Sunday, 21 December 2008

All the highs of the recent weeks/ months have been musical. Others have been talking of their scientific epiphanies, intellectual highs. Nope, none for me. The only resemblence might be my realization that my drug plate was screwed up in a simpler way, and hence my project isn't as hopeless as it seems.

Anyway, music. 2 concerts in Dec, our band with no name and Coda. Practices are many, took up 4 days out of 7 for the past 2 weeks. And I actually look forward to them after a day of unproductive work. How wonderful. The band with no name gave its inaugural concert this week. The music was good, we had 2 original songs, the audience was a lot of fun and we still badly need a name. I'm already waiting for the next show to happen. Coda, they've agreed to mic me. Yay. Now I just need to improvise something decent, to walk a rather crooked line. Working on it.

Monday, 17 November 2008


Watched my first concert since I came back. Andoh's 3rd time in Singapore, promoting Mindscape 4 and STAGEA. I want to be back in the circle. It's some amazing music that he's creating. Concerts like these are always tacky, attracting attention using flashy lights, lively drumbeats, even catchy tunes. But there's no doubt that his composition and playing are good. And I like his playing style better now than before. It looks much less EF-like and more professional.
Many many thanks to the Internet, I managed to find some tracks from his CDs, and they melt me. I'm a liquid now.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Digital zebrafish embryo

This is way too cool. It's like what people did with the worm, but with colours and cool graphics.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Was called "a parrot on the keyboard". Don't know to take it as a compliment or no. Come to think of it, parrots and pirates are very alike. Parrots copy others. Modern pirates copy other people's work. Pirate, parrot, parrot, pirate. I wonder if they have the same etymology...

"Being in a relationship is not about finding a match but working through the differences." That came from the least likely of people. It made me wonder why I didn't think of that before.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Human electricity

I've been thinking seriously about generating electricity using student
(and faculty) muscle power. Our kids spend hours in the exercise rooms pushing,
pulling, pedaling, lifting, running on a belt, etc. Why shouldn't all of these
machines generate electricity for the University? I bet it would be substantial.
They could start by powering the gym, and then see what's left over for other
purposes. It might also be useful to teach them the value of the electricity we

Along these lines, I've hired two UG students to make stationary bike
electric generators from old used broken bikes. They will be starting soon. It
can be done with a battery, or better still, without one, so people at home can
just connect their generator-bike to an appliance they want to use. Then there's
no pollution from batteries!

I think there's great promise: everyone will want to BENEFIT (besides making muscle) from all the exercise they do! And no one will mind being used to generate energy if they are building their muscle AND helping the world solve its second most important problem!!!
What do you think?

~ From a certain professor of mine

Friday, 29 August 2008

You are a _____ biologist!

"In the pages that follow you will meet 3 kinds of scientist. The first is a molecular biologist, muttering about enzymes and exonucleolytic degradation. He wants to know what happens to th eDNA of which genes are made. His conviction is that sex is all about repairing DNA or some such molecular engineering. He does not understand equations, but he loves long words, usually ones he and his colleagues have invented.

The second is a geneticist, all mutations and Mendelism. He will be obsessed with describing what happens to genes during sex. He will demand experiments, such as depriving organisms of sex for many generations to see what happens. Unless you stop him he will start writing equations and talking of 'linkage disequilibria'.

The third is an ecologist, all parasites and polyploidy. He loves comparative evidence: which species has sex and which does not. He knows a plethora of extraneous facts about the arctic and the tropics. His thinking is a little less rigorous than others', his language a little more colorful. His natural habitat is the graph, his occupation the computer simulation."
~ "The Red Queen - Sex & the Evolution of Human Nature" Matt Ridley

What kind of biologist are you? This could be one of those personality tests you find on websites. Evolution doesn't seem such a dull and unimportant topic after reading this book. Thanks to sy who's now probably having fun in some lovely part of the world.

On another note, life's best when there are constant little goals that takes effort to achieve but are totally do-able. The little goals can all lead to a big huge goal or they can be just little goals in all kinds of directions. It's when there are no goals or unattainable goals when life gets boring and hopeless. The big low after the high of a difficult mission accomplished is the low of hopelessness and despondency. You'll have to find a new Personal Legend when you've attained one to stay happy.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Went for a 3f class outing which had a fantastic turnout. More than half the class + 2 teachers.. wow. Yup RJ was the anomaly. It's a conglomeration of many many intelligent people in a school, in a class. It's where I was wow-ed by classmates and teachers' zai-ness. That was harder to find in uni, maybe cos there was less interaction with classmates than there was in JC, we definitely don't borrow each other's tutorials or essays in uni.. But maybe it's really because the inspiring people are not concentrated in a class any more, you have to look to find them. No one takes the exact same classes with you any more and there really isn't anyone who can say something amazing to link your chem class to that genetics class..

