Thursday, June 22, 2017

SOL 41 - Welcome Home

It's 10:49 pm, and as I neglected to bring my laptop with me but couldn't wait another day to post this, I'm doing it on my phone. Please excuse any spelling mistakes.

The following is what I typed up on the notes app of my phone for two days before the Twenty One Pilots show.


June 20th:

2:20 pm
Holy kuso. I arrived in Columbus yesterday, and today the plan was to scope out the concert venue and arrive tomorrow morning at 5 am. *
It's the day before and there are already 50+ people here, including myself (#45). **
Supposedly there's no overnight camping allowed, but someone from the venue is writing numbers on people's hands, so that rule is long gone.

3:50 pm
I've been here for an hour. I've made a friend, Elizabeth, who's my age and from Ohio. We've been talking for a while. More and more people are joining the line. My mom came back with blankets and food, but I wish she would not sit next to me and the small group of people I'm chatting with. She isn't a fan of TØP and keeps interjecting into our conversations... while eating salad. When I say "while" I mean while. Call me a stereotypical teenager, but I do want her to move.

7:00 pm
The plan is that once the show before us gets out, the hundred or so people camping will all move across the street and get in line. The numbers aren't an official system as I thought earlier, but a fan-created order to get rid of shoving and fights. Nice try. I guarantee that tomorrow morning, 500 people will come and claim they've been here the whole time. In other news, Elizabeth and I have now swapped Instagram usernames.

11:10 pm
I had pizza for dinner, and the show before us is out. No one has moved across the street so far, so I'm guessing I'll sleep here overnight so I can be early in line. The problem with being not in the first row of the general admission standing pit is not being able to see over anyone's heads. I have to be in the first row. I will stay here as long as it takes. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, as the band is getting more popular every day and this is an extraordinarily small venue. I want to be close to them. Although, I am currently EXTREMELY paranoid and anxious about not being able to brush my teeth until the morning. My plan is that once I have a fixed place in line across the street, I'll go back to the rented house, shower, change, brush my teeth, and return as quickly as possible. Elizabeth has left with her dad but I expect she'll be back soon,

11:24 pm

11:37 pmo
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep. I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep. But I can't, but I can't, when IM SO FREAKINH EXCITED AND ANXIETY IS KEEPING ME AWAKE BECAUSE WHAT IF I DONT WAKE UP WHEN EVERYONE ELSE MOVES AND I LOSE MY SPOT IN LINE, yeah. I know what you think in the morning, when the sun shines on the ground, and shows, what you have done, it shows, where your mind has go-o-one... D-bag motorcyclists who think it's cool to take out the muffler and rev their engines twenty times at the stoplight keep doing exactly that, which is another reason I can't get to sleep.

June 21st:

1:09 am
Disorganized chaos! Some sneaky fuckers ran across the street while everyone else was sleeping. There was a rush to follow, and soon everyone was in an unplanned clump. Ten minutes of "BACK UP! BACK THE FUCK UP!!! occurred. Liz and her dad rushed back when she got my text about the line moving. I'm going home now to sleep and Liz's holding my spot. My mom will stay in line until 8 am, then she'll pick me up and we'll switch.

This whole ordeal sounds awful, but it's the most fun I've had in a long time.

8:22 am
I'm back at the venue after five hours of sleep and a lot of anxiety. The line now stretches around the block and halfway onto the next. Apparently there are people who don't have tickets who are hoping to get one at the box office. I'm pretty sure they were all given away in the raffle, so I can't guarantee they'll get in. I've had one slice of cheese for breakfast and I'm ready to wait in line for another 12 hours.

8:41 am
Three giant trucks just parked on the opposite side of the road. Three. Exactly how many drum sets does Josh need?! *** The trucks made me realize that this is really happening. This. Is. Happening. On another note, the girl sitting next to me looks exactly like Sofie Rossman, glasses and all. I'm not even kidding, I had to do a double-take to make sure it wasn't actually Sofie.

