Horrorscopes

Aries(March 21- April 19):

This is a scary month.   

No comment. 

Spooky Article: Unopened ream of W.B. Mason high definition paper.

Taurus (April 20-May 20):

This phrase will help you when you need it most: 

Fhdfs9e9idwokdleo93ijl0qks 

Spooky article: Enchanted Dagger

Gemini (May 21–June 21): 

Expect to be driving down a long road one night, when suddenly a small cat appears on the road. You’ll stop the car to save the cat. It will start raining and your car will break. You’ll follow the cat and arrive in front of a Victorian-style house. You’ll knock, and then walk in. When you’ll cross the threshold, you will find… a giant cat. 

Spooky Article: Catnip

Cancer (June 22–July 22):

Better luck next time. 

Spooky Article: Unopened Cutlery (salt and pepper included).

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22):

When you visit that antique store, don’t buy the amulet.

Spooky Article: the amulet we told you not to buy.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22):

Think twice about claiming your inheritance from Colonel Beauregard Sanders.

Spooky Article: Coupons good from June 3010-Nov 2099.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 23):

Do cover your feet under when you go to bed. (The monster under your bed doesn’t want your toes to get cold).

Spooky Article: Toe Socks

Scorpio (Oct. 24–Nov. 21): 

Avoid trouble by refraining from asking  nosey questions, such as “Why are they publishing horrorscopes in November, and not October?  

Spooky Article: Clown noses.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): 

Make sure to pick a turkey which won’t be vengeful in the afterlife.

Spooky Article: Rusted Cutting Knife.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19): 

Mid fall is prime time for catching a cold. Don’t forget about the typical seasonal illnesses, like all-I-want-for-christmas-is-you-itis or Wham! Fever. 

Spooky Article: Vicks Vapo Rub from 1999.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18): 

*around the campfire* 

“…. and then the vampire said: ‘ FW:FW:FW:FW…..’”

Spooky Image:

Pisces (ʘ ω ʘ) (Feb. 19–Mar. 20): 

To honor your astrology sign, consider jumping into the Boston Harbor, and swimming across the Atlantic

Spooky Article: Magic Hat that makes you say, “boop” everytime you put it on or take it off.

Engineering Inspiration: SSC Tuatara

Apparently, my interests have been well defined from a very young age. I’m told that I was able to say the names of car brands and models before I was able to say the names of my younger sisters. Clearly, I had my priorities in the right place. 

Growing up around cars at our family mobile car wash, I grew to love and appreciate the evolution of their designs and technology. My room always contained posters of my favorite vehicles on the wall and scale model cars that I saved up to buy. Fun fact, the first thing I ever bought was a light-up Hummer H2 from Walgreens – best ten dollars I’ve ever spent. Still, my love for cars is very untraditional as I have rarely had the opportunity to mechanically work on them. Instead, I spent hours combing through Motor Trend, Auto Week, and Road and Track clipping pictures of new vehicles and then writing down information about them on the back. My thesaurus-like knowledge of new cars led to nicknames from friends like “Hot Rod,” which only further defined me as a car guy.

Exerting the expertise that I’ve built over the past 18 years of my life, I must say that October of 2020 has been the most significant in the history of modern vehicle performance.

The automobile, much like its predecessors, was created with the intention of making travel easier. Over time, its’ purpose has shifted to meet different needs such as higher efficiency, larger size, greater luxury, and of course – speed. The past century and a half have been jam-packed with speed records that were continually broken, evermore pushing the boundaries of what a car can do. The most significant up until this month had been back on April 27, 2005, when the Bugatti Veyron broke the 400 kilometers per hour barrier that no production vehicle had ever reached. Reaching a single direction top speed of 411 kilometers per hour (255 miles per hour), no production vehicle had ever accomplished the feat. The Veyron became known as the first “Hyper” car as it was no longer competing with a regular “Super” car. It was in a category of its own.

