So I finally left the house both physically and electronically. All of my projects and hobbies have been transplanted to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. After I got everything unloaded, I saw a professor attempting to access my slow server. Since I already had purchased a professional server (and 6 domains/websites) I figured I would transfer everything over and use this always-available, reliable, maintenance-free resource. At $8/month it is a little pricey, but I will also be piggybacking other organizations’ websites on this server (hence the 6 slots I purchased) and that should be enough to pay for my blog, their blog, and all of hair I will be saving not trying to kick an old computer back into service.
I am honestly looking forward to putting more projects on here (and there are quite a few good ones). There will be some free time I will encounter once I get settled into this collegiate groove. As for now. Enjoy the new speeds!
Here we (my, myself, and I, and probably you) are. Several months from my last post looking back and asking myself…Where are all of the cool things? I keep reading this one depressing post about this kid who insulted a science fair director and made national news. Well fret no more. The reason I’ve been gone these past few months was because I was to busy doing awesome things!
So, some things to look out for:
I’ll also probably be transferring nuclearfarnsworth over to a more stable server service that I’m paying for. The amount of traffic I’ve been getting and the amount of down time I’ve been having were determining factors!
I have made a personal resolution to post only awesome things on my blog…but I feel like this needs to be said. Over the past few weeks, there has been quite a bit of blood spilled over this whole ordeal. Did I want it? Do I feel satisfied? Kind of. I am glad that progress has been made and that this issue had been brought up and dealt with so quickly. Am I happy she lost her job and had her name ruined? No. She made her bed and now she has to sleep in it though. It’s rather disappointing that an issue like this makes it all the way to Fox News, but the very fact that a reactor had been built in as intellectually dry a place as Wyoming does not. I guess the world likes hearing bad news. Any-who, I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Any publicity is good publicity and I hope to use it to make professional connections.
Blood was spilled. I’m not happy that she lost her job, but I am content with the fact that this issue has been exposed, publicized, dealt with, and resolved. I am also INCREDIBLY, UNBELIEVABLY, and EPIC-LY thankful that I have so many people willing to support me and who are pulling for me.
We basically stuffed 5 pounds of exploding targets inside of a computer and ran for our lives…or at least got a safe(ish) distance away. The resulting detonation pushed the bottom of the computer a couple inches into the ground and scattered shrapnel over a radius of about 100 meters. Only one fragment of the hard drive was recovered and there were no signs of the discs. Even if the discs were found I highly doubt there would be anything recoverable as they would have been physically distorted beyond recovery. Overall verdict: Great success.
This last week I was granted the special opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair! Boy was it a blast….sort of! The tl;dr story goes that I flew 1300 miles into the middle of the desert only to be disqualified by a really swell person. More on this later. The entire experience ended up being grand and I made a lot of new friends, met up with old ones, and got to see family. There were tons of amazing projects put on display and I felt blessed to be in the presence of so many great minds. A competition like ISEF is one of the best times for collaboration! The first three days were rather stressful as I was scrambling to get my board together and binder assembled.
The third day had to be the most interesting as I had been called to a meeting with the display and safety committee for what was written down as “participation question.” I ended up being disqualified for competing at two ISEF affiliated fairs…one being out of state. This may seem like an obvious infraction, but it isn’t so when it’s the norm for the science department to take 50 or 60 kids down to Wyoming State Science Fair and then back up to a South Dakota to compete at their fair. The situation is made more unique by the fact that we’re closer (1.5 hrs as opposed to 4) to the South Dakota Fair than the Wyoming State Fair. I digress. The infraction was a legitimate one, and I had my competition status removed but I was still able to present. I like to call this the “your dog died…but you can still keep him if you want” scenario. Had the infraction been brought up earlier in the process…say before I flew 1300 miles into the middle of a damn desert for nothing, I would have: A) Been a lot less aggravated, and B) Handled the situation a smidgen differently
Here is where it gets interesting…
Had this infraction not been reported, I would have been able to compete (hence the reason it was not discovered earlier). But who out of the 2000+ adults and students would have known that I competed in two fairs? Apparently my project caught the eye of the Wyoming fair director as she was browsing the electrical engineering section. This woman decided to circumvent all professionalism and report the infraction to the ISEF officials without first contacting us. After we figured out that she had reported the infraction, we tried numerous times to call her. She would not answer calls from the science department back home, the South Dakota coordinator, my supervising teacher who was also there, and I also believe my principal. It takes about a day for word to get out and every faculty member of my high school AND the South Dakota School of Mines (the institution that sponsored the fair and paid for me to go down to Phoenix to compete) to be extremely angry at this woman who went out of her way to make sure all of my hard work that had been denied at her fair was also denied at the international level.
Okay, here is where the story gets REALLY interesting.
Out of all of the people there, I manage to run into the little rat. She was eating at a table in the food court of the event center with the Wyoming group and the moment I saw her I knew what happened next was out of my hands. My vision turned red and I approached her. I first confirmed that it was in fact the her (as I had never seen her other than a picture I found after about two seconds of googling). After the confirmation, I proceeded to let her, and everyone within earshot, know that she was a poor excuse of a woman and that she had fucked up the four years worth of work that had lead to this point. I am really sorry…that I was so angry I was unable to insult her more. Mind you, this is 24+ hours after she reports the infraction and refuses to answer our calls. Precisely 24 hours later she decides to give the South Dakota Coordinator a call and complain about being embarrassed in public by myself.
If you TL;DR’d the entire thing:I was disqualified for an unknown infraction reported by the Wyoming coordinator, she was completely unprofessional about the entire ordeal and I ended up seeking her passive ass out and promptly insulting her in public in a fit of rage.
