My wife, Vickie, and I took part in 24 hour contests last weekend. Hers was the more formal -- a 24 hour short-story writing contest. They give a topic and the word length at noon one day, and the story is due by noon the next day. Neither of them really suited her; the length was only 850 words, which is quite short to write a good story in. But I believe she succeeded. And she discovered some more about her writing, and what she can do. So all to the good. We'll find out in a month or so what the judges thought.
My own contest was a bit more unusual, not least because there were no other contestants, no judge, and no rules. Still, it occurred to us that while Vickie was doing her 24 hours focused on writing, I could also do 24 hours focused on writing. But in my case, a science paper. Continuing with a paper I've already started and trying to finish it in 24 hours would not have been in keeping with the spirit of her contest, which was focused on novelty. I have a ton of ideas, though, lurking in the back of my mind at any given time, and several feet of them in cabinets if, for some reason, I don't like ones that are leaping to mind. So my challenge was to take one of them and give it a good hard run for 24 hours.
I didn't finish a paper, though I did get 2 good pages written. The writing was done in the first hour. (I'm a fast typist and have been thinking about this idea off and on for a few years.) Then in to the charge at data. Or, rather, the slow and careful sneaking up on data and hoping that it didn't bare its fangs and shred my idea in the first few seconds of contact.
After my 24 hours, the notion was still intact and, if anything, looking better. Didn't finish the paper, but no surprise there as actually there are quite a few papers to come from this idea. But I did make good progress on getting data and testing that the idea held up against some reasonably good counter-tests. More detail to come later, once I get a little farther. But things to be coming up here before then are the North Atlantic Oscillation, Arctic Oscillation, Pacific-North American, and Antarctic Oscillation (NAO, AO, PNA, and AAO, respectively).
5 days ago