Sunday, 30 August 2009

say hello to my little friend

i know i've been harping about infectious diseases quite a bit recently, and most of you don't give a crap about it. it's kind of like a law, though, people will bitch about their studies/professions anyway - if you're a statistician, maybe poisson distribution; if you're a doctor, maybe your 36-hours-without-sleep postings; if you're an actuarial scientists (hah! i didn't say actuarist. bishes), maybe the infinitesimal number of exams you have to take; if you're a social and political science student, maybe the endless number of free hours you have to spend with nothing to do. oh, the woe.

anyway, i came across a very interesting thing, recently. i use the word 'thing' instead of bacteria, to not promote hatred towards infectious diseases, BUT WAIT! there's more. meet this hardcore mofo: deinococcus radiodurans.

for those able to speak latin, congratulations, you are now a member of the dying species; or if you prefer you are a superhero with the unique powers to decipher latin. latin (wo)man. fighting crime since 1629. if you cannot, however, interpreting this bugger's name is half the fun. deino = super, coccus = grapes, but refers to the shape and colony of this bacterium under the microscope (like grapes. dur), radiodurans = ability to withstand radio-wait for it-activity. fricken. sweet.

i actually came across senor radiodurans while doing a bioinformatics paper, where we were given an unknown protein sequenced from his genome. could this be the gene that confers radioactive resistance? will splicing this gene into myself make me radioactive immune? will i be the next superhero ala the incredible hulk? will elvis finally come out of hiding? more great questions of the universe.

forget about the gene, though. this guy is one hardcore mofo. i've said that? can't be reiterated enough. pretty much resistant to radioactivity, heat, cold, vacuum, acid, dehydration and the carebear stare - having radiodurans superpowers would make one pretty much the complete superhero. fricken. awesome. that, and most bacteria have modified telomerases to propagate indefinitely, why, you'd also be virtually IMMORTAL. oh. em. gee.

but yeah, it's not every day i come across such an awesome bacteria. usually it's just escherichia coli. maybe some viruses and a yeast of some sort. but this guy. have i told you that he's one hardcore mofo?

Saturday, 29 August 2009

conspiracy theories

a friend posed this question to me recently: 'so what is it you infectious disease people do? pretty sure you guys are just slacking off since it's been forever and you don't have the cure to flu yet' or something like that. i paraphrase. hendrix can testify to this. in any case, some dude has the gall to enter the conversation at this point, and goes 'yeah, it's because there's a master plan involving the big drug companies to keep the people with the flu so that they have a steady market for their drugs'. this soon progresses to further conspiracy theories about swine flu being engineered in labs (for what purpose? really). and let me set the tone - this guy's not kidding. he's actually serious and (now knowing that i am doing an infectious disease course) proceeds to take a personal stance in his various theories and starts verbally attacking. i, being the slick little devil i am, quickly conjure a flawless plan to escape (OH LOOK! FLYING PIGS [maybe they have swine flu, you should go catch them and test out your hypothesis]).

so, boys and girls, aside from the fact that some people will crucify random strangers for apparently the most redonkulous things, what have we learned today? to not talk out of our asses. i mean, sure, maybe some strain of flu could be engineered in labs to bring death and destruction upon humankind. because people are just that degenerate and diabolical. and the drug companies obviously employ these 'marketing tactics' to make sure they have a continuous cash cow. and they're obviously cooking something up that's nastier, you know just in case the general population catches on to this. like platipus flu. shit's nasty, causes you to bleed out of your eyeballs. purulent bleeding, too.

OR. there's a simpler explanation, involving the mutating surface antigens on said virus blah blah (insert boring immunology lecture here). BUT HEY. that's neither interesting, nor is it scandalous enough, so why would we believe that, amirite?

some people are just incredulous, i swear. i think mark twain said it best:
'It's better to keep quiet and have people think you stupid, than to talk and confirm it. '

but anyway. ummm. moral of story, yeah. do your research before speaking out of your ass. quote your sources, i cannot emphasise this too much. and. don't be a dick. like butting in on conversations. or something like that.

today's episode was brought to you by the number 12 and letters A, R, S and E.

p/s: joke of the day courtesy of uncle random -
me: yeah just listening to music while i do work.
ur: work, huh.
me: yeah. well, mostly just chilling out, but let's call it work.
ur: as long as there is force times distance.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

heroes pt III

the local musolla is small. roughly double the size of my room (which is about 40 times the size of the shoebox i used to live in back in london, mind you). there is a pious man who runs the place, and when i say 'runs' i mean he has taken the responsibility upon himself, because there really isn't any gains from doing it, he won't even accept praise for the amount of work he does. already you can see how this is building up similar to father flintstone's reputation.

