March 30, 2007

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Helicopter Domination

Remember back when I posted about the helicopter game? Well I've been playing it semi-religiously since then in an attempt to beat the record in that post. I've played in the morning, the afternoon, the evening, and even after midnight to see if time of day matters. I've played while eating, hopped up on caffiene, and even after using an electric sander to see if the decreased sensitivity of my hands will yield better game play. All of these attempts at achieving a higher score have been the result of altering physical attributes of myself, but this morning I tried something different. I thought, perhaps, music could inspire me to achieve success, so I tried my first song: Chariots of Fire.

Chariots of Fire, for those of you who don't know, is the song that they ALWAYS play in movies when something goes into slow-motion. So I played the music and grabbed the joystick of the helicopter. I flew along quite magnificantly until *crash*, 1200 points. Well, that wasn't good! I started the music over again and tried again. It was going well until *crash* 1300. Alright, well, Chariots of Fire just wasn't cuttin' it, so I decided to switch songs.

Next was Summon the Heroes, by John Williams. It's Olympic music, it's the song that starts my band slideshow in case you were wondering what it sounded like. In fact, the second song you hear in that slideshow is Chariots of Fire. Anywho, Summon the Heroes. I cued the music and flew magestically through the air to the sound of trumpet fanfares and huge low-brass explosions. It was going wonderfully until *crash* 2000. 2000 is pretty far, so I thought I'd give it another go. Soaring, soaring, soaring, 1900. Ok, time to try another song.

They always say that the third time's the charm. My next choice was "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana. I was flying along, and along, and along, and I just kept flying. This seemed to actually be working! 2,000 . . . 2,500 . . . 3,000 . . . OMG This is Working! . . . 3,500 . . . There goes my RECORD! . . . 4,000 . . . Carmina Burana has switched to the next track, which is another fanfare piece that is played all the time at the olympics. *crash*

OMG! 4,377!!!!cos(0)! MUSIC WORKED! Here's proof:

March 27, 2007

Penguins and Whiteboards

I said I had balloon making powers? Well, check out an example! It's a penguin. I didn't waste my black, white, and orange balloons so he's funny colored, but still a penguin!

Also, I spent the better part of my day with pin-striping tape and a ruler segmenting off a whiteboard. It took a good 6 hours and was extremely tedious, but I'm proud of how it turned out. It's for my mom's office, let's hope they like it.

March 26, 2007

Some Updates

Haven't posted lately, apologies. So, I'll give you a quick recap of what's been going on.

It's currently Spring Break and believe me, everybody at school is greatful. Some people are going on trips to New York (Truman), others to California (Jessica), and still others to Arizona (Scott). I, however, am staying at home because I have a bunch of stuff to do! So, what kind of stuff? What could be keeping me so busy that I am not vacationing like last year?


Our band director needs a new podium that's slightly bigger, so I'm making him one. I started on Saturday despite the fact that I awoke with the plague and could barely breathe through my nose. That and I'm coughing like I'm a 30-something smoker that works in a coal-mine. Needless to say, not a whole lot got done on the podium, but I did get the edges dovetailed so that the fit together into a nice little box. Check it out:

We need to sand off the burn marks, but it's shaping up nicely.


On Wednesday there is a party in Portland for all the kids from Oregon and a bunch of the kids from Washington that were admitted to MIT. For those of you who may not know, I've been obsessing over how many people from Oregon were accepted. Slowly slowly slowly the numbers are trickling in. The nearest I figure, there are at least 6 and likely at most 7. That means a third of the admits from Oregon go to Sprague. w00t, represent. Oh, that reminds me, here's a nifty little statistic for MIT admissions this year.

>>Admit rate for females: 26%
>>Admit rate for males: 10%

Basically what this means is that as an upper-middle-class white male with two living parents and no terminal illnesses, I pretty much just won the lottery while being kissed by Jennifer Aniston. No joke, a ten percent admit rate is insane!

Anywho, the party should be entertaining, I plan on making it fun if people turn out to be dull. I know at least one person is bringing balloons for balloon animal sculpting so I'm going to show off my mad skills. Yes, that's right, I can sculpt balloon animals. Didn't know THAT little detail about me, didja?


Today I awoke and decided to get out of the house a little bet. I bought some gas and headed over to Wal*Mart while waiting for the bank to open. I had to deposit a check but apparently banks are stupid and open at 9. While at Wal*Mart I succombed to the "I have money in my pocket and I want that" syndrome, so I ended up with a new flash drive. It's 1 Gig and in my favorite colors: Orange and Black. The orange glows when the drive is plugged in, quite fancy. The port retracts when not in use, so it's almost like a switchblade drive. I like it, and the price was right.


