Gabriel's shared items

Friday, December 29, 2006


Anyway, back from London! (finally) Concluding my series of holidays.

Met many interesting people - all Simon's friends - Lip Ho, a malaysian maths major at NUS, Lim Kwan Yew, an AMAZING cook! And Victor, funny guy.

An incredibly fun filled 7 days, from 22 to 29th, and now I'm back!

Ah, visited too many places, and did too many things to blog about everything, guess I'll just let the pictures tell the story...

Greenwich, and Dinner at Simon's place,
staring Lim Kwan Yew, the Master Chef!

Introduction to the vices of London at Lim Kwan Yew's


Me and Baden Powel!

Geese at Hyde Park, all grown up!

Snapshots of London

Dozing off at the British Museum


A world without Saddam?

Wow, can't imagine a world without Saddam.

He's been like the world's nemesis since I could remember, and now they are really going to murder him!

Kinda sympathize with him... wonder how it feels to be hated by everyone, then again, he probably wasnt one who would sympathize much with others, guess what goes around, comes around.

Now, has anyone paused to consider who's going to fill his shoes after he's gone???

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In Search of the Truth - The Initial Proposition

There is one's consiousness, and there is the truth.

One's consiousness conceives an action into the truth,

and the action is returned to one's consiousness as an emotion.


Power is the set of actions one is able to conceive into the truth.


Every instance of emotion corresponding to an action is an experience.

A theory is an attempt at modeling the truth,

and can only be based on one's limited collection of experience.

The outcome of one's action on his emotion
is independent of theory and dependent on the truth.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Hey Sam!

Check out the song's I've picked up over the term!!!

My Redeemer Lives

Now That You're Near

Yes they are my own recordings, and yes, my strumming's very boring, but we've gotta jam when i get back!!!

Also thinking of making a library of my favourite songs, just for the record :p

I came, I saw, I ticked it off the map

Summer 05 -
UK: London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Gloasgow, Belfast, Dublin

Christmas 05 -
Germany: Frankfurt

Easter 06 -
Sweden: Stockholm & Kiruna

Summer 06 -
Italy: Rome & Venice

Christmas 06 -
Spain: Madrid, Toledo, Malaga, Gibraltar & Sevilla

Monday, December 18, 2006

Big big update.

Back from a really busy sequence of events -

End of term, christmas party, aloysius's birthday, church and punting on sunday, houseparty, london, spain trip, and now i'm back!

A Roman bridge in Toledo,
still standing after 2 millenniums

A country incredibly rich in history and architecture, many many magnificent and historically significant buildings and monuments. Got to learn a little more about spainish history, from the roman days dating 2000 years back, to the arab rule from 711 to 1492, catholic rule, other significant events like war with napoleon, the spanish civil war 1936-1939, dictatorship, followed by the current democratic government.

Visited many interesting cities,

- a British colony
- where the mediterranean meets the atlantic,
- which marks the edge of the Roman known world, gate of hercules,
- the gates through which the arabs conquered spain
- huge rock, huge cave, intelligent apes.

- center for commerce between the americas and europe,
- city from which Magellan begun his quest to find an alternative route to the spice islands through the americas. He found the pacific ocean, and the Phillipines.

150m high cross marking the civil war dead
on valley of the fallen

Picasso's birthplace, and the valley of the fallen are two other remarkable places.

Not only did i learn spanish history, i also understand a little better the jewish perception of things, from a jew who was on the trip, as well as my own family history :p Kinda puts my current pursuits and struggles in perspective.

Houseparty! '06
Was a nice time... guess there's not very much to say (or maybe there's just too much, that i dont know how to start), except that it just adds to the experiences in Cambridge that I'll cherish when i leave...

Also have been pondering on the spain trip what I should do in summer, more specifically, whether I should go on a mission trip to china with the cf people. Guess I've kinda decided in its favour; on the grounds that it's an event that will certainly happen, and that promises to be really enriching, and the opportunity to work with the people I'm beginning to grow quite close to.

Christmas Party, Aloysius Birthday, Punting
Were the events immidiately following the end of term. Christmas party went really really well, unfortunately i was too busy with work to play a bigger part in it. Aloysius celebrated his 21st birthday that day too! his first overseas. As birthday present, we did his comsci maths example sheet questions til 3 am, reminising our maths society days at the same time. Slept over, went to church the day after, and punted with Simon and a few other malaysians.

