TG #4: Gifts, Quantum Mechanics, and More

December 19, 2007 – 9:24 pm

This week on Tweak and Geek, we delve into some possible gifts for the Tweaks and Geeks in your life. We then felt some strange urge to discuss quantum mechanics for a while, and closed off with some blogs and office stories.

1) Answer listener email

Laurie from Atlanta

You are my only hope Tweak and Geek! Please help me find some cool gift ideas for the geeks and tweaks in my life! It would be great if you each could find 1-5 cool things this Christmas that you think every geek and tweak should have.

Geek gifts-

Fly to space! Only $1,764,000.00

Because you NEED a laptop with 4GB RAM, SLI video cards, and a PhysX accelerator. $4,499.00… but can it run PacMan?

Not only does it up the ante, it also raises the bar… E-Ink is rad… check out here how it works!

Geeky Stocking stuffers ( Yes they still have a snail mail catalog.

  • Action Figures:
    • Star Trek (TOS)
    • Einstein
    • WoW
    • Zelda Twilight Princess
  • Awesome T-Shirt – while(!Succeed == try())
  • I’m in UR ______________ ____________ing UR ________________
  • #include <beer.h>

Remember when an iPod was a pretty darned nice present?


2) Quantum Mechanics Discussion – is observation lowering the life expectancy of the universe? What does observation mean?

I have never been an oil refiner, but if it is in fact, fun, then I apologize to all of the kickin’ oil refiners out there.

Wave Function (Ψ)
Bra and ket vectors (<Ψ|, |Ψ>)
Psi and Linear algebraic operators

Planck’s constant: h = 6.626068 × 10-34 J s (very tiny)

I think Pat has Planck’s Constant patience left with me because I take so long to do show notes 🙂

Cool Quantum Stuff:

  • Flash Memory
  • Schrodinger’s Cat – effect of observation – The ASPCA will have something to say about this Gedanken experiment. (“Not being dead” <=> “alive”)

Humanity’s observation effects on the universe – For fun, sci-fi novel Quarantine by Greg Egan has this as its main theme.

Book: Where Does the Weirdness Go? David Lindley

3) Cool WorldIV Interviews (Kudos to Pat on great execution)

4) Wow! it’s WoW

My coworkers should read this.

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  1. 8 Responses to “TG #4: Gifts, Quantum Mechanics, and More”

  2. Hey guys,
    Listened to the latest podcast.
    Really enjoyed. Keep up the good work.
    I did get a little lost somewhere in all of the Quantum Mechanics talk. 🙂

    I have a question for you two.
    I was wondering what does tweak and geek guro do in the winter time to stay somewhat social? Also maybe discuss how your location makes a difference since you both live in such different climates seeing that Craig is in the snowy Maine and Pat is in the sunny, warm Georgia?

    By Nathaniel on Dec 22, 2007

  3. Never thought I’d spend so much time skiing with you two this year. I’ve spent approximately 3 hours XC skiing with the two of you the last 2 weeks, neither of you are hard of breath after 45 minutes of skate skiing. I have enjoyed catching up on the captivating podcast discussions. Keep up the good work – I have to say your doing very well despite not being able to hyperlink Schroedinger’s cat successfully?! Craig, similar to the WOW – don’t forget, “only tools play Magic”.
    ; – )

    By AD on Dec 28, 2007

  4. OK, AD – I fixed the Schroedinger’s Cat link. Thanks for listening!

    By Craig on Dec 29, 2007

  5. Ok. Never seen the lolcat link before. I had to save a few. Can’t wait for the next podcast. Keep it up.

    By ShadesOfGrey on Jan 4, 2008

  6. Great podcast as always, keep up the great work!

    My comment comes from the discussion about how humans are collapsing the waveforms of the universe. It seems a very convoluted theory, as well as one that’s very ‘humanity-centric.’ I’m not very smart, but it seems very arrogant of us to believe that we can have so much impact on the fabric of the universe. of course, I’m not a quantum physicist, so what do I know? 🙂

    By Jon on Jan 4, 2008

  7. Hey guys,

    Great job, enjoyed this one a lot (especially the ongoing multi-verse jokes).

    However, I must complain: you both overlooked SPAM as a suitable (and even superior) holiday gift for geeks, non-geeks, babies, etc. You simply can not have (or give) too much spam. I hope you will rectify this in any future gift guide discussions you have.

    SPAM! It’s what’s for dinner. Unless all your presents came from T&G listeners…in which case you’re probably stuck with salad or bread or something. How sad for you.

    Carry on.

    By billiam on Jan 8, 2008

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  2. Dec 20, 2007: Maine Tech Geeks
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