Setting Up Raspberry Pi

piSo I recently got a Raspberry Pi and boy is it everything I hoped it could be! Recently my old laptop I keep for Linux purposes is beyond being on its last legs and it basically on life support. It seemed like it was about time I set up a new Linux environment. What better way than exploring the new and exciting world of Raspberry Pi?

Since I got it I’ve been a little skeptical about jumping right in, I have a habit of reading all of the directions a few times before I do anything stupid and break something. As it turns out that’s hardly necessary. Full disclosure I got one of the starter packs that comes pre-installed with NOOBS and has a power adapter as well as a case. I went with Vilros but there are a lot of decent options out there and most of them seem like they’re about the same level quality wise anyway. The only major differences being instructions, power adapter, and case since they all come equipped with whichever Raspberry Pi you’re looking for. There are also some kits out there that come with electronics stuff like resistors and breadboards, they cost a little more for the extra materials, but that’s not what I got it for so it felt a little pointless for my purposes.

Things you may want to know right off the bat, the heat sink isn’t really necessary unless you’re doing something that’s likely to overheat your Pi. It basically exists for people who are overclocking their Pi and from what I hear it’s not really necessary in that case either. I feel like it’s likely there just to put people’s minds at ease. Of course it never hurts to be prepared, but I didn’t bother throwing it on. I did keep it in case I change my mind in the future though. A heat-sink is basically a piece of metal that’s going over your CPU to soak up heat. Generally computers don’t like heat that’s why you see some fancier ones with lots of fans. Or even more extreme cases where people use liquid cooling solutions.

Snapping together the Raspberry Pi is a relatively easy process. Most things are marked, and the mini SD card (I got the Pi 3 model B) only goes in one way so they’ve made things pretty simple to put together.

Once your pi is together and you have your keyboard/mouse and screen hooked up you can start-up your raspberry pi. This will load the default desktop environment which is LXDE or Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. Personally I’m not a fan and the first thing on my to-do list was updating it to my personal tastes. I really love the gnome interface, but it does eat up a little too much space for my liking on the mini-SD card. So instead I went with XFCE much like LXDE it’s a lightweight environment for Linux and I prefer it aesthetically. If you’re not a fan of the default desktop environment there’s a lot of options out there, if you want XFCE this is how to go about getting it.

Switching to XFCE

Enter the following commands into your terminal.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install xfce4

You’ll have to reboot at this point (annoying, I know).

sudo reboot

When you come back, you’ll be booted directly into your old environment if you want to switch to your new environment you’ll have to log out and log back in. At the login screen, go to your top right corner and click on the circle which will have a drop down of different environments to choose from. Choose XFCE or whichever one your chose to install.

username: pi

Password: raspberry

Now if this seems like an annoying process, I completely agree and there’s a solution. We can change our default desktop environment with the following code.

sudo update-alternatives –config x-session-manager
You’ll get a window that allows you to choose your default environment. Select the number that corresponds with the path “/usr/bin/Xfce4-session”
Now the next time you reboot, you’ll end up directly in XFCE. At this point, you’ll notice your menu has many more applications and the environment should be eating up a bit more of your resources. It’s a downside, but I think it’s worth it. If you go to settings > Settings Manager, you can make the appearance a little more to your liking. Personally, I switched the appearance to “Xfce-dusk” right away.
Switching Keyboard

If you’re like me, you started with a UK keyboard for some reason, which is annoying if you have any intention of writing C code or ever using the # symbol.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

