local

Netflix Walks Into an Ice Cream Parlor

Have you ever wondered what Netflix would taste like as an ice cream flavor? Well according to Cool Haus, it is a “white cheddar popcorn-infused ice cream base withDoritos”. It would seem that the owners of Cool Haus have synethesia because they have developed flavors for the Real House Wives, Passover, The Road Less Traveled and a Home Run. They also have tons of hipster flavors like Salad, Avocado Sea Salt, Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone.

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research

Find Your Nemo with Poke

One of the most exciting and delicious things about California is the wide spread availability of Poke. If you are a sushi fan, or have had it before, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you are unfamiliar, you should read this article by Eater. In short, it is a healthy rice bowl with raw fish and other fix-ins. Poke is originally from Hawaii, but the craze has spread to most major cities including Vancouver, where I am from. Back home, the bowls are pricier due to limited competition, but here, it is much more affordable. Think upscale Chipotle, but even more customizable and actually good for you.

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local

LA's Shopping Mecca

In high school, I loved going to the mall with friends. Even if I didn’t need to buy anything, it was nice to hangout under air conditioning with access to food all around us. Also, it doesn’t hurt to window shop and try on dresses that I obviously cannot afford. It is hard to find time to go to the mall during the school year since they are all a drive away. Also, once the bank of mom and dad becomes more stringent, it’s harder to go on shopping sprees.

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research

Flyaway Fun Part 1

One thing I love about Caltech summers is the free time. While learning during the year is also great, classes, extracurriculars, and research leave very little time to take a vacation (though there is plenty of free time to fill with hanging out with friends and small day trips).

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global

An Evening In Oakland

Although it is the Bay Area, I live on the Peninsula, while she was in the North Bay. Fortunately, Facebook has shuttles going all over the area - including a few into San Francisco, which I have used before. I was able to catch a shuttle into Oakland to see and have dinner with her.

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global

Tongue-Thaied Lessons

One of my good friends loves peppers. He keeps every variety on his deck, from sweet Banana Peppers to spicy Ghost Pepper. He has more on there than any grocery store selection. The other day, he handed me one of his smallest breeds to try– the Thai ornamental pepper. It looks very cute and innocent on the outside. It’s red and about the size of my thumbnail. It has a cute little green stem at the top, making it look almost like an oblong strawberry.

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clubs

$2 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Last weekend, I traveled down to Caltech from the Bay Area for my boyfriend’s birthday. Friday night, we drove about 40 minutes to Westwood for Diddy Riese’s famous $2 ice cream sandwiches. Okay, not just for the ice cream sandwiches, but mostly.

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culture

The Newest History You'll Find

The Computer History Museum is about the innovation that went into machines, and their evolution over time. It’s always very interesting to me because the timeline for the museum is really ridiculous - from the start of the main exhibit, there is an abacus, which goes straight into machines such as type writers. But modern(ish) computers don’t really start until World War II, and their advancement accelerates so drastically starting from the 1970s that it’s almost comical. It’s really so surprising to see iPods from 2001 displayed in a museum, simply because technology has advanced so fast.

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research

EKG Explorations

Although I’m working in a geology lab, the Kirschvink Paleomagnetics Laboratory, I am primarily running electroencephalogram (EEG) experiments. An EEG is an easy way to non-invasively measure brainwaves. In a previous post, I showed you all a picture of me in the cap, which contains 64 different electrodes and tons of wires. We have caps in all different sizes here, allowing us to run virtually any subject who is willing and able. Along with EEGs, Caltech is also home to MRIs, TMSs and other advanced neuroscience equipment– it’s really awesome to be in a place where as an undergraduate, I can work with cutting-edge technology!

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clubs

Flurries of Fluffies

As I mentioned in my last post, after leaving Pomona, my boyfriend and I got to do something really relieving: play with a bunch of cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and turtles at the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA (PHS)! The PHS is located only about 5 minutes away from campus, give or take, and completely free of cost. It’s open both Saturday and Sunday, so it’s a great place to spend a couple of hours during the weekend.

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culture

Facebook Summer Party

One of the greatest things about being an intern at Facebook is that they will treat you like a full-time employee in everything but benefits. So this event, the Summer Party, is put on for their employees - especially those with families - so that they may enjoy a day off with their kids. I can say this with such certainty (despite having only gone to one Summer Party) because of the sheer number of little ones around at the event. Although this is the target audience, many if not most of the employees at the office go. At least, enough went such that there was a full basket of Madeleines in one of the micro-kitchens by the end of the day - and those things are usually gone by noon.

