Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally...

This will be my last post on this site as I am moving to my own domain. www.peterlast.com is my website where I will continue to post short stories and other articles of interest. Hope to see you over there!

P.S. It also looks a lot cooler than this website does!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moving Sites

ATTENTION: To all two of you who visit this site on a regular basis, with the launch of my first novel I have also acquired my own website to which my blog will be moving. The web address is easy, it's just this one minus the "blogspot"

www.peterlast.com

to go straight to the blog

www.peterlast.com/blog

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Journey Through Civil Engineering: Part 2



Hydraulics Engineers (i.e. wetheads)

In my last post in this series, I gave a brief overview of each discipline of Civil Engineering. Now I will proceed to break down each one in a somewhat more comprehensive manner. Because hydraulic engineering was the first one in my initial post, I will start with it.

Hydraulics Engineers deal with anything involving water transmission. This could mean moving water from a treatment plant to your tap or the removal of sewage to another treatment plant. Anytime water is moved, hydraulic engineers are involved.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

"Guardians of Magessa" FREE

Good news! Until Monday (23 June) my debut novel will be available for a free download on Amazon kindle. Just search "Guardians of Magessa" on Amazon or go to the "books" tab on my website www.peterlast.com

Also, please share so everyone can enjoy the goodness!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Big Announcement

I have recently launched a website in conjunction with the release of my book. In an effort to consolidate my workload, I am currently working on moving all of my previous blog content to the new blog. In this way, I will only have to visit 27 different websites a day instead of 28. In retrospect, this is probably more of a moral victory than anything else. I will still post new content at this location as well as on my new blog until I finish moving everything over so feel free to stop by or to use the new domain.

that's it for now,

Peter Last

Collindwood Depot Libraryvent

I would like to extend a special thanks to the staff of Collinwood Depot Library and everyone who attended the teen night yesterday (16 JUN). I gave a talk about superheroes and how in life working in teams is of the utmost importance. The people were very inviting and interested in me being there.

The Collinwood Library itself is a cool place to be. Though it is small, it boasts hundreds of volumes as well as computers to serve the technological needs of patrons. I also noticed that it is handicapped accessible, definitely a nice touch. The coolest part of the whole place is that it is located inside an old train depot. The place is amazing and the staff is great. Once again, I would like to express my gratitude at the opportunity to speak to the teens of Colinwood.

That's all for now,

Peter Last

Monday, June 09, 2014

A Journey Through Civil Engineering: Part 1

Per a request on my blog, this post will start a multi-part series on Civil Engineering. Don't worry, it's not as boring as it sounds and I will try to inject humor along the way.

In Part 1 of this series (that would be what you're reading now if you hadn't gathered that from the title) I will break Civil Engineering down into its seven areas and give a nick-name and brief description of each. So without further ado and in no particular order (just the order they pop into my head) here are the seven disciplines of Civil Engineering.

1. Hydraulics (i.e. wet heads)
Hydraulics engineering is something that many different disciplines can claim. For instance, mechanical engineers may deal with systems colloquially known as "hydraulics." This could be the shocks on a car, a system used to raise an adjustable chair, or that little tube thingy at the top of your glass door that keeps it from slamming. Civil Engineering hydraulics is nothing like that. It deals with water distribution and drainage systems. Examples of these things include pipes taking water from a water tower to your home, storm water runoff system, sewer pipes, dams, and detention reservoirs. In this discipline there are two main areas of study that I know of so far. Keep in mind that I'm still in college and obviously don't know everything. These two areas are:

·         Open channel flow
·         Pipe flow

I will discuss these in a later post.

2. Structural Engineering (i.e. high risers)
Any type of structure that is built will have one of these engineers involved. Whether it is a small bridge or house or the Hoover Dam or the Empire State building, a structural engineer designed it to make sure it doesn't collapse at an inopportune moment (for the Hoover Dam, any moment would be inopportune). This type of Engineering has the largest potential for fame (and fortune!) and also the largest potential for catastrophic failure (Tacoma Narrows Bridge or the World Trade Center Twin Towers)

3. Transportation Engineering (i.e. )
Transportation engineers have the distinction of thinking that everything revolves around them. This is a joke, of course, since all engineers think the world revolves around their discipline. transportation engineers design roads, bridges (though structural engineers also have a hand here), air ports, etc. If it carries people from point A to point B, the transportation guys probably have a hand in it.

