Archive for the ‘Other’ category

3 Weeks Outside the Bubble

August 26th, 2011

So, as you’ve seen in my last ranty, somewhat pessimistic post, I was in San Diego for 3 weeks at a summer camp thing. This post will (hopefully) be about the good parts of it, instead of the pain of returning, as my last post was.

The official purpose of the camp was to take a class for 3 weeks. Mine was the Principles of Macroeconomics. My first choice was psychology, which is really interesting, but it was full, so my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to learn some basics of econ, as it is useful in the real world. The actual class wasn’t the main focus, though. We learned some things in the class, nothing too advanced, though it wasn’t stupidly easy either, since you have to be of decent intelligence to get into the camp. The teacher was okay, though not totally into it because she was getting married in a week.

We also had a few field trips for the class that really had nothing to do with econ, it was just an excuse to go out. One was to the (nude) beach which was a 20 minute walk from campus, one was to Balboa Park, where we pretty much sat on a lawn for a day, and one was to the Federal Reserve in downtown LA, which meant 4 hours of driving for a 30 minute tour. We got a bag of shredded money as a souvenir, at least.

But yeah, the main point, at least to me, was meeting all the people there. I don’t want to rant about the lack of diversity in Arcadia, since I’ve done plenty of that, so I’ll just mainly talk about the awesomeness of  the people at UCSD. The camp consisted of about 400 people, and we took up the whole Tioga Hall dorm building, which is 10 floors. On each floor, there were 2 suites, one on each side, with about 20 people. There was one residential adviser for each suite, who was responsible for uniting us, and our RA did a good job of that.

There was a lot of diversity (gasp) in our suite, with about equal amounts of Asians, Caucasians, and Hispanics. And the great thing was that all of these people were all incredibly cool. Both in personality, and in interestingness. No offense to Arcadians, but this type of interestingness is extremely rare in Arcadia, where academic pressure controls society. I was truly glad to have met all of the people in my suite, both for the view of the outside world, and just having fun.

I give up on trying to write this post as a coherent essay thing, so I’ll just go by categories of random events and stuff I remember.


First Serious Suite Meeting

So, we had a few meetings just to get to know each other and stuff, and then we had our first serious meeting, which was supposed to be about “hopes and fears.” Our RA started off by setting the tone with his life story, about how his abusive childhood led him to not be able to really trust people, how he fears he will stay this way, and how he hopes he will be able to change. This was followed by a few people, including me, with more tame topics, such as being afraid of not know what to do in life, etc.

Then, a few of the guys from bad neighborhoods shared their experiences. We always complain about affirmative action and how people from bad cities get advantages in college apps, but after listening to them, I think many of them absolutely deserve the advantage, and the opportunity to go to college. Those guys in my suite went through a lot, and have a lot more moral fiber and actual desire in life than pretty much anyone in Arcadia.

This story will have nothing close to the impact that it had then, with the person actually telling it, but the most memorable story was told by one of these guys, from a bad neighborhood, a bad household. He told us about how he knows that he is capable of doing well in school (and he is, all of us knew he was smart), but just wasn’t able to due to the circumstances. Everyday when he came home from school, he had no time to do his homework, as he had to prevent his dad from beating him and his mom.  The peak of this was a fight where his dad swung at him with a baseball bat, forcing him to stab his dad with a kitchen knife until he stopped.

He also apologized for lying to one of our other suite members. Apparently, he had said he didn’t want to swim because he was afraid of water, dating back to when he had almost drowned in a river as a child. The truth was that he had not drowned in a river, but had been thrown into a bathtub by his dad, nearly dying. Since then, even taking a shower triggers his fear of water.

Despite all this though, he still persisted in his attempt to go to college, the first in his family to do so. He wanted to go not just for himself but to make his mom proud and be able to help her out (a thought echoed by more than one person). Circumstances had gotten a little bit better recently, leading to much better grades, and election as student council president. He hopes to continue this success in college and beyond, which I have no doubt he will do.

Again, my telling of this does no justice to hearing it live that night, where it really hit everyone deeply, and in my opinion, brought our suite really close together right from the beginning.



So yeah, cafeteria food supposedly really sucks, but the food at UCSD wasn’t that bad. We had meal cards which worked 3 times a day, though I usually skipped breakfast. Everyday, there was pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, and some special dish of the day. I pretty much had pizza and pasta for two meals a day, everyday, and occasionally the dish of the day, if it was good. The highlight was one day where they served prime rib, which was surprisingly good. The lemonade constantly altered in color, from yellow to clear to milky white, but for lack of a better option, I had that pretty much everyday.


First Dance

So yeah, we had 3 dances at the camp, one every Friday. And yeah, these dances are nothing like the traditional ones, I had a very hard time explaining to my parents how people dance nowadays. I actually expected something more traditional too, where there’s a dance floor, you ask a girl to dance,  you take her hand then kind of move around, like everyone around you. My parents were expecting line dancing or disco.

