When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, January 05, 2002

The usual bookout posting:

Restored Post

It seems that I've less and less to write each time, probably because I've already covered much. I shall pad this entry with quotes at the end.

I saw a picture of Tim's class, the one in the 2000 yearbook. Not bad. And he-who-provided-the-picture says that many of them, er, blossomed in J2.

People were still looking at the pictures that I brought. No, I don't intend to hand them over to the sergeants in the set of 36 photos that we were supposed to bring so that they could "know us better" (someone had pictures of dogs and another had pictures of when he was 12). Anyway, someone tried to "chope" 2 members of vis-a-vis, Rebecca and Melissa (not that I know them, or that I would disclose their personal information to him, so he can dream on :) ). People were looking at the NJ and PJ yearbooks and pointing out supposedly pretty girls. Someone voiced his dislike for A-line skirts, saying they made girls look "too mature". And he was telling me how much he "appreciated" the RJ skirt, which apparently is very, err, free to move. I still don't have a complete and fleshed out theory to explain why guys in NS are so desperate and sex driven.

We were given a small mango for our dessert one lunch. Wah.

We've been doing bayonet fighting. It's the same as Taekwando (which, believe it or not, a long time ago, I learnt) - patterns are useless, and in a real fight, you'd use your own style to attack and defend instead of all the moves (or worse, the patterns).

We were offered $150 to take part in a hydration study where, over 48 hours, they would monitor out water intake and urine output and take 6 ml of blood and our nude weight 6 times. $25 for each drawing of blood? Count me out...

Seen on a T-Shirt: "Pain is temporary, glory is forever". My response: "Satisfaction from testosterone-driven acts undertaken under peer pressure is temporary, injury is forever". Needs some work.

We can now use the vending machines. They cunningly replaced Root Beer and Pepsi with Diet 7-up and Diet Pepsi. The day after we were freed to patronise the vending machines, the dustbin was full of empty cans. And the trashbag fell from its position (such that it was no longer wrapped around the opening of the dustbin). [NB: I have the glorious duty of changing the trashbag everyday.]

I actually have had the flu since last Sunday (what a convenient timing, during my 3 full day bookout), and my sore throat has gotten worse since Tuesday due to 3 days of shouting. And I think I've a secondary throat infection now. I can barely rasp now. I should create a new status tag - "Excuse Shouting".

I had a chat with my choir junior last week, who said that most of the deaths in Slavery are due to suicides. In response to my point that not committing suicide was a victory of sorts because you'd have survived the torture and not let it drive you to the brink, he countered that "tt's not true....by u getting thru NS, *they* have won.....they have successfully nurtured another soldier....by killing urself, they have failed....". Good point.

So far, I've seen 0 stray cats but quite a few stray dogs wandering around. Quite the opposite of what would normally be.

My sister says my hands have become a bit rougher. Gah.

My arms are going to drop off from all the pumping. Ouch.


"RJC girls, the green skirt, wah lan eh. [Me: Go ACJC] ACJC, cannot. Too power." Erm.

"You will be doing 2 positions today. One is doggie style, the other is 69 (foxhole, prone)" His speech is always peppered with sex references :)

"Don't go JC and teach... go into the lecture theatre, look up, all the girls zaogeng... [Recruit: Good what] Can't concentrate"

"[On the standing hip position] Not the cock, I see some people just now, [adopted the] standing cock position."

"Anybody not feeling well? [Recruits: No sergeant, fighting fit, yeah!] Gryphon company, when I'm here, don't try do that fighting fit shit (doing)"

"One thing, when you get married then you'll know. Your size, is it difficult?... What style do you want to adopt? [Recruit: Standing shoulder position]"

"Just imagine, if your wife see you, wah lan. Then you take off your shirt. Your breasts are bigger than hers. (sees)"

Friday, January 04, 2002

I'm still waking up at 4 in the morning. Ah well, packed room, had QT, then went for a run when the sun rose.

Went back to school for a large part of today- objective to talk to teachers. David Liew's growing a goatee!!! Don't think very "highly" of it at all. None of the teachers I know have transferred out... new faces around. Moses pointed out a "liqing" who allegedly has a reputation for her looks. Ms. Wee, strangely enough, still remembers me (though i think she can't recollect my name). Eugene Huang went all-out auburn. Met a lot of 4K pple/other assorted people. Reasons for many j3s going back: see teachers, get letters (recommendation) from teachers, play b-ball, crash orientation. Apparently it's getting very obvious: at least 1 J3 in every OG. Admin tried to clamp down to no avail.

