31 Dec 2011

Last Day of 2011

So here we are, on the teetering point between 2011 and 2012. The past year has been really crazy for a lot of people. Many events took place that were, in a way, unforgettable. Deaths of famous people, deaths of millions of innocents, progression in one society, regression in another...

One really early event at the start of 2011 was the attempted assassination of a congresswoman in Arizona. Luckily she survived, but unfortunately other innocent bystanders were killed by the shooter. Then there were the protests in Libya that caused quite a stir, especially for the world economy, and led to resignation of the president. After that, the tragic earthquake cum tsunami double whammy struck Japan, and created a nuclear scare for a while. That probably stood out the most among the natural disasters that happened in 2011.

Then there was also the over-hyped Royal Wedding back in the UK, where so many people from around the world got to see live coverage of the whole ceremony. And also scoffed at a certain infamous hairpiece. Suddenly, news of Osama bin Laden's death broke out and evoked past memories of the 9/11 event. Other deaths followed: Amy Winehouse, Steve Jobs, and most recently Kim Jong Il.

25 Dec 2011

Joyeux Noël

"C'mon honey, must I even get into this stupid outfit? It itches, and I doubt Bobby would even wake up and see me as —"


"Nick, just do it. He could be staying awake peeking from his bedroom, and if he sees you as you are sneaking presents, what would he think?"


"Honey, he's already ten. He should know by now that the big red guy doesn't really exist —"


"— and crush his hopes like that? He's still a boy! Let him believe what he wants for now. Just quietly put the gifts underneath the tree dressed as Santa - shouldn't take more than ten minutes - and you can come back into bed with me and snuggle under the sheets." 


Her warm reassuring smile mismatched her cold stern stare into Nick's eyes. Still, the reward of huddling together with a loved one in bed, while the cold snowy weather raged on outside, was a strong enough incentive for him to oblige.


As she made her way back into the master bedroom, he clumsily manipulated his body to fit into the dust-ridden red suit and put on the grey beard. Ugh! The prop reeked of sweat and alcohol. When was the last time that was washed? 

24 Dec 2011

Almost There

I might put up something special here later. Or not. Depends if there's still time by the time I make it back here after dinner and possibly some spectating of a mass caroling event.

Oh well... if you're bothered to wait, you could stay tuned to this blog.

18 Dec 2011

The 12 Days of Schoolmas

On the 1st day of Xmas, my teachers gave to me
Some homework to be done by January.

On the 2nd day of Xmas, my teachers gave to me
2 online quizzes
And some homework to be done by January.

On the 3rd day of Xmas, my teachers gave to me
3 email reminders
2 online quizzes
And some homework to be done by January.

10 Dec 2011

Past Entry 12

16th June, some time in the wee early hours of the morning

About time I got to do another Past Entry. I'm awake again and I don't think I can fall back to sleep, so I'm blogging again. And to suit the occasion, this post is scheduled to be published on the day of the second lunar eclipse! Either this will remind myself then about what a spectacular view the lunar eclipse was, or if I don't get to see it in just a while, it'll be a reminder to not miss this next chance. And probably through a live feed since it'll be visible from the opposite side of Earth...

But by the time the second lunar eclipse pops up, the whole of Year 5 would be over. Perhaps I'll be relaxing just like now, except without the problems of exams popping up immediately after the holidays. On the other hand, I might be partially worried about the fact that I am running out of time to prepare for 'A' levels. And the thought of what comes immediately after 'A' levels scares me a lot. Seriously.

6 Dec 2011

Past Entry 14

6th September 2011, 11+ pm

Tonight's going to be the first night that I'll be staying in my new home. We're still in the process of moving things over and rearranging stuff neatly, but now it's currently considered suitable for my family to stay and sleep over. 

Well so far I haven't really had any strong feelings of remorse or homesickness yet, which is kind of a good start. I was initially harbouring immediate thoughts of objection and disbelief when I first heard the news that we would be moving house this year, and to a smaller unit too. There wouldn't be a similar balcony garden or spacious living room, and the bedrooms would be a fraction of the current one I was in. It seemed more of a downgrade since we were already staying in a mansionette unit...

I'm not really sure when to schedule this post yet, but perhaps by then I would have gotten quite used to this place, and maybe even enjoy this place. However I also don't want to forget the place where I have lived for about 17 years. I practically grew up in that house, in that suburban neighbourhood not nearby shopping malls or offices but consisting of friendly coffee shops and local supermarkets, along with a nice park. Now this new home is quite the opposite, being close to a hotspot for activity, and having the advantages of proximity and convenience to facilities and modes of transportation.

4 Dec 2011

XII

So we're in December now. We in Singapore will not get to have a white snowy Christmas (unless global warming somehow inverts weather patterns) but we may still get a cold one due to monsoon rain. We may not get to enjoy the warmth radiating from a fireplace (is it even legal to do so here???) but we can still get warm and cozy with a blanket and some hot chocolate/tea, coupled with snuggling alongside a loved one.

For many of Singapore's students December's a "golden" month because it's the longest holiday break in the year. The time when we can rest without worrying about project work or midyear/year-end exams (though there'd probably be holiday assignment and small tests still). For those in Primary 6, Secondary 4 and JC 2 December's probably even sweeter because you're practically free to do what you want until the year ends! No concern about holiday homework at all.

30 Nov 2011

Past Entry 9

January 30th 2011

Sometimes life suddenly takes a really sharp turn and you get thrown off course for a while. Maybe you'll end up having to take a different path to get to your intended destination.

I had intended to take a certain route, but I hit upon two obstacles early this year, and I get forced to go off the road.

I currently don't know what this new path is like. The terrain is unfamiliar to me, and I don't know if I can pass.

When I read this again, I hope that I know what I'm talking about, and that I have managed to survive on this "wrong" way.

And that I'm still heading for my destination.