Turns out dancing is nothing like that. The music is loud, blaring, techno-y music, (Sample: and people don’t move with any organization at all, pretty much just jumping around to the beat, or if they are good, jumping around to the beat while doing cool, fancy, dance steps. Our first two dances were inside the dorms, so people were just packed into the lounge, sweaty, and jumping on top of each other. Also, for the people who stopped jumping around to ask a girl to dance, the male/female dances are nothing like any of the dances you’ll see in movies. “Dancing with a girl” was interpreted as grinding. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. My dad did.

I pretty much spent the duration of the first dance observing, while attempting to not get sqaushed. Not very eventful, but we’ll have more on dancing later.



There were lots of activities scheduled, so naturally, I went to many of the sports. I played a lot of basketball, and some football, and with the intensity of the games, it was a lot more exercise than I had gotten in a long time. It was fun, and I was happy to see that I was at least decent in these sports games. Arcadia P.E. doesn’t really provide an accurate gauge of one’s athletic skill.


Harry Potter Movie

This was an optional field trip, but pretty much the entire camp signed up. We took a 20 minute walk, and took up a whole theater. The crowd was quite into the movie, which was interesting at first, but annoying after a while.

(Dragon kills goblins)


(Spell hits someone)


(Character says somewhat witty line)


(Ron and Hermione kiss)

*Standing ovation*


Baseball Game

I find baseball to a relatively boring sport, but usually I still enjoy the occasional Dodger game my family goes to, because the weather at night is nice, and there’s an occasional interesting moment. This was not the case at the game we went to however, as it was in the afternoon, giving me a serious sunburn, and the teams both sucked at hitting, meaning nothing of interest happened.


Politics/other discussions

I think I’ve said before that I was happy that people outside of Arcadia seemed much more willing/able to discuss political/moral issues. Because of how comfortable our suite was with each other, we were able to have some really interesting conversations. 2 atheists, 2 Christians, and a Muslim being able to have a logical, reasonable conversation with each other about controversial issues is not something that happens very often, in Arcadia, or anywhere for that matter (Turn on any 24 hour news network for radicals from both sides yelling at each other). We were able to understand each others’ views on issues and reach some common ground even on issues like the purpose of religion and abortion (We knew abortion is possibly one of the most touchy subjects possible, so we didn’t stay on it for long, but even then, it was a good discussion).

I’ve heard this kind of thing happens a lot in college, I really hope so.



As I’ve said many times, the people in my suite were awesome. The people in the other suite on our floor were cool too, and we would play cards or whatever with them a lot. In our suite, we had a lot of avid chess players, so that was fun. I hadn’t played since chess club in 6th grade at FA, but I did okay.


Drunk College Girls

This was an interesting incident…At 11:30 one night (Lights out are supposed to be at 11, but as long as you’re in your room, you can do whatever) we were screwing around, showing each other youtube videos, etc. when we heard a loud knocking on our suite door. Me and my roomates happened to be the first ones out there, and we say that there were multiple girls yelling and knocking on our door. One of my roomates decided that it would be a good idea to open it.

At first, I thought maybe these girls had arranged a date with some of the guys in our suite. I was proven wrong quite quickly though, as it was clear these girls were not our age, and were on some type of drug. They ran around, screaming and laughing, yelling about how they used to be in this dorm, gladly shrieking about who had sex in which room, and how the wall had been “ejaculated all over.” They then ran up to one of the guys in my suite, bit his nipple, and ran out back to the elevator, still severely under the influence of the aforementioned unknown drug.

Our RA was mysteriously missing until 30 minutes later (Our conspiracy theories ranged from him partying with the other RA’s, to him being the one who sent those girls up, because he was mad at us), and needless to say, all of us had trouble going  back to sleep after this.


Missing Home

Or lack of, rather. I guess I just enjoyed it so much that I didn’t really feel at any time that I really wanted to be at home. An interesting thing was that, when my family called in the middle of the 3 weeks, my attempt to speak Cantonese to my grandma was filled with fail. My Cantonese skills are not that great, and I guess after a short time of disuse, my tongue became really unfamiliar with speaking it.



UCSD campus was pretty nice, though we weren’t really staying in the good part. A lot of our area was filled with concrete, though the nice surroundings were still somewhat visible. We went to the Price Center a few times, which is a plaza thing with the bookstore, and a bunch of restaurants. On our walk to the beach, we saw some of the nicer parts of the campus.


Last Dance

As I said before, the first two dances were in our dorms, which wasn’t a great idea, as everyone was crammed together. I left the second dance quite early due to the high body temperature humidity and not wanting to be crushed. Our final dance however, on the last full day of school, was in the campus pub. The bar was closed off to us, but there was a dance floor, complete with flashing lights and a DJ. Since after the next day, there was a good chance we wouldn’t see each other again, many people, me included, wanted to take this opportunity and make something happen at the dance. On of my suite mates, who previously had gotten super hyper and crazy from one Mountain Dew, drank two of them as well as a 5 Hour Energy right before the dance, to get himself in the mood.

