Sunday, March 30, 2008


My best friend in the known universe (the one in the beach pictures a few entries ago) is going to Emerson (letter B on the map) we've grown up together, and we picked colleges that met our dreams, and only after did we find out that they are in the same city and the exact same distance apart as we live now!

Great news, things look great

AP Tests

I have my own room for Physics C. Dialogue went like this:

AP registrar- "Ok just sign here to indicate you are taking this test"

*indicates blank sheet titled "Physics C"*

Me- "uhh am I the only one?"

AP registrar-"well, this is the last day for regisration, so...probably"

Me-"Does that mean I get an entire testing room completely to myself?"

AP registrar-"Yes"


So I guess my AP physics classmates are afraid of the C test. But I am not afraid, I have Walter Lewin on video lecture! I'm going to do wildly irritating things to my test proctor, like change seats after every question, or talk to myself loudly during the test, or listen to soft music whilst I write, and leave immediately after I finish. With no one else to worry about, I can do anything! I'm going to bring a lazy boy to take my test in. Rest assured, it will be epic!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Fuel tank is FINALLY here! Hoorah Hoorah! look for an epic entry tomorrow, in the meanwhile, I'm gonna go see 21 tonight.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Beach

Wow, it is neck-and-neck in my poll, a solid split! What will I do? I can't buy half an iPhone!

Coming out from that false importance (and my supreme jealousy of Snively....don't ask, he knows why....) I know you all were wondering "Chris? where are you? how can I make it through my days without your opinions on absolutely everything?" Well it's been a crazy past few days folks, and I'm here to share with you all the laughter, the tears, the beach trip.

Ok, a bit of prologue. My best friend in the known universe (and theorized to be so in 13 abstract dimensions) owns a beach house, and thus several times a year we make trips out there to get away from it all. The only problem is that Galveston Island is well....gross. The currents in the gulf carry the silt from the Mississippi right into Galveston, so the water assumes this disgusting opaque brown look. Great for farms, less for swimming. I wanted to establish that before you all send concerned emails that I'm a disillusioned youth swimming in an industrial park, because I know thats sort of what it looks like. Anyway, pictures:

This is what the postcards would have you believe galveston looks like, put on your reality glasses and compare that with what you see from my trip.

These are Baby Jellyfish. They look sort of like gelatinous ice cubes, but they're jellies!

For those of you who aren't near a beach, and maybe don't know what this beautiful thing is, it's a Portuguese Man O' War and it can kill you. Yea, beautiful and deadly.Just like (joke omitted for fear of being called misogynistic)

Live barnacles. Aren't they neat?

That's me in the red hoodie. That's Misty, my best friend not facing the camera. So then that night we drove into town to buy a firepit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.


Here you can see me eating two s'mores in one mighty bite. Note that my hands are black, that's because I'm going to MIT. Let me explain. I got out of the car and was elected to make the fire because I'm most qualified by virtue of being accepted to MIT. The charred wood made my hands black. I couldn't tell in the dark, it only showed up when this photo was developed.

The next day included lots of sand sculptures, including:
Worlds tiniest sand castle (That's my foot for reference!)
Misty's "Screaming Head" aptly named.

And I buried that girl and gave her gnome feet.

The next day we went skim boarding.
That's me, skim board king, looking all cool.

The next day we drove into town and saw a ferrari

Artists Reproduction

The woman in the cars age can be modeled by the equation a(x)=sqrt(x/3) where x is the drivers age in years. Yea it was nasty.

