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MIT student blogger Yan Z. '12

Not a Real Entry by Yan Z. '12

I wrote it in the imaginary plane.

Last night, I was lying on my mattress somewhere near the precarious edge of the top bunk and feeling mildly superhero-esque in a thrill-seeking, daredevilish, almost-falling-out-of-bed sort of way. I remember vaguely attempting to fall asleep, having heard stories of people doing this at times as early as 2 AM (!). And then I woke up and it was 7:13 AM on Tuesday and I rolled out of bed and ran 3 miles and ate breakfast and walked to class and realized that electric fields sort of actually exist and dropped a class (Harmony and Counterpoint I) and added another class (Harmony and Counterpoint II) and signed up for an X-tra Special musicianship audition because I missed the actual auditions and trudged to the other side of campus and bought overpriced staff paper and suffered the pains of getting owned by the college bookstore’s price system and then snagged two free coupon books at the MIT bookstore instead of one to mitigate the obscene expensiveness of staff paper* and made a pear salad and harmonized a Bach chorale and plowed through linear algebra homework during a differential equations recitation and pontificated about furnaces with Edward ’12 for 30 minutes and went to a lab meeting and started an e & m problem set that had a lot of e and no m and ate Thai food at an advising group reunion and signed up to see Spring Awakening with my advising group in May and almost went square dancing with Donald Guy ’12 who was carrying about 6 cans of soda in his coat pockets and instead stumbled home at 7:30 PM and finished reconstructing deconstructed fragments of Bach and checked mail** and switched differential recitation sections via MIT’s uber-convenient online course management system and then realized that I had harmonized the Bach chorale in the wrong key.

*This is only acceptable if you’re not an economics major.

**Someone just regaled the dorm mailing list with an email querying, “Anyone have “cool” sunglasses I can borrow in the next 15 minutes?”

Real blog entry coming soon to a theater near you. Or theatre, if you’re on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

In the meantime, I leave you with a taste of pictures to come:

Bonus Challenge: Last week, Rebecca ’12 concocted this resplendent magnum opus of cakery for a dorm potluck. Name the recipe, and Rebecca ’12 will personally bake you a cake at CPW* after she kills me for promising this without her permission.

*Should the winner be unable to come to CPW, an alternative prize will be arranged.

Cryptic Hint With Bad Wordplay: The frosting does not mix with apples, nor is it the color that it appears to be.

53 responses to “Not a Real Entry”

  1. ???? says:

    What’s the relevance of all the pictures of food, all the time?

  2. Nicholas says:

    @Chris Praley: I took Linear Algebra a couple semesters ago. I’m still not sure what it was about…..

    That cake looks really friggin’ amazing. I really really want it. To eat.

  3. It sure looks like a chocolate cake (fudge?) with some sort of oranges-related topping… probably a mousse. Could this mousse be a combination between oranges and lemons? (it would explain the light color)

    If it isn’t a chocolate cake, then could it be a honey cake?

    The raspberries and white chocolate shavings are pretty easy to recognize though raspberry

  4. Yan says:

    Hey guys, stop talking about cake and go visit

  5. Yan says:

    @ Chris and Nick:

    Speaking of linear algebra, I watched The Matrix a few years ago and I’m still not sure what it was about.


  6. valeria says:


    did you cook that?…looks delicious!

  7. Chris Praley says:

    I’m taking linear algebra next year! I have no idea what it is actually. My guess is raspberry and white chocolate.

  8. Ngozi '13 says:

    Pointy White Delicious Cake?

  9. Raspberry white chocolate cake with lemon buttercream? smile yummm. Hmmm, I may have just made that up…

  10. Bridger '13 says:

    My mother is absolutely certain it is a “Red velvet cake!”

  11. raptorfish says:

    Carrot cake with coconut icing, cocunut pieces, and raspberries?

  12. raptorfish says:

    Sorry–the second “coconut” above should be spelled correctly.

  13. Bridger '13 says:

    Wait, new answer (the lighting was bad, it wasn’t her fault). How about a chocolate orange-mouse cake with raspberries and white chocolate shavings?

  14. Anon says:

    @Bridger ’13: An orange mouse cake? O_O I’d rather not eat that (seeing as the orange mice probably came from some lab experiment gone wrong).

