Random Word Generator

Using a simple file reader, randomizer, and of course file with a list of all words in the English dictionary, one can create the random word generator in visual basic.net.

Below is the code, if want to make this work simply download a free version of visual studio, create a new form with a button and rich text box with the code as is below, and download the english word dictionary from here:

Imports System.IO
Public Class Form1
Dim mCol As New Collection
Dim mFilLoc As String = "wordsEn.txt"
Dim mCount As Int64 = 1
Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
End Sub
Private Function ReadFromFile() As Boolean
Dim fs As New FileStream(mFilLoc, IO.FileMode.Open, IO.FileAccess.Read)
Dim d As New StreamReader(fs)
d.BaseStream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin)
While d.Peek() > -1
mCol.Add(d.ReadLine(), mCount)
mCount += 1
End While

End Function
Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
If mCount = 1 Then
MsgBox("Dictionary File not loaded!")
Exit Sub
End If
Dim rnd As New Random
RichTextBox1.Text = mCol.Item(rnd.Next(mCount))
End Sub
End Class

Cash for Clunkers Ends, Again!


The government gift money aimed towards buyers who trade in their old cars for new fuel efficient cars is once again running out. Within this few days that it has lasted, the government first spent one billion (that’s right, billion) in only one month and an additional two billion in about the same amount of time. That means shelling out money to destroy of at least 666,666 thousand vehicles. The number results from dividing three billion by $4,500, which is the maximum allowance for a trade-in. Cars that are traded in must have their engine permanently disabled by replacing the engine oil with sodium silicate!

The top selling car for this program was the Ford Focus. The program was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Republican Betty Sutton, and in the Senate by Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Republican Sam Brownback. The program, besides being outrageously unconstitutional (read article I section 8 about the powers of congress), is also an absolute waste of resources and money. Not only are engines which are perfectly good (a provision for cash for clunkers was that the car traded in should be ‘drivable’) being destroyed, but also the government is giving out cash it doesn’t have (the US government has historically astronomical budget deficits).

Let’s hope this foolishness is not continued in an effort to ‘preserve the environment’ and ‘stimulate the economy’, as a few hundred thousand marginally cleaner cars in the US won’t stop the millions of new cars being sold in China every month.

What is Frozen Smoke?

Aerogel is made from Silicon Dioxide, the same material as ordinary Glass, only 1,000 times less dense. It has incredible insulating properties, and was used by NASA for thermal insulation of the Mars Rover and space suits. NASA also used aerogel to capture space dust particles. It is made by drying a hydrogel composed of colloidal silica in an extreme environment. Below are a few amazing photos displaying some of it’s properties:

visual appeal, gas like appearance

Disk of Aerogel

Isulation properties

Strength on display: 2 grams of aerogel supporting a brick 2,500 times it’s weight

Modeling Software Systems with Petri Nets

Petri nets, in my estimation, will be a vital modeling tool for years to come. Invented by 13 year old Carl Adam Petri for the purpose of describing chemical processes, Petri nets have extended their usability to fields such as performance evaluation and communication protocols. Although it is an easy concept to grasp, the largest disadvantage of Petri nets is their complexity when modeling large scale systems. This handicap can be alleviated with software automation.

A Petri net is an initially marked weighted bipartite graph. That is, it has an initial state, the lines between it’s “places” and “transitions” which determine whether or not a transition will occur, and it is bipartite based on the requirement for it to in the form of “place” -> “transition” -> “place” etc. Each state can be assigned “tokens”, which could represent a variety of things. In modeling servers, the token could represent a separate process or thread. A mathematical description of Petri nets from Tadao Murata’s Petri Nets: Properties, Analysis, and Applications is shown below:

Mathematical Properties of Petri Nets

A short explanation of the above, line by line:

  1. There are a countable number of places in the Petri Net
  2. There are a countable number of transitions in the Petri Net
  3. Arcs flow from either places to transitions of transitions to places
  4. Arcs may be weighted
  5. There are a non-negative number of markings on each place
  6. (unsure) Places and Transitions should be NULL and Places or Transitions cannot be NULL

I’m sure by this point you’re dying to see the Petri Nets visual, so here is an example of H2 O2 to H20 conversion in Petri nets:

H2 O2 to H20 in Petri Nets

Notice the weights on the net, we can see that there are two units of both H2 and O2, and according to the arc weight, 2 H2 are needed for the transition and only 1 O2 is needed. Below is the net after the firing of t (transition):

H2 02 to H20 in Petri Nets (part 2)

Tadao Murata, “Petri Nets: Properties, Analysis, and Applications.” Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 77, No. 4, pages 541-580. April 1989.

