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Jennifer Liu
Lives in Seattle, WA, United States
353 followers|211,456 views
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Jennifer Liu

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Jennifer Liu

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Jennifer Liu

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More women in the tech field have to be seen and heard. Sometimes I forget that I can be an example for younger women out there interested in pursuing STEM fields.  
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Nothing new, but starting to realize how important it is to feel creative once in a while. For me, it comes from things that require my undivided attention like writing, playing music, and often anything that requires creating something. Sometimes just doing nothing and letting my mind wander is where I find myself enjoying my own company. I love getting caught in the very comfortable act of daydreaming and coming up with solutions, ideas and new dreams. Isn't daydreaming an underrated and dying practice? I can't tell you how welcome of a break it is to just let thoughts flow uninterrupted. Why don't I do this more often?
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Jennifer Liu

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If I let myself enjoy the simple things, there is a lot I have to be thankful for.  
 
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What I'm thankful for is my health and NOT being sick most of the year. 
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Jennifer Liu

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When you're online, time seems to slip away doesn't it? I found a tool called RescueTime that determines your computer habits. I spend so many hours online and yet I'm not self-aware or disciplined enough to keep track of that time. I'm hoping I'm productive, but I'm just as likely to be procrastinating or wasting my time.

After about two weeks of monitoring myself, I've discovered I'm not on Facebook as much as I thought. That was actually a (nice) surprise. I actually spend a majority of my time on Twitter, Gmail, or doing research. Research in this case counts as looking up places on google maps, wikipedia, doing anything work related, etc.

I've already started to unsubscribe to a lot of things. No more Groupon, Living Social deals or meetup.com announcements just to name a few. I don't pore over my Twitter feeds as much as I used to and not as antsy about missing something.

Do you care about your productivity online? Any changes you feel you need to make with the time you spend online?
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Jennifer Liu

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Who would have thought KONY2012 would become the most viral video of all time. Seriously,100 million views? And still counting. It's the power of our online activities at work here compounded by social networks.

Unfortunately Invisible Children's cause is no longer the cause of concern here although their core mission is still in question (see article below). But to watch a campaign explode in popularity like that in a matter of days is fascinating. I didn't know people cared about the world, slacktivism (the act of 'liking' and 'sharing' social causes) or not. The controversy surrounding it could have fueled the mass interest but maybe people were genuinely concerned, although naive.

Either way it goes to show how fast the masses work. Take an emotional narrative and slogan like KONY2012 and put it into a powerful medium such as film and it's on its path to viral status. In the digital age, you're inundated with information and you're either in the know or you're not. There's hardly time to ever question what you've read or watched.

To me it's a scary thought as it suggests a kind of propaganda with the potential for harm. If it appears convincing enough, how do we know when we're ill-informed or uninformed? Do we believe most of what we read and watch on the web depending on how much it moves us? Perhaps KONY2012 had the best intentions in mind, but those less altruistic may take advantage of the viral web for very different reasons. After KONY2012 and the mess it ensued, I'm learning to be cognizant of that.
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Jennifer Liu

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The sun was setting in Moshi and our crew stood at the rooftop of an office building to catch a better view of Kili. It peeked out of the clouds and stared down at us intimidating as ever. I stared back in disbelief and wondered what I was getting myself into.
We were in for something special. Our introduction to Mt Kili succeeded in showing us our immense task at hand. The sheer size was enough to question our fitness and mental toughness. Thousands of people come to Tanzania in the hopes to summit the highest peak in Africa, a mere 20,000ft. We were going to be among the crazy ones to do it too.

I did not prepare myself mentally for this journey, so as soon as the hike began I expected the worst and convinced myself my physical fitness would carry me to the end. Little did i know this would be as mentally challenging as it was physically demanding. It was similar to running a marathon but entirely different. It would take much longer, we’d ascend heights and combat altitude sickness and camp in less than desirable conditions. But like a marathon, we had to pace and treat it not so much as a race but as a ‘journey’ as the guides advised us.

The morning finally arrived and our guides met and briefed us on our six day journey through the Machame route, the most popular and yet difficult route to Kili. Our guides would become the most important people on our journey and we would hang to their every word whether encouraging or not. No less important were the porters who would carry every luggage and equipment and set up tents and cook our every meal.

Day one started with a seven mile hike through lush rainforest reminiscent of the hikes around Washington. It would be a nice familiar warm-up that would drastically change in scenery and difficulty in the hikes ahead.  Each day became increasingly challenging as the terrain transformed our hikes into rock scrambles and long ascents and descents that would tax our muscles to their limit. We would gain 3000 to 4000 ft daily forcing our bodies to acclimate to the altitude. Our mindset was focused on the day set out for us and trying to find as much amusement and positive distractions during the hike like singing, taking pictures and for me recording go pro videos.

