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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Models and Musicians -vwv

I was looking through SSO's programme for the coming months in SISTIC Buzz when I noticed that musicians nowadays are starting to look more like models. At least that is what the promotional pictures for the concerts are telling me.

Ok, I know some of them really are models, e.g. violinist Leila Josefowicz and cellist Nina Kotova above. But check out these pictures below from SISTIC; they look like they came from a fashion photographer's portfolio.

I'm too lazy to name these musicians but you can check out SSO or SISTIC website. By the way, the last picture is there because I'm interested in attending that concert. Here are the details. Interested parties just email me yah.

19 April 2008

Lim Yau conductor
Tang Junqiao dizi

WANG XI LIN Yunnan Tone Poem: Torch Festival

ZHU JIAN ER Symphony No. 4 ‘6.4.2 – 1’

MAO YUAN / Dance of the Yao People

LIU TIEN SHAN LIU YUAN Echo of Hakka Earth Buildings

Oh, there's also another nearer concert I'm interested in. My favourite pianist Chen Sa is back in Singapore! I'm probably attending this by myself since the unfamiliar repertoire would deter most people. But if you are interested, email me quick, I do not intend to miss out on the early bird discount.

27 July 2007

Yaron Traub, conductor
Chen Sa, piano

RAVEL Piano Concerto in G major

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

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Yiheng made
9:08 PM


Video killed the radio star. Even classical musicians need proper packaging. That being said, it's quite easy to look like a model, they have studios like that which you can go to to look like a star. Wanna try?

How about going for Mechatronica?

By Blogger Soqcrates, at 12:54 AM  

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Saturday, May 19, 2007
Elitism Survey -vvw

The Straits Times has an article about views on elitism in schools in today's Insight section on page 11 of Saturday. There is quite a bit of statistical data gathered from ST's survey. But here's the funny part, under the tables and charts, there is a line of small text that states:
A difference of at least 8 per cent between elite and non-elite responses is needed to conclude that the differences in attitudes are significant.

Going back to the tables, it seems that only a few items show a difference of above 8%. In other words, the attitudes of the students from both elite and non-elite schools are essentially the same for all the other questions. Yet ST managed to conclude that students from elite schools are more likely to be worried about being left out of the elite groups. This wasn't even one of the questions in the charts shown!

Let's recap what we've got. We have a survey of a small and bias sample pool (bias because part of survey responses come from students who bothered to reply to ST's email) that shows us nothing much. Then we have a full page article telling us that students in elite schools are so stressed about not being able to join the elite clique. I don't know about you but something doesn't smell right to me.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
11:26 AM


Not the first time ST published some kind of rubbish. Remember they did some survey about the online community and concluded that a significant proportion of internet users were not discerning users of the internet....whatever that means..but the bottom line was that internet and blogs are baaddd

I think ST wanted to make a point about elitism by doing the survey but nothing came out of the survey so they felt they needed to make something up.

By Blogger Soqcrates, at 12:48 AM  

So the bottom line now is that elite schools are baaadd?
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 7:25 PM  

Dunno. That study kinda confused me. Not sure what it was trying to say. But I guess most people would just ignore the numbers and remember the headline of the paper
By Blogger Soqcrates, at 11:13 PM  

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Friday, May 18, 2007
Some Interesting Shows This Season -vvz

There are a few shows that caught my attention lately. I probably won't going to any of them as I doubt I can find any other interested parties. Moreover, I am already catching quite a number of shows this season. Nevertheless, I would like to highlight them here anyway. Perhaps it might interest some of you out there.

Georgette The Musical

The production team isn't exactly world famous. But what caught my attention is the subject of the musical. Georgette Chen is one of the pioneer artists of Singapore. If you didn't know that, then you are probably not in the fine arts circle. I think she was also one of my father's teachers at NAFA. Personally, I like her painting style. But that is no guarantee on the quality of the musical. The more adventurous can give this show a try. If not for anything else, at least you get to learn more about one of Singapore's important art personalities.


