New Building, Homecoming, Weekend Shenanigans, and Neutron Stars

Greeting, readers!

It seems like it’s been forever since my last post – I’ve got a lot to cover!

Me with my poster, standing in what we think is going to be a chemistry lab.

First things first, I should talk about the Board of Trustees tour in the new COAS building that I’ve mentioned was coming up. It was pretty anti-climatic actually. We stood in a lab next to our posters (each lab had a poster) and the board walked past without much more than a glance – it was over in about ten minutes! A couple stopped to ask questions, but most just commented on the name of my lab (ECLAIR – brilliant, right?) and asked if we were excited for the new building. Nonetheless I got to walk around and take some pictures of the new building (at least one hallway on the first floor), and I talked to an astronaut on our board of trustees. Any day I get to talk to an astronaut is a good day. Not that we talked about space or anything, but still. Pictures from inside the building below!

 

Picture of a really cool ribbon dance at the Diwali show.

That weekend I went to the Diwali show put on by the Indian Student Association, which was super cool. I am preparing for a trip to India in May (and just got my Visa today!) so it was really neat to see some of the culture. Also did some shopping at the Halloween store – the best time of year is right after Halloween when all the cool stuff at the Halloween store is half price. Plus that weekend was “semi-annual time travel night” AKA daylight savings (c’mon, which sounds cooler?) so we all got an extra hour of sleep! Best night of the year. As a result, a bunch of clocks on campus (and in my apartment, because I can’t be bothered to change them) were running an hour ahead that week and my internal clock was very confused.

Last week was homecoming week, which doesn’t mean much to me because I’m not a sports person, but it’s a pretty neat week around campus. Different clubs on campus make big sculptures of random stuff (“spirit signs”) and do some really cool chalk art drawings out on the sidewalk. Unfortunately it rained before I could get pictures of them :(. There is also a concert, a carnival, and a comedian every year. I didn’t attend the first two things (nor the homecoming game – to be honest I don’t even know which sport it was this year…), but I did go see the comedian, Demitri Martin, and he was hilarious. Riddle always manages to get some pretty big names for comedians and bands and such for events like this. In the last couple years we’ve had Bo Burnham and Jim Gaffigan for homecoming comedians, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and All American Rejects for the spring concert.

I don’t have enough pictures for this entry, so here’s a giant cookie I made this weekend. Just because.

I had a fairly productive three day weekend. The end of the semester is nigh, and as a result I have a big pile of projects. The last month or so of the semester is always crazy. I keep telling myself I’m going to start working on things before the last week, so we’ll see if that actually happens. Though I did already do some research for my software engineering research paper, which is a big head start! My advice for college: Don’t procrastinate on end of the semester projects! You will have sleepless nights and you will regret it.

Also this weekend I went to see the new Thor movie, which was awesome. I definitely recommend it! Any movie that has spaceships AND medieval sword-fighting stuff gets two thumbs up in my book.

In other news, I’ve been starting to talk about my thesis with my research advisor, which is crazy. But definitely exciting at the same time. I will probably continue my work with Martian atmospheric gravity waves. We have definitely had some success with the vertical wind calculations over topography – and Mars certainly has some interesting topography! As far as a topic goes, I really have no idea. I will just have to see what comes to me I suppose… good thing I still have a couple years ahead!

The next couple weeks are definitely going to be busy, but Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and I’m fortunate to get to go home again this year. It will be nice to escape and get some time in the snow (hopefully)! Though the weather has been great here – it’s finally starting to cool down. Once you survive the heat of April – October, the rest of the year in Florida is fantastic. Plus if you come from somewhere cold, everybody back home gets super jealous in December and January.

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Nate Evans
CGI IMAGE: The Neutron Star sucks up the Earth in bits and pieces.

I didn’t talk much about academics this post, so allow me to share some cool stuff that I’ve been learning in my astronomy class… So after a star dies it sometimes leaves behind what is called a neutron star, and these stars are super dense – they basically pack the entire mass of the sun into an area smaller than Colorado. If you had a piece of neutron star the size of a paperclip, it would be so heavy that, not only would you not be able to pick it up, but it would fall through the ground and out the other side of the Earth. Then it would turn around and fall back the way it came. It would keep doing that until the Earth was essentially destroyed. Cool, eh? In fact, last year National Geographic did a show about what would happen if a neutron star was headed toward Earth and we had to save the human race – and part of it was filmed here on campus! Here is a link to a local news article.