I have far more calculus homework to accomplish than I wish to. In fact, when my teacher was writing down our assignment for spring break she wrote it so that it wasn't in view of the document camera, and she seemed to be writing for an awful long time. Then she shifted her arm and the assignment slid in front of the camera. This is what we saw:

Section 12.1/1, 2, 9, 19, 26, 29, 33, 43, 47, 54, 56, 60, 61

The class then proceeded to groan, whine, and complain like a bunch of little girls whose barbie was kidnapped by their brother. It actually got a little out of control, people started just making weird guteral noises after a while, just because it was fun to complain. Then, to our abject horror, she continued to write.

Section 12.2/1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 20, 27, 29, 30, 37, 42, 52, 53, 56, 58

At this point everybody is starting to dig their pitchforks and torches out of their backpacks. It was an ugly scene.

In conclusion, I have a lot of calculus to get done.


Speech team districts are coming up in about 2 weeks and I need to practice my speech. I don't think I've been giving updates on that very much, so lemme fill you in really quick. I've competed with my Binary speech at three tournaments and been tournament champion at all three. Sooooo, it's going pretty well. I'm rusty though, so I need to start working it up so I can qualify for state! and then win state! and get shiny stuff!

vi) Ok, so this isn't actually part of spring break, but it's right after. On Wednesday April 11th I leave for Boston to stay at MIT through that Sunday for CPW. I plan on taking a lot of pictures and blogging the experience. I also plan on having a blast!

Until then, blog readers, I will talk to you later and attempt to update more often. Adios muchachos!

March 21, 2007

Mario Kart: Live

I'm going to have to say that this movie made me laugh a lot! They pretty much replicate everything from the Mario Kart games, but manage to also make it the most ridiculous thing ever. Kudos to you guys! I'm definitely thinking about organizing one of these in college, how intense would that be?!?!

Things to look for/Things that are funny:
  • The shells: Green, Red, and Blue
  • Chucking bananas at people from 5 feet away
  • The guy in the white shirt with the camera pole who helps people back onto the course
  • The chain chomp
  • The thwomp


March 16, 2007

The Ultimate Nintendo Wii Mod

I have a Wii. I love my Wii. Apparently, some people love their Wii much more than I do, and also have much more artistic ability than me, because the following item is just waiting to be snatched up on eBay:

The Ultimate Legend Of Zelda Wii!

It's completely modded and tricked out with new backlights, gold-colored plating, a textured black surface, and a master sword/shield. It had to have taken hours, and all the proceeds go to charity. If I were you, I would take this opportunity to buy the most amazing Wii ever!

I'll post a couple of pictures here, but there are many more, which I have conviniently arranged on another website for your viewing pleasure. They are all full sized on the other site, which can be found here:

March 14, 2007

Free Kehl and Alex!

The Sprague High School administration has administered an unjust punishment to two of Sprague's finest. Kehl VanWinkle and Alex Bernardo are now serving a three day suspension for inappropriate campaign posters. Alex is running for student office and Kehl is his campaign manager. The poster in question contained the caption "Alex Bernardo: Sculpted By Artist's Hands" and contained a picture of the statue of David. Kehl superimposed Alex's face onto David's. The picture of David (minues Alex's face) is shown below:

As you can see, the picture is edgy. I would understand completely if the school simply removed the posters, but a three day out of school suspension was uncalled for! Alex is out of the running and Kehl is being forced to miss an area band festival. This is injustice! Post your comments and show your support for Kehl and Alex! FREE KEHL AND ALEX!!!

March 12, 2007

MIT Bouncy Ball Hack

The new members of the Class of 1994 at MIT dutifully assembled for their freshman class picture on the steps of building 10. As they were getting situated, a banner with the simple word SMILE dropped silently from a skylight behind them.

While this did not catch their attention, the 1994 superballs which immediately followed the banner and fell immediately behind them, did. The superballs rebounded 20-30 feet into the air on the first bounce, then were kept aloft by the frosh who caught them and then threw them at each other, the camera, and observers.

The drop itself happens about 5--10 seconds into the video; you have to look closely to see the tiny balls. After that you can see students throwing balls.

After a few minutes, the photographer said, ``Please stop throwing balls at the camera!'' The freshman obliged and all threw their superballs at the camera.

Each superball was decorated with a smiley face.

March 09, 2007

R2D2 Fanboy-ism

I love R2D2, he's just an amazing little robot. He beeps, whistles, can tap into anything, and is very sarcastic. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the United States Postal Service loves the little guy too! In celebration of the 30th Star Wars Anniversary, the USPS will began replacing their standard blue mail drop boxes with special edition anniversary ones that look exactly like. . . R2D2!!!

