January 31, 2008

Robots and some news

I walked into my room the other day only to see an epic battle of robotic proportions. What did I see?

Yes, that's right, R2D2 battling a robot lamp in a game of Rock-em-Sock-em Robots. What is the world coming to?!

Ok, and now for the news. I'm discovering that it's very difficult to keep up two blogs as much as I'd like. No, I'm not getting rid of this blog. But, I won't be able to update daily or semi-daily like I used to. With my current course load, activities, and schedule it's just not feasible. I will update though. For better or for worse I will probably be updating my MIT blog more than this one (I mean, I'm being paid to update that one, I need to do my job).

What I'm getting at is that maybe you shouldn't check this blog everyday hoping for an entry. Check once a week or so and you should be pleasantly surprised by an entry or two. Also, if you check the MIT blogs regularly, I've decided to implement a secret code that will let you know if I've made an entry in this blog you should check out.

They way I intend for this to work is for you regular readers to just read my MIT blog and if you see


at the bottom of the entry it means I've published something in my personal blog recently that you should go check out. That way you only need to read one blog until I let you know that there's something new over here. Of course you can still check this blog and read past entries if you feel like, I'm just cutting down the frequency of new entries.

I know, this is like the equivalent of a restaurant raising its prices, I'm sorry, but I'm not superhuman and can only write so much.

January 27, 2008


Seriously, do they make these? If so, I need to buy a ton of them!

January 24, 2008

Who? Update [1]


So, this doesn't work anymore :(

It used to translate "Heath Ledger is dead" to "Tom Cruise esta muerto," which is, well, strange.


Sorry about no posts for a while. I'm still trying to figure out this "Two Blog" thing. Give it some time, I'll get back to some kind of system.

You should go to Google Translator:


And translate "Heath Ledger is dead" from English to Spanish.

Bet you weren't expecting that, eh? Why does this happen?

January 17, 2008

I was tired last night

First off, thanks for saying hi to Maddie everybody, she says hi back and appreciates it.

Second off, I thought I'd show you evidence of how tired I was last night. After a game of extreme spoons (filmed, currently being edited and set to music) I did some laundry and hopped into bed so I could read about my physics lab I had to do the next day. After finishing my lab I worked on editing one of my MIT blog entries and then the next thing I know I'm awake, looking around, and it's 8:30 in the morning. That's right, I actually fell asleep at my computer.

When I was in bed my I was laying on my back with my computer on my chest, not unlike a techno-savvy otter. When I woke up, my computer was on my desk. I turned it on and was immediately greeted by the "You have about 7 minutes of battery left" warning. When it boots up I am greeted with this screen:

Click it to make it larger. Not only had I fallen asleep at my computer, I had fallen asleep ON my computer. I panicked. I quickly navigated to the MIT blogs to make sure I hadn't accidentally slept on the "Publish" button, but I was safe. I erased all of the extraneous characters from the entry and plugged the computer into the wall. Now it was time to ponder . . . how, if I had fallen asleep on my computer, did it end up closed and on my desk? Did I do it in my sleep or did somebody take it out from under me and put it up there for me?

There is very little point to this blog entry, just something I found interesting this morning.

January 15, 2008


Just a quick post to say hi to Maddie.

Hi Maddie!

Everybody else should leave a comment to say hi to Maddie!

January 14, 2008


In case you can't tell, those are mice balls. . .


Somehow, believe it or not, I've managed to become hosed over IAP.

That's right, that month-long break when everybody gets to relax, I've managed to saturate it with work. I guess that makes me kinda dumb. Here's what my IAP looks like:

> Finishing up 8.01L
> Taking 6.270
> Blogging
> Geometry Wars

Between these five things I have effectively gotten right back into the swing of MIT. Now, granted, I enjoy these particular activities more than my other classes so I'm not as depressed/angry/bitter as normal, but I'm still busy.

BTW, it snowed today! Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow!

January 12, 2008

No Pants

I rode around on the T (subway) with no pants today for about 2 hours. I will blog about this in more depth, believe me, but I'm waiting for all of the pictures and movies to hit the internet first. It will be epic, patience.

The nitty-gritty will be on this blog, the cleaner version will hit the MIT blogs. They'll be different, so read both!

Improv Everywhere: Part I

Hey all! So, quick background:

Back in High School, Senior year, my friend Jake showed me a series of extremely funny videos online that were made by a group called "Improv Everywhere." Improv Everywhere consists of a large group of people (50 to 100 or more, different every time) who pull large performance pranks. Performance pranks? Well, take for instance their Best Buy improv. They had 80 people dressed in blue polo shirts and khaki pants walk into a Best Buy in Manhattan and just stand around in the store with their arms crossed, confusing all the customers flooding the store with fake "staff."

