FCC, Let the Net Remain Free!

Net Neutrality is a topic that has been trending for months now. As any user of the internet knows, net neutrality is essential in using the internet without major hassles. Currently, FCC per Ajit Pai is intending to have net neutrality repealed.

The implications of the net neutrality will certainly be unfavorable to the average internet users. As a few ISPs dominate the market, there is little the average user can do to exert power over the ISP corporations. If net neutrality is repealed, the ISP can take advantage to the situation and levy any fees to access, speed up, or block any website. Internet costs will predictable rise. The increased burden of cost will affect everyone including current and future businesses and consumers. Businesses may need to account for higher costs to use internet to operate business processes, thus would pass on the costs to consumers. Consumers would see certain sites become inaccessible unless consumers cough up the extra fees if the ISP doesn’t outright block the sites. Future startups would find it difficult to gain traction if regular operations conducted on the net were to slow down unless the startups pay up extra fees or if startup websites become inaccessible to the current and future customers. Innovation would be stifled.

Not only would this repeal affect the economics perspective, but also it would negatively affect politics. If the ISP does not agree to a website political opinion, it could theoretically block the website, thereby censoring content. This would have implications on political and social movements. Think of how many activism rely on the internet to organize and conduct discourse. ISP could silence and hinder social progress. Overall, free speech rights could be effectively controlled by corporations in USA in contrast to the free speech being controlled by the government in China.

For education, many students use the internet for research and help for exams, homework, and projects. In fact, some attributed the internet in helping them finish their degrees. It is easy to imagine on the added hassles of getting help for school if the websites were blocked or slowed down.

It is likely that ISPs would offer bundles based on tiers. Each tiers would carry different websites for each bundles. For example, access to Youtube or Instagram could be blocked unless if the user pays a higher cost for a higher tier. Imagine social media content creators having to factor in higher prices to access their content on sites such as Instagram or Youtube, which would definitely erode Youtube profits.


To protest the potential repeal, one can write or call Congress representatives to urge Congress to stop the FCC since it seems majority of FCC are in favor of repealing net neutrality. Reaching out to followers and representatives directly on social media is another solution. Appeal to prospective startups and small business owners about the business angle while appealing to social justice groups about political censorship would be the tactic. Young people such as students would be more likely to support net neutrality. There was a protest on Dec 7th, which would help spread awareness about net neutrality in real life as many are still in the dark about the current issue. The deadline is approaching, Dec 14th. Battlefornet.com

It will be uphill battle as many congressman sold out the American public for the green and that it appears 3 out of 5 FCC are for the repeal. At this point, I am not certain for the guarantee success in this battle. However, no outcome can succeed without work. While there are several reasons United States is not the land of free depending on personal definition of freedom, United States would definitely not be the land of the free if net neutrality is repealed.


Picture of Dorian Gray Character Analysis

Dorian Gray is the story of a man who subscribes to the hedonistic philosophy while also maintaining his youth and beauty at the cost of his morality and ethics. While some analysis specialize on author himself, society at the time, or whole themes, the focus here will be primarily be on the characters including Dorian, Basil, Henry, and Sybil.

A major object in the story is the portrait of Dorian Gray. The portrait takes on Dorian’s sins, vices, and aging so that Dorian can preserve his youth and beauty. This was made possible by Dorian’s Faustian exchange of selling his soul for said youth and beauty. At the beginning, Basil was afraid to publicize his portrait of Dorian as he feared it would display more about the painter (Basil) than the subject (Dorian), thus exposing the secrets of Basil’s soul. It is interpreted that Basil was worried about the portrait leaving traces and evidence of his attraction to Dorian Gray as homosexuality was heavily stigmatized in Victorian England. Indeed, Dorian is portrayed as innocent looking in the same way that Basil views him. While there is a literal portrait present, Dorian Gray could be said to be also a portrait. Dorian Gray is an empty white canvas and is shown to be very impressionable as Dorian, the pure white canvas, has been tainted by Henry’s painted layers of hedonistic philosophy and pursuit of beauty and youth. This suggests that despite being a young man, Dorian Gray has developed little to no individual moral values himself since he doesn’t analyzes Henry’s philosophy by basing anything on past experiences, internal logic, etc as if Dorian is an empty white slate. As manipulation is an art, Henry seems to be amused by his ability to influence and manipulate others, including Dorian. Dorian Gray seems to be one of his greatest artwork as Dorian Gray fell into disastrous consequences in the end.