(This might be my shortest and most abstract Past Entry yet)

27 Nov 2011

Cat & Mouse

Another thing I like to do when bored on the Internet is to watch old cartoons. (Do I have an inclination towards vintage stuff???) To me today's cartoons filled with over-the-top action/drama/terminology/jokes can hardly rival classic humour. Back then cartoons were designed to appeal to both children and adults, instead of today's exclusive-to-kids shows, so the humour was more universally applicable.

One particular cartoon I liked to and still watch is the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons. When I was younger, during visits over at my grandfather's house I was usually stuck there with not much to do, so I cooped myself in a bedroom and watched Cartoon Network. Since I always went there at the same timeslot almost every weekend night, I got to watch the same thing: a series of Tom & Jerry classic shorts. Mind you the current modern ones have lost their appeal to me(and I suspect a lot of other viewers of my generation).

20 Nov 2011

One More Week

"It's so close I can feel it!"

I'm about to enter my last week of school lessons for the year. Scary and exhilarating. 

And for some reason I've left this blog alone for a little longer than expected. And still trying to sort out the ifttt thing so I can in some form announce a new blog post being published. No idea why Facebook wants to get rid of the feed-importing ability of Notes that let me import my own blog posts onto my Facebook wall for so long. 

If you're wondering what ifttt (if this than that) is, here's the website. It basically helps in automating tasks for you by triggering actions across different online platforms.

10 Nov 2011

The Good Old Days

[DISCLAIMER: This post is loaded with embedded Youtube videos]

Occasionally when I get bored on the Internet, I look at old commercials. Of course that's after I get bored of present-day videos on Youtube, but the same platform also contains a wealth of vintage commercials that serve as a window into the past(even before my birth!). Some reflect just how much simpler life was compared to now; some showed how little people knew then; some gave an insight on the past culture and background of the intended audience. It's like a really simple form of archaeology that deals with a way more recent time period.

Back in the 60s people didn't really know about the dangers of smoking(it could be argued that cigarettes of that time were made less toxic though), so there were lots of advertisements encouraging people to smoke, even claiming that doctors recommend it for good health!


Companies even went as far as to use family cartoons to convince the public to smoke, as seen in these Flintstone advertisements. Surely something that would be highly objected today:


And back then it wasn't weird to pair up smoking with Christmas spirit:


8 Nov 2011

Milestones

We had not too long ago surpassed the 7 billion mark in terms of population size. Not really a completely a good or bad indicator of anything; the fact that we've reached such a big number shows just how far we've come in terms of survival and growth, but also hints at the growing severe problems of overcrowding or under-allocated resources to countries. Another so-called milestone is 11/11/11 on this coming Friday, which marks a once-in-a-century occurrence.

A personal milestone I've reached is the successful overcoming of the Year 5 promotional examinations. The thought of surpassing that barrier is relieving, but the hint of even bigger problems ahead are still daunting. Faster-paced teaching, more exams... yet all this could determine a big part of my future. Sure I know that failing in an epic manner doesn't mean the complete end of the world, but it's still quite a critical moment in my life, determining what kind of further obstacles I'll deal with and what future gains lie ahead for me.

31 Oct 2011

Halloween Horrors

Well FINALLY I'm done with the Chinese test. As to whether that also means a permanent end to Chinese lessons for me remains to be seen, although this time I'm a little bit more confident of passing :P

I saw it coincidentally fitting that the test happened to fall on today, which is Halloween. Just sitting in the examination room waiting already generates a lot of tension and anxiety within the room! And also the thought of failing the test in an epic manner is frightening too.

And Halloween always conjures to the mind images of horrible scary things like walking zombies, bloodshed, chainsaw-wielding maniacs etc. But what exactly is Halloween in the first place? And what's with the name? Well "Halloween" is possibly a contraction of "All-Hallows-Even", basically meaning the evening before All Hallows Day (or some call it All Saints' Day), which is the day that commemorates those who have achieved "beatific vision" (eternal & direct visual perception of God). That's another event altogether, so I won't dwell too much on it...

23 Oct 2011

Aftermath

Oh goodness. Tomorrow morning Year 5 students in RI will be in for a rude shock or a pleasant surprise. Promotional examination results will be revealed. When we receive our marked scripts and spot our marks, some of us will heave sighs of relief, some will have their eyes light up instantly with delight, some will feel their heart sink into unknown depths.

Some will safely progress onto the next level of JC 2 / Year 6, some others may fall behind to their disbelief. I really hope I'm in the former category. The odds are in my favour technically, but I don't know if I may end up dropping a subject, which is what I dread.

16 Oct 2011

Fear And Loathing

~ Marina and the Diamonds ~


I've lived a lot of different lives
Been different people many times
I live my life in bitterness
And fill my heart with emptiness

And now I see, I see it for the first time:
There is no crime in being kind
Not everyone is out to screw you over.
Maybe, oh just maybe they just wanna' get to know ya'.

Now the time is here,
Baby you don't have to live your life in fear
And the sky is clear, is clear of fear

Don't wanna' live in fear and loathing
I wanna' feel like I am floating
Instead of constantly exploding
In fear and loathing

9 Oct 2011

Endings

The world has recently got wind of the news of Steve Jobs' passing a few days ago. The man who started a computing system and a company that would eventually make a huge impact within the technology industry and changing our modern lifestyles permanently.

Thus ends the legacy of a giant, but is it the end of the golden age for Apple? Currently it's too early to tell, although fans are already mostly disappointed with the announcement of the iPhone 4S. That I suspect is to allow Jobs a chance to witness the unveiling of another product while he was still alive. The Siri feature is itself intriguing but perhaps not super useful, except in overcoming barriers for visually handicapped users. I don't expect Siri to be accurate to the commands of Singapore users, because it'd probably screw up in terms of weather or traffic reports as it'll have a hard time recognising the names of some local places.

