Gabriel's shared items

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dawn of the Final Term

Tomorrow marks the start of a new term, and a busy week.

6 weeks of holiday, just vanished before my eyes!

Managed to accomplish a few things during this hols, though. Sorted out the problems that has been bothering me, so that the next few years here might be better than this year; and managed to thoroughly enjoy, and destress myself at Word Alive, and the Sweden trip.

Also managed to find people to work with the for 4 days during the past week. That served to relief me of much of the feeling of stress and isolation of working alone, and helped me to progress in my revision really significantly, as compared with revising on my own. I really wonder if the course of my first year in Cambridge would have been drastically different had I just known someone whom I could turn to whenever I faced a problem. Thinking of all that time I had spent being so unproductive, makes me feel like I had wasted a whole year here. But on the bright side, now I would have something substancial to write in job/internship application forms, whenever they ask for "a difficult situation you were faced with and how you overcomed it". Guess God has a purpose in everything.

Also beginning to find comfort in just bumping into people whom I'm starting to grow familiar with over here. Cambridge is indeed that nice little town where you can make an evening visit to the grocery store, and bump into one of your friends, then leisurely stroll back to home with him, to meet more friends living with him. All that just happened tonight when I bumped into Shagnik outside Sains, and followed him back to fitz, to meet all the mathmos there! Some of them were cooking, and some were just making their way to the toilet. It's really nice to meet so many familiar people, and feel welcomed by everyone in the vicinity. How I wished I could be in a college with such an atmosphere, where you could casually hang out with so many good friends who are doing the same course, and do insignificant things together, like cooking.

While in Shagnik's room, chatted with him about the courses we'll be doing in the new term. Expressed my apprehension about facing another Cambridge term, and this time, actually having a measure of your performance, but was reminded that we could actually take the courses we'll be doing this term easy, because it won't be included in the exams. Guess that's what I'll do this term - attend the maths courses leisurely, and see if I actually can enjoy them if I weren't under pressure to understand them. That would allow me to determine if it was really maths, or if it was the pressure of understanding the lecture.

Also discussed about doing a postgrad in the US. I've been considering the course of my academic path recently, as I pondered my change of course. I thought that I really wouldn't want to go through the first year of an overseas transition again, if there was an option. Cos the whole process of knowing people and being understood by people is just so difficult. But Shagnik didn't see that as a problem. Guess it might be because he hadn't faced such a degree of difficulty coming over here. So overseas transition might not neccessarily be that difficult, and I was just perhaps unfortunate to land on the extreme end of the difficulty spectrum. This experience would help me to know what to look out for when I have to decide on the place I would want to go to further pursue my studies.

Ah, just logging today's topic of conversation. And I'm feeling a certain sense of calm, on the night before full term begins.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


This post is dedicated to Yijin,

In memory of the letters 'Q', 'W', & 'A'
of his Precious Keyboard

Artists Impression of the Tragedy

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday Night Fever!

Went to watch Saturday Night Fever for 15.50 pounds!

I've heard of many of the songs before, and somehow had come across some of the dance actions, but never really seen it all happening together. Watching this musical helped me piece the two recollections together in a coherent manner.

Went with Lisheng & Co., and had zhi2 cha4 dinner at Jin Lings after. Paid 6 pounds for a bowl of rice shared among 4 people, and ordered 3 dishes. The meal eventualy amounted to 6 pounds per person, about the price of a normal individual dish at the restaurant. I'm spending a lot of money these days, eating at restaurants that cost $18! Guess I'll treat myself now, as it helps me to destress, and I'll stinge when the term begins again.

Then adjorned to Daniel's room for a session of bridge, and went to Lish's room after to play Little Fighters! Brings back memories of JC days!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

MIT Vector Calculus Notes

Course 18.022

Laplace Equations, Greens, Stokes, and Divergence Theorums

Modern Cambridge Entertainment.

This is what bored people in Cambridge do:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hung, Drawn and Quartered

To my sick friends, Check this out:

"hanging, drawing and quartering

A Traditional Form of English Entertainment.

YHA Hostel

Ok, I've made the booking at YHA for CK gugu, and Kendice and co.

I've managed to get a room for 3 for Kendice and co, at a marginally higher rate, amounting to around 2 pounds more per person per night, would cost about 25 pounds per person per night. There's a private toilet in the room also, so guess it's worth it.

Breakfast is provided at the restaurant, and they have very bright common areas.

Bedsheets are provided.

And there's laundry facilities, at a fee.

Internet facilities also at a fee, but you can always come to my room to use the internet.

Here are some pics:

The living area

TV Room

The Restaurant behind the TV,
where breakfast and dinner is served

Kitchen Facilities

I need to confirm the bookings by 25 April, so please get back to me soon.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Laplace Equation

Found some resources on the MIT website about Laplace equation.

Specifically looking for this

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Branch in the Shadow of the Cathedral
View more Ely Pics Here!

Woke up at 7 am this morning to visit Ely with LiSheng, Ben and Yao Yu.

Was a 15 min train ride from the train station at Cambridge, and it costed 2.10 pounds for a return ticket.

The main attraction there was a Cathedral. Never really appreciated Cathedrals before, but when I first saw this Cathedral, I begun to understand how magestic Cathedrals can be. Well, that's about all there is to be said about the Cathedral, nothing much really stricking about it, besides a few weird sculptures in the building.


Saw a lot of animals here, including the horse in the picture above. Ben and Yao Yu were busy praticing their photographic skills, while me and Lisheng chatted bout things like Gnostic writing, and about my time here in Cambridge.

