Friday, December 31, 2010

Here it goes again



And there goes another year
the Year of Firsts
aptly named and described
all those that happened
in the year 2010.

Things happened
experiences gained
friends made
kinship deepened.

Here's to another year
of pleasent surprises in store
joy and happiness for all

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A reminder to myself on 2011

To me,

Face it. Your life has been a bullshit all the while.

Yeah, you already knew it. Hmm. But previously you kept denying the truth. But not now, not anymore will you continue to hide from reality. And the reality is that simple – you don’t have supportive parents.
Everything pretty much went wrong all the while with you. I’ll give you a word of wisdom. Listen to your parents until you are 12. Then, find your own way. Be assertive, demanding, not complying to their every whims and fancy as it puts your future on the line. Yeah, don’t expect them, as knowledgable as they may seem, to settle everything that they think is best for you. Proof? I’ve plenty.

2006. Your mother grumbled about sending you to St John everyday. You quite enjoyed the group last year, attending every meeting up until the school holidays. Extra sessions can’t attend cos of no transport. And they just kept dilly-dallying about the RM80 uniform set. Therefore, in the best interest of your parents, you quit.

2007. Your astronomy interest is very much on fire. But a promised telescope was swapped for a last minute gift of a little blue MP3. Don’t say that you asked for the swap. You thought that It was also in the best interest of the father’s wallet. Therefore there goes a probability of becoming an astronomer. They never thought of the telescope as an investment for their child’s future.

2008. Found a new interest in Tai Chi. Attended every lesson, sifu said that you can join the competitions. Thing is, special training until 12a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. See, I still remember the dates. Of course, that was a no too. As life progresses, three times a failure made you disillusioned. You brood over the computer and, hey you got some interest in computer programming too. That was the days where you self learned CSS, Photoshop and C programming. And you see that your mom gradually complied with your sister’s requests to fetch to events, friend’s houses and such. You realised it. You was the eldest. And eldest child don’t really stand a chance.

2009. Now i will name another really bloody big stumbling block of your future. Yes, I will name her whole – Puan Wee Soon Joo. Words cannot describe your frustrations about her constant slacking on the planned activities. Yes, I will name all of us too, the so-called AJK. As far as I recall you were the only one doing things, and Lee Qin Song, a great help too. But it wasn’t such a big mistake in becoming a class monitor, as I can really use my powers to at least start a change in the classroom. After such a long time, I tasted power. Of course, it sorta helped in my struggles for the scholarships too.

2010. Your intended job of giving tuition at Kajang turned to a store helper at 99speedmart nearby. Transport problem. You intended to skip that bloody thing called NS, but your mom forced you to go, another 3 months wasted. While your sistah got really good in swimming. And that one no transport problem. You recall her saying sending you to German classes, which you really look forward to. No transport. And finally, a last-minute switch from American Degree Program to the MCKL A-levels. Due to financial considerations. But that you don’t really mind anyway, so let’s ignore that. But the list is long. And it is true. Too true for you to ignore. And it’s becoming really dangerous, as you are coming to accept your ’fate’, while it shouldn’t be.

IT’S STILL NOT TOO LATE NOW.

In late 2010 you have founded a new club rekindling your astronomy interests, the Stargazer Society. A colourful programme has been devised to keep you busy. FOLLOW THE SCHEDULE. DON’T LET ANYTHING GET IN YOUR WAY. TRANSPORT, FINANCE OR WHATEVER BULLSHIT THE WORLD MAY COME OUT WITH. Uni applications needs some people with a so-called ‘leadership’ qualities. This may just be your one-way ticket. Don’t lose it.

And now you really already have an idea of what you want to study, and where – in precise. You want, you must, you WILL study Physics in the California Institute of Technology. No one can help you except yourself on this one. And this, I announce, will be my one and only goal, my resolution for this 2011 and 2012. Don’t worry when people question you – what type of physics? Can earn money meh? You dreaming ar? Because THE MOST IMPORTANT PART IS GETTING THERE. THAT’S ALL.