Anyway we can't say for sure that Apple will go downhill from here on. And there's no way to say that the rivals will be much stronger from this point onwards. One thing's for certain, Jobs will not be forgotten easily, having been immortalised on the Internet and through Apple's products.

5 Oct 2011

Temporary Relief

Well the good news is I don't have to go to school for the rest of the week, since now the exam scripts are under the scrutiny of examiners toiling away to allocate the grades that each of us students rightfully deserve. Of course we know that there will be discrepancies, but they still try.

The bad news is there's still Project Work and Chinese left for me to prepare for and conquer. I've looked at the rescheduled timetables and I have mixed feelings, but more inclined to negative ones. Sure there are more free periods, but those are mostly used for revision or preparation purposes. And now there's way more time allocated to those aforementioned subjects, together with the other lectures.

Still this is a good time to slack around for a bit, not to the point of severe physical and mental atrophy, but at least enough to dissipate all the bottled-up stress accumulated from preparation for the earlier tested subjects. No point really worrying about how I did for past tests while getting ready for future ones.

25 Sep 2011

Joy & Tragedy

No I'm not talking about the F1 race happening now along with the exams dreadfully near(just 2 days for me!). Rather it's something that's kinda more serious. No doubt this race tonight could potentially secure the win of Vettel, and the promotional exam aren't something to take lightly considering it would determine whether I'll have to deal with another year of the same syllabus. Still this following issue is pretty important, and in some ways may be sort of a taboo in certain cultures.

In Singapore we usually don't like to confront this topic of loving somebody of the same gender, which is understandable since the government has been continuously encouraging the public to engage in heterosexual relationships and boost population growth, to avoid the problems associated with an ageing white-haired society. This isn't to say that the Singapore government is entirely against homosexuality; as far as I know most of the members haven't condemned members of the LGBT society yet. Even former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew would accept his grandchildren still if one of them were gay.

19 Sep 2011

Flow

I suppose if there is one word to describe how JC has been so far for me, and how it might be later on, I would probably use the word "flow".

Normally the word "flow" is used with an attached connotation of serenity and smoothness and purity. "Flow" could describe a picture of clear river water travelling down its carved out path without pause, washing away sediments with it. I suppose I am using the word for its associated idea of non-stop continuous movement without jumps or breaks in between... which is hard to tell if it's more good than bad.

Well so far it seems like most of us students here in JC feel like we've never got a decent break for us since official lessons started. Well maybe the June holidays were as close as it got, but even that period was eaten away by exam revision and project work. The flow of time never has stopped and never will, and in fact it seems to have sped up exponentially. Months turned to weeks that subsequently turned to days before the exams. In my mind the river of time had gradually developed into a raging rapid.

9 Sep 2011

Late Night Bloghopping 4

I really should avoid taking caffeine at night. The good thing is that it'll be really effective for helping me stay awake during late night marathon events. However caffeine's effects only seem to work when I'm on the verge of falling asleep, and they're quite long-lasting too... >.<

So while I wait for the caffeine to wear off(I've already drank some water to hopefully dilute the concentration in my bloodstream a bit), I'm going to frolic around in the blogosphere, discovering the myriad of blogs that are already up in Blogger. Here goes:

4 Sep 2011

Migration

As I'm typing this in, I'm using last precious moments of time. Not just precious in the sense that there's limited time for pre-exam preparation, but also in that tomorrow afternoon our Internet line will switch over to the new house...

And if you haven't heard yet, I am moving house. Although the unit would be much smaller than the nice mansionette we're occupying now, it's really super close to Sengkang MRT; I can literally just take the lift down and walk to the platform in less than 5 minutes. Another thing is the lack of a second level, which to me doesn't seem much of a good thing, but seems attractive to my parents who don't want to deal with climbing up stairs when older.

By right I intended to use this time to help out my group for the PW written report, but the Google Docs website doesn't seem to be working for me, and I can't contact the group members either(weird reception problems). So instead I'm stuck here penning down thoughts just a few moments before I move house.

29 Aug 2011

Listception

Ever since Inception came out a lot of people have dived into making Inception jokes, even though "inception" actually is the concept of planting an idea into one's head, and not having a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream ad infinitum.

There have been a lot of derivatives that would have been labelled as Xzibit("Yo Dawg") jokes if the movie didn't exist. A car within a car? CARCEPTION. A picture within a picture? PICTURECEPTION. A bubble within a bubble? BUBBLECEPTION.

So then earlier on I kinda thought of doing a list of lists, but then realised that a lot of people have already done that even before the movie appeared in cinemas. So then I went to the next logical step: a list of lists of lists! It may not be a top 10 list of top 10 lists of top 10 lists(I wish I had time to order them), but here you go:

21 Aug 2011

Six Days

Only six days of school lessons left in the term. Thanks to Teacher's Day, Hari Raya Puasa and the Presidential Elections, the last week before the September break has been reduced to just one puny day of lessons.

This can be interpreted as both good and bad, good in that we get more time off lessons, but bad in that these missing lessons must come back due to "equivalent trade", which means using up some time from the so-called September holidays, or even extra lessons in Term 4 during the tiny period where everything must be crammed into students' heads before the exams.

Is there really enough time for me to prepare for the upcoming storm?

14 Aug 2011

Butterfly

I've been kinda fascinated with the Butterfly Effect for some time. You know, the hypothetical scenario that the flapping of a butterfly's wings could determine whether some weather catastrophe like a hurricane or tornado may happen somewhere. It seems to have been portrayed in the media quite a bit, like in the Final Destination movies for example. Or in one particular Fringe episode.

It can be fascinating to witness such a major event evolve from such a tiny change through a Rube-Goldberg-like process. And I've thought it may be cool if I could always take advantage of this effect. If I could just make  one minute adjustment in the environment to achieve any major outcome that I wanted to realise, that would be cool and fun to exploit.