during this fasting month of ramadhan, exactly 3981.91 persons will show up to the musolla made to fit 32.333 (repeating of course).

the first thing that makes pious man awesome is his speech after the breaking of fast - he'll invite everyone, and their mom's cat to eat, irrespective of who they are; i quote: 'come brothers / sisters, have some food. don't worry if you don't pray here, food is for everyone. come have food'. the funny thing about this being that about three-quarters of the people who turn up actually don't pray at the musolla, and the fact that he can be serious while taking the mick out of everyone. well. just awesome.

the second thing is again about shutting (profanity) people up. after the maghrib prayers, pious man has a short sermon while the food is getting readied. and, although i can empathise and relate to how the fasting people are anxious to the smell of freshly-cooked basmati spiced rice, tender roast mutton, salad and yogurt sauce, i would think it an inappropriate time to chat and make a scene. which is indeed what most of the attendants are doing. now, again, for the small group who are intently (trying to) paying attention to his sermon, this is a major bummer.

instead of directing these people to quiet down due to his sermon, he will say something about ctfd'ing to let new arrivals attend to their prayers, which, albeit being true, makes me shake my head in disbelief. further interruptions are best handled by 'requesting' the loud persons to help set up mats outside the prayer area, where they can't disrupt the sermon, which is win-win for everyone since they can make as much noise as they want outside, anyway. well played, good sir.

pious man, you're my hero.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

heroes pt II

i attended a congregation at the great trinity church a while back. a sermon was being given by fred flintstone. well, father flintstone, i guess. he was giving a comparative religion talk on the trinity of god, which was particularly interesting. again, there's always a group in the crowd who will end up disinterested, although i am inclined to believe that this particular (profanity) group was uninterested from the start and i question their motives for being there in the first place. my negative presumptions aside, there remains the unaddressed issue of the (profanity) people (sadly, undoubtedly, university students, yet again) chattering in one of the front pews.

suffice to say, the situation develops similar to that of my previous entry, and i don't think i need to stress the (im)probability of a father getting annoyed. but it happened. when i say annoyed, i guess it's not 'pissed', more like 'sigh' annoyed, if you can relate. anyway, fred steps down from behind the podium for a second, and clears his throat. he glares ever so slightly in the direction of (profanity) people, which they immediately realise. even as this is takinig place, fred is already stepped up to the podium again and continuing his speech.

after some well-deserved blushes and floor-staring on (profanity) group's behalf, i notice them leaving in a steady line through the most surreptitious way possible. i cannot help but notice the smiles in the audience as this happens, and i probably had one on myself, too.

fred, you're my hero.

heroes pt I

baldy mc smiley is a lecturer at UWA. he's an awesome guy, one of the best lecturers i've met. not just because he's fun, or his lectures are well organised and paced, or that he relates to students. but because he is one of the most understanding, tolerant persons i've seen. ever. when he talks, he doesn't need to tell people to listen, they just do out of respect. but there's always that one group of (profanity) students who take him for granted, and make a ruckus in their corner. and this shits me to no end.

i attend baldy's lectures irregularly, as he lectures the undergrads whose course i can only attend when it doesn't coincide with one of mine. but when i do attend, i always notice this group of (profanity) students doing the same thing. the guys are messing with the girls, or the girls are laughing their asses off, or they're talking on their phones. i'm pretty sure, if you were there, you'd be annoyed as well.

one day, instead of the normal 'quiet, please (with sincere intonation and a smile, nonetheless)' baldy exclaims when these people get too rowdy, he snaps. and i would like to emphasise just how much it would take to make baldy snap. he's probably the most patient lecturer around - where other lecturers would have kicked the group out of the theatre / made it a point to berate them in front of the audience / stabbed their eyes with the laser pointer / run amok flailing all students in a direct line between him and the group - baldy presents a hiatus in his lecture. there's about 10 seconds of silence, excluding the continuous chatter and giggles from said group. even as they realise everyone is now eyeballing them, be it from the corner of their eyes or without restraint.

