Thursday, September 22, 2011

I've Gone Insane

I have a terrible track record of not blogging consistently. I mean just look at my archives and its obvious. So clearly I must have gone insane. Or my eyes are bigger than my mouth or ambitions higher than my reach or something like that.


Because I just started a new blog.

And not a blog that replaces this one. Oh no, a blog to write in addition to this one.

Because as I was thinking about this blog, I've realized its come to be mainly about my life, writing, and my beliefs. Which are great things and things I love discussing. But somewhere along the way, the engineering and science part got lost. And I have a lot to say on those topics, more than a randomly assigned day of the week can make up for. So I've decided to start a new blog solely devoted to science and engineering.

You can check it out here.

So let's see how this adventure goes. And please pop over there and check out Tuesday's post as well as today's post.

This blog, my bittersweet fountain one, will still contain all my anecdotes about being an engineer. All the funny, quirky little stories about my life that are caused because I'm an engineer and live on the socially awkward side of the social spectrum. My new blog, Rocket Science Revealed, is going to focus on the hard science facts and explaining them to you, my reader, in terms a layman can understand.

So come by and check it out. Who knows? Maybe you'll learn something.

And if you have engineering questions, ask them. Because I'm here to answer your questions.

Don't let your science fiction lack facts! Don't let fear of science stand in your way from learning. It's not that hard. And I promise not to drop any differential equations on you. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dragon*Con and Amanda Tapping

I know I promised pictures from Dragon*Con, but alas, I do not have them. I took pictures, but with my dad's camera. And I don't currently have anyway to transfer those pictures from my dad's camera to my computer. I need to go to Best Buy and buy an SD card reader, but I haven't been able to fit that into my schedule. So it's still going to have to wait.

But I can tell you about Dragon*Con and its sheer awesomeness.

Dragon*Con was far more crowded than I ever remember it being. I heard rumors of their being 50,000 people. If you've never been to an event like it, it's hard to fathom what this means. Basically imagine crowds that you can't fight. It's like being in an ocean or river, caught by the current. You don't know where you're going or why you're going there, only you can't fight the river of people. And suddenly you find yourself at an escalator that goes down--and you want to go up--but you have no choice but to go down because you CAN'T FIGHT THE CURRENT!

Despite that chaos, it was awesome, and this year I got to meet one of the women who brought to life one of my personal heroes. I met Amanda Tapping, who plays Samantha Carter in my favorite TV show of all time--Stargate SG-1.

I was really excited. I stood in line to get her signature, but the pressure of the line to move quickly meant I didn't get much time to talk to her. Alas. But the next day there was a Stargate Panel that she was attending, so I went to that.

This panel turned out to by awesome. Amanda Tapping and two other actors were present (both of the others were from Atlantis). Usually at Dragon*Con, if you want to ask a question you line up behind a microphone, and the people answer from on stage--where they sit at a table facing you. But this time, the two other actors grabbed wireless mics and ran around the audience, coming to the people who had questions. So people brave enough to ask questions were reworded with getting to talk with, stand near, and shake hands with a Stargate actor.

So being an engineer, I had a question. I asked, "As an engineer, I find myself often saying things then pausing and thinking, 'I can't believe I just said that and its real.' Did you guys ever have moments like that?" Well, Amanda Tapping didn't really answer that question exactly, but her answer was even more awesome.

She explained that one time she was reading the script and there as an equation written in it. She was supposed to write it on a board or something in the episode. At this point she had been playing Samantha Carter--astrophysicist extraordinaire--for quite some time. Looking at the equation, she just had a gut instinct that it was wrong. So she spent a day working it out, trying to figure out the accuracy of this equation. And by the end of the day she realized not only was it wrong but found the correct solution!

She then took it to the writer, all excited, and was like "Dude, this equation is wrong!" The writer then just looked at her and said, "Whatever, Amanda, just fix it."

On one hand, it makes me frustrated that the writer didn't care to double check their accuracy. But on the other hand, it made me really excited that one of the characters who inspired me towards my career path and engineering, actually inspired the actress who played her to look into science. How awesome is that!

So Amanda Tapping is going down in my book as being legit and awesome. Sure she's not actually an astrophysicist, but after hearing her talk I could tell she realized her character's impact on girl's like me and took it seriously. And that's amazing.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I know. I've dropped off the face of the planet since Dragon*Con. But this whole balancing a full time job, taking a class, finishing my thesis, revising a novel, writing a novel, and blogging thing isn't easy.

But I promise I'll be back next week. Promise promise promise. Cross my heart.

I really don't want to cut blogging out of my schedule for a variety of reasons. (1) I love blogging. It gives me an outlet to express a lot of my feelings in an essay-esque form, and I have a lot of things I like to express. (2) Some of my friends back in Atlanta read it, and it helps them keep in contact with me. (3) It makes me feel like a part of a community, the crazy, writer-wanna-be community. But I love being a part of that community.

So I will be back. And I will manage to do all the other things I need to do this semester.

And next semester will be peaches and creme. No more classes. No more thesis. Just work and novel writing. Yay!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dragon*Con Prep

I know. I haven't posted at all since I said I was changing the schedule. Bad me. I know. But in my defense classes did just start, my super awesome best friend Alisha did just get married, and Dragon*Con is this weekend.

So I spent last week trying to figure out how distance learning works and writing a speech for Alisha's wedding (since I was maid of honor). And I had to fly back to Atlanta for the wedding and there was craziness.

And this weekend I have to fly back to Atlanta again for a different sort of craziness.

I've been prepping for Dragon*Con all month, mainly trying to get my costume together. "WHAT?" you ask. "YOU'RE DRESSING UP! You nerd." Why yes. I am a nerd. I am also a geek. And as such, I have this quote to counter your judgement of my nerdiness and geekiness:
"Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-can't-control yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they're saying is "You like stuff." Which is not a good insult at all. Like "You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of the human consciousness." ~John Green
Hah. So there. Don't judge me for enthusiasm and excitement.

(I would argue that every use of the word nerd should be replaced with geek, but that's just my personal definition of those words.)

Anyway, I've been getting my costume together and one of them is a steampunk costume. People keep asking me what that is so let me post this video as the answer to that question:

(Note: I am not, nor have I ever been, a Goth--not a judgement of those who are/were, just a statement of fact--but I do love Steampunk)

I think the Sci-Fi janitor videos are one of my favorite parts of Dragon*Con. dc*tv in general is awesome, but the Sci-Fi janitors were a pure stroke of genius. I mean how can you not watch this video without laughing:

So yeah. I should be back on Tuesday with my new regular blogging schedule and a Dragon*Con recap. See you then!