[Day 691] What PhD students do on the weekend

Breaking news: grad students do have friends.

I was pretty lost at TensorFlow summit last year when I met David, Frederik and a few other grad students at lunch and decided immediately that I’d follow them both on Twitter and in real life. Continue reading “[Day 691] What PhD students do on the weekend”

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[Day 691] What PhD students do on the weekend

[Day 673] So long, and thanks for all the fish

I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been preoccupied with my writing project in Vietnamese. But today, the news of Stephen Hawking made me incredibly sad. Why must amazing people have to die?

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

You lived true to your words. You have been and will remain, one of our brightest stars.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

[Day 673] So long, and thanks for all the fish

[Day 556] Give Akash Modi a Taco Bell sponsorship already

I have a friend, Akash, who’s obsessed with Taco Bell. I mean, obsessed. At dinner, he would talk on and on about his plan to catch Taco Bell’s attention. “Should I do a pushup-handstand while eating a taco? How about doing a backflip with a taco in my mouth?”

Most people would say those things as a joke, but I know Akash can and might actually do those as he’s an “almost” Olympian. Continue reading “[Day 556] Give Akash Modi a Taco Bell sponsorship already”

[Day 556] Give Akash Modi a Taco Bell sponsorship already

[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default

Today, I had a great chat over a cup of coffee with Jon Gauthier, who is, by the way, a delightful human being. When our coffee arrived, Jon remarked:

“It’s a shame that here, in California in general, you have to tell the barista that you want it here, else they’ll default that you want it to go. In Europe, if you don’t tell them anything, they’ll default that you want your coffee in a nice cup.”

Continue reading “[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default”

[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default

[Day 95] How two penniless backpackers produced an award-winning travel show and got Anthony Bourdain on it

Two years ago, two backpackers came to me with an ambitious proposal. They were two American guys who just quit their high paying, Bostonian jobs to pursue the dream of having their own travel show. They had no money and no connection. Like all protagonists of rag to riches stories, all they had was an idea, load of enthusiasm, and–this and is different–an “eye candy.” Ray, the aspiring director, playfully pointed at his friend Mark, who was tall, lean with tousled hair and a sun-kissed smile. They wanted to have Anthony Bourdain on their show. They needed Anthony Bourdain on their show. The entire existence of their show banked on the participation of Anthony Bourdain. I didn’t quite understand their reasoning at that time–I didn’t even know who Anthony Bourdain was. But I figured it was some sort of fanaticism, and I’m drawn to fanaticism like a moth to a flame.

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The two backpackers with a big plan

Continue reading “[Day 95] How two penniless backpackers produced an award-winning travel show and got Anthony Bourdain on it”

[Day 95] How two penniless backpackers produced an award-winning travel show and got Anthony Bourdain on it

[Day 93] Who is the best professor in the world

Another of my answers on Quora went viral. It got 300k views and 10k upvotes in 3 days. My friends saw my answer and messaged me “congrats” and I was like: “why?” Are those upvotes going to improve my life in anyway? Can I brag about them on my resume or use them to buy foodstamp?

I like writing answers on Quora. It’s a nice feeling when somebody thanks you for your answer. It’s like, okay, I might suck at life but at least someone on the Internet finds me useful. I just don’t think I deserve any merit when one of my answers accidentally goes viral.

Continue reading “[Day 93] Who is the best professor in the world”

[Day 93] Who is the best professor in the world