This will take you through a menu to choose your keyboard. I just picked whatever I was on and on the next screen, choose US if you’re one of us, or choose whatever keyboard you’re looking for. Personally, I just went with Default, no compose key, and I didn’t use the shortcut to terminate the X server.
Once again, you’ll have to reboot to get the benefits of this.
Fixing the Time
If you’re like me, you don’t live in the default region of the Pi. Fixing the time is actually pretty easy. Enter the following into your terminal.
sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
Select your country and then the city within your time region. This is the one thing you won’t actually have to reboot for. If you have an internet connection, things should update themselves after a minute or so.
You should never unplug a running computer, it’s just bad practice. You can go through the menu to shut down, but I just use the following line in the terminal.
sudo poweroff
Eventually, your screen will have no signal and one of the two led lights on your raspberry pi will be green. This process should only take a few seconds.
Don’t want to use Raspbian Pi?
There are many distros(distribution) out there that you can use to make your pi do just about anything you can imagine. My card came pre-installed with NOOBS, but if you have a blank card, all you have to do is unzip NOOBS to your SD card or Mini SD card and it will handle the rest of installing Raspbian Pi as well as many other packages on it. That doesn’t mean you have to use it though. I haven’t tried any other distros yet, so I can’t give in-depth instructions on it.
Some of the more interesting ones I’ve seen are Kali Linux, a distro made for security, specifically penetration testing. As well as a distribution called RuneAudio that is based on Arch Linux, it can act as an interface between your music collection and your music equipment. It seems pretty cool. The cool thing is all you need is an extra SD card to install these and experiment with them. After Installing them on extra SD cards switching between distros will be as easy as swapping SD cards.
My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not playing with computers I host a radio show on KSSU

Siphon Coffee Maker

syphon_coffeeI recently received a Siphon Coffee maker(aka vacuum coffee maker) as an early Birthday present. These thing looks futuristic, requiring a heating source and a couple of glass globes. If you were to walk in to a room, you would see something that looks like a piece of Heisenberg’s set up. The science look is what made me interested in it from the get go. Although it has the appearance of how I’d imagine the Jetsons would make coffee, it’s actually a pretty old system for making coffee.

The Siphon Coffee maker was actually developed in the 1830’s predating the drip system we all know and love by almost a century. I know what you’re thinking, there must be a reason you never see Siphon makers anymore, maybe they aren’t that good? Well, I can say from personal experience, having used the thing for the first time today, it develops a mind-blowing cup of coffee. The full immersion system creates an aromatic cup of coffee that is really hard to beat. I have another system that does full immersion coffee, but I have to say the siphon coffee maker may be a little bit better.

There is a reason that it may be a bit less desirable though. This isn’t as simple as plugging a machine in and walking away. The Siphon coffee maker is a much more hands on experience than most coffee makers. We control the heating source and time the coffee spends brewing. There are a number of heating sources you can use with the various Siphon coffee makers on the market as well. Some are little alcohol burners; others butane (I love mine). There are even electric heating lamp selections. There are also siphon coffee makers built to be used on your stove.

This may seem like a lot of work to develop a cup of coffee, but the result is more than worth it, and watching these things work is actually a pretty cool sight to behold. I’m currently using the Hario Siphon coffee maker from Amazon, but there’s plenty of brands on there. One thing I would suggest if you’re planning on going down this particular rabbit hole is if you choose to get a coffee maker that requires an independent heat source, do yourself a favor and grab a butane burner. A lot of these coffee makers come with an alcohol burner, and while trying to use it, I found the process to be near impossible to complete. A Butane burner was a cleaner and more controllable solution, there are also halogen bulb burners on the market; I hear they work a little slower, and they are a more expensive choice, but they sure do look cool. It also helps to heat the water you’re going to use in your coffee maker before heating it up with your power source. I know this seems a little redundant, but it makes a huge difference in the brewing time.

The only real pain I’ve found is that you need to do a thorough cleaning of this thing before every use,
which is a bit more nerve-wracking with these large glass containers. I’m quite certain that its final moments will likely be during cleaning. It is fairly fragile, but I guess that may lead to the allure of the product.

My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not making coffee I’m a DJ on KSSU; I also do other things.


On Tuesday night at the Game Developers Conference, Nvidia, one of the world’s most popular GPU manufactures, released a surprising new product. For years the company has been working on this unit, and somehow in the age of product leaks Nvidia managed to keep this a complete secret until their press conference on Tuesday.

The announcement, led by Nvidia’s leather-bound co-founder, president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang broke down the reveal into three categories, television, game console, and super computing. Ultimately the Shield would incorporate all three of these ideas.

4K Android TV

First television. The Shield runs on Android TV, one of only a few devises that do this, but unlike other devices this is the first Android TV set that can stream at 4K! Not only will your Google Play Movies stream at 4K, but so will apps like YouTube!

