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Women’s March

The first gallery on my weekend adventure was the Renwick.  I attended with a friend on Saturday morning of the 20th of January 2018, which happened to be the Women’s March.  Our accidental timing allowed us to get a chance to experience the March up close.  When we stepped outside the street between the Renwick and the White House was packed from sidewalk to sidewalk with people of all ages being politically active.  It was quite a sight to behold.  Hundreds of signs with funny slogans, chants, and a full drum line filled the streets with civil political action.  The only downside was the March kept feeding people into the gallery, but well worth the extra crowd to get to see politics in action.

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The gallery itself was quite interesting.  We entered into the lobby to be greeted by a staircase with a red carpet flowing like a river down to meet us with an exhibit of shimmering lights over head.  At the top of the stairs you find an exhibit of 3 dimensional famous architectural ceilings represented by 2 dimensional pieces to give you a 3 dimensional feel.  Each ceiling was cut out of giant pieces of paper to look like an architect would draw them onto paper.  These cut out layers of ceiling were then suspended over head and if you stood at just the right vantage point the layers came together to form the famous view of the ceiling you know.  It became a game to find the perfect vantage point for each ceiling.

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3D Printed Greek Slave

After that we continued through the exhibits.  There were many modern pieces which caught my eye.  From earthenware which could be mistake for a rusted engine to a marble pillow which looked like it was soft enough to lay your head on.  The piece which really caught my attention was a 3D printed version of the “Greek Slave” which is a sculpture I admired in another gallery just weeks before.  This has to be one of my favorite pieces as it evokes in me a feeling of awe at the beauty and sadness at the bondage she is unwillingly trapped in.  There is an added point of interest in this version of the piece because it is a meeting of ancient art and modern technology.  This iteration was created with state of the 3D printing technology and scanning techniques.  This will have to take the place as my favorite piece in the Renwick.

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Crowd in the Exhibit

Once we had finished the permanent exhibits we moved on to the murder diorama exhibit.  This exhibit had quite the build up around it and it was enjoyable but with the over flow from the march going to see it we could not get the full experience.  People were packed shoulder to shoulder to see each piece for only a few seconds and move on to waiting for the next one.  It was quite and interesting exhibit but by far my least favorite part of the gallery solely because of the crowd.  I wish I could go again before it is removed without all the people there.

This was my first visit in my mission to see every gallery and museum in DC that is part of the Smithsonian.  I have seen quite a few of them but I recently realized there are several I have never visited.  This will now be a weekly adventure into the city until I see all 17.

Next semester’s plan

With classes starting up in a week it is time to set some goals for the semester. I have been on vacation camping for the last two weeks and all the intense news has made an intimidating prospect for blogging. The more I learn about the Gaza-Israel conflict the more I realize I am not qualified to talk about it. I plan on getting back into a regular blogging schedule once this week is over. This next semester I really want to be productive so I can land a good job for the summer.  I have a real problem with hitting snooze for an hour if I don’t have anywhere to go in the early morning which will suck next semester when my first class ins’t until 11.

Get over a 3.75 for the semester
– Put in three hours of study time for each hour of in class material in my harder three classes
– Put in an hour of study time for each hour of in class material in my two easier classes
– Miss less than one class a week for any reason
Improve my health
– Do a core and upper body workout five days a week
– Run at least 3 miles four times a week
– Meditate every morning
Be creative
– Blog at least three times a week
– Draw at least three times a week
– Read every day for half an hour
Improve my Home brew
– Move to all grain brews
– Brew at least once a month
– Learn about the science behind brewing
– Work on getting a recipe that would be worth bringing to a home brew festival

I will be adding goals to this list and how I will achieve them as the semester starts.  I like to use chains to keep track of how I am doing  so that will be how I measure my daily goals.  I will also be working and in band this semester so that adds to my work load but with dedication I know I can do well this semester.

The Joy of Getting a Letter

I love getting things in the mail, whether it be a game, or a book, or even my razors.  The joy of getting something tangible is great, but what is better than getting stuff is getting a letter.  Letters always make me smile so much.  They are a dying art form but I believe a proper letter should be cherished.  Love letters or letters home just aren’t as common a they once were more that we can call our loved ones whenever we want.  I can call to let my loved ones know I care about them but they don’t get an object they can hold when I do that.  You can’t replay a phone call like you can re-read a letter.  I keep all the letters I get to be able to remember all the important people in my life and I feel like we lose that kind of connection with cell phones.

