culture

Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oktoberfest!

Wow, what a busy past few days! I had some friends from high school and Caltech visit me in Munich and we’ve been traveling/doing stuff together. The first main thing we did was visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small village about an hour south of Germany by the Alps. The Partnach Gorge is located here and was the main reason for our visit. It’s a beautiful gorge that opens up to many hiking trails (they even filmed a Dracula movie in it!). Anyway, we spent most of the day hiking around the local trails and had a great time.

By
global

Ville lumière, City of Love

Pictures from the city of love.

By
global

Cities of Kings

This weekend we (myself and my friends also here at Caltech for study abroad) visited both Versailles and had the first of many days’ visits to Paris. Both have a long history of kings who have lived there, and while we got to see a lot of what Versailles had to offer, we are nowhere near done with Paris.

By
global

Breakfasts and Baked Goods in Solvang, CA

Hello, readers! The summer saga continues in this next installment of Beyond the Bubbling Mess with my timely holiday to Northern California following the convenient surrender of my poor younger brother to the clutches of his own college.

By
global

Meet the Rangel Gang!

I met a little neighbor Girl:** She was eight years old, she said;** Her hair was soft with nary a curl** That fell long to her hip from her head. She had a bright, inquisitiveair,** And she was daintly clad:** Her eyes were fair, and very fair;** –Her youth made me so glad. “Parents and brothers, little Maid,** How many may you be?”** “How many? Four in all,” she said** And wondering looked at me. –adapted by yours truly from “We are Seven” by William Wordsworth

By
research

Stalking Pomona

With Friday, August 22nd came the termination of SURF. And so I went home and began my summer vacation for real. As in away from Caltech. (More will follow about my second half of SURF, but in a later post. I apologize for my anachronistic style.)

By
global

Pika Pika!

Imay haveshrieked excitedly at my computer when I first sawthisKotaku articlesome time in July. Seeing as this was a limited-time promotional event and that Ilove the original Pokemon, I absolutely had to visit the Pikachu Cafe before I left Japan. After telling a bunch of my friends about it, I dragged another Techer, Chris, with me to seek out our very own Pikachu foodstuffs.

By
culture

Caltech Prefrosh Send-off

So it turns out that even though I’m home, I still cannot escape Caltech! There was a prefrosh sendoff the day I got back, and even though it’s been half a week (coming home is super busy!) I will tell you about it.Caltech really cares a lot about its frosh apparently: there was this meet-and-greet of prefrosh (accepted students going into their first year soon) and current Caltech students at this one Caltech student’s house. I thought it would just be a chance for us to connect with the next year, but a Caltech staff member even showed up! Flown all the way in from California, just for this. I actually deserve to be shamed into oblivion, because I forgot her name (I am literally the worst on Earth with names, I apologize profusely :(), but she was a great pleasure to have around to steer the event, pose questions alongside the frosh, and in general to answer questions as well.There were four (?) prefrosh there, as well as two current students and one alumnus; their families also attended. Together with the Caltech staff we crashed the house of the other current student (than myself!)

By
culture

The Last Bookstore/ Tea

I’m basically going to spend the next few posts detailing fun activities.

By
global

Adventures in Osaka

Continuing our trip around Kansai, Grace and I travelled to Osaka after a few days in Kyoto. I was really,really excited for Osaka because it’s the best place to get takoyaki and okonomiyaki, both foods I really love. And because we were hungry and in Osaka, of course we had to spend an evening at Dotonbori.

By
local

Friend visited me!

Three weekends ago (it does not feel like it’s been that long) I visited my friend in San Francisco. This weeekend he returned the favor. I set down to work and figured out where we would want to go (remembering his sole request that we go surfing), and after a while I devised what I thought was a reasonably representative itinerary for Pasadena and LA as a whole.

By
research

Hello, Kyoto!

In Japan, there’s a holiday called Obon that originated from a Buddhist tradition of honoring one’s ancestors. Nowadays it’s an occasion for people to visit their families and hometowns, as well as travel a lot, since it’s a major holiday season and many companies give their employees a few vacation days during Obon. Mitsubishi employees got an entire week off, so Grace and I are taking advantage of this period to visit the Kansai region of Japan, which includes Kyoto and Osaka.

By
global

Goldstone Tour + Concert!

