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Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 13 - Haunted Mansion SOP

First couple pages:

Haunted Mansion SOP_Page_01

Haunted Mansion SOP_Page_02

Haunted Mansion SOP_Page_03

Schrödinger's Toy Store

First Off: Schrodinger's Cat definition:

Here's Schrödinger's (theoretical) experiment: We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat. The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, the cat is both dead and alive according to quantum law, in a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made. (That is, there is no single outcome unless it is observed.)

Okay, still with me?

I always liked this thought experiment, its a mind-bender, but somehow it makes sense, even when most of what we know tells us it should not. The reason this sticks with me is because is is the mindset I got in when I was hunting for toys. (By hunting, I mean stopping before and after work at stores in the insane hope an underpaid stock boy accidentally put a toy out early.)

Some collectors call stores daily, getting the inside dope on shipments and shelf stock using DPI numbers and friends on the sales floor. Not me, these actions are cheating in my book, because the fun is in the chase. Every time I walked into a store, I had no idea what would be on the shelves. Until I reached the action figure aisle, buried deep within the store, the toys were both on the shelves and not. Only by my viewing them, was their state of being established.

Or not.

Really, I'm just happy a switch shut off in my brain and toys no longer drive me to such extremes. Until early June, when new Transformers are released. Then we'll see if a relapse is in order.