Archive for June, 2010

Operation Screw AP Biology

June 21st, 2010

Operation Screw AP Biology – Status Report

Today I woke at 7am, and left home at 7:30. Unfortunately, Google Maps gave me retarded directions that caused the trip to UC Irvine to take upwards of 90 minutes, causing me to be late to class by 5 or 10 minutes. I had spent a lot of time the week before precisely locating the building where I would be receiving instruction, and I quickly found my classroom, HH118. Silently taking note of how Biology 1A was located in the Humanities Hall, I found a seat and took out my notebook. This recollection of my day will be based entirely on a set of notes I took during class on what to write for my blog post about this class. So you see, instead of paying attention and taking notes on the class, I was taking notes on what I would write about the class. Which is a whole lot more entertaining.

Let me take you back a bit. This summer, I am attending summer school at the University of California, Irvine. To be precise, I am taking a college biology course intended for non-majors, Biology 1A. This is because, to be truthful, I am deathly afraid of any difficult classes with stern teachers that involve memorizing tables of facts and information. I am sure that, if I took the AP Biology class offered at Arcadia HS, my own high school, I would spontaneously combust sometime between November and June and make a mess on the floor. My class is three hours long, and it involves a one-hour (each way) commute from Arcadia to Irvine. Ideally, one-hour. By car. By the way, Google Maps tells me that if I were to use public transportation, I would be getting home every night at 9 pm. And my class ends at 11:50am.

All-in-all, I think college-level classes at UC Irvine are much easier than GE-level classes taken at Arcadia, or perhaps it’s just that I’ve only taken low-level college classes and only high-level high school classes. Maybe I’ll get a college girlfriend. My class lacks any signs of intelligence or beauty, however. Well.

Anyways, my professor is an interesting character. He started the class off talking about harems and polygamy (with respect to horses…). One awesome thing to note: about half of the class brought in their laptop computers and took notes (and facebooked) digitally during class! I thought that was beyond cool. Did you know? On average, women live 4-5 years longer than men. According to my notes, I was supposed to make an entertaining comment about that. See, that was entertaining.

Now, although the professor’s teaching of the class was largely focused on his Powerpoint, he taught the class as if he was telling a story. This is quite a profound thing here — nobody does this at my high school. Professor Symanski enjoys teaching (or so I would suppose from his pleasant attitude throughout the class session). He gave us, as our very first lesson, a guided tour five feet up our anuses into the large intestine. “So that’s what it looks like six feet up my ass.” Then he told us the story of how he survived tuberculosis, culminating in the day’s thesis regarding the miracles of modern science. The professor broke up that lecture by giving us the following moral to take home: “Get a colonoscopy to prevent colon or rectal cancer.”

Interestingly, despite the course being higher-level than an AP course, the material (at least appears to be) far easier. In addition, there are only two tests that each count towards 50% of my grade: the midterm and the final. There is no homework grade, and extra credit is offered at every class meeting. You may think, then, that everybody gets an A. However, the professor shared the interesting statistic that out of a class of 400 students attending his lectures, only three received test scores over 90%. Epic curve!

Another point to note is that Professor Symanski is not actually a biology professor. In fact, he has only ever taken ONE biology course in his life. (I’ve already taken two, if you count middle school 7th grade bio.) He is a cultural anthropologist, and who cares what that means because it sounds so cool.

That about wraps it up. Oh, one more thing. I have an official UCI student ID #, so I have a website at UCI (, a UCI email address (, and I’ll be applying for an ID card. College life is great, I’m so envious!

E ASIAN 155: Anime and Philosophy

It’s too bad this class was canceled. I would have snuck into the lectures.

brb after I go kill god.

June 19th, 2010

hai, it’s summer.

Mayoi Neko Overrun Episode 08

Parodying -Saki-? Really. XD

Although I really love the super-high-quality animation, the storyline of this anime has gone down exponentially. However. Epic animation quality. Epic Yui Horie as announcer and peppy ponytail girl. Epic funny moments. Some of the time. I still like all of the characters, however (like Airantou and Tears to Tiara etc), so the lowest rating this will get is like an AA.

Wow, this episode was actually good.

Angel Beats Episode 11

This… is a pretty stupid story idea. Also, why is Tenshi so dumb. Actually. Why are all the characters so dumb.

This series goes like 3 episode of awesomeness, and 1 episode of epic fail. It’s better than Mayoi Neko I guess, which is like 2 awesome, 1 fail.

