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Monday, July 31, 2006
National Day Part 1 -vwv

NDP is not here yet but for now, you can look at something quite similar - North Korean Games.


More pictures here.


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Saturday in the Park -vvv

I was gonna go jogging in the park on Saturday when my parents decided to bring the pets out for a walk. So I ended up playing with animals instead.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Both the birds

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Moving in unison

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The only one not enjoying it

More pictures on my sister's blog.


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Saturday, July 29, 2006
Shuquan's China Pictures -vwv

Shuquan finally posts his photos online.





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Old Math Homework -vwv


I was tidying my cupboard when I came across a piece of my old math homework. FYI, this is written on 7mm foolscap paper, I used to use 6mm ones too (so that there are more lines per page). It's amazing no teacher ever complained about my writing.


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2:23 PM

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impressive !! hahaha
By Anonymous jiangzheng, at 1:06 AM  

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Sunday, July 23, 2006
RI Band concert and Cabaret -vvv vvz

Two shows in a weekend.

On Friday, I attended the RI band's Prometheum XI concert at the Victoria Concert Hall. It seems so long since I was last there. The band played alright. Their "choice piece" was a little abstract but not as much as what we played back then - Saga of the Clouds. I never did find out why there was a female player among the french horns. The most obvious guess would be that the horns were too weak so they needed the foreign import. At least there weren't any particularly exposed part for them. The last time there was, which was in Songs of Sailor and Sea back in 1999 I think, it sounded terrible.

I take back what I said about that male emcee at the NJCSB concert. The ones at this concert were worse. They were bored AND boring.

Today I watched Cabaret at the Esplanade. The emcee was the exact opposite of boring. It was entertaining watching Fei Xiang as the emcee although it is strange that while the emcee has quite a significant role in the show, he isn't an important part of the plot.

Usually when I watch a musical for the first time, there will be one song I particularly like (or can remember anyway). For Cabaret, that song is Cabaret, sung by Emma Yong as Sally Bowles. Yeah, her singing's not bad. And here I leave you with the lyrics.

-- Cabaret --
What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Put down the knitting,
The book and the broom.
Time for a holiday.
Life is Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band.
Come blow your horn,
Start celebrating;
Right this way,
Your table's waiting

No use permitting
some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away.
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret!

I used to have a girlfriend
known as Elsie
With whom I shared
Four sordid rooms in Chelsea

She wasn't what you'd call
A blushing flower...
As a matter of fact
She rented by the hour.

The day she died the neighbours
came to snicker:
"Well, thats what comes
from to much pills and liquor."

But when I saw her laid out like a Queen
She was the happiest...corpse...
I'd ever seen.

I think of Elsie to this very day.
I'd remember how'd she turn to me and say:
"What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret."

And as for me,
I made up my mind back in Chelsea,
When I go, I'm going like Elsie.

Start by admitting
From cradle to tomb
Isn't that long a stay.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Only a Cabaret, old chum,
And I love a Cabaret!


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Yiheng made
10:24 PM

2 Comments:

you went and watch it yourself... woa never tell mi... was it nice??
By Anonymous jiangzheng, at 9:03 PM  

I watched it with Len Chow and Shuquan. I actually first suggested to you after Pamdemonium but you didn't seem too keen. You had the I-just-spent-thirty-bucks-on-a-show-and-I'm-broke look. Shuquan wasn't that interested either but changed his mind after Len Chow decided to watch it. Don't worry man, there will always be new shows to catch.
By Anonymous yiheng, at 10:00 PM  

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Free Books -vwv

From 4th July to 4th August, Project Gutenberg, with the assistance of the World eBook Library, is enabling this service for free. I've always liked Project Gutenberg since I downloaded quite a number of my books from them and printed those out using my university print quota. So if you're a cheapskate like me, get your free books now!
World eBook Fair


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Saturday, July 22, 2006
Fun with stats -vwv

In 2000, there are 19115 males with no religion aged between 15 and 19 (source). If there has not been any drastic changes, roughly the same number applies today for males from 21 to 25.

74% of Singaporeans are citizens (not PR or non-residents). (source)

77% of Singaporeans are Chinese. (source)

82.2% of Singaporean Chinese are myopic. (Wu, HM, Seet, B, Yap, EPH, Saw, SM, Lim, TH, Chia, KS. (2001) Does education explain ethnic differences in myopia prevalence? A population-based study of young adult males in Singapore Optom Vis Sci 78,234-239)

17.7% of Singaporean Chinese in 2005 has university qualifications.
38.5% of Singaporean Chinese university graduate in 2005 speak mandarin at home. (source)

Singaporean smokers made up 12.6 percent of the population. (source)

75.6% of Singaporean males are working (variable) (source)

37% have O positive blood. (source)

8% are left-handed.
(Hardyck, C., & Petrinovich, L. F. (1977). "Left-handedness," Psychological Bulletin, 84, 385–404)

90% of Singaporeans like shopping, i.e. shop at least once a month. (recent report)

Putting it all together.
19115 * 0.74 * 0.77 * 0.822 * 0.177 * 0.385 * 0.874 * 0.756 * 0.37 * 0.08 * 0.10 = 1.19

Out of the 4.3 million people in Singapore, there is only one non-smoking Singapore citizen who is an atheistic Chinese guy aged 21-25 and has O+ blood, perfect eyesight, found a job after university, is left-handed, speaks mandarin at home and hates shopping. I am so unique!