9:58 am
Some girls from the Express Live! show (tomorrow night) gave out donuts to the front of the line here. Elizabeth and I finally mastered the TØP handshake (google it) which Ruth and I failed miserably to learn. Liz also made two necklaces, a heart for Tyler and an alien head for Josh, and they're amazingly sculpted and painted. I wish I'd brought something. We'd hoped to be in the first 50 in line but tons of people decided to hop in in front of the line. I doubt we'll be getting backstage passes, if they're even being given out. Mark, the head cameraman for TØP, walked by and caused a panic of people chasing him (walking calmly though). Liz got a picture with him, and I was next in line, but then he apologized and crossed the street. Fml.

1:46 pm
They're soundchecking and I'm both shaking incredibly hard and, as them kiddos say, shook to the core. Tyler sounds like an angel. A Reel Bear Media cameraman recorded a couple videos of me talking about the band, which I really hope make it onto the show video, and Elizabeth talking about her necklaces she made.
Hours until the show and I'm speechless. This band means everything to me.

4:10 pm
A giant pool of people looking to buy tickets has merged with the front of the line. 50 or so succeeded in getting tickets and thought they were entitled to "not walk two miles to the end of the line so I'll just go here!" (This is extremely close to what one of the people actually said.) I was invited with Liz closer to the front of the line, but we are letting anyone with number (not that they matter anymore) ahead of ours cut in front of us.

4:25 pm
ID check!

4:54 pm
Still in line. Bought hat. Unbearably hot.

6:13 pm
We're in! Can't see anything, but still. 3rd row.

7:00 pm
I tried moving in front of a trash can, security made me move behind it, and now I'm up to second row.

8:00 pm
Fucker McFuckface, a six+ ft tall guy, made a girl younger than I cry because he wouldn't move so she could see. She won't be able to see anything for the entire concert.

It's over. The experience of having your idol ten feet away from you,**** grinning and pumping his fists when the crowd cheered twenty seconds longer than necessary, smiling like a maniac even though he's mentioned in an interview that he hates his smile, will never be had again, Confetti landing on my sweat-soaked face, on my head, on my shoulders. Scooping up red confetti off the ground while nearly crying because of the experience of it all.*****

It's over.
The end of the end of an era has begun.

adding this in because they're so sweet
Red confetti and "what's my name?!" (my name's Blurryface) yelled by Tyler fucking Joseph, head soaked in sweat like the rest of ours, hair floof sticking up, so incredibly happy.
I mentioned in a SOL how much happier the albums seemed to get as Tyler aged, and met his best friend (who later joined the band), and married his wife. No one really knows (his mind, and no one knows behind his eyes, the man deserves a medal but he's never really won a prize before, he goes to lock the door) about his past, but I think the music is happier because he's happier. I'm glad.
That was incredible.
That was truly something to live for.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SOL 40 - F*** the World

Are you f-ing kidding me?!

Three days after visiting the Waymo car. Three days pressing my face to the window, trying to spot a koala car meandering down the street. Three. F-ing. Days.

The Firefly is being retired.

(The Firefly is the koala car model.)

The exact clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle, June 14th:

Driving into the sunset
The bubble-shaped Google robot car has been a symbol of the self-driving industry since its introduction in 2014. Now it is being retired, as Waymo - Google's self-driving successor - turns to a fleet of 600 specially built Chrysler Pacifica minivans. People nostalgic for the car, known as the Firefly, will still be able to see it. Waymo is donating some of the vehicles to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View a d the Design Museum in London.

Frick everything. 

I was so excited to see the car on the road. After months of researching the car last year, I was so looking forward to the car being released to the public in 2020. It would have been three years away that maybe I could ride in the Google car the same way I would have taken Lift home from the airport. 

And a minivan? Are you kidding? They're the cars that try to be sleek but can barely fit in a parking spot. How the f*** can these compare to a two-seater, as the newspaper called it, bubble?

I can understand why the koala is being replaced. Two seats wouldn't make a lot of money. 