4. Construction Engineering (i.e. do-ers)
It doesn't matter how well you design your road, sky scraper, or dam, the construction engineer will be the one to implement it. These "do-ers" are quite skilled at planning and coordinating projects to accomplish them in the least amount of time with the least amount of money. Another name for them is "project managers." They also tend to know what they're talking about in legal matters that are within their purview.
(Tip: Getting a do-ers' opinion on a project while designing it will help make it much more "do-able" when it comes to actually constructing it. They can make sure the design doesn't call for threading an eighteen inch pipe through a fourteen inch hole or other impossibilities)

5. Geotechnical Engineering (i.e. dirt boys)
When any project has to do with dirt (and every project involves the stuff), dirt boys are involved. How porous is the soil? How much will it compact when a 500,000 ton building is put on it? How deep is the bed rock? These are all questions that the dirt boys can answer. This discipline is particularly important because it makes sure that projects have a firm foundation so they can last for a long time.

6. Materials Engineering (i.e. hard heads)
I nicknamed these guys "hard heads" because some of their best work is done with concrete and asphalt. In principle, they use a lot of the same tests and methods as the dirt boys as they test for strength, compressibility, porosity, and other characteristics of asphalt and concrete. They also work to develop better (stronger, cheaper) methods of making the stuff. They are important to the durability of roads and structural foundations. This is about all I know about materials, so if you have anything to add, please feel free to say it in the comments.

7. Environmental Engineering (i.e. guilt stricken)
This nickname came from my friend and I sitting in "Engineering Orientation" listening to what each of the disciplines did. That presentation made the guilt stricken sound like a bunch of tree huggers, but the truth is quite different. Water treatment, sewage treatment, water table analysis, and site runoff analysis all fall under this area. As you can imagine, the guilt stricken and the wet heads work closely together on a number of projects. Together, they make the Civil Engineering profession the one to lower the mortality rate the most of any profession in the world. The take away? clean water is more important than advanced medical care any day of the week.

Well, that is the most brief run-down of the Civil Engineering profession that I can possibly give. Actually, it would be shorter if I simply removed all of the article adjectives, but I think the decrease in readability would not justify the decrease in length. Stay posted for future posts dealing with each individual discipline.

As always, thank you for reading.


Peter Last

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Book 1: Proof Copy



The gem in the hands of that buffoon is the proof copy of my first book, "Guardians of Magessa." (I'm the buffoon, in case you were wondering) Feels good to finally be able to touch the thing after eleven years of work!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Polls vs. Poles

First, did you know that a "poll" can mean a person's head? More specifically, it is the part of the head from which the hair grows (i.e. the scalp) It's amazing what a google search will turn up.

Now that the important issues are out of the way, it's time to talk about the frivolous ones, that is: it is time to take a poll. When I started this post, I couldn't remember if getting people's opinions was a "poll" or a "pole" hence the google search and word of the day. Anyway, the long and short of it is that I figured out how to spell "poll" correctly. It also prompted me to ask the second question in this particular poll.

Question 1
I am currently working on a sci-fi stroy called "Dead Space." It has correlations to the two short stories i wrote ("The Black Market" and "The Poker Table"). Would you be interested in me posting this story?
1. Yes
2. No.

Question 2
You are asked to "take a pole." You notice the spelling and, instead of assuming a mistake was make you go take a pole. What kind would you take?
1. Flag pole
2. North/South Pole
3. Pole (a Germany music artist)
4. Your own answer.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Peter Last

Blog Review

http://candicemareeperini.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/guardians-of-magessa/

I was just going to leave it at that (i.e. just a link) but I'mm too much of a windbag to do that. The link will take you to a blog, the author of which read my book and wrote the review you will find. Special thanks to her for her help. She has written reviews on other books, so be sure to check them out as well. As always, thanks for reading.

Peter Last