when i say baldy snaps, he doesn't yell. he doesn't get upset. he doesn't walk out of the lecture. he is calm and composed, an epitome of what pedagogic reprimand should be. and as the (profanity) group starts to calm down, baldy says 'i'm sure some of you would rather not be here, and if you are one of these people, please consider that some of us actually do want to. i don't mind if you would rather be elsewhere, but please don't spoil it for the rest'. and with that, the (profanity) group is silenced for the duration of the lecture. i have yet to attend another of his lectures (i will be able to this friday, though) but i hope his point is driven home, either having (profanity) group well-behaved, or non-attendant. i really don't mind either way.

baldy, you're my hero.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

happy multinational independence day (plus-minus 2 weeks)

i hadn't known this before, but it was singapore national day on the 9th of august (which commemorates its separation from malaysia, with whom they signed into, by treaty, to achieve independence from the british empire. parasites. calm down, i hold no hostility against singaporeans). anyway, i was surprised when my singaporean housemate invited me to the s'pore day barbie, which i could regretfully not attend (capital sigh) due to friday evening labs. who schedules labs for friday evening 'til late? infectious diseases, that's who. we're hard core. don't mess.

then there was pakistan's independence from the british empire on the 14th, followed by india on the 15th. my indian coursemates told me india's was on the 15th and pakistan's was 'a week later'. lolwut? could use some verification here, so i referred to the most reliable and credible source i could find. some of my friends studying in india had their messenger status's set to 'happy national day' albeit them not having it up for their own national days -_- what gives, guys?

and upcoming in a few weeks, is malaysian independence day, which is (supposedly) celebrated with great pomp and grand, here in perth. i'm not particularly looking forward to it as it falls in the fasting month of ramadhan this year, which means the predominantly muslim community of malaysians here won't be overly-enthusiastic. there's a fair amount of non-muslims, though (someone told me there's more malaysian chinese students here than any other race? tbc), so here's to hoping.

happy independence day all of you peeps, even if you're not from one of the aforementioned countries. stick it to the man!

other national days in august: benin, bolivia, burkina faso, chad, cook island, côte d'ivoire, dominican Republic, equador, gabon, hungary's st. stephen's day, indonesia, jamaica (first monday of aug, not a set date), kyrgyzstan (pronounce that, biatches), liechenstein, moldova, congo, slovakia, south korea, switzerland, tartarstan (best served with fish-and-chipsstan), trinidad & tobago, turks & caicos islands, ukraine, uruguay.

Friday, 21 August 2009

what dreams are disturbing

i woke up in cold sweat today. cold mostly due to the dank and dreary weather around here lately, and sweat due to a crazy ass dream which was lucid in my mind as i wake up just now. i initially intended to document said dream in a post, but it would take me between a short story and a full fledged novel-chapter to describe, so i decided against it. if i did, though, i would title it 'the shit rug'.

in the dream, our protagonist goes through a series of events, starting in a midwestern-esque barn setting, which leads to a conflict with a childhood friend and controversy with the 'locals'. at some point, the protagonist flees the scene (after which there is no integration or follow-up of the childhood friend character (which is a pity since there was significant character development beforehand), or the locals; and enters a new scene - that of my home front lawn. in this new setting, we find ourselves at the climax as well as the end of the story, with the elements of a group of (unimportant) persons, one of them them a sacraficial peon; a vampire-chupacabra-scary-ass-monster-thingy which is taking a dump (yeah -_-); a few gunshots; and the apparent recycling of said shit into a rug, which is then presented to me as a peace offering (not even sure where and when i entered the dream, since before this i was a third person narrator).

the fact that it made sense, at least at the time, is again the theme of this post. now i'm sitting here at 5am going what. the. frick. stupid dreams. and i emphasise that the vampire thing was one scary mofo, enough to make me wake up with heart racing about 120 bpm.

the shit rug. coming to cinemas near you.

Monday, 17 August 2009

further proof

that pie > cake: the cake is a lie. exception may be black forest cake, although the notion that black forest cake being > any / cumulation of all pies, is interesting.

