Sunday, September 24, 2006


SOP General outline

What and why I want to study at grad school

  • Simple introduction or what in my life pointed me toward my intrest in this field of research
Experiences in the field
  • College experiences relevant to my intrest
  • Research experience, what I learned from them, the responsibilities I had, who I worked for. How I think this research experience is relevant to my research field of application
(Short comment on GRE or GPA scores, explain)

Future goals
  • Goals in grad school, what I hope to learn, and why I am confident to be successful in grad school.
  • Why the program in question is a good choice for my career goals, what is especially appealing about the school/program to me. (change this according to the school/program in question)
  • Mention what type of work I wish to do after grad school, list the possibilities. (focus on the program in question)
Summarized from all the outward links from the Wikipedia entry on SOP.

Friday, September 22, 2006


昨天到醫學院去參加Lab Meeting。台上有學長姐在報paper、報data,窗外有一群人用大聲公、大喇叭跟他們比大聲。



各種節目一個接著一個上場,24/7 non stop entertainment,有得吃、有得看、有得玩,一整群人很high。






Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yet another computer battery explosion

This time it's a Think Pad, and it exploded RIGHT IN LAX airport!!!
What's more, it's said that no police nor TSA official showed up, that's strange...

Since the battery's all burned out, it's still not clear if the battery came from Sony, but either way, Sony is already in deep shit.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The end of summer (柴咲コウ/invitation)


(video from here | Official site )

Sunday, September 17, 2006

06 Fall semester time distribution

School has yet again started, but this time, my last year both in university & Taiwan. This time, I should be really careful of my time management.

1. BioTech lab class assays
2. Other class assays
3. GRE subject test prep
4. Grad school application
5. Paper reading
6. Other reading
7. Lab work

8. Part-time job
9. Hokkaido trip planing
10. Rest & Contemplating
11. Excersise

Should cut back:
12. Cyclub activities
13. Reading geek sites & other computer/internet related time waisting

Flexible, but should limit:
14. Socializing

This is really crowed, maybe I shouldn't take Intermediate Japanese class?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bizzare Ad of the Zune

Maybe you've heard that Microsoft has come out with an answer to Apple's iPod, and dubbed it the Zune.
Looks nice, but I 'd like to see it in person before I decide if I like it or not. The user interface, looks cool; but I don't think it'll work with a Mac, so, not for me, I guess.

Anyway, the Ad is really cool(and it did gave me a good laugh), check it out!

Original page

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Day of new software testing

Yesterday was a day fo playing with new software :)

1. iTunes 7 (for Mac and Windows)
-Seems like many people have been reporting lags and sound quality problems with the windows version of iTunes 7. So, windows user please don't update untill a newer version is avaliable!-
With Steve Job's anouncement of the new iTunes movie store and new iPods, Apple also released a new version of iTunes. My favorite new feature is: CoverFlow. Although Apple bought this from a 3rd party developer (there was a iTunes plug-in called Cover Flow), but it's still really cool, reminds you of those huge 100 CD changer Jukeboxs.

Other then that, the sidebar is now more organized, and there are minor face lifts, such as the buttons and scroll bars. And there's the new iPod related updates to drive the new functions of the new iPods (which really doesn't matter to me). Oh, and one more thing, the icon is now blue, instead of green.

2. Skype for Mac 2.0 Beta
Another update of Skype. Seems like they're focusing on the Mac version this summer. This update seems to be touting the video call function, which is already in the 1.5 video beta that I was using. So, I don't see any change other then a number change. But there could always be those "minor bug fixes"...

3. yep (Mac only document organizer)
They say it's the iPhoto for your PDF files. I like the idea of an organizer for my PDF documents, but I still find the tagging management system a little clutter some. And it's a little hard to delete stuff. But it's a free beta, so maybe it'll be great in the future. It is a great concept!

Some thoughts on viral genome research

Here's some important notes from reading a paper:

To examine the function of a viral gene:

  1. See when (eg. stage of gene expression) & under what conditions/environments is the gene expressed, by testing the transcribed RNA
  2. Confirm the above by examining the protein expression
  3. Do a gene knockout:
    -Choose a gene inhibition/knockout method, double check the method to see of it works by testing the RNA/protein output
    -Use that method to examine the viral infection after knockout (Positive and negative controls are essential here)
In a simple flowchart, that's examining the following levels in order:
RNA expression -> Protein expression -> Phenotype


This is starting to make sense. Doing virology, we could more easily do the 3rd step in the flowchart, and get some real data. In contrast, immunologists are often stuck in the 2nd step, and can't make farther sense out of their discovery. (Could you knock out IL-2 in a real human?) Guess this is the kind of stuff I should to put on my statement of purporse: why I like virology over other things.