9 Aug 2011

Celebrations

Don't mean to boast, but I'm stuck in a very nice hotel room in Marina Bay Sands. A very big room in fact, with a separate karaoke room, an office, a large living lounge with a grand piano, and a cosy bedroom where I'm residing in at the moment. Not actually on the bed now, somebody else is occupying it. Instead I'm humbling taking up a smaller space near the master bathroom where there's a convenient power point to charge up this laptop.

By the way, the toilets automatically lift up their seat covers when motion is detected, and the toilet seats are heated too! Haven't actually tried it yet though, maybe I should later. I probably will have to since I took quite a number of NON-ALCOHOLIC drinks. At least six glasses I think. The iced blueberry tea and lemon tea <i>are</i> that nice.

8 Aug 2011

Seeing Red

...well the celebrations ended much earlier than I expected. Perhaps the student committee ran out of ideas for the programme.

So as I predicted, there was the mandatory National Day message from the Minister of Education, the dance items from the top three ethnic groups, the rock and jazz renditions of National Day songs, and a narrated "storyline" that told very little of a plot and had little relation to the performance items themselves.

Oh and the scrapbook... I grossly overestimated the dimensions of the giant scrapbook containing many patriotic messages written on small pieces of paper stuck on the pages. I think it was roughly 1.5 by 2 metres, and weighed about 70 kg. And it was recognised by the Singapore Book of Records, appropriately by a representative who also happens to be an alumnus of RI. The funny thing was that this new scrapbook was only 10 cm wider than the previous record. Even funnier was that somebody had the time to do this before.

4 Aug 2011

R.A.

Next week is probably a nice resting period, not just for relaxing but also for some revision time. Even though exams are mostly a few weeks away, it's not time to completely slack and forget about academic stuff. Very nerve-wrecking.

Everyone's really looking forward to the National Day celebratory period, since it means 3 days free from school lessons. Rest and relaxation is probably on a lot of students' minds at the moment, and we crave it a lot. Going to expect a lot of them to probably flock to the nearest cinemas and watch movies, or to shopping malls to shop around and have fun. Or maybe just rest at home and sleep.

Not just typical celebrations in school I heard, we're apparently attempting to set one of those silly Singapore records. Not the largest flag or most number of students wearing red, but the largest scrapbook filled with patriotic birthday messages to Singapore. And there's free ice cream for each message submitted, which is written on a paper heart.

1 Aug 2011

Conundrum

Okay... It seems a bit weird that I'm actually blogging in school at the moment. The only times I've actually blogged outdoors were at a country club in some air-conditioned room or near the poolside. To be publishing a blog post within the school compounds seems somewhat "wrong". Especially when I'm doing this while settling some stupid project work matters simultaneously.

It's also unusual for me to come up with two posts just within hours of each other, temporarily breaking away from my usual weekly routine. Normally I don't come up with fully-developed thought and ideas to share on the blog so quickly. Maybe it is the nice lively greenery or the "Rafflesian Air" in the school compound giving inspiration? I thought that the air just made the students more drowsy/grumpy and the teachers more cranky...

31 Jul 2011

Problems

Just by writing this blog post alone, someone's going to get pissed. Even though it's not directed at that person. Luckily that person's not going to see this yet, unless he/she happens to be an avid reader of this blog. Which is highly unlikely.

Actually... maybe it's up to 6 people that may get angsty with me. Almost 7 because I'm having a hard time with this keyboard's sticky keys.

From what I remember, I didn't have anyone get mad at me other than relatives and some teachers. In fact, most of those around me kinda have a slightly above neutral relationship with me. Tolerable, but not to the point of really likeable. Now it's a different field; the much higher expectations of the education placed on us has put much physical and mental stress. Sometimes I wish we had more than just 12 years of pre-university education, so that the syllabus can be stretched out much more over a longer period. Then the workload wouldn't be as immense.

25 Jul 2011

Anticipation?

Well sure. There's a long break coming soon. A five-day lesson-less period, because of the National Day celebrations. Slightly ruined by tuition, but that's just 2 hours. Otherwise it's a nice long break from Saturday to Wednesday, with a celebration in the middle.

And from previous experiences, the National Day celebration programmes usually fail to impress me, and at least a few other classmates. Gets old pretty fast, don't you think? A National Day speech, performances from different CCAs to reflect cultural diversity and patriotism within the country, some "cool" and "trendy" renditions of National Day songs that tend to be presented in either rock or acapella form... not to mention some corny jokes that make people groan. 

17 Jul 2011

Avada Kedavra!

Well it's kinda sad that the very final Harry Potter movie has been out, and I had just watched it yesterday. And just like that, another childhood phase has concluded. I'm sure in many countries a lot of youths have also witnessed the final conclusion to what was an integral part of their childhoods too, and with quite a bang.

I can't consider myself to be a Harry Potter fan. Didn't read the books, only watched the movies. But I can say that I watch the holy trinity of the magical world grow up and face various obstacles, morphing from tiny tykes to mature post-pubescent heroes. It's not often that such a series can teach both children and adults about serious concepts like friendship, love, loyalty and death.

10 Jul 2011

Spellbound

The final Harry Potter movie has already had its world premiere in the UK, and this coming Thursday Singapore would be able to catch it in cinemas too! It's also appropriate that Order Of The Phoenix is showing on TV now.

The spells used in the world of Harry Potter aren't just mere gibberish. Most of them are derived from actual words. So here's a quick list of spells used:

Upgrade

Ooh wow, looks like my Blogger dashboard got an overhaul. The benefits of using Blogger In Draft! Everything's so white and clean! And significantly less blue.

At this moment, even if we students haven't gotten back our exam papers yet, we already can tell how screwed up the results are. The lecturers and other teachers have been passing comments on how much white hair on their head has multiplied, or how many new wrinkles have formed on their faces, or how much their blood pressure has risen, all while marking the exam scripts. And the exam scripts that have been passed back make these claims sound less unbelievable.