But still.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

SOL 39 - It's Bigger on the Outside

Last year, I became mildly obsessed with the Google self-driving car, now rebranded to Waymo. I could, and mostly still can if you're willing to listen, tell you allllll about LiDAR, statistics of the car's creation including LiDAR, mostly LiDAR, did you know about LiDAR, why LiDAR is cool, and practical information such as why Tesla is unsafe.
LiDAR stands for Light Detection And Ranging. It's a remote sensing method that uses lasers of pulsed light to measure distances in space from objects. The technology is implemented into the black spinny thing on top of the Waymo as a collection of lasers, radar, and cameras. It constantly scans the area to show the car what the surroundings are. The sensor is highly accurate up to 100 meters (two football fields) and takes about 1.3 million readings per second. LiDAR sends the images to the main part of the car's software, where the car picks apart and recognizes pedestrians, other cars, stop signs, street signs, speed limit signs, railway crossings, traffic cones, and even turning bicyclists' hand motions. It predicts the path of moving objects and steers clear of them.
Now, why else is it cool? Well.
Rain isn't a problem for the Waymo sensors. The lasers are taking in so many readings, and going so fast, that they can go around the raindrops. I'll add a horribly-drawn demonstration:

I emailed one of the people on the Google car team to ask if I could come to the Mountain View HQ and see the car in action. He never replied.

I arrived in San Francisco yesterday. I come here at least once a year, usually twice. On the Lift ride from the airport, the driver was talking about how he saw tons of self-driving cars around here now. Not really surprising. The Tesla factory is right next to Mountain View. There are around 80,000 Tesla cars produced yearly and I've seen over half of them in a day. Speaking of which, I watched a guy in a Tesla on the highway turn on the self-driving feature just so he could drink his coffee with two hands instead of one. It's kind of useless. Tesla bad. Google good. Tesla expensive, too.
Anyway, I remembered about the Google car, which I hadn't thought about since last Expo. I have wanted to see one since then. As it turned out, there was an exhibit on self-driving cars at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. And there was a Waymo on display(mo) that visitors could sit in.

So that is where I went.

The Waymo is BIG. In pictures, it looks like a teeny, happy koala (no, really, have you looked at its face?!) but in reality it's probably bigger than a Mini Cooper. It seats two, has very little trunk storage, and instead has room for two more seats in between the others and a blue storage bin. It has one button (start and emergency stop) and a long screen for the gauges and other information.
I'm not complaining. It's awesome. It doesn't look like any other car and I'm excited to be seeing these on the roads in the future.

Some pictures:
Cute lil car

Blue storage box

What the LiDAR sees of the room the car was in

Happy koala

Monday, June 5, 2017



Friday, May 19, 2017

Trips, People, Etcetera

If anyone (looking at you, aka the only person) still reads this blog, you obviously know that we just got back from the spring trip to the South. I was going to make a post before we left, but I forgot, so better one now than never.
I'll talk about people. On the trips, you're with your classmates 24/10. Ten days in a week. Shush. In that time, you make friends and you make enemies. Mostly because I need a place to spew my thoughts, I'll describe my experiences over the trip with a few anonymous people. (shush. don't turn into sopriak with that sentence please.)

1) Let's call them Yogurt (I'm making up these pseudonyms on the spot and if I put anything other than random words it'll become apparent who I'm talking about). Yogurt and I have never been friends. I mean, Yogurt hangs around one of my friends whom I also wasn't really friends with until this year. A friend of a friend, so to speak. I was determined to get to know Yogurt better, as they are semi-popular in Max's class and, as I'm frequently around the friend of both Yogurt and I, I might as well. 
I tried. I really tried. Though, I can tell that Yogurt doesn't like me. They probably think I'm an annoying pest. Yogurt jokingly pulls me around, but it feels like a threat. "You are not my friend. Don't even try. I'll make you regret it." To be completely honest, I'm intimidated. I don't think they're aware of their affect, and I really want to be friends with them, but I hope the friend of both of us, Carpet, is aware of what's going on. 

2) Fish and I have been in the same class for years. We've never been friends either, except for this trip. We got to know each other well in that time and (at least I, I hope Fish as well) had a blast. It only makes me sad, because I'll be leaving and I doubt I'll see them again. They're a fun person and I wish I had more time, or thought to get to know them years ago. 

3) Carpet is that friend of both Yogurt and myself that I was talking about. They're awesome. I consider us friends, and I dearly hope that they do too, and they're not just talking to me out of pity or barely tolerating me clinging onto them. Trouble is, they're staying, and I'm leaving. I'm pretty sure we both have siblings that go here, and of course I'll come back and visit, but nothing will beat Carpet. They're an amazing person to talk to and they are incredibly mature. I really hope they acknowledge my existence. 

