Friday, December 30, 2011

The second last night of 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody - A gift for humanity, for 2011 and for you.

Feeling like doing some reflections over the year…. but exams are looming, and my reflections are all over the floor (or blog) already =) Just thinking that many things had happened over this year, many first experiences that the Kee Onn just one year back in 2010 doesn’t even dare to imagine. Astronomy has gave me a life and took away my life. And thanks to MCKL’s 2 semesters, I feel like I’ve been through 2 years instead of 1. Weird huh. This year is also different as there is someone beside me to share my joys, happy and sad times, looking out for each other, as she made my days full with hope and energy. Oops. Yeah, she is none other than the awesome Joy :)

But still, anyway the wind blows….

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Leap of Faith

Faith on the rope is all you need to take a plunge down 60m into a pool of water at World Bungy Patong, Phuket, Thailand.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A tomorrow with you

It has been a long journey.

It is a journey full of mountains and valleys, deserts and tundras.

It is a journey with no end in sight.

It is a journey where we are not even sure where are we heading to.


It is a journey I am willing to take, because

It is a journey where as the sun sets, I know that

It is a journey in which I have another tomorrow with you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Step by step

…is currently my life’s motto, and an essential motto to tackle the multitudes and multitudes of tasks piling up on this most stressful of all Decembers.

With university applications, final A-level exams, scholarship interviews all in this December – January period… Especially US Applications! If any of you who are reading this are planning to apply, I advise you to start as early as you can! Collecting the teacher’s recommendations and transcripts are harder than what you think is a few trips to the office and former schools… Especially in my small time Brickfields college. Sorry to say, but when I heard that Taylor’s lecturers do their recommendations online, I just had to say ‘what you pay is what you get’. Lol. Of course, for what you don’t pay you’ll have to use your own efforts, which are really not too bad as otherwise they’ll be spent sleeping anyway. In any case, start as early as possible.

My US university list worries me, not to mention the kind Ms.Choong over at University Placements. Do not underestimate the essay, it is something that the American high school students do months in advance. I just hope now that my readings and constant blogging might help a little during these trying times. Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Texas A&M. I think I’m going crazy.

Not to mention backup plans… Well, like what I said just now, step by step. And there’s this weird Chinese saying that goes like ‘boats will naturally flow straight when reaching a bridge’ but it just means ‘all’s well ends well’. Hope the ancient wisdoms will be proven true to me too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Chronicle of the Stargazers

The Song in head syndrome – This, the term I was looking for popped up in an IELTS test. Currently, “Secret base” kept playing in my head. I wouldn’t be surprised, as this time – I’m on the verge of leaving something that I’ve cherished, something that has been my reason to go to college, or even, to wake up every morning, something that took up every minute of my free time and something I would gladly die for – The Stargazer Society of Methodist College Kuala Lumpur.


In actual fact, the club was conceived somewhere in late November 2010. At a time when I was searching for my true self. The 6 founding members – Lai Cheong, Edward, Stephanie, Nixon , Charmain and me. God knows where some of them have gone now. It was, above all, the tenacity of the desire to set up this club, coupled with the invaluable leniency of Mr Michael, that the Stargazer Society was able to open its doors on 10 Feb 2010.

One thing that really inspired me for the setting up of this club is the 2010 Geminids Meteor Shower, which we observed in Kajang along with Simpson, De Yun and Li Huan. As the night gradually falls in, the familiar patterns of stars which I once was so crazy about it long ago, they were calling out to me – I felt so at home under the sky. This feeling, I still have it every time I find myself in a sky full of stars. And thanks to the superb meteor shower, it rejuvenated my determination to start up the club in the holidays, and I never regretted every second of it since.

Reinventing astronomy

The 2nd meeting was a big mistake. A hastily compiled data set of theoretical physics for 1.5 hours proved much more effective than Ms Lim’s afternoon Maths class. Seeing member after member trying to stay awake, I made a resolution to change the way astronomy is preached to the members, and also to everyone :P Ironically what I remembered most is that Adrian was the only one who seems to be so interested about everything, even giving a ‘wtf’ look when I put it the turtle towers analogy.

