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Michael Bastoni

Click here for Michael's Interviews and Photos!

¨  Do you have any pets?
¨
  What does bipedal mean?
¨
  What is a trebuchet?
¨
  What does I.Q. stand for in Battlebots IQ?
¨
  Do you have other hobbies?
¨
  Is your life going the way you had planned?
¨
  If you had an offer as a job as a scientist, would you take it?
¨
  Do you enjoy what you are doing now?
¨
  Did you have any other non-favorite subjects in school?
¨
  How do skills developed from BattleBotsIQ help those in non-engineering fields?
¨
  What are Rooms 222 and 223?
¨  How did author Ken Kesey influence your life?  Did you ever meet him in person?

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QUESTION:
Do you have any pets?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
Yes, Mikey my cat who is trying to help me type these answers.

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QUESTION:
What does bipedal mean?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
Two footed.  Refers to two-legged walking creatures, of which I strongly suspect you are one.

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QUESTION:
What is a trebuchet?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
It is an ancient siege weapon.  Medieval warriors used them to knock down castle walls and enemy fortifications.  Do a web search using keyword trebuchet.  You'll be amazed at what you will find!

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QUESTION:
What does I.Q. stand for in Battlebots IQ?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
Intelligence Quotient.  The reference being that it takes hard thinking to build competitive BattleBots.  From the quality of your questions, I know you'd have a high BattleBots IQ.

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QUESTION:
Do you have other hobbies?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
Yeah!  I do laundry, clean the house, make repairs, cook, shop and drop my kids off every place they can't walk, which is everywhere. ;)  Actually I enjoy surfing, photography and bicycling.

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QUESTION:
Is your life going the way you had planned?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
"Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans".  I plan my life in much the same way a sailboat captain plans a long voyage.  I take advantage of wind shifts.  Some of the best things that have ever happened to me, I did not plan.  So I guess I have to say no it has not.  I had actually planned to be a singer in a rock band... but things like not being able to sing kinda messed up my plans. :)

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QUESTION:
If you had an offer as a job as a scientist, would you take it?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
No thank you.  I lean more towards engineering.  You might question how scientists and engineers differ.  Well, as I see it, scientists search for specific answers to specific questions.  They (Scientists) refer to the answers they seek as "The Truth".  For example, a scientist might ask "What is the age of this fossil I've just dug up?"  There can only be one truthful answer to that question, and therefore only one answer to their question.

Engineers on the other hand seek the best answer from many possible good answers.  An engineer might ask, "What is the best design for a windmill that can generate 500 kilowatts of electrical power?"  There are several "Best" designs depending on the constraints the engineer(s) are working under.  Engineering constraints often include: Time, Money, Knowledge, Materials, Power and Weight.  The engineer can choose from many possible answers to the question, because "Best" is relative to the circumstances at a given moment in time.  In engineering the "Best" answer can change, and it often does.  This is why we keep seeing newer and better cars.

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QUESTION:
Do you enjoy what you are doing now?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
Very much.  School is a much better place to be when your free to decide what you want to learn, and how to go about learning as much as you can about things you find fascinating.

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QUESTION:
Did you have any other non-favorite subjects in school?

ANSWER from Mike Bastoni on 10 October 2002:
Well, let's just say I endured school and did my best to work through the day.

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QUESTION:
How do skills developed in programs like BattleBotsIQ serve individuals entering other fields?

ANSWER from Michael Bastoni on 28 August 2002:
On a recent trip to Los Angeles, where a new church was being dedicated, I learned something.  There is a beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary atop a set of massive bronze doors at
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple Street Los Angeles, California.  The artist is Robert Graham.  It's an incredible piece of art.  I was astounded to learn that, unlike the days of Michelangelo, great artists today create the statuary in a model form and scan it with a 3D scanner and send it off to the shop.  You have these giant XYZ axis flat bed router tables and this is how it is done.  So, these skills are transferrable across the board.  We don't care if you are an artist or a musician or something else.  We live in a world of digital creation.

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QUESTION:
What are Rooms 222 and 223?

ANSWER from Michael Bastoni on 5 August 2002:
Room 222 is a design, graphics and communication lab.  The technological core of the room is a 20-station network running NT4 through a 100 base t hub.  My students built all the computers, the network and even the tables they sit on.  We have the full Autodesk suite of products as well as 3DMAX.  We also have Adobe/Macromedia/Microsoft/and many assorted other apps.  We also have analog and digital video capabilities.

Room 223 is directly adjacent to 222 (of course) and that is a fabrication lab ... we can form, shape, cut and fasten just about any material into whatever we need ... at least on a prototype (bench test) level after the design is fully developed, working drawings are made and the parts and assemblies are jobbed out to local machine shops.

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QUESTION:
How did author Ken Kesey influence your life?  Did you ever meet him in person?

ANSWER from Michael Bastoni on 5 August 2002:
In college I read "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" by Ken Kesey.  Right after I read the ending of the novel:

Brief Synopsis:
Chief Broom realizes his (now lobotomized) McMurphy has given him the insight that he (Chief Broom) has the power to be free.  Armed with this new empowerment, Chief does the "Impossible" by tearing a stone latrine from the floor of the bathroom and throwing it through a window escapes the Asylum.

I quit college, got in an old school bus my high school friend and I had purchased a few years earlier and headed off to California to meet Kesey, the author of a book that had resonated with my spirit and planted a seed deep in my soul.  A seed that would over the next few decades, mature into a passion and a lifelong career of empowering people.

Eventually I went back to school and graduated with a MS in Industrial Education.

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Last Updated:
30 December 2002
 

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