It's Electric

It's been a busy week. I finished my other project (it went well), I had my wisdom teeth out, and now I'm packing to leave. I've talked about ZipCar before so I won't explain the way it works again. I signed up because it cost me basically nothing (aside from driving costs) but I haven't used it much because Carly has had a car here at MIT that I could use. Now that car is at home and I needed to car to get all the crap out of my office back to my apartment to pack. When I was looking at ZipCar I noticed they now have a RAV4-EV. That's a fully electric car, no gas at all. I decided to take that one and see what it was like. I rode in one before because Illah has one he took us in when we worked on that robotics project, but this time I got to drive it.

There are a lot of questions people ask about this car. It can only really go about 70 miles to the charge. Although I don't think that is what's bad about it. I think the problem is that it takes 6-8 hours to charge and the only place you can charge one of these cars right now is in its own parking spot. It is totally quiet when you start it and it is amazing that it actually moves when you try to pull out of the parking spot. The rumor that it is all battery is not true. It's an SUV and it's got plenty of people and cargo space.

They don't make it anymore because there are problems with it and it didn't sell. Even when they did it was only for Californians because of that state's strict emmisions laws. Illah actually had to lie and say he lived there, have them install the charger there, and then uninstall it and move it and reinstall it himself.

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Keywords:Product Plugs
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One down, One to go

I just finished my project for my Sensors class. It is due tomorrow morning. Most people might not consider this finishing especially early, but for me it's pretty good not to be stessing about it late the night before or even the morning of. Unfortunately, the one thing that got me to start early, the other impending project due only a day later, is also the reason why finishing this soon isn't soon enough. I really meant to get this done saturday night or maybe finishing the paper sunday morning. I was planning to be done a day or a day and a half sooner, and that lost time will really make the next day and a half hell, in terms of my other project.

This project is a device that measures the latency of a tracking system. It works really well. I'm pretty proud of it. I'm sure I'll have more details on (my project portfolio) when I get around to updating it.

The project that I should be working on right now is my Ambient Intelligence project. The idea is a person-to-person respect system. People can give other people a thumbs up or thumbs down, and also see a qualitative rating of others. I don't care about it very much but I just have to get it done. I'm working with Alex so that should help get it done, but it also means that what I do affects him; even if I don't care, he does.
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Anxiety Nightmares

Last night had to be the worse night of sleep I've ever gotten, that I can remember (in a puddle when camping might have been close). I blame it on the demos I had to give today and tomorrow. Normally when you say "my demo gave me nightmares," that means that you had an upsetting dream about the demo. Not so in this case. I told people that my research project is a nightmare for me when I'm awake. However, I think the anxiety of having to stand up and show a project that I think is crap for three hours on two consecutive days turned anything I dreamt into a nightmare that woke me up just in time to realize how bad it was. I can remember waking up many times this morning. That's pretty typical when I have somewhere to be that I'm worried about being late to, but each time I woke up some new disturbing image was in my brain.

What could haunt you so, Ben? ShadowPlay is the project I'm working on for research. It is an interface for non-programmers to build interactive characters that react to shadow. I don't know if I really believe that it has potential. Even if it does, it is certainly very far from that. Worst of all, I feel I should have more done that I do, but I don't even know what to do next.

Things actually ended up turning out ok, because when I finally did wake up and get into the lab, I had a realization and was able to add the one feature I had wanted to add for today but was unable to figure out how to before. All in all, the demos went pretty well. Maybe because the people today weren't sponsors they didn't care that my stuff was kind of cool, but not useful. A couple people really liked it and wanted my contact info. Even though I probably won't be around to care, it was nice to know someone was listening to what I was saying and actually cared.

Tomorrow more the same. After that I just have to finish my two projects (easier said than done) and then I'm free. So close I can feel it. I can't wait.
Keywords:Worries | Media Lab | Dreams
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About half a week late, but this is something I was thinking about. I have always hated rollercoasters. Mostly I was just scared of them; the hate comes from people trying to convince me there's something wrong with that. "There's nothing to be scared of" is not accurate. Maybe most people are afraid of thrill rides based on how it looks or some abstract notion of danger. What I am afraid of is feeling that dropping feeling in my stomache. I would call it painful, although different than normal pain. Even turbulance on airplanes gets to me. I know I don't like that feeling, and I know it will happen, based on rollercoasters I have ridden, making my fear of it totally justifiable. Who can say why I feel the way I do. I could blame my parents for being timid and instilling that to me when I was little, but I don't know if that is the truth.

The thing is, if I didn't want to go on at least a little bit, I wouldn't feel so bad declining. I suppose I might feel like a wimp anyways, but I don't feel this way about free falls or log flumes which I know that I don't like. Those rides are solely based on drops. Many rollercoasters have flips, corkscrews, curves, and speed, which are all thrills I do enjoy, because they don't involve that dropping feeling. Even the downward side of very tall loops don't feel that way, for some reason. With a lot of these coasters, if I can just make it past the first drop I'll have fun. This last trip, I was convinced to go on both Dueling Dragons (Ice & Fire) and the Hulk coaster.

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Keywords:Worries | Girls
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Thought Repository » May 2004