I'm quite inclined to catch this so anyone interested please contact me quick. There are two reasons why I want to watch 北京人. First, I have never seen a Chinese play. Second, I sort of regret not catching 雷雨 last year, so now that there's another 曹禺 play in town (and his favourite too), it would be good to watch it. This version is supposedly quite different from other productions of 北京人 because they used young actors, younger than me in fact. It just might prove interesting.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
10:11 PM


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Curious -vwv

Does anyone have a good answer to the following questions?

1. If a primary school kid has a crush on his classmate, is he a paedophile?

2. Are hermaphrodites homosexual or heterosexual?

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Yiheng made
10:06 PM


1. NOt crush only lah...must have hardcore ass-ripping action. Have you watched Cardcaptor Sakura before? Alot of romance between children.

2. Think for the hermaphrodite they should have a 'dominant' gender, so their preference lie from there onwards

By Blogger Soqcrates, at 12:50 AM  

Cardcaptor Sakura? That's the anime where the girl flies around by putting a bird-headed stick between her legs, right? I stopped watching that after she traded the stick for the one with a star instead.
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 7:23 PM  

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Deal Or No Deal? -vvw

I just watched the new game show Deal Or No Deal and frankly, I don't see why everyone is so excited when the contestant chooses the boxes to open.

Only the first box you choose decides what you might win. All the subsequent boxes you open don't do anything at all except help you evaluate your expected winnings. Perhaps they affect the banker's offer but since his offers are always below the expected value (I'm talking about statistical mean here), you can jolly well ignore him all the way.

Hence, there's really no point being so cautious in choosing the boxes. First, they don't affect what you already have. Second, it's all RANDOM and UNKNOWN anyway. What you really should do is to choose the box with the ugliest model. Then eliminate them in ascending order of looks so you have more time to ogle at the pretty ones.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
9:36 PM


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Saturday, May 12, 2007
The Valkyrie, Act 1 -vvz

AWESOME!!! Now I want to see the whole Ring Cycle!

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
11:33 PM


i love it so much yeah fun fun fun
By Anonymous Majorpain, at 6:21 AM  

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Time Loop -vwv vvw

After reading SQ's thought experiment on a falling swimming pool, I was reminded of a hypothetical time travel question I posed to friends many years ago.

This is how the story goes. A young man meets an elderly time traveler from the future. The latter teaches the former the formula for time travel. After twenty years of work, the young man, who is now old, completes his time machine. He uses his time machine to travel twenty years back to pass the time travel formula to his younger self. The question was this: how many times did the event where the character learns the formula occur?

I had about ten responses and their answers were divided. Half the people said once. The other half claims infinity. Interestingly, nobody said twice.

In a way, nobody was really wrong. How many times the event occurred depends on whose timeline you are following. If you following the timeline of the majority of the universe, the event happened once. Suppose the story took place in the year 2000. Then the event took place in 2000. Not any other year, only once in 2000.

If however, you choose to follow the timeline of the character of the story, it happened twice. Once when he was the young student and once when he was the old teacher. Like I said, strangely, nobody chose this point of view.

But for the event to happen infinite times, one must have chosen the point of view of an imaginary entity that got caught in the time loop. This entity is also infinitely old since it has experienced the event infinite times and will experience the event infinite times more. If the formula was written on a piece of indestructible paper, then this piece of paper would be such an entity as it has changed hands infinite times. But since I never mentioned any physical object being passed in my story, I find it very peculiar that so many people would rather choose the point of view of an imaginary entity that was never even implied. I never could understand why people would see things this way.

So now I wonder, what if I had modified my story then. What if instead of sending himself into the past, the character merely sends a radio broadcast of the formula into the past so that his younger self would receive it? It is essentially the same story. But would I still have gotten the same results? Equally divided between one and infinity?

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
1:48 PM


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Who deserves the seat? -vwv

Suppose there is a person who was born very weak physically, had some serious coordination problems and somehow was without legs. He had trouble moving around without a wheelchair. But after years of hard work, he managed to overcome his difficulties with the aid of prosthetics and is able to move around like a normal person.

Then there is another person who was initially quite normal. He spends his time watching TV, eating junk food and doing nothing else. One day, he suffers a stroke due to his unhealthy lifestyle. Now he has to rely on crutches to move around and could hardly stand for a few minutes.

