Thursday, July 29, 2010

F.M.L. the Cocktail

Marianne of Beauty by MM brought this gem to my attention.

Written in full just in case someone has never read FML.

A quick run of inventory suggested that I have whiskey, vodka and orange juice. No rum but that can be made up by doubling the vodka and add some rum flavoring.

Mandatory bottle shot. Notice the familiar markings.

Say hello to my new shaker. The first piece I bought since my previous bartender set succumbed to humidity.

The result

Verdict: It looks pale yellow not unlike pineapple juice. The taste is okay, quite fruity but you can easily tell the different alcohol (i.e. they don't blend very well). The rum essence has been sitting in the fridge since the last millennium so I certainly could not taste rum; if you are trying it I highly recommend Malibu.

Overall nothing exceptional. Quite fitting name for a day when you had to wait 50 minutes for your bus home because all of them are packed full, fml.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beyond Antennagate

Another poor soul about to be devoured by the RDF.

Believe it or not, I went to MagnumMac (corner of Broadway and Khyber Pass Road) on Friday when the iPad was released in NZ. I would never have gone there if a lovely female workmate had not asked me to take an extended smoko down the road to buy a new case for her iPod Nano and of course, check out the iPad. Anyway, it was an impressive sight where people of all demographics coming in to buy four or five iPads without even engaging the basic precautions when shopping for gadgets. I have long suspected the Apple fanboyhood as a classic case of collective hysteria, with every product launch reinforcing my prejudices. Take the example of iPhone 4, or the antenna problems it had from its fundamentally flawed design. Apple's handling of the issue is beyond shameless:

-They have secretly applied some coating to new units to prevent the worse attenuation.

-They offered a free case or bumpers for people already have the phone.

-They added a page on their official website dedicated to bash other phones which according to the almighty Steve Jobs suffer from the same problem no less.

-Not to mention some diehard defenders of Apple trying to claim that the iPhone 4 is still the best phone with the problems in mind(and the signal issue was mostly the fault of AT&T). But seriously, iPhone 4 is a mobile PHONE, if you need a pretty gadget that will play MP3 and/or Plants vs. Zombies do yourself a favor and buy an iTouch.


I have had a few interesting lecturers today. One was fuming why nobody bought him birthday gifts when he made a Cecil announcement that it is his birthday tomorrow(when we don't even have a lecture); another was rather inebriated after lunch and her speech was peppered with broken phrases close to the meaning of "I am sober."; the remaining one came to his students asking for help because the lecture room terminal is PC and he is "a lifetime Mac user."

Wind the clock back by 20 years, Macintosh is the only option for graphic design because IBM compatibles are so heterogeneous and lack any ability to use ICC profiles.Therefore, Apple was the only viable choice for a microcomputer when it comes to reproduce images/videos. Besides, professional software that are less dependent on colour management, i.e. AutoCAD, was never ported to the Mac. Hence the myth of Apple being designer's choice is really not worth believing.

Now we are in 2010 and things have changed a lot. PC has catched up greatly in terms of stability and consistency that to an average user, PC is at least just as good as a Mac. Apple was afraid of losing its core users so much, that they locked the colour management of the latest iMacs into OSX so the pros will not even have a chance to run windows.

What about their other major product? I have listened to most iPods ever made and most of them sound mediocre except the original iPod or iPod Classic, which was a surprisingly phenomenal music player. However my comment does not extend to the pair of white earphones that came free with your i-products: they have more in common with the speakers of a really cheap laptop that makes your favourite song irritating. Every time I see someone wearing Apple's white headsets it makes my heart sink because I know that in the long run, this person is going to give up on music altogether.

Am I getting one for myself or the ones I love? No wai. The controls are awkward and illogical, and iTunes is so badly designed that I had to treat it like a virus. Nevertheless, I have no problem offering Apple products to the misguided, uninformed masses, because they are not very smart.

Sighs, the superficial and rotten Apple today is no longer the innovative maker of classics such as the Mac G4. Their sole strategy is to have a range of highly exclusive hardware inaccessible to users so it will require the least effort to maintain. For example, knowing the iPhone is a power hog, they have refused on every occasion to make the battery interchangeable because they know better than me do and obviously we don't need interchangeable batteries.


To me, the recent success signifies the fundamental problem in modern consumerism. Instead of rewarding independence and ingenuity, companies like Apple are keen to sell a bland but profitable merchandise disguised in a sugar coat of individuality. To be fair, there are many sensible and intelligent Mac users out there. However the majority of Apple users are just posers who think they are better people with a MacBook or iPad. And it is the latter that will soon lose the ability to think as individuals.


Few other things I also hate:

1. Crocs

Crocs top the list because they are ugly and make me want to spew on each and every occasion I see people wearing them, especially those soiled ones which probably has not been cleaned since they were bought in 2005. I don't care how functional these things are, they still look retarded and so is the wearer.

2. Korea

Your average Korean compatriot

Most Asian people are nice, conservative and openly xenophobic because they have not been taught of the wonderful lessens of political correctness. Koreans stands out as a particular example. A classical case of nouveau riche mixed with traditional lack of security, Koreans are probably the most narrow minded the arrogant people of the Far East.

My only early impression of Korea is that while the people are kind and polite, their national language is a both vulgar and messy. As I learned more about this country, I could not help to increasingly despise them. Some may claim that there has been an ongoing smear campaign against Korea since 2002 and I doubt it. The turn in public opinion on Korea is entirely due to their own acts of stupidity including but not limited to: their totally mistaken adherence to the Goguryeo succession, lack of integrity, and freakish chauvinistic tendencies. 

