RanTom Thoughts

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This part of the wiki is for Tom's Rants and whatnot. Feel free to give feedback / comments on the talk pages.

I'm still dedicated to the proposition of making the wiki work as the main source for RanTom Thoughts, but I've recently started posting things that don't really deserve a full Rant on my LiveJournal account, RanTom Thoughts Mini.

For microblogging, you can also check out my Twitter account.

Current RanTom Thought

Left leg the day before my birthday.
Left leg the day before my birthday.

Leukocytoclastic vasculitis

In February I developed a condition called leukocytoclastic vasculitis, which is essentially a disease where the immune system decides your blood vessels are foreign invaders and attempts to destroy them. It appears to be chronic, however, there doesn't appear to be internal organ involvement, and it looks like we're finally getting it under control with oral steroids.

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 19:22, 27 June 2013 (CDT)

Recent RanTom Thoughts

The Second Law of Thermodynamics argument strikes again

In Defeating Darwin in 4 easy steps, Bryan Fischer makes use of the Second Law of Thermodynamics argument to argue against evolution.

Pay no attention to that loud scream you just heard. I'll be OK, really. People have occasionally asked me why I seem to have a vendetta against Thermodynamics -- it's partly because of arguments like these.

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 23:15, 19 April 2008 (CDT)

CNN, Car Talk, etc.

The deadly Snow Cord (Hondas accordii alba) can be seen here in its native habitat.  Hidden in its winter camouflage, the Snow Cord crouches low, preparing to pounce on its unsuspecting victim.
The deadly Snow Cord (Hondas accordii alba) can be seen here in its native habitat. Hidden in its winter camouflage, the Snow Cord crouches low, preparing to pounce on its unsuspecting victim.

(I'm sorry for not getting a recap of the R&D100 awards up yet, but I've been busier than expected... I do want to get it up before the holidays though.)

Car Talk

For those out there asking for a picture of my car: enjoy! It's been fun! This week I drove in my first ice storm -- after scraping 1/4 inch of ice off of the car -- I learned that my Japanese bento box (lunchbox) makes a decent ice scraper in a pinch. After switching the title into my name and registering the car, I am amazed how much more efficient the Illinois DMV is today compared to my experiences with the California DMV a decade ago. (And yes, I do listen to NPR on the weekends.)


In other news, we are going to be interviewed by CNN on the 12th! This is what I know so far:

WHEN: To be aired sometime during the Christmas break.
WHAT: "This is a follow up to Mary Anne's Radio tour on National Security. The objective is to gain more visibility for Argonne's national security programs and let people know that we are working on major national security issue. The footage will be used for the show."
WHO: As far as I know Argonne is the only lab participating in this one. However there are several projects that will be covered, including PmmWS.
HOW LONG: "It depends on whether CNN wants to do a feature and that in turn depends on the visual quality of the footage. Generally, if we can get 10-15 minutes, that is considered ample. Since TV is a visual media they want to see activities with visual appeal-- The passive millimeter wave technology demonstrations, items that can be demonstrated in the labs etc. They are not really interested in talking to people per se, as much as seeing people engaged in the laboratories."
AUDIENCE: "Whoever watches CNN-- it's a general, lay audience. But it could also include funding agencies and other stakeholders as well. "
FOLLOWUP (2009.05): The CNN segment can be viewed on the media page I put up about the project.

IEEE Paper

Oh, and finally, we sent in our final revision for the IEEE paper this week! It's time to put the pencils down and the let the baby go so it can learn to fly on its own before it sinks in the bathwater. (or something like that)

--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 11:36, 5 December 2007 (CST)

Just a reminder

Life is giving me a reminder that I shouldn't get too comfortable... It seems that someone has stolen my credit card number and charged about $400 at a WalMart in California... So, my account has been closed. (This happens at the same time that my normal bank account is going to be down due to the bank being acquired by another... As of Friday, I won't have access to my money until I get the new bank's card / checks in the mail.)

--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 21:07, 20 November 2007 (CST)

[edit] This Reality Check comic was both timely and a really needed laugh!

Another Good Day

Today was another Good Day in the life of Tom. Not as big as the Red Letter Day, but still pretty darn good.

  1. When I got to work I found a couple of issues of November's issue of Nuclear Engineering International in my mailbox. On page 18 there's a two page article about our project.
  2. A few minutes later Sami came by and told us that our article for IEEE Transactions (MTT) was accepted!!!!
  3. This evening Dr Chien gave me his old Honda Accord. I've now rejoined the society of Car Owners.
  4. I have a new coat. OK, so this may not sound like a big deal compared to the others, but it is to me :D

Hopefully I'll be posting a detailed wrap-up on the R&D 100 awards banquet this weekend. Stay Tuned!

--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 21:31, 16 November 2007 (CST)

We have the plaque!

R&D 100 Award group plaque
R&D 100 Award group plaque

Just a quick note that we received the award last Thur. I'll post more with pictures later. This is our group plaque that gets mounted in our awards case in the building. R&D Magazine will be sending our personalized plaques in the next couple of weeks. --Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 21:45, 21 October 2007 (CDT)

Beware! The Big Day fast approaches!

Foil Seals we received from R&D Magazine
Foil Seals we received from R&D Magazine
Daily Herald article
Daily Herald article

Just a quick wrap-up: I'm one of the winners of an R&D 100 award this year. There has been a ton of press about it. (The PR department timed our main Argonne press release to coincide with 9/11 since our research was in the anti-terror field.) Sami has been interviewed on the radio, we have been in the newspaper (twice), and we were the featured article on the Argonne homepage for two weeks. We have shown up in news from China to Iran, from Yahoo! News to Forbes.