At the beginning, a lot of us weren’t that involved, trying fruitlessly to tell each other to go into the dance floor. As the dance progressed a bit though, more people came, and more people began to get involved. The dance was originally supposed to be from 7:30 to 9:30, but the ending was moved back to 11, drawing cheers from the crowd.

I began to get involved with the dancing, and it was actually quite fun. A lot of it was just being in a circle with guys that you knew, along with some girls who decided to join, and just jumping around and having fun. It helped that my roomate was a good dancer, so we could imitate him if totally confused. I spent much of the night having fun like this, dancing to the different songs and stuff. However, as the night neared its end, I still had not asked a girl to dance, something which I had set my mind out to do that night.

It would be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable to post the details of what happened next publicly, but  eventually, near the end of the dance, with some help,  I did dance with a girl. Yeah.



 That night, after the dance, we went back to our suite. Lights out weren’t enforced that night, so we stayed up until 2:30 in our suite, just talking about whatever. After saying difficult goodbyes, I crammed everything into my luggage and bags in preparation for going back to reality.



Senior Summer Road Trip

March 7th, 2011

So yeah, after we graduate from AHS and are ready to go to whatever college we get into, (probably not the one we wanted) we’ll have about 3 months. As we’ve discussed before, we’re going to go on a road trip across the country, visiting all 48 contigous states. Tim and I recently calculated some of the logistics of this.

First off, yes, it is possible to go through all 48 states reasonably. We might only touch upon a few, but it is possible. Here is an estimate, with my epic MS Paint skills. Obviously, we’ll make some adjustments if we want to go to some landmarks or something.

We’re estimating that the trip will take about 2 months, and we’re making the assumption that there’s 5 people going.

An RV is too inconvenient, driving and parking and stuff throughout the whole country, so we’ll have to stay in motels. A motel room will cost about $40 a night, so we’ll cram all of us in one. That’s about $2400 for the trip.

Driving in our car, we’ll need lots of gas. The route is appoximately 11000 miles, and with about 20 mpg and 4 dollars per gallon. We also added a bunch of money, just in case, so we’ll say about $4000 for gas.

Food is also a major cost. We’re planning to eat at a bunch of cheap restuarants and diners and stuff. We’ll have cheap fast food too, but 60 days of it doesn’t sound very healthy. So about $10 a meal, with tax an tip, means $40 a day, and another 2400. But this is per person, so 12000 to the total cost.

Adding everything up, it’s 18400. But there’s always random crap, so we’ll just say an even 20000. That makes 4000 per person. But I’m sure it’ll be worth it. We need this to relieve all the cumulative stress we will have had over 4 years of hell.

WARNING: Wall of Text

January 29th, 2011

Ok, so last time, I thought I was going to write a pretty short post, and it ended up being >1000 words. This time I expect the post to be kind of long, so I don’t know what that means for actual length…

So, starting off, one of the biggest things that everybody has been talking about lately is Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Everybody includes a bunch of my teachers, along with seemingly every major news publication and TV show. So, naturally, this blog cannot ignore the issue, especially considering the demographic of the writers/readers of it.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, the book is a memoir written by Chua about parenting her two daughters. As you can tell by her name, she is Asian.  Though she was born in America and is a professor at Yale University, Chua’s parents were immigrants, and she raised her kid in the same style as her parents, the style that all of us are familiar with.

Chua’s book came into national attention when an excerpt from her book was published in the Wall Street Journal, under the title “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” Yeah, if you haven’t already, read it. Basically, it involves extreme punishment during practicing piano, for those of you who haven’t read it yet and were too lazy to do so when I just told you to. This triggered a national outcry, some people were angry, others contemplated if this was the reason China was so ahead of the U.S. acadmically. Everybody had their opinion on it, from those condemning her, calling for charges of child abuse, to those arguing that all Americans must follow her model, or we’ll be taken over by the Chinese. That’s enough time summarizing, so if you want to witness the media firestorm of opinions, Google News “tiger mother.”

So, after everyone’s written and/or yelled into a camera their opinions already, here’s mine. Like in many cases, those on either extreme are wrong. Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood, to have fun, to socialize. Disparaging them or forcing them into activities they hate are clearly not healthy. Neither is banning TV or sleepovers, as this results in children who are unable to connect with the outside world. On the other hand, absolutely neglectful parenting also has consequences. I’m going to use the stereotypical “Drop out of PCC, work at McDonald’s, become a drug addict and then a hobo” example so I don’t have to come up with my own. Parents are responsible for their children, so they must care for them, and hard work and responsibilty are indeed important values to teach.

