Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Feeling unmotivated to do any work... happens too often here but whatever. Today I made eggs in the oven. We don't have any stove tops (or hops, as they call it here). We have a microwave that can be an oven as well. I was really craving for eggs the other day so I decided to search the internet for ways to make eggs in one of these microwave/ovens. Today I got a Pyrex dish and some eggs. I poured some milk on the bottom, heated that up, and then cracked two eggs in the dish, let it cook for 10-15 minutes and they turned out great! The sides were gooey and the stuff in the middle wasn't runny. I wish I had Pam or something though since it stuck to the dish like crazy.

This weekend will be a busy one. Sunita is coming over on Saturday from Oxford. Saturday night I signed up to help out at the Chinese New Year Ball. It's like a May Ball type event where there's lots of food and partying. I think I'm helping out with set up and cleaning. But it should be fun since I will get to eat the food for free and see the entertainment. They have lots of entertainment lined up, including lion dance, traditional dances, music, something about the Beijing Olympics, and more. I'm looking forward to this.

Sunday night is also the Superbowl. I'm not sure if I'm going to go see this. Some of the CME people (this year and last) are getting together in Trinity to watch it. Since that's not far away, I might go join them. I usually watch the Superbowl. This year, MIT is giving all the dorms and living groups money for SuperBowl parties. Not fair...

I also signed up to help out at the Churchill Spring Ball. Again, a whole night of food and partying. I'm a fire steward. I think it just means I will wander around and make sure no one sets anything on fire. It sounds chill. I also get 2 hours off and get paid 20 pounds at the end of the night. Not much money at all but I will get to enjoy the ball. It's American themed so I think they're having a big carnival type thing. I'm allowed to eat the food. Yay for cotton candy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Building on Sand

So Mahalia, Stella, and I worked on some homework this morning for like 4 hours together. We made a lot of progress, mostly on our geotech class. Speaking of which, our professor last term made a really amusing comment towards the end.

Now geotechnical engineering is basically the study of soils and how well they hold under pressure. It's important for civil engineering since we haven't been able to design any anti-gravity machines yet so everything that's built rests on soil. There's three general different kinds of soil: clay, sand, and rocks (finer grain to coarser grains). And it turns out that building on sand is probably the best* way to go. Which is really funny since the Bible warns against building your house on sand. I think our professor concluded that the Bible must've had a different definition of sand.

*Okay, rocks are the best but you don't get any until you go really far down (bedrock). In order to support really tall buildings, people drill all the way down to the bedrock and pour in concrete (piling) to support these buildings.

Monday, January 21, 2008


To even out a slightly angry post from earlier today, I want to write about a couple of exciting things that just happened to me within the past few hours.

On Saturday, I got an email from the course 1 internship coordinator about a possible internship with a company that does construction management. Now when I decided to do civil engineering, I never knew about all these different paths that a "civil engineer" can take. You can work on everything from fluids, to skyscrapers, to bridges, to tunnels, to highways. Now I've done a few things with fluids and wanted some experience with the structural side and geotech (underground stuff, foundations) side of things. And now I've realized that there's a big difference between the design people and construction people. Designers design. They sit in an office and make sure what those architects dream up (no offense to anyone) stand up, work, is safe. Construction people (the builders) actually go out into the field and... solve the problems that the designers couldn't solve. That sounds so much more interesting... I mean, I don't have any practical experience to base this on but I don't think I actually like calculating stresses and moments and looking at CAD drawings (nevermind making CAD drawings... ewwww). Anyway, the guy I talked to is an MIT alum, course 1 undergrad. He seems like a really cool guy. The company started in New England and is all over the US. They have offices in Boston and San Jose. San Jose is a bit far from Oakland but I would be on a project team and be working wherever the project is so.... not sure what that means.

