Thousands of Miles from Home


Mimi the bear 

A Thanksgiving feast 

Kyle carving the turkey 

Silhouette and the city 

Night skies over Boston 

Mimi and cannon 

Gazing out from the statue 


Darien and I surveying Providence 

Long hallways 

The spacious dorm room of Darien 

Back alleys 

Darien has hidden something in this photograph... 

Darien, giving a thumbs up to this snazzy car 

The finest playground installation in Rhode Island 

Mimi above Darien 

Jungle gym at night 

Trapped in a web 

Canal running through downtown Providence, RI 

Mimi's reaction after Darien said that all the fish in the river died 

Fig A: Concrete tube, Darien 

Inside a giant gear in Providence 

Wind bubbles 

Trying to get some work done at Theta Chi 

This is what bubbles should look like all the time 

Bubbles at night 

The basement of Bexley dorm at MIT 

Special Guest

This weekend Mimi came all the way to Boston for the long weekend. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Theta Chi, lovingly prepared by Sal and Ross; two alumni with a predilection for cooking. Rooftop photos were taken, museums were visited, and on Saturday Mimi and I took the bus to Providence, RI to visit Darien.

The Rhode Island School of Design, Darien’s college, is conveniently nestled between downtown Providence and Brown College. Darien gave us the grand tour of the area, including his massive penthouse-style dorm room build above an old bank that would make any college student jealous. His artwork is fantastic, as usual, and he’s been dabbling in video editing as of recent. I didn’t get to meet his room mates because they were still on vacation but some other students in the building stopped by for a game of Boggle.

That evening the three of us took a sidetracked walk from the graveyard to the riverfront where we found a most magnificent jungle gym. Consisting of rope connected in geometric figures, the large structure was an inquisitive child’s dream playground edifice. We played for a while, walking back through a construction site before dinner at Neath’s, a fancy restaurant near Darien’s dorm. Thoroughly exhausted and pleasantly stuffed, Mimi and I rode the bus back to Boston.

The rest of the weekend was a blur of smiles, bubble blowing, midnight expeditions to restricted pool sites, and candlelight fig pizzas. Sunday night Mimi surprised Jennifer at Harvard and sat in on a class the next day. The four day break was not my most productive but seeing friends from home made the last four months not seem so long. Strange how friends pick up right where they left off even after being apart.

Three more weeks left in the term.


There she is, the cheap rusted beauty 

Andrew, who fell asleep inside of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" 

The library, turned dining room 

Jordan and Ante give their closing speeches 

Guests at the Rush appreciation dinner 

"The boot" 

At Alewife station this guy was riding a Segway! 

A neat freight house with free triain tours that marks the end of the Minuteman Trail 

The road to Lexington 

Neil Pallaver's childhood home (I'll hope he's famous one day and this photo is worth millions) 

The Goldberg family residence 

Autumn streets of New England 

You can't quite tell, but these people are playing Bocce ball. That makes four countries in which I've seen this game being played 

Sunset over Massachusetts 

The Long Road To Freedom

It’s almost Thanksgiving. For students, that means it’s time for some well deserved relaxation. For professors, that means it’s time to assign large assignments and tests before the kids can escape to faraway lands for a few days of freedom.

The past few weeks have been hectic, to say the least. From the basement of Baker dorm I procured a free bicycle; a rusty mess with a chain that wouldn’t turn more than a few inches. With a little elbow grease and some oil-based lubricant, I’ve restored my new chariot of fire to a general working condition that I am hoping will not be a health hazard.

As a test, I rode from Cambridge to Lexington along the Minuteman Trail last Sunday when the weather was crisp with no rain in sight. My destination was Neil’s parent’s house where my extra clothing from Japan was being kept following Neil’s short return to the US. The bike performed well along the trail, and I mistakenly rode the Minuteman Trail out to its end before realizing my error. Turning back, I navigated the streets of Lexington until finding the Pallaver residence. Sadly I did not get to meet the Pallavers (the next door neighbor informed me that they are quite an outdoor family, not to be found at home on such a glorious day), but they left my clothing in a box inside the garage. Filling my pack with sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves, I set off for my next destination.