Anyway, had a farewell "party" just now for a RA. Gosh, it was more of a meeting than a party. In the meeting room, there's food, but everyone just keeps quiet and eats. The problems of having too many chinese people. Once the PI leaves, the noise level goes up immediately. It's ridiculous.

The style of this lab is so different. It's supported by RAs, not postdocs. It's like a company, when 1 product is doing well, everyone invests energy into that product to speed its improvement and production. It's supposed to promote group work and speed and reduce fighting within the lab for projects. Does it work? I don't know.

Taking GRE tomorrow. I read through my GP notebook. There are actually some substance in there. We actually talked about Engels and John Mill and stuff like existentialism. I have no recollections of those. Probably just took them to be names of old famous guys whom I don't know the significance of. And I looked at my Hum summaries. There are names of people that I have no clue what they did. Who was Schlegel? Or Novalis? Seriously, what was I doing when I read those people's works?

Friday, 11 July 2008

Went out with the UCSD people yesterday. A friend at work was surprised to hear that there are actually 10 people from UCSD here in singapore.. Saw a really sweet couple, I really didn't expect that. =)

Had great dinner conversations again. It's been a while since I've heard these people put up passionate statements against each other's statements. And it's surprising how A knows B's friend who knows that their mutual friend Z is getting married and other mutual friend omega is already married. There really isn't that many people that we come into contact with in Singapore. Everyone knows everyone.

I'm afraid of commitments, afraid to put down decisions that I might not like later. I'm all for no bondage trials. If things don't work out.. well, free return, exchange, refund. But life's not like that, is it? Most stores aren't willing to give returns or refunds. It's an American concept. The freedom and willingness to try. There is a problem with the word attached. It's a trial. It's not an attachment. There shouldn't be an obligation to be magnetically bound.

Heard loads of stories about my work place since I've started. Saw this secret manual on what kind of place to choose to work. Hahaha. I should stop going wherever people reply emails the fastest.

I think I'll live.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

My weird music

Away from noise
-- a sound narrative

-- a cute sonic creature

Amoeba song
-- this is just weird.. It's made mainly from sounds recorded in my lab (as in bio lab), and water sounds

Back in sunny Singapore

I've been back and learning how to live in this country again. Learn to remember to bring umbrella and water and tissue around, learn to say 'queue' and 'petrol' again, learn to type messages with 2 fingers again, I even have to relearn crossing roads. Went kbox the other day and the guy asked us if we were local. I didn't know how to answer that. Do we look that foreign?
We've been taking different paths for 3 yrs.. to get the roads to converge again is not easy. There's this cute phd comic about being a foreign student. Here it is:

We didn't have to go through 2 and 3 and i'm no where near the over qualified part but the rest is pretty accurate.

Well life is never easy. Beneath every gracefully swimming swan/ duck/ goose, there are feet madly pedalling away to keep the bird moving. Start kicking.

Friday, 13 June 2008

End of Spring


Great classes this quarter. Though my attention in classes has been dropping steadily since freshman year. Cancer's enlightening, though I'm not sure I want to study it. In any case, I just accepted a cancer lab, with a Chinese boss.. we'll see how it goes.
Neuro-immunology. It's been a better class than I thought. Some papers were pretty interesting. And I definitely know more about the brain or immunology than before.
Lab. Got most of my little data in a week. Everything else is either cloning or waiting or frustrating over what went wrong. Poster's pretty.

Logic. Skipped most of the classes but it's been fun translating English into symbols and proving things and looking for fallacies. It's like math without the numbers.
Dance. Learnt to appreciate yoga a bit. Visited the museum of contemporary arts. Should have gone there more often. Again, wasn't totally into it this quarter. Senioritis. Maybe I would have appreciated ballet better. I guess I'm too concerned over techniques and too unconcerned with performance. Show.