2 games that have piqued my interest because of their interesting reviews are Portal and bioshock. i won't deny, the dark humor and psychologically disturbing setting is a great appeal to me. they're not particularly new games but i somehow have this craving to start playing games again, and i'm not really in the market for a high end gaming machine.

also accepting suggestions if anyone has any.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

iron chef (beta)

having cooked for myself (pretty much exclusively, before you start hating and jump on the 'toxic-food-gonna-kill-us-all bandwagon) for about 5 years now, i've grown lazy. lazy to get 'the good stuff', lazy to spend time cooking, and especially lazy at doing the little chores that make food actually edible. for example, i don't peel my tumeric anymore. the skin's nasty as hell. and tumeric blocks on your tongue? horribaddible. but, lazy > good food, and i don't cook for others so i deal with it.

to compensate, i've learned a few tricks which basically involve using 'condiments' to mask the horrible taste of my cooking. horrible here ranging from bland, tasteless pasta to omgwtf aftertaste my mystery chicken dish has. if i ever cook my mystery chicken and you're around, please taste a bit, if only to make you forever appreciate whatever food comes your way in the future.

to help those of you who don't cook, are just starting out, or for whatever reason are just as inept as me, here's some of these condiments i speak of:

tomato sauce / ketchup
- the great red. no college student should live without it. week old pizza? no worries. flavourless fried rice? easy. sweet-and-sour fish tastes like salt water? pushing it, but still doable. tomato sauce. bottled magic.

black pepper - for political correctness, now called coloured pepper. shit's amazing. just be careful not to sniff too much and burn your nose.

honey - the obvious substitute when you don't have sugar. the awesome thing about honey is you can put it in with your cooking, or after finishing. it's the 'oh shit' backup plan. too salty? too sour? too bitter? too [undefined taste spawned only when you cook]? hide it with the sweetness of bee spit.

peanuts - in fact, any kind of nuts. except the male-exclusive one. although some of my friends would beg to differ... in any case, not only do peanuts have the distinct flavour, the texture effect makes you forget you have chunky something-or-another which shouldn't be there to begin with. caution for those with acne problems, though. and allergies. although if you'd rather not live if you had the acne problems, by all means.

and my master ingredient, without which my tastebuds would have died long ago, cheese. and yes, along with honey, the stuff's expensive. you don't need expensive cheese, though. norwegian brie? blue vein? dutch edam? all these overrated cheeses taste nasty anyway. stick with cheddar. silce to 2cm thickness, drop it on whatever crap you've cooked / burned / magicked from the 7th circle of hell, pop in the microwave (hencewith referred to as the time-machine) and you get a plate of instant win. you are teh winnar.

got suggestions or additions to the list? post 'em. my palate will be eternally grateful. and no, it's not reciprocating with 'favours'. pervs.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

music from stereos (of a different type)

i hate stereotypes. just about every person i know hates stereotypes. and yet, like most things in life, you can't live without stereotypes. it's all about knowing where to draw the line. some of you may have read an earlier post of mine where i used the (insert inappropriate stereotype here) gimmick. by all means, if you haven't, go and read it, i enjoyed writing the entry.

anyway, drawing lines. for example: stereotyping all asians are 'kiasu' (another link) is on the wrong side of the line (whites do this A LOT. they obviously don't use the word kiasu, but they describe it pretty accurately. they also think all 'asians' are chinese. more about this in another post!). narrowing down your target group by demographics e.g. gender, race, religion, favourite power ranger, presence/absence of cat mewing babies in a household etc. is on the accepted half of the line. if only for business purposes (notice how i paraphrased stereotyping to justify this. tee hee.). stereotyping your friends in your own mind, to get them the (in)appropriate gift for their birthday, e.g. luis vutton for the high enders and fruitcake for the low- is the worker in the toll-both situated on the line itself. on a side note, if in doubt, get chocolates. everyone loves chocolates.

so, if used appropriately, stereotypes will help you to whatever ends you're pursuing. this is a-duh-no brainer. you know this. i'm just saying it to point out that people who say all and any stereotyping is wrong. it's not, really. stereotypes can be good. i think. but that's uninteresting, and so, to cater to my audience (without stereotyping. i swear!), here's a little mental exercise.

i do a course which has 16 students, 12 of which attend classes on a regular basis, and of those 12, 10 students are in a given lecture, the other 2 having some reason or another to not be there. question: what is the circumference of a quantum-dot, given it is excited with blue light and releases a photon during fluorescence at exactly 545nm wavelength?

actually, no, that's not the exercise. if you managed to answer the question, though, please feel free to contact me so that you can sit my finals in my stead. ANYWAY. i've observed the other students for a bit, and i'll let you know there's:
1. an indian girl _________ dexter
2. a canadian girl ________ crutches
3. an indian guy _________ confucius
4. an australian girl (elder) ___ can't think of a nickname just yet
5. a singaporean girl ___ wicked stepmother
6. an indonesian girl (elder) ___ florence nightingale
7. a sudanese guy ________ shaq

now i'm going to describe the obvious things i noticed in their temperament and behavious and you can try to match them up. no, really, this isn't stereotyping. it's a, uh, mental exercise. pertaining to human behaviour. and psychology. yeah.

