Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pre-Sunday Manifesto

1. On the economy of words

The first idea is that words are precious, and overuse and misuse of a word diminishes its value and strips it of meaning.
The second idea is to conform a language to the Chinese aesthetic, by which a shorter expression is considered more desirable than a longer one, rather than the other way round.

These and the following ideas are made to be tested. For each judgement and conclusion that I make, I have to change my life to live up to it. This is so that the statements are not made out of idleness and vanity, but to exploited again in the fullness of its meaning.

2. On empathy

The idea of empathy is that by freeing oneself from the prison of their own vantage point, disputes are made to appear trivial, misunderstandings unlikely, and war frivolous.
The idea of empathy is to know that differences between human beings of different cultures, though prominent, are superficial.

3. On living a godly life (c.f. Wednesday cell group)

The first idea of living a godly life is to make the living moment one continuous prayer.
The second idea is to disregard any self-awareness and to dedicate all one's actions to God's volition.

4. On love

The idea of love is that it is not an emotion, but a promise made, remade, and carried out on the run.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Upper Kent Ridge route leading to the Library's back door

This morning I brought Sean and Lin Xi also known as Adrian to Upper Kent Ridge, and shared the joy of discovering a familiar place. Then came eight hours of guitar playing and emotional fatigue. I gave Yujun's mooncake party a miss.

Christina, the most senior member from the choir at church, has fallen ill and is recuperating in Malaysia. In other news, the Vietnamese dude called Jason in the choir has found a job and is staying in Singapore after all. Last Sunday it was his party and I missed it. I seem to be good at doing this sort of thing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Junior Journal 3.5.R1

1. Housekeeping

So the blog is eight years old, having survived August 18 2012 with that silly French thing I wrote. I do write less now not because there is less time but because I spend my free time doing something else, namely being prisoner to the Internet. This must not continue.

Does anyone read what I write? Maybe, but I have no way to know because I have turned comments off. I have turned comments off because of spammers. I happen to know that spambots visit my page because more people from the United States visit this place than is absolutely plausible.

Am I going to keep writing? Well yes. But you readers will have to bear with lower-quality stuff for the first couple of months. Now excuse me while I try to redirect my smartmouthing habits away from Facebook.

2. Not Housekeeping

The UROP (Undergrad Research) project is finished. The project is about (and I have had in the Real World to explain it many times) Transmission Electron Microscopy. So the idea is:
1. There is a sample of something.
2. You shoot electrons through it though a beam
3. You focus the electron beam on the other side in some way
At this juncture (3), depending on how you focus, you may get:
4a. An image of the thing, magnified
4b. A modern-art pattern
At this juncture (4b), depending on whether you converge the beam, you may get
4bi. Dotsies arranged in a way that reflects the symmetry (if a crystal)
4bii. Bright circles.
At this juncture (4bii) dark lines appear in the circles and we call it HOLZ lines
HOLZ lines do not make any sense, unless the computer happens to know which crystallographic plane it arises from. So I spend time in the Professor's office because his computer is the only one in the whole wide school with the software installed, without managing to touch the actual microscope, which is only for experts.
Well as I have said I have finished the project, and as I type my junior Nengduo has enrolled in UROP also and working under the same Prof. Tearfully I say to you, my junior friend, do us undergrads proud! (Disclaimer: Nengduo probably doesn't read the blog)

The VIP (Vacation Internship) report was also completed recently, but not so recently in a way I can write about it in too much detail. It was about the Density Functional Theory in solids, because electron density is very importen'.

3. Assorted stuff

My UROP prof also teaches Dielectric and Magnetic materials. He is very thorough but wreaks sleepy havoc on the students. Actualnuh, I can not complain because there was another prof to whom I almost turned violent at for not being thorough enough, and for always using fluffy language 90 percent of the time.

The prof teaching Materials Design and Selection (read. Realpolitik for Nerds) actually encourages us to use fluffiness in the same spirit as Business Management students, but at least he is truthful in saying it.

The prof who teaches Ceramics is full of off-colour comparisons and wisdom. Under his inspiration, I am now running at least once a week with friends.
The prof who teaches Corrosion is often too soft to be heard
The prof teaching Metals stutters quite badly

I am supposed to be studying and stuff. I should go home and spend time with my sisters. And then sleep.

Monday, September 17, 2012

J'ai la pulsion d'écrire quelquechose en Romand

C'est une problème de survie. J'partirai en Suisse dans cinq mois, à Lausanne en Romandie, parmi les vaches et pendules à coucou et types avec des lederhosen parlant proprement ni le Français ni l'Allemand. Avec n'importe quel adversaire qu'j'confronterai cette aventure, j'm'trouverai mort si je perds le Français, la langue des légèrement eccentriques au Canada, des rebelles Catholiques en Bretagne, des multitudes de nations au Sahel aux déserts si forcement inhabitables, des lémurs dorants aux plages à Madagascar, et des chous Kerguélenois qui souffrent perpetuellement les vents gelés circonpolaires sans plaindre. Il n'y a pas de récourses à l'Anglais. Mon gars! Tu n'es plus en Finlande.