Even worse, the teachers aren't just discussing about who to send for remedial, but also where to conduct the remedial lessons. For some subjects the classroom is way too small, and the large lecture theatres appear to be better alternatives. Well since I don't even have CCA anyway I don't have anything to sacrifice should I be forced into remedial, but there are others who are committed to other such activities. And there may not be enough teachers to even accommodate the sheer number of students present...

4 Jul 2011

Back To Business

Now that the CTs are over, we can relax, right? Nope. Not a chance. In fact things are getting warmed up.

Still MORE tests to come, more PW troublesomeness, more assessments/assignments. And we probably roughly know the horrible outcome of our CTs. We're all screwed.

But we must press on into the unknown territory, tackling unseen obstacles, emerging out either stronger or totally defeated. Such is the life of a student who is being confined within the boundaries of the education system.

26 Jun 2011

Battle

For some bizarre reason Facebook Notes won't relay my blog posts over into notes on a regular basis. Is there some clog-up along the way? I'll try to figure out a solution while having to deal with manually resetting the blog import thingamajig.

On to a more pressing issue which I should be getting enough sleep for at the moment: EXAMS! It did seem like a valid idea to shift exams over from before June holidays to after the break, in consideration for all those in CCAs with all their competition seasons somewhere before June too. Downside is, some students, myself included, would find the holidays even less enjoyable, having to study during the holidays and worry about what happens immediately after the break's over. Which makes the December break the only school break truly worth waiting for.

20 Jun 2011

Sick

Ugh... even after more than 24 hours I'm still feeling sick. First it was a headache, fever and bloatedness, and now there's diarrhoea added into the mix. I think I've already gone to the toilet at least 12 times already, and it's really painful and energy-draining. And I have a tiny mouth ulcer too.

Of all times to fall sick, why now? I ended up missing certain events today, and in the week ahead I still have other important things, including an EXAM. I don't want to still remain sick! ...Now that's a statement that I usually don't say often under usual conditions when I have to go to school everyday with no exams nearby.

16 Jun 2011

Late Night Bloghopping 3

It's back again!!1!one!eleven!! Well actually this one seems to be done much earlier than the other two... it's not past midnight yet. However, I'm doing this anyway because I can't get to sleep at this time. And why am I trying to get to sleep at this relatively early time? So I won't be too tired to appreciate the soon-to-be-here blood red lunar eclipse! I wish the eclipse didn't appear at such an unearthly time, but I'm not in control of nature here.

So in a silly effort to get myself occupied, and maybe tired enough to sleep for a few hours, I'll be looking around for blogs again, this time while listening to music. So here goes...

12 Jun 2011

Past Entry 11

22nd May 2011

I haven't decided when to schedule this post yet. Maybe I'll get inspiration halfway through this.

I'm not even sure why I decided to do this now. Maybe I'm just bored. I just put up another post not too long ago anyway, so I don't feel obliged to do this now. And I'm also watching Undercover Boss at the moment, so I'm not actually THAT bored.

Perhaps I just feel like ranting. After all, I've only perceive my school life so far as really monotonous and negative. Being bombarded by homework, projects and fast-approaching deadlines can potentially turn a student into a walking zombie who's still struggling to make ends meet, using what energy is left inside that degrading vessel.

5 Jun 2011

Mining + Crafting = ?

If you were bored enough to count the number of posts put up so far on my blog... you might realise that there are only 199 posts before this, which would make this the 200th post...?!?

I should have clarified this earlier: I also considered the upcoming Past Entries yet to be published in the counting of posts, so the GRAND total is indeed 201, hence the 201st post is indeed the 201st post. Now you know how many Past Entries I've set up so far, which isn't that many actually...

In other news, MINECRAFT!

31 May 2011

200th1st Post!

Oops. I wasn't really paying much attention to my posting on the blog. Turns out I went past the 200th mark without realising it. So instead I'll celebrate the 201st post today as a milestone. The 100th post wasn't really much of a post even, just some notice about me going for a holiday and being offline for a while. As if this post is going to be much better...

To be honest, not all of the previous 200 posts contain proper quality content. Some are just random thoughts popping out, some are just fillers when I couldn't think of anything original. Well there isn't a strict rule out there saying that bloggers MUST come up with good quality content on the blogs, but somehow when I try to go for that goal it seems a bit more satisfying?

28 May 2011

Buildup

And now begins both a happy and a sad time in this year of my life.

The first semester of 2011 has ended. Well for my school it already did yesterday since the staff went to enjoy themselves at Sentosa. I've seen photos of some at the Universal Studios theme park. I wonder if any of their students bumped into them over there?

As usual I complain about the school "holidays" not feeling like holidays. The combination of limited time, piling homework/projects and nearing deadlines all lessen the positive effects of not going to school by a significant amount. A long time ago my blogging activity might have peaked during this period, but this year I definitely will not see that coming. But at least the government actually plans out holidays for students, unlike other countries where the school terms are more defined by the weather.

22 May 2011

Funny Definitions 2

More from the same list here(but please view the original non-messy post):

karma
justice without the feeling of satisfaction
kindred
the fear of being visited by relatives or attending family reunions
kissing
a means of getting two people so close together that they can't see anything wrong with each other
kowtow
to pay homage to a sacred cow
lactose
consequences of frostbite
lecture
an art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through the minds of either
limbo
the place where arms and legs go when they die
lunatic
insect from the moon

18 May 2011

Past Entry 10

Friday 22 April 2011

Ok now I finally got back to writing Past Entries. Today's Good Friday, and I happen to have a lot of time on my hands at the moment, so I might as well do this. Since this is the 10th one, I thought of scheduling this on the day this blog turns 3 years old!

