Kota Penyihir: Salem, Massachusetts

Setelah sekian lamanya ogah-ogahan berangkat ke Salem, rata-rata karena menyalahkan tugas yang banyak, akhirnya aku berangkat ke Salem hari Sabtu kemarin. Ditambah lagi, di sana ada Festival Halloween selama bulan Oktober ini.

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Akhirnya pergi juga ke Salem!

Bagi yang penasaran ada apa di Salem, sejarahnya cukup kelam sebenarnya. Pada tahun 1692, 20 orang yang diduga melakukan sihir, akhirnya dihukum mati. 19 orang di antaranya digantung, dan 1 orang lainnya dipukul hingga mati. Mengapa sampai seperti itu?

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Mencari Sepi di Maine

Akhir minggu yang lalu, bersama teman-teman mahasiswa, teknis, professor, dan saintis di labku, kami berdelapan belas pergi ke Maine untuk melakukan Lab Retreat musim gugur. Dalam Bahasa Indonesia, kata ‘retreat’ sendiri punya asosiasi yang kuat dengan agama tertentu (KBBI: khalwat mengundurkan diri dari dunia ramai untuk mencari ketenangan batin). Meskipun begitu, Lab Retreat ini tidak ada hubungannya dengan religi. Tujuannya sederhana: mendekatkan diri dengan anggota lab lainnya, menyelesaikan masalah personal intralab, dan juga bersenang-senang!

PV Lab, credit: Marius
MIT PV Lab, credit: Marius.

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Learning from Singapore: Wildlife Reserves Management

Singapore might be small; its area is only about 791 km2, which is about 0.03% of Indonesia, or 0.007% of the USA! With such a small area, Singapore has several parks and gardens, including four wildlife reserves: Night Safari, River Safari, Singapore Zoo, and Jurong Bird Park.

In the past week, I had a chance to visit two of them: Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park. It was such a great experience, I want to compare their management to Indonesian’s approach to national parks and gardens. You might still remember when one of the elephants in Kebun Binatang Bandung (Bandung Zoo) died because the managing company could not provide a vet when the elephant got sick. Yani was 37 years old, but she did not die in vain. As soon as the words reached the mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil, the mayor decided to punish the company and watch their management from that time on.

There was also an issue that a lion in Taman Safari Indonesia (Indonesia Safari Park) was being drugged to keep it ‘tame’ during photo sessions with the visitors. However, the management denied this issue. Regardless of that, the lack of funding and government watch seem to be the causes of these things to happen.

So, what can we learn from Singapore?

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Frequent Flyer

One of things that I regret the most: I should have signed up for a frequent flyer program the moment I received my first international flight tickets. I flew with KLM and its codeshares. I had three layovers (Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, and Minneapolis), and spent 45 hours just to travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico. That would have given me a good number of miles, when I think about it.

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Cerita: Mudik Lebaran

Masih ingat seri cerita J yang kutulis beberapa bulan lalu? Karena aku ingin kembali menulis sesuatu yang menyenangkan (dan semoga saja cukup ringan/ tidak terlalu abstrak), musim panas kali ini aku ingin meluncurkan seri cerita baru: Cerita. Cerita-cerita yang diunggah akan berpusat pada satu tema, dan aku akan menulis segala hal dengan satu benang merah tersebut.Semoga saja hal ini cukup menarik untuk rekan-rekan pembaca sekalian. Inilah tema pertama: Mudik Lebaran. Tema pertama, Telepon bisa dibaca di sini.

Memori paling awal bagiku soal mudik kembali ke masa-masaku berumur lima-enam tahun. Kala itu, mendapat tiket kereta rasanya seperti mukjizat, karena benar-benar susah didapat. Apalagi untuk keberangkatan H-3 Lebaran. Kereta api memang menjadi andalan bagi siapapun, karena dia raja di jalanan (bahkan lebih berkuasa dari truk, bus, atau mobil, karena saat kereta lewat, semua harus memberikan jalan).

Sejak kecil, aku sudah familiar dengan satu nama kereta: Lodaya. Semua berawal dari dia.

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Current Position: Singapore

Greetings from Singapore! I don’t remember if I have told you this, but I am currently on my second week of research internship at Singapore University of Technology and Design. I am here for six more weeks, working on electric vehicles, especially the cooling system.

Does that sound like a lot of Heat and Mass Transfer? Perhaps, it is. I was scared at the beginning, too. H & MT is not my strength, to be honest. However, I am learning a lot from my mentor!

Driving the P0 (Prototype 0) of the vehicle! With Christabel, my fellow MIT friend.

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Why Gothenburg, Sweden and Chalmers?

I spent a week in Gothenburg, Sweden, because me, along with 6 other people, won Chalmers Global Challenge this year (as I have told you before, here). You might wonder, how different is the education system in Sweden (specifically, Chalmers), in comparison to American education system?

I was wondering about the same thing, too…

Hint: there is a (great) balance between work and life. Chalmers, also has a great number of international students!

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