So, what’s my solution? Well, clearly, I’m advocating moderation. But where on the scale of moderation, you ask? “Your solution is vague, it can fall anywhere on the scale from 1-10, with 1 being ‘You must practice piano/violin 4 hours a day, and get a 4.0 GPA, no use of electronic devices, and if you disobey, I’ll beat you’ to ‘You got a D+? That’s great! Yeah, go ahead and take the pickup tonight, I don’t care where you go. Oh, want some of this beer?’ ” Yes, that is exactly my solution. There is no one solution. Parenting isn’t a cheap baseball cap; there is no one-size-fits all.

Parents must look at their child, and see who they are, what they are like, what they are capable of. From this, you decide how to parent, what standards to impose, how much pressure to give them. You can’t just read a parenting book and expect to know exactly how to parent your child. Or even worse, you can’t read a Chinese newspaper, or listen to Chinese radio, or hear from a friend. There is a tendency in the Asian community to hear, through one of those aforementioned channels, about how some kid got into Stanford, had a high GPA, was an expert pianist, had a high SAT score…and this was what his parents did.  This is what you have to do to get into a good college.

Well, guess what? That kid’s parents don’t necessarily know why their kid got into Stanford. Maybe it was the piano, maybe he wrote a really insightful app essay, maybe he just happened to get lucky. But more importantly, that wasn’t your kid.  No matter what you do, how closely you try to follow the advice of those parents, or of parenting experts, or of “parenting experts” on Chinese radio/newspaper, your kid will not be somebody else’s kid. No crazy, magical parenting method will get your kid into a good college. If you want to parent your child, you must actually parent your child. Get to know them, accept them, learn what it takes to help them. Figure out what drives and inspires them. Maybe that’ll help them into Stanford. Or maybe they’re just not the type for high-level colleges. See what alternatives there are for them to be happy and successful.  

Yes, this will require a lot of effort. But you were the one that brought your child into the world. Don’t expect a quick and easy solution.

Next, the State of the Union. You should all  watch it because it’s you know, the state of our union. It’s an hour long, but President Obama stated that the two top priorities for the country should be innovation and education. That we must progress our scientific innovation, and also educate our kids better. That “we must stop getting rid of good teachers, and stop making excuses for bad ones,” that we should better support these good teachers.

Of course, I totally agree with this. The future of this country depends on the education of the young, and on what developments can be made to keep ahead of the rest of the world. I fail to comprehend how politicians turn to education when they need to cut money to pay off debt. As we all have experienced, the American public education system is flawed.  And now, with budget cuts, not only is college tuition becoming ridiculous, teachers are being fired. And of course, this goes by seniority. So newer teachers are let go, despite being highly competent and motivated, while older teachers can stay despite being less qualified to teach than most of their students. In freshmen year, when pink slips were being handed out, my history and biology teachers received one, even though they were both great teachers that worked hard and cared about their students, while my math teacher, who did nothing, was completely safe. Along with a bunch of other teachers, including my future AP biology teacher, whose incompetence I could write a whole post about.

The good thing is that the Los Angeles Unified is, I believe, getting rid of the tenure system, so that poor teachers can be eliminated despite their seniority. Hopefully this can stay, as I know the teacher union is mounting strong opposition.

It’s not all about the teachers, though. I’m  curious to see what Obama’s plan is, to restructure the education system, to advance learning so that those innovations can be developed, to change attitudes about education, to make higher level education affordable. It’s clearly not an easy task, but it is a very important one.

And even if you don’t care about this, or the rest of the President’s speech, he called for high speed internet nationwide, something I think we can all approve of.

Now, onto a common topic of mine: Asian-Americaness.

I don’t remember the context, but recently, my mom stated that my brother was “an ABC.” Just in case, that means “American-born Chinese” in this case. My dad quickly responded, that no, he’s not. And I agreed with him.

This may be nitpicking, and I don’t want to get into SAT grammar crap, but in that phrase, “American-born Chinese,” Chinese is the noun. The American-born is just modifying it. That means that the person is a Chinese. That just happens to be born in America. Yao Ming is a tall Chinese. Jackie Chan is a tough Chinese. Hu Jintao is a powerful Chinese. Person X is an American-born Chinese.

Yeah, well Person X is not my brother, I’m 99% sure. And I’m 100% sure that’s not me. I am an American. If you, for some reason, need to label by race, I’m an American of Asian descent. Or if you really need to, Asian-American. Chinese-American. Whatever. But I am not a Chinese. I am now getting into the territory of my debate with Tim, which he has adamantly dodged attempts to continue. So I want him to post his response on this blog. Or just in our IM, I guess, but he hasn’t had a post yet, so we might as well conduct our debate through the opinion section of the Leafwood Times.

