Gabriel's shared items

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Friendship Index

I've been wondering what are the ingredients of a good friendship. Since I left Secondary School, throughout my JC and especially army days, I've come to realise that people we meet in life come and go, and good friendships is very often a result of favourable circumstance.

There are times when I meet people with the same mind and enjoy being with, but circumstances prys our paths apart, and we end up going our seperate ways. Other times, especially in army, I have been put with people whom I might not usually click very well with under normal conditions, but because we share a common experience, we become very good friends.

Friendships are also a function of Chemistry and Physics. It is quite common for people to use the term Chemistry to describe how well two people get along with each other... And physics? Well, it's the amount of effort (work done) each party puts into a friendship ;)

I have attempted to put in all these factors into an equation coined "Friendship Index". This index measures how good a friendship between two parties, Alice (denoted by a) and Bob (denoted by b), is. The larger the value the better friends they are. Ok, this equation is largely nonsense, as the values here cannot be determined quantitatively at all. It is simply my attempt at expressing how I feel each of these factors affects friendship. But i guess it can have applications in a game involving friendships...

The function F(a,b), the Friendship Index between Alice and Bob, is defined as,

cf is the favourable circumstance (yuo3 yuan2 factor) - the circumstances forcing Alice and Bob to interact even though they do not make an effort to.
cu is the unfavourable circumstance (mei2 yuo3 yuan2 factor)- the circumstances hindering Alice's and Bob's Efforts at an interaction, the smaller the number, the more unfavourable the circumstance.
Ea and Eb measure Alice's and Bob's Efforts at an interation respectively.
Aa and Ab measure the Affinity of Alice towards Bob and Bob towards Alice respectively - How much pleasure Alice gains from interaction with Bob, and vice versa.

An anotomy of the Friendship Index

The Interaction Opportunity Index, measures the amount of interation between Alice and Bob. Heavily dependent on circumstance, but can be affected by effort. However it's effectiveness requires that both parties play their part, and that there is no overwhelmingly unfavourable circumstances.

The Mutual Affinity Index, measures how much both parties gain from an interaction. This value increases with larger Aa and Ab, but is maximum for a constant sum Aa + Ab when Aa and Ab are equal, and zero if either party does not like the other.

Thus when you take the product of how much interaction they have and how much they gain from each interaction, you get how good a friendship is :p

Sunday, August 28, 2005

T-minus 4 weeks: Anticipating A Packed Week Ahead

Just jotting down this to organise my schedule for the upcoming week...

0930-1100: Driving

2000-2200: Tuition

0900-1100: Tuition
1230-1430: Driving

1900: CCF BBQ.

1300-1800: Cell/Church
1900: SAJC Dinner

Hopeing to be called for relief teaching on Tuesday and Wednessday, but after turning my teachers down these few times, I wonder if they'll bother to call me up again... Friday looks like a good day to crash lectures :P

Also need to call MOE up soon to sort out my pay, they underpaid 2 days worth of salary, $130.00 :s

A few non-urgent but increasingly important things on my to-do list...
  • Start packing;
  • Find out about how to go about to increase baggage allowance;
  • Figure out my newly acquired palm...

Yesterday was 28 August, in exactly one month's time from yesterday, 31 days, the Wednessday after 4 weekends, I'd be leaving for good, and embarking on this new journey; living, controling, and managing my life for myself; truely gaining my independence.

I wanna start off this journey right... A few areas of my life, I wish to properly manage from the very beginning.
  1. Spiritual
  2. Social
  3. Financial
  4. My lifestyle
Not really ready to elaborate on any of these yet, but these are some of the aspects I'd wish to begin on a right foot...

Air Tix

Just registered for the KrisFlyer Card on the SingaporeAir Website so that I can start earning mileage from the very first trip :p

Now gotta find out how to increase the baggage allowance to 40kg, need to look for an address to write to...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Unresolved Matters Revisited.

The past week saw the resolution of a number of admin matters, most significant of which was the opening of a HSBC Bank Account. I've also made my ISIC card, gotten the Internationally enabled POSB card, my father has submitted the application for a few credit cards, and bought an insurance policy for me. Looking back at the post Unresolved Matters, I've pretty much settled everything less the air tickets!

I guess it's also about time I started packing for the transition. Not sure where to begin though...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I am so Blessed!

Isn't it a beauty?

My uncle just popped by from Shanghai, and gave me tons of stuff for my uni! Including that sleek Sony Clie!!!

