Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another weekend bites the dust

And what a weekend it's been...

As usual, Sat morning was windmill time at Ben's lab in Harvard. On the (official) agenda, to test our KICKASS magnets' field lines so we know how large to make the alternator's stator coils. On the (unofficial) agenda, to play with iron filings and KICKASS magents. Got some really pretty pictures, much nicer ones than the ones you can find online, but 'til Ben uploads his pics, here's one stolen from the net to whet your appetities

As suspected, our magnets are KICKASS.

In the afternoon cooked up tons of (too many tons of) fried rice to use up the veggies rotting in the fridge, so I'd be free of kitchen duty the rest of the week. (Of course, had totally forgotten I'll be out of town Tues through Friday for a conference, so now likely the cooked leftovers will rot.) Was juggling three pans at once when I got a call from my soon-to-be first Hospitality Club guest, Jonathan Tel (author, traveller, philosopher). He's arriving tomorrow, and will stay Monday night with me; sounds like an interesting person. Will post an update if I don't get my throat cut. Aww... kidding, mom ;)

Yesterday night went with Ian to an MIT Wind Ensemble concert.

The performance of William Schuman's piece George Washington Bridge, written about... yep, the George Washington Bridge, was prefaced by a 15-minute lecture, complete with equations, on the engineering marvels of the bridge by a Civil Engineering graduate student.

Only at MIT.
Well, I suppose also at Caltech.
Or one of the IITs.
{sigh} it's a geeky world I inhabit...

As for the musical content, it sounded good to me, but that should be taken with a pinch of salt -- I am semi-tone-deaf.

This morning it was time to head off to a lecture on water resources management organized via video conference from the Technion by the Hibur. Reasonable talk, but much more fascinating was the technical competence with which the organization (barely a couple years old) is run. Must find out more about its history...

And then I was off to catch the St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston. The usual suspects -- about three thousand bagpipe bands and a never ending stream of cops and firemen. Jollity prevailed, helped along by green beer. The most surreal part of the parade, though, had to be the Vader's Fist marching by us...

Bewarned -- crappy blurry cellphone pictures of Darth Vader and storm-toopers wearing green hats.

The thought going through my mind was vis-a-vis an op-ed piece on Friday's edition of my favourite comedy show, the O'Reilly Factor, about how the city of Boston refused to let a lesbian group march in the parade, "Why do gay groups not understand that the St. Patrick's Day Parade is no place to display any kind of sexuality?"

Left early, to come back, flex my sleeves, and do my taxes. Done. all done. And after poring through about 20 different forms, schedules and information sheets (not exaggerating for once), came to the conclusion that I owe the US and California governements no taxes for the year of 2005. Yippie yay.

Of course, still had to fill out endless forms so I'll get my withheld taxes back.

Took a break to go check out this program I heard about at NEU, their Carnevale's International Gala night. Essentially, an international variety show. Very... vivacious. What the lacked in professionalism, they more than made up for in general enthusiasm. Oh, and booty-shaking :) Such a different atmostphere from MIT/Harvard. Also seems extremely diverse and international -- that Carnevale business takes some serious doing.

Anyway, now I really should off to bed, so I can get up in time for the breakfast with the visiting Israeli students, do a whole bunch of chores, do some work, think through some theorems I had nightmares about last night (no, really, it happens), go for group meeting and meet my boss, and hang with Jon Tel. All tomorrow. It never stops. And that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh uh-huh.


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