Thursday, March 22, 2012


Sean's FIRST Robotics Team went to the Regional Tournament held at UCDavis, and came home WINNERS!!
Here's the winning team, or "Alliance".

From Sean's letter to friends and family:

I am Sean Leapley, and I am a proud member of the FIRST robotics team #3189, the El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) Circuit Breakers.

This is our team's third year participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition ( On our first year, we were awarded the Rookie Inspiration Award and a member of our team was awarded as a Dean's List Finalist. In our second year, a member of our team was recognized as a Dean's List Finalist. This year, most importantly, the Circuit Breakers are one of three teams that won Sacramento Regional Competition, meaning that we are advancing to the championships in St Louis, Missouri. However, we need your help to get our robot, Andromeda, and our team to the championships and ask that you please contribute to our team efforts. A donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated. Every dollar helps! Furthermore, we are also looking for corporate sponsors, so if you are part of a company that can sponsor the team, or know people in other companies that can be contacted for sponsorships, please let me know.

To make a donation, please make checks payable to EDUHSD Robotics, and mail to: EDUHSD Robotics, Shenandoah High School, 6540 Koki Lane, El Dorado, CA, 95623. If an online donation via check, credit card or PayPal is preferred, please donate through PaySchools on this district website (click on Robotics Team).

The Circuit Breakers are dedicated to the mission of FIRST Robotics, working to inspire students in pursuing careers in engineering, as well as instilling confidence.

I would love to hear from you if you can help, or if you have any questions about our program and my participation in the robotics team.

Thanks to all friends and family who have shown their support so far. This has been so exciting for all involved, thank you!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Watching a Master at work - Claude Monet

I saw this short video on the Artist Daily website, and was captivated by Claude Monet's working style.

From the site:

As a landscape artist, I naturally expected Monet to observe his subject. Yet, the constancy with which he observes is astonishing. Except for the time he takes to clean his brush, he turns to his subject every two or three seconds.

Monet and the other Impressionists abandoned the approach of blending colors over large areas in favor of placing individual strokes side by side, and allowing the eye to mix those spots of color at a distance. Here we witness the action that produces these daubs and dashes of "broken color."

At certain moments, the strokes are fairly short "dashes." Other times he makes longer vertical strokes. There is no blending or rubbing, just one thrust of the brush. He holds the brush fairly far back along the shaft and extends his arm, reaching to the canvas. After just a few strokes, he returns to the palette for more color.

Monet pauses for a fraction of a second to choose his brush. Monet thinking—caught on film! He uses four brushes. They appear to be the same size, so almost certainly the various brushes were assigned different colors.

One brush also appears to be unusual—quite pointy with the bristles forming a triangular shape. Perhaps it was a brush he had custom made or it was a regular brush that had worn down.

Here we get a glimpse of the artist's palette. Given how "loaded" with paint the surface of his paintings were, I was a little surprised not to see larger daubs of pigment squeezed out on Monet's palette.

Stance and orientation: When painting outdoors (or with any subject, for that matter) it is often recommended that you put your subject as close to your line of sight as possible. This reduces the amount of head turning necessary. Here, though, Monet is turning a full 90 degrees to the right to view his subject. This was likely because of the size of the canvas. Had he propped it up in front of himself, it would have blocked his view.

And here is the video... Enjoy!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012