Tidbits and Thoughts
May 25, 2003
-BORING!!!!!!!! Waiting to start research has been pretty painful. I've been
pretty desparate to do anything outside of watching TV in my apartment. Yesterday
was pretty cool, as I watched the College of Engineering's Class of 2003
graduate. The whole time I was thinking, hmmmm this will be me in a year,
how scary!!!... After the ceremony I helped pour champaigne and sparkling
apple cider at the Department of Bioengineering reception, only to return
home to yet more boredom. Today I accompanied my roommate to the airport.
Unfortunately it only killed two hours, although I managed to have a rather
interesting conversation with an 82 year-old man on the way back to Berkeley.
After I got home ate some lunch and thenI watched 3 hours worth of Food Network
watching the same cook cook 6 different things. Now I await dinner, wondering
how boring Memorial Day will be.
May 19, 2003
-Wow... so I've gone over 3 months without writing anything in this poor
excuse for a blog. In any case, this is being updated only because
I'm freaking bored now. My last final (a bitch of a test I must say) was today,
while everyone else seems to be just starting, I'm done. I will not be going
home for the summer, because I will be training in a cell biology lab!
So what has happened in the past 3 months? Obviously a lot... Unfortunately
it's so much that I couldn't possibly write it all down... oh well...
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 event!
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. Go Bears!
-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
-"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
-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