Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Life, Happy May 31 2010

Let's kick start post with something Irish, this version has been on my phone for over 3 years now, and never failed to make me feel better:)

As I flip my calender to June, semester one is drawing to its close. It has been the best semester since the start of uni: doing only three papers means I am not too overworked; my casual contract job has prevented the worst of my boredom; and the lovely people who kept me company are just wonderful. Thank you all for making my life worth living, I wish I had met you folks sooner.

If everything goes according to plan, I will have one more semester = 4 papers between me and my BSc in Biomedical Sciences. I do intend to seek summer studentship this summer, and possibly some postgrad courses before the actual graduation day this month next year. In four weeks I will be off to the other end of the planet, on a mission that would decide the path of my education, and possibly my life. I have wasted too much time in self-imposed misery and passing negative emotions onto other people; and I hope this year will be the beginning of the end of grief.

To end the post, live long and prosper, also note that beauty is within all of us.

P.S. I am nowhere near the goal of finish writing my personal anthology series before I turn 21. Just to reassure myself, the project is still alive, and I shall make it up to date someday, someday.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Online Gaming and Me

Admittedly the only MMORPG that I have spent a fair amount of time on is Ragnarok Online, and the only reason I played is because the game was in free beta testing phase, I as bored and I happen to know a bunch of people from the forum I posted regularly. I started off as a mere swordsman, getting through the first few missions was okay; later on it became a bit more demanding, no worries, forum friends are more than happy to provide you with money and equipment so you are never left grinding for gold. Still, soon I found myself to hit a glass ceiling where my progression became painfully slow.

I asked my forum friends how they got by, and they suggested that I team up with a couple of them to rack up some exps in the Tower of Griffon. I followed them a few times, and to be honest, I cannot say that I enjoyed it, since I am too stressed that I could startle the wrong monster and bring my friends down. And indeed I was more of a hindrance since I allocated my stat points rather recklessly, I had much less VIT and STR than usual. You see, I am inclined to have everything sorted by myself in one attempt that the mere thought to start a new character and go through the initial process again, horrifies me. Public beta was about to finish, so I took the alibi, ditched my friends and left the game just before I reached level 40.

So there ended my brief foray into MMORPGs. Later in life I was introduced to other MMOs such as Rune Scape, Guild Wars, WoW, etc, and I was never really intrigued to play since I know it will just be a repeat of my experiences with RO.

Others have also attempted to pull me into other so-called social games, such as Travian, O-Game, Airline Mogul, eRepublic.......the list goes on. I'd register, play for a few minutes and totally forget about it thereafter. All of those games share one common trait of endless waiting, since the only way to advance is to allow your money/minerals/weapons/rat/cheese accumulate over time, then perform certain action to consume those and carry on waiting for more, once you have played one you know the flavor of the rest. One rare exception is Mafia Wars by Zynga. I played religiously for quite a few months before finally becoming bored with it and quit altogether.


The first MMO addict that came to my attention is someone I met on the internet however unlike the usual case we ended up being good friends in real life too. Let's call him by the alias Oct (Short for Octavian Augustus) to protect the innocent. The first few years I knew him, his life was devoted to WoW. A typical Saturday would start with me visiting him at about 11am to wake him up after the raid last night, he'd rise, ablute and we will head out to find food. We talk as we eat, and as soon as the refueling was done we head back to his place so he can start playing more WoW while I go through his exceptional collection of out of print history books. He'd play a bit till it's dark outside then we head out for food again, and possibly talk a bit more than we did at lunchtime in case he need to get more game cards from the store. The process of him playing and me reading continues till I have to excuse myself, he'd wave to me , using his non-dominant hand as I exit his place without moving his eyes away from the screen.

Unlike me, he is not a loner, sure he found ample human companion in the game, even scoring him a girlfriend who crossed two entire timezones to move in with him. For obvious reason I got to visit him a lot less since then, what I am aware of were those:
1. He stopped playing WoW because he needed to work extra hours to support two of them, for her gf's equally nasty WoW addiction and lack of education making her unlikely to find a decent job.
2. In the much reduced amount of free time he played Travian with no less enthusiasm.
3. Later he dumped his WoW sweetheart (and forcibly evicted her from his house, that is after he coerced her to get an abortion in the previous year) for some other female he met while playing Travian.

I have not talked to him since that happened, guess that is what happens to pathological gamers.


Another WoW maniac I met happened to be my math teacher in Year 12. Unlike the aforementioned jerk, the teacher is a nice med-school dropout who gave me cans of Dr Pepper (which I am still fond of), and once opened the fire exit for me so I can evade capture by my enemies (dramatic license here, I forgot to make churros for a fundraiser event I signed up for, and my mates were waiting for me join them in the corridor). I will never know how much he'd play at home, but I am sure he was playing in front of the class while we were busy with some ridiculously hard questions he made up.

By all means he is not a lazy teacher; in fact he often goes beyond the curriculum to preach heavenly concepts like Infinity or Copula to our naive minds. The only problem is that he loved the game so much, that he left his job next year so he can play as much as he wants. Seriously?


One final example would be a friend's mom I mentioned before. I have only visited my friend's place a few times, as far as I can see she did not neglect to keep the house tidy and cook the meals, which is very good for the family. Nonetheless, my friend does occasionally complain that she spent too much time playing that he and his brother feel emotionally distant to the only parent that lives with them. Her case is probably the most straightforward: Middle-aged mother-of-two homemaker living alone, financially secure with a stable family, i.e. boring life. If she did not get into online gaming, she'd probably find similar escapism in other things such as collecting buttons, baking pies, saving the whales or campaigning against mining. BTW, the game she play is MapleStory, another MMO that I have found very childish and silly.


Conclusions....well, there isn't any. It is useful to note that addiction can occur in any socio-economic and/or demographic group, while individuals appears to have some genetic predisposition to their degree of addiction. People don't change, you can put them in rehab or force them to stop playing, yet their addiction will only show up again in a different form.

One pattern that repeats itself in my gaming experience is that I cannot stand repetition and failures. If a game requires repeated grinding to advance, I quit; if a game had a difficult stage that got me stuck for a long time, I quit; or worse, if I had accidentally overwritten a save slot, I quit because I could not bear to play the same game all over again to the point where I left it off. That explains why I enjoy emulators more than any other genre: The instant save/load is a godsend for impatient players.

