Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Comments wanted

Iris tells me how disappointed she is that her appeal for game ideas did not generate a single comment. When I first saw that post, I didn't think anyone would answer her. After all, why would anyone give away their ideas for free?

I thought that her appeal was not specific enough and that the post did not show much legwork on her part. That isn't to say she hasn't done the legwork. I find drawings of characters and story threads all over the house. She just hadn't demonstrated that she had put work into the project.

Do you want to see some of the mythology-inspired characters she has drawn? Leave her a comment and let her know!

I just learned today that HuffPo's 6,000 bloggers work for free. How much of that $315 Million will Arianna share with her serfs?

If that is how I feel about free labor, why do I work as a volunteer CSA coordinator? (So that the program doesn't disappear and I can continue to enjoy my veggies.)

Why did I volunteer to help Iris' middle school robotics team? (So they can have a better chance against teams that have a lower than 38:1 student teacher ratio.)

Why did I agree to work as an unpaid guest-blogger the week of March 7 for James Fallows while he is on book leave? (Because I look forward to reading his book when he is finished and also because I am a long-time subscriber to the Atlantic--a for-profit enterprise that runs in the red as often as it runs in the black.)

Posting may be light as I try to bank up blog posts for my stint at http://www.theatlantic.com/james-fallows/. It should be an interesting week with a science and technology theme.

I am also furiously reading up about how to build and program Lego NXT robots. The programming API is built on LabVIEW, so I am hoping it will make intuitive sense to me.

Northrop Grumman sponsored two FLL teams (of 10) for the school and provided several NXT kits. In December 2010, the two teams competed in the qualifying round in Manhattan Beach. Iris was one of 3 kids moved from team A to team B to rebalance them a bit. Her original team did great and advanced to the next round. Her new team fell just short, and placed as an alternate.

For the Spring Showdown Robotics Tournament at Legoland, the school came up with the money to send an all-girl robotics team! Iris and three other girls were selected. They are working assidiuously with the aid of one of the girls' fathers. He's in PDR* and he still finds time to volunteer so I have no excuse not to shuffle my work schedule so I can help, too.

I wonder if the girls want to tie-dye their old team shirts pink?

*PDR is preliminary design review. All satellite programs go through thorough design reviews at various stages or milestones. Engineers and managers for both the contractor and the buyer work very long hours leading up to and during the design review process. PDR is the last chance to catch gotchas before proceeding to build the satellite.


  1. Marie-Christine02:49

    It'd be immensely preferable if socially useful work could simply be funded. 30 years of Republican fiscal policies have made that completely hopeless in the US. So if you want something useful, these days you've got to do it yourself.

    And also, it's hard to see a socially useful point to most jobs these days too. So a little volunteer work, which usually has more immediate rewards, really helps the pill go down.

  2. Congrats on the guest blogging stint. Be sure to remind us the week of the 7th so that I remember to go check out your posts!

    And hurray for the robotics team. And the dad who is carving out time to volunteer despite being in PDR.


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