Monday, February 22, 2010

Christian Doppler Week!

God bless you, Christian Doppler!

As many of you are aware, the Doppler Effect was first identified in 1842 by Austrian physicist Christian Doppler in his absolutely cracking work Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels.

However, I realise some may be unfamiliar with this seminal piece, so in the interest of promoting the groundbreaking work of Herr Doppler, I provide a brief summary.

The Doppler Effect is that effect when the pitch of a sound coming from a moving object – say, the horn on a train – appears to change even though passengers on said train would hear no alteration. This is because the sound waves ahead of the train from the horn are compressed while the waves behind the train are elongated, thus producing this apparent change.

It can also apply to astronomy, where galaxies moving towards our solar system are observed to be a different colour than those galaxies moving away from us; a process known as Doppler colour-shifting.

Now, thanks to Christian Doppler, we can talk with some confidence about “the Doppler Effect” instead of mumbling pathetically about “that weirdo thing with the train horn.”

Please, there’s no need to thank me.

91 comments:

Mr E Discharge said...

So that's why politicians sound completely different after the election has passed by. I always wondered about that.Thanks Ramon!

Perseus said...

Doppler is pretty handsome.

I'm looking for a new hairdo. I might take that pic to the hairdresser on Wednesday.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

If anybody could carry off the Christian Doppler look, it would be you Pers.

RandomGit said...

I've had that hair. Unfortunately it's mussed appearance looks cooler from in front but lamer from behind thanks to the male pattern baldness.

I call it the Doppler Spot Effect.

WitchOne said...

I learnted something today!

W00T and thank-you!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Witchie, I might make physicists and their rockin' dos a regular TSFKA feature.

Next week - Neils Bohr.

Kettle said...

Hey Ramon did I tell you we got two more fish last week and called them Marx and Engels as suggested? Anyway, Engels died on Saturday; he looked exactly the same floating upside down in the tank as he did floating upside down in the toilet. From this I'm surmising that Herr Doppler's effect doesn't carry over to fish. Would that be correct?

squib said...

For some weird reason, I read this as Christian Doppelgänger Week. I thought you'd lost the plot, Ramon

Kettle, the toilet?!!! Where's the ceremony in that?

Kettle said...

PS Engels sounded the same tank-side and bowl-side too.

Kettle said...

Squib I was so shocked and momentarily embarassed (you wouldn't believe how many people have said to me "You got fish? You know you're just going to kill them, you fool") that poor Engels was on his way along the s-bend before I could say 'Communist Manifesto'.

Next time, a full burial in a flower box, I promise.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I thought you'd lost the plot, Ramon

You'd be surprised how many times I hear that Squib.

You really would.

Kettle, I trust you will call your next fish "Christian Doppler"

Perseus said...

And you could name the fish tank 'Death Row'.

Kettle said...

And other four-year olds have dogs called Mooopsy and cats called Poopsy for pets (that said children's parents take to the vet and, you know, don't kill). My son, god love him, has got Marx and Doppler and me. Poor bugger.

Puss In Boots said...

Don't worry Kettle. I'm also a fish murderer. Except mine just disappear, most of the time. I started off with 17 this time, and I'm down to 3. And I only found 3 dead. I don't know what happened to the other 11.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I don't know what happened to the other 11.

You have two cats,Puss.

There's a fairly big clue right there.

Puss In Boots said...

But there's a lid on the tank! They might be clever cats, but they're not that clever.

patchouligirl said...

I had a fish tank in an old tele - the kind that used to be a piece of furniture in itself with doors and the knobs that clunked as they turned. It looked really cool with the fish swimming around in it but they needed to be a reasonable size to be seen from the couch. It didn't take long for me to give away the idea of tropicals and get 3 or 4 goldfish. They are much hardier and not cannibals.

Similarly I've given away all flowers other than geraniums in the sun, impatiens in the shade because only they can survive my lack of care.

Alex said...

I don't know what happened to the other 11.

Cannibalism?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Fish are disgusting.

Alex said...

Is it a salt water tank? You don't have mantis shrimp, do you?

Kettle said...

Cunning cats, cannibalistic fish, negligent human pet-owners. We're a jolly bunch of species, aren't we.

And I'm betting we'd kill most flora too, given the chance (although Patch, you've very cleverly reduced the chance of herbicide with your geranium/impatiens policy - good one).

Kettle said...

