Archive for October, 2007

One of the best times of the year for College of Engineering majors, this past Friday was the College of Engineering Picnic where thousands of students, faculty administrators and about 70 employers came out to do what college affiliated groups do best… eat and socialize. This was my fourth COE picnic and it has grown significantly every year that we’ve done it. I can’t wait to see how big it is next year!


Paul Haifley is a great roommate and Civil Engineer

Matt DeCourcelle built a trebuchet with IEEE

Tim Ernst enjoys the view from the picnic

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I was unable to attend the ASG meeting this weekend because I had
already made plans for my Fall Break which coincided with the meeting
this weekend at UNC Pembroke. So imagine my shock when I opened up my
email inbox on Monday morning to discover that Cole Jones had rescinded his resignation.
The only hope that I had for this organization was that after the mess
that was Cole’s administration, we could rebuild and restructure.

Now that Cole has decided to remain in office, that process had been
delayed indefinitely and now campuses will begin to stop participating
in ASG due to disinterest. Already UNC-CH and NCSU have effectively
withdrawn because they aren’t participating and I am sure that other
campuses will follow in that path.

If the UNC Administration has any interest in fixing this problem, they will need to get Cole out as soon as possible.

is about to fall apart

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I’ve had a Canon Powershot A75 since 2003 and I have loved that little thing, but when I was going to visit Jane in France it was time for me to upgrade to my Powershot A640. That’s when I truly fell in love with digital photography.

That little purchase right there forced me to upgrade to a Flickr Pro account and the rest is history. But a drastic tragedy has rocked my world this week. I lost my A640 due to water damage. At the UNC Tomorrow forum I placed a water bottle in my messenger bag and the water bottle spilled out into the bag. I didn’t realize this until hours later. When I picked up my bag at the end of the forum I then notice that it was soaked and my camera was soaked as well.

I panicked and immediately removed the batteries and the flash memory. I took the camera home and I let it dry out for 24 hours after I used a blow drier on it multiple times. There was no water left in this thing. I then decided to turn it back on and then my worst fears were confirmed. The camera flickered on asked for the date and then it shuttered to its permanent state of rigor mortis, with the lens open and the body cold and dead. This was the camera that accompanied me on my first international trip and it was the camera that introduced me to the fun of 8×11 prints. I had lost a significant part of my last year.

Fortunately for me, the A640 didn’t have a lot of features that I was looking for when I went to purchase it at the time. I wanted a Digic III processor, 3200 ISO, and Image Stabilization. When the A650 was announced a few months back I knew that I would eventually end up with an A650. I had been saving up the money since then and was planning on buying it in a few weeks. I would then sell my A640 to recoup some of my losses… now I can’t enact that part of my plan but when is life ever ideal?

With 12.1MP, 6.0x Optical Zoom, Image Stabilization, ISO 1600 (With an ISO 3200 special scene mode), 16:9 widescreen shooting and AF face detection I’ve found the camera to last me for the next 3 years.

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Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my hometown NFL team is the 14th most popular in the NFL beating out long time league mainstays like the Broncos and Jets while tying with the team that fielded Dan Marino.

Fans can criticize Richardson all they want about not performing well at home over the last few seasons, but whatever his office is doing to bring the Panthers into the mainstream… it is working. The Jags came into the league at the same time we did and they have been dead last in NFL popularity from 2005 on.

Tracking the Panthers’ popularity over time is interesting… they were “least popular” in 2003, the Super Bowl Year. But they shot up in huge popularity after the Big Game. However, the Seahawks who have played in a more recent Super Bowl are not experiencing nearly as much of a long term popularity boost.

My common sense tells me that this isn’t an accurate representation. I would think that the Broncos would be way more “popular” than the Panthers. After analyzing the Google Trends searches for each team pictured below, the results are far more in line with what you would expect. But maybe popular teams aren’t defined by their search engine hits. I’d love to see a study on Harris Poll information vs  Google Trends data.

Google Trend info for the teams ranking around the Carolina Panthers in the latest Harris Poll, Panthers are lagging way behind…

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Tim, Jason Feltis and John Avery went with me to the UNC Tomorrow Open Forum in Charlotte on Oct. 3rd. There was around 200+ people there, from local elected officials like Mayor Pat and County Commissioner Chair Jennifer Roberts, to university leaders like Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois and UNC System president Erskine Bowles.

I took the open-mic opportunity to voice the concerns of the students. In a small group setting of about 8 people I said that if we wanted to see Charlotte grow, we had to provide the amenities that top-notch students will be looking for, like a dedicated rec center, a football team and quality residence life facilities. I also suggested that because of the business leadership that is constantly being demanded in the Charlotte area, that a “leadership studies program” be housed at Charlotte. In the open floor session I… well, I could tell you but I’d rather you listen to it on the podcast.

I took some pictures too, but my water bottle spilled into my bag ruining my camera… we’ll see if I can recover those pictures.


My talking points at UNC Tomorrow Open Session


John Avery’s Talking Points at UNC Tomorrow Open Session


Wrap-up of UNC Tomorrow with Jason and Tim

Bonus: Intense/Crazy Economics Guy at UNC Tomorrow Open Forum


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Feb 16th 2007: NewsBusters which “Exposes and Combats Liberal Media Bias” posts an analysis of the Spring 2007 SGA resolution calling for the Cone 369 SGA Complex to be renamed the Stephen Colbert Student Government Complex. The resolution passed but was later vetoed by Student Body President Ben Comstock after much deliberation. From the NewsBusters site:

Recognizing Stephen Colbert as a pillar of truth in a world of wavering opinions and television personalities, further recognizing Stephen Colbert’s noble cause to educate and inform young people of current events and topical political themes…declares all rooms within Cone 369 (SGA Complex) to be officially named ‘The Colbert Complex’ on behalf of the Student Government Association to honor Stephen Colbert and spread the message of truth across the campus of UNC Charlotte.

Some of the SGA officers say they want to honor someone who “has such a huge influence” on how they govern.

President ProTemp Justin Ritchie stated:   

It would be a nice thing to do, since [Colbert] has such a huge influence on how we do government… We need to energize students, and since everything else around here is named after someone, why not name ours after Colbert? (emphasis added)

The SGA officers want to honor someone “who is out there to teach young people about public service,” while what he really teaches them is that Republicans and conservatives are stupid, dishonest, uninformed, hypocritical religious zealots. That’s his “truthiness.”

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