Answering Anything! (Yet again)

Continuing with my answers to questions asked in Ask Me Anything! 2009, I have a set of queries posed by Dave in Rocha, one of the occasional posters at, Buffalo’s premier sports blog.

Do you buy into the concept of Tor-Buf-Chester? Do you think it can ever be a viable, marketable entity due to the fact that it crosses an international border? Are there other cross-border metro regions like this?

A bit of explanation: there’s a pundit out there named Richard Florida who has posited a notion that economic activity in the next, oh, hundred years or so and maybe beyond will be driven less by individual cities than by larger groups of cities — megalopolises, if you will. This isn’t a new concept, certainly; most people are, I assume, aware of the economic activity driven by the Boston-NYC-Philadelphia corridor in the Northeast, or the San Diego-LA-San Francisco corridor in the west. Florida also noted that Buffalo could itself be located in such a corridor, which he dubbed “Tor-Buf-Chester”, linking Toronto, Buffalo, and Rochester together into one larger economic entity.

So, do I buy into the concept? I do, with certain caveats. The biggest caveats are these: the region crosses an international border, and a big chunk of it lies in New York State, which is not a place that is particularly geared toward making economic activity easier. But I can see an era emerging in which Buffalo, and Rochester by extension, reap the benefits of proximity to Canada’s largest city and also its richest economic region, the “Golden Horseshoe” that extends from Niagara Falls all the way around the western end of Lake Ontario to Toronto, including St. Catherines and Hamilton. (In fact, Hamilton is itself a large city, so maybe the region should be named “Tor-Ham-Buff-Chester”. And really, why not include Syracuse as well? “Tor-Ham-Buff-Chester-Cuse” probably doesn’t roll of the tongue, but then, “Tor-Buf-Chester” sounds goofy as well.)

I’ve long believed that all the window-dressing Buffalo tries to do with regard to its image is just that: window dressing. Only the revival of Buffalo as an economic engine is going to really turn things around here, and there are a number of reasons — some local, some located in Albany — why that is currently unlikely to happen. Enacting policies that make a “Tor-Buf-Chester” type of entity a reality can only help, but as it stands right now, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of there there for people who want to talk about Tor-Buf-Chester as it is, right now.

Can you define the equation for the radiant exitance (aka emission) of a blackbody radiator as a function of wavelength? How, other than by taking the derivative, can you calculate the maximum point on that curve?

This question is in two parts, and so is my answer: “Yes”, and “By using math”.

Who is your favorite current Sabre?

Talking about “my favorite current Sabre” isn’t likely to be all that illuminating, because when it comes to hockey, I’m like that girl down at the local bar on game nights. You know, that girl. She’s the one who has never paid one single moment of attention to the sport that’s on the teevee right now until she started dating the guy she’s with right now, who happens to be a big fan of the sport on the teevee right now. She’s the girl newly dating the New York Yankees fan who declares herself a huge A-Rod fan because A-Rod’s kinda cute but can’t actually name the position he plays, cite his current batting average or home run total, or pick him out on the field. She’s the one who will nurse her drink all throughout the game and ask “When does A-Rod hit again?” when he’s already on base after his last at-bat. You know, that girl.

I may sound like I’m making fun, but I’m really not. When it comes to hockey, I’m that girl. Seriously. I don’t know much more about hockey than “Shoot the puck into the net.” I don’t know what “icing” is. I don’t know a forward from a defenseman. When it comes to the Sabres, I know when they’re winning and when they’re losing, and that’s about it. Put it this way: back in the 1990s, when the NHL was actually on teevee on a real network, that network — whichever one it was — thought it would help new hockey viewers to superimpose a blue dot over the puck, wherever it was, and then when the puck was shot, superimpose a red laser streak thing, theoretically to help solve the problem that on teevee, it’s hard to see the puck unless you’re an experienced hockey watcher and can thus infer the puck’s location just by taking in what the players are doing. Well, I was the viewer helped out by the blue dot over the puck.

So yeah, me identifying my favorite Sabre doesn’t mean much. But for the record, it’s Ryan Miller, just because of that funny ad he did last year.

When will then be now?

It already was. You missed it.

There’s only one question left, which will come…soon. Heh!

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2 Responses to Answering Anything! (Yet again)

  1. Dave Pogorzala says:

    Thanks for answering! Very nice cop-out on the exitance question…

    FYI, the answer to the spectral emission is the Planck equation, and it can be found here (top equation, 2*pi*h*c^2…):

    The peak wavelength of emission is also on that site, ~2900/T.

    Also, I hate to tell you that then will be now “soon”.

  2. The Earl of Obvious says:

    Clevebufburgh has a nicer ring to it and so does its main superburb Youngster (Youngstown and Rochester)

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