Thursday, December 27, 2007

oo, 100th post

hey beth, this is for you

Hanlon's Razor states

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

haha, we were researching laws like Murphy's Law and Occam's Razor and Hofstadter's Law

Michael Jackson is still cool

My dad bought this DVD back in the day. It's a compilation of greatest hits and famous videos like the famous performance of Billie Jean. Me and Toby watched the whole thing! Some of it was really bad, but still kind of cool in a way.

Check out the promotional teaser.

He is coming out with another album in Feb 2008!

Tiger vs. Python

recently tiger kills man kills tiger

how did he do it?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Universal Powerline

I was reading about something that people are working on. The dream is to get internet from the wall warts. Then, computers will all the networked as soon as you plug them in. Sounds pretty cool. Wonder if it will go anywhere. Universal Powerline Association

Monday, December 24, 2007

happy christmas!

I did not see Santa Claus.

I drew my mom a card.
It says, Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Funny Cartoon!

Most of the political cartoons with Barack Obama are what you would expect, just him smiling and Hillary being pissed. Haha.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hardhat show

the hardhat show about china used to be on, but now they're on

Alicia thought there weren't any new episodes, but there are! But they're not as good because the original host doesn't do them anymore.

Artsy store

for artsy people

Antiwave Podcast

This is an interview with people who make the Antiwave Podcast in China. It's a look into counterculture in China.

update: they seem to be gone now?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

China Pop Culture and Media is a blog/site about modern China.

Populism Doesn't Work

Why Krugman (and Edwards) are wrong

I was making some similar arguments about why Edwards' populism won't work and would only create a backlash just as it did after FDR's second term. Even though all liberals love FDR, the fact of the matter is that part of his legacy is the rise of conservatism. Same thing with Clinton, who wasn't even that populist. Part of Clinton's legacy is Bush. The only reason why most conservatives agree that FDR was ok is because he was a war president during a popular war, and people got rich from the war. Krugman might be a good economist, but he's a horrible historian.

Someone on the Barack Obama blog commented
"All the great reformers in history, FDR here, De Gaulle in France, Adenauer in Germany, even Hu Jintao in China today are masters in finding a common ground. They all have a vision and a plan, but was set them apart is their ability to bring people from opposite or diverse backgrounds to translate this vision in to reality. FDR was known for his brain trust. De Gaulle was a conservative who had communists in his government."

There are also many many examples of backlash and the failure of populism in modern Chinese history. Yes, that's right, the Communists were populist.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shittiest motor ever

it's a coil of wire over a magnet. one side of the wire is always making contact with the paper clip, and the other side is stripped so that it's only sometimes making contact. then you hook up the paper clips to a power supply so that while the wire is making contact, the magnet exerts force on the coil and causes it to spin, and while the wire isn't making contact, it is coasting.

This Semester is Over!!!

Beth debuts her new clothing line

beth is launching a new clothing line of skirts. she made it from scratch!

red ripply skirt - matches the pie

she also made a silver one out of more flowy material.

Beth made a pie

mmm pie

Monday, December 3, 2007

Losing Ground in Iowa, Clinton Assails Obama

The article contends that because Hillary is losing points in the Iowa poll, she is attacking Obama for speaking well of his intentions, but not actually following through with them. True, Hillary has been on the receiving end of negative attacks by both Obama and Edwards. So I guess the pressure is getting a little intense, and she's resorting to attacks on Obama's integrity. Oh Hillary...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Girl DJ's

NY Times article about the rise of female DJ's and their influence on ... fashion. obviously.

Hillary Clinton is a NeoCon!


My Chinese politics professor was talking about what American politicians think about China. China's military modernization is a very controversial topic right now. He says debates about what policies the US should take usually very quickly turn into ad hominem attacks. People who take a milder view are accused of being "panda lovers." HA! Typical.

There are two sides. The Neocons say, China is a revisionist country that seeks to disrupt the world order, and needs to be deterred with an overwhelming show of force to get them to back down and integrate peacefully with the global community. Hillary Clinton's advisors take this view. FUCK THEM.

The traditional balance of power foreign policy people say, no, it's not especially alarming. They are still way behind. We should not needlessly make enemies and fuel their weapons buildup.



Monday, November 26, 2007

Blues Song

AIM from lookImawave 22:03
let's feel sorry for ourselves

AIM from mirthbottle 22:11
ok, i'm sorry, self

AIM from lookImawave 22:12
i'm sorry me too

AIM from lookImawave 22:12
and i'm sorry for you

AIM from mirthbottle 22:12
i'm sorry, too

AIM from mirthbottle 22:12
for you

i'm sorry, for posting an aim convo.
but we wanted it for future reference because they're lyrics for our blues song.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


These things are so cool. They're not really that new, but it's the first time I saw their AAA batteries. They plug into your USB port to recharge by having a folding USB port! I'm going to try to get a job with these people.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Articles on Barack Obama

Here are some articles about Barack that were influential for me. Lots of politicians say nice things like about being bipartisan, but this is some proof that maybe he really does mean it.

This one is about his Il Senate days. Not about issues, but about approach to
working with people.

"What if a politician were to see his job as an organizer, as part teacher and
part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about
the real choices before them?."

This is about his time as President of the Harvard Law Review. It's also
mostly just about him working with people. Actually, I think the take away of the article is supposed to be that he wouldn't be a good president because of his leadership style, but I disagree.

Obama talking about black issues and education. Pretty interesting.

This is a good article comparing Obama and Edwards' opinions on

But really, for the issues, you have to read his speeches yourself, and then
maybe see what some experts think.

