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Showing posts from July, 2013


Really loud, busy, and exciting! Crazy drivers and traffic. I couldn't imagine trying to drive in the streets, even riding is scary. XD

The first day we went, we walked around and went to the Museum Of Chinese in America, a must-see for any chinese people in New York City. It reminded me a lot of the tenacity and hardship my Chinese ancestors went through here. Where I live, there are more Asians than anybody else, and there are a lot of stereotypes of Asians being more smart or privileged, so it's hard to believe there was a time when it wasn't normal or cool to be Chinese. I think Chinese have assimilated into American culture to an unusual degree, so it was heartbreaking to read about the backbreaking manual labor in laundries or restaurants just so they could live in a place so they could live in America. It broke my heart to see and hear the primary source recordings and documents of the degrading hardship yet untainted pride of my ancestors. One of the people mentio…

University of Rochester

My parents' alma mater! Really cool as well. We can see the University from our hotel right across the Genesee river.

A lot of things have changed since my parents graduated, but I had a lot of fun walking to my dad's dorm, seeing where my mom and dad met, and visiting where my dad used to do research. We went to get a copy of the alumni book at the world-famous Optics institute and the receptionist just scheduled a meeting with me and a professor and the undergraduate coordinator when she heard I was a rising senior. XD It turns out that the Optics department is very in demand but they can't graduate enough students to keep up with it(there are only 90 undergrads in the department with only 10 or so last graduating class). So they really try to recruit more students.

Optics is a specialized branch of engineering dealing with a broad range of things from light to lenses to lasers. Most colleges don't have an optics major, so I'll definitely consider it if I end up…


Cornell is super amazing and GORGES(haha overused puns FTW). I liked the atmosphere and rural-ness of the campus a lot more than I liked Stanford's. The info session was pretty good too! The gorge was beautiful and had picturesque bridges and green trees and waterfalls...
It was overcast today, which was GREAT because it was actually a tolerable temperature, just in time for my first campus tour of this trip. It was really deserted because summer, but I really enjoyed Cornell and it has been bumped up to third on my list. This is a photo of me taken at the BEAUTIFUL Ulrich Library. Here's another picture:
 I feel like Cornell is one of the less-hyped of the Ivy Leagues, but I think it's amazing. It's the only one I'm applying to(College of Engineering, possible MechE major). They let you shop around for different engineering majors before locking you into one, have a great co-op program where you can work full time for a company, and have lots of money for undergr…

In Canada

but the hotel still didn't have real maple syrup at breakfast D:<. Also, it's over 90 degrees and humid every day. The falls are really nice though! This morning we went and walked a very long time from the falls to the Duffiden Islands Nature Reserve. Lots of bug bites :(. Pretty though! A nice(though hot) walk.

The tourist marketers have got this thing NAILED! :D We decided not to go on the iconic Maid of the Mists Boat despite the loudspeakers claiming it was THE ONLY WAY TO TRULY EXPERIENCE LE FALLS.
The general area is really cool too, with lots of fancy hotels and fountains mixed in with souveneir shops. We're going back to MURICA tomorrow! The only difference I've found was the people with accents and they call the bathhroom "washroom." And the channels on TV are lamer! There was this freaking weird ad for a movie called "Sharknado" playing that was about a tornado carrying flying sharks that attacked a town. The canadian film industry?!? …

In Hotel

Canada is super awesome, but pretty hot and humid. After a red-eye flight, transfer, 3 hour time change, and being crammed into a rental car with the suitcases barely fitting for three hours, we got to Niagara Falls.

After getting settled in, we went on a hike down a steep hill right to the river. We met a girl and her friend from around here, and we learned that she had recently been hitchiking from Columbia back up to Canada with barely any money and relying on the kindness of strangers. She was really enthusiastic and it sounded amazing. I was worried about safety, but she said that nothing had happened to her and the people were so much nicer than they made it sound on the news with dangerous reports about Mexico and everything. She described sleeping in the backs of trucks and in other people's houses, and it seems so much like a rawer experience of a different country than what most people get during their travels. She was fluent in Spanish and extremely enthusiastic about tr…

In le airport

I'm sitting outside our gate waiting for our 12:59 AM flight to JFK airport and then flight to Buffalo and then drive to Niagara falls. We are going on a three and a half week trip to Niagara Falls, various locations in New York around the east coast, and then my one week course at E2@MIT!

This morning I actually got the email asking us to rank our project courses and preferences--the following are all the course descriptions.
This course introduces architecture as a way of thinking and making. Students are taught to use a variety of media including pencil and paper drawing, digital modeling, digital collage, full-scale prototyping, and scale physical models. Students work collectively to design, build and speculate on the implications of a construct that will respond to social and environmental forces. This year, the project is a pavilion for cell phone conversations--a place to wander into in a public setting so as to obtain some privacy and isolation from others. St…

Divergent book review-and why it'll never be the next hunger games

Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is near the top of the list when it comes to books hyped as being "the next Hunger Games'. The Hunger Games, in turn, have come to symbolize any sort of dystopian super-hyped blockbuster series of novels/movies.

And I'm okay with that. Despite all my mixed feelings about the series, it's an excellent, well-written, engaging, intelligent series with a not-horrible movie adaptation.

So when I heard this series compared to it, heard a little bit about the content of the books, and saw its epic looking cover, I had high hopes when I picked it off the shelves.

All in all, I think Divergent had the possibility to be at the very least an entertaining action book with a simple but interesting plot and some cool scenes/characters/technology.

What actually happened? Erm...

This premise is pretty much the selling point for the entire series. In a world where society is divided into factions......

This whole dividing people up by char…

Anime Expo!

So here I am guys! I've made the full journey from being a hater to actually cosplaying at an expo(mah dream for a couple months.

My costume(Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji I did get some compliments and waves and some people even asked to take my picture which made me really happy. I got a lot more attention outside of the con hall, like in hotel lobbies and stuff though XD.

So I actually wasn't going to wear the costume until the 4th of July when one of my friends convinced me to. The convention was yesterday, the 6th, so I pretty much had to finish the costume the night before... fun times.

Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica! I really want to make this one.

On Friday we left at about 3:30 and arrived at the convention center a little before 5. Not too bad at all! There was no line to pick up badges that late, but it was still really crowded! Some convention center shots:

Halo? and mandos Prussia from Hetalia
L, Light, and Matt from Death Note Ranmao and Ciel from…

Ender's Game series in quotes:

Ender's Game:
“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them.”
Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

Speaker for the Dead:
“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.”
Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead


“From all wise men, O Lord, protect us.”
Orson Scott Card, Xenocide Children of the Mind: “Doesn't it make you wonder about your own sexual identity, not to mention your sanity, that the two women you love are, respectively, a virtual wo…