Technology Tuesdays: Math Ace

When I was young, I spent a lot of time learning math on our family computer (an old Windows 98 hulk that my father and I had retrieved from the CA state surplus in Sacramento for $150). I’m so delighted that RetroSwim managed to find a copy and upload the gameplay to YouTube. “You have been terminated.” That quote is still an indelible part of my childhood.

“Something Weird is Going On: What Did Jan Say?”

Something Weird is Going On: The Michael Scott Story

I’ve been a humongous fan of The Office ever since its fourth season (pretty sure the first episode I saw was “Fun Run”, which means I missed the long leadup to the Jim-Pam romance). It’s my go-to series when I do things, and it’s always a huge dose of nostalgia for my undergraduate years. I decided I wanted to bring to life a quote from Dwight:

Dwight: When you become close with someone, you develop a kind of sixth sense. You can read their moods like a book. And right now, the title of Michael’s book is, “Something Weird is Going On.” Colon, “What Did Jan Say? The Michael Scott Story. By Michael Scott, with Dwight Schrute.”

Qin Zhi Lau: CTY RA!

Yay, I’m so happy, I got my RA position at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth! After almost five months of application and interview preparation, my efforts finally paid off. I’m really thankful that I got it, because it seems like there are a lot of internships this year that have ginormous amounts of students applying to as well. With CTY, I know what I’ll be doing this summer, and I know it’s going to be a fun summer and one full of new experiences. 

Thanks a lot to DM Tsung and Mrs. Paula Chow for writing references for me – without their help and support, I don’t know what I’d do. 

The site’s in Lancaster, PA – though it’s not one of my top choices, I think it’ll be great nonetheless. The only quibble I have is that it’s not close to any of my friends – e.g. LA and Princeton, so I’ll be a bit lonely on that front.

Yes for Measure B!

Today was a big day for America, with Barack Obama becoming the Democratic nominee for president (much celebration was held on Facebook amongst us college students), but it was just as big a day for Mendocino County, as today, by 55-45%, Measure B was passed by Mendocino County voters.

So what’s Measure B?

As everyone knows, Mendocino County is part of the “Emerald Triangle.” Basically, most of the US’ marijuana is planted in the three counties of Trinity, Mendocino, and Humboldt in California. That’s not something to be proud of – a recent estimate put Mendocino’s economic money from pot at $500 million – five times more than our semi-famed wine industry.

High school teachers, newspaper reporters, and such have all been arrested with the possession of tens or hundreds of plants. It’s disgusting.

So Measure B would roll back Measure G, which was passed in 2000 which allows Mendocino “patients” to have 25 mature plants and also to make it the lowest priority in proscecution. Basically, it would go back to the state limit of six plants.

I still think that’s excessive because so many people here knows that smoke marijuana don’t have illnesses of any sort. Some write in the paper saying it’s a “right” to smoke pot. While I acknowledge there may be cases when people need it, this here is about commerical exploitation and profiteering. Urgh.

So today, Measure B was passed, and I’m really, really, happy. Better future for the US and Mendocino County!

Four Hours of Photoshop Work… For This!

Obviously, an essential part in any guidebook is a map. In this case, today I went hunting in the 1234 Building for a good map, but nothing I found was any good. Most of the others were either too old or completely out of scale. I think it’s been a while since anyone used a good map in a CTTB publication, which is actually kind of sad. So I took the best looking map I could find, which in this case is this completely convoluted CAD plan below with lots of lines and numbers.


Then, four hours of Photoshop work with my tablet, I turned it into this:


It’s color-coded to a certain color legend, which I haven’t put on. People who know CTTB will be able to guess what each color means. Keep in mind this is “raw”, which means I haven’t made the colors look brighter, etc or spruced it up in any way.

A New Project: CTTB Visitor’s Guide

CTTB Brochure Draft

Well, I have a new project that I’m doing to further my graphic design – something that falls on more of the “professional” look rather than the “freelance” work typical of many graphic designers, so obviously the result is going to be more plain/less outlandish.

Basically, it’s a guide for visitors to CTTB – something that has sorely been lacking in CTTB lately. Its function is to give visitor’s a brief overview of the history, an explanation of the buildings on campus and the educational/religious mission of CTTB, and I must admit, act as a sort of souvenir that people can bring back (you know all those pamphlets that parents bring back from college visits?).

It’s also designed to be translated into several languages for different people.

A note that all the pictures in below are placeholder – in fact the one on the “cover” is actually from Flickr. I’ll be actually taking my own pictures for the book, though if you have anything you’d like featured in it, tell me and I’ll consider it.

At least I have something to do now, instead of just staying home doing nothing.

Love at First Sight by Wislawa Szymborska

Still my go-to poem for inspiration.

Both are convinced
that a sudden surge of emotion bound them together.
Beautiful is such a certainty,
but uncertainty is more beautiful still.

Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
that nothing was happening between them.
What of streets, stairways and corridors
where they could have passed each other long ago?

I’d like to ask them
whether they remember–
Perhaps in a revolving door
ever being face to face?
An “excuse me” in a crowd?
A curt “wrong number” in the receiver?
But I know the answer:
No, they don’t remember.

They’d be greatly astonished to learn
that for a long time
Chance had been playing with them.

Not yet wholly ready
to transform into fate for them
it approached them, then backed off,
stood in their way,
and, suppressing a giggle,
jumped to the side.

There were signs and signals,
even if they couldn’t read them yet.
Perhaps three years ago
or just last Tuesday
a certain leaf fluttered
from one shoulder to another?
Something was dropped and then picked up.
Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished
into childhood’s thicket?

There were doorknobs and doorbells
where one touch had covered another
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night, perhaps, the same dream,
forgotten in waking.

Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.