BE ASSERTIVE. BE DEMANDING. BE PROVOCATIVE. COS IF YOU WANT THE WORLD TO BE YOUR OYSTER, FIRST YOU MUST BRAVE THE DEEP BLUE SEA.
BY AUGUST 2012 YOU WILL HOLD THIS TORCH AS YOU WALK INTO CALTECH.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All A is (not) C

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Do you know that we learnt stereotyping back in Form 4 Modern Mathematics? If you recall, one of the three ‘logics’ that we pondered upon goes like this:
Statement : All A is C.
Premise : B is A.
Conclusion : B is C.
This serves as a platform for us to base our stereotyping. And while this serves as a deduction logic, we often also use the reverse of it, the induction logic that goes : B is A, B is C, All A are C. And we spread out our ‘statement’ to others so that they can deduce the other B’s as A’s, and therefore they are C’s.

Do you get the picture? As an example, I’ll say that I am a megalomaniac. I am also a blogger. Therefore, you induce that All bloggers are megalomaniacs. Later, you stumbled upon another blog by clicking my links. They are all bloggers, of course. Therefore they are all megalomaniacs. And this is what we usually call stereotyping.

Stereotyping is usually induced by the feeling of inferiority and fear of the unknown within a person, especially if the ‘stereotyped’ lives his live with waves that deviate from the norm as regarded by the community. By stereotyping, you are putting on a tinted glasses of prejudice, denying the accused a chance to show his true self, and also – denying yourself a chance to know him better. It is a double-edged sword, you ignore the light, therefore you are in the dark.

Just today, I went to the National Registration Department to renew my IC as compulsory for all 18 years olds. I came with the notion that “All government services are slowpokes’ obtained from countless comments from people around me, and also my previous brushes with the bureaucracy. However, “NRD is a govt department”, “NRD is slow” was proved quite wrong. Kudos to NRD Putrajaya! The staff are friendly, the system is running quite smoothly, and my application goes through successfully, ready by the next day!

Therefore, it shows that not all govt departments are slow. Similarly, not all bloggers are megalomaniacs, not all speckies are bookworms, not all Japs are horny. Everyone is unique and have many other qualities you can learn from. As much as I reject most English pop, I listen to Adam Lambert’s ‘Soaked’, it is my favourite as you can really feel the depressing mood of the song (refer to previous post).

If you’re been stereotyping things all the while, you’ve missed out many things in your life!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Music

IT often went like this:
Chrono : That day I was playing my piano…
Friend : Mm… you WHAT?!
Yeah, there’s something else I know apart from games, anime and astronomy. But with the length of my fingers some people doesn’t seem to believe me. That’s why I make it a point to bang the college piano the very first day of class.
IT was also always like this:
Friend: What songs do you have? Hmm… Michael Jackson, erm… Rasputin(Boney M)? Free Bird(Lynyrd Skynyrd)? … *scrolls down to MP3/Theme Songs* what is this きみのきおく?ひかりのせんりつ?ざんこくのてんしのテぜ?
Chrono: My songs are 5% of all music played on radios nationwide.
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Actually, it wasn’t really that long ago. It began on the advent of the Internet, the all-encompassing archive of data that caters to almost every need. Like, my music interest. I find the music I liked best are those which has a soul, i.e. those which will evoke a feeling/scenery/mood/expression within. The closest musical term for these music I can find is “Impressionist”, but my range is far more than slow-moving, 20th century dreamy pieces.

One of my interests are soundtracks from games and TV shows. There are especially some fantastic numbers from various composers (Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame, Key Visual Novels) that accompanies a particular scene perfectly. To make music is an art, but to make music to match a story is on a higher level. And these are epic, in my opinion. Now you know what is the music box on the right meant for, it’s my personal collection of the best soundtracks around.
Songs, they are poems sung with a tune, accompanied with matching background music and percussion. And lyrics matters to me a lot, as lyrics conveys the message of the songs and is the backbone of the ‘scenery’ associated with it. My NS friend once told me that to create a song, you must have the lyrics first. Sadly, lyrics of most of today’s pop music, the 95% on air are crap in my opinion. Especially a tune that goes ‘I want your body…’ that my pa hums every night (heard it on the radio), that one is utter bullshit.