Alex no it's not salt water and no I don't have any mantis shrimps but oh my god I want some now!

Show my wussy goldfish a thing or two about painful death.

Alex said...

They're fascinating animals all right. But they have a reputation for getting into tanks as unwanted passengers on bits of decorative coral and causing fish to mysteriously disappear or come apart. That's what made me think of it.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Yes Alex, but how many of them are named after Austrian physicists?

Alex said...

With 400 odd species, I'm sure you'd be able to find one or two if you looked hard enough.

Puss In Boots said...

Pretty sure I have no mantis shrimp. It's just a fresh water tank full of male guppies. Well, "full" is perhaps an overstatement now.

I'm just waiting for the last ones to die so I can get rid of the tank. I've decided fish ownership is not for me.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Puss, why not just take the lid of the tank and say to the cats "boys - tuck in"?

patchouligirl said...

Nice try to get us back on topic Ramon.

The worst waste of money with tropicals were those neon ones. All the other fish thought they were delicious - they disappeared very quickly.

Melba said...

My daughter wants a canary and a Mexican fighting fish.

Do you know how thin the line is between sanity and madness?

About one canary and one Mexican fighting fish thick.

Alex said...

My daughter wants a canary and a Mexican fighting fish.

But would you have them battle in a cage or in a tank? Seems unfair either way.

Hey, wait a minute. A Mexican fighting fish? Is that some kind of hybrid between a Siamese fighting fish and a Mexican walking fish?

Leilani said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has no luck with the fish. If there was a flood here then our front yard would be awash with the fish we've buried in the front yard.

Yet our 15 year old deaf, blind, hip-replaced dog with dementia appears to be indestructible.

Leilani said...

Also, took my son to the barber today and his haircut looks very like Doppler's. I can't wait to tell him his look is retro-physicist chic.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Retro-physicist chic is the look that's sweeping the nation.

Gabriella said...

I learned about the Doppler effect from Sheldon Cooper. Observe.

http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/clooless_photos/Miscellaneous%20wardrobe/6-3.jpg

Leilani said...

Everyone at the SLAM rally today with be sporting retro-physicist chic haircuts for sure.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Marieke will be sporting one.

The pigtails look is out!!

Kettle said...

I don't get pigtails. What are they meant to be? Cute? Sexy? Funny? Quirky (God help us)? Ironic? Self-loathing? Does anyone know?

Alex said...

Something for little kids and native Americans?

Lewd Bob said...

I thought pigtails were something to hold on to.

(Insert Benny Hill-style 'boing' noises.)

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Careful chaps, you'll have Perseus and Melba down here sulking and wondering why we're being so beastly to Marieke.

Mad Cat Lady said...

*insert squinty-eyed look of displeasure*

I put my hair in pigtails. There is nothing wrong with pigtails. It enables one to tie ones hair back out of ones face, but still lean back in the armchair without a nasty lumpy uncomfortable feeling. Also ponytails give me a headache. I am delicate flower.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

All the more reason you should go for the Doppler look, MCL.

Alex said...

Have you tried tying your ponytail further down past the top of your neck MCL? That's what I used to do to alleviate the problems you describe. I never liked pigtails because they made the sides of my neck sweaty and itchy.

Mad Cat Lady said...

I am in the process of growing it back and shall give that a go as soon as it gets long enough :)

To do a Doppler I'd have to get a perm I think.

I remember when I had a perm in the 80s. And the gold foil cocktail frock with the shoulder pads. I am glad that picture disappeared.

Kettle said...

Ah MCL pigtails for reading-chair-comfort purposes makes perfect sense. I've tried the top-knot for such purposes but have found it deeply unsatisfying as a chair-hair solution. Perhaps I'm not doing it right.

Alex, have you tried the reading top-knot?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm glad you're here Kettle as I know you to be an expert on hair niceness.

I therefore ask - Christian Doppler; hot or not?

Mad Cat Lady said...

He looks like he'd be a bit of a pedant.

Alex said...

I never warmed to topknots either Kettle. My hair kept falling around my face and neck when I tilted my head forward; which basically undermined the point of tying it in the first place. I experimented with various buns and things (even the princess Leia look), but ultimately found that they were fiddly and it was too easy to tie them wrong and end up with an aching scalp.

Kettle said...

