1) the fab lab
2) the broad institute
the fab lab is a fabulous laboratory called the fabrication laboratory in the back bay area with some high class computer controlled (cnc) equipment including vinyl cutters, which is the subject of this section of the post. vinyl cutters can be used for a lot of really cool things, like cutting vinyl...but also for cutting mylar, which can be adhered to a silkscreen to print tshirts. for those of you reading this who don't know me, i had a silkscreening business when i was in high school (soSadieBUG). There should be ten stretched screens in a ups truck driving from Arkansas as we speak, and with a few more vinyl cutting runs to the fablab, it should be time to start printing again!
the broad institute is roughly a block and a half away from where I live and i've been inside once for an art lecture. needless to say, the building has nothing to do with art, but instead houses millions of dollars of chem and bio engineering equipment. almost all of the labs are bl2 biohazardous and full of people laughing over pipettes and one-million-dollar slide scanners and stuff. on the seventh floor is the information storage room with ventilation in the floor and a water-evaporation cooling system on the roof above it. as we (jason who works there who i ran into who decided to give me a tour) ogled through the little window in the door and remarked on how much storage there might be in there, an older guy with a name tag stopped and said there were probably 1.6-1.8 petabytes, which is more than some countries!! Then he unlocked the door and let us look inside. it was remarkably well cooled, and the pretty giant room was packed floor to ceiling and all the way back with hard drives. there were over a dozen large boxes containing sever hard drives each unopened in the corner. the older guy remarked: "we buy storage like it's going out of style!"
Jason and i went to the cafeteria where he gave me free coffee (coffee was the reason i had left senior house, and as i was talking to jedediah by kendall jason walked by, and so was the chance tour of the broad) and we talked about taking time off (he took three years off right before he graduated, got a job and went back to finish his degree when he wanted a research job instead) and about picking a major, and applying yourself. it was great advice because it sounded like he had been through everything i talked about. my lesson: never pass up what people offer you, especially when it's a tour of an unfamiliar hazardous lab building.
wtp or the women's technology program is a summer program for high school girls going into their senior year to help expose them to mechanical or electrical engineering. i'm working for the mech-e half. started today, it was wonderful. my lovely boss barbara hughey told us (there are seven undergrads working for her) that she does not like to micromanage, so she had whiteboards all around the lab telling us what jobs need to be finished in the next two weeks. the jobs ranged from assembling a cabinet (done) to writing a lesson plan (in progress) to killing the large bug that keeps flying around (not done). It's totally loose. we took a lunch trip to fire and ice in harvard square where dr. hughey bought us all-you-can-eat lunches which were delicious, and we walked back afterwards, all on the clock mind you. sarah cole spent the day putting together wind-up turtles and foxes, and i sent a billion emails to people about rube goldberg machines. it was great. on top of it all i got my id card today with food money on it. i can now eat anything i can buy on techcash non-stop until august first (gross!).
summer is looking up. unfortunately gabe's room is looking like a jungle, or a storage closet. i had to climb through boxes to find a pair of socks this morning. it's ridiculous, but all of my stuff is in it (less one box, one lamp, and my mattress topper). it should take another ten hours or so to get it all arranged nicely. woe is me. also i got some books from the library by the guy who wrote emotional design, as well as a comic book and a dvd copy of blazing saddles, which i've been meaning to watch for ages!
the sun is setting beautifully and the tree in the courtyard of senior house is so nicely lit and yellow-green. it's not raining anymore, i could buy myself ten dinners tonight if i wanted, and it'll be a great day at work tomorrow. mmmmmmmm summer.