Monday, May 16, 2011

Senior Design

One bit of information to note is that from my last blog, “Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Weather and Nuclear War at Discovery Park (part 2)”, after speaking with one of the engineering dean’s it was confirmed that the reason the second basement level is blocked is due to dangerous chemicals.  The video in my last blog is one of the pastimes in Texas.  Traditionally cowboys used to ride horses and bulls at a rodeo where they would try to stay on for 8 seconds.  In the nuclear warhead riding sport, the person who is able to stay on the nuclear warhead till it hits the ground wins.  Unfortunately win or lose you still die which is tragic but makes for great entertainment. (Just kidding and moving on to this blog)

A few weeks ago was Senior Design Day for the College of Engineering at UNT.  As an engineering student one of the last classes taken is Senior Design.  In senior design, a group of seniors in the same major team up and work on a project that spans over the fall and spring semester.  The project in senior design culminates the knowledge you've learned over the past four years.

While I wasn't able to talk with all the people that had a senior design project on display, I was able to view a few interesting projects.  One such project that I saw was called “Crate Jumpers”  by a group of Computer science and computer engineering majors.  It featured a robot that was able to determine whether it could safely enter or circumnavigate a meteor crater.  The robot was constructed out of a broken down Segway with an Xbox Kinnect used as a sensor in the front.  The sensor had infrared technology which could recognize when something was in it's path.  The robot was controlled using an Xbox controller.

I also spoke with some of the seniors for senior day to see what they had to do in regards to their project.  While the project itself may have not taken long, several research papers had to be written and presented.  One group even had to travel to Houston to present their research paper at a professional conference.

Overall senior day is a proud moment to look back from when you first started your engineering program and reflect on how much knowledge, experience, and good times you have acquired throughout that time.  Even though it was a long and hard road, you stuck to it and persevered till the end. 

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

Congratulations to all seniors! 

Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Weather and Nuclear War at Discovery Park (part 2)

So in my last blog I discussed that anyone who visits or goes to Discovery Park should never worry if a real bad rainstorm hits.  Discovery Park has a basement which can be used to house students and faculty at the time of the bad weather.  In this blog I will discuss why no one should ever worry about nuclear war while at Discovery Park.
In my last blog I also mentioned to everyone my roommate told me what he had to do while he was at Discovery Park this past Monday during the bad weather.  What I did not mention was that after my roommate told of me of what happened I gave him a little bit of history and information about Discovery Park.  Discovery Park used to be owned by Texas Instruments back in the late 80’s as a facilities manufacturing plant.  This can still be seen by some of the features around Discovery Park such as the indoor gardens located throughout the building.  Texas Instruments later left the facility and it became vacant for some time.  In 2004, the facility was opened to the College of Engineering and now all engineering departments are at Discovery Park.  
In regards to why Discovery Park is nuclear safe, the building was required to be designed such that it could take a nuclear blast and it is also rumored to be the 4th safest place for the president to go in case of a nuclear disaster.  The basement at Discovery Park contains two levels.  The first basement level is a great place for anyone looking to shoot a horror movie because of it being dimly lit and containing nothing but long hallways.  The second basement level cannot be accessed.  While I do not know the exact reason as to why the second basement level cannot be accessed, one reason I heard was from a parent whose child I gave a tour to of Discovery Park.  The parent worked for a company in the defense industry and said the second level of the basement contained dangerous chemicals that were used by the previous owner to make missiles.  Though a lot of rumors exist about Discovery Park one sure thing is you’ll get a Great Education!
So anyone scared of being caught in a nuclear war at Discovery Park need not worry, it will protect you.
Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying about weather and Nuclear War at Discovery Park

My next two blogs will discuss the structure of Discovery Park and why no one should ever worry about weather or nuclear war while there.
This past Monday displayed some of the worst weather in Denton since the really heavy snowstorms in February. 
I was on the main campus taking my Applied Statistics class at 2p.m.  Its funny how fast the weather can change because before I went to class it was a sunny day with a few clouds in the sky.  At around 3:10 p.m. my class could hear sirens from the air horns around Denton going off.  My professor ignored the sirens and continued with his lecture.  A few minutes later, lots of doors could be heard opening and closing outside and soon lots of people were in the hallway.  The noise was distracting making it hard to pay attention to the professor.  Finally a safety captain came into our room and ordered my class to evacuate to the first floor of Chilton Hall in the media library for protection.  While I was only able to catch a glimpse of what was happening outside, I could clearly see it was raining pretty hard.  When I got to the media library the place was full of people from the entire building seeking shelter.  At around 3:30 p.m. the sirens had stopped ringing, the rain was not pouring as bad, and the safety coordinators let everyone go.
I told my roommate about what happened during class.  He told me he was at Discovery Park at the time listening to music when a safety coordinator made everyone in the building go down into the basement at Discovery Park and everyone stayed down there until the safety coordinator deemed the upstairs safe.  Eventually the storm died down and everyone was able to return to their offices and classrooms.  Overall Discovery Park was able to protect everyone there from the hard rainstorm that hit.  So anyone scared of being caught in a bad storm at Discovery Park need not worry, it will protect you.
(Part two: Not worrying about nuclear war about Discovery Park)
Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UNT Run Off Election