That night and the following nights, we entertained ourselves with card games and chatted. I admittedly committed no-no’s, drinking wine and downing alcohol after our achievements that day. Also, the “pole pole” talk was typically ignored.  ”Pole Pole” is swahili for slowly slowly, and our guides would constantly repeat it over the course of the hike. I subconsciously went into race mode and pushed my body harder than necessary. The runner mentality took over up until Summit Day when everyone except maybe the porters and guides were forced to a snails pace up the Summit.
Summit day was by far the hardest day, beginning at midnight and running on a few hours of sleep. Adrenaline kicked in and the thought of summiting in the next few hours kept us motivated despite the fatigue and delirium that started to build as we progressed. Hiking in complete darkness with the exception of our headlamps ranks as a memorable moment. We trudged along in single file only seeing as far as the next person ahead of us, focusing solely on the next step ahead. I made sure not to slip, and slip a few times I did.

We had not yet reached the summit when the sun began to rise, but we experienced the most amazing sight. It was just us and the sky and the mountain next to us. The mountain was soon to be below us but it had already been dwarfed by the incredible view of the sunrise and immense sky surrounding us. I can’t pinpoint the exact feeling, but a feeling of wonder overtakes you. I have always wanted to know what the view is like in space and this was as close a feeling as it would get. The feeling that we were seeing what maybe God saw if He were to look down at all of creation and see us humans as small and insignificant beings.

As soon as we reached Stella point, my body was yelling at me that it was done. Still, I pressed onwards to Uhuru peak which was our final destination. Once we made it, I felt exhaustion to the core, and extreme nausea, but I was relieved and incredibly proud. The thought of having made it thus far was a moment that was unreal. Thrilling. And can’t be replicated.
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yep that sums it up well!
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Jennifer Liu

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I love my dog
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tofuuuuuuuu
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For the women who are too hard on themselves, I think that's all of us. :)
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Thanks! it's been very busy on my end, and i don't get to be on G+ as much anymore, but thanks for always stopping by and caring about your followers! :)
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Jennifer Liu

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We are all faced with a fight or flight situation one time or other.

And I’m faced with a similar situation, but right now fear is not the problem. Feeling ill-equipped with the situation is the problem. 

I have my own personal limits for certain things. But when they are being tested and stretched so far where I feel out of control it takes a toll. When you identify through this process the things you’re not passionate about, your limits become obvious.

There are certain people who have the capacity to push themselves hard. They may end up failing but still attempt to try again. They succeed at the third try, or maybe find out after the nth time that it’s not working out. There’s a hope it’s not all in vain. 

I may not one of those people who will go to such lengths. Part of self-discovery is realizing your limits are not the same as others. The test of your strengths can solidify you, but can also put you at risk and it is not a game you play lightly.

How do we know when to stop ourselves from pushing ourselves too far?

How do we differentiate stress, the kind you can manage and the kind you need to avoid. How do we know when to stop in this culture where working harder appears to be the only option of overcoming it?

When is saying no actually a good decision? 
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Sounds like prayer and genuine reflection would shed light on those questions...
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Jennifer Liu

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If you haven't heard of IPS (Interior Positioning system) yet, it's much like GPS but with a much higher resolution. At first, that is all that it seems, a detailed map. However, it's also an interactive and dynamic map with enormous application. It changes as you move and coupled with your smartphone has potential to track your social network and discover interests instantaneously. It's going to add a new kind of hyperconnected-ness to your increasing online behaviors. And If you already feel your privacy gone, this has the potential to invade more of your personal space.

Current apps with location based awareness have a plethora of data from you, but with something even more precise as IPS it could lead to bigger, and badder data mining. IPS has the potential to generate real-time analytics of your activities - indoors, outdoors and underground. GPS could only figure out a third of your actions and not always accurately.

Remember being enthralled by Google's Project Glass concept of Google Glasses? Our online and offline interactions looked so seamless in that video. Walk into a bookstore and know which section you're looking for. Get notified that your friend is nearby. It is the future of our apps working for us instead of distracting us, and complementing our natural interactions. This may be the direction we're heading and if so, IPS will play a big part of it.
For all of its awesome applications, GPS has two fundamental flaws: It doesn't work indoors, and it can't really detect altitude. An Indoor Positioning System would fix that -- and introduce some seri...
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Hey Frank! Sorry, it's been busy on my end. I recently accepted a job offer, and in the process of relocating to the West Coast. I'm thinking of doing a cross-country roadtrip over there. I think it'd be a perfect opportunity to write a post about the experience with all the changes. Will keep you posted! Thanks for checking in. :)
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Have her in circles
353 people
gopi b gopal's profile photo
Claudio Fanara's profile photo
Hart Thisaly's profile photo
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Carol Fan's profile photo
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Work
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Engineer, Blogger, Wannabe DJ
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Story
Tagline
an atypical engineer who loves travel, writing, technology, and LIFE
Introduction
I write mainly tech related stuff and my musings on life. I work to eat, play, run, and travel. 
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Seattle, WA, United States