(yes, yes, I know many assumptions are not valid but if i'm really out to proof my uniqueness I can very well scan my fingerprint)


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Silver ring holders are a bad idea -vwv

This silver cat is a ring holder I bought in New Zealand some years ago. I'm not a big fan of rings and I didn't own any back then but I like cats and I like silver. After I got my Iron Ring (I opted for the stainless steel version instead of the traditional iron one), I placed it on the cat when I'm not wearing it. That turned out to be a bad idea. The region of silver that was in contact with the ring tarnished rapidly. Sacrificial oxidation perhaps.

So now I have to enlist the aid of my old friend Mr T-Rex to be my new corma colindor (or is it cormacolindo?).
On a side note, taking these two pictures with a digital camera is quite difficult. For the cat, the dark background caused the camera to overexpose the cat. It also took me some minutes to reduce distracting reflections since the cat is essentially a complicated curved mirror. As for the toy dinosaur, the camera kept focusing on the cloth rather than the subject. Damn. Why don't digital cameras come with a manual option?


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Sunday, July 16, 2006
Random Knowledge 1: El Camino Real -vww

After so many years, I finally found out that "El Camino Real" means "The Royal Road".


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10:27 PM

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Running in the park is healthy? -vwv

People having barbeque.
Old man smoking along running track.
Exhaust fumes from leaf-blowers.
All in my lungs.


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Yiheng made
10:21 PM

2 Comments:

Is that supposed to be a Haiku?
By Anonymous Shuquan, at 11:51 PM  

Err no, it's not even verse, I was just too lazy to put it in proper prose haha. I think Haiku is 5-7-5.
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 8:56 AM  

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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Rubik's Cube -vwv


This a free toy I got from one of the Microsoft talks I used to attend (primarily for the free pizza they give out). I play with this when I'm taking short breaks between periods of intense concentration at work.

I've been fiddling around with this cube for a few weeks and this is the closest I've gotten so far to solving it without any reference to instructions - only three out of place. Of course, this is partially trial and error but I think I did not bad considering this is the more difficult version due to the printed markings on the faces, therefore requiring unique orientation.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Packed Weekend Part 2 -vvv

Friday: Dinner with Stanley and gang
It's nice to meet up with old friends. This time, we get to hear stories from Stanley's trip to Spain. I have nothing much to say about this event. I wanted to mention something about how the way some people (some of my friends included) use the underground escalators at Wheelock Place but it takes way more effort than it is worth so I'll just skip that.

Saturday: Etude XXXI
I went to watch the National Junior College Symphonic Band's concert at the Esplanade with Xiaojing and Shimin. But we only met up with Xiaojing after the concert because we couldn't contact her as the concert hall was shielded from handphone signals and we weren't allowed to leave the concert hall once we got in. Fortunately Xiaojing still managed to get in because Mrs Lim let her.

Mrs Lim is the only band teacher from my JC days who is still a band teacher. She was really dressed up for the concert and she looked great. Someone mentioned she looks slimmer but I'm not observant enough to notice. In contrast, the other younger band teachers looked like they are recent NIE graduates who couldn't part with the student look.

The first thing I noticed at the concert was the band's new look. Guys wear black suits and girls wear purple blouse, black pants and a matching scarf. They look rather classy compared to the loud red blazers I wore back in the old days.

The second thing I noticed was that the male emcee clearly couldn't speak as well as the female. He sounded so nervous and he kept screwing up his lines. Should've practised more eh?

It's been so long since I last heard live symphonic band music. I particularly liked that movement from Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheharazade. Mr Ho, the conductor for the past few decades, seemed like he is in better health than the last time I saw him. Good for him! I didn't get to talk to him because 1) I don't like to squeeze through the crowd and 2) I was taking a nap during the interval to prepare for tomorrow. Well actually, I was also looking at a couple quarrel in the circle seats on the other side of the hall. It was very dramatic, just like on TV. The girl cried and left the concert hall with the guy following behind.

The second half was funny. The stage band items also featured dancers. The first dance was just hilarious. Five couples were dancing a choreographed waltz to music set in 4/4 measure. Weird huh. And one couple had to forget their moves. I can see their sheepish face from up here. It would've been better if they just improvised and moved around freely. That way, they wouldn't be so stiff and they couldn't forget moves either. Nevertheless, it was a valiant effort and quite entertaining too.