Shortly afterward we loaded our stuff up and headed home, good times.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

DHL Freight, phone calls, and iPhones

Ok, since the iPhone dilemma is an ongoing and raging debate (or at least for my ego's sake I pretend it is) I've included a poll in the margin to your right. Funny story actually, I spent this morning writing up a little java applet to do it, and I just finished only to realize that blogger includes a poll as one of their options....xD oh well, their's is better anyway. I think I'm going to keep this poll as a running theme, as in I'll change the poll from time to time and you'll have a way to voice your opinions on such important issues as, whether a beard will increase my manly magnetism (alliteration-zing!) or just make me look like grizzly adams(Fig.1), or other such things. One important thing to note is I can't change my carrier (as much as I'd like togrumble....Cingular sucks!....grumble
Last night I received my phone call from Maddie (yay!).
She's pretty cool, but since she's lived up north her whole life, she was unable to offer me much advice as far as what to wear so as not to freeze to death. But other than that she was very helpful, and recommended I check out the Burton Conner bunch, which I may (read:will) do.
Ok. I've decided for over a week now to blog about fixing my car with photos, dry-witted humor, a real blog party. Problem is, my parts haven't gotten here yet, even though I frickin' FREIGHTED them here over a week a ago. Sorry, had to express that frustration. Anyway when they come, expect a wonderful blog about it, until then I'm going to the beach! I'll be back Saturday!

P.s. For those of you who don't stalk the MIT blogs, I was first on Snively's post about tours
! I still think it's dumb to try and be first, or second etc. but since the oppurtunity presented itself.... don't look at me like that, it's not hypocrisy, it's....celebrating and trying to understand an alternative belief to my own =)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The iPhone dilemna

It's simple. I want an iPhone. It does everything I want it to, I can check my Gmail, mobile blog, and do iPod things in addition to a phone. I have AT&T, so no problems there. I went and played with one today and they're just as awesome as they were the last time I played with them, the new SDK means there will probably be some useful and cool programs coming out, and the memory is now 16 GB which is now within what I'd be happy with.

So whats the problem?


yikes. that's a lot of money, and I could feasibly buy it, but it was so hard to earn that much. Sally says I should buy one just to treat myself, but that seems foolish. hmmmm


Sunday, March 16, 2008

The whole admissions story

Ok, now that everything has sort of simmered down a bit, I figured you may be interested in how yesterday went (if not, don't read it. That simple.)


Let's start with Friday. Friday was the day before spring break at Pearland, and thus time for the annual Senior Vs. Faculty Dodgeball game, which was epic. I thought seniors were pretty lazy folk come 2nd semester, but the truth is senior teachers are just as bad, so in my classes I did Orange Juice of work. (inside physics joke. Hint: Whats the common abbreviation for Orange Juice? What unit is work measured in?)

In government we had an impromptu talent contest showcasing my ability to dance [read:not] and play the guitar. My teacher surprised us all when he started playing and singing, and he's 60-somethin years old!

Directly after school I went to tutor math for this one girl. She's in 5th grade and, no joke, absolutely does not get math. At all. Actual conversation:

"So if 12 buses can each carry 12 students, how many students are there?"
"ok, well what should we do to figure out how many students there are?"
*Chris bashes head into table*
The rest of the night is me just trying to do anything to keep my mind off decisions the next day. I finally end up falling asleep at 3.a.m. My mom and sister wake me up at 7 to tell me goodbye as they leave, and I can't fall back asleep. Great. So I spend the rest of the morning watching shows on the discovery channel, except I was constantly thinking about decisions so I have no idea what I watched, except at one point a crazy man with an Australian accent talked about snakes having two penises (penii? I'm not sure) because he said the word "Hemipenis" and I busted out laughing. (partially because in my head it made all those Chevy commercials incredibly akward. "Dude, does that have a hemi?" Finish the scene in your mind)
Anyway, about 10 o'clock I head to the bank to deposit my weeks earnings and such. While I'm waiting I'm again trapped by thoughts about admissions. I kicked myself for not applying to more schools. I think about the video I made and wonder who's seen it, and what they thought. The song that plays at the end, How Far We've Come by Matchbox 20, is one of my favorite songs, and in particular that line for me sums up the whole experience of my senior year to that point:
"I believe the world is burning to the ground/
oh well I guess we're gonna find out/
Let's see how far we've come/
Let's see how far we've come"
It means regardless of what happens, take a look and see what you've made of yourself, the journey you've gone on. I felt it was appropriate. I'm thinking about this as I get in the car, I turn on the radio and this is what I hear:

