Chile: hilly, Will-y, thrilly, and, uh…chilly

I just got back from a trip to Chile with my friends! We were visiting our friend Will. After defending, he did a pretty similar trip to the one I did after defending, but the South American version instead of Southeast Asia. I believe he started in Peru, then went through Bolivia and met us in Santiago, Chile.

It worked out fairly perfectly, because I think he was reaching the same level of “travel done-ness” that I did around the same length of time I did. So I think he wanted to come back, but we also wanted to visit him down there before he left. We had also been wanting to go to Patagonia for ages (long before his trip was on the table), so it was perfect. read more

A vegetarian experiment

Recently, my friends and I went to the NYC Maker Faire, and on the way back had a ~3 hour car ride. We got to talking about vegetarianism, saying how for the most part, despite most of us taking a devil’s advocate position at some point, we all agree that we don’t really have a defensible position for eating meat. Yet, we’re all fairly carnivorous. In fact, during the height of that conversation, we were going out of our way to get to a Five Guys burger place, so… the irony was not lost on us.

Anyway, we covered a lot of ground that I mostly won’t bring up here, because I’m sure it’s cliche and naive to anyone who is remotely involved in this. However, I thought there were a couple interesting points. read more

Back to the blog and the NYC Maker Faire

Hey there, nonexistent reader! You may have (not)iced that I’ve been gone for a while. That’s because I just defended my PhD, and I was pretty balls to the wall busy for the last few months getting ready for that. I made a few posts here and there, but towards the very end I realized I really had no time for a blog that no one reads anyway. Maybe I’ll make a post about the whole before-and-after experience at some point.

Anyway, my friends and I just got back from a weekend trip to the NYC Maker Faire. Max has a friend who got us a few free tickets, which was sweet; they’re not inexpensive, something like $35 for a single day pass I think? So she definitely saved us some buxx. I had never been before. It was pretty perfect weather and in Queens, so all said and done not too crazy to get there. read more

A blast from the past: Canon control cards

A bit of background: our lab is kind of ancient. It’s also enormous; my advisor owns most of our hallway. The group was once very big (one of those 20-30 people powerhouses), but these days it’s fairly small (~6, plus a couple undergrads at any given time). However, we still have all the space from those massive days of yore, so a lot of the space is… well, let’s just say a lot of the lab space hasn’t been touched in a while. I mean, every room is still used, but there are definitely nooks and crannies that, if owned by a lab that had to be more economical with its space, wouldn’t remain as untouched as they are when I find them.

I poke around a lot. Often, actively searching for various equipment, but also just because I like to know where things are and explore. More than a few times, I’ve poked into some dusty cabinet and actually found fairly useful equipment that I’ve then used. A lot of physics/engineering equipment from 80s is still pretty useful today. read more

The Providence Phoenix’s “Nifty Fifty”

The Providence Phoenix was a Providence alternative newspaper that’s now defunct. It was in what I’d call the “alternative lite” category, definitely having some stuff you wouldn’t see in a more “official” newspaper like the Providence Journal, but also non-offensive enough to be in most businesses around town. To be honest, I think it was a pretty good representation of Providence as a whole.

I wouldn’t say I ever intentionally really read it, but on more than a few occasions I would be waiting somewhere or getting a quick slice of pizza alone (shoutout to Fellini’s for keeping my arteries clogged), and just pick up a copy (it was free) to see what was going on around town. read more