30 pascals of noise
Sunday, July 19 2015
Today after work, Gretchen continued northwestward from Woodstock to the hamlet of Phœnicia, where she will be catsitting for a friend over the next several days. She will also be using the occasion as a mini writers' retreat so as to focus on her poetry.
Meanwhile it was a leisurely day for me, with a little light experimenting with my barometric array, trying to tease out how much noise to expect in the pressure readings and whether or not the slight differences between the sensors was consistent. I found that the differences between readings, which could be as much as 120 pascals (roughly 1/830th of an atmosphere), tended to be consistent for a sensor, though even in a situation with no moving air currents, the differences between two sensors could vary as much as 30 pascals (1/3333 of an atmosphere). So the signal generated by the wind has to be greater than 1/3333 of an atmosphere to rise above the noise. That's 1/200th the average value of Mars' atmosphere, but about 60 times more than the average value of Pluto's atmosphere.
I became very sleepy this afternoon and solved it the best way possible: taking a nap. After awaking from that, I fetched a load of firewood from some downed oak I'd picked at last year (and abandoned due to a trace of heart rot; back then I was fussier than I am this year). It was in the same area as yesterday's firewood, but even closer to home (about 100 southeast of the Chamomile crossing on the Stick Trail). I forgot to weigh this load, but it felt like it was about 110 pounds (generally I've been able to guess my weight loads to within five pounds).
This evening I watched a bunch of television. There's a new season of Mythbusters, and I watched the one where they found Walter White's trunk-mounted machine gun rig from the Breaking Bad finale "plausible." Also in this episode of Mythbusters, cohost Adam was seen paddling around in an Oru Kayak, the only time I've seen one in action aside from our use of ours. Next I watched the Nova special on Pluto, which had almost no information that I hadn't already absorbed from the New Horizons coverage on the websites I frequent. It seems shows like Nova made sense in the 1980s when timely scientific information was so difficult to obtain (and so easily botched on delivery), but since the advent of YouTube, Slate, and even, dare I say, the Huffington Post, Nova has seemed plodding and repetitive. I know its rhythms so well at this point that I fast-forward through all the sponsors (thanks David Koch!) and stop the moment the language takes on the tone of summarization.
I also watched an episode of Airplane Repo, which, when viewed with the right mindset, can deliver a sort of anti-one-percent schadenfreude as deadbeat fatcats have their douchebag toys repossessed. Still, the show comes off as deeply faked. How, for example, were cameras able to catch the last-minute takeoff of a repossessed airplane from behind the guys on the ground trying to block the runway so it couldn't take off?
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next