I've been looking for an Palm or PDA to organise my life, and a camera to capture images of my university journey, and I got both in the form of the SONY CLIE PEG-NX70V/U!

Now I'm looking for applications that run on it...

I also inherited 3 thick jackets, and a woolen scarf from him. And they fit perfectly! Thank God for such uncles!

When God blesses, it is abundent indeed!

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Helpful Guide

The layout of this page does not do the content justice. Lots of useful infomation which I have been looking for: it appears to be everything! From immigration, to clothes to bring, to banking, medical care, insurance, phone subscriptions, etc.

Self Diagnosis

I believe I'm autistic, albeit mildly. While I am good at math, i found that it has come at the price of my social ability. And it is not something I am proud of or want to be because famous scientists have shown signs of autism, rather I find this social defenciecy very restrictive, how I wish this talent didn't come with such a malicious curse. And I'm quite concerned about it, especially since I'm about to embark a phase of life on a fresh social sheet, i.e. I'm beginning this new phase of life, without knowing anybody, giving me the opportunity to build relationships afresh. I'm hoping that I don't screw it up this time...

One problem I find myself facing is that I do not have the natural ability to react spontaneously to situations. This results in my actions conveying messages contrary to what I feel at crucial moments when I'm put in a situation, thus getting myself into things I am not prepared for.

I find that I am deficient at handling uncertainty, it manifests when I'm playing sports, through my inability to catch balls well; when I'm playing computer games, I take ages to process information and react to the situation, I'd need to prepare my actions prior to an encounter with an opponent, and whenever I face a difficulty, I'll react with one of my preconceived plans, that's why the comments that my playing resembles that of a AI computer player. I also find myself deficient in expressing my thoughts spontaneously, thus I find that I easily allow people to impose their will over mine. I lack the ability which a dog uses when it leaps into the air to catch a Frisbee - the ability to respond intuitively, yet incredibly accurately.

On the flip side, when I'm among people who are very nice, I begin to worry that I might be doing things that are not pleasant, but the other party is being too nice to express it. To this end, I realize that the friends I am most comfortable with are those whom I've known for a long time, and who have gotten involved in a quarrel with, and gotten over it. I have a cousin whom I had lots of animosity with when we were younger, but now we are best of friends. The reason I feel at ease is because I know that when he is unhappy with something, he will voice it out, and I am confident that if nothing is said, all is well... Unfortunately, because I am not able to deliver such frank responses when I am in an environment where people are artificially nice, as I would be 'programmed' to respond pleasantly, it breeds an environment where people are too nice, and causing me to worry (perhaps unduly) about whether my actions are acceptable.

I am especially worried about as I'll soon find myself in the extremely pleasent, cultured environment of the University.

On another note, I've only recently begun to be aware of the social dynamics that occur around me, I'm not sure if this late insight was can be attributed to my upbringing, or because of my autistic predisposition. Perhaps it's both. Growing up, I never really considered the social aspect of things, I've always thought that things were definitely right or wrong, I took opinions lightly as long as the 'right' thing is done. It was until I entered NS that I discovered opinions do matter, especially true if the opinion was that of your superior's, because he defines right and wrong.

I've since extended this insight to encompass everyone. I realized that economics is all about one person's effort translating into meeting another person's desires, and in turn being rewarded for it. So if the person on the receiving end does not think that something is good, he does not buy the product, and thus affects the definition of whether the product is popular or not. Of course, there may be some instance of a quantifiable measurement, like the results of a tuition kid, or the effectiveness of a drug, but many other attributes like enjoyment is hard to measure precisely.

After gaining the insight that opinions do matter, I realized that every exchange should strive to satisfy both parties, and it should not be imbalances to the point where one party feels taken advantaged of, or the other party feels bad that he is receiving too much. I've learnt this principle after volunteering in some organizations and giving tuition. Especially in the particular situation where I volunteered to help my cousin and was paid by my uncle, it seems that they are able to make this delicate balance very well.

In the past, I saw such exchanges in terms of what I am giving vs what I'm getting. In situations where I intend to get, the smaller the ratio, the better; many times leaving the other party at the unfair end of the deal. I recall bargaining with a person selling peanuts in China, misguidedly encouraged by my parents, I feel very bad now as what I gained from the bargain was literally peanuts to me, but a significant sum to the poor seller... And in situations I intended to give, I would try my best not to receive anything out of it, and I've found such situations draining and unsustainable. I've grown wiser.