Anyway, the point is, I was born in America, I was raised in America, I will, barring something life-changing, (Admission into Cambridge, alien invasion of only North America, etc.) continue to live in America. I am American, not Chinese, no matter what my physical race is. In a conflict between the two countries, I know which side I am on. I do not consider myself Chinese. I do not consider myself a part of Chinese culture. Maybe you guys feel differently, I want to hear your opinions.

Finally, I wasn’t sure if I wanted include this part, because it involves the stupidity of stupid, loser sophomores. To quote Jon Stewart, after seeing a video of a radical right-wing 13 year old at the Republican National Convention, “Is he even an acceptable target?” Or another Stewart quote, after seeing Glenn Beck do another stupid Glenn Beck thing, “Fuck it, it’s not worth it anymore” to mock him. Also, yeah, it may be kind of loserish to devote a section of this post to their stupidity. But I’m still going to do it, because it’s just too funny.

So, yeah, this is based off a facebook convo between two sophmores that got into my news feed, due to one of my fb friends having one comment in it. I can’t figure out how, if it’s even possible, to upload pictures from my hard drive to here, so yeah, it’s in the Life Sucks Group, if you want to see it.

Oh, nvm, copy and paste works well. Meh, think I’ll take out names and pictures. Text in red is my commentary.

  • I’m sorry but if you dont watch Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Appleseed,
    And all you do is watch Bleach or Naruto, then you are NOT an anime fan.
  • Oh, good, anime elitism…almost all elitists are stupid, but yeah…anime elitism. They like Bleach and Naruto. Bleach and Naruto are animes. Sounds like they are anime fans.
  • 2 people like this.

       id say more if you dont know who osamu tezuka is then youre not an anime fan.

      4 hours ago
  •  Introducing, guy number 2. He’ll be interacting with the original poster throughout.

       Lol, yeah
      GO ASTROBOY, lol

      4 hours ago · 1 person
    •  Original poster again. It’s pretty much these two losers going back and forth, unless otherwise indicated.

      do you know how many “otaku” i talk to who dont even know about him? how do you not know about the father of modern anime and manga and call yourself the ultimate anime fan.

      4 hours ago
    • How do you call yourself the ultimate anime fan at all?
    •  Theyre poopheads

      3 hours ago · 1 person

       That was really necessary…
    •  i think its more of the fact that its really really old and hard to access

      3 hours ago
    •  This is a third party, with some *gasp* logic. People might prefer to watch newer animes instead of something really old? What is this madness.

      Yeah, its sad that american kids watch bleach and naruto, ( which is getting too old ) and think they are otakus. SCREW YOU GUYS

      3 hours ago
    • Sad? I think this convo is a lot more sad. I also like the way he uses “American.” We’ll get back to that later. And another unecessary insult. Even if you disagree with these people,  they haven’t done anything to you…

      thats a negative thing…. but okay
    • 3 hours ago · 1 person
    • This is logical person again. Yeah, I like this guy…they’re being really anal about qualifcations for being  an “otaku” when the majority looks on this group negatively…shouldn’t these extreme standards for who is part of a group be reserved for something else?

       Naruto and bleach are decent animes, but they are praised too higly, alot of these fake otakus say bleach and naruto are SUPER actionpacked. FUCK! Ghost in the Shell takes action to a different dimension!

      3 hours ago
    • To a different dimension? Is there 3d anime now? Ben, fill me in.

      The correct term for Naruto/Bleach fans are known as Narutards and Weeabos. Get it together.

      3 hours ago · 2 people

      Ok, this is a 4th guy, another anime elitist. Random unecessary insults again. 
    •  ‎:D

      3 hours ago

       Yeah, i got sick of those two animes

      3 hours ago

      im happy with only bleach and naruto.

      3 hours ago
    • Yeah, this is the guy that’s my fb friend, lol.

      Seriously? There’s even elitism over ANIME AND MANGA now?

      3 hours ago · 1 person
    • Yay, another logical person. You echo my thoughts exactly.
    • i actually like bleach(the manga anyways) the only thing that actually makes either of those 2 series bad is the fans…and the fillers. buts its how stupid the fans act that make people judge the quality of the show. bleach actually has a pretty good changing and evolving storyline, intense and wonderful artwork, a wide range of character to the point the main character isnt the only person who has a back story and it can still be pretty funny at times.

      3 hours ago · 1 person

      Ok…WTF? The only reason you it’s bad is because of the fans? That makes no fucking sense…so you’ll not like something that you say is great otherwise…because of how fans of it think. Yeah, I don’t think I even need to explain this one…yeah, I don’t think those people should call themselves “otakus,” because they watch it for enjoyment, not to participate in some wierd system of feeling socially superior to compensate for failing socially in real life.
    •  I like how weeaboos think they know japanese culture because they watch bleach or naruto

      3 hours ago

      they do?

      3 hours ago

    • Yes. Some of my friends think japanese culture is better than western culture, and i dont think theres nothing wrong with an opinion like that, but they only think that because they watch anime. they havent even been in Japan or have been in a japanese home, so how would they know?