Anyhow, I was feeling really good about this company and the construction business in general when I got an email from Sean Gilbert, the MISTI-China coordinator. I think (not sure about this but), an MIT alum contacted him to get some course 1 interns for a Chinese construction company. The Chinese Communications Construction Company. Now he's forwarding my resume along. This sounds really awesome. Apparently they're one of the biggest construction companies in China. It's too bad that it's not a US company that has an office in China (which is what I really want) but they seem really well established and this seems such an awesome opportunity. I mean, it's construction+China, so cool. Anyway, I hope this works out. It sounds promising. Maybe I'll be in China this summer.

Yeah, I'm really happy about this turn of events. I was getting kind of worried since I haven't really heard back from anyone else yet.

I hate drunk people

The title should say it all but it really doesn't. It's amazing just how different the US is with its strict No-Alcohol-Under-21 law from England where the legal drinking age is 18 but it really doesn't matter. And since everyone at the university is over the legal drinking age, the booze never stops. It's disgusting. I don't understand.

The window in my living room faces out towards the street. And every night, there are drunk people shouting and screaming. And these aren't thugs or gangsters, they're students. That's right, students here can go out every night and get drunk. And they do this ALL the time. I don't know why these people are here. They certainly aren't studying.

This is the part of Cambridge that I hate the most. This is why I don't like this place and miss MIT. The stupid, drunk people. I can't believe I'm actually writing this. It's so sad. This is supposed to be one of the top universities in the UK? I'm not seeing it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Start of term

While I'm waiting for another episode of Stargate to load, I though I'd write about what's been happening the past few days, namely yesterday.

Yesterday we had our mock exams. Most people were there and it was nice to see everyone again. I haven't seen any MIT students since getting back to Cambridge. The exams themselves were.... horrible. I don't know if there's any other way to put it. But I didn't do too well. However, I think I actually did better on structures than on soils, which was surprising. But then the tests weren't really fair. We didn't have all the datasheets that we needed for structures and one of the questions for soils was on a topic that we haven't covered yet. We're supposed to choose 3 out of 4 so it was okay but the other questions were really confusing. They didn't choose a very well distributed set of questions. Anyway, my supervisor is going to be really disappointed but he doesn't know he's supposed to look over those exams yet so yeah. But part of it is the jetlag too. I've been sleeping in the afternoons a lot and the timing of the exams was right when I wanted to sleep the most.

I walked back with Stella and MaryAnn. MaryAnn had been traveling Europe all winter and didn't go back. MaryAnn and I chatted about how we miss MIT and the people there. Neither of us are into this drinking thing and she said that all the people living around her are cool but all they do when they hang out is go out and get drunk. Which is how I feel about the people around me as well.

Anyway, I'm hoping to do more studying this term. And maybe learn something. But on a lighter note, I need to go to the grocery store and get some cookies/crackers/biscuits, whatever you want to call them.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stargate SG-1

Since I can't sleep and am supposed to be studying for these mock exams that the international office has so kindly put together for us, I've taken up watching lots and lots of Stargate. I've started watching this series a long time ago and now it has finally gone out of production after 10 seasons. That's right, 10 amazing seasons. Back in high school, I would just watch it whenever I can catch it on Saturday or Sunday at some inconvenient afternoon time. But I thought I'd do it right. So the summer after high school I subscribed to both Netflix and Blockbuster (one after the other of course to take advantage of their trials) and started watching the episodes in order. Now I had a job and couldn't devote the extraordinary amount of time required to finish every episode out on DVD. I was also watching MacGyver as well. I know, too much Richard Dean Anderson can't be good for anyone but I mean, it's MacGyver.

That summer I finished Season 1. MIT proved to be stressful and time consuming so I didn't get around to watching all that many episodes. However, in the past few days, I've managed to finish Season 3 and am half way through with Season 4. I really like these early episodes, before the Anubis craze. I really like Stargate because it's funny and intelligent. The team is faced with moral and ethical choices on nearly every mission. There is character development and that's important to me.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes. Some of them aren't from the early seasons but I try to pick out the best. I have no idea who would enjoy them but well, whatever. Warning, this is long

Daniel: So we'd be looking for a needle in a haystack.
Thor: A haystack of infinite size.
Daniel: That's big.

