Monday, August 31, 2009


Went to Berkeley Bowl today after the hospital to buy my favorite snacks, tea, and some fruit. The amount of heirloom tomatoes there would put most farmer's markets to shame. Will go tomorrow to the Cheeseboard for dinner and to buy some cheese and bread for the plane.

Dinner at my friend's co-op the last two days has been delicious and free (though on the other side of campus from where i'm staying--like 25 minutes walking there and 30 walking uphill back). Co-op's are fun and friendly! Somebody stopped me in the dinner line to ask if I knit my sweater. She had just been to "Sock Summit" and took classes from all the knitting celebrities I knew. I'm jealous! (Yes there are conventions for sock knitting).

Also I sort of wish I knew about the new School of Information when I was applying to grad school. It's really something closer to what I'm interested in (a combination of their old library studies program folded together with new media studies). And they have their own offices and study lounge accessible 24/7. Though public schools do tend to treat their grad students as the cheapest, lowest form of labor... I guess it's not a trade off I need to concern myself over.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I'm here on my old campus stomping grounds staying with a friend who has never let go.

I've been eating cheap Thai--like fast food, yum! Everyone is away for Burning Man starting this weekend so it's quiet. (Also Berkeley is the only town that noticeably empties out for Burning Man). California budget cuts has made it so the libraries are barely open on the weekends-boo! And it's predictably cool (the hottest two days of the year faded away just as I arrived).

My usual partner in crime dB is still in Spain, I think, so this trip will be quieter, require more exercise as my host lives on the top of the hill, and perhaps more productive.

Yet to be seen.

Also the boy reads the blog, or I'd be exuding about some hitherto unseen eloquence and thoughtfulness, dB. You'll just have to call for the scoop when you're back in the country.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spam and other distractions

I'm going through "major life changing" events. So of course my email was hacked today.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Hope you're well dB. Tell me how the trip goes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Plushie distraction

Still missing him, so I'm turning to more crafts and chocolate.

The cute creations on My Paper Crane are adorable. Right now I'm strawberry, but with sufficient amounts of chocolate, I'll be smiling again:

Here's this weekend's craft-in-progress. It's a mini sheep walrus - travel-size! It's being attacked by my housemate's plush killer bunny from Monty Python. I have yet to give my sheep walrus Jr. tusks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Interests collide

Thanks for the well wishes, dB. And good job on the glowing food.

How about this? Weird, right? Though I would never want one of these really... I still feel the itch to knit one.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Light-up LED brownie

Aside from enjoying the company of friends and their amazing culinary skills, I created more art this weekend. (No wonder my dad now constantly asks if I'm dating. =P)

Anyhow, this weekend's feature is a light-up LED brownie - a deliciously brilliant dessert!

The utensils used are shown below - a brownie on a plate, a color-changing LED, a battery pack for 2 AA batteries and wires extending out, and edible silver foil (some of which is on the brownie, and the rest is in its envelope package):

I began by baking a small brownie about 9 cm in diameter and 3 cm tall in one of my Hello Kitty baking tins. After sufficient cooling, I popped the brownie onto a plate, where a cleaned LED awaited, along side a button battery that I didn't actually use to power the LED. The ultimate goal is to use such a battery though.

The edible silver foil was from Gold Gourmet, a German company, and came in a small booklet of 25 3-3/8" square sheets. It's 23 K, and consequently is a superb conductor, as oppose to the conductive silver paint I bought, which only conducted because it had ions (like sodium benzoate, a food preservative) in aqueous solution.

Below is a photo of the edible silver foil:

The foil was extremely delicate and tended to stick to objects via static, as seen below with the foil floating up, attempting to meet my finger:

The foil tore when I tried to remove my fingers from the foil. The tear can be seen in the photo below. The foil was also impossible to cut with scissors, and shearing it with a fork worked moderately well. A layer of silver remained on the fork, refusing to transfer into the brownie. I didn't manage to remove rectangular pieces from the foil, but rather irregular flakes.

I meticulously placed this flakes onto the brownie, starting at the LED that was stabbed at the center. You can see the foil wrapped about the left lead of the LED:

Instead of using forks, I settled for wooden chopsticks. Because they were made of a nonconductive material, the foil didn't really cling onto the chopstick. I had one chopstick in each hand and teased apart pieces of foil from the sheet with one chopstick doing all of the pulling and the other steadying the foil. I didn't push down hard, because pressure would transfer down to the other sheets of the booklet. Below is a photo of me transferring a torn sliver of foil onto the brownie:

To complete the two traces across and down the sides of the brownie , I used approximately 12 sq. cm (roughly 3 cm x 4 cm) of a sheet:

Then I touched the wires of my battery to the corresponding traces of the brownie and made it light up. Apologies of the poor resolution in the following photo. This is a screen shot from the video documenting my creation:

The videos (parts 1 and 2) are here:
- Light-up LED Brownie: Part 1
- Light-up LED Brownie: Part 2

lB, when are you posting some of your latest creations?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy birthday!

lB, I hope you're enjoying your birthday!

It was great seeing you and meeting your boy! You two are adorable together. So jealous.

And Nopa was delicious - who would stick with kosher foods after tasting that pork chop?! Nothing like re-plating my food into a bunny just to wish you a happy birthday too. =P

Thursday, August 6, 2009

High heel parking spots

Wow, if this law is true, then I'm not sure what gender equality exactly means.

According to a New York magazine article, Seoul will have pink parking spots (like those physical disability spots) for people wearing high heels so they do not strain their feet as much.

Is this really necessary?! I understand that gentlemen care about their ladies, but separating the ladies in heels from everyone else at work seems to reinforce that looks matter most for a woman above and beyond her talent in her career. I am of course assuming men wearing heels are not being encouraged by this rule. The law did play upon gender stereotypes by choosing the color of the spots to be pink after all.

It'd be nice if pink stopped being so strongly associated with the female and all the connotations of physical beauty, emotional whim, childbearing patience, demire elegance, selfish nurturing, technological ineptitude...