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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Areophilic's LiveJournal:

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Monday, September 25th, 2006
8:36 am
Welcome to the "Big Apple"
Home to things such as super greasy and cheap pizza to endless numbers of street vendors and "hustlers," New York is turning to live up to it's reputation as THE happening town. It is quite the change to actually "live" here rather than just visit. In particular, I am starting to understand what people mean when they say things such as "Harlem", "Greenwich Village", "East Village", or "downtown".

I am overall very positive, and looking forward to this new adventure in my life. Wherever it leads me, I know that I am following my heart and being the best person I can be.
Wednesday, April 26th, 2006
10:12 am
Monday, April 10th, 2006
6:34 pm
Cool music link, perfect for work/hanging around at home

If you always wanted your "own personal dj" who would find songs that they thing you would like, this is the link:


What they do is they ask you for your favorite song(s), and based off this would come up with other songs you would be interested in, and then start playing them.

It is a free service, minus a registration. If you want ad-free/a radio, they do have options for that.


PS: Thank Jen for the link!
Thursday, March 9th, 2006
1:00 am
A month has flown by, and I haven't even realized it.

Thus far, I have seen Koala's, Kangaroo's and wombats. I have travelled on the river many many times. I have established a routine as well.

Read more...Collapse )
Sunday, February 5th, 2006
10:36 am
I have arrived!
I am now in Brisbane, Australia. Specifically in a region called "Indooroopily". I start work Tuesday, and am using this time to get familiar with the city and get myself orientated.

Overall the flight wasn't too bad: I watched a movie, ate dinner, went to sleep and woke up to breakfast. Before I knew it, I was there.

I look forward to sending off interesting pictures as soon as I get a more reliable internet connectivity (besides an internet cafe).

Talk to you soon!
Thursday, December 22nd, 2005
10:34 am
Penguins serving Champagne!
Penguins serving Champagne!
Penguins serving Champagne!,
originally uploaded by Aerophilic.
During the last few days in Pittsburgh, travelled to Phipp's conservatory. While there, I stumbled across these cool penguins... serving Champagne!
Friday, November 4th, 2005
4:43 pm
I found a funny!
Commander in Disbelief
President Bush angered by high ratings for 'fake girl president.'
Friday, October 28th, 2005
10:25 am
Monday, October 17th, 2005
11:31 pm
Fun ;)
The Sorting Hat has spoken! You've got 80 House Points!
Head of House: Professor McGonagall

House Colors: Scarlett and Gold

House Animal: Lion

Gryffindor made his choices of students based on Bravery. A little
knowledge, however, did go a long way with him. You are a very brave
person indeed, always willing to help out a friend, or innocent
bystander who is in need... or anyone who is in need mostly. I salute
you. Gryffindor is known mainly for it's heroic members... HUZZAH!
Great deeds await you in this house.

Some students from Gryffindor house are Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 91% on House Points
Link: The Hogwarts Sorting Hat Test written by Demeratus on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
Thursday, October 13th, 2005
10:05 pm
The Race, wrapup
The race is now over, after just about 2.5 years of effort on my part. Final results:

1. Stanley (Stanford) 6hrs 53m
2. Sandstorm (Red Team) 7hrs 4m
3. H1ghlander (Red Team Too) 7hrs 14m

Other finishers:
4. GrayBot (Gray Team) 7hrs 30m
5. TerraMax (TerraMax) 12hrs 51m (Did not finish in required 10 hours)

I must admit it is a bit disheartening to know that after all this time, it came down to literally 11 minutes. However, saying that, we followed our strategy to a T. We had planned on racing the desert, and the clock. We were not racing Stanford.

Fundamentally we pushed both robots, no not to their limits, but to the max we felt we could safely guarantee a finish with both of them. That said, it is interesting to note that H1ghlander's plan time actually had been to finish in 6hrs 19m 40s; In practice it always nailed it's preplanned time, +/- 1m. What happened race day was that it actually suffered a body blow to it's engine/velocity controller (We still don't know the details), but fundamentally it was badly under-performing.

The impressive thing however is that even with this blow, if finished, and in good time.