I am somewhat more content now that I got that out of my system. Quite frankly, any fair that uses blackballing, unprofessional tactics such as the Wyoming State Science Fair can go fuck themselves.
The Sunny Side Up:
I got to meet up with old friends, my family, Nobel Prize Winners, Adam Steltzner, and an astronaut. On top of all of that I got to make new friends!
All in all the trip ended well. It sucked knowing that I had a fighting chance at winning some awards but I’m sure this situation happened for a reason! The friends I made and met were awesome and I hope to see them later in life. Everyone who attended ISEF was absolutely brilliant and it was fun picking everyone’s brain! The entire situation has gained publicity from our local newspaper and there is a lot of ruckus going on over it. I am extremely grateful that there are this many people behind me and willing to back me up in a situation like this.
I graduated from my institution of secondary education this last Sunday the 19th. It was sad having to leave all of the people who have coached, mentored, and worked with my the past four years. I am more than happy to be able to move on to the next chapter of my life, but I am going to miss my mentors and friends.
I created a new page under hobbies>firearms. Click on the picture for the story!
Well…it kind of is. The whole idea is to have a computer controlled potato cannon.
Why is it called the Wrath of Sam??
There was a lot of progress made today…mostly because we wanted to have this thing firing for our graduation party. So far I have everything wired up in a nifty case. The controller is powered by a digispark because I fail at astable 555 circuits. Everything seems to be working great so far. The only thing that is left is for us to plumb in the O2 and propane handling systems. Gideon did a fantastic job welding some scrap iron from the oil field to a lazy Susan turn table. While the entire cannon is going to be manual control I am happy it is at least on the fast track to be wired! I am learning a ton about the 2N3055 transistor and whatnot.
This is a step backwards unfortunately from our last revision as far as the technological integration goes….but it should suffice. Until I get the time to work on the page for this project, here’s an overview of the system I worked on from two years ago.
It’s the night before something big (this time national JSHS), I haven’t packed yet, and now I have to blog. I’m on the road yet again tomorrow at 4 am to depart for the 51st annual junior science and humanities symposium in Dayton, Ohio. Here I have the opportunity to present my project titled “Shooting Higgs’ Bison” as a poster. I am definitely excited seeing as this is my third year in a row I was able to attend! Also, this is the second year in a row I will be away from home for my birthday.
Well I made a rule that I shouldn’t post without some eye candy, so here is a picture of my brand new “library”. A generous man by the name of Ed Angell (a scientist turned artist) contacted me after he saw my article in the news. I was offered a “few” of his books on nuclear science and other interesting topics. Who am I to turn down inspiration and education?
Without the help of people like Ed, I would honestly be nowhere. Ever since I entered the amateur science community (and showed some “gana“) there have been several people who have gone out of their way to help me advance both myself and my experiments. They have done this free of charge and absolutely refused to accept any compensation for it. This post goes out to them. I graciously thank each and every one of you who contributed in any way, shape, or form and will be forever grateful. I’ve been (and will keep on) paying it forward.
The last post you read was about a mechanical calculator that I’ve been wanting to make for my teachers as a parting gift. Since I had a rather active tube of tritium, a good sized sheet of acrylic, and access to a laser cutter I’ll likely never see again for the rest of my life, I went to work on yet another gift. The fact that I’m moving out also provides incentive for me to get rid of this tube or rather, protect it and give it a home where it can inspire students.
Inspired by their demonstration on how this set of spider gears was essentially two racks and a pinion, I decided to challenge myself to design and build one of these in a class period.
Okay, done…sort of. The first prototype did not have numbers nor the incredibly handy tabs sticking out.
Next class period, I revised and cut/etched the final product. I am planning on manufacturing a few of these to distribute to the teachers that really influenced my life. Plus they’re fun to tinker with!
The .dwg files are available on thingiverse. They may require some editing as the latest revision hasn’t been uploaded yet.
It has actually been a pretty terrible lent. I gave up cussing…that didn’t work out too well. I also gave up facebook…
This went by wonderfully and sparked interest for all of the time it had freed up. All of the sudden, I have all of this allocated extra time that facebook had slowly been sucking out of my life. Really the only reason I had been using it was primarily for networking with friends across the country, making people laugh, and archiving all of my work. Since giving up facebook, I’ve been able to procure another method of archiving my work in a sort of tangible medium (this website). So while I’m excited to return to the narcissism machine, I will be posting much less work and more silly nonsense.
So, on to the interesting part. What have I actually done with my time over lent.
I was fortunate enough to take a snowmobiling trip with my father and a few of his friends in the Rocky Mountains. Things went well…mostly.
After this I was able to successfully put get my website online!
I found the time to film a (pretty crappy) Harlem Shake video for my swim team.
Somewhere in between I found time to land on minimus and duna in Kerbal Space Program
I brought my (ion) gun to school and used it to take first place at regional science fair!
With this I went on to state science fair where I spent three days preparing to be screwed over by blatant favoritism. No ISEF this round.
For the next week I traveled to New York where I had one of the worst times of my life.
New York back home for a day of R&R. Just kidding. I went to school and then left again for JSHS in Laramie. Taking 3rd overall and getting to go to nationals!
I constructed a variable DC power supply
Made it into the 99th percentile in tetris sprint
Had a killer Nerf war at the hotel we stayed at during state science fair
Played pep band and sang at state basketball
Contacted a senator about during the domestic drone strike filibuster
Built an automated farming system in minecraft
In search of greener pastures, I went on to compete in the Rapid City Science Fair, winning first, and making it to ISEF. Suck it Laramie.
And I achieved my goal of competing at state swimming!!
All in all, it’s been a good lent as far as productivity and personal achievements