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Akano's Blog



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My latest video gaming conquests

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life, Video Games Sep 15 2014 · 99 views
Mega Man X, FireEmblemAwakening and 2 more...
I have been up to lots of stuffs recently. Mostly of the electronic gaming variety.

First off, I played Mega Man X for the first time courtesy of the Wii U Virtual Console (prompted by a fantastic video by Egoraptor). Fantastic game; the more I play SNES games, the more I regret not owning a SNES in childhood.

After playing Fire Emblem (Rekka no Ken) and Sacred Stones, I finally caved into my roommate's demands that I play Awakening; OMG SO MUCH AWESOME! Probably one of my favorite games of all time, and definitely looking forward to playing it again.

Right after completing Awakening, I received Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney in the mail. Another fantastic game; Layton puzzles and story combined with Phoenix Wright courtroom shenanigans made for an awesome crossover. I just wish Maya hadn't been given a valley girl accent. :/

And, finally, my roommate got some 3DS Smash Bros codes, one of which he shared with me. I'm loving Mega Man so far; will definitely be playing as him once the Wii U version comes out (not getting the 3DS version; I'd like to spare my buttons of a painful death). I really wish the demo included Robin as a playable character, though; of the new roster, I'm looking forward to playing as him the most.

On a more academic note, this Thursday is my Ph.D. preliminary exam oral defense, so that'll be fun. I've already worked through the problems that I will be asked about, and I think I've solved all of them. Hopefully all will go well. ^_^

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I am still very much alive

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Aug 25 2014 · 118 views
Haldo!, Im Mendelev! and 1 more...
Haldo, BZPeople!

As you may have noticed, this summer the blogs were highly accented with my extreme absence since I took a trip to the northern UK. The reason for this absence is simple: I was studying for, and subsequently started taking, my preliminary examinations for continuation to my Ph.D. in physics. Last week for me was filled with three four-hour exams: one on Monday (Quantum Mechanics), one on Wednesday (Electromagnetism), and one on Friday (Classical, Special Relativity, and Statistical Mechanics grab bag). I am happy to say that I survived the initial onslaught of my prelims and am now in phase two: a twelve-hour take-home exam to be done over seventy-two hours (10 a.m. today to 10 a.m. Thursday). I have glanced at the problems but not worked on them yet, but I feel pretty good about the quantum section. :)

In other news, the new school year is set to start in a week, but I have a class starting this Thursday. That'll be quite fun. 8D

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Scotland: Days 5 – 7

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Jun 22 2014 · 98 views

While days 2-4 were relatively uneventful (mostly collaborating days, doing research) my last three days in Edinburgh were pretty cool.

Day 5: I climbed Arthur's Seat for a second time; it was sunny, so the view was even better than on Sunday when my advisor and I climbed it together. I also got proof That I made it to the summit. 8D

Day 6: I went to Edinburgh Castle and walked around the former residence of the Scottish royal family. There were a few museums that were mainly dedicated to the history of Scottish military. I also saw the Scottish crown jewels, but was not allowed to take photos (and didn't realize I wasn't allowed until a lady yelled at me for taking out my phone).

Day 7: I journeyed to Pencaitland, which is about 12 miles outside of Edinburgh, for a tour of the Glenkinchie distillery. However, I was late for my booked tour, as the bus didn't take me the whole way to the distillery, and it was a 2 mile walk to the distillery from the bus stop. I literally was walking, in the middle of Scottish farmland, following signs that I hoped were telling me the truth and leading me in the right direction. I eventually got there, however, unharmed but late. The lady at the front desk was very accommodating, though, and fit me into the next tour. It was quite lovely, and we got to see all the steps of brewing whiskey followed by a tasting session. After tasting, I picked up a bottle for my dad and a smaller bottle for me (if they sold 50 cl bottles, they would have been the same size, but, alas, they only had them in 20 and 70 cl sizes). I tried to get on the distillery's shuttle back to Edinburgh, but unfortunately I had asked to join it after it had left; they told me not to worry, though, as there was a local barman who would come and pick me up with two other women who also took the bus and take us to his pub, which was a few seconds' walk from the bus stop. The three of us had a drink at his pub (his only request in exchange for picking us up, which was completely fair in my opinion) and we got to talking. The one lady was around my age and still in college, while the older woman was her aunt and was retired. We got to talking about math and science, since the aunt had studied nutrition science for her job and enjoyed talking about science. We also discussed beer, the tour, and previous and future travels we were planning to take. All in all, it was a lovely afternoon, and we sat together on the bus back to Edinburgh and talked some more. Once we were back in the city, we said our goodbyes and were very glad to have met each other.