Anyway, I squeezed my brain juices for the next meet. Luck was in the form of a star party, which was the informally Stargazer Society’s first Star Party in Kajang with Tan Simpson’s new SpaceProbe 130 ShortTube Equatorial. I was introduced to Stellarium, later proved to be a very effective tool in extracting the oohs and aahs from the newbie Stargazers :D The outing reminded me of how pleasing stargazing is, and thus….

‘Ok now, everyone please lie down on the table!” was something I suppose not every normal club president would ask the people to do! But that was exactly what happened that day, where we were to learn about the celestial sphere, the zenith, meridian, RA and DEC, the hand angles and everything pure astronomy goodness. Yeang Ching brought along a new member, who was later instrumental in radically changing the Stargazer Society – Secretary Choong Joy Teen.

Stargazer’s Outpost – Kajang


Since the start of this club, old school friend Tan Simpson has been of immeasureable help to the club. In fact, out very first informal and formal outings are both held at the park near his house at Taman Prima Saujana, Kajang.

Stargazer Society Star Party 1 and 2 saw the wonders of the Winter and Summer skies. Mr Lopez helped made the second star party official by driving 2+ hours all the way to Kajang! With the help of many people and Lady Luck, both star parties are considered succesful and proved instrumental for our following outing.

Spreading the message



One event that the Stargazer Society still take pride in organizing – the President always talk about it even today – the UNMC Nature Club – MCKL Stargazer Society Lyrids Watch! It was definitely a very different outing from all of the rest.

At the suggestion of Josh, the Stargazers contemplated about having a star party in the serene outskirts of KL, in Semenyih at the UNMC campus. After much doubts, with reassurance from the good fellows over at Nature Club, we decided to make the event a blast!

Well, it was not really a blast. The plans all went haywire, the beautiful amphitheatre was full of people lying down like refugees and we decided to let them be – while the Stargazers walk around and guide them to the sky :) A great help from Ms Teoh Hui Chieh and Aisah Yap, fellow enthusiasts that brought a refractor and a Cassegrain to view the Winter sky. Unfortunately it was like really cloudly for most of the night, but when the sky is clear the Stargazers showed them the famous constellations and implant some astronomy virus in them, according to the princicples of the Stargazer Society.

They are out there….

Towards the end of the first semester, the Stargazers realised that more can be done – we will be having a long, long time to play in the 2nd part of the year! Therefore, I along with comrade Simpson went on to get contacts and network with the astronomy community in Malaysia.



On the night of the Chem 4 exam, a once in how-many-years Lunar Eclipse was taking place and the National Space Agency was hosting an observation party over at the National Mosque. Joy, Yi Kun and I represented the Stargazer Society. Apart from watching half of the eclipse, the Stargazers got to know Ms Chen Chen Lau of the Planetarium, Ms Sufen of Orion telescopes, among many others. It was an outing that was memorable in many ways, although we didn’t get to see the eclipse in full. Sharing astronomy with the people at the mosque was also fulfilling, and telescopes the size of garbage bins by the Planetarium makes the Stargazers drool. Hehe.


Next up is none other than the Penang Astronomy Convention in Penang. It was a trip like none other – Simpson and I rode a 4 hour trip over there and it’s our first time backpacking. In USM we met the legendary Dr Chong and USM Astronomy Club, and had a helluva time in USM and Penang.



The astronomy spirit in Penang is amazing! Quite a number of secondary schools actually set up booths in the convention, not to mention small kids manning the water rockets we launched in the something fair in Kepala Batas. No need for 1Malaysia or any other shit, astronomy was good enough to keep us together! Over at the fair I’ve also met a friend from long ago – the Perseid Telescopes company that came to the motivation camp in SJKC Chee Mong back in 2003. I bought the Star Charts and lost it, and now I have it again! The Star Charts reminded me of my days in Kerteh looking at Scorpio, and longing for a telescope in KL when I was 12 back then.


