Emily Lam

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Hmm!

"I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now." ‎Edna “E” Mode, Pixar's The Incredibles.


I saw this on facebook today.

Hmm! I don't know if I believe this or not. If Edna is right, well then, I've been way too distracted.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I think . . .

I think my lack of posting has to do with several things:

1: I don't find the need to post a lot about my daily activities. I will occasionally, but it's not gonna be several posts straight. 2: Posting about weather is mundane to read. 3: I've realize that I understand and know very little about the world, or anything. And when you understand so little and wonder so much, there's not much to write about except questions. I don't think a blog post full of questions and few answers is sufficient post. But I may have to start doing that or else my monthly post count will continue to dwindle. 4: I don't run into interesting things worthy of sharing. Like songs and phrases and stuff. Everything I've been encountering lately hasn't really stroke a chord with me. And 5: It's difficult to articulate my inner thoughts. So unless I have lots of time, I just don't write about them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Terrible Blogger I Am

Title of the post says it all. But worst of all, I haven't made my usual post updating about my classes. Yikes. I usually make a good attempt to do so. But . . . *shrugs* It has escaped me this semester. And even now, I really don't feel like elaborating on them. I'll just quickly post what I'm taking this semester: Electronics, Logic Design, Electromagnetics, and Signals & Systems. And yes, they are in order from favorite to least favorite. Although, Logic Design and Electronics are pretty tied -- sometimes, I will like Electronics more and other times I will like Logic Design more. I do feel smarter than last semester, so this semester has not been a waste, but I am not doing as well as I hoped. But of course, I haven't taken finals yet so my grades are still to be determined. SIGH. It has been one of those types of semester.

I will leave you with my final project for my Logic Design class: a Pokémon game created using Verilog and a Spartan 6 FPGA board. My group and I spent many hours working very hard on this. Enjoy. =]


Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy to be Angry?

I don't really know how this happened, but I deeply, truly believe that in order to live life and be happy and successful and content, one must experience as much as the world has to offer as possible. I do have morals though, you know, treat others the way you'd like to be treated and the freedom to live life as you please as long as you are not causing harm to yourself or others. That means I won't ever try things that will compromise my morals. But I will try everything else so that I can experience joy, accomplishment, hope, excitement, luck, love, friendship, success, pleasure, change, discomfort, boredom, passion, confidence, etc. But that also includes negative experiences that elicit fear, sadness, anger, frustration, failure, worry, loneliness, misfortune, etc. Sometimes, I get frustrated that I'm not living enough, that I won't succeed in life, because I've yet to fail, yet to fall into a ditch, or deep dark tunnel, yet to do anything really difficult. I know I should never wish misfortune on myself. And I don't. I just would happily embrace it if it came my way. Sometimes, you have to look for it, to step out of you comfort zone. Sometimes you have to suffer, and it will be by choice.

And when I do experience something unfortunate, I feel happy. You can see easily how with that mindset, that all experiences are valuable, it's kind of difficult to truly feel upset for long. You kind of always smile. And when you don't smile, you just have to remember that it's part of life and once you realize that, you smile knowing you are living. It's similar to how Giselle from Disney's Enchanted reacts when she gets angry. She's genuinely angry, frustrated. But the fact that she's just experienced anger makes her happy. That's kind of how I feel. I can have an awful day, but I feel good knowing that I had an awful day. That it's part of life. That I lived.

Here's the Giselle angry/happy scene, if you are unfaimilar with it:


I think in that way, feeling happy about misfortune, I can somewhat relate, but not really, to people who inflict pain on themselves. It feels good to know that you are living and experiencing emotions. But hurting yourself is never something you should do. Although, I do admit that in high school, I once scratched "EMO" onto my wrist purely out of curiosity, I was not depressed or sad or angry or self-destructive. I was just odd. For me, it was an experience, it was fun. Of course, I didn't understand why I wanted to do that at that time. But I do now, it's just me wanting to experience things. I understand that hurting oneself is a serious matter and I don't take that lightly at all.

It's very carefree to live like this. You don't truly get angry or stressed or hung over things, which can do great things for your mind. But at the same time, you can also see how this can backfire, how you can start feeling indifferent to things you shouldn't. That you really should be affected by the pressure and fear of failure. What saves me from never-ending indifference toward life when I do start to feel rather indifferent is my ambition be great. Great people do not fail often and are not indifferent. So I won't fail at something I can succeed at. I will not welcome failure.

This post is kind of offbeat and unusual and I didn't do a great job articulating my thoughts, but its the best I can tonight. I will end this post with one of my most favorite compliments I ever received. A most amazing and caring woman once said to me that "Scientists should work on finding a way to bottle [my] enthusiasm and zest for life!" And I like to think it's true that I have a zest for life. I want it to be true. =]

Monday, November 12, 2012

Touch the Sky

Touch the Sky from Pixar's Brave. Music by Alex Mandel, Lyrics by Mark Andrews & Alex Mandel, and Performed by Julie Fowlis.


I think I decided I liked this movie well before I even watched it. The scenery and animation is just too pretty and epic! So it didn't matter if the plot fell flat at times. Tonight's the kind of night where all I want to do is watch pretty animation of adventure and wish I was on an adventure.

Update: I found a really nice live version of this song performed by Julie Fowlis. It's good. Check it out! I really like the second verse of this song:

"Where dark woods hide secrets,
And Mountains are fierce and bold,
Deep waters hold reflections
of times lost long ago.

I will hear their every story,
Take hold of my own dream,
Be as strong as the seas are stormy,
And proud as an eagle's scream"

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

First Snowfall of the Season

Today marks the first snowfall of the season and an early winter. It's been a quiet storm – it's still going on now. I have to admit I like when it snows at night. It's peaceful to watch. I like seeing everything get blanketed by fresh snow – maybe it's because I don't have a car to clean. And I like the contrast between the white snow and the dark sky. When I was younger, I use to watch the snowfall from my window at night. I would leave my window cracked, because I like breathing in the crisp, cold air of winter, but not cracked wide enough to make the room cold. It's so easy to appreciate snow, when you are warm and comfy indoors. I am thankful. So often though, snow in New England isn't remembered too fondly. But I don't think I could live somewhere where it doesn't snow. I like the change it brings; it's refreshing. I really enjoy having four seasons.

View from my window.
One day, I will check out Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in the Winter – and in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. It looks so majestic frozen over. Of course it looks marvelous all year round. This is one of my favorite pieces of architecture – I once made a model of it in high school out of basic art supplies. But during the winter, it just has an extra zing to it. It looks like the perfect place to sit by a slightly cracked window and watch the snow.

Fallingwater frozen over.
I've also been listening to a lot of David Choi. I think it has to do with the fact that I went to his and Clara C's concert last week. Here take a listen: I like Lucky Guy and By My Side. And of course Darling It's You, a duet with Clara C. (I've linked to live versions I've found on youtube because he's great live. They're all Boston performances. I didn't go to that specific concert I linked where he performed Lucky Guy, but I did go to the one where he performed By My Side. And the Darling It's You performance was from the concert I just recently attended.)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

NaNoWriMo!!

Hi everyone! I know, I am failing at blogging. I really do not know why. But I'm writing now to let the world know that I will be doing NaNoWriMo this year!! Click here if you don't know what Nano is. It's basically a crazy, intense challenge, where you aim to write 50,000 words in one month. Sounds easy? But not really. If you want to join, you will need to get started now. Nano is already in full swing! Alas, I am a little behind. But I will catch up today and hopefully get ahead. I need to get ahead. There is a week in November where I have three midterms in three days. So I know writing will be difficult during that time. But I am excited. I am really hoping this year will be the year I win it. Here's to turning off our inner editors and cranking out as many words we possibly can. It won't be pretty or coherent, but it'll be words. So, join me on this adventure!