Psychoacoustics. Read a bunch of crap. Learnt stuff that are of little interest to any non-musician/ non-psychologist. But I am interested. Conducted an experiment on chord perception and concluded that people distinguish chords by listening to the chord colour. A major chord sounds different from a minor chord. A chord not in the scale of C sounds different from C but chord F kind of sound like chord C. Maybe it's because of the relations of chords in the 5ths space, otherwise known as the circle of fifths. Musical training helps a bit in distinguishing chord changes, just a bit.
Mixing & Editing. How interesting. Made 3 pieces. They don't sound fantastic but I've got good grades on them. Once again shows how little they value artistic value and how much they value fairness and meeting the requirements. My pieces always use some sleight of hand trick to trigger laughter. Really shouldn't. First piece had a comical content, 2nd had an unexpected dance, 3rd was just plain lame. I'll post my pieces some time some where when I find a place to host music.

If there are any classes that I wish I took in UCSD, they're music classes. I want to learn recording techniques and maybe actually learn enough math to understand waves and FFTs.

To do: Make real amoeba music.. with music, not water
Arrange Cascada

There.. I've put them on my list. I'd better do them.

I still don't know if my decision was right. The grass is ALwaYs, without fail, greener, where you are not standing on. I feel like I'm just avoiding myself. What an idiot. If it were someone else, I would think that she's chalking up statistics. But it's me and I don't know what I'm doing. We'll see what happens in a year..

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Poster presentation went fine. I did a better job than I thought I could. People visiting my poster seemed like they weren't bored and they were following what I said. My data is ugly, nothing to say about that, but I seemed to manage to draw some crappy conclusion and not get stones thrown on me too much. Only Colin and this lady seriously questioned my data. People were generally supportive.. Alessia is worth quoting. She said "after it's all over, you forget how hard you worked." (and all the other crap that happened in between). It's been fun. I'm surprised at how few people do a 196: 17 out of the hundreds of graduating bio majors? And I'm surprised at how many of them I know. Rick was right about the grapes analogy, you grab one, you grab the whole bunch. A pic of the poster is up on my logblog. Link's on the sidebar.

Terry gave a strange speech yesterday about graduating into the world. I don't know why she gave that speech but it was insightful. It was basically about finding your own style in dealing with uncertainties. There're always going to be uncertainties, and when they come, would you sit and cry? She's a real hippie, so she says we should go sit somewhere in the mountains, by the river or at the beach, somewhere away from noise, and listen to ourselves. What do I want? And write, journal everything.. It's supposed to help find a style to deal with uncertainties. So I'm blogging.

It's no time to get sentimental but I'm surprised at how much I'm affected. Maybe I'm not such a cold heartless idiot. I'm sorry, I'm sad, I'm glad, I'm unsure, I'm confused. Most of all, I don't know what I want. I need that place to go talk to myself. I want to be a Dicty, life's easy, just follow the crowd..

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Mixing and Editing final project proposal

"I want to make a piece describing the process of making a genetically engineered amoeba. The general narrative will be something like this. Scientists work in labs, create copies of DNA, mutate them, and zap them into amoeba with electricity. The amoeba gets the DNA, becomes weird and starts making strange noises in an amoeba dance.
My narrative is not scientifically correct. "

I actually submitted that as my music project proposal.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Men like destructive things, Women like cute things

Evil. Heartless. Idiotic. Jerk.

We played our sonic creatures today. All the guys had big destructive monsters. Heavy, metallic creatures that kill or destroy. Like this guy had this robot giant spider thing that decides to attack the audience. And another guy had an alien monster that kills people with swords for a living. Or this other guy whose robot got possessed by an evil drum machine and shot up to space and back in 2s.

And then the girls had cute little things. This girl made a fuzzy little thing that moves around and sings cute tunes. This other girl made this creature that lives in the water and swims around and creates bubbles. My creature was a little ball that bounces around in a dance. How different from the guys' creatures.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Recent reflections.. and observations

Honors banquet tonight. It's inspiring every year. These people are amazing. It makes me wonder what on earth have I been doing in my 3 yrs of undergrad life. Literally nothing, sitting on my butt doing nothing. And it's especially inspiring this year many of the people who were mentioned are my year and I know them. The Norris prize went to a classmate, haha a Hum classmate. I've always enjoyed the company of the really smart people but I don't seem to be meeting a lot of them, well, maybe I just don't interact with them. Classmates-wise, at least.. This yr's Norris prize winner really deserves it. He is smart, inspiring and very nice. 3 people that I took Hum with that I thought were deserving of the prize, Susan, Dan and Allen. And well, he got it.

