Saturday, June 28, 2008

Robot Eco Dogs

This news story sort of has to do with Little Brother, the book I just read, since the author talked about this story in the Bibliography in the back.

"For the Feral Dogs Project Jeremijenko has worked with numerous student groups to create packs of roving robo-dogs, which are “released” en masse into a community space to sniff out harmful VOCs, ozone, and other environmental toxins. The ‘packs’ of feral robotic dogs are designed to “patrol” sites of public interest like schools, parks, and industrial sites, in order to generate community and media attention on the issue on contaminants in the environment."

How cool is that? These students are hacking into toy robot dogs and turning them into toxic waste detectors!
I would LOVE to make one of these at home, but I'm definitely not tech savvy enough to do it.

Here's a link to the Feral Robotic Dogs website:

Speaking of robots, I saw the movie Wall*e tonight, and fell in love with it. If you don't love it for the adorableness of robot romance then you'll at least be awed by the cool computer animation.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Little Brother

I've been really busy lately (packing stuff to move-eugh), and nothing blog worthy is currently going on in my life (again packing stuff=boring and sad), so I thought I'd post some info about the book I'm currently reading. It's called Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, and its a pretty cool science fiction novel set in the close future. The main thing that got me to read this book were the reviews. Neil Gaiman and Scott Westerfeld!! Neil Gaiman's review is especially awesome (its on the bottom of the page). By the way, if any of you don't know who either of these authors are, follow these steps:
1. Smack yourself on the head. (not to hard though-I don't want my blog responsible for any concussions)
2. Go to your nearest library, bookstore, or go to and find books by these authors. There are many of them.
3. Read the books. I recommend Anansi Boys, American Gods, or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman. Anything by Scott is excellent.

Anyway, one of the cool things about Little Brother is that it teaches you some awesome anti-surveilance tricks.

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

“A wonderful, important book…I’d recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I’ve read this year, and I’d want to get it into the hands of as many smart thirteen-year-olds, male and female, as I can. Because I think it’ll change lives. Because some kids, maybe just a few, won’t be the same after they’ve read it. Maybe they’ll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it’ll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they’ll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they’ll want to open their computer and see what’s in there. I don’t know. It made me want to be thirteen again right now, and reading it for the first time.” —Neil Gaiman, author of Sandman and American Gods on Little Brother

“A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion.” --Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, on Little Brother

Friday, June 13, 2008

So true...

This picture just made my day :D I thought I'd share it with everyone else.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Most Excellent Days Ahead...

Well at least for me. And only spanning the course of four days. But still, I'm majorly excited for the next couple of days.

Why, you ask? Because I'm going to see Wicked the musical this Sunday! On Broadway! I have been wanting to see this musical since I was in seventh grade and our chorus sang the songs from it. It is going to be AMAZING.
If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about you can check out , a tres cool site where you can hear most of the songs from the musical in the entirety. Listen to Defying Gravity in particular, since its my absolute favorite song from the musical.

Only slightly less important than going to see Wicked is my 15th birthday which is June 9th. Then, just one more year after that and I can legally start driving! (Ok...only in some states, but whatever.)

And, although I'm slightly embarrassed to say this, I'm also pretty excited for my school's semi formal tomorrow night. I mean, I don't know why I should be, it's only two hours long, and they're sure to play crappy music, and no one will actually dance. Maybe my excitement has something to do with my finding a dress I actually LIKE. (its red, black and awesome all over!) Or, just possibly, it might have something to do with me having a cute date. :)

Of course, after all this I'll once again be thrust into the worrisome time that is My End of the Year Finals.
I really should study...