All posts by ravenguild08

How to Train Your Rads AI

In DreamWorks’ 2010 animated fantasy film How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup, the young un-viking-like viking prince protagonist, learns to cooperate with dragons through his compassion and engineering know-how. With his dragon Toothless by his side, Hiccup protects his village more than the traditional vikings before him could have ever imagined.

Now, I haven’t shot down my own artificial intelligence out of the sky, but I do have rudimentary cross-disciplinary know-how. Let me try to describe how we might unite computer science and radiology to usher in the future of automated radiology. Continue reading How to Train Your Rads AI

The Coldplay Spectacle

It’s a moment I’ll remember forever.

I’m sitting in a stadium full of 60,000 Coldplay fans, the chilly and dark atmosphere tense with anticipation. In fades the ambient intro to “A Head Full of Dreams,” and sea of wristbands awaken unexpectedly and bathe the crowd in a warm red glow. Cheers echo across as Will Champion’s beats and Guy Berryman’s bass line begin, and Jonny Buckland’s guitar riff enters. The spotlight illuminates Coldplay onstage, rainbow fireworks explode, and Chris Martin dances forward spinning merrily and crooning “oh, I think I’ve landed / in a world I hadn’t seen!

I’ve liked Coldplay for a while now, but I rarely attend (non-classical) concerts, so when one of my best friends scored Coldplay tickets for Saturday, we fulfilled a longtime dream: Coldplay, live.

Continue reading The Coldplay Spectacle

Cubes and Chest X-Rays

The world record for fastest official single Rubik’s Cube solve is 4.69 seconds, set by Patrick Ponce earlier this month (edging out perennial champion Feliks Zemdegs at 4.73 seconds). That’s brain-meltingly fast, but the robot called Sub1 Reloaded holds the robot record at 0.637 seconds.

previous record by the same robot

Holy shit, right?

Continue reading Cubes and Chest X-Rays

Taiwanese Bian Dang

I’m Taiwanese and I love Taiwanese food. Some of the most homey dishes are the portable lunchboxes, or bian dang. It’s usually a meat dish on served on a bed of steamed rice with braised pork with sides of braised cabbage, a marinated egg, bean curd, and other greens. To go all-out pig, I made two pork dishes: fried pork chop and braised pork belly.

It’s basically all the same spices: five-spice, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic. Now I get to eat this all week, yes!


Lu rou fan (Taiwanese braised pork)

  • Hard-boil 4-6 eggs. Peel.
  • Fry 6 medium shallots finely sliced. Pat dry. (OR 1 cup prepackaged fried shallots)
  • In leftover oil, brown 2.5 lb ground pork in batches.
  • Fry 4 cloves garlic sliced, the white parts of 2 scallions sliced, 4 dried/fresh shiitake mushrooms and diced. Add pork and shallots.
  • Add 1/4 cup dark soy sauce, 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, 2 tbsp rock sugar, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp five-spice powder, enough water (~4 cups) to an inch above meat.
  • Simmer covered for 75-120 minutes. Add eggs an hour before the end. Boil uncovered to reduce as needed.
  • Serve on rice (essential). Top with the green part of scallions, egg sliced in half, fried sliced bean curd, braised cabbage.


Taiwanese Braised Pork Belly

  • Cut 1 lb pork belly into 2”x2”x0.5” pieces. Fry in oil on med-high until lightly browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Saute 2 cloves garlic sliced, 3 slices ginger, 1 star anise, 1 red chili sliced, 2 tbsp rock sugar, until the sugar is melted.
  • Add 1/2 tsp five spice powder, 1/4 cup rice wine, 1/4 cup dark soy sauce, 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 4 cups water.
  • Simmer pork belly in marinade for 1-2 hours, until very tender.


Taiwanese Pork Chop

  • Take 4 pork chops, bone-in, score the fatty sides, pound until flat.
  • Marinate 30 minutes to overnight in a bag with 4 cloves garlic smashed, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp white pepper, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp shaoxing wine, 1/2 tsp five spice powder.
  • Coat with 1/2 cup coarse sweet potato starch.
  • Shallow fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.


Taiwanese Braised Cabbage

  • Reconstitute 2 dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup water, then reserve the stock. Reconstitute 1 tbsp dried shrimp, then drain. Coarsely chop half head Taiwanese cabbage (white, flat, ~2 lbs), discarding the stem.
  • In a large wok on med-high heat, in 1 tbsp oil, saute the mushrooms, shrimp, 2 cloves garlic sliced, and optionally 1 small red chili chopped.
  • Add the cabbage, 1/2-inch carrot grated, 1/8 tsp white pepper, and pinch salt. Toss until incorporated.
  • Pour in mushroom stock and simmer covered for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until leaves are wilted and translucent.

18 weeks of practice

It’s the beginning of my fourth year of med school and I just finished my four-week sub-internship rotation in Internal Medicine. The rest of the year is filled with mostly research, random electives, applications, interviews, and unscheduled time. Thus, I’ve had an uncomfortable realization: this is it. This is essentially as mature as my medical understanding will be before I get “MD” stamped behind my name in June. Continue reading 18 weeks of practice