Also, online gaming , no matter the exact reincarnation, is social gaming, and it is the reason why I never found their attraction. I am so busy entertaining myself that I don't need other people.

/sign off

State of Computing

Mandatory background music, one of the better renditions of ragtime classic The Entertainer out there. By the way, I went through the blog template over the weekend to add proper tags and some site feeds too. To my non-existent readership: Enjoy!

Finally reminded myself to take a couple of pics during the weekly dusting routine

First of all, the heavily decorated front end of the case, notice the predominance of blue hue:)

What rests behind the door is less pretty however highly functional. Two 12032 fans (Silverstone FM122) pull a tonne of air with tremendous static pressure through those filters. Both are set to their lowest speed of 800rpm; at top rotation my neighbors would probably think I have been testing my own gas turbine.

Any casual observer would be able to tell this mid tower is probably filled beyond its intended capacity, well unfortunately it is true. I could not add anything to my rig without messing up with the fragile arrangement of cables, not even an additional HDD. The choice of CPU heatsink turned out to be the biggest problem due to its sheer size, and the 14cm fan is non-PWM, which means it has been running full-speed since I hooked it up, so much for the promised awesome stealthy operation. Why did I get it, well I kind of had to get it for bragging rights: As of May 30 2010 it is still not available in NZ. I will probably replace it once it becomes more common with something not so huge.....

Finally let me bore you out with the details specification list:
CPU: Intel QX9650 C0 w/ Noctua NH-D14, cannot be overclocked due to mobo.
Motherboard: SuperMicro C2SBX+
Memory: 8GB DDR3-1333 of all brands
Graphics: Zotac 9800GTX+ 512MB w/ AC Twin Turbo, 55nm version, very problematic
Sound: Razor Barracuda AC-1
SSD: Intel X25-M G2 80GB
HDD: Caviar Black 640GBx3, in RAID5 array so usable capacity is about 1.1TB.
Case: Antec P182, heavily mutilated
Power Supply: Antec CP-850
Additional cooling: Thermalright HR-05IFX/SLI on NB, and what is the remainder of an Evercool Serpent on SB with a 6cm fan that also send some air to the 4 sticks of RAM.

Just for the record, I also use Dell 2407WFP monitor, Logitech G1 mouse, Cherry G84-4100 ML switch keyboard and Phillips HP 840 headset.

P.S. In case you are wondering how did I stuff the CP850 inside the theoretically incompatible P182 case, well it did require a bit of basic modding: P182 has the same internal dimensions of P183, except the PSU riser which happens to be a few millimetres too high. The mod is pretty simple: Drill out the 7 rivets holding the riser in place (four on the bottom, three at rear), as well as four screw holes to line up with the CPX format. Once you have the actual thing in your hands you will know how to do it. The new PSU did seem to fix all the previous NMI issues.

I am planning to undertake the more risky move of flashing 4MB Phoenix BIOS once I am more free in the following months.


Next set, my server rig with water cooling, the tubes lead to an enormous Zalman Reserator 1 Plus. The ring has been set up at least two month ago, however various plots prevented me to add the finishing touches, or more precisely, two nicely cut holes with rubber cover for the inflow and outflow pipes.

All I can say is that the ring runs exceptionally quiet and cool.

CPU: Intel E8400 C0 ES, I paid too much for this junk of CPU and plan to use it till it drops dead.
Motherboard: Gigabyte G33M-DS2R, arguably the best 3 series mATX board, will happily take a Q6600 to 3.6G thanks to the six phase PWM. This rig also doubles as my HTPC.
Memory: 2GB DRR2-800
Graphics: Onboard with DVI from Dell ADD2 card
HDD: Caviar Green 640GB
Case: Inwin mATX, still had some touches of workmanship from the better days of CaseTek.
Power Supply: Antec BP-350. Overpriced, however it is really hard to find an efficient PSU in the sub-200W range.
Cooling: Staple Zalman Blue W/C Set, I hand made all the bolt-thru kits so they all stay on nice and tight.

Friday, May 28, 2010


(Possibly irrelevant title above, truly irrelevant picture below)

"Kant was the first hippie in history."

------------ "Apollo and Dionysus", Ayn Rand

While my view of Rand's little squad of objectivists largely overlaps those of my Wikipedia mentor Miborovsky, I happen to understand the background of her theories. Born Alisa Z Rosenbaum, the Russian Jew had a privileged upbringing, only to have everything lost to the revolution. Regrets and perhaps embarrassments are more potent motivators than many of us are aware of. While Rand repeatedly bashed Kant, Nietzsche and Sartre in her writings for the destruction of pure reason, faith and morality (in that order), she certainly did not have any of those to herself.

I have substantial reason to doubt that Rand believed in her own worship of capitalism; what she has done is only reactionary to what happened to her during her formative years. The scary part is that, others have taken her madness seriously.


I have been sporadically checking my political standing since I was made aware of the test; to be honest, my results did not vary by a large margin. The results in my facebook profile (-0.25, 2.51) was done probably in 2007, and the one (-0.50, 1.44) below just now.

It is of course, no surprise that my alignment drifted slightly to the pale green (!) third quadrant (i.e. towards a Friedman-ish libertarian, well not even close, my current position would put me in an unenviable proximity to Gordon Brown) after two and a half years at university, prolonged exposure to stereotypical liberals in lectures this year certainly had some effect too. BTW, in hind sight nothing swayed my political opinion more than a certain book by Eric Hobsbawm, and I shall elaborate later.

I have always presented myself as a South Park Republican with some militant traits: I have been openly Pro-Life, Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-Judeo-Chrstian-Hiberno-Anglo-Saxon traditional values, as well as having full membership of both NZ National Party and UK Convervatives (Commonwealth Citizens in UK enjoy full franchise in all levels of elections) , et cetera. The only right wing organisation I could not associate myself with is Act on Campus, because their president is a wanker.

Deep down, I know my true colours. I voted, and sort of campaigned for Darcy Peacock in his (failed) attempt to be re-elected as AUSA president because I like his mannerisms, despite the rational part of my mind tells me that he is just another average white liberal vegetarian hippie who is probably going to become a list Labour MP; my favourite tutor is virulently socialist (well most people in the Department of History are lefties); and some Boere chick I dated before turned full-blown fundamental Marxist, noticed any trends?