Second game console. Nvidia didn’t just set out to make a higher-end Chromecast, they set out to do much more. So not only can you stream your Android TV at 4K but you can play your Android games as well, not just the games you’d play on your phone, but games specifically tailored for this console; games including Half Life 2, (Ep.1 and Ep. 2), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Telltale’s Game of Thrones and Walking Dead series, Knights of the Old Republic, and a whole list more, with more on the way. But the ultimate question for gaming and graphics is will it run Crysis 3? YES! And at 1080p 30fps with multiplayer support!. The console will have 50+ games when it launches in May. You may ask though, how can it perform this well? Nvidia designed a special chip to allow for this performance. The Tegra X1, a 256 Maxwell Core 3GB GPU, with roughly twice the performance of an Xbox 360, all in unit a size of a small novel.


Lastly super computer. Shield not only runs games natively at 1080p, but thanks to Nvidia’s GRID system, you’ll be able to stream computer quality games from Nvidia’s cloud and play at 1080p 60fps. Thanks to Nvidia’s super computer network all of the performance of the game is done from their own servers. All of the graphics rendering is going to be done on their super powerful, super-fast computers and beamed directly to you with as little delay as possible. This means you’ll be able to purchase Batman: Arkham Origins, and within one minute be streaming the game in 1080p 60fps all from this tiny console. No need to invest $1000+ on a PC gaming rig, let Nvidia’s supercomputer do all the computing for you.

Lastly you may ask with all the power this thing has it must cost as much as a new game console cost, $399, maybe? Wrong. The beauty of the Shield is it only costs $199, with game controller included! Granted the Grid’s premium service does cost (price not revealed yet) there will be a basic service that’s free. Whether that means you won’t have access to certain games on the free service, or your stream quality will be less (say 720p 30fps vs 1080p 60fps), it may be well worth it when you consider you’re saving $200 by not purchasing an Xbox One.


If you’re looking into getting a console but don’t want to spend the money on an Xbox One or Playstation 4, the Nvidia Shield may be the perfect solution for you. Or even if you’re a PC gamer and don’t want to spend the money in updated your PC to run new, graphics and processor heavy games, the Nvidia may be the perfect solution for you, too.

The Shield releases in May for $199. That gives you plenty of time to put aside part of your paychecks to buy this console. I know I’m tempted.

Images Courtesy: Nvidia, Gizmodo

For more tech news and nerd talk, listen to Tex’s all new show, Talking While Distracted every Monday morning at 7am, like on

Album Review: “Lost Isles” by Oceans Ate Alaska


is a metal-core band the United Kingdom with a unique taste. Some flavors of Djent, Thrash, Death, Pop Punk, and even Electronica float around in this UK Combo. When I first listened to Oceans Ate Alaska, they were a scene/emo kid band performing the class “screamo” music with open note breakdowns. This album “Lost Isles” has been a metamorphosis for Oceans. They started out as puny, long-haired caterpillars and evolved into fire-breathing dragons. Here’s my take on “Lost Isles”.

The intro, “Four Thirty Two” is an instrumental with some radio and television broadcasts on natural disasters playing in the background. Great work done in this song, piece and also in the instrumental interlude. The pure talent and raw sound during these pieces show how the band has progressed in accordance to music theory. Tempo changes, experimental tuning, drum variety, all sorts of vocals (both clean and screamed), and of course some master guitar shredding amplify this bands talent ten-fold. You can tell how much work they put into this album just by these pieces alone.

But wait! It gets even better. Oceans Ate Alaska released three tracks before the actually full length release date, which was February 24th. These songs are “Blood Brothers” (Lyric video), “Floorboards” (Lyric Video), and “Vultures And Sharks” (Music Video). One thing you will notice is how thick the accent is coming out of the front-man. It works really well because with the knowledge of where these guys came from, you can match up the style with the accent. With technical drops, crazy good melodies, and use of techno in the background (but not overdone) made me so excited for the release of the full length. Maybe a little too excited because I listened to “Blood Brothers” about five times a day for a week.

Other songs worth mentioning are “High Horse”,”Linger”, “Entity”, and the debut hit “Lost Isles”. “High Horse” is heavy as frick and is similar to Attila’s lyric style. Basically, we are better than you and will hurt you if you try to take us down. With a little bit of Djent influences, this song made me sweaty and flexed out while just sitting in class, which probably made it uncomfortable for the shy girl next to me. “Linger” and “Entity” cannot be fully appreciated without deciphering the lyrics. I will not ruin the surprise, but your mind will be blown. Also, “Linger” as both clean and distorted guitar throughout, which is strange for metal, but it worked out fantastic! Last but certainly not least is “Lost Isles” which is pretty much everything I have just written, but precisely placed together in one masterpiece. I feel like this should have been on the last song on the album just to give listeners those last tears of joy and bliss before popping the album out their car radio.