K, think i've decently recorded the past week in the annals of my days. Coming up - a few days in cambridge, with parents, london for christmas, and back to cambridge to catch up with many many work.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dark Chocolate Count

Two packets of 200g Asda Dark Chocolate, and
a packet of 100 g Sainsbury Basics Dark Chocolate dissappeared from my fridge today...

Did I put on 500g of dark chocolate in one day?

Big Question

Just watching Beautiful Mind...

Have been thinking of some questions for a while...

What is reality? How can we trust what we believe is true? What is truth?
How can we determine truth?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

One more week to go!


Tomorrow, Monday:
Get Capo, lectures, lunch, lab report, hand in computational project, meet with Dr Franklin, cccf.

Lectures, work on Experimental Methods Example sheets, lab report, sort out the physics notes, Focus.

Supervision, Lectures, lunch, lab report, sort out physics notes, make dinner for yiannis.

Meeting with Dr John Durrel, Physics Supervision, Experimental Methods Supervision, lab report, New Hall formal!

Lab report due! Need to find out how to hand in the report, and arrange for something to do that night! Perhaps an informal cg meeting :P

"A Christmas Party" in the night, kinda free in the day... think I'd settle all the holiday arrangements then =)

Church, and prob engage in an extended chill out session with people... Prepare for holidays - do laundry and stuff.


An Informal Supervision Session.

Term's quickly coming to a close again... This has been another intense term, but unlike last year, I've been able to handle this term much better.

An Informal Supervision
I'm really glad to be under the mentor of my supervisor this year. Hope to learn lots from him... He's a really nice guy, but he leads a somewhat sad life, cos he's so nice that he's bullied by people, and allows the system to get the better of him...

Well, true to his very kind nature, he offered to meet me yesterday at the train station for an 'Informal Supervision' session where I could clearify the numerous things we didn't have time to go through in detail during supervisions, while he waited for his train to london.

I took up the offer, living relatively close to the train station. But as the time approached, i realised that I havent really prepared the stuff I wanted to ask, and there was actually simply too much to cover in such an informal session. Hence, I thought that the time might be better spent learning about his life. Afterall, it's not everyday that you get to meet a genuine theoretical physicist.

We met at a cafe in the station, and chatted. Two astonishing things occured in our conversation The first was shocking, and the second literally caused my jaw to drop.

The shocking bit occured when he answered that he was going to london to "meet his boyfriend". I was shocked for a while, and felt a little saddened, wondering what might cause a person turn to another of the same gender...

The second, jaw dropping incident happened as he explained some thermodynamics he'd been working on to me. He'd been pondering the laws of thermodynamics in a non-inertial frame, pointing out that the laws were rather empherical, and had not very compelling reasons for them to be so. And beginning from the plausibility that the zeroth law may not hold in a non-inertial frame, i.e. a gravational field, he should that the second law would also be wrong. My jaw droped as it's implications hit me - that we could extract energy directly from the heat in our surroundings, and that the future of the universe might not be so bleak afterall.

I still do not know how credible the theory is, but coming from someone whom i'm learning the subject from, I believe there should be at least some reason to give it some thought, and i might have some opportunity to do so the next term when we'll be doing thermodynamics :p

Saturday, November 25, 2006

*Inhale* Breathe, *Exhale* Breathe, *Deep Breath* Breathe

K, just completed the computational project. *Phew*

Now time to concentrate on the lab report, due in a week,

try to sort out the work for the term,

As well as all the other arrangements for the holidays!

Nice and easy does it...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The most Fundemental Question -

What Compels?

What compels the value of a Cambridge degree?
What compels the value of money?
What compels people to submit to authority?
What compels attention to the laws of nature?
What compels one to consider the existance of God?

This is so Ryan

Just received my gift exchange clue for the houseparty...

Quite a neat composition, i must say...

I shorten a string
but I am not a seamstress
I neither cut nor spin.

I can change a key
without a locksmith's clangour
to unseat the music.

A prince of gangsters,
with a discerning ear
my victims sing higher, sweeter,
the tighter I grip their throat.

What am I? ---------------

Knew that Ryan was looking for a karpoh (how is it spelt anyway), and comfronted him with this evidence... But he blatently denied that he was the one i was getting the gift for, just like he blatently denied that he was my shephard. Heh, try harder, Ryan! I aint so gullible this time :P

Alright, need the list of things to do for the holidays:
1) get the houseparty gift, as well as write the cheque,
2) book national express tickets to london,
3) book accomodation in cambridge, and
4) sort out the stuff i need to revise for the holidays.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Now Playing - My Redeemer Lives

Heh, Ryan taught me to play that song on monday, and i'm now addicted to it...

