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. 😀

Until next week, folks!