culture

EVOLVE concert

5 months ago, my friend and I bought tickets for the Imagine Dragons EVOLVE concert at the Hollywood Bowl. We waited with bated breath the whole summer for the day to come, and finally, on Sunday, it happened.

By
global

Matriculating at Cambridge

I’ve decided to skip past blogging the rest of my travels before my term abroad, since this is now my 3rd week at Cambridge! Caltech has study abroad programs with 6 different universities: Cambridge, UCL (University College London), Edinburgh, École Polytechnique, DTU (Danish Technical University)/KU (Copenhagen University), and University of Melbourne.

By
global

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s main tourist attractions. It’s a huge nature park, with three main attractions: the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest, and the Supertree Grove. The domes are large air-conditioned spaces, filled with flora from different parts of the world.The flower dome is more a more dry environment and contains plants representing Australia, California, the desert, and other dryer environments.

By
global

Michelin Star Soya Sauce Chicken Rice

Singapore is home to a street stall that has been granted a Michelin Star: Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken. It was originally located in a hawker center in Chinatown, but now there are actually multiple outlets. There are air conditioned stores elsewhere in Chinatown, as well as in other parts of Singapore. Apparently, the head chef has now headed to Taiwan to open up a stall there.

By
global

Singapore Zoo

Apparently Singapore’s Zoo is pretty famous, and turns out it was actually humongous, with many, many different kinds of animals. The enclosures are all pretty open, so the animals wander around as they like. Right when you enter, there’s a set of trees that have families of small monkeys living in them, and it’s not even fenced. Not entirely sure why they all stay there, but I guess it’s their home! What I liked most about the zoo was that many of the enclosures had the names of the animals listed, along with a picture and a characteristic that set them apart. It made the whole experience more personal, and it was fun to try and identify which one was which!

By
global

Singapore National Museum

I went to the National Museum of Singapore next! It’s a pretty building, with exhibits from the beginning of Singapore’s history to the present.

By
research

Watching Hamilton!!!

At the end of August, I flew down to LA to watch Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages! We bought the tickets back in May as soon as they became available, so I was very excited to finally see it.

By
global

Arriving in Singapore

Before heading to study abroad in Cambridge, I travelled to Singapore, Taiwan, and Bruges. On the flight to Singapore, I got to ride the Eva Air Sanrio plane! All the decorations inside are Sanrio/Hello Kitty themed, including the pillowcases, the in flight entertainment welcome screen, napkins, and even the toilet paper.

By
research

Calabasas Peak Hike

The Calabasas Peak Trail is in the Santa Monica Mountains, where there a lot of great hiking trails. It’s a 4.5 mile round trip trek, with about half of it on a small trail through tall grasses, bushes, and small trees, and the other half on a more open path. It was a really hot day when we went hiking, but it was fun!

By
culture

Blacker Rotation Dinners

Rotation is upon us! And that mean a lot of rotation dinners. For each house, the dinners will be different (as each dinner reflects on the house’s personality) but I can give a hint at what Blacker’s is like.

By
research

Being a Tourist at Facebook

At the end of the 8th week of my internship, I went with my FBU buddy to visit Instagram HQ. Last year when I was in FBU, this building hadn’t existed yet, as least not as Instagram HQ! Side note: FBU buddies is a program where past participants of FBU can be paired up with one or two current FBU-ers to help them get settled and give them advice on their projects.

By
research

Paper Textile Weaving and More!

Facebook’s Analog Research lab (ARL) has full-time artists in residence as well as visiting artists who come to teach free classes. These artists create various works to put up on the office walls, including posters, paintings, Lego portraits, and more. Throughout my internship at Facebook, I’ve taken several classes here, including paper textile weaving, introduction to drawing, and introduction to watercolor. First I’ll be focusing on paper textile weaving with Miguel Arzabe. You can find him on Instagram – his page is pretty cool!

By
research

Wood Working Part 1

Facebook has a partnership with a woodcraft store in Half Moon Bay, so there’s actually a physical Wood Shop on campus! It’s very convenient to have it right there at the workplace, and it’s a great way to learn something new and de-stress. I’ve never done any woodworking before, so I signed up for a Make a Bowl class. But first, I needed to learn to use the lathe in the Learn to Turn safety class.

By
global

Cycling + Endless Good Food in Singapore

I went cycling in Singapore along the coast, and it was so nice! I love exercising, and especially after eating so much good food everywhere I felt like I needed to do some more moving. Singapore is a very green city, full of trees, so it’s really refreshing.

By
culture

Caltech Carnival

The Sunday before classes start, ASCIT organizes a carnival with the help of Tom Mannion for Caltech students and affiliates, lasting from 3pm to late at night, around 9pm. This year, there were inflatables such as a bouncy house and human Foosball, a trampoline wall, and carnival games. I had a lot of fun playing the games and winning prizes, from back scratchers to tiny little plushies.

By
culture

99 (+1800) Red Balloons

All the prefrosh came, and then left for frosh camp. But we are so excited to have them here! A couple of friends, Qiao Qiao and Bethany came up with the idea of giving them a welcoming gift: filling the all-frosh hallway – Hell – with balloons for when the prefrosh who lived there returned from frosh camp. So they bought a bunch of string and around 1800 balloons and recruited anyone who was willing to lend their lung capacity (or air compressor) to fill up the balloons.