(The colors of these NaNoWriMo badges go really well with my blog theme.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Biking to the Arboretum

Yesterday, I biked to the Arnold Arboretum, alone. I had invited five other individuals to join, but for one reason or another, they couldn't come. You see, that just kinds of reaffirms what I was trying to discuss on friday's post, the alone thing. That the things I like to do, spontaneous outings, aren't particularly of interest to other people. People are busy and spontaneous outings are the last things on their minds. I have to remember people have other things to do. Oh well. If they're content with their life, then I am happy for them.

That said, I had a great adventure with my bike. Biking to the arboretum by myself is kind of a thing for me now. This will be my second time doing that. 

Here's a picture from the first time I did it:

My white bike.
And here's a picture from yesterday:

My new black bike.
Both rides were spontaneous. That tree you see in the picture is one of my favorite trees at the arboretum. I spent a while yesterday looking for it so I could take the photo. And then sit and read by the same creek I discovered a year ago. Yesterday was a great ride. Lots of foliage. And the weather was perfect. 

The best part of yesterday had to be the ride back. On the ride bike home, as I was passing Jamaica Pond, I came upon a Spontaneous Celebration – my kind of thing. And it was a lantern festival!



There were hundreds of people from the Jamaica Pond neighborhood there, mostly little kids and their parents. There were tons of lanterns, all made out of 2 liter bottles with a candle inside and decorated with paper tissue. Some people made their own lanterns while others bought the ones sold there. A major activity of the festival was to walk around the pond with their lanterns. It was wonderful! There was even a live band! And fall foods, like apple cider. A nice lady made my day when she offered me her lantern. That was so kind, I am so thankful. She then invited me to walk around the pond with her and her kids. That's so nice! I declined, unfortunately. I had to get home to another adventure. (Biking home in the dark was an adventure. I went through Olmsted Park, which is not lit at night, and for a split second, just a split second, I thought I wasn't going to make home. I usually bike through Riverway Park too. But I decided against it since it really was dark. I took my chances with traffic and took the main roads home.)

Yesterday's bike ride was the kind of adventure I was needing Friday. Here, I'll link to some pictures on my Facebook page . . . 

After the bike ride, my friend and I set off on another adventure: finding food at Coolidge corner. We settle for this Chinese joint that wasn't that great. But whatever, it was food, and it was cheap. Next, once we got back to BU, we spent the night trying to get a glimpse of the Orionid Meteor shower at BU Beach, but to no avail. I don't think it's possible to see them from BU. We're just too city.

Continuing on with my great weekend, I started Sunday off by making a wonderful peppers and scallions omelet. Mmm! I'm hoping to further my great weekend by going to the MIT Museum today, and then by being super productive and getting work done: grading and homework. We will see . . .

Friday, October 19, 2012

Needing Some Change

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand, I want so much more than they've got planned." -- Belle Reprise from Beauty and the Beast by the wonderful Alan Menken and Howard Ashman

Not exactly how I feel but close. I'm restless, still, very restless. But I'm busy; I have so much to do, but it feels like something is missing. Change, that is. Some people don't like change, but I thrive off change, spontaneity, adventure. Alas, I haven't been getting much of that lately. I kind of just do the same exact things, every week. I like what I do though, but I just need variety. I could never be a hobbit. I want so much to just go out and explore. But everyone I normally hang out with is busy. It's not their fault. We're in college. We're suppose to study. We're suppose to be actively working toward our careers. We're suppose to be tired. We're suppose to be busy. So it's definitely me. My priorities aren't right. Because of that, I feel kind of lonely. I just feel different. Like I don't fit in. I don't study with my friends because I'm super unproductive when I'm studying in groups. So I feel like everyone must think I've become unfriendly, a mean being. My interests are also different than most of my peers, so I haven't really converse much past small talk. But don't get me wrong, my friends are great! I've just been a little too introverted: hanging out with myself. So it's probably my own fault.

Ugh, it is so hard to explain what I'm feeling right now. I'll leave you with a picture I took tonight:

I tried my best to take a nice low light photo. But there's only so much I can do with an iPhone camera.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Omnivore's Hundred/100 Chinese Foods

So I have an exam tomorrow. A very hard Electromagnetics exam. So instead of studying I decided to look at cooking blogs. HAHA! Well I stumbled upon "The Omnivore's Hundred" challenge. And I thought I give it a try. I also decided to give the "100 Chinese Foods" challenge a try since I am Chinese . . . (If you don't know what something is, just google or wikipedia it.)

See how I did after the break! (It's two long list . . .)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mmm! Chicken Noodle Soup!

Remember Half-Recipe Wednesday? Well, I deem today, September 15th, 2012, Soup Saturday! So get out your cookware and make your favorite soup! 

In celebration of Soup Saturday, I made Chicken Noodle Soup. Mmm! 

In the mug is Kool-Aid. Haha!
I must say the Chicken Noodle Soup came out really good, albeit accidentally, I think. So I will share my recipe with you. (Since I still suck at cooking, this recipe will be be very rudimental, much like the recipe from Half-Recipe Wednesday.)

Ingredients:
Chicken meat – I think I used two breasts, or was it two fillets, I'm not exactly sure . . .
Two Carrots,
One Scallion or so,
Pasta – my favorite is the simple macaroni,
Salt, and Black Pepper.

Okay, so first, I made the chicken broth. 

This is where things went kind of unplanned. See, I had forgotten to thaw the chicken meat. So my two chicken breasts, or fillets or whatever, were frozen together. I read online that you could still cook frozen chicken, it would just take double the time. So I kind of just tossed the chicken in a small pot with water and turned the stove on at high. As the water boiled, I tried my best to pry the two pieces of chicken apart. As I was doing this, the film of fat that forms at the top of the water when you boil chicken formed. And there was just a lot of it. I tried to scoop it off the way I've seen my mother do it. But it wasn't working. So I just dumped all the water out, along with the fatty film, and put in new water and reboiled the chicken. During this second boiling, I finally got the two pieces of chicken apart. But then I realized that I was using the wrong pot. I was using some nonstick pot instead of my soup pot. So I basically scooped out whatever new film of fat that was forming that I could and poured the chicken and water into my 3 quarts soup pot. I then proceeded to fill the pot to about two-thirds full, or maybe a little bit more, three-fourths. Next, I just left it there to boil and cook. In the end the soup was very clear and tasty, so I don't think this process was entirely bad but it probably should be avoided.

The rest of the cooking went smoothly.

While the chicken was cooking. I peeled and diced my two carrots. After that, I poured the diced carrots into the pot to cook with the chicken. I then turned the dial on the stove to medium so it wouldn't boil over and added salt to the broth. Next, while the broth continue to cook, I got another pot, and cooked and strained one serving of pasta.  I don't really like my pasta mushy so I keep it separate from the broth in a bowl. After I was satisfied with my chicken and carrots broth, I took a piece of chicken out of the broth and peeled it into smaller pieces and added to the bowl with the pasta. Next, I poured one serving of broth along with some carrots over my pasta. I then added some chopped scallion and black pepper for favoring. And ta-da, done! One serving of Chicken Noodle Soup.

I still have about two quarts of broth left. So I think it's safe to say I can make two more servings of Chicken Noodle Soup, when I feel like it. Of course I would need to cook a serving of pasta for each serving quart of broth. So for a total, with the ingredients I listed above, you can make three servings of Chicken Noodle Soup.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bare Conductive Paint

Yesterday, I consciously ordered my first item from across the pond, London that is. £6.00, it was. I didn't realize until later that £6.00 is nearly $10. Oh well. I'm over it. 

