Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Long Note For The Granddaughters -- Nothing About The Bakken -- June 11, 2019

A Long, Long Note For The Granddaughters

Note: not proofread; not ready for primetime. I'm posting this for our granddaughters, but I'm also posting it as a stand-alone post (for now) because I think some Williston readers will enjoy the article (a PDF) linked below.

One of three books I'm reading this week:
The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, Nick Lane, c. 2015.
I've read it at least twice. I'm reading parts of it again this week.

From the book:

The mitochondrial respiratory chain:
  • determined by two genomes
    • the host's nuclear genome
    • the mitochondrion's own genome
  • this has been known since the 1970s
  • mitochondrial respiratory proteins, two functions involved in cell survival:
    • transfer electrons from food to oxygen, while
    • pumping protons across the mitochondrial membrane
  • to reach oxygen, electrons must hop down a respiratory chain from one "redox" center to another
    • redox centers typically accept or donate electrons one at a time
    • the precise location of these redox centers are deep in the respiratory chain
    • their locations are determined by the two genomes (the host's nuclear genome, and the mitochondrial's own genome)
  • electrons hop by a process known as quantum tunneling
I first learned of quantum tunneling as a junior in high school from my high school chemistry teacher, Mr Ceglowski. For me, two two strangest things coming out of quantum theory is:
  • quantum tunneling, and
  • entanglement
I didn't "understand" entanglement until by happenstance when I picked up Louisa Gilder's book on the subject while visiting my sister in Tucson. One of my nieces had read the book and let me borrow it. That was only a few years ago.

But tunneling? I learned about that in 1968 or thereabouts from Mr Ceglowski.

The Williston Coyote Foundation has a Henry "Hank" Ceglowski Memorial Scholarship.

Wow, wow, wow --- and this is why I love to blog. If I wasn't doing this, I never would have gone down this rabbit hole -- as one of my readers (and frequent contributors) would call it. I wanted to make sure I had spelled his name correctly, but I was also a bit curious about Mr Ceglowski. I've blogged about him before, and have searched the internet for information on him but never came across this article before.

Almost a doppelgänger -- if not a a doppelgänger, our paths certainly crossed a lot, though separated by what appears to be ten years. I attended Williston High School in the late 60's; it sounds like Mikel M. Miller attended the same school in the late 70's.

The link to this incredible story will download a PDF on your desktop:


It's a fairly recent article, published in September/October, 2016.

Mikel M. Miller is the US Air Force's lead scientist for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) science and technology development. At the time of the article, Miller was the chief scientist in a directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. At that time he had more than 30 years of experience in research, development, testing, integrating, and implementing state-of-the-art guidance, navigation, and control hardware and software systems for DOD.

The article is a long, long article filled with anecdotes and vignettes unique to a handful of us who attended Williston High School and ended up in the USAF. It's uncanny.

At the article, in a sidebar, this:
Back in High School in Williston, North Dakota, two teachers made lasting impression on a young Mikel Miller — his math teacher, Mr. Degele, and his chemistry teacher, Mr. Ceglowski
“Both had such a love and passion for their subjects. They taught with such enthusiasm and clarity — it made both subjects mean so much more to me.”
Later, he says, Dr. Peter Maybeck was probably the most influential mentor in his professional life. “He also had a strong impact in my personal life. The way he treated and interacted with people was his greatest strength and blessing. He had a unique way of making you feel at ease and you always felt like you were the most important person in the room when your were with him.”
I had both Mr Ceglowski and Mr Degele. I don't think I could have asked for a better math teacher, but, wow, math was tough for me. I can't say I enjoyed it but I did find it interesting. Chemistry, on the other hand, was incredible. Wow, I loved it. And Mr Ceglowski was the best ever. I remember how he demanded much of his students and expected them to live by the rules, but he, himself, loved to push the envelope. I remember him carrying a huge television set up to the second floor chemistry lab so we could watch the world series. Televisions were absolutely verboten in the classroom; I have no idea how he got away with it. Both the principal and the superintendent were harsh, strict, but fair, taskmasters.

Let's see, I graduated in the spring of 1969. That means I took chemistry the year before, the 1967 - 1968 school year, which means the World Series we watched in Mr Ceglowski's chemistry class was in the fall of 1967. From wiki:
Heading into the final weekend of the 1967 season, when Rod Carew was named the A.L. Rookie of the Year, the Twins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at clinching the American League championship. The Twins and the Red Sox started the weekend tied for 1st place and played against each other in Boston for the final three games of the season.
The Red Sox won two out of the three games, seizing their first pennant since 1946 with a 92–70 record.
The Twins and Tigers both finished one game back, with 91–71 records, while the White Sox finished three games back, at 89–73.
In 1969, the new manager of the Twins, Billy Martin, pushed aggressive base running all-around, and Carew set the all-time Major League record by stealing home seven times in addition to winning the first of seven A.L. batting championships.
With Killebrew slugging 49 homers and winning the AL MVP Award, these 1969 Twins won the very first American League Western Division Championship, but they lost three straight games to the Baltimore Orioles, winners of 109 games, in the first American League Championship Series. The Orioles would go on to be upset by the New York Mets in the World Series. Martin was fired after the season, in part due to an August 1969 fight in Detroit with 20-game winner Dave Boswell and outfielder Bob Allison, in an alley outside the Lindell A.C. bar.
Bill Rigney led the Twins to a repeat division title in 1970, behind the star pitching of Jim Perry (24-12), the A.L. Cy Young Award winner, while the Orioles again won the Eastern Division Championship behind the star pitching of Jim Palmer. Once again, the Orioles won the A.L. Championship Series in a three-game sweep, and this time they would win the World Series. 
Wow, what a digression.

So, from Nick Lane on mitochondria to quantum tunneling to Williston High School chemistry to Mr Ceglowski to insideGNSS and Mikel M. Miller and then to the Minnesota Twins at wiki.

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