O'Neill: Do you read the Bible, Teal'c?
Teal'c: It is a significant part of your Western culture. Have you not read the Bible, O'Neill?
O'Neill: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Not all of it. Actually, I'm listening to it on tape. Don't tell me how it ends.

Samantha Carter: I've just never blown up a star before.
Jack O'Neill: Well, they say the first one is always the hardest.

Sam Carter: You know, you blow up one sun and suddenly everyone expects you to walk on water.

Jack O'Neill: It's time for Plan B.
Samantha Carter: We have a Plan B?
Jack O'Neill: No, but it's time for one.

Jack O'Neill: [Stuck in a continous time loop with Teal'c] If it were just me, I'd agree, but what about Teal'c? Come on, is this the face of a crazy man?
[Teal'c and Hammond look at him]
Jack O'Neill: Bad Example...

Jack O'Neill: I just walked in with a handfull of ingredients for my world-famous omelette!
Sam Carter: World-famous huh? What's in it?
Jack O'Neill: Eggs.
Sam Carter: I don't think that that actually qualifies as a recipe.
Jack O'Neill: Oh don't kid yourself, there's a secret ingredient I can't tell you what it is or I'd have to shoot you.
Sam Carter: It's beer isn't it?

Jack O'Neill: He still thinks I'm a Goa'uld, right?
Sam Carter: Yeah, I think so. What are you going to do?
Jack O'Neill: Watch.
[stands up and walks toward the gate]
Jack O'Neill: Jaffa. Kree.
Major General Trofsky: [long sentence of Goa'uld vernacular]
Jack O'Neill: Uh... Didn't you hear me? I said Kree.

Teal'c: Appearances may be deceiving.
Jack O'Neill: One man's ceiling is another man's floor.
Daniel: A fool's paradise is a wise man's hell.
Jack O'Neill: Never run with... scissors?

[O'Neill gets Teal'c to join him at his cabin for fishing. O'Neill sits and tells Teal'c about fishing as Teal'c stands holding his pole as he does a staff weapon]
Teal'c: There appears to be no fish here, O'Neill.
Jack O'Neill: Its not about the actual fish, themselves. Fish are not important in this context, its about FISHING, the act of fishing itself.
Teal'c: I see.
[a cell phone starts ringing]
Jack O'Neill: You didn't?
Teal'c: By request of General Hammond.
Jack O'Neill: [Answering phone as Teal'c slaps a mosquito] WHAT?... Yes Daniel, he's right here, please hold.
[O'Neill hands the phone to Teal'c]
Teal'c: Daniel Jackson... we have caught nothing, we are fishing.
[Daniel asks for a translation]
Teal'c: "Banished to oblivion."
Daniel Jackson: Thank you
Teal'c: If you require assistance, I would be more the happy to return to the SGC
[O'Neill looks annoyed]
Teal'c: Are you sure?
Jack O'Neill: [taking the phone] Good bye Daniel.
[O'Neill removes the phone battery, and throws it into the lake]

Jack O'Neill: Just give me some kind of warning.
Teal'c: I'm going to shoot you.
Jack O'Neill: I was thinking more along the lines of "On Three".

Jack O'Neill: I believe someone said "We're not gonna make it!"
Jacob Carter: Sam, let's get the hyperdrive running.
Jack O'Neill: Excuse me. I distinctly remember someone saying "We're not gonna make it!" I think we made it!
Jacob Carter: I'm sorry, I over-reacted. At the time it looked very much like we weren't gonna make it.
Jack O'Neill: Yes... well... maybe next time you'll just wait and see.
Jacob Carter: And blow the last chance I might ever have to be right?
Jack O'Neill: What?
Samantha Carter: [with a grin] Welcome to my life!
Jack O'Neill: What?

Daniel: Wait a minute, you're actually saying that you need someone... dumber than you are?
Jack O'Neill: You may have come to the right place.

Thor: The Asgard would never invent a weapon that propels small weights of iron and carbon alloys, by igniting a powder of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur.