I don't know if I will ever be completely okay with the results, but I do know one thing for certain, Saturday was a tremendous day for robotics. That day, we proved to the world that we are indeed ready for prime time, and ready for the next challenge. It is my hope that from this platform we can go on and build greater and better things that will help make each and every day better for all of mankind.

Time now however to get off my soapbox, I will see you all out in the real world.
Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
7:12 pm
Day Nine: H1ghlander, Sandstorm Qualify!
Today we learned that both H1ghlander and Sandstorm have qualified for 2005 Grand Challenge.

The top three positions will be:
1. Red Team Too (H1ghlander)
2. Stanford
3. Red Team (Sandstorm)

For details on who qualified, go to: http://www.grandchallenge.org

For those that have asked, there WILL be a webcast available for those not on campus via DARPA's website (http://www.grandchallenge.org).

Today we had our last session in Ontario, tomorrow we travel to Primm.

T-Minus: 2 Days 11 Hours
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
7:37 pm
Day Eight: The home stretch
Today were two of the last three practices we will have in Ontario.

The team has already packed up all our equipment, and now only need our vehicles to be officially released.

Tomorrow we will be told by DARPA officials what our position into the shoot will be, and we will be officially "accepted" as a finalist. We will also have our final practice, and start the packing process.

For now, we game the route.

T-Minus: 3 Days 10 hours
Monday, October 3rd, 2005
7:58 pm
Day Seven: And we have our robots!
We do not yet have an offical list of those that are in/out of the grand challenge. But it is clear from DARPA they are considering it a success with 22 robots completing the mock race course:


In other news, both our robots did VERY well today. Peak speed for H1ghlander was 10mins 20s, fastest on the circuit, with a flawless performance. Sandstorm was a bit slower, and brushed a few cones, but was equally impressive.

Now it is just a matter of prepping for the day that matters, for a picture of the pre-planning team in action, check out the following race log:


T-Minus: 4 days 7 hours
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005
7:24 pm
Day Six: Robots going head to head
Stanford and CMU are going head to head for the pole position. Right now, H1ghlander is on top.


Tomorrow is the showdown, the team that does best tomorrow will likely get the pole position Saturday.

On the pre-planning side, we are running smoking hot. We know what we are doing, and are doing things well. Still some fine tuning to do, however daily we are reaching raceday peak.

T-Minus 5 days 10.5 hours
Saturday, October 1st, 2005
8:19 pm
Day Five: Sandstorm's Day of Glory
Sandstorm had it's shot at glory today, and had the fastest, cleanest run, until Stanford came through and beat it by 4 seconds an hour later.

Things are shaping up to be a real race, I expect there to be much leap frogging over the next 3-4 days.

Today we held our first end to end system test. Things went well, with a few very minor hiccups. I expect we will be well set for race morning.

On a seperate, but related note, I think we are converging on what the route will exactly be, one clue at a time.

Tomorrow we will run our first 3:30AM practice, run Sandstorm again, and hammer out the remaining bugs in our process.

T-Minus 6 Days 9 Hours
Friday, September 30th, 2005
10:48 pm
Day Four: H1ghlander's day of Glory
H1ghlander ran a flawless run this morning at the NQE track. It hit no cones, haybales, or anything else. It also managed to do this faster than any robot up to that point. This was a good omen for today.

For details go here: http://redteamracing.org/index.cfm?method=page.display&page=media.093005

For Red's log, and a slide show of NQE go here: http://redteamracing.org/index.cfm?method=logs.list

For how we stack up vs the competition go here (Assuming they get the site back up): http://www.grandchallenge.org

On the preplanning side, we finished setting up the trailer, and are now ready to run. We could plan a route for the robot today if we needed to. This is good.

On a personal note, my strep throat feels almost completely gone, I believe I am no longer contagious either. However, I know I will not be at 100% for at least another 4-5 days.

We picked up our last group of editors tonight, our team is now whole and complete.

Tomorrow: Sandstorm has it's chance at glory, We do our first end to end system test, and we start to "game" DARPA in determining where we think the route will actually be.

T-Minus 7 days 7 hours
6:09 am
FYI: The Party
All are welcome:

Join fellow alumni and The Carnegie Mellon Red Team for Carnegie Day in the Desert at the 2005 Robot Racing Grand Challenge and Carnegie Night in Las Vegas.

