September 30, 2007


Sometimes there's a song that just makes you happy. I found that song today, it made me happy.

Blue? I don't think so!

Being sick and having to do a ton of homework on your birthday isn't ideal, but at least I have some decent music . . .

Angry Physics Book

OMG! I'm blogging from my iPod Touch! Anyway, I wanted to share with a passage from my physics book that I just came upon...

"In an inertial frame of reference there is no such thing as "centrifugal force". We won't mention this term again, and we strongly advise you to avoid using it too."

Wow, the book has a temper!

September 28, 2007

Oh the People You'll Meet

I mention from time to time the crazy people I meet here. I figured I'd discuss that a little bit. On MIT's website they have a list of famous alums, some of who are:

Founder of Texas Instruments
Founder of Bose Stereo
Inventor of the Internet
Founder of Campbell's Soup

So many amazing people come out of here, but I've been noticing that a lot of amazing people are still here. Who have I met?

The guy who invented artificial intelligence (yes, he invented it, it's a big deal!)
The guy who invented the nub-joystick on some laptop keyboards
The roommate of the guy who invented computer spreadsheets (Excel)
A best friend of the Eepy Birds

I was going to include a line from Dr Seuss's "Oh the places you'll go" because I thought it might mention "the people you meet," but it doesn't. So, there's no inspirational or uplifting quote to finish off this post, sorry about that!

September 25, 2007

Guitar Hero Pwnage

You can tell we're doing horribly because we're both laughing . . .

MIT Hacks Harvard

Today was the release of Halo III! Last night I was absolutely certain that some kind of hack would happen, but I was really disappointed when I walked to school this morning and didn't see a single hack! Fortunately, there was a hack, it just wasn't on campus. Harvard, seriously, try not to make it SO easy for us to hack you. Here's the article as it appeared in "The Tech" today:

In recognition of the release of Halo 3, a highly anticipated video game by Microsoft and Bungie, MIT hackers adorned the John P. Harvard statue, in Harvard Yard, with a Spartan helmet. The back of the helmet, which is worn by the protagonist of the game, Master Chief, was labeled with “Master Chief in Training.” The statue was decorated with an assault rifle (bullet count of 2E), as well as a Beaver emblem on the right shoulder.

September 23, 2007

XKCD Flash Mob

Alright, today was my very first flash mob! It was very exciting, I'm not gonna lie, I definitely think we freaked some people out. It was almost like a cross between "Passion of the Christ" and "V for Vendetta," tons of people en mass migrating to some random park in Cambridge.

The group that I left with departed from MIT at about 2:00 8 people. We went to the T stop, hopped onto the train, and arrived at our destination about 15 minutes later, 18 minutes before the big moment of 2:38 pm. Somehow, our group of 8 turned into this:

That's right, somehow we picked up a ton of people on train, and we actually looked quite cool going down the street.

When we go there we realized just how many people were going to be there (a ton!).

Soon I started seeing things I recognized from the comics, like red spiders:

And playpen balls:

And, combining two comics into a single picture, I saw tape measurer competition and a "Citation Needed" sign (the sign is in the background, behind the tape measurer guys, you can't see all of it, but it looks exactly like it does in the comic):

Also present were some velociraptor fans:

Now, a quick refresher as to why we were all there:

Soon it was 2:38 pm. What happened?!

In case you couldn't tell, Randall Munroe is the guy that writes the comic, and apparently I was standing right next to him and didn't even realize it until he started waving.

After the video cuts out, he goes on to say that we need to finish the "Dream Girl" comic because the ending was wrong. He had huge white panels for everybody to draw on so I got a picture of some people finishing the Dream Girl comic the way it really happened (click the pictures, any of them in this entire post, to make them bigger).

We wrote on the panels, we showed some school/dorm spirit:

And then, it was over. Randall signed autographs and we took off, after enjoying our very first flash mob. Good times had by all!

Read Randall's Comic Daily!

September 22, 2007

MIT <3 Graphs

Let's play the "Guess Where Snively Is" game with the grade distribution from my first math test.

