Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Diotallevi II

Yesterday was the greatest rain in Singapore of the century, and it has driven even me to nuts, as someone who loved the rain. It seems that folks in these parts gets driven mad by anything if it stays on for long enough.

I loved the rain at nights, for its rarity, and because the sounds of falling waters droned me to sleep. In ths storm on Monday night the rain never stopped its assault; the lights from town and Woodlands rose from the horizon like a huge beast, oppressing the nightly darkness with a pale brown glow which disturbed me so much that I shut up the curtains.

Okay a few of those folks here in office really like to breathe out heavily through their noses whenever they pass my cubicle, but let's not get too distracted.

Jin Peng and the others who's rallied to the Astronomy Fellowship Camp from Monday to today are in for some disappointment; the rain for two nights would make any stars rebelliously appearing an impossibility. The astronomy rating for the camp is gone, though if they get together in a shelter they can find in Ubin, I hope it does well for the fellowship. Only I may never know because I couldn't be with them.

It was a long and dismal trip back home, and my poor bag's taken quite a lot of it, as well as some of my drawings for coursework. All had some kind of damage, especially for the icefloe scene. Also, I lost my umbrella cover.

After I got home and smashed the computer a bit, then met with Charmaine and Colin online to discuss the script. They took it up where I failed; to find the bones we have to pick. It was a long day with a lot of rain out there which I guess was why I took such a long time to react to the academic downpour and the critical questions since my trembling fingers threaten to make any response relative gibberish. But I won't discuss them here because it's still faculty secret.

I start to wonder why I had used the name Diotallevi and Leodhas. The name Diotallevi has started to feature in all of my ideas that had something about self-referencing narratives, and I chose the name Leodhas after an island in the Scottish Hebrides, better known as Lewis. I start to wonder if I can choose the name Casaubon, or possibly Watson, so that people can say to him, "Elementary, my dear Casaubon" or so on. Maybe I can use the name Nechtan, a name much easier to pronounce than Leodhas, and Saraband instead of Emillia.

The names are my least concern, though. Oh yeah, I hear you snicker.

For today I might get my hands upon other jobs, such as character development. And development especially for the character Ratt, who is a rat. I've been drawing the pudgy guy (don't confuse it with the Pudgy Guy). I found out that my pencils are effectively stuffed in the warm dry airtight conditions of my pencil case (why do we call it a pencil case?) so I have to go out today at lunchtime (which is now) and buy myself now a working pencil.

I'm quite tired of the old Ratt design way back from 2004, so I might use a new one. I liked the way Banksy rats are drawn, because they remind me of the rats of Chris Baker, whom Redwall readers might identify as Fangorn. I bet you're snickering more loudly this time.

Also I'm beginning to imagine Ratt dressed in a habit and wielding a blackthorn staff in the most suave and lethal manner like a warrior monk. Don't fall off the chair now! I could take that further and name the abbey Schaulin, but anyway that's not going into the actual film.

Lastly I have to confess that I've in a rather dark mood, starting to lash out at people, and all the stuff you usually hear from blogs like mine so I won't repeat them.

If anything has helped to alleviate it, it was the clear skies near Changi Business Park this morning, which was why I took a picture of it with the rail leading in to Changi Airport.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

The Casimir Sphere

Click to enlarge!
This image was yesterday's incoming picture from APOD, with a tongue-in-cheek commentary that deftly brought out the wonders of the universe from the most common things:

This tiny ball provides evidence that the universe will expand forever. Measuring slightly over one tenth of a millimeter, the ball moves toward a smooth plate in response to energy fluctuations in the vacuum of empty space. The attraction is known as the Casimir Effect, named for its discoverer, who, 50 years ago, was trying to understand why fluids like mayonnaise move so slowly. Today, evidence is accumulating that most of the energy density in the universe is in an unknown form dubbed dark energy. The form and genesis of dark energy is almost completely unknown, but postulated as related to vacuum fluctuations similar to the Casimir Effect but generated somehow by space itself. This vast and mysterious dark energy appears to gravitationally repel all matter and hence will likely cause the universe to expand forever. Understanding vacuum fluctuations is on the forefront of research not only to better understand our universe but also for stopping micro-mechanical machine parts from sticking together.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Guide for the Perplexed

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What Charmaine posted a few weeks back got me pacing around the rooms, which has developed into a weird habit whenever I think, scheme, or listen to music. Were I to be put to the streets outside my house, I may find myself in Woodlands before nightfall. I paced while sinking deep into happy limerence, then it went away.

My job attachment at IBM is a blessing in disguise. It may have taken away the good chunk of December, and sentenced me to my cubicle at daytime, but it has left my day far from temptation and close to a book, the one by the philosopher and theologian, Keith Ward.

I had unshelved it the first time I saw it, and in the first time in a long while that I had a trip to the Christianity shelf on the second storey of the library at Jurong. I didn't visit there very frequently at all, maybe for the same reasons that Charmaine had cited. I didn't think I was perplexed anyway, until I borrowed it and realised how perplexing it was.

Ward took some time off to poke at modern and popular perceptions, maybe by those "teenaged evangelists who wear their faith like gaudy street fashion". But instead of offering opinions by the chapterload, he presented other people's misguided views. (Maybe the ideas were all misguided in one way or another, by any extent. If you get tired easily while thinking, you'd say that they're all relatively misguided)

Folks interested in theology, watch out now for Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine, and maybe the Iliad, because I wish for the coming of an age in which people talk about God and know what they're really talking about.

Would like to write more when I'm in the right mood.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Seice Ruairidh - Roddy's Drum

Seice Ruairidh bheir i fuaim
Seice Ruairidh bheir i srann
Seice Ruairidh bheir i fuaim
Nuair a bhailear i gu teann

Nuair bhailear i bheir i fuaim aisd'
'S gluaisidh gach duine bhios ann
An fhuaim a bheir seice Ruairidh
Bheir i nuas an taigh mun ceann

M'eudail air do shùilean donna
Air do shùilean 's air do bhodhaig
M'eudail air do shùilean donna
'S air do bhodhaig bhòidhich

Pòsaidh mi dha-rìreadh
Pòsaidh mi dha-rìreadh
Pòsaidh mi an gille donn
Ma tha e 'g ràdh an fhìrinn

Roddy's drum makes a noise/Roddy's drum makes a whirring/Roddy's drum makes a noise/When it's struck smartly
When it makes a noise/Everyone present moves/The noise Roddy's drum makes/Will bring the house down
I love your brown eyes/Your eyes and your shape/I love your brown eyes/And your comely shape
I will marry for sure/I will marry for sure/I will marry the brown-haired lad/If he is telling the truth