I've also found that I learnt many such social principles from teaching in the classroom. In such an environment, the raw social interactions are exposed, it is not masked by any niceties as there is no time for the teacher to do that, and on the student's part, such a concept is quite foreign to them. The teacher often conveys exactly the behavior he expects, and the children responds accordingly if they accept it or not. This provides an excellent social litmus paper to test the action I make. And each time I enter a classroom, I have another chance at the experiment, thus refining my social skills.

Ok, I'll end here abruptly, blogging about this because I felt that I mishandled some interactions recently, and worried that I'll make the same mistake in future. And a major interaction session with my future uni mates would be happening tomorrow at the fresher's tea, hopefully I'll handle it well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Taking on Music Theory!

Armed with a new found insight into the physics of music,

I'm going to take on...

When I have the time =P

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Experiencing Multiple Facets of a Teacher-Student Relationship.

Role as Teacher:
Tuition Teacher to Individual Students, teaching Sec4 Physics and Maths.
Teacher to a Large Class, from babysitting as relief teacher to guest trainer at Maths Olympiad lessons.
Interacting with a Sec3/4 cell in Church.

Role as Student
To my driving instructor.
In my 12 years in School.
A participant at the Physics Symposium.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Insight into a Musical Octave

I've been browsing through the online magazine called

Came across it as a link on Prof Artur Ekert's Physics Symposium Profile.

It appears to be Cambridge publication, with many articles being contributed by authors from Cambridge.

Came across an article on the Mathematics of Music which answers many of my musical inquiries.

One exciting insight I gained was the construction of the musical notes in terms of the frequency. I've observed, from messing around with the guitar recently, that the frequency between any note an octave apart is related to each other by a factor of 2, for example the frequency of "Middle C" as i've learnt in the article is 262 Hz, and the frequency of "High C" is 2 times that of "Middle C", 524 Hz. As can be deduced from the fact that length of the guitar string is halved between octaves.

I've also noticed that the tone produced by a string between successive frets sound the same relative to each other. And I've been wondering exactly how this is related with the frequency.

Well, this question was answered in the article. As an octave is divided into 12 equal "tone"s or "semi-tone"s (I'm not sure what is the correct term for it, but there are 12 frets dividing an octave), the way to make each tone sound the same relative to the previous within these 12 frets is to increase the frequency of one to the other by the same factor, which works out to be the Twelveth Root of Two. When this happens, each tone would sound the same relative to the preceeding tone, and after 12 notes, the frequency would have increased by two times!

Superposition of States...

...demonstrated by tossed coin in mid air?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Nobel Encounter

Attended the last day of the Physics Symposium yesterday, listened to a the lecture given by a Nobel Laureate, Robert Laughlin. Was profoundly affected by what the said about physicist's view of the world being too tainted by their unverifiable believes, such as the belief that the world has to follow nice and cushy simple rules. He cautioned that this might not be the case, and that the laws of physics might well arise as a consequence of the collective behavior of stuff...

As an aspiring physicist, who has chosen to do physics because of the plausibiilty that we are on the verge of the holy grail of knowledge, that is the fundamental laws of the universe, hearing this proposition for the first time was alarming, as it has very disturbing implications.

One of which is that the universe is complex even at the deeper levels (in such a case, there would be no such thing as the deepest, or most fundamental principle). Prof Laughin educated us that smashing particles in the very controlled environment of the particle accelerator yielded as diverse a result as smashing rocks together, thus implying that we may not be any nearer to the fundamental laws of nature.

So I approached Prof Laughin and expressed this concern to him. Laughin responded by relating a story about how he had a discussion with a Marxist friend who believed in the simple, elegant laws of Marxism, although it does not agree with the reality. The moral of his story is that one should not be blinded by personal believes, to the extent that one misses hard experimental facts. And to quote him verbatim,

"True Physics is Experimental.
If you want to be a Real Physicist,
You'd have to be an Experimentalist!"

Well, I guess I'll bear these words of wisdom in mind when I approach physics in future. Though I might still hold on to the hope that the world is fundamentally elegant as there is no compelling proof that it isn't, and this hope is a very strong motivation to understand nature.

Alright, enough talk about a Laureate,

lau·re·ate (lôr'ē-ĭt, lŏr'-)
  1. Worthy of the greatest honor or distinction: “The nation's pediatrician laureate is preparing to lay down his black bag” (James Traub).
  2. Crowned or decked with laurel as a mark of honor.
  3. Archaic. Made of laurel sprigs, as a wreath or crown.
  1. One honored or awarded a prize for great achievements especially in the arts or sciences: a Nobel laureate.
  2. A poet laureate.