So what is it that I ordered? And how much was shipping if it was from across the pond?

I ordered conductive paint from Bare Conductive. It's essentially paint-on wire. Cool, right? I have a project in mind where thin is a huge criteria, so I thought why not? Plus, conductive paint looks so cool and useful. If I don't use it for the project I currently have in mind, which I shall not describe, since I might not actually do it, I can always use the conductive paint on a different project. It'd be great for arts and crafts! Haha, I think it was money well spent. The best part? Free worldwide shipping! =]

Also, while we are talking about my spending, I would like to make a note about a hopefully lifelong investment I recently made. I splurged on a new bike. I basically spent my entire summer earnings on this bike. How much? Approximately equivalent to the cost of one month of a twenty-something year old's car insurance. Yeah, I know, it's a lot for a bike. But I like it really much and it rides really well. It's a really nice hybrid kind of bike with an aluminum frame, which means it's really light, snappy, and quick. I'm just really happy about it, but have held back about blogging about it because I felt semi guilty for spending that much money. But you know what? Judge me as you will. I'm happy with my pricey purchase.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Restless

It's junior year and things are both different and the same.

I'm living in an apartment this year. So that means I'll be cooking. I kind of suck at cooking, but I'm learning. I'm aiming for healthy, nutritious, fresh, and natural meals. Basically, nothing processed. I am going to try to get most of my produce from the farmers market. I like the farmers market. The farmers are so nice. The other day, I got a free bag of raspberry chocolate almonds and yesterday I got a free sunflower for being a student and a jalapeño on the house.

As for academics, I don't feel like I'm in school yet. I attend lectures but it's different. I guess I'm just so used to empty seats in my lectures, and since it's the beginning of the year, everyone is still attending classes, and the lecture rooms are packed. However, everyone seems more focused and interested in learning now. So I don't think the lecture rooms are going to get less crowded. I think at this point, there will be few people dropping out of engineering. So these classmates will the people I will have classes with for the rest of my undergraduate years. I also feel obligated at the beginning of the semester to not doodle in class. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am taking 4 engineering courses, all of which, including their accompanying discussions and labs, are in the same building. I will be living in one building this semester. How unfortunate! I actually hardly cross Comm Ave now. =[ I really do miss Bay State Road.

I'm restless though. It's like I want things to happen, and nothing is happening. I sit idly. I know, I need to go do things. But what? I think part of it is that I need to learn how to go places alone. My friends are focused on school or work or just not interested in exploring the city anymore. I guess it has to do with the fact that a good portion of the city has been explored and the remaining portion to them isn't worth exploring and repeating destinations aren't worth making time for. But you know, I live so close to the MFA now, that it'll be a shame if I didn't go more often. I like doing things. I'm also not much of a TV person, so when I have free time, I spend it on the interweb. But lately, I've had more than enough free time, and spending too much time on the interweb isn't good for me anyway. Of course, both my jobs haven't started yet, so I won't be restless for long. And of course, I always have project ideas in my head that I should work on.

I did go see Paranorman today with two of my friends. It was good, comedic, creative, and great animation. Check it out if you have the time and money to spare. After that, I lounged around. I think I may go on a bike ride after dinner, along the esplanade perhaps. And then hit up the bingo event BU is hosting.

Update: Only got a short ride in, about 2 miles, because it started to rain . . . I did get a nice picture from under BU bridge.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chinese Checkers

So last month, it was Badminton. This month it is Chinese Checkers. I love Chinese Checkers. I play by the Super Chinese Checkers. This is because I was taught Chinese Checkers by mother who is from Mainland China. My family, well mostly my mom and one of my sister, play into the late night. It gets so competitive.

Playing Chinese Checkers again brings back so many memories. I used to play when I was younger against my late grandfather. I rarely won against him, but it was fun to try to win. And when I did win, it felt wonderful. I miss my grandfather. It brings back memories of my youth. I remember when my neighbors got hooked on Chinese Checkers. That's what we do, we go to phases where we get hooked on things: Pokemon cards, swimming, hide-n-go-seek-freeze-tag-team in the dark, biking, Puzzle League. It was a great childhood. I also remember when I went to China in 2007, and the loser of each game would have to buy bubble tea for the winners. Haha, when I lost, I spent my mom's money and got myself one as well, so it was almost always a win-win situation for me. But still, my aunt and I would get pretty competitive.

And now, to add to the memories, this current phase of Chinese Checkers. This phase, I would characterize as the "I am evenly matched with my mother/occasionally better than her" phase. Things like Chinese Checkers and Badminton remind me of my wonderful childhood. Plus they're super fun. And gets me away from thinking about my daunting future, if for a bit, and the digital world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Daunting Future

I'm constantly thinking of my future. I can't help it. And I don't quite mind it. But it is a little tasking at times. It wears me out because the future is daunting.

Why?

It's daunting because even though I have two years of college under my belt, I still feel completely useless. There's just so much to learn! I think that's the difference between the sciences and the arts. The arts requires lots of practice and self discovery, while the sciences requires lots of knowledge and logic over intuition. And then there's engineering, which I think is a combination of the two. You don't necessarily need to understand as much as the physicist why certain things work but you still need to understand, unless you want your project to blow up, or worst, do nothing. But then you also need to be creative, and design and make things. Like the arts, you need to practice engineering. You can't just rely on what you learned in classes, or from textbooks, or on the web. You need to practice engineering. So to be a great engineer, you must live the lifestyle of both the scientist and the artist. That sounds like a lot of work.

Now, toss in the fact that I want to be an Imagineer, specifically an engineering Imagineer. Not only do I need to understand and apply the latest technology, I need to be more creative than the normal engineer. I need to understand how stories are structured, how colors and lights and metals combine into a story, how to bring a little magic into the world. You know, so that I can build an attraction like the Enchanted Tiki Room, where guests, especially the younger ones, still walk out the attraction and wonder why it's not raining, when inside the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Imagineers made it look so convincing that it was raining outside. That sounds so rewarding!

I do know that every attraction at Disney is built by a team, and one person doesn't necessarily need to know everything in depth, but they do need to know one thing very in depth. So what's that one thing for me? In my trip down to Florida this summer, I discovered I wanted to do animatronics. I've always thought I wanted to make roller coasters. And yeah, that by every means sounds like a wonderful job. But I realized that's not what I want to do in the end. I'll take it if it comes my way though, without hesitation.

This is where everything becomes even more daunting, borderline gloomy. How does one even build an animatronic? I'm working right now on building a teabot, and I see it being finished in the future. But that's that, a robot. How does one build an animatronic to behave fluidly like an animal or person? Again, so much to learn.

And I don't want to restrict my learning. I still do want to know how roller coasters work. I also would really like to know how photonics works, partly because I am just so jaded by color lights. And fluids. I'd love to be able to build something like World of Color. (hmmm, that's got me thinking . . .) And let's not forget pyrotechnics.

So I think of all these things. Of my current  knowledge and skill level. Of all the things I need to learn, which is a lot. All the work that must be done, again a lot. Work that looks frustrating and tedious, and perhaps pointless. And decisions I need to make: like do I want to study abroad, take a semester off to intern, take interesting classes, etc. Oh, and let's not forget I want to live . . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 Hour Joe Hisaishi Concert

Today, I found myself listening to a 2 hour concert of Joe Hisaishi's Miyazaki film scores. It's great! He's great! I'll embed it below, so you can watch or listen to it as well! (I've written about Joe Hisaishi and his Miyazaki film scores before, here in this post.)