If these two guys were a crowded MRT train with only one seat available, who deserves the seat?

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
1:33 PM


You seem to be implying that the guy with the attitude to overcome his disabilities should be more deserving of the seat, but that in real life, people are prone to commit the Type I error of giving the other guy the seat whom you think doesn't deserve it.

I don't think people have the liberty to decide based on those parameters because such background isn't available to them. Even if it is, it would be hardpressed for a person to make any objective assessment of the disabled's 'karma'. More often, it's first come first serve. Or as I would like to think in Singapore, trains are so crowded, bai-kah should just stick to taxis. (typically govt way of thinking omg)

But it's good that people don't think that way. Should we be thinking that we are to reward the 'good' guy with the seat for his efforts in overcoming his odds? Or that we should punish the 'bad' guy cos he totally deserved it for the plight he's in? Allocation of limited resources based on a person's merits may not be a good way forward, because at the end the day, assuming disabilities are equal, both of them need the seat more than any of us.

What about the case for pregnant women? Two single pregnant women of the same age on the train, and one available seat. One smoked, took drugs and slept around with bad company and now had to pay the price. The other was a rape victim but decided to keep the baby. Who would you offer the seat to?

By Blogger Soqcrates, at 1:57 PM  

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Sunday, May 06, 2007
Spontaneous Human Combustion -vwv

There was this show on TV about investigations into the phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion. I only watched part of it because the theories, which are really hypothesis, started sounding pretty far-fetched.

One of the "theories" was about a theoretical sub-atomic particle called a pyrotron. This particle is all over the universe but moves so fast that it just flies right through most objects. So far, that fits the description of neutrinos. But here's where it differs from a neutrino. Supposedly, a pyrotron will sometimes hit a human and cause a chain reaction that releases the latent energy in the human's body, thus incinerating it. Needless to say, there is no evidence whatsoever supporting the theory. A high energy physicist who was interviewed on the show said he had never heard of such a particle. I think people who propose the pyrotron theory should really be afraid. What if we have spontaneous planet combustion? That would really suck.

Another theory is also as imaginative. A "doctor" claims that potassium is produced in human cells via nuclear fusion and that by electrical stimulation, he can release the energy from this nuclear fusion in his body. Naturally, the tests they did on him showed no significant change in potassium level.

And that was when I switched off the TV. It was amusing but I don't want to risk getting dumber. It's funny no one ever talks about spontaneous animal combustion. If you think about it, a person has to be reasonably knowledgeable in science to be able to conjure up "theories" like these. But if he's so smart, how can he possibly believe in the theories he created? It's really baffling.

Unless of course it's all in the name of fun. I know SQ has intentionally misinformed people on several occasions on a variety of facts. It's as though the more ridiculous the story you can convince people to believe, the more satisfaction you get. I have difficulty sorting out his mixture of facts and fabrication sometimes. I don't quite like being misled but after some thought, I figured that truth is, after all, rather subjective anyway.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
6:00 PM


Really? Please share the various instances I managed to misinform you. For theories of spontaneous combustion, I'm going with the theory of mitochondria simultaneously releasing energy. Some guy calculated the amount of energy that would release and it was pretty hot.

Anyway you know I don't tell lies, just different shades of truth. But if you do work beneath my logic that I use to draw those conclusions, then you'll find that many are weak or false. You should meet my boss, I try to fake him, he can pick apart my logic straight away.

By Blogger Soqcrates, at 11:49 PM  

I wouldn't know if you have misinformed me because if I did, then I wouldn't have been misinformed. But I remember you were explaining the origins of certain terms to some GAs which I am sure were totally made up. And Canada most definitely does not mean "nothing here".

With regards to human combustion, there is a lot of energy in the human body. I am certain the nuclear energy in your molecules far exceeds the chemical energy in mitochondria. However, I think the more important issue is not the source but rather the mechanism. If there is no credible mechanism for simultaneously releasing all the energy in mitochondria, then that theory is just as good as aliens zapping humans with invisible combustion rays.

By Anonymous Yiheng, at 12:16 PM  

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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


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