A. humble. thinks of others first before him/herself. very enthusiastic about learning and is quick to share information with everyone else. sometimes a bit overly-cautious when doing labwork, apprehensive that he/she might mess up (just gonna refer to everyone as he, from now on -_-)

B. soft-spoken when in groups, but when spoken to in person is very loud. has a 'fiery enthusiasm' in his eyes when conversing. if he doesn't understand something will keep it to himself and go home to read it up in private. very professional, but lives by the motto 'f*ck fear, drink beer'. oddly enough, isn't a heavy drinker.

C. very intelligent and independent. sometimes (most of the time) thinks he is the smartest one around, and isn't afraid to show it. very powerful speech (for those taking psychology, he is the embodiment of 'pressure of speech'). walks in to lectures late but instead of sneaking in through the back, will enter with some flair and isn't afraid to make a scene. when talking to lecturer, will often override the lecturer.

D. outspoken and independent. walked to lab (it's a half hour walk) in crutches. in the middle of heavy rain. and it wasn't an important lab session. effing dedicated imo. smiles a lot and is in a coy way very funny. serious when it comes to work but will quickly change to a social mood given the opportunity.

E. often has a blank stare or deep thinking expression on his face. if he doesn't understand stuff, is quick to find a 5min break anywhere and ask someone who does. would rather ask a friend or someone he's sitting near, than approach the lecturer, though. very jovial. very systematic (which comes in handy as a lab partner tee hee).

F. very quiet but thinks very deeply into the problems in a lab session / lecture as soon as it starts. however, as soon as the clock hits 15-to-the-hour, stops all association with the lecture and sets the mood to get home and relax. has a fatherly/motherly kind of presentation but is still kind of a kid inside.

G. very loud and opinionated. when asking a question to the lecturer, will often fill in the words for the lecturer while the lecturer is answering, or put words in the lecturer's mouth. quick to point out experience or knowledge. when asked what he expects from a lecture, replied with 'so, which points will be examinable?'. wears very 'flashy' attire, and commands attention in conversations.

before i end the post, i'd just like to point out that in our cohort, we have some interesting people for this kind of evaluation. a malaysian girl who has lived in australia all her life, but had hardcore asian upbringing - she displays a very interesting east meets west demeanour. also an african guy who's been brought up all over the place (france, nigeria, states, and now australia iirc) and he's a real cookpot of culture. seems like he's able to switch certain traits on and off when he needs to. really interesting guy. ANYWAYS. getting long as eff. i'll post the answers in the comments section because i fail and don't know how to make a 'click here to see spoilarz' button.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

your tongue would do well to hold its wit

but my fingers don't really have that restraint, and shall thence continue typing. reading random blogs (actually not so random since i jumped from blog to blog via acquaintances in a blogosphere, much like how some people chose hot chicks / guys to stalk via facebook) gave me new insight to what sells and what doesn't in the blogging community. not that i intend to sell anything but any gain, be it monetary or not, affiliated with blogging does sound tempting. if only stringing followers (and naming them roadies in my head tee hee).

so far i've concluded some sure-fire topics:

everyone loves to hate. and agrees to disagree. everyone's opinionated and i respect that. what i don't really respect is being ignorant, judgemental and condescending. some blogs about politics are pretty awesome. they're well informed, logical, have their fair share of arguments and counter-arguments etc. but the majority are just horribaddible. to reiterate, that means horrible + bad + terrible. i, myself, profess to be uninformed, and out of touch from the politics circle, so i won't really direct my posts in that direction.

fashion. you'd be surprised. there's more blogs out there about fashion than you'd think. really. i, just as much being a politics ignoramus, am also fashion-blind/ignorant/unappreciative. well maybe not so unappreciative. i know what i like when i see it, but i can hardly talk about it. just, no.

gossip. always a seller. just like sex. and candy. or both combined. mmmmm. this appeals, i would assume, to friends and acquaintances of the blogger. i have some pretty strict ideals about gossip, though, so i'd be as hypocritical writing thus as a rabid penguin would enjoy eating human flesh on a hot summer's day. and we all know how much rabid penguins like that. om nom nom.