To hear some new stuff from Oceans Ate Alaska and a variety of other bands, go listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” on Tuesdays at 8 o’clock!

Thanks for reading, DJGingerbeard out.

Album Review: “The Night God Slept” by Silent Planet

SP.CoverThe very first song I heard from Silent Planet was “Tiny Hands (Au Revoir) off their EP titled “Lastsleep (1944-1946)” was love at first listen. I thought, “Gee, these guys already sound experienced and professional.” Turns out, they have only released a demo CD and one self-recorded EP. The album that just came out titled “The Night God Slept” is their first album- ever. Silent Planet is a Christian Metalcore band from Los Angeles. Although they are christian, they do not like to have labels on them and during an interview, their guitar player claimed that they do not want to play in churches, “but we want to play for the broken.” The link to the interview is at the bottom. With this new album, Silent Planet has been signed to Solid State Records and already have some recognition. Bands like For Today and August Burns Red are backing up the release of this new album and on eight of the eleven tracks there are featured christian artists. Silent Planet is coming into 2015 hot with no signs of braking.

Let’s break this album down real quick. First off, the lyrics are amazing. All the lyrics are direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations by the vocalist of other sources. These sources include philosophical books, historical events, the Bible, and many more other things. Not only that, but the lyrics all flow together around a central main idea while also remaining connected to all listeners. All instruments at one point do show their max amount of talent, but they remain humble when needed. The instruments are not focused on being the heaviest or most technical, but they are very talented and get crazy at times. The keep the song entertaining while also complementing the vocalist. Also, one of the guitar players sings to bring in that “clean” aspect to the Metalcore genre. By the way, it is good singing not like a girly man kind of singing either.

My favorite songs (in order of appearance) are XX (City Grave), Native Blood, Tiny Hands (Au Revoir), and Wasteland. “XX (City Grave) talks about the objectification of women as sexual beings instead of equals to men and how that is wrong. The song explains how we should treat all women as sisters and abolish pornography, regardless of profit being lost or desires that men have. “Native Blood” is about how Native Americans were kicked out their land by people who claimed to be Servants of God. Silent Planet retaliated against the idea of the settlers being servants by explaining what it really is to be a Servant. They then compare the idea of False Servant-hood to most preachers today. “Tiny Hands (Au Revoir)” is a Holocaust survival story about a Jewish woman who escaped a Synagogue being burned by Nazis by jumping out a giant window into a garden. There are also topics such as the Garden of Eden and the existence of both forces of Good and Evil. Finally, the song “Wasteland”. This song is about the rise of Joseph Stalin and his attempt to abolish God completely, making himself the new supreme figurehead that everyone are supposed to worship. The song also looks at the lives of the soldiers under Stalin who were dying unnecessary deaths after losing their faith on the battle field, hence the name “Wasteland”.

I can go on and on, but you should go check it out for yourself. I highly recommend that you check out the album playlist on youtube (which I have provided a link) and read the lyrics while the songs are playing. I promise you will not regret it and your mind will be blown.

Thanks for reading! If you want to hear more music like Silent Planet and other great artists, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesdays at 8am on

Much Love, DJGingerbeard




“Shred the Gnar” Version 2.0

For those of you who do not know me, my name is DJGingerbeard and I have a metal/random show Tuesday mornings at 8am called “Shred the Gnar” on KSSU. When I started at KSSU, I wanted to play music that people would not typically hear in the mainstream, or music that when it comes up in conversation would make them cringe. Examples are metal, death metal, post-hardcore, Djent, etc. Last semester I found myself sticking to one type of metal and even replaying songs from already popular artists. My original intent on becoming a DJ had vanished. Two events made me realize i must return to my Alpha Form.