Also, something else R2D2 I've located on the interweb is:

Yep, that is definitely an R2D2 trash can! I'm in love. . .

Fad Anthology: All Your Base Are Belong To Us

I would like to help educate my readers in the fine culture that is the internet. There are a couple of things that every internet user just needs to know about, and I'm going to do my best to help. I begin my anthology with

All Your Base Are Belong To Us (AYBABTU)

In 1989 Japan, a video game manufacturer produced a low budget video game called "Zero Wing". They planned on selling the game in the United States, but the US put restrictions on import games that required they be translated into english, so that's what happened. Too bad they hired, quite possibly, the worst translator on the planet! After translating the game, they ran out of money and never ended up shipping the game. It was never seen again. . .

Until 1998. Somebody uploaded a video of the introduction to the video and it began circulating around the internet. It wasn't an immediate hit amongst internet users, but its popularity steadily increased. One day somebody added a soundtrack to it and BOOM! Popularity exploded overnight. It was on the top 50 searches on lycos, on local news channels, and all over the media. The internet had transformed a terrible introduction to a terrible video game into a phenomenon. There was one line from the video that people loved, and that's the phrase that spread. The phrase? "All your base are belong to us."

Here's the original intro to the video game.

What? Never heard this? Don't believe that it's world famous?! Here, I'll prove it to you:

All Your Base Are Belong To Us Media [Image 1]

All Your Base Are Belong To Us Media [Image 2]

All Your Base Are Belong To Us Media [Image 11]

All Your Base Are Belong To Us Media [Image 12]

Check out the upper left of this website

So there you go, consider yourself cultured. If ever in life you hear the phrase "All of your _______ are belong to me/us", you know exactly where it came from. Believe me, now that you know the story, you will hear the phrase more and more. Glad I could enlighten you!

An Entertaining Referral

Please don't mention who got the referral in the comments!

I am in no way advocating getting a referral. Referrals are bad. Baaaaaaaaad. But, often times there are funny stories associated with referrals. A friend of mine is disruptive in class. Pretty disruptive. Disruptive to the point that he was given a referral. Click the picture below in order to get a close up view!

Yes, that's right, the teacher gave him permission to puke/urinate in class. Lovely, eh?!

March 07, 2007

Helicopter Game

After Linerider swept the high school circuit, a new game reared its head. Meet HelicopterGame! This new and addicting game is revered for its simplistic nature yet maddening degree of difficulty.

Controls: Simply click and hold the mouse button to make the helicopter rise, and then let go for it to fall. Don't hit anything green!

Top Score: My top score is 3,267. I dare you to beat it!

Post your top scores in the comments and e-mail me a screenshot of your top score. To get a screen shot, just push the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard, open Paint, and then push Ctrl+v. Then, just save the picture and e-mail it to me. My address is

jzzsxm [at] gmail [dot] com

I'll post the highest score!

March 06, 2007

The Soap Saga

From the people who brought you "Taco Hell" comes the saga of the soap.

Again, this did not happen to me.

The following letters are taken from an actual incident between a London hotel and one of its guests. The Hotel ended up submitting the letters to the Sunday Times!


Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,
S. Berman


Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested.
The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind.
This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Relief Maid


Dear Maid - I hope you are my regular Maid.

Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet.
I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf.
They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman


Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed., so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Your regular maid,


Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you.

Elaine Carmen


Dear Miss Carmen,

It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don't get back before 5:30 or 6:00 PM.
That's the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bathroom shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap.
Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman


Dear Mr. Berman,

Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you,

Elaine Carmen


Dear Mr. Kensedder,

My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman


Dear Mr. Berman,

I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room.
The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconveninece.

Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager


Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I have 54 bars of soap in here? All I want is my bath-size Dial. I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I don't want 54 little bars of Camay! Please give me back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman


Dear Mr. Berman,

You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don't know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays.
I don't know where you got this idea that this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen


Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory.
As of today I possess:
• On the shelf under medicine cabinet - 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
• On the Kleenex dispenser - 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
• On the bedroom dresser - 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouqet, 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
• Inside the medicine cabinet - 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
• In the shower soap dish - 6 Camay, very moist.
• On the northeast corner of tub - 1 Cashmere, slightly used.
• On the northwest corner of tub - 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted.

Also, please advise here that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries.
One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.

S. Berman

March 05, 2007

March 03, 2007

Two Dollar Bill

I didn't write this, but my goal is to provide humor for my readers. So, without further adieu:

by Peter Leppik

The following is a *true* story. It amused the hell out of me while it was happening. I hope it isn't one of those "had to be there" things.