Triplets cropped hair. Waiyi referred to hairdos resembling Joanna Yeo's bob as the "Joanna".

Sin tong and zewei are humans students; I mean they chose humans.

Had a peek at cambridge/oxford results from nice mr purvis but i couldn't recognise most of the names (in some cases, only the initials were given) and some were missing.

Qiying told me Rit. performed in a no. of exciting n' happening gigs during the hols, including a stint in Ritz-Carlton hotel and at a private party thrown by Mediaworks!!!

Just got my second batch of prom photos (plus london photos) developed. Remind me to show them if i run into any of u. Will upload them to homepage some time. Geocities only gives 15 mb of space- wonder how many i can squeeze in. Rest of my upload space consists of tiny html files since I don't use images as a rule.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

This is really interesting:
Apparently for my page
describing Moonlight Masquerade,
Top search engine used to access this page: 100.00% use www.google.com
Top search word used to find this page: 50.61% typed "kylie minogue's white dress" .

"Swing when you're winning"- Robbie Williams.

Heh heh. *Plants kinky phrases surreptitiously all over homepage to increase no. of hits*
Went for a run at 7am today, then bought dosa back for parents' breakfast. Haven't recovered from jet lag: woke up at 4 something in the morning with nothing in particular to do, so I started packing my room. And napped from 3 to 8 into the evening: thank goodness I woke up- it's Frasier nite!
Worst part of this jetlag is the intermittent flu symptoms. Hope it doesn't develop.
Re: what I'm going to do in my gap period. Circumstances may compel me towards something that wasn't even on my list- my father's main nurse retired this month (she's 60+ and has grandchildren) and he can't find another clinic assistant at such short notice. So I may be required to fill in- for an unspecified period of time. Daily, 9 to 5. (ah-hemm)

Spent yesterday and today morning doing my melbourne photo gallery. Didn't expect 108 photos to take that long... and just discovered the link back to the index page Ood can't work. Anyone know why

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

In defence of my bid:
a) It's not an animal documentary Or a cartoon dubbed in chinese
b) If you de-select the bahasa indonesia audio channel then it's perfectly okay since it's all in english
c) Beast wars are only released on VCD in this part of the world
d) The 4-5 other people auctioning off Beast wars VCDs haven't received any bids either. And most of them got theirs with chinese subtitles. Hmm, "porkypig2000" is from singapore and selling exactly the same thing for 4 times the price.

e) Not really in defence: comment that if you are interested in them or you have a friend interested in them, i'll pass it on FOC. Simply trying to clear my collection of stuff-


Tuesday, January 01, 2002

In the "things on eBay nobody bids for" series:

VCD Beast Wars Episodes 1-13

"Collection of first 13 episodes, season 1, of Beast Wars on Video Compact Disc (playable on computer and DVD players); audio channels in English and Bahasa Indonesia; relatively crisp and clear picture. Used only once! Beast Wars is the cartoon sequel of Transformers (the 80's animated series) "

Must be the Bahasa Indonesia that did it :)

$1.90 VCDs are all either:
1) Animal documentaries
2) Cartoons subbed/dubbed in Chinese

Then again, the "My Little Pony" movie went for 99 cents, for obvious reasons, because no one but screwed up people want it.
happy new year everyone!

Monday, December 31, 2001

I rarely lose posts because I copy the text to the clipboard every now and then to make sure it's backed up.

How come Mr Ong appears everywhere? I met him and some ex-4Kers when I went to Jade after A Levels, and he still claims that "Mazit" exists. And Shawn bumps into him quite often too, causing him some consternation. But I like Mr Ong. Mr Ong is nice. And we now know Mr Ong's age! Let's see. 18 years when he finished JC. 2 years NS, 4 years (or maybe slightly more) for University. So Mr Ong is about 40. Hrm, so the white hair isn't really a good indicator of his age.

Sorcerer vs Philosopher - they had to dumb it down for American audiences :)

I missed the first 2-3 minutes of LoTR because I went to catch the 2 pm show - right after I booked out. I think I'll get the VCD (hey, I *am* entitled to that, since my ticket was paid for [though not by me])

31st December is rather late to send Christmas greetings, hmm?

