Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


My husband spent a couple of hours at work Saturday to supervise the installation of a new radiation source for one of the labs under his management. I mentioned this to my mother when I was talking to her and she immediately was concerned.
"What if something happens? Is he wearing a lead apron to shield himself?"
"Mom, he isn't handling it, other professionals are. It's all under tight security. And he has his radiation badge?"
"Oh my, a radiation badge? This is more dangerous than I thought. Now I'm going to be worried until you tell me he is home safe."
"Mom, don't worry. He's safe. It's just a new procedure that he wants to oversee?"
"You mean they haven't done it before? That means so many things can go wrong. What if there's an accident like the one in Russia? How far away is your house?"
"Please Mom, it's not that kind of radiation. It's a very small source. Kind of like for taking X-rays and such."
"They make me wear a lead apron when they take X-rays of my teeth."
"Momma, don't worry."

This conversation with my Mom got me to thinking about what we worry about. As Moms, we are always worried about our children. So much so that this almost becomes background noise. We get used to cautioning and reminding them and nagging them, all because of the "little worries" we have about their health, appearance, grades in school, safety at play, etc. But I don't often get the real anxious worries like those described yesterday by my friend Jenn in her blog.

I don't worry about flying on airplanes, despite all the terrorist threats. It is still safer than driving your car.

I don't worry about driving or riding in cars, except sometimes when my husband is driving too fast (he did his driver training on German autobahns).

I don't worry about getting older, thought I definitely am. I don't think old, so I don't worry about it. Yet.

I don't worry about my health or my weight, though I probably should. It might motivate me to go the the gym more often.

I don't worry about money. This doesn't mean that I spend frivolously. But we live a comfortable life and are fairly secure.

I don't worry about being alone. I have moved to Europe by myself and traveled all over the continent for business and pleasure. And many is the night that I find myself in the role of single-parent, so "alone" has never been a problem for me (as my granny said, "By myself I'm in the best of company").

I do, however, worry about the future. I worry about the environment and what we continue to do to our planet's ecosystem. I worry about technology getting so prevalent that the younger generation seems to have lost touch with the simplicities in life. I worry about my children's education and if they will suffer from their mixed up cultural background. I worry about the US and the outcome of the current political machinations. I don't have any close family currently serving in the Armed Forces, but still I worry about the men and women who are putting their lives on the line every day. I worry about the world our children will inherit. I worry that the nightmare scenarios, that "24" has won so many awards for portraying, are less fictional that I would like to believe. And my biggest worry is that I can't effect enough change to prevent any of these worries from being realized.

But really, this blog was supposed to be about how little I worry, so every once in a while I need to remind myself with this little funny. Seriously though, somehow it seems that there is more to worry about every year. I don't know if it is indicative of the times we live in or just a natural part of growing older (sigh).

May all your worries be small ones.


Jenn in Holland said...

Love the funny! That is just fabulous and I for one will be happily shaking hands! :)

I agree about worrying being a background noise for motherhood. I think it comes standard with baby blankets and sleepless nights.

I like to think of myself as relatively cool and collected most of the time, other than the times like you cited, when worry seizes me. Thankfully those moments are few in my life.
But these big worries you mention? These are also on my trouble list. Not that they keep me up at night, but they do so nag, don't they?

Great post today. I will be mulling this (not worrying over it) for awhile....

anno said...

I enjoyed that funny, too... looking forward to shaking hands with everybody!

It's interesting, at least to me, that as we've acquired the level of technological expertise needed to allow a high level of professional specialization and time for individual interests/passions, we end up losing our ability to affect large parts of our lives -- the environment, the development of our communities, our health care, our children's education, and our national policies -- as other so-called experts (some quite removed from the situations they are hired to rectify) step in to provide these goods/services.

Sorry about the polemic. This was a great post -- got me thinking!

Worker Mommy said...

*sigh* there are soo many things to worry about.

I worry about sending my children to school and having them be victimized by a bully (and now-a-days bullies bring guns they don't fight with fists like when I was in school) or worse yet being victimized by a teacher.
Its so sad how prevalent this things have become.

Ok, I need to go check out your funny. I'm depressing myself :)

soccer mom in denial said...

I think your children are the luckiest kids for having "their mixed up cultural background". I wish I had that! I wish my kids did.

Gunfighter said...

There's no need to fear!

Gunfighter is here!

Ok, I ripped that off from Underdog, but it was wicked funny when I typed it!