Speaking of space, this weekend I’ll be going down to Kennedy Space Center to see Bill Nye give a talk about space! How cool is that? And thanks to my season pass it won’t cost me a dime.

That’s all I can think of to talk about this time around. I should mention that I got my first ever email from a reader – so I know that at least one person is actually reading my random ramblings. Which is awesome! If there are more than one of you, the rest should definitely feel free to email me any questions you have about ERAU. Give me some ideas of what you’d like me to write about in these entries. Or, y’know, just send fan mail. :D

Until next week, folks!

-Lynsey

SchroeL2@my.erau.edu

October 14, 2012

Well I’ve got to say, things are going really well here at school. It’s amazing how quickly the weeks fly by, especially the weekends! It’s weird because I’m used to living up north where by this time of year the trees would be turning color and the days would be getting shorter and it would be getting much colder outside. But no, not here! Feels the same yesterday as it did when I walked off the plane on August 20th! It’s nice though because the humidity has started to die down which makes it feel much cooler.

We had our homecoming last week. And no, it’s not anything like your high school homecoming. Instead of having a dance, we had a week full of activities. The band “We the Kings” played a live concert, comedian Jim Gaffigan entertained for an hour and we had a carnival (with rides) complete with a corn dog stand, just to name a few of the events the school put on.

Photo: We the Kings play live at Embry-Riddle.

 Now that homecoming is over I’m back to studying for mid-terms which are this upcoming week. Fortunately I’m not swamped by a bunch of tests like some of my friends are, but regardless I want to make sure I do well. The good thing is that after mid-terms we have our fall break, which is a four day weekend. We get Friday and Monday off. It will be nice to relax and not have to think about school for more than 24 hours. In addition my dad and brother are coming to Daytona to visit for a couple of days. I’m really looking forward to seeing them; it’s already been two months since I left for college!

This weekend has been big for the school. The Wings and Waves Airshow was in town and how fitting is it that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hosts it? The show features a variety of military and civil aircraft. The US Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Snowbirds and an F-18 demonstration, are just a few of the many performers in this show.

Photo: The Thunderbirds fly in formation at the Wings and Waves Airshow.Speaking of Air Force, ROTC has been going really well. This past week I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Air Force Planes that are here for the airshow. We got to see the F-18 and the KC-135. Everybody loves the F-18 but I was more impressed with the KC-135, I hope to fly that plane one day.

 

Photos: Posing for a quick picture with the Boeing KC-135 (left )and the F-18 Super Hornet (bottom right), KC 135 (top right).

As far as my flying is going, it has been going very well. My instructor and I have been very busy and have been flying quite often. We have been doubling up on activities and are working through the Private Pilot course fairly quickly. I have about 4 more flights before my Pre-Solo check ride which I have heard can be tough so I am working hard to make sure I pass. One of the things you will learn is that you do not want to have to repeat any flights. It can be expensive if you start having to repeat lots of flights. My goal is to not repeat any flights so I can save as much money as possible. In order to do so, you have to put in the time outside of training. The school provides you with all the tools you need in order to be successful. There is a Redbird Simulator lab that is absolutely free for students to use. There is about 10 Cessna 172 Simulators that are complete with a yoke and rudder pedals. They are equipped with the Garmin G1000 set up which is exactly the same as the planes I fly so it’s great to practice on.

Photo: Daytona Beach from above.

That’s about all I have time for. Next time, you will get a review on how fall break went. How ROTC is going. What the weather is doing here. How flying is going (of course) and anything else that comes to mind.

Also, email me at johnsd66@my.erau.edu with any questions, comments and/or concerns.

Thanks for reading!

November 16, 2008

Hello everyone! I hope November is treating everyone well. November has been fun around ERAU. Last weekend was homecoming on campus, and there was so much going on. On Friday Touch-N-Go held the tailgate party before the basketball game. Luke Bryan held a concert right on our parking lot and food from Bubba Gump’s and WingZone was served. After the tailgate, we went inside and watched our Eagles beat up on the opponent. Saturday, we had a comedy show on campus featuring Greg Giraldo. It was tons of fun and I laughed A LOT. Also that weekend, I attended the parade and the air show put on by the Student Activities office on campus. By the end of the weekend I was worn out, and I thoroughly enjoyed the extra day off on Tuesday (Veterans Days)! Earlier this week Wood Hall had some fire alarm issues. The alarms and sprinkler systems went off on the fifth floor and water went everywhere. About 8 hours later, the same thing happened on the third floor, and water came creeping into my room on the second floor. Currently my carpet is still damp and my room smells a bit moldy, but maintenance is promising to fix all the problems. Although this incident was difficult to deal with, we all were laughing and got a break from our homework and studying. No one on my floor lost anything to the water, so we could all relax and try to embrace the situation. Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen again…

