Jay Lake: Writer

Contact Me Home
>

[help] Need some Latin help

I have a short fiction manuscript with section headers in my terrible dog Latin. Anyone here with enough real Latin willing to have a look and correct my manglings?

I’d be much obliged.

Help has arrived. Thank you!

Tags: , ,

[help] Satellite orbit question

I swear this went through Link Salad in the last year or two, but I cannot run it down.

Is there a stable configuration for extremely long-term orbits (millennia or more) for artificial satellites? I recall reading that at least one satellite has been placed in such an orbit. I’m trying to sort out if that’s true, and if so, is there a name for such an orbit?

Why, yes, this is rocket science.

Tags: ,

[help] Special relativity, reference frames and timekeeping

So I’m noodling a bit more of special relativity into my poor, ageing, liberal arts educated brain, via (among other things), posts such as this one. (The first few dozen comments are excellent, btw. After that the thread starts breaking down.)

What got me rattling down this track was the problem of timekeeping across astronomical distances. Since reference frame is a critical concept, is it reasonable to have your clock so far away that it stands outside your reference frame?

For example, let us posit a pulsar 30,000 light years distant. Let us further posit that its periodicity is slowly lengthening, by a degree both measurable and predictable. Say that I know from a certain zero point, say, Earth on a given day and time, what the periodicity is. Then, some arbitrary amount of time later, having moved at relativistic or supraluminal speeds to an astronomical distance, I measure my beacon star’s periodicity again. I then calculate backwards (or, potentially forwards) from my known zero point reference.

Have I in my new, arbitrary location now established the time at my zero point? Ie, have I synchronized my clocks?

I am absolutely certain there is at least one serious error here, but I can’t see it yet. I’d appreciate comments that might correct this idea, or references to more successful examples of this kind of thinking.

Tags: ,

[help] Medical science question

What kind of cows do bovine heart valve replacements come from? Surely not random animals off the feedlot. Are there FDA-monitored herds that provide the donor pericardial tissue for this process? This is surprisingly difficult to run down via the usual sources.

Tags: ,

[help] China pattern ID

Y’all did such a beautiful job on the china pattern question a year or two ago that I have a new china pattern question.

calendula_witch found some Haviland plates in a thrift shop. She’s having trouble running down the pattern. Most of what she can find online shows the pattern extending into the flat of the plate, but these are on the rim only.

cal_china_01
One of the plates in all its glory.

cal_china_02
A closer view of the pattern.

cal_china_03
The maker’s mark, sadly blurred by low light.

Here is what the words on that last photo say:

Haviland, France

Haviland & Co Limoges
for
S&G Gump Co
San Francisco

With a bear, presumably to symbolize California.

Any thoughts on this pattern, or information about its history, would be most welcome!

Creative Commons License

This work by Shannon Page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Tags: ,

[help] Identifying a piece of furniture, part 2

Thank you very much to everyone who made comments and suggestions on yesterday’s post about the curio cabinet belonging to calendula_witch’s family [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ].

As a followup, calendula_witch’s mother has provided more detail and additional photos.

This cabinet has been in our family since at least 1940. It came with a 2nd husband (aged about 50 at that time)of my grandmother. He had inherited it from his wealthy New England family. They originally came to this country from Germany, and his father became a naturalized US citizen in 1885.

The decorations are painted, not inlay or decal. The design on the top includes a lyre on top of a scroll of sheet music. It seems mostly solid wood, except for the top surface, which is veneer. The gold accents are metal, tack-nailed on. There is no label or mark we can find. There are 2 metal keys. The shelves are thick glass, with a mirror on the back inside wall. There is no light in the cabinet.

The curved glass has no distortion. The solid pieces of wood are butted, and probably joined with dowels that can’t be seen.

A while back I found something similar on eBay that was French from about 1850, so this may be the same or a later reproduction. It would be nice to know. It is about 4’8″ tall. Also, there are some screws on the bottom, holding things together, but the curved wooden pieces are solid. My husband thinks the wood might be ash.

Also, it was mentioned elsewhere that the wiring visible in some of the photos is incidental to a lamp. The cabinet itself is not wired for electricity.

And the photos…

CIMG4086

CIMG4077

CIMG4078

CIMG4087

CIMG4073

CIMG4068

CIMG4071

CIMG4082

CIMG4080

Photos © 2010 K. Salonen, reproduced with permission.

Tags: , , ,

[help] Identifying a piece of furniture

calendula_witch’s mother has a china cabinet that has passed down through several generations of the family. The origin of this piece is completely unknown at this point. It is perhaps a century old. We’re hoping that someone among you can help identify the provenance, or give us clues as to what to look for by way of maker’s marks, etc. Given the success of you guys in identifying such things as china patterns and German bridges for me, I’m hoping we can score a hit here, too.

Any thoughts?

China cabinet 1

China Cabinet 2

Photos © 2010 D. Salonen, reproduced with permission.

Tags: , , ,

[help] Peru travel

I have a friend who’s planning a trip to Machu Picchu later this year. They asked me for some advice about access to the site and booking tours in specific time slots, but South America is the one inhabited continent I’ve never visited, so I’m a little thin on Peru travel lore.

If you have experience traveling in Peru, or specifically to Machu Picchu, and are willing to help my friend out, please leave me a note in comments so I can hook you up.

Tags: , ,

[help] Question about human evolution

Is 25-50 generations sufficient elapsed time for a human population under significant selection pressure to exhibit significant phenotypical variations?

I’m assuming something like a lost colony scenario, and/or multigenerational space farers. I’m also not looking for 10 foot tall green men or anything like that, but more along the lines of meaningful changes in height, build, coloration, body mass, musculature etc. such that current extreme expressions might become more common or even typical.

Tags: ,

[help|photos] Neues Schloss Stuttgart

Thank you for all the help on yesterday’s mystery photo post [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. Users skh and each came through with the right answer, Neues Schloss Stuttgart, probably immediately prior to its restoration, as photographed by my paternal grandfather.

My Dad, who was the originator of the help request, is quite impressed with the community response. On his behalf, I extend thanks to everyone who pitched in.

Ruined palace, Germany (?), 1955-1956

© 1955, 1956, L.E. Lake, Sr.

Creative Commons License

This work by L.E. Lake, Sr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License

Tags: , , , ,

« Older Posts | Newer Posts »