Ramon while there are several factors that can be considered when determining a boy's hair-hotness level, I've found the most reliable indicator is how similar the boy looks to Ben Whishaw when he played that scrummy ode-ridden lovachunks Keats. *sigh*

So in this regard I'd have to say Christian Doppler: not hot. But there's nary a boy, German physicist or not, who can't be greatly improved with a beer.

MCL, there's nary a pedant who can't be greatly improved with a beer.

Alex, I've not tried the Princess Leia technique but I shall give it a run tonight - cheers.

Also, there's nary an aching scalp that can't be greatly improved with a beer.

(I'll stop now.)

Puss In Boots said...

Alex, are you female?! All this time I thought you were a dude!

Kettle said...

Puss perhaps Alex is or used to be a longer haired gent? (I mean you may be a gent who used to have long hair, Alex, and that you perhaps don't have long hair anymore, not that you're no longer a gent, which you may or may not be or may not have been in the first place and/or may not be now).

If only Leia were here! She could make sense of that sentence.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

First beer of the day, eh Kettle!

Kettle said...

Bugger. It's that obvious?

Alex said...

Sorry. Didn't mean to give you the wrong impression there, Puss.

I suppose Alex isn't a very helpful name, either. Still, I guess it's no worse than going through life as Sam or Pat or Bev or Chris or Ash.

Or Kettle or Puss, for that matter. Those are your real names, right?

Boogeyman said...

Wait... what?

Alex is a girl?

Not again. This used to happen to me so often over at TSSH - thinking someone was the wrong gender for ages.

Didn't mean to give you the wrong impression there, Puss.

Which impression was the wrong one? That you are male, or if you are female?

And if the latter if correct, do you live anywhere near southwest Melbourne, because I know a super-desperate ex-goth seachanged accountant who really needs a date.

Melba said...

Oh my god. I also thought Alex was a dude.

Has anyone noticed, we still don't have the answer?

I was reading this, then came to Alex talking about the long hair thing, the ponytail (hawt on a guy, I'm thinking, he must be a spunk), the pigtails (snort, that's a joke right?) then the Princess Leia bit.

Wow.

Just wow.

I think it's awesome that we didn't know. Really awesome.

Puss In Boots said...

I guess I had preconceived notions, given my male cat's name is Alex.

And yes. My real name is Puss. I have cruel hippie parents.

squib said...

I thought Alex was MCL? Didn't she say this ages ago? I've been calling Alex MCL all this time

Perseus said...

Alex once said s/he used to get into punch ups at country pubs every night in his/her youth. If he's a chick, she's a tough 'un.

Puss In Boots said...

But Pers, what self-respecting male wears their hair in a bun??

Perseus said...

Maybde that's why Alex was in so many punch ups. Men wearing ponytails in country pubs are likely to get glassed.

I wore black nailpolish and mascara to a pub in Diggers Rest* once. I made it out alive, but only because I didn't order a second beer.

(*It was a rough pub. Someone put Jimmy Barnes on the jukebox and another bloke pulled the plug saying he didn't want to listen to 'that fag'.)

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

A National Action type offered to punch me once in a pub in Richmond and I didn't have my hair in a bun.

Mind you, I was wearing a Karl Marx tee-shirt.

patchouligirl said...

Perseus is an accountant? I didn't know that. This IS the revelation thread.

Melba said...

I'm worrying about Alex now like an old mother hen.

Alex?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Perseus is an accountant?

Patchie, I think that's Boogeyman's little joke.

Perseus said...

I'm an accountant in the same way that Ramon is a Nazi Foot Soldier.

My accounts are based on the Bernard from Black Books system. My receipts are kept in two files, one labelled 'miscellaneous', the other file called 'other'.

I studied economics at Uni, patch. Boogeyman took that to the nth degree.

**

Ramon, I do not exaggerate when I say that every Friday night between March 1989 and July 1990, National Action skinheads chased me down Bridge Road between The Old Greek and Church Street (I lived off Burnley Street at the time, and I found that skinheads, whilse they may get off to a fast start, had no abilities over middle-distance chases. Must've been their 400 hole Docs.)

Puss In Boots said...

I am giggling at the site of a Texan Pirate Goth being chased by skinheads in 400 hole Docs. Please tell me you were wearing a very long black coat at the time, and it was billowing out behind you!

Boogeyman said...

Looks like you all scared Alex off. Good one guys! Now we'll never know if whether he/she was male, female, or in-between.