Then we heard Allen's story. I'm absolutely amazed. We were all amazed in class at his quick thinking, great speech skills. And if anything, he taught me to not sit back and wait. To get anything done, you'll have to get up and do it. Double major, start an international community service organization, get published, all in 3 years. Beat that.

So what if a GPA is 3.8? It's the attitude towards everything that counts. And mine stinks. I gotta look up Kant's categorical imperatives. They come up every year at Revelle talks. And it kinda makes me miss Hum classes..

Been going to science talks, geared towards undergrads, how nice of them. Figured out some of my own goals to work on..
1. Do good science
2. Mix with the intelligent people (I need that intellectual stimulation, I'm not saying people around me are not smart, it's just that it's really rare to find someone who's really inspiring in classes.. I have plenty of friends who throw out intellectual ideas each time we talk)
3. Be able to explain things well (I was explaining the cloning process to this new undergrad in lab and I think I did a terrible job. He'd better ask me questions or he really won't get it)
4. Network.

It seems to me that people are not looking for what you've learnt, they're looking for the unique experience that you have, they're looking for the personality. It's not possible to hide behind skills and grades and stuff on paper. They're looking for a smart nice person who just happened to fill the need that they have.

Anyway, the expo helped me decide to do get a phd.

Dr Luft was saying how his engineer brother has finally figured out that his passion is in religion, psychology, family.. I wonder where my real passion is. I was supposed to have found it in college. Again I wonder what I've been doing. He was also saying that Humanities is not a knowledge that one can pass on to another like science, it's about discovering for yourself what life is all about, what makes us human. That's the meaning of humanities anyway. Maybe it's precisely because of that, because we don't know/ don't dare to discover for ourselves, about ourselves that we choose science and try to do humanities the scientific way. Cold, objective. It's why I don't enjoy the humanities so much. It's hard work, all this exploring and discovering.

In psychoacoustics we read about musicians conducting scientific experiments on sound and music and how we perceive them. First I've always thought Biology was not scientific enough because there's too much of oh-I-saw-this-in-this-cell-&-I think-it's-the-norm-from-how-I-eyeballed-it. It's not quantitative enough (though of course, it's getting more quantitative every day). Then came psychology and yeah they do numbers and stats, but they just seem to be telling you really obvious things that you already know like Japanese people feel more like part of a group but Americans feel more like individuals. Then we get to psychoacoustics. They're experiments that have interesting questions, but are really hard to answer. This guy thinks that each composer has his own internal rhythm that's different from others and if you play a piece by Beethoven using Mozart's internal rhythm, you'll sound terrible. And he tested it by tweaking rhythmic variables on MIDI files until they sound somewhat musical and overlaid different composers' rhythms on other composers' works and getting people to decide which overlay sounded the best. This is not even eyeballing, this is cochlea-ing.. You arbitrarily decide that this variation sounds good on Brahms so you call it the Brahms rhythm. (if you want more info on this expt, ask me)

Second (gosh this is getting long), I have my cancer class before the psychoacoustics class. So we talk about increasing survival rates and getting better diagnosis and treatment methods in that class. And then I go to my acoustics class and looking at those expts and reading those papers makes me marvel at how unimportant the questions are. Do we really care if a 240c interval sounds like a maj 2nd but a 260c interval sound like a min 3rd? It's fun to know. But in a world that is in the self-destruction mode, should we care about such trivial differences?

I guess arts can only fluorish in stable times, where survival is not a problem. And at least I'm interested in knowing how people perceive music, though the expts are really hard to do. It's almost impossible to find controls or to tweak only 1 variable at a time. Went to RFBF concert last night. They played Stockhausen's Mikrophonie I on the world's largest gong. It was quite a piece of art. Sonically and visually. I thought the piece was about making sounds on the gong using different objects but it's really about using the gong to resonate sounds made by the different objects. And objects included things like bicycle wheel and giant comb and brush that made really neat sounds. I'm glad I got to hear such a masterpiece live. And then they played this pulsars piece that I just didn't get. The surround sound was cool with 6 percussionists in 6 different parts of the hall surround the audience. And it's really fun when they do the surround sound thing where this snare roll was passed from one station to the other. But I don't get how the piece connected with pulsars at all. It was random.