Computer Gets a Third of Judges to Think it is Human

While the computer did not pass the Turing Test, which is designed to show if a computer exhibits intelligent behavior, it did fool a third of the judges. The Turing Test is meant to show if a computer is intelligent by fooling people into thinking it is human. The judges had a five minute text based conversation with the computer and made a third of them think it was a 13 year old boy. This test is meant to determine if a machine can think by being able to make others think it is human. A computer passing the test would be a huge milestone in AI. While it did not fool a majority of the people who “spoke” to this computer this is the best at the endeavor so far. As technology improves and logic algorithms continue to get better as the work continues it will not be long before a machine passes the Turing Test.

3D printer for 150 dollars, sounds like a deal

The new matter MOD-t is now as cheap as $149. This makes it the cheapest 3D printer and well within most nerd’s budgets. It is capable of printing 6 in by 5 in by 4 in objects which is about medium size for 3D printers. Just like how 2D printers prices dropped at time went on to the point that most homes have at least one printer I think 3D printers are going to same way. In a few short decades I think every home with a computer will probably have a 3D printer and blueprints for most small household items will be found on the internet. I am really excited to see the advancements in 3D printing and what changes having the ability to make most small objects from the comfort of your home with only your imagination as your limit will cause to society.

Indiegogo Page

Looks like Google is getting into the home security game

I am a huge fan of Google.  I am a fan boy for Google like hipsters are for apple.  My phone is android, my browser is chrome, my primary email is Gmail so Google pretty much knows everything about me and I have come to accept that.  I don’t inherently like that all my personal information is possessed by companies like Google and government bodies like the NSA but it seems like that is the direction the world is moving in.  That being said I don’t know how I would feel about using Google home security.  Letting one company have so much knowledge about my life seems a bit scary.  I feel like I wouldn’t want one company to have all my information and have the ability to see my home surveillance footage.  What if something like a security breach in the company happens, if the company that had that breach had all of my info it is all gone.  If I have a company that does my home surveillance and another for my internet use and another for other aspects of my life maybe the odds of  a breach go up but at least they wouldn’t have everything all at once.  Maybe I am just being paranoid but I think I will keep my home security and my shopping habits in the hands of different companies.  The move to buy Dropcam does seem like a good business move though and makes sense to compete with Apple but I really don’t think I would want either company having access to my security.


NBC LosAngeles Article 

Three months living off mealworms? For Science!

A team of three people from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics lived 105 days off a diet of mealworms and plants. Why? to prove they could. The team was testing the effects of a mealworm diet to see if it could be used in future space missions. They lived in a self contained unit “Moon Palace 1” and lived off bugs that were fed on plants they grew in the unit. Being able to grow a food source in such a small and enclosed areas and remain nourished off of it seems promising for future space missions such as a moon lab and future manned mars missions.

Bug diets have been recommended for people in malnourished areas who need increased protein and once the stigma of eating bugs is removed it doesn’t seem that different from eating something like a lobster or crab. Both foods have exoskeletons and when seen before prepared seem creepy and crawly but shell fish is considered a normal food. I think once bugs like meal worms are mass farmed for food like shell fish are it will become common place to eat them, especially as population growth makes it hard for large farm animals such as cows to fill the world’s protein needs.

SpaceDaily Article

Transformers for tables

Do you want you table to be a transformer? Roombots are modular robots that have motors that allow them to rotate and move to connect with other Roombots and form furniture that can transform. These cool little guys can transform into any furniture you can imagine if you have enough creativity. Illustrating the usefulness of modular robotics they are able to move around and join together to create futuristic household items that are pretty much transformers. The future looks really bright for home use of modular robotics, and as soon mass production of these little guys begins I’m going to try to get my hands on them to make myself a transformer table.

Taking a before pic is the hardest part?

This summer I was going to do research but that fell through last minute so I am back at my old job living with my parents… Which is kind of disappointing but it is giving me an opportunity that I may never have again in my life to better myself. All I have to do right now is work, no classes, no band, no homework, nothing but work 8 hours a day. I am going to use this summer to better myself, to get in shape, to learn new things, to create the habits I want to have for the rest of my life. At the start of the week I took a before picture and at the end of the summer I will post the before picture and after picture and hopefully have a noticeable change in my body shape.

I am using to track my progress and form habits.
The things I want to do every day are
Wake up by Seven AM
Create something (either art or writing, just be creative)
Go to bed by midnight
Do a core and chest workout

I have a three day streak going for most of them and hope to turn it into a 90 day streak by the end of the summer. Every goal takes dedication every day and that is what I am working toward. I am also looking to find other things to learn to better myself over the summer, I might try to learn a second language and make some other progressions in my life. I will have to see where the summer takes me.