Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 8: The Post of Lists

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To kick off today, in which I intend to blaze through the remaining posts in the four hours I have before I've to pop out into the summer heat to go to work, I'll list a few things that I've stumbled upon recently that have piqued my interest, and why.

Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist

A one hour documentary, Naturally Obsessed brings us into the molecular biology lab of Dr. Lawrence Shapiro at Columbia University and follows three grad students through the course of three years as they attempt to earn their PhDs doing research.

It's honest, doesn't dumb things down, and doesn't attempt to glorify a scientist's career. It doesn't sugarcoat their failures and successes either.

And it doesn't keep from the viewer the fact that while one person might win the race with the rest of the world to make a breakthrough discovery, others can drop out of it and leave research for other careers.

Plus, it has the Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part I in it - and I won't tell you in what context.

Naturally, I'm obsessed with it. And think that all students should be made to watch it, regardless of whether they want to be scientists or not.

Watch it online at:

Tim Be Told

Tim Be Told has a sound that's part soul, part pop, part rock, and overall very pleasing; the lyrics of their songs, though, are what make a difference - they're more substantial and thought-provoking than the standard stuff on the radio.

I particularly like their 'Wealth and Poverty' and 'Analyze':

The band members come from diverse backgrounds; I quote‘ethnic-band’-to-finally-reach-the-masses/:

"Pianist and leader singer Tim Ouyang is Chinese, guitarist Andrew Chae is Korean, guitarist and backup vocalist Luan Nguyen is Vietnamese, drummer Jim Barredo is Filipino, and bassist Parker Stanley is part Cherokee Indian...

The band members, who range in age from 21 to 25, ditched their traditional career paths to put their faith in music. Many of them are self-taught musicians, and felt it was their calling to share their talent.

“I majored in architecture when I was in school and loved it,” said Ouyang, “but I knew that when I graduated, I wanted to do something exciting — something different. I made a choice to pursue music instead because it was something I felt passionate about,” he said."


Canabalt is a minimalistic flash game which is surprisingly addictive and more complex than it appears at first. You run...and run. Backed by an a score which increases in tempo, you run some more. All you press is a single key.

Seems easy, right? Get running here.

I don't have a 'must' list for the year, since I often do things as they crop up or make spontaneous decisions to go places, but if I did, it might look like the following:

Must See

The Flaming Lips, who are coming to Providence in July!

The seaside mansions and Salve Regina University in Newport

Other US colleges (I've only scored 4 so far - RISD, Johnson & Wales, Harvard, Columbia)

Other parts of Rhode Island, preferably by (free) bus

Apparently Terry Pratchett's Going Postal is to be released this year; if it is, I'm definitely saving up to watch it.

Must Do

Register for a summer class at RISD, which is just next door to Brown and one of the top art colleges in the States (no kidding).

Work extra shifts to pay for that summer class

Cook Malaysian food to compensate for the entire semester of what can only be described as blah dining hall food

Get a shirt printed by Repeat this once or twice, and I'll have enough to pay for airfare to go back home.

Get more Malaysian students to apply to Brown. We're an endangered species here.

Must Have

Feeling that I've accomplished something worthwhile

Charis Loke is a rising sophomore at Brown, concentrating in Biochemistry. Her interests include art and illustration, Tolkien, and procrastination.

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