Family Time

31 05 2008

So here’s another personal post. This morning is my first official day of summer break. That means spending a lot more time with my family, and hoo-boy(!) do I have a big family! I work very hard through the school year and consequently I spend a lot of time thinking about other people’s kids and not my own. Summer gives me the chance to see what’s happened in my family’s life over the past 9.25 months. Each year brings me new enlightenment.

About 7 years ago I found myself without a job for five months. It was pretty hard on us financially. Though Geneva and I only had two kids then, she had to go to work and I took care of the house [I’m using the term loosely]. So I got to spend a lot of time with my two older boys. I cooked breakfast almost every day. I’m not much of a cook but I can make toast, eggs, sausage, and sometimes gravy. It felt good to perform that function for my family.

Each year when my summer break rolls around I find myself starting out by keeping the kids while my wife heads out. Sounds good–she’s been watching them for nine months, surely she could use a few hours off. This morning was hers for the leaving. I decided to make breakfast.

What I realize year after year is that I miss a lot by not keeping the kids by myself. Such as…do you have any idea how much kids eat??? Holy Fritos! I started by scrambling 6 eggs and frying 6 sausages, and I knew one of them wasn’t even going to eat! That disappeared before I could even fix myself a plate. So I made two four more eggs and another sausage. Did I mention the loaf of bread they ate? Plus almost a gallon of apple juice. It’s like I’m going to have to raid the Hillshire Farms guy if I want breakfast again tomorrow.

Well, I hope this has been an eye opening experience for you. I know I’ve learned something. And I hope that one of you readers will develop a way to make food out of dirt and styrofoam peanuts. (Hmmm, maybe tomorrow we’ll have popcorn for breakfast…)


Phoenix is on Twitter

30 05 2008

Okay, so I’ve written too many posts for one day already. I just caught this as I was checking my email for the last time today, so I thought I’d offer it up. Phoenix is on Twitter. Now the question is…what do the LGM who hijacked this thing have to say?

Actually, just as I dropped in to check it out there was a message about a shiny thing on the ground (probably a pin). It somehow made me excited that there might be some really cool discovery and the people who are reading these constant updates will find out first! In reality, these are mostly links to official news outlets like NASA, but written up in a unique style. You should definitely check it out, even if the sense of being in on a secret transmission soon thins.

Update:  I found this cool write-up this morning.  Thought it was funny/interesting.

“There’s a great piece in the Science section of Tomorrow’s New York Times about NASA’s artful use of Twitter to relay information to the people of Earth regarding the Mars Phoenix Lander.

The tweets were written in the first person, as if Phoenix the friendly spacecraft were sending out text messages to friends and fans. In part, that was to be more entertaining, Ms. McGregor said, but a larger reason was the austere limit of 140 characters per message imposed by Twitter, which turns tweets into a literary form akin to haiku.

JPL based Veronica McGregor has been playing the part of @MarsPhoenix on Twitter and she’s mastered the technique. Gathering almost ten thousand followers in a few weeks is only a small feat when compared to something like, oh, SENDING A ROBOT TO MARS. We’re very much enjoying the updates and looking forward to more.”

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Extrasolar Planets

30 05 2008

I’m a huge fan of a sci-fi blog called io9. Not only do they post a TON of articles about science fiction, but a lot of other cool things that interest me…such as the title of this post. Head on over there and check out this little list they’ve compiled and published I found just today. While you’re there, check out some of their other stuff. Be warned…some will be NSFW, but they usually tell you before you click.

Dude, nice hack!

30 05 2008

So many of you know if you pull a prank at MIT its called a hack. Through the years some hacks have become legendary, such as the patrol car on the great dome.

This would be my favorite hack of this last year, if not my favorite hack of all time.

This is a picture of John Harvard’s statue dressed as Master Chief from Halo. Original link found here.

Right now you are thinking one of three thoughts: 1) Who’s John Harvard? 2) Who’s Master Chief? or 3) That is the most awesomest thing I ever did saw! If you’re in the first group, it’s fine. He’s this really famous guy from Boston for whom they’ve named a street, a river, and– oh yeah –an entire University after.
If you’re in the last group we totally understand each other. Really, I get you.

For those in the second group…are you sure you should be snooping around my blog? Go on now. Shoo.

I can haz puppies?

30 05 2008

So, to justify having this blog to my wife it needs to provide a service of some sort. I have the solution.

You need a puppy!

Oh c’mon! They’re absolutely adorable. And you’d be helping me out by showing my wife my time isn’t being wasted here. Just look at these guys…

We have several of these cuties, so drop me an email and let me know when you’d like to pick one up.  Better hurry…supplies are limited!

Yet Another Red Spot?

28 05 2008

New Scientist has released a report showing another giant red storm has erupted on Jupiter.

Another Red Spot

This is fascinating. The Great Red Spot has been visible since the telescope was invented, which makes it the longest known storm in the solar system. The addition of another red spot a few years ago showed that the atmosphere in this region was evolving. Now there may be evidence that this portion could be under an upheaval, with major changes occurring over the next few years. We’ll keep watching.

New Coolest Picture Of All Time

28 05 2008

So this is an absolutely incredible picture. This is what we humans have finally achieved. This is a photo of the Mars Phoenix parachuting into the thin Martian atmosphere as seen by an orbiting probe called HiRISE.

Phoenix against crater

You should really go to the link and read all about this awesome pic. The more you understand its significance, the cooler it is.