And this is the aweshume largest refractor in Malaysia…! OK this is turning into an ‘Astronomy and me’ blog post. Ahem well the trip inspired me to, above all, further spread the sidewalk spirit and launch water rockets! I also made a note to myself to bring the Stargazer crew over to Penang someday.

Bigger, and louder!



Not to say discriminating, but Julies are awesome! Haha that’s what I thought. The new semester saw the joining of a very enthusiastic crew that attended our first (partially failed) sidewalk effort in KLCC moved to Titiwangsa Park. However, the smiles are worth the effort, especially when they see Saturn or the Moon through Simpson’s scope at that time! We didn’t manage to get any long term ‘converts’ that time, but well I hope that we made an impression!

Note : If we want to really make the news – as Chee Meng requested as our goals – I think we can start with a monthly sidewalk over at Titiwangsa! I’m sure many will be interested!



The Perseids Meteor Shower saw a participation of 18 people (or so I remember), a damn large delegation that saw unfortunate consequences – long walking under the hot sun, squeezing the KTM, KTM delay,walking to KTM Station. Well, it’s a budget trip, we’re a budget society. However, most participants, if not all, managed to get glimpse of some beautiful meteors (I scored 5), and who does not enjoy to have a refractor and reflector at once! ^.^

Festival society

Back in college, I think we somehow must’ve be known as the festival society. All thanks to the hard work, sweat and breaking bones by the Stargazers, with special special special credits due to Joy our beloved master planner!

First off is the Stargazer’s Summer Festival a.k.a fundraiser! In the pretext of more exciting activities, we sold food and stuff throughout the week (devastatingly tiring), mashed potatoes, our FAMOUS nachos with some cheese or chilli con carne with credits to Cross, Joy’s mushroom soup and Cross’s caricatures! The Stargazers worked hard, played hard, stole food, pulled overnighters, further enhancing the bonds between friends and meanwhile promoting the society! After the fund raiser, we took a break, not knowing something bigger is looming ahead….



And that was a festival like no other – A Japanese themed, astronomy aimed, Party Rock atmosphere-d, Chinese Moon Cake Festival! We were in luck for the Recreation Room was ours to have for the whole week, out of luck where we have scarcely enough time to promote the festival, and it rained when we planned to set up in the basketball court. Truthfully, the scene when everyone in college, Stargazers or not, all came down and helped us set up the stalls and lights when we were running out of time – it almost moved me to tears. Really. That was when I was so glad that the Stargazer Society was in MCKL.

Of course, Stargazers were awesome too, relentlessly serving the participants to make the event a memorable affair. Special credit goes to the one who hasn’t had a good sleep for days, worked until her neck went stiff, and planned all the details when the president was stymied by the realisation of how complex the required plannings were. No amount of gratefulness can describe how much the Stargazers owe you.

And the cycle goes on…

One doesn’t have to listen to Guns and Roses’ November Rain to know how depressing the end of the year is. All good things come to an end, and here are we, passing on the baton to the committee of 2012, Adrian, Daisuke, Apple, Hui Jia, Yaw Jin and Arvin. As much as I didn’t want to let go, I believe that you all can and will do a better job for the club. It was my life – and I hope that it can be part of yours too. After the Water Rocket and Bukit Tinggi final outing, the club is in your full power :) but do remember to call me whenever you’re going on outings or having an interesting experiment. Hopefully I will be there, or else I will be waiting for your updates on the blog!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

SAT Essay : Does knowledge improve one’s happiness?