My accounts are based on the Bernard from Black Books system. My receipts are kept in two files, one labelled 'miscellaneous', the other file called 'other'.

Barnaby Joyce is also an accountant, and I'd say that filing system would be positively Keynesian to him.

WitchOne said...

ALEX! Come back Dude/tte!!!

Lewd Bob said...

Alex is a chick? Cool.

Alex said...

At this point, I'm not sure whether I should admit to being a woman or not. With all the build up, anything less than a self replicating hermaphrodite is just going to be anti-climactic.

Perseus, I don't think I ever said that I got into punch-ups every night. I do remember saying that your description of Suicide Girl made me feel nostalgic. Until you said she was a hippy. And a loon. Besides, what red blooded country girl hasn't been in a stoush or two?

Boogeyman, I don't think I shall be perusing a relationship with your accountant friend. I hear he's a smoker who's desperate for children. And also an uncommonly fanatical atheist with a tendency for knee-jerk reactions.

Melba, I'm sorry I made you worry, but I'm often away from here for days on end and usually nobody notices. I didn't anticipate that anyone would this time, either.

For those interested in what I've been doing for the past five days, read on. For those who don't care, please skip the next paragraph:

My parents came to visit for a few days and we all went to stay with my brother's family for the weekend. We talked and watched figure skating and I got to play with my brother's kids, which is good. On the other hand, I found out that two of my uncles have terminal cancer (One of them has a daughter - my cousin - who is currently in remission and my parents have just come back from the funeral of another cousin who died of the big C (At the risk of sounding unladylike, I want to punch cancer in the face right now (Does anyone know how to do nested brackets correctly?).).). Also, one of my brother's kids was sick and now I'm sick (This happens almost every time I go there).

Finally, I know this isn't a parenting advice forum, but I don't trust those places and I'm hoping people will humour me. My brother has an 8 month old bub who won't eat. He can be forced to drink milk, but solids are a colossal battle and he usually sicks most of it up anyway. His parents have tried him on different foods, but nothing seems to be working. The doctor says he can't find anything wrong that would cause the problem, but the little fella's starting to get thin and everyone's getting worried. Anyone had experience with something like this?

Puss In Boots said...

Yay! Alex is back! I didn't scare her away!

As for the baby, sounds similar to me when I was a child. I ended up having some form of reflux, but I suspect they would have tested that already.

eat my shorts said...

Sucks about the big C, Alex. That's really shitty news for your family.

I know nothing about babies & feeding them, so I can't help there.

For the record, I admit I thought you were a bloke at first too, then you were talking about long hair & I was all...oh hey, she's a girl Alex.

Alex said...

Puss, I believe he's been tested for reflux, yes.

EMS, thanks for the sentiment. In all fairness to you, you weren't the only one.

I thought Alex was MCL? Didn't she say this ages ago? I've been calling Alex MCL all this time

Squib, there seems to be a fair bit of this goes on. Was it Puss who couldn't keep Ramon and Boogeyman straight? Someone keeps calling me Bob, too.

patchouligirl said...

It's interesting that an 8 month old would suddenly develop a problem . . if you were telling me it was a newborn having problems breastfeeding that would be different but if the baby has been travelling along fine until now I'm wondering what's changed? Maybe it isn't ready for solids - babies throw up much more easily than adults - sometimes simply because they don't like the food. At 8 months Jack was only really starting to eat mushy foods. I reckon a lot of people try to wean their babies too early so they can go back to work and this leads to problems. Jack hung on breastfeeding for a marathon 16 months before he was ready to stop but when he did we had no dramas. When you tell me an 8 month old is having problems with solids I'm thinking why does it need solids - its main food should still be breast milk. I sometimes think that having Jack at 40 makes me a different parent to the majority of ones around me who are 25 and being younger maybe not quite as patient. It is all about getting them weaned, getting them toilet trained and other benchmarks. For me these things are peripheral - most of my attention is taken up by the profound experience of just getting to know my son.

Alex said...

I reckon a lot of people try to wean their babies too early so they can go back to work and this leads to problems.

I hadn't thought of it, but yeah, this could be the case. Thinking about it, the problem may very well have started about the time he was weaned off the breast and gradually gotten worse. In any case, I don't think it's possible for him to go back on now and he's not gaining weight with just the formula.

patchouligirl said...