Mayoi Neko Overrun Episode 09

Aaand this is an example of a fail episode.

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou Episode 10

Awesome anime!

Epic post title and above all. EPIC. CLIMAX.

ef -a tale of melodies- Episode 06

This is an anime about art and music. Naturally, the art of this anime is very modernist and unique. However, it gets in the way sometimes… actually, quite often. This episode’s overdrawn description of Yuuko’s story was annoying. Also, the plot requires a large measure of WSoD. As well as deep thinking to figure out the complex relationships and random timeskips, and especially (and most enjoyably) figuring out the artful metaphors and themes. The music is also horrible. This is an anime about music. I can’t believe the music isn’t mind-blowingly brilliant.

However… I believe I may have fallen in love with one of the main characters, Mizuki. Also, the story may not be that brilliant, but the themes it explores are so deeply entwined to familiar issues that I myself have. I suppose this may be the main reason I enjoy this anime. So, a poetic imperfect masterpiece-could-have-been. If I were to rate it right now, I’d say… AA.

One big thing is that this anime has failed to make me cry. Before I can let out any shred of compassion for the characters, some annoyingly “artful” piece of scriptwriting pisses me off.

ef -a tale of melodies- Episode 11

The music got a bit better, but the main violin piece that Kuze plays isn’t all that amazing or anything. I like how everything is against the norm in this anime. Also, the story ended up pretty good. Still didn’t make me cry. Yet. One ep left. Current rating is probably like an AAA+.

Wow, nevermind. Kuze’ song sung by Mizuki is pretty awesome.

The single most annoying thing about this anime is Yuuko’s hat. I HATE THAT HAT.

3 months of random anime comments

June 11th, 2010

This is… really old… yea, so this is like 3 months of random anime comments. In fact… I guess I’ll title it that.

Mayoi Neko Overrun Episode 05

Chise is so lonely and pitiful. But obviously she’s such a brat. AWESOME! Last episode’s character becomes a main character! =D Chikumaen is an interesting last name, now that I think of it.

Too much crying… sniff sniff. The conclusion was slightly… too fake. And I don’t like how Kaho was the “badguy”. But all in all, a nice episode.

Tears to Tiara Episode 25


Finally got to finishing this. That albino guy uses the Force… no wait, he’s secretly Accelerator in disguise! The albino-ness even matches up! I do like how the anime turns black-and-white as the world is about to end and Heaven is about to be joined with Earth. WTF Taliesin is alive? I really thought he died. Which means… yay for pairing.

Tears to Tiara Episode 26 FINAL

Arawn has his Kamina moment. BELIEVE IN ME WHO BELIEVES IN YOU! YOUR DRILL IS THE ONE THAT WILL PIERCE THE HEAVENS! He even says some of the exact same things Kamina says. “WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!?!?!?”

This boss battle reminds me of Mabi. The whole Celtic mythology thing, plus that huge thing reminds me of Glas. Oh yeah, and everyone, pressure Riannon. Yeah, that’s going to help.

And the Riannon starts pwning anything with that Huge Beam of Light. ROW! ROW! FIGHT THE POWAH!

Then the Pendragon thing, Arthur is made king (omg who would have guessed. =_=). And… nothing really is told of the epilogue. We do have a final Taliesin squishy moment though. Anyways.

What I thought about this anime as a whole? I liked the plot, it was meaningful, especially compared to most anime nowadays. The humor, when it appeared, was average, but it was present when it was needed. One major thing about the high rating I am going to give Tears+Tiara is that there wasn’t a single character I disliked. Yes. This is amazing, but I liked every single character in this anime… including all the villains, and all the minor characters. As expected from a game-adapted anime, I suppose, where the main focus is almost entirely on characters. The character development of everybody but Arthur was highly neglected, I believe, but then again, I’m not really that interested. Also, if you’ve read something like Mists of Avalon and/or know some things about Celtic mythology, you’d know that 90% of the historical information cited in this anime is completely made-up. Yet compare this with Mists — which would you rather read?

Character: S+ / Plot+Setting: AAA+ / Music: A / Art: AA

Overall: (notice I curve this down considerably XD) AA+ [7.5/10]

The lame ending slightly lowered my rating. How does… Riannon suddenly remember some poem… and pwn everything with two sentences of Latin verse (or whatever language that is)? No sense is made. And then… it just ends. o_O

Hanamaru Kindergarten Episode 05

Yes I realize I’m about a season late. Awesome Evangelion references. Better confess, otherwise tomorrow Yuu-chan may move away… or he might be abducted by aliens tomorrow… or the Second Impact could happen tomorrow!