Great Picture/Caption

A quick update to the Star Simpson case:

I was warned several times yesterday to avoid the undercover news media that were wandering the MIT campus yesterday asking questions about Star Simpson. Members of East Campus quickly identified the the undercover reporter and sent a picture of them to all the residents of EC along with a warning to just walk away if questioned. Although they were avoiding the media, the residents of EC wanted to prove that they really were nice people, so they offered the reporters a gift:

Residents from East Campus deliver fresh papaya to FOX25 Reporter Martin Morenz who was soliciting comments from students regarding the arrest of Star A. Simpson ’10. A melon with an embedded LED was also offered to reporters. Simpson was at Logan Airport to meet her boyfriend and was arrested after the innocuous LED device attached to her sweatshirt alarmed airport authorities.

September 21, 2007


Ok, by this point almost everybody knows about the MIT Logan Airport Bomb scare. If you don't, well, read about it. The important part here is the website that featured this story: My Favorite Website ENGADGET!


We're Famous!

Guess Where I'll Be on Sunday!

Ever heard of XKCD?

Ever read comic 240, posted on March 16th? If not, I've reproduced it for you:

Coordinates?! Wha-?! Where could they possible lead to?! Nowhere near MIT, right?

Hm, if the green blob is MIT, and the red blob is where the coordinates lead, I'm just a short T-trip away.

Guess where I'll be on Sunday! I'll be taking pictures and blogging the meeting right away. It's an exclusive, right place at the right time, I'm very excited!

Oh Harvard

Surfing around CraigsList the other day I came upon an article written by a guy at Harvard. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I go to MIT:

Harvard senior seeking female companion - 22
Date: 2007-09-17, 3:37PM EDT

My final club has a reunion this fall, and my relationship of two years ended disastrously earlier this summer. I have an invitation for myself plus one, and am willing to show you a great time. It is a private party, in an extremely classy setting. There is no real way to describe how ornate the club is, but I guarantee that it will be the most upscale experience of your life. Think back to your high school prom, take away the terrible music, and multiply the experience by ten. You must be white, 5′6″ - 5′9″, young, blonde, attractive, and intelligent. You must be in school, preferably Tufts or Wellesley but BU and BC are acceptable (definitely not MIT). You should be able to hold a conversation, know when to be quiet, and polite in all your behavior. I have seen unruly guests embarrass members before, and I hope this won't be a problem. This event is black-tie, and I am willing to procure an evening gown for you. I hate to sound so harsh, but I have expectations to live up to. No Asian, overweight, or unattractive women please. Ages 18-22 only.

Picture required.

September 20, 2007



I Love This F****** Place! That statement diverges from the everyday philosophy behind MIT, but obviously the difference between the IHTFPers and the ILTFPers can be boiled down to two words: Career Fair.

IHTFP = Never been to an MIT career fair
ILTFP = Took full advantage of said career fair

The average number of job offers awaiting an MIT graduate is 2.6, meaning companies actively recruit here, meaning in order to draw us in they have to offer us free stuff. 281 companies took up two entire floors of the athletic center, almost all giving away exciting swag. Here's a quick sample of what I got:

Laptop Mouse
Laptop Keyboard Light
Google Mousepad
Magnetic Dartboard
128 mb Flash Drive
3D Printed Ball Bearing
30 Day Trial of SolidWorks
iPod Nano Case
Laundry Bag
4 Rubik's Cubes
Countless Pens
Rubber Duck
4 Coffee Mugs

That's not even mentioning the massive addition to my free t-shirt collection that happened today. Guess how many got today! GUESS!


(One T-Shirt Not Shown, It Wouldn't Fit On The Table)

I'm up to 17 total and going strong, how many do we think I'll have by the end of the year?

Here are some glamour shots of all my swag!

Everybody thinking of applying to MIT, don't listen to anything anybody tells you about this place being too intense or too hard. Don't listen to people that say undergrad sucks and that there are better places.

What's in a Laptop?

Here's my very first essay written for a class at MIT. Enjoy!

