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Monday, April 25, 2005
Dripping Tap Saves Utility Bills?

I know some people who think that if you turn on your tap by a small amount so that the water comes out drop by drop, the meter measuring your water usage will not run. That seemed pretty reasonable to me when I was younger because I figured that the meter must be using the force of moving water to turn some kind of wheel or gear in order to work, therefore if the water moves very slowly, then the meter would not notice any water moving.

However, it happens that there are devices that can measure water flow by the drop and these need not necessarily be complicated or expensive. For example, let me describe one that I designed mentally. Consider a container with a pipe at the top leading from the meter and a pipe at the bottom leading to the tap. We place a sensor (electronic or simply a floating object like the one in the tank of your toilet bowl) in the container so that everytime the water level falls below a critical level, water is automatically released into the container until it is full. Clearly, the dripping water method will not work because the meter will measure water flow tank-by-tank rather than drop-by-drop.

Of course, I believe Singapore does not use this design because I can see the meter run everytime I turn on the tap. Whether or not PUB can measure water usage by the drop is unknown to me. But it would be naive to think that if such a simplistic method can save utility bills by a significant amount, PUB would do nothing about it.

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Yiheng made
2:20 PM


Tell me, pls, that one such person who thinks that way are my parents... worse, OUR parents..w
By Blogger Trinetra, at 7:28 PM  

dun think my parents think tat way... no matter how hard i try to avoid bathing more than once a day to save water... they always nag until i bath the second time on some days *roll eyes*
By Blogger fEatHeRs, at 10:07 PM  

my parents do let the water drip when they are filling the pail when cleaning the house. i think they just dun wanna let it fill up too fast.
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 11:49 AM  

my parents let it drip, but cos it takes hella long time to fill up the pail, everyone simply forgets abt it, and no one can hear it overflowing... call that conserving water...(-_-lll)
By Blogger Trinetra, at 12:20 PM  

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Saturday, April 23, 2005
Exciting New Plans

I've got two great plans right now that will hopefully improve my NS life. The first is getting a Weiqi set so I can learn and play Weiqi in camp. The other plan is a little more fun. I am considering bringing my electronic keyboard into camp so I can play it in the evenings. My friend Shuquan claims to have some nice music scores and we are gonna try playing some duets if we do get the keyboard in camp. Hopefully his voltage transformer works because my keyboard adapter is designed for Canada's power supply of 110V and not Singapore's 240V.

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Yiheng made
11:45 AM


the Singapore Weiqi Association conducts lessons for weiqi of all lvls (i never go b4 tho). they also sell weiqi set i remember.

last time i play in camp was, my frenz got the "seeds" from China, and i drew the chest board. Another set that we got was those cheap plastic seeds with a cloth for the board... (not enuf seeds to even complete the game using Chinese calculations)

By Blogger Trinetra, at 3:22 AM  

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
On PSC's management of scholars

A while ago, two bondbreakers came forward and told their side of the story. There was an ex-PSC guy and an ex-A*star guy. Basically, they made the respective organizations look like insensitive assholes. Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to read A*star's response in the Newpaper and not PSC's. I also noticed that quite a lot of people were quite pissed off with scholarship organizations from the opinions on the internet.

Frankly speaking, after reading two sides of the A*star story, I think the ex-scholar sounded a little selfish and irresponsible. As for the ex-PSC guy, well, I don't know what PSC said but being a PSC scholar myself, I think I would be quite ungrateful if I didn't say anything in their defence considering how they have treated me for the past 4 years. Sure, things weren't always a breeze but when I compare my experiences with PSC against that of scholars from other organizations, PSC is one of the best place to be a scholar. By the way, PSC isn't paying me to say that.

I never had to worry about allowances not being sent on time, complicated procedures for claiming expenses or major life-altering policy changes. They even arranged for us to talk to senior scholars to prepare us for life overseas and have the seniors pick us up at the airport. There have been a few bumps here and there such as a minor allowance decrease but nothing I can't handle quite easily. I think half the complaints against the organization are really against the scholarship officers who are inefficient and do not reply to emails and things like that. I guess it's a matter of luck who your scholarship officer is. I have had both good and bad officers so I know there is a big difference. During the days when my scholarship officer was Joanne (the best scholarship officer ever), I was living in scholar's paradise. I get replies for my emails in less than 24 hours. Need to book out of camp to do visa? No problem. Need a summer work attachment? Done.

The PSC guy must've been really unlucky or something. I guess PSC just can't please everyone. It's the same situation in my army camp now. Everyone in my platoon hates the signal warrant officer Staff Sergeant Serene but I personally have no problems with her. In fact, I think she's just like your friendly neighbourhood aunty. Her lack of popularity stems from the fact that she plans the guard duty roster and she isn't very generous with giving offs (like leave, except off is awarded by one's superior). The problem here is what she considers a privilege, many consider an entitlement. I am an old-school soldier so I am ok with a system that says offs must be earned. Others are bitter because they think they deserve an off if it's mid-autumn festival or something. It's probably the same thing with PSC. PSC might think accepting a scholarship implies a moral obligation and responsibility and so on but some scholars just see it as a business contract. Or perhaps they think that PSC has a greater responsibility to the scholar than PSC has assumed.

Who is right? I think neither and I don't think it really matters. What matters is if you don't want your life to be difficult, you better start seeing things from the other perspective, whether you are the scholar or the scholarship organization.