"I believe the world is burning to the ground/
oh well I guess we're gonna find out/
Let's see how far we've come/
Let's see how far we've come"
I think "Well wow, that's sort of a crazy coincidence." By the time I get home, it's 10:40. 20 minutes left (actually 15, I figured they'd post them a weee bit early). I sit down at my computer and open up three tabs in Firefox: the decision page, Pandora, and a page of encouraging quotes. I put on some Constance Demby on Pandora, (great band if you've never heard of them) and start reading the quotes to mentally prepare myself for the 88% chance (statistically anyway) of disappointment. The quotes I read are in another post. One in particular stuck out to me:
"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." ~Alexander Graham Bell
That helps calm me a lot. It puts everything in perspective, and I truly feel ok with not getting in to MIT. Sure I'll be disappointed, but there will be other oppurtunities for me that I wouldn't have had if I went to MIT. I switch over to decisions, type in all my stuff, take a deep breath and
*click click*
I read:

Dear Chris,
On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you---
and flip out. I don't even finish the sentence, I let loose a very spartan battle cry and jumped up. I ran into the the living room to tell my dad, his reaction: "are you sure?"...."are you kidding?"
I can't stop saying "Oh ma gawd" over and over as I run my hands through my hair, he sits down and reads the letter. "congratulations kiddo, you did it". I stumble a bit and feel queasy, too much adrenaline I guess. It subsides and I print a copy and race out the door to tell my best friend.
I get to Misty's house and ring the door bell. No response. I ring it again. No response. I look at my watch. It's 11:08. I laugh (Misty, her mom, and I all share a rather...nocturnal... sleep pattern, they don't get up until noon on saturdays, literally). Finally I call her, and her mom comes to the door squinting at the light. I shove the paper to her punctuated by "look look look look look" She freaks out and gives me a hug, she tells me Misty is asleep, she'll go wake her up. 5 minutes later she comes out of the hall and says "Misty says just go back there". I walk into her room and it's pitch black (no windows). Misty is grumpy and half-asleep.
"Hey I want you to see something."
"mmm what?"
"Read this"
*turns on light and squints to see paper*
*big hug*
*screams* (her, not me lol)
Her mom comes in to celebrate with us. We celebrate by getting Jack in the Box. I send text messages to every person in my address book, here are some of the best:
"lol...Who is this?"
"congratufuckinglations" <--my foul mouthed theatre friend
"what's that?"
I head home and my dad has called all our family. I do all the obligatory blogging and stuff. That night I went out clubbing with some of my friends to celebrate, and tonight my dad and my older sister went out to dinner. All in all, an amazing experience.

Heres what my week looks like

So my dad and I are home alone for the week because my mom and my sister are out on a trip. No biggie right? Well I come home today after my dad went "grocery shopping" and this is what I see:

Our "groceries" consist of nothing but frozen food. My dad's defense "eh, I didn't feel like cooking"
It's going to be a long week lol.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Admission Decisions

I'm going to MIT! I am so excited. Out of respect for the very many friends I've made who weren't offered admission (Justin, Shruthi, Wendy) , that's all I'll say about it at this time. For you guys I want to share some quotes I read before I got my decision to prepare me for the worst. Reading these before-hand went a long way in making me feel better about the potentially disappointing outcome, and I hope that they offer you guys some measure of comfort now, this ones for you guys guys:

"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."
~ Aldous Huxley

"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away.""
~ Abraham Lincoln

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."
~ Unknown

"Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can."
~ Unknown

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
~ Alexander Graham Bell

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. "
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

"If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down. "
~ Mary Pickford

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."
~ Richard Bach

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
~Japanese Proverb

"If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. "
~ Flavia Weedn

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. "
~ Ivy Baker Priest

"One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better."
~ Col. Harland Sanders

I wish you all the best. Wake up tomorrow and chase your dreams.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi Day!

