[Detroit] Michigan Science Center – “BODIES HUMAN: Anatomy in Motion”

It’s amazing how many entries I start writing, then leave aside in my drafts because it’s been ages since I’ve transferred my phone pictures to my computer (aka never upon a time ago). Fortunately, or unfortunately, I don’t really have any pictures of the Michigan Science Center today. The Michigan Science Center, formerly known as the Detroit Science Center recently opened a few months ago after the Detroit Science Center ran into some financial problems and shut down in 2011. There are so many great exhibits that I’m excited to explore when I visit the museum again.

Last weekend, I volunteered at the BODIES HUMAN: Anatomy in Motion exhibit. It’s a traveling exhibit about the intricacies of the human body and organ systems that is on exhibition for a limited amount of time. The exhibit features human bodies, organs, cross-sections that have been preserved through a process called “plastination.” The bodies are immersed in a bath of polymers and once allowed to harden over, would preserve the bodies for an extremely long time beyond the capabilities of just formaldehyde. A whole body could take up to two years to go through this process.

The bodies are arranged in various poses–thinker, discus thrower, basketball player–to display the anatomy of muscles and organ systems in motion. Each organ system is also separately showcased as you walk from body to body. One of the most amazing things a patron pointed out to me was a heart with four vessels coming off of the aortic arch. In addition, there are horizontal and vertical cross-sections, circulatory systems preserved with a resin, as well as a specific display that compares healthy organs with damaged or diseased organs to educate patrons about the effects of poor health choices (e.g., smoking and drinking) and the importance of good health choices.

All in all, it was a great and educational exhibition. I hope everybody gets a chance to visit and  learn about the human body in a way that has been exclusive to doctors and scientists for so long. Read for more information and see some cool pictures here!

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[Detroit] Skating

Hello, it’s been awhile! I’ve been out in northern California for the past week or so, relaxing and avoiding real life.  Now, I’m back, with a couple of projects and a desire to return to blogging. Lots of new places and food from the SF area, but in spirit of Christmas, here’s another picture of the Detroit Christmas Tree.

Campus Martius Skate Night

Campus Martius Skate Night

Last, I posted about the Christmas Tree and an empty skating rink. A few weeks ago, I went skating at Campus Martius, specifically for students which resulted in a crowded rink and a great view. Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season! 🙂

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[Detroit] Relaxing Afternoon

I finished up my semester yesterday and for the first time in a very long time, went to a cafe to relax 🙂 Today, I stopped by Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company in midtown Detroit!



I sat down with a Sexy Mexican, armed with colorful pens and blank holiday cards and got some productive non-school work done, which felt incredibly nice to finally sit and relax for awhile. The Sexy Mexican handcrafted drink was delicious–a bit sweet, but dark with a kick of cayenne!

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[Europe] Winged Victory of Samothrace

Feelin’ a bit artsy fartsy recently and went back through my Louvre pictures. This is L’s favorite piece and one of mine as well.

Winged Victory of Samothrace

This is the Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called Nike of Samothrace, a marble sculpture of the Greek goddess of Victory, Nike. She stands regally over the Daru staircase in the Louvre. The arms and head were never recovered although the fragments of the right hand are on display at the Louvre (which… I don’t recall seeing haha). Even so, it adds to the mystery and grace that she emanates.

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[Detroit] Christmas Tree

Le back! It has been a rough couple of weeks but done just in time for Thanksgiving break! As the result of finishing up the last of a series of exams yesterday, my friends and I decided to explore downtown Detroit last night. I’ve never been to downtown Detroit after dark, but it was beautiful to see all of the lights and displays. It was a quiet night with only a few people out, but there is a kind of serenity I felt from seeing the beautiful colors, listening to the soulful tune of Detroit wafting from the sax busker, and letting the chilly fresh air rush through my hair.

Detroit’s Christmas Tree (presented by DTE) standing above the outdoor skating rink at Campus Martius Park

There is a gigantic Christmas Tree set up by DTE, over 10,000 lbs, lifted by a crane to sit on the Woodward Fountain. Right next to it is the Campus Martius outdoor skating rink, which I can’t wait to go skate on!

It really feels great, knowing that the city is coming back and that I’ll be here to see it 🙂

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[Europe] Vatican City

Speaking of hot Roman weather….

Vatican City

 According to Google Maps, L and I walked a whopping 5 kilometers from our hostel to the Vatican City in somewhere between 1-2 hours, under the blazing summer sun. Silly us, we thought we only walked a mile or so. It was a beautiful day though, with blue skies and an occasional breeze. The only caveat about going to the Vatican City on such a hot day is covering up enough to enter St. Peter’s Basilica–no shorts or miniskirts, no bare shoulders or knees. More on St. Peter’s Basilica later.

Our original plan was to get a Roma Pass, which covers free entry to two of five Rome attractions as well as free travel on public transportation, but because we only planned to stay there for about two days, we forewent that and walked everywhere instead. Everywhere. From our hostel on the far east side of Rome to the Vatican City. Vatican City to the Colosseum. Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain. Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon.You get the idea. On the bright side, it was a great way to explore and appreciate the charm of the city.

Also, I’m quickly running out of processed photos to post so things are going to be a bit slow while I get through a couple of exams in the next few weeks!

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[Europe] Colosseum

The Colosseum (Flavian Ampitheatre)

This was taken on the nicer of the two days Riry and I were in Rome. Never again do I want to go to Rome during the hottest time of summer. I’m just not made out for 35°+ C weather 😦

Nevertheless, it was beautiful and breathtaking, but also, in a way, wistful, knowing that what once stood before our eyes, now only existed in our mind’s eye; knowing that I could never envision one of the most iconic symbols from my childhood in its full glory.

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[Misc] Farewell, Nanowrimo

On this date every year since high school, just after midnight, I would open up a new Microsoft Word document and immediately save it as NaNoWriMo 20xx. What is nanowrimo? National Novel Writing Month, where crazy, insane, and insane, but crazy (self included) attempt (and oftentimes fail but also succeed) in writing 50,000+ words during the month of November.

Yeah, that’s a lot of words. It’s something where you want to pace yourself about 1,667 words a day, except from my personal experience, I usually ended up writing about 25,000-35,000 words during the long Thanksgiving weekend anyway. I started doing this challenge in 2005 and even in the two years I didn’t finish, I had managed somewhere between 10,000-25,000 words. There is no prize (except for a cute banner and pdf certificate), and there is no penalty. But there is the brilliant satisfaction of knowing that you wrote a novel-length document. Is it award winning material? No, and I freely admit everything I wrote was crap and will never see the light of day. In this endeavor, it’s quantity over quality, there’s no time to edit when you need to push out 1,000 words, 500 words, 100 words, those last 10 words before you are done for the day.

This is going to be the first year where I’ve elected to not undertake the challenge. Theoretically, I could if I wanted to push myself, but with the other things I have in addition to school, it wasn’t going to happen. Maybe in a few years 🙂

So thank you, Nano for all the good times and the one proof copy that I was brave enough to print! And yes, it really is mine, ISBN/bar code and all!

(But no, it’s not for sale anywhere so don’t try looking ;))

Prelude to a Disaster

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[Misc] Forgive Yourself

Skies of Kumamoto, Kyushu, Japan

A little something I need to remind myself every now and then.

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[Detroit] Coach Insignia

[NOTE: Excuse the low quality photos from this entry! Sometimes you just have to make due with a camera phone :/]

One of the first restaurants that I went to in Detroit was Coach Insignia back in August. My friend had a Groupon so a couple of us girls dressed up to the nines. Coach Insignia is a beautiful fancy restaurant found on the 71st and 72nd of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit with a great view of the city and river.

City View with the stadium in the distance.

River View after dark with the Ambassador Bridge lit up! You can see the 72nd floor elevator button reflection 🙂

Appetizer: Crème Brulee of Brie (Caramelized Brie, Candied Almonds, Fresh Berries, Crispy Bread) and Fried Lobster Corn Dogs (Napa Cabbage Salad, Stone Ground Mustard Veluote)

Creme Brulee of Brie – delicious! I especially loved the almond and fruit.

Fried Lobster Corn Dog – yum! I don’t eat lobster often but I enjoyed this one.

Dinner: Sautéed Jumbo Scallops (Sweet Corn, Spinach, Leeks, Fingerling Potatoes, Tomato, Bacon, Warm Potato & Chive Vinaigrette)

Sauteed Jumbo Scallops – I liked the dish, but I admittedly had better scallops elsewhere.

Dessert: Italian Almond Torte (Dark Chocolate Gelato)

Italian Almond Torte – now, this one was delicious! Always have room for dessert 🙂

At times, I find myself drawing up parallels between Chicago and Detroit–river, water front, skyline etc etc. Coach Insignia reminded me a lot of the Signature Room and Lounge on the 95th and 96th floors of the Hancock Building in Chicago. Except, well, I have yet to  make it up to the Signature Lounge. Just another place to go 🙂

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