      3 hours ago
    • Ok, uh…first off, have you been to Japan? Based off a comment you’ll see later, it seems like you haven’t either. And second, “I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with a opinion like that” is a double negative, a disguised way of saying “I agree with them, but I want them to agree EXACTLY the way I do, and also, an incredibly stupid statement.
    • No, my arguement is not that he’s an idiot, because Western culture is better. I’m not going to resort to a stupid arguement like that. As you guys know, I think that anime and manga and a lot of Japanese crap is stupid. But seriously, it’s stupid to say that either culture is “better.” How can you say a culture is “better”. It’s simply different. It’s how a group of people chooses to behave. You are in no position to argue that it is “better”. You can prefer one culture to another, but you cannot say a culture is better or worse, unless one of the cultures is North Korea, or something. But Japan and the U.S. (and Europe, since he said west) are both places with highly developed, civilized cultures. They both function fine, and to say that one is better than the other is childish and idiotic.
    • i mean i have done alot of research into japanese culture and history and i believe that the eastern(japanese culture) were a alot more honorable before the westerners came but i dont think im an expert on japanese culture based on anime.

      3 hours ago · 1 person

      Watching anime doesn’t make you an expert, but your hours of reading wikipedia pages on Japanese culture does…
    • Yes, i agree, watching anime doesnt make me a native. These retards think japanese culture is all cute and fun and games, it certainly can however, but they dont realize that japan is a very, VERY conervative society. When they think theyve watched enough anime, they’ll go to Japan and embarass themselves in public and wont even notice it. they’ll eat a big fatass bag of of chippy brand potato chips and drink ramune WHILE walking in public out on the streets.

      3 hours ago
    •  I’m assuming, based off the first sentence, that this confirms that hasn’t had the experience of living in Japan that he previously referred to. And as for the rest of it…uh…I don’t even know. I’ll leave everything else for our anime/Japan expert, Ben. What’s your commentary on this?


Yeah, it probably wasn’t worth it to explore that stupidity. Oh well, it led to some somewhat meaningful ranting about society and culture.

So yeah, that’s it. I don’t know if there was something else I wanted to talk about, but I think this is already way too much writing.

Hi, Ben

January 20th, 2011

This is your friend Kevin from the future. I know current Ben won’t check this site, so the only way you would be reading this is if 4th grade Ben was able to perfect time travelling e-mail, which I think is a plausible idea. So hi, 4th grade Ben. You know, you should talk to girls more. Don’t stay in all day programming, trust me, it’ll be fun. Oh, and don’t sign up for honors or AP English when you get to high school, it’ll only cause trouble.

Um yeah, enjoy the rest of recess.

Of course, I’m actually posting this on the blog, because the contact us page on the original leafwood failed, which means 4th grade Ben couldn’t time travel, which defeats the whole purpose of this.

Life sucks.

Collegeboard, pt. 2

January 15th, 2011

Got two random spam emails from the collegeboard, well, actually the it says the email is from “SAT,” presumably for FOB’s and/or idiots who don’t know what collegeboard is, but will become excited when they get an important email from “SAT”.

They pretty much say the same thing, except that one of them is only sent to people with a “solid” PSAT score. I wonder what is the cut-off score for their email-sending script. Actually, maybe they send this to everyone to make them feel better, and be more likely to do the crap they’re advertising, since they feel like they have a chance on the real SAT. Yeah, that makes more sense.


Hi Kevin,

We know you still have a lot to decide about college, but don’t sweat it.”

I’ve been told “don’t worry” by a lot of people about college. I haven’t believed any of them. I also have been told a lot of things by collegeboard. I haven’t believed any of them either. So yeah, guess what I thought about the validity of this statement.

“What you need is the ultimate College Planning Checklist from the College Board.”


No, what I need is an altering of my transcript, a time torrenting machine, and a girlfriend.

I guess that works too...

” Click here to get your FREE copy today and be sure to pass it along to your friends.”


Is it just me, or does this totally sound like some crappy internet spam virus thing? Along with my previous post about how nothing from collegeboard is free…yeah, I don’t think I’m going to be clicking there.

“The SAT® is accepted by the best colleges and is an excellent way to showcase your skills for admission.”

Right behind getting a good GPA, having a lot of leadership positions, having national achievements in sports, having a great art portfolio, writing a good essay, getting a recommendation from a famous and respected person, climbing Mount Everest, being an underrepresented minority, making an impressive work of film, bribing/blackmailing the school, saving a group of orphans from a burning bus, showing a passion in something the school desperately wants more of, having your last name be “Bush”, and a few other things…

“So take the time to prepare by getting into a good practice groove now

I don’t even know WTF getting into a good practice groove is supposed to mean…

“and register for the SAT when you’re ready.”

