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MIT student blogger Kate R. '14

Rainboots, Math, and M&M’s by Kate R. '14

Because I have a bunch of little stories to tell, not one big one.

This blog post is about the following picture:

In particular, notice:

  1. First and foremost, my super-fabulous high-heeled rainboots. I got them at the COOP on Monday after coveting them for a year. I had been waiting for a rainy day to wear them, and today was the day: it came down steadily the entire day. I actually found myself walking outside through the rain parallel to an indoor hallway I could have used to keep nice and dry– but I was looking for puddles to jump in! There is nothing like stepping confidently into the center of a deep puddle, knowing your boots are totally impervious to the wet. Except maybe the joy of strutting around campus in black-and-grey fleur-de-lis patterened high heeled boots.
  2. My new “i choose 18” tshirt from the math department (which is Course 18. get it?) The value of i choose 18 is (34376687 + 1499084559 i)/14485008384, according to the back of the shirt, and google gives the approximation 0.00237769994 + 0.10368577 i. A lot of departments at MIT have really cool or clever tshirts, but Course 18’s is the best (no, I’m not biased…)
  3.  The orange button on my shirt is says 14, my class year. Each year the MIT Public Service Center runs a competition between the classes to see who will donate the most money. I dropped by their table in lobby 10 and donated today.
  4. My hat, which I only wore today because I wanted to switch it up from the blue beret and the pink-and-grey kitty hat. The volunteers who recorded my donation to the PSC in lobby 10 said that the raindrops on the hat looked like glitter (see how I just tied like 3 different things together there?)
  5. The blackboard behind me, which contains the calculations to solve the following physics problem: how fast would you have to shoot an m&m in order to make it all the way down the length of Bemis without going too high and bouncing off the ceiling. Bemis is what we call the middle third of my hall: the north third is Goodale and the south third is Walcott. They are actually named after the century-old alumni who donated the money to build East Campus, but I haven’t been able to find out anything about the people themselves. Anyway, we were doing this physics problem because, of course, someone had a huge bag of peanut m&m’s, and we were spreading out in Bemis seeing how far away we could get and still catch an m&m with our mouths. (And when I say we, I mean other people. I entirely lack the coordination to catch m&m’s in my mouth.) If you want to do the math yourself, we were using 100 ft. for the length of bemis and 8 ft. for the height. We figured out that we’d need to shoot the m&m at about an 18 degree angle at around 74 feet per second. Which totally wouldn’t kill someone, right?
  6. Lastly, the stop sign! It looks yellow! I swear it’s actually red, but when we took the picture with flash, the stop sign was so reflective it turned out yellow! Why did it do that? That’s so cool!

8 responses to “Rainboots, Math, and M&M’s”

  1. Alex says:

    How can one choose 18 objects from a group of square root of negative one objects? hmmmmmm…pure indeed

  2. Gavin West says:

    I dunno why stop signs do that either…although if you take a picture of a stoplight when it’s green, it shows up blue.

    Did anyone build a pneumatic cannon to shoot the M&Ms;? =D

    P.S. Nice hair

  3. Suyash says:

    xD, what an awesome list of context to be captured in a picture! YAY. The stop sign is actually very interesting! Apparently, stop signs actually used to be yellow: (This is totally tangental, but)! Still! Yay for the crazy-reflective color changing stop sign! Too bad it isn’t, like, blue shifted or something xD. THAT WOULD BE EPIC~. (Standard Yellow hasn’t any blue hues though, [sadface]).

    Awesome course 18 shirt! Ah, what amazing MIT shirts~ I’m still stuck on XKCD/Thinkgeek for such supplies xD. Oh, and the Physics problem/boots[High heels?!?]/hat/donation are all awesome too, of course.
    :D. Your hair is always high on the awesomeness scale too, xD. Let it be proclaimed.

  4. My conjecture about why the stop sign looks yellow…

    Stop signs are made of prismatic aluminum, which means they refract light on a micro-scale. And somehow the camera flash that gets refracted/reflected back looks yellow. I wonder if changing the viewing angle of the camera would change perceived color of the stop sign…

  5. Brandon J. says:

    Good post and all that, but I have a burning question to ask:

    WHY is your profile picture’s hair purple when yours is so clearly pink?

  6. Kate R. '14 says:

    Gavin, unfortunately, no pneumatic cannon yet. We were going to start with a slingshot made of super-stretchy surgical tubing.

    Alex, check this out.

    Brandon, my hair color changes often enough that it’s too much trouble to update the profile pic every time I update my hair! We picked purple since it’s fairly representative of the color choices I usually make, but I always feel free to deviate from that :D

  7. Brandon J. says:

    Ah, that makes sense, I should have thought of that. I just recently started following the blogs, so that explains why I’ve only seen the one. Appreciate the response, even though it wasn’t exactly an important question.

  8. Keith says:

    Love the t-shirt. Wish I was up there. I would totally volunteer to assist with experiments. Especially ones that involve m&m’s.