Of course, the music matters to. And that’s what I like about Japanese anime theme songs. They are rather effective in portraying the theme of a particular show, the feeling they produce is an upbeat, positive, and lively one. Of course, if you’re in a dark mood there are also blue tunes to accompany you. Most other music, they’re just sawing their guitars and spewing something about everlasting love (Chinese pop) or sex on the beach or whatever (English).

And did I mention about the artist? For me, all that matters when it comes to a song or music, is the quality of the music and the lyrics, that’s all. It doesn’t matter if it came from a top artist or someone just new on the block, or even a YouTube star.

Finally, I hope that you have your speakers/headphones on, leave this page open and savour the finely selected music playing in my music box. Enjoy. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mission Rapid Transit

Out of excitement over the coming soon MRT project which runs through our area, the Fong Dynasty decided to send a 4-strong Mission Rapid Transit (MRT) commission to inspect and review the nearest MRT system, in none other than the Island Republic – Singapore! Upon reaching, the MRT Commission was graciously received by the Jurong East branch of the Fong Dynasty. From left : Jurong East branch First Lady, Kajang branch Laksamana, Jurong East branch president, Kajang branch Syahbandar, Bendahara and Temenggung. 

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Overview of the S’pore MRT system:

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One thing is, it’s very easy to get around in the island. Out of the apartments you can go a bus stop (near), ride to the stations and ride the MRT to get around. With frequencies of around 5 mins per train, it’s more unlikely to find yourself in a sardine packed train as in KTM. Bus drivers are quite well-mannered, not RapidKL live-wire, easily combustible drivers. MRT Commission’s conclusion : Our guys can learn a lot from here.

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Of course, the MRT Commission also came to play! From the moment we touched down in the city, all we can see are Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas. Endless blocks of shopping centres around City Hall and Orchard Road, when the night sets in the whole street glows with shades of blue, purple, red etc. by hanging lightbulbs all around. Locals and tourists (and MRT Commission members) all came to throng the streets to revel in the festive atmosphere.

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The MRT Commission is also in other words, tourists :- therefore visiting tourist attractions are the norm. In the island there is the Sentosa Island, the Merlion and the two new casinos. But being responsible emissaries of the Fong Dynasty, we just merely took ‘some’ pictures outside!

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The famous attractions, Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands were not spared by the Commission members! Here’s showing the prowess of the Laksamana:-The innovation of the Bendahara:-The appetite of the Syahbandar:-And of course, the power of the Temenggung!

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Finally, the MRT Commission Team’s conclusion of their ‘study trip’ :

“So Tired!”

Seems like they’ve actually played more!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finally

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Am getting quite excited for the coming soon Sg Buloh – Kajang Mass Rail Transit (MRT), because simply of the fact that I live somewhere around the proposed rail line. For me, this line has been long overdue, with the rising population now in Serdang, Balakong, Sg Long and all the way to Kajang town. Now its just hoping they would deliver it on time (est. time of completion 2014-2015).
The picture up there is a combination of existing rail lines and the proposed lines (Sg Buloh-Kajang) and the Circle Line, in light blue and medium blue. Stations are not yet confirmed, just a prediction by Bukhrin. http://transitmy.org/2010/06/09/transit-comments-on-the-proposed-mrt-plans/
In other words, no more need to use KTM Komuter to go to KL for Comic Fiesta! Yeah, I brought my siblings and a friend to the Comic Fiesta 9th Impact, and it was our first. It was fun to see the cosplays and doujinshi and ACG related paraphernalia! We forgot to bring our camera and just managed some crude shots with the phone camera :(
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The coolest one in my opinion! I feel like coming again next year too! (in a Kefka FFVI costume by the way)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Round Trip

A whole year has almost passed since I left the straight road – the road of schools and classes and tuitions. In this ‘holiday’ year I went through all kinds of things, working, going to National Service, going to scholarship interviews, pursuing A-Levels in MCKL where the culture is already vastly different for me – even though it’s just a distance of 5 KTM Stations.