The Bugatti Veyron served as the pinnacle of automotive engineering for nearly 15 years, challenging the boundaries of automotive and aerospace engineering as many of its instrumentation were developed by the aero industry. Bugatti not only sat at the top of the top speed pedestal but aimed for more, eventually making an iteration of the Veyron (the Veyron Super Sport) that was able to go 268 miles per hour. As unattainable as that speed sounds, there have been a handful of companies that had officially challenged the Veyron. Companies such as Hennessey and Koenigsegg were creating their own “hypercars” and getting the Guinness world record officials out to officiate. Interestingly, they’d occasionally be granted the record but the “Big Boss” Bugatti, would never say anything or retaliate. You see they are too refined for that sort of child’s play and would instead focus on developing the next monstrous vehicle.

With speeds already creeping up towards 300 miles per hour, it was only a matter of time before the record was to be attained. On September 2, 2019, a factory modified Bugatti Chiron (which would later go on to have a very short production run) reached a top speed of 304.7 miles per hour in a single direction. The single direction part is very important because it does not qualify for the record unless it can hit that speed again in the opposite direction that it did on the first run. That’s because the record is taken by averaging the speed that the vehicle reaches on opposite runs. Guinness was not going to give them the record unless they could prove that they could meet that requirement. They couldn’t meet it but they also couldn’t care less. They had created the first production (or near production) vehicle to travel at speeds over 300 miles per hour and every automotive news publication had already pressed publish. There was no changing the fact they had accomplished the feat even if they weren’t going to be granted the record.

Still, someone was going to get the official record and the industry had no idea when, where, how or who. That was……..until October 10, 2020, when the unheard of SSC Tuatara had the world-renowned Top Gear publish footage of their hypercar achieving the absolutely absurd speed of 331.1 miles per hour in one direction with an average of 316.1 miles per hour over two runs. The company was unknown to most. The vehicle is typically agreed to not be very handsome. Still, the hype was there and there was footage to prove them right. The industry was in a state of confusion, shell-shock, and joy in the fact that the record had been completely decimated. How had a newcomer to the “hypercar” realm break the record that the established brands had not yet done? Maybe the answer lays in the fact that they were not newcomers and they had “not” broken the record.

SSC was founded by Jarod Shelby (no connect to Carol Shelby) in 1998 and their first vehicle was created in 2003. That first vehicle, the SSC Ultimate Aero actually held the top speed production vehicle record in 2007 for a little while before Bugatti came back and created the Veyron Super Sport. Clearly, the engineers over at SSC have pretty good experience in creating ultra-fast vehicles. So, that establishes some credibility for them but what about them “not” breaking the record. Being that SSC is not an established brand name, the majority of the press they got besides Top Gear was from automotive YouTubers like “The Stradman.” These influencers posted it all over their social media and even made videos promoting the vehicle and its amazing feat. Still, as with all things on the internet, there were skeptics that didn’t quite believe what they had seen. One of those was the wildly popular YouTuber “Shmee150,” who posted a video where he claimed to have solid evidence that they had indeed not broken the record.

In his video, Shmee goes on to mathematically disprove the video evidence provided by SSC by comparing it to a run that Koenigsegg had made a few years before on the same road in Nevada. In his video, he shows how the Tuatara claims to be significantly faster than the Koenigsegg but when the videos are put side to side starting at the same comparison point, it is actually slower. Later in the video, he even explains that according to SSC’s specifications, it was physically impossible to achieve that speed in the gear they said they did with the gear ratios of the transmission. So, they lied right?

Well, after many publications reposted and elaborated on “Shmee150’s” video, SSC’s founder Jarod Shelby, faced the public by posting a video on YouTube. In the video, he tells the story of the company, the struggles they’ve gone through, and addresses the controversy head-on. He says the footage and video had been outsourced to an external company that did everything, including sending it to the press. SSC had never seen the footage themselves since after all they witnessed it in person in real-time. Although the claims made are quite illogical, the promises made at the end of the video break the bad habits that Bugatti had made the standard. Mr. Shelby promised to redo the record-breaking run again, use a different company for the footage, and invite all those who recognized the flaws in the footage (including Shmee150) to come and watch it live.  

