Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

Lets dig deep into the core of who we are.

Sympathy. I don't have any for you. Work harder. Most of us, we haven't been through much of anything. You're using a computer right now. There's just no way you haven't realized how good you have it. Don't ever say that you can't do it  because you're setting yourself up for failure. Confucius once said that there are two kinds of people out there, those who say that they can do it, and those who say they can't, and they're usually both right . It's bullshit. The whole, you can't do it. You've been through too much, that others don't understand. I want you to understand right now that if you want to change who you are, and you want to do something, then go and do it. No it's not simple. Yes, you're going to struggle through the roughest parts of your life but until you don't grow up and face this world with every ounce of strength you have, you will not get anywhere. You will fail if you don't put your

Ultimate Pretzel Crushed Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Bars

As I begin to write this, they are in the oven, I am a little afraid they are going to overflow, but they look amazing, and preparing them wasn't actually that bad at all! Here's a link to the Baby Gizmo blog with the article on making them. This is the final result: This is my photo album of every step I took along the way :) enjoy. These were the main ingredients in my adventure, not pictured is also the vegetable oil needed for the Peanut Butter cookie mix and the Triple Fudge Brownie mix! First I smashed up the butter snaps from Snyder, I had never had these before, they're delicious! Then I melted the butter in the microwave, this is actually one stick, I ended up using two sticks which is the recommended amount in the recipe. Ready to mix this with 5 tbsp of sugar and make my crust. Patted down my crust into my 8x8 pan even though they recommended 13x9 pan, this was the best I had haha. Mixed up my Peanut butter cookie dough

Cinnamon Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Cookie Bar

I'm not a huge baker, but over the past few weeks my girlfriend has kind of gotten me into the whole baking stuff. She's a Pinterest user so we usually just bake things that she has pinned previously, and they turn out to be quite delicious. Peanut Butter Smores Bar However, after I made the Peanut Butter Smores Bars shown above, I felt it was finally time to do some experimenting of my own. So, in a split second decision after eating Chipotle, I told my friend Summit to take a quick left because I had to purchase some ingredients at Publix. I had no real idea of what those ingredients were other than 'cookie dough' because that stuff is just delicious. So, upon arriving at Publix I purchased four things: Milk chocolate pieces Reese's peanut butter pieces Chopped pecans Pilsbury cookie dough Sorry I'm not big on ingredients, I kind of just wing it when it comes to recipes and go with my gut, so no measurement was performed when obtaining 'h

Two weeks. It's been too much.

Not sure what got me this morning... For the last two weeks I have been showering with cold showers to the point where I was no longer scared. It was quite fine until this morning when I had pretty much had enough. I think it was probably the fact that my life was too disorganized and too many things were happening that I needed to take a step back and organize some before I went ahead again. I am doing daily workout routines focused on upper body (MWF) and general cardio with swimming (T/TH). The routines somewhat wore me out each day, and I think that's what is slowing me down in work. After spending my entire summer at Google where I had chosen a schedule that worked for me. I woke up really early, and went to work for a good 8 hours, ate well, and then went home to relax and maybe do some side work. So, now that I am starting in the Fall, what is happening? I think its mostly that I am not taking enough classes for those to be a responsibility on their own. I finish all

Day 6. Cold Shower Survivor.

I figured I'd give everyone a quick update. I am still here after all those cold showers. I spent the weekend up at my girlfriend's place and I must admit I unintentionally felt like I cheated the cold shower therapy since her cold water is pretty much just fresh water (much warmer than mine). In my defense I couldn't make the water colder (I put it on the coldest setting), and I am back now to my freezing cold water, and it's getting better. This morning I almost caved in, but I manned up and went for cold again. As for my impossible goal, I am doing well. I am getting better every day. I believe I did about 7 seconds yesterday hanging off the pull up bar in a Tuck Front Lever position  (you may have to scroll down a bit, or just Ctrl+F it). I am going swimming again today, and workouts tomorrow. As for the paleo diet, I have admittedly failed as I succumbed to some one-time cheating over the weekend (felt bad not trying my girlfriend's chocolate cake, etc). H

Day 1.

