Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences

Art Show

Hey peoples! Remember that whole think about me working on my portfolio that ended with my Spring 2010 Portfolio Inductions? Well, it doesn’t actually end there. The entire point of updating my portfolio was so I could exhibit my latest photography, which is what I’m doing starting this Friday!

I have one 20″ x 30″ photo and one 20″ x 9″ photo, which looks something like this:

However, I’m going to make you show up to see which pictures I chose and how awesome they look! Consider this your official invitation:


Come to the Seattle Academy Arts Center (1100 12th Avenue) on May 7th for the first-ever Alumni Art Exhibit in conjunction with the annual current student Spring Art Show.

Open House-style, so drop in between dinner and going out for the night.

If you cannot make it that evening, you can still stop by the Arts Center during regular business hours through the month of May to see the alumni display in the Green Room.

Works by:
Nathan Bulmer ’00
Adrien Miller ’02
Andrew Ferguson ’04
Annie Brady ’99
Miriam Engel ’08
Nick DuPree ’08
…and more!

I’ll be there starting at 6pm, and will probably stay for at least an hour.


Constantly Searching

During high school graduation, I gave a speech. I remember having a fun time writing it. I wanted it to be my own special moment of profoundness. Whether or not I accomplished that is not for me to decide.

Let’s take a short walk almost four years back in my life:
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I pulled quotes from a couple of sources which had been influential in my life, namely Shakespeare and Star Trek.

Quoting Shakespeare is nothing new for anyone. In fact, Star Trek takes from Shakespeare on a fairly regular basis and there’s some considerable similarities between Klingons and Roman Shakespeare1.

However, I did not use Shakespeare solely because of its Star Trek connection.

I had a hard time with Shakespeare in high school, and for me, quoting it was sort of a way for me to say: “I hate how complex you [the works of Shakespeare] are, but I still respect and admire you.”

I suppose that I could have also quoted Wordsworth, Blake, or Coleridge. But I didn’t.

I watched the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Sunday and was reminded of one of the Star Trek quotes I included in the speech:
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It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to co-exist and learn.

I never actually attributed this quote to Star Trek in my speech, which is probably one of my biggest regrets of the entire thing. I think my reasoning at the time was to try and reduce any negative impact that mentioning Star Trek would have on my speech.

For example, let’s say that I quoted this:

As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.

By itself, these come off as great words. Now let’s say that I told you C.S. Lewis wrote them. Now they’re even better words! Profound statement and respectable author makes a great quote.

Now let me postulate that Adolf Hitler was whom I quoted2. My guess is that would not go over so well.

Not that I would/should ever equate Star Trek and Hitler, but I think my point is made.

Back to the Star Trek quote though. I really like it, especially the first sentence: “It is the unknown that defines our existence.”

I like it because it is a statement of purpose and one that I can agree with. I exist because there are unknowns.

The statement of purpose then leads to a statement of mission: “We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge.”

We are explorers. We explore. We explore the human element and we explore physical element. And as we explore, we find answers to the aforementioned unknowns. But we also find more knowns.

To me, that’s exciting.

There really is no other point to this except to share that thought and rectify my failed attribution.

By the way, that quote was from Adolf Hitler.

  1. You Haven’t Read Klingon Until You’ve Read It In It’s Native Klingon by Andrew Ferguson, 10/11/2003 

  2. I think this fulfills Godwin’s Law for this discussion 

The Hunt for Toda Mafalda

Back in my high school days, I took a couple years of Spanish. One time in class, I read this hilarious comic.

Every once-in-a-while, I’ll remember the comic and think about finding it.

Well, about a month ago, I had another one of those hankerings and spent about a week looking on the Internet for it. I looked all over, but could not find it. So I emailed my Spanish teacher, Stephanie:


I remember a comic that we read in your class (it might have been from one of the books) and I’m trying to find it. There’s a kid…

…[I described the story line here, but am redacting it to preserve the hilarity]…

I’ve searched for it high and low and can’t find it and was wondering if you a) know what the heck I’m talking about, and b) know where I might be able to find it?

-Andrew Ferguson

Stephanie was able to give me the lead I needed:

The comic strip you’re talking about is Argentinean and it’s called “Mafalda” I used to copy some strips onto the backs of tests.

Thus, the hunt began. I first did another check on the Internet to make sure that I still could not locate it with the additional information. While I found some Mafalda strips, I could not locate the one I was looking for.

So I turned to our library. Our school library is part of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, a network of libraries throughout in Colorado and Wyoming. In short, I can jump on the Prospector search engine and search through everyones books and then have it sent to my library for free! It’s really quite spiffy.

So I did that. “10 años con Mafalda” and “Mafalda and Friends“, the latter which is in English interestingly enough.

After parsing (heh, “parsing” only a programmer would use that word) through those two books, I had not found my comic. So I hit up Prospector again. This time, I ordered “Mafalda 5“, and just to be on the safe side: “Toda Mafalda” (I like saying it in the movie announcers voice).

Well, needless to say, my search is over. There, lying at the top of page 61 in Toda Mafalda was what I have been searching for. It easily been four years, probably closer to five since I’ve seen this comic. And while I didn’t remember it word for word, I was pretty close. Enjoy one of my all time favorite comics:


Click to embiggen, side-scrollage might be needed if you use Internet Explorer.


Guest Authoring at GottaBeMobile

Update: It’s up! Check it out: GottaBeAStudent and The Myth of Battery Life. Also a special thanks to Mom and Dad for A) proof reading it, and B) providing me with a title.

Starting later today, I’ll be doing a series of articles on that deals with tablet issues from a student perspective. We’ll, at least from my perspective (if you know me, you know that I can bring a unique perspective to anything).

GottaBeMobile is the site for Tablet PC information, so it’s a pretty big honor to write for them.

I also need to take a moment to point out the incredible irony that finds me, an engineer, writing in a situation like this. One of the reasons I went to Mines was to get away from all the writing that high school and humanities classes had. Yet, I find my self blogging several times a week on my personal site and writing articles for two outside sites.

In any event, it’s going to be more of an article based series, rather than the short and informative posting I do like to do at However, I think many will find them just as helpful.

I’ll post again when I put up the first article later today.

I’d also like to thank Rob for giving me (and STPC) a chance to expand my (our) audience and Tracy for letting me get away with it 😉 . Rob was also very helpful and kind in helping me make the decision to contribute to GBM, including helping me with a list of topics.


Skype Me

Skype is an up and coming VoIP (Voice over IP) program that I first heard about from Make you go hmm‘s TDavid. A short while after that, Phillip from Germany (he attended SAAS my Juinor year) IMed me on AIM wonding if I had Skype. And today we finally talked! It was sooo cool! It’s really just like talking on the telephone. I couldn’t detect any lag and the sound qualaity was excellent, better then a telephone. So, head over to and download it! My username is fergbrain. Give me a ring!