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Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men is probably my favorite band right now. Their songs are so fun and uplifting which makes them really awesome to listen to. Plus, they are really good live as well, so that makes me respect them even more. Here are some of my favorites.

Honestly, this is one of the cutest and funniest videos I’ve seen (skip to 5:07 when the kids come in). Plus those accents. 

I like the girl who basically comes up with a Ponzi scheme from scratch at 8:58.


Haven’t written anything in a while cause I don’t know what to write about. So I guess I’ll talk about my coming semester at Duke.

Right now there are three classes that I know I am taking for sure - BME 271 (Signals and Systems), ME 221 (Structure and Properties of Solids), and STAT 130 (Probability and Statistics in Engineering). My last class was going to be BIO 213 (Cell Signaling and Diseases) but I’m currently on the wait list - position 7 in a class of 20. And after talking to the professor last spring and again last week, it seems unlikely that he’s going to increase the class size (for sake of class quality whatever that means). 

That means I’m on the search for a fourth class. Since I’m trying to get a Bio minor, I kinda wanted to take a Bio class right now. A minor only requires five classes, and I already have three done. Based on my theoretical schedules for junior and senior year, I have room this semester and both semesters of my senior year to fit those last two Bio classes in. I really want to take a Bio class now because 1) I don’t think my schedule this semester is too bad (knock on wood) and 2) I can save a SSH elective for my senior year.

So I tried enrolling in BIO 224 (Fundamentals of Neuroscience) since it’s basically the only Bio class that fits with my other classes schedule-wise. Unfortunately, whoever came up with the number of class spots is really dumb since there are 30 spots for the lecture but only 25 for the discussion section. Somehow 26 people have been enrolled though. Still, there are 4 spots left in the class. But, if you are on the waitlist for any parts of a class (i.e. lecture, lab, discussion, recitation), you automatically get put on the waitlist for all parts of the class. Thus, even with four spots available, I’m #2 on the waitlist, behind someone who seems to be having the same issues as me. 

My other option is to take a social science/humanities elective right now since I still have to take one more out of the five required. But like I said, I would rather save it for senior year, since it would hopefully be an easy class. 

That’s the conundrum I’m in right now. Hopefully, everything works out for the best.

Improbable Research

From the site: “The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.”

The stuff some people research is pretty crazy. I can’t believe I spent an hour skimming through some of those papers. 


This is a cool little site where you can make your own little vocal group from the pre-made sounds available. It actually sounds pretty nice.

This is my 15 minute attempt. I think it sounds pretty cool.

College Rankings

This site gives historical rankings of colleges over the last 20 or so years. It’s pretty interesting to look at. Some schools made good jumps over the years (UPenn, WashU) while others fell a bit (Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, UNC). Sucks that Duke slipped a bit after being a top 5 university for much of the mid-2000s. In fact, we’re now the lowest we’ve been since 1989. :(


I was really dumb and decided to run on the treadmill without shoes on. And now I have 3 blisters on the bottom of one foot and 2 on the bottom of the other. Each one is pretty big as well. The funny thing is I noticed the blisters after running about a mile or so, yet I still managed to run another mile before I decided to stop.

So right now the blisters are pretty annoying, but I can walk alright as long as I don’t put too much pressure right where the blisters are. I’m sort of tempted to pop them, but I also kinda want to wait to see what happens if I let them heal on their own. 

REU 2012

So I’ve had a couple of days to look back on my stay at Rice. And I can honestly say I really, really enjoyed it, and it was one of the most fun experiences of my life.

All the people in the lab were really cool, and I learned a lot from my mentor. But I think the best part of the experience was the time outside the lab. Just hanging out with my roommates Omar and Neerav. Playing ping pong and basketball. Going out to eat and going to parties. In general, it was really low-stress, and there was a lot of free time. But still the two months flew by so quickly. 

Looking back I get the same nostalgia I get thinking about the end of high school, my first year at college, and my sophomore year at Duke. So thanks to Omar, Neerav, Aline, Nicole, Jared, Esteban, Chen, Michael, Isac, Stephanie, Ivonne, Taylor, and all the other REU interns that made my 2012 summer a memorable one. 

I just want to say that I’m the Room 171 ping pong champion. Not Omar, not Neerav. That is all.

Abstracts and Posters

So I’m at the last week of my research internship program. Basically been working on my abstract for the last week and will finish my poster in the next couple of days. I don’t mind putting the poster together, but doing data analysis sucks. I want to kill myself every time I open up my images. 

