Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Friendly Restaurant Owner

Campus Biryani, a restaurant just across the street of the Regents. I met the Moroccan owner, Jami, there.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chinese Dinner with Friends

I invited Jodie and Linda to dinner on Saturday and cooked (and re-heated) several Chinese dishes. Getting their three meals normally at the school cafeteria, they were so satisfied with my food and kept complimenting. Unfortunately we're all too busy for the midterms next week to chat.

Now whenever a American person asks me, where can I find good, authentic Chinese food around Madison? I'll smile and said, I don't know, but I cook good food!

(Because Linda said she wanted to vanish on Facebook, so I'm not going to post her photos.)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Braised Napa Cabbage

I'm so obsessed with braised napa cabbage! Yesssss!

Ingredients: napa cabbage, black mushrooms, dried shrimps (or ham), a little bit vegetable oil (to stir-fry the mushrooms and the shrimps), a little bit soy sauce, a little bit sugar

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Internal Beauty of A Cricket

Just a quick mention about the drawings I did in the entomology lab last week.
We made drawings of the head and the leg of cockroaches that were killed in 1966 (!!) and preserved in ethanol.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paul Cezanne, Mountain at Saint-Victoire

Paul Cezanne, Mountain at Saint-Victoire, 1902-1904

This painting made my day!

Thanks to the professor, now I see how art evolved from impressionism to post-impressionism, to cubism, and to abstractionism! Realized they come from the same origin, share the common goals to view things differently and seek the structures and orders underlying the surface of the world, just express through different methods.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why Organic Molecules Are White

I visited my chemistry professor from last year and gave him the gifts from Taiwan. I asked him why are most organic molecules that contain only carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sometimes phosphorous and sulfur white / translucently white? Those brilliantly colored crystallines usually contain transition metals.

So the reason is that: For a molecule to have colors, its electrons must be able to absorb EM waves, be excited, and jump onto the higher energy level. When the electrons descent back to the low energy level, they emit a certain amount of energy as photons. For molecules with C, H, N, etc., the gaps between the lower and the higher energy level are too big to be excited by visible lights. However, they do absorb infrared light and can be excited by ultraviolet light.

Why some molecules have colors: Some molecules such as the red-orange carotenoid, or the pigment in carrots, possess colors and the trick is located on their series of double bonds. The electrons on the pi bonds have much lower gaps between energy levels so they can be easily excited and emit photons within the visible spectrum. LOL White, or even transparent carrots just sound much less delicious.


Glad that I'm leaning new things everyday. Perhaps too much that I can't take them!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Day with John

I went to the Chinese church with my friend, John, and studied with him in the library afterwards. I don't really like the way the pastor preached, but it's nice to hang out with friends. It's kind of funny that he was the only white person in the church, but he can speak some Chinese! I think one of the reasons he befriends with me is probably finding more people to practice Chinese. He seems eager for the subject and he's really good - considered he has only been learning for 2 years!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My First Trance Party

So I was back from Tiesto's Club Life Tour and had the first trance party in my life. It was surely more intense than any party I've been to (BPM maintained around 130 throughout), and I felt fortunate to see now the world's no. 2 DJ (according to DJMag) in the beginning of my school year!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do You Want to Be A Hexapod?

Hexapod: the clade that include insects, Collembola, Protura, and Diplura, or arthropods that have six legs.

One lecture plus a lab. I had so much entomology today but I wished the class never ended. It was a lesson of insect external anatomy. It felt kind of weird to know so much about bugs, while my English human anatomy knowledge seemed to be a lot poorer.

"Because they're so darn cool!" the professor said again and again, "Do you want to be a Hexapod?"

Why not? I thought, I want to be small, to have exoskeleton, six legs, wings, antennae, and extended mandibles too! So I'll be wearing light armor all the time, great protection. My legs will be firm and skinny, and I can do more things at one time, especially if at least one pair of my legs are specialized. Then I can fly to wherever I want and dig right into a giant pile of food - and my fingers don't even have to move because the antennae are feeling and tasting everything and the mandibles are grabbing stuff into my mouth.

