CREATE (AKA, why have a blog? why anything?)


It’s so easy to give into the humming mellow mediocrity of life. To check your Facebook feed and Twitter feed and RSS feed and go out to eat and just exist. Like zombies. I mean, the blog authors should know. We just lived like that for the past 4 years as university students. We were practically zombies. Smart zombies, sleepless zombies, tired and stressed zombies, but still definitely zombies.

Image also (or perhaps more accurately) applies to Apple fans. I mean, I’m sure that’s a MACBOOK PRO he’s holding there.

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What we do in a quantum optics lab

ETA: This is more a masterpost for my own purposes. The intended audience is senior undergraduate/early graduate physics students, and assumes at least an undergraduate electromagnetism and optics course. At some point I’ll work on explaining things to a lay audience, but right now I have to focus on learning and communicating technical concepts to a senior undergrad/grad physics audience.

My friend and labmate makes stuff vibrate with light, and made this video about our research, our lab, and his project for a student competition next week:

My talk for the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference last October, hacked together from my undergrad thesis introductory talk and some pretty pictures from my summer project:

(If I sound stuffy or high or not entirely there, I had a cold the whole four days of the conference.)

Working with/for my undergraduate research advisor and research group is the best thing that I can remember happening to me in my life so far. Even as I cared not about food or sleep or classes, I held on to the thought of working in (being welcome in) a photonics lab with warm hearted and interesting people. All I can say is that at the end of this project I have some external evidence to suggest that I may actually (have the potential to) be competent as a researcher, even if I don’t have a 4.0 in my honours degree.

Short Lived Identity Crisis

So I was having an identity crisis and I didn’t even know it. Couldn’t sleep properly for a couple nights. Couldn’t get the committee in my head (I like to refer my head as a committee cause it feels like there are 12 little minions in there analyzing, debating, strategizing and arguing all day)…anyways, I couldn’t get my committee to shut up. One side tells me that I’m over analyzing things and should chillax, the others side tells me to start planning and have 500 different contingencies. Its quite annoying when your head is going at mach 3, or should I say mach 4? Cause mach 3 is obsolete like Avro Arrow age (I’ve seen that plane before btw). I guess I’m in a position where I don’t know where I’m going and I’m trying to escape from some stuff in life that is hard to deal with. But lets face it, stressing out is actually ineffective. It bleaches your youthful hair (3 strands of my hair turned white, but my aesthetic conscious friend pulled it out). Stressing out is time consuming because the very action of thinking about something takes time. And since time is valuable, it should be spent wisely, like reading a book by CS. Lewis, or write a rap, or write a letter to the Members of Parliament because our government [Canadian government] is crappy to the point that it’s quite despairing to follow Canadian politics. By stressing we fantasize all possibilities when nothing is really happening and we’re really just psyching ourselves out.

The post continues!


And then I dreamt I was something
with dry soft skin, ridged spine, knots under my shoulders,
my brain stumbles as I haul myself out of the water with arms too short.
A second time, while salt burns against my wings, I burst out.
I see, in the sky, sketched in white on blue porcelain
I cry out. My voice warbles.

[first publicly published at my writing blog]

Sine arte/scientia, scientia/ars nihil est.


[larger version at my deviantART]

I know this looks like a 12 year old threw this together in MSPaint but I made something to express my sentiment, not my artistic skills. I made this to remind a friend of mine that her worth is more than that determined by graduate school committees. The left panel represents the theory and knowledge, the right panel represents the journey and destination of discovery. Just as these are complementary in science, the creativity of an artist complements the creativity of a scientist.

–The Lady of Light

Levels of Influence

Levels of Influence

Charles Faulkner’s pyramid depicts five different degrees of influence. In his article he described each level in the following manner.

-Environment. One can influence a person’s environment via ads, propaganda, billboards etc.

-Behavior. One can influence a person’s behavior with laws/rules and enforcement etc.

-Capabilities. One can influence a person’s capabilities with incentives, money and membership etc.

-Values and Beliefs. Influence a person’s values and belief with authority and social pressure etc.

-Identity. One can influence a person by addressing their identity (who a person think or feel who he or she wants to be).

Faulkner described that “Identity” or the ability to appeal/sway or shape identity is the most significant form of influence.

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Boston Bombing Rant

Charge bombardment, ignition, slow formation of flame. Runners sniped by shrapnel in the name of political game. Enforcers in search of scapegoat, a guinea pig to pin the blame. The haunting, aftermath gory, surveillance cannot be tamed.

Hatred as inertia, brainwashing as supplement. We condemn religion as the seed planter and waterer of ill intent. But we never really understood the manner of their afflicted geopolitical content. Boys surname Tsarnaev as moral misrepresent. Chechnya fear of negative repercussion denied relation to these dissents. But logical symphony echoes possibility of other viable consent. Wish things were simpler, tragedy catered with only reasonable lament. But unfortunately, this ruthlessness is only a small portion of the whole wrong segment.

Target unarmed civilians, a tactic, mankind’s revolutionary. In the hope to alter diseased destinies. But what really is achieved with this remedy? Did we murder more of ourselves than just enemies? Political and moral rhetorics spoken throughout centuries. I recommend for communication, ceasefire, intentionally. And discuss how sustainable metamorphosis can come to be.