4) Gecko is challenging. We'll be splitting paths at the end of the year. Gecko knows waaaay too much about me for me to be comfortable with, and I feel like I constantly have to put up an act in front of them. On the trip, they did something incredibly cruel that I'll never forgive them for. Once school ends, I will split all communication between us, not that there was much to begin with. This sounds drastic, but they are a somewhat unstable person and I really don't know what they'll do.

5) I could basically copy and paste the part about Gecko, change the name to Ribbon, and it would fit the fifth person. With some differences, of course. Ribbon is not unstable, and will not do harm with what they know. Ribbon is very kind and did nothing wrong, though I'll still cut the tie between us.

6) Color is another very sweet and understanding student who I got to spend a little time with. They probably think I'm clingy. Even though I'm an extremely introverted person (21-0 on the test thing), I like being with like-minded people for short periods of time. Color is one of those. I can stand next to them and do nothing, and it's nice. Color is probably more mature than I am, and is a very sensible and reasonable person. I'm glad I got to be around them and I hope we keep in touch over the summer.

Now that you know too much, though not the names of course, I'll end this here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Syllables and Stress

While "stress" sounds like this post will be about me stressing over the number of syllables in "soil," it is not. I'm not stressed because all the people who say there is one are just wrong. You're f-cking wrong. That's all there is two it.

Over this year, I've slowly been teaching myself Japanese with books, an app to learn to read and write, and watching way too much anime for immersion learning. The anime has actually be really useful. I know a few Japanese exclamations, short sentences, random words, and other stuff. つごい! (One of the words I've learned how to recognize in speech, read, and write, mostly because it's a simple word. I'm a ばか にんげん).

The difference between spoken Japanese and English is mainly stress. In English, we stress one syllable of a word, and it sounds wrong if we stress the wrong one. For example, English versus English. 
In Japanese, there is no stress. Each syllable is spoken as evenly as the next. It's not like Chinese with different tones, either. While practicing speaking random words, it's hard to not sounds like a robot when I'm trying to speak as evenly as possible.
Going back to my "English" example, Americans stress the "en" so you've probably read the word as such. Trying to speak normal words without stress is complicated, and even more so when they're unfamiliar words and sounds.

I'm going to Japan for the second time next summer, and my goal is to be as close to fluent as possible. I know it's not very realistic for a year and a half, but I can hope. はい. すし. きよじん.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Raining Tacos

During a mid-morning recess, I was involved in a discussion that turned from antics of IS beasts, to siblings, to Perry Grip (spelling?), to the song "It's Raining Tacos." Then we talked about the physics of tacos, and how taco evaporation would be possible, and how much tacos would hurt if they fell from the sky.

This math may have a couple flaws in it, since Google doesn't really automatically tell you the mass of the average taco.

0.5 (since I didn't actually use this)) The formula for velocity (I eventually gave up on this and used an online velocity calculator) is v =  gt, where g is gravity and t is time. Gravity is: g = -9.81(m/s)^2.

1) The average taco weighs 1/2 lb, or 453.59237 grams.
2) The density of the taco, using the weight, is 773.5 milligrams/cubic cm
3) If a taco is vaguely the shape of a cap, with an estimated radius of 3 inches and height of 5 inches, the volume would be 1/3π(5)^2(3(3)-5) = 104.719755
4) Using this, the mass would be m = 1.3273670706536 kg
5) Using another online calculator and the mass x the fall height (2,000 meters is the distance rain falls from), the speed at impact of the taco would be 197.99 m/s. There would be 20.2 seconds until impact.
6) The force of the taco by momentum, time, mass, and acceleration, using the meters/second ratio described in step 5, would be 1.3273676706536 kg = 262.805406 Newtons
7) Converting Newtons to pound-force, if it were raining tacos, you would get hit in the head with around 59.08 pounds of taco.

Conclusion: Raining tacos is a bad idea.

SOL 41 - Welcome Home

It's 10:49 pm, and as I neglected to bring my laptop with me but couldn't wait another day to post this, I'm doing it on my pho...