FYI, I have been to the US a few times, and strangely the place I liked the most is San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi's electorate, a.k.a. the hippie capitol of the world. The town is erratic like my own mind: some streets are posh and pristine, the next block could be filthy and full of homeless crackheads. On paper I can make an endless list of reasons why I don't want to live there, however I must admit in my own time, that it feels like being at home. Later in that trip I have driven a really good rental car (Travel Tip #0000001: How to get the best rental deals at McCurran: First scout the yard first to see if any company had vehicles with non-Arizona plates, then talk to the respective counter for a discount in case you intend to return the car in that state anyway) through the mountains, deserts and cities of the West Coast. The cities were vibrant, the small towns are peaceful yet boring. The only place I had an acute dislike was Los Angeles, on all accounts too similar to Auckland with too many cars on motorways.
I have whined about certain enterprising members of the Green movement in my umbrella post, now I have going to take on the bigger subject of global warming.

First, I am not entirely convinced about anthropogenic climate change. Climate science is not developed to the degree of genetics or quantum physics to be reliable. While reducing fossil fuel usage is fundamentally a good idea, I am not comfortable with the notion of sacrificing human living standard to control emissions.

On the other hand, warming may not be a bad thing. I know there will be more haters of me if I say this, but controlled warming of the earth will open up new habitable lands, new communication routes and increase productivity of agriculture worldwide. It is a bad thing, however, when viewed with national interest as general changes in climate reshuffles world geopolitics,

Finally and most importantly, other natural catastrophes, both likely (mega-volcano eruption, cataclysmic pole shift) and unlikely (meteor of the size of Ayers rock, duh), that may happen without warning and wipe out mankind. H. Sapiens have managed to gone so far with an incredible streak of good luck, and I shall hope that we manage fine until one day, when science had advanced so far that Nature of no longer an obstacle to our continued existence.


To sum up this post:

Omnia mutantur, nihil interit

Translated: "Life will go on as it has always gone on—that is, badly"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cloud Crisis, case closed

I am taking very deep inhalations to calm myself so I can write about this. Strangely I can be more calm than usual when bad fortune struck than good times. What had just happened is really nasty, yet wholly preventable if I had taken the basic precautions.

I got home fairly early today, after tea I turned on my computer to play some Portal. I checked my email before I started the game and it was all fine, business as usual.

So I spent one hour clearing half of the advanced test chambers, got a bit tired of flinging myself across air through portals so I quit the game. Looks like I have 1 new message from Carnegie-Mellon University, staple auto-reply, okay.....WAIT, WHAT, I was in correspondence with CMU this time last year! Second look into my inbox proved to be more surreal, this ghost message is the only thing in my inbox?!

After the initial disbelief it soon become apparent that my mail account has been hacked as mom came into my room asking why have I sent her some dodgy advertising for iPads. Shortly after several failed delivery notice popped in, all pointing to address that happened to be on my contact list. I googled the spam content and found that I am not the first victim, the exactly same deal has happened to several hotmail users since 2009: all contacts spammed, then the account is flushed. Judging from experience, the hacker probably did it through Yahoo!Messenger which had little protection against brute force attacks, the fact that I used a shortish, numeral only password did not help to make it any harder for them.

I have always been uneasy about computing in cloud and this is one of the few ways in which things that can go wrong. Hyper-Ironically, this happened after I tightened security following an incident not long ago(One minor fight with Miranda, blocked her on MSN, she logged into my account since she knows my password /facepalm so she can check if I had gone offline or blocked her). The webmail account in concern is the only one that I had neglected to secure, and this is what I ended up with.

Despite my long history of helping people recover their lost files, I am not used to catastrophic data loss when it happens to myself. In short, all the mail since 2005 has been lost, most of them had no back up. Some survived in separate folders however the majority I did not have time to sort through. In trying to make light of a bad situation, nothing really critical is involved, except all my trademe records and some emails of sentimental value. Since it all happened in less than an hour it is most likely they simply deleted all the messages instead of getting hold of them.

Action: Contacted Yahoo!Xtra support to recover my data, hope they have a decent backup plan. To be extra vigilant over the next few months in case someone had access to my personal information. (That is, they downloaded and went through 3000+ emails in four different languages)
Remedy: I have changed some passwords, did a full virus scan just to be on the safe side. I wish I could warn others however with my entire contact list up in the air it is not going to be possible.
The lessons learned: never have a false sense of security, and back up your important data as diligently as you may.
I am not too upset, since it comes as an important wake up call to something that I could have carried on to overlook and have more serious consequences later. As of the moment, I am off to take a shower and drug myself to sleep so I can stop worrying about it.

Update 1: I had been an ardent user of dedicated mail clients, however since I was given my first laptop I had some trouble because it is too much hassle to synchronise two computers (Using Outlook Express did not help either). Around the same time yahoo introduced a better interactive webmail interface so good that I never looked back. I have tried to download and back up a couple of times but the nature of POP3 made it very difficult not to end up with many redundant copies once you have more than 1000 items. So the mailbox had not been well duplicated in five years, my bad.

Update 2: Managed to scramble back my address book, but all the archived mail are truely gone for good:(

Monday, May 24, 2010

Casablanca and misc

Every once in a while I was asked the name of the song by the German officers in the Cafe scene from the B/W classic Casablanca.

Stereotype would dismiss it as some non-relevant stock Nazi huzzah, yet the song couldn't be any more remote from that. Wacht am Rhein is a patriotic song written in the 1850s, at a time when Germany was a geographical term, in response to French claims in Rhineland. Words are overrated when it comes to songs, just sit back, turn your volume up and let your heart decide.

A bit of rant here: Elsaß-Lothringen (or A-something-Lorriane as the Frenchies say) is German proper from the days of the HRE. Louis XIV took it by force and the latter day French brainwashed the poor Allemagne so successfully that they regard them as French. The consequence? Following the war in 1875, people from the left bank of Rhine was never afforded full rights in the German Empire, and it was soon lost in the Treaty of Versailles anyway. Presently, Strasbourg still had the German character, however the demographic is more French than ever in history.

Back to the film, the circumstances of the selection is no less ironic: The director intended to cast a handful of Waffen-SS officers singing to the actual Nazi anthem Horst Wessel Lied. The scene would have been perfect as planned, however international copyright laws prevented it from happening since Wessel (Did he really compose the song?) has only died for a couple of years so his family still holds the copyright to the song. So it was done, and my personal favorite march is forever branded with the Huns.

