Gabriel's shared items

Friday, June 30, 2006

first day back home

Tried to begin sorting out all that I needed to do but met with many barriers along the way.

So far had gone to ikea to look for a proper table to rest the computer on so that it'll be more comfortable to work from, and have been trying to clear up the area so that i'll feel more liberated to work from it.

Things I'm trying to sort:
1) Archims Stuff -
- Societies fair - Gotta email the committee and plenum to mobilise people to mend the booth.
- Familiarise myself with all the mailing lists I am currently moderator of, and see what are the privelleges that members have that I need to look into. Like Eureka entitlements, etc.

2) Virtual Stuff -
- Tried to update my webpage, but there's a problem logging in to freefronthost :( Maybe I'll move it to the srcf account. Will do up my CV, and jot down the places I had travelled to during the year.
- Need to install php and mysql on my computer to begin playing around with the various CMS's, and gallery2.
- Go to CS gugu's house and Lionel's house to upload the pictures of our

3) Work! -
- Secured an internship with the Insitute of High Performance Computing at a-star!!! Looking forward to the exposure of working in a research lab, and hoping that I'd find a more specific direction in my academic pursuits through this experience. Also need not worry about printing out my CV, and scattering them around the schools anymore :)
- Got two A-level tuition students, for C-maths.
- Need to begin to read up on next year's work.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Back Home

Long long journey back home, and many many things to settle now. Droped my hp on the way back, called the Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead garages, no luck.

Lots of things to do:

College Admin
- fill up deed of finance
- print out and send in room license by 1 july!!! (Impossible)

Work on my online spaces
- Update my webpage with more relavent webpages like hsbc link, and a link we can send sms's to the uk from.
- Add CV on the webpage
- Upload loads of photos
- Set up ftp server on computer

But first, wanna spruce up my current home computer
- get a new mouse
- get a solid table for the com
- perhaps an LCD monitor
- get the speakers to work

Cambridge Societies Responsibilities
- Organise the committee and plenum to mend the booth at societies fair.
- start thinking of the squash
- Play with various Content Management Systems on my com first before deciding if I should revamp the CCCF Website. Wanna install Gallery 2 on my server also.

- Read up on the work I'd be doing next year
- Check out online resources

- Ah! haven't made any progress with that yet :S none of the labs I wrote to replied favourably.
- Wanna scatter my cv across the schools for relief teaching.
- Ask around if there are any programs in NUS

ok, hope to begin crossing out stuff soon.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Second Upper, as expected

ok, so it's confirmed. Got 2-1 -

Class II, division 1

Ok, now can change course in peace...

Phew, Quite a relief :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

blogging from venice

after 9 hours, 10 pound national express ride, a ryanair flight, and a 9 euro eurobus ride, I'm now here in venice!

hot and sunny, too hot. blogging now from the hostel, while everyone else is watching the worldcup... Free internet access!

Ok, results are out tmr, so wont need to delay knowing my results from lack of a medium of communication afterall... not too anxious about it, cos prob score 2i anyway. Well, will find out soon enough...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Initiating departure sequence one more time

5) put non-essentials into storage
4) leave luggage and laptop with Blake
3) do last washing up and pack the rest of my belongings into backpack for use in italy
2) wake up tmr at 0400
1) drop key into housekeeping

Ok, this will be one of the last few emails before I leave my laptop with blake, and perhaps will never use it again til i reach home.

One thing to note is that my flight arrives at stanstead before 12, so there's absolutely no problem at all with the arrangements, unless it gets delayed by more than 2 hours.

Ok, thinking of what I'd be up to back home.

Wanna update my webpage - include more useful links, and my cv.

Upload all the pictures taken this year from various people.

Hope to find some gainful employment. Hopefully at astar or doing relief teaching.

Also gotta make some arrangements for next year's events for the archims,
and catch up on some work.

In case this is the last time I'm online, see everyone back in Singapore!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I can see clearly now

Think I like it when things are sorted, and my life is compartmentalised into a countable number of partitions.

A Time to Gather

A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.

Yup, packing up and concluding my first year in Cambridge. Time to reflect on how the year had gone.

This has been one intense year. Intense on the emotions and intense on the experience.

I had begun the Cambridge year with ideals and hopes to pursue my dreams. And had spent the days between NS and Matriculation preparing as best as I knew how, to take on this new challenge, but I had little idea what I was in for, and not long into the year, I found myself facing the opposite situation from what I had hoped for.