All right, that was a long spiel. Get things which I've wanted to blog for a long time out finally. Time to stop procrastinating and start working. Oh yeah, it was great talking to all my fave profs tonight.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Urinetown revisited

So I've had a smashing day. Haven't used that word in a while. It's P's birthday and I went over. Some of them are going to be counsellors at a church camp and it's fun to hear from their perspectives about such camps and how to deal with naughty kids and so on.. When I was a kid, those camp group leaders all seemed like such old adults.. they're all poly/ uni students, that's old. And now we're that age and it's our turn to be those leaders. Played DDR for a while.. These guys practised man.. They're good. I haven't touched DDR since sec sch.. There's actually different styles in DDR, there's this Haiwaiian move dance, and this hip hop dance, and this galloping cowboy dance.. Nv knew that

Then because we love Urinetown so so much, the orchestra went to watch SDSU's version of Urinetown. Just so happen that they're playing the same show as us. It's so obvious that they have much more money than we do. Their set is elaborate, they have huge light bulbs like those in high school musical that says URINETOWN THE MUSICAL. Their costumes are actual rags, their set is much more elaborate than ours. But in our very biased view, our show was much better. We were so much funnier and more energetic. We made sure our jokes were delivered well, they practically glissed over the jokes, wrong pause, wrong tone... And it didn't help that the narrator didn't have a very good voice. Their orchestra was professional though, 5 people band, sounded fantastic, and coordinated very well with the cast. Not like ours where there's a part when they run for an awkwardly long time wiating for us to get to the right cue. They're cool enough to use a elec bass, makes things much easier. They had better set design, techie stuff like sound and light design and orchestra. But overall I liked our show better. It was low budget, but it was funny, enthusiastic, we had nice voices, more mo4 qi4, more dirty jokes, much much better choreography.

We're such an orchestra. We were among the few people who stayed till the band played their last note and clapped and cheered for the band. Haha. And I bet we were the only people in the audience who can sing/ hum to After Bows and Exit Music. This is our show.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Wow my parents know me so well. While I'm here pondering over stuff, they already know what my problems are and have discussed it without me. I'm impressed. And I think what they said is right.. hmm.. kinda.. Cos if they're right, then I'm not the only person with this pondering to do..

We've had those around-the-fire/ pot/ table/ alcohol talks before and we all had our lists. Is it just that the criteria on the list is not fulfilled? Are those things that important to me? What should I be treasuring? I guess I should stop blogging. This is getting nowhere. //

So my next project is to create a sonic creature, meaning make a creature out of sound. It should have a character, a distinguishable size and sounds for rest, movement and communication. Fun. Any ideas are welcome. I'm a dabbler this quarter. Dabble in all sorts of fields, collect samples from all sorts of things. I like moving from a rookie to an amateur. It's fun. It's not so fun moving from an amateur to an intermediate. And I don't know how much fun it is to get to the advanced/ professional level cos I haven't been there.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Earth Day


~ Dr Saier in advance of Earth Day

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Peter Elbow wrote a book about playing the "believing game", meaning you should try to believe everything you hear first, think about why the speaker/ writer came to such conclusions and then you can debunk it as much as you like. He thinks that you shouldn't attack a theory until you can justify the theory. He says that you have to play this game in order to take in new ideas. I think believing is much easier than doubting.. and I believe way too much.

Heard a talk by the director of Torrey Pines therapeutics today. He said that most people talk too much and listen too little. I agree. That's why people don't get along, they don't listen to others enough. And I still think that research is all about luck and opportunities. Having great skills and brains definitely help, but luck is so so important. You have to hit on the right target to research on, pick the right strategies.. So it's best if you have the resources to try 10 things at the same time.

So Urinetown is over. Sad. It's been fun working hard and being so involved in something because we really want it to be good. And it's always a bummer when it just ends. The bubble of excitement just bursts. Pop. Back to life.

People keep saying, do what you're passionate about, listen to your heart, follow your heart.
I don't know how to listen to my heart.
You have to listen carefully.... See, even your heart knows that you should listen to your heart..

Friday, 4 April 2008

Household DNA extraction

Extract a long thread of DNA! All you need is a blender, cells, detergent, salt and alcohol. Cool eh?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Laughter brings out a red nose
A hearty laugh was associated with "both a reddening of the nose and a white
area directly around the mouth", says Wiseman. "These features form a key part
of the make-up traditionally associated with clowning, and could explain why
this unusual type of face-painting is associated with humour."

