Daily Archive: November 9, 2012

Spirit and Opportunity

Posted by Lauren

Happy Friday!

Today was a really swell day. First, I packed. Nicole emailed me the sweetest packing list because she is awesome and organized and knows how last minute I get. Then, I went to work, and the first half of my day I hung out at a Cloud conference organized by (and for) employees. The breakfast bar drew me in…..

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I selected a cup of yogurt with raspberries and granola, a blueberry scone, and some watermelon and cantaloupe and grapes…. and coffee, of course.

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The morning sessions covered topics like innovation, protecting intellectual property, and the technology behind one of our new products. The afternoon breakout sessions I chose to attend focused on Big Data, machine learning, and an internal analytics engine I was unaware of. Cool stuff!

The main speaker was quite impressive! Steve Squyres, a Cornell University astronomy professor, acted as co-investigator of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) space robotics mission. His hour long discussion right before lunch seemed like ten minutes! He was such a terrific storyteller – Squyres discussed the history, journey, challenges, and triumphs of two Mars rovers: Spirt and Opportunity (and briefly talked about the Curiosity rover, which landed on August 5th).

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He joked about their team’s “sheer, dumb luck,” explained testing procedures, detailed engineering feats, and taught us how to replicate Martian soil: equal parts playground sand, clay, and diatomaceous earth (pool filters are made with it). There ya go.

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Science is astounding.

Kyle gave me a ride to the airport (thank you!!) at 5:30 and I was lucky to find zero people in the security line. I <3 you SJ airport.

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I finished up some spreadsheet work, the last of my quinoa and veggies, and snacked on Cheerios.

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My flight departed and landed on time, so soon enough Nicole and I were reunited! And how did we spend our night? We went to the gym!

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Week 6 – Thursday (my 12-week workout plan)

Scheduled: tempo run and ballet

Completed: I didn’t sign up for a ballet class tonight because I had an evening flight to LA. Nicole agreed to join me for a late gym visit so I could stick to my plan (thanks!). We went to her gym and I completed the tempo run:
– 8 minute warm up (7.4 mph, 8:06 pace)
– 16 minute tempo (8.4 mph, 7:09 pace)
– 8 minute cool down (7.4 mph, 8:06 pace)

Sweet Spot: I thought running 2+ miles at a 7:09 pace would be impossible, but I just concentrated on my stride and the fact that I’m training to be faster. That seemed to work? It was also ├╝ber helpful to listen to all of Nicole’s stories while running!

Sticky Spot: Nicole’s apartment’s gym is a sweat box!!! So effing hot. Sorry I doubted the bad workout conditions, sis.

Question: Are you a fan of the space program or do you think that $$ should be spent elsewhere?

My dream job growing up = astronaut.

-Lauren