I listened without watching most of it since I'm at work, but I did watch the end, when Hayao Miyazaki presented Joe Hisaishi with a bouquet. Ah, such emotion! I did also watch the part when John Lasseter and Miyazaki were singing Totoro. Haha. If you don't want to listen or watch the whole thing, I'll recommend watching at 1hr 26mins  until the end of the Totoro section. My favorite pieces, the Spirited Away Reprise and Totoro theme, are in that section. But really the whole thing is great! Sometimes, I just love to listen to grand, sweeping, orchestral pieces, don't you? I listened to a bit of John Williams today as well, you know Star Wars, ET, Harry Potter. Now, I want to go the orchestra. Too bad nothing is on at the Boston Symphony Hall, they're all at Tanglewood.

I've been really bad with posting lately. Sigh!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time Lapse Video

I haven't abandon this blog. I promise. Just unfortunately haven't been updating as frequently! (Besides I would let you know if I did ever decide to stop blogging.) But today I do have something to blog. I made a time lapse video. (The convenience of me finishing this video yesterday and blogging about it today keeps me from hitting a monthly low of two posts.)

Well here it is:


Youtube description:

"Time lapse video of BU's new student center. I lived across the street from it as they were building it so I thought, "Hey, why not?!" So basically everyday as I walked to and from my dorm I took a quick photo with my iPhone camera.

I know the video is a little jumpy. That's because I didn't use a tripod and basically just guestimated where to take each photo with the tree as a reference point. But not bad for my first time lapse video, right?"

Now onto maybe an animated video: stop action or hand drawn. (Haha, I'm thinking about how the world I am gonna create a stop action video with zero skill in creating clay models. Maybe I will try hand drawn animation first since I slightly have more drawing skills than modeling skills.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Badminton and Spiderman

I've been playing badminton all week with my family. It's nice! It's the sport I am best at. LoL, but I guess everyone is good at badminton. It doesn't require much skills, besides hand-eye coordination and luck, unless you are intentionally trying to scorn the other person and spiking it downwards every chance you get. In that case, you are no fun to play with. But I'm having a good time, sweating it out, playing in the shade. It's nice, very nice. It's what summer is all about.

On another note, I saw The Amazing Spiderman yesterday. I liked it. It's the best comic book superhero movie I've seen this year. Yup, Avengers, I'm talking to you. I liked Spidey better. (I didn't really like The Avengers.) But we will see how well The Amazing Spiderman stacks up againstThe Dark Knight Rises, when it comes out later this month. I absolutely loved The Dark Knight and I'm expecting The Dark Knight Rises to be just as great. Those are my two favorite comic book superheroes: Spiderman and Batman.

Minor Spoiler Alert.

But they're different movies. The characters are different, so maybe there's room for the both of them in the cinemas. For one, the villains in Christopher Nolan's Batman are evil, downright evil. Can a being be that evil? While the villains in Spiderman are more like anti-villians. They are beings who are confused between what is good and what is bad. Dr.Connor/Lizard genuinely believed he was helping the world. He also had a sort of Jekyll/Hyde complex, which I won't go into. I also can relate more to Peter Parker than I can to Bruce Wayne. I do really like what Nolan did with Bruce Wayne's character though. But when it comes down to it, an angst filled, nerdy Peter Parker is more down my alley than a confused and lost billionaire Bruce Wayne.

And that 's what I really liked about The Amazing Spiderman: how nerdy the new Peter Parker was. I haven't read the comics, so I don't know how nerdy Parker is supposed to be, but I liked the very nerdy Parker. When I saw that he had a magnify glass on top of a PCB, I was like this nerd is legit. We have those magnify glasses in our lab, because sometimes, really, the text on the random components we amass is just too damn small to distinguish, and somethings are nigh impossible to solder without a magnify glass. The web slingers gadgets were also different from the previous Spiderman, who didn't need a gadget to sling web. The slingers, once again, show how nerdy Peter Parker was to be able to invent them. The previous Spiderman was also a nerd but he didn't display any of it asides from attending Columbia, if I remember correctly. I also thought the portrayal of Peter Parker by Andrew Garfield was much better than Toby Maguire. I also like Gwen Stacy better than Mary Jane Watson. Gwen has way more going for her than just looks, which was basically what MJ had. And Emma Stone nailed her part as Gwen Stacy.

So The Amazing Spiderman beats it's predecessor is the conclusion.

Post Script: I updated the header over at Stay Curious Emily. I must admit it took me a lot longer to draw than it should've and it's nothing great. But hey, it's something, and I like it.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

I'm Starting to Forget

I've reached a point in my life, where I've become more knowledgeable than some of my high school teachers, that I'm starting to forget what it's like to be unlearned. This is kind of a problem since I still have so so much to learn. I live such a privileged life: I surf the web, maintain a blog, go to museums, attend special lectures at MIT, participate in bike rides, roll my eyes at how superficial and commercial society is, sit in central air all day, hibernate from my friends, and other privileged activities. My college peers are all educated. They value education whether for the right reason or not. Not all educated people are the same though, you see. Some have a thirst for knowledge, while others are educated because it's part of a process to becoming "successful." I'm of the former. I google and wikipedia anything I don't know. And then there are some who behave as they are educated but are not, but I'm not going to get into that, gasp, that actually could be me! However, a lot of educated and successful people are unbeknownst to the life of the uneducated, the unprivileged. I come from a prideful, historic, and poor city. From that I was lucky enough to befriend people who couldn't attend their college of choice for one reason or another, people who joined the military, people who were immigrants, people who's parents neglected them, people who've had kids during their teenage years, people not like me. It's so easy to blame peoples' lack of education on themselves without taking their environment into account. It takes a very strong person to rise from a family where every member is in a gang. And I must remember that. Remember that being educated is a privilege.

Friday, I was reminded what it was like to not know why the sky was blue and to live a simple life. I met a man on the train. Normally, I don't converse on the train – I rather stare out the window and observe the scenery and day dream. But this man insisted on talking to me. And I politely participated. Of course, I didn't say much. But he told me of his life. He told me how he was a construction worker. How people in the United States judged him based on the fact that he only had one arm. He showed me his photo album of before and after photos he'd taken from the jobs he had worked. He told me nobody believed him that he could pave sidewalks and build basements on his own with one arm. He was a hard-working man, I could tell. He lamented how people in America were lazy. How in Massachusetts, we charge an extra 3 dollars for a train ride, if you bought the ticket on the train, while at the same time not providing an option to buy your ticket before boarding the train, since nobody was working the desk. He said if he was working that desk job, he'd wake up early in the morning to make sure people had the opportunity to purchase a ticket before boarding. He rightfully complained how this particular desk didn't take credit or debit cards. He told me how he was pursuing his GED at night. And how he was hopeful to drive one day. How he didn't work on Saturdays because he attended church instead. I've come to realize that being religious isn't a bad thing. It helps ground and explain a lot of the unexplainable. He told me how he had been in this country for 6 years and that his baby daughter was five months. How he worked hard to send money to his home country, Honduras, to support his mother and other two daughters. How he was part of the army in Honduras. He told me how he liked to walk, walking from city to city. He even told me about his pants size, how they were getting smaller since he started walking a lot. He told me how he was a vegetarian. How his girlfriend didn't know how to cook, and that he had to cook meat for her. How he liked it better when it actually snowed in the Winter, that way he could make money by shoveling.

