Emily Lam

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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/


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! =]