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24e-mai-2008 04:23 pm - End. Really this time.
http://random.neuralfirings.com

That's right, my own domain. Nerdy, but pretty sweet.
17e-oct-2007 09:26 am - Autism
Yesterday, I went to an Autism clinic, I'm taking an Autism seminar this semester. Part of the class is interning at a clinic. Noticed a couple of things that were interesting:

1) So Autism is a social disorder, people with autism tend to have trouble understanding social situations, picking up cues, etc, leading to them appearing very awkward. Yeah, I was more awkward than these kids were. Honestly, what brainiac decided that it was a good idea to invite Yale student, one of the most awkward groups of people ever, to teach these folks social skills? I mean, that's just blind leading the blind. Well, in my case, it was more like the blind and deaf leading the blind. Sad.

2) When I first came, they were watching Family Guy, and they were laughing at the appropriate moments. Later, when they were watching the Colbert Report, this senator guest start pulled out a "mini-Colbert" out of his pocket, obviously digitally inputted right? The mini-Colbert started dancing and all that. It was hilarious, kind of the main punch line of the segment (the point was that the senator had everything in his pocket, including a mini constitution, mini magna carta, mini rosetta stone, and a mini Colbert). The kids didn't find that quite as funny. I think they (or some of them) were fixated on the fact that the mini-Colbert was actually CGI, and didn't get that it was supposed to represent another entity with a funny dance and high pitched voice. Now, this lead me to wonder how they came to understand the cartoon characters in Family Guy as having thoughts and feelings, why they laughed at cartoons in Family Guy and not the mini-Colbert. Perhaps, they were explicitly taught that to treat cartoons as real people, but not explicitly taught to treat CGI'd mini people as real people, or rather as real mini people. Interesting, huh?
"The following has been making the rounds on just about every internal email list I belong to in Microsoft. Here it is to share a little insight with the rest of the world. Microsoft is an amazingly transparent company. Google is not. Any peek is a good peek." ...

http://no2google.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/life-at-google-the-microsoftie-perspective/

Yep, it's true.
12e-juin-2007 03:39 pm - Yachts and Gorillaz
First weekend in San Francisco. Second weekend really, but first one spent in the city. It was amazing. So much happened. And oh yeah, I effin' LOVE Yale Alums. There is a Bulldogs By the Bay program, and as all you Beijing Bulldogs know, Yale Alums really do step in and make the bulldogs stay as comfortable as they can. Well, last Saturday was our first event. We went on a Yacht trip around the bay. It was so much fun. The Yale alums are all so nice and so interested in our lives. The Yacht owner was actually my friends' dad, which was nice.

Afterwards, we met up with other Google interns and we just kindda walked around for a while. We decided to go on a $10 boat tour, which passed the St. Francis Yacht Club and while passing made fun of the snotty Yacht Club folks. Jen and I (Jen's the other Yale intern) found it pretty amusing.

Saturday, we went to the San Francisco Gorilla Run. Oh yeah. Gorilla run, that's what I said. Basically, over 400 people dressed up in gorilla costumes and did a 7K run through Golden Gate Park to raise money for some charity to help endangered gorillas. Ok. At this point, I think only pictures will suffice:





The Great Gorilla RunRéduire )



and the best of all... Thrilla' Gorilla:




Great weekend.
But until that moment comes, I bring you masterpieces like this:



I found the website that lets you order Google Business cards, too bad I can't actually order them without manager's approval.

By the way, Noogler is the term for New Googlers, such as new hires or interns like myself. Not only do you get a pretty lax work schedule the first week, enabling you to do many things including making fake business cards, but you also get these:



I love my work, oh so much!

Today, I'm going on a Yale Club Yacht trip. They are inviting all the Bay Area interns and some Yale Club alums. I think the guy who owns the Yacht is one of my Trumbull friend's dad actually. Needless to say, first week was fantabulous!!!

Yesterday, I went to a Stanford party w/ my good friend Spence. The guys hosting built this amazing ant farm. The farm itself, methinks, is a work of art. It is made of plexi-glass and is lit up by what I think is florescent lighting. The plexi glass, though, is cut into a couple of sections and each section has a different color. The pattern is pretty cool and the light shining through the glass makes it look like modern stained glass. And what will they do with it? Fill it up with ants of course. Yeah, these guys are pretty insane. They were playing 3D Beer Pong when I left. One can only imagine.

