar to a whole new level.

    In case you haven't realised yet, this post contains severe spoilers that may blind those who have not seen the episode. If you don't want the surprise ruined, stop reading right now. I mean it. Don't you dare peek below this line. If you do, I'll have to send someone over to your house. That's right--I know where you live. Want to fight about it? Oh, you do, do you? Eh? Eh?

    Anyway.

    The music at the end of the episode was awesome, as was the pull back to the entire galaxy and subsequent zoom in on Earth. However, aside from the technical details, the episode itself was ... whoa.

    I was fairly sure Tigh was a Cylon, since he was hearing the music. Tori surprised me, and Anders too, although in retrospect I can see where the pieces start coming together. I loved…

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  3. Long term chess

    I found this neat site, GameKnot, where you can play long term chess games against people. This appeals to me, because I can make moves at my convenience instead of setting to side an entire hour block of time or so and committing it to a chess game.

    My username is tachyondecay. If you have an account, or you fancy yourself a chess player and want to sign up, challenge me to a game. :D

  4. Urban nature

    If I look out my bedroom window, I can see spring arriving in the pond that used to be my backyard. The snow--which is actually now semi-frozen ice--and the ice proper beneath it is melting, flooding entire portions of my backyard. The end of a little ice age.

    Bits of autumnal debris slowly raise themselves up from the muck: leaves and branches, planks of wood. Hey, look, a shovel. The meltwater flows around these objects, pooling at the depressions in the yard. It flows around the garage too, and the wood and barbecue sheds. This microcosmic clash of human urbanity and nature strikes a chord in me, because it demonstrates how much humans have shaped the face of the Earth.

    If I look up from the ground, straight ahead, I can see the houses behind mine, the ones across the back lane that face outward to another street. And beyond them, more houses. Two or three storeys high, that's all. I don't live in a crowded metropolis like New York, nor a sparsely-populated rural area like Kakabeka. And that makes the subtle distinctions even more refined, because I'm at that midway point, where we've built up our suburbs, but nature…

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  5. You Choose beta release

    If you look on the sidebar of the homepage you may notice a shiny new blue box with a question in it. You Choose the answer to that question.

    Yes, it's a poll. :arr: It is my latest pet project. Some of you may have noticed the abundant "ghost options" appearing in my other poll, powered by idioPoll. I was getting tired of this bug, so I decided to write a poll script myself when I got the time. Compared to a blog or a guestbook, a poll isn't as hard. It certainly took less time overall to code. The project posed some challenges on its own--figuring out how to store and relate the data was a bit of a poser. Overall though, I'm rather proud of what I've accomplished.

    If you haven't voted yet, take a moment to check out my favourite jQuerified feature: those of you with JavaScript enabled can click the "Results" button and instantly see the results before voting. ^_^ Those of you without JavaScript must suffer through a page reload. Anyway, go ahead and vote--and then you have to wait 24 hours before you can vote again! In that poll, at least. Maybe if I…

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  6. Did You Know?

    If you haven't seen it already, you need to watch Karl Fisch's Did You Know? presentation. My history teacher showed us the version by Scott McLeod (which removes the school-specific slides).

    You can watch it on YouTube, and I encourage you to do so. It's quite impactful. At first glance they might seem just like statistics, but take a moment to just consider the ramifications of the statements. We have moved from a local society to a global village in a few hundred years.

    The frightening thing is that we are showing no sign of slowing down--as a species, we are continuing to progress at a geometric level. As a graduating student who is about to enter the "real world" of university, employment, and life as an adult, the idea that careers and our level of information exchange may be radically different in ten years is disconcerting, to say the least.

    We have also discussed the nature of memory in class as well. Medieval peasants had incredible memories; they couldn't write down information, so they had to remember it. Nowadays, we can find information through a variety of resources. Of course, the amount of information that we use has…

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About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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