But yeah, I really enjoyed my time at Rice. Only a few days left before I go home. 

San Antonio

I thought I posted this on Sunday or Monday, but I guess it never made it out of my drafts. Anyways, here’s a quick summary of the trip to San Antonio.

The trip to San Antonio was amazing.

I got up at 3:45 on Saturday since we had to reach San Antonio by around 8:30. By the time Omar, Neerav, and I got ready, got to the car, and made a quick pit-stop at the BRC to print tickets, it was right about 5am which meant we were right on schedule. 

For most of the drive to San Antonio, I was asleep. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world since the back seat of Omar’s car is basically at a 90 degree angle. Still, the drive seemed really short since I was out for most of it. 

We reached the caverns at 8:30, and started our tour at 9am. The other REU people were there too, so we had a group of 12 people. We went inside both caverns. There are lots of cool formations inside, so it was really interesting to see. The entire tour took around 3 hours, so it wasn’t too long or anything. 

After leaving the caverns, we all headed for downtown San Antonio. Jared really wanted to go to this restaurant called Dick’s Last Resort for lunch. Basically, the servers there are really rude to you (on purpose). 

I have to say the entire Dick’s Last Resort experience was pretty underwhelming. Yeah, the server was kinda rude (she made anyone who ordered water get it themselves), but the food wasn’t that great. The only funny thing is that the servers will give random people these large paper hats that look like the pope’s hat. And on the hat will be some quip about that person. For example, Jared got one that says ‘Puberty Sucks =(‘. Ivonne got really unlucky; her’s was ‘I braid my butt hairs’. Some of the stuff on the hats is pretty bad. I kinda wanted a hat just to get one, as long as I didn’t get anything too bad on it. Unfortunately, only Jared and Ivonne got one from our group.

After eating, our group basically roamed around the Riverwalk for a while. It’s a really nice place to just stroll along, although it can get a bit crowded. We eventually headed for the Alamo (stopping for ice cream along the way). Our sightseeing at the Alamo was pretty short. There’s not a ton to do there. Most of it is sort of a park, and a few of the building hold some old artifacts that you can see. 

After the Alamo, we all went to the mall. There Omar, Neerav, and I split up for the main group. Since we were planning on spending the night at Omar’s aunt’s house while everyone else was going to drive back to Houston, we could afford to waste time doing our own thing. So Omar, Neerav, and I hung around the mall for a bit before going to Omar’s aunt’s house to chill for a bit. 

We made a quick pit stop at Omar’s cousin’s shop at a mall along the way. The shop was pretty small but was packed full of Hello Kitty and other Japanese toys. I didn’t buy anything, but Omar bought a couple of keychains, and Neerav got a Hello Kitty doll.

So we crashed at Omar’s aunt’s place for a bit. We were planning on watching The Dark Knight Rises later that night, so we went ahead and bought tickets online. Since we had some more time to kill until the movie started, we headed over to another one of Omar’s cousin’s studio apartment. It was pretty nice. Decent size but still cozy. I really liked the layout of it as well. 

Yeah, so we watched The Dark Knight Rises. It was amazing. Definitely exceeded my expectations. Bane and Catwoman were great. I also thought Nolan did a really good job of wrapping up the whole saga. 

By the time the movie ended, it was around 1am, so we crashed back at Omar’s aunt’s house. I slept on a bed on blankets on the floor which actually wasn’t too bad.

The next day we drove back to Houston. Omar had to do some quick repairs on his car beforehand (he changed the alternator) since apparently something wasn’t working correctly. I don’t think it ended up fixing the problem, but the car was still able to run without dying or anything.

So yeah, it was a really fun and busy trip. 

San Antonio

Heading to San Antonio tomorrow with a bunch of other REU students. The only bad part is having to wake up at 4 am to get there in time for our cave expedition.

(I’ll update this post when I get back)

Lab Update

Not much to say really. It won’t stop raining though. In the last 10 days, I think we’ve had some amount of rain on 9 of them. Super annoying. Makes me not want to run or go to the gym which isn’t good. 

The lab has been pretty quiet lately. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that most of the lab is moving to Duke, so yeah. I think moving is either later this week or next week (in time for the fall semester), but basically people have been going through everything in the lab and figuring out what to take and what to throw away. So not a ton of experiments occuring. And people are trying to take care of stuff at home I guess, so a lot of the lab members are busy with that. IDK just seems a lot different than when I first started here a few weeks ago. 


It needs to stop raining.