Then, this morning, I boarded my flight back to the states, and now I am quite tired, as it is (as I'm typing this) around 1:30 a.m. back in Edinburgh, and my body wants to be very well asleep. I am happy to say, though, that it was a fruitful trip, both for research and fun, as now my code that I've been working on for nearly a year finally works and has reproduced the results of the paper we modeled it off of! Now, we get to push it into new parameter space to aid us in our spectroscopic analysis. :)

Well, that's all for now. I'm going to go eat some cookies with my friends. :)

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I'm in Scotland

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Jun 16 2014 · 135 views

So, I'm currently in Edinburgh, UK for official Hogwarts business doing research with a collaborator at the local university. Things I have done include
  • Vaguely losing consciousness on the plane ride over the Atlantic to adjust to new time zone. Would not qualify it as sleeping.
  • Instead of checking into the hotel (which didn't allow checkins until 2 p.m. local time), climbing Arthur's Seat to the summit with my advisor like a boss.
  • Enjoyed a Guinness. (Not Scottish, I know, but arguably fresher than those sold in the US.)
Things I have not yet done include
  • Tossing a caber.
  • Wearing a kilt.
  • Playing bagpipes.
  • Trying haggis. (Will probably do this at breakfast tomorrow, though.)
So far so fun. Also I've done research. Totally why I'm here. :P

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Updates on Life, the Universe, and Everything

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life May 28 2014 · 112 views
Douglas Adams, 42
It's been a while since I posted something, eh?

Last week I went home to visit my family for a couple of weeks. It's been pretty low key so far; visited some friends over the weekend, mowed the lawn (so lovely), and tried to get things a bit cleaner around the house. I also ate way too much food at various gatherings.

This weekend my dad and I pick up KK from grad school (he successfully defended his Master's!) and will enjoy two long, arduous, 10 hour-long trips. Then, I fly to Wisconsin for a conference, so that should be fun.

I also got the Back to the Future DeLorean LEGO set, and I must say it's a very nice representation. Also, Doc Brown's "Great Scott!" face is perfect.

I really want to make the purple skateboard in that set an actual hoverboard using magnets and a superconductor. One of these days...

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Finals Week and Philly BrickFest

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in LEGO, Life May 06 2014 · 108 views

It's finals week at my grad school, but since I didn't take any classes this semester, I have no exams to study for (except my prelims, which are at the end of the summer :P). I am, however, holding office hours for my students before they take their exams, so I'm not without stuff to do.

I also went to Philly BrickFest two weekends ago, but I was only there for a couple hours since I had to leave for choir rehearsal. I did snap some pics, which will hopefully end up on my Brickshelf at some point. Maybe.

In other news, I'm still obsessed with quantum mechanics and have been playing around with various mathematical things associated with it, like deriving the ladder operators and matrix elements for the quantum harmonic oscillator, deriving formulas for coherent states, and trying to find out what a true Hufflepuff is, anyway deriving coordinate transformations to the center of mass frame of two particles. Fun fun. ^_^

(This is the part where you all look at me like I'm mad, and I reply with an expression like this: 8D)

So, not too much going on with me right now, but I can't complain.

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My Weekend

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Mar 11 2014 · 103 views
Boston, playin all the bars and 1 more...
So this weekend two of my friends and I journeyed to the New England city known as Boston. We didn't actually do anything downtown, but we did get to see some history in Concord, such as the Old North Bridge (site of the fabled "shot heard 'round the world") and walked past Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (we didn't have time to walk through it, unfortunately), and went to a birthday party for a friend of a friend. We also saw one of my grad school professors who left my school due to his wife and him getting a job somewhere that didn't involve one of them taking a nearly three hour commute to work, and there was Indian food.

All in all, a good weekend with good company. Now I'm just relaxing and recovering from the drive, and will soon get to go home and build a pirate ship.

My body is ready.

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A quarter century

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Feb 22 2014 · 162 views

That's how old I am now.

Wat.

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Happy birthday, little bro

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Feb 14 2014 · 90 views
Birthday, Siblings, Aww, Shut up
So, today is Tekulo's birthday. Since his birthday also happens to be Valentine's Day, and his job is baking, he's quite busy making pastries and other flour and sugar-based products for happy couples and families. And for himself, by the looks of it.

Happy birthday, Tekky. I hope you have some part of the weekend off to make up for your busy day today.

P.S. Go over here to wish Tekulo a happy birthday yourself! 8D

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Snow Days

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Life Feb 05 2014 · 86 views

So, today was the second day this week where classes have been cancelled for snow/winter weather. Today the cancellation occurred due to power outages and falling frozen tree branches.

So, I'm now at home doing work since there's actually power here. So that's been fun.

Outside looks especially pretty, though.

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About Me

Akano Toa of Electricity
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1,500+ posts
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Name: Akano
Real Name: Forever Shrouded in Mystery :P
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Likes: Science, Math, LEGO, Bionicle, Ponies, Comics, Yellow, Voice Acting
Notable Facts: One of the few Comic Veterans still around
Has been a LEGO fan since ~1996
Bionicle fan from the beginning
Misses the 90's. A lot.
Twitter: @akanotoe

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My Lovely Topics

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Hieroglyphs And The Like

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