All and all, he was an interesting guy. He was a hard worker, like my mom, like my dad. I don't want to be one of those privileged folks who doesn't understand what it's like to work. Sometimes, I give off that impression. I've never worked a labor intensive job, ever. And while, I don't ever want to, the least I could do is understand and remember that it is not always a choice and that it exist: there are people who are uneducated, and working labor intensive jobs who may or may not be happy. But as a privileged and educated person, I should respect them for being better than I am and never look down on them.

(I was going to use the word "cultured" in this post, but realized it was a very vague term. Maybe, I will discuss being "cultured" in my next post.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Project Ideas

I wasn't going to make goals this summer. I wanted to just make things. But then I had too many ideas in a short period of time, while at the same time not working on any of those ideas. So now I have a list of ideas to share on my blog and possibly bring to life this summer.

First, I want to make some sort of automated server, similar to the Japanese tea robots back in the tea ceremony days of 18th century Japan. I think I will go the electrical route though as oppose to the mechanical route. A friend of mine is interested in the idea, so we will probably work on this together and see where we get.

Second, I want to make a clock. This is a kind of a personal project. Somehow, I convinced myself that if people from centuries back could make a clock, then I, with a 21st century mind, should have no problem making a clock. Hah! We will see emily. Once I get the mechanical aspects of the clock to work, I do have some 21st century electrical ideas to complement it. In my mind, it already looks great! =]

Third, I want to make an iPhone/iPod touch app. Another one of my friends has also showed interest in this project. However, this idea is still in its infancy. I don't really have an idea for an app yet and I'm not sure if my friend has an idea or not. There's also a programming issue. I can program but by no means am I a strong programmer. I don't know yet if this project is out of our league or not.

Fourth, I have a portfolio webpage that I need to fix up. I've been thinking of just heading to the university library and using Dreamweaver to fix it up.

Finally, maybe, just maybe, I might give that floating lantern another try . . .

(Please don't mind the naiveness of all this. I'm still young . . .)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pixar's Secret's . . .

So this has been making the rounds on the interweb. It's a list of 22 story basics a Pixar story board artist, Emma Coats, learned from her peers at Pixar and her own trials. I found the list interesting, so I thought I would share it as well. The version making the rounds on the web though is more visually, and has a tell-all aura to it. I like the first version I linked better though. It feels more personal and less assertive. I've already said too much. Just check the list out, any version, and let me know what you think! =]

(You already know how excited I am for Pixar's new movie, so I won't mention it. Oh wait! 8])

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fan Sketches

I'm much more of a movie person than a television person. But there are shows I tune in to watch when a new episode is on. (I'm so old fashion, I don't particularly like streaming things. It's not the same as waiting for an episode at some specific time. Yes, I know, time is precious. And it does suck being left on a cliffhanger for a week. But you know . . .)

So what do I watch on television? Basically two things, now one though, since the other one is no longer on. The one that is no longer on is the Boston Celtics (basketball team). They unfortunately lost in a painful game 7 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. They are no longer in contention for the NBA Finals. I know, sad face. =[ Just one game short of making it to the Finals. Oh well. (I missed the first game of the best of 7 series of the NBA Finals: OKC Thunders vs. Maimi Heat, but I am definitely cheering for the OKC Thunders. I DO NOT want the Heat to win.)

So what is the other thing I watch? Avatar the Last Airbender: Legend of Korra.

Remember this post? Well, let me just say Legend of Korra is living up to its predecessor. Every episode leaves me wanting more and more and more! The episodes are only half an hour long, and right now, I feel there are so many things unanswered. The characters aren't as likable as the first series though. Don't get me wrong, these characters are great, there's just not a character I love. Whereas from the first series, I loved multiple characters, with Zuko being my favorite.

Well . . . that was a long intro. What I really wanted to get at is that I watch a lot of animation. It's my favorite film medium. This month especially, I will/have been watching a lot of animation: The Legend of Korra has been airing weekly and its finale is this later month and the opening of Disney•Pixar's Brave is also this month. So today while I was sitting in on a Mechanics II (Dynamics) lecture – I'm not actually enrolled in the course, just being ambitious and sitting in – I decided to sketch characters from these two media. I actually rarely "draw" outside of lectures. Something about lectures makes me want to "draw." (I actually don't really know how to draw. My proficiency in drawing is solely at the doodler's level. =])

First up is a sketch of Merida from Disney•Pixar's Brave. She is the fire-red haired, spunky princess and heroine of the film. Although, you can't tell any of that from the my black and white doodle. I really do suggest clicking on the link in the caption. I haven't actually seen the film yet, but I have high expectations and am so excited to see it in a couple of weeks. 
I referenced this promotion art here. I really do recommend you check it out. The art from this film is great!
Next, the character I miss the most in Legend of Korra, Aang. Zuko may have been my favorite character, but Aang was the show. Aang is in Legend of Korra but only in flashbacks and in an older form. Here I've drawn them both. When I first saw older Aang, I was shocked, "no, this can't be Aang." But Older Aang has really grown on me, especially his facial hair. He really does embody what Aang would look like when older. 

I've drawn 12-years-old Aang before, so I just drew him here from memory. Older Aang, however, I did reference an image from the inter web. (LoL 12-years-old Aang needs a bigger cranium, and Older Aang's eyes are crooked.)

(Post Script: I was going to not mention it: my not blogging in forever, because I have no good reason for not blogging. I even composed draft posts, which I just did not post because I didn't like them. But I want to link to Neil Gaiman's commencement speech. So I will tell you how I came to this post. Basically in Mechanics lecture, I decided to write a blog post. Again, I struggled for no good reason. So I told myself what Gaiman told the graduates: "Make good Art!" LoL I am not saying any of this is good art. But it did help me overcome my inability to post. So maybe if you are ever in a slump, try his advice. It doesn't have to be drawing, it can be anything creative or expressive. Also, here's a good cartoon by Gavin Aung Than of Gaiman's advice. CHECK IT OUT!!!! =])

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hey, I'm twenty!

Saw this on Google+ . . .

Click to see. It's a list.

I don't know how I feel about it though. Some of it seems sound. But other parts of it, I want to just ignore. Like 17 for example. A reminder app? Really? But then again, this list is another blogger's list, not mine. And who knows, maybe in ten years I'll have the same items on my list.

What would I tell my fifteen year old self?

Nothing really. I felt I made all the right wrong and correct choices. I feel like I was super fortunate that all my choices were great choices and my not so great choices didn't have any devastating outcomes. Maybe though, I would tell myself to read more. I read a lot in middle school and then I kind of stopped reading in high school. Not exactly sure why. I didn't have a smooth transition into adult books, I guess. I have nothing to regret though. But that may be because of my current mindset. I believe things happen for a reason, good or bad, and what we gain from those good or bad things are wonderful experience, which is never a bad thing. With that mindset, it's kind of hard to regret anything.

Yeah, this was just a quick post. I'll get back to posting. I was going to post a rather personally post but then I changed my mind. Haha.

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Summer

This summer, I will be spending half of it in Boston, and the other half it at home, which is an hour commute away from Boston. That's a total of two hours of commute, which I am kind of excited to make. I always feel more transcendental when I'm on the train. And most importantly, I get time to myself to stare out a window and daydream. (I can't do anything too eye intensive, like reading, in a moving vehicle because I get motion sickness very easily. Seeing myself move at all times helps a lot though.)

When I'm in Boston I will be working with one of my professors or tinkering away at the Imagineering Lab or exploring. And when I'm at home, who knows what I'll be doing.