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research

Operation Turtle Rescue

Turtles are one of my favorite animals. In second grade, I spent a good portion of the year studying sea turtles. When I visited St. Martin over spring break of my Senior year in high school, I went snorkeling and kayaking with the local turtle population. I adopted a few turtles from the Pasadena SPCA, hoping to give them a good, safe home with me. So, when I see turtles in need, I always want to be there to help.

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local

Game of Cones

Wanderlust Creamery has one of the best artisanal ice creams in LA. To celebrate the new season of Game of Thrones they came out with some Game of Thrones inspired flavors. My friends and I went to go check it out even though some of us weren’t GoT fans. While the GoT flavors were specials, they have other more permanent flavors that are even more amazing!

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research

What's good at the Flea Market?

Every first Sunday of the month, Pasadena City College hosts a flea market. The flea market opens at 8am in the morning and lasts until 3pm. This isn’t your average flea market because it is HUGE! There are roughly 5 full parking lots worth of space and tons of vendors. Most of the vendors are selling antiques, be it records, clothes, furniture or jewelry. There are also some other unique vendors selling tools or food, or organizations trying to gain attention for their latest project.

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culture

The Boba Life Chose Us

Over the summer, SFP (Student Faculty Programs) Ambassadors get a budget to put on events within the house for summer students and Caltech students. This week, a boba night was arranged where our ambassadors bought all participants boba from Half and Half Tea House. I would expect the entire house to show up since ONE DOES NOT SAY NO TO BOBA, but at least the turn out rate was a good 50% .

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local

Thai(me) for Lunch

Lloyd house had a casino night a while back when we played card games with alumni and won prizes. My friend Sarah won a stack of 30 free coupons for Thai iced-tea at Chilly Mango. Today, after our original brunch plans fell through, we decided to head over to redeem our coupons.

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global

A New San Francisco

We meet again my old friend San Francisco. I always get the best (or worst, depending on how one looks at it) luck when going in: Saturday was bright and sunny and very hot. However, this time was different from my last visit, because I came in using the Caltrain. Facebook provides GO passes to any intern that wants them, which allows us to use the Caltrain as many times as we would like. As it goes all the way up and down the Peninsula, I can use it to get to San Francisco up north, or Mountain View and San Jose down south - with many more cities along the way.

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culture

Pomona Adventures

This weekend my boyfriend and I went on a trip to Pomona, which is about 30 minutes away from Caltech. We left with the intent of picking up an animal from someone on Craigslist, but ended up doing something a little bit different, and in my opinion, a little bit more fun! We headed out fairly early (for Techers) on Saturday (11:30 AM) to avoid traffic. I know I ranted about this before, but in LA, a little bit of traffic can add quite literally hours to even a short trip. Trust me, it’s worth the sacrifice in sleep to get an early start! We ended up stopping at a drink shop, Zero X, this cute little coffee shop rated to have the best drinks in California. I ended up getting a strawberry horchata. Coming from New York, I never had horchata until I came to California, and I am in love. The creamy, cinnamon-y, rice-y drink hits the spot on hot summer days. The strawberry, though I did not think it would combine with cinnamon, only made the concoction even better. I also had some “milk and cereal”: milk flavored ice cream with Special K cereal.

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research

Exploring the PCC Flea Market

Every month, Pasadena Community College (PCC), Caltech’s neighbor, has a flea market. There, you can find everything from arts and crafts supplies to old California license plates to summer dresses.

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global

Renegade Craft Fair

The festival pavilion at Fort Mason in SF holds different exhibitions every week, depending on who reserves the venue. This week, it was the Renegade Craft Fair, where artists from around the world come to display and sell their handmade items. Complete with food trucks and coffee stands, it was a full fledged affair.

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global

Crowell Public Library

This past weekend, I went on a short, 13 minute drive to one of my favorite places in the Pasadena area: Crowell Public Library in San Marino.

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research

Hummus Where the Heart Is

I think we found the best Mediterranean lunch spot in LA. Dune is a small restaurant in Atwater Village serving up delicious Mediterranean fare. It was featured multiple times on Eater LA, LA Times, and other food blogs so I decided to give it a try with my foodie friends. We ordered hummus plates with tabbouleh, falafels and fried chicken. Each of the plates comes with salad, pickles, olives and a side of pita.