Friday, 28 March 2008
My pictures to Joshua Tree National Park and Disneyland

Saturday, 22 March 2008

As part of the psyc class, I had to participate in psyc expts. And on one of them I discovered that I really don't like to be treated as a thing. And that is probably one of the most fundamental causes of me getting irritated or angry.

What have I learnt this quarter? A little bit about bacteria, a little bit about politics and environment and population issues, a little bit about how people interact, a little bit about new music, a little bit about how to move, a little bit about how drugs work. Scratching the surface of everything. Every class was so survey-ish, yet they're enough to drive us crazy. So much to know, so little drive.

Last quarter. What to do? Lie back and relax? Charge to the end? Dance? Surf? Play? Work? Socialise?

I cannot be a bureaucrat. Lately suddenly have to do a lot of PR work, have to write these nice-sounding emails. It's too hard. I cannot imagine myself doing the dress nice nice, sit down with people and talk non-stop. Or the kind of dress nice nice, follow boss around. Had lunch with big boss, not bad, he gave out hope.

I've got to
  1. stop being a control freak
  2. start taking responsibility
  3. listen to others
  4. be nice
  5. think

yes girl, do these please.. right the lefts

Went PB Bar & Grill yesterday. Barhopping might be fun. =)

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Isra-el, Inshah Allah, and Shit Happens: The implications of belief systems

Check out the article. I'll summarise. It says that the Judeo-Christian culture promotes challenging the authority and struggling because Isra-el literally means "he has struggled with God". Islam culture promotes submission because Muslim means "he who submits to the will of God". Buddhist culture promotes passivism, a "shit happens" mentality, just accept the shit and live with it. So the author's argument was that the Judeo-Christian culture of the Western world promotes the scientific method, questioning and doubting everything that you see, leading to the fluorishing of scientific and technological development in the Western world. And the future is the techno advance of the Western world.

I think this is an interesting viewpoint, explaining tech advance using religious cultures. Let's just assume that his portrayal of the different religious thoughts is right. That Christian = struggle, Islam= submission, Buddism= acceptance. That alone cannot determine how good one's scientific skills are. Science is not religion, you don't necessarily apply religious thinkings to doing science, you don't go oh um, this paper must tell the truth since it's been published, even though its reasoning sounds kind of fishy. You'll apply a different set of logics in science.

Also, technological advancements depend not just on how willing the society is in accepting them, on how well the society can produce such advancements, but also on the state of the society. A larger proportion of the Islamic and Asian world is in poverty than Europe or the US. How to support this non-profitable business of science if you have to worry about the millions of starving people in the country?

What about the other Christian countries that are not in Europe/ US? We don't hear much about research from Central/ South America even though many of the countries there are very Catholic. What about Japan or India or China or for that matter, Singapore, who are up and rising in science and research? They are not predominantly Christian.

Lastly, it also depends on how much power the country has in the world, politically, economically. They determine how much scientific power a country has. A strong country has the resources to fund science, has more people doing science, has more money to hire good people, has journals that reach more people and will consequently have higher impact factors.

I don't think religion is a good explanation for the apparent discrepancies in science and technology in different parts of the world. "Shit happens" is a catchy phrase though.

On another note, Jessica sent me this link. You can go look up California State employee's pays. Go see how much ur UC profs earn. =)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

I've been getting a lot of cryptic questions. So here's the official response from me. Ask me directly, if not I don't know how to answer. Danwei's questions were the best man, they were so cryptic that i really don't know what he's asking.

So I tried shutting up this weekend and doing more listening. And people think i'm sad and AS.

People tend to generate counterfactual thinking when something bad happens, if only i had done that, I would have accomplished this, this and that. The more easily imagined the event, the more emotional response (regret) is generated (Kahneman and Miller, 1986). The closer you are to getting to the counterfactual thought, the more upset you'll be. It's been shown that Olympic silver medalists are more likely than bronze medalists to voice the opinion that they could have done just a bit better. Also, the more control you have in the event, the more regret you'll have. When attempting to undo the outcome of a game, people are more likely to undo aspects of the game where they had control.

I calculated my projected gpa and ouch, it misses my target by 0.01. Ouch. If only....

Monday, 18 February 2008

Facebook is disgusting. It publishes ur life for the whole world around u to see..

