Saturday, May 19, 2012

Study Music: Nassim's choices

There are a few things I honestly cannot do.
1: Wolf Whistle. Unless you'd like to be sprayed stay waaay back.
2: Play hand eye coordination sports. There's a reason the sports I played in high school only required being able to run straight.
3: Study without music. I suddenly acquire the attention span of a squirrel and every small noise distracts me.

So over the years I've whittled my choices down to a still very extensive playlist of wonderful composers and artists whom are great to study to. I tend to avoid songs with lyrics as me dancing and singing along in the library benefits no one.

Feel free to give these a listen and let me know what you think!
I've listed movie soundtracks that I love for the composers and my favorite songs for the artists.


Martin O'Donnell & Michael Salvatori (Halo)
Danny Elfman (most of the Tim Burton Films)
Joe Hisashi (Most of the Hayao Miyazaki movie)
James Newton Howard (Peter Pan)
James Horner (Avatar)
Hanz Zimmer (Inception, Batman, Gladiator etc)
Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice)
Phillip Glass (The Hours) - *NOTE: this is one of my all time favorite soundtracks
John Williams (Jurassic Park, ET, AI, HP 1-3)
Patric Doyle (Thor, HP Goblet of Fire)
Nicholas Hooper (HP 5 and 6)
Alexandre Desplat (HP Deathly Hallows, Benjamin Button)
John Powell (Bourne Identity, How to Train Your Dragon)
Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings)
Harry Gregson-Williams (Prince of Persia)
Atli Orvarsson (The Eagle)
Benjamin Wallfisch (Peter Pan)


The Album Leaf - Storyboard (Note these guys are from San Diego)
Glorie - Looking through the Mirror, Full Circle
Beats Antique - Mission (one of my FAVEs)
RJD2 - A Beautiful Mine
Omar Akram - Angel of Hope
Working for a Nuclear Free City - Asleep at the Wheel
Groove Armada - Inside My Mind
Massive Attack- Paradise Circus (they do the House theme song)
Erik Satie - No. 1 Lent Et Douloureux
Tommy Guerrero - Exzebache
Bonobo - Recurring
Lamb - Angelica (if any of you are LXD fans you'll recognize this)
Utada Hikaru - Exodus '044 (Double J Extended Mix) *NOTE: not really lyric-less I just like the song. The gamers out there might recognize her :))
and lastly my favorite:
Ronald Jenkees - Clutter
(Here's a piece I love done to the song


N. Riazi

Friday, May 18, 2012

Andrew Chase's Mechanical Animals

There are people who use their machining skills for good. Those who use them for evil. Then there are those who are just too damn skilled to be categorized.

Andrew Chase is a photographer/artist who makes this amazing sculptures out of things like old car parts.  And they all function and move in the manner of their live counterparts. Crazy right?

Here are a few of my favorites:

Here's the full set if you'd like to take a look:


N. Riazi

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Image Courtesy of Paulson Mitchell Inc

A few weeks back, I took the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)/Engineer-in-Training (EIT) Exam. Being perfectly honest, it was one of the worst tests of my life.  Not because it was hard. But because it was so long...8 hours to be exact.

So what is the FE?

The FE is the the stepping stone to becoming a Professional Engineer.  The test incorporates basically all of Mechanical Engineering into 1 (although it's not just for Mech E's).  The certification is required for many Civil Engineering jobs and those that deal with public welfare/projects.  Personally, I recommend everyone to take the exam.

So what is a Professional Engineer?

From the NCEES website, a Professional Engineer has the following responsibilities/duties:

  • Stamping and sealing designs
  • Bidding for government contracts
  • Owning a firm
  • Consulting
  • Offering expert witness testimony
  • Advertising services to the public
If you would like more information about the FE/PE Process, refer to this website.

You should probably think about taking this dreaded test, and I will tell you why.

  1. Many companies give a salary boost. Who doesn't want that?
  2. You don't want to take it later.  You've already taken the relevant classes.  You don't want to have to go back and study 4 years worth of material in 3 years when you've forgotten it.  You don't wanna study now- what will make you want to then?
  3. It lines you up to become a Licensed Professional Engineer...after a few more hoops :-) Becoming a Professional Engineer lines you up for more opportunities in the distant future. If you aren't sure you want to pursue PE-ship...take the test anyway.
  4. Did I mention that the test is Pass/No Pass? It never has to go onto your record if you don't pass.  But if you do....even better!
Man, I really hope I passed...


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Results are In!

This is an older post that I never got the chance to post...

I conducted a large amount of adhesive testing for the International X-Ray Observatory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  So I've decided to share it with you all! Below is a summary.  Feel free to ask questions!

So the setup for the mirrors looks like this! A primary and secondary mirror focus the x-rays to a focal point, like the picture below:
The mirrors are connected to the structure like this!
My job was to find the best adhesive that would have the most strength and creep the least. The CAD drawings of joint looks like this:
And the force analysis looks like the following:

So for my experiment, I created a block to create identical test pieces:

Then using a capacitance displacement sensor and force sensor, I created the following setup:

Which created force-displacement graphs like this (to find greatest strength):

and like this (to find % creep):

And I found out that Sodium Silicate was the best in strength and the least amount of creep.

What do you think?


Monday, May 14, 2012

You Don't have to be Rich...

Image Courtesy of For the Love of Money

I know I've mentioned a lot about my accomplishments, especially with my Growing Up post...and I haven't had to borrow money to do it.

You're probably wondering how I paid for it....No, I'm not rich. My parents haven't funded my adventures across the US.

The cool thing about engineering is that internships often pay you (Disclaimer: they don't always!).  My adventures in DC and Texas and New York were funded.  I'm not saying that I didn't "pay a dime" though...cuz I did.  My internships paid me/ paid for my plane tickets, and I used that to live/travel on.

However, you need to manage your money wisely. I've used most of my internship money to pay for school.  This means, no extravagant holidays/dinners...only modest ones :-) Honestly, school has been one of my largest expenses...and I've needed loans for it. But the way to get the paid internship is to pay for school. :-/