iPods and Zunes in School: Banned

There’s been a lot of internal talk at work about the fact that some school districts are taking note and [banning iPods and Zunes](http://www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/04/27/ipod.cheating.ap/index.html?eref=rss_tech) due to concerns about cheating. A co-worker of mine responded to the discussions about this with a brilliant comment:

> Funny, I remember in HS when taking tests class the teachers actually watched us taking tests. Cheating using a device (let alone plain cheating) was pretty much impossible. Not sure why this isn’t the case now.

So true. I love how policy becomes a surrogate for actual attention. (Thanks for letting me quote you, [Mike](http://meddle.spaces.live.com/)).

It’s been too long

Ok, so last time I posted was April 9. Seems I had pretty routine updates before then, but I got swamped with work and real-life. What’s been going on?

Well, our high school’s 10-year reunion is coming up, and I’m on the reunion planning committee. Weird. Anyway, I put together a website for fellow [Conroe High School Class of 1997](http://www.conroehigh1997.org/) graduates to find each other. Step one in reunion planning: find people. That took some time.

Work’s been busy, very busy. It’s a good busy though. New project is teaching me a lot, but it’s winding down, so maybe I’ll get posting more routine.

Diann & I went to the [Tulip Festival](http://www.tulipfestival.org/) a few weekends ago, and on my perpetual to-do list is to get those photos off the camera and into my [photo gallery](http://www.marius.org/gallery/). Another one of those “one of these days” tasks.

We threw a big group dinner this past Friday night. A friend of ours (Hi, [Micha](http://www.sunpathdesigns.net/)!) used to host “Friday Night Dinner” events, and we’ve decided to try and pick up the tradition once a month or so. Basically, you pick a theme (we did “favorite asian take-out”), invite a bunch of people over (we invited 30 friends, co-workers, etc.; 23 showed up), and everyone brings an entree that fits with the theme. Good times, lots of Guitar Hero II was played, and Diann & I have been eating chinese/thai left overs all weekend.

Speaking of eating… We’ve also been going to the gym lately. I think 2007 is the year that we get organized and in shape. Since April 7, we’ve been to the gym 16 times (woah!). Now we just have to keep it up. Now the part about correlating the gym and eating (you thought I’d forget that, huh?): I think just going to the gym by itself makes you eat a better diet. I’m no fan of diets, and wouldn’t try to subject myself to one unless absolutely necessary; however, knowing that it takes a good 15-20 minutes on a treadmill to burn off the caloric equivalent of a can of soda makes one re-think what they’re going to stuff into their body. I’m just sayin’.

Today, we hit up the [Bodies … The Exhibition](http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/), err, exhibit? (Why must they put exhibition in the title?) It was pretty amazing, and brought back lots of memories from high school Anatomy/Physiology class.

Anyhow, that’s what’s been going on here for the past few weeks. I’ll try to keep this more updated than I have been (though I’ve said that before).

Oh, and congrats to Dr. Stephen Hawking on feeling zero-g. That’s awesome news.

Fighter Jet Strafes School

Wow, seems the Bush administration had something up their sleeves with their “No Child Left Behind” strategy: Fighter Jet Strafes New Jersey School. Seems a F-16 on a training mission shot up a school. Well, it was only 3.5 miles off the training grounds.

But when the heavy gun in the left wing of an Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet fired Wednesday night, it sent 25 rounds of 20mm ammunition smashing through the roof and zinging off the asphalt parking lot of the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School 3 1/2 miles from the range.

Military investigators are trying to determine how it could have happened.

The plane was flying at 7,000 feet when the rounds were fired from the M61-A1 Vulcan cannon in the plane's left wing. The weapon fires 2-inch-long lead projectiles that do not explode, Webster said.

Webster said he did not know what caused the gun to fire.

I'll tell you what caused the gun to fire — the pilot probably squeezed the trigger!

And the Earth Stopped Spinning for a Moment

Yes, ladies and gentlemen (and those of you reading who don't fit these descriptions… I'm an equal-opportunity blog-writer), you did feel the earth slow down and in fact stop spinning last Friday the 13th. No, NASA wasn't involved. This was all my doing.

Wait for it.. Wait for it…

I GRADUATED!

After seven long years of work and school, now it's just work. It's like a vacation. No homework, no tests, no papers. School is overrated, I tell you. But I'm happy to say that I got through it, and got the most expensive piece of paper I've ever seen.

And with that, this should be the last entry in the school category. For a long time, that is. Maybe one day I'll go back, but if you ask me today or in the next few weeks, I'll tell you that it is highly unlikely.

long time, no post

phew. It must be near the end of the semester again since I haven't posted to the blog in two weeks now. Papers and reports due nearly every day drive me up the wall.

A hint of my craptastic school work schedule, you ask?

  • 21 page paper draft turned in on November 11th
  • 10 page paper due on November 14th
  • two other ~20 page paper drafts reviewed by November 18th
  • 15 page paper turned in on November 18th
  • Statistics test this past Wednesday, November 19th
  • Antenna construction demonstration on November 25th
  • 40 page paper due on November 25th
  • 21 page paper final version due on December 1st
  • A final exam on December 2nd (Oops, that's December 12th. My handwriting sucks!)
  • Another final exam on December 4th
  • Possibly another final exam on December 4th (Hooray! It got postponed to December 15th!)
  • book review of a 1200 page telecom law book due on December 4th

I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff in there somewhere. Taking 17 hours in one semester and working is way too much, and the scary thing is I'll be taking 14 hours next semester. (Well, I may actually be doing 17 again, but we'll see about that. At least one of my credits next semester is just a kinesiology class; hooray for badminton!)

At any rate, on the “cool-stuff” front, Bill Nye (“the Science Guy”) will be speaking at TAMU as part of the Texas BEST gathering going on right now. Glad to see someone out there still promoting being a nerd to little kids… we need more nerds!

another week bites the dust

… and another week goes by the wayside. This week was pretty busy and crappy. Test in my RF Circuit Analysis class, test in my Digital Transmission and Switching class… I'm ready to be done with school once and for all.

In other exciting news, the USAF Thunderbirds will be in town to perform at the Air Power Conference being held here at TAMU. I've got a class during the time they'll be performing on Thursday, but our prof has given us a walk so we can all go see them perform. It should be awesome, and I'll have the camera ready.

stuff

So, some people drive me nuts. Why can't he go jump off a hill?

In other exciting news, I got A's in mechanical physics and english 104 during summer 1. Yay for passing physics (second times a charm) and yay for putting up with freshmen in english class. Now hitting the books for electrical physics. Incidentally, if Gauss had never been born, my academic career would be much easier.

ahhh spring break

The annual tradition of spring break, where all my evil neighbors go out of town and I get a week of peace and quiet. 🙂 Actually went out of town this last weekend to San Diego though, which was pretty much awesome. Gorgeous weather, good relaxation, and not having to go to school or work. Got lots of pictures as always. Another highlight: $18 shots of tequila.