Hanamaru Kindergarten Episode 06

TSUCCHI’S IMOUTO IS AWESOME!!! Satsuki is now the best character in the series.

And, who would’ve guessed, she has a onii-chan complex. Wahaha.

Nagasarete Airantou Episode 15

From last episode… Mei Mei === Nodoka (wow it took me 20 seconds to recall her name) from Negima~~ I love how the introduction of new characters is well-paced. There isn’t anything I don’t like about this anime except the weird glasses-lady. Seriously, Mei Mei looks EXACTLY like Nodoka (facial expressions & reactions and all), except for recolored hair, a pair of braided bangs, and Chinese buns (what are those called), and the China dress (what are those called >> qipao?).

Oh, something interesting about the series (probably on purpose) — doesn’t “Airantou” sound like “Island” pronounced in Japanese? XD

Kaichou wa Maid-sama Episode 06

This episode is getting worse every episode. All the puns and jokes they’re using have already been done. There are NO new characters at all. The romansu SUCKS. Usui is too straightforward. Misaki’s plight is unrealistic, nothing really makes sense, and it’s not… interesting. Anymore. The first episode was funny, but… no. Not anymore.

Dance in the Vampire Bund Episode 11

Ugh, this SUCKS so bad! And it was so hyped too! The art is HORRIBLE! They keep trying to do the Ueki thing (or the Index thing or whatever other anime you want to ref) with “lone weak man VS impossible odds”… in fact, even Airantou involves these… “zettai muri” odds. Unfortunately, Bund sucks so I can’t be bothered to appreciate the effort they pretended they put into making the anime. This situation and the plotline must have been pretty good in the manga though, maybe I’ll check that out sometime.

Dance in the Vampire Bund Episode 12 FINAL

This anime. Sucked. It was off the charts.

Character: D- / Plot+Setting: D- / Art: F / Music: C

Overall: D [3/10]

Fairy Tail Episode 32

Ending to Loke arc. Nothing unexpected happened. This arc was lame.

Fairy Tail Episode 33

You can just feel the epicness of what’s about to happen in this arc flow up your veins.

Durarara! Episode 20+21

If nothing else, I love the narration of this anime.

Angel Beats Episode 09

It’s the last day of school today. And I’m pissed at life. So what do I do. I watch a good anime.

Initial comment: Wow, great quality animation. I seem to remember sucky animation at the beginning of the series; huh. Wait, there was an epic train incident and there’s no huge crowd of emergency personnel? Nobody knows that an epic train accident just happened? They’re not using their futuristic lasers to melt open the ground and save everybody with their mechas and island-sized submarine-airships? Is this really Japan? ><

Wow, Otonashi’s past…

Death is always such a good theme to explore in literature and art.

Angel Beats Episode 10

Why. Is this anime. So. Awesome. Nooo Yui! Don’t get rid of her ;_;

Oh. my. That ending was so beautiful.

Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai OVA 03

I can’t believe how much the quality of this sucks. Since they’re making OVAs instead of a new anime, you’d think the quality would be drastically higher.

However. I DESPERATELYwant to see the EPIC Rakan VS Negi battle animated. Rewatching OVA 02 (fine… “OAD 02” if you want to call it that… I don’t even know what it stands for o_O), the short Negi and Kotarou fight was pretty well-done. I won’t say it was really good animation, because it wasn’t. The animation in this OVA was also not awesome enough to match the epicness of Negima. I hope they ban Negima! and Negima!? and remake the OVAs into a 100-episode anime. Then I can die happy.

Hey, loser, I fixed your code.

June 6th, 2010

New tagline for my website. Just kidding.

Here’s my first blog post in two months. Naturally, since I have to summarize two months of my life in one blog post, I will be referring to my trusty agenda while recalling important events. So here we go.

The most recent thing since my last post was, of course, the 2010 AAPT Physics Bowl national competition. I find that I cannot seem to do well on important contests. I can fare reasonably well on tests and practice contests, but when it comes to the real thing, my brain cells just bluescreen from all the anxiety and end up failing in unique, interesting ways. Well, interesting to my readers, perhaps, but quite troublesome for myself. Take the AMC for example. I got enough questions right to get myself into the AIME exam, but I bubbled one of my answers in the wrong row. It’s interesting mistakes like these that make me headdesk in shame. I got 30/40 on the Physics Bowl contest.