okay, this i can relate to. it's not as much a niche as gossip, but i would be lying if i said it didn't cater pretty much exclusively to techies and geeks. but, everyone has their thing, and i've found that there's a lot of blogs out there which (successfully) preach the word of the good mechano-lord to the nanotechnology-choir.

sex and smut
. refer to gossip.

oh god. why didn't i figure it out earlier. nobody can hate a good meal. and nobody can not continue to read while smacking their lips, imagining the delicacies i've seen on some blogs. these ranged from the high-end restaurants to the regular coffee shops we take for granted. and, sweet saccharine-induced-hypoglycaemic jesus, can i get a holla on this, or what?

love and romance. i find this a somewhat odd discovery. either people enjoy reading other people's enamoured falls and fallacies. or people have a liking of portraying their (dis)conquests, irrespective of reader base. considering that's pretty much what i do with my blog, i'm going to go with the latter. although. i can see how a well versed romance story can capture the eye. especially of the more feminine readers among us.

there's a few others but the post's getting lengthy (again) and i need to practice writing shorter posts (i.e. something that will actually be read), lest textwall crits reader for 9999999 hp. you die.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


timing is everything, they say. how well you deliver a punch line. when to cram that extra bit of information for an exam. asking someone out. observing the lunar eclipse. driving the stake home to make sure those pesky vampires don't come back to life. people say it's gotta be through the heart, but it's also about when you strike. damn those pesky vampires.

in fact, i recall some time ago, H-dizzle was talking to N-dizzle, both of whom have similar (acquired) taste in 'that's what she said' jokes. in walks another mutual friend. under normal circumstances, she would partake in such josh, but it seems on that particular day, she would be under the weather, and was particular, instead, about the saying of 'that's what she said'. such were the particulars of the incident that H-and-N-dizzle, as a cumulative, had offended the particular friend, with a badly (mis)placed pun cum joke. because they inadvertently (and unknowingly) were off in their timing. i digress slightly from my point.

which is,




all about timing.

and vampires.

p/s: the second paragraph was a (feeble) attempt to refer to pushing daisies, which i realise now, does not pull off very well without the monologue to play on the various uses / meanings of 'particular'.

Monday, 10 August 2009

let's play a game.

haaaaaave you met ted?

one of my modules at uni require that we take a series in presenting lectures, talks, presentations etc. it's oriented towards people with a science background giving presentations to the general public, and it's mostly logic and practical stuff like how to avoid jargon, catering to your crowd, building confidence etc. stuff that most people already know, but for us that don't it's a pretty cool module. that and it gives me a class to attend which i don't really have to do any thinking, but am still awarded with credit hours.

i bend the truth slightly when i say 'don't need to think' for this class. and this brings me about the entry today, we were supposed to comment on how good or bad presentations were given on a website. the assignment was easy enough, but the website captivated me, and i am inclined to endorse and advocate it, now:

i was directed to the science and technology links, but if that's not your cup of tea, feel free to try the others. personally i loved the presentations that i have viewed so far. they're easy to follow, informative, and take up only 15 to 20 mins. for the enthusiasts, there's not much detail, but if you're interested in checking out concepts that are new or even alien to you, by all means. a word of warning though, i found that the comments section is full of internet fail. like the saying goes for any message board, arguments on the internet are like competing in the paralympics. even if you win, you're still retarded. crude but it works.

anyway, i'm looking forward to checking out a few more entries, so far i would recommend the ones on string theory and the LHC / CERN lectures, they were the first two i viewed and even for someone with only minimal physics background, they felt very encompassing and enthralling.

happy viewing!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

if music be food for the soul,

... then play on. or in my case, rock. the. eff. out. a few days ago i was having a conversation with a friend, Hendrix (obviously a pseudonym, after the legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix). my taste in music is what most would refer to as 'emo fag', and he is pretty much a 'rock puritan'. we got into the realm-thou-shalt-not-tread of contemporary (and a bit of classical) rock, and he said:

hendrix: deep purple is the best band of all time (oh snap, pre-emptive strike).

i couldn't agree with this laying down, so i went:

me: no way brah, queen is the best band. ever.
jh: queen aren't a real rock band.
me: (oh no you didn't) wtf? how can queen not be a rock band.
jh: they're rock, but not real rock. pop rock.
me: ummmm no. pop is stuff like michael jackson. and, um, idk. boyzone. or crap like that.
jh: exactly. queen is pop like that.

comparing queen to boyzone. wow. nice. i hate you so much jh.

anyway. the conclusion of it all was something like you can't compare queen and deep purple because they're not really the 'same genre'. i think they're both rock bands, nonetheless, and there's obviously only one way of settling this. CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH. with guns (and roses). head on rockband collision rock-you-like-a-freaking-hurricane kickass vibes. such that the audience will beg for a bloody sunday on a black sabbath. and we all know that this should come with roadies and loads of sex (pistols). ok i'm running out of bad puns.

