Tag Archives: MIT

The Updates! I can reveal them!

TyperwriterSo I can finally give some links for these shenanigans! For those of you who don’t know already, I’m now a freelance writer for Technology Review (online), which is a MIT publication. My first article, which is on the augmented reality/GPS navigation Android app Wikitude Drive, went live today. And I’m currently working on a second article. Good times!

Additionally, I’m a staff writer for the gaming/geek culture website The Critical Table, which I have mentioned before. My first interview went up today. It’s with Chuck Wendig, freelance “penmonkey,” and game developer for White Wolf Publishing. For those of you who know my gaming background, I’m a big World of Darkness fan (White Wolf’s main line). Specifically Vampire and Hunter, the latter of which is the game that Chuck was the main developer for. So this was exciting for me on two fronts.

These are my big two announcements this month. Feels good to know that I’m getting somewhere with this writing nonsense… 😉 I’m also cracking down on another project, but I won’t be talking much about that on here till it’s completed (probably towards the end of the year). This one’s an even bigger secret… Shhhhhh…. So look forward to that.

Not much else to say today, working on a few things and trying to get myself organized for my trip this weekend. I will be flying out to California on Saturday, then driving cross-country back to Delaware. Looking forward to that, I love traveling.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned tomorrow, when I’ll get something solid up.


Sorry… Hectic Times

Sorry for such a late post. Things have been busy, what with some work I’m doing advancing, and the hurricane preparations.

Utility Work Ahead

Yes, this is my sign for “I’m busy, you only get a post on why I’m not really posting today.”

A few things of note!

Our house is as storm proof as I can make it for now. I’m going to throw emergency bags together for the rest of my family later, just in case.

Work is going well. I am now officially a freelance writer for Technology Review (a MIT publication) online. My first article hits the site Monday (barring some disaster… oh wait…), and I’m working on my second article currently. Awesome. Sauce. I’ll give you a full update on the TR writing job after the storm, and after the article gets posted online.

And that’s why I’ve been busy. And if you don’t hear from me by Monday, I may have died. But don’t worry, If I die I’ll try to let you all know…

~Ian


Flight of the Bumbling Idiots…

A 747 FlyingSo, originally I was going to say “screw it” today and post some creative work that I’ve had sitting around for a while. A bit of a cheat, but part of the goal of this site is to have an open avenue for creativity as well… But then I read this – “Pregnant Flyer Says TSA Confiscated her Insulin” and I remembered that I’ll be flying the lovely skys in about a month. Now… I’ve never been a fan of TSA, or their safety practices, which are ever-encroaching upon a violation of human rights… And before any of you who don’t know me too well start up with “if you don’t like it, don’t fly” nonsense… think about this first.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

I’ve said this for a while, and have always stood by it, and encouraged other people to at least consider it, if not agree with it. This is one of the principles that our country was founded on, and as much as I think our country has gone down the shitter in some ways since then… but that’s another story for another day. When we allow organizations like the TSA to control our every move in travel, we lose that essential liberty. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for not dying in a fiery explosion. But forcing a 95-year-old woman who has cancer to remover her Depends? Yeah, that’s going so far over the line you can’t even see the line any more. And of course, they are always up for a good excuse to fondle women

Why should we have to put up with this? Why should pregnant woman be forced to subject themselves to potentially harmful body scans, even when they ask for a pat down? Why should I have to carefully go through my suitcase and carry-on and make sure that, A: everything I’m taking is “legal.” B: Nothing I don’t mind potentially losing is in my suitcase. And C: Even the things that are within TSA regulations aren’t suspicious looking. Of course… in most cases I probably shouldn’t fly anyway considering I’m the type of person likely to do this…

XKCD Bag Check

"But you know I could just snap the earpiece off my glasses if I wanted to stab someone..."

The security measures here have reached the point where, honestly, I’d prefer to not fly. Sometimes it really just isn’t an option though. With gas prices what they are, it’s actually cheaper for me to fly to California than to drive there (which is where I’m going in early September). And, I’m poor… so obviously I have to pick the cheapest route. And taking Amtrak is almost twice as expensive, and there isn’t even a station in San Fransisco. So that’s not an option. When the most convenient, and usually cheapest way to travel is the most violating… I call that bad business. Are we going to get people to boycott flying? No, and I would never even suggest it. But can we try to change things? Yes. And some people are already trying… The Bill of RightsCheck out Ban Strong Hands, a satire site dedicated to mocking the TSA’s ineffectual operations and bring the “actual” security risks to light. They also strongly stress banning people with strong hands from flying. Because, you know… strangulation can be an effective way to kill someone.

There is also a blog over on MSNBC called Overhead Bin dedicated to news reports on TSA transgressions and the ridiculous things they subject flyers to. I mean, hell, let’s not forget the MIT student who was arrestedfor having an LED display with exposed wiring on her shirt (for a school project). She was even informed that she “was lucky she followed instructions, because deadly force would have been used.” And of course some media picked it up as “MIT student arrested at Logan in bomb scare” (note that the Boing Boing article’s use of this headline is mocking the other one). Remind me not to wear this shirt Crista got me for Valentine’s Day.

Travel, in any form, can be stressful, or pleasant. And I vote it should always be pleasant. So let’s make sure the TSA, and our government, know how we feel.