Unfortunately this date will be on a Wednesday, so I don't think I'll actually be able to physically post on the day itself. Maybe I could, but the probability isn't very high. Considering that I'll probably have tests around that time, and I'll have ongoing projects too, I may not be in the mood. Sorry, I'm not the type of blogger that feels obliged to post every day or few days just to make the blog really active for fear of losing audience. I didn't create this blog just to become famous on the Internet. This is more like just a channel for me to both express opinions/feelings and (perhaps less importantly) improve writing skills.

I started this out of boredom due to being stuck at home with a fracture. I wasn't suddenly motivated to become an Internet celebrity through blogging. Well I was thinking of following the crowd in terms of having my own blog. So many people whom I know had started blogs way before me, some as early as Primary 5(11 years old)!

17 May 2011

If Only...

...homework did itself and not multiply exponentially

...we could all fly without being bound by physics

...we had an actual money tree

...we could clone ourselves and make the clones do our stuff without complaining

...there were an actual way to obtain immortality

...nobody in the world had to face prejudice

9 May 2011

Blank

Nothing good to write down here.

My mind is just a blank.

No actual substantial content, I fear,

And nobody but me to thank.

2 May 2011

Funny Definitions 1

Taken from a HUGE list over here:

ambiguity
1. the lack of clarity in speech--or something like that 2. the language of politics and statesmanship 3. telling the truth when you don't mean to

acute
opposite of an ugly

absentee
a missing golfing accessory

avoidable
what a bullfighter tries to do

bargain
buy two soaps and get one free

beach
where girls go when they have nothing to wear

boasting
the pitter patter of little feats

buoyant
male hill insect

24 Apr 2011

Music Toy

Kinda stumbled onto this while fooling around on the web...

Basically this is a music toy called Nudge, that is based on the Tenori-on. What you see is a 16x16 grid matrix with a line going across. You can activate certain grid squares by clicking on them, and when the timeline passes over an activated square, the assigned sound will be triggered. On the right is a column of different coloured squares, which are just thumbnails of different grid matrices. Each matrix also contains a different set of sounds. For example, the greyish square right at the bottom contains drum kit sounds.

At the bottom right hand corner, there's a master volume control(looks like a three-quarter donut) and the play/pause button(you can guess what that does!). See that there's a "MORE" button near the instrument name at the bottom? Clicking on it will expand the bottom to show more buttons. Starting from the left, there's the specific volume control(only affects the volume for the current instrument), the pan control(allows you to pan the instrument sound left/right), and the CLR button which clears all notes from the matrix. The tempo setting also shows up next to the master volume control.

17 Apr 2011

Fatigue

I thought secondary school was already more demanding when I just entered from primary school. Then it got worse at Secondary 3. I thought maybe things couldn't be too worse off later on. How wrong I was.

JC is relatively more stamina-depleting than secondary school. Really. The teachers were right when they said the timetable was going to look ugly. I think the one for my class is so horrible that you can't squeeze in extra make-up lessons unless a miracle took place.

Project work is also a few levels higher than in secondary school too. At least back then you can pick just about any topic you can come up with and put in substantial amounts of effort into the project, even if it doesn't actually benefit anybody in a big way(except for the group itself, especially in terms of grades). Now even coming up with a feasible project is already a headache for quite a number of people.

10 Apr 2011

Random Ramblings 2

My creativity is getting sapped.

If only I still had enough creative juices, not only to write better posts, but also to help me in certain school work...

Weather has been freaky lately.

I noticed my Past Entry 8 popped up too. Now when I re-read it again it sounds even more miserable and depressing.

Speaking of which, I haven't started Past Entry 10 yet! How am I going to find time to do so? And when should I do it and on which date should I schedule it on? Being the 10th entry it might as well be an attempt at something special...

7 Apr 2011

Past Entry 8

10th January 2011

Usually I don't mind if it's raining outside while I stay cosy indoors. The rain makes the whole place cooler, a nice change for a mostly warm island country, although some whom I know can't handle it even a tiny bit.

Yet tonight the heavy and long-lasting rain seems a bit ominous to me, I'm not sure why. Maybe I think too much about the new phase in my education called Junior College (or Pre-University, whatever). I've already struggled with adapting to a new primary school, two secondary classes that are almost foreign to me initially, and now I'll soon be in an even more daunting environment. Sure there are schoolmates that joke about it or look forward eagerly to JC, and I'm not saying they shouldn't.

I'm planning on setting this entry on a date when I should be settled in JC. I already roughly know what I'm studying for the next year, but the personal experiences and unknown future obstacles I cannot predict. I don't even think I'll be in the same class with anyone I know...

3 Apr 2011

Random Ramblings

Class camp can be described in a few words: itchy, wet, hot. "Fun" depends on the person him/herself.

I didn't do anything for April Fool's because I'm lazy. Others like Google, Youtube and other sites put it more effort however. Perhaps the culture over here doesn't allow much freedom and open-mindedness such that people can accept such pranks.

I have some trouble sleeping. And blogging.

School starts tomorrow. I'm probably dead.

28 Mar 2011

A Collation of Imaginary Thoughts Throughout Camp

Day 0... the day before the start of the camp

OMG I'M SO DAMN EXCITED FOR THE CAMP!!! I've packed up everything needed, and I think I'm good to go for tomorrow! I'm going to have a really awesome time with my friends!!! We're probably going to play games and get to know each other better, and we'll get to sleep the night together! So COOL! XD
Let's see, I've packed up all that I need for the camp. I'm not sure if I'll have a good time at the camp or a miserable experience. Let's hope that things go kinda smoothly. It's just two days, right? Besides, we get to skip lessons anyway.
Oh GOD, tomorrow's the freaking camp. Why must I go through this agony??? If only I had some major event that could coincide with this camp, like some extra training or a competition or charity drive or SOMETHING. Or maybe I'll have a super high fever tomorrow with a stomach flu and I won't have to go! ANYTHING!!! DX

Hmm... the weather outside looks horrible, hope it doesn't stay that way tomorrow! Can't let weather dampen our plans!
The weather outside's not good at the moment. Would it rain tomorrow? Doesn't matter too much, since I have rain protection packed anyway...
The weather's worsening now... this will just make the camp even more miserable than it already is. I can't believe it! Why does Mother Nature hate me too?!?