Bonus: Vocal performance by the University of Kyushu Choir. Out of place as it might seem, however the song's (wrongful) associations with German militarism (for the love of our lord, the Prussian nation is Baltic pagan in origin, and GröFAZ is from Austria) made it way too non-PC in any country with a significant hippie population. In Japan they either don't care, or they are Aryan wannabes, whatever, it 's all good sing along:

More on copyright, since I discussed my view of movie piracy with someone today, and I feel the need to clarify my position further.

I like to watch a movie in the cinema, complete with overpriced popcorn and icecream. I spend a good proportion of my disposable income on DVDs and other merchandise for the movies and TV shows that I like. However for titles that I am not sure whether it was worth my money, I'd still download it first before committing myself to the bigger sum. I know this is fundamentally illegal and morally wrong, however I challenge you readers, and most of you would have downloaded something that you should not have. He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Aaaaaanybody?

I am ample unapologetic and reactionary to find excuses: First of all, genuine law-abiding citizens are not rewarded for their good deeds. Every time I watch a non-pirated DVD there will be a few minutes of rather graphical propaganda against piracy that is very difficult to skip. No, thank you, I'd rather watch the pirated version with the insulting bits thoughtfully spliced out. Instead of telling people the right thing, people were intimidated to refrain from doing it. And alas, intimidation does not always work.

And it is no particular secret that artists receives little dividend from the operational income, with the most swallowed by the various middlemen. Similarly, the more successful digital content delivery systems including Steam, Kindle and iTunes, all offer a higher cut of the price to the copyright holder than their traditional counterparts of publishers and record companies.

The real risk with uncontrolled piracy, however, is that people no longer recognise the hard work behind the content they were getting with a click of mouse. To quote Laura Marling:

"People don't appreciate music any more, they don't adore it. They don't buy vinyl and just love it. They love their laptops like their best friend, but they don't love a record for its sound quality and its artwork."

The anime fansub community usually handles the same issue with respect and dignity, as they pledge to cease their work once a title has been licensed in the country where they operate from. And indeed, there is no better publicity than the good word of mouth based on community efforts.

There has be a selfish rein in what I do, too, and this is how life works out. The internet had been the anarchists' refuge for the last 10 years or so, but Big Brother is catching up fast. Oh the joys of legal relativism.

Telecom is pulling the plug on their unlimited Big Time plan. (Shortened to BT for the rest of the post, not to be confused with British Telecom)

As a user of BT from day 1, I am particularly disappointed. As posters at Geekzone had noted, BT had many issues in the past year, and it was only in the last couple of months that it had been consistently good, i.e. no slowdown of http traffic during peak hours, YouTube plays smooth etc. The announcement of its closure after all the issues were ironed out is adding insult to injury already inflicted.

Nonetheless, with hindsight, BT did have some fundamental flaws that doomed it from the start.

First: Uncapped speed+uncapped data = leecher heaven, period

Secondly, because of the nature of ADSL technology, users never gets the same experience out of the same plan. Howick has severe congestion at their local exchange with the highest attainable bandwidth never going above 3Mbps regardless of location; I live in an old house 1km away from the exchange, situated in an old neighborhood with ugly overhead cables and the best I can manage is 5Mbps with ADSL2+ (closer to 4Mbps with G.DMT); for someone I worked with lived right next the DSLAM in Panmure, his failing D-Link modem gets a full 8Mbps (G.DMT Max) and I have no doubt that 20Mbps is possible. There is huge discrepancy between locations. My friend in Howick is paying more than both of us for a Go Pro plan to feed his mother's MMO habits, (very promising topic for another post someday) yet he is not getting better service.

Some leechers are said to download terabytes of data every month, and they must have rather large calibres of networking and storage. The all-in-one wireless router I had tends to crash over a few hundred concurrent TCP sessions, thus according to my own figures I have downloaded less than 300GB in the first six months on BT, later Dad moved in to hog all the bandwidth that is left so I did not really enjoy the advantage of unlimited data save for downloading OS patches and the odd night spent on digging YouTube archives.

My dear father, along with many other geeks suffer form Squirrel Syndrome: they collect, store and hoard all sorts of useful and useless information, most of those they will not view for a second time, yet they enjoy gathering data for the sake of it like the autumn squirrels stockpiling nuts for winter, except the winter never really comes. You only live so many years in life, and there are so many new things to be done that makes the entire archiving movement pointless.

On the other hand, I can see which theoretical background they based their successive moves on. They thought so could shape P2P traffic, however as it turns out there are too many methods to disguise traffic as long as the golden rule of network neutrality stands, not to mention the prevalent use of file hosting sites as distribution media. The infallible A.S.Tanenbaum once wrote: "One can always pay for more bandwidth but latency." Unlimited data brings too much uncertainly to traffic that they are simply unmanageable, this is why the Go Large plan had to go even with its meager 256kbps bottleneck.

I am not too certain what replacement plans they are considering, however it is most likely that BT users will be moved to the existing 20GB uncapped adventure plan within 6 months. A more favorable outcome is if they bring back the old Go Large, with an adjusted speed cap say 1Mbps with unlimited data, however unlikely.

The Big Time party is over, life moves on. Now there is one less reason for me to stay here after I finish my degree.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nostalgic Thoughts

Intensive writing about my past has turned me nostalgic again, Munchy Mart is not helpful by providing my favorite snack food from the good old days.

Rant: I don't like Munchy in particular, their sandwiches are soggy, their pies are cracking open after sitting in the warming drawer for days and you will need compressed air from the chemistry lab to effectively blow on it. Oh and every time I have fits of vanilla coke withdrawal, they happen to run out of stock. Coincidence? I think not. I boycotted them for an entire year from last April, and then I stopped because I realised that they did not need my business to stay afloat, and I am not deriving any benefit from them either thriving or closing down.

I must have been distracted, let's go back to the food itself.

Potato Twists said to be of "Vegetable Flavor", but it does not taste like any vegetable known to men unless MSG grows on trees. It is not sweet or sour nor savory or bitter, but drifting in some intermediate state that intrigues you to have another handful to figure out if this tastes like anything that occurs in nature.

