Monday, July 26, 2010

More Blog Changes

Blogger has implemented a new native visitor statistics program (no, not a program that tracks native visitors, a native program that tracks visitors!). It's fairly new, but it told me that currently my most popular post is How to Pay LDS Tithing Online. Yay! So I've gone an updated a few things that have changed about the program since I wrote about it in March.

Blogger also has a great new preview button to use when writing posts. This feature works much better than the previous one (which was mostly useless) and I'm happy. I can also use more-normal keyboard shortcuts for formatting on while blogging on my mac such as command-I to italicize something instead of control-I (which is pesky on a mac). Yay for progress!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Senior Thesis is DONE

After hundreds of hours of machining, wiring, troubleshooting, programming, fiddling, head scratching, fixing, typing, agonizing, and banging my head against the optical table...

It's done! And aaaaalllliiiiiiivvve!

My senior thesis. (<--- see that period? My thesis is as done as that period! Uhmph!) ..... I just noticed a typo.

Controlled Attenuation of Laser-generated High-order Harmonics for Extreme Ultraviolet Polarimetry

We constructed an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) polarimeter which utilizes laser- induced high harmonics as the light source. This device is capable of making absolute reflectance measurements as low as 0.2% over a wavelength range of 8-89 nm. The polarimetry positioning system allows incident reflectance angles of 0–40◦. In order to increase the dynamic range of our EUV detector we introduced a low-pressure gas downstream from the harmonic generation region to predictably attenuate EUV flux during incident measurements. We also used the gas cell to measure the photoabsorption cross sections of hydro- gen and oxygen compared to that of water vapor, revealing the influence of chemical bonds on EUV absorption.

If you still wanna read it, then click here (.pdf) . It has pretty pictures, I promise!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BYU Library's Old Spice Body Wash Parody

I loved the original version of this commercial I actually went out and bought Old Spice body wash. Now, this parody comes out from my own school! It already has 1.1 million hits on YouTube:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review: "The Passage," by Justin Cronin

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.” First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment...

Aaaaand that was enough for me! What a great book! You can read the whole back cover (don't worry, it doesn't reveal much) here. I listened to it for free on my iPhone from

If you sign up with they give you a one month free membership and two free audio books - this was my first. The entire book took around 40 hours to listen to - I was enthralled the entire time!

The Passage is a sci-fi thriller taking place around the year 2016. That's about all I'm going to say - I'm happy that I knew so little before I started listening to it! Justin Cronin tells the story so wonderfully and helps you fall in love with the characters and actually care about whether they live or die (some live, some die, some do... other things).

It's a classic tale of good versus evil where the good are REALLY good and the bad are REALLY bad - innocent little girls against mindless monsters, you know the drill. He uses themes throughout the book to build a sense of fear, especially darkness. I actually found myself yelling (in my mind), "Don't go in the building! It's dark in there!"

The book was complete with love and adventure and lots of guns and explosions! I recommend it to anyone with some time on their hands this summer.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Facelift

You may have noticed that I've changed the template for this blog. I had a pretty great template before, but because it was from an external website and was written substantially in javascript, I had very little control over it. Several components were broken and I didn't have the ability to fix them.

The reason I originally went to that system was because the Blogger templates I had been using didn't allow enough customization even though everything worked seamlessly. Well Blogger has released a new custom template system which gives me the level of customization I want while making sure everything functions correctly.

Of course, it could just be artistic boredom and these are excuses.