But this summer will be a good summer. Shall I make goals like I did last summer? No, I don't think I will this year. I kind of want to just wing it this summer. When I'm working on my Professor's project, I want to be really focused, and make it as much of a learning experience as possible. And when I'm not working on my Professor's project, I want to be having fun! I want to also make things!

Yesterday, I was in Boston very briefly. I was sitting on a bench on Bay State Road, in the middle of the Boston University Campus, minutes away from any location on campus. And it felt great. The weather was great. The view was great. Here's to a great summer! I'll report back at the end of it, maybe.

When I looked up yesterday, I saw this: a canopy of leaves with sunlight poking through! I'm such a natural light person!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Blog

Hey!

I just met you. And this is crazy, but here's my –


I have a new blog. Check it out to see what it's all about!

http://staycuriousemily.wordpress.com/

I chose a free wordpress blog because I really wanted a standalone blog, not a website, and something fresh. My google account that I use for this blog is connected to too many things! When it comes to hardware, I'm very vertical, narrow. I prefer my apple products and at times I do seem a bit cult like. But when it comes to web services, I like to have multiple accounts across different websites. I have email addresses on most major email services, for example. So the fact that way too many of web services are connected to my google account makes me a little antsy. This new blog on wordpress let's me remedy that a little bit. I've tried my best to customize this new blog but the free version of wordpress is pretty limited. Nevertheless, Enjoy!

Don't worry, it's just a secondary blog. This will still be my primary blog. I've grown kind of, you could say, . . . attached.

Side note: I'm home. And I need to recharge. I am definitely weary.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Semester Four

Woah. Woah! WOAH!

WOAH!

Its almost May! The semester is almost over! I'm almost twenty! And I'm halfway through undergrad!

Mind blowing!

And naturally, because it's the end of the semester and I'm swamped with work, I decide to blog! =] Actually, this blog post is more of a reward. See, I made a list  thursday night of all the things I had due by the last day of classes, which is Wednesday the 2nd of May. The list ended up being pretty lengthy, 14 items, and some of them are time consuming assignments, projects and labs and such. So I told myself if I finished at least two items on my list a day, I would be in good shape. (This is an attempt to avoid a repeat of an awful experience in which I put myself in a situation where I had to finish 3 labs in the span of 48 hours. They were all due on the same day, just different times: 8am, 6:30pm, and 11:59pm. Throughout that experience, I felt I was slightly suffocating. But worse, I felt I was turning in work that was not my best effort, not up to my expectation. Although I miraculous did pretty well on all three labs, I want to avoid, as much as possible, having ever to do that again.) As of now, I have 6 assignments left and four-ish days left. However, the 6 assignments left are indeed the lengthy one. Nevertheless, I still feel pretty good and on track. So I'm rewarding myself with a blog post – I also want to make my goal of at least 5 posts a month.

Since the semester is coming to an end, I want to also include an update of my classes before it's too late. This semester has been a semester where I've had great professors across the board and learned the most of the 4 semesters I've taken. So here are some of the things that stick out from my classes:

Click if you want to read more. I've learned some interesting things.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Top of Photonics

This is my view right now from the eighth floor of the Photonics Center: 

You can see the Charles River, Prudential Center, Fenway Park, and the Sky! Click this link to see them better! =]
The Photonics Center is home to the BU's Electrical and Computer Engineering department and the majority of the engineering teaching rooms, along with a company on the sixth floor – I know, it's pretty random. Well, this semester I have been spending a lot of time studying in the upper levels of Photonics, and with a view like that why is this a recent development? The reasons I study on the upper levels of Photonics are yes, the view, and also because it's pretty deserted. I'm easily distracted, and if I study in places where I will encounter people I know, I pretty much will get nothing accomplished. I don't need silence to study though, although the upper levels of photonics are very quiet. I usually listen music. Strangely enough, music keeps me from getting distracted. I think it has to do with the fact that I need a stimulant that isn't work and if I don't have music playing, I will search for a stimulant through other means, i.e. surfing the web or procrastinating. So yeah, I thought I'd share my view with you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Boston Marathon

The usual marathoners run the Boston Marathon. I biked it tonight, at midnight, with two peers and a crowd no less than 500 people (Pictures to come). And 26 miles is still long, even on bikes. I don't think I would be able to run it. It has a lot of hills, like a cosine graph! Remember how I said I haven't really biked this semester? Well, yeah 26 miles has left me exhausted! Part of it was also in rain. My shoes are soaked! And I am leaving on a hike in approximately two hours. Yeah, last week I was very mentally tired. And now, I'm about to completely exhaust myself physically. Maybe I will start a new once I crash completely.

More later, I need sleep. I just wanted a post out quickly, while the event is fresh in my mind.

Update:

Okay, So my pictures weren't that great . . .  It was dark and raining at one point. So I'll just link to a site that has some great pictures. The third picture is actually of us, the girl in green with the fedora is my friend, and you can see my white bike with a "I bike boston" sticker on the right as well as the knees of my other friend. I'm to the left (my green shirted friend's right), as in not in the picture. You can also see how we hung our bikes – the only compartment of the train to do so. Someone on the train commented that we were either brilliant or the bikes were going to all fall when the train started to move. We were the former. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we had take the train out 20 miles. Yeah, we're crazy, in a good way.

I'll also show this short video I recorded that shows you just a glimpse of how many people were there and all our red lights!


By the end of the night, I just had red lights flashing in my mind. At one point during the ride, I thought I was losing it. The rain had given the red lights a bubbly halo effect . . . yeah. Since I'm too lazy (and mildly busy) to tell the rest of this amazing tale, I will link to another person's account of the ride. It's a great account and there's a map of the marathon too. I basically had the same experience, right down to the barely exercising throughout winter part.

After the bike ride, I came home and stretched, which is KEY to not getting sore. And crawled into the shower. As much as I wanted to just sleep, I was hiking in two hours, I couldn't put my dirty self onto my bed, and I didn't want to sleep on the floor. Somehow, I managed to wake up for the hike. It would have been awful if I didn't wake up, considering I organized the hike. The hike was great! I didn't have much energy left for the hike so it was just slow and peaceful. Not too exciting. But I'll leave you with a picture from the hike.

That's Boston in the distance.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sunday's Best

Happy Easter Guys!!

I'm not a particularly religious person. I actually don't know what I am, maybe borderline spiritual, apathetic, atheist, agnostic, zen . . . I don't know. Do I believe in "God"? Not particularly. Do I believe in unexplainable, supernatural events? Definitely. Do I have faith? Yes. Do I believe good things happen to good people? Yes. Do I feel the need to partake in religious activities? Nope. Do I believe in happiness even with little wealth and material possessions? Yes. I kind believe in my own customized religion, I choose what I want to believe. So by no measure am I religious.

Anyway, today, I woke up deciding that I wanted to hide chocolate eggs for my roommate for Easter. So I did just that. I went to CVS right when it opened – riding my bike for the first time this year! I know we're already more than a quarter into the year, sad – bought two bags of chocolate eggs, and hid them in my room. That's how I always celebrated Easter in my family. My family is not Christian at all. So for Easter, my parents used to hide candy eggs for us to find, and then we would paint eggs. That's it. Nothing religious at all. It's just a fun holiday. And I wanted to have fun today, even if it's just for a tiny little bit. Another part of the reason I woke up wanting to hide eggs is because I haven't been living. I've just been doing. And really, the little moments in life, make life all the joy to live.