Today was a day of a lot of firsts. For starters, I completely abandoned Windows as an operating system for my desktop. It just wasn't worth it. I had Linux already installed and just upgraded to 12.04, and I can't say I miss Windows much at all. Python came preinstalled, and Numpy + Scipy + OpenCV was about 20 minutes. Yeah, goodbye Windows. Doing this for my laptop as well in about 10 minutes after I finish this post. Then, I went swimming and that felt phenomenal. I did quite a few laps and I was really proud and I decided today would be the day. No more screwing around. No more weak 'I can't do this'. From today onwards, I would give it my best and push myself to the limit. I'm starting swimming on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to the morning workouts on MWF. I might go back for more swimming on Saturdays if its not too packed, or just throw in some body workouts in the dorm. And then I said, well, I might as well throw in the cold shower therapy

Dear Impossible, here I come.

I don't know what it was but it was one of those days where I just needed to write. I had a pretty awesome day at work and gave a demo presentation at an event at Google which turned out to be fantastic. I've been working somewhat hard the past few weeks but my motivation just hasn't been there like it usually is. I think that is probably because of a lot of thoughts that have been going through my head about my motivation in life and why I do things. I had also just gone to a talk at Google about the guy who wrote the PhD memoirs which was also incredibly thought provoking. At the end of the day, I also had a pretty deep talk with my girlfriend in what would finish my day with more thoughts than my mind could handle. I was excited, but overwhelmed. There was only a few days left before I would head back to Georgia Tech, and start my traditional life again. Recently I subscribed to Joel Runyon's site and started getting his newsletters and this got me pumped. Within

The power of writing.

Sometimes, it amazes me how powerful words can actually be. There's true beauty in the methods we use for communication, which raises even bigger questions about why we are here, and the things that we are doing in this world. Perhaps we aren't doing anything. Perhaps we have some greater meaning. Or maybe we are just the toys of some evil god somewhere. I don't really know, but I think I realized today, I don't really care. Whether its communicating, or expressing what we did today in poor or great manners, words are just a means of describing. They can stir emotion, and move the world, but alone, they are nothing but useless symbols and drawings. We, human beings, give them meaning. So, what is the true purpose of us as human beings in this earth? I have thought of so many things and I can't help but think that happiness is often posed as the answer. Sometime in a few years people usually want a family, a significant other, and children, others want to see ev

The next big thing.

I need to figure out what the next big thing is going to be. Let's sit back and think in the last 10 years, what has become famous on the Internet. Immediately, my two most visited sites are Facebook, and Google. Facebook is a very social company that aims in connecting users, and creating links between them. They have done exceedingly well in building connections with the concept of 'friends', but a bit more poorly in terms of actual interactions with people, Facebook chat isn't very personal and messages and writing on people's walls are not the best of interactions. Google in contrast has focused mainly on search on the web, and advertisement. Search is really about organizing the web's information, and advertisement is, well, a smart way of making money. So, the two biggest things that have come out of the Internet are a social component, and an organization component. What else is there? We could include things like Wikipedia, which is a subset of the or

I need to figure out how I feel about money.

Today I had a fun adventure where I had to save every penny possible to get from the San Francisco Airport (SFO) to my cheap hotel in Mountain View. I wanted to do it in under 10 dollars, with the hotel running me about $100.00 I thought. I succeeded for the most part, but there were some mistakes that I felt in the future I could improve. So, this was my adventure. The first part was pretty plain and simple, I left SFO through BART ($4.00) to Millbrae, and then took Caltrain ($4.25) to the Mountain View stop. Upon arrival, I walked around 25 minutes to the hotel I had previously looked up. It turns out it was sold out when I got there, which shoved me a bit out of my comfort zone, walking with my luggage at midnight around Mountain View. It scared me a little, and that was good, it's always good to get scared, and learn new experiences. From there I walked maybe a minute next door to a Comfort Inn, which happened to also be sold out. The experience however, was completely diffe

Brought to tears.

Very recently one of my friends posted a response from a post which I decided to read. It turned out to be a response to an article called 'I'm christian unless you're gay.'. After I read the response, I was pretty much brought to tears and decided to read the article and wow, I am incredibly emotional. What an amazing article, that truly makes you think twice about the way you treat people, and the way that we treat others. Please read: I am pretty much speechless, take care and have a good night, Daniel.

Invisible Children and how I feel...