Hm... just felt a cloud of stress creeping upon me these few days - think it must be the sheer amount of things to do before the end of term... Ok, I'll pace myself, and *breathe* breathe, *breathe* breathe, *breathe* breathe...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Final lap!

If term were a 2.4 km run round a 400 m track, i'd now be on my final lap.

A few assignments to accomplish before that - the Lab report due next friday, on the 1st of December; and the maths computational project due on the 19th of December...

Also need to consolidate the stuff i've been learning this term... Maths feels ok generally, but many many things i need to learn in detail...

Physics has been a little difficult to catch up with. Still getting used to the stuff they did in the first year, and tuning myself to handling the physics problems - how things are related precisely... Guess I'd have the holidays to catch up on, and slowly digest the concepts...

Supervisions have been great though, it's great to be the protégé of a theoretical physicist. But i always have the feeling that i'm not making the most of it - not preparing enough before the supervision, and frequently not handing work in :S

Lab's also been fun, and a great exposure to many thing's i've been quite curious about, like building circuits, and sending + retrieving information electronically, as well as over an optical fibre, and interfacing data with a computer program. The exposure's been really good. But still learning how to properly take lab notes and write reports...

Quantum mechanics lectures are leisurely to attend, guess it's because of the absence of the stress to fully comprehend the topic. It's also really nice to hang out among the mathmos. Maybe I shall do my part 3 in maths or something, get to be with them again... Well, that's a decision for another time.

For now, need to make arrangements for the holidays -
1) pay up for houseparty,
2) book the tickets to london on 7 Dec,
3) arrange to go to london for christmas, prob meeting some friends,
4) sorting out the work that needs revision.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Geometric Algebra

A paper recommended by my supervisor today...

Imaginary Numbers are not Real - the Geometric Algebra of Spacetime


This paper contains a tutorial introduction to the ideas of geometric algebra, concentrating on its physical applications. We show how the definition of a `geometric product' of vectors in 2- and 3-dimensional space provides precise geometrical interpretations of the imaginary numbers often used in conventional methods. Reflections and rotations are analysed in terms of bilinear spinor transformations, and are then related to the theory of analytic functions and their natural extension in more than two dimensions (monogenics). Physics is greatly facilitated by the use of Hestenes' spacetime algebra, which automatically incorporates the geometric structure of spacetime. This is demonstrated by examples from electromagnetism. In the course of this purely classical exposition many surprising results are obtained - results which are usually thought to belong to the preserve of quantum theory. We conclude that geometric algebra is the most powerful and general language available for the development of mathematical physics.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Feelin' Shreky

I've been in a shreky mood lately, as apparent from my msn & facebook pics & quotes. Think I've kinda figured out why...

I feel like I'm living out a monotonous fairytale life, just like the characters in shrek.

The life of a fairytale character must seem normal to them, even though it appears to be magical to the people watching...

That's the situation I feel I'm in now...

A Formal, An Idea, and an Incredible Find!

A Formal
Just came back from a Magdalene formal hosted by Shawn...

Reasonable food - 9 on the Magdalene scale (according to shawn) which is equivallent to about 5 on the Hughes Hall scale. Not complaining for it's price;
Reasonably priced - 5.60 pounds;
Interesting Setting - 100% candle lit dinner, a hall with a secret door; and
Good Company - Shawn, and a person I've never met before, Zen.

An Idea
An idea took root, on my 20 minute stroll from Hughes Hall to Magdalene in a suit - I thought of creating a little applet which allowed people to tick off the college they've been to, and those whose formals they've attended, and display it in a nice format that can be placed in a blog or webpage. It was to be called the "Been There, Done That" list.

Shared that idea with Shawn, upon arrival at his place, and he suggested that May Balls be included on that list.

After several moments of thought, I was inspired with the words "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered".

May this idea blossom someday.

An Incredible Find
Over dinner conversation, learnt that a friend Zen got to know over the internet, was the daughter of a really cool maths professor who taught us last year! I doubt many mathmos know this - that Dr Korner has a daughter doing maths at Oxford! And I know a friend of hers! Heh, interesting connections exist in the academic circles here :P

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Listed Blog?