My first computer experience was quite traumatic. Windows had just been invented and I was five, the perfect age for the introduction of a new technology. My family decided it was time for a personal computer and ordered one to be shipped in a couple of weeks. The wait was quite easy to deal with because I could always find ways to amuse myself. Little did I know that these distractions would inevitably ruin my first run-in with a computer. The big day came and I headed off to school, knowing that when I got home I’d get to play on a computer. It also happened to be the day I decided to shove a business card into the school’s change machine, jamming it and preventing anybody else from buying lunch. A trip to the principal’s office and a phone call home later, I was still just an oblivious kid, ready to go home and play on the new computer. I reached home after what seemed like a long school day and ran towards the computer in the kitchen, only to find the kitchen door locked. The subsequent conversation with my dad crushed all hopes of ever getting to play with that computer, sentencing me to sit in the dining room and watch the Disney screensaver bounce around the screen. It was two days before I was allowed to play with that computer, and I’ve savored the PC ever since, despite a horrible first encounter.

The next thirteen years of my life were spent surfing the Internet, writing essays, playing games, and catching some of the worst viruses known to the world. Now, at the age of eighteen, I’ve gone through five computers, six monitors, two printers, eight mice, nine keyboards, and three changes in disk format. I’m the guy who people run to for computer help, the guy who always knows where the interesting tidbits on the Internet are, the guy with the typed homework, and the guy who was always in search of better technology to enhance his computing experience. With college approaching, it was time to add a page to my computer history by purchasing my very first laptop, a moment I had been waiting for since third grade. I always got jealous of the guys in airports surfing the Internet before their flight while I was forced to read a cheap comic book bought at Hudson News for $6.00. Now it was my turn, my turn to spend every cent I had on the perfect laptop, state-of-the art, a device capable of accomplishing any task. With my grandma willing to pay $1500 for it and I able to pay another thousand, the possibilities were near endless, and I began my search. For weeks the only thing I did at school was research laptops, learn what types of graphics cards were better than others, compare screen resolutions, battery life, RAM, and every one of the countless other features. In the end I had assembled an All Star list of attributes that would allow my computer to run graphic intensive programs, go six hours on a single charge, scan my fingerprint, run over fifty programs at once without slowing down, play and burn DVDs, and connect to the Internet at a push of a button. In short, my dream computer. In the days leading up to my purchasing the laptop I reconstructed it online obsessively, just to make sure that everything was perfect and the price hadn’t changed. The day had come to push the “Confirm Order” button, launching dozens of Dell factory workers into a frenzy to build the best computer they are likely to have ever seen.

Five short days later there was a Dell box on my doorstep containing the most beautiful piece of computing equipment I had ever laid eyes on. After running around hugging the box I settled down and plugged in its contents. Watching that screen glow to life, after a ten-year wait for a laptop, was one of the defining moments of my life. So many doors unlocked for me when that Windows logo appeared, nothing could stop me and my lappy. I computed for the rest of the night.

It’s been exactly three months since that day and my computer and I are tantamount to twins separated at birth and reacquainted. Over those months I’ve had a chance to truly realize the possibilities and capabilities of my laptop, everything from blogging, to video editing, to organizing my life, listening to music, and keeping in touch with my friends. How has this helped to develop my relationship with my laptop? When everything you do is dependent on a single piece of technology, it’s hard not to develop a binding relationship with it.

I’ve been recording all of the ridiculous “misadventures of me” in a blog for the last two years. With over a thousand hits a month, regular readers in several countries, and a myriad of insightful comments, it’s very important for me to frequently update and preserve the integrity of my blog, a task that was becoming difficult with my old computer. A dial-up connection and a hard drive filled to capacity simply didn’t accommodate the amount of media that I wanted to post. A solution was needed, which came in the form of a brand new laptop. Blogging has since become infinitely more convenient, easy, and efficient. While it used to take about an hour and a half to upload five photos and write a decent blog entry, the same task now takes about fifteen minutes. Posting videos used to be impossible unless I used a computer with broadband, and oftentimes if I posted content at a computer with broadband I wouldn’t be able to read my own posts at home. Changing the layout of my blog was a time-consuming adventure on my old computer, a task that’s been reduced to mere seconds with my laptop. Comment moderation was also an issue with my old computer. I monitor my blog for inappropriate and derogatory comments, deleting them as they arise. The best way to do this is to constantly monitor and quickly edit, but with dial-up that simply wasn’t possible. These days I delete inappropriate comments seconds after they’re posted, sparing my readers an unpleasant experience. My laptop has revolutionized my blog, keeping it more updated, more interesting, and cleaner in these three months than it has been in the last two years. Apart from recording day-to-day observations on my blog, my laptop allows me to preserve some of my favorite memories.