[Middle English, from Latin laureātus, adorned with laurel, from laurea, crown of laurel, from feminine of laureus, of laurel, from laurus, laurel.]
lau're·ate·ship' n.

I also attended a lecture on Quantum Infomatics given by Prof Artur Ekert (He's from Cambridge!) . It was a very stimulating lecture, the most engaging in this series I attended. At the very least, I gained an idea about how all these quantum mechinical experiments are performed technically. Though there are many parts I don't quite understand...

From what I gather, a useful quantum phenomen is Entanglement. Entanglement provides a way to generate random numbers, which can be recieved by only 2 parties. And thus can act as a secret key by which one can encrypt infomation.

Exactly how Entanglement is performed still eludes me. I know that entangled particles are created by a novel process that neccessarily produces identicle particles(how?!). For most discussions, the particle in question was a photon. And some property of the particle is random, this property must be able to represent a value. For the case of the photon, it is the polarity(why?!). When the entangled photons are created, it's polarity is random and not known, the value it represents exists as a superposition of all the possible values, until one photon is measured, then because of the quantum phenomenom, the superposition of states of the other particle also collapses. I'm not exactly sure how this would prevent potential evesdroppers though, I asked the Prof, and he said that the answer would lie in some kind of protocol could exploit this phenomenom...

As for the technical aspects, I was vaguely told that an entangled pair of photons can be created by sending a pulse of light into a crystal, which would excite an electron that would subsequently fall 2 energy levels and in the process release a pair of entangled photons. How it can be made to fall 2 energy levels and create entangled photons, still baffles me. I also learnt that the photons are typically transmitted through optical fibres, and that entangled photons have been routinely transmitted up to a distance of 30 km.

Still on the topic of quantum physics, Prof Laughin mentioned a few times about asking the right question...

Then it occured to me regarding Schrodinger's Cat:
Instead of simply asking
"whether the cat is dead or alive",

you extended the question to
"if the cat is dead, when did it die?"

Would one be able to determine such a property as an event in the quantum context?

I reckon it would be as difficult to answer as the question
"if it is alive, when will it die?"

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Went for a Physics Symposium at NTU today.

Sat through 3 lectures on
  • The Photoelectric Effect,
  • Quantum Spintronics, and Quantum Computing, and
  • Superconductivity

I really enjoyed the lecture on Quantum Computing given by a certain professor called Sankar Das Sarma. Now I'm interested to learn more about Quantum Computing, Qubits, and related stuff...

Found a good website on when searching for qubits: Seems to have a lot of infomation on the topic.

I liked what Prof Sankar said about trying to predict the next revolution in Physics. Many times, people try extrapolating the current trends to attempt to predict what would happen 50 years or 100 years down the road, but as Prof Sankar puts it, they fail to realise that "Technology does not progress through extrapolation, it advances in Leaps!"

One living in the 18 century would be wrong to say that "since we have gone from travelling at 15 km/h on foot to 50 km/h on horse carriages in 1000 years, means that we would take another 1000 years to travel at 100 km/h".

I won't be able to make it for tomorrow's session cos of commitments in SAS. But I'm hoping to attend the lectures on Friday about Ciphers and Computers, as well as the talk by the Nobel Laureate... Perhaps get my ISIC Card done also...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Went back to SAJC yesterday during their National Day Celebrations. Met Mr Ong, and for the first time, I wasn't there to bug him for a Reference Letter or Teacher's Recommendation :P Instead, I went with a little souvenir from Cam thanking him for helping me through the applications process, and writting the recommendation that would granted me 7500 pounds a year! It felt like I was closing a big successful project, that is my admission to Cam, and there was a celebratory mood, thanks in part to the National Day events.

Also spoke with my GP teacher, Mr Lim. He related his university experience, and urged me to make the most of my uni life, cautioning me not to be a recluse, as i have the tendency to... After speaking with him, I rediscovered why I've always enjoyed talking with him - He has this ability to analyse a situation and find the precise words to accurately articulate his analysis.

Well, I had a good chat with him, and recounted how just a few months back I wasn't even sure whether I would find myself in Cam after all the trouble, and now it's confirmed, and I'm 50 days away from living that life.

Also related my impression of Cam. How, before I visited the place, I thought it was this disneyland like utopia where university students played. With impeccably mowed lawns, beautifully kept historical buildings, inhibitted by friendly and intelligent people. How we'll be running our own little lives, living in little appartments, with cooking facilities so that we could play masak-masak for real if we fancied; and we'll get around this beautiful little town on bicycles in the perpetually air-conditioned environment. Well, after visiting the town, i realised that it wasnt that perfect image i had, but it still is heaven compared with the other 'Camp' I've been through.