Let's end this prejudiced section with the stills of a TV show recorded in Japan:

(Translated horizontally from left to right)
Korean dude: Fundamentally, Japanese people are not popular overseas.
K: I have studied abroad on several occasions.
K: Myself included, Koreans got on really well with the locals.
K: Please excuse my shameless plug.
K: My girlfriend is Taiwanese, I met her in the USA.
Nigerian guy: I have many Korean friends.
N: What really bothers me about them is that they are all such charlatans...
N: ...saying stuff like: We are really popular, we are the coolest in the world, like Mr #74 has been doing...
K: I only said I am popular.
K: I said nothing about Koreans being popular.
N: You just said it!
K: Fine, we will watch the tapes later, sucker!

Enough said.

3. People

L'enfer, c'est les autres

or put it more directly

What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets?!

People are excessively complex for their genetic makeup. They are the only visible aberration to an otherwise perfectly mechanical world. Hence we need all the customs, laws and formalities to make things a little more predictable. I will never understand anarchists, such society would be pure horror show.

I feel for the likes of myself such as John Key, Paula Bennett, Patricia Cornwall and in a fashion, John Tamihere(you may have already forgot about him right?). Internally we might be quite liberal; nevertheless we cannot help to hop into the right wing bandwagon because internally, we all crave for an ideal society where everybody has someone to be obeyed and someone to be commanded.


In other news, managed to score an EVGA X58 motherboard at very low prices and will probably have to upgrade to Nehalem quite prematurely. Also bought a GTX275 for now and will wait till prices on 40nm cards drop.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pros and Cons of Travelling with VAIO P

 Pro: It did not cost me a thing since it was a gift from Dad
Con: Retail configuration was so slow that I had to pay an extra $400 for a solid state drive before it was marginally responsive. Mind you, 1.8in SSDs are dear and few.

Pro: It looks totally nifty and posh, it surely grabs those much needed attention from strangers.
Con:The silver coating starts to drop from corners with no ovbious reason, revealing plaque-like black base material below.
Pro: The unit and charger is so small and light that it takes no space/weight in your bag.
Con:The battery life sucks so you will have to take up a (expensive) backup battery, plus it does not come with a LAN port so off goes a USB-LAN adaptor; the end result is a substantial package to pack, still. 

Pro: Unlike a tablet, it has a full keyboard!
Con: The keys are tiny with little travel; plus, mine is a Japanese version and the keyboard is plainly atrocious.

Pro: It runs totally silent without a fan.
Con: Passive cooling work fine right now in the southern hemisphere but it heats up like a hot potatoes. The smallest cooling pad I can find its about her own size, now add that to the outfit I mentioned before.....

Pro: The screen is nice and wide with a good viewing angle.
Con: The resolution is way too high (1600x768) for an 8-incher, your eyes hurt after a while. Not to mention it is already over the rated maximum of the GPU so it cannot even scroll your average web page without becoming choppy. 

After getting my new phone I was not so sure whether to keep her.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home Again

Travel stats so far:
Time away from home: 18 days 12 hours and 41 minutes
Distance covered: 24,057km
Average Speed: 54.1kph (3s.f.)
Cities visited: 5
Meals at Maccas: 4
Alcohol consumed: Three beer (Two Asahi, one microbrewery lager) and several glasses of chilled white (Jacob's Creek Riesling)
Books brought: 9 (mostly biomed textbooks)
Books read: 1 (One Hundred Years of Solitude)

The trip was good, however too short and exhausting. My luck with luggage has been deteriorating since a few years back, this time my bag was late on both trips, in fact I am still waiting for one bag to be delivered tomorrow.

The major surprise, or the lack thereof, is that the world had remained largely as is while I was stuck on an island for 18 months.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

About Last Night

Pelé had the unenviable talent of telling who is gonna lose in reverse. World cup quarterfinals have adhered to the rule so far: Brazil is out, so is Argentina after their 0:4 loss to Germany.
I knew that Argentina was probably going home, however I certainly did not see four goals coming. Overall, Argentina never had any organised offense or defense. Losing one goal 3" would be a shocker for sure, but we only see them try and fail and become, angry, which would not help at all.  
Sighs. Germans are deadly, deadly boring people but they can get things sorted.
A few better known spectators spotted at this game, in order of appearence:
Jacob Zuma: For better or worse, the Zulu chief has outgrown his tribal constraints. I am planning on a really good essay on SA, so stay tuned.
Angela Merkel: Probably the old herself, the most insincere person at the game.
F. W. de Klerk: For some reason he did not age at all since 1994.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Donning his sunglasses but still looking bored.
Charlize Theron: Where are you, Keanu Revees?
Michael Ballack: Emerged from nowhere towards the end, looking thoroughly satisfied.
Sepp Blatter: I hate him, really really hate him, period.
In other news, I am doing okay in real summer with the air hotter than human core temperature. Ice cream has never tasted so good after many migratory years with two winters. Traveling is always good, the only minor problems are an utterly broken mp3 player and ruined foam pad for my F-802 satchel bag. A formal warning to fellow Domke users: Never attempt to fix your shoulder pad with latex, it remains sticky after drying and forms a disgusting layer of black goo in a matter of days:-(
As for stuff at uni, I have done better than expected for microbiology; not as well but as expected for genetics; anatomy is not out yes but I think I will have a bare pass. Looking back, I wish I could have planned this year better: anatomy was fun, but not my cuppa. The protein structure paper which clashed directly with anatomy would be far easier to handle and more appropiate for my plans for postgrad. Nevertheless, I am not bitter like I was this time last year after a stressful semester of five medium-to-high difficulty papers. Doing another stage II course in your third year really boost your ego since you have that seniority, more so since most people are (once failed) medic wannabes. Very good sign to have.
Another noteworthy point is that I will not be doing B347; was planning to swap one paper for it only to find that it clashes with not one but two other medsci papers. Heaps of other things also happened, and I shall update you once I am back in NZ.