Ok, collegeboard, I will have had registered when I am had been ready to will have take the SAT, but I’m not quite sure when that time will have came. I’ll be sure to register when that has have had happens, though.

“There’s no better source to help you prepare than the College Board – the official maker of the SAT.”


As we’ve all realized by now, collegeboard isn’t where you look to for intelligence, but this is an exceedingly stupid statement. There’s no better source to prepare somebody for your test than you? Not the tutoring schools who are willing to analyze the hell out of your poorly written exam, and have no interest in having your score curve going as planned? The ones that do everything to try and break your system, and probably know your exam better than you do?

Hm, upon reading the other email…

“Your success on the PSAT/NMSQT® is a great reason to take the next step toward college – the SAT®.”

Yeah, I think I’m right. I somehow doubt they have a script that sends this email to everyone with a score above 200, and an email to everyone else that says

“Your failure on the PSAT/NMSQT® is a great reason to not give us $80 to us and waste 5 hours of your life.”

“Why you’re receiving this e-mail: When you took the PSAT/NMSQT®, or created a account, you told us that you were interested in receiving updates from the College Board.”

Actually,  you manipulated the words so that it would make it seem like if we didn’t check the box, people would be missing out on scholarships from Harvard or something, not these emails from you. Really, I don’t think anything productive ever has come from  an email due to collegeboard’s email service, or from AHS’s college thing. I knew that before signing up, but I still did anyway. Idk, maybe I will get some miraculous scholarship offer from a college through email…

“To ensure that e-mail is not incorrectly identified as spam, please add to your address book.”

“Incorrectly identified”?  I think this ending up in your spam section is a sign that your email service has really good AI.


September 14th, 2010

As was usual in my sophomore year, I’m back into the habit of blogging instead of doing my homework. Well, today I have an interesting issue to bring to the table today. I’ll kick us off with an interesting hook: an article about a Vietnamese farmer who has not had a wink of sleep for 38 years (and counting!).

Previously, we have been intensely intrigued with the idea of polyphasic sleep: as opposed to “normal” monophasic sleep, where we sleep for an average of eight hours per day in one single run, polyphasic sleepers take short, 30-minute naps every three to four hours. The most commonly discussed form consists of six thirty-minute naps per day: three hours of sleep every day! Imagine having twenty-one hours of free time every day.

This is only possible because, as the polyphasic party would like to point out, sleep is divided into many phases. An average night of sleep contains about six cycles. Every night, we cycle through these phases of sleep six times, but the only useful one, according to the polyphases, is REM sleep, short for rapid eye movement sleep. This phases only occupies about 25% of every cycle, so only two hours of sleep every night contribute to your REM sleep. REM sleep is the sleep phase in which humans regenerate and recollect the events of the day, organizing memories and gathering them together into dreams. The basic premise of polyphasic sleep is to condition your body into immediately dropping into REM sleep within five minutes of closing your eyes, allowing three full hours of REM sleep: more than you get in eight hours of monophasic sleep!

This amazing sleep regime was supposedly carried out and advocated by famous 20th-century architect Buckminster Fuller. After two years of polyphasic life, he returned to monophasic sleep because his business associates preferred him awake in the daytime, and asleep at night.

An extremely detailed documented personal trial of polyphasic sleep has been done by Steve Pavlina in his blog. I would recommend all of my classmates to read the full series of posts. He reports great news with three hours of sleep a day, especially increased wakefulness and more brain time spent with alpha brain waves that encourage creativity. He documents how his increased concentration led to increased problem-solving ability, and describes many other enticing details.

An important and striking detail to note is that babies are naturally polyphasic sleepers when they are born. They nap for a few hours, and then wake up for a few hours, and repeat the cycle. Of course, this annoys the hell out of the parents who have to wake up at 1am and 4am every night, but this allows the baby to sleep efficiently and spend as much time in REM sleep as possible. As described by Steve, perhaps the truth is that humans are born to be polyphasic sleepers, and we only sleep one phase at night because that is what society does. We all conform. Of course, this is a pretty wild theory: first of all, why would many different, independent societies all converge and develop into monophasic sleep societies? This is generally true except for the fact that many Europeans take siestas, so they would actually be considered biphasic sleepers. Good evidence exists in examining other animals, however. Many mammals take short naps in addition to sleeping at night, especially herbivores. All great apes are in fact biphasic sleepers. Steve’s blog references an article with studies on animal sleep.

This approach to sleep is not without its opponents. Dr. Piotr Wozniak has written an excellent study of the feasibility of polyphasic sleep. He concludes that body rhythms of anything besides biphasic or monophasic cannot be maintained naturally, without an extremely high degree of sleep deprivation. Forcing yourself to keep awake might change your sleep schedule, but without sleep deprivation your body will naturally shift your naps into one single siesta, maintains Dr. Wozniak.