The other dance was really energetic...and distracting. Shimin and I were watching the dancers' moves so intently we totally forgot about the music until the trombone guy stepped forward to play his solo.

After the concert, we went to eat and met up with Cai Ling who just came over from a wedding dinner, and Keith, Baotian and Tze Xiang, whom I have not met in a long while. It was good to know they are still alive and doing reasonably well. And thank you Tze Xiang for the ride home.


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Need Help With Sudoku -vwv

I spent most of Sunday sitting at the hospitality desk for the 37th International Physics Olympiad at the Meritus Mandarin. Since most of the international delegates are not at the hotel most of the time, I had a lot of time to spare, so I tried to solve two Sudoku problems.

1. What is the minimum number of blanks a Sudoku puzzle can have and still have more than one unique solution?
2. What is the maximum number of blanks a Sudoku puzzle can have and still have only one unique solution?

Actually, I contemplated problem 2 a long time ago but never really found the answer. And I still could not find the answer after thinking about it for half of Sunday. So I tried to solve the inverse problem, which is problem 1.

Problem 1 was quite easy. It took only a few minutes. The answer is 4 and the proof is not too difficult either.

Out of curiosity, I checked Wikipedia and according to it, problem 2 is unsolved. That sucks. So anyone out there who can solve it please tell me the answer yah, I would really like to know.


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Monday, July 10, 2006
Packed Weekend Part 1 -vvv vvz

It's been an activity packed weekend for me. Actually, the fun started before the weekend.

Thursday: Superman Returns

Caught the movie with Len Chow and Jiangzheng. I liked it, although I must say I agree with the critics that the Lois Lane character was the weak link. Perhaps it's just the script. I always imagined Lois Lane to be more of an ultra-reporter than an emotionally conflicted person.

There are a lot of familiar elements in the movie. I'm not sure which are intended tributes and references and which are just coincidences. I thought that some of the planets shown during the opening sequence were so strange looking, I suspected they were planets from the comics but since I don't read comics, I can't be sure.

Then there was the Luthor talk about technology looking like magic. I'm certain that was Asimov. And the scene where Superman was hovering above the Earth listening to people talking in different languages reminds me of the opening of the movie Contact.

I thought it was a good idea to keep some of the musical themes from the last Superman movies. I like moments I can identify from the earlier Superman movie, like Superman's speech about flying being safe and Luthor's talk about real estate.

This was a cool movie. One would need to at least watch the first Superman movie to appreciate it though. Following the comics would be even better but that's just too much work for me.


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Saturday, July 08, 2006
Categories -vwv

I've just created a sort of categories thing for the blog. I think it's quite clumsy and messy but I really can't be bothered to put too much effort into it. I'm not a professional blogger and I've got better things to do.


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Some People Should Conveniently Die Off -vvv vvw

A few days ago, I was on a bus 854 which was half crowded (crowded in front but practically empty behind). This was a long bus with two exits but this balding uncle refused to move to the back. He just stood near the first exit and prevented everyone in front from moving to the back.

Then this ang moh guy went over to criticize him haha. The uncle just nodded as the ang moh chided him. But when the ang moh guy alighted, the uncle still stood there blocking the way!! I hate it when some old people behave as though they own the world just because they are old. Some people should really conveniently die off.


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Then and Now -vvv

Then: NJCSB French Horn section in 1998


Now: NCJSB French Horn section in 2006
(Thanks Shimin, for the photo)


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Yiheng made
10:37 AM

4 Comments:

woa yiheng your friends looked so mature and you look still the same... you just never changed
By Anonymous jiangzheng, at 12:39 PM  

yah, i guess the secret is out... i'm immortal.
By Anonymous yiheng, at 1:19 PM  

wow so many babes here.
By Anonymous loon, at 5:30 PM  

hahahhaah... cool
By Anonymous jiangzheng, at 9:00 AM  

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Previous Posts

Swing Along 2009 -vvv

FF13 -vvx

YGBSM -vvw

Tibetan Song -vvx

Unfortunate Side Effects -vwv

Memorable News -vwv

Five Golden Flowers -vvz

Art Appreciation in Singapore -vvw

Openmindedness -vvx

侠客行

Current Read

七侠五义

Last Three Books

道德經

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology
Arthur Cotterell, Rachel Storm


Momo
Michael Ende

Those Before

孫子兵法


Paycheck: And Other Classic Stories By
Philip K. Dick


Mirror Mirror: A Novel
Gregory Maguire


American Gods
Neil Gaiman


Maya 5 Fundamentals
Garry Lewis, Jim Lammers


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J. K. Rowling