I forgot my camera, so until my friends send me more pictures, you'll have to make due with this one from my cell phone. It's an apple pie, for pi day! (see the pi symbol on top?) I was going to make it square so that I could say "my pi are squared" but we didn't have any square dishes. Happy Pi Day everyone!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bad news for applicants named Caesar

Just realized that decisions come out March 15th, the ides of March....hmm...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My very first proof!

alright so I know none of you can read that, but it's an epic proof that tangent acceleration to any velocity vector incuces a circular path to it, and by lemma, that for a circular path, if r is constant, then velocity and acceleration must be equal in magnitude. Of course I found out that this is no major breakthrough, but it felt pretty cool to actually prove something on my own!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here We Go Again *Edit* Nifty Eh?---------------->

Well it's that time of year again. MIT decisions come out next Saturday. (Missing Pi day by 24 hours, tsk tsk.) Now originally I thought I'd write up some long post wringing my hands about how nervous I am (I am), or how excited I am (I am), or how I can't believe it's here already (I can't). But what's really more interesting for me is the journey I've gone on to get where I am just right now. I've met some amazing people along the way, and had an amazing time this year, so since noone has asked, here's my senior year in review:

July- Thanks to reading my Popular Science article about jobs in science, I decided that was my career goal. Prior to this it was a struggle between art and science, two absolutes of my personality. Popular science sealed it for me though, and so I began looking at science and engineering colleges.

August- Registered for High School. Made a list of science colleges to look at, among them : Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Caltech, MIT, and Boston University. Yale and Princeton seem too "stagnant" for me, and Caltech seems boring based off of my friend Kasra who goes there. The Boston Area looks promising and I take a look at MIT. First thing I find out: THEY MADE MINDSTORMS, MY FAVORITE TOY EVER!. Major kudo's. Then I read the mission statement about making a difference in the world through science. MIT becomes top choice for me. I look at what admission requirements are. Heart sinks a little bit. This school is damn hard to get into, but I can do it! Immediately I register for SAT and SAT II (Math II and Physics).

September- SAT rolls around, first time taking it. Bought Princeton Review (I swear by them). Skipped school Friday before so I could study. Wake up Saturday and head to Kelly's Country Kitchen for a hearty breakfast. Sit through four hours of SAT. Scores come back, I did good. Chris is pleased. Mom and I go to MIT seminar in Houston. After essentially being slack-jawed for the entirety of the seminar we both leave really excited that such a place exists. I buy Princeton Review for Physics and Math (The physics one is a terrifying beast) and immediately start studying. Interview for MIT is set up, and I decide I'm applying early action.

October- I'm working almost everyday at American Eagle, and Friday and Saturday nights for Upstage (a construction company, MIT and heavy lifting?) . This continues basically every week for October. Interview with a guy named Alfonso. He works for NASA as a thermoshielding engineer. We talk a lot about MIT. I leave forgetting that I just went to an interview for that school. I thank my theatre experience for making speaking less nerve-wracking.

November- I take the subject tests, and have finished my application. I realize that if I'd known where I was going to apply earlier, I'd have been able to take and retake my SAT's if I was unhappy with the score. Oh well we'll see how we did. Thanksgiving rocks, I eat 10,000 calories in one day (thanks in no small part to eggnog). My friends and I go camping in Brazos Bend:

Beautiful. I make it my mission to catch an alligator. They don't like the cold though, so they are nowhere to be found. I burn my hand on a hot rock and exclaim: "&*%! Jeezy Creezy! How dense is that rock? It's been away from the fire for like 30 minutes!" My friends point out how ridiculously nerdy that is for me to exclaim.