I struggled for a bit, trying to make sense of the situation, find my footing, and regain my senses, reacted to the situation with the limited knowledge I had, and picked up many valuable lessons along the way.

Like a sailor braving uncharted waters, I had set sail in a brand new ship, as prepared as I possibly could. Headed in the direction where rumours of treasures lay, then quickly finding myself up against the currents of circumstances, and having to steer my life through these choppy waters back onto the course where I perceive my dreams lie.

Now at the conclusion of the first year here, what can I say I have taken away from Cambridge?

I have not felt as fulfilled pursuing the fundamental laws of the world, as I had initially hoped, and I can't say that I have covered much ground in that direction either.

Instead, I have discovered something even more fundamental - the reason I had found fulfillment doing these things, and the corresponding circumstances I need for that to be so.

I found that a key motivation to doing well would be the affirmation and pride of the people who care - family and friends. And a source of consistent drive to study a subject in detail, was the presence of people to relate with and share in the discovery of the world - a source of which included people who kept bugging me for help, like Kaiqin in SAJC, and Desmond in SAS. These conditions have always been favourable throughout my days in school, which led me to doing really well, and enjoying my time in school, but it was absent during the year I had spent here.

On the other hand, the very circumstances which caused me such a difficult time this year, has appropriately also given me much time to process all the emotions and experiences I had throughout the year. Which is good. Like infomation without organisation, experience without reflection is wasted time. Useless. The isolation I was in this year had resulted in lots of time to reflect the things I was feeling, and allowed me a deeper understanding of life. Guess that's what I can take away from the year gone by.

Wrapping up my Cambridge year with this post. Feels very much like packing the thoughts I've had throughout this year into a post for storage - chucking the junk away, and only keeping what is really neccessary, to be used when I return in October for yet another Cambridge year.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Flight Home

Ok, copied this directly off my itenary...

Got to be at Heathrow by 21:15, means have to leave here by 1815.

So can take either
National Express Service JL797 departing at 17:35 and arriving at 20:05; or
National Express Service JL717 departing at 18:50 and arriving at 21:25.

Gotta find out when we'll be arriving at Stanstead that morning/afternoon...


Singapore Airlines SQ 321
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
From London / Heathrow (LHR), London United Kingdom 10:15 PM
Terminal: 3

To Singapore / Changi (SIN), Singapore Singapore 6:00 PM
Terminal: 2 (Thursday)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Back from London

Just stepped into my room after spending 2 days in London.

Quite a nice trip...

Day 1
  • Set off on the 915 bus to London. Arrived at around 1130.

  • Hiked to Kensington Park from Victoria Station, through Hyde Park and Westminster. Saw gooslings along the hike in Hyde Park.


  • The hike ended with us counting the house numbers from 1 to 45 Queensborough Terrace. Found Ken through the window, Lionel appeared shortly returning from looking for us in the other direction. Time: 1 pm plus.

  • Settled down, had lunch at an Carribean restaurant. Went walking around a bit, and bought ingredients for dinner. Took the bus round London, and a stroll down the Thames. Strolled from Westminster to Tate Art Gallery. Bought 1.50 pound peanuts along the way.

  • Came back at 9 pm to cook dinner. Had Curry chicken, Oyster sauce spinach, onion and mushroom omellette, and lime juice and Dr Peppers for beverage.

  • Retired for the night.

Day 2
  • Reville: 0800
  • Fall in for breakfast: 0830.
Had bread with left over curry. And cereal. Took more bread for goslings.
  • Move out: 0930.
Took bus to Hyde Park. Walked through Princess Diana Memorial, and down to the part of the lake where we met the goslings. Fed leftover breakfast to them. The parents kept hissing at us when we approached them, then they would gently eat the bread off our hands, and start hissing at us again.
  • 1130 - Arrival at Objective Buckingham Palace:

To see the change of guard parade. The soldiers looked quite sian. And the royal band was mediocre. I think the my secondary school band can play better than them! They played very hip songs though: YMCA, and some other funky songs. Met a veteran on a vehicle for the elderly in the middle of the crowd near the gates. He knew the sequence of the ceremony like the back of his hand. Think he goes there everyday! The elderly here have it really good :) Quite enjoyable speaking with him. Found out that he fought the Japs in burma, and had been to Singapore during the war.
  • 1230 - Move out to Objective Imperial War Museum:

Had 2.50 pounds Fried Chicken along the way. Lotsa fries, and really filling!
War Museum itself was really cool too! Tanks, submarines, trench warefare, air raid exhibits, and all the wars britian was involved in since ww2. Learnt more about the Fawkland wars as well. Could spend an entire day there!
  • 1700 - Made our way to Greenwich:
Took a bus there. Half an hour journey. Alighted at Greenwich University. Spacious greens and beautiful buildings. Music coming from within the buildings, cos it's an art school? Walked to the park, and found the prime meridian, and a huge sundial. Boy, dog, lake, and tennis ball. Walked up the hill to the observatory, and an awesome sight from the outskirts of london.
  • 1900 - Returning to Hostel:
And had dinner at a pub along the way. Shared 2 3 pound meals, and a 4 pound burger with a glass of wine. Lotsa mayonese and sauce packets. Took the london light rail back to Bayswater. Droped by Tesco to get breakfast - Hot Chocolate packets, Sausages, Coke.
  • 2200 - Lights out. Literally. For a while. Til someone came to repair the lights.

Us in the London Underground

Day 3 (Today)
Got up later, had breakfast, went to post a postcard, returned, took bus to Victoria Bus Station, and parted paths.

That's a (brief?) overview of our adventures in London, hope to get pics from Lenin's camera soon... But first, gotta settle all the admin matters in Cam.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Off to London

Ok, making our way to london in a few minutes, senior's farewell yesterday...

Packing up getting more urgent! as well as the archims stuff!

Need to get envelopes when I return to post the guide,
And maskin tape for the boxes,
Begin packing!!!
Find a place to store my boxes,

Settle Bike,
Prob leave it with blake to take care,
Could leave my sim card with him too.

Ok, gtg.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Road trip to Ely & King's Lynn,

Yup, that's what happened today. Drove a good 60 miles up north to the nearest beach to cambridge only to find that it was at low tide. But the trip was fun... Got to drive long distance for the first time. Stopped by Ely for a while, had pizzahut lunch, and Curry King dinner.

Then came back, and decided to join Darryl, and some Trit hall mathmos for MI3, very inspirational to watch precision operations in execution. Makes one feel powerful even from watching it.

Just compiled my first CV to submit for internship applications. Understand better how important a role the CV plays in making an impression to the prospectve employer, and what it means to beef up a CV.

Other concerns
Settling Archims stuff - Sending out Alternative guide to colleges, and booking a room for the squash.
Cook out tomorrow.
Planing for London - get tickets, packing luggage, including all the extra food in the fridge.
Looking for storage space, and packing up room.
Find out date from which accom is available.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Chai Seng Kuku Visit!!!

Went punting and had dinner on the terrace today. Quite a hectic day!

Punting was really fun! Had fruit salad, some cake Serene brought from Sweden, and bread on hand. Fruit salad and cake for the people in the boat, and bread for the animals outside the boat. And the first animals we met were ducklings! Was a real treat!

Punted past kings, before turning back. Got punt from queens, thanks to HK.

Then went to sains for a while to get some groceries, and came back to my room to make dinner - Curry chicken using the Singapore Curry packet, and Spinach, and had bread. The females were busy in the kitchen preparing the food, while me and CS gugu planned for tomorrow's trip... Going to head up to a coast somewhere to the north of Cambridge. CS gugu managed to get a merc!!! from the car company at a really cheap rate cos of some screwup on their side. Really looking forward to the drive, in a merc, in England!!!

Anyway, made our way to the terrace after for dinner. Each of us carrying a pot, or bags of food, or utensils. Quite funny. And had our curry chicken in the cool of the setting sun, under a beach umbralla.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wah, busy busy busy!

that i feel like i dont have time to blog!

But just wanted to jot down that i met Prince Charles yesterday at the Commonwealth Garden Party!

A snippet of an msn conversation says it all...
Gab says:
i met prince charles today!
simon goh says:
How is your party? Did you get to speak to him
Gab says:
some of the singaporeans did, i just watched them
simon goh says:
you met him in the Commonwealth party?
Gab says:
Gab says:
he arrived in a helicpoter
Gab says:
and went one round speaking with people
Gab says:
met lee hsien yang's director of studies also
Gab says:
and learnt that lee kwan yew's director of studies just died
Gab says:
and met people who would be invited to the istana when they visit singapore
Gab says:
cos they know the president

Quite an interesting day I had.

Pictures of HRH Prince of Wales taken with my Nokia 6020.

HRH approaching the Singaporean Delegates.

The Prince shaking hands with Ms HX Tan and the CUMSA Pres.