“The farm consumes a farmer’s life.” This phrase has destroyed my initial romantic connotations associated with a life in the farm. Now, in the olden times everyone was a farmer, and there were no time for the to conduct other pursuits. Only the royalty and aristocrats can afford to do so. Then, the Industrial Revolution came. The advances in science and technology in turn helped developed machines that can replace human work. The scientific method assisted man in discoveries, such as hydraulic systems and the exact nutrients that plants need; they helped alleviate man’s burdens and maximised the yields for his efforts. People now had more time for themselves, to find inner peace and live mroe contentedly. This has shown that the advance of scientific knowledge makes one happier!

One will claim that “ignorance is bliss”, that people with knowledge of how the world works and its limitations are often unhappy persons. In reply to this, I cite an example of the legendary fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper”. While the ignorant Grasshopper leaps about, enjoying the warm seasons, the knowledgeable Ant gets down to work, building up its food supply for the coming Winter. In the end, the ignorant and ‘blissful’ Grasshopper died in the cold while the Ant stayed in his nest, knowing that he can make it through the winter due to his effort. Therefore, this shows that the ‘knowledge’ way to happiness ensures a more long-lasting ‘bliss’, rather than relying on pure ignorance.

However, only by obtaining the right knowledge only one will then gain the right happiness. Think about it – one who attained sinful knowledge, such as trickery and manipulation will never attain true happiness . This is because it goes against the basic human nature, as quoted by Confucius – that “All humans are originally good”.


Thanks for reading. Do comment below for any critique and improvements to be made.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


It seems a Chrono13 Dancing Mad post haven’t been posted by me for a long time.

Why the italics? It’s simply because I’m trying to avoid taking responsibilities for my statement, I use the passive voice. The passive voice is a magic box that sucks away your dirty tracks on whatever that happened. Mistakes were made. It has been brought to light that a serious disaster has struck the community of Los Desperados due to failure of the municipal government to conduct periodical spot checks on slope stability. They just couldn’t afford to say, “The city council didn’t check the slopes regularly, so a landslide occurred.”

Due to English education in Malaysia gives more emphasis to English communication than grammar. For example, we are more often taught how to use English when we buy things, take the bus, and etc. My faintest recollection of learning grammar is a/an, who/what/where/which/when/how, and a smattering of past, present and future tense. I vaguely recall hearing weird terms of ‘past present’, ‘present continuous’ and all other sorts of combinations. In the UPSR up to SPM I’ve always relied on intuition, on whether my sentences ‘sounds’ right or not.  Usually it doesn’t fail me due to my voracious reading which builds up my autocorrect system, but in exams such as the SAT the level simply doesn’t match up. That’s why I’m here today, reading on the ancient art of English grammar.

Writing is also an art. This book of mine quoted Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as a fine piece of writing. The author broke down and analyses each and every sentence in the speech, then predicts the meaning and psychological effect of some creatively structured sentences on the tired soldiers. Actually, I don’t even know where Gettysburg is, but I heard that they (Lincoln’s side – the Union) eventually won the war.

If I have the courage I might post some of my SAT essays up here. SAT test takers, English professors and most importantly SAT readers are welcome to chop them the essays into a million pieces, then chew them until the juice run dry and dish out the comment.

Well then, good luck for the SAT!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Space Shuttle

The space shuttle has been a fantastic vehicle. It is unlike any other thing that we've ever built. Its capabilities have carried several hundred people into space.
Robert Crippen

The Space Shuttle Program by NASA, held from 1981 to 2011, was a defining programme that shaped human space endeavours for the last 30 years. Everyone, every kid is fascinated by the sight of the space shuttle that has dutifully brought humans up to the Mir Space Station, and subsequently the International Space Station to conduct scientific research, experiment long term living in space and providing the groundwork for future, deeper explorations.

On Thursday, our beloved club treasurer Yeang Ching, under her own initiative, offered to share with the club about the story of the space shuttle.


Pic shown is the orbiter #0 Enterprise, named after the legendary Star Wars spaceship. It is #0 because it is a prototype and it was never used for real space exploration. The first one to do so is Columbia instead.