By
global

Japantown Flavors

Before rotation, before frosh camp, and before all the prefrosh arrived, I wanted a day of relaxation and enjoyment. So, a friend and I made plans for an outing to Japantown! Although, when I say plans, that is a very rough sense of the word. We knew we wanted to go into LA, and we picked Japantown beforehand. But we had no idea what we were going to do or even when we were going to go.

By
culture

Paris Pt. III - French classes + Opera

The Bishop prize is given for a cultural experience, so I am taking French classes at Alliance Française. The language school is a pretty big deal here, and has outlets around the world. I have to wake up at 7:30 every morning to get to class at 9:00. My classes are 4 hours a day, until 1:00pm, because it's an intensive program. There are roughly 10 people in my class, and the only language we all know is French. Many people have Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese backgrounds.

By
global

From Canyon to Peak

We woke up while the sky was still filled with the Milky Way on day 3 of our backpack (which was super awesome!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stars!!). We threw on hiking shoes, grabbed a quick granola bar to eat, and were on our way. The hike began with headlamps since it was so dark! We had to reach Static Peak to see the eclipse by 11:30, so we decided to go into “crush mode.” Each of us worked super hard, and we ended up moving pretty fast along, until we reached the snowbanks. Here, we had to take it slow since we were walking over icy terrain. Luckily, by this time, the sun came up so we didn’t need our headlamps, but we were all slipping and sliding despite perfect vision. I still have battle scars on my knee from falling over the ice! Luckily, we made it to the top of Static Peak early since we made such good time in the morning. We saw the eclipse (please read about it in one of my previous posts), and then we climbed down the mountain. At that point, we were all super hungry from hours of uphill, so we stopped for lunch. To our left was a beautiful, lake-filled valley straight out of a painting. I couldn’t have asked for a better lunch spot! We then decided to press on, as we had 9 miles of downhill left (we did a total of 13 that day).

By
global

Corgi Con & SF Ice Cream Festival

What better to do on the weekend than go to a corgi con in SF and then eat ice cream? I’ve never been to a corgi con previously, so I was really excited to go.

By
research

From Canyon to Peak

We woke up pretty early for the second day of our hike: around 6:45 AM and cooked up a quick hot breakfast of oatmeal. Soon, we were on our way.

By
research

From Canyon to Peak

The eclipse was amazing, but it wasn’t the only thing I got to do at Grand Teton National Park. We also planned a 3 day backpacking trip. We went 28.1 miles over three days and gained over 5,000 feet in elevation. We started at the bottom of Death Canyon, climbed up the cannon walls, hiked over alpine terrain to a set of beautiful basin lakes, and then pushed on to summit Static Peak for the eclipse (more about that in my last post), and hiked back down to our rental van.

By
research

Vet Visits

This past Monday I spent a day with one of my good friends, Pablo the turtle. He is one of my red ear sliders (yes the same breed of turtle that lives in the Caltech turtle pond, no not stolen from Caltech). When I got him from the SPCA, he seemed all right, but had a few welts on his shell. However, I decided to get him checked out just in case.

By
culture

Adventures at Golfland

A friend from came up from Caltech for the weekend, so we decided to go to Golfland for a $9 unlimited arcade games + mini-golf package. Turns out, the unlimited arcade games were actually limited to non-ticket giving games, so we couldn’t play much except pinball and mariokart, but we still had a good time.

By
culture

Berkeley Lantern Festival

On 5 August, Berkeley held a lantern peace ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings during World War II. It was my first time going to an event like this, so it was a completely new experience! It was also a completely volunteer run event, so it was pretty cool how many people got together for it.

By
culture

Matcha-do 'bout Nothing

It was a hot summer day with not much to do, so my friend Sarah and I decided to bike to Westfield Santa Anita, the nearest mall. It is 4.2 miles away, roughly 7 minutes by car and 24 minutes by bike. Before we left, we checked the route and there is a 750ft difference in elevation between Caltech and Westfield so we thought the ride wouldn't be too difficult. Indeed, the ride there was easy, since it was mostly down hill. We just cruised along. Since there was little exercise/effort necessary, the heat didn't bother us too much.

By
culture

Glitter Run 2K17

What's better than the Color Run? The Glitter Run. I've been a huge fan of Color Run since high school and I have the pile of colorfully stained (aka ruined) shirts to prove it. This summer, the Caltech Center for Diversity held a lottery for free entrance to the Glitter Run, which is hosted by the LA LGBTQ Center. The Glitter Run is a 5K in Hollywood, featuring seven glitter stations along the route (ROYGBIV; except violet is pink).
By
culture

Driving Test

The only test that I think can be hyped so much, yet be so anticlimactic, is the road test for one’s driving license. Living in the city, I didn’t get a license immediately at 16 even though I took the classes during high school. I’ve even had two permits, because I let the first one expire before I could take the road test. So it was certainly about time for me to complete the driving test – it has only taken me about 3 years to do so.