In a previous blog I discussed about the election for senators, Student Body President, and Vice President.  The election results have resulted in a run off election because no candidate recieved 25% of the majority vote.  The run off election will take place from April 25 to April 27.  From the period of the first election til now, alot has been going on around campus to further fuel the election.  This past week several student organizations including: the Feminist Majority Leadership, the UNT National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and the Gay and Lesbian Association of Denton (GLAD) protested the Student Government Association meeting on Wednesday.  Referendums and proposed legislation that were being pushed by NORML and GLAD were not put through this semester which has angered both organizations.  It is situations like these that further fuel the importance of the student body elections at UNT.  The leadership at UNT is responsible for getting out the referendums and proposed legislation to the student body to vote on.   
The election of the the student body president and vice president will greatly influence the legislation that goes on next year.  Hopefully the run off election goes well and UNT will finally have it's Student Body President for next year.
Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Windy University Day

This past Friday was the 50th annual University Day at the University of North Texas.  University Day is an annual event which is held in the spring time to commemorate when UNT officially made the transition from a college to a university by changing its name from North Texas State College to North Texas State University.  A little history about UNT, it was founded back in 1890 by Joshua Chilton and has hence changed its name six times.  The final name change to UNT happened in 1988 when it took the name the University of North Texas. (Back to University Day)
Overall the event was good minus the wind.  These past few weeks have brought high winds to the area.  At University Day the wind was blowing pretty hard and caused a few problems.  First there was a big rack with a lot of large metal trays on it.  The wind blew the big rack over and caused one of the trays to fly out and blow away like a piece of paper.  Luckily the large metal tray was able to be stopped before anyone got hurt.  The next problem I saw with the wind was it blew over a table and hit an older lady in her ankle and hurt her.  Luckily she was attended to immediately by the staff around her.  The final problem I saw with the wind was there was a dunking booth which was blown entirely over causing all the water to spill out.  Luckily no one was in or around the dunking booth area.
Other than that, University Day was pretty good.  There was free a meal which included your choice of a brisket or vegetarian sandwich, chips, a brownie, and a bottle of water.  There was also a live band, student organizations, games, and prizes.  Also the fountain in the middle of campus was dyed green.  ( I have the picture above)
Overall, University Day allowed for UNT students to come out, have a good time, and take pride in going to the University of North Texas.
Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Week at UNT

This week is Earth Week at UNT which will be used to further promote UNT’s mission of being an energy efficient school. Throughout my past four years at UNT, the university has continually made efforts to make UNT a green campus.  Here are some of the ways UNT tries to go green.
When it comes to main campus and Discovery Park, both have different amenities in regards to going green.  Almost all throughout the main campus you’ll find recycling bins for aluminum cans, paper, and trash.  Discovery Park has a few recycle bins mainly in the computer labs for paper but not so many aluminum bins.  In regards to saving energy, one big resource you'll find especially at Discovery Park but not much on the main campus is a lot of classroom lights are wired to automatic sensors that turn the lights on when someone is moving.  The lights usually stay on for about 5-10 minutes and then will cut off once again if no movement is detected.  As a result of turning the lights off to a classroom, electricity and money are saved which can thereby go to other needs of the university.  One such instance is a few months ago when I interviewed for an internship with a company whose purpose was to create sustainability at schools.  Even though I did not get the internship, I did find what the company did to be pretty interesting.  By monitoring the air conditioning system at the schools, the company allowed schools to save money on electricity which in turn trickled down to allow teacher’s jobs to be saved.  So as you can see the Going Green and using less energy can trickle down in the long run.
I hope everyone enjoys Earth Week and all its festivities.
Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

UNT Elections

Last week was elections for student body president and college senators at UNT.  Elections are important at UNT and every vote definitely counts.  In previous elections, some issues were barely passed.  The issues put on the election ballot not only deal with which candidates will be student body president and vice president, it also deals with issues affecting everyone at UNT.  Some issues placed on the ballot can deal with building a new building on campus and raising tuition to pay for it.  One such instance was the vote to build the new UNT football stadium or the recreational center. 
This year’s election has been clouded with much controversy.  While the election for senators was pretty straightforward, especially for the college of engineering since we had only one candidate to vote for, the election for president and vice president was more complex.  One of the biggest controversies came from a UNT alumni who endorsed a particular candidate on Facebook.  The UNT alumni was a former SGA president and a member of a Facebook group claiming to be affiliated with UNT.  The Facebook group consisted of about 4,000 members and the UNT alumni sent a message to the group members endorsing a candidate.  While it was unknown as to why the UNT alum did it, one conclusion was because the candidate running was in the same fraternity as he was.  Despite this problem, the newspaper published by UNT, the NT Daily, allowed for the candidates to speak about the controversy surrounding the endorsement. The results of the election should be up by this week. 
Hopefully the election will turn out fine and produce a president that will help UNT continue to become one the most well known schools around.
Fight the Good Fight
Ya Boy Archie Wright!