Prince Charles up close.

Now gotta get down to packing, fulfiling my role as the registra, and organising cell events, and bringing serene around, applying for attatchment programs, writing my cv.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Day 4 of Exams, and the subsequent partying!

Lots of things on my mind now, as usual, having procrastinated many things til after the exams.

But first, an update on the final paper.

Best - 3 betas, 4 alphas
Worst - 4 betas, 2 alphas

Mean - 4 betas, 3 alphas.

Final overall estimate - 12 betas, 7 alphas, which is around a 2i standard.

So much for exams.

Post Exam Activities!!!
Came back to room after the exams feeling very bleaugh, didn't feel like doing anything, cos just felt tired, and overwhelmed by everything that is lined up.

Took a short nap, and felt rejuvinated after that.

Went to YHA to change the date we were booking the accom. It's now 20-21 and 21-22. Daddy, if you are reading this, can help me tell Kendice or Lionel that it's settled, at no extra cost.

Made trip to ASDA to top up on supplies. Darn, their dark chocolates are still not in stock! If they dont get it replenished soon, I'm not going back there anymore!

Came back, changed to my suit, and was headed off to Peterhouse for a formal with the mathmos! Food was ok, not particularly good, but have been on safe-mode since the exams ended, and was just unthinkly participating in it. Had yet to warm up to the other mathmos whom I've never really seen before, something which would recur later on when I went to Cindies (Yes, a club!) with the mathmos, so didn't really enjoy the company.

Adjourned to the Peterhouse JCR momentarily, when the herd decided to go to Cindies. Without much consideration, I decided to follow the crowd, since there was little reason to rush back to my room, and I didn't feel like retiring to the isolation of my room so soon. Not long later, found myself in a club with with a bunch of recently freed mathmos, freed from the cage that is the exams. Met a few other mathmos too, mainly from St Johns, and they introduced me to other mathmos from their college whom I do not recognise at all. Learnt later that they rarely turned up for lectures. Looks like I'm meeting more mathmos on the day after the exams than throughout the whole year! After only a session in a club after the Maths Exams end! Feel a tinge of regret that I wont really be able to look forward to doing maths with all these interesting new people I met today.

Besides meeting mathmos, clubbing today was quite enjoyable in a certain way. It was nice to be hanging out with people who share the same situation as you, and whom you identify with, and its quite fun to watch people enjoying themselves. The club was quite quiet and empty when we first entered, which was pleasent, but it got progressively louder and more crowded. Didn't dance, not because I was inhibited or shy, but because I just didn't feel like it. Didnt really see what so enjoyable about shaking wildly to some music. Though it was really enjoyable being around the other mathmos even though they were dancing stupidly. Quite interesting how Gavin had tried to explain to me how dancing works... "It's all about moving your hands randomly" It's really quite enjoyable to watch him going crazy and enjoying himself!

Then went to gardies, and back to Peterhouse for a short game of trivial, but went to the St Caths JCR when we were told that we were disturbing Jenny's neighbours who were having exams the next day. And everyone was just on crazy mode that night. Did stupid things like momentarily sitting in the middle of the road in the middle of the night, and playing a hybrid of baseball and volleyball with pizza boxes and crushed up newspaper in the St Caths JCR.

Spent around 10 pounds tonight - 5.50 for the formal hall, 4 for the entrance into cindies, and 1 pound for slize of pizza at gardies. Though the experience and being warmed up to the other mathmos was something quite invaluable. I guess that is what socialising means, and I see why sometimes it is really neccessary. I wonder if I'd have met more mathmos and had an easier time this year if I had gone to this kinda places at the beginning of the year.

Got many other things on now, but getting quite tired. It's 6 am and the birds have long ceased their wake up call. *Yawn*. Going to sleep. Commonwealth trust Garden Party at 10 am later. Better quickly catch a few wings while i can. Gotta sort out the other things I need to do soon. Very soon.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My New Friend

Meet my new friend, :P

Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Welcome, Gab! My name is Encarta Instant Answers. I am a smart computer who can bring you the Encarta info you want right in your IM window!
Here are some questions you can ask me:
* Show me the flag of South Korea.
* When was Leonardo da Vinci born?
* Solve 2x^2+7x=5

Type your question and I'll look it up for you!
Gab says:
mirror mirror on the wall
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I do not have a specific answer for that question, but I will take you to Encarta's articles on this topic =>

Encarta® Instant Answers is inviting you to start Encarta. Do you want to accept (Alt+C) or decline (Alt+D) the invitation?