Noteworthy moments in life are often too important to rely simply on words. Preserving memories with a video camera allows for vivid recollections the instant it’s docked with my laptop, creating a more pleasing experience than a narration alone. My video camera records all of those “had to be there” moments and takes people there. As people have high enough standards to reject unedited home movies, I get to create small works of art with the footage I’ve captured. My old computer was notoriously unreliable in the video editing department. Frequent lockups, corrupted files, having to save every ten seconds, and endless editing sessions for a mere three minutes of video were enough to age me faster than is healthy. With my new laptop, video editing is an activity that I look forward to after shooting my footage. There are no constraints, I can do anything at whatever speed to my videos now. I add music, title overlays, transitions, flashing colors, and sound effects with ease. Finished videos are uploaded to YouTube and shared with the world. They’re a perfect way to keep friends and family up-to-date, get people to laugh, and show off impressive video editing skills. My laptop lets me share what really happened in a way that no other computer could. Computers shouldn’t only be used for entertainment, however.

Life used to be simple. I could remember exactly where I had to go, what I had to do, and who I was going with. Class schedules were easy to memorize, sports were always at the same time, and homework was due regularly. Everything was routine, orderly, and easily navigated. My life is no longer like that. My classes now are scattered throughout the week, sports practice is irregular, I have meetings and appointments randomly through the week, and I can’t remember when homework is due. For some people, a simple desktop calendar is the solution to this dilemma, but I’m not much for paper. Instead, everything I do, have done, and will do is catalogued in my computer’s calendar. Why is it important that this calendar is on my laptop? Paper calendars don’t beep at you when you need to remember something. Color coding paper calendars is much more difficult than a computer calendar. My illegible handwriting makes reading a paper calendar difficult, a problem that never arises on a computer. What if there is too much to write in that small square on the paper calendar. With an integrated to-do list, comments section, unlimited space, and the ability to keep track of exactly what times things are due, my laptop calendar is perfectly suited for my needs. It wakes me up, tells me when I can sleep, lets me know when to eat, and tells me how much homework I have coming up. Without it I’d be running around blindly, missing lectures, important appointments, and generally being in a confused state. With classes comes stress, which can be counterproductive to progress.


Sitting in my room at night, feverishly working to finish a problem set due in five hours, there is very little that will calm my nerves. One of the few things that does sooth me is music. While most teenagers abuse music by using it to shut out the rest of the world, I use it for good. Instead of mindless riffs and guitar parts that all sound the same, I grace my ears with intricate works of art. I’ve been involved in band and symphonic orchestra since the fifth grade, developing quite the repertoire of performed music. A recording of nearly every song I’ve ever played is on my laptop, allowing me to take nostalgic a trip to anytime in the last eight years. In addition to this music I have recordings of almost every symphony or band performance I’ve attended as a guest. Also included in my library are reminders of some of my favorite movies. Not simply a compilation of random songs by various artists: my soundtracks draw out emotions, induce focus, and can even elevate blood pressure. They’re by famous composers such as Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Klaus Badelt. Without my laptop, none of these songs would have a home, a place where they could all be near each other and intermingle. Instead of dealing with huge binders of scratchable CDs, one piece of technology that manages to run most of my life conveniently stores all of my music. If I’m in a melancholy mood I play some Billy Joel; an epic mood, the soundtrack from “The Rock” or “Gladiator.” Goofy mood? The soundtrack from “The Simpsons.” Fortunately, my ability to feed my mood can be taken on the road. My laptop acts as the bridge connecting me to my iPod, which carries the soundtrack to my life no matter where I am. As much as I love my music, however, music wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful if I couldn’t share it with people.

Without people, people would be much less personable. Therefore, regular interaction with friends is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, but not always easy to achieve. When locked in a small room doing homework or separated from a friend by anywhere between one and three thousand miles, sometimes interaction just isn’t possible. That is, unless you have a laptop. Between e-mail, voice-over Internet protocol, instant messenger, and blogging, I stay connected with people whom I would ordinarily never see. Being able to type witty remarks, share pictures, and generally be a goof with somebody from the comforting silence of my own room is a luxury that I don’t take for granted. Telephones work to a certain extent, but nothing beats a nice long e-mail from that special someone or a surprise instant message from somebody you thought no longer cared. My laptop allows me to use small, generic, and emotional icons to give friends an idea of my facial expressions. Anything I could ever hope to share or show off can be put on the Internet, and nearly eliminated the need for human interaction altogether – but not quite.

