Sunday, July 31, 2005


The Approach
Ok, so a little about the picture. This is a picture looking in a generally eastward direction from downtown Troy, New York (home of the Troylettes) up the hill towards the RPI campus. This is one of the favorite ways for engineers to get from campus to the town and it's many lager labs. It also makes for amusing times in the winter both going down to town and returning. I have walked it's stairs many times, usually when heading to I Love NY pizza for their dollar slices on the weekends. In heavy snow, some engineers have been known to go sledding down the approach, however all risks are done in the name of science and technology, as well as to help find better and faster means to heal the broken bones that no doubt result. I though this would be a fine picture to give some get my short series on "The Tute" off to a good start.
Way back in 1824, the Rensselaer School was established in Troy (apparently it was a happening town back then) by Stephen Van Rensselaer "for the purpose of instructing persons...in the application of science to the common purposes of life." Not long after I am sure the most infamous invention of the 'tute was pioneered by the adminstration. The "Tute Screw" has a long and illustrious history at RPI, cause no matter which you turn it, it always goes in deeper.
It is the first school of science and school of engineering having a continuous existence to ever be established in any English speaking country, and based on the student body at MIT, it still boasts the smartest English speaking students (population 25 of them or so...hehehe).
IN 1833, the school became the Rensselaer Institute and in 1861 the name was again changed to it's final version, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or as everyone else calls it, RPI. RPI currently boasts five schools though I can only verify four. Architecture (we have the Greene Building, stuff goes on in there, and every five years a bunch of folks finally come out of it, but other than that I don't know what goes on in there..so it may be a secret government agency for all I know), Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences (for those who wash out of engineering), Management (for our hockey players), and Science (for the nerds who don't want to apply it to the real world).
Through the years RPI grads have put together and impressive resume. A veritable who's who of nerds. Here are just some the things they've done and their class years.
John L. Riddell, 1829: Invented the binocular microscope.

James C. Booth, 1831 :Introduced nickel as a metal in U.S. currency.

James Hall, 1832 :Was the first New York State geologist; helped found the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Eben Horsford, 1838:Devoted his life to the development of "yeast powder," now known as baking powder.

James H. Salisbury, 1846:Was a nutritionist, "Salisbury Steak" was named for him.

Washington Roebling, 1857:Oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Devolson Wood, 1857:Helped organize the American Society for Engineering Education and held its first presidency.

Edward P. Rothwell, 1858: Organized the Institute for Mining Engineers.

Alexander Cassatt, 1859 :Was the first 20th century President of Pennsylvania Railroad. Brother of Mary Cassatt, Impressionist painter.

Edwin Thacher, 1863: Introduced the most widely used slide rule into the U.S.

Henry A. Rowland, 1870: Was known as the "Father of Spectroscopy" for his pioneering work in the study of magnetic properties.

George Knapp, 1876: Was an industrialist, instrumental in founding the Union Carbide Company.

George W. G. Ferris, 1881: Invented, of course, the Ferris wheel.

Emil Praeger, 1915: Oversaw the renovation of the White House in 1949.

Erik Jonsson, 1922: Co-founded Texas Instruments, who marketed the first pocket calculator.

Milton Brumer, 1923: Led the team that built the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Allen B. DuMont, 1924: Known as the "Father of Television" for his development of the cathode ray tube.

Percy Hill, 1945: Designed and patented the REACH toothbrush.

George M. Low, 1948: Managed the Apollo project that put the first men on the moon and later was President of Rensselaer. (Richard Harris played him in Apollo 13)

Marcian Hoff, 1958: Was part of the team at Intel of California that produced the first microprocessor.

William C. W. Mow, 1959: Founded Bugle Boy Industries and Dragon International.
Bobby Farrelly, 1981: Film maker (Kingpin, Something About Mary, Me, Myself, and Irene, Fever Pitch).

Janet Rutledge, 1983: Patented an innovative hearing device based on digital speech processing
Well that's all I have for now. Coming soon a special double post for this and the history blog:
"RPI and the Ironclad Revolution" along with other pieces on here "The Ratio", "Story Time", and "Skating Engineers". If I get to caught up in stuff, I'll just post top ten lists...like this one:
**for the record, graduation for the class of 2002 was moved on May 18, 2002 from Harkness Field into the Houston Field House (i.e. football field to hockey rink, due to a snow storm)***
Top 10 Rules of Life at RPI:
10. April snow squalls bring May snowballs.
9. When the going gets tough...drop the course.
8. Two out of three is a "D."
7. Do unto others whatever it takes to help the curve.
6. You scratch my back, I'll stab yours.
5. If at first you don't succeed, switch to management.
4. It's not what you know, it's what they think you know.
3. What goes up, must come down, excepting tuition.
2. RPI gets what you pay for.
1. Ask not what RPI can do for you, ask what RPI can do to you.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

For the Curious

I will be starting a series on my undergrad educational insitution

"The Tute"


A Son Of Old R.P.I.
Words by R. Shermerhorn, Jr. '95
To the tune of "A Son of a Gambolier

Upon a hillside in a town
There stands a college old-
A college famed in history,
From hosts of stories told,
To teach the young idea to shoot,
It's worth its weight in gold,
It gathers from lands far and near
Its children to the fold.

