Realizing the (infinite) limit of self-driving cars

I’ve always greatly admired Elon Musk. To get to the point, I am very curious at the inner workings of his mind. My hypothesis is that his mind works differently from a lot of ours – or maybe it was his upbringing – but he does not seem daunted by the details. Sending humankind to Mars? No problem. Creating self-driving cars? Only a starting point for what he wants to tackle on next.

Honestly however, I was a little skeptical of Musk’s ideas at first. Like, sending man to Mars? No thanks, I like Earth just fine. Or self driving cars? The “trained architect” in me is shouting “NO! It’ll only lead to more sprawl. I want PUBLIC TRANSIT!” But, I’ve always been a luddite, and I’ve always only jumped into the bandwagon after everyone else has tested the waters. I previously held the belief that self-driving cars will only contribute to more urban sprawl, and as a consequence, worsening traffic.

But, as MIT’s Senseable Lab pointed out, self-driving vehicles hold huge implications for not only safety, but traffic as well. They suggest that self-driving cars can have the potential to optimize a slot-based system interaction, not unlike those used for air- traffic control. In this system, each vehicle is assigned a “slot” for when to enter intersections, thereby eliminating the need for stop and go traffic.

One look at the video below will show all that needs to be said:


(Also, notice how the video started with a question that questioned everything we currently knew? That’s a good way to become smarter.)




June 2016 Portland

A belated post, but just wanted to share nonetheless. I went on a trip with Kevin to Portland from June 2-June 9, including a day trip to Seattle in that week. I’ve never been to Portland, but Kevin used to drive there every so often back in his college days at UW.

Here are some pictures from our trip!

What makes a leader?

Online advice says the best leaders are the ones who listens more than they talk.

I do not know if that is 100% true. The people that gets noticed are the ones who speak up, and aren’t afraid to ask. They are not afraid to interrupt. They know what they want and how to get it. They know how to phrase their questions to get to the root of the problems to create solutions. That is who I want to be.

What’s in a blog?

Lately, I’ve neglected blogging because I rationalized that I didn’t have the time to sit down and plan a comprehensive, thought provoking blog. And the fear of writing something that was just a blop, without any substance, was paralyzing, because I just didn’t want my thoughts published.

But now, I know how wrong that is. A blog doesn’t have to be a polished piece of work. Instead, it can just be a place to record all the thoughts in my head. Sometimes, I may revisit an idea I’ve held in the past, and realize that my positions have indeed change. Maybe they’ll grow more conservative, or more liberal, or somewhere in the middle.

The idea of a blog – this blog – or rather, the purpose of this blog, is a place for me to think about what I want to say. Hopefully, through this, I can grow better at communicating in my personal, work, and school life.



How to find plans of obscure buildings in your town

Before this semester, the internet was the only place I knew where to find building plans. Because I’ve only ever done case studies of projects featured on ArchDaily, my knowledge arsenal consisted only of plans that were released to the media by the architects. So what happens when your case study is a building in your small town that was not featured on an architectural website like ArchDaily?

The best bet, believe it or not, is the city’s Planning and Permitting office.

First, find the tax map key (TMK) of the property is it on. From there, I can find all the permits that were submitted for that plot of land (and of course, every building ever built needs the approval of the city).

If it’s a building, look for the permit application number for the new <library>, <apartment>, <church>, <office> built on the property. Usually construction documents are not uploaded online, so you would need to bring the permit number or street address to the city’s Planning and Permitting office to find it on the archived micro-films.

The 1st drinks of 2016 & fitness goals



The other day I went out drinking with my good friends. I really like the fruity drinks that my friend describes as “tasting like juice.” They’re probably bad for gains, though. Hahaha.


I just tried uploading a video clip of my squat from Nov 2015, but WordPress doesn’t support video uploads. I was squatting 95 lbs; I’ve been stuck on 95 lbs for 4+ months. However, when I look back at my logs, I was actually squating 100 lbs back in August!! That was a little depressing to see.

My fitness goals for 2016 are as follows:

  1. Squat 115-135 lbs
  2. Bench 65-70 lbs
  3. Deadlift 135-155 lbs
  4. 1 un-assisted pull up
  5. 1 un-assisted dip
  6. 3 pistol squat / leg
  7. Bicep curl 30 lbs on curl bench

Currently I CAN bicep curl the 30 lbs standing, but as soon as I hop on the curl bench I am down -500 HP, haha. Anyway that’s all I have to share today.




2016 New Year’s Resolutions


Sadly, I’ve been neglecting to chronicle day to day happenings and thoughts 😦 Part of me felt that life was better experienced in the moment, rather than appreciated in hindsight, but ironically, I find immense pleasure in reflection– at the things I mused, activities I done, and places I went. On that note, 2016 will hopefully contain more activity (fingers crossed!)

Life is a journey, not a destination

I’ve been learning–and struggling–with the idea that everything in life in a work-in-progress. It’s hard to accept the fact that nothing I do will be perfect the first time. Instead, there will be mistakes made majority of the times. The only thing to do is to keep our heads up and soldier on. Most notably, I really struggle with keeping all my old thoughts and pictures on my blog, which I feel so cringeworthy at times. So to escape the cringe, I just didn’t post anything… but life, unfortunately, is moving way too fast for me to keep up. I want to be able to go back and remember the tiny things that escape my memory, and I’m realizing blogging can be a type of time machine.

2016 will mark the year that I begin to write more. It will be the year that I focus on what I want to create what I want my life to be about.

It’s been about a year since I began my fitness journey, but I actually do not have many photos to show my progress. I was embarrassed that I was not at the point I want to be. It actually makes me a bit sad to see that I won’t have anything to remember what I used to be (weak lol). Despite the regret, I will knock 2016 out with a bang and (hopefully) a few pictures 😉

On record keeping…

More often than not, I shoot myself in the foot due to my poor organizational skills. HNNGGG 😦 😦 😦 Anyway, I just bought a 3TB external hard drive which should spur me to keep track and DOCUMENT everythaaaang. Vacation photos, school work, portfolio pictures, misc applications (for school, taxes, etc).

That’s it for now. Here’s to hope for another great year




Weather Data Studies & Resources

As I’m progressing into 3rd year of arch school, I’m learning to do a lot of precedent studies. Precedent studies (aka case studies) examine projects other architects did to understand their thought processes. One of the most emphasized parts of architecture education is the comprehension that the context of the building lends itself to the identity of a project. Precedent studies help us recognize specific considerations to take when designing.

We learn to look at cultural and environmental factors as a context for the project. Climate is an important factor in environmental studies– is the building located in a tropical climate? or a temperate one? Different regions have different architectural responses. has weather data available for most regions of the WORLD: Europe, Central America, US, Canada, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific!

In order to read these data, you have 2 options:

  1. using Climate Consultant program developed by UCLA here:
  2. BIM software (ie, RevitArchiCAD)

The graphs are very informative and helpful in understanding why certain design decisions were made. Or, it can used to bring light to how certain design strategies were poorly executed.
Check them out 🙂