I was checking out some bands on Instagram when I saw a band that I thought was already great and pretty well-known had released a new album. That album is titled “The Night God Slept” by a Southern Californian Metal band called “Silent Planet.” The lyrics are all direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations of the vocalist cited from historical events, intellectual books, and scriptures. I was blown away by the awesome creativity on this album so I looked up an interview with the band. I found out that this album was their first album ever and they just got signed to a record label (which happens to be Solid State Records). That’s when it hit me. One of the things I wished to do as a DJ was to find great bands in the heavy music industry that are not well known and give them exposure.


The other event that made me realize what I have become was a few days ago in my girlfriend’s car. We were having a nice day going out to eat, when two songs back to back played in her radio from a mix CD. One was from Underoath in their more recent years, so the music was not that heavy. The other was a pop-punk song by a band called “Knuckle Puck”. I loved both songs so i told my girlfriend “I would play this stuff, but it’s too light”. She replied, “You tell your listeners that you play a wide variety of metal and other stuff, but you seem to only stick to a select type of music.” She was right, so now I am changing my ways.

“Shred the Gnar” version 2.0 will not have just metal, but also thrash, djent, hardcore, punk, post-hardcore, electro-metal, pop-punk, and all other sub-genres. Not only that, I will try harder to find not-so-known bands like “Silent Planet” and play them on my show to give them the credit they deserve. I promise you fellow musicians and music lovers alike, Spring Semester for DJGingerbeard will be better than ever.

Listen in for some great stuff at

Tuesday mornings at 8am

Much love, DJGingerbeard

A return to the World of Warcraft

wow1   WOW is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game better known as an “MMORPG” a common genre, but this game took the world by storm in November of 2004. A friend of mine had been talking up the game the whole year leading up to its release so when I saw it for sale on the day it came out; I thought I’d give it a shot.

You the player are represented by one of the races that inhabit a virtual world full of creatures, quests and adventure. Each race belongs to one of two warring Factions, either the Horde or the Alliance the difference between the Factions are basically territory and character design. Within either Factions territories, and contested territories are multiple biomes in which your character will navigate, this is probably one of the more enjoyable parts of the game for me. Simply the idea of exploring a game world from the comfort of your own home, Minecraft had a similar concept at work.wow4

Now I came back to WOW about a month ago when it was on sale for Black Friday, it was about 5 dollars for a month of game time. I played the game for a couple of months after I picked it up in 2004, I didn’t really stop for any faults of the game I just have a fairly short attention span and games like these can only keep me entertained for so long. WOW requires a subscription fee to which blizzard uses for continued development of World of Warcraft, so I was curious to see what changes had occurred.wow2

Since it’s inception in 2004 Blizzard has created multiple expansion packs which have becoming a part of the core game mechanics. With them we have gained some playable races such as Goblins and Pandas(Yes you can play a humanoid panda) but there have been some more in-depth changes such as various revamps of skill systems and talent trees. Every change I’ve noticed seemed to be with the effort of making the game more user friendly. We are given skills on leveling up instead of having to purchase “Arcane Arrow 5” from a vendor when it was time. They dropped ammunition from the game which freed up some bag space, and I can’t remember, but i believe the bags used to be smaller.

I’ve also noticed that the Auction House has become a far more expensive place, I believe this is caused by the ease of obtaining gold at high levels as well as a player base that has been around for 10 years accumulating currency. All in all I’ve found the game to be about as enjoyable as it ever was, minus some minor inconveniences we used to experience. There is one thing i’d like to point out though, the world itself has changed since it came out. Searing craters and biome switches have occurred, one of my favorite areas was turned into a giant lake. Which actually improved my experience the second time running through the world of Warcraft.wow3

blah blah blah, i’m a Sac State DJ for KSSU, the cool kids call me DJ GOOD DEAL

Game Review: The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess


I was very, very, very conflicted about buying this game or not. The very first Zelda I played was “Ocarina of Time” for the Gamecube, so it had been awhile since I had purchased another one of these mind-blowing, controller biting dungeon games. Since Ocarina of Time, I had purchased a Wii (back when there was a lot of hype). The Wii had been getting pretty dusty, and when I learned that there was a Zelda game that was compatible with the Wii, I decided to give it a shot.

I regret nothing.

In Twilight Princess, there arises a new foe who encased the world in “Twilight” which allows all these creatures to come forth and wreak havoc. Midna, the Twilight Princess, wants your help to regain her throne in the Twilight Realm. Link (You) changes into a wolf inside the Twilight. Throughout the game, you go through multiple dungeons and realms to find light spirits and other such things to free Hyrule of the Twilight. Oh yeah, Ganondorf comes back too.