In particular, I agree with his foreign policy views, poverty, and education,
and government ethics reform issues. I also more or less agree with his
approach to energy and technology although you can kind of tell he's not an
expert on energy. The stuff he says on technology is pretty good, actually,
because he talks about technology policies in terms of encouraging
participatory democracy. I also agree with his approach on health care, but
in that case, I don't really know what's going on, and most people say that
his, Edwards, and Clinton's plans are pretty similar. I haven't really read
too much about what he says about immigration but from what I've heard him
talk about, I agree. He also used to have something on rural america that I
thought was good, but I guess you can probably find a speech on that somewhere
else. And besides having the right opinions on the issues, I think he's got
the right approaches.

I really like that he's not into blaming Republicans and trying to paint
Republicans as the "enemy."

I also really like that he has a lot of literature. He provides reasoning behind his positions, and he provides a vision for what an ideal system would look like. I generally agree with his reasonings and so I trust his judgment more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oofboof and Boobideedoobop's Oyster Diaries

Center: Belon (the cream of the bivalve crop). Clockwise from top left: Bluepoint (tasty and relatively cheap), Kumamoto (a good beginner's choice), Moonstone (the pride of Rhode Island), and Wellfleet (straight from the Cape).
(Photo: Davies + Starr)

Wellfleet - always good

Sabavi - good texture, small

Blue Points - big, not very good.

Ninigret - well-balanced

Thatch Island - tasty

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cat Soup

This is an award-winning Japanese animation from 2001.

put the "i" in electrons (and take out the "r")


haha, that's my new slogan

I went to New Hampshire today for more canvassing for Barack Obama, which is where you go door to door talking to people. We were also marking levels of support for Barack and what issues people said were important to them. It was a lot of fun, and I met a lot of interesting people. It has definitely restored some faith in democracy because of its participatory nature. We had a lot of good conversations with people. At the same time, it's not like this is happening on a national level. Iowa and New Hampshire get a special focus because of their early primaries.

Anyway, here's a little bit about what happened and the people that I met.

New Hampshire is a dog state, seriously, and so basically every house had at least one dog. I canvassed with a woman named Kathleen who was very very good at emoting with people and getting them to spill their beans, so to speak. She said she used to be a journalist and even worked for and now she teaches ESL students at Harvard. We were canvassing in a poor neighborhood where many of the houses looked like trailers. The people were pretty friendly and receptive.

One woman said that she and her husband used to be Republicans but they have since changed their party affiliation to Independent. They are still deciding which primary to vote in, but if they vote in the democratic primaries, they are pretty sure would they vote for Barack.

A few people were completely undecided but seemed open to Barack.

There was this farmer guy we chatted up, too, who was like, I think I like the lady. Haha. He said he watched the debate and Barack did too much mud-slinging. But he also said all the information he gets is just from the TV. *sigh* Actually a lot of people don't have computers there.

We talked to one grandma who had to use an oxygen tank and she said things were going bad. She was undecided but she seemed to appreciate our empathy and was interested in looking into Barack.

We had maybe one say that they already decided.

We had one supporter.

Finally, we talked to this woman who had so many animals. She said she supports Hillary, but a big part of the reason is that she was such a big fan of JFK and MLK that it was really traumatizing when they got shot, and she thinks Barack will just get shot.

People really responded to how Barack is not taking PAC and lobbyist money for the election and so he would actually be able to do what's best for people. Or at least he won't have to appease them as much as Hillary does. Even with all the best of her intentions, it's not like she can bite the hand that feeds her.

People also really like how he does not demonize Republicans and blame everything on Republicans. This is very important to New Hampshire people because there are so many Republicans there and Independent voters who share some of the same views as Republicans. They are not likely to agree with Barack on every issue, so it's important to them that he is going to listen to everybody and not just stick it to Republicans. In fact, part of the reason that he got elected to be editor of the Harvard Law Review is that eventually the conservative faction threw in their lot with him because even though they didn't agree on things, they felt that at least they would not get alienated and their concerns would still be taken seriously.

So yeah, some semblance of participatory democracy! Yay!

I think we're going to throw some elections events through LSC or something, too. WHOO

Friday, November 16, 2007

today's Best Thing Ever


Monday, November 12, 2007

Monkey King!

from 1961
first Chinese animated feature film or something at the height of the animation industry before it shut down in 1965 by the Cultural Revolution.

Can't Get What He Wants

This one is just random. I can't figure out where it is from.

Crossing Monkey Mountain

A Chinese animation from 1958.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wolf 's Dinner Party

a Chinese animation from 1980.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

fucking sexy


"Using a network of 32 active and passive near-infrared optical sensors, it detects motion above the table and changes in ambient light. Made of fully analog circuits, the light patterns sweep outwards from your motion with perfect fades, ripples across a pool of 480 super-bright white LEDs. It works in full sunlight or total darkness. Without motion it calms down to a very slight twinkling, with lots of motion all sorts of complex emergent behavior begins to happen."

Again. Woooow.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Andrew Sullivan makes a strong case for Obama. And it's crude, like Obama.

What does he offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy. The war on Islamist terror, after all, is two-pronged: a function of both hard power and soft power. We have seen the potential of hard power in removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. We have also seen its inherent weaknesses in Iraq, and its profound limitations in winning a long war against radical Islam. The next president has to create a sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power to isolate the enemy, to fight where necessary, but also to create an ideological template that works to the West’s advantage over the long haul. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this. Which is where his face comes in.

Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.

If you just want the Obama vs Hillary without the big picture, page 3.

Friday, November 2, 2007

United Technologies

Maybe I should apply for a job at this company.

They're doing some R&D for green technologies like fuel cells, building technologies, and elevators.

Oh ho! The Gender Card!

Well, it was only a matter of time. Hillary Clinton plays the gender card. I hate women.