I met the Invisible Children group back in 2005 when they came to my High school and promoted one of their first videos. I was sincerely touched by this group who had gone to Uganda, and encountered atrocious crimes and was trying to bring them to light. I never heard much of Invisible Children since then until two days ago, when everything went crazy. Hence, I was writing my original post out of rage more than reason, so sorry about that. I have read the articles you have posted, and did some more research. Upon relooking at some things, and doing some comparisons between Invisible Children, who spends ~80% of their revenue in program expenses, in comparison to Red Cross which spends about 90%, it made sense to me. Invisible Children spends about 16% in Administrative expenses, when the Red Cross stays about at 4%. This sounds shocking, but when you think about it, the Red Cross CEO gets a million dollar salary, and the Invisible Children founders get about 89,000 (both which I w

Reading Critique: How People Learn - Chapter 9

                This chapter covers a lot of technologies that allow us to improve learning in the classroom. Some of the key components that a lot of the technologies seem to focus on are: ·          the understanding of what the student knows before the interactions, ·          what erroneous preconceived notions he has (conceptual barriers), ·          and implementing methods that experimentally have shown to tackle these conceptual barriers and achieve basic learning. These technologies have different uses and applications in learning, which is generally not attributed to the development of new learning theories, but rather to the core benefits of technology in general. Firstly, communication is one of those huge benefits new technology has brought along. One of the benefits of that in education is in the possibility for communication of students with experts, and with other students around the world. This aspect of communication has tremendous benefits as it gives a se

Reading Critique: How People Learn - Chapter 7

This chapter addressed the effectiveness of teaching in three common fields in elementary, middle, and high schools. These fields were History, Mathematics, and Science. It was very explicit and provided examples on how being an effective teacher does not mean that one can teach every field, and that the most successful teachers are actually incredibly resourceful and proficient in their field. Further, their skills are tailored to the specific field in which they teach. They retouched on some examples of History we had seen before, and how it can be a field to learn facts in, or a field where you study and interpret certain events in order to deduce what actually occurred in history. The example of Bob Bain struck home quite quickly in the sense that I was really disappointed in my experiences in History throughout school. I had never experienced a professor like him or Ms. Kelsey, whose strategies seem to actually engage these students in a historical adventure which I now seem to

Reading Critique: How People Learn - Chapter 6

                This chapter was very interesting in tackling four concepts which I will explain in moderate detail to tackle the idea of learning and the effect the environment can have on that. The first type of environment (and it is often noted that none of these environments is exclusive of the others) is learner centered. In this environment it is important to recognize where the student is coming from. This is not strictly cultural, but also involves previous learned knowledge from past grades, and any other factors outside of the classroom which contribute to his/her experiences. This idea has been proven to be significant with experiments asking students to relate home experiences to their current work, and it thereby improving test performance on reading. While focusing on the environment may be essential, it is very difficult to determine what is stored as experiences. To narrow that down, knowledge – centered environments (the second concept) focuses on the knowledge tha

Reading Critique: How People Learn - Chapter 5

                 Tread carefully when applying theories that you believe about the brain to learning. A lot of the myths that are quickly debunked in the chapter often have an effect on learning strategies for students that may not actually benefit them. It is important to look at the brain and focus on what we are most certain about, as this is what will benefit our learning. First and foremost, we have an understanding about the structure of our brain and how it is formed. Like a sculpture artist who starts with a block and ends with Abraham Lincoln, our brain too has over produced synapses, and essentially keeps the ones we use. This would be supported by why it is so much easier to learn languages when we are children. Further, the other way the brain’s connections are formed are from nothing. As we learn, it seems to be the case that experience creates new synapses where they were none previously, and this is incredibly fascinating because this means that we have the power to c

For you, my precious stone.

I stood in the midst of darkness, In a traveled path with missing spotlights, A precious gem, shone in the distance, I walked carefully, but with confidence. I never knew of where i'd go, And yet its luminescence, Shined a way, Of which I could never say no. A gentle touch of its smoothness, And it quickly ran away. The light had marked my path, And I was on my way. And so the day came, Filled with floating oranges and plums, The sky was in its best behavior, And my nervous heart was ready to fall in loive. I could not tell you, what my mind went through, ever since the minute, in which I met you. Your first kiss drove me crazy, And even though the second time is a little hazy, I do remember the joy in my heart, When I got to hold your hand, for the very first time. The turquoise gem that lit my path, The Clemson colors which filled the sky, A simple kiss, which drifted me to loive, I am at a lack of words to tell you how I feel, But I hope my short story, Can assure you th

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work - Inspired.

