29 November 2013

2013 EE Reunion - Views of Campus As We Knew It

Our reunion was held in the penthouse of the Science Tower, in which the Electrical Engineering Dept. was once located on a single floor.  I've already posted photos of the attendees, both graduates and professors from the 1971 through to 1975 era, plus a few graduates from other years, including our 1st PhD EE.  There were so many photos that I did not even attempt to identify them.

In this post, I'm going to include some photographs of the campus, at least the part we remember.  All the many new buildings are to the south of the Science Tower, but our old campus was to the north.  Except for the Science Tower, all the photos were taken on  26 October 2013.

The Science Tower, northern view of the rear of the building.  The structure at the top contains the penthouse/boardroom in which we had our reunion.  The EE Dept. was on the sixth floor:
 Campbell Hall, in which I lived in a 2nd floor center room, with its own bathroom and an adjoining door to the next center room should we wish to have a four man, two bath apartment.  I lived in that room for four years.  The dorm was open in front and did not have the electronic doors as it now does.  All the tall pines in the center of the quad of dorms blew down during a hurricane.

The following comic is exactly how I feel when I try to manufacture a smile for a camera.  As a result, there are only two or three photos posted in which I can be found in the earlier post and I'm not much inclined to identify myself..
This next photo is of the campus - again, as we knew it - to the north of the Science Tower and taken at dusk from the penthouse on the evening of our reunion.

After everyone left, I took a few poor nighttime photos to the north and only the lights can be seen.   I took a  few downward towards the sidewalk leading to the Science Tower and one a bit farther out.

On the next day, I took some photos of the old campus undergrad classrooms, both inside and outside the quad of buildings, a photo of our founding president, Jerome Keuper, and a photo of the auditorium we once used for a number of purposes.
Gleason Auditorium
Inside the quad of classes:

Outside the quad of classes:

Statute of Jerome Keuper:

2013 Electrical Engineering Reunion At FIT

Professor Emeritus Andrew Revay, Martin Carberry
Andy Revay and Dick Unger

Andy Revay, Janet and Professor Emeritus Robert Kemerait

Andy Revay, Mary Ellen and Andy St. Pierre

Dr. Andrew Revay

Ben Arnold, Raymond Futrell

Gary Rohlke, with Brent Doyle, Scip DeKanter and Raymond Futrell in the background.

Ben Arnold, Minerva and Manuel Figueroa, PhD EE

Ben Arnold, Raymond Futrell, Professor Emeritus Harry Weber

Bob Kemerait
Brent Doyle, Scip DeKenter, Raymond Futrell

Brent Doyle, Tom Gutierrez, Gary Rohlke

Carmen Alvarez, Professor John Hadjilogiou "Dr.Hadj."

Carmen Alvarez, Minerva Figueroa, Harry Weber

Dick Unger

Dick Unger, Raymond Futrell, Scip DeKanter, Harry Weber

Andy Revay, Martin Carberry
Bob Kemerait

Gary Rohlke

Gary Rohlke, Brent Doyle, Tom Gutierrez


Gary Rohlke followed by Dick Unger

Gary Rohlke and John Hadjilogiou

Janet Kemerait, Mary Ellen and Andy St. Pierre
Janet Kemerait, Harry Weber, Bob Kemerait

Drs. Hadj. and Revay

Manuel and Minerva Figueroa, Martin Carberry

Manuel Figueroa, Martin Carberry

Manuel and Minerva Figueroa, Drs. Hadj and Revay

Marjorie Beckett of the Alumni Office

Marjorie Beckett of the Alumni Office

Martin Carberry, John Hadj., Scip DeKanter

Minerva and Manuel Figueroa

Raymond Futrell, Scip DeKanter, Harry Weber, Dick Unger

Scip DeKanter, Raymond Futrell, Dr. Hadj., Manuel Figueroa

Scip DeKanter

Tom Gutierrez, Brent Doyle 

22 November 2013

How Old is My Pet in Human Terms

How Old Is My Dog?

Consider two 10-year-old dogs, a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. Under the 1-equals-7 formula, they'd both be considered the equivalent of a 70-year-old person. And while that's probably not too far off the mark for the Great Dane (10 years for a Dane is indeed near the outer edge of life expectancy), the Chihuahua is likely still acting middle-aged.

But even the Great Dane didn't match the old formula when he was young. In the first year of his life, he would have attained most of his height, something no human 7-year-old ever does.

It's more accurate to think of the first year of a dog's life getting him just over the first big jump of adolescence, with the second year bringing him close to full adult maturity physically, although as in humans, mental maturity may still be on the horizon. From there, it really does depend on the kind of dog in question. I think it's more important to focus on the individual dog, with the knowledge that size and breeding matter when it comes to aging. Roughly put, you can consider your dog to be a senior citizen at 7 if he's that Great Dane, but not until 11-plus if he's the Chihuahua.

Your actions can influence your dog's aging process, by the way. In particular, dogs who spend their lives overweight or obese will experience chronic pain and illness earlier than active and healthy dogs of normal weight. So while you're taking precautions to keep yourself young, do the same for your dog, by watching his diet and encouraging him to get plenty of exercise. 



How Old Is My Cat?

What about cats? We all love easy answers, so after the idea of "dog years" became popular, we started seeing the same methodology applied to cats: Take the lifespan of a cat, compare it to a person, then get your formula, which is why you may frequently hear that 1 cat year equals 4 human years.