Another favorite is when they took 50ish cell phones, put them into backpacks, and turned their backpacks in behind the counter of a store. They then proceeded to call every single one of the phones at the same time. Hilarity ensued.

Do a YouTube search for Improv Everywhere, you won't regret it.

Today they're doing another of their performance pranks in the little old city of Boston. I think I may go help, it's for a good cause (well, by good cause, I mean it makes for great internet video). What are they doing?


January 08, 2008

My Dorm Room

Do you ever just feel like learning how to do something new? Well, I do, and so does my friend Dan Sauza. The other day we decided that we wanted to learn how to make 360 degree pictures that could capture an entire room. We dug around online for a little bit, poked at some tutorials, and eventually figured it out!

I went out and bought a tripod today so that we could make our first 360 degree picture. I present to you, my dorm room:

[Click, hold, and drag the picture to see the entire room]

January 06, 2008

We Have a Winner!

There's a movie coming out in 2008 called "Jack and Diane."

I found a plot summary online.

This is what it said:

Jack and Diane, two teenage girls, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane's charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack's tough skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire occasionally turns her into a werewolf.


Crossword Puzzle Hints

Alright, who wants to find something on the internet for me?

We have a copy of the world's largest crossword puzzle and we are looking for a PDF, text, or any other type of file that has all of the hints.

If you can find it I will:

a) Tell all my friends that you're awesome
b) Send you a cookie
c) Worship you

Good luck!

The Hair Guy


One of my very good friends finally published the blog he's been writing for quite some time onto the internet. Anyway, reasons you should read his blog:

He's funnier than I am
His name is Truman
He's a journalism major, has spent his entire life writing, and is uber good at it.

Please take the time to wander over and check it out. It's something I'll be pimping from time to time (on both of my blogs, yeah, it's that interesting) so do yourself a favor: look at life from the perspective of the Hair Guy.


January 05, 2008

Why the FAA Hates My Guts

The more and more I think about it, the more and more I realize that it's probably really easy to confuse me for a terrorist. I mean, every time I go to an airport I wear a black shirt, black leather jacket, carry a grey/black backpack, grey/black laptop bag, black hat (backwards), and black headphones. I'm just old enough to be crazy-radical but not too old to be scared of the implications of my actions. This is all what people see BEFORE I get to security. Security, x-ray machines in particular, bring my terrorist level up many many notches. Why? Well, lets take a quick look at some of the things I plan on carrying onto the airplane in my backpack.

Let's see, what do we have here?

Batteries? check
Hard drive? check
Book about hacking? check
Binary clock? check
Laptop? check
"The Orange Box" (game about killing things)? check
Book about physics? check
Extremist, home-state propaganda? check

Here's what happens when I go through security check points:

[The security officer is perched on a stool, looking at a screen that reveals the innards to any bag passing through their x-ray machine]

Officer: Hi, how are you?
Me: Doing fine.

[Shoes go through machine, no problem. Belt, watch, cell phone go through, no problem. Wii controllers, hard drive, laptop, iPod, camera, headphones go through . . .]

Officer: WOAH!

[The little red light on top of the x-ray machine starts lighting and spinning, other people with badges and guns gather]

Officer: What is this?!
Me: What? The laptop, hard drive, iPod, camera, Wii, or cell phone?
Officer: Um (hesitates), ok . . .

I am then metal detectored, stared at, and waved on. That's my airport experience, every time, from Oregon to MIT and back. I should just wear a sign that says "Don't worry, I go to MIT," but then again, that may not be a good idea either.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow, I'll blog it from the airport (free wi-fi for the win!) 8 short hours!

January 04, 2008


Oh by the way . . .

MIT Admissions: Snively

I went live today! I have a new blog now. Don't worry, I'll keep this one updated too.

I have a Sudden Urge to Try This

I really want to try this! I think it may be totally possible, and a great party trick.

Don't understand what's happening? Wait until the middle of the video:

January 03, 2008

My Loving Companion

[Video is a Portal spoiler, listen at your own risk]

Portal is an AMAZING game that was published by Valve and sold with several other games in The Orange Box. I just finished up the game today and it just puts you in a great mood and also kind of makes you obsessed with some of the main elements of the game, mainly cake and your weighted companion cube.

I'm assuming all of you know what cake is. If not, go have a birthday, people will give it to you.

The weighted companion cube, however, is something you may not be as familiar with. It's a weighted cube that you have to utilize during the game to help you achieve your goals. It has a pink heart on it, immediately causing whoever is playing to make an emotional attachment to it. It's like Wilson in "Castaway," inanimate but your best friend. Unfortunately, you're forced to incinirate it, which breaks the hearts of Portal players everywhere.

I decided to make a 3D model of the weighted companion cube using SolidWorks.