I got to go to Titusville this weekend and experience a space shuttle launch first-hand. I have always wanted to do this, and I had a good time. It only took about an hour to get there, and the weather was perfect for the launch. We found a place on one of the causeways where we had a great view of the launch pad. At exactly 7:55, the shuttle took off and lit up the whole town. I was so relieved to see everything go off without a problem. I got to shoot a video of the launch, and I took a few pictures. None of them turned out perfect, but I’ll try to get the video posted for you. The whole experience was unique and I think everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime. My friends and I went to the beach yesterday and got to play volleyball on my favorite court. We enjoyed what may be our last day on the beach for a while, as it is only supposed to be in the sixties this week. I know that may not sound bad to some Northerners, but that’s rough for us. As usual when we were playing volleyball, we found some other Riddle kids and they joined our game. There are so many people to meet and I have found some really good friends here. It is so much fun to be able to hang out with a group of friends who come from all walks of life. My close friends are from Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Germany, New Jersey, New York, and everywhere in between. That is one great thing about ERAU: you meet people from everywhere. Having such a variety of friends has opened my mind and I enjoy being around all of them. These next two weeks are going to be a blast for me. I get to go back to MISSOURI thanksgiving week!!! I never thought I would be so excited to say that. It is funny how you react when you move away from home. I really miss my friends and my mom’s cooking, but I may very well miss my dog the most and I can’t wait to cuddle with my 150 lb Bloodhound again! I am going to be so cold, but I am sure I will enjoy my 5 days back home. When I return to campus, I have 4 days of class and then finals. This semester is almost over and it seems like it just began. Wow! I hope everyone has a GREAT Thanksgiving! I know I will!

Until Next Time,
Mack

November 2nd, 2008

It is already November. That is unbelievable. Classes have been very demanding recently, as projects, homework, and tests are piling up. Last week I took a test over Microsoft Excel in IT109 and a test over the Depression (1929)-Martin Luther King (1960’s) in SS120. I studied hard and pulled an A on BOTH tests. I was very excited that my hard work paid off, and these scores will certainly help my overall grades! However, those small victories are short-lived as I have 2 major papers and 2 major tests this coming week. I am studying and writing my butt off, but hopefully I will be able to get it all done and do well.

Along with this work load, I have another major event this week: Homecoming. Touch N Go (TNG) is sponsoring many events, including a movie, concert, and comedy show. We have already started preparing for these events and this week will be crazy as we finish our set-up. Task Force One (TFO) is also doing a lot of work for homecoming. We are taking part in the Air Jam contest, sidewalk art contest, and the homecoming parade. I am going to be so busy this week, but I am thrilled for the opportunity to take part in all of the excitement.

On Sunday, October 26, I was lucky enough to attend the NAS Jacksonville Air Show. The event and parking were free, and the displays were amazing. I got to see the Blue Angels for the first time, and they lived up to every expectation! Some of their maneuvers are simply jaw-dropping. There were also many other military planes, along with a bunch of aerobatic planes and pilots. They even did an air combat simulation with explosions and all! Because I love commercial aviation, I really liked some of the static displays on hand, including a Craig Air BE1900 and a FedEx Boeing 727. It was in the seventies and sunny, with hardly any wind: the most beautiful day anyone could ask for. It is so nice being close to Jacksonville, Orlando, and the Space Center, because there is ALWAYS something going on, and Riddle students can enjoy the best of each city.

Recently I have shown my school spirit at many Riddle sporting events. The club hockey team has played home games against FAU and Georgia Tech that I have attended. These games are one of the greatest things to do on the weekend, and hundreds of students go to each one. The crowd is obnoxious, and some of our chants are hilarious! I truly believe the other team must get annoyed, because our fans are ridiculous (which makes it a lot of fun). Yesterday I also went to a Volleyball and Soccer game on campus. Both teams played against SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and won. The volleyball game went to the 5th set and ERAU won by 2 points. It was intense!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween, and I look forward to these next few weeks. If there are any questions you have or if there is something else you need, let me know. I will be happy to talk to prospective students, and I would like to help in any way I can. My e-mail is meansm@erau.edu and I check it daily. Have a great one!

Until Next Time,
Mack