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global

Ghiradelli Chocolate in Ghiradelli Square

If you read my last post, you know I came to Ghiradelli Square for the Etsy Pop-Up Shop. Afterwards, we went into the square itself and to the Ghiradelli chocolate shop. The Square is a lively place, with live music, lots of shops, and lots of people. Ghiradelli chocolate is so famous that there’s even a long line to get into the Ghiradelli store!

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culture

Etsy Pop-Up Shop

Last weekend, I went to Ghiradelli Square for the Etsy Pop-Up Shop. Etsy is a great online platform for artists to sell unique handcrafted items, so I was really excited to go to a pop-up featuring 60+ artists and their work.

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clubs

Dim sum-body say lunch?

Today I went out for dim sum for lunch at Full House in Arcadia. You know this is an authentic dim sum location since all the patrons are Chinese and there’s a fish tank with a $1000 fish in the entrance. Although the fish is unbelievably pricey, the actual dishes were very affordable. This was also a push-cart style restaurant so there is no wait time for dishes to come out of the kitchen.

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global

Where's the Chinese Food At?

Every time I call home, my parents ask me if I am eating well. They know well enough that Caltech has plenty of options and that my room is stashed with snacks, but they ask anyways. This is an “Asian-parent” thing since when they grew up, they were exposed to famines and other types of scarcity. Therefore, eating well becomes a priority they instill in their kids.

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culture

Learning to Paint

This summer, my grandpa is teaching me how to paint. He does traditional Chinese painting and likes to paint birds, fish, other animals, and landscapes (especially Yosemite). I’ve also seen some oil paintings he’s done, such as an abstract of the Golden Gate Bridge and a portrait of my grandma. Usually after I leave work, I go to his house for dinner, and afterwards, he shows me how to paint anything I ask him for. I typically request small birds, like sparrows or finches, since I want to focus on one animal first before I move on. Actually, a lot of small birds come by his house since he built his own small stream in the garden! They like to wash themselves there, and it’s really cute.

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research

sakthi.second_chances

I’m now four weeks through my internship at Microsoft, and I’ve never felt so welcome as a female developer in any community. This past week, Microsoft hosted a women’s event (we have one once every other week) and it started off with lots of noms. (Classic. I swear I’m going to gain ten pounds by the end of the summer.) So, with three different types of cake in tow, I sat down to see our Executive Leadership panel. It was made up of Amy Hood (Chief Finance Offer), Charlotte Yarkoni (Chief Vice President, C&E), Kathleen Hogan (Chief People Officer), and Liz Hamren (Chief Vice President, Mixed Reality and HoloLens Marketing).

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global

intern.boat_party();

So throughout the summer, we’ve had these sporadic intern boat parties, where 200 interns get on a boat, sail around Lake Washington, blasting music. So around 2 PM on Sunday, we started lining up to board the boat (we being my team, a few other Caltech interns, and me). Once we made it onto the boat, we started exploring. There were two decks, the bottom deck was where all of the food and beverages were, and it also had a pretty sick dance floor. The DJ was bumping all of the hottest tracks from back when I was in middle school. The upper deck had a covered area for seating and an open area where there were just gorgeous views of the Seattle downtown area. We spent about four hours circling Seattle on the boat, meeting other interns, hanging out with other full-time employees, talking to our recruiters, busting a move, eating all of the food, and generally having a good time. 10/10. Would boat party again. The theme for this boat party was Hawaiian Tropicana, so we were all handed leis once we boarded the boat. I made mine into a really ill-fitting flower crown that flew after about thirty seconds. Here are some cute pics of the squad:

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clubs

microsoft.signature_event();

On top of the signature event Microsoft hosts for interns of each business group, there’s an event for all interns together. In the past, the event has been hosted at a secret venue with a secret guest artist, and this year was no different. Speculation started early in the summer, with interns looking at nearly every potential venue and checking to see if the venue was booked for a private event. We did the same thing for artists too. I made a list of the popular artists currently on tour and cross-referenced their tour dates with the day the event was scheduled. Bruno Mars was in the area. So was Skrillex, and Lady Gaga. As a group of about 2,000 investigators, we got close, but we didn’t figure it out. Props to Microsoft for keeping that secret for months.

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clubs

intern[“Sakthi”].bowl()

This summer, I’m an intern at Microsoft, and I’m fortunate to be a part of a company that waits on their interns hand and foot and is absolutely dedicated to showing us a good time. Microsoft is composed of five different business groups. As one of the interns that work on supporting Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and operations, I’m part of the Cloud and Enterprise business group headed by Scott Guthrie. And of course, this past weekend all of the interns had an event for their business group.