Yeang Ching’s main topic is the materials used to build the space shuttle, which is very interesting on its own. Do you know which part of the Space Shuttle gets the hottest during atmospheric re-entry? And what are the few substances that are able to stand such crazy temperatures and are used to line the Space Shuttle’s Exterior? Do you know what are the names of the booster rockets attached to the Space Shuttle? Do you even know how many orbiters were there? She knew it all! :P

Ok well, first off here’s a chronology of what happens during each flight : File:Space shuttle mission profile.jpg

When people have asked if I'd like to go in the Shuttle, I said you don't get to fly it, except for landing, which I'd love to do. I wouldn't go unless I could command it.
Wally Schirra

The most dangerous part of the flight, other than liftoff, is the re-entry part where the orbiter can face temperatures of up to 3000 degrees! This is due to friction with the Earth’s atmosphere. Sorta like having your own mother killing you.

As you can see the whitest and hottest part is the edge of the wings. Special protections are applied to these areas so that the orbiter would not melt. There you go!


click for larger image

One of the more famous tiles are the High Temperature-Reusable Surface Insulation (HRSI) tiles which are black in colour and lines the bottom of the orbiter. In this pic a spot check is done on Discovery’s heat tiles while it was docked to the ISS. The tiles are not all black, the one with faded colours are the old tiles. 

Enclosed is a diagram of the materials for the HRSI tiles. Someone commented that it was oddly similar to mahjong tiles lol.

File:Space Shuttle (HRSI tile).png

I think the Space Shuttle is worth one billion dollars a launch. I think that it is worth two billion dollars for what it does. I think the Shuttle is worth it for the work it does.
Pete Conrad

Other than that, Yeang Ching has also presented on the launch system of the Space Shuttle!


In the pic, the orange big rockets is known as the External Fuel Tank, and the twin small rockets beside are the Solid Booster Rockets! The club members remembers this well as it cost them a free ice-cream, except for Daisuke! :D

Lastly, a talk on the thermal protection system of the Space Shuttle is not complete with the tragedy of the Columbia Orbiter in 2003. This was due to a heat tile that happened to dislodge during reentry and hit the shuttle’s left wing, causing a puncture and allowed hot gases from the reentry to enter the wing and disintegrate the wing from within, leading to eventual loss of control and breakup of the shuttle. Due to this incident, space shuttle was put on hold for two years, similar to the Challenger incident and improvements were made on the three remaining orbiters, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.

That is all for Yeang Ching’s sharing session! Clap clap clap! And congrats to the winners of the quiz session, Priscilla, Daisuke, Yee Lin, Yi Kun and Chee Meng who won a free ice cream to be redeemed on the Oct 29th Sidewalk Astronomy Night!


Well then, see ya next meeting!

The Twilight Zone' wasn't around with the kids. They think going up in space is neat. Within their lifetime, there will be paying passengers on the shuttle.
Christa McAuliffe (teacher astronaut who perished on the Challenger incident)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank you

I’ve no idea how many times I said this already =) But it really comes deep from the abyss, the ventricle Bundle of His or something like that, from my heart.
First of all a very very thank you to my mum, who at 19 years ago was jolted awake by the fella who want to come out at 1.36 a.m. of all times. Until today the biological clock has not been reset, still in US time zone configuration lol! Thank you for raising me up such that I can be here today as I am now, and I apologize whenever I fought and screamed at you. I always love you Mama. And Papa too faster quit smoking. You said that you will quit on my 7th birthday. Until now!
<< this one last year pic. this year she gigi sakit. get well soon ma!