So it's a long weekend. And I haven't studied much at all. Went to my bacteria prof's "farm" on Sat. That's the 3rd prof's house that I've been. Each has its own unique characteristic. This one is wow natural. He keeps chickens and walks around in the garden barefoot. And he gives each visitor a big warm hug, regardless of if he knows u. Er.

Then watched Cirque du Soleil in Del Mar. I think I should stop talking. I talk way too much with these people, I need to listen more. Anyway, I want to go Vegas to watch other Cirque shows. Their acrobatics are pretty amazing and they have nice music and costumes. I want to be strapped to helium balloons and fly too. Or be an angel who only needs to pose and look pretty and hand performers their hula hoops. Angels probably get to fly too.

Supposed to be studying today, but we went to brunch in Hillcrest which took 3h cos the line was an hour long. And we saw 好姨 from 真情 at the restaurant. How qiao is that? So we went to her after giggling forever and took picture with her. She really got a huge mole on the forehead. But she looked glam. and she's nice. =) Then had an utterly Singaporean afternoon where we went to a bubble tea shop, sat down and talked for the whole afternoon, then went some shop to shop shop forever, then went for dinner and sat down to talk again. Loved it all. Haven't had these Singapore talk/ future talk/ past talk/ funny talk for so long. Last time was probably when sy and fm and xy were still around.. I should talk less and listen more. Then came home and played scrabble where tanya won with a 68pt word. Gosh.
Laughed so much today.. hahahahaha..

I do need to study. I wish life is simple.

Friday, 15 February 2008


It feels like a Friday today. Half my pharm class didn't show up. The lab was pretty empty. Did my blot, got some results and left early. Went to Black's Beach for class, cos there's a concert there today, Alison Knowles was there performing "Shoreline", the main part of it is that she sews a whole bunch of old clothes into a long line along the shore. And there are other parts involving us. Some people were doing the "draw a straight line and follow it", some were doing "vocalists sing together at conductor's cue, but sing anything", people were singing italian, spanish, english.. everything. I should have joined and sang "when stamford raffles held the torch..." haha. Then this guy did the "walking intently" into the ocean in a suit. He got a lot of applause. THe things we do for art. And I was the score holder for my prof's cello playing where he destroys his bows by bowing every single part of the cello, from the tail (that stick thing) all the way up to the head (above tuning pegs), so it's the wood parts, plastic parts, strings... everything. Screechy. Might post my official response to the sounds of fluxes later.

Then went out, on a thursday. No wonder it felt like a friday. Too bad it was pouring, but in any case I bought a score. Yay. Overpriced definitely, but whatever, I'm happy today. And then went to this super nice place on Harbor Island. The view was fantastic. San Diego's pretty spectacular at night. Had a lobster. I should seriously consider eating food that's easy to manipulate next time.. wasn't easy digging through the lobster. Then went walk walk at Seaport Village. The kite shop uncle was so adorable. Love his flying gadgets. I want some to play with. Had a great day.. Feel like tmr's not a school day.

Happy V-Day.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Winter quarter happenings

Sending lao da off. Farewell dinner at Kemo Sabe. The presentation is wow.

That's a whole fish. And it really sticks up like that.

POW truck at Big bear. Skiiers and snowboarders cramp themselves onto the open-air truck. No seats. Hold on to the railings, we're going to camp.

Steamboat CNY dinner with still thoughts. That's my table. We're a super lucky table.. all got good stuff in lucky draw =). Mine was the lousiest, it's 1 slice of meat.
This is weird.. what am i doing?

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Craig Venter's talks

Went to listen to Craig Venter today. I can't help but be impressed by what he's accomplished and what he's doing. He's a very ambitious person and a very confident one. He claims that his sequencing of Mycoplasma genitalium is completely accurate. That is a very bold claim. Anyway he wants to start synthesising thousands of genomes every day. Note that's synthesizing, making, creating chemically from scratch... and not just sequencing.

He's either a very smart man or he has some very smart people working for him.. It could be both. Cos every thing that he does is lucrative hot topics. Human genome in 9 months. Personal human diploid genome. Transformation of one bacteria species to other by whole genome transplant. Making a synthetic genome. Doubling the number of bacteria genomes sequenced to date in a single Sorcerer trip. Designing organisms to produce fuels. Makes me want to be a scientist again. Even though my expt techniques absolutely suck.

