Personal “Experiments”

A long time ago, much longer than I care to remember, I used to run lots of seeming random experiments on all sorts of things — whatever piqued my curiosity.  In the past 4 or 5 years, I had suspended pretty much everything, along with many of the other things that make Beracah “Beracah” in the almost insane attempt to complete a PhD here.  But this semester I did not register, nor take any class, nor get paid as an RA, and I just decided to take some personal time to investigate the things that I am curious about (and to complete the publishing/catchup of actual work).  I had forgotten how closely tied those things are tied to my personal happiness and sanity.  So without further ado, here are the 3 projects I’ve already started and the 4th I’m planning.

  1. High Bandwidth Antenna-Link to MIT Net, providing policy-based-routing between Comcast  and MIT networks.  Comcast totally sucks on its own with fluctuating latency and port-blocking all home/samba mounts to my office machine, so I basically can’t access my office work from home in any kind of easy manner.
  2. BodyMedia Body/Energy Metrics – I want to find the optimal times to eat, optimal quantities and constitution to yield a flat (but positive, I’m not dead) energy availability curve through activities.  And also I want to schedule my activities to correspond with my body’s energy up times, and rest during it’s natural down times, since that happens anyway, I might as well plan it in and be more efficient about it.
  3. Electrolysis for Oxygen Generation – After the sinus surgery I have been getting more air and feeling largely lots better, but watched it decline again due to tissue tightening, and no longer feel as well, and it certainly doesn’t compare to how amazing I felt (or how smart I was) after they had me on the oxygen mask.  So I figure, perhaps I can increase the partial pressure of O2 in my bedroom about 10% or so, so that when I sleep, I yield much higher recovery, even when I’m having trouble getting enough air in.

1-3 are experiments already in progress or finished (I’ll blog about them more once I figure out a nice way to tie pictures into the report), but the 4th is being planned out more seriously to be likely to yield interesting information.  That is:

  1. Replicating the “Cold Fusion” experiment.  Actually, I wrote this cool little script that exploits Google to scan the web for published PDFs related to the subject and download them directly.  There’s a lot of really interesting material science related to this investigation, which others commonly refer to as a “pathological science”.  I have opinions about the ridiculousness  of that phrase, particularly since the whole point, and purpose of science is to explore, identify, and eventually  understand unexplained and new phenomena, not to pat itself on the back for its ability to ignore it and pretend that the earth is flat.  But there will always be religious zealots masquerading as scientists, hampering investigation and knowledge in some direction.  Anyhow, that soapbox speech is for another day, the interesting topics are related to deuterium and hydrogen solubility in palladium, electrolysis of heavy water, and neutron production.  So I’m in the process of the places to purchase palladium with the right material characteristics, heavy water, and the ways to properly measure and isolate the containment vessel while a) properly loading the D2 concentration palladium, replenishing the heavy water, and measuring temperature, palladium resistivity F(temp), and seeing if we can directly induce current output.  I have theories about how this all works, so it will be fun to test it.

I’ll save the research and pictures for all these experiments for individual posts…