That was Tuesday. Two days later, on Thursday, April 15, I set off towards San Francisco on the Orchestra Spring Tour. I can’t say I had fun… firstly, I forgot to bring black socks and black shoes. I had an interesting adventure with Hanchan near Fisherman’s Wharf searching for a pair of black shoes. I ended up buying a pair of black cloth made-in-China slippers. And I neglected black socks. Needless to say, I totally had a blast at the concert. Great America was one of the worst days I’ve had. I really hate amusement parks. It’s so pointless, and the amount of money they make is just staggering. I can’t believe people pay to… ugh. Well, the party at the end was great, though. Unlimited ice cream bars ftw!

Nothing interesting happened the next week. The following week was CSTs, and then the week after that was AP testing. I only had a test on the second Monday of AP tests, AP Physics B. It was easy, but I think I failed the free response pretty bad. Since, after all, I’ve never done an AP Physics free response practice ever. Hahahaha. Anyways, after that, Hanchan and I signed up to play a random quartet for a random rich person. Naturally, we failed brilliantly, but it was really fun anyways. I failed the APUSH test and only got into HUSH, and then we had the Pops Concert, along with the accompanying assemblies. The next week was so exceedingly busy, I have practically nothing written in my agenda for it. Oh, Friday says “Disneyland”. Right, we went to Disneyland. My “good” violin only had an orange Orchestra 1 tag on it, so it apparently got loaded into the Orchestra 2 section of the truck (how that makes sense, beats me.). So I had to use some loser’s crappy $20 violin in the seminar I paid like $80 for. Luckily I was able to prevent my own violin from being used by some loser during Orchestra 2’s performance. And the funniest thing is, after that, you have to PAY DISNEY… FULL ADMISSION PRICE to go play a day in the park. I mentioned above, when I was talking about the Spring Tour and Great America, how much I hate amusement parks. Ugh. I really hate them.

The weekend after Disneyland was really unique… it’s going to be memorable for years to come. You see, we have an English final project for Villalobos. My group — or rather, I myself, am rather ambitious. Our presentation was going to rock the socks off all our classmates… in theory. We met all of Saturday evening, I think, and met Sunday at Hank’s house (Hank, clean up your yard…). And they we met… ALL OF MEMORIAL DAY… from 10 in the morning, through lunch, through dinner, through midnight… and they left at 6am in the morning on Tuesday. Naturally, I skipped school on Tuesday to finish editing our horrible, crappy video, which wasn’t even my job. The thing is, nobody in my group except me can edit video, so…

Our presentation was on Wednesday. We first showed the video, which I typed up subtitles for the day before. Sound effects were added, but unfortunately Windows Movie Maker seems to be incapable of outputting playable video without considerable geekery, so we ended up throwing away many hours of work that we spent finding, adding, and timing sound effects. My subtitles were also quite substandard as well. (I did them using Aegisub, which, by the way, is probably the best subbing program on the internet. Almost all major subbing groups for anime use Aegisub, and it sped up my job immensely.)

After that, we did our main presentation, which was quite acceptable. I think the main premise of our presentation was quite good, although we were missing quite a few components (for example, the actual passage to be explicated during the passage explication…). As for the part of our presentation that made everything else seem trivial… our game. Let me explain. I was to write a flash game, from scratch, that allowed six players to control six cursors with six Wiimotes, connected via Bluetooth to the presentation computer. Each player had a racecar, and the goal was, of course, to be the first to complete three laps. However, players did not directly control the racecar in any way. They weren’t even in control of turning. All they had to do was answer multiple-choice questions on our book, Candide. Two questions appeared on the screen at a time, and any player could pick an answer from either question. If the player answered wrong, their car decelerated (or, accelerated backwards). It was possible for cars to end up driving backwards if too many wrong answers were chosen, which heavily discourages randomly picking answers. If a player chose the correct answer, a new question appeared, and the player’s car accelerated forwards. Also, there was a basic physics engine inside my game (written completely from scratch) that applied basic friction and forces to the cars, adding an interesting element of realism. All in all, it was quite a good idea, and it turned out to be quite a good game (except nobody in our group could do art and graphics competently), minus the graphics. Also, this is where I got the title of the post. It was Monday, and I was desperately looking for something cool to put on the “You Win!” screen, so I searched around the web for premade confetti scripts in Flash. Most of them were really crappy, and the ones that were okay costed money. I found some loser’s website with an OK script… however, the code was really really buggy. As in, it didn’t work at all. And when it did work, it was so slow, it crashed peoples’ computers. So I fixed it. I was tempted to reply to that loser’s blog with my fixed code. Hey, loser. I fixed your code.