New York Times blog
about it.

She also spoke at Wellesley.

"In so many ways, this all-women's college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics," she said Thursday to cries of support.


In Tuesday's debate, the New York senator was grilled about her integrity, electability and tendency to sidestep tough questions. Her comments at Wellesley and a new fundraising appeal from campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle suggested there was an element of sexism at play.

"On that stage in Philadelphia, we saw six against one. Candidates who had pledged the politics of hope practiced the politics of pile on instead," Solis Doyle wrote. "Her opponents tried a whole host of attacks on Hillary. She is one strong woman. She came through it well. But Hillary's going to need your help."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Crazy Stone

I watched this movie for class, and it's pretty good. It's like an Ocean's 11 spoof, Chinese style.

Some highlights from a review

Crazy Stone tells a story about a bunch of bumbling thieves who have their eyes set on stealing a precious Jade stone. But the mob and a zealous security guard hamper their plan.

The story itself can easily make you laugh by countless coincidences and an array of local dialects. One can feel dizzy following Superman rocketing around skyscrapers. Besides, it is hard to connect with a perfect specimen who isn't grounded in reality - or grounded in general. But audience members can chuckle and relax watching these three stooges mistakenly return the genuine jade and try all methods to steal the fake one.

All the jokes are subtle and perfectly crafted. This flick is enough to show that the director can entertain the masses, which can be rare in most mainland movies.

Reality sells here, but what really soars here is the use of dialects.

The actors in the movie use several different ones from Chongqing, Qingdao, and Hong Kong. This creates some of big laughs and a mix of local phrases: "I bump your lungs." "BMW means Bie Mo Wo ["don't touch me" in Chinese]." "You insulted my IQ."
The director also clones many classical scenes from other movies, which adds some inside jokes for movie buffs. The scene that includes the Hong Kong thief stealing the jade from the ceiling while he wears a tight black outfit will remind one of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible I. There is also some homage paid to Andy Lau's Run Out of Time.

Prodigy? or Poophead?

A four year old artist? What's art again?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One Laptop Per Child Power Generator

It's a yoyo! Well, not really. it does 20W ave, but only when it's moving (so when you pull and then it retracts).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is Christianity Good For the World?

The article

Religious people too often confuse their religion with spirituality. They are a bit different... It is quite possible to be spiritual and not religious.

Mainstream media covers horse race

Perhaps obvious, but now some numbers behind it:
In all, 63% of the campaign stories focused on political and tactical aspects of the campaign. That is nearly four times the number of stories about the personal backgrounds of the candidates (17%) or the candidates’ ideas and policy proposals (15%). And just 1% of stories examined the candidates’ records or past public performance, the study found.

The press’ focus on fundraising, tactics and polling is even more evident if one looks at how stories were framed rather than the topic of the story. Just 12% of stories examined were presented in a way that explained how citizens might be affected by the election, while nearly nine-out-of-ten stories (86%) focused on matters that largely impacted only the parties and the candidates. Those numbers, incidentally, match almost exactly the campaign-centric orientation of coverage found on the eve of the primaries eight years ago.
Via Paul Krugman's blog.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Dairy, New Hampshire

I got back from canvassing. Canvassing is what they call going house to house trying to convince people to vote for Barack Obama in the primaries. I was in Dairy, New Hampshire.

A lot of the volunteers had interesting stories. Amongst the volunteers, one of the most interesting was this guy who was a blogger for because he lives south of Boston.

This other guy was a consultant for companies to do mergers, haha. A republican job. But he says actually a lot of Wall Street is Democratic. He was also telling me about ETFs (Exchange-traded Funds). He says it's the new thing that's sort of like mutual funds without fees.

This is a pumpkin that Dan, one of the campaign staff carved for a pumpkin carving contest. haha. It's pretty good. He used a stencil from the internet, actually, in the Demoines Register.

If you like Barack's message, you should strongly consider sending money to his campaign. I've already contributed $200, and I'm trying to resist sending more money since I think I should be saving some. But I do spend a lot of money on stupid things so I thought I should spend some money on something worthwhile.

the day the music died

Great article that clearly articulates what went wrong with the music industry and explores some possibles for its future.


RIP Oink.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Help Me Read

I think I need to have a little device that's just a webcam attached to an mp3-player like thing that can take pictures of pages and then read them aloud to me. yessss...

Canvassing for Obama

Tomorrow, I'm going to New Hampshire to knock on people's doors and be like, hi, we'd like to talk to you a little bit about Barack Obama.

Come back for updates...

Hand Crank Generator

I think I'm going to make a hand crank generator for my final project in Power Electronics. I'd like it to an mp3 player and speakers so that we can have a hand crank music box that plays mp3s, haha.

Speaking of Religion

here is what some people have to say about suicide bombers. Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist who wrote the Selfish Gene and made up the word "meme." these days he's wholly devoted to spreading atheism.

Discovering Your Destiny...

So some weird kid handed me this pretty flyer today.

"Discovering your destiny - or finding your true purpose in life - can be a lot like finding your way around campus during the first days of your freshman year - easily overwhelming. Yet finding your purpose is the only guaranteed road to true fulfillment and eternal significance in life. It is the only answer for your heart-level quest for a life that truly matters.

This November 2nd, you are invited to begin discovering your destiny through the timeless principles of the Word of God."

Sponsored by Ambassadors for Christ

There are way too many Christian organizations on campus. Religion is like, hey, are you lost? We know the answer to all of life's questions, and we'll tell you how to live so you don't have to figure it out for yourself. Religion is for lazy people!