    Anyway, you have appeared (Yan) to have surpassed Dickens in run-on sentence length. (Or at least close to it.)

  15. Yan says:

    Minus the mouse, Bridger is pretty close.

  16. You are going to love Spring Awakening.

  17. Masad says:

    Hey Yan.. i ve been reading all the random things you’ve been blogging….about…. and i find you really awesome…. Will you marry me??…. ( I WILL GIVE YOU A REALLY BIG DIAMOND RING)

  18. Narce says:

    Yan, I already went there, so it’s time to talk about cake again ^.^

    Though I actually can’t tell what it is from those two pictures, even though it looks delicious O.o

    Looks like chocolate cake + orange meringue + white chocolate (or coconut? But my guess is white chocolate) shavings + rasberries. But I’d need a taste to have a better guess -.-“

  19. Narce says:

    If we ever think we have a better guess, warn me in advance, do we have to get this recipe down to the proportion of sugar to flour in the inner cake to win the cake at CPW? Because that is something that I’m incapable of at my level of cooking XP

  20. Reena '13 says:

    You know, you can set the Athena cluster printers to give you staff paper instead of graph paper as your cover sheet. Get free staff paper *and* recycle.

    Don’t ask me how or why I know this.

  21. Narce says:

    O.o How or why DO you know that?!

  22. Ruth '13 says:

    This looks like “orange splash” cake to me.
    Because the cake is red (I think) and the frosting is yellow, and it looks splashy. Either that or “nuclear bomb” cake.

  23. Yan says:

    @ Narce/Anyone else who still insists on talking about cake:

    Nobody has gotten the frosting exactly right yet, which is why I haven’t announced a winner.

    @ Reena:

    I completely agree with your suggested method, but the prof. explicitly stated in the syllabus that printed-out staff paper was unacceptable. My inner cheapskate has been thwarted.

  24. deng says:

    haha… your second proposal just on the blogs, yan xD
    can’t imagine all the guys falling over themselves in your presence in real life raspberry

  25. Sara says:

    Thank you so much for signing up for Spring Awakening! I’m so excited… it’s going to be crazy awesome. I should probably figure out how to get you guys to the theatre, huh? The one con of planning FASAP events: navigation.

    And the image of Donald smuggling 6 cans of soda made me laugh. This was a nice break from the evils of my 18.03 p-set!

  26. Reena says:

    @Yan: Oivey. I wonder if they’d notice if you photocopied or scanned/printed the store bought paper.

    @Narce: No comment.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Yan, what instrument do you play?

  28. Narce says:

    chocolate cake + orange buttercream + white chocolate shavings + rasberries

  29. Narce says:

    That was the last possible type of icing that I can imagine for that appearance. If it’s not that, then I’m out of guesses completely.

  30. Anonymous says:

    “Real blog entry coming soon to a theater near you. Or theatre, if you’re on the wrong side of the Atlantic. “

    As a Theatre child on this side of the Atlantic (IE: the MIT side) I hold that theatre is the proper spelling :D

  31. Oasis '11 says:

    I just realized that most of you titles don’t really have anything to do with your blogs.

  32. Banerjee says:

    I’ll guess the recipe!! 5 POUNDS OF FAT!

  33. Ashwin says:

    Oh Yan your articles are so Douglas Adams-ish.
    Loved it.

  34. Eric ('13?) says:

    You have supassed Dickens, but Twain is still holding out for longest runon sentance (a la Yankee in King Arthur’s Court).

  35. Yan says:

    @ Chris:

    I just realized that most of your comments have nothing to do with my titles. . . . not that they should.

    @ Banerjee:

    Despite your profound culinary insight, I’m going to say no.

    @ Eric:

    I’ll put a check next to “Surpass Dickens but not Twain” on my list of things to do before I die.

  36. Narce says:

    Che, so it wasn’t orange buttercream. I’ve probably never heard of the correct name for that frosting, then. ;.;

  37. Ruth '13 says:

    Wait, could it be cream cheese frosting? I mean, that doesn’t sound like it makes sense, except that the rasberries would go with cream cheese frosting, so I change my mind, it does make some sense.

    For really long, not even run-on sentences, you should check out Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m pretty sure there are a couple in One Hundred Years of Solitude which are longer than either Dickens or Twain.

  38. Narce says:

    orange cream cheese frosting doesn’t sound very good.