Daniel: Their whole world is in flames - and we're offering them gasoline. How does that help?
Teal'c: We are in fact offering water.
Jack O'Neill: Thank you.
Daniel: I was speaking metaphorically.
Jack O'Neill: Well stop it. It's not fair to Teal'c.

Jack O'Neill: Weren't we just somewhere else?
Daniel: Where?
Jack O'Neill: Some planet.
Daniel: When?
Jack O'Neill: Just now.
Daniel: No.
Jack O'Neill: Sure?
Daniel: Yeah.

Jack O'Neill: I distinctly remember sitting here, listening to Carter prattle on about solar activity and a... corona... something.
Sam Carter: Coronal mass emissions - I was just about to bring it up.
Jack O'Neill: There you go, how would I know that?
Sam Carter: Maybe you read my report.
Daniel: Maybe he *read* your report?

Jack O'Neill: ...I do appreciate that you were the one to come and see if I was okay. That... that means something.
Daniel: Ah... actually, no, it doesn't.
Jack O'Neill: No?
Daniel: Um... we, ah, we drew straws. I lost.

Commander Rigar: Wormhole?
Jack O'Neill: Giant worms. Huge.

Daniel: Well, we were kind of hoping you'd "beam them out. "
Jacob Carter/Selmak: Beam them out? What am I - Scotty?

Jack O'Neill: They didn't go for it.
Sam Carter: They didn't approve the mission?
Jack O'Neill: Well no, they did THAT. Once they knew the stakes and the whole fate of the universe stuff, both the President and Hammond realized we had no choice. They wish us luck, God speed and all those things he says when he thinks we're gonna die.
Sam Carter: So what didn't they go for?
Jack O'Neill: The name I suggested.
Sam Carter: For the ship?
Jack O'Neill: Yeah.
Sam Carter: Yeah. Sir... we can't call it the "Enterprise"
Jack O'Neill: Why not?

Sam Carter: Well, if the DHD could have prevented the problem, maybe the DHD can also fix it. Is there any chance that you could get the Russians to give us their DHD?
Daniel: Not without giving back Alaska.

Jack O'Neill: We brought pizza and a movie.
Teal'c: Star Wars.
Jack O'Neill: He's seen it, what? Eight times?
Teal'c: Nine.
Jack O'Neill: Nine times. If Teal'c likes it, it's gotta be okay.
Sam Carter: You've never seen Star Wars?
Jack O'Neill: Well, you know me and sci-fi...

[Jonas is having a burger, fries, and milkshake for lunch. Sam arrives just in time to see him dunk a fry in the shake and eat it]
Sam Carter: Nice... lunch.
Jonas: mmmm. I'm really starting to enjoy this "traditional American food".
Sam Carter: We have another tradition. It's called "hardened arteries".

Jack O'Neill: It's always suicide-mission this, save-the-planet that. No one ever stops by just to say 'hi' anymore.

Teal'c: Are you able to translate any of this, Jonas Quinn?
Jonas: It's not Ancient, but it's definitely a language belonging to one of the races of the ancient alliance.
Jack O'Neill: Nox? Asgard?
Jonas: Furlings.
Jack O'Neill: Oh, no. Not those guys.
Jonas: What?
Jack O'Neill: Oh, I don't know. I just can't imagine cute little furry things making big powerful weapons, that's all.
Jonas: I don't even know what they look like.
Jack O'Neill: Furling. Sounds cute and fuzzy to me.
[Teal'c smiles]

Teal'c: [looking in O'Neill's refrigerator] Are you conducting some sort of scientific experiment, O'Neill?
Young Jack O'Neill: Hey, come on, that salsa's still good.

Jack O'Neill: I'm telling you, Teal'c. If we don't find a way out of this soon, I'm gonna' lose it.
[Teal'c does not understand and just stares at O'Neill]
Jack O'Neill: "Lose it. " It means, "Go crazy. " "Nuts. " "Insane. " "Bonzo. " "No longer in possession of one's faculties. " "Three fries short of a Happy Meal. " "Wacko. "

Jay Felger: At least my heroes exist. If this was a Trek convention you'd be all dressed up like a Klingon.
Simon Coombs: Vulcan, Felger, Vulcan.

