31 August 2011
another video distraction as i probably wont be writing it anytime soon. Laziness is setting in before school even starts @_@
Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds from Western Australia from Colin Legg on Vimeo.
30 August 2011
29 August 2011
(dunno why formatting is screwed up, I apologize)
This is also amazin' & what I want to do with my life. No, not appear on TEDtalk though that'd be cool, but to design sustainable cities :] If that doesn't work out, there's always the heavy industries to fall back upon with twice the pay xD
Attending Shad and the internship afterwards has easily made this summer one of the most memorable, not to mention productive, ever. What better way to reminisce about all the events than the official shad blogs? :]
Today is my internship blog day and you deserve to hear more my experience than just complaints about sleep deprivation.
Just as four weeks of Shad went by in a flash, so did my four weeks of internship. As I'm finally use to waking up at the crack of dawn, suffering though the morning commute, and learning the countless three letter acronyms in the field of engineering, it's time to say goodbye.Read about the rest of placements over at the blog! I went through all the entries and couldn't believe how much shads were placed at Cronos' clients.
My placement is at Cronos Consulting Group, a small search firm that specializes in the fields of science and engineering. The office is a very open environment, in fact, I remember being told on the first day to ask lots of questions, provide feedback, and especially to eavesdrop on the senior consultants conversations. Everyone is very outgoing and chatting with them over lunch is always a highlight of my day. However, my favourite part is the little wrap-up meeting we do before we all depart for home. Someone, usually my supervisor Afifa, reads an interesting piece of news article and we, as a team, discuss how it affects us as a business. It's like a leveled-up, way more awesome version of all those critical reading exercises that we do in school. Through these discussions, I learned about the field of engineering and how it interplays with politics and the economy.
My role at Cronos is to assist the senior consultants by scavenging the internet and finding appropriate talents with experiences relevant to each of our client's requirements. It's a lot harder than it sounds. This is my first "real" exposure to the engineering industry, and as I've mentioned, the jargons and technical terms sound like a foreign language! I&C, PLC, DCS, LCA, CFD, FEA, P&ID, PFD, LNG, that's just a sample of the more frequently used ones. I also had to be clever with my search terms and methods, luckily my supervisor provided me with sheets upon sheets of reference material. The task is also as rewarding as it is challenging, I've developed many transferable skills that will inevitably carry onto other areas of my life, such as knowing how to write a killer resume. In addition, having read through countless other successful engineer's experiences, I've developed a better idea of how to achieve my own career goals. Aside from my routine work, I was also assigned a special research project to do on next generation biofuels. It was tons of fun and the perfect chance to apply the research skills that I've accumulated over the month.
As I finish my second last day, I'd like to again thank everyone at Cronos, especially Afifa, Aliya, and Adam, for all the patient help and feedback they provided. Also thank you Shad Valley for connecting me to Cronos and making my 2011 summer one that I will never forget.
And entry about the actual program:
The topics of the day were Engineering and Medical Device Development. Both were extremely interesting and helpful as this year's project theme is designing a product for disabled Canadian children. The involvement of the amazing Spiderman in demonstrating the concepts of engineering was, well, amazing.Again, posts from the rest of the shads over at the official blog.
Rec time consisted of an intense game of ultimate frisbee. All the Shads got deeply involved in the game instantly, bringing out their competitive spirits.
In afternoon seminar, we were introduced to the principles of project management. A challenge of planning and building a tower from various office supplies was assigned. After much deliberation, my group finally triumphed(ish). Although I'm not sure how much of the principles I will remember, the activity definitely foreshadowed the challenges to come in our House projects.
Speaking of which, today I was particularly surprised at how productive House time was. My group had our fair share of debates during brainstorming sessions, but we managed to come up with several ideas to conduct further research on. It is going to be a challenging month ahead, but I'm sure that it will be an experience that we will all remember.
27 August 2011
26 August 2011
Why am I sitting in a terrible posture at home instead of the shad reunion downtown? Summer cold. Why u no strike any other daaay T_T" Wanna be endlessly walking around eaton while catching up and then pigging out at kbbq, graaaaah. Instead I'm trying to ignore the pain in my head and the box of tissue that's half empty already.