By
local

Magical Classic

As I was only home for a week, my family wanted to celebrate and treat me by watching a highly acclaimed Broadway musical: Aladdin. Yes, this is also the classic Disney movie Aladdin with the crowd favorite Genie – although no talking animals were found to be part of the show. When I sat down to wait for the show to start I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wondered about how the magic that was riddled throughout the movie would be portrayed onstage: after all, moving, talking, glowing statues coming out of sand dunes is not something that one sees every day.

By
research

There's No Place Like Home

Upon landing, I got to see my family waiting for me outside the terminal. It was quite a touching sight, especially when my little sister rushed to hug me, and my older brother also joined in (gasp). My parents welcomed me home as well (they reserved their own hugs), before we all rushed off to my grandmother’s house.

By
research

Last Days at Facebook

Our last week at Facebook, we rushed to finish our apps and populate it with data for the demo before finally showing them to all of the students that partook in the Facebook University program. My team made a mad dash to finish the UX and UI in the last couple of days (even the morning of!) and we were trying to put in new posts and data for our app so that it looked nice enough to show. It was all completed in the end (although it is unfortunate that we weren’t able to show one of the features of our app due to the 2 minute time limit) and we were happy with the result of our hard work over the last 5 weeks.

By
research

Facebook Summer Party

Facebook holds two big parties for its employees and their families, one during the summer and one during the holiday season. This summer, the party was held at Levi’s Stadium, home to the 49ers.

By
global

Totality or Bust!

As all of you know, the eclipse was a huge deal at Caltech! Not only are we a school with an amazing astronomy department, but we also are a school of nerdy people who are fascinated by nature. We want to capture them in our memory so we can analyze and decode their beauty. An eclipse is the perfect combination of science and wonder.

By
local

Mozzaplex Pt. II

Today we went to check out Nancy Silverton's other restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza. Osteria Mozza completely wowed us and we decided to try the other part of the Mozzaplex. Pizzeria and Osteria are right next to each other and the staff rotate between the two restaurants. Pizzeria is a lot more affordable than the Osteria and is perhaps the most affordable restaurant from Chef's Table.
By
clubs

Volleyball Banquet

To celebrate the beginning of our volleyball season, Tom Mannion offered to hold an opening banquet for us on the first Saturday of preseason. Tom is the Director of Student Activities and Programs at Caltech and often opens his home to welcome students, especially on weekends. He always has food for the students who can come, and there is always too much of it. So we were especially excited to request the types of food that we enjoy, things like sushi, curry, fruits, and brownies

By
research

The Lenses that Built Hollywood

This week I went on a tour of Panavision, an equipment rental agency that specializes in anamorphic projection lenses. Their products have revolutionized filmmaking and Hollywood since the 1950s. They have locations across the world but they are headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA. We were able to get a tour of their manufacturing facilities and listen to a lecture on the science behind their lenses.
By
research

Mozzaplex Pt. I

I spent a lot of time binge watching shows on Netflix this summer. One of my favorite shows is Chef's Table. If you've seen the trailers or is a fan, you know why it's so enjoyable. The chefs are extremely passionate about their food, the quality and sourcing, and are super creative in re-inventing familiar dishes. Furthermore, many of them have rags to riches stories and/or are involved in philanthropy.
By
culture

Facebook Offsite

Many companies hold offsites for their employees, and Facebook is no exception. An offsite is where a team or a group of employees goes out and does an activity together for fun. At Facebook, each team is allotted one offsite every quarter, and so last week, our team went bowling! Other offsites I’ve heard about include kayaking, laser tag, pottery making, nice dinners, and more.

By
research

Seeing Saturn's Rings

When I came down to LA, I got to use a telescope to look at the moon and Saturn!

By
local

The Best Ice Cream Ever

McConnell’s Ice Cream is my favorite ice cream in the world (so far). Or more specifically, their strawberries and cream flavor is the best. The first time I had it was last year during my freshman summer at Grand Central Market in Downtown LA, and since then, I haven’t had better ice cream. Originally from Santa Barbara, McConnell’s has expanded to DTLA, Studio City, and Los Feliz, so there are lots of options in LA!

By
clubs

Quality Seafood at Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach is about an hour’s drive from Pasadena. My aunt, who used to live in Arcadia, recommended a place there called Quality Seafood. They serve all kinds of seafood, including crabs, oysters, fish, shrimp, and more. Since we were craving seafood and summer is the perfect time for the beach, we decided to go!

By
local

I Like My Toasts Gentrified

Today I did the most millennial thing possible. We drove for an hour then waited in line for an hour just to eat the best toast in LA. Sqirl in LA is known for it's amazing breakfast/brunch dishes. The owner Jessica Koslow is a bit of a celebrity and has been featured in tons of cooking shows, magazines and rave reviews. Sqirl is packed from open to close every day because its jams and toasts are just that good and it does the whole seasonal + sustainable + farm to table thing.
By

Spotlight


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
culture

Caltech Art Gala

Every year, Caltech’s literary and arts magazine Totem hosts the Art of Science competition.

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