You're ahead of me already, I bet: A 1-year-old cat is far more mature than a 4-year-old child, and a 2-year-old cat is fully mature, which can never be said of a human 8-year-old.

Because cats have less size diversity than dogs do, however, in this case we actually can make the formula work, if we start calculating at a cat's second birthday. The first year takes a cat to late adolescence, and the second into young adulthood. You can then start counting in fours: Figure a 2-year-old cat at 24 "human years." and add four years for every one thereafter, making a 4-year-old cat the equivalent of a 32-year-old person. That makes a 9-year-old cat about 52 in human terms, and 16-year-old cat about 80.

But, as we love to say about ourselves, age is only a number. With cats and dogs (and people!), proactive, preventive wellness care with proper diet and exercise is the best way not only to achieve a longer life but also to have it be a happy, healthy one.


10 Tips to Avoid Speeding Tickets

Popular MechanicsBy Phil Berg | Popular Mechanics

"The motorist is a source of revenue," says Richard Diamond. And it's become his life's obsession to change that.

By day, Diamond is the managing editor at The Washington Times. But by night, he is a relentless advocate for drivers. It started when he was 16 and got a speeding ticket from a California cop hiding in a speed trap. What Diamond considered an unfair tax and nasty constraint on his newfound mobile freedom has grated on him for 26 years. So Diamond launched into years of research on police ticketing strategies, some of it while employed on Capitol Hill, and all disclosed daily on his self-funded website since 2004. 
"Ticketing efforts have not gone down one bit," he says. Instead, there is a bewildering new variety of methods such as automated ticket machines with cameras and license-plate readers, doling out tickets for blocking bus lanes during gridlock or idling too long. "Any violation you can dream up, they're working on a device to ticket you. You can get laws passed for anything."

But speeding still makes up about 54 percent of tickets, Diamond says. Factoring the data from 40 states that report speeding revenue, "I estimate that it's $2 billion annually" in the U.S.

Here's some Diamond wisdom to help:

1. "The very first thing is to
have situational awareness. If traffic slows, there's a reason," Diamond says.

2. Be ready for anything. There are speed traps from moving and stationary radar, lidar, known-location speed cameras, as well as hidden cameras, VASCAR stopwatch calculators, and just plain visual observation. In Vermont, for example, a police officer can simply make a guess of a vehicle's speed and it will stand in court, though that has been outlawed in most places.

3. "Keep a low profile—don't call attention to yourself. A minivan in the slow lane is less likely to get a ticket than a red Ferrari."

4. Keep quiet. Diamond says to present your license and registration and insurance card, and that's it. "You don't have to answer [anything] else—you have to say you're asserting your right to stay silent, or 'Please speak to my lawyer.' Do it in a polite way, nice and respectful. Antagonists get the most tickets. There are no warnings for a**holes."

5. Fight every ticket. In court, attacks on the legality of a speed-limit sign have been known to work. Attacks on the chain of evidence have worked too. In the Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts case of 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that the sixth amendment right to face one's accuser applies to lab tests. In California, courts have interpreted this to mean that photo tickets are not valid unless the technician who analyzed the photo testifies in court.

6. Now we're getting into serious ticket-fighting territory. "Check for the technical calibration of radar," Diamond says. "Usually radar evidence is admissible, presuming calibration. But in some states, any laser ticket is thrown out automatically because there is no calibration possible."

To do this, check the manufacturer specifications for the device via a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act ) request to the police department that issued the ticket. Ask for a description of how the police department abided by the calibration specs, which usually involves checking a radar gun's frequency with a tuning fork provided by the radar gun manufacturer and sending the unit to the manufacturer to be recalibrated. "It's worth investing the time to get your ticket overturned. I've done it myself in Virginia. First thing to do is pull up the vehicle code."

7. Check the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which you can find here, Diamond says. If the speed-limit signs aren't up to code, you can beat the ticket on a technicality. "Even the font of the sign is specified," he says. And "many places hide [speed] cameras behind signs and bushes. There's even one behind the welcome to d.c. sign."

8. "The judge is not there to find you not guilty. The judge is part of the revenue-collection machine. Give him a reason to find you not guilty," Diamond says.

The best way to do this is to record the conversation you have with the ticketing officer. If there is a contradiction between the recording and the officer's written report, Diamond says, "his credibility is shot." Just be sure to check your state laws before you do this. For example, Maryland does not allow you to record with a cellphone, Diamond says. There have been arrests in Massachusetts and Illinois as well for recording conversations with police, although the trend is for courts to dismiss these instances.

Get all the data you can. "Ask the officer where he was when he first stopped you, and how long he paced you." Then, Diamond says, photograph the speed-limit sign where you were stopped, the location where you first saw the officer, and the location where the officer says he first saw you. "Pacing is one of the top methods used for tickets, but in Pennsylvania the officer needs to have followed you for 0.3 mile to use pacing," he says. "Often they don't pace that far. They get sloppy a lot because they can."

9. Find a friend in the local police department. "This is the advanced course—knowing the patterns of where police are and when," Diamond says. "For example, the day after New Year's, that morning they're all sleeping. Look for shift patterns."

10. Finally, pressure your legislators. "We need to stop federal incentives for speeding tickets. States are paid for speed enforcement—the government measures this by speeding-ticket quotas," Diamond says. Voter pressure has banned speed and red-light automatic-ticket cameras by petition in 30 cities recently. "And they are liberal cities, conservative cities, rich like Newport Beach, poor cities, big like Cincinnati, small cities—it doesn't matter."