Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pseudo-Spring Break

The weather has finally turned for the better and spring is in the air.  People are outside running again and crack of baseball bats break the silence of winter. It is spring break here at Purdue and like it is for all students, it is a much needed break...kind of.  As a graduate student, it is pretty much an unwritten rule that you do not get to take spring break off.  That's not entirely true because we can take the week off but you have to get permission from your major professor and sometimes even the department head. So everyone sticks around and we all spend time in lab gathering data and running experiments.  But that doesn't mean I cannot enjoy the break from classes.  Actually, I have already had a great start to my pseudo-spring break and I have a full week of plans outside of the basement laboratory.  So below is a quick summary of my week and I hope you can find some inspiration for your own pseudo-spring break. Even if you aren't in school anymore you can designate a week as spring break and step outside the norm for a while.

Last weekend I made the trip up to Chicago to visit the Museum of Science and Industry.  And since I hadn't been since I was 10 or so I was really looking forward to it.  If you enjoy science even the slightest bit or just like hands on activities then this is the place for you.  I won't spoil anything in the actual museum but it is a great place to visit, discover your inner scientist, and spend the afternoon...especially with a friend!

This week, our department has planned a couple softball practices which is a great way to get outside and enjoy the nice weather finally.  We are going to try our hand at sand volleyball as well.  Outside of that, with the nice weather I am going to go on at least one "midnight run."  And that is exactly what it sounds like, going for a run around midnight to enjoy the nice weather and since I live out of town a little bit, the stars give the perfect motivation to dig out that extra mile.  There is also $1 bowling night this week.

And let's not forget that March Madness begins this week!  So I will be watching the games either in the office with a couple other grad students or making my way down to Harry's for an extended lunch.  And this weekend is St. Patrick's day so I will hopefully be meeting up with some friends to drink green beer and try not to get pinched too much.

Overall, I don't necessarily need the week off to have a Spring Break.  It is more of an attitude to just do what you want without reservations about the "work week."  One week of staying out past your bedtime and adventurous weekend excursions can be just what you need to keep you going strong this spring!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Fragments - Breaking Barriers

So I am out of excuses other than I am busy.  My research projects are starting to take off and the couple classes I'm in are quite humbling because I really haven't felt this lost in a class since Mrs. Byrnes W131 high school English class.  Also, I have been choosing to have an active social life traversing around the local midwest, rather than spend time writing blog posts in my spare time (and I am currently watching The Wonder Years on Netflix and until I finish that my downtime is pretty full).  But, I will try and give you all a few fragments to get you through the afternoon, mainly because I am about as motivated to get stuff done this morning as a 90 year turtle at the zoo is to move for the little children.  My hope is that this will start some momentum for the afternoon. Enough rambling...

-Here is an excellent article explaining how close we are to a couple MAJOR physics breakthroughs.

The single atom transistor.
-Moore's Law, ha!  The single atom transistor breaks down that barrier without batting an electron (<--terrible joke, I know).

-If you are Windows user, like myself and 99% of the industrial and business world, you can get a "consumer preview" of Windows 8 right here!  Essentially, it is the Windows Phone 7 OS for PCs.  It looks great, and is getting good reviews thus far.  Let's just hope PC companies don't f*%$ it up...I'm looking at you Dell.

-Assassin's Creed III will be coming out in October and they have released the cover art...AMERICAN REVOLUTION!

-Lastly, John Mayer released his new single Shadow Days, for his upcoming album Born and Raised.  He is starting his Spring tour soon which just so happens to go through Purdue.