Jack wouldn't take a bottle at all so I never had the opportunity to learn much about formula . . but it should be a complete food as babies seem to survive on it solely. My Mum couldn't breastfeed us as she was on medication and we thrived on formula. The world health organisation does recommend breastfeeding to the age of 3 though just to put things in perspective. The prevailing culture of getting them weaned at 6 months didn't work for me that's for sure. And I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me that he should be toilet trained by age 3 - you would think they get a prize or something the way some people go on about it - it's not like it goes on your HSC result "was toilet trained by 2.5"!

Melba said...

Oh hey Alex. I'm glad you are still here and sorry to hear about the Family Stuff going on.

You know why I assumed you were a guy? And this is going to make all the females on here hate me: You are funny and smart and intelligent and sciency. But I did think you were a sensitive dude as well.

Alex said...

But Melba, Squib is all that stuff too. And EMS is, like, one of the funniest people here.

More likely it was the time I said that I buy my clothes in bulk and end up wearing the same outfit every day of the week (I don't dress to impress. Sue me).

Lewd Bob said...

Someone keeps calling me Bob

I know why, Alex. I have a confession to make. I'm a girl too.

squib said...

Alex is now my favourite poster!!

I do that. In December, I bought 4 x same dress and 12 x same singlet in black and white. Nearly all my 'good' clothes are identical silk wraps in different colours. I don't iron anything and my hair looks like it exploded. But worst of all, I wear free Qantas pjs to bed. I have 6 sets, all grey with a black kangaroo on the front

Alex said...

I had my suspicions Bob, but the beard threw me off.

Squib, the only reason I own an iron is because a bloke I used to live with left it here. It comes out occasionally, when visitors want to borrow it.

Boogeyman said...

anything less than a self replicating hermaphrodite is just going to be anti-climactic.

I sadly don't get so many opportunities to say this these days, but congratulations on not being a self-replicating hermaphrodite, Alex.


Was it Puss who couldn't keep Ramon and Boogeyman straight?

Look, whatever you've read on the Adelaide Uni history faculty dormroom wall is no more than baseless slander.


Someone keeps calling me Bob, too.

I recall that Edmund Blackadder had that problem with his manservant, too.

Boogeyman said...

Also, re: the baby feeding. Perhaps try mixing breastmilk with a little farex*, cooked pumpkin, sweet potato or apple and feeding him/her that. Gradually cut out the breastmilk, and save it for special occasions, like birthdays, weddings and bar mitzvahs.


* Not fourex

Melba said...

Yeah but Alex, I KNEW squib and EMS were girls. Are.

But they're not as sciency as you, and that's where my assumptions kicked in.

YOU'RE ON OUR TEAM!

Alex said...

But they're not as sciency as you

Melba, this might be splitting hairs, but I beg to differ (unless you're counting computer science as a real science). Squib makes proper references to scientific materials in discussions, I tend to vaguely recollect things I remember reading at some point.

I may very well be geekier than her, though.

Alex said...

Oh, and Boogeyman; I'm no expert on lactation, but since she weaned him months ago, I doubt my sister-in-law is still producing milk. That's why I said I didn't think it was possible for him to go back on the breast.

Boogeyman said...

Gee, that was early to wean him. I guess they could always mix farex, pumpkin, etc with formula milk instead, and over time phase out the formula milk.

Babies really need to drink either breast milk or good quality (DHA enriched, etc) formula for at least 12 months - 2 years, alongside solids. I hope she isn't just giving him plain old cow's milk at that age.

Alex said...

Gee, that was early to wean him.

Yes it was. And while this is looking like it may be a cautionary tale about weaning babies too early, I'm afraid that horse has bolted.

They are feeding him formula and they have been trying different types, but they can only force so much of it into him before he starts bringing that back up too. Evidently, the amount is not sufficient for healthy weight gain.

Something I thought was strange (and should have mentioned earlier) is that he sometimes vomits hours after he's fed. Doesn't that suggest a digestive issue?

patchouligirl said...

In Robin Barkers book 'Baby Love' she says that vomiting can be caused by illnesses such as pyloric stenosis, an upper respitory tract infection, a urinary tract infection or gastroenteritis. Symptoms include fever, significant weight loss, sniffles and mucus, loss of interest in feeding and dry nappies or diarrhorea.

I think I'd be seeking a second professional opinion - it could be anything.

Alex said...

PG, I just wanted to thank you and Boogeyman for trying to help. It was appreciated.