As you can see, I woke up today feeling so much better than I have in past weeks. Not exhausted anymore. And that's because yesterday, I did nothing but sleep, watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, do some laundry – but I didn't fold the clothes until this morning in – and sleep, or laid in bed. See, Thursday night, I didn't sleep. I pulled an all-nighter, my work was taking longer than expected and I had to be up early on Friday to greet the new prospective students at open house, so sleep was not an option. But on Friday afternoon around 4:30pm, I crashed and didn't wake up until 2am, but went right back to sleep until 8am Saturday morning, totaling about 16 hours of straight sleep. I tried to do work Saturday but I was still too tired to do anything, so I slept early again. In the end, pulling an all nighter was the best thing for me. Because if I never pulled that all nigher, I would have never slept 16 hours straight. I would have just kept trucking along with 3, 4, maybe 5 hours of sleep a night and that would have been awful. I would never have fully recovered. I would never been able to take a real shower (when you're tired, your showers are too quick to enjoy). I would have been in a trance kind of state, and that would have been problematic. I would never be as productive as I could be. So here's to finally feeling better. But unfortunately, I have a lot of work to do. But at least, I'm living and remembering the small moments.

Hope your Easter is also going well.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Rambling . . . and Ann Spade

I'm tired. Really. And I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just wading through life. I feel as I'm losing myself. There's only a month and some days left until summer break. Yay?! I don't know. I don't really have any plans. I just need rest. I know it.


Well, I ran into this video earlier. I like this cover of "Think Good Thoughts". I listened to the original afterward, but it wasn't as good – people say this all the time, but really. Ann Spade rarely does covers but when she does, they are always great, simple, and acoustic covers. Thank you Ann! You know, she was one of the first youtubers I subscribed to, back in 2007, freshmen year of high school. I was young back then. The interweb wasn't as populous as it is now. And it use to be more anonymous. What ever happen to not using your real name on the interweb? Gone, that's what happened. Google, especially, is campaigning for the abandonment of usernames. Social networks are dominating. Facebook accounts are linked everywhere. Oh gosh, what am I going to do about Facebook . . . I really dislike it.

But yeah, THINK GOOD THOUGHTS!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Legend of Korra

Well, well, well. I just saw the two episode preview of the new season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Korra. Check them out on Nickelodeon's website: http://www.korranation.com/

SPOILER ALERT!

I don't know what exactly my thoughts about it are yet. Two episode in and you can already tell that the feel of things are a lot darker. The last few seasons with Avatar Aang were all about returning hope to a land who's lost sight of it because of a long war. My kind of theme. This season looks more in line with recent serious themes: totalitarian governments, equality, new versus old. It also has a different feel to it. Gone are the days where the cast are traveling to new places, surviving in the wild, making spiritual connections with the world, and desperately trying to help Aang master the other bendings so he can restore the world to it's natural order. The world exist now and it's a modern city, with all it's skyscrapers, technology, and diversity of people. But there is a rebellion going on. Anti-benders feel they are being treated inferior to benders. And that is where the plot lies. The city does not feel spiritual at all. There are now bending battle tournaments, similar to a maybe a YuGiOh battle or something, for enjoyment not survival. Legend of Korra definitely feels more like recent anime, where the setting is of an alternate reality of the real world where bending is possible instead of a past reality.

I definitely miss the old characters. Aang's free spirited personality and innocence are greatly missed. You can see the traits slightly in his grandkids, which are just the best characters thus far. But they're kids and minor characters. I am interested in the role Aang plays in Legend of Korra though, since during Aang's time, he frequently talked to Avatar Roku. You do also have a brooding character, who seems more of mix of Zuko and Sokka's personalities: sarcastic and serious. But so far, he lacks the emotional damage and complexities of Zuko. Zuko was a good souled person brought up in an awful environment. You don't have a character yet that doesn't know which side of the battle he is on. Zuko was my favorite character. I have a thing for characters who are "bad" and then rise from it and become good. You have a new character who I can't really find an analogy to from the old season. He is nice and friendly. Katara actually is still alive. But of all characters, she was my least favorite and she is still as annoying as ever. The new avatar, Korra, actually has Toph's personality: strong, self-determined, and rebellious. Tenzin, Aang's son and the main adult character, is no where as awesome as Uncle Iroh.

I am really interested in how the new versus old plays out. Harry Potter (and so did Avatar Aang) did equality, we know: no one group of people is better than another. Hunger Games did totalitarian, we know: governments can't control everything. And old spiritual tradition versus industrial new technology? Hmm, to my knowledge, there's no big name franchise out there with that theme. Although with Avatar Aang, the more industrial fire nation falls to the Avatar, a spiritual entity.

Legend of Korra has a lot of potential. We'll see how it unfolds.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Fever

I will admit: I struggled with this post and posting in March in general. I have so many thoughts but I just don't quite know what they are. And my infatuation with weather is probably getting old. The fact of the matter is that I have Spring Fever, badly. It's a sort of bipolar disease. Ever since I've been back from Spring Break, last Sunday, I've been on a walk or playing frisbee or both. I'm happy and want to be outside ALL the time. It's definitely messing with me. I'm more energetic. I haven't played outside this much since my prepuberty days. But I'm not focused at all. Minimum and only the essential work has been done. There's a sense of calmness, a lack of urgency. I sit in a class in a daze, just there. Luckily, classes haven't picked up yet, but they will next week for sure. I can tell I am on the last leg of this disease: Spring Fever. I feel myself taking control of my own body. And my focus returning. It's not a bad disease by any means. There is also a positive side effect: I've become more active. And that's always a good thing.

How does one recover from Spring Fever?

The same way one recovers from any disease: by sleeping.

I will tell you right now that sleep is not overrated. I pride myself on functioning on little sleep (five hours or less) and still maintaining an energy level greater than the average person without coffee or soda. But there's nothing like what a good night's sleep can do to you. Last night, I fell asleep unintentionally, before midnight, and slept until 8am, interrupted only when I woke up at 1am to sleep in my own bed – I had fallen asleep on our spare bed, my roommate's, who is currently abroad – but I promptly went back to sleep. That's a full eight hours +. And my mind is so much clearer.

But part of this murkiness in my mind, before Spring Fever hit, probably had to do with the lack of change in my routine. I thrive off change, meeting new people, exploring new parts of the city, thinking new thoughts, and the likes. And I kind of fell into this routine: attend classes, do some schoolwork, hang out with so and so, grade some papers, spend some hours in the lab, eat froyo, play draw something. The novelty is gone. I keep trying to view my college experience with the freshmen novelty and that helps to some extent. But the friends you hang out with aren't going to have the same views. And I am not going to try to impose my views on them. When things become too routine, I start to lose my voice. Things become generic. I become generic. The worst part is that I didn't realize I was falling into this routine. But starting with yesterday's walk, I broke it a little bit. I walked to a new part of Boston, I stopped to have a conversation with a peer I haven't seen in a while, I volunteered with ENG Dean's Host at the FIRST Robotics competition where I interacted with strangers, although my shift saw few strangers, and I read new blogs. And my mind's cleared a bit. So really, I thrive off change.

Decisions I've Made

At this point, there are several things I should have mentioned on my blog. So I'm just going to list them. I'm not going to dedicate a post to each of them like I intended, but they are important and should be noted. So here we are five things I should have mentioned:

First, I declared a major: Electrical  Engineering. Let's see where that choice leads me.

Second, I'm doing research now. I'm working on a project that helps NASA with exoplanet discovery.

Third, I have an online portfolio: see right. It needs work though.

Fourth, I've decided to take calcium supplements to compensate for my lack of diary products.

Fifth, I've been writing letters on a letterhead I designed and sending them through snail mail.

Post Script: On my walk yesterday, I stumbled upon Now and Laters and a ginormous Airhead at the symphony market. I do like Candy. =]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Equinox!