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Yiheng made
4:33 AM


Privilege and Entitlment...not that again...(T_T)

anyway, it's suprising that ppl expect offs for mid-autumm... We didnt even get a day's off for the few months we helped out with NDP. After all that sh*twork=more sh*twork.

Anyway, human nature.

By Blogger Trinetra, at 12:57 AM  

ya.. no offs for NDP cos schedule was very packed... and they kinda forgotten it? (maybe was given to us but not a lot. the most 1,2 days i remember)
By Blogger Trinetra, at 3:23 AM  

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Serving NS is really inconvenient. I kinda missed my days in Toronto when I can just go watch any concerts or performances whenever I want. Last year, I missed the Tchaikovsky Festival due to an army exercise in Thailand. And now I will miss Lea Salonga's performance at the Esplanade because of another army thing. I'm hoping to catch Swan Lake by the Royal Ballet from UK but wait...that's in June, which means there's a very very high chance I'll be in Thailand again for another army exercise. So you people out there better be real grateful I'm missing all these great shows so that you won't get hit by a bomb falling from the sky when strolling along Orchard Road!

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Yiheng made
3:34 AM


erm... the most is we get arty shells landing on Esplanade due to poor comm....(hope you dont do it on purpose, unintentional is ok)

I wanted to watch Lea Salonga too... Forgot abt the whole thing in the end... (-_-lll)

By Blogger Trinetra, at 12:48 AM  

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Monday, April 11, 2005
Doll me up!

I went to the Doll Me Up! Bridal Fashion in Miniature exhibition at the Singapore History Museum on Friday evening and I must say they have quite an impressive range of works. Some of the designs are simple and elegant, others are elaborate and fancy. Barbie dolls never looked so good! Go check it out yourself at the Singapore History Museum, #30-09/17 Riverside Point, Merchant Road. The exhibition is on till 8 May. If you are a cheapskate like me, admission is free after 7.00pm on Friday (closing time is 9.00pm). If you are both cheapskate and lazy, here's a website with small but sufficiently sharp pictures of the dressed up dolls:
Doll Me Up!
I would recommend making the trip there as it's really different seeing it up close in 3-dimensions and you don't have to wait for the pictures to load. For example, there's a Barbie doll with a blue rose tattoo on her thigh, details such as these would not be quite visible in a thumbnail.

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Yiheng made
9:18 AM


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Sunday, April 10, 2005
Recent Books part 1

I probably read more books in the month of March than in any other month this decade. Of course, this would not have been possible if I wasn't stoning in some Indian desert, so I'd like to thank SAF for providing such a golden opportunity.

Here's a list
Completed books:
- The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers by Scott Adams
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
- Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories Vol. 1
- The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Partially read:
- Cosmos by Carl Sagan
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
- Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

First, I'd like to talk about 1984. It is the MOST DEPRESSING book I have ever read. When I read the last sentence of the book, I almost screamed out "NOOOooooo!!!". Fortunately, I have the more optimistic Asimov to counter the effects of 1984. If you have never heard of 1984, here's a description from Amazon:

"Thought Police. Big Brother. Orwellian. These words have entered our vocabulary because of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, 1984. The story of one man's nightmare odyssey as he pursues a forbidden love affair through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but also individual thought and memory, 1984 is a prophetic, haunting tale."

Anyway, the scariest part of the story is when I start realizing that we are already living in a similar world. Although not everyone will agree with me on this, I feel that 1984 is also about religion. This guy pretty much summarizes my views.
1984 as religious allegory

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Yiheng made
5:53 PM


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Saturday, April 02, 2005
Funny T-Shirts

I saw a couple of T-Shirts with some really funny slogans in India. I didn't buy any but here's a few of my favourite ones.

The first shirt has a picture of a goat (or something like that) and a line that says "If we are not supposed to eat animals, then why are they made of MEAT?". Ok, it's quite stupid but it's so stupid that it's funny.

The second shirt has a huge circle with the following printed inside the circle "India's contribution to the world in the field of mathematics is zero. We always knew we were good for nothing". This is of course a reference to the fact that India is one of the places in the ancient world where the concept/notation of zero was invented.

The last is another funny pun, actually two puns strictly speaking. In the centre of the shirt is a picture of the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, contructed by Shah Jahan for his favourite wife. In huge bold letters, it says "VIA AGRA". And at the bottom in a smaller font "Man's greatest erection for a woman".

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Yiheng made
9:30 PM


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
By Blogger gooofygal, at 10:10 PM  

oops! anyway, serene says hi!
By Blogger gooofygal, at 10:11 PM  

cool... comments are up!! put up tagboard next!!
By Blogger fEatHeRs, at 6:12 PM  

ok, back from my 闭关修炼。nice slogans there!w

will didnt buy... i would have bought em all if it was me

By Blogger Trinetra, at 12:44 AM  

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Friday, April 01, 2005
Malaria Pill Man

I have just returned from a really long overseas army exercise. Here, I would like to share a true story about my platoon-mate who was G6PD deficient and ate about 10 Malaria pills in 10 days. Fortunately, he ate both Maloprim and Doxycycline. If he ate only Maloprim, he would have already been dead. Instead, he only turned very very yellow. He became anaemic and we had to give him some packets of blood. Don't ask me how anyone can be so blur. I don't understand either. But looking on the bright side, he inspired me to write a limerick. Here it is:

There once was a man from two three,
who thought Maloprim was for free.
So he consumed so much
that his skin became such
a yellowish hue all could see!

(two three is what we sometimes call our army unit - 23rd battalion)

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Yiheng made
7:18 PM


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