And a special thanks to this cute girl, one who has been very supportive, helpful and specially awesome and holds a very special place in my heart =)

And of course all my dear members of the Stargazer Society and schoolmates in MCKL!!! and Jordan my brokeback friend (joking) for the ‘thoughtful’ card and the lollipops haha. Just the thing to keep me awake in Maths class!
309181_2252339701100_1026497380_31911651_1995775265_n  Special mention to Bryan of the Council of the Heng Dais®. Now I am conferred with the honour of the Astrologically turned ONN Heng Dai. Usually I will give them an earful for those who confuse astrology with astronomy, but anyway…

<< Here’s Bryan in white. 24092011556
My loot. :D I particularly liked the rocket card from Joy and the Stargazer Society! Even made a desktop background picture out of it…
It’s just too cute! XD
Not forgetting my sister who bought a brownish hair colouring cream. Wonder when shall I try it out ^^V And wishes from my cousins, they’re so cute they write and put in envelopes complete with a used stamp and slip it in the mailbox. Reminds me of this picture :

Finally, I still wanna quote Haruki Murakami, from his best selling novel Norwegian Wood, about being in the last years of your teenager years. Hehe.
Halfway through April Naoko turned 20. She was seven months older than I was, my own birthday being in November. There was something strange about her becoming 20. I. felt as if the only thing that made sense, whether for Naoko or for me, was to keep going back and forth between 18 and 19. After 18 would come 19, and after 19, 18, of course. But she turned 20. And in the autumn, I would do the same. Only the dead stay 17 for ever.
It rained on her birthday. After lectures I bought a cake nearby and took the tram to her flat. “We ought to have a celebration,” I said. I probably would have wanted the same thing if our positions had been reversed. It must be hard to pass your twentieth birthday alone. The tram had been packed and had pitched so wildly that by the time I arrived at Naoko’s room the cake was looking more like the Roman Colosseum than anything else. Still, once I had managed to stand up the 20 candles I had brought along, light them, close the curtains and turn out the lights, we had the makings of a birthday party. Naoko opened a bottle of wine. We drank, had some cake, and enjoyed a simple dinner.
“I don’t know, it’s stupid being 20,” she said. “I’m just not ready. It feels weird. Like somebody’s pushing me from behind.”
“I’ve got seven months to get ready,” I said with a laugh.
“You’re so lucky! Still 19!” said Naoko with a hint of envy.
Thank you everyone. You made my day =)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sometimes I hate the city

Sometimes I hate the city,

With grey concrete building and black tar road,

Countless faces I will never know,

Only the synthesized voice accompanying the road home.

Lying down in the field when I was young,

The wind hugs me welcome,

Sounds of water gossips about the intruder,

Grasses bend down to carry me,

As i fall asleep listening to birds chatter.

Now all I have is a sweaty steel chair,

nonsensical noise from strangers,

and a mechanical mouth that keeps

blowing cold stale air on my face.

The seven ages of man

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice
In fair round belly, with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide,
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

William Shakespeare

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

November Rain

The unstoppable rhythm of raindrops falling to the ground,

committing mass suicide.

The yellow, mighty bright old sun, cannot do anything,

to counter the dark clouds.

The calendar is nearing the end, gray coats line the gloomy streets,

And when your fears subside, And shadows still remain,

In a cold November rain.

I know its September but the music is just too nice and apt. With all the load of applications, club activities and exams for both sides of the world. It does feel like November, doesn’t it? More so, when you see your former classmates already going to places, universities of their choice, and you are only struggling now. Never lose heart, you tell yourself, but sometimes it can be just too much. Maybe its time for me to crank down my gear a bit, stop daydreaming of ‘awesome’ activities and outing for the club, cos’ I need some time… on my own. lol. I still don’t understand how did I manage 3 outings in the last short semester.

Preparing for another trip to Penang again, on my own.

Tackling the loads of paperwork, on my own.

Sometimes I need some time… on my own,

Everybody needs some time … on their own.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Runnnnning out of time =(

With all the university applications, Stargazer events, astronomy events and fucking MCKL exams, I am no longer the slow paced, take-it-easy, God-is-in-heaven-all’s-right-with-the-world student. Or am I? Procrastination is the deadliest poison for me now, it always required a certain degree of pressure to set in before I am willing to get to work.

No need for sleep the next few days…. bye dreamland…

PS Things on the Internet are meant to be free for all.