The legal age in Britain is, what, 18? So it'd have been just legal.

And aren't Lomo cameras the lousy ones that have become a cult thing?

Some stuff which I'd meant to post yesterday:

As of tomorrow, I'll no longer be able to use my red Child/Student Transitlink farecard, and will have to memorise the fare structure for public buses. Goodbye studenthood.

I was at Borders reading the Silmarillion (my e-text was not complete) - No, not the rubbish at the front which rambles and confuses many people, and which many people feel that you shouldn't read if you want to retain a good impression of Tolkien, but instead, the part entitled "Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age" - and this Borders staff member, a 17ish girl, came up to me to ask me what the names of each book in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy were, because a customer had asked her for them, but she didn't know what the titles were.

While at the aforementioned place, I also saw a CD with 19 - no, not a typo. *Nineteen* - versions of Silent Night. I think I'd die if I listened to even half of them.
Uh. Just figured out these would be confusing to read in the order they appear, so a note: if you read them from my first post to the last they'll flow more.

THought i saw another malaysian guy (now studying biz at city university) at borders. Was thinking of going up and saying hi, but he walked out of borders too quickly.

It's disgusting- every other asian restaurant serves an "authentic" dish called "singapore noodles". it's something of a cross between hokkien noodles and char kway teow. Brother and i went to a m'sian/indonesian/s'porean place that Didn't serve it- it's called Melati. We ordered the noodle dishes- Pretty good and not too expensive. We were taking a shortcut home through Soho and came across it. Trouble is, the whole area is a red-light district- When i walked out of the restaurant, a lady at a counter in a shop opposite looked directly at me and signalled for me to enter. Spooky. Some girls were very obviously prowling the streets, but they were wearing much more than I thought people of their profession usually did (probably because it was a cold night).

Spent afternoons at markets- notting hill, petticoat lane, camden market. Walked till my feet were aching.Found a lomo camera stall, and i asked the stallowner about the original st. petersburg Lomo compact automatic. They weren't in stock at the moment, but he showed me his anyway. He was very proud of it- even showed me photos he had taken with it. It's a superb and funkty one-of-its-kind camera with a patented high-speed lens and other features. Very interested in procuring one in the future.

Been bumping into people- chee tung at niketown on oxford street, ng weijie whlie watching rent. Chee tung looks pretty much the same, i couldn't recognise weijie initially because he grew his hair out. By the way, rent is now my favourite musical. IT hails itself a modern remake of La Boheme, an italian opera, and tells the life of bohemian youngsters in new york (it was a broadway musical that crossed the atlantic). Really touching, the theme song "seasons of love" was amazing (i can practically memorize the lyrics, listening to it on a cd my brother graciously burnt for me using his CD-R drive and the resources of morpheus). At lesat 4 of the characters have aids, and there are queens, fairies, clubbers, hookers, bohemian-turned-businessman, and a life support gorup. Though of course, the addictive song/dances hardly do justice to the real life of bohemians.

Met up with mr. ong- he had come to sightsee and meet some old friends. Went to watch starlight express (he described it as "cats on tracks", it's a musical about trains wth different personalities, all the dancers on skates throughout the musical) with the most corny bits- ash-ley the smoking train, AC/DC the electric train, and 3 boxers- box-carts. Quite entertaining. Mr ong saw it 15 yrs ago when he flew to london on a student package after he finished his degree. Also went to natural history museum with him.

Watched other things like kiss me kate, art, my fair lady, noises off. Also caught movies with my brother- harry potter again, LoTR fellowship of the rings. Harry potter refers to it as the "philosopher's stone" as it rightly should be in the UK- daniel radcliffe must have done double of all those scenes to record separate versions, one with "philosopher's stone" and one with "sorcerer's stone"- it wasn't dubbed. LoTR very big here in london, most people seem to love it. long queues to watch it, and we couldn't get tickets until the 3rd nite after it premiered (and we had to buy 1 day in advance). Frodo's eyes are gorgeous- gigantic and blue and luminous. In the scene where bilbo's eyes practically pop out as he demands the ring back from frodo, one man at the end of the row literally jumped out of his seat and shrieked!