This will probably be a long post, but I’ll try my best to keep it concise! So we began with the 2.5 hour drive out the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, where we were then thoroughly ID’d, as one would expect. Goldstone is this huge radio communications facility where we communicate with some of our most cutting edge sattelites, such as Cassini (at Saturn, was communicating when we were visiting) and Voyager[2]. We saw some curious rock formations on the way there, and had some debate on whether they were/could be natural (I hope the picture is good)

By
global

Tokyo Station First Avenue

Often when I’m traveling to the Tokyo area, I end up taking a train to Tokyo Station and then transferring to get to my final destination. Tokyo Station is one of the busiest train stations in Japan, with over 30 tracks serving local, shinkansen (bullet train), and subway lines. It’s kind of like LA’s Union Station in that sense. That’s where the similarity ends, though, because Tokyo Station is also surrounded by and attached to several malls.

By
research

Chocolate Seahorses, Chocolate Unicorns

Belgium chocolate</h3>

Sea horses in the break room</h3>

Slightly melted bliss</h3>

By
clubs

LA Treasures

Howdy, If you’re ever in LA and have some time, Griffith Observatory is the place to go. You can get there via Metro on the Red Line or use Uber like we did, but make sure you check the traffic and Greek Theater concerts before you decide to Uber. We got up there right as the sun was starting to set, which was just perfect because we got to see the Hollywood sign and the sprawling metropolis that is LA only a little while before witnessing the little lights dancing both below (the city) and above (the sugpermoon that night).

By
culture

San Diego

I went home for a weekend in July because my older cousin was visiting from Taiwan. He’s a software engineer, which gets me thinking…wow, I have a botanist cousin, a doctor cousin, a software engineer cousin (and a banker cousin). These are the ones that are out of college and have jobs. For those in college, there’s a math major, an electrical engineer, me (the chemical engineer) and my younger brother, who will study chemistry. Science appears to run in the family, until the next cousin in line decides to study finance or diplomacy or international trade.

By
global

San Diego

The first night I went back home to San Diego, my dad and I had a midnight feast. We took out the old expresso machine and had coffee with an apple turnover and some eggs. The last time I had such a large meal at 11 pm was when I was seven and my parents were buying our car from the dealership and the consulting went on until 10…

By
research

Chinatown

Yokohama is home to the biggest Chinatown in Asia. (I’m not entirely sure how significant that is, considering that China is also in Asia. But still, impressive.) I decided to check it out with another Techer who’s doing research at Tokyo Tech this summer. We met up at Ishikawacho Station, about five minutes away from the actual Chinatown.

By
research

Fuzzy Socks and T. S. Eliot

My laundry is all folded and put away. I did all the dishes. It’s that kind of week. I woke up early yesterday to start a procedure in lab. We wanted to make the job take 1 day instead of the usual 2. (The deal was that I go in early and leave a little early and my coworker goes in at the normal time and stays to the normal time.) I like operating on a regular sleeping schedule, but I’m willing to shift things around to make the magic happen.

By
research

(46) Guest Blog

Hello world! It’s hard to describe a summer in the Bay Area from my slightly-biased eyes, and it’s hard to keep a senior countdown by myself (you will see why soon). So, to give a fresh perspective on the Bay Area experience, here’s Melissa Wang! I will have a series of guest blog posts over the sumemr to mix up the content a little bit, so stay tuned!

By
local

Sandwiches are beautiful things

On Sunday morning, when I left my dorm to go get lunch, I saw a friend longboarding back carrying a soda in a yellow cup in his right hand and a bag in his left. The soda cup, I recognized quickly, was from Which Wich, a sandwhich chain that recently opened a location on Lake Avenue.

By
research

What time is it? Summer Time!

Hey guys!

By
culture

Summertime is for Picnics

I think it’s safe to say most of us spend the majority of our time indoors. Most of us sleep and eat indoors, anyway. Working indoors just seals the deal for me. I like to do something outside at least once a day. Taking a stroll or going for a bike ride (definitely using the inclusive “or” here) helps keep my legs from cramping up and gives me a good appetite for the batch of zucchini bread I made with a friend last night.

By
culture

Chair of Student Happiness

If there is one thing that sets Caltech apart from all other schools, aside from its terrific size and ratio and all the jazz you get to hear about from the admissions officers, it would be one single man on campus. Not because he’s any nicer or easygoing than anybody else on campus, but because he plays a role literally unparalleled at other universities (at least that I know of; it would be difficult at other places due to size of student body). Allow me to talk a bit of the “chair of student happiness” Tom Mannion.