December- My best friend wants to go to Emerson, and if we both went to school in Boston, our schools would be the same distance apart as our houses are now, Crazy! Did well on my subject tests too, the anxiety about it being my only shot fades. Decisions draw near. Decision morning I had completely forgot about them. I had been up since early in the morning working in a warehouse moving things around. I was sweaty and covered in dirt when I sat down for dinner and remembered. "Oh dang!" ran into the room and saw I was deferred, incredibly happy I wasn't rejected. Make a list of things to bolster my application with, among them is to make a video. My friend Sally (Wharton '12 GO SALLY!) tells me her friend Wendi from MIT (and Pearland Alumni) wants to talk to me about colleges. Wendi and I sit down and talk about everything, and she tells me she really hopes I get in, that I seem like a great fit, and that she's surprised I was deferred. This makes me feel good. Talking with her inspires me to push the envelope of what I'm interested in. I make a phone call to the US Department of Energy:

"Hello my name is Chris Mills, I'm an applicant to MIT and passionate about the field of Alternative Fuels. If you have the time I have a few questions I'd love for you to answer for me. Thanks, have a good day"

Can't hurt right?

Two days later I get a phone call:

"Hi may I speak to Chris Mills?"


"How are you doing Chris? My name is Neil Kirschner, Director of the US Department of Energy, are there a few questions I can answer for you?"


January- Finish my video. My birthday comes around! I get the flu. January is bittersweet.

February- AMC comes around. I finish bartending school and am a licensed bartender. (That's how I'm paying for college). I start reading the blogs of Snively. Find him pretty funny. Post on his blog, instantly meet a billion other cool people like Justin, Shruthi, Viva, and others. MIT applicants are pretty cool folk.

March- Decisions come out soon, senior year is wrapping up, I feel happy to be alive and to have been a part of this whole experience.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hooray Farmers!

This looks terrible.

That picture was the first thing that came up when I googled the blog title. Gross. Good thing it's unrelated, what I'm really happy about is Farmer's Insurance. If you scroll a few blogs down you'll see that the Sarge and I were involved in an accident which has left him wounded. Today the claims adjuster came out to assess damages and give me a check. I did some preliminary research for how much it will cost me to fix my car. You ready?


yup that's all it costs for a new fuel tank, the sad pieces of metal that serve as a bumper can just be hammered back straight and nothing else is broken, just scuffed. So the claims adjuster comes by and after his assesment he gives me the check:


HOLY SMOKES! That guy felt the need to replace EVERYTHING that was in any way scratched, bumper, exhaust, EVERYTHING. Plus the estimated labor (which I'll be doing myself). So in the end, I made $902.33 for being in a wreck.

Not too bad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

It's a show on CBS, and it's freaking hilarious! I watched an episode on DVR tonight, I'll try and find some YouTube clips or something later, but first, Vector Calc!

How I Nearly Died

No joke. I seriously nearly died yesterday. The cause? As much as I wish it were venomous pythons, terrorist organizations, explosions, fast cars, dangerous women, or one of the other awesome archetypes found in movies the culprit was:

That's right. Dum-Dums. Specifically the blue little bugger 2nd on the right. That's right. Infamous Blue Raspberry.
Anyway, as you may have experienced, occasionally the candy part becomes dislodged from the the stick part. No big deal right? most cases yes. Today:


So aforementioned candy comes off stick, someone with my group tells a joke or says something funny and I laugh. Then I get that uncomfortable feeling you get when you sometimes inhale M&M's or bits of ice whole, you know that cold "whoosh" sort of feeling? well I opened my mouth to say "OhMaGah I can't believe I just swallowed that whole dum-dum!" but what came out was "........" Then I felt it in my throat, blocking off my air and making my eyes water. Then the horrific realization that I was:

Ok, if you've ever choked on like water, where you cough for a little bit and stuff, it's NOTHING like that. You can't breath, you can't talk, and then there's the realization that you could DIE. Meanwhile, my friends (we'll call them Janet and Eliza, not everyone likes their name on the internet) quickly realize I'm not fooling around, and that something is seriously wrong.
"Are you Ok?"

