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John “Bif” Hammer
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I'm impressed how well Stylus interprets my chicken- scratch handwriting.

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John “Bif” Hammer

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Hey friends of mine, allies, humans, dreamers -
My dear mom, amazing human and totally rad inspiration, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It's moving fast, there are still a lot of questions and she hasn't been able to start treatment yet. These are some scary times.

She lives in Canada and has basic medical, so all of her basic treatments are going to be covered and I'm certainly glad for that. As a single woman and independent contractor / business owner, though, she's not going to have an income to pay for the mortgage, bills, or groceries - nevermind organic foods and additional cancer-fighting supplements. Turns out you can't hold presentations while you're undergoing chemo and radiation.

What's a son to do? I have a laughable bank balance. Pretty much all I've got is some imagination, the network of friends I tune into it with, and a bit of crowd-funding know-how thanks to the Monsterhearts Second Skins. Please let these things be enough to help her through this year.

(Do I ever wish that I'd been able to power through the Second Skins by now, believe me. This cancer diagnosis is the final gem on the crown of shit 2013 deposited onto my family.)

Here's the GoFundMe page I made (which makes my mom, Gayle, super uncomfortable. She hates asking for help, though she's always doing crazy shit like giving her fridge away to some young mom pushing a stroller who she overhears asking about fridges in a thrift store. She got another fridge though, eventually. She also hates it when I swear. Sorry, mom.)

http://www.gofundme.com/gayle-bates

My sister and I are at her side, both of our lives allow us some flexibility. Please - tell everyone about this. My mom has been the single biggest inspiration, support, and dream-enabler in my life. Anything that you can do to help her helps me twice over. Please reshare like wildfire.
My mom's still learning about asking for help when she needs it, so I'm writing this introduction on her behalf. Some of you have met my mom, Gayle Bates. She is a brightener of days with her friendly smile, colourful hair, cheerful demeanor, and sly wit. A loving daughter, mother...
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John “Bif” Hammer

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Sharing partly to save it. This is the coolest.
 
Would it have killed my Math Teacher to have this Animation Ready when teaching about Radians?
Join the Simple Science and Interesting Things  Community and share interesting stuff! https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/117518490246975838002

The radian is the standard unit of angular measure, used in many areas of mathematics. An angle's measurement in radians is numerically equal to the length of a corresponding arc of a unit circle, so one radian is just under 57.3 degrees (when the arc length is equal to the radius)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radian
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I always get the formulas for circumference and area mixed up. Now I won't.

You don't know how happy this makes me!
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John “Bif” Hammer

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My first real LOL in a couple days.
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Why isn't this alternative theory taught in biology class?
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I might just start a new category for +Brian Koberlein re-shares.  :P Paging +James Hammer.
 
Inherent in the System

Suppose you wanted to know the room dimensions of a new apartment you’ve just rented.  So you buy a new tape measure (your old one is still packed) and start measuring rooms.  When you move your furniture in, you find that things fit pretty well, but it there are some things that are just slightly...off.  That dresser you thought would fit perfectly in a nook is just a half-inch too long.  The built-in shelf that should be long enough to hold your entire DVD collection just isn’t able to fit that last DVD.  The difference isn’t huge, but just enough to be annoying.

Of course you measured all your furniture with your old tape measure, so when you finally unpack everything you go back and measure your furniture again, and get the same measurements you had originally.  So you use your old tape measure to measure the apartment, and you get slightly different measurements than you did with the new tape measure.  It turns out the two different tape measures differ very slightly, and that is why everything seemed just slightly off.

Since your two tape measures don’t quite agree, you know that at least one of them is slightly wrong.  You might say there is an error inherent to our system of measurement.  Of course figuring out which one has the error is a bit of a challenge.  This is basically the situation we have in cosmology.  We’ve measured the size and age of our universe really precisely using different methods, and we get answers that agree really well, but they also disagree just slightly enough to be annoying.

There are three broad observations we can use to understand the structure of the cosmos:  the cosmic microwave background (http://goo.gl/ZcVpTM) which is a measure of the remnant heat of the big bang, the baryon accoustic oscillation (http://goo.gl/XEieQh) which is a measure of the distribution and clumping of galaxies in the universe, and the observations of distant supernovae (http://goo.gl/Wg7Euy).  

Each of these gives slightly different results for the various cosmological parameters that describe the universe.  For example, in the figure below the results of these three methods are plotted for the amount of matter (horizontal) versus dark energy (vertical).  Here WMAP is the cosmic microwave background data.  

These results overlap in a small region (denoted by the yellow triangle).  All of these methods demonstrate that we live in a 13.7 billion year old universe that contains matter, dark matter and dark energy.  They all generally agree.    But you’ll also notice that the “center” of each type of observation is slightly different than all the others.  Not much, but just enough to be irksome.  

This tension between the different parameters limits our ability to further refine our measurement of the cosmological parameters.  Though in some ways it is amazing that our results agree as well as they do.  After all, we are making all of our observations in a dusty corner of a galaxy.  Accounting for all that stuff in the way is a serious challenge, and it takes a lot of data analysis.

Image:  European Southern Observatory (http://goo.gl/YvklBh)
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John “Bif” Hammer

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.gifs are being my favorite today.
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Cross-posting from the Pathfinder community. I sometimes get carried away with mapping, so it's nice to see quick & dirty approaches I like.
 
Started using Google Earth, mixed with some Photoshop treatments, to generate quick maps for our Pathfinder campaign. This is somewhere in Ireland. The name of the farm is phony. Shad Barry is real; he was a turn-of-the-century ballplayer.
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I agree with the others, very clever.  If you could make it look a little more hand drawn like kevin suggests, it would be perfect.
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John “Bif” Hammer

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This is cool if you like maps. So, it's cool.
 
12 Maps of America From Before We Knew What It Looked Like

"The island of California. A huge triangle of land called Florida. A great ocean that cut down from the Arctic into the Midwest. As the New World came into focus beginning in the 17th century, explorers and cartographers struggled to measure a massive expanse of land that would take centuries to accurately map.

Take the long-accepted idea that California was actually its own island, popularized by explorers who had seen Baja and assumed the inlet was actually a continuous straight separating present-day Cali from the rest of North America. For a number of reasons—including economic and political ones—the myth stuck around for centuries. In fact, there's even a dedicated collection at Stanford devoted to this geographic non-truth, of which there are at least 800 maps. So what reconnected California to America? In 1747, less than 300 years ago, King Ferdinand VI of Spain cleared up a popular misconception with a royal decree: California, it turned out, wasn't an island after all.

But that's far from the only cartographic myth that wound its way into legend during the age of exploration. Some of these maps were drawn for navigation, others were drawn with hidden agendas—to, say, spur a particular monarch to fund new journeys.

Take a look at 12 below, which include the first to use the name "America" and the first map printed in the new world. And please, add any we've missed in the comments."

More at: http://gizmodo.com/12-maps-of-america-from-before-we-knew-what-it-looked-l-1488315681
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I based an alternate world on this map. Of course the version I came up with, the north tip was where the mouth of Columbia River was. Isla de California was a major player thanks to the gold deposits that were found there.
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John “Bif” Hammer

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I just came across these:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009C0E8NE They're popular for something called zentangling, I guess.

Anyway, has anyone handled these? I'm evaluating them to use for a set of geomorphs.
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I feel like doing a cartography project, but I'm not running a game right now or even soon. What thing should I map?
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... at tunnel to the 5th dimension where our dark overlords bide their space-time.
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I raise kids, study science, play games, and make jokes.
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