Amp/volt mnemonic 

Isn’t that fantastic?

A reply queried who is responsible for the drawing and Czerski responded that the lab workers told her that the drawing has been taped up on the wall since everyone there can remember.

I first saw Helen Czerski co-hosting the BBC documentary Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey† with Kate Humble. I immediately started following Czerski on Twitter. Although she’s a physicist and an oceanographer, her interests range across the sciences. You should follow her too!

†Available on Netflix US, but not Netflix Canada, as of this writing. I highly recommend the documentary.

Mom, again

In this latest instalment of ‘crazy shit my mother says,’ I’m sitting and watching television when the phone rings. Mom picks it up and from her side of the conversation I figure out one of her medical specialists is calling to book an appointment for next year. Given that it’s March, it’s a long lead-time, but not unexpected for reasons I won’t get into here.

Before she hangs up, she says to the medical admin person in a cheery voice, “Okay, I’ll see you then … if I’m still alive!”

No more daylight saving time

I wrote my MPP a couple of days ago:

From: Rick Pali
To: Wayne Gates
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 6:01 PM
Subject: DST

Wayne, it’s time to ditch daylight saving time. How can we make this happen? The two time-changing events each year are simply not worth the benefits we get in exchange…

Rob Nicholson has made me accustomed to no response or having to fight to get one, so I was delighted to receive a reply today:

From: Wayne Gates
To: Rick Pali
Date: March 14, 2018 at 5:45:30 PM EDT
Subject: RE: DST

Hi Rick,

Thank you so much for reaching out to MPP Gates on this important issue, and for sharing your concerns with MPP Gates. He had an opportunity to review your email, and has added your concerns to his notes on this file.

As you may know., NDP MLA Thomas Dang in Alberta recently introduced a Private Members’ Bill to abolish Daylight Saving Time in Alberta. He is currently leading a public consultation on this bill across the province. He has received widespread support from families with young children and members of the agricultural sector. I can assure you we will continue to follow this issue.

Kindest regards,

Shannon Mitchell
Constituency Assistant – Casework Manager
Wayne Gates MPP (Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie)
Critic for Transportation

I’m glad I wrote because I knew nothing of Thomas Dang and his Private Members’ Bill. He ran a survey1 and 82% of the 26,000 recipients wanted daylight savings time to end. I absolutely believe that. I’m not sure I know anyone who would be sad to see it go. The most ridiculous issue2 people have raised is the start time of hockey games. Save us from the pox of sports.

The only possible issue is some areas considering dumping the change like the idea of staying on DST all year rather than maintaining standard time. In effect, they’re moving one time zone to the west. If most or all states, provinces, and territories stop changing from standard time to DST and back every year, those areas staying on saving time are going to mess things up. I suspect they’ll also revert to standard time eventually.

I hope the results of the public consultation are positive and Alberta makes the change. Then I hope we in Ontario quickly follow.

  1. Michelle Bellefontaine, “‘We need more time’: Alberta bill to end daylight saving time on hold,” CBC News. April 3, 2017
  2. Daniel Stilwell, “Alberta Daylight Saving Time bill to get further study,” Global News. April 5, 2017

Rest in piece, Stephen Hawking

Stephen William Hawking, 1942‑2018.

I remember my first brush with Stephen Hawking’s work. It was a special Scientific American volume that included his 1977 paper, “The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes,” detailing his how black holes can emit radiation and evaporate away, given enough time. The book is my sister’s, and I don’t remember when I first read it. I am certain that I didn’t understand most of it at the time but what I did understand made a life-long impression on me. It’s a fascinating article.

As an aside, I never did give the book back to my sister and I still have it. Sorry Sis.

Through the years, Hawking revealed more of the universe to humanity and made it understandable to the non-physicist. I firmly believe the pursuit of knowledge and pushing back the boundaries of ignorance is among the noblest of professions.

Hawking was a giant among those in that profession and we’re less without him.

Photo courtesy of NASA.