Well, today is the third day of my internship. I finally had a break from training, and met with my host and my team. I am in the AdSense department, and I help research publishers to seek for our AdSense accounts. It's a little bit of marketing, a little bit of sales, and a whole lot of fun. Don't believe it's fun? Well, get this. For my first meeting with my team, we went to an off-site park, and had a grueling afternoon of capture the flag, kickball, bar-b-que, s'mores and beer. I haven't played kick ball since the fourth grade, and even back then I wasn't very good. Nonetheless, I managed to get a point for our team. Thus, I added value. Yeah, that was my first meeting with the team. Hurrah, indeed.

I also signed up for the free gym today. Honestly, I'm not too optimistic that I will ever set foot inside that place after today. But we shall see. Google offers classes to its employees at a discount. I forget how much the classes were, but I think somewhere along the lines of $25 per session, which consists of classes for over a month... I think, maybe more. I want to take the Pilates class. One of our friends is considering taking the Boot Camp class, and asked if I wanted to join him. I gave him a "are you effin kidding me" look. He didn't ask again. There are also various Yoga classes, cardio samba classes (yeah no joke), cardio kick boxing classes, club dancing classes, and much much more. Plus, you have the option of getting a personal trainer or a group trainer. I might do Pilates + morning workouts (not the class, just the Nancy working out, and by working out I mean something along the lines of 1 part work out and 2 part rest).

My co-workers are awesome. My team consist of my host, and two other full-timers (and me, the intern of course). My boss has a two year old kid, went to Stanford and MIT (did some stalking), and is a good kickballer. My other two co-workers are great. We click pretty well I thought. One of them did theatre in high school and college, she was a techie, did lights and sound. I did publicity and sound in high school and so we talked about that for a while. Like me, she is also incredibly unatheletic. Yeah, we'll get along. The other co-worker got really excited when I told her I was a Cognitive Science major and that I specialized in language and memory. We talked about learning and memory the entire car ride to the park. She majored in Music, something and science, and played the piano as well. I'm so glad I got these two girls!! The rest of the crew is awesome as well. There were about 20 of us, a little more I think, at the park. Everybody was funny and enthusiastic. There's also one girl that reminds me of somebody, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's bugging me actually. Hrm. OMG. I just realized, she reminds me of Lucy Liu!!! Yeah, there's a girl working in my department that reminds me of Lucy Liu! That was totally bugging me the entire night.

So just for fun, we decided to walk home. It's not so bad, not too far. Though, on the way back we saw this ghost town. It is actually really creepy. See, we live on NASA Ames Research Center, in the student housing here. NASA Ames is pretty big. There are a lot of buildings, supposedly the largest wind tunnel in something is here, they are building some fighter jets or something, there are houses and dorms, etc. It's big. But, next to the interns who live in my building and the one next to me and the gate officer, I don't recall seeing anybody else. What's even more crazy, there are playgrounds all over the place. Seriously, it's like cafes and restrooms at Google. They are simply everywhere. Now, playgrounds until today have never been spooky for me. Didn't think that was possible. But, boy, it is. It is spooky when there are so many playgrounds, and no kids to be found playing in them. They are all colorful, empty, and creepy.

Well, that's about it. My camera shall arrive soon and when it does, I will snap around some pictures and post them here. Google is very strict about confidentiality, but I think a shot or two of the crazy toilets won't hurt the company too bad. Plus, there are the barrage of creepy empty playgrounds that splatter NASA grounds. Something to look forward to.

Stuff to look forward to: weekend Yale Club/Bulldogs By the Bay/Yale Googler Yacht trip, San Francisco, and Gorilla Costumes. More on all that later.
6e-juin-2007 09:39 am - On Google Bathrooms
I need to write this before I forget.

Google has heated toilet seats.

wtf. wtf in the best possible way.

*edit*

Btw, Therese, this is for you: a couple of interns were hanging out, and one girls said, "the one thing I noticed is how many bathrooms there are, it seems that every time I turn around there's a bathroom!"
5e-juin-2007 09:00 pm - First Day at Google
Oh man. Today was pretty overwhelming. In short, Google is freaking AMAZING!!!