I have had it for a long time until I moved here, and in my visits to the old country in recent years it had largely disappeared from the shelves. Nutrition information is not mandatory in the old country, and I am surprised to read that each 30g serving contains 8g of fat. Hmmmmm this will be my last pack in a long time. /Munch
It has been a rather stormy day here and this sight is unfortunately ubiquitous. Seeing abandoned umbrellas makes my stomach cringe and eyes blur. Umbrellas are the most intimate accessories man ever invented; they are diminutive servants folded away when not needed, and answer your call for shelter from precipitation without any hesitation. Umbrellas are people's friends as much as canine animals are, and they ought to be treated with dignity whether in health or sickness, plenty or poverty. Trashing them after your wanton abuse by using them as improvised sails or speedbreaks, is, crimes against human civilisation on the same level of selling your wife.

Sentiments aside, what is wrong with the world? Sure these umbrellas are broken, but they can always be fixed with a couple of bolts and/or rivets. In case the frame is beyond repair, other parts will surely have some uses, and I can never squeeze them into the bin without exhausting the options.

Notwithstanding my usual anti-Green stance, I actually do care about the environment. I enjoy and appreciate the offerings of the consumerist world, yet I nearly always partake with a strong underlying guilt. I have always what I can to help, yet I am determined that any actions is to be guided by science towards the long term benefits of humanity. I am not a redneck, I am plainly reactionary to certain hippie tree-hugger types who gave rational environmentalist a bad name. To quote Patrick Moore, the one who co-founded and left with regrets what is now known as Greenpeace:

"...I later learned that the environmental movement is not always guided by science. As we celebrate Earth Day today, this is a good lesson to keep in mind.
At first, many of the causes we championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology. But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.
The breaking point was a Greenpeace decision to support a world-wide ban on chlorine. Science shows that adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health, virtually eradicating water-borne diseases such as cholera. And the majority of our pharmaceuticals are based on chlorine chemistry. Simply put, chlorine is essential for our health.
My former colleagues ignored science and supported the ban, forcing my departure. Despite science concluding no known health risks – and ample benefits – from chlorine in drinking water, Greenpeace and other environmental groups have opposed its use for more than 20 years.
Opposition to the use of chemicals such as chlorine is part of a broader hostility to the use of industrial chemicals. Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” had a significant impact on many pioneers of the green movement. The book raised concerns, many rooted in science, about the risks and negative environmental impact associated with the overuse of chemicals. But the initial healthy skepticism hardened into a mindset that treats virtually all industrial use of chemicals with suspicion.
Sadly, Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas.......This fear campaign merely distracts the public from real environmental threats.
We all have a responsibility to be environmental stewards. But that stewardship requires that science, not political agendas, drive our public policy."
So, please, people, give your torn, hurt and unloved umbrellas to me, I am planning to build an orphanage for canopies.


Live performance by Issei Fubi Sepia in, uh, Trafalgar Square right in front of Nelson's column on December 18, 1984, for the FNS show one week ahead of Christmas. (Update: The video appears to have been axed by YouTube. If anyone is still interested in the song, follow the PV link below. I might re-upload it one day)

Sepia definitely belongs to the 80s, gaining popularity from an unknown kerbside artists' group on the pedestrian streets of Shibuya, to a national phenomenon. The group did not last long as a whole and had been pretty much forgotten except this song. (Original music video here, somehow it reminds me of Village People) Digging Youtube archives is much easier than trying to research any topic on nico, I always come up with one or two gems like this in every attempt. Anyway, perfectly awkwardly exotic video to end the post. SOIYA!

P.S. Just translated the last stanza of the lyrics out of boredom, duh, totally missed the poetic subtlety but at least people will understand the 25%.

波が続く様に 時の刻みも又続く
So time carries on like tide
風も吹き止まぬ 時の刻みも打ち止まぬ
As long as the wind is blowing, the clock will keep ticking
やれこれと返す 事のべの中で
Rise and fall, over and over again in this world
何が生きていく 証なんだろか
For what remains, is proof of the way things were

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chapter Two: For What it's Worth

The namesake song below. Despite my constant belittlement of hippies, I actually liked many of those stoned songs from the 60s. (♫~ We are taking large amounts of pills, large amounts of pills ~♫ ---------------------The Beatles)
And I have discovered a pattern: I only write about my past when I am somewhat moody, probably because my past is not all roses.

So, my kindergarten days were done and I started going to school, and it felt like dreaming. For a long time life was unreal for me, things would happen so quickly that I always have a hard time to catch up with what is going on. Anyway back to topic.

For readers with no experience of primary education in the old country, I must explain the context: Primary school was deadly serious and tedious business. Piles of textbooks were issued, homework that last well beyond the midnight was to be completed, and your marks at school was paramount. The first day at school was not unlike a bootcamp: sitting upright with your hands on your back for an entire hour, and another hour after 10min break. Bygone are the old merry-go-round days, there was actually some competitions, malice and bullying from both alove and below.

My school is tiny and overcrowded. 2000+ kids and staff share one tiny year with three buildings. Each class had over 50 students, certainly not for the claustrophobic. The overcrowding is so bad, that for assemblies we have to close the road in front of school gate and make do with a little extra space. On the bright side, they had all the facilities except a tuck shop, and its absence is nearly compensated by hawkers and candy stores scattered in the neighborhood.

Across the street is a provincial hospital, with their boiler room directly facing our front gate. So all the kids can view the magnificent achievements of industrial revolution as they come and go. I remember once they had to replce some boilers and they literally demolished the wall facing the street in order to do that, awwwwww wonders of boilers. Further down the road there is a wet market which I was never fond of, a constantly chaotic rounabout, a couple of motorcycle chopshops, district traffic police headquarters, shacks occupied by old beneficieries and, after the road turning a gradual 120 degrees after the bus depot, a grey two storey house built in the 20s, complete with garden and annex. However the place is to be shared by 5 families, all of them rubbing shoulders in what was the old residence of a senior bureaucrat from the last government.

In case I have not yet mentioned, another change for me is that because the school is in a different part of the city, I had to board with my grandparents, this time the couple on my mother's side. Their place was a convenient 10 minute walk from school. My poor mom, on the other hand, had to travel across town every night to make sure that I am okay and then travel all the way to our home again. Dad is still working thousands of miles away in a southern metropolis, and I see him every 6 months on average. This is to go on for quite a few years, until Dad moved in and my folks deemed their son old enough to commute by bus. There is another downside to this option though, and I will get back to it.