Of course NASA posts an awesome video and I forget my unfortunate situation for 25 seconds.
To quote one commenter (who isn't trolling, stupid, or raging): black holes take om nom nom to a whole other level".
p.s. Redundantly fixed the issue of being difficult to get back to homepage after commenting. Now the comment box pops up and there's a beautiful button on the sidebar that would gladly direct you back.
24 August 2011
Also easier to integrate into a secret project that Rui and I will eventually bring into existence. Not being negative while brainstorming is so hard e_e" must remember that venture capitalists will rather invest in a solid team than a solid idea.
23 August 2011
21 August 2011
20 August 2011
Haha, in retrospect, I feel rather silly playing puppetmaster to Bohr and Einstein and talking about their theories that I barely understand.
It is October 6th, 1975 and Albert Einstein is at the Munich airport first class lounge waiting for his flight to Copenhagen. He is glancing over the current newspaper while sipping a mug of steaming tea. He has been sitting there alone for a few hours due to a flight delay. The door opens and Niels Bohr walks in, also carrying a mug of tea.
Einstein: (looks up) Good day fellow traveler, has the delay affected you too?
Bohr: Good day to you too. Yes it has indeed. I’m thankful that I have finally found the lounge, otherwise I’d likely still be pacing around in the boarding area.
Einstein: How inconvenient! Have there been any updates?
Bohr: I’m afraid not, there is always much uncertainty surrounding flight delays.
Einstein: (mutters to himself) sigh, always uncertainties.
Bohr: (continuing) Is that earl grey tea you are sipping?
Einstein: Haha yes. I always see a dear friend of mine drinking it and now it has become a habit of mine as well. Are you also heading to Copenhagen?
Bohr: Of course, going back to my birthtown you see. It’s been quite a long while since I last set foot there. How about you, what business might you have there?
Einstein: I’m actually paying a visit to my friend’s place of study, the one that I just mentioned. It’s actually the 90th anniversary of his birth tomorrow.
Bohr: Might…might the place you’re referring to be the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the university?
Einstein: Why certainly, you know of Niels Bohr too?
Bohr: (chuckles) Believe it or not, I AM Niels Bohr.
Einstein: (gasp) I haven’t seen-
Bohr: (cuts Einstein off) Wait, how did you know that I like earl grey as well? (longer pause) My goodness, Albert?
Einstein: Niels! This is certainly an interesting turn of events. It is quite unbelievable that we would meet again just as I am about to visit your institute. I would have never dreamed of, though I am certainly glad to see you.
Bohr: It is great meeting you again Albert! I would have likely never recognized you without your distinct haircut. Oh I have sorely missed you! Though you haven’t changed much in all these years, still so certain about everything haha. I’m telling you, for the umpteenth time, your deterministic view is not the natural way.
Einstein: Oh please, let’s not start this again. Without such resolve, I certainly would not have been able to accomplish everything that I did. Oh, you must have heard that the university has named the institute after you?
Bohr: Yes haha, it’s too great of an honor.
Einstein: Nonsense Niels, when did you become so modest! It has served as the focal point of theoretical physics research for decades. Not to mention that you certainly deserve it, your theories laid the foundation for the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics! Though I must tell you, for the umpteenth time, although the interpretation explains the perplexing experimental results, your probabilistic view is not the natural way.
Bohr: You were the one that said not to start this again. But thank you Albert, you flatter me, living a few more years sure makes a person humble. Though truly, my contributions pale in comparison to yours.
Einstein: If only you were this humble during our debates haha. You know that I respect your theories as much as I oppose their implications. They are certainly as important as mine.
Bohr: Says the man whom the public refers to as ‘the father of relativity’; they never called me the father of quantum physics! Haha, though that’s probably because there are just so many other qualified candidates, great men like Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, and Werner Heisenberg. Even yourself, dear Albert, should be considered one as well; your postulation that light consisted of individual quanta, used to explain the photoelectric effect, is what started it all!
Einstein: Well, like Newton said, ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’. I could not have viewed photons in that light without the work of all the academics of the past.
Bohr: (laughs) when did you become so clever with words too? Though I must reiterate, your insistence on the probabilistic interpretation of quantum physics being incomplete is wrong. You were fundamentally involved with its development, how can you not see the theory as a child that you have so carefully brought up?