Raven Nests

Related an amusing incident I witnessed in Cambridge when we saw lots of raven nests in the bo-tak trees on the way to the Cathedral:

Had seen, on my way to Beehive center, twigs falling from a satalite dish. I looked up to see a pair of spotted doves trying to build a nest on the dish. There was one dove, presumably the female, perched on the bracket securing the dish to the wall. And the male dove fetching sticks to the female, and attempting to put them in place to build the nest. But they were amusingly not able to balance them on the brackets! And the entire floor below the dish was littered with twigs from the failed endeavour. Stood there for a while to observe this embarassing incident. And before I left, I glanced up to see a sad dove staring back at me.

Returned at 1 pm, and joined the Cumsa people for frisbee, then went to Sains to get supplies, and found some microwave food going at very good prices, as they were clearing stock for the easter weekend. Got a few microwave food for 30 - 40 p!

Then joined Choon Howe for dinner. Cooked the usual onion omellette, and spinach. Turned out quite nice. I think I'm getting quite proficient at making these dishes... Beginning to use quite a variety of sauces in my cooking: Fish Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Soya Sauce, Seseme Oil, and Corn Floor.

Ok, will jot down the recipies one day when I'm inspired to...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Based in San Francisco, Snapfish is a division of Hewlett-Packard, the world's foremost digital imaging company and one of the most trusted brands on the planet.

Just introduced to this photo printing service by Agnes. It's incredibly cheap! They are charging 10p per photo, and it costs only 1 pound to ship. Furthermore, they have some elabourate promotion scheme such that you get free photos when you invite people to sign up. So if things work out, I could possibly get 50 photos for 1 pound!

Just saving this link, and if anyone's feeling kind and want to help me get points for the free photos, let me know!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"The Lord's My Sheperd" Lyrics

Ben taught me to play this song at word alive, not easy to find the lyrics on google because there are so many songs with the same words. Now that I've found it, i'm placing it here for future reference...

The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want
He makes me lie in pastures green
He leads me by the still, still waters
His goodness restores my soul

And i will trust in him alone
And i will trust in him alone
For you endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

He guides my ways in rightousness
And he annoints my head with oil
And my cup, it overflows with joy
I feast on his pure delights

And i will trust in him alone
And i will trust in him alone
For you endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

And though i walk the darkest path
I will not fear the evil one
For you are with me and your rod and staff
are the comfort i need to know

And i will trust in him alone
And i will trust in him alone
For you endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

Monday, April 10, 2006


Nope, not Nuclear Winter, but PostNuke!

PostNuke is a free, open source content management system (a 'nuke') forked from PHP-Nuke, released under the GNU General Public License.

The one which the CCCF website uses, and which I am now meddling with.

Trying to develop modules to extend the functionality of the website. Looks like it's gonna be lots of fun!

Sigh, I'm too distracted :S

Upgraded RAM

Yay! just upgraded my laptop ram for 36.98 pounds.

29.99 for the RAM itself, and
6.99 to for the service of fitting the ram in.

Now my com has 512 MB of RAM, and it's visibly much faster!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Word Alive!

Our Chalet in the Bubble

Just came back from Word Alive '06 - One God.

Was a wonderful retreat! Attending seminars, living in a community, and having home cooked meals everyday! Experimented with and learnt many recipies, picked up a few guitar techniques from Jo'el, and got to know the guys at CF much better, especially those in my chalet.

Ok, will try to consolidate the songs I've learnt, and the recipies I know soon.

For now gotta try to get back to work. But first, shall upgrade my ram...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dinner with Te and Choon Howe

Just came back from a small cookout with Te and Choon Howe. Was a very pleasent dinner. Held it in a kitchen at the Fenners Building overlooking the Cricket grounds. The kitchen was spacious, and Te's a great cook! And it was a nice time of chatting without the thought of work looming at the back of the mind.

Had initially dreaded the hols for fear that there might be few people to hang out with, but realised that it grants me more time to hang out with people I don't normally get time to interact with during the term, because of all the time pressures. Think I'm beginning to find friends whom I can casually hang out with and confide in over here in Hughes Hall. (Though they aren't mathmos so I cant seek comfort in them when it comes to work.)

The three of us represent three geographically connected countries in South East Asia. Te's Thai, and will be working for the Thai government after he's done his Engineering PhD. Choon Howe's from Malaysia, and will be working as a lawyer in a Malaysian firm when he completes his Masters at the end of the year. And I'm from Singapore!

It's very enlightening listening to them discuss South East Asia politics. How Taksin is in great trouble, and how businesses and law works. The history of Siam, and all the disputes within South East Asia I wasn't aware of.

And Te's a great cook! It's good to watch the way he cooks different dishes, to give me an alternative to the Singaporean style that I'm getting bored of, and which may not be the most effective way of making certain dishes.

Watched Te making onion omellete and veg today. And it tasted very nice!

What he did with the onion omelet was to mix the sliced onion in the egg, add some soya sauce and fish sauce, and a dash of sugar, then heat up the oil for a while, and pour the whole cocktail of omelet into the hot oil.

As for the veg, he got Hearts of Romaine, and washed the veg as he tore the leaves up, then chopped it up perpendicular to the spine of the veg into about 4 parts. And he fried the garlic with lots of oil, and threw the vegetable into the garlic, and stired the garlic and oil up into the veg. Added soya sauce, and fish sauce, and a little bit of sugar also.

Besides that, I made curry chicken from the Singapore Curry, and agar agar for desserts. And we had green tea to top it all off! Observe the cups and the strainer in the picture.

Its great to finally find people to hang out with. And hopefully next year, when I do physics and can handle the course better, I won't feel so much need to mix with people doing the same course.

Phew! Finally Uploaded the Sweden Pictures

After one entire night, staying up til 2 am in the morning, I finally got all 187 pictures onto my Negamaki Gallery. You can access it here...