Chorus:
Come join my humble ditty,
From Troy town I steer,
Like every honest fellow,
I drink my lager beer.
Like every honest fellow,
I never will go dry,
I'm a student from the Institute,
A son of old R.P.I.
A son of, a son of, a son of, a son of,
A son of old R.P.I.
A son of, a son of, a son of, a son of,
A son of old R.P.I.
Like every honest fellow,
I drink my whiskey clear,
I'm a moral wreck from the Polytech
And a hell of an engineer.

We students of the R.P.I.,
Are of a jolly kind,
And though we study hard at times
To cultivate the mind,
You'll always find us in for fun,
We're never left behind,
A happier crowd of fellows o'er
This earth you'll never find.

Chorus

The maidens sweet all smile on us,
As boys we pass them by,
The "cops" along the street all nod
And wink the other eye,
The people turn to look at us
And say: "Oh me! Oh my!"
There go those wicked college boys
From that bad R.P.I.

Chorus

The faculty at R.P.I.
Are, yea, a noble band;
For brains and intellectual worth
They're noted through the land.
The students honor all of them-
We trust them heart and hand-
They credit dear old Rensselaer,
Our alma mater grand.

Chorus

Come then, and let us all unite,
Lift all your glasses high,
And drink a toast to her we love,
Whose glories never die.
Then bring the "Cherry and the White"
And wave it to the cry-
The old Rah! Rah! Rensselaer,
Three cheers for R.P.I.


Chorus


Top Ten RPI Pick-up Lines
10. I have a Hewlett Packard 28S, with LOTS of bytes.
9. My Yugo is equipped with an 8-track, to play my Bee-Gees and Village People cassettes. Let's cruise!
8. Am I an athlete? I'm on the Varsity Bowling Team.
7. I can tell you the value of pi to fifty decimal places.
6. My roommate is gone for the weekend. Do you want to come over and play Pictionary?
5. My vocabulary is more extensive than that of William F. Buckley's...Impressed?
4. I have two tickets to a symposium on matrix algebra. Wanna go?
3. What's your sign...and SAT scores?
2. I can get you a free subscription to Nintendo Power magazine.
1. I can drink an entire case of Troy Pale Ale and STILL differentiate the Schroedinger equation. (I am out of practice on this one)

and one of our hockey cheers:

E to the X, DY, DX,

E to the X, DX.

Cosine, secant, tangent, sine

3-Point-1-4-1-5-9.

Square root, cube root, log of pi,

Dis-integrate them, R.P.I.!



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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Summer Wind Came Blowing In

From the Finger Lakes....and what a breath of fresh air it was! MV came into visit for the weekend and headed on up to a redneck wedding in Dallas before heading home to the 'Cuse. what can I say, other than a fantastic weekend was had with my birthday thrown into the mix, a surprise party, BBQ, beer, margaritas, ice cream, and wine to name a few. The weekend also blew the stench out of mind and thought process and reminded me what a truly strong and confident woman can bring to the table in a conversation. I had forgotten how great a thing it is to know what a woman is thinking, what she wants to do, and how she plans to do it without some wishy washy attitude. Refreshing does not begin to describe it! Now me an MV have been friends now for almost 9 years now, which definately brings a comfort level with it when we hang out, there are no false pretenses, no needing to tread carefully, it's open and honest on every level, no games, no false airs. Now I'm not saying this type of stuff is common with southern gals, but ladies if the shoe fits, you probably got it on sale a Payless right before looking for a husband in church so you can get married and get to poppin out the kiddies.
In short, the gauntlet is cast down and the line in the sand is clear. There are very few women I know who I'd even consider a relationship with, now that bar is even more difficult (and that list considerably shorter). If you're looking to get married and have kids, if you have no other goals besides finding a husband, if you are flat out stupid, don't try to catch my eye...it will not work and I will not waste my time. I can get as much fun talking to rocks as I can talking to a dumb gal. There are probably some of you wondering where this may have risen up from, well I had a good dose of being re-Yankeeified this weekend and I'm going to do my best to keep a bit of it instead of letting it get buried as it has the last 3 years. I'm sure I'll get some crap for this, but deal with it. I will. :-)