On my way home from the second job I've taken for the extra holiday ca$h I need, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat. In my billfold is a $50 bill and a $2 bill. That is all of the cash I have on my person. I figure that with a $2 bill, I can get something to eat and not have to worry about people getting pissed at me.

Me: "Hi, I'd like one seven layer burrito please, to go."
Server: "Is that it?"
Server: "That'll be $1.04, eat here?"
Me: "No, it's *to* *go*." [I hate effort duplication.]

At his point I open my billfold and hand him the $2 bill. He looks at it kind of funny and

Server: "Uh, hang on a sec, I'll be right back."

He goes to talk to his manager, who is still within earshot. The following conversation occurs between the two of them.

Server: "Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?"
Manager: "No. A what?"
Server: "A $2 bill. This guy just gave it to me."
Manager: "Ask for
something else, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A $2 BILL."
Server: "Yeah, thought so."

He comes back to me and says

Server: "We don't take these. Do you have anything else?"
Me: "Just this fifty. You don't take $2 bills? Why?"
Server: "I don't know."
Me: "See here where it says legal tender?"
Server: "Yeah."
Me: "So, shouldn't you take it?"
Server: "Well, hang on a sec."

He goes back to his manager who is watching me like I'm going to shoplift, and

Server: "He says I have to take it."
Manager: "Doesn't he have anything else?"
Server: "Yeah, a fifty. I'll get it and you can open the safe and get change."
Manager: "I'M NOT OPENING THE SAFE WITH HIM IN HERE." [my emphasis]
Server: "What should I do?"
Manager: "Tell him to come back later when he has REAL money."
Server: "I can't tell him that, you tell him."
Manager: "Just tell him."
Server: "No way, this is weird, I'm going in back."

The manager approaches me and says

Manager: "Sorry, we don't take big bills this time of night." [it was 8pm and this particular Taco Bell is in a well lighted indoor mall with 100 other stores.]
Me: "Well, here's a two."
Manager: "We don't take *those* either."
Me: "Why the hell not?"
Manager: "I think you *know* why."
Me: "No really, tell me, why?"
Manager: "Please leave before I call mall security."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Manager: "Please leave before I call mall security."
Me: "What the hell for?"
Manager: "Please, sir."
Me: "Uh, go ahead, call them."
Manager: "Would you please just leave?"
Me: "No."
Manager: "Fine, have it your way then."
Me: "No, that's Burger King, isn't it?"

At this point he BACKS away from me and calls mall security on the phone around the corner. I have two people STARING at me from the dining area, and I begin laughing out loud, just for effect. A few minutes later this 45 year oldish guy comes in and says [at the other end of counter, in a whisper]

Security: "Yeah, Mike, what's up?"
Manager: "This guy is trying to give me some [pause] funny money."
Security: "Really? What?"
Manager: "Get this, a *two* dollar bill."
Security: "Why would a guy fake a $2 bill?" [incredulous]
Manager: "I don't know? He's kinda weird. Says the only other thing he has is a fifty."
Security: "So, the fifty's fake?"
Manager: "NO, the $2 is."
Security: "Why would he fake a $2 bill?"
Manager: "I don't know. Can you talk to him, and get him out of here?"
Security: "Yeah..."

Security guard walks over to me and says

Security: "Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you're trying to use."
Me: "Uh, no."
Security: "Lemme see 'em."
Me: "Why?"
Security: "Do you want me to get the cops in here?"

At this point I was ready to say, "SURE, PLEASE," but I wanted to eat, so I said

Me: "I'm just trying to buy a burrito and pay for it with this $2 bill."

I put the bill up near hisface, and he flinches like I was taking a swing at him. He takes the bill, turns it over a few times in his hands, and says

Security: "Mike, what's wrong with this bill?"
Manager: "It's fake."
Security: "It doesn't look fake to me."
Manager: "But it's a **$2** bill."
Security: "Yeah?"
Manager: "Well, there's no such thing, is there?"

The security guard and I both looked at him like he was an idiot, and it dawned on the guy that he had no clue.

My burrito was free and he threw in a small drink and those cinnamon things, too. Makes me want to get a whole stack of $2 bills just to see what happens when I try to buy stuff. If I got the right group of people, I could probably end up in jail. At least you get free food.

March 01, 2007

My Mad SolidWorks Skills

I already showed you my DS I made in Inventor. Well, I just finished a 2 month long project in SolidWorks, another CAD program. It's a tree feller! Yeah, I'd never heard of one either, but I slaved away on it for a long time so I thought I'd share it.

Ignore the random floating rivet above the tread. Oh, and the image corrupted slightly so the bottom part will never fully load (the part beneath my name), but anything worth looking at will load fine.

Isn't it pretty?! Click it for a bigger view.


Well, I think it's funny. . .