ANYWAY. here's an off-the-top-of-my-head list of songs i want to bring into the spotlight (yeah they're gonna be emo fag songs, don't hate)... i tried to make it so that i chose the 'best song' from a band, such that i would only mention a band once. it's not really that easy to make a list apparently -_- maybe i should make seperate lists for best song and best band. maybe. if i weren't too lazy. but i am. deal with it.

et cetra's top 10 songs:
10. dirty little thing by velvet revolver tied with c'mon baby by wakefield.
9. crying by aerosmith.
8. the take over, the break's over by fall out boy.
7. aerials by system of a down.
6. makedamnsure by taking back sunday.
5. all that i've got by the used.
4. helena by my chemical romance (special mention of silhouette serenade by vendetta red because it's kind of a one hit wonder. ish.)
3. prayer of a refugee by rise against (btw, screw you guitar hero for ruining this song. i'll bitch about this in a later post, i suppose.)
2. dig by incubus

and the grand finale, best song ever, eat your heart out sweet val hallen jesus, (drumroll, please)...

1. bohemian rhapsody by queen.

there you have it. love it or hate it, that's my spontaneous list. there's a lot of bands i would like to re-shuffle into the list ranging from the eagles to the all-american rejects to evanescence to in flames. to the jackson 5. but that's not rock. or is it? OR IS IT POP? HMMM, HENDRIX? HMMM? [end internet sarcasm] anyway. yeah. loads of good music out there. maybe another post on music in general, this one's getting a bit long.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


made the interface more reader-friendly. well, at least i like it and it's easier for me to read compared to the old interface. added some stuff to the sidebar, like a comment section (which doesn't seem to work yet, though. maybe it takes a few mins to update?) and poll (vote now, or die).

obviously going to edit stuff as i go along to make it a little less awkward and a bit more intuitive to navigate. other than that, enjoy! do leave a message in the shout-out box, if only to let me know that it's working.

edit: for some reason, it won't display who i am when posting in comments, now -_-;
edit: removed comments box for now.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

the value of a buck

many of my friends have said to me that if you are generous with your money, money will be generous to you. over the years i have never paid much attention to the true meaning behind their unanimous belief. but in times of financial deprivation, i like to think back on these words and take a minute to reflect on how nice it would be if it were true.

and now the confession. i am a prude. when it comes to many things, and even more so when pertaining to money. i don't believe in 'giving is better than receiving' or 'sparing a buck for the homeless'. stuff like that. i can't say it's inhumane or immoral of myself, though. as much as i am stingy about my money upon others, i am a hundred times more strict on myself. for as far back as i can imagine, i have spent minimally on unnecessary things, and this habit has grown to obsessive amounts as i have aged. for example, during my year in london, i spent the bare minimum of 7 pounds a week on groceries (sometimes going to 10, but still), and i never ate out. why though? i could obviously afford eating more than shit-quality spaghetti and rice every week, and i could definitely have used some good food once in a while. i'm beginning to wonder if i'm borderline sadomasochistic in a sense :o

i digress. the point of it all, i accumulated a significant amount of cash over the years, while 'saving' up my money, and it felt really good. it felt kind of shitty having to dodge friend's when they were arranging to eat out. or decline a movie every so often. but it felt like the money could be used for better ends in the future. or at least i thought at the time. at some point, i even compared with friends, some of whom spent cash so eagerly, their scholarship money would end up at nil at the end of the month (well on one hand, these people did have some crazy awesome stuff, like playstations, kickass guitars, lifesize models of darth vader and authentic katanas. really. who buys katanas. freaking. ninja. epic.). and i would sigh internally at these people who spent so much, but their money is theirs, and i have no intent on lecturing them on the value of a dollar, they're more than well in the know than myself, as i shall prove in a bit.

fast forward to the now, and the people i mentioned are working. making more money than i could hope for, and steadily accumulating it faster than they need. more power to them. as for myself, i haven't even started working and am one million bucks in debt (even counting the cash i saved up for rainy days), still eating crap-quality pasta and rice on a daily basis just trying to save that extra buck. how does that work out?