Einstein: Hmm, surely I refine my theories as carefully as I would have brought up my children. But unlike parental love that is unconditional, I realize later that some of my theories are incorrect and I instantly disfavour them. Clearly that is conditional. Remember the cosmological constant that I added to general relativity in order for the equations to result in a static universe? Afterwards I recognized my mistake and immediately removed it.
Bohr: However, like a doting parent, you tirelessly defended your other theories. You recall when you first published your paper on the photoelectric effect and claimed that light can be quantized? Every other physicist, myself included, fervently rejected that notion. Nevertheless, you stood by your theory.
Einstein: Of course I would turn defensive if someone attacked my ideas, certainly anyone would. Besides, all of you should be thanking me for firmly standing my ground.
Bohr: Perhaps it will be easier to answer if we come up with an agreed upon definition of a parent. There are just so many possible angles that you can approach the subject with.
Einstein: It certainly would. If you think back to Newton’s quotation, I think it wonderfully describes what a parent is in the context of your question. (pauses for a while) In that sense, all the great scientists and philosophers of the past would qualify as our parents.
Bohr: They, borrowing your favourite concept, certainly would. Following that logic, a parent in this sense should be defined as the provider of guidance to you through your development, whether physical or intellectual. Therefore, I am correct in titling you a father of quantum physics.
Einstein: No, no! I must object, Niels. If a birth parent abandons his or her child, he or she has also relinquished the right to be called the child’s parent. I have already expressed my disappointment with the theory when you and Max Born declared the first quantum revolution to be over in 1927-
Bohr: (cuts Einstein off) You sure expressed it well, the line in your letter to Born saying ‘I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice’ now appears in many popular science texts.
Einstein: In which you so cleverly replied that He not only plays dice, but He throws them where we cannot see. (Pfft) As I was saying, although my theories continued to contribute to the understanding of quantum physics, as I did see potential in it, I have long diverted from the probabilistic model of the world that it, through the interpretation that you favour, implies. I have abandoned it and so should not be identified as a father of it.
Bohr: I must disagree with that refusal Albert. Haha, look what we end up arguing about even though you were certain to avoid debating around this topic.
Einstein: (sigh) Let’s shift the focus back to what constitutes a parent.
Bohr: Please, let me finish. As I was saying, you sustained your involvement in the development of it even though you deemed that the integral uncertainties in my interpretation are a sign that it only ‘grasped an important fragment of the truth’, which of course is wrong. Anyways, is this not comparable to a mother who raises a child born from accidental circumstances? The fact that she brought up the child despite the unintentional reception makes her worthy of her parental title. Ah, this reminds me of Michelangelo! He was reluctant to paint the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, but that doesn’t make him less of a painter.
Einstein: Of course it does! The will is of upmost importance. For example in football, a game I’m certain that you are familiar with, an accidental goal does not reflect as positively upon the scorer as an intended one. Though, I must admit that you do flatter me with the comparison to Michelangelo. He is certainly one of the great masters and, according to our agreed-upon definition, worthy to be considered our parent.
Bohr: This is an interesting turn of topics, please elaborate on that idea.
Einstein: Pardon my unfamiliarity with the arts, but I believe that he pioneered the Mannerist style. This fits our definition as the style served as guidelines for future artists. In addition, we have also agreed, such a rare occurrence, that the scientists of the past are, in this context, our parents.
Bohr: Haha it is rare that we agreed upon a subject. Michelangelo was indeed a leading scientist of his days, among his many other professions. He was quite a daring person too, studying human anatomy from corpses when it was banned by the Church.
Einstein: There are certainly a lot of obstacles that us scientists have to face, though I imagine it to be more difficult by magnitudes back then.
Bohr: A likely conclusion seeing that the only obstacle we’re currently facing is just an unpredictable flight delay haha. Seems like I’ve ran out of tea, excuse me for a moment. (leaves and returns with a full cup of tea) Speaking of Michelangelo, have you seen his round painting the Doni Madonna?
Einstein: Certainly I have, though I believe most people would know it by Holy Family. Why do you bring that up?
Bohr: Our discussion about parents and Michelangelo reminded me of the subject of the painting. The Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph are the caretakers of baby Jesus, and in accordance to what we’ve agreed upon, they fully qualify as parents.
