The other day an English student had a bag of M&Ms out. We were helping ourselves to them when he announced that they are quite morish.

Since the letters didn't appear in the air, I initially thought he meant "Moorish," but I was perplexed at the connection. Then I realized he meant "makes you want it more." Despite having worked with a number of Britons in Japan, I hadn't recalled hearing that. When I asked him whether it were a Britishism, he laughed and shrugged his shoulders.

He did acknowledge it had nothing to do with Moors, moors, or even mores.

Bend Test

Yesterday night was my GTAW class. We did butt joints the week before: a 1/16" gap between 16-gauge and a 3/32" gap between 11-gauge plates. There was a shortage of booths last week, so I had to wait until people finished, which cheated me out of time. I did a decent 16-gauge butt joint, but I ran out of time for the 11-gauge. It did nice cover passes but I couldn't get the weld to penetrate properly.

This week there was another booth shortage. I started on an old TIG machine but quickly jumped to a new one when possible. It took a few tries, but I ultimately got the key input from my teacher: when the keyhole forms, you'll get solid penetration.

And I sure did!

All our butt joints tonight were subjected to bend tests: placed a U-shaped jig then mashed down into that with a hydraulic press. My two pieces--weld face and weld back--passed, as you can see: weld intact!


Courses & iCircuit

Last week I had two tests: multivariate calculus (A) and physics (ungraded). I also registered for the summer term: CHEM111, a precursor to the required CHEM105 monster; ENGR297, which is more MATLAB; and DESN103, intro to AutoCAD, which isn't required but I want to learn to use.

This term's physics course mainly addresses electricity. While I have worked with MultiSIM and PSPICE, I have been making more use of iCircuit, which does similar things on the Mac. In particular, I appreciate its constant animation of current and voltage flow, which are indicated with animation and color indicating direction and magnitude. Very nice!

I now have the iOS version of iCircuit as well. My iPod's tiny screen is rather limiting, but the program still does many things.


While traipsing about Indianapolis' Skiles Test Public Park today, I happened to spot this graffiti stencil spray painted onto a concrete wall.


Since I usually enjoy the now-defunct cartoon series King of the Hill, I was rather amused. I dislike graffiti, but this made me laugh. Hank Hill, propane, why?

Nostalgic Kelp Tea

Some while back I bought some kelp tea, sold as a powder in a small tin with a tiny measuring spoon, at One World Market in Castleton. I recommend visiting the store if you like Japanese food and groceries.


Kelp tea, konbucha, 昆布茶, is a popular winter drink. Kelp reportedly thickens and darkens hair. That is what many Japanese told me, although whether "hair" meant on the scalp or everywhere, people hedged.

Serving size is one included spoonful to 100cc (about 1/3 a soda can) of hot water. It smells of kelp, tastes like soup broth, and brings back memories of Hokkaido.

GTAW is neat

In addition to two weighty pre-engineering courses, I'm taking a GTAW (perhaps better known as TIG) welding class. Each type of welding I've taken has been interesting, but this is perhaps the neatest: no smoke, no showers of sparks, little noise, much control. Since it requires both hands (one feeding filler, the other controlling to arc) and a foot (controlling amperage) to be working simultaneously, it is considered the most difficult.

We have had two proper welding sessions to date. Tonight we did outside corner joints on 16- and 11-gauge metal. The former is beastly, as the filler rod is quite thin (so it bounces about it your hand trembles or jerks) and the metal can melt out of control if you're not careful; the latter is easier, as there's more leeway for using too much heat, and its larger required arc better illuminates where you're welding.

I'm looking forward to working on stainless steel and aluminum.

It would be very nice to have a GTAW setup!