*head shake*


*head nod*

"Do you want me to do the Heimlich?"

*head nod*

[Eliza assumes heimlich position]

"Get the nurse!"

[Janet runs like her last name is Rodriguez and "La Migra" have just pulled up to her taco stand]

So on about the fourth or fifth Heimlich, I can feel the little ball of death higher up in my throat, and finally it gives out with a "POP!" like a potato out a potato cannon. I wipe my eyes, take a few deep breaths and thank Eliza for saving my life. Shortly thereafter Nurse Redundancy proceeds to not listen to us tell her that Eliza successfully performed the Heimlich she learned from lifeguard training and says "well ok, I'm gonna show you something in case it ever happens again." To everyone's shock, the Heimlich! Thankfully at the end of the day, a sore throat was the only casualty.

Monday, March 3, 2008

X-Men in the White House


Ron Paul is Magneto

Math Problem of The Week

Alright, so as you may or may not know, I tutor kids in math on monday afternoons. (this week, on tuesday, and thursday afternoons as well....oy). The particular boys I tutor today always have a "Problem of the Week" which is almost always some very simple or very tedious math problem. They are interesting though, and I usually try and find complex algebraic ways to solve them as opposed to "just countin'" (suck on that Keep-it-simple!). So todays problem looked like this:

How many squares are there?

So there are more than 64, and at first I just thought it would be multiples of 8 i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8. But then I looked at it and realized there could be 3x3 squares. or 5x5.

This was harder than I thought.

So here comes the whole point, the way I ended up thinking was that basically there are 8 types of squares. 1x1. 2x2. 3x3. 4x4. 5x5. 6x6. 7x7. 8x8. And I know there are 64 1x1 squares and there can only be 1 8x8. "That's funny 64 is 8² and 1 is 1², it's like the opposite."

*cartoonish lightbulb* "Maybe it's the sum of squares up to 8?"

1x1=8²=64 squares + 2x2=7²=49 squares + 3x3=6²=36 squares + 4x4=5²=25 squares + 5x5=4²=16 squares + 6x6=3²=9 squares + 7x7=2²=4 squares + 8x8=1²=1 squares


204 Squares

That's what I figured, and it sounded good to me, can anyone confirm if that is right? Else I'm gonna have to go back over there and pretend that's what he wanted to do and that I wanted to just count them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Sarge

EDIT: ^The Sarge, for the uninformed.

Well Sarge has seen better days. Up and running for about 3 days following a faulty Distro cap and then:

SQEEEE! SMASH! BOOM! HISS! and other onomonapeia!

Rear-ended. (I found out the text message I sent to people "I just got hit by a car." was unintentionally misleading, and probably disappointing for a few.)

Lucky for me, here in the Lone Star State, if you ever hit the back of someone, ever, for ANY reason, it's automatically your fault. So I got the phone call, and yup his insurance is taking full responsibility. Plus, the settlement check is more than it cost to fix my car, so in the end, I guess it's not too bad. So Sarge should be up for another tour of duty by spring break.

Speaking of Spring Break, what am I going to do? No UIL means a week off for the first time in years, so I'm really at a loss for what I'll be using all this free time for. Also I hope I'll hear back from MIT about my admission decision.

Speaking of admission ("speaking of" is the only segway I know), I was reflecting about how hard I've worked on my application* and in general how much I look forward to going, and I constantly waver between feeling complacent with my application, and being a nervous wreck about it. Like the graph of y= 100Sin(t)/t as
t->0 the amount of variation increases exponentially, until finally, when that moment gets here (in 19 days according Snively-damus) it's undefinable.

Will it be joy? will it be disappointment? we don't know. (L'Hopital says it will be 100 but that doesn't really help us here...) Anyway, enough math jokes for one day. I'm off to work out and go to bed.

*supplement video included for your entertainment