We got there at 10 AM for Intern Orientation, got our name tags and did paperwork. The people here are all so nice. It is actually kind of scary. I mean, I'm so used to the Common's workers giving me cold, mean looks for no apparent reason. But here, Google cafeteria people actually... smile. Weird.

I'm working in Online Sales, and I really like the people I'm working with. My interviewer turned out to be this amazingly chill, cool person. It's funny because she, as the interviewer, seemed so intimidating because I wanted to impress her so she can get me a job. I love my cubicle-mates too. We are all interns working on different things. Two are MBA's, one is one year post-college doing Teach for America, and then there's me--undergrad and don't really know what is going on. So it's all good.

For the new interns, they got us nalgenes, t-shirt, visor, note pad, and balloons!!! That's right, floating above our desks are balloons that says "Intern is Here" and other festive exclamations. Apparently, we also get multi-colored hats with propellers on top. Now, I am very very excited about that. See, I grew up watching Doraemon (or Xiao Ding Dang). In that show, the characters had little propeller machines that let them fly. Well, I've always wanted to fly. And the propeller hat is the closest thing that comes to that. So, come Friday, I get a propeller hat that says "Noogler." Yes, I am excited.

Oh, and btw, the food--not overstated. It is yummy.

During lunch, I saw a burrito line. Naturally, it reminded me of our wonderful burrito cart. Yum. So I got in line, thinking about the burrito cart that I miss oh so much. A couple of minutes later, another Yale intern got in line and we started talking about the burrito cart. A couple of minutes after that, yet ANOTHER Yale intern got in line and we were like--burrito cart? Yes. Now, there are only like what 4 Google Yale interns who were at lunch, and three of us found the burrito line, for the same reason: in memory of the Burrito Cart. That's just beautiful. And the verdict? The burrito was damn good. I mean, not as good as the burrito cart burrito, which is legendary and can never be touched, but it is a pretty solid second.

What's on the agenda for tomorrow? More training. But before all that, sign up for Google gym trainers and the free Giants game. You know, the more important things. :D
4e-juin-2007 10:52 am - Pre-Google Days
Saturday I arrived at San Francisco, at 9:33 PM. Well, actually no. My flight was delayed and I arrived around 10 PM. It was pretty late. I had my parents friends drive me from SFO to Mountain View, where I'm staying. I'm staying at the NASA Ames Research Center Student Lodge. It's a couple of miles away from Google and there's a shuttle that goes between the lodge and Google, which makes transportation a whole lot easier. Student housing is situated where there's a building of Google interns and a building of NASA interns next to each other. So we joke about either meeting a rocket scientist or a computer nerd. And then there's us. The business interns in Google. We're neither computer people nor rocket scientist. We're just dumb, I guess. :)

So I met some Google interns and NASA interns the second day (yesterday). There is a dark cloud of wireless interference hovering over our dorms, so we have to go outside to this little bar-b-que area outside of our dorms to go online. So we all hung out there for a while, met 3 more interns from my department, one of whom I will be living with for the rest of the summer (thank goodness I finally have housing!). We talked about random things, you know the awkward random conversations at first meeting. Then we went and played catch for a little bit. After that we all went to Target and In & Out.

On the way back from Target we were carrying like 14 bags of random houseware. The trunk was already full, so we were just carrying them in our laps. We couldn't really see out the window b/c there were so many bags. The security card at the gate was quite amused. Then we got food and alcohol, the essentials right?

Tomorrow work starts, and I must drag myself up early again. It's pretty exciting. I'm definitely excited about Google's Perks. We had breakfast at McDonald's yesterday, and while we were hanging out in the BBQ area, a guy told us that after Google, we won't want to go back to McDonald's ever again. Oh yeah. I'm looking forward to Google.

*edit*

Another thing, weather here kicks ass. Seriously. I live in Houston and I go to school in New Haven. Very different places, but both suffering under the torturous humidity. There's no humidity here! I can't even fathom no humidity before I came here. It is seriously MIND BLOWING!
31e-mai-2007 02:55 pm - I'm a lil bit country...


Great Episode!
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