My brother got tired of listening to me trying to create more space in the cramped room we're sharing by reciting "wyngardium levi-Oh-sa".

I brought stationery and address books to do christmas cards form here, but never got around to doing so, so like gabriel, i sent out ephemeral thoughts of happiness and joy and blessings for christmas. (=

Found a kindred spirit in my time in oxford- a guy, Jia zhang, from ipoh studying his a-levels in UK. He's applying to read physics, and has offers from other unis in UK already. Thinking of transferring to the US after his 1st year. He loves organic chemistry- "ah, pattern recognition!" - mainly because he finds the rest of chemistry cannot be rationalised (?) or conclusively proven, as classical physics (not that organic chemistry can be, it's just easier because it's more visual). Things like the wave-particle duality of electrons that forms the theory behind atomic structure, and consequently all atomic interactions. Aim in life is to make lotsa lotsa money, but that sounded too shallow to him. I thought there wasn't anything wrong with that,- agreed that type of thinking was okay in south-east asia at lesat.

He suggested I make a trip ("pilgrimage") to Forbidden Planet a specialty store with sci-fi/fantasy paraphernalia. Hordes of comics and anime stuff, the LoTR/Harry potter things, videos. Billions of people inside, many speaking with a strong singaporean accent. Also i saw this guy in wizard garb browsing- silver earring on left ear, pointy black hat, black cape with patterns of dragons and other creatiures in gold thread, leather pants, and those cloth "elven" shoes that end in a point upward at the toes. My brother thinks he may be a store mascot.

Spent 26-27th at post-christmas sales (prices crash rock-bottom and people flock the street iwth bulging NEXT, Bhs, H & M etc bags)- 30-70% off everywhere. Then got tired of walking (and running out of money) and spent the last few days doing free touristy things- victoria and albert museum, st. paul's cathedral service, tate modern art gallery. Also got my brother to follow me to take photos at King's cross station, platform 9 3/4. I'll upload the photos as soon as they're developed- watch my homepage.
Hi, it's nite in london and I'm packing up to return to singapore. Flight leaves tomorrow morning to arrive on jan 1st morning, which means It'll be new year while I'm flying.

The main reasons why i haven't been posting are
a) messy configuration of the room. 2 people are now sharing a 1-person space, and due to lack of a computer table, I have to sit on the floor with the keyboard on my lap whlie the monitor sits 1 metre above me on a chest of drawers, to type.
b) My last 2 posts got lost when i disconnected too soon or pressed the wrong button (again, attributable to the above configuratoin)/

Let's hope this one comes through. I'll post in little batches so things aren't as likely to disappear.

Have received replies from all the unis I anticipate going to.

Been bumping into many pple from singapore. at king's college london, Danny wong had just finished his med interview as I was going for mine. Apparently the interviewers from king's always ask "how/what can you contribute to the university?" My father's ex-uni classmate (who lives in klang, a small town off KL in malaysia) said his son, in response, described his expertise in making and flyign traditional kites, and that he would start a club of some sort to teach it.

Sunday, December 30, 2001

Haha. Extracted from Buffalo Chips:



There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second.

This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.

This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second--3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element.

Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them... Santa would need 360,000 of them.

This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch). 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance. This would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.

The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.


By now, most people will have found the presents left by Santa. How you ask, since it was proved in that Santa does not exist in the Christmas eve edition of the Chips? I submit to you the following rebuttal:

Several key points are overlooked by this callous, amateurish "study."

1) Flying reindeer: As is widely known (due to the excellent historical documentary "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the flying reindeer are not a previously unknown species of reindeer, but were in fact given the power of flight due to eating magic acorns. As is conclusively proven in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (a no punches pulled look at life in Santa's village), this ability has bred true in subsequent generations of reindeer - obviously the magic acorns imprinted their power on a dominant gene sequence within the reindeer DNA strand.

2) Number of households: This figure overlooks two key facts. First of all, the first major schism in the Church split the Eastern Churches, centered in Byzantium, from the Western, which remained centered in Rome. This occurred prior to the Gregorian correction to the Julian calendar. The Eastern churches (currently called Orthodox Churches) do not recognize the Gregorian correction for liturgical events, and their Christmas is as a result several days after the Western Churches'. Santa gets two shots at delivering toys.

