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?

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Inertia is defined as "the tendency of matter to move uniformly at a constant velocity (in a straight line at a constant speed)." Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion talks about inertia more specifically. It states that "A body at rest tends to remain at rest; a body in motions tends to remain in motion at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an outside force."

As I have been trained as a scientist and engineer, I tend to think about life in terms of the various scientific and engineering principles that I have learned. While some folks joke about "gravity" getting them down, I just blame it all on Newton's First Law.

Picture my husband coming home. The kids are fed and homework is done, but they are basically vegging out in front of the TV. The dishes have not been done. Of the 10 household chores on my list, only 3 have been completed and the rest have seen half-hearted attempts which have been interrupted. I am curled up in my reading corner with the light off and a cold towel on my forehead.

"Everything OK?" he asks.

"Yeah. Blame it on Isaac." I reply.

"First Law again?"

"It's what keeps the world spinning."

"Not really."

"I'm not going to argue Physics with you now. Too much inertia."

"I'll put the kids to bed."

This month it has seriously gotten me in its grip. I can't seem to get started on anything. And the fibromyalgia keeps flaring up. I know the most likely cause is the changing weather which plays havoc with my system. It seems the higher the wind velocity, the stronger my headache. And the more it rains, the stiffer my joints. But a part of me also knows that I am in this pattern and it is not going to go away by itself. I have to act, to exert effort, to effect change. And while the scientist part of my brain is analyzing all this, the inertia-laden rest of my body just continues on in its pattern of everyday routine and nothing changes.

So my first step is to fall back on what I know. I find I can blog about physics and science easier than I can about the on-going stresses in my world these days. So I am tempting myself out of my routine by focusing on a few of my favorite topics. I hope, dear readers, that you still find me interesting, and hopefully not too boring. And maybe you can learn a little something as well as have a laugh at my expense. As a bonus, I promise (inspired by the incomparable Leslie) a future blog about the "Physics of Sex".

Want a short lesson on Inertia? Check out this YouTube cartoon (4 1/2 minutes)!


Mariposa said...

Ha! I also used to relate everything going through my life with my work. ;)

Welcome back!

Leslie said...

FA, you are brilliant. I intend to replace the term "laziness" with "intertia" from this point on. It sounds so much better.

And I'm so looking forward to that Physics of Sex post!!!

Jenn said...

do whatever gets done and the rest can sit on its inertia until someone damn well gets around to it!

looking forward to the Physics of Sex post too.... :P

anno said...

Ha! So I can blame science for the dust bunnies and not my character? This is brilliant!

Small moves can effect great change -- it's good to see you posting again. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Awe, FA, I sure hope those nasty winds leave you alone soon. Our incessant cold is leaving me with some bouts of inertia myself. I'm fighting, fighting, fighting.

Feel better. I, too, am looking forward to the physics of sex post, lol.

Jenn in Holland said...

I have to act, to exert effort, to effect change.

Me too, darlin'. Me too.

soccer mom in denial said...

You know you could type about a sneeze and I would find it funny and interesting. And I would comment on it.

Hang in there. One of my dearest friends is seriously impacted by the weather. Just hang in there. Wish I could give you a hug in person.

Space Mom said...

My High moment of inertia is keeping my butt molded to the couch right now!

Goofball said...

I am suffering inertia right now...sitting in the sofa for an hour already thinking I should start ironing....but I don't think it'll happen anymore.

Virtualsprite said...

Oh, honey... I'm so sorry you're not feeling well right now. But I am looking forward to learning more about physics and stuff, especially if you're writing it.

Love the inertia stuff, too... will definitely have to remember that.

Adventures In Waitressing said...

Science was my second love.. so talk away! I hope you feel better soon too.

soccer mom in denial said...

I'm still wanting to give you a hug. In person.

Hang in there.

Tree said...

I love you already and I just found you. Anyone who can provide me with substantial reasoning is powerful.

I hope you are better already.