I should go back to studying my sympatholytics and mimetics... like clonidine and propranolol and prazosin and physostigmine and carbacol and.....

Friday, 1 February 2008

Went for a seminar today about circadian rhythms in bacteria. They wanted to mutate every single gene in the bacteria to see the effects on the rhythm. Every single gene. That's 2700. You know how much cloning that is? And I can't even do a single cloning right. And the speaker flashed a whole long list of undergrads who helped them clone, it was a pretty long list. Bacteria people are fun. They draw all kinds of things with bacteria on plates. So this group drew a sun in one plate and a moon in another and fixed a promoter that is under circadian control to a fluorescent protein. And the sun lit up for 12h and the moon lit up for 12h. How cool!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Singapore Complaints Choir for lyrics and the story.

It's quite funny even though it doesn't always rhyme and there's this part where they imitated the anthem.

"All the bus stops have tilted benches" yeah, what's up with that?
"We don't recycle any plastic bags, But we purify our pee"
Pretty weird huh...

And is it just me or do I some people in the choir look familiar?

Friday, 25 January 2008

I'm taking weird classes, as in classes that are very different from the prev classes that I've taken. First, dance class, we actually dance. Then psyc class, the professor does experiments to try to trick our minds every class. Music, the musician tells us weird stuff about composers. You think I'm weird? Go listen to these people, people like Satie who only eats white-coloured food and has 7 sets of the same suit to wear every day. Go listen to their music, like Schoenberg's Colours where a chord is passed subtlely from one instrument to the next. Surprisingly, I'm having fun in the class. And microbial genetics class, the professor thinks he's more prokaryotic than eukaryotic. That's fine, so I have a microbe for a professor. And he's super environmentally active and political. Probably the most environmental activist I've met so far.. which is why I have all these links on the environment and why I've been going for seminars on environment..

Went snowboarding last weekend. Wow that was fun... and tiring... and lots of falling. And I have to say I'm surprised at how fast Jason recovered from his "illness". Snowboarding looks so easy. The kids do it perfectly and we big kids just go fall every few steps. haha.


Some links to share..

Story of Stuff
interesting animation on the amount of pollution we create just by having stuff. Love how they said that America is run by consumerism.. Yup that's what make economists happy, more people spending money, more people getting money, everybody feels rich. Everyone except the environment.. Use less stuff!!

And this...
Global over-population is the real issue

I've always thought the world wars were a way to control population and I thought I was way too heartless. But population is a big problem and every country just want to increase its own population so it could take over the world. Countries need to stop being selfish and control population now, it's not just countries with huge populations like China and India, but other countries as well. Yes aging population in a country causes economic and social problems, but if the human population is going to stress the earth any more than we are doing already, there will be bigger problems to worry about. I totally agree that the president of this country is wrong to not supporting abortion.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Crazy music
The music sounds absolutely insane... Especially part 2. Click on the ear+ music to listen. Crazy 20th century music.. Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire
Blues band on Pharmacology

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Singapore at night

Got pretty pictures must show off..

This is an example of over exposure, look like the sun came out already.

It's Christmas


This is my best fireworks pic. Too bad my lens cover didn't open completely. =(

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Back in San Diego. Back to Singapore over the holidays, I don't feel that I've done much but was pretty busy every day. Meeting friends, running lots of errands and being a tourist. Found some amazing places, Clarke Quay is very pretty at night or maybe pretty's not the word, it's classy.
Chek Jawa is a nice place to see one-armed crabs, I didn't remember their names.. Ok, I think it's fiddler crab. And it's cool that we saw a horseshoe crab too, really ancient creature. Old enough to 摆在那里给大家.
The new park connectors that connect east coast park to the other parks in the east are nice routes to cycle on.. Might do that some day when I feel like biking. And I found out how flat Singapore is.. no wonder I have so much trouble biking in SD.
Underwater World. There are so many more exhibits. All the different crabs, some huge ones (the Japanese spider crab can have a leg span of over 3m), some hairy ones, some ancient-looking ones. It was really cool, wish I spent more time in there. And apparently there was some fish reflexology thingy where the fish bites off the dead skin from your feet. Jessica was very interested in it. I was disgusted.
Check it out

Was reading my autograph book.. Nv did have an autograph book in JC. Should have asked for one cos it's really fun reading them. Found this super funny poem. Here it is..
I'm a fish
You're a duck
I swim to you
To wish you luck.
Ah... I have some funny friends