There are a nearly overwhelming amount of seminars going on around campus on any given week. Between my own office's student seminars, my own lab's seminar series, the department faculty seminars, topic-centered seminar series (energy, MEMS, etc.), MechE student seminars put on by the MechE student club, and faculty seminars put on by the MechE student club, I could nearly go to a seminar every day. And that's just in my department! If you start looking at the entire World's Best School, the raw knowledge dissemination I'm sure makes you smarter just by walking onto campus.
But sadly I don't take advantage of these as much as I should. My first year as a grad student, I would try to go to as many as I could - sometimes two a week, but usually one a week. But now that I'm a 4th year grad student, I've become a bit lazy. I recently read a good post on this here, at Gas Station Without Pumps, a great new blog started in June that you can check out if you like.
So this past week I made it a point to attend a seminar. It was from a visiting Post-doc student, and it was on the topic of designing robots with human safety in mind. This is important when the robots are intended for use working beside people, or for rescue robots, and actually is generally good practice in any situation.
It felt good to just sit and learn, something not strictly necessary for my work, but just for the fun of it. And you never know what you might get out of it.
My favorite piece of trivia from this talk?
It takes 340 Newtons of force to break the nose. (That's 76.4 pounds, for those who don't work in SI units.)
And now you've learned something. :)