Monday, September 11, 2006










Have fun!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Knowing more about my self

I started this summer vacation with a goal of contemplating many questions, trying to know more about my self. I wanted to grow stronger, internally. With the belief that changes and adventures make people learn more, that is just what I did this summer.

First of all, I planned an independent group on a biking trip to Wuling, the highest point of Taiwan's roads. We took a route that has never been taken in the cycling club's history. I now have the experience and confidence to plan adventurous biking trips, and I now am very sure that I love bicycle tourism.

Then the trip to UCLA for research. I originally wanted to get more research experience, and another bullet point to put on my CV. But I got lots more. I made sure that my favorite field is virology, instead of immunology, and I have a more clearer idea of what it's like to be a grad student in the US. Farther more, by living in the Co-Op, I now know how students, with the enthusiasm and confidence, can do a great job in operating an institute such as the Co-Op housing association. I know a little more about countries and cultures around the world, and I can clean bathrooms and paint walls better now :D

Finance and credit arangement in the US is sophisticated, you may need help at first, but it's really not as hard as it seems on paper, and I'm glad I get to try it a year before I move over to the states. Also, taking a driving trip is easy and enjoyable. Maps, guides, Google earth and Earthcomber on a handheld may all come in handy, but Google earth is by far the best. Making random itinerary changes also adds to the fun and excitment.

The future no longer seems so uncertain, since I've got a taste of what to expect. I guess the point is making sure what you love. The topic of research, the work, the place you love determines what you'll do, where and what grad school you'll apply for. In addition, as a geek, I also have an idea of what car, what computer, what handheld I love. Now there's one question of the future left, relationship. Should I once again try my best in finding a mate? What I can do with a relationship? Now that's really hard questions, but one worthy of contemplating on.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back in TW

Oh, the heat! 亞洲島嶼國家的24小時高溫蒸汽浴真的很難受;LA就算太陽再大,整個暑假都還是有涼風吹的說。

我們偉大的政府不是常常在喊要拼觀光嗎?喊的陣天架響,結果在人家還進不了國門就以這種方式迎接觀光客,真是高招啊!通關時,似乎境管局的官員都在吃中飯,3~4班飛機的乘客一次擠在那。(一班飛機約200人吧,自己算一下吧!)我到時,至少有1~2班飛機的人已經卡在那了,等了半小時後,直到後面又來了2批人(包括我這批)後,才開始增加人手。人家美國和日本都有派人只揮「你排這裡比較快」,我們就沒有。本來想說,是不是跟美國一樣,外國人比較慢;仔細觀察下,台灣人、外國人都卡在那... = =|||

過海關前,有台灣精品展覽:Giant TCR(是Advanced嗎?沒看清楚),T mobile粉紅塗裝


回家隔天,想說兩個月沒騎車了,來運動一下吧。很慘的是,號稱很乾淨的Prolink似乎不能像溼油那樣一直黏在鍊條上。兩個月沒上油,練條約有超過30%死目... (阿KMC原廠的黃油都跑哪去了?) 在上油又擦掉3次循環後,終於把鍊條完全救回來了,不過變速管線也卡卡的T_T

僑車僑很久之後終於上路了,在看了一個暑假的頭文字D並買了新的水袋的情況下,很熱血的以均速24殺到瑞芳,然後,我在上北106前的緩坡就虛掉了。兩個月沒騎車果然很慘,超緩坡竟然以時速7龜上去,體力恢復成新生等級。還好沒去衝環島,否則搞不好光到北宜就滑下來了;亂入泛舟團大概也免了。在真正開始爬得時候,速度有起色,不過是消耗膝蓋的那種暴力騎法,轉速完全帶不上來。爬了2/3之後,我餓了,沒帶補給品... 速度又掉到5km/hr,真慘。最後還是給他撐到106的最高點,開始往下滑。過彎時,腦中竟然出現頭文字D的台詞:「流して...」(應該是叫人家用慣性甩尾滑出去吧) 心裡驚了一下,單車若真的滑出去,不得了啦,要下山谷了。結果,壓車過彎變得怕怕的,煞車按很多... 我壓車也退步了T_T

Friday, September 01, 2006

Camera & GPS module for PSP released in Japan | お知らせ | “アソビが変わるぞ。”PSP®「プレイステーション・ポータブル」向けカメラ、GPSレシーバー発売

Great. Now, in addition to the world's heaviest portable music player and one of the heaviest portable games, you could also get to have the heaviest crappy camera. 1.3 Megapixels with that kind of weight and price? No thanks.

As for the GPS. The only PSP map software I know of is for Japan only, so it's still useless out side of Japan. Also, I think using a touch screen would be easier than a joy stick to control the map. A similar case with mobile web browsing.