Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina

With New Orleans under evacuation orders, Katrina's impact is now starting to hit home. Rising gas pump prices, and some Tulane students temporarily relocating to this campus.

It's sad to see your home campus and city destroyed and under threat of becoming a new Atlantis. Let's hope they can stop the leevee breaches and pump out the water fast enough.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Minsk (Carrier)

I am not a particular fan of the Red Navy, although I am fascinated with their arming of their capital ships with multiple heavy missiles.

Some side and rear views of the de-commissioned Minsk in Shenzhen.

Minsk Carrier 1

Minsk Carrier 3

Minsk Carrier 4

Minsk Carrier 5

Gorgeous, isn't she?

If you prefer the US carriers, check out little cart noodles and first born egg's photo sets of USS Nimitz (CVN-68).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

睡懒觉

Note to self: In future, be aware of your target audience's background. Certain words typed out using Hanyu Pinyin could be totally different from what you had wanted to mean.

Especially when saying lan jiao to a Singaporean girl well versed in Singlish.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Sick Rose

This poem, and its de-construction by Gilbert Koh (in the comments section) reminds me of the angry pregnant girl.

O Rose, thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.


— William Blake, Songs of Experience

A fascinating read for someone like me who comes from a non-lit background.

Now digressing: for literature (at the O levels), my school had (has?) folks taking either E-Lit (English Lit)or C-lit (Chinese Lit). It only dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that e-lit sounds like elite and c-lit looks like clit. The innocence of youth, lost. Words have taken on a totally different meaning.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

门当户对

In East Asian societies in general - When falling in love, one also has to make sure the partner is of a similar (or higher/acceptable) social standing. There will usually be heavy familial pressure if otherwise. In the case of Singapore, the class divide is already as complicated as it is already.

Basically, I think it boils down to two things: money and face.
Guitar of TJC forums brings this dimension to the scholarship debate - that being a (overseas) scholar gives one a leg up in the courtship game.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jerks

Guys like these give the rest of us decent men a bad name.

Update (2.21 pm): The couple has been identified.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Human Coitus

Found this not-so-recent paper mentioned in Serene's blog.

In brief:

What is already known on this topic

It has been extremely difficult to investigate anatomical changes during the act of coitus and the female sexual response

Modern magnetic resonance imaging allows exploration of aspects of living anatomy

What this paper adds

Taking MR images of the male and female genitals during coitus is feasible

During `missionary position' intercourse the penis has the shape of a boomerang

During female sexual arousal without intercourse the uterus rises and the anterior vaginal wall lengthens

The size of the uterus does not increase during sexual arousal


Even more interesting are the authors' responses to this paper.

Copulating for the sake of science. Hmm...The results are interesting, although the MR tube had rather limited space. Then again, they could only investigate one type of position (missionary) with the room they had inside the equipment.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Power of Procrastination (Grad School); Automatic CS Paper Generator

Jorge G. Cham, the man behind the ever popular Piled Higher and Deeper Comic strip, is in the news with highlights in The Chronicle (subscription needed) and Nature.

Excerpts from The Chronicle:

...His motivational mantra: Stop studying and start procrastinating.

That's what Mr. Cham, who also writes a comic strip on graduate-student life, is telling audiences at colleges across the country, while promoting his new collection of cartoons. His strip, Piled Higher and Deeper, is a cult classic on some campuses.

Mr. Cham says graduate students should resist pressure to work all the time, and realize that insight most often happens outside the lab.

..."I procrastinate doing research by doing the comic strip and I procrastinate doing comic strips by doing research," says Mr. Cham.

The strip follows a group of grad-school buddies as they bemoan the status of their theses or love lives, search for free food, and, of course, take breaks.


Now he is being mentioned on Nature and his strips will be a regular feature on their Graduate Channel.

Who says procrastination does not pay? Heh heh.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Other news: Update on the Bogus CS Paper submitted by three MIT graduate students for a conference back in April 2005.

The Chronicle (again):

Graduate Students Film Their Attempts to Present Randomly Generated Papers at Informatics Conference

By ANDREA L. FOSTER

Three graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attracted a flurry of attention in April after an academic conference accepted their randomly generated, nonsensical paper. Now the students are stars of a lighthearted video they made when they went to the conference even though their invitations had been withdrawn.

