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02/16/2004: "Sickness, Science, and Robotics"

music: The String Quartet Tribute to Linkin Park - Cure for the Itch, Linkin Park - One Step Closer, Linkin Park - P5hng Me Axwy
mood: Like crap

Using: Mozilla Lightningemu and Mozilla Superbug

I am sick and I feel terrible. I think I picked something up at the concert; I haven’t felt up to snuff sense. Also, I had trouble getting to sleep; I’m attributing this to a lithium dependence – although having no schedule also contributed. And the lack of sleep contributed to me getting sick. It’s all one vicious circle. It did get me to thinking about things, however – because of scientific advance, I who know very little of the biological sciences that can be known, know far more already than almost everyone just 50 years ago, and certainly more than everyone a hundred years ago. The same goes for most scientific topic – physics, chemistry, economics (although this country is woefully economically illiterate). I’m not sure it works with astronomy, where those proposing new theories seem to have gone off the deep end… seriously, how much more convincing is the big bang theory (“boom and it was all there”) than the creation theory (“boom x 7 days and it was all there”)…? Seriously, more than any other division of science – but not exclusive of the other sciences by any means – astronomy has become the religion of disproving the need for a creator. Where I am right now, I don’t claim to know either way – but at least I know that I don’t know. As the old saying goes, “It is better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Which is not to say that I don’t encourage scientific thought and theorizing. As I stated early, the scientific method has brought the quality of life forward leaps and bounds. It has done far more that can be seen by the average person than any other philosophy or religion. But that doesn’t mean that blind speculation that happens to match with some results is a legitimate theory either.

Arcanius steps off soapbox…

Today was another late start, but not nearly as bad as before. I fixed a program on my mom’s computer at her office (its great having the password of the IT guy there… oh wait, I am the IT guy there), and then I went to IS to watch the Robot drive around. We already broke the arm (its too powerful, I guess that’s my fault)… but the ball-picker upper and dumper thing worked pretty well once when we turned off one of the motors. We later removed that motor and assembly to save weight, and will test tomorrow whether the new system works. After testing, we returned to Larrys where new pillow blocks were constructed for better turning and Dave, Tim and I built a goal grabber. Larry then started working on fixing the arm. Saturday we get to test the thing out on as close to a real field as we will see before the real competition. That is the date we are shooting to be complete by. I still think we should use the next five days we have to tweak things, but people are getting pretty tired of the hectic schedule.

I’m off to sleep off this sickness and dream of lightweight mechanisms to lift a 130 pound robot five feet into the air.




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