My marks at school were mediocre at best, except natural sciences which I did really well at. And for most of the time I was well liked, the storyteller's aura is still protecting me to some extent. I did, however, commit a few cases of petty vandalism. Most of them went undetected but the last of them caused me to fall out with my room teacher, and as far as I can rememebr it involved some broken furnitures which I tore to pieces following some frustration. Not counting that, I still a good time.

And my biggest woes? You guessed it right, PE and Art classes. The former was not a big deal since our PE teacher was also the (underqualified) school groundsman who is not bothered by a cowardly student who cannot run, tackle or do back flips. Art, on the other hand, does make me a little concerned because I was basically clueless when it comes to drawing, let alone real objects and people. I could have found some extra help however I did not: 1. Art is "not my type of things", 2. It is not considered important, 3. I am not willing to let other people know that I needed help with things, that is not allowed to happen. In the end, I think I barely scraped through all of those. Therefore to this day I cannot draw any shape more complex than cubes, and I am more than grateful to have been born in the world with cameras and computers.

You see, if you are used to find your own answers, it is a pretty alien experience to ask other people for their take on various things. Even my parents don't understand my reluctance to make any appeal for simple aid, e.g. asking for directions, to me it is far more natural to consult a map and signs first, then make educated guesses. The same goes for everything else, where I'd rather figure out things myself rather than having to learn then from some other people; and in principle forcing someone to do things while they are not ready is counterproductive. For a long time, mainstream science saw walking is a learned function, and greedy capitalist have made various gadgets to help babies(remmeber those circular trolleys with wheels in all directions? that probably did more harm than any help) learn faster. Yet as it turns out, walking is instinctive, babies can walk once the leg muscles are strong enough to support the body.

One good personal example is learning to ride a bike: I failed to learn for a long time despite much strife, yet I learned it by myself at the age of 11 when I stayed at my uncle's for the weekend. Swimming class is another traumatic experience which I'd rather not go into, but suffice to say that I'd probably had it sorted if I were older, without all the blood and tears shed.

Music, on the other hand, deserves some special mention. As you were probably aware, I do not play any instrument, nor do I sing alot. Sending your kids to music lessons is the fad in parenting back then, to which I sternly refused to commit myself to. Despite spending some good cash in getting me a keyboard set, myfolks backed off and never mentioned it. I did go to the odd choir and vocal classes, however nothing really become of it and they were dropped as I got progressively tied down by schoolwork. (8am-3pm days eventually stretched to 7am-5pm) Oh admittedly everyone had to learn the recorder for Music, but to me it was some mechanical movement of fingers over this holey thingy while blowing into it rather than actually playing music.

Do I regret? Well somewhat, especially as it appears that everybody knows more about music than I do, and I always had more respect for people with the rthymic talents. My resentment to those things almost put me off music for years, and I grew entirely without aural cues to the world. Nevertheless, I would not have enjoyed it had I folded to their wishes, and I'd probably be very different today.

As in every dream that you don't wake up from, it ended without warning. When I was in first year, I'd look up at the senior classes and wonder how can I get through all that, well you were there yourself before you knew it.

A few years back I organised a reunion for a buch of old school mates. I asked a female with whom I shared one desk for two years:

"So what did you folks really think of me back then?"

"You were the most random and eccentric person I have met, and no, I did not have a clue what's on your mind or what you were doing."

So that concludes the six bland years of my life that I cannot forget nor cherish. My cousin went to the same school and I visited a few times while I could, and it largely remained the way it was. The story after my last day at that place is going to be in the next chapter, stay tuned and I shall keep writing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iron Man 2 and other things

Apologies for the delay, here is my overdue mini-review on Iron Man 2, no spoilers.

Iron Man 2 (2010), Marvel Studios, US, 124min

Comicbook derivatives, especially sequels, have the tendency to become slightly incoherent by the second installment. Iron Man 2 is not immune.

The story more or less continues from where they left off in 2008. Stark facing some sort of crisis, goes amok for a while and manages to fix everything for himself (with help). Music and CGI is still to Marvel's high standards, but that is about it. A sequel has to be better than the original in order to standout, and to be "as good" is in fact a form of decline.

The most strange aspect of the theatrical release is the deletion of several scenes shown in the trailers. #1: Pepper kissing Stark's helmet before he leapt out yelling"You complete me"; #2: Stark standing behind the new face while she test fires the suit. While #1 is probably giving the wrong idea about the plot, #2 is even more mysterious as there is no obvious place to put it, or we have to assume that there were more scenes deleted than it seems to be.

Well keep your eyes open for the DVD, with the possibility of a radically different edit coming to light. For other fans out there, I strongly recommend you get hold of the 2 DVD special set for the first Iron Man which indeed contains many takes that did not make it to the cinema.

Scarlett J, is the staple femme fatale that does not develop at all. in fact the revelation of her real intentions came so uneventful that the entire affair becomes a bit, well, bland. To some extent the SHIELD trio is an overextended deus ex machina, and their absence is in no way going to negatively affect the storyline but make it less aberrant.

To its saving grace, the directlor handled pacing very well and it is a very enjoyable. Overall a solid 3.5/5, not as fresh as the first one but not as bad as its Spiderman and/or Hulk counterparts.

P.S. Marvel is apparently in the habit of putting up post-credit scenes, however these scenes are nothing but shamless plugs to related titles, so it is not really going to make people sit through the full credits part.


In other news, did a survery on sleeping patterns

You are a moderate early type. This chronotype sometimes gets too little sleep on free days:the social environment lures moderate early types into staying up later at night than theirbiological clock would prefer, yet they still awaken in the morning, under the control of theirbiological clock, at their usual early hour. (Figure A)
According to the sleep times that you have given, on work days you sleep between 31 minutesand an hour less than your average sleep need. (Figure B)

Pretty accurate in fact, I am too old to be able to have 10hr sleeps. Most days I wake up around 0630 and dont really go to sleep till midnight. I feel like if I need more sleep, well arnt we all.


