Step Count Overload

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Sunday, July 9, 2023


Tiffany Liou

I swear I was just writing the Week 5 blog just yesterday. It has yet again been another week! Week 6 has been a crazy week and I cannot wait to write all about it. This time, I am not writing at a coffee shop and the scenery outside is changing at 110 miles per hour. Instead of summing up my week with three words, I will provide my most listened to song of the week: “Andromeda” by Weyes Blood. 


Work this week has been a little challenging in terms of understanding code and finding more efficient ways of analysis. I am currently looking at data for 141 galaxies and making visualizations of their qualities through Python. The struggle for this is maintaining both accuracy and code efficiency. Simply put, I do not want to plot things for each galaxy by hand. One of the most important lessons I learned this week was to be skeptical and check the logic behind each plot I made. Does the mass to star-formation rate relationship match with expectations and previous literature? What are the differences between what others are studying versus what I am studying? Understanding these questions not only allowed me to improve my code, but also my knowledge on the project topic. 


This week was full of celebrations! Happy Independence Day, America! Never have I felt more American than celebrating July 4th at a Nationals baseball game and on the National Mall. Monday was my first time at a baseball game since first grade and my first time trying Dippin Dots. I don’t understand a whole lot about baseball, but I loved the feeling of being at a baseball game. It was fascinating to see a full crowd sharing a collective team spirit. The team spirit was so strong that the wave lasted for five rounds around the stadium. 



On Tuesday, the actual Independence Day, Ruthie, Devin, and I started our days with the Spiderverse movie. The film is so good and I just HAD to watch it in theaters again. The animation and soundtrack never fails to amaze me. After watching the movie, a lot of the interns walked to the Washington Monument to watch the firework show. I must say that there was a slight sacrifice in order for us to make it to the good spot we had. We left very early while the sun was still blazing hot. Jenna and I also walked to McDonalds to order some dinner in this insufferable heat. Let me just say that the sweat from walking in this heat was truly a humbling experience. Nonetheless, the fireworks were absolutely breathtaking and I can’t even fathom the amount of effort put in by the organizers. 


After the July 4th celebrations, I was surprised that I was able to stay strong and continue the hustle the next day. On Wednesday, I woke up bright and early to commute to STScI. But after I came back to the dorms, I was #goners and slept for 10 hours.


The 10 hours was definitely an accident, as I overslept ~14 alarms (not including the snooze reminders). Having said this, Thursday was off to a chaotic start, but it got better as the day went on. Jenna hosted an APS workshop on communication. During the workshop, I realized that communicating clearly, or even just maintaining a fair conversation, is harder than it seems. Participating in the planned activities helped me to reflect more upon my own words and speak more thoughtfully. After the workshop, rain started POURING. That stereotype of Californians in an earthquake vs in the rain is totally true. I have too many videos of this fascinating weather. 

After work, Ruthie, MJ, and I had such a fun time grabbing sushi off of a conveyor belt. In my opinion, that taiyaki ice cream was one of the best decisions I have made this week. The combination between hot and cold, crunchy and creamy, was out of this world. 10/10 would do again. 


Where do I even start for Friday? On Friday, I hung out with my friends, Brigette, Miles, and Trevor in New York! We are all doing internships on the east coast, so we decided to plan a little trip to New York City. I was so excited to spend the weekend with them after an entire 6 weeks. This weekend, I think I have walked the amount I would walk in two weeks. My step count was an average of 30,000 steps per day. Some of these steps were taken in Time Square, others were through Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Chinatown. 



When in New York, we must had to try out hot dogs on the street and the famous NY bagels. The funniest part was we tried to trick our bagel-fanatic friend back home that we couldn’t make time in our itinerary to try authentic NY bagels. And instead, we just went to Dunkin Donuts. Just to clarify, the bagel sandwich below is in fact not from Dunkin, but from a cute little shop near Central Park! 


This was truly a weekend to remember, and I am so happy and thankful to have spent some quality time with my amazing friends. I miss them already :c 


Till next time!




Tiffany Liou