My collection of self-driving cars…

…articles. :) I don’t have a self-driving car yet. I like to learn about self-driving cars, and I share relevant articles, photos, and videos in my self-driving cars Google+ collection. If you come across something that I might have missed, please send it to me! I’m more likely to share actual announcements and less likely to share speculation, but I like to read almost anything about the subject.

Getting my name out there

New Horizons is currently checking out Pluto and my name is on board. Today, I read that in 2005, you could give NASA your name and they’d burn it on a CD and attach it to the New Horizons probe. It sounded like something I would do. It turns out, it’s something that I did.

certificate with my name

By the way, I’m currently reading The Martian. I hadn’t read science fiction in a while, and I’m really enjoying the book. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie in October.

DRIVE UNIT STOP

Today while walking after picking up lunch, I spotted a Tesla Model S in a parking lot. This is not an unusual sight in Mountain View. What did grab my attention, however, was I saw something, a yellow box if I remember correctly, sticking out of the dashboard as I walked by. Curious, I walked up to the driver’s side window and looked in. It was a big red industrial-looking button that’s universally recognized as “emergency stop.” It was labeled “DRIVE UNIT STOP.” I assume that what I saw was an Autopilot test car, as the button reminded me of what’s in Google’s self-driving cars. I was surprised that Google’s installation of the button had a more integrated aesthetic. :) Other than the button, the rest of the car looked normal to me as I continued along my way. I get to see some pretty neat stuff in the Bay Area.

Cat person

I like dogs, but I’m a cat person.

Sometimes when you learn the meaning of a term, it can be very disappointing. I remember when I was a kid, we were going to meet one of my mom’s friends, and she described him as a “cat person.” We got there, and I was like, wait, so you just like cats? Dude, that’s a cat-liker. A cat person’s a different story. Why does Steven never go in the pool? Oh, he’s a cat person.
– Demetri Martin

Here’s a broad generalization: Dogs prioritize food and fun. Cats prioritize comfort. They seem to be on a constant mission to be as comfortable as possible. What’s the best blanket to sit on? Which surfaces retain the most heat in the winter, and are coolest in the summer? In which location are people most likely to leave you alone?

I can totally understand that. I like comfortable clothes. I pay for extra legroom. I stopped going to a dry cleaner because they asked me a confusing question (“Do you want these to be dry cleaned?”) once. I like to do things that I know I’m good at. I try to optimize my life to be as comfortable as possible.


I seek comfort. Others seek discomfort. I think it’s just a personality difference, and it’s on a spectrum, just like how some people are more introverted and others are more extroverted. They have different defaults.

I know people who will say things like “I like to push myself” and “I want to go outside of my comfort zone.” My gut reaction? Why would you want to be uncomfortable?! :) I can totally understand what they mean, but I also know that it’s not my personal preference.

Some seem to have an obsession with discomfort. Some even like to see others get uncomfortable. Some like to see me get uncomfortable. Wysz doesn’t like weird foods? Let’s see what we can make him try! He looks comfortable sitting at the table at a wedding? Invite him to the dance floor. He says he doesn’t want to dance? Drag him. He’s never had a massage? TOUCH HIM!

I wrote this on my couch, which is used only by me but has three blankets.

Movies

I watch a lot of content online, but it tends to be podcasts and TV shows rather than traditional movies. It’s so easy to watch a series, and picking a movie can be a bit of work. Recently, while watching a movie and remembering how much I enjoy the experience, (I think it was Good Morning, Vietnam), I decided that I should watch more movies. I took the stress out of it by reminding myself that I like almost any movie, so I could just pick anything. Now, I’ll look for a movie title anywhere, whether it’s from a recommendation system, searching for an actor, or remembering a VHS cover that I saw on the shelves of Blockbuster as a kid. Once I’ve found the title, I try to watch the movie without learning anything more about it. I don’t watch the trailer, I don’t read reviews, and I don’t even look at the genre. It’s so fun to start watching the movie having no idea what to expect. I’ll start watching and not know if it’s going to be a drama, or if the characters will end up going to space or back in time.

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to music, and I really liked one of the songs. I looked to see what was playing, and it was the soundtrack for Moon. I didn’t recognize the movie, but I decided to watch it that Friday based on the soundtrack alone. It was a pretty cool movie, and I’m glad I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, because I think that made the story more interesting and helped to prevent me from guessing what was going to happen next. I later had a vague memory of seeing the trailer when it had come out, but I didn’t realize that until after watching the movie.

What should I watch next?