Jeffrey Goldberg, long time friend and schoolmate of my father from kindergarten to college, lives with his wife and kids in the rural town of Lexington. A short ride from the Pallavers, I found no one home at the Goldberg residence when I first arrived. Riding until I found a sub shop (and getting a few stares at my giant backpack from the locals) I stopped for lunch and watched cars drive through the sleepy town.

When I found my way back to the Goldberg’s house for the second time, the family had just arrived home. Jeff and his wife were surprised to see me, to say the least, and I stopped for a while to chat and hear old stories about my father before racing out of Lexington before the sun set beyond the horizon.

Also this week was the Rush appreciation dinner at Theta Chi. All the new pledges were waiters at the meeting, which was hectic but well run, according to those that have been to many an appreciation dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving.



The Microsoft Puzzle Challenge 2005 puzzles have been posted. If you have a twelve hour block of time, or nothing better to do, you can try your hand at a few. Of the 21 puzzles, The Puzzled Puzzling Oxen solved:

10 Step Crossword
Alphabetic Math
Avoid the Sharks
Don't Drink and Derive
Elementary, My Dear Watson
Crimson Hat
Mangled Works

I would expect that those are the easier puzzles out of the bunch. You can get all the puzzles (and the answers) here. No cheating.

Goblet of Fire

After standing outside in the cold for 30 minutes waiting for a bus to the iMax theatre, I can safely say that Harry Potter 4 was simply amazing.

No kidding.


Fun with searchlights 

I found some kuh-razy glasses 

Pam, using the "phone a friend" option 

Free ice skating at the Z center 

Crazy Bill inside an electrical closet wearing a feather boa, your guess is as good as mine 

Bryan, looking attractive as usual 

Francis, with furry hat 

Pictures taken shortly after Theta Chi's poker table collapsed - no reported injuries 

Bill, looking festive 

Baker House had a recycling slogan contest, here was my winning submission that was subsequently plastered all over the dorm 

Uncle Sam says Recycle! 

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats playing at the Museum of Fine Arts 

A pumpkin carved by Nikolai and Kashika Posted by Picasa

View of Simmons from the roof of Baker House Posted by Picasa

Cloudy day over Boston Posted by Picasa

A "traditional" pumpkin Posted by Picasa

Bowling with AXO Posted by Picasa

Halloween creations 

Playing Catch-Up

A few photos taken during the site upgrade interlude; pumpkin carving with the Japanese Club, The Mountain Goats Concert at the Museum of Fine Art, poster contests, AXO mixer, Halloween, and a little ice skating.

Warm enough for a t-shirt here in Boston.


MIT's Infinite Corridor as viewed at 4AM on a Tuesday 

Quite the long hallway 

Almost there 

Microsoft Puzzle Challenge headquarters at MIT 

Bill, ready for the puzzles to begin 

Ante in Chinatown 

Juan, excited about a questionable ashtray 

View through Boston Common and the Public Garden 

Completely Puzzled

This weekend I was part of the Puzzled Puzzling Oxen, a team of four members competing in the Microsoft Puzzle Challenge. An annual event sponsored by Microsoft, the competition featured 21 difficult puzzles that were to be solved in the span of 12 hours; from noon to midnight. Our team had a decent showing for a rookie group, finishing 9 puzzles in the allotted time to finish in 55th place among 170 teams from around the world. The top four teams were all from MIT, outranking Columbia, Cornell, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Universities of Michigan, Southern California, Texas, and Toronto.

Barring sleep, I can’t remember the last time I did something for a consecutive 12 hours. There is a certain thrill in finding the correct answer after working on a problem for ten and a half hours. The puzzles have not yet been released on the internet but I’ll try to snag a scanned copy so you can try your hand at the real deal.


I can't get enough of this skyline 


Upgrade Your Grey Matter

Hey everybody, I’m currently in the middle of a massive upgrade for this site. On the up side that means there will be more pictures, videos, and general goodies for your perusal - hopefully presented in a well designed manner. However, implementation of all sections will be advancing when I can find the time to sit down in front of a computer monitor for a number of hours.

In the meantime, enjoy the new color scheme.