So much for my utopic image of Cam. However i belief that the experience in Cam would be invaluable. I feel that Cam would be a very good/sheltered place to learn to be independent, learn to take care and be responsible for every aspect of life. From tidying up the room, to doing the daily admin, like banking and what not... to laundry, and perhaps cooking, and on top of that going to work (school actually), and making friends, serving in church, having fun... It's like having a practical course on living independently.

Ok, after visiting SAJC, I decided to go down to orchard road to make my ISIC Card. I looked through the brochure, and found only one address - "33A Cuppage Terrace". I ran through Mr Lim's street directory and found that it was near Centerpoint, so i took the MRT to Somerset. To cut a long story short, I reached Centerpoint, and found a lot of buildings named "Cuppage", and one short row of shop houses called "Cuppage Terrace" I could see the entire building at one glance, but the only shops i saw were eateries, restaurants. No sign of any travel agency. Called the number on the brochure, call answered by a machine, got clues like 7th floor, Orchard Towers, basically got clues pointing in every direction and could not make out anything... A failed trip.

Met up with scouts friends to play games a while later. One game we played, Munchkin was particularly funny. Spent the afternoon playing. Then adjourned to eat at Billy Bombers. The meals were quite expensive, but having worked so hard the past week, I decided to treat myself.

Then took a slow walk down to the Fullerton building to watch the fireworks festival. We got a good place, under the image of the Merlion, was a bit wet though, as the wind was blowing the water gushing out of the merlion into us... Waited a while for the fireworks which went off at midnight, but when it happened, it was quite specticular... Actually the fireworks itself cannot be compared with that of the NDP, but the exciting part was watching it with friends... it's been a while since I went out with friends specially to watch a fireworks display.

Returned home by MRT, but missed the last bus home, dont know by how long thou... so took a cab back from the station. It costed me $5.40! But well, figured i should enjoy myself now when the prices are still affordable. The total amount of money i spent for the outing was approx $40. About a day's savings.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Unresolved Matters

After yesterday's shopping spree, I've checked off a few major items on my uni prep list. I shall now consolidate what is left.
  • Air Ticket
  • Banking
  • Insurance

Air Ticket
The most important item on the list now, but there's nothing much I can do about it at the moment. I've found a travelling companion, and his mother is sorta settling the details. We've almost made up our mind to travel on Emirates, as it costs $1200 as compared with the $1800 SQ is charging. If all goes accordingly, we'll be departing on 27 Sept in the wee hours of the morining.
It'll be an exciting trip as we'll be transiting in Dubai, and I've never been to the middle east before. But I'm concerned that transitting in another country might add complication to the immigration health requirements. That's one thing I'll need to find out...
And yes... I'll need to book the National Express coach to Cam online.

There are a few thing's I'd need to do:
The first and simplest is to get an internationally enabled Nets Card. I'll simply pop by a POSB office one day when it's convinient.
The other would be to get a credit card from the bank my father is using. Think he'll settle it for me...
The third would be to find out how I can create a HSBC account in Singapore. Will need to call them soon...

I've personally never understood insurance policies before. All the plans look greek to me. But thankfully I've got a friend who is helping me find out about these plans, and my parents have a few friends in the business. So would be getting a few samples of insurance policies, and lots of keen advice. The challenge would be chosing the right policy and committing the right amount of money...

Wow, in 7 weeks I'd be on my way to begin a new, exciting, unprecedented phase of my life. Wait a min... Isn't every phase of life as unprecendented? Ok, a quick search of yields a few synonyms of exciting: exhilarating, thrilling. I'm still coming to terms with it.

A look back on the applications process:
Application to UCAS. Application to Cam. Fees, Personal Statements, Teachers Referal, Interview, Test. Offers, Offers, More Offers, Cam Conditional Offer. Finance, IELTS. Prob with Finance, no time for IELTS. Deliberation, Hope, Despair, Abandonment. Bursary Form. Rekindled excitement, Teacher's Recommendation. God's Providence. IELTS. British Council, Mugging, Day Course. ORD!!! Test. Final Criteria. Prep for Trip. IELTS Results, EXCELLENT! Visit to Cam. Beauty, Utopia, Dreams to Reality. Confirmation of Acceptance. Numbness. Settled Accom. Back to Sg. Now What? Overwhelming Prep. Passport Photo, Visa, Exit Permit, Medical Exam. Exit Permit Approved! British Council Briefing. Excitement. Medical Exam. Settled Medical. Visa Approved! Stationary, Toiletries, Clothes, Winter Wear, Lugguage.