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'm In Good Company

Born On July 22, I share the anniversary of my birth with the following folks:

Gregor Mendel 1822
Steve Vincent Benet 1889
Rose Kennedy 1890 Karl Menninger 1893
Alexander Calder 1898
Bob Dole 1923
Martha Whiting 1924
Orson Bean 1928
Marcia Henderson 1930
Perry Lopez 1931
Oscar De La Renta 1932
Louise Fletcher 1934
Chuck Jackson 1937
Terence Stamp 1939
Alex Trebek 1940
George Clinton 1940
Thomas Wayne 1941
Bobby Sherman 1944
Richard Davies (Supertramp) 1944
Estelle Bennett (The Ronettes) 1944
Paul Shrader 1946
Danny Glover 1947
Albert Brooks 1947
Don Henley (Eagles) 1947
Alan Menken 1949
William Dafoe 1955
Keith Sweat 1961
Rob Estes 1963
Joanna Going 1963
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls) 1963
David Spade 1964
John Leguizamo 1965
Patrick Labyorteaux 1965
Irene Bedard 1967

Yeah, I only recognize a few of those too

On this date:

1796
Cleveland, Ohio, was founded by Gen. Moses Cleaveland.
1933
Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world.
1934
John Dillinger was shot to death outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.
1937
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "court packing" scheme was rejected by the U.S. Senate.
1975
Congress restored Confederate General Robert E. Lee's U.S. citizenship.

1990
Greg LeMond won his third Tour de France.
2003
Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Ousay, were killed in a firefight

Friday, July 15, 2005

For What It's Worth

The NHLPA and the NHL owners have reached a new collective bargaining agreement and there will be hockey in 2006...it's almost puck season, be ready to shoot one!

The Chase for the Nextel Cup could begin without the sport's two biggest stars, right now Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon are on the outside looking in.

Softball is a great game, winning would make it a bit better, being able to play on good wheels would be terrific. A few weeks ago I rolled an ankle, I think I may have done more than that to it, pass the tape and send me back out coach.

No ball player likes to end the night eating the donut, but after going 0-2 with an RBI and seeing the average drop over 100 points, I'll take the dip from .833 to .713 and gladly let it get down to .500 if we can win of these things.

Welcome back Gimpy, enjoy the bullpen.

Curt Schilling, the closer...experiments in the midst of a pennant race scare the crap out of me.

Schilling stands a chance of having the least chance of turning into a pryomaniac/arsonist in the pen though.

Red Sox fans remember these names: Dustin Pedroia and Jon Papelbon.

Call me crazy, but I don't think "Battle Hymn of the Republic" should be sung in a Christian service. For that matter, get the American flag out of sancturaries altogether too.

I just found out that I missed a boring time at the 'Tute for the 5 year reunion, though it would have been nice to see Cosmo and company again...I simply can not stand how they treat the alumni.

Coach Fran is coaching football at Blinn, look it up.

The City of College Station fired their City Manager today. May I suggest my good friend and yours, Buddy. Heck, I could work him. I could also go giving myself knife wounds in the shark tank. Doesn't mean I'd do it.

My brother is spending 3 days in the Bahamas. Excellent!

My brother is spending 3 days in the Bahamas underwater on a submarine and not on the beach. HA-HA!

No truth to the rumor that Nantucket Nectars is hiring Barry Bond, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield to be the spokesman for the compnay's new "We're Juice Guys!" campaign, but we can only hope.

That's it, rename the damn race already...it's the Tour de Lance...let's be clear on that one Frenchie.

Syracuse, New York's favorite cowgirl is coming to Texas next week, roll out the red carpet folks and break out the Shiner.

Speaking of cowgirls, my favorite is back in the area October 15th!

The hands of time are ticking, Friday the hour tolls again for the 27th time. I took Monday off.

I need to clean the apartment.

The Red Sox thumped the Yankees tonight 17-1.

TBBB is working on a new album due in October.

Have I mentioned that I got a hug from BB a few weeks ago. I don't get many hugs....I take what I can get.

"Somewhere Down in Texas", the new George Strait album, is pure gold.

Till next time remember .....

If dogs aren't supposed to eat dental floss out of the trash, why did they make it mint flavored?

Monday, July 04, 2005


IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these ColoniesFor taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. --And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
--John Hancock
New Hampshire:Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton