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Articles by Michael Lin

September 4, 2009
Being home all summer has brought about a realization about my time at MIT.
August 5, 2009
Game shows and personal dignity have never had the friendliest of relationships. They’re probably more like mortal enemies, with game shows as the sadistic dystopian empire and dignity as the underdog hero unable to sway the masses to his cause. Or, depending on the show, as the helpless orphan crushed under the boots of the faceless legions as an example to would-be underdog heroes.
July 8, 2009
A couple winters back, I bought a jigsaw puzzle from a yard sale. The picture was of one of those hot air balloon gatherings, with lots of bright colors and patterns to match together. When you’re staring at a Virginia winter out your window with hardly any snowfall to motivate going outside, it’s one way to pass the time.
June 12, 2009
Recent quasi-sporting events have led me to ponder why we root for underdogs. They are the independents in life’s many arenas, from the cultural to the entrepreneurial to the athletic.
June 5, 2009
Coming home for the summer from MIT has been a time-honored tradition for me, assuming two years is sufficient to establish a tradition. As lovely as I hear Boston gets in the summertime, there’s too much waiting for me at home — family, friends, a significant other, and a job — for me to stay. Assuming, therefore, that going home would be my first and only choice for my summer plans, it logically followed that I’d have to bundle up the entire contents of my hovel and put most of it in storage, a process that consumed more time and more space than I probably would have liked.
May 12, 2009
I got my MIT class ring, or “Brass Rat,” last Friday, along with the other jewelry-inclined members of the class of 2011 who bought them, and I have to be honest, it’s taking some getting used to. I consider myself to be a non-aesthetically-minded sort of person (because it sounds nicer than “fashion-handicapped”), and an engraved beaver visible from orbit isn’t what I usually think of as a digital accessory. Yet here I am, staring at the hunk of metal on my finger and twiddling it back and forth like an indecisive electric screwdriver.
May 5, 2009
Animals and I, historically speaking, have had a complicated relationship. I like most of them well enough, but I’m not really the sort of person that feels comfortable approaching someone walking their dog on the street, for example. I guess the awkwardness is mutual, since being approached and petted by someone who clearly isn’t self-confident doesn’t seem to appeal to the animals, either. (A note to the unwillingly single: that applies to humans, as well.)
April 28, 2009
Here I sit at Walden Pond, known to the literary world as the once-home of Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. Presumably, what was once a source of inspiration for Thoreau could also serve as inspiration for me, so here I sit with my pen and pad, surrounded by nature and awaiting my muse. Granted, I’m sitting in a van in the parking lot, but the parking lot’s surrounded by nature, and the van’s doors are wide open to admit the singing of birds, a cool New England breeze, and the sound of an ice cream truck playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Yay, nature.
March 31, 2009
The extent to which one could consider me an avid video gamer depends a great deal on your definition of “avid.” On the one hand, I know the difference between Ico and Ecco, and I always invert the Y-axis on my controller. On the other hand, I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game, and survival horror gives me the heebie-jeebies. (I have weak nerves and weak aim — sue me.) I also try to keep up with what games are being released, so I guess that counts for something, although my laptop isn’t quite on par with what is required to play most of these newfangled computer games.
February 24, 2009
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be living in a metropolitan area with a public transportation system as good as Boston’s, because without it, my horrendous sense of direction and I would have me wandering around Memphis long before I’d find room 7-107 or whatever. That’s Memphis, Tennessee if I bite the bullet and ask for directions and historical downtown Memphis, Egypt, otherwise. Don’t ask me how; I guarantee I’d manage it, one way or another.
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