Friday, November 30, 2007

Ok, maybe the day is not so bad after all...

Alright, I posted about how the day is turning out to be bad. But after that things started looking good. Well not super-good, but at least not Super-Bad. [Oh you must watch that movie!]

In the afternoon, I went to school for that meeting thing with reporters from India. First of all, I thought "Okay, so I'm gonna be participating in a big meeting and it's gonna be a total chaos in the conference room." But in the end it became a complete waste of time. The reporters hardly asked any questions. Oh the one from Kerala (my state) didn't even open his mouth. What a shame! Being the Chief Editor for Malayala Manorama, he doesn't even have the guts to attempt to ask a question in English.

I've seen that in the whole of India, Malayalees are the most stubborn when it comes to speaking English. They never practice English speaking ever in their life, and so when they go overseas, they find it really really really hard to speak in English. Whereas others from India, even the neighbouring Tamilians have at least an acceptable amount of practice speaking in English, and they find it much easier communicating in English with foreigners. The schools in Kerala are never strictly enforcing anti-vernacular rules on the students, thus they (students) are free to speak in Malayalam on campus. Whereas in almost every other state in India, the schools are very strict in speaking English only and not their native languages when inside campus. And because this is so well accepted by the students, English has also become a preferred language of communication even outside the campus. The lack of this kind of acceptance is an extremely bad situation in Kerala and the Kerala Government should take some action regarding this. But what good is this poor fellow's ranting going to do?

Anyway, forget that. The meeting was a total rip-off, if you will. Hardly any information was passed around. I did speak a bit, but I got so nervous it showed through! Gosh I should learn to build up confidence.

After that they went around the school, took some photos of school and us, and then left. I went to Tampines Mall to meet three of my classmates (CS and others). They watched Enchanted and said the movie is super-boring. Good thing I didn't waste my 8 dollars! Minus 1 dollar, I got myself an USB SD card reader instead and it was worth all my money.

Transfer to SD card via internal SD card reader: - not possible!! - (it asks to reformat.. yeah i know, wth!)
Transfer to PDA (SD card inserted) via USB cable: 16-17 MB per min
Transfer to SD card via USB SD card reader: 107.4 MB per min!!

That's like 6-7 times faster! Now I don't have to spend hours transferring movies. It's just matter of minutes now. Good thing the money didn't go wasted in a boring movie, but was saved to get this goodie! What a good thing to happen in my birthday!!

I'm sorry I skipped a lot. After I met my friends, we went around and got in the Courts store of Tampines Mall. We were looking around and playing around. An invisible camera for 600+ dollars! Rehan took my picture in a laptop with built-in webcam and put it as it's wallpaper! We tried surfing the Net in the same laptop. LOL if you desperately need to surf the Net and have nothing with you, just stop by at a Courts where there's Wireless@SG, and find a laptop in a corner. Start surfing away!! Lewis hacked into a computer which had a video locked in full screen. Windows Media Player in Vista has the ability to lock with PIN code, but you can bypass by pressing the Magic-Trio™ (Ctrl-Alt-Del).

After that we parted ways and I went to Sim Lim to check out LCD monitors. What the heck! Lowest price is 280+... and if you have truckloads of cash, you can spend upto 1000 on LCDs, maybe even more! I was expecting something cheaper. Oh well. Then I went around looking for laptop coolers. But I was in a total confused situation as to whether laptop coolers are really worth the money. There's this 15 dollar cooler which is completely flat, and if you look at it, you really won't think it will even create an airflow. C'mon no vents, no way for air to go, just two fans between the laptop and the table? You gotta be kidding me. Well, if you look at the better models that are slanted and have lots of room for air flow, they're at least DOUBLE the price! I dropped the idea.

Then I fancied the keyboards. You get good models from Logitech for quite cheap ($19). But I was not really planning to buy a keyboard, coz I really didn't think it would be better to use external keyboard compared to the built-in keyboard. Then I went around and found and SD card reader (mentioned above). Came back home and went for dinner. Met Feroz in the coffee shop and we had a chat. That's it, back home now, blogging.

Wow. Quite long for a birthday post huh? Thanks for wasting your time, reading about my boring birthday life! Hahahaha!

Even my birthday is turning out to be a bad day...

Nothing much had been happening today except getting a few messages in my mobile phone and over Messenger. As I was in front of my laptop, I thought of charging my PDA and transferring some files onto it. I took it in my hand casually and was bringing it towards me. Suddenly, it hit the side of my laptop lightly. The next thing I knew was a PDA on the floor with the batter cover thrown at one corner, the battery itself thrown at another corner, and even the pen thrown at yet another corner. It happened so fast and so violently, I was cursing myself for it.

Alright, damage done is damage done. I can't turn back time. I put all the components of the PDA together and turned it on. I connected the charger and then I was leaning against it looking at the screen. My arm was touching the side of the metal casing of the PDA, and I got a small shock! This is the second bad thing, and so far, the last.

God only knows what more bad things are planned for me this day...

Oh btw, The Beatles sang "Happy Birthday" for me! Hear the song:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Think twice before you have seaweed

Cadmium in your body is a major health risk. The uptake of Cd into our body takes place through food like (for example) liver, mushrooms, shellfish, cocoa powder, mussels and dried seaweed.

Smoking also increases exposure to cadmium, so does second-hand smoke. From the lungs, Cd is transported via blood, and this can cause activating the cadmium already acquired by the body through Cd-rich food.

Hazardous waste sites and factories that release Cd into air cause Cd in our body to rise to dangerously high levels, thus causing damage to lungs, or even death.

The liver, upon receiving cadmium from blood, bonds it to proteins to form complexes which are sent to the kidneys. This bonded cadmium complexes can accumulate in kidneys, reducing the effectiveness of the filtering mechanisms. Kidneys may malfunction and excrete essential proteins and sugars from the blood. It takes a long time before all the cadmium from the kidneys are gone and they return to normal function.

Other effects of cadmium, ranging from mild to very serious include:

  • Diarrhea, stomach aches and vomiting severly
  • Fracture in bones
  • Failure of reproductive system, and even infertility
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Immune system damage
  • Psychological disorders
  • Damage to DNA
  • Development of cancer.

Reference: Cadmium (Cd) - Chemical properties, Health and Environmental effects

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shyness is not a problem?

Recently I found this website called Shy and Free. Here are some quotes from it:

Why are you shy? Perhaps your shyness is guiding you to someone and some things more wonderful than you can imagine.   Maybe you are destined for deeper understanding, meaningful work, and mutually compassionate relationships.

Imagine going from someone too shy to purchase a book on shyness; too shy to have a successful job interview; too shy to ask for someone’s phone number; too shy to attend social activities; too shy to go on dates --- to someone who looks others in the eye; finds rewarding, interesting, and creative work; travels internationally; finds their partner in life; finds happiness and joy in the world; and even speaks to large groups of people on occasion.

This site is written by someone who has personally transformed pain and suffering into happiness and joy.

Shyness leads to self-consciousness which leads to consciousness which leads to freedom.

The more you try to change or get rid of your shyness, the more your shyness is reinforced. The more you are in touch with other parts or yourself, the freer you are to express the whole you and experience changes in your life.

Shyness is a label placed on us by others or ourselves.  Labels do not explain a person, they place a person in a category and it is important to remember that labels and categories are not the person.

Visit the website: Shy and Free

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Water Effects

This morning I was washing this plastic spoon and I discovered an effect I could create with it in running water. Here's a shot of that (click on it for bigger version):

Water Effects