Anyway. At least they have free food...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Obama Rally in Boston!


aaahhh, but i'm so hosed. nooooo

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Art Galleries NYC

toby and i went to nyc and met up with jia today and went to some galleries. it was an exhibit called Pictophilia by Justin Faunce at the Leo Koenig Inc Gallery.

note that everything is handpainted. the micheal jackson painting looked like it was about 8x8 ft, and the other one was 15x8 ft or maybe even larger.

in real life

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tian An Men Square

We talked about Tian An Men Square in my Rise of China class. It was pretty interesting.


So there were about 100,000 students and other people protesting in Beijing for about one month. In fact, these protests were happening in many cities in China, and many students got free rides to Beijing, too, so that they could participate in the protests. The government was really ambiguous about supporting it or not supporting it. This is because there were some factions leveraging for power in the leadership. Then, some students decide to step it up a notch and make it a hunger strike. They hunger strike for 3 more weeks before the crackdown occurred.

First, the nature of the event. In the West, it was viewed as a major pro-democracy event or at least a human rights movement. Indeed, the students themselves pitched it this way to Western media because they knew that Western audiences would respond to those messages. However, the nature of the event is pretty complex and has a very Chinese twist. It was on the 80th anniversary of another historical protest event in 1919. That was a movement when Chinese people ostensibly were protesting the Treaty of Versaille where China got shafted after participating in WWI. It was a part of this treaty, too, that Taiwan didn't get returned to China from Germany and instead got passed to Japan but I'm not sure if that was really a key issue at that time. Anyway, this protest event was called the May 4 Movement, and it was a bunch of intellectuals who felt it was their duty to their nation to expose problems with the nation and offer solutions. So this was a patriotic movement, it was about the collective, it was about an elite leading the way so that China can stop being humiliated and stand up. It was also the birth of contemporary Chinese literature, ditching classical style writing and writing magazine and books in the vernacular. So in that way it was sort of like a democracy movement. It was about how Chinese need to unite and get proactive in kicking out foreigners and other people taking advantage of Chinese. The Treaty of Versaille's also discredited democracy and capitalism as a model since the foreign countries were democratic and capitalist. The lesson taken away by Chinese people, too, was that imperialism was an inevitable product of capitalism.

Anyway, fast forward to the 80s. The Cultural Revolution, generally considered a major disaster had ended by the end of the 70s. For once, the leadership did not have a direction or strong ideology for people, and things were kind of depressing for a lot of people. The 80s were a time when the leadership was basically like, ok, everyone calm down, let's do some practical reforms, be patient, and shut up. There were some leadership shuffles, too, which is why there wasn't any strong ideological direction provided. A new generation of students didn't really get to participate in the Cultural Revolution because they were too young, and actually they kind of feel like they missed out on all the Revolutionary movements. So, they seek to recreate a May 4 Movement, and felt it was their patriotic duty as intellectuals to speak up mostly about corruption issues. A main issue was also for students to be able to organize their own clubs. I'm not exactly sure why that was such a big deal, but apparently that was a big deal. But in general, the students were not trying to get individual rights and rights for other Chinese people.

Actually, most of the fighting was around the periphery of Tian An Men Square. The footage by the Spanish media shows no one was killed inside the square, and their personnel said no one was killed, but other people said they saw people being shot so the truth is probably somewhere in between.

Aftermath is that the collapse of the Soviet Union was actually very influential in the way Chinese people viewed this movement. Nobody, including those in the government, would say that the crackdown was justified. However, many people who participated felt like, wow, that could have been us. We were really naive to think these changes could come peacefully. Even today, the USSR is in the back of Chinese people's minds and as a result Chinese people are willing to put up with giving up a lot of things. From their view, even their province is better off as a part of a whole that is strong. Another major thing that happened was that the leadership shuffled and proponents of market reforms came to the forefront. It is unclear how this is linked to the Tian An Men Protest. And thus we have China today.

Maine Middle School to Issue Birth Control Pills

The story

School officials in Portland, Maine, voted to make birth control pills available to students at one of the city's middle schools.

WOW. I think I must be getting really old, but this is quite shocking. There was one girl at my middle school that got pregnant and had an abortion, so this is good. I must just be an old farty prude. or prudey fart. Whichever you choose.

Midterm Essay Assignment

This is for my political science class, Rise of China.

From the May 4th Movement (1919) all the way through the death of Mao (1976), China was effectively a nation in revolution. The old dynastic order was overthrown, the era of foreign domination and “unequal treaties” was put to rest, a new republic was established, and the whole of society was swept up in wave after wave of intense political mobilization. In many ways, the results of this period were ambiguous. Those who lived through it often remember it with a complicated combination of astonishment, horror, nostalgia, and pride. Here is the question. Do you think that this revolutionary legacy makes it harder or easier for the Chinese government today both to put off democratization and to justify that postponement to its citizens? Why or why not?

Chinese Feminism

For my Chinese film and culture class we watched a movie called "Cell Phone" by Feng Xiaogang. Actually it was kind of boring and I didn't know where the movie was going until it finally fizzled to an end, but later when I thought about it, it was actually really clever. I think it's a hit for real Chinese people who catch on to the message faster.

It's about how women find out about their husbands' affairs with the use of new technology (cell phones). A talk show host, Yan, is having an affair with a woman, and the wife finds out because she is able to just call the person he said he was with. They divorce. Yan does not marry his mistress but instead is dating this other woman while continuing to see his mistress. His friend, Fei, gets caught almost having an affair and gets divorced and moves to Estonia to teach English never to be heard from again. Yan asks his mistress to get his ex-wife a job, and she does by allowing her boss to rape her. She then blackmails him with a recording of them having sex since cell phones now have a recording feature. She ends up replacing him as the host of his show. In the end, his girlfriend finds out about her anyway and leaves him. His niece becomes a cell phone salesperson and his friend Fei moves to Estonia never to be heard of again.

