On Science Education and Stinky Plants

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I waited in line for twenty minutes. At this point, the long string of people almost wrapped around the corner of the building. When I finally walk into the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, a blast of humid air envelops me, closely followed by a musty, almost foul smell. I feel a grin stretching across my face as I trace the scent through a tropical plant oasis into the large gallery that holds the perpetrator.

A titan arum plant, popularly known as the “corpse flower” for its stench, awaits in its terra cotta planter home. A long, yellow protrusion–the spadix–rises from the center of an open, frilly base. The spathe, I remind myself, studying the maroon and green folds of the leaf structure before I tune in to a staff member talking to a mass of wide-eyed visitors.

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Time Travel: thoughts from my East Coast visit

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I stepped out of the airport to a blast of heat, inwardly grumbling at the prospect of quickly becoming drenched in sweat as I lugged my bags toward the car. However, as the week went on, I quickly found myself adjusting to the heavy, humid air as my cousin and I roamed the streets of DC and New York City.

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Five years, five seconds

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It seems that as I grow, the number of years matter less and less.

My sporadic passions can be much like ocean currents carrying jellies, taking me across vast spaces with potential to travel a thousand different directions. At any given time, at least three or four or ten different projects are circulating through my head. What kind of article should I write this month? Where would I want to travel next? I should read more. What can I paint next on my wall? How can I connect art and science and share it with the world?

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My name

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When It Rains, Restless Heart Syndrome, World So Cold…I scrolled through my finished playlist with decided satisfaction, hitting the spacebar on my bulky hand-me-down Mac and turning up the volume in my headphones. The soft guitar and choir voices of Yellowcard’s Paper Walls title track played through the speakers in my ears, coming to a quiet stop right before the amps kicked in and began to dissolve the churning sensation in my gut.

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A week by the ocean: Pacific Coast Highway roadtrip

Twin Peaks, San Francisco

During the recent holiday, two of my cousins and I drove from San Diego up to San Francisco along Highway 1, which runs along the beautiful California coast. Here’s how it went.

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For the casually brave

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The lights are all off, as usual, with the exception of the red and blue bulbs with their waves mingling to cast a loud purple hue across the DJ booth. The garage door, which remains drawn closed only about 60% of the time here at the KSDT radio station, is pulled completely up and leaves a gaping view of the innards of the DJ booth, where open mic acts trickle in one after another.  Continue reading

“Women” is not a genre: La Luz & Pinky Pinky take The Loft

Insistent keys and snare coupled with guitar riffs and grooving bass built up as music group La Luz began playing “Cicada,” one of the songs from their upcoming album, Floating Features. Guitarist Shana Cleveland’s voice wasn’t alone in lyrics for long; other band members Marian Li Pino, Alice Sandahl, and Lena Simon soon joined, cementing the layered harmonies and robust sound by which the group has come to be known.

This surf rock band, stopping to play The Loft at UCSD on their current tour, initially came together in Seattle, but moved down to Los Angeles when writing their newest album. Compared to previous projects, Floating Features was the first to be recorded in a large studio setting with the majority of the material prepared fully before. “We’ve been waiting for this record to come out for a really long time,” says Cleveland, “We recorded it a year and a half ago and we’ve been playing two or three of the songs live for a long time… on this tour we’ll play mostly the new album.”

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