It's just so cool to have multiple appendages ... and I feel like 10-20 will be the perfect range. But the eight-legged Chelicerates can't fly ... so insects rule!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Library Project

Because I wasn't able to find a lab position, I was put into a library research group for Bio 152. The two boys seem to be interested in some topics about the Asian Multicolored Ladybird too, such as "whether Harmonia axyridis is replacing native species after its introduction". One of them suggest a topic about the effect of hunting laws regarding birds on their prey species. We'll see what topic is better in near future ... now library research doesn't seem too bad to me!

Monday, September 12, 2011

OMG Tiesto's Concert in 2 Days!

I have at least two happy things done today.
I've sent out my signed visa. The post office is located beside the Wingra creek, so I biked there. I should have no problem to continue staying in the US.

I purchased the ticket to Tiesto's concert on Thursday! The reason why I started listening to Tiesto is a bit funny: I like Astrix, and Astrix likes Tiesto a lot; but Tiesto is of course a much more well-known figure. I'm so looking forward to the show ... hey I hope to have some entertainment too, but I need to study double hard this week!

Astrix and Paul van Dyk, I love you! When will you come to Madison?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Own Willy Street Co-op!

Willy Street Co-op is an unconventional market that sells local and organic products.
It works this way. There's no a single person or a company who owns this co-op. It is owned by everyone who paid a fair share. The co-op uses the foundation to earn profits, and returns the money to every owner. There's discount for all owners who shop at the co-op.

Even though the co-op is quite far away from where I live now, I joined the co-op!
I like their products, and I really appreciate their efforts to promote local and organic products.
Let's do something for the earth and for the other creatures living with us!

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Entomology Professor Said ...

My entomology professor said,
"It's better that you sit in the same place throughout the semester, so that I can learn to remember your names, which is a bitch, because you all belong to the same species!"

Really professor? I remember I said the exact same thing before. We're the same species!

Then he talked about baiting insects,
"If you have some over-ripen fruits, you can use it as bait. Just stuck it into a trunk and put things over it, because the mammals will get it too! ... Or if your roommate is dead, bring your roommate into the forest, and you'll get lots of interesting insects before the body returns to dust!"


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Found iPod Again!

How could I not be happy? I thought I lost my iPod after Monday's outdoor event, and worried for the whole afternoon. It was weird that I could have been so careless. Then people at the front desk of the Regent told me a person named Paul picked up my iPod and returned it to the desk. OMGOMG thank you a thousand times! And whoever Paul is, bless him for being such a nice and honest person!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Art History Teacher

Art 108 came out to be an art history class; art history of modern European and American art.
I love my new art history teacher because he seems so funny!
When we first saw him, he was dressed neatly in a black suit and a striped shirt.
The room was dark that we couldn't see his face.
And he moved with grace, liveliness, and ... a little femininity.
I wonder what gave to his speech such speed and circularity.
When he said, "Those three things are essential for this class," I already forgot his first point.
Teaching us "close visual analysis", he commented on the world-famous paintings:
"A narrow range of hues: white, tan, and hardly black.
The woman dissolved into the background.
She looked at the mirror but saw no reflection of the self." Or
"Composed of several simple things: black lines and huge color blocks.
Some lines don't even reach the end; they were done intentionally.
You can't find a focus on this painting, because nothing is more important than the others!
Why is it that this piece is both systematic and philosophic, both logic and poetic!"
There will be some works, but I think I'll like the class.

Monday, September 5, 2011

No Labs Tomorrow

The Blackhawk Church was giving out free hotdogs and chips right in the Regent Apartments' parking lot, so I went and listened to a local band. Brought back a CD with a few dollars. I felt they're not too bad. I learned that the church actually meets in the Regent every week.

I found out that there're no biology lab and discussion tomorrow, so that's a pretty good news? I can focus on contacting the professors for my project.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


只是 ... 真有中國人不認得竹筍?我當場憋笑憋得好累,直到晚上才跟Abi一齊好好嘲笑她們一番。

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Peppers at Farmers' Market

I went to Farmers' Market to shop for vegetables which I'm going to eat for an week.
Saw a stand full of various peppers. Aren't they beautiful?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Super Nerd?

It's required for my class ... but it's something I've been wanting for years!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good Coupons, Good Food, Good Day

I was wandering on State Street and thinking about how to use all those coupons.
I tried something that I wanted last year but didn't get because of the price.
Jamba Juice, a smoothie store. It's quite refreshing. :)
And yep I was playing with my new molecular kit in the store. I don't care if people think I'm a freak.