The three, Jeremy A. Stribling, Maxwell Krohn, and Daniel Aguayo, are computer-science students studying parallel and distributed operating systems. The organizer of the conference, called the Ninth World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics, had initially invited them to attend after accepting their phony paper, which was titled "Rooter: a Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy."

But the organizer, Nagib Callaos, retracted the invitation after the students' ruse was widely publicized (The Chronicle, April 29), and the conference Web site now includes a lengthy discourse called "With regards to the bogus papers submitted to WMSCI 2005."

The students were nevertheless able to raise enough money online to travel to the meeting, held in July at an Orlando hotel. Conference officials objected when the students distributed fliers encouraging attendees to go to what the students billed as a "technical session" that had its own randomly generated title, "The 6th Annual North American Symposium on Methodologies, Theory, and Information." The officials asked the hotel to make the students remove all references to the conference from their materials.

During their session, the students filmed themselves presenting three meaningless, jargon-laden papers written by the computer program they had created.

For additional verisimilitude, the trio assumed fake names and donned wigs and mustaches as each, in turn, presented one of the papers. The titles were "Harnessing Byzantine Fault Tolerance Using Classical Theory," "Synthesizing Checksums and Lambda Calculus Using Jog," and "On the Study of the Ethernet."

On their Web site, the students also commented on whether they thought the conference was genuine. "The talks we saw were fairly vacuous, without any major decipherable insights," Mr. Stribling wrote. "They may or may not have represented good work, it's honestly hard to say."

The students' video is beefed up with a glam-rock soundtrack, quick cross-cutting, entertaining titles, slow-motion segments, and a sense of immediacy and authenticity that a hand-held camera can lend. It shows the students speaking to a room empty except for one man who appears to have been attracted by the refreshments.

The video is available on the students' Web site (http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/#talks).

http://chronicle.com
Section: Information Technology
Volume 51, Issue 49, Page A32


The lengthy discourse can be found here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Genbaku Dome (原爆ドーム)

I am posting this a day late. The significance is all the greater now (as it was then) with more countries wanting to join the nuclear club.

A-Bomb memorial, Hiroshima

Who can forget that this had happened during the setting days of the Empire of the Sun?

Sun sets over Mt Fuji
Sun set over Mt Fuji, Mar 2005

Friday, August 05, 2005

明天好?

A spat amongst a few editors of Tomorrow has become public. Links: Mr Wang, Singabloodypore,sing-a-pore and La Idler.

I am guessing it has a lot to do with a certain civil servant, which is not surprising if you look at the type of trolling comments this person has made on many people's blogs. Check out Nick, Mrs Budak and beautifuk. It's also not funny when folks with legitimate questions are accused of trolling by him.

ms beautifuk commenting on this particular troll:

...I heard all about you and the childish comments you tend to post on other people's blogs. Read them through other bloggers' links in fact. Tell me, what makes you think I'd listen to a grown man whu types lyke dis? No, actually the poor reputation you've garnered for yourself means that I automatically move your opinions to the waste paper basket. Not to mention the fact that you're a few good years past the university stage. Perhaps you should devote more time to babysitting and less to surfing blogs and leaving tarty comments.


or the reply by singaporean on Mr Wang's blog:

AFAIK, jseng may work for the singapore govt but he is not a singapore citizen. Having read his blog regularly just to see what IDA could be doing. Instead, I see him flying all year round and doing ego trips around the world.

Since their own government would rather hire a foreigner to be the face of singapore at international conferences, it is little wonder he sees most singaporeans as dumb serfs to be educated by him.


Update (9 Aug): Cowboycaleb (representing that cabal group of bloggers) responds to the criticism directed at Tomorrow.sg , and mrsbudak replies. The whole thing smacks of what establishments usually do to their critics - they can't take any of it and go through what mrsbudak says a persecution complex.

title or description

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

KO

Found this from the Sammyboy forum:

Heat Stroke

EXIF data suggest that this was taken last weekend during one of the NDP rehearsals. Getting called up to participate in the NDP (because your unit kena for that year) is probably one of the most thankless tasks for the NSFs. Burnt weekends, lots of sai kang and incidents like this.