Secondly, the figure of 3.5 children per household is based on the gross demographic average, which includes households with no children at all. The number of children per household, when figured as an average for households with children, would therefore have to be adjusted upward. Also, the largest single Christian denomination is Roman Catholic, who, as we all know, breed like rabbits. If you don't believe me, ask my four brothers and two sisters - they'll back me up. Due to the predominance of Catholics within Christian households, the total number of households containing Christian children would have to be adjusted downward to reflect the overloading of Catholics beyond a standard deviation from the median.

Also, the assertion that each home would contain at least one good child would be reasonable enough if there were in fact an even 3.5 children per household. However, since the number of children per household is distributed integrally, there are a significant number (on the order of several million) of one child Christian households. Even though only children are notoriously spoiled and therefore disproportionately inclined towards being naughty, since it's the holidays we'll be generous and give them a fifty-fifty chance of being nice. This removes one half of the single child households from Santa's delivery schedule, which has already been reduced by the removal of the Orthodox households from the first delivery run.

3) Santa's delivery run (speed, payload, etc.) These all suffer from the dubious supposition that there is only one Santa Claus. The name "Santa" is obviously either Spanish or Italian, two ethnic groups which are both overwhelmingly Catholic. The last name Claus suggests a joint German/Italian background. His beginnings, battling the Burgermeister Meisterburger, suggest he grew up in Bavaria (also predominantly Catholic). The Kaiser style helmets of the Burgermeister's guards, coupled with the relative isolation of the village, suggest that his youth was at the very beginning of Prussian influence in Germany. Thus, Santa and Mrs. Claus have been together for well over one hundred years. If you think that after a hundred years of living at the North Pole with nights six months long that they remain childless, you either don't know Catholics or are unaware of the failure rate of the rhythm method. There have therefore been over five generations of Clauses, breeding like Catholics for over one hundred years. Since they are Catholic, their exponential population increase would obviously have a gain higher than the world population as a whole. There have therefore been more than enough new Santas to overcome the population increase of the world. So in fact, Santa has an easier time of it now than he did when he first started out.

Santa dead, indeed - some people will twist any statistic to "prove" their cynical theory.

Apparently some people start smoking in NS. Eeee.

My cousin, Yingxing, tells me he was from Gryphon Company too.
Restored Post

More scribblings:

Some people have programmed a army marching song as their handphone ring tones, specifically the one which starts:

"Training to be soldiers,
Fight for our land" etc

On a related note, there's an army song about how army life sucks. Amazing.

2 of Tim's Catholic High friends are in my section. One his former classmate and another he knew from TAF club. And my buddy was good friends with Jason Chen (also a former classmate of Tim's) in TJC. What a small world.

Speaking of Jason, he too has changed to nerdy glasses. He says he doesn't want to spoil his expensive pair.

Real world applications of Physics:
Projectile motion - the trajectory of a rifle bullet and how far away from where you aimed it it will hit

Not only do we have to pay $1 for our haircut, we have to pay $9 for the photos they took of us as a platoon. There goes the NS allowance.

I bought a new watch just before I went in the last time, and 1 day later it was already scratched. Gah.

The lunch on 28/12 was surprising. Not only did we get 3 sticks of satay, keropok, sambal prawns and a large slice of raspberry ham, we also got a fruit tart for dessert. Later it was revealed that this was because this was the same food served at the staff function that night!

More examples of the inane levels of conformity required:
- Hangars in the cupboard must point the same way, as must the shirts' facing
- You have to lay out the SAF-given toothbrush toothpaste and razor even if you don't use them. 100% for show for me since I don't shave.
- The open side of everyone's pillow cases must face the same direction

I recall in one of speeches given, the Training Officer asked us to ask the rationale for the doing of things so we could do them better, but I suspect questioning may not be entertained by some.

One of my sergeants asked me to bring the RJ yearbook on my next book-in. Hmm.

My pushups really suck and combined with my low threshold of pain... I think I should train while I'm back, but I'll probably forget or won't be bothered. I have cramps in places I didn't even know I had muscles. Ouch.

I've been having an unsustainable rate of weight loss - 5.5kg in the slightly over 2 weeks since I was enslaved. If this goes on I might not be able to meet the 1-2kg weight loss criteria to book out in future weeks. Jiaxiang thinks that this loss has been mostly water.
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