Gabriel's shared items

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.