Just ran a quick check with ndeva and excel, a few facts FYI
1. I have done 17 papers at AU so far, plus the
2. GPA right now stands at 5.5, which makes me a agreeable B+ student.
3. To have an average GPA of 6.5 requires that I pass all my papers with a A+, well, the joy of mathematics, I am going home.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

@_@ (i.e. the type of frustration words cannot describe)

Sprained my ankle last night coming back from the cinema last night. To be precise I stepped on a rather big rock while walking down a driveway with no lighting, adducted my right foot and was immobilised for 2 minutes before limping home. The worst was prevented by the beaten pair of Type 07 combat boots I was wearing, or I will have to call 111 only 50 mitres from home and pray the ambulance show up before I get haemroids from sitting on the cold concrete ground.


Waking up rather late this morning with a swollen limb, i stumbled into the kitch to find no tea left but mouldy crumpets. Ended up taking much longer to finish breakfast and missed the usual bus. The next bus was delayed, slow and overcrowded as per usual...


I was kind enough to give up my slide so someone else will not miss out on viewing cat lung (exciting /irony), then 2 minutes later I was told off my the same demo who took away my slides that I should not attempt to clean the objective lens of a microscope myself, meh. Organisation of anatomy labs took a nosedive since Colin departed. Nobody is to blame, they simply have not found the right person to fill the vacancy.

I was asked why did I choose M201; well, to be honest the only reason is to go to that cadavar lab. Maybe I really should have swapped for BIOSCI350 instead, a far more relevant course. Oh well what is done is done.


Then hiked all the way from Grafton to CL to get a new PSU, and they just happened not to have it, that was walking several miles on a swollen ankle for nothing.


Back in Uni, I had to print some questions for tonight's chem tutition. The previous class left the computers running ubuntu which I did not think much about. There was an unusual delay after I clicked print, then the printers started to chunr out pages without the expected chemical equations. In fact it did not stop before I pressed cancel, or exhausting my print quota, hard to say which came first.

Apparently there is some issue with GNOME's default pdf Viewer and the printers that causes everything to go bananas. So I ended up getting 30+ pages of useless A4 paper of various shades, half of them with garbled text enough to make them not very useful beyond launching arson attacks on a kindergarten. Mind you, A4 paper is the only thing I am more than ready to give away: Apparently my dear father got a good deal on A4 paper 9 years ago; it was so good he couldnt refuse to buy an industrial quantity of it, and I mean LOTS. To this day we are still using the same batch, which will probably outlast our crumbing house.


One final insult: no mince for my wedges in the quad cafe. F.M.L.why is this all happening to me?

MUST fumigate my room tomorrow

Monday, May 17, 2010

17 May 2010

Photographic of the most spirits I had in one sitting, mind you it was 12cm straight lukewarm vodka that tasted more like stale rubbing alcohol. The result is a total mental breakdown which definitely did not help me write the essay; two night of poor sleep totaling less than 10 hours; a cracking headache that took five tablets of 500mg paracetamol to control; and a very upset stomach that will probably reject unmixed vodka for the foreseeable future :(
BTW The red mini-vise is an innocent McGuffin, I certainly did not crush any bones with that on Saturday night/Sunday morning.


In other (bad) news, for three days in a row I have found booklice near my station. Well winter rain is getting on us all. I have had the dehumidifier running and will probably fumigate the room
on Wednesday since I am going to be away for some time.


People has been telling me today that I was silly to sway my life so trivially out of sentimental gists. I will cover the same issue again and again in my upcoming personal anthology posts, however suffice to say that I have the capacity to make well-devised plans, and I rarely had enough motivation to apply them, without first overcoming all forms of negative emotions.

Behold, there might be a scientific explanation to it!


Going off to watch Iron Man 2 in 20min, I will let the internet know if it was worth my $13 when I get back. For now I need to fetch my old faithful Jaffa can and fill it with sweet stuff :P

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chapter One: Der Kinden

Contrary to popular misconceptions, your memory develops well beyond adolescence and peaks when you are approximately 30 years old, i.e. your memory sucked when you were little. Indeed many things must have happened when I was little, but I wouldnt remember despite other people keep telling me, not that I wanted to, either.

Another theory is that you probably remembered everything, but because of an underdeveloped mind, you are unable to bring them up when you want to, and they only trickle back if you are lucky.

So I was born, on the 10th day of June, 1989 in a small town in my old country. It was my grandp's insistence that my due mother travel a few hundred miles and give birth in a dilapidated hospital with no heating near where they worked because, after all, it was the summer of '89, the year of much shenanigans in a year that is probably the last babyboom, this is go get back at me a bit later in life.

According to my parents my birth is not exactly uneventful. I simply refused to come to this cold, hostile world. After several shots of oxytocin the midwives lost their patience and dragged me out with forceps, I am glad that they are not allowed to do it anymore because it literally scarred me for life: to this day, I still had a prominent bulge on the occipital side of my head, similar to what they describe as "Neanderthal Cranial Types". I get teased a lot because of this, in a good way since it is usually associated with my purported intelligence. I eventually got used to it, however not without resent since it is probably the first reminder to me, that somehow I am different to everyone else who had a normal skull and normal life.

So there I was born, I was with my mom in that run-down part of the province till I was 6 months old and they get be back to my actual hometown, where I remained for the next 12 years or so, never been away for more than a couple of months. I grew up without incident, however I have to say that nothing much has been remembered. Apparently I was pretty close to my mom, refusing to be left at the kindergarten despite mom working not far from that place. The only other fragment I do recall is once I sneezed while being spoon-fed my lunch, and the result isnt the most pleasant. If I could meet that nanny again I'd apologise over and over again for what I did, which I did not mean to do.

I did not stay long there before being sent to a better kindergarten, where I found my niche: I learned to read from quite early on, well before everyone else did. While other kids had their stories read by parents before they went to bed, I read them myself. And to be honest, I rather enjoyed the status of the official story-teller of the class. I was probably also an over archiever too; my parents tells the tale of me breaking down crying because I am not going to a Senior class at the start of a new year, despite the fact that I am exactly one year too young.

So that was probably the most happy period of my life, made better because I was the Wunderkind. Everybody knows me and everybody likes me; only regret is that all ended too quickly.

Unfortunately, my nasty traits has also started to develop around the same time. For one, I was uncomfortable with the convention and mannerism of the old country. For example, the gifts of money and food or whatever you get from older folks, and to accept, you will have to initially (pretend to) refuse. Indeed I was confused about this gesture, does it mean that I am lying for the first time round, do I really want their gifts for the risk of lying(which is still a critical sin to me back then) in front of people who love me.