In the beginning I thought what would I’ll become in this year, a sports fanatic, a devoted religious one, a knowledgeable scholar… Haha, in the end I still don’t feel anything different, except for the lost pounds left in Kem Ulu Pari. I knew that I’m not trying hard enough, always doing things half-heartedly ending up in this state of Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. Already some people have commented that I’m like an encyclopaedia. Well, this may be the one thing I’m good at.

Yeah right, on the other hand I’m still satisfied with my ways and my life as it is, as long it doesn’t run foul of the law – so why bother fixing things when it ain’t broken?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hibernation

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It is a well-known fact that bears hibernate in the winter. Humans should hibernate, too. Especially when there is a long school holiday, or after almost a year of tiring work life. Instead of dozing off everyday and taking advantage of every free minute to get some nap, it’ll be better to totally detach yourself from any work and just concentrate on rest.

When the leaves turn red, bears gather food and stuff themselves until their stomach is full. Then they find a cave, or a hollow tree, make themselves cosy and go to sleep as winter comes. Snoozing soundly as blizzards come and go, they wake up at the sound of the birds chirping, stretch their bearbones and crawl out of their spot to welcome a fresh new year.

Gee, I wish I could too! :D

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nagareboshi



In the blink of an eye
What that were travellers of the cosmos
All have been incinerated into Nothingness
A sparkle of their feelings
White-hot anger, blue sadness,
Or the faint hint of disillusionment
Doesn’t last even a second
While we celebrate its death
With a name called the meteor shower

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where time stood still

There is nothing more long-lasting, more well-equipped to stand the test of time and nature’s ruthless phagocytosis, more able to evoke the feeling of curiosity, humble and amazement from within…. than a stone temple. And it’s not just any temple, but the sacred grounds of the thousand-years-old Angkor Wat and associates in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
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The majestic Angkor Wat, surrounded by a huge lake, implies the idea of orde kosmos, i.e. that once long ago, the place is considered the centre of the world. It was built in early 12th century by King Suryavarman II dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. Over time, the Buddhist influence took over and the Vishnu statue was moved from the centre of the temple to the entrance, and a giant Buddhe statue was placed at the centre. The centre is still considered a sacred place and that day we went there, it was closed for prayers.
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The ‘handrails’ depict a long, looooooong snake called the Naga in Hindu mythology. Naga with the seven heads and is often pictured with many men pulling the snake as shown in the story of Churning of the sea of milk. There are also bas reliefs of the two Hindu Epic, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

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  •   Inside the temple






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  • A sign you wouldn't see anywhere else!





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  • Another picture in the temple





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  • Ancient scriptures on the wall, written in Ancient Khmer which no one can read today.






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Next off is Banteay Srei, an even older temple built in the 10th Century. The name Banteay Srei meant the ‘Citadel of Women’, and its reddish appearance is linked to its building material, red sandstone. The sandstone is very easy to craft, therefore there are some really astounding stone carvings inside. The temple is dedicated to the God Shiva. Many Hindu Kings pray to the God Shiva because it is known as the God of Destruction, whereby Shiva can destroy the universe or the bad influences in the universe simple just by dancing.
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Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII. It covers an area of 9 km², within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north.
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Many parts of the temples we visit is under reconstruction, mostly by Indian workers. This is due to the change in dynasties in Cambodia, from a King to another. From time to time they will move the capital city to another place, and even Angkor Wat, as venerable as it is, was forgotten at one point and rediscovered by French in the 1900s. By that time, nature has played its role, and many efforts were done to restore the temple to its original glory…. until today.
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  Many of these four-faced Buddha statues can be found here. Quite well-preserved, each of the faces seems to show a different emotion.





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Over the years, from the early Hindu influence, to the rise of Buddhism, to the Communist influence of the Khmer Rouge, it is amazing that these monuments still stand tall, enduring human and natural destruction to let the future us gaze on relics created once upon a time. Similarly all around the world, nothing goes better to capture a snapshot of the zeitgeist of times than a stone monument!