Happy Spring Equinox!


It seems most of my blog posts lately have been about weather. But I promise you, I have other thoughts. Weather is just the least complicated and easiest to convey of the thoughts. This post will be quick though. I just want to get it in before midnight. And then I'll write a more thoughtful post. I've only blogged twice this month, and March is almost over. I need to get on it, if I want to meet my five post per a month minimum.


Today was very Spring. I like Spring very much. The weather is gorgeous. The students come out of hiding. And my university feels like a normal campus, not one that's in the city and go go go, but one where students are playing ball, lying on the grass, doing work outdoors, relaxing, and other outdoor college activities. It was really nice to see students out and about and all over our green spaces. I was amongst all that. Today actually reminded me of my childhood. The days where I would hurry home from school and rush through homework just so I could play outside. I didn't do homework, but I did sit through lectures into the afternoon. And when I was done, I convinced my friends to play outside with me. We tossed around a frisbee on the esplanade for a good amount of time. I even attempted a Matrix-like maneuver where my friend tossed the frisbee at my head and I snapped my head backwards to avoid it. It took a couple tries, but we got.


Again, Happy Spring! =]

Monday, March 12, 2012

Awake at 5:20 AM

There's something about being awake at a time you normally aren't. You experience a whole different perspective. You wonder at the few people you see: are you always awake at this time? Are you working an early shift? Or are you heading on an adventure, like me? Even when I was pulling late nights with only two or three hours of sleep, I would be asleep at this time. So it feels weird, being awake and all. People always seem to want to leave proof when they are awake when others aren't. When I use to frequent a forum, we used take screenshots when we were the only ones online, which was rare, considering the international user base. But it still did happen. And then we have Facebook, where a very typically early morning status would be something along the likes of "why am I still awake?" I wonder how people expressed their need to leave proof they were awake when others weren't preinterwebs. Hmm . . .

So why am I awake? Well, I'm heading into Boston to catch a bus to New York. Yup, it's spring break. And I decided I needed a break! I work hard, not as hard as I can, but I do a lot. So I thought I deserved a break. =] Catch you on the flip side!

Post Script: There's something about the anonymity that public transpiration allows that I really like. Plus, I always feel so transcendental on the train. This will be a good trip! =]

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

It's leap day! Yay! If you live say 100 years, that's 36,525 days! And only 25 of them are leap days! That's approximately 0.068% of the total days you hypothetically live. o_O I know! Do something awesome!

Well, my day hasn't been that exciting. I'm kind of exhausted! But nevertheless, it's leap day, and I can't not blog today. So what will grace this wonderful leap day post?

Well, it snowed today! I stuck my tongue out to catch snowflakes for the first time in the longest time, maybe years. Snowing, though, is very much typical February weather. Can you just imagine a weather forecaster trying to predict the weather today based on the past weather of leap days when there's only 25% of a normal day's data out there for forecasters to use? Oh, man, I can. I can just imagine him sitting there saying, "Ah, theres only been five leap days in the past twenty years. And most of this data is outdated, it doesn't take into account the climate acclimations of the recent years." Of course, forecasters don't predict weather based on what day it is. But can you just imagine? Okay, probably not, it's so unrealistic, but oh well.

So I am tired – that probably explains why I can imagine a forecaster predicting weather based on the day. I've slept very little this past couple of days, and when I did sleep, it was accidental, i.e. me just falling asleep out of exhaustion. But today's mostly over, and for the next day or two, I have moderate amount of work, so I get to catch up for my lack of sleep. It's kind of fitting, since today is the day Earth catches up with, well, time.

What else can I post?

Um, how about my current musical obsession? Lindsey Stirling! CHECK HER OUT! She's pretty talented and creative violinist. It's awesome! Here's one of my favorite: Electric Daisy Violin:


But really, check her other stuff out: LINK! She has dubstep, ZELDA, Lord of the Rings, Yiruma – just check her out.

Also here's a quick picture I snapped tonight:


I really tried to get something cool without traveling more than a block – I'm tired, remember. This was the best that I could do. It's more of showcase of how awesome cameras have gotten. This is only a phone camera, the iPhone 4's 5 megapixel camera, and already it's pretty impressive: I can see the rain droplets. Just imagine a professional camera. (I'm doing a lot of imagining right now.)

And a thought of the day: There's no doubt that our brains are incredibly smart. And there's definitely an unconscious. Something else besides conscious me is pulling the shots. I mean how else did I wake up today at 6AM without an alarm when I normally do not wake up that time, plus I was sleep deprived. I had accidentally fallen asleep last night without studying for my exam today or setting an alarm. And my brain woke up my conscious up at 6AM so I could study. I am impressed, Brain.

Well that's all I have to share. I can't really think of anything else interesting that I did today.

Happy Leap Day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blogger Note!

Hello Spring Weather!!! =]

I would like to make a note, a blogger note:

New England didn't really have a winter this year: we kind of skipped winter altogether. It's currently 45 degrees, and the forecast is predicted to reach a high of 57. That's nearly 60 degrees! And February is a prime winter month! Even the predicted low, 39 degrees, is high. That's just about 40 degrees! So unusual! Wow! Having lived in New England my whole life thus far, I expect frigid weather in February. So this unexpected Spring weather puts me in such a GREAT mood. I wake up to a flowing, not at all frozen, Charles River. I dress warmer than needed only to be met by Spring weather! It's great! I love Spring weather best. It's fresh! Everything is renewed in Spring! The other day, even the ground felt like Spring, saturated with water as if the "snow" had all melted. The birds and squirrels are out. I pumped my bike tires, cleaned and opened the window. It is fabulous. I just can't stop gushing over the weather! =]


*Fingers Crossed that I didn't jinx the wonderful weather! =]

(Oh, degrees are all in Fahrenheit.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans

I can only imagine what Bertie went through in making these beans because he must have had to tried millions of recipes per se to perfect the taste of his beans. I've only had a few beans and am already afraid to try the next flavour . . .


The first bean I had was banana, which isn't my favorite candy flavour but it was tolerable. I then had earwax, which despite its taste, I was able to swallow. Next came vomit. My friend, on a dare once, had to eat 13 in a row, and now says she will never eat Bertie Bott's every flavour beans again. So I thought what the hell might as well try it, if my friend could suffer 13, I can suffer 1. Well, it wasn't that bad at first. Then, the flavour kicked in, and I had to spit it out and get some water. And you know how jelly beans kind of stick to your teeth for a while until they dissolve? Yeah, the taste lingered with me for a long while. It was gross. And then, I summed up the guts to try another one: booger. And that was by far the grossest. I spit it out as fast as I could. Blargh! Gross! Thinking about it just makes gag. So I was like no more. But curiosity got the best of me and I tied another: candyfloss. This wasn't too bad, I had thought it was gonna be Tutti-Fruitti though, as in they were the same color. Candyfloss made me feel like I had dental work done on me or something, which I guess is a good thing. I've also had grass and green apple since. The grass I had by accident because I thought it was green apple. And I think I will hold off trying the rest for now. I don't think anything will be as gross as booger though. But who knows, earthworm sounds pretty gross. Strike that, rotten eggs sounds very gross!

So yeah, it's no wonder Dumbledore wasn't fond of these. As he said in the Sorcerer's Stone: "Ah Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit-flavoured one, and since then I'm afraid I've rather lost my liking for them-but I think I'll be safe with a nice toffee, don't you? Alas! Ear wax!"

Update: I just tried black pepper which taste exactly like straight black pepper. It also gave me a cough similar as if I was smelling black pepper. And lemon was fine. But no more beans for me, for real this time.