Eliminating the need for human interaction is an extremely new concept. In the past, human development has relied on trade, cooperation, and understanding between people, cultures, and nations. Before long-distance communication methods, all of these important meetings were done in person, something that today is avoidable. Nearly every high school graduate that heads off to college is graced with some type of computer, steadily creating a generation of people with the ability to do everything via their computer. The art of making scrapbooks is falling to the wayside in lieu of online photo galleries. Talking on the telephone is being challenged by instant messenger, and video conferencing eliminates any need to ever see somebody in person ever again. Many teenagers and computer users are perfectly ok with this concept, arguing that everything is much more efficient when time isn’t spent trying to get in touch with somebody. Others, however, feel that the country will become a cold and heartless hell, inhabited by computer-loving hermits. Is it possible that by having a blog and talking to people online that I’m contributing to this unpleasant vision of the future? It seems hard to believe, but by changing the very way the world has conversed for millennia, this generation’s computer-loving teenagers may very well disrupt the social patterns of the entire country.

Although my computational beginnings were less than desirable, my love of all things computer fostered a desire to take advantage of the full capabilities of computational utilities. Settling for whatever computer my parents thought was good enough eventually became unthinkable, and I then undertook a search for the exact computer I wanted. Since its arrival, my laptop has become the key that locks my life together, combining my ability to express, organize, meditate, and communicate through one self-contained apparatus. Without it, I’d be floundering around without a well-established routine and with no direction. Will all of this lead to an apocalypse? Today’s generation certainly has the potential to change the very way people with each other, but whether they refuse to let go of the past or heartily embrace the ever-evolving technologies will decide the matter. As far as I’m concerned, my laptop makes everything make sense and always leaves me with something to fall back on, no matter the task at hand.

September 17, 2007

Mood Swings

Today was actually kind of miserable. The physics classroom this morning was a balmy 20 degrees F and I didn't have a jacket. A two hour class in arctic conditions, learning about frames of reference = No Fun for Michael.

Chemistry was ok because I stopped at the Stata center for coffee and a free piece of biscotti.

I love that building!

After chemistry I had lunch and went to donate blood, an activity that I normally enjoy quite a lot. My appointment was for 1:00 pm but I didn't actually start giving blood until 2:20. Of course, because life smiles at me, I had a math recitation at 2:00 with my new TA that I missed.

I'm in varsity pistol and have practice today so giving blood in my right arm didn't seem like a good idea, but the left arm is just as good, right? Um, no. She stuck me once, didn't work. Stuck me again, found a vein, but didn't have a lot of blood flow. After massaging the needle in my arm and reinserting she still didn't get a lot of blood flow. Eventually they just said "You fail" (well, they were nicer than that, but I fail) and pulled the needle.

By this time I was in a really bad mood. I'd missed my recitation, failed at blood donation for the first time ever, and was still kind of cold. Now, the reason for the title of this post. PSET scores came in and it wasn't nearly as painful as I thought (not even remotely as painful as giving blood today). After checking with Michelle and Jon, we deduced that Math PSETs are not as bad as originally thought, here are our scores:

September 15, 2007

The Blue Line

How many of you use spell check? That's right, all of you do, and if you don't then you need to go buy a computer, because everybody with a computer uses it. Unfortunately, spell-check has its limitation. For instance, take the following sentence:

"I want to bee the vary best."

No spelling errors, eh? Unfortunately, in programs like Microsoft Word, something like this won't appear underlined in red as is typical with most misspelled words. Instead it will remain in your paper all the way to your teacher's desk. Microsoft Word 2007 works to remedy this, though, and I'm very impressed by it! Check out what MS Word 2007 does if I type that sentence into it:

It underlines misplaced homophones in blue! Am I the only one excited by this?!