    Actually, that’s because I hate cream cheese. So if that’s right, I was probably too biased against cream cheese to ever guess it in the first place XD

  39. Narce says:

    You only get one if you’re more right than everyone else XP

  40. jimmy '13 says:

    ok…… you promise i get one of these cakes during CPW?
    All I can say is that it is either a raspberry chocolate cake topped with vanilla icecream topped with fondant (icing) with white chocolate shreds and raspberries or simply a simple devil’s food cake with a custard-type icing, white chocolate flakes and raspberries. I don’t believe it has an actual name, and is likely a specially made one.

  41. jimmy '13 says:

    well./………… i?

  42. jimmy '13 says:

    ok…… you promise i get one of these cakes during CPW?
    All I can say is that it is either a raspberry chocolate cake topped with vanilla icecream topped with fondant (icing) with white chocolate shreds and raspberries or simply a simple devil’s food cake with a custard-type icing, white chocolate flakes and raspberries. I don’t believe it has an actual name, and is likely a specially made one.

    ok…so since you are so generous and din;t put in a limit for the number of guesses, along with my previous ones, i am adding this too.

    The cryptic hint obviously refers to not mixing oranges and apples together,the popular idiom….that i’m sure about………so i guess my third guess will be

    Chocolate Orange cake or Chocolate Orange cheesecake.

    that has to be right………or atleast i deserve a consolation prize…….a cupcake would do….for trying so hard.///////////.please?

  43. jimmy '13 says:

    so..the frosting is orange?

    my fingers are crossed….

  44. Yan says:

    Hint: The frosting is not orange.

    I will never talk about cake ever again.

  45. charmcaster says:


  46. Narce says:

    chocolate cake + buttercream icing + white chocolate shavings + raspberries?

    The first hint you gave made nearly EVERYONE assume orange -.-“

    And if you NEVER talk about cake, your food blogs will feel slightly less complete in the future ;.;

  47. Benja '13 says:

    Is it pear frosting?

  48. Rebecca '12 says:

    Hey everyone – I’m announcing the end of the contest, as the guesses are starting to get way off. It’s a flourless chocolate hazelnut cake with white chocolate tangerine mousse, garnished with raspberries and white chocolate shavings. It was tasty.

    NOT a cheesecake, red velvet cake, orange cake, or cream cheese frosting, etc. etc. The color really isn’t that off. smile

  49. Daniel '12 says:

    Wait, so does Rebecca have to bake herself a cake for CPW now? I can vouch for her guess’s correctness.

  50. Rebecca '12 says:

    @ Daniel ’12
    Do you really think I’ll have time during CPW for that? I’ll let you know when I randomly decide to make it again – or I could make that 4 layer lemon meringue/lemon cream/caramel cake.

  51. comboy says:

    Those are tasty pictures which came as a part of Yan Z blog entry

    Do not try and eat the cake, that’s impossible, instead only try to realize the truth, there’s no cake.

  52. comboy says: made me forget to pat my hair, see what I did a few hours ago:

    Hey yan,
    those are tasty pictures which came as the real entry part of Yan Z blog
    being lucky not to close the “not a real entry” tab during absence of tim b lee invention. That Zing and “I’m not gonna talk about cake ever again”
    I couldn’t see that time. Just writing the post and rush into an e-hole. (I usually don’t go outside with my laptop and without its carry case and I like parentheses and last night I went outside with my laptop without its carrycase while my right shoelace was leaving trails (like those just-married couples in old movies with cans behind their steam-engine-like cars))
    then I send it and changed the shoelace condition, return to room but slower this time.
    Now I see – this is what I wrote about Massachvsetts Institvte of Technology on Feb 16 as date modified says.

    Massachvsetts institvte of technology

    Why the hell you write Massachvsetts institvte of technology?