Carnegie Day in the Desert
Come and cheer on the Carnegie Mellon Red Team as they race for robot history in the 2005 Grand Challenge.

Who: Carnegie Mellon alumni, Carnegie Mellon's Red Team and other challengers
What: The 2005 Grand Challenge - vehicles will attempt a course that may be as long as 175 miles and may take as long as 10 hours to complete.
When: Saturday, October 8 Opening ceremonies: 6 a.m., but spectators may arrive throughout the day.
Where: Primm, Nevada
How: Exact times and locations will soon be available on the Grand Challenge Web site at http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge. For more information call the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-(800) 226-8258.

Carnegie Night in Las Vegas
Register online at http://alumni.cmu.edu/redteam/index.html for the post-race celebration with members of the Red Team.

Who: Carnegie Mellon alumni and Carnegie Mellon's Red Team
What: Celebration party with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails
When: Saturday, October 8, 8 - 11 p.m.
Where: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip
How: Register online at http://alumni.cmu.edu/redteam/index.html or for more information call the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-(800) 226-8258

About the 2005 Grand Challenge
The 2005 Grand Challenge is a race for the future, designed to accelerate autonomous robotic research and development. Among the highlights:
- A driverless desert race featuring 20 competitors from academia, government, and industry, backyard inventors and automotive enthusiasts.
- A $2 million prize to the team that finishes the route most quickly within 10 hours.
- A 175-mile arduous desert course with natural and artificial obstacles.

About the Carnegie Mellon Red Team Presented by Caterpillar ============================================================
The Carnegie Mellon Red Team includes students, volunteers, and professionals operating under the auspices of the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.
The Red Team will compete with two entrants: Sandstorm and H1ghlander. In 2004, Sandstorm was the top finisher in the inaugural Grand Challenge, completing 7.4 miles of the course near Barstow, California.

Organized by the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association Los Angeles Chapter and the West Coast Drama Alumni Clan ============================================================
Thursday, September 29th, 2005
10:52 pm
Day Three: Sandstorm's first day out, Crates arrive
Sandstorm made it's debut today, performing the fastest run on the circuit to date. It was far from a perfect run, hitting one cone, and running over some haybales, but it fundamentally performed.

Today we had our 12 crates arrive, over a day later then they were guarenteed to have arrived. It is a good thing we built in an extra day for unforseen occurances such as this. The crates are now fully emptied, and the trailer is humming. We still need to do a few things to set up a couple of servers, but that will wait till tomorrow.

On a personal note, I feel much better from yesterday. It is amazing how well antibotics work.

Tomorrow, H1ghlander is first out of the chute at 7:00AM. This will be followed with a day full of making sure everything is "just right" in the trailer.

T-Minus 8 days 7 hours
Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
8:23 pm
Day Two: Kickoff
Today we officially "paraded" the two robots as part of opening ceremonies.

We also ran our first official run with H1ghlander.

H1ghlander did well, it completed the entire circuit in 10 min 1 sec. However, it was not flawless since we did touch a cone and fence, as well as drove over a haybale.

Some of the crates from pre-planning were delayed in shipment. As such, we expect all crates to arrive by tomorrow at noon.

I personally was out for most of today nursing a fever, I seem to have a 101 degree fever thanks to Strep-Throat. I have since recieved anti-botics from a doctor, and plan on making getting healthy my primary objective.

T-Minus 9 days 9 hours
Tuesday, September 27th, 2005
9:27 pm
Day One: Registration
Today I registered for the Grand Challenge under "Red Team". I didn't spend much time there as a function of getting things handled elsewhere, however I did participate in our afternoon standup, and got a first glimpse at the competition. Plenty of people, working hard.

Tomorrow the preplanning team's trailer, generator, and equipment arrive. I also get the first 5 of my advance crew. We won't setup too much tomorrow, beyond the trailer itself. I want the team to get used to unpacking/packing the equipment so that we can do it efficently on the Thursday before the race.

"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games."
-- Ernest Hemmingway

T-Minus 10 Days.
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