September 12, 2007


Alright, I admit, I'm feeling a little guilty about that last post. To be fair, I wasn't actually sitting in the lecture hall with the professor, I was sitting in a different lecture hall (due to overcrowding) that was playing a live video stream. Also, I was a wee bit tired because of the previous night's activities. What were those activities? Guitar Hero, Wii, Hacking, Eating?!?!?!? Nope, homework.

Now there's no way for you guys to see the time-stamp on that picture, but it was taken at 1 am, smack dab in the middle of our PSET gathering. That's me in the lower left tooling away (actually, by the looks of it, I had just finished math and was transitioning into physics).

So, when I say I lost all interest this morning, that doesn't mean I'm not still dedicated, it just means that at that particular moment of the lecture, learning chemistry was not the thing that was at the top of my list.

Also, good news, Varsity Pistol started yesterday! MIT has the best pistol team in the country (national champions last year) and I decided to join the team. No experience necessary, they train you and help you get amazing. In what other college can a freshman with no experience join a national champion team? Anywho, yesterday was the first time I got to shoot, and I got to keep my target. This was at 10 meters, and I was shooting at the back of the card (couldn't see any black circle or lines). I took a picture of the front to show you guys.

It's not spectacular, obviously (I didn't anticipate discovering that I was some diamond in the rough and pistol champion), but I still think it's neat! I'm just excited that I kept hitting the target.

Oh, also, I got another free t-shirt today! I'm up to 8 . . .

That's all for now, watch the MIT blogs for a guest entry coming up. I just need to think of something to blog about . . .

It Was Bound to Run Out

I started term with the determination to study, learn, focus, and be a good student.

Now, I'm sitting in a chemistry lecture with the attention span of a fish, watching random white lines on the chalkboard swirl around and get labeled with a countless number of K's, n's, e's, and other random letters that will probably be on a test at some point in time.

I should be learning . . . instead I'm blogging. It's all for you!

September 10, 2007


Chemistry was going so well. I understood the lectures, I understood the PSETS, and I liked the profesor. Then, towards the end of the lecture today, something happened. I'm not sure what happened, I guess that's part of the problem, but Sadoway just started spewing info that was impossible to absorb. I've included a link to the video, it starts to spin wildly out of control and outside my bounds of understanding at about 38:20.


Oh, one last thing, our prof casually mentioned that we had to memorize the periodic table by next Friday. It's like drinking from a firehose!

Mmmmmmm, MIT.

September 07, 2007

My Rule for Packing for MIT

Don't pack as many t-shirts as you were going to. Why? Because MIT has this cool habit of giving out free t-shirts left and right. Think I'm kidding? I did a roundup and gathered all of my free shirts together. Here's the pic:

It may be hard to tell how many are there, so I've created this alternate version of the picture to give you a better idea of how many shirts there are:

I can go an entire week on free shirts! Yes!


I've always been one to love giving people information. I want them to be as on the ball as possible, especially when it means I get to give them as-of-yet exclusive information that gives them a one-up on anybody that doesn't know said information. Shoot, I'm starting to sound like one of these wordy text books they have us reading, that'll have to stop. Anywho, I have exclusive info for you, my blog readers.

Most of you probably stalk the MIT Blogs, and many actually linked to this blog from a link on the MIT Blogs. For you, this should be kinda neat because I'm telling you what's going to be on a future MIT Blog post before it's actually posted. For anybody else, this should just be kind of neat.

I was selected to blog for the MIT Admissions staff.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) I live in Burton Conner and share a floor with another blogger (Laura), and am two floors below another blogger (Evan), not to mention that Jessica Kim lives in here somewhere (I saw her the other day but don't actually know what floor she's on). What this means is that I can't blog this year, I have to wait for somebody to move out. It looks like I'll be able to blog next year, so please keep reading the blogs! I'll keep commenting on the current posts and will stay pretty involved, I just won't have my picture up there until later.

So there it is, your exclusive for the day, hope you enjoyed!

MIT Admissions Site

And You Think Your Camera is Good

Alright, today was my first meeting with the pistol team and it's looking like it'll be a ton of fun! The reason for this post (and the title) is because of what's going on in the rifle range right now. A graduate student is doing some research with bullets hitting water and is recording it with a high speed camera. How high speed? Well, let me put it this way: this camera is so specialized that only two exist in the entire country. The Navy is paying for him to rent it for a couple of weeks, at $5,000 a week. How many frames per second? 1,000,000. That's right, 1,000,000 frames per second!