This is my reading of the movie.

In this movie, Chinese men complain about technology and wish they could "go back to simpler times." I have heard this sentiment from Chinese men before, who say they would prefer it if we were an agrarian society again. I think a large part of this society is that they are dismayed at their loss of status in society in comparison to women. I think this movie shows that technology and modernization have benefited women the most. Women still get cheated on in this movie and also taken advantage of, but nowadays women can divorce, they are financially independent, and they can even have power to leverage instead of just getting taken advantage of. In the end, Yan's mistress takes his job as the host of the show. Yan's niece and mistress represent a new generation of Chinese women who are bold, successful, and who champion new technology. On the other hand, Yan and his friend fall behind. They wish they could live in the past where "they could go home and their wives would believe anything they were told." So I think this movie, it appears that women are still victimized as in the past, and that men are questioning the value of modern progress, but really, this movie shows that women are no longer second class citizens and that Chinese men are depressed with modern life because they are less powerful now.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" : A Review

Last night I had the chance to watch a one-woman show about suicide for asian american females. Before the show started I had been expecting some sort of adaption of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," however I have never read the book or watched the movie so I really didn't know what to expect.

The show begins with a Mr. Rogersque opening. Wong walks around the stage in a green cardigan and puts on a pair of shoes, and then begins to talk to the audience. Wong begins a 1-hour monologue with an occasional interlude for some audience participation / heckling to talk about her personal life, her past, and her own dealings with suicide. Half the time the show is a comedy routine with Wong poking fun at race and dropping one liners for laughs. The other half of the show is about why asian american females are killing themselves, and why its impossible we the audience should expect to find an answer by the end of her one hour show.

One of her most poignant anecdotes comes about 3/4 into the show when she begins to point out how few examples there are of asian american women who have survived suicide. On one end of the spectrum she points to celebrities who never had to deal with suicide, and then she begins to detail asian american women who have dealt with severe trauma in one form or another and survived: they are all porn stars. She briefly details the lives of Asia Carrera and Annabelle Chong. The former a piano prodigy who ran away from home to escape abusive parents and would sleep with strangers just to survive. The latter a gang rape survivor who would later pioneer on screen triple penetration and who was cheated out of money she should have been paid for performing one of the first one-day ultra gang bang marathons where she had sex with over 300 men. Wong's dramatic conclusion is that you have no choice but tol be perfect, turn into a porn star, or not live.

At one point in the show she begins to delve into cases of asian american suicide. A profile will flash up on the screen, giving such details as location and reasons associated with the suicide as she begins to monologue what might have been their last thoughts. The second case is about a girl named liz from cambridge, ma who is suffering depression and anxiety from grades and sets herself on fire. To me this is immediately recognizable as Elizabeth Shin from MIT, a girl who committed suicide the summer before I arrived for my freshmen year. After the first 4 cases the profiles on the screen begin to flash by as she races to even just provide names for them. By the end, the case numbers have reached past the tens of thousands. I am not sure most people realized that those were in fact real cases she was detailing.

The most interesting part of the evening came after the show was over. I was talking with four
asian american females who had seen the show, and not a single one had much to say! In contrast, after I had seen the latest harry potter movie every asian american female was up in arms at the way Harry had treated Cho Chang in the movie.

You can find out more about Kristina Wong here:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Silly Republicans

So I had this assignment in my public health class to see what all the presidential candidates' stances on health care were. Of course, I know my Dems quite well. So I decided to take a peek at the Republican side. Ron Paul has absolutely nothing to say. He says, give everyone shady information on nutrition, and let them decide for themselves on what to eat. WHAT TO EAT?!!?! yeah. Rudy Giuliani doesn't say anything about health care. And Mitt Romney gives us a high tech little video that I have yet to watch of him answering a few people's questions regarding his stance on health care. Don't you love Republicans?

Here, look for yourself:
Mitt Romney
Ron Paul's Super-Smart "Health Freedom"
Giuliani because he's Italian AND Roman Catholic!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Humans Are Dead

My UROP Proposal

I'm so funny. And I'm proud because I just made this up. (I mean, not exactly. I've already been working on this project for the past three weeks or so, but there wasn't really a well-defined mission statement so I made one up! But actually I think it's pretty good).

User Interface for Plants

Every society depends on agriculture. In the past, agriculture has been very labor intensive. Modern agriculture is highly mechanized and is now increasingly energy intensive. Many societies have gone from agrarian societies to industrial societies. As a result, more people now live in the cities and are no longer in touch with plants the way those who cultivate land. That is, farmers have ways of figuring out the water quality and soil quality of plants by reading the cues provided by the plants. Sometimes they plant things other than their crops that change color according to acidity or some other property. When a city dweller looks at a plant, he does not have the expertise to be able to read the state of a plant. My UROP would explore the relationship between humans and plants. In particular, I will be working on making the status of plants more accessible to urban dwellers.

Urban dwellers often don’t have the expertise or other resources to set up their plants such that the plants’ conditions can be read from carefully chosen indicators. Such a set up usually takes time to maintain, may require extra space, and tools. I will be working on systems that convey to people the state of the plants in an understandable way. It is essentially a user interface for plant hardware. My first objective is to create such a user interface for the sap flow of a plant. That is, how fast is a plant drinking? The data will be represented by audio clips of running water. A higher sap flow corresponds to an audio clip of faster running water. There could be many potential uses for these interfaces. One would be the development of smart agriculture. Plants that could adjust their own water qualities and soil qualities. This could make small-scale agriculture more viable so that people in cities may have small gardens. There may also be a way for plants to weed themselves and do pest control so that we won’t need to use pesticides. This is a very interesting project and I think it will be fruitful.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


after talking to jenny hu some more, i realized i should elaborate more on what the purpose of the sustainable lecture is, who exactly am i looking for to speak, and what i want them to talk about.