Two of most important figures in Dorian’s life, Basil and Henry are symbols of paths of Christ or Devil and morality battle between angel and devil. Lord Henry convinces Dorian to pursue pleasure and focus on self with no regards on others. He represents the Devil figure in Dorian’s life, seemingly implanting Dorian with the path of selfishness and moral decadence that would eventually lead to Dorian’s folly. Basil is Dorian’s morality pet, the angel on his shoulders. He represents the path of righteousness as he urges Dorian to pray and repent for forgiveness after Dorian’s descend into further corruption led to destruction of others. After Dorian murdered Basil, there is little hope for Dorian to redeem himself. Even his promise to change himself was motivated by his vanity of how he appears in the portrait and not a genuine change of heart.

Also considering the two significant people in Dorian’s life would be the interpretation that the three Dorian, Basil, and Henry each represent id, ego, and superego in Freudian model of psyche. Obviously, Dorian is the id as evident in his unfettered pursuit of pleasure and the one who gives in most to impulses. Basil, having played the role of the mediator between Dorian and Henry, is the ego. Although it might be odd for Henry to be the superego, he is nevertheless the superego as he uses his internal logic to debate against society norms and to advocate satisfying the id.

Before and after Dorian’s change after Henry’s influence, Dorian throughout the story represents a child. At the beginning, he is described to be innocent man who was easily manipulated by a seemingly wise authority. Another character in the story that also represents a child would be Sybil. Indeed, Sybil and Dorian can be said to be two sides of the same coin. While Dorian represents the dark side of children considering his impulsiveness and want for instant gratification, selfishness, and impressionable nature, Sybil symbolizes the more wholesome traits of children including idealism and innocent itself. These traits inevitably make Sybil vulnerable to being destroyed by the outside world and others. Innocence can be easily corrupted or destroyed as in the case in both Dorian and Sybil.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1

Having been through a play through of Life is Strange prequel, I have some thoughts and theories about the game. The game does highlight Chloe’s feeling of abandonment and loneliness after two of her most important and beloved people, William and Max, left her life. With William dead and Max relocated to Seattle, Chloe is acting out in response and covering up her troubling insecurity and emotions with her rebelliousness. Once Rachel Amber enters her life, her life begins to have a180 degree turn.

On the subject of Rachel, she appears to a charming young woman with have it all, looks, success, intelligence, and popularity. However, as players found out at the end of episode 1, there’s more to Rachel than meets the eye. When Rachel and Chloe were burning Rachel’s photo near a tree, Rachel’s scream triggered a strong wind that fanned the flames. The resulting flames became a whole forest fire, a foreboding sign. The resulting wind might imply that Rachel possessed supernatural powers. It is also be interpreted that Rachel is the storm in the main game Life is Strange. The fact that Rachel plays Tempest’s Prospera, a sorceress with wind power also supports this interpretation. For more elaboration, there are a few possibilities if Rachel is the storm. As Rachel died aware of Jefferson and Nathan’s plans due to her angry expression in the picture, the resulting storm after her death could be her curse or revenge on Arcadia Bay due to her dreams being destroyed. In fact, a deleted line from Life is Strange episode 5 had nightmare Rachel speaking to Max about now she can never reach her dreams now that she is dead. Another possibility of her being the storm would be the vision of the storm is a message to Max and the catalyst for Max’s powers in order to guide and reunite Max and Chloe to find out the truth about  her death and other women by Nathan and Jefferson. Her doe spirit leading Max and Chloe to her buried body  and guiding Max to the beacon of lighthouse is evident of this possibility.


Also at the end of the montage in episode 1, we see a mysterious woman in a white dress smiling at the forest fire. This woman had reoccurring appearances throughout episode 1, setting her up for a major character in future episodes. She also seems to take the role of the an antagonist. We see her kissing Rachel’s father and in the short transition waiting under the tree when Rachel and Chloe were just arriving at the park. When this mistress was smiling at the forest fire, she was also sitting relatively close to it, meaning she could have seen Rachel and Chloe starting it. Does this woman knows much more about Rachel than Rachel about her? What if she was involved in Rachel’s murder ? Or she is going to blackmail Rachel and Chloe in the future based on her observation of the two starting the forest fire?