After that entire fiasco, the record now lays in question, and seemingly no one knows what to believe. A question entered my mind after looking at the entire situation which is, “Does it really matter if the SSC Tuatara’s footage was accurate or not?” Much like when Bugatti did not care about establishing the official record with the Chiron, the fact that they achieved a speed of over 300 miles per hour opened the stage for a new generation of vehicles and engineers to beat it. In my engineer mindset, I feel that innovation should be an inspiration for more new projects to come. In our ever-evolving world, no process (besides life lol) stops, they are always evolving into something new. It’s like when people say “Get with the times already!” because if you are not at the same point as everyone else or ahead of them, you are behind. That’s why fashion trends are always changing, new phones are always made, and why everything is becoming better with every iteration (ie. Compare a Kia from 20 years ago and one from now, you’ll be amazed). 

I truly believe that whether or not SSC actually hits 331 miles per hour again (or 350 like they claim they can), there will always be people who saw that figure and were left stunned. Those people much like myself when I first saw the Bugatti achieve its insane top speed, will be inspired and motivated to want to fly high and above those speeds someday. As I further my education as a mechanical engineer with the goal to eventually work in the automotive industry, I’m so excited to learn and see the capabilities of an engineer first hand. One day I’ll be out there pushing the boundaries that no one thought could be moved and shattering the record that we all thought were unbreakable.

The Bee

I know what you’re thinking. This is just the same story as last time. But it’s actually a shorter part 2! Just as much fun packed into a smaller package.

The story picks off at about the same time that the previous story ended. I was still pretty fed up with Mrs. Waffle’s teaching style. 

If you don’t recall the story from last time, all that’s necessary is that my English teacher only graded in class assignments. Over the first semester we wrote three essays, none of which were graded. Our whole grade consisted of one in class essay per quarter, two in class tests per quarter, and a handful of participation in class assignments. How is my atrocious writing supposed to get better if I don’t get any feedback? What’s the point of even doing work when you don’t get any feedback? Why do I even write these essay? Is she even reading them? Wait, is she even reading them?

Sometime in February, we got an assignment about poetry. The assignment was to take a poem, song or collection of either and write a huge analysis of the work. At least ten pages. And at this point, because of the past story, I really disliked Mrs. Waffle. I wrote my paper pretty easily. It was about the Pink Floyd album The Wall, and went pretty smoothly. It was about fourteen pages and I felt like it was pretty good. But then I remembered my question, “Is she even reading them?”

So I formulated a plan. I was to test this theory of mine that she just takes all of our essays and throws them in her fireplace. I just had to submit a piece of work that had enough of a length to it to be my essay at first glance, but if actually read, would quickly reveal itself to be not my essay. Then it hit me. The Bee Movie Script. It was perfect, long enough to be fourteen pages, complete gibberish, and best of all, at the time, February 2017, the Bee Movie script was the hottest meme.

The rest of the plan fell in like clockwork. I would print out the Bee Movie script, put my name at the top, and submit it in place of my essay. I would even make the font a little wacky to give her a hint. Then I would submit my actual essay via Google Drive. It was foolproof. If she actually read it, she would confront me and want to know what’s up. Because how can you, as a teacher, read the Bee Movie script and not talk to the student? Then I could tell her I had no idea what she was talking about, I submitted my essay with Google Drive. No accountability. If she didn’t read it, I would proof almost definitively that she wasn’t even reading our papers and flaunt to all the others about how I submitted the Bee Movie Script in place of a ten page paper.

Then I acted on my plan. I printed out and turned in the Bee Movie Script, submitted my real essay via Google Drive and waited. The days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, and before I knew it the quarter was ending. Still no word or email from Mrs. Waffle about me turning in the bee movie script. 