Jack O'Neill: [talking to the Asgard High Council about the K'Tau people and their star] I'm not asking you to change the course of their development, just fix the damn sun! No one will know. We won't tell.

[Jacob/Selmak, Daniel, and Sam are on a Tok'ra scout ship, being questioned by a Goul'd mothership]
Jacob Carter/Selmak: All right, we're almost finished. Sam's just finishing up.
Daniel: Uh, that's good, 'cuz I don't think they bought my act.
Jacob Carter/Selmak: Why? Who'd you say you were?
Daniel: The, uh, Great and Powerful Oz.
Jacob Carter/Selmak: SAM!

Jack O'Neill: All I'm saying, just for the record, is this is the wackiest plan we've ever come up with.
Sam Carter: Wackier than, than strapping an active Stargate to the bottom of the X-302?
Jack O'Neill: Oh yeah.
Sam Carter: Wackier than blowing up a sun?
Jack O'Neill: Yep.
Sam Carter: He's probably right.

Jack O'Neill: If we want to find out who's behind this, we have to do what the Asgard do.
Daniel: You mean bluff?
Jack O'Neill: Yep. We just need to do it without revealing what we know.
Daniel: Which is nothing.
Jack O'Neill: Right. But they don't know we know nothing.

Jack O'Neill: [after traveling to a world that looks exactly like Earth] Just when you think you're not in Kansas anymore, it turns out you are.

General George S. Hammond: [after leaving the holding room] Would anyone care to speculate how a boy could be aware of our most classified information?
Samantha Carter: Well, Sir, It could be him.
Daniel: There is a physical resemblance!
General George S. Hammond: [Pointing to the holding room] But, he can't be more than 15 years old. Are you saying Colonel O'Neill has somehow regressed more than 30 years overnight?
Daniel: Stranger things have happened.
Teal'c: Name but one.
Daniel: Well, there was the time he got really old; the time he became a caveman; the time we all swapped bodies...

Martouf: If you all are sure you understand what you are volunteering for.
Dr. Daniel Jackson: You said "Hell," right?
Jack O'Neill: Well, I'm gonna end up there sooner or later. Might as well check out the neighborhood, huh?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I can't sleep!!

The past two nights have gone like this: I go to sleep and then wake up at 4am, unable to fall back asleep. Not that I wasn't tired either. After traveling for 10+ hours, I was dead tired Friday night. Ramen kept me going until 10pm when I decided I needed rest. I managed to put a box of ramen in my luggage. Yes, a box, that's 30 meals.

I found out sunrise is around 7:45am. Which is really good since I was worried that there would only be light from 9-3, which is not the case. Sunset is around 4:30-5pm. I'm amazed. And it'll only get better from now on. I like daylight.

Well, actually, I just looked out the window and it seems to be raining or will rain very soon. The clouds are very low and moving by really fast. Whenever you look up the forecast for Anytown, England, it goes like this: Rain, Slight Rain, more Rain. I'm serious. Friday night, I looked up the forecast and it said rain for Saturday. I saw the sunrise on Saturday and it was a clear and beautiful day. Not a single cloud in sight. Too bad I couldn't enjoy it since I sort of slept during the day. I did managed to go out a bit but didn't do much.

So the real reason why I'm writing this post is because I'm waiting for an episode of Stargate to load. I'm addicted to it again. This is really bad. But I really like the show. I've watched sooo many episodes in the last couple of days. Managed to finish off Season 3 and just started on Season 4. Wish me luck! hahahaha

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Puzzle Finished!

Yay! This took a while, 540 pieces. Makes you realize just how much ocean there is. I learned a lot about islands. There were numbers on the back so I cheated a little. My brother, mom, grandma, and cousin all pitched in and helped.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year, New Hairstyle

It took 5 hours... I feel like I have a lot less hair than before. The lady didn't even do any cutting except for the bangs. It's supposed to last half a year but probably not so long for me.

So what do you guys think? Like it? (yeah, that big white thing is my cat...)
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