Archive for 2007 June

Jun 29Internship at LBNL, day 3

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It wasn’t a Mac Pro TT
I fail at knowing anything…

But eh, it’s a G5 and it’s faster than my iMac so whatever, you know? It’s a good machine and I’m doing well on it I think. I spent about fifteen minutes installing some NECESSARY ITEMS on it such as Quicksilver, Camino, and the like. My mentor gave me a blanket ‘ok’ on ‘productivity-enhancers.’

Before that, though, while I was waiting for a keyboard, I met everyone in the department. A couple knew my dad, which was cool. They all seemed really friendly. And helpful. “If you have any questions”-type stuff. Then I e-mailed the program supervisors to sign in, got on my computer, and blasted away.

So one of my tasks is to hunt the web (google news) for news each morning that mentions the lab. Fairly simple, I set up Vienna with a custom RSS feed and I’ll be sifting through that rather than conducting searches in a browser. Yay alternative methods.

My overall project is to ‘upgrade the department’s web presence’ (I believe that that is how my mentor put it). This means making a podcast for the recordings of the lecture series, teaching the gang iMovie HD so that they can add short clips to the daily bulletins, making new web pages for the lab paper and news center, and so on. Along the way I’ll be doing some grunt-ish work like crunching layouts in Dreamweaver for the daily bulletin (c’mon guys, do it in plain text. The not-pretty faux-html is so unnecessary!). I may also learn some things, like how to do technical writing. Apparently, one of the reasons the department wanted me was that they’re mostly writers and none of them are too technical-minded when it comes to the internet (hence Dreamweaver. Consider yourself condescended upon, Dreamweaver!), but most of them are actually science writers. How coincidental that my interests (writing) overlap with their jobs (writing).

I may get multiple chances to do some editing/writing/etc., which would be ultra-cool.

One thing I’m still kind of worried about is my lab notebook. I’m going to talk to the program supervisor on Monday…

Anyway.

Today was good. Got to work earlier than I had needed to (about 8:30) and left about when everyone else in the department did (5 pm). I sat in a chair a lot, doing a lot of what I feel comfortable doing. I have no major complaints thus far, aside from the monitor being too large. There’s too much screen real estate and I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting it…

^_^;;

Jun 28Internship at LBNL, day 2

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Today was a long day, a little more than nine hours… I was in there from 7:30 until 4:50. Long time, in my opinion.

Anyway, some bits of good news and one unfortunate event. Aside from that, today was mainly kind of boring. Nine hours of training. Then half an hour of meeting our mentors. The training was pretty painless, and there were breaks between the 1-2 hour classes (2 15 minute breaks and one longer lunch break). The first two instructors were pretty uninteresting but the ones who taught gas pressure safety and laser safety were pretty fun in a way. At least they had plenty of humor integrated into their lectures :)

First, the unfortunate event«É”some exploded a bottle of Naked Food Juice all over me in the cafeteria. My shirt (previously white, now orange) looked terrible for the second half of the day, which was bad, and my eyes (then open) got a pretty powerful spray of mango smoothie, which was worse. They were back to normal after about three hours of pain…

The good news?

Well, my work looks like it should be fun. I’ll be working on a Mac Pro (a good computer, for those not familiar), it seems, doing stuff that I know something about and that I might be able to … well, do. Which is awesome. My mentor seems like a cool guy; we should get along well. I wonder if he’ll have me keep a lab notebook«É”it’s a program requirement but I’m not really doing research in a lab or running experiments. We’ll see, and I’ll keep you all updated.

Jun 27Internship at LBNL, day 1

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Well, day 1 of the internship was fairly laid-back. It was also day 1 of 2 orientation days. We got there earlier than we’ll be getting there in the future, but we also got out earlier (as evidenced by the timestamp, our work days end later than this normally). We started with coffee and donuts and a little talking-to from the managers of the program. I was pretty astonished«É”this was the first time I found out who all was in the program! There were only 30 of us (out of a pool of 300)… that’s pretty selective ^_^;; Also, 5 of us were from Berkeley High (myself included) so, uh… BHS POWER!! Oh, and I even knew all the other 4. And 2 of them are something like friends of mine. So that’s super cool.

After the first couple hours of talking, we were split into two groups. The first group (mine) went to go get our badges. Yep, I have a Department of Energy identity now. It’s pretty sweet :) After the badges, my group went back to the auditorium for more talking, some form signing, and general radiation training. >_>

When both of those segments were done, we were ahead of schedule and ready for lunch more than an hour early. So we did the afternoon’s Q+A session early and then headed into the cafeteria. I went with my two friends from BHS, got a burger, and went back to the auditorium, where a lecture was being given by a life-sciences researcher from Children’s Hospital about brain tumor treatment possibilities (involving lipid-proteins and poisons and stuff). That wasn’t a part of the internship; it just happened to be happening at lunch as a part of a summer-long series of lunch-time lectures. So yeah, it was a good way to pass the hour. I did see my science teacher from this past year there, which was a bit of a surprise. I won’t say anything mean in this post, so that’s all.

After lunch we got a lesson in lab notebook guidelines/tips/etc. After a pretty cool presentation involving examples taken from a real guy’s lab notebooks (Al Ghiorso I think, the dude who holds the Guinness World Record for most elements ‘discovered’), we were given an exercise to fill our notebook’s first page with some observations/hypotheses we made regarding a couple light bulbs. That was cool.

Then it turned out we were even more ahead of schedule. We were talked at some more, given the run down for tomorrow (safety training) and the rest of the program (bios/abstracts about our work, mentor evaluations, weekly group meetings, and a final presentation), along with a serious talk about work-place ethics.

And then we were let loose a bit more than an hour early (at about 3:10). Which was cool.

I walked most of the way home with one of my two BHS friends (the one who lives not too far from me) and then D picked me up and brought me to my dad’s place. That’s where I am now, writing this post.

Tomorrow’s going to be excruciatingly long, and will end with me meeting my mentor. Apparently, this is the first year that they’ve had a student in this program in the Communications Department. A strong indication that they made the position for me. I’m excited. I’m very excited.

Jun 26Internship at LBNL?

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Internship at a government lab? I’m so nervous, it’s like entering high school all over again… well, I’ll be sure to write about the first day when it’s over. Expect a post tomorrow pm.

Jun 24The Underworld’s Trap – HC Chapter 25

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After some debating, Mana follows the dabbler, Ay.

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Jun 22Tide Fighters v1.0

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My new map, Tide Fighters, is out. The page says “in progress” because there are still things I want to work on and add over time (and Alar has some good ideas, too, which I hope to get to implementing) but the map is ready to be played and, after a fashion, complete.

Follow the Tide Fighters link, download the latest version, and enjoy.