I'm most interested in getting the bigger picture on global sustainable development. China and India combined have a population of more than 2 billion people. Most of these people are not living at first world living conditions. For example, only around 10% of the population in China have living standards comparable to the rest of the developed world. That is, they have refrigerators, computers, air conditioning, gadgets, mattresses, washers, dryers, etc. The exponential demand on energy needs to be addressed and I think it's the next crucial challenge for the human race. I would like the speakers to comment on what needs to be done in their respective fields to sustain this demand. I'm not so interested in having scientists in to talk about the technical details of their research. I am very interested in economists, business-people, and policy makers because they are crucial to the bigger picture.

The two main trains of thought I want to chip away at are
1. Only people who are particularly caring or otherwise do-gooders go into sustainability careers.
2. The main obstacle to sustainability is lack of clean energy technology, and there's not a lot we can do until we get that.

In order to effectively tackle the energy and sustainability problem, it needs to be an attack on all fronts.

My target audience is primarily undergrads or generally people who have not yet decided on their career. Thus, I am looking for influential speakers, preferably someone who runs an undergrad course that is well-liked. The course itself doesn't have to have anything to do with sustainability. It's just so they have name-recognition, and students who respect them and like the way they speak. however, sustainability should be an important issue to them and it's something they're working on in their research.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sustainable Lecture

so the vision is to make the pursuit of sustainability jobs mainstream. i'm investigating the possibility of having a panel discussion on sustainability, the need, the projects, the business, the industry. we'd like to get one person from each major to talk about their part and how it relates to the bigger picture.

if you guys know anyone who would be good, that would be awesome

amy smith - d-lab
1 - david marks, environ/civil
3 - material science - sadaway (fuel cell)
4 - architecture
5 - chemistry
6 - ee/cs - leeb (power electronics)
10 - chem e - tester
11 - urban studies/planning
12 - earth planetary sciences - (geothermal heating/cooling systems)
14 - economics banerjee and duflo
15 - management/business (s-lab)
17 - political science
20 - bio engineering
22 - nuch e

tell me who to get!

fake bomb!

police are dumb but so are mit students

actually, i think she should have known people were going to freak out, but i cannot believe how the police still think it's a fake bomb. it's obviously not even trying to be a bomb.

MIT called it "reckless." i'm frankly disappointed at how unsupportive the school is.
i mean, even if it was stupid, couldn't they have just been like, it was a mistake, stop slandering our students. MIT brags about accomplishments of students like her, but then betrays them. lame.

also, i don't think tim robertson is her boyfriend. he's just a friend. oh well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

dreams addendum

last night i dreamed but in order to find out if i was dreaming or not i had to wake myself up. it was exciting.

i dreamed that i was riding a new kind of bus with my cat, charlene, and this girl who invented this new high-speed bus. this bus could accelerate to 1000 mph when going straight. in my dream, it really felt like i was on the bus. we started speeding up a hill. i could feel the momentum of being on a bus. i was thinking about what if we weren't able to slow down and we became airborne at the peak of the hill. we could get in a crash and i might actually die. but then how would i know i was dead? i figured that if i got a phone call on my cell phone from teddy (maybe it was franklin?) roosevelt, i would know i was dead because that would never happen in real life. so then i fall asleep on the bus or something. next thing i know, i was laying in a bed in a dark room next to the girl on the bus. we were sort of confused and weren't sure what had happened. then she realizes that she's dead. and i was like, really? am i dead? i notice that she has my cell phone in her hand, and i grab it, and i see that teddy roosevelt has called me. and i realize i'm dead. i jump out of bed, and walk around the room towards the door. there is a small refrigerator. the room was sort of like a hotel room. i was like, wow, i'm dead? this is awesome! i was really excited because death was like a continuation of life. i open the door, but this whole time i'm still not sure if it's real or i'm dreaming. so i opened my eyes and woke myself up, and alas, i wasn't really dead. oh well, maybe next time.

i really thought i was dead, though, and it was awesome.

last thought
infected mushroom was more rock than electronica. so that was a little disappointing, but it was still fun. we got to see alex grey paint there.

dream like yang!

realize you're dreaming and Take Over.

yang, you should run workshops too

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I would just like to express my greatest appreciation for Beirut, the band not the city. Beirut is sooo good! Wanna know how good? My alarm is Beirut and I STILL DON"T HATE THE SONG.

My alarm is set to "Scenic World" but "Elephant Gun" is a good one too, and it has video.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

converting vegetarians

we're going to an infected mushroom concert this weekend. i'll try to take pics

also, today was the first day of school! awwww...

it was awesome. although i think i really have a problem reading. i'd like to get a portable scanner so that i can scan in papers and have my computer read them to me.

one of my ta's is working on energy harvesting from waste heat. basically it is small scale combustion. he's working for my power electronics professor, steve leeb.

then i was shooting the shit with the smart cities group at the media lab and they're going to working on a vision of shanghai in 2030 to be presented in 2010. a futurama sponsored by gm. wow. they're going to be rethinking the architecture but also have a vision for a new kind of car. haha.

when people ask me what my field is, my new line is that i'm interested in developing tools for global sustainability. still working on a better way to explain what i mean by that.