Kewl! I just found that my blog was listed among the "Interesting SG Blogs" on Singapore Entrepreneurs

How it got there, and who put it up, I have no clue, perhaps it's cos I'm linking to them, and someone traced the web referals to that site.

Hm... looks like total strangers have taken note of this blog... feeling rather uneasy about the implications... But hey, some guy at google's frequenting this blog, and another guy working on a phpeditor added me to his msn upon reading an entry on the blog and my website. so not so uncharted territory afterall...

Nottingham Games!

Just returned from Notts... Cold and windy it was... But a brilliant day for taking photos!

Ah, have yet to add captions to my photos. Realised that captions are as important as the pictures themselves, in telling the whole story... Will get down to captioning them one day, hopefully.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


A glorious autumn's day today was, when I ended lectures at 11. Had my camera on hand, and an hour to my supervision. Decided to go on a snapping spree as I traversed my usual route from Quantum Mechanics lecture on Mill Lane Lecture Theater to supervision in Sidney Sussex.

We seldom stop to think about what drives people to lay those huge stones upon one another into these magnificent monoliths, and make such intricate carvings on them. Thought that all these were very much the results of a civilisation which had advanced to a stage where enough people were liberated from the need to toil the land to survive, to pursue such grand endeavours - in engineering, art, and the sciences. And in turn, these pursuits have paid off with even more effective ways to provide for our consumption, and hence allowing an average citizen like me to spend more than 22 years in education.

As I stepped into Sidney, I thought it a worthwhile pursuit to seek the fabled head of Oliver Cromwell. It took me round the college into a garden. Took some pictures there, but found no clues. Asked my supervisor later where the head was, and he told us that at any time, only two people were allowed to know it's exact whereabouts to prevent someone from trying to dig it up. But there was a plaque in the chapel indicating that the head was somewhere in the vicinity.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cooking Hor Fun!

Have been cooking quite a bit lately... new dishes include chicken fried with the different coloured peppers, steam chicken, and chicken soup made with the bones.

Suddenly feel like eating hor fun after having it at jin ling's today... they sold it as hor fun, but it was more like fried kway tiao than hor fun... Recalled the way Te did it last time, and wanna try making it for myself now...

So, here it goes:
Cabbage, carrot, small corn, beef, fish, and the kuey tiao itself.
+ garlic

Boil kwey tiao, then fry it in dark sauce.
Fry the beef and fish seperately.
Fry the cabbage in garlic, along with the carrot, and corn. Add lots of water, and all the different sauces - soy sauce, fish oil, seseme oil, oyster sauce, and lots of starch.
Add the beef and fish in,
Pour the gravy onto the kwey tiao.

yup, so think i'll do that for dinner next sunday :P

Update Update Update

Havent updated for a week now, kinda feel like I'm living out the lyrics from All Star in shrek

Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow

Feel like I'm procrastinating many things til the holidays, including revision, blogging, playing ET, and helping some newly founded society with their webpage.

Have to sit down and properly record what's I've been up to the past few weeks. Many many many things, is all i can say now, fallin ill, guy fawke's night, hanging out, frisbee, cg, focus, physics society meetings, a bit of cooking, breakfast with aloysius and the caius people, labs with daryl, are some of the things that come to mind when i attempt to recall where my days went.

Oh yes, and ever since i succumbed to the flu bug a week ago, I've been converted from snacking on dark chocolate to snacking on apples, and drinking chrysanthemum. Also, sainsburry aint offering their muffins at 6 for 89p anymore, so will hafta look for an alternative to my diet of muffins.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Darn you openoffice.

Heh, i've given up hope on openoffice. I'm not sure if it's positively screwed, or it's just the interface that is counterintuitive. Just spent a hell load of time trying to get mailmerge to work, and I've since concluded that it doesn't work.

Did the same with the database querries module. To no avail.

Ah screw that. I'll just do the membership cards manually.

On a lighter note, was at darryl's room today before heading to the cms, and hung around with some mathmos. One of them, glancing through a newspaper, asked a question posed by an ad in the papers "what would you do with a hundred million pounds?". Quite an optimistic question to be pondering upon, a welcome break from all the unresolved questions that I'm currently bogged down with. My first response was to put 99 million of it in the bank, then think about how to spend the million pounds first.

Come to think of it, I'm quite contented with life as it is, and having a sudden increase in resources would not affect my career decisions or my lifestyle. It might alleviate the need to worry about having the means to survive in a certain profession, but it wont make me much happier.