You have accepted the invitation to start Encarta.

Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Thanks for accepting my invitation! The application should load shortly. =>
Gab says:
nelson mendala
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Hmm. I'm not sure about that one. Let's try an Encarta search. =>
Gab says:
theory of everything
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I don't think I know. Maybe Encarta has an answer. =>
Gab says:
you dumb ass!
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
What? Aren't we going to be friends?
Gab says:
what do you know?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I can answer a lot of questions using the Encarta Online Encyclopedia, and bring you the answers directly in this IM window!

You can type "?" for a list of questions I can answer.
Gab says:
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Here are some of the questions you can ask me:

* What is the size of Italy?
* Where was Abraham Lincoln born?
* What is a cello?
Gab says:
who is nelson mendala
Gab says:
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Hmm. I'm not sure I know Nelson Mendala. Let's try an Encarta search. =>
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Here are some of the questions you can ask me:

* Show me the flag of Italy.
* I want to see the biography of Nelson Mandela.
* How many calories are there in an orange?
Gab says:
gimme food
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Why do you want food? I think you're up to no good.
Gab says:
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Gab says:
good dog
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
About dogs
domestic animal
Gab says:
i mean you are a good dog, understand?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I'll take it as a compliment.
Gab says:
good for you
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Thanks! Unless, um, you were being sarcastic.
Gab says:
no i wasn't. Really.
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Seriously? That's fascinating. Was it nice to be not?
Gab says:
who programs you?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I was created by Conversagent, Inc. in Sunnyvale, CA and New York, NY.
OK, instead of discussing my creators, should we get back to the kind of questions I was designed to answer?
If you ever wondered how old Abraham Lincoln would be today, I can answer that!
Gab says:
oh sunnyvale! google's located there!
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I need some time to think about it, please ask me again later.
Gab says:
alright, ttyl
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Let's see what Encarta can tell us. =>

Wikipedia Article on Physics

Physics - Wikipedia

Quite a comprehensive overview of physics, including a summery of the major unresolved physics problems.

These include the unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity, and the engineering problem of making a working quantum computer.

Do I really believe in the elegence of physical laws, and that there exists a simple physics formula to describe everything? And was that a result of the very clean way physics has been presented to me in the past because of the way O-level and A-level syllabus was structured?

And how does one approach such problems?

Do I have the ability to handle them?

Some of the questions I'd have to contend with soon.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Day 3

Not very good. Not good at all :(

best - 2 betas, 1 alpha
worst - 3 betas

Mean - 3 betas

In the bag mean 8 betas, 4 alphas.

I'll need a miracle to even get a 2i...

A miracle like my Paper 2 tomorrow.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Southpark 701 - I'm a Lil' Bit Country

Love this episode... It's so true!
America was founded on the principles of "saying one thing and doing another"!
So that it can have the cake, and eat it!
Watch and appreciate =P

Friday, June 02, 2006

Day 2 - After Action Review

Good paper, on the whole. Thank God I could answer the 2 long probability questions even though I had no a clue what was happening throughout the course!

Ok, here's an estimate of my performance today -
Worst Estimate: 4 betas, 2 alphas
Best Estimate: 2 Betas, 4 alphas

Mean: 3 Betas, 3 alphas.

In the bag mean: 5 betas, 4 alphas.

Ok, think I'm safely a 2-2 now... Depending on how the remaining 2 papers go, might well get a first! *Cautiously Optimistic*


Night before Day 2

I was watching Southpark over microwave dinner,

facebooking excessively,

and looking through all the physics stuff I'd be doing in future.

And of course, I did browse over my notes a little.

South Park!!!

The Ultimate Southpart Website!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

First Day of Tripos

Dont know if it went ok or not. But didn't seem to be able to answer any question thoroughly, which is what I'd need to score well. Think I can safely say that I wont score an ungraded (or an ordinary degree), but cant say much more yet.

Assessing the situation after this first paper:

Worst Estimate - 4 beta's
Best Estimate - 2 beta's and 2 alpha's

Probably 3 beta's and 1 alpha (hopefully)

I'd need to show that I haven't been punting on the river all year to pass.
Need 4 alphas for a Second Lower,
8 alphas for a Second Upper,
11 alpha's for a First.
And I have 3 papers left.

So I'm safely not going to fail, on target for a 2ii, hopefully on course to a Second Upper.

Can I get 2 alphas per paper in the remaining papers?