CRAP, I'm so excited I can't sleep at all! I'm really anticipating all the fun things we'll do for the next two days! AWESOME!
I better get ample rest tonight, better sleep early. Can't start the camp when I'm so sleepy, it'll probably ruin my mood for the rest of the day...
GAAH! I can't sleep knowing my horrible fate! What's going to happen to me? I might get bitten by poisonous insects and snakes, or maybe I'll get pulled in by the tide at the beach, or I'll get lost in the jungle and never get rescued? NOOOOOOOOOO


27 Mar 2011

FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN

Why on EARTH must we go for the camp?!? Aren't there other alternative methods to this???

Spend two days and one night on Pulau Ubin, completely missing lessons in the process. Walk around in horrible weather conditions(hot and sunny, or wet and stormy), do physically exhausting tasks, set up tents, camp overnight, and build a freaking catapult. And all this for what? Team-building.

Look. There are so many ways we can encourage team-building. There is no need to take it to the level of camping overnight on an island distant from civilisation and advanced technology. A LOT of time is used up, which could have been used for other things which we prefer to do or we should be doing. I myself prefer to just get homework done, NOT miss lessons, still have access to the Internet, and enjoy the comforts of my own living space.

There are easier team-building activities which could be adopted too. Solving riddles, having an Amazing Race-style game within the day, even computer games can accomplish this same objective. Camping not only takes up relatively a lot more time and planning, there is also a higher risk of some kind of loss which could be incurred along the way. Camping in most cases implies a higher risk of injury: scratches, sunburns, bites, sores, blisters, illness etc. You would be less likely to get all these if the activities were less... extreme.

20 Mar 2011

Stage 2

Whoop! One-week "holiday" just ended! School starts in a few hours!

I can imagine some students frantically trying to finish up holiday homework right now, so that at least they won't start the 2nd school term of the year on a horrible note. I'd like to say that I've finished absolutely everything for school, but I also know I always forget something that has a medium level of importance. And it's usually something I'd least expect to forget, and yet almost the rest of my class remembers about it.

If I suddenly recall any uncompleted tasks early morning at school, there could still be a small time window before lessons start, allowing me to quickly complete any forgotten homework. Then again, I also might have forgotten to bring the required material too, so I might still be doomed anyway...

13 Mar 2011

Rest (to a certain extent)

Good news: the lesson-less week has begun. A week temporarily devoid of any lectures or tutorials. This however does not equate to a week without homework or studying. Neither does it mean a week without training or tuition or lessons outside of school or practice sessions. The schools shouldn't call it a holiday if they go all the way to making sure that it doesn't feel like one at all!

Although I usually make use of this lesson-less period to unwind and relax, preferably doing minimal activity, there are other students who go the opposite direction. Turns out the orientation hype hasn't died down yet, and I see those excited schoolmates who have been waiting for this time to hang out as a group and do stuff like movie-watching, ice-skating, shopping, bowling etc. And why not? It's a way to break the monotony of academic life. The problem isn't that in school we feel exhausted because we spend so much energy doing many things, but rather because we spend that same amount of energy on things we don't really feel like doing in the first place.

6 Mar 2011

Uncommon Words

Zenzizenzizenzic - The eighth power of a number, i.e. the zenzizenzizenzic of x = x8

Callipygian - Having well-shaped buttocks. Probably a suitable description for Jennifer Lopez?

Dumbledore - A bumblebee. Also the name of a certain professor...

Kvetch - Verb: to complain. Noun: a person who complains a LOT.

Oojah - Instead of just calling it a "thingy", you could call it an oojah if you're not sure what to call it.

Ceraunograph - An instrument that detects radio waves generated by lightning discharges and records their occurrence.

2 Mar 2011

Number Trick

Just saw this number trick(link):

Here is a math trick that might get you thinking...

1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head)
2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the area code)
3. Multiply by 80
4. Add 1
5. Multiply by 250
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250
9. Divide number by 2

Do you recognize the answer?

Received from K D Kribbs.


Try it out first!

27 Feb 2011

So What?

Sure, I know there's the current chaotic situation in Libya. Rioters spreading violence, innocents getting involved, many citizens fleeing to other countries... then oil prices escalate as a result and other people go into a buying frenzy. Some leaders fear that the unrest in Libya may get worse and might even potentially start a third World War if the problem isn't resolved quickly.

I end up seeing this event as more of a topic that could be discussed in my exams.

It's worrying that I end up being more concerned over my grades(and future career) than what is happening - and could happen - to the world. "More loansharks and their runners get arrested" -- possible essay topic for Chinese. "Oil prices climbing over Libya unrest" -- an example for an Economics test? "Present TV shows have negative influence on Gen Y" -- I should remember that for the English essay question.

I end up storing all these pieces of information just so I can pull it out and use it for the exam papers. Is there much meaning in doing that? It's not that I'm completely ignorant about current events... I should be well informed on such affairs. But is being well informed alone enough?

20 Feb 2011

Busy

Wow. This past week felt quite intense, after a few months of no proper lessons or timetable. I guess everybody's timetable looks more horrendous than in secondary school. I already stay back more often and for slightly longer than in secondary school, and that's already without the CCA...

And the moving around all over the JC campus will take some time to get used to also. It isn't my first time having to move around for lessons, but that was in primary school where the campus isn't too big anyway. Sometimes I end up going from one extreme end of the school to the other for adjacent lessons, and sometimes I have to go up several floors(the lifts do little to help since too many people use them in between lessons). And unfortunately both teachers and students have to go through this, so there can be rushes of human traffic.

