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Shimmy shimmy cocoa whaaaaaaat 


For my senior capstone project, I chose to focus on my grandmother’s loss of identity on a biological level (Alzheimer’s) and also on a socio-cultural level.

The piece consists of a large installation made out of a hand-strung fortune cookies (to represent the American imposition of an object upon a culture)  and also book of her recipes that is a direct verbatim transcription of a series of interviews I conducted with her.

I want to say thank you to those who helped with the project. The process has been frustrating, exciting, tiring, emotional, and most importantly cathartic for not only me but for my entire family. I’m super proud of this project and words can’t even express how ecstatic I am to be able to make such a beautiful piece about my grandmother’s story.

Hi everyone. Meet Rachel Beyda, a 20-year-old economics major and philosophy minor at UCLA. On February 10th she was denied a spot on the Judicial Board of UCLA’s student council for being Jewish. Yes, you read correctly. “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?” Change the word “Jewish” for black/Muslim/Asian or any other ethnicity and race you can think of. In what world is this acceptable? Nazi Germany perhaps?


I was remembering this time I went to In-N-Out in Westwood, the drive-thru was always long because this In-N-Out is right across from UCLA so a bunch of students were always there. I remember getting to the window to pay and realizing I forgot my wallet back at the apartment, which was only 5 minutes away. I was embarrassed, but told the guy at the window I’d have to come back for the food. The manager over heard what was going on and he said, “Just take the food and come back to pay after you eat it so it doesn’t cold!" 

I was so amazed by the trustworthiness of this guy, I mean this is Los Angeles, a big city where people are usually stressed, in a hurry, and too busy to care… I could have left and decided he’d never see me again and just go to the In-N-Out on Sunset instead. I remember eating and telling everyone back at the apartment what had happened, being college kids they were like,"Cool! You got free food!”

After I ate I went back to In-N-Out, went inside and paid, even the cashier looked weirded out that I was there. This happened over 5 years ago and I don’t know what made me think of it, but it really makes me happy to know that there are kind people out there. 


Why We Often Forget Things We See Every Day

85 college students tried to draw the Apple logo from memory. Only 1 student got it right. 

“People had trouble picking out the correct logo even when it was right in front of them,” said Alan Castel, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA and senior author of the study.

How can this be, given that logos are designed to be simple, memorable and visually distinctive, and Apple’s logo is among the world’s most recognizable?

An explanation may be that our brains have learned it is not important to remember specific details. An efficient memory system does not need to store the details of a corporate logo, except perhaps to distinguish counterfeit products, the researchers concluded.

Earlier studies have shown that most people have a poor memory for other items they encounter daily or almost daily, including computer keyboards (even skilled typists have difficulty describing a standard keyboard), pennies and road signs.

In the new study, participants were asked how well they would be able to draw the Apple logo before being asked to draw it.

“There was a striking discrepancy between participants’ confidence prior to drawing the logo and how well they performed on the task,” Castel said. “People’s memory, even for extremely common objects, is much poorer than they believe it to be.”

Can you recognize the correct logo? See how you do.

Read more about the study


Attention Studyblr Community! Please answer my short survey and questionnaire on the studyblr community.

I am an anthropology undergraduate at Indiana University Northwest, to be Communication Master’s student at Purdue University Calumet in the fall of 2015. I am conducting a preliminary research project on the #studyblr community as a senior project as a possible way for educators and students to communicate and exchange educational resources online. If all goes well, I will be continuing the project into graduate school and hope to present my findings at the Interactions Conference 2016, a University of California-LA journal on Gender in Education and Information. 

This survey is preliminary and covers mostly demographics and member thoughts on he community, but I eventually hope to incorporate #studyblr as a way to encourage students, particularly underrepresented students, to join higher education generally and STEM field in particular.

The survey is two parts, I’m sorry. I have limited resources right now and Survey Monkey only allows 10 questions.

Part One


Part Two

Please participate and share! My personal Tumblr is lionsgobrawrg​ and the research blog is academiabot​.


Film safety and preservation are essential to ensuring independent storytelling is experienced for generations to come.

From press kits to posters, films to photos, and scripts to scores, Sundance Institute Archives & Collection preserves the history of the Institute and independent storytelling.  Our Collection at UCLA is a groundbreaking partnership that exists to protect, preserve, and restore independent film.

Explore the Sundance Institute Archives & Collection

Illustrations created in collaboration with Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and UCLA Film & Television Archive

However, while Kimmy’s implied rape at the hands of her kidnapper/preacher is perhaps a little too cavalier, the overall premise of the show is something that is overall rather progressive. Too often, victims of rape are seen as just that—victims. Once a character experiences a traumatic experience of sexual assault, their storyline becomes centered around their experience as victims, rather than as people. This is where Kimmy Schmidt breaks that mold. Kimmy’s almost overbearing optimism and love of life is still a part of her, regardless of her traumatic past and her struggles with PTSD. In this way, she is the definition of a strong female character—and not the type that has frequently been portrayed in media— the gun yielding, masculine yet sexy cool girl kind that plagues much of our pop culture.  Kimmy wears sparkles, bright colors, and flowers. And yet, none of this detracts from her strength as a human being.  Instead Kimmy teaches that the only way to be a real “strong female” is to be unabashedly yourself.  This is what allows her the ability to change the lives of everyone around her for the better, to create a life for herself after a tragic past, and to ultimately put her captor behind bars. Because after all, females really are strong as hell.

So with Season Two promised for 2016, I can only hope that the writers continue to take the show in the right direction–by allowing each character to have the depth and development they deserve, by continuing to showcase truly strong women, and by continuing to write with the same overwhelming optimism that has characterized Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from the beginning.

Making the HyperLoop a reality

You may have read recently about the Hyperloop — a high-speed transportation system that may rival flying in an airplane. Construction will start on a test track this year. A group of engineers along with 25 students at UCLA’s School of Architecture will work on a wide array of issues, including route planning, capsule design, and cost analysis.

Craig Hodgetts, a professor at UCLA, while co-lead the team. He says the biggest issue for the Hyperloop is actually being able to weave it into existing urban environments. 

Listen to him discuss the project