don't get me wrong, i'm not bitching about my financial situation. i am, though, conveying this message to those who would be scrooges as myself - it's not worth it. treat yourself to those things you deserve, and treat your friends just as much as you would yourself, because if you're generous with your money, it'll be generous in return.

p/s: i realise that a lot of this 'generous with money' crap won't make sense if you're not of a similar background to my friends and myself, so if you don't get it, :/

Sunday, 2 August 2009

eternal recognition

it's appalling how celebrity figures and artistes get instant recognition, and some of the best thinkers of our time don't. this was brought to my attention recently when i was conversing with a friend and i mentioned isaac newton. sir isaac newton, pardon me. and he didn't know who that is. he is, thankfully from a social science background, studying social and political sciences, so i guess that's an excuse. but really, isaac newton? (sir isaac newton). i mean when he mentioned otto von bismarck, at least i knew who that is. i may not remember what he did and what his role was, but i remember he was involved in WWI and i recall distinctly his bushy beard from our history textbook back in grade 11.

conversely, both of us know who michael jackson and kobe bryant is (him not being a fan of pop music nor basketball).

now before you crucify me, and my high horse, some of the 'great thinkers' i speak about aren't even known to me. my friends studying philosophy, for example, don't know who barry mashall is, but neither do is know their list of 279.38 philoshophers, whom not only do they know by heart, but memorise their philosophies, mode of thoughts, birthdates, blood types and favourite pokemons. and this all happening in the so called 'intellectual circle' i preach but do not presume to be part of. so, now having saved my skin from the stake, let us proceed to burn my high horse and have a barbie. horse meat is delish.

i'm not trying to belittle the accomplishments of artistes, either. for all her ho-baggery-shenanigans, brittney spears deserves her spot in the limelight for entertaining us (and i hate that bish, so that's saying a lot). so does the fotm borat/ali-g/bruno, neither of whom i will link to, though, for i personally hate them. him. whatever.

my point is, why don't we wear socrates jerseys or commemorate the death of schrodinger by buying 'schrodinger cat' paraphanelia? instead we worship the ground upon which the skank-a-licious pussycat dolls walk? the proportion of contribution to society is without question of great contrast (even if they may be in different fields. i clause entertainment under a field very loosely).

in my opinion, these men (and especially women) of the category i have mentioned are deserving of more, and they should receive more recognition, if at least, than they get. i guess, though, that being the unsung heroes of the world is what makes the cut for 'geekiness cool factor' which is worth way more per point than 'jock cool factor' i.e. loosely translated to: uncool being the real cool. or something like that. it's hard to put into words and i'm hungry. don't hate.

anyway, those who do reach the fame and glory (or lack thereof. i like saying this) in the non-entertainment world (i use an exclusion phrase because it's hard to define what exactly i'm talking about, but it definitely isn't the artistes i was talking about earlier. again refer to the 'hard to put into words and i'm hungry. don't hate' part of last paragraph), there is eternal recognition, which i suppose is way better than its fotm form. we probably will still remember who ben affleck is 30 years from now and our great grandchildren will recognise the name hugh hefner without needing to know who he is to live (now i think of it, he might still be alive then. he is kind of immortal, having the libido he has at his age). but that won't change the fact that einstein will be just as well known, and to those that matter, so will his lesser known compatriots). for those who ascend those heights,

in biology - have a process named after you.
in medicine - have a disease named after you.
in chemistry - have a reaction named after you.
in physics - have an equation, law or entity named after you.
in astronomy - have a planet named after you (even if it is X 13-7 NN).
in mathematics - have a theory, equation or law named after you. (refer to physics)
in philosophy - have a book (which you wrote anyway) become a text.
in religion - just be remembered for who you are. especially if you're defined as god (way to go sweet christianity jesus!)
in sports - have a play or stadium named after you.
so on and so forth... you guys rock.

and in 'entertainment' - have a 5 dollar pornstar adopt your name (albeit still being legally different enough to avoid infringement). think Xtina A Gorilla or something like that. idk, be creative for me because i can't.

p/s: i actually don't hate the people in the entertainment business. i even respect a lot of them, like steven spielberg and freddie mercury. without them there wouldn't be t3h aw3szumz jurassic park or queen. i just generalise to include the trash of the industry to prove my point today. apologies to those who are undeservedly offended.