Merry Christmas, from San Francisco
Five things I learned giving out free coffee at a lindy hop event

Rik's 2015 Year in Pictures

Rik at cal academy smiling crop

Here's a quick pictorial rundown of 2015. It's a good reminder to me of what a remarkable year it has been!

Dancing and Music

This has been a great year for dance. I did a lot of house dancing in 2015, including organizing semi-regular practice sessions in the Golden Gate Park , taking classes with Shinobi Jaxx, hitting up the club a couple of times a month, and even performing for a benefit show for Marjory Smarth

Warriors for Marjory

Me with some of the dancers in a performance for house legend Marjory Smarth.

GGP house session 122114 rik

House dance session in Golden Gate Park with my friend Daveed.

 Lindy hop in the Bay Area continued to be a constant part of my life. It's incredible that there's so much going on nearly every day: Mondays at Le Colonial (RIP?), Tuesdays at Local Edition, Wednesdays at Wednesday Night Hop, Amnesia and Balançoire, Thursdays at 9:20 Special, Sundays at Lindy in the Park, and more. Here's my semi-updated list of where to lindy hop in SF.

Rik frankie cover

Recreating a famous airstep by the legendary Frankie Manning (RIP) for his birthday in April


Live music continued to be a huge part of my life, catching live swing jazz 2-3 nights a week, plus some big ticket concerts, including:

  • Rebirth Brass Band
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
  • Postmodern Jukebox

 I'm so lucky to live in a place with so much amazing music and dancing all around me.

Rebirth brass band

 Rebirth Brass Band in SOMA, SF!



This was a pretty good travel year for me, although I didn't really plan it that way.

Rik with brittle star

On expedition with the California Academy of Sciences to Verde Island Passage in the Philippines. A life-changing trip!


Nudibranch at pillar point

Exploring local marine life on a bioblitz at Pillar Point, California

Rik and manu in the booth 2

At the 2015 International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington, DC

Other trips this year:

  • Lindy Focus in Asheville, NC 
  • Swing Riot and Association of Science and Technology Centers Conference in Montreal 


Health Stuff

Stretching on ocean beach

As pretty much everyone knows who's in my life, I've been taking my health a lot more seriously in the past year. Despite doing some fairly drastic changes (no red meat, restrictive sugar diet, high protein breakfasts, cold showers), it has not felt like a hardship for the most part. In fact, it's been pretty fun.

I got a Fitbit Surge smartwatch in June, which overall I've really enjoyed owning. Being able to easily track whatever exercise I'm doing, see my level of activity for the day, week, and month, and get notifications of incoming texts and calls is all pretty nifty. 

After wanting to do this for awhile, I finally got around to learning how to make homemade kimchi. It's super easy and fun, particularly with the Krautsource fermentation device that I got at Maker Fair. I <heart> lactobacillus probiotic bacteria.

Kimchi making



Being so close to my family and my extended clan has been really wonderful this year. It's great that I get to be a part of the life of my remarkable 2-year-old niece Aria, in particular. Everyone was healthy and pretty drama-free this year, thank goodness!

Aria with rik photobombing

Bey panganibans xmas 2015


Playing at the California Academy of Sciences

As I get close to my fifth year at the California Academy of Sciences, I'm blown away by all the cool stuff that my team and I have gotten to do: travel on expedition to the Philippines, organize two science game jams, launch a podcast on digital learning in museums, and work with lots of amazing teens. You can read the whole 2015 recap on

Rik and christine in zynga tees

Random Awesomeness

I finally upgraded a "proper" bike in the Fall, after riding a folding bike for the last eight years or so. It feels so freeing to be able to just jump on my bike and roll through the Presidio, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and zoom through Sausalito and back. Best purchase I've made in a long time.

 Brompton and Trek 7.2 meet

Mole Negro the cat is doing great, although he has gained a few extra pounds and got put on a diet by the vet recently. He REALLY doesn't approve, and let's me know every feeding time, and in between. But otherwise, he's very sweet and loves his morning cuddles and nestling up against my legs when I sleep.

Mole hipster cat

I bit the bullet when I was at ILHC and purchased a Chloe Hong vintage-inspired suit last August. It finally arrived not long ago, and I'm very very happy with it. It's getting it's first proper unveiling on New Year's Eve tonight!

  Full suit unbottoned

I still don't drink as a rule. But this year I somewhat randomly discovered that whiskey is DELICIOUS. So many complex flavor notes, incredibly rich, and, of course, intoxicating. I have to cut it severely with a lot of ginger beer or ginger tea, and can't really do much afterwards. After being a teetotaler forever, re-discovering alcohol is surprising and fun.

  Rik digs gin and ginger tea

Speaking of delicious, my new favorite vice is the kouign amman pastries from B. Pattiserie in San Francisco, perhaps one of the finest french bakers in the nation. The B. Pattiserie kouign amman is what a croissant dreams of becoming someday: flaky and crispy on the outside, soft and densely layered inside, and filled with the most amazing fillings like dark chocolate, pumpkin or speculoos.  

Kouign amman holiday sampler

Apparently I can still do an elbow freeze.

Elbow freeze sillouette

 The talented photographer Whitney Lewis spontaneously took this pic of me in Chicago in September.

Rik in chicago by whitney copy

Bella the wonder scooter has had some maintenance issues in the past year, which has been a growing experience for me, learning how to diagnose and care for my scoot. She's doing much better, thank you!

Rik on bella the wonderscooter

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