Einstein: Following that logic, they would certainly qualify. Though what interest me more are the five figures in the background. There has certainly been a lot of controversy surrounding the five naked figures. Some have identified them to be Michelangelo’s statues of pagan gods. They would also constitute a parent, no?
Bohr: I suppose, as each civilization does build upon a previous. Speaking of gods, what interests me more is the true parent of baby Jesus, the Holy Father God. (pauses) I just had such an interesting thought! Pardon my unfamiliarity with religion, but I believe the Bible states that we are all children of God. Oh Albert, you’re going to hate what I’m about to say, but since God also created humans in His own image; therefore, we are our parents!
Einstein: You are right, your conclusion certainly does not sit well with me.
Bohr: (interjects) Perhaps you’ve just been sitting for too long.
Einstein: (sarcastic laugh) Very clever. Though it is certainly in your style to believe in absurdities like these. Please, let me finish. As I was saying, your argument deviates from our agreed-upon definition. You are proposing that because we are a projected image of God, whom is quoted to be our father, then we would be our parents in reality? Ridiculous! Oh Niels, you’re not going to like what I’m about to say, but we are not our parents!
Bohr: Ridiculous not! My argument does not digress from our agreed-upon definition. We do provide ourselves with guidance through our development.
Einstein: Ridiculous so! How are we to provide guidance for ourselves if we have neither insight into nor experience regarding the future?
Bohr: We hypothesize and extrapolate from our past knowledge of course. You are a theorists yourself, how else do we work!
Einstein: Our knowledge is learned from the work of our predecessors, therefore it is others that provide us guidance. Take yourself for example, your atomic model is based on the discovery of hydrogen’s spectral emission lines.
Bohr: Your reasoning is flawed, where would the first piece of knowledge come from then?
Einstein: It does not need to be another human that teaches us. Many discoveries are made by observing the great Mother Nature. Again, take Newton for example, popular account goes that it was a falling apple that inspired his theory of gravity.
Bohr: But it is Newton himself that synthesized those observations into a theory. Nature only provides the raw data, which is completely different from guiding our development.
Einstein: The data certainly guides us through our discoveries! The only way to determine whether a theory is correct or not is to check if it’s predictions matches the known data. Speaking of which, airports keep track of everything, they have massive amounts of data! How is it that the delay is still not fixed!
Bohr: I do wonder about that as well. Perhaps instead of quarrelling, we should analyze this system and devise a better method.
Einstein: Splendid idea, it certainly would be useful and would be a welcoming break from trying to unify gravity and electromagnetism.
Bohr: Oh there’s always a chance of it being more difficult.
Einstein: The probabilistic view is-
Bohr: (cuts Einstein off) We are not arguing about this for god knows how many more hours of this delay there still is.
Einstein: (under his breath) He certainly would know…
15 August 2011
More wisdom from Seth Godin:
Found on a random guy's linkedin profile that happened to fit a search criteria that I ran at intern. I actually have a huge grin and is 'rofl'ing on the inside whenever I find something interesting, which thankfully is fairly often.
Bonus: for the engineer-wannables.
14 August 2011
But for now, Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Player Piano (links to their wiki page):
Two things that I really like about both books, first is that...ugh how to describe, I'm so bad at articulating my thoughts. You know how some books are describe as "sucking the reader in"? I felt that these two stories pulled me up on a cloud and I floated through their universe. ...I come up with random analogies that I hope is an accurate representation of what I actually think/feel. Gots to work on the transfer of thoughts to words.
Anyways, second is because the endings are realistic (appears to be a common theme in books that I like xD). Guess they could count as happy endings as the character comes to a realization or acceptance of their situation, although it might be far less than ideal. "It's (what you get out of) the journey that counts not the outcomeee"
Here's an interesting analysis (at least to those who had Giardine for English) of Player Piano. It's covers everything we love in class: the hero journey, Freud, character in the book reflecting the author (Catcher in the Rye), etc. Also, the analysis mentions how the main character constantly questions his motives for wanting to rebel against the system, which is the main reason why I like the book so much. Although it was obvious that the character would rebel, the process in which Vonnegut makes the character struggle and doubt keeps the plot suspenseful, and of course, realistic. Too much manga with protagonists that are absolute in their belief/resolve xD
Lastly, I leave you the opening quotation from Cat's Cradle, a line from the book's made up religion:
Nothing in this book is true.