Since I have only played Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time, I will be contrasting those two.

In Twilight Princess, you have a range of attacks as opposed to just tapping “A” a lot of times. To learn these new attacks/abilities, you find howling stones in your wolf form, howl the correct song, and you are transported to a cloudy place where a skeleton warrior teaches you new abilities. Some of these are dodge-roll-attack, a powerful leaping swing, and a fatal finishing downward strike. This variety of attacks gives the user the freedom to choose how to strike down a foe instead of just holding “Shield” forever until the time is right to strike.

In ocarina of time you could only teleport to specific places, but in Twilight Princess, you can teleport to wherever there has been some sort of portal with enemies you have defeated- and there are a lot of portals. I do not recommend teleporting, but it is nice to be able to cover distance fast when you are irritated or eager to move ahead in the game.

One more thing about Twilight Princess is there is a lot of tasks you can perform for other people outside of the main quest. For example, if you participate in a circus game, you can win a larger bag for your arrows. Collect enough Reaper souls, you earn major rewards from a dead dude. Bring hot water to a Goron, he will smash open walls and new entry ways for you. There is a whole lot more that I cannot mention, so go see it for yourself.

In my opinion, Twilight Princess was  a huge step forward from Ocarina of Time. Enough blabbering from me, go purchase the game and enjoy moments of wonders, tears, and bliss.

For more awesome words and music, check out my show “Shred the Gnar” on Thursday mornings at 9 0′ clock on

DJGingerbeard, signing out.

Tomorrow We Die Alive Tour @ The Assembly Music Hall

One week ago, I attended a brutal, skull-crushing, highlighted hair, tight pants wearing, metal concert with (headlining) Born Of Osiris, Thy Art Is Murder, Betraying the Martyrs, ERRA, Within the Ruins, and Before You Fall.

Oh mah gawsh

Let me tell you a story on how my day went.


First off, I had to drive to Sacramento twice that day; once for school and once for the concert because I had to pick up people from my hometown. We get to the venue called “The Assembly” at 1000 K Street in downtown Sac. The parking is cheap, only $5 for the whole night. While waiting in line, there are some pretty strange, yet welcoming characters. Mothers with vulgar shirts, kids with hair longer (and thicker) than my legs, pentagram shirts everywhere, straightened hair, and a love for brutality- everywhere.

We get inside and the venue is typically bigger, but that night the stage was an extension of the regular stage. This meant the venue was smaller. I hung around in the back with my girlfriend. Normally, I am a pit kind of guy. I go in, throw a few hugs, take a few hugs, then get out and catch my breath behind someone else’s sweaty back. Good times. But that night I was already super tired from school all day, and my girlfriend does not typically go to these kind of shows, so I stayed with her.

The first band “Before You Fall” is a decent band, except when they play live; they were terrible. Everything sounded like mush due to feedback, the clean vocalist was screeching way too high while drumming, and there was a lot of random intense stage presence.

After that disaster was “ERRA” and “Within the Ruins”. Both of these bands killed it, and their vocalists were super ripped! Every time they let out a guttural scream they flexed, and it seemed like even their shirts wanted to fight me!

Then, the moment I was waiting for, “Betraying the Martyrs” came on. I have been a HUGE fan of BTM since their first EP, but I have not seem them live until last Thursday because they are from France. I went berserk, alongside my good friend Ramon. At the last song, Betraying the Martyrs did a “Wall of Death”.

Wall of Death: Separation of the entire front half of the audience, who then all run at each other at the drop of the breakdown.

Ramon, this mexicano delgado, went in. I did not seem him come out.

Afterwards was “Thy Art Is Murder.” The thing is, I thought Thy Art Is Murder was one of those Atheist bands who use pentagrams to be a little heavier.

I was so wrong.

Their vocalist was twitching out like a possessed man, said he was “drawing power” from the audience’s praise, and called out God screaming profanities My girlfriend walked out. Today, I no longer listen to Thy Art Is Murder. I mean, I am Christian, they are Satanic. I can’t get mixed in with that.

