26 February 2007

Ahh automation.

Dear Natural Science Student:

According to our records you have 160 or more hours. If you plan to
graduate this semester, please apply now. The deadline to apply for
May graduation is March 26, 2007. Fill out an application at
https://utdirect.utexas.edu/ns .

If you are not graduating at this time, please contact your academic
advisor in your advising center to discuss your progress toward your
degree and anticipated graduation date.

14 February 2007


I have to tell this story, but I can't be incriminating at the same time. So I wrote it, and then replaced ______ with ______.

After Quantum II (of which.. I sadly understood very little of..) I saw Theresa outside where she called me a f***ing a**hole for not making an appearance everyday to her. Normally people would be offended, but it just wouldn't be the same otherwise.

Afterwards, I walk towards Jester, calling _____ asking if he wants to go eat at J2. Just as I pass Gregory, a number of apartment realtors were having this fair with free pizza and water and Smarties (of which.. I took many).

One of the tables had three iPods sitting there. Presumably, if you signed the lease then and there, they gave you one as free gift*. Personally, I'd like a free month of rent rather than a shuffle. In any case, being the proverbial ____ that he is, _____ starts eyeing the shuffles and inches over to grab one. Finally, he grabs one, looks at it and silently slides it into his coat pocket and walks away. I was watching the entire event, but surprisingly no one else picked up on it. He mentioned to me to grab one and I inched my way over when I realized - wtf Why would they give shuffles away for free?** _____ had committed theft.

What else did I see? Another Asian girl (presumably Viet.) grabbed another one. You really have to be the saddest, most pathetic people in the world to resort to theft to get something like that. In any case, I made my way back to Jester where the perpretrator was waiting. I suppose those that read this know me well enough to guess what happened.

It's not like the realtor representatives would chew you out. At most you might get a couple of words of admonishment. The price is small to pay.

Some would say- Why not just let him live with it? [-1] applicant right? Then I wouldn't fulfilling my code of honor by keeping quiet.

As for the other girl that took it, I never found her, but I would have said something. Also, I wasn't completely sure who she was. I'm not angry that people behave like this. In fact, I expect them to, for the most part. I feel sorry that any shortcomings she felt she had is only going to be magnified. There are few solutions to regret.

At least I can sleep better at night***.

*: I hadn't realized this at the time.
**: Strong intervention from #2
***: after May 31.

13 February 2007


I was in Japanese yesterday and we were discussing 旅行(travel). Soon after, she started talking about the Shinkansen trains and their names.

The slowest one is called こだま (ko-da-ma), which means 'echo'. The next fastest one is called ひかり(hi-ka-ri), which means 'light'.

Seeing as how this wasn't the fastest train, my interest piqued. What, pray tell, could be faster than light?

のぞみ (no-zo-mi), which means 'Hope'.


Not in a million years would I guess that one, which seems to be a concept I both lack and avoid.


I got this funny email:

"Greeting From China"

Hello,I want to solicit your attention to recieve money on my behalf.The purpose
of my contacting you is because my status will not permit me to do this
alone. When you reply this message,I will send you details of the business
and more information about myself.My personal email is: mou_xinshengxx1@yahoo.com.hkThank
Mou Xinsheng

Yes. Good luck with that.

08 February 2007

What a treat!

(Ed. I thought I made the distinction clear by using MBB, but no, I don't do cancer research. I wish I did.)

You should be thankful. There's 75 minutes until a biochemistry exam and I'm blogging. Just for you.

In any case, there is much to be said about this class. I'm sure Yin is smart, but she is exceedingly disorganized. Her lectures make no sense without using the book as a guide and the large number of spelling/grammar mistakes is painful.

Also, I know this is almost never said about lectures, but the material is much more interesting than she makes it out to be. I mean, come on. Chymotrypsin is more interesting than 14 slides.

One thing I was thinking about this morning was the various "cancer races" that are happening. Whether its 'race for the cure' or 'stroll for the fatties', everyone seems to be extremely supportive of this. While this is generally good, the support is misplaced. They're not the ones curing cancer!. Countless times I've seen people talk to others and they're like "Oh you're running in that? That's nice" and the runner has this smug look on his face like "YEAH. I'm CURING CANCER".

... No you're not. Anyone* can wake up and run 3 miles and that doesn't mean you're curing cancer. Please stop deluding yourself. You may be "helping" to cure cancer, but then my family probably helps more than you do, so I don't see why the running is important. Again. I will give a solution to this problem.

If you really (and directly) want to cure cancer, I have some tips for you. Humanity's slaves live in MBB, and unfortunately for us EM-wave-blocking/absorbing-individuals-who-will-get-cancer, they're human as well and they have down times like lack of money and lack of cookies and lack of ice cream and lack of Rockstar.

Support your fellow cancer researcher! Bring them cookies often. I don't have to remind you that researchers love cookies. I love cookies! Sorry, that just came out. Well. Since it did, bring me some cookies too.

