27 June 2008

Status Update

Went to Montana for a week during the break between spring and summer term. It was fun, check out the photos (see flickr feed). Saw a real live, wild black bear. It was exciting. Also spent some time in the beautiful Hamilton area in the bitteroot valley. Pretty awesome.

Back in school this week... Classes:

Fuel Cells - pretty interesting. we're building a hydrogen fuel cell, all we have is the PEM membrane (nafion) and the carbon electrodes. We have to design and build everything else. We will document that here on the blog for sure.
Electrical machines (motors) - might be pretty cool. One of the labs will be our choice. I'm considering building a generator that will mount on a bicycle trainer so I can generate power while riding bike.
Physics 3 - the standard 3rd term of physics. if there was one of these classes that was considered the easiest, this would be it.

I was going to take a third class, that meets tuesday and wednesday evening. But sitting in on a lecture from this instructor is like taking too many benedryl. (hopefully you know when that happens, you fall asleep). The guy is boring, and with physics meeting on thursday nights, I'm going to open up the tuesday and wednesday nights. Maybe I'll get sane again.

[Update: I didn't drop the third class (statics) yet. Will reconsider after a couple of weeks.]

I'm still working, until further notice I guess. The job is going to continue, for now anyway. Not all bad... but that sorta just means I have absolutley no time for anything except school, work and writing a blog post every 2.5 weeks. I will be able to control my hours a little better now though, so I will work less :D

supposed to be 97 degrees tomorrow. hippie ray! wait thats a little too hot.

levi and horner are riding the cascade this year. Damn I wish I was racing, but I think we'll go watch this year. Not too many chances to see the dude who was 3rd place in the tour de france racing (and the dude who was 11th for that matter).

Also in Eugene is the olympic trials. A huge deal down there. It would be totally awesome to be watching that too. I guess it's good for the sprinters that its suppsed to be 100 degrees, but the gal on the radio today ask the person she was interviewing if it would be a problem for the distance runners...

Well, that's all for this edition of the blog. Check back next time for more information for your enjoyment.

02 June 2008

Don't call it a comeback

Ran the 3rd event of the year last Saturday, 5k starlight run. It was pretty fun running along the parade route (right before the parade). Lots of people running & watching, but this race is more known for a quite substantial costume contest. It was quite a scene. For a race that expected 3000 runners (and had 3000 last year) I was not too impressed w/ the organization, but I think the costume contest was pretty organized, and that's what seemed to matter.

The big news though is more media coverage for OIT's renewable energy program. A couple weeks ago, the reporter for OPB (oregon public radio) was in da house. Unfortunately it just so happened that he was there the day after we blew up our electrolysis experiment and that was still the talk of the class, and well, I'll just have you listen for yourself.

Click Here. There's a text article and a link to listen to what went on the radio.

The media guy had to focus on the explosions, I guess it gets better ratings. We really didn't intend to portray the school as some sort of mad science lab. And, as for our experiment (the boring one), we were trying to get an over unity reaction (more hydrogen potential energy than energy put in as voltage).  The best efficiency we managed was about 52%.  Not quite over 100, which we were going for.  The first student is graduating with the degree this spring, and the Oregonian newspaper was there today; I'll pass that along if I find it.  Like many of the students this is not his first degree, he's got an electrical engineering degree and an MBA.

So that's going to be it for blogging until after the spring term is over. Finals next week. Then 1 week off, then summer term. Hopefully summer comes soon here. If you take out one weekend when it was 95 degrees, it's been pretty shitty weather since about last November. But this is why it's known to rain all the time in Portland. Summer is supposedly starting on July 4th.