Carl Adam Petri’s Website

Luna 2

The United States may have sent the first man to the moon, but Russia was the first to crash something onto it. Tomorrow marks the 49th anniversary of Luna 2’s crash landing onto Earth’s moon. Luna 2 was the second of a series of spacecraft launched in the direction of the Moon. The first spacecraft to land on the Moon, it impacted the lunar surface east of Mare Serenitatis near the Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus craters. Luna 2 was similar in design to Luna 1, a spherical spacecraft with protruding antennae and instrument parts. The instrumentation was also similar, including scintillation- and geiger- counters, a magnetometer, and micrometeorite detectors. The spacecraft also carried Soviet pennants. There were no propulsion systems on Luna 2 itself. Luna 2’s predecessor, Luna 1, was the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the moon. The first soft landing on the moon was made by Luna 9 in 1966.

The Future of Science

I wrote this a few years ago in my private journal and now I feel at liberty to share with you, I have copied it as is, without my modern input:

Here are a few of my radical thoughts on what types of scientific breakthroughs will be developed within the next few years. If not, then I will develop them myself. First, I think that it will be fairly easy to create an aging machine that will increase the rate at which an organism ages. There will be many uses including aging human clones for military uses. Think about it, an unlimited amount of clones from the top DNA pick. I also think that a time machine can be invented but once it is invented one can only travel to the future, and from there back to the past but restricting backwards travel from the future will be difficult and many lives may be lost as the past machine breaks out of over or multi-use. Humans will soon take pills that satisfy their individual dietary needs and human excrement will be the problem of only the lower order. There is a possibility that human aging can be eliminated but I doubt anything can make humans younger. There are only a few years left before cyborgs (part human, part machine) become prevalent. This piece I am writing will be discovered and dated correctly using carbon-dating. If a sufficient amount of matter is converted to energy on Earth, we will need to transport moon rocks of great mass to counter Earths falling out of orbit p = m*v if m decreases and velocity remains constant our momentum will decrease therefore sending us into a more elliptical orbit and freezing the earth then crashing into the sun (not really crashing, but melting)

Google To Release New Web Browser Tomorrow!!!

Google will begin distributing its own browser in a move likely to heat up its rivalry with Microsoft.

The Internet search leader confirmed the long-rumored browser in a Monday posting on its Web site. Google said the free browser, called “Chrome,” will be available for downloading Tuesday.

The browser represents Google Inc.’s latest challenge to Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer is used by half of Web surfers. Google has been concerned that Microsoft will try to program Internet Explorer in a way that makes it more difficult for Google’s search engine to attract traffic.

Google is taking some features from Firefox, such as the tabs, and adding its own spin, placing them above the address bar rather than below it. The address bar will have an auto-complete feature, much like that of Firefox. The Chrome browser home page will offer a speed-dial feature, similar to the one seen on Opera’s desktop browser.

Chrome will have a “privacy” mode. Surfing with the privacy setting enabled will create a new browsing window and allow you to browse with no history of what occurs in that window being stored on the computer. In other words, you can browse sites and no one will be able to track down where you’ve been on that machines.

I am anxiously awaiting this new browser and expect only the best from Google.

For more details check here

Cloaking is closer to perfection

Cloaking, according to the magazines ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’ , is making significant progress. The key, according to the scientists at UC Berkeley and LBNL, is using materials that can produce a negative refractive index. This will “bend light the wrong way”.

I think that scientists still have a long way to go, and even at the peak of cloaking technology, a trained human eye will be able to identify a cloaked object. Probably the best we can do is what is done in the game starcraft, where the spaceship or ghost is plainly visible when it moves, as the light around it is out of place.


The Original Article