Interestingly, animal symbolism makes a return in the form of a raven / crow. The crow appears throughout the game in reality and in Chloe’s dreams. It can represent Chloe and Rachel for different reasons. The crow is said to be a messenger to mortals and the intermediary between life and death. This is evident the when the crow appears in Chloe’s dream of William giving her advice about Chloe and Rachel’s quarrel. It is as if William’s spirit is directly communicating Chloe from death and the crow is enabling the interaction. In addition, the crow also represents power of prophetic insight, in which a picture of 18 year old Max hanging from a tree and appearance of Rachel under a tree and Rachel spontaneously bursting into flames are evident in Chloe’s nightmare. Eventually, Chloe and Rachel reconcile under a tree before they burned Rachel’s photo and accidentally started forest fire. The crow represents both Chloe and Rachel for their train of fearlessness and bold nature. For Rachel, the crow also symbolizes her trickster and manipulative nature. As Chloe stated Rachel seems to like playing games and lying. For Rachel’s charming nature, she gives off a manipulative vibe, given that she goaded Chloe into stealing a bottle of wine. Also, the crow raises a question on if it also foreshadows an omen, likely Rachel’s death and ensuing storm 6 months later?


Overall, the game is on the right track. There is a definite connection between the main game and this prequel in terms of vibe, character, and consistency of elements and themes. It will be interesting to see how much Rachel impacted Chloe to be the person she is now in main Life is Strange game and possibly give more insight on the explanation of the Max’s powers and the unnatural phenomena occurring the game.

Santouka Ramen and Matcha Love

When trying the famous ramen shop Santouka popped up, I didn’t hesitate to try it as well as eating matcha ice green and shakes. I was also curious about green tea with fresh Japanese cherries flavor so I also bought that.

Santouka Ramen

I got the shio ramen, which consisted of white tonkotsu soup and red pickled plum on top, giving it a feminine touch. The rice bowl was full of frog eggs and chicken pieces, which balanced nicely with white rice. The white soup was very delicious to consume on its own after finishing all the toppings and the noodles. For the second round, I had the spicy ramen. The spice gave the soup and flavor a kick but it was mild enough that those who can’t handle spice could enjoy it. Compared to instant ramen, nothing could compare to the authentic ramen from Santouka since you can taste the toppings and noodles without being overpowered by sodium.

Matcha Love

For someone who drinks tea on a regular basis, the review would have some bias. Nevertheless, the matcha ice cream and shakes should be tried out for those who never had matcha flavored desserts. The items weren’t too bitter nor too sweet.

Green Tea with Japanese Cherries

When the box was opened, the tea leaves inside the pyramid bags had a pleasant strong cherry scented green tea aroma. The brewed tea had a hint of cherry flavor with the fresh taste of green tea. Cherry flavor items can be difficult to create since many companies input artificial cherry flavoring, which can led to the item taste like cherry cough medicine.

Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu)

There was a dragon boat festival and I couldn’t pass the opportunity to not experience the festivities for the first time. As with a lot of holidays and traditions, there are stories behind them. According to the story, the holiday is to commemorate the scholar Qu Yuan who lived in the State of Chu. Just when the Qin State was planning to take over Chu, Qu Yuan advised on the military forces to protect Chu though his plans were opposed and he was exiled as a result. When the Chu was conquered by Qin, Qu Yuan committed suicide in the Miluo River. His suicide provoked mourners sailing the river to look for him, which the event led to the tradition of dragon boat racing. Nowadays, the dragon boat races consist of competitive teams rowing in dragon boats to the beating drums to reach the finish line.

In addition to racing, there were cultural shows and other activities such as making zongzi and kite flying.

Dragon Boat Racing

Although I didn’t get to participate in the racing myself, it was a cool sight. There were a lot of tents for the racing teams. The drummer drums in order to maintain morale of the whole team. A range of ages participated including a team consisted of only children.

Kite Flying

Historical Chinese Fashion (Hanfu and Qipao)

To be honest, the traditional Chinese fashion labeled from the Han and Tang dynasties according to the announcer were suited for cosplay instead of being fitted for authentic recreation from those time periods. The construction were not historically accurate and the materials for the Han dynasty were cheap. The hanfu labeled from the Tang was gorgeous regardless.

This would be hanfu from the Han dynasty. The bixi (cloth panel attached from the belt) is worn with a semi formal hanfu that is used for cultural events or meetings.

High waisted and chest high skirts became more popular in the Tang dynasty. The hanfu with the parallel collar has a pleated skirt instead of an outer layer at the sides.

Southeast Asian Fashion Show

It was very interesting to see the different cultural clothing from southeast Asia since compared to the east asian nations, it is rare to see some representation for southeast Asian nations.

Dance Performances

Moana joined for the Polynesian dances. Two songs from Moana were performed. Several children even got the opportunity to be on stage and joined the fun.


Food was nothing special. There were some interesting activities such as making zongzi, dish traditionally consumed during the holiday, though majority of the activities seems to be aimed for children.

Dotting of the Eye Ceremony

Objective is to give the dragon life and pay homage for the festival.