December 25, 2004

From a Tropical Place

Hello everyone and merry christmas, feliz navidad, sheng dan jie kuai le, wesowych swiat, and (runnin out of languages). I am presently sitting in an internet cafe along the playa zicatela in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The weather, a fabulous 20 degrees celsius. The food, a delicious blend of mexican, japanese seafood. The sushi here is amazing. For $15, you get this large plate of sashimi with all sorts of vegetables with a side of rice and seaweed. Its almost like eating fajitas, you just grab whatever and make your own sushi rolls. Not to mention its right on the beach where they have surfing competitions in august. While the pipe is only 3-5 feet right now, im sure it becomes more impressive at other times.

I spent most of today playing on various playas and snorkeling. The first time I went out (for about 45 minutes) I saw tons of tropical and beautifully colored fish. I even saw a school of about 100-150 flat, thin, blue and yellow fish. On my second time out I convinced Vicky to go out. Of course none of the snorkels fit her and all the sand in her flippers were irritating. So it wasnt too long before she was having a little trouble breathing and wanted to go back. We were pretty far out at that time and so i took off my snorkel to talk to her while I put my hand out to prop myself against a rock. I put my hand directly on a sea urchin, which stabbed me with about 6-10 prickly needles. It was so painful, but Vicky was having more trouble than I was breathing so we both headed back to the beach. I pulled out all my needles, and OMG it was so painful. Some old pearl divers near the shore saw that I had a problem and was quick to offer help. Apparently the way to deal with it (at least in Mexico) is you piss on your hand, and the uric acid will cause all the needles to pop right out and will ease the numbness. I did, and it felt better, but I felt pretty horrible with urine on my hand so I washed it off (stupidly). Even 3 or 4 hours later or so, my hand is numb and swollen. Its not too serious and should go away within a day or two. The way I see it, it was better my hand than some other body parts!

Despite that, today was a wonderful Christmas and I wouldn´t have wanted to spend it any other way. Im off to eat some sushi! Enjoy the holidays!

Posted by peter at 07:12 PM

December 11, 2004


I just saw the movie Hero (英雄). That was an amazing movie. Very sad ending. But very highly recommended. I will be going to watch the House of Flying Daggers in early January if anyone is up to watching it. In any case, the chinese word to learn is:


Sword, Blade

Good luck with finals everyone!

Posted by peter at 09:14 PM

December 03, 2004

NASA And Terrorism

Professor Suh is on a committee advising four star generals on what to do with the military concerning terrorism. And Professor Suh has asked us to help him brainstorm ideas that he can present to the Department of Defense (DoD). So basically, I am and advisor of the advisor to the military elite. COOL! So basically we are designing a strategy to combat terrorism. To give you a high level idea of how we approach the problem, you have to do 5 things:

1. Prevent the creation of terrorists
2. Prevent terrorist strikes
3. Defend yourself during a terrorist strike
4. Neutralize the effects of an attack
5. Bring attackers to justice

On another note, today I will be speaking with the project leaders of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) at Draper Laboratory (and independent, non-profit research organization). We may be starting a collaboration work with them. Next week I may be going to Lockheed Martin with meet with their project leader for the CEV and other LM space business executives. Finally, during finals week, I will be going to NASA's Headquarters in Washington DC to discuss our involved in the development of the CEV. Dang, thats freakin COOL!

So sometimes being a graduate student is a drag, but in the end I think its really worth it. Today I was accepted into the PhD program at MIT! So next semester I can officially be considered "A PhD Candidate" hahahha sounds good to me.

All Right! I am going to play some Final Fantasy now. /grin

Posted by peter at 05:55 AM