After that, I promised not to do a lick of homework for that class for the rest of the year. I participated in class and everything, but I didn’t do any essays, and reading, anything. That’s not quite true, I did do two things over the rest of the year. One was a team assignment to complete an essay together. Despite my cold hard proof, I couldn’t convince all of my teammates to blow off the essay. I’m not a jerk, so I still put my full effort into the paper. The other was a short assignment, I forget the prompt, but I still have my response: 

The FitnessGram™ Pacer Test is a multistage aerobic capacity test that progressively gets more difficult as it continues. The 20 meter pacer test will begin in 30 seconds. Line up at the start. The running speed starts slowly, but gets faster each minute after you hear this signal. [beep] A single lap should be completed each time you hear this sound. [ding] Remember to run in a straight line, and run as long as possible. The second time you fail to complete a lap before the sound, your test is over. The test will begin on the word start. On your mark, get ready, start.

ARC Tips

This semester has asked a lot of us already and it’s hard to know these days when it’s better to take a break from our challenges or when it’s better to act.  In truth, each of those things, action and rest, are self-reinforcing.  While rest can come in many forms, the decision to act can be a challenge in and of itself because the path forward may be unclear.  You want to do something, but you don’t know where to begin.  This is where the ARCs come in!

We aren’t going to list here all the reasons each of us has to be stressed and anxious right now. But we are going to acknowledge that there are a lot. Amidst everything though, we are also all students, meaning we have classes, and homework, and projects to think about — and that is exactly what we write to talk to you about today.

Now that we are in the 2nd half of the semester, it is a good time to evaluate how virtual learning is going for you and if there is anything you want to change.  To help with that, the ARCs have collected the following tips and tricks!   The following recommendations are from others Oliners for what is helping them navigate learning during this period of virtual school.  

Task Management / Calendar

  • Post-it notes 📝: A simple physical post-it note on your laptop or near your desk is an easy access way to track tasks and it is super satisfying to cross things out. 
  • Todo list examples ☑️: If you are looking for a Todo list that is electronic and simple to set up, consider a custom google sheets template!
    • Option 1: This option features a column for each class and a column for the random tasks like email with a due date and a checkbox to tick off tasks as you complete them
    • Option 2: This option is set up for a planning out your work week and assigning different academic/personal tasks to each day of week 
  • Schedule it! 🗓️: In addition to adding classes and meeting to your personal calendar, try scheduling “do not disturb time” to get focused work done. 
  • Track Canvas assignments: Try adding canvas deadlines to your email!  Here are tutorials for adding your canvas calendar feed to outlook and gmail

Getting into a Workflow

  • Create a Commute – Before you hop on the computer for class or team meetings take a walk around the block 🌳, go for a run, or an activity that helps you to create space between school life and personal life.  
  • Bookmarks 💻 – When you sit down to get working, try bookmarking things like calendar, class websites, and other commonly visited websites.  Having these links on hand means you can get to work quickly and not get distracted while trying to find the link to the zoom room!
  • Find where work is happening – If you are living with other students, doing work together is a great way to build momentum towards getting things done while adding a little friendly accountability.  
  • Focused Work? This time technique comes highly recommended by a number of Oliners! The Pomodoro method involves 25 minutes of focused work with 5 minute breaks.  This is a great way to build-in breaks while still being able to focus.
  • Hide your Phone ☎️ – Notifications on phones were designed to distract so moving your phone away from your work area or even out of the room helps to limit distractions.  This tip can also be great when trying to get to bed on time! **Also try flora for a little extra motivation to stay off your phone!

If you find yourself wanting help implementing any of these strategies, or needing more options, feel free to reach out to Adva (adva.waranyuwat@olin.edu) to get connected with an ARC. For various reasons, getting work done right now can be challenging, but the ARCs are here to help you figure out how to get through these barriers as much as possible! 

We hope the second half of the semester is as engaging, well-focused, organized, and restful as possible!  You are not alone! 

Love,

The ARCs 

Abby Fry, Grace Montagnino, Jocelyn Jimenez, Mark Goldwater, Reid Bowen, Riya Aggarwal, Sabrina Pereira, Colin Takeda