Hoping that other things in life will go more smoothly. We're into the 4th week of term, and work is catching up - well into max gear since the second week. There's simply so much to cover in so little time. Hope the hols would allow me some time to digest the term's work.

Also just organising sunday morning breakfast for this sunday, and there seems to be quite an overwhelming response - about 9 people? Need to prepare for it tmr, and i hope my kitchen can house that many people.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Falling Ill

Just fighting to wake up in time for lectures this morning, with a sore pain behind the nose.

Think I've been too busy, and have been eating too much chocolate...

Need to slow down a bit, and quit those chocolate.

Take some vit c and drink more water.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eye-Witness Account

Bleugh (throwing out bleugh)

Just witnessed a sickening accident tonight, walking back with chun from focus.

Guy (probably drunk) on bike slammed into a car at full speed.

Bike flew over the car, over a roadside barrier, a good ten meters into the grass.

Guy staggered away with shattered right leg. Ewww... Literally jelly like :S

Very very very grave reminder to ride carefully.

That guy shattered more than his leg - can imagine that he'll be spending at least the rest of term in bed.

A really great reminder that it's a blessing to have your body in one piece, and there's really so much one could lose. entropy knows no bounds.

Count your blessings people...

To my Singaporean Friends who've survived the 2.5 years... well as all those who are destined to do so at some point in time.

Enjoy that!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Update on the week

I've been kinda busy, since i returned, to blog, and to properly reflect on the things I've done.

Just came back from church, with a heap of example sheets beside me, but nothing much else on my mind besides the thought of settling the archims membership cards, which I think I'd be able to do later today.

Quite an eventful week the past one was. In a nutshell:
Tuesday - Fresher's formal
Friday - Cell, and shooting stars!
Saturday - Oxbridge games at Oxford.

Cumsa Fresher's Formal
this year was a contrast with the one we had last year. The food at Pembroke was great, and the freshers this year are quite fun to be with, a few gamers, and a few with common background in army, as well as aloysius. So life's much more comfortable this year.

Could not help but recollect my own fresher experience at Cumsa events last year, while i was taking in this year's events. The contrast encapsulated in the following two pictures.

A year later/back...
Kenny, me, and the freshers

This time, we weren't chased out for someone among us behaving inappropriately by a racist waiter - our exit was much more civilised, ending similarly with a group picture!

Another before and after photo:


Had the regular cell on Friday. Cell started with 3 people, cos the freshers could not make it on time for a variety of reasons. But it was nice to end the week with dinner, and feeling a sense of familiary with the people around. Fridays and mondays are especially hectic for me cos of labs, I almost feel like a participant in the amazing race after lectures, having so many things to do, and with such little time -
lecture ends at 1 pm, return to college for lunch, and squeeze enough time to relax for 5 minutes over coffee. Then rushing off to the cavendish for lab, 4 hours of it! Lab ends at 6, rush to the CMS to print and photocopy song sheets, then to daryl's room to check that things are ok and deposit things, and back to my room to retrieve the guitar, and back to daryl's room in time for cell at 7 pm.
Mondays are similar, with cell being subsituted for CF.

Shooting stars!!!
We were informed by a fresher at cell, doing a masters, who came from princeton, that the orionids were occuring and that night was a particularly good time to watch it, cos there was no moon. A few of us made our way to jesus green to watch it, well, I spotted one, and celeen spotted another in a span of 10 minutes, waited another 10 but didn't see any more, so we went home. But each shreak was rather intense, and arced across a good 30 degrees of the sky, vis-a-vis the one i saw in australia while performing sentry duties, which appeared to cross only about an inch of the sky. It was similarly fleeting though, and one has to keep a constant lookout to spot them.

Oxbridge games
Went to oxford yesterday for the annual oxbridge games. Must applaud the effort and organisational ability of the committee for their detailed planning of the event - down to the last man, bus seat, and accomodation.

Got to hang out with aloysius for the first time in a long time! Toured round the town, and visited a history of science museum, and a few pics.

St John's College, Oxford
PS: Aloysius, Send me your pics!

The organizational effort taken by audry in putting this whole trip together brought to mind the logistical effectiveness of the saf while training in India - recall them supplying each soldier 8 bottles of mineral water a day, just because the water there wasnt fit for consumption. It was quite a pain on our side also, having everyday to carry that much water from the point they dropped the supplies off to our vehicles.

Yup, so that's the week. And just consolidating some of the thought's that have been floating around.