14 Feb 2011

V-Day

It seems that there isn't a clear answer for how Valentine's Day came about, but we all think it has something to do with romance and expressing love to your significant other. And maybe a nearly naked child flying around shooting at people with arrows.

Valentine's Day is an abbreviation of St Valentine's Day. St Valentine seems to be the center of all this, but nobody's absolutely sure why. And there are many saints who went by that name(I think 14 altogether) so we don't know which one to give credit to for this occasion. Also, what exactly happened on February the 14th??? Some say a feast was held that day, some say it's the day he died, naturally or by execution, some say it's the day he started the letter-writing tradition. Who knows?

5 Feb 2011

Next Steps

...and just like that the orientation has closed on Tuesday. To summarise briefly, there were a lot of highs and 'O's.

Many students didn't care about acting their age and displaying "maturity" since this was the place you are encouraged to do just the opposite. The orientation was supposed to end with a nice fiery display, but things didn't go as expected. The outcome was still the same though; I think the objective of lighting everybody's fire from within and giving them the strength to carry on through JC is mostly accomplished.

Even up till now the orientation euphoria is still hanging around, with some still high within the clouds(or even in space). Group outings are organised, Facebook activity has heightened(at least the activity around my Facebook profile), etc. It seems we're off to a good start already, but I can't help but wonder how long these ties of friendship will last, knowing that the future obstacles could put them under strenuous tests. Will we really help a schoolmate if he/she is struggling in school? Will we still hang out long after we graduate from JC?

30 Jan 2011

Rain On My Parade

It's been raining almost nonstop these past few days. Even this morning till right now past 10pm. Already I see so many people ranting about the heavy rain and hoping that the rain will stop so they can get on with their outdoor stuff.

I on the other hand don't mind the rain at all. I like to think of the rain as a part of Mother Nature's services; providing mass air-conditioning, cleaning the dusty air around us, watering the plants, washing the vehicles etc. And it becomes soooooooo nice to lie in bed when the surrounding temperature is lower than the usual warm tropical heat. Sometimes the sound of the raindrops making impact with the ground outside provides a somewhat calming and sleep-inducing background noise too. Except when there is booming thunder accompanying the rain.

The heavy downpour has caused some problems for my school orientation programme(and I bet for other schools too) because the weather has led to cancellation of certain events. Even two days ago on Friday we were supposed to go around Singapore in a sort of Amazing Race frenzy, going to certain places and doing certain tasks, but the rain caused the sudden interruption of this game. As a result many students were disappointed, both those being orientated and those who planned and helped facilitate the event. (Well I'm not complaining...)

22 Jan 2011

Initiation

Well, the January Induction Programme(JIP) is ending soon on Tuesday. Which means orientation is coming. Great.

For those who don't know, the JIP is basically a way for those who come in earlier(the students in the RI Integrated Programme and the students who got admitted through by DSA) to get to know what will happen in Years 5 to 6, while we wait for the other students to apply and enter our school. So far it's only been talks, talks and more talks. Not that they're not completely irrelevant and boring, in fact they all contain vital information which I need to survive, and which I will likely forget partially.

At the moment the male and female students(I shouldn't use boys and girls now because we are all too old for that term, but at the same time I won't use young gentlemen and ladies either) are still separated from each other. Sure there's some mixing around during breaks but the two genders are still more or less segregated from each other... but not for long.

11 Jan 2011

Past Entry 7

14 December 2010

It's been quite a while since I last worked on these Past Entries.

At time of writing, the year is nearing its end, and 2011 is slowly creeping up. It's 11 days to Christmas and 18 days to January 1st. I've only just revamped my blog a few days ago.

Usually I'd complain that I have to deal with holiday homework during the December holidays, but fortunately this is a rare year. No need for reading up on books to prepare for a multiple-choice quiz, and no need to do a research report on some topic that I'd hardly concern myself with.

And another thing is that next month I'd still technically be on holiday. School won't officially start until somewhere around February, but I'll still go back to school for some initiation stuff, giving me the chance to familiarise myself before the start.

...Ohh, there's this TV ad about this new upcoming game show testing Singaporeans on how well we know our country. Would this still be out by the time I read this post again?

9 Jan 2011

Title of ANOTHER blog post.

Observation of declining/small frequency of new blog posts, and perhaps a self-reminder to increase that frequency, and/or put up more Past Entries. Maybe a comment on the ever-changing speed at which time moves past us.

Complaint about lack of inspiration resulting in a current lack of topic to discuss, and/or declaration of boredom currently being experienced by self.

Question about why an earlier post similar to this one is most viewed on the blog. Expression of puzzlement and confusion.

Eventual formation of idea on topic to discuss, most likely related to academic matters. Small introductory discussion of said topic, broken by new and cleverly(?) positioned "More" link, only visible on the blog.

3 Jan 2011

Late Night Bloghopping 2

I myself didn't expect to end up doing this again.

And yet I am.

I don't know why really.

Well I consider it good karma to help other people's blogs get the notice they deserve anyway. So why not?

And why do I do it late at night??? I'm not sure.

But who cares? Let's get started!

1 Jan 2011

2010 + 1

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!! :D

2011 already?!? That's insane! Well at least everybody still has Sunday to recover. And we can still party into the night of 1 January 2011 without worry! (although accidents tend to happen very frequently around New Year's Day)

So I thought I should post some facts about the number 2011 or the year 2011 over here! Here goes:

  • 2011 in Roman numerals is MMXI, as you can clearly see from Google's current Doodle
  • 2011 is a prime number
  • There is only one Friday the 13th in 2011, and that is in May
  • 1 - (2 * 3) + ((4 * 567 * 8) / 9) = 2011
  • This year's New Year's Day is special, because the date is 1/1/11!
  • Two movies predict we'll be doomed in 2011; in Aeon Flux almost the entire human population is wiped out by a virus, while in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Judgement Day will take place on April 21st D: