Blog Archive: Janunary 2003-February 2003
February 13, 2003
-Attended Real World Engineering, a program put
on by the College of Engineering that brought a panel of Cal engineering
alumni to talk about their lives in the real world. They, unfortunately,
provided a somewhat bleak market outlook... hopefully the market turns around
by summer of 2004... On the bright side had a ton of free sushi from the
February 9, 2003
-Michael Jordan played in his last
NBA All-Star Game today, and what a game it was. Jordan seemingly hit
the game winner with three seconds left at the end of the first overtime;
the shot was a fading, high arking jumper from the baseline over the outstreched
arms of Shawn Marion. Jermaine O'Neal foolishly fouled Kobe Bryant on
a desparation three with one second left; Bryant tied the game by hitting
two of three free throws. The Western Conference went on time win the
game in the second overtime. It's sad knowing that it was Jordan's last
All Star Game, but I'm glad I watched it.
February 8, 2003
-All I did today was cook and play Skies of Arcadia:
Legends. Nice day, eh? I made cream puffs in the morning and a spinach
lasagna for dinner. They both turned out alright, though not as good as
expected. I think I need to get a better cookie sheet for baking... although
I hardly do it.
-The California men's basketball team swept the
Oregon schools on the road, after getting pummeled in two difficult games
last week in Arizona. They beat the Oregon Ducks tonight 86-75; Thursday
night it was Cal 84 - OSU 71. This brings their record to an impressive
16-4 (9-2 in Pac-10). Next up are home games against the Washington schools.
-The UCLA men's basketball team finally won a
game 71-70 over Georgetown after losing 9 games in a row. Although I
have no sympathy for UCLA, it is shocking that they could have lost 9
games in a row and currently stand 9th place in the conference.
February 6, 2003
-I attended my first EJC meeting as a representative
for TBP. It was fairly uneventful, except for some unpleasant remarks
about our TBP president and about TBP in general. When talking about TBP,
someone remarked "aren't those people supposed to be smart?" which elicited
a roar of laughter from the non-TBP people in attendance. I sat there
pretty shocked and amazed by everyone's juvenile reaction. Hopefully these
insults are not a regular feature of the meeting.
-I saw my first live, running bioreactor down
in the basement of Tan Hall. So cool!! It was culturing some fungi that
produce a precursor chemical to aflatoxin, a carcinogenic compound found
in some infected crops.
-"Thermodynamics is a funny subject. The first
time you go through it, you don't understand it at all. The second time
you go through it, you think you understand it, except for one or two
points. The third time you go through it, you know you don't understand
it, but by that time you are so used to the subject, it doesn't bother
you anymore." Arnold Sommerfeld
-"Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they
will never be disappointed." Anonymous - both quotes from Y. Cengel
and M. Boles, Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach
February 5, 2003
-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented
evidence of Iraq's supposed defiance of several U.N. resolutions to
the U.N. Security Council in an effort to shore up support from the Council.
The evidence seems strong, but the Iraqi ambassador dismisses it as fabricated.
France, China and Russia retain their reservations despite the evidence.
-My take on the presentation of the evidence
was that it was only a courtesy call that was only meant to gather
support only after the decision was made to go to war, which I believe
it already has been. Though I do not agree with the war itself, France,
China and Russia should remove their reservations and comply. If they
do not, the U.S. will simply act on its own, which calls into question
the ability of the U.N. to regulate world peace. What good is the U.N.
if member countries are allowed to simply ignore its will? Should the
U.S. go into war without the blessings of the Security Council it would
represent the reduction of the U.N. from a world body with the power
to regulate to a symbolic, useless body of bickering diplomats.
-France stands to lose the most from the current
course that events follow. Russia still wields significant military
power, including extensive nuclear war capability, while China continues
to grow both economically and militarily. Right now, France has a very
large voice in international affairs due to its permanent seat on the
Council, wielding the all important veto power. However, when the U.N.
ultimately becomes the useless body it is currently transforming to, France
will be left with nothing but its useless permanent seat on the defunct
Security Council and nothing to back its voice in international affairs.
February 3, 2003
-According to Andrew Jackson, former President
of the United States and face of the twenty dollar bill, "fear is better
than love" with an Indian. (From video: How the West was Lost
Part IV: The Trail of Tears)
-"In barely-sufferable technospeak, a
cat is an open, self-regulating and self-reproducing heterogenous
system... The system requires nothing more for reproduction than a suitable
feline of the opposite sex."( D. Haynie, Biological Thermodynamics)
February 1, 2003
-I woke up today to calls of my roommate.
He shouted that the space shuttle Columbia had blown up over his home
state of Texas. Instantly, I hopped out of bed and was filled with the
same surreal feeling that I had that fateful Tuesday, September 11. It
couldn't be happening... not so soon... the nation had not healed yet...it
had to be a bad dream. And yet, like September 11, the surreality quickly
dissipated, replaced with profound grief. Seven astronauts, six Americans
and one Israeli, perished in an accident that followed, nearly to the
day, seventeen years after the Challenger blew up on takeoff. I find it
strange how the deaths of those particular seven people can make so many
people so sad, when countless thousands die in anonymity elsewhere everyday.
Perhaps it is because they were our hopes and dreams; they represented
the innate sense and longing of discovery that composes us all. They died
for science. On that note, we cannot let this tragedy discourage us from
further exploration of space. The space shuttles will fly on, only 3 of the
5 remaining... and should not stop until they are replaced by newer technology.
But we cannot forget though that the loss represents yet another tragedy
this country and its embroiled citizens must deal with. The economy is in
shambles, the war drums beat loudly, and terrorism waits for the opportunity
to scare again. What else could possibly go wrong? There is no end, no "light
at the end of the tunnel," that draws near...
January 26, 2003
-The TBP officer's retreat was fun, even
though I didn't go skiing. I did get to skip rocks at Lake Tahoe and
played a fun game of Cranium with a bunch of people last night. The
mountains were extraordinarily relaxing... I felt closer to nature with
its clean air, tall pines and piles of melting snow. Of course the commercialized
ski industry kind of takes away from the pristine of it all but still
it was very stark contrast to the urban, dirty environment of Berkeley.
-The Super Bowl was pretty lame... Tampa
Bay schooled Oakland 48-21. Of course people in Oakland rioted, which
brings up the question... would it have been worse if Oakland won?
January 24, 2003
-The famous epistemological question:
"How do you know you know what you know?"
January 20, 2003 Martin
Luther King Jr. Day
-Last semester was pretty fun, especially
pledging for TBP (national engineering honor society). Hopefully i
have fun serving as one of TBP's EJC reps this semester. As for classes,
they were ok, although each had annoying properties that will be probably
better remembered than the subjects themselves. BioE153 was a bit too
haphazard: far too many lecturers, to the point where i am not sure what
i got out of it. Chem130a just had plain awful subject material, and
ridiculous tests. EE100 had the worst labs from any class i've taken.
MCB102 is MCB, too many premeds make the class overly competitive. Despite
these annoyances i did very well gradewise.
-After my last final exam (chem), i went
to watch LotR:TTT with my roommates and daniel (thanks daniel for the
ride). What a movie! I felt like i was right there with Aragorn, Legolas,
and Gimli! All those Uruk-hai and ents! I really can't wait until The
Return of the King comes out next December! It was so good i actually
saw it twice in the theater! and for those that know me well, you know
i don't watch very many movies at all.
-Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new
semester of school. Yay (sarcastic). I am not sure what to expect
quite yet of this semester. I have a feeling that it might be easier
than last semester mainly cuz i'm only taking 3 techs as opposed to 4
like last semester. Then again, i've become readdicted to videogames,
i suppose they'll help make the semester "difficult."