'Live by the foma* that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.’
The Books of Bokonon. 1:5
13 August 2011
First, we spotted the mythical new TTC trains. My internship co-workers wouldn't believe it without photographic evidence.
IT LIGHTS UP! Easily impressed I am.
But onto the actual reason why we headed down, for some brunch at Utopia Cafe :]
Patio seats ;D
Weather was a tad hot though, wish the walls aren't there to block any breezes.
Rui discovered the place due to it's poutine being featured on blogto, so obviously we had to see what the hype was about:
First thought: HUGE PORTION! We each ate half of it and was already full. It is really good though, especially the fresh cheese curds that actually stretch as you pull the individual fries apart *u*
The portions for the main course is huge as well e_e
Rui's chicken and avocado burrito at the back and my breakfast burrito in the front. Om nom nom, only had room for the salad though, the actual burrito and rice are being shafted to monday and tuesday lunch. Stomach space is a more precious commodity than money xD
Pepper plant behind us ;D I suspect the jalapeno pepper in my burrito was once in those planters.
Rui's pile of leftovers. She was beast enough to finish half of the burrito.
Afterwards we headed to Orange Alert, a cafe by the AGO.
My orange iced tea on the left and Rui's blueberry lemonade on the right.
Sooooo good. They're not kidding when they say freshly squeezed, we watched in amazement at the barista juiced oranges and lemons behind the counter. I want kitchen appliances for my wedding *hinthint* xD
Nice quite environment~
and lastly, Jetpens order came! ;D
Technically only the turquoise drafting pencil is from jetpens. Rui is nice and gave me a Natto MBDM to try, and the Sakura Micron is the result from a moment of weakness at Curries~
11 August 2011
- Actually fell asleep on the TTC, so dreaded 930-1030 did not happen. This alone is enough for a good day haha.
- Found future city to reside in and future university for masters program, it's backed by MIT yo. Good things come from googling random details of people's resumes.
- Got praised for good tagging job at internship. It's honestly a hard task to do, I have no idea what 70% of the terms mean.
- Fridaaaaay tomorrow! Aka get off at 2 and ramen afterwards *u* Awesome enough to almost break into that song.
- Going to turn computer off so I can make more progress at Player Piano. Vonnecut's other book, Cat's Cradle reminds me of the reference that this post's title makes, at least in writing style and chapter structure. I hereby promise to post about the two books. Please yell at me if I don't.
10 August 2011
All items from Aritzia. I've recently started to love that store, wallet reacts by cringing in agony.
...evidence of sleep deprivation is my sudden realization that it's "flowy" and not "flowly". K off to bed.
08 August 2011
Dress from Costa Blanca, charm bracelet from Fossil.
Gonna buy a new charm each year, the bracelet will be full once I graduate from university ;D
Fossil, by the way, is my absolute favourite accessory store. Brought Sarah and Patricia there, now all three of our wallets will bleed ;D I was a hair width away from snatching this from the shelves and running away. coughbirthdayiscomingsoonhopemoneymagicallyappearscough. I kid, maybe. Doesn't help the fact that I've wanted a portfolio/envelope clutch for the longest time, sighhhh.
Let this be motivation to find a job once summer is over.
07 August 2011
04 August 2011
The houses around Royal York station look like they leaped straight out from a classic fairy tale. I'd expect some poor princess exiled from her kingdom by an evil witch living in one of those houses waiting for a prince charming to come through the surrounding trees on a white horse *u*
Must be the combination of luscious gardens and wooden accents on the facade. Bet they're cheaper than downtown condos too T_T
Think I'm quite fortunate to have my placement at a small company. They give me sooo much to do, there's some task to be done literally every minute. Two benefit of this include that I gain a lot more experience and that I don't fall asleep. Getting better at the latter.
Off to friday! The day everyone looks forward to cause we get off at 2pm~
Also excited for saturday, meeting with 2 other shads, Sarah and Patricia, for shopping&dinner date. Can't wait till bigger reunion later in the month!