Monday, September 3, 2007

affirmative action

this is an interesting article about how backlash to labor union activities brought on affirmative action. that is, labor unions historically supported racial discrimination against chinese and blacks.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

i met this girl in Portland who really loved photobooths. Like, we were at the Mirah show, but she was there b/c there was a photobooth. Like, she was driving cross country to visit photobooths. "Did you know the city of Portland only has TWO photobooths?" Also she hated digital photography and loved organic food but was really defensive about not being a vegetarian anymore. So the venue didn't allow smoking except for inside this little (not ventilated room) where i spent most of my time. Here's a picture of not the photobooth girl. This is me w/ some kids who really liked drugs and eventually found some by stopping someone on a bike at 4AM.

Portland has a great sense of humor. This is Mill Ends Park. Actually it is a flower pot in the middle of the street where a light pole was going to go but didn't. Some guy could see this park from his window and started writing a column about the leprechaun that lived in it. Later they made it an official city park. It is also in the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds smallest park.

THIS GUY should be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest puppy in the world! He is sooo sweet.
Steve behind him is pretty cool too. Steve told us about this block party which turned out to be a joint 40th birthday bash for Chet and John. Chet is the drummer for the eels so he can party like a rockstar. Other rockstars were there. This one band that Kathy saw open for the Pipettes for example. When she saw them the first time though she didn't realize the oldest member was a 14 yr old girl. Smoosh rocked. Clowns from the Clown House performed as well as MarchForth Marching Band. Check it.

We met some cool people at the hostel as well. In fact, everyone we met at the hostel was more interesting than we were. My fav. roommate was Andreas. The singer from a German screamo band called "a dead letter theory." While he was in Portland, his first submission to the Toronto Film Festival was being played.

Yup. Here's a picture of my new piercing.

Ok. Bye bye.

Friday, August 24, 2007

algorithm march

I've already talked about this with many of you. I've been watching hours of people doing the algorithm march.

The internet told me how to get the sound from a youtube video so I got the mp3 for it and also the mp3 for a remix that someone made.

Beth and I and some other friends are going to do it during Rush at school and see if people join in. BWAHAHAHA Just say 'yes' to getting people to do stupid things. I like masses. I am a true Chinese.



by the way people should go to the comedy central website and watch barack on the daily show.

i been reading and posting on the obama facebook group. i particularly like my answer to the question, would I vote for Ron Paul?

no, i would never vote for ron paul.

personally i think a lot of so-called libertarians don't know shit and just like the word freedumb.

people who believe free-markets solve everything really makes me hate democracy. part of me would really like it if people had to take some kind of test before they vote. democracy only works if people who vote are educated and vote based on things that are true.

to set the record straight.
yo, free market is only efficient if certain conditions are in place. for one, there needs to be competition. second, demand must exceed supply.

for healthcare, often there is not competition because in many towns there is only one hospital or healthcare provider anyway, or at least only one that is a reasonable distance from where you live. also, demand is time sensitive. since nixon, healthcare is mostly privatized and free market is very efficient, in a way. the problem is that there is a conflict of interest. that is, health care providers profit when people get sick and buy their "products." insurance companies profit when people don't get sick but pay them anyway. sure, if you figure out a way for companies to profit when people stay healthy, then free-market economy could work although it's still not like there are competitors in your area.

this is also true for utilities. you do not get to choose what utilities company you want to use. that is why prices are regulated. you also usually do not get to choose what internet provider you use, but it is not regulated, but dammit, it should be. it costs comcast almost nothing to provide internet access, but they charge $60/month. their profits make me tremble with rage.

there are similar problems with free-market education. and obviously things wrong with free-market free speech.

there is also a huge problem with free market agriculture. the problem is that supply easily surpasses demand, driving prices way down. before nixon? the US gov't used to have storehouses of grain, which would buy grain from farmers if there was a surplus, thus keeping prices stable. in shortages, they would sell it again. this is how it was done in china, too, during feudalism and probably many other places. they got rid of that. now, we include grain as part of mexico's wto package, ruining their economy in order to keep ours in tact. (and then we complain about immigrants that the agriculture business and restaurant business depends on.) this is part why agriculture in america is really messed up right now.

ron paul was a doctor not an economist.

on the other hand, i do know a few very intelligent libertarians who are not so much free-market, anti-gov regulations people, but do believe in decentralizing, strengthening state jurisdiction. because it is probably true that the central gov't is bloated right now. it is inefficient. it oversteps bounds. the mechanism that states get resources is almost totally crooked.

there is a case for less federal control of education and more state control. for the states that are lagging, though, my lib friend agrees that the idea would be for the fed to give that state more money and give educated people incentives to go teach there (which obama advocates. that is part of why she is supporting him). but the state ultimately gets to manage the money.

i still think ron paul is the best republican candidate, haha. he believes in scaling back the military, and it's not like anyone would implement his free-market reforms...especially if there is a dem controlled congress.

actually, if it were clinton vs. ron paul, i'd probably vote for ron paul. but he's such a dirty libertarian.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


so me and lynn were talking

we don't really know what to call white people's parents and grandparents
in chinese it is standardized.

moms - ayi
dads - shushu
grandmas - nainai (or waipo if it's your mom's mom's friend)
grandpas - yeye (waigong if it's your dad's dad's friend)

not so simple in the west (or maybe it is, and we don't get it)
mr and mrs sounds too formal, and mom and dad sounds kind of presumptuous.

the answer? this is always my gut feeling

how about mrs grandma!!!

how are you doing, mr. dad?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pictures From Vacation

These are some pictures. Toby learned how to ride a bike in Vermont, and so we went on the trail. It went along a mountain stream and so we stopped to take a dip in the stream before heading back.

We also went to Toby's house to house-sit and take care of his parents' animals. They have a dog and cat.