And not just only cookies. Bring them ROCKSTAR. They like the orange kind. Just leave boxes of Rockstar outside MBB. Give me one too. Try it! You'll be making the world a better place, instead of funneling 75% of donations to 'local' efforts, because you know, research is always done on the local level.


Weird things happen outside the Mallet library. Some hot girl just passed me and gave me this smile. I was like WHOA WTF PHEROMONES. But it turns out, I had seen her in DIT, just forgot about it.

I knew I should have quit that thing months ago.

*: Perhaps not in a place where obesity is the norm. Well I can't run 3 miles either and I'm far from obese.

06 February 2007

Time passes quickly

So I started watching this movie (I know, I shouldn't) and .. the British are weird, although I'm not one to talk about weirdness. Throughout the last couple of days, I've been thinking about various things to chatter about on this online diary, so here goes.

1) This "You got Beef" music video purported to increase Vietnamese nationalism worldwide (or at least in some ghetto part of Canada). What's up with that thing. They're 'gangsters' yet they drive.. oh.. a Dodge Neon. Is that how you portray Asian* gangsters? Please. Leave being gangster up to Yakuza or the Hong Kong underground.

Also, they look pretty ridiculous in that music video. Sending 30 viets to take out 2 black guys? Inefficient. Of course, no criticism is warranted without suggestions, so here I go:

a) Better looking girls with more 'gangster' looking clothes, not something from the a GAP sale.
b) Older looking girls**, because you shouldn't be waving guns around those pre-teens.
c) Better cars. Ditch the Neon! How many rap videos have you seen with people "rapping" in front of a Dodge? (Zero.) Here's a suggestion: At least get a Benz.
d) Stop rapping and get me a coffee.

I recently came across an interview that the main rapper gave :

Open peoples eyes in this area I guess, us Vietnamese people have always been here and will always be. At a time when we were at war with the black folks here it was just an anthem type of song to make em relize we aint no chumps. Now its all cool, everyone is fam so the song itself was just made for that purpose now I guess its just another "asian pride" song.

Well.. You guys are still chumps. And I'm sure naming yourself Chuckie really brings out the viet culture you so effectively emasculate.

The girl on the right of this frame from the video looks like she's 12. It gets more disturbing the more you watch it.

There was more. Left for later.

*: Some would not consider Vietnamese as Asian.
**: This may not be possible as they all look 12. Isn't that part of the charm though? (no...)

01 February 2007


Essay 2
Prompt: Today's mobile society often loses in family and community ties what it agins in individual freedom.

Assignment: Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above statement means. Describe a specific situation in which mobility might enhance family or community ties. Discuss what you think determines which is more important to the individual - mobility, or maintaining family and community ties.

The propensity for human and societal improvement creates situations where questions arise about these new found improvements. Mobility is one of them. In the last 20 years, humans have become more mobile as cell phone towers pepper the landscape, air travel is cheaper and thus more accessible to the general public, as well as other methods of transportation through innovations. Does this mobility degrade ties to family and community while equally increasing individual freedom? Many would argue so. With more cell phone carriers such as T-Mobile and Cingular offering tower-sharing agreements, subscribers are free to go farther away from urban destinations and possibly their families and communities. A couple of months ago, a senior editor in CNET news was found dead in a wintry valley in Oregon with his family trapped in the snowy weather after taking a wrong turn. In this case, mobility removed Kim and his family from the urban environment, as he could go farther and deeper into the wilderness with an energy efficient vehicle and instant communication. Kim’s story does indeed stress the gains in individual (in this case, family) freedom while separation from his community. Kim, before his death, was able to enjoy a family outing even in the snowy wilderness due to increased mobility, a feat which was scarcely possible 20 years ago, but his separation from community may have proved ultimately harmful.

However, others would argue that mobile societies make it easier to maintain ties with community and family while providing gains in individual freedom as well. In the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent American occupation, mobility provided US soldiers with the ability to cover greater ground while still being able to maintain ties with community and family. Mobile relay stations positioned throughout Iraq and a fall-back on satellite communications made possible instant communication with other ground forces and US Central Command. In this respect, military communities and ‘legions’ (families) are brought closer together with the advent of mobility. One might say that US Central Command (or any person/place in the world) was a couple of microseconds away, made possible with instant communication. This would certainly bring communities together and make military coordination easier.

The prevailing arguments implicitly necessitate a qualifier that determines when individual gains in today’s mobile society make up for losses in ties to community and family. With any new technology or advent, it is not the actual advent or technology itself but the end user that determines the effect that the particular advent has. Technology frequently plays countervailing roles in society and this case is no different. The intention of the end user determines whether mobility causes losses in ties to community. James Kim certainly used his mobility to sever ties to his community, while soldiers in the current occupation of Iraq use their mobility and technology to bring them closer to their military communities and families.

"Your paper shows clarity, depth, and complexity of thought. The treatment of the writing assignment is focused and coherent. Major ideas are substantially developed. A facility with language is evident. Good work! In order to score at this level in the future keep an emphasis on the clear writing style and evident proficiency in your response to the prompt."

... really?