Wozniak also quickly refutes claims of famous historical geniuses all maintaining polyphasic sleep schedules to accomplish all the great things they have accomplished. This list includes Da Vinci, Edison, Tesla, Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and even Bruce Lee.

In summary, Dr. Wozniak claims that all self-claimed polyphasic sleepers are only pushing the idea on the internet because it’s a compelling topic and drives traffic and visitors to their blogs. He even publishes a later article (dated April 2010) responding to the intense criticism due to his first article. There is something interesting and relevant he said that I think can summarize the entire purpose of this post in one go:

Phase 11: Evening: this is not a good time for napping. In a healthy cycle, napping might be hard to achieve or impossible. However, even a minor degree of sleep deprivation will produce a nap that might trigger the control mechanisms responsible for the full-night sleep. Late naps are likely to be rich in NREM sleep and rob your night sleep of the vital SWS component. Those naps can last far longer than siesta naps. They can make you groggy. Worst of all, they can compound insomnia. Unfortunately, this is a type of a nap that a huge proportion of students take! Forced to wake up at indecently early times for school, kids and students struggle semi-conscious through school hours with negligible progress in learning. Learning in such a state only magnifies the pretty universal hatred of school. Phase 11 nap is then the only way to survive the day and get some actual learning done in the evening. The body clock shifts the subjective night to the morning hours. The positive side effect is that evenings can be filled with effective studying. The negative side effect is that the student finds it impossible to fall asleep before 3-4 am, and welcomes the new bright school day with an alarm clock that rings in the middle of the subjective night. This perpetuates the cycle of suffering and school hate. Nobody has ever estimated the global consequences of this phenomenon that includes an impact on adolescent attitudes that are notoriously fraught with problems. Neither has anyone come up with a practical solution (shifting school hours usually results in kids “adapting” to the new cycle by shifting their bed time as well). I am not able to recommend a solution here either. Skipping evening naps might be better for the quality of night sleep and for the stabilization of the circadian cycle in the earlier phase, however, that would effectively rob those students of their only time in which they can learn. Those evening naps are also the only meager substitute for free-running sleep that those young brains crave. The only time when the brain gets what it wants. If I was to answer: to nap or not to nap, I would probably have to admit that evening napping is the lesser evil in a majority of cases.

Protected: I heard “San Marino High School” in there somewhere.

November 23rd, 2009

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Protected: The FCC frowns on killing listeners.

November 22nd, 2009

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November 9th, 2009


Yours Furniture

Your's Furniture

This is incorrect because “your” is already a possessive pronoun, and there’s no point in adding another apostrophe+s.

It has been brought to my attention that “Your” could be somebody’s last name. That would be unlikely, however, especially considering this photo was taken in an Asian-dominated district of LA.

Emperor Taste Restaurant

Emperor Taste Restaurant

The restaurant does not taste like emperors.

They are trying to convey that the restaurant’s foods have taste “worthy of an emperor”, or “fit for an emperor”.



They’re not selling quality — the products they sell are quality products. You can’t sell somebody the quality of “quality”, I’m sorry.

We Sell Banner

We Sell Banner

They sell “banners” — plural.

We Go Clinic

We Go Clinic

… what?

Convenient Store

Convenient Store

It’s a convenience store. Convenience stores are indeed convenient, but we call them “convenience stores”. It also seems to be a rather uncreative name for a convenience store: “Convenient Store”.

This store you’ve probably seen a hundred times because it’s in Arcadia, and everybody who did this EC probably took a picture of it, haha.

I actually took many more photos than this; see the photobucket gallery I uploaded them to: (which should redirect to

Photoblogging 02 [“a pleasant meal”]

November 3rd, 2009

Sunday, November 1st, 2009. What a pleasant morning it was. I skipped violin class because I had three long, important essays, a speech+presentation that I had to present in front of the entire class, and one extra-credit miniproject to do, all for my English Honors class.

The mini-project involved taking pictures of “grammatically incorrect” or “racially incorrect” signs. Of course, I’m not the photographer-type, so I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about this project, but it turned out extremely fun.

My dad is (well, was) an awesome photography fanatic, so he let me use his $1000+ professional-looking camera with his several-hundred-dollar ultrasonic long-range lens.

Originally I planned on driving to Chinatown and Little Tokyo in downtown LA, but my dad told me that there was lots of bad English around Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Rosemead. So basically, that explains the all the sudden photoblogging.

Contrary to the title, there are no photos of food in this post. Sorry to disappoint.

Your's Furniture

"Your's Furniture"

Totally compelling name.

Totally need to go visit that store sometime. Well, actually, on second thought I dont care about Japanese games.

Totally need to go visit that store sometime. Well, actually, on second thought I don't care about Japanese games.

No, that wasn’t really grammatically incorrect, and I’m not using it for one of my “signs”.

I dont know. Randomness rules.

I don't know. Randomness rules.