By
global

Anime la Expo (Part 3)

These posts are so overdue, haha… ha…

By
research

Vs. Mount Fuji

This weekend, I hiked up Mount Fuji.

By
research

Most Action-packed weekend thus far!

Yay, I finally had a really fun weekend, so let me tell you all about it :D

By
research

Listened to an Opportunity meeting! And to Morgan Freeman!

Today (Wednesday) we got to watch/listen in on an Opportunity meeting. They ran into some technical problems and sent out an email to us interns that they would conduct the meeting publically so that we could listen in. Below is a picture of our view:

By
global

Anime la Expo (Part 2)

Because it seems like these Anime Expo posts are getting longer and longer, here’s a quick glossery of all the weird terms that will be showing up in the following posts: Kill la Kill - an action/humor show about a delinquent high school girl named Ryuuko who wields a half of a giant pair of scissors and is on a quest to find her father’s killer. Joining her is perky sidekick Mako, who is the character I’m cosplaying as; standing in her way is the student counsel president Satsuki and her four loyal subordinates Sanageyama (Athletic Committee Chair), Nonon (Non-Athletic Committee Chair), Gamagoori (Disciplinary Committee Chair), and Inumuta (Information and Strategy Committee Chair). Oh yeah, there’s also talking clothing for some reason. Cosplay - the act of making and dressing up such that you look like a certain character from an anime/manga/comic/tv show/movie. Often done by mascochists because cosplay is suffering. LineCon - Line Convention. A fan nickname for AnimeExpo, so called because AnimeExpo has a lot of really, really bad queues that you have to line up in in order to get into any events.

By
research

The Stainless Steel Adventures

Once again, it is time for a food post. Summer simply presents me with too many opportunities to cook :D Figure 1: English breakfast.

By
global

Water, Water, Everywhere

Japan’s rainy season starts in early June and lasts through late July. So when we (Caltech JIP interns) were preparing to come to Japan, we were all emphaticallytold to bring rain gear. Unfortunately for me, I’ve spent most of my life in southern California, an area that experiences little more than a week’s worth of light showers each year. My collection of rain gear features a single flimsy umbrella, which has already proven to be no match against the massive gusts of wind accompanying the rain.

By
research

Bike Lab

One neat thing about Caltech is that it’s part of a big Caltech-JPL community. A fair number of clubs are open to undergrads, grad students, and staff from Caltech and JPL. This means that even though we have a relatively small student body, there are often enough people that we can share resources to build up some nice infrastructure.

By
research

Attosecond Physics

Atto: the SI prefix for 10^-18. A prefix not commonly found in textbooks or courses, because there aren’t many quantities that are measured in atto-somethings.

By
research

Back to Basics

The day I moved into my apartment, I went to a supermarket nearby to pick up some household supplies. I found myself confused about several products and stopped an employee to ask about the difference between them. What followed was basically strings of incomprehensible Japanese. I could pick out enough words to get some gist of what he was saying and then try to ask a follow-up question, which would invite another explanation I struggled to understand. Embarrassingly, I must’ve spent at least 5 minutes trying to work out the difference between a couple different types of bags (feel free to laugh, it was definitely one of my more pathetic moments).Despite having taken four years of Japanese classes, I felt about as prepared to communicate with Japanese people as if I’d taken four weeks’ worth of bare-minimum “survival Japanese.”

By
research

I lost my heart in Heidelberg

Or in the original German: “Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.” A 1925 song composed by Fred Raymond, and now the theme song of the city of Heidelberg. The title is entirely justified, in my opinion.

By
global

Anime la Expo (Part 1)

IT’S ANIME EXPO AGAIN!!! (The following post contains unmarked spoilers from Kill la Kill. I’ve tried to avoid the super important spoilers, but please consider yourself warned.) As a refresher, Anime Expo is a four-day-long anime convention held at the the LA Convention Center every July 4th weekend. As per last year’s post, I won’t be using any real names; I’ll be using the names of the characters everyone’s cosplaying as instead. A friendly guide for those of you who haven’t watched Kill la Kill:

By
global

Food = Happiness

If anybody’s read my little blog description blurb, you’ll know it says:

By
research

Summer Has Begun!

Episode 3: 6/30/2014 - Summer Has Begun!

By

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.

By
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.

By
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.

By
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.

By