The Joy of Pulling things Apart

A clothes dryer heating element, 10 years old and broken

Before I wanted to be a physicist – I mean, really wanted to become a physicist – I learned the joy of tinkering. I am sure it started earlier than when I remember it actually happening (memory is funny that way), the first first recollection I have of fully losing my fear of pulling the universe apart, and putting it back together, was in the basement shop of my grandfather… shortly after he passed away.

Every generation of scientist makes the same observation; it’s so common, it’s trite. “Kids these days,” the observation usually starts, “they lack the courage to get their hands dirty.” I have heard this my whole life, even as I grew up in this field. The truth is, any one of us who got this far – who lost all our fear for dismantling the universe and putting it back together – probably had a mentor along the way.

Continue reading “The Joy of Pulling things Apart”


Jumping a gap in the track of the Anki Overdrive track (our nieces are driving)!

Beyond the Tired Kingdom at sunrise

I spent a lot of time playing Minecraft with my nephews and sisters-in-law over the past few days. Here we see me speeding toward the house build by one of my sisters, Jackie, as the sun rises over the house. The railroad was the product of another sister, Jolene, who was placed in charge of the larger county public rail system in the game. My nephews and I built the central metropolitan region, called “Tired Kingdom.” This house lies outside he core in the boonies.

It is nice to relax.