Finally, after hours of sore feet, sweaty backs, and a body odor filled atmosphere, Born Of Osiris played.


They were the best band out of all of them and I love them, but they played 8 songs. Each of those songs, was verb long.

We left after song seven to partake in our usual “After Show” tradition-

We pigged out at Denny’s.

Overall, three people dragged out by security, one fight, two people passed out, and some fantastic memories made at the “Tomorrow We Die Alive” Tour.


Thanks for reading, check out my show “Shred the Gnar” on Thursdays at 9am on for some Broot Broot Metal!


Biotech: careers of the future


I was walking through the university union when I saw a flyer to a Biotech seminar being held tonight. Normally i would run off to the library to study around that time, but being a Computer Science major I really love seeing how my chosen field helps improve other peoples lives and the world as a whole. Today’s subjects focused on the justice system, developing new ways to treat age old ailments as well as restructuring the food we eat.

In case you missed that last part Monsanto was represented at the Biotech seminar by Timothy W. Conner. For any readers unaware our agricultural companies are constantly working with food to make them more resistant to pests and disease, as well as increasing yield for the worlds explosive population increases. Now initially this sounds like a good thing, but some companies Monsanto being one of them have taken to genetically modifying plant cells in order to obtain a better plant. Which in theory also sounds like a good idea, but with change also comes fear, and this has scared a lot of people. Mainly out of the idea that something will go wrong and these new resistant plants will spread into other farmers crops. Monsanto also happened to create such infamous things as Agent Orange, and DDT. On the flip side they are a fairly large organization that is on the cutting edge of biotechnology merely attempting to make the world a better place.

Timothy Conner explained how through the use of robotics the people of Monsanto are capable of studying things on a much smaller level and an almost automated manner. Of course this is what I could understand of what he said, the bio side of the tech sort of eludes me.

We also had guest speakers from the legal side of things with Nadina Giorgi a forensic scientist who mainly deals with toxicology, and represents the science in court cases. Nathan Himes who also deals with our criminal justice system focuses on DNA analysis for court cases. Their level of capability these days blew me away, I thought it was all Dexter esque where police find obvious biological traces and they’re examined but apparently we can extract DNA from something as simple as a pen that was held momentarily days ago. Truly amazing stuff.

Barbara Malerstein was representing StemExpress who are doing things that i didn’t even know was possible. StemExpress specialized in isolating primary cells to regenerate medicine and translational research. Basically they’re using some fancy technology to isolate things on a level that I can’t conceive to help fuel the research of other companies in curing horrible life affecting diseases. This is something that benefits one of our other panelists Dominque Kagele who represents the Jackson Laboratory this one i found kind of exciting; they mutate mice.

Mice have been laboratory subjects for a long time now, mainly because of their similarity to human DNA(who knew) as well as their ability to populate, they’re small, and relatively cheap(compared to a chimp anyway) so they tend to be ideal for this cutting technology kind of stuff. Mainly she spoke of giving mice tumors for researching how to get rid of them, but we have also made mice illuminate. One of the most exciting things to me is our study of brain power, literally the brains correlation to computers some scientists were able to get a mouse brain to fly a plane.

Our last panelist was Thomas Nollie who has his doctorate in Engineering, he used to be a Nuclear Engineer, since then his field has changed drastically working at Sealy Mattress, Heico, Davis Wire, National Standard and Baoan international investment, but today he was representing Genentech mainly as an example of how you don’t have to be on the biology side of things to be a part of the fascinating world of Biotechnology.

This thing was set up by the career center so as you might imagine the questions were geared towards helping the students in the room to find jobs with the panelists. Personally I would have preferred to hear what these industry leaders might have expected biotech to be leading to in the next 5 years, then again I suppose that’s the billion dollar question.

They did all touch down on some similar advice though, and since these people are very successful i’d suggest taking it to heart. Be flexible, you may end up somewhere completely different from where you thought you were heading both in a career and geographically, it’s ok life is like that. Follow your heart, chase the elusive mayfly, and do what makes you happy. I’m paraphrasing here, but it seems like a few of them basically took a chance on things that sounded fun and it worked out.

TL;DR: Take Chances, Be Flexible, Follow your heart.

My name is Chris Diel, I am a DJ with KSSU Sacramento State’s only student run radio. You can listen to me every Thursday at 2pm.