Now I just need to coerce somebody at MIT to get me access to a 3D printer so I can have a desktop weighted companion cube. I've saved my SolidWorks file as an eDrawings file so I can share the 3D representation with you.

This link will NOT work with Firefox (and perhaps other web browsers. I know it works with Internet Explorer). Sorry guys . . . I can't help how eDrawings encodes it.

Click here to see the spiffy 3D representation!

You should definitely go buy Portal. It's cheap ($40), comes with 4 other FULL games (Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2), and it has cake.

I'm not even lying, it has cake.

January 02, 2008

IE7 vs. Norton

Dear Norton AntiVirus and Norton Symantecs,
I hate you.
Love, Internet Explorer 7.

Do you use Norton AntiVirus AND Internet Explorer 7? If your answer is yes then you're wrong because guess what . . . Internet Explorer 7 isn't compatible with Norton AntiVirus, something neither Norton or Microsoft tell you unless you spend 3 hours on tech support bouncing from India to China and back again. What is one to do?!

Ok, ignoring the entire crowd that's going to say "Psh, Firefox, duh" I'll give you my advice. I recently cleaned up some computers for some people and this is what I did:

1) Uninstall Norton Antivirus. That's right, get rid of it. Norton is a pain in the butt, I hate it. That and it costs $$$

2) Uninstall any anti-spyware program you have that isn't working. If your Spyware detector works then don't worry about uninstalling it, but if you are paying or have doubts then dump it.

3) Restart your computer once or twice. This is good just to cleanse it and let it adjust itself.

4) Go to the website for avast! AntiVirus. Download their free home edition (or click THIS link). Why is it free? Here's how they put it:

Our company offers the Home Edition free of charge, since, in our opinion, it is possible to avoid global virus spreading by efficient prevention; however, many users are not able to or do not want to pay for antivirus software.

It's only for individual use (no businesses or corporations) and it's completely free. Rated 5-stars on CNET, it's worth it, very reliable.

5) Once avast! is installed go here and fill out the form to get your free registration number. They'll e-mail you the number. When your run avast! for the first time you'll see a little button on the screen that pops up that says "Registration." Click it. This is what you should then see:

Just take the number they e-mail you and plug it in here. That's it, you're good for a year and a half. In a year and a half you'll have to re-register the software by doing exactly what you just did.

Run avast! and you'll see something like this, minus the little thing on top:

See the red dot? Click that button and that little box will pop out of the top. Drag it over to "Thorough Scan" and check the "Scan Archive Files" Box.

6) Push the play button. This will start a virus scan of yoru computer that can take anywhere from an hour to 4 hours. Let it happen, go read a book or something.

7) Ok, your computer is now virus protected. It will update the virus database by itself and will let you know whenever it does by popping a blue square up in the lower right of the screen and saying "Virus Database Has Been Updated." Just run a scan every week or two and you should be fine. If it finds a virus just do what it suggests, it's very user friendly.

8) If you kept your original spyware detector then ignore from here out. If you need the software (if you don't know, then you do) the run this file: CLICK

Follow the instructions to install "Spybot Search and Destroy."

9) Once it is installed just reset your computer and run Spybot Search and Destroy by double-clicking the icon on your desktop.

10) Click "Search for Updates" in order to make sure you're all updated. Once updated, click "Check for Problems" and let it do its thing.

11) When it's done just take its recommended actions. Run this program every couple of weeks or so and you'll keep spyware and adware off of your computer.

There you have it, you are now protected from spyware, adware, and viruses using free software and you can run whatever web browser you want. I hope this helped, I do the best I can. I'm not a computer "expert" so there are tons of methods to go about accomplishing the same thing I just suggested, this is just one.

And to the people I know who will complain, yes, Firefox would fix this, but if they want IE7 and not Firefox then Norton has to go. Like it or not.

Happy New Year all, I'll be on the MIT admissions blogs shortly, I'm looking forward to it!

January 01, 2008


Yesterday I was introduced to one of the funniest TV shows I've seen in a long time. After watching the pilot I instantly downloaded the other episodes for my iPod and have been watching them all day. Hilarious! Which show?

The Big Bang Theory

The manage to take the geeks, mix them with the beautiful girl, and make a show that doesn't survive on awkward humour but instead on incredibly funny jokes and perfect timing (especially with the sarcasm sign bit). I HIGHLY recommend this show and to further convince you I've included some goodies on this post.

This is the Theme Song

"If by 'Holy Smokes', you mean a derivative restatment of the kind of stuff you could find scribbled on the wall of any men's room at MIT, sure."

Frankly, if he really loved her, he'd let her hit the ground. It'd be a more merciful death.


I'm off to write to the network and see if I can get a copy of all the episodes to put on my blog. Wish me luck!