Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Geeking Out With Frink

A friend and former student tweeted a link to Frink, which seems interesting. According to creator Alan Eliasen, Frink is...
... a practical calculating tool and programming language designed to make physical calculations simple, to help ensure that answers come out right, and to make a tool that's really useful in the real world.
So as a math guy, it seems relevant to what I do. I'll check it out, but the fun part is reading the documentation. Check out the Sample Calculations section of the documentation. Feel free to ignore the math. It's all about the narrative he wraps around it. Really amusing stuff. Here is a very small sampling of Alan's comments/quips.

Sure, he's a great guy, and, sure, he's the Defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, but can't he find a better use for his super-powers than schlepping some shiksa into the stratosphere? Shovel my walk, he could, in 3 seconds--and me with the sciatica.
Fart jokes. Sheesh. If Frink isn't a huge success, it's not because I didn't pander to the Lowest Common Denominator.
The ramifications of the most famous of Einstein's equations:
Unbelievable. The energy in a teaspoon of water, if we could extract it, is equal to burning more than 3 million gallons of gasoline.
The amount of heat emmited by a human body in a day:
... your average power and/or heat output is slightly less than a 100-watt bulb. (Note that your heat is radiated over a much larger area so the temperature is much lower.) Many days I could be replaced entirely with a 100-watt bulb and have no discernible effect on the universe.
Anyway, check out the documentation. It's fun stuff and did a great job of getting me interested in using the tool for exploring quantities all around me.

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