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research

SFP Movie Night

The Student Faculty Programs organizes a variety of events over the summer to prevent SURF students from reaching peak boredom. After all, there are only so many binge-able shows on Netflix. I challenge you to prove me wrong on this one.

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research

Meal Deliveries -> Unsubscribe

I love to cook, so when I had some spare Groupon dollars on hand, I purchased a Groupon for Hello Fresh, a meal subscription service. Every week, they send me some fresh produce along with instructions to prepare these semi-elaborate meals. It’s not that I can’t find recipes and go grocery shopping alone. I just wanted to see whether such a service is of any value to me, or another college student with a similar lifestyle.

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research

Intern Summerfest @ Facebook

Wednesday was another (yes, another) intern event. I am very grateful to the Facebook Recruiters that put so much work into holding these event and making our summer at Facebook really fun. This event was filled with cool things to do, from a huge inflatable obstacle course and carnival games, to caricatures and an arcade. My friends and I took full advantage of all of these things, all the while eating all the good provided food like kettle corn!

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research

Bechtel Construction Site Tour

As you may have already heard, a new residence hall is being built on campus called Bechtel! It will be opened Fall of 2018 and will allow for all undergraduates to be able to live on campus for the entirety of their time at Caltech if they wish (of course, you can still live off campus in a non-Caltech affiliated apartment if you choose). However, we still do not know which group of students Bechtel will be open to.

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research

Helium Transfers are "Cool"

July 14 was not only Bastille Day, but also liquid helium transfer day in the Kirschvink Lab! Once every one and a half years, the liquid helium running our oven and our magnetometer runs out, meaning that the machines cannot operate. Thus, we go through the process of requesting liquid helium. We got around 160 liters, all in special dewars to keep it at a low temperature!

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research

Hiking in Wunderlich County Park

We hiked 5 miles through wooded areas, although the trail was not always shaded. This made for an unfortunately sweaty group of interns hiking in the sun to get to the top, but I enjoyed walking through nature. It’s not something that I get to do every day while sitting in the office or going about my daily life. The group was in high spirits and had a lot of energy to start the hike - and we were still in high spirits at the end, despite our drained energy. Walking through the woods was certainly revitalizing, as was being physically active. I enjoy hanging out with these friends, and getting outside was definitely a nice change of pace after only seeing them in the office all the time.

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global

Triple Decker Brownies

I swear I’m not completely obsessed with food… Just mostly.

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global

A Day at the Boardwalk

Where else to go on a hot day other than the beach? At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, there are amusement park rides, carnival games, an arcade, andthe beach!

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research

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Today was National Ice Cream Day! If you ever wonder where all these weird holidays (National Garlic Day, French Fries Day etc.) come from, check out this podcast by Planet Money. I love listening to Planet Money when I’m doing petty work. It makes me feel like I’m gaining IQ points (yes, I know that’s not how IQ works).

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culture

Summer Eats

Over the summer, students living on Caltech campus only get $360 of board, enough to buy around one meal a day at Chandler, our dining hall. So, that means Caltech students have time to perfect the art of cooking (or, you know, the art of ordering in and using the microwave). I love cooking, so I took this opportunity to learn how to make some of my favorite dishes.

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research

Sometimes Life is a Beach

I made elaborate plans to go Stand Up Paddle-boarding (SUP) today at Marina Del Rey. We found a good Groupon deal that was $20/2hr, which is half price. I bought the voucher for 5 people and we drove down in the LA heat to redeem. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, all the paddle boards had been rented out and there was a waiting list for 10. The rental guy said that there was a 99% chance that we won’t be getting on one today.

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Spotlight


academics

My Trip to the Galapagos!

It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.

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culture

Caltech Food Tour

Caltech may be a small campus, but it has a large variety of food options. There are three main dining locations on campus — The Lee F. Browne Dining Hall, the Hameetman Center (which houses our beloved Red Door Cafe), and the Broad Café.

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academics

Some Late-Night Stress-Saving Food Runs

Midterms kept up its unrelenting attack on my sanity this week – at least a little bit. And how did I solve this? Two words.

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global local culture

Quick Trip to the Beach

Although there are a lot of smaller things, such as midterm smoothies and milkshakes (Blacker does something similar to this) and some larger things like Faculty Dessert Night, the soc team usually agrees that beach trip is the most work.

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