Then when I got home, I gave myself a haircut.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

obamareign policy

hey, read/listen to the speech

these are my thoughts about it. I send them a message, hehe

This speech shows how well Obama understands the current state of the world and the fundamentals behind how terrorism and conflicts arise. That is, terrorism is bred out of poverty and desperation. This is also the stance of the Chinese government, and that is why they believe in investing in the development of the rural provinces in China as well as around the world.

On one hand, I understand that many Pakistanis are
concerned about a breech on their sovereignty. It is true that Musharraf's support of the US is very unpopular at home, and it would be bad to aggravate that situation. However, it is my understanding that Obama does not accuse Pakistan of supporting terrorism as a state. Also, he offers to "help Pakistan invest in the provinces along the Afghan border." Economic and social support can show Pakistanis that the US acts in good faith. I would also hope that the support we provide isn't just US propaganda in the form of "secular education." I think that concern is also what causes Pakistani people and Muslim people in general to distrust US intentions.

We need to remember that the terrorists who cross the border to Pakistan to hide should be deem criminals under Pakistani law and prosecuted. If the state is not strong enough to uphold the law, then it is not an unreasonable request to allow US pursuit into Pakistan.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


an article from US News

talking about obama's economic policy.

on trade: not protectionist, but believes in supporting american workers to better compete in the global economy.

on taxes: the usual, but specifically mentions what he considers good things that clinton and reagan did.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

$15 to see John Edwards in SF

If anyone is in the bay area, it happens tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon. Yeah, short notice. I'll be going. Get your tickets here.

And the past few days all I've been doing is catching up on democratic presidential debates/speeches/etc. So here's a few for fun (none are about actual policies).

Passionate commemoration by Barack Obama of civil rights march in Selma, Alabama:
-note his change of voice to better match his audience

Passionate speech by John Edwards at DNC Feb '07:

Monday, July 30, 2007

people aren't catty, they're doggy

so i'm hanging out here with toby taking care of his parents' animals, a dog and a cat. we've found that the dog likes to push our buttons, but the cat is just hungry all the time. the thing is that the dog is a pack animal so it's always trying to leverage for power. cats don't really seem to care that much about whether it is more alpha than you or whatever. they just have things that they want like food or fresh water. so i think dogs are actually more catty than cats. hmmmm

Friday, July 27, 2007

youtube debates

they were good! sort of. watch them!

toby and I think that barack answered many of the questions perfectly. he has a good understanding of the heart of each issue and is truly a good student of history. and i'm not talking about how he knows lots of facts. I mean he is good at figuring out how we got to the current status of things, and what we need to do to get to a better state of things.

an important question that the democratic candidates are going to have to answer, especially to gain more widespread support is, how are they going to make Americans richer? in other words, how are they going to spur future economic developments in America.

the answer that i will be looking for is a policy that encourages and supports research and innovation. that is what has brought wealth to America, and it is what will continue to bring wealth.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

the hillz r alive

pictures of vacation!

fashionable lamb

flowers in the von trapp family lodge reading room

moon at shelburne farms

bug on my leg in the field listening to some live classical music, ooo

these are some pictures from mt. mansfield

Monday, July 23, 2007

barak obama on foreign affairs

I was reading his speech on foreign policy that he has on his website. it was from April 23, 2007.

it sounds like he actually does know a lot about what's going on in the world, so that's cool. i'm not really sure about the things he suggests for the military because it sounds like he strongly supports an expansion of the military, but it sort of depends on the implementation so we shall see.

on the whole, i really like how he emphasizes how instability anywhere in the world is bad for the US. in chinese there is a saying, "you must leave every person a living road." this means, you who are at the top of the food chain, who can influence others' lives so much, must let everyone have some way they can live in a secure and stable environment. otherwise, people lose hope and become suicidal as many Muslim states are currently doing. this is a very important concept for statesmen because it indicates that one is able to understand and take into account what motivates other people.

with that said, for the last democratic presidential debate, they took people's questions that they posted on youtube. i'm not sure what questions i specifically would want to ask. what do you think?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Judge's Idiocracy

Today I finally saw Idiocracy. The film was originally released over a year ago, and played in about 7 cities. The nearest theater showing the film was 6 hours away in Los Angeles. By the time it had been released on DVD I had all but forgotten it had existed.

The film's plot runs with a futurama-like premise where a completely average and uninspiring individual is accidentally frozen for 500 years. Except in this case he awakes to find that in the future he is the smartest man alive and that the world is in an intellectual Ice Age. In a short montage, and possibly funniest portion of the movie, it is shown how the intellectually elite are eventually outbred and outnumbered as the stupid come to inherit the earth. Most of the satire in the film is blunt and comes from the outrageous evolution of commercialism and sex in the future: Fuddruckers becomes ButtFuckers, a wholesome family establishment, and Starbucks is the goto joint for a handjob. While the film doesn't tackle any of the finer nuances of theses issues, anyone watching it would be hard pressed not to see the parallels and grotesque caricatures of this future society to today's where sex, money, and instant gratification are the only values remaining.

2 oofs up. 1 boof down. Approximate 90 minute runtime.

Suburbia Sux

This is a talk by an architect about creating better spaces.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

first day of vacation

hey, i'm at the von trapp family lodge in stowe, vermont!

we had dinner and saw his parents and other people perform at shelburne farms.
classical music on the lawn.

toby and i were talking about memes the other day. so the selfish gene idea is that people aren't selfish, genes are, and then there are people who are like, viruses are selfish, too, and now there are people who are like, so are memes. so everyone's like, yeah, genes are like viruses are like memes. but i feel unconvinced/confused about what they really mean by that and what are the implications. what do you think?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

chicago and charlene

this is an origami charlene that toby made for my birthday

this is the real charlene. see the resemblance?

and this is the front of a card i made for toby's grandparents for sponsoring our trip to chicago.