I recently watched a talk on how we view things in life, and how happiness is what inspires productivity. I have long believed it and seen it applied to different areas, particularly when I worked at Google over the summer where I saw how the environment that surrounded us that summer really inspired my work ethic. That stated, I will compile a list of 63 things I am grateful for, writing 3 things every day. I am grateful for: February 7, 2012 The love my friends and I share. The dedication the College of Computing (and specifically Cedric & Jennifer) put into making me feel at home here, as it has gotten me where I am today. Shawn Achor's inspiring TED talk which has lead me to do this in my life. February 8, 2012 Family, for their loving support. My bicycle for getting me places in Atlanta. My research professor for allowing me to continue pursuing my research. February 9, 2012 My roommates for their understanding of my intense work schedules. My team at SCAD for

Reading Critique: How People Learn - Chapter 4

This chapter captivated my attention rather quickly as it illustrated how we can understand a lot more about children’s mental development by observing them with the assistance of others, as opposed to on their own. The understanding of every age range and the different mental and physical understandings of the world that we develop as we grow seemed to be somewhat excessive, and to be honest got a little scary at one point, given how much we know and can predict about our development. The understanding of this in depth growth in general understanding was complemented by an attempt to actually understand the differences between children and adults, and what mechanisms we go through to learn differently. Although some arguments have been made to state that our understanding increases due to our increased capacity to retain information, and/or our increased speed through which we can process information, the counter arguments provide interesting findings. A lot of children outdid adults

Ethics - A quick overview of how I feel.

In short: The study: Tell teachers some of their students are gifted (when they are not), and see if these students excel more academically on average. Results: It would seem they do. Ethical Implications: Yeah... about that.. A lot of studies have various ethical implications, which today go through incredible scrutiny to make sure we actually don't harm or impact the participant in any lasting way. It's reasonable, and in my opinion, necessary. However, let me point out the difficulty in having this system too. In education, we often want to learn what impacts participants and changes the way they learn to become smarter. However, for someone to become smarter, and learn more, you are inherently required to have a control group, which won't. That is always an issue. There are ways around it, and ways you can conduct the studies to put the control group in the experiment after you are done conducting data so that they both benefit, but for the most part, there's a

How People Learn - Chapter 3

Why do they teach students reading, writing, and mathematics before they teach them how to eat? Think about that as I go through a review of this chapter to lead to my point. Learning in schools involves the core concept of abstracting knowledge to make it transferrable to other scenarios, mainly, as the chapter concludes, to everyday life. Transfer is the process through which you learn something bigger than mathematics or something bigger than that physics problem. Some would argue it is the overall increase in understanding. In order to achieve this transfer, one must have the passion and desire to do these things. This is where we should start most of teaching, in motivation. The study and understanding of how to create motivation in students is particularly, what, to me, makes a great lecture. Learning requires an in depth understanding of the representation of knowledge in the human brain. This understanding will allow you to make better connections with your students, and to re

A change in title to walk the same direction.

"An english class I am not taking" has finally passed away. A blog I have had for over 4 years now filled with poetry and a hint of darkness, have now slowly faded away as I brightened my path and changed the title of this blog. The same remains the same as I shall rant away into passionate points in everything in my life, a large sequence of posts are to come too. Let it be known that I started this as one of my friends in highschool started a blog for her English class, and I decided, heck why not, but I was not taking the class, and hence the title. It was a great journey and now I find myself looking for a new fresh title. And then I thought, I want something that represents life in general, and the ideas behind life, the art of life, and I went hmm, that's good. And then I didn't like art, it was too common of a word, so I went with portrait, the portrait of life. And somehow it didn't work yet, so I changed it once more, and replaced life with your steps,

How People Learn - Chapter 2

This chapter evaluates the ideas and thought processes that go through in an expert’s mind in order to better understand the idea of education and teaching. It then correlates that with effective teachers (noting that expertise in a field does not make you an expert teacher in that field), a nd how understanding ‘pedagogical content knowledge’ is of upmost importance for effective teaching. In short, we need to understand how the students we are teaching are thinking and what knowledge they bring to the table in order to allow them to understand new content. This ability to understand new content however comes with a condition. In order for a student to truly understand new material, he must understand the breadth and depth of his own knowledge. It is the path to this understanding that takes students from being novices to experts. As the chapter so brilliantly illustrates, experts use to be those who knew all the answers, or could at least fake to do so, but that was flawed in its ve