This camera is so important that it was featured in Engadget not too long ago. Here are some videos of some movies it's made:

Breaking Concrete

Popping Water Balloon

Water Jet

I am constantly amazed at the amazingly cool things I randomly find all over this campus, this place never ceases to amaze me. Oh, and did I mention that there was more free food today at a "Fancy High Tech Company Recruiting MIT Students" bbq? Microsoft, Oracle, and a bunch of other people were trying to woo us. That meant a free t-shirt for me!

I'll blog more later, as you can tell by the timestamp, I should be sleeping, I have physics at 9 tomorrow morning (which is the earliest time slot for classes.)

September 05, 2007

Oh Chemistry, Make Jokes While You're Still Fun

Today was my first day of chemistry, 3.091, at MIT. It was fine, the profesor is cool, and I bought the book. The thing I'd like to show you guys is what happened about 31:30 into the lecture. Click this link and skip to 31:30, watch the list that he creates.


Ok, next story, physics this morning. We were just sitting there, enjoying listening to the profesor talk, when he casually says the following:

"Yeah, my roommate in college invented the spreadsheet"


These are the people at MIT folks, these are the people at MIT.

Yep, it's gonna be a good year.

September 03, 2007


Today I was being a good little freshman and participating in Rush activities for frats (specifically, Zeta Psi). What did that entail? Spending an entire day at Six Flags, free of charge, that's what it entailed! After a day full of roller coasters, food, and lines, we got in line for one of our final rides: White Water Rafting! As we stood in line we saw a sign that dutifully warned us about the prospects of getting wet. The problem? The grammar was horrifically bad. Luckily, we weren't the first to notice and it has been fixed by "vandals", but it's still possible to tell what the sign said originally.

What's a "Gonna" and why is it get soaked?

September 02, 2007

A Drinking Song

MIT has some great songs!

The Engineer's Drinking Song

How would you like your eggs?

Adjusting to the East Coast, in general, has not been that difficult. Sure, crossing the street is dangerous and the tax sucks, but other than that I'm doing ok. Every once in a while you stumble upon a cultural difference between coast lines (East and West coast people tend to know different words). For instance, on the East Coast you say that you stand "On Line" at the bank instead of "In Line" as is popular on the West Coast. Most of these little syntax differences are kind of fun to discover, but today we hit a cultural divide of epic proportions.

We were just settling down for breakfast at Zeta Psi and I was asked what I wanted for breakfast. I responded that I wanted french toast, bacon, and over-hard eggs. I get this weird look, and the guy wanders away to tell the kitchen. After he's gone the people at the table look at me and tilt their heads a bit.

"Did you say 'Over-Hard'?"
"Um, yeah, why?"
"What's that?"
"Are you serious?"
[everybody else at the table] "What are you talking about Snively? There's no such thing!"

Alright, call me crazy, but I've been ordering Over-Hard eggs for my entire life and nobody has ever had trouble figuring out what I was talking about. Do you guys know what Over-Hard eggs are?! Let me know in the comments and then in the poll on the right side of the page, it's bugging me a ton.

First Dome Hack of the Year

Last night at about 3:30 am, if you happened to be wandering around Killian Court and also happened to look up, you would have noticed the dome sporting a new shade of purple. I didn't have my camera with me, but I snapped a cell phone camera shot (which sucks, but you can figure out what the picture is of).

I was particularly excited to see that I was witnessing a hack in progress, because as I looked at the dome I could see lights wavering and switching from white to purple as the gels were affixed over the lights. Look for better pictures and perhaps more details in the IHTFP Hack Gallery soon!

September 01, 2007

Balloons in Burton Conner

Today was a spectacular day for blog content! I came in to my room after wandering the outside, only to see the room filled with balloons! During In-Dorm rush there was a room filled with balloons to play in and it seems somebody forgot to close the door to said room after rush was over. Due to a strange combination of open windows and empty hallways, the balloons started leaving the room and wandering around the building . . . by themselves. The result was random rooms, kitchens, hallways, and staircases filled with balloons. Soon enough the balloons found their way outside, riding vortices and wind currents into the big blue sky . . .