Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Nerdy Traffic Post for Donald Tetto

Okay I have been somewhat lackadaisical regarding my newtiness of late. Sorry guys. As some of you know, I have started work, which turns out to be delightful. I couldn't ask for nicer co-workers, and the projects we are working on are all so fascinating to me (although, as a Junior Engineer, I'm more in charge more of the grunt-work than actual design, but you've gotta start somewhere).

Last week I helped conduct a study for the town of Dedham (pronounded like DEAD-'em). See, many of the residents believe that a significant number --- or, as we say in the transportation world, "volume" --- of cars are cutting through their neighborhood (please refer to my AutoCAD drawing below) to bypass the traffic light where the two roads intersect.
You can imagine why this would be unsafe, with people speeding around to shave off a few seconds from their travels while little kids wait for the bus or play soccer in the street. So we placed several of our finest staff at key intersections to record the vehicles entering and exiting the neighborhood. A simple way to check whether the same vehicles were cutting through or not was to make note of the last three digits of the license plate (and the state, but they were mostly the same state anyway). If that same vehicle made a right-hand turn into the neighborhood off of the first major road and then appeared turning out of the neighborhood onto the other road, there is a pretty good chance that the vehicle was cutting through. It is not a foolproof method, because we did not write down the exact minute and second that we observed these license plate numbers. So there is no way of knowing how long a vehicle actually spent in the neighborhood. It is possible, therefore, that some of the people who actually live in the area arrive at their house through one route and leave via another.

Apparently it does not matter though, because a total of one car made the cut-through movement during the morning rush hour and less than fifteen made that same movement during the afternoon rush hour. It is safe to assume that there are even fewer cars during other times of the day.

Also we have an office volleyball team and are going go-cart racing in August. All in all, I am pleased with the career move.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Theremin Awesomeness

A vid sent to me by my awesome sister, Beth: Don't worry; be happy!

And while we're on the subject... here's a more mellow one, just as awesome:

I <3 theremins!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

101 signs that Newt needs to get a life

101 reasons it is a good thing that Newt is beginning work this coming Monday

1. spends way too long trying to pick* off the label from the basmati rice sack in hopes of making a cool shoulder bag from it
2. checks email compulsively
3. watches teeny-bopper music videos** ...numerous times in a row (seriously guys, click the link and check out the radio at ~1:26!!!)
4. bedroom is completely tidy
5. views multiple episodes of Friends, season 3 on DVD from the library
6. works on lolnewts for beth for over an hour:

blah blah I can't think of any more... but I'm sure there are. I think the basmati rice bag incident was a low point. Tomorrow I'll hopefully work on my motor scooter in hopes of getting it going for the summer season. Or go to the beach. Provided I can get baby sister to come with.

*I gave up, realizing that there was no way I'd get the entire label off, even if I picked for 20 hours. It was definitely adhering quite strongly to the bag.

**petra, do you recognize that sidewalk in the video???

Monday, June 4, 2007

What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing...

...and what do we think we might see?

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
Try to get your hands on the Sarah McLachlan version of this song; it's really quite soulful and lonely in her beautiful way of singing. I could probably listen to it 100 times in a row. Sometimes that kills a song, but I don't think it would kill this one.

I just looked out the window and saw my little brother walking home from school in the gloomy, gloomy drizzle.

What a time of goodbyes and change life has been of late.