So my strategy was to refuse, sternly; and take great offense in case the startled people insisted that I should take it(How Peculiar!). Money is grabbed and ripped in the middle; food is thrown to the ground and stomped; anything else not so readily destructible are to be chucked away where I can't see them, and give everybody present a bad moment. One may simply label such behavior as childish stupor, however I doubt if anyone had done anything so deeply cynical back then. I was not normal, or I never have been?

On our last night we had a bonfire party and I was the designated speaker. To think about it as my high-water mark would be an overstatement, but I have never managed to recover that level of prestige and satisfaction ever since. Another thing that did not disturb me till very late is that, while everyone was signing yearbooks and exchanging phone numbers, I stood there watching. I did not understand the point: we were friends, we had a good time, BUT why bother hanging onto people when you all had to move on and possibly not see each other again in your life?

I did not think much of it for a long long time, until the revelation came that I may actually have some form of high-functioning autism, probably Asperger. It had not been the result of any recent changes, but a lurking disease that had been with me since day zero. My inabilty to understand social norms has been there, so deep that to this day I think of my own infancy as a huge shame.

I did not know, because I was too well protected by my popular aura and love of others. And it's soon about to change.

Prelude: C'est la vie, c'est mon métier

(Insert French whining tune here)

So, I am turning 21 in a few weeks time, still preferably all by myself. I was not fond of celebrating birthday for starters, much less so in recent years when my parents made cheesecakes mandatory for any of these occasions, and they make me SICK. Birthdays are curses to me, one bitter reminder to how closer I am to my inevitable senescence and miserable death.

You see, I feel guilty embarrassed for doing anything normal, from day to day. I remember starting the trend of handing out travel sweets on birthdays at high school, so what I did must have had an effect on people, yet when I think about birthdays it still brings up unpleasant memories.

Anyway back to the title, what I intend to do in these relatively peaceful hours of my life is to write a series of anthology for myself. In the past I have tried to initiate a (good) habit of writing diaries in the past however never really succeeded once, and I will need to write them down before I forget while sitting here and lamenting my male pattern baldness.

Just to show how fast I am dying within.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Drink for thought

Not a song this time, but still a very amusing clip worth watching:-)

Still one month and two weeks to go till the inevitable Darkest of Days, yet it feels like it already it is. So we should all make this cosy drink to make yourself feel better staying up late, or even better when you get up in the morning coz it tastes much better than tea;D

As for the ingredient you will need:
Vodka, I use red label Smirnoff however blue should work just as well
Cranberry Juice, McCoy's version is cheap and plentiful, yet it is more on the sweet side once it is heated and makes our wonderful recipe tastes like punch for teenagers, therefore we need....
Lime Juice, lemon juice is an okay substitute, or citric acid in case you are extremely desperate and cannot afford/find lemons.

How to make:
1. Microwave or somehow heat the juice till piping hot however do not boil, will probably destroy all the ascorbic acid but hey, we did not make this drink for the vitamins
2. Pour into a mug, leave about 1/4 of volume for the rest.
3. Top up with vodka, add lime juice to state, enjoy!

Looks, and tastes like some nasty venom, however truely lekker

Dyson sphere (Not related to Dyson of various fancy and overpriced vacuum cleaner and hand dryer and blade-less desktop fans), our only hope in sustainable development and intergalactic expansion!
Actually it will be much less than a sphere, since the sun comprises 99.8% of mess in out system it would be pretty unlikely that we will completely cover the star with artificial structures, however, a series of satellites in tandem nearly as good

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Optical Illusion

eath Lives!

-------Andrew Joseph Stack III

(He had not used the line, however I attributed the statement above to him anyway)


Optical Mindscrew, stare for 20s, look elsewhere and see the world melt in front of your eyes.
Warning: Highly convulsant yet addictive, not recommended for photosensitive epileptics.


Need a smartphone with good music playback, iphone is out, should I get a Symbian or Andriod one?


Essay due in two weeks, with a BIOSCI351 test right before that. Hmmmm I will be busy


--Symptoms of Limerence

Limerence has certain basic components:

* Intrusive thinking about the object of your passionate desire (the limerent object or LO-will be used throughout article-), who is a possible sexual partner.
* Acute longing for reciprocation.
* Dependency of mood on LO's actions or, more accurately, your interpretation of LO's actions with respect to the probability of reciprocation.
* Inability to react limerently to more than one person at a time (exceptions occur when limerence is at low ebb -- early on or in the last fading).
* Some fleeting and transient relief from unrequited limerent passion through vivid imagination of action by LO that means reciprocation.
* Fear of rejection and sometimes incapacitating but always unsettling shyness in LO's presence, especially in the beginning and whenever uncertainty strikes.
* Intensification through adversity (at least, up to a point).
* Acute sensitivity to any act or thought or condition that can be interpreted favorably, and extraordinary ability to devise or invent "reasonable" explanations for why the neutrality that the disinterested observer might see is in fact a sign of hidden passion in the LO.
* An aching of the "heart" (a region in the center front of the chest) when uncertainty is strong.
* Buoyancy (a feeling of walking on air) when reciprocation seems evident.
* A general intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background.
* A remarkable ability to emphasize what is truly admirable in LO and to avoid dwelling on the negative, even to respond with a compassion for the negative and render it, emotionally if not perceptually, into another positive attribute.

Well that makes me limerent with the entire world, highly unlikely


A bit late but I have to make mention: Space Bio Charge LIVE = Pure Awesomeness even in the bootlegged version, already bought the compilation CD, now waiting futilely for the Live soundtrack that will never come:(

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And I know I should have done Chemistry

All contents below added under the effect of a half-bottle of cheap '08 Merlot and a bag of crisps.

Kick Ass: Five stars our of four, one extra I stole from Roger Ebert entirely dedicated to Chloë Moretz, without her this film is nothing awesome as it is. Too bad it had to screen alongside the much anticipated Iron Man 2, well you cannot always win.

By the way, she had a strange resemblance of a younger Blake Lively
Enjoyed every minute in my attempt to resurrect my lab coat soiled with AgNO3, bleach worked to an extent however ammonium thiosulphate saved the day, it is now as good and snow white as new:-)
The statement above is followed by depression because it reminds me again of how much I could have enjoyed chemistry, biomed sucks, sucks BIG. Who cares about mannose-LAM receptors or neuranimidase, I want my mercury fulminate and isopropyl palmitate :-(