It's been an exciting ride! :)

Jana has bought her tickets to come over, and our awards banquet tickets are confirmed. Yesterday I finally picked up my tuxedo, so everything is ready to go! (Except for transportation.) (I even got my Argonne business cards today!)

Now R&D Magazine has finally put their official list of 2007 R&D 100 Award Winners online and the magazine has gone to press. (We're under Environmental -- right across the page from Lego Mindstorms NXT -- how cool is that?)

15 days and counting down until the dinner at the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier (That's the big green-roofed section at the end of the pier [1].). Now it's time to get really nervous!

--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 15:07, 3 October 2007 (CDT)

Guess who's a winner of an R&D100 award for 2007?
Guess who's a winner of an R&D100 award for 2007?

Argonne has now released their press release, so the embargo is lifted and I can now officially announce this. --Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 10:33, 8 August 2007 (CDT)

Red Letter Day

R&D 100 Award!

OK, today's July 4th, a red-letter day on the calendar, but it's been a red-letter week for me this week. I've been stumbling around in a daze all week since I found out what I'm going to share today. This is huge! I mean, gigantic, enormous, so incredible terribly huge in my life that I've been scared to share it in case it wasn't true or I was dreaming. However, now I have a copy of the fax and it's finally starting to sink in on me that it's really happening. Now I can share it with everyone else. (Also I've been holding off due to something else that happened this week.. see below.)

I am one of the winners of an R&D 100 award!

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 20:42, 4 July 2007 (CDT)

They're swarming the planet by the BILLIONS! They've been burrowing unnoticed beneath our feet for YEARS!  It's the Invasion of Brood XIII and they only have MATING on their minds.  Can humanity survive the invasion?!?  Coming soon to a webpage near you.
They're swarming the planet by the BILLIONS! They've been burrowing unnoticed beneath our feet for YEARS! It's the Invasion of Brood XIII and they only have MATING on their minds. Can humanity survive the invasion?!? Coming soon to a webpage near you.

Brood XIII: Bug-Eyed Nympho Invaders from the Center of the Earth!

This morning was another one of those magical overcast days like I talked about last time. However, this time, the nymphs I'm seeing aren't mosquitoes, but cicadas.

I've long been fascinated by cicadas. I first experienced an emergence in Oklahoma when I was a kid in first grade, (Brood IV in 1981). It's certainly an interesting survival mechanism they have evolved -- overwhelm your predators all at once and most of you will survive. Also, the absolute predictability of the emergence is astounding each time I experience it. In the past, I was impressed by the predictability of the year and month, now there's even a formula to predict the exact date.

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 11:21, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Tiptoe through the tulips with me!
Tiptoe through the tulips with me!


Winter has finally decided to concede to Spring.

Today's Thought is not so much of a Rant as a Ramble. I'm just excited that Spring is here and everything's turning green, and I can take off my jacket, and the breasts are in bloom and... um... where was I?

Green is an interesting color. There's something magical about when the woods start turning green. It's no wonder Spring is so important to so many of the (earth) magic traditions in the world. On an slightly overcast day, with everything coming alive around you, there is sort of a mystical feel and one can almost believe in fairies.

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 11:35, 2 May 2007 (CDT)


Global Warming

Winter has decided that Spring was being presumptuous.

There are some days when you step out your door and the wind striking ice crystals against your jacket sounds like Rice Crispies on speed. On days like that you really want to forgo the rest of the day and just turn around, go back inside, curl up next to the <insert heat source here> and just read a book. Today is one of those days.

Now for the rant part. (And so it begins)

I'm really tired of Hollywood over-pimping the whole Green Agenda. [edit: I'm specifically addressing Global Warming in this article, not the whole "Green Agenda". Perhaps some day in the future I'll comment on a couple of other issues.]

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 10:26, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Ellen White on Swine

This is for all my Adventist friends out there... Other people may not be interested in reading it, since it deals with Ellen White, which really has no meaning for people who never grew up in the Adventist church.

[quote in extended version]

So basically, this direct vision from GOD said that telling other people to abstain from pork was Satanic.

Apparently when 1T was written, God didn't know what he was going to show EGW 5 years into the future... Specifically calling this an "Error in Diet".

So, what is the test... that God will reveal the policy on swine to the entire church, not to two or three. So what changed the policy, creating the Adventist prohibition on pork? ONE person's vision! You may tell me "oh, but Ellen White was human, she makes mistakes", but remember, this is claimed to be a direct vision from God himself.

Talk about someone on a power trip. When someone else comes up with an idea, it's evil, but when she comes up with it later, it's DIVINE LAW.

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 05:59, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Bahá'í House of Worship
Bahá'í House of Worship

GRE, Great Food, Greeters, and Goodbyes

I took my Physics GRE Subject Test yesterday. Reviewing classes you took over a decade ago is not a fun task, so I took a few weeks off of work to prepare. Last time I took the test I had just come out to Chicago, so I didn't have any of my textbooks, all I had was GRE Physics - The Best Test Preparation for the Graduate Record Examination Subject Test by REA. This time I bought a new copy of the book to see if they corrected the two mistakes I found last time.

After the test, I discuss my adventures in Chicagoland on a CTA day pass, including such wonders as the Lucky Platter, and the Bahá'í House of Worship.

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--Image:Tometheus-sig.png Tometheus (talk) 00:08, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

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