    V pushes me to Roman numbers, first two signs I V; V looks like hindi 7.
    5 fingers we have, why not I II III IIII IIIII for 1 2 3 4 5?
    why IV for 4 in Roman? The guy was itching his forehead with his right hand while looking at his left hand and saw a thumb on left and 4 fingers. Was V ever be 4? yeah you say they put I before V to subtract 1 from 5 and show 4, damn it, no subtraction please, I just learned how to count and I want more and more I love to invent adding and multiplication before going down, don’t put any minus or division in my wallet.
    7 characters behind the legendary v from hindis, romans wanted to add 5 whenever they see that horrible v. then someone with the same idea of using I II III IIII IIIII for numbers and same hand come and he told himself okay fingers are finished let’s look what else they draw on their paper-monitors to use it for the rest of my belongings, he met V, let V be 6 for I invented the first 5 with I’s, he saw the horrible v and put 6 characters. What’s that space for? That guy with I’s was not aware of knowledge of his time and he didn’t know V is not just some doodle but it’s also a number representative. That space is a gap in history of number-invention and lack of connection between inventors. What a mess, he should have been aware of net knowledge of time, punish with monster v again because war between roman and hindi to choose 5 or 7 for V is better than stupidity caused by a gap. Hello latin, now you are not satisfied using your writing-stations only for showing money inside your wallet, but to order chicken using oral skills. Mr. Latin ordered 1 chicken, gimme that expensive paper for I want to record his order. I (Chicken), oops, please invent characters for chicken, there are more different food than our chickens. After doodling all circles and worms and sticks and tents O W L X, why the hell V is the 22nd character? Thanks for not using I and V anymore, I love 1 2 3, already punished by v put “2 characters and space and 2 characters” for 22, that space is not history gap anymore, it’s because 2 and 2 together is not IIII instead it is II II. What’s that 3rd space? Great jump of textology (science of interpreting doodles to text and numbers), big celebration for a misconception that all knowledge had been discovered so we found X (ancient unknown), however X is our 24th character but let’s remember our ancestors and put 10 characters instead of “2 characters and space and 4 characters”.
    Thanks for hindi to choose massach, thanks for v for being 7 caused by hindi, thanks for v being 5 for romans and I would like to thank romans for doodling setts and not using s,e,t for numbers anymore. Thanks for the gap and stupidity of that five-fingered guy and for his failure in passing math exam caused by lack of understanding the subtraction and minding his wallet and going to his instructors office and his insist for passing. Bon apetite mr. Latin, how did you like the chicken, thanks for our foolish misunderstanding of reaching the peak of science and knowing all unknown and our respect to ancestors, anyway that was a great jump and a good chicken.
    Dreamer learns not from papers, dreamer is tomorrows leader, future is thirsty for new technologies not textologies. No more punishment, no more gaps, we are ready for another jump

    Why killing chickens for food instead of folding their eggs?
    I feel the same feeling of the stupid man of the history, I apologize as him from everyone for his and mine horrible english spelling mistake, please pass me before writing a request concerning about my instit.

    Secret question: hey you’re wrong, V is 5 not IV
    I’m looking at all my hands (two options I have) left one looks like IV and right one looks like VI.

    Secret question: if V is four, why VI is 6 not 5?
    guy wanted to count more, so he stopped itching and add his right hand fingers, his right hand was just arrived from forehead to his sight, being so concentrated on the second hand (using two hands for the first time to count) my little finger is blinking as I’m so blind to see the left thumb. I invented 5 before, call for 6. Go for 7 with VII. Both hands before my eyes since the invention of 6, that’s a long time after itching, were where you thumb since 6, you confused me. now I need a new doodle for more numbers, what the hell is it, what should I draw, I don’t know the unknown, let’s mark down X to remind ourself to invent X later.

    I suspect IVVI was 10 one day. I can doodle 4 in hindi using V’s only. a b … I …V… X …
    please take a look at first 7 numbers in hindi


    in the first thing that is calling back my ill-manner is I have Trvly fovnd paradise. Menus are different, little different, they can make difference as much as Zing can make a difference.

    Sorry, I think VIII also exist. And when I post in not a real entry, I didn’t forget to write real in the first line, that was bad wordplay.

    Opps, I think I lost the chance to pay to register office today again. Classes are getting filled up, I should benefit somehow by staying between two semesters, others payed already week ago and now they can register online while they’re with their families. It’s 4:11 pm, I haven’t pay yet and was waiting for discount, nothing this time cause of 0.03 less out of 4. difference between 3.5 and 3.47 is folding eggs for nearly one month, what a good chicken, please lay for me.

    that was an email I sent to zyan + that was a bad thing *I* did. Now I’m sending this post at 7:05 here after reading some parts of then look for the mercedes to pat my hair. Reaching a hole for the third time today.