Oh, but I didn’t. It would’ve been sweet, but I didn’t.

Anyways, guess what happened when I tried setting up my game during the presentation. All was well, until the game started… and then, it just didn’t work. Don’t ask me, the Wiimotes just suddenly all disconnected, and nothing happened when you pressed their buttons. Of course, this is all Microsoft’s fault, and when I’m retired, someday I’ll fix Microsoft’s bluetooth stack (which they still won’t have fixed in 60 years) and send it to Bill Gates. Hey, loser. I fixed your goddamn code.

Well, if you want an epilogue, we are going to re-present (read: steal five or ten minutes of another group’s presentation time) on Monday, tomorrow, and this time, hopefully nothing will go wrong.

So that was the major thing that happened recently. Also, Hank won Bay Math League. His score of 106 trumped my score of 100. I may have gotten a perfect paper on Round 4, but my previous failures dragged me down, I guess. I didn’t even rank, not surprisingly. Hank also founded Mu Alpha Theta on our campus. Speaking of math, I just got back yesterday from the national American Regions Math League, or ARML, national competition. Southern California A1 won 2nd place in the nation! Now, you’d expect me to be exhuberantly happy, but I must confess, I was on the SoCal B1 team. I get no medal, no certificate, no free calculator or $1000 prize or anything. I’d be depressed, but I don’t even have time to watch anime, so it’s not like I have time to be depressed. As I feel like giving a detailed summary of ARML, here goes:

On Friday, instead of going to school, I woke at 7am to board the SoCal ARML bus to Las Vegas. Most of my classmates probably will be listening to Justin’s explanation of why I am absent for the day: “He went to Las Vegas with his motorcycle gang to smuggle drugs and gamble. They’ll be chain-smoking and picking up girls, and Ben will be married to some prostitute when he gets back on Monday.” After five hours of bus ride torture, we disembarked into the 110-degree desert weather. We were staying in crappy dorms in UNLV — University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This is the site for the entire Western US ARML region. The other three ARML sites are at University of Georgia, Pennsylvania State University, and University of something-else. Friday afternoon-to-evening was spent on the Team Round and Power Round. My fellow teammates were rather incompetent, but my incompetence in the Individual and Relay Rounds the next day trumped their incompetence by miles. You can tell I did bad. Not that doing my best would have won me anything, anyways, but it generally doesn’t feel very nice getting two or three questions right out of ten… on anything, really. The Tiebreaker was just insane, and the Super Relay was just messed-up. I left the competition feeling quite dejected and completely lacking in confidence.

SoCal A1 won 2nd place nationally. First place went to some random loser team on the east coast or something. Yes, they did win, but I can still call them losers if I want. SFBA (San Francisco+Bay Area) won 3rd nationally — ha! losers. You may have noticed that I am using the word “loser” very liberally in this post. The obvious conclusion is that I, myself, am a loser, so, to ease the pain and sorrow, I call other people losers. Moving on.

The team composition of the ARML contest is quite fascinating. There were probably at least 15 teams from California — SoCal itself sent four teams, San Diego sent like two, SFBA sent like six, NoCal sent maybe one or two, etc. And then… Nevada had like one team. Utah had like one team. Oregon had a team, and I think Washington did too. The whole “region” of North+South Dakota plus Montana plus Wisconsin plus like 5 other states in that area… that’s like eight states… they sent just ONE team. Interesting, isn’t it? Also, this year the Mariana Islands sent a team, which was really cool. Guam also sent a team. I like how their definition of what’s included in the “American” Regions Math League is so liberal… for instance, Canada.

Vietnam also sent a full team, but apparently “international” teams were only there to participate, and they could not win prizes. It would be funny if Vietnam was considered a part of the “Western United States”. I would crack a joke about the Vietnam war, but my historical knowledge of said war has mysteriously disappeared. I think I replaced that portion of my memory with random anime songs. A team from China also came. They had some trouble getting visas to come here, so only 8 out of the 15-person team made it. The other 7 people counted as having scores of 0. Eight people. Only a half-team. Guess what? If China could win prizes, they’d have won the competition. That just cracks me up. Americans must really be losers.

Here’s to the cut.

» Read more: Hey, loser, I fixed your code.