And here I am now. 50 days from Day of Departure.


Went shopping at Robinsons, Center Point today. Bought $600 worth of merchandise:

1 x Wool Vest :
2 x Short Sleeve Thermal:
2 x $39.00
1 x Long Sleeve Thermal:
3 x Pant Thermal:
3 x $59.00
1 x Samsonite Lugguage Bag:
Total Cost:
(A whoaping) $632.00

But thanks to some sale Robinsons is giving, we had a 20% discount. That translates into around $120 worth of savings!

It suddenly occured to me a few days ago, that I'll be leaving home for an extended period of time in less than 50 days! I've been having a lingering feeling that there are so many things to do before I leave, and the weeks just seem to fly pass...

Friday, August 05, 2005

This week came and went in the blink of an eye!

Wow, this week just flew past me! I've been so caught up with teaching that before i knew it, it's friday already! I've been doing relief from Monday to Thursday. I had told myself after last week's mishap that I would not turn down any relief request, and activate me they did! Four days in a row! And when you work, the time just flies pass. Not that i'm complaining, but I'm beginning to wonder if I should cut back on teaching, as the corresponding returns in terms of satisfection is beginning to diminish with the excessive amount of time spent teaching...

Ok, another account of how the week went, begining with saturday...
Friday night - Sat morn: Met up with scouts friends at Varun's house, overnight session of Puerto Richo, a game involving growing crops and sending them back to the homeland. It has lots of economic elements to it, and it's a game without any dice!
Varun's dog died! So sad...

Sunday: Church, lunch, family gathering...

Monday: Relief.

Tuesday: Relief, Tuition.

Wednessday: Relief, Collected passport with visa!!! Tuition.

Thursday: Relief, Helped out with Math Society.

Today: Well deserved break (i.e.Slacking), blogging, hopefully will discipline myself to put in energy to reduce the increasing state of entropy in my room.

So there goes my week!

On monday, I finally got to speak to my favouritest physics teacher, who is a HOD now. I realised that teachers hardly get time to interact with each other, as they are all so busy with the students. I hope he's proud on me going to study at cam. He told me that it was also his dream to study there, but his situation didn't permit. I'm more appreciative of how fortunate i am to be able to fulfil this dream.

Today's break from relief was a welcome relieve. And with NDP happening next week, I'll probrably not be teaching for a few days. But I won't be slacking at home! Just listing down what's installed:

Monday: Visit SAJC, for NDP celebration, hopefully get to catch up with Mr Ong, and thank him for helping me through the application process. Then proceed to NUS to meet jc friends for lunch, perhaps will apply for ISIC card at the travel agent. Gotta prepare the documents beforehand...

Tuesday: Nothing planned as yet... It's NDP!

Wednessday: Lectures are beginning at NUS, wanna crash, but there's also a physics seminar at NTU which I've signed up for... I'll see how it goes on that day.

Thursday: I've committed to doing relief, so it's back to school!

Friday: Lectures/Seminar/Relief? It still exists in a quantum state, which will soon be observed!

Phew! that's 2 full weeks in one post!


Was reading for the meaning and origin of the word Oxymoron.

Learnt that "Oxymoron is a Greek term derived from oxy ('sharp) and moros ('dull')."

Then I saw an amusing poem ladened with oxymorons in the article. I recalled reading a similar poem in secondary school, perhaps in literature:
"One long day in the middle of the night,
Two dead men came out to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other"

But the poem recalled went slightly differently:
"One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead men came out to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
If you don't belief that what I said is true,
Ask the blind man, he saw it too!"

It's quite funny the first time I read it, but upon reading it a second time, found it quite lame...

Hm... lame? another word i'm going to look up...
Ok, here it is:

adj., lam·er, lam·est.
  1. Disabled so that movement, especially walking, is difficult or impossible: Lame from the accident, he walked with a cane. A lame wing kept the bird from flying.
  2. Marked by pain or rigidness: a lame back.
  3. Weak and ineffectual; unsatisfactory: a lame attempt to apologize; lame excuses for not arriving on time.

Ok, I'm using it for the 3rd definition: Weak and ineffectual; unsatisfectory :p

Also learnt from the article that we often use the term 'oxymoron' on situations which are more accurately described as 'contraditory".
It says that "the original, literary meaning of 'oxymoron'" implies "an artful use of a contradiction for effect."