Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back from CMG pre-production camp

Fatigue is now taking over my body after the pre-production camp by Chinese Musical Group of The University of Melbourne (Twitter @seeemgee)

During the camp, football fever never dies. I watched South Korea vs Uruguay and England vs Germany with my campmates! Will do a write up on the matches.

I bought my pet Nokia N97 to the camp. Reception was not that good at Yarra Junction, my phone kept on reconnecting and disconnecting = battery drain very fast XD

Football matches are aired live on SBS One station. What I like is, live matches are NEVER interrupted with commercial breaks. This makes watching matches more fun since the audience is totally immersed in the game. Back in Malaysia, I especially hate it when live telecast is interrupted by commercial breaks to give ways for sponsors of the broadcast! That's what I call an irritation. Not just the FIFA World Cup but also Olympic Games and Thomas Cup. Such act is so unprofessional that I rather watch live match on Astro channels. In other words, I say all M'sian free TV stations suck a whole lot when it comes to broadcasting live matches.

To advertise for the broadcast sponsors, it can be done during half time or post game commentary but not during the match! Don't spoil the fun, please.

Friday, June 25, 2010

An encounter

Went on further for Inner Champion encounter!







The third photos shows foodstuff used in communion. They have a significance - the piece of biscuit represents Bread of Life - Body of Christ; the red wine, Blood of Christ. Appropriate substitutes can be used but they all mean the same.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The bitches fight DJ Fara vs DJ Jane

The DJ Office Battle Part 1:



Continue to see what these DJs are up to!

Part 2:



Part 3:



These videos first appeared on Castrol Malaysia Facebook page so do check it out and look for goodies there!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Urban Life unite!

PlanetUNI had a combined urban life on 9 June 2010 attended by university students of Planetshakers church!

Although I had biochemistry exam the next day, having a time to come together and encourage each other was more meaningful than studying alone indeed.


Welcome!

Pastor Matt Fielder
The man of the house, Ps Matt Fielder!




My best buddies in church!

iPad
Apple iPad, fresh from the pipeline.

It was time to start!

combined urban life 2010
Praise and sing your lungs out!

Of course didn't forget to camwhore with friends in church!





Together we unite!

放半粒 (Handicap Goal) FIFA World Cup theme song by Namewee



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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Melbourne season: winter

Photos are taken using Nokia N97.

Dined at Lygon Street after a Sunday service with church friends. I ordered gelato.

gelato

On my way for my semester exam. Took this while waiting for a tram on La Trobe Street:

corner La Trobe Street and Queen Street Melbourne

An uncommon sight of Melbourne Central Tower shrouded in mist:

Melbourne Central Tower mist
The city will be wet and cold minus the snow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Social networking ethics

Not until the evolution of Internet and social networking, relationships among human beings has never been much closer. We are no longer bound by physical distance so what become important is the amount of contact between our besties and us.

Some undesirables are lurking around, social networking are just their platform to it. Recent changes in Facebook interface must have delighted some and displeased others. Why? Stalking people has never been much easier! Twitter works on a different mechanics and let everyone becomes celebrities.

Twitter doesn't give you much control of who follows you unless you keep your tweets private or block the annoying account. So it's a world of I stalk you and you stalk me. This is what Twitter meant it to be.

Friendster and now Facebook work on adding people as your friends (technically, 1st degree friend). They also let you know mutual friends and networks.

Everyone is free to add anyone as their friend, at the same time there is a check of accepting or rejecting friend requests. So, listen to what I have to say. You are holding the authority to choose whether to accept and form a relation.

I must say most people will accept friend requests from strangers without further consideration. It's just in a click! But, there are consequences that follow from an acceptence of a friend request. By accepting a request, you are:
  • Putting faith in the person so that he/she will contribute to a healthy relation with you.
  • Granting the person the freedom to interact with you (write on wall, send message)
  • Giving the person the authority to access information about you.
  • Giving the person the authority to know what's happening between you and your friends, by watching ongoing conversations (wall posts).
  • Giving the person the authority to interact with your direct friends (view profile, add friend)

Note that I've emphasised on authority. So, you see, your act of accepting a friend request doesn't just affect you. As I've said, if you're concerned that a stranger will annoy you later, don't approve the request. Depending on privacy settings, some people won't let you add them as friend unless you're in his/her second degree. But stalkers can circumvent this by just adding a friend of his and gain a foothold.

These practices I find rather detestable:
  1. Adding large amounts of friends to increase friend count. This is called friend collecting or friend whoring.
  2. Adding people because he/she is a mutual friend, albeit technically but in real, don't have a relationship.
  3. Repeated friend requests over short time frame because request got rejected.

Some people, wanting to look popular so they add strangers randomly to increase friend count. What's the point of 1000+ friends but you don't actually know them? Furthermore people are more likely to accept friend request when there's a mutual friend. That's how these friend collectors gain a foothold into social circles. Mutual friend by itself isn't the case, I can ignore if I don't see fit.

For famous people (maybe you're pretty and hot!), you have many direct friends in Facebook not because you actively add them, but you accept friend requests based on loose criteria. Among these "friends", likely there'll be gossipmongers and stalkers, with the bonus of direct access to your info! From time to time, I actually screen my friend list and remove people I hardly know.

There's a grey area for adding friend because you find him/her physically attractive. I wouldn't want to kill your networking spirit but I am against unhealthy practices. You can try sending a message and you should get a reply after at most two messages. Anything beyond that is crossing the boundary.

Remember each of us occupy a different position in the social world. Your actual position is determined by where you are and who you are. This very position will determine where we belong and interactions we are allowed to have, so the place you study or work will determine the people you mingle and amount of contact allowed. Sometimes stuff you wouldn't conscious of like places of origin or nationality will shape your "eligibility" to interact with people. To be frank I wouldn't be comfortable with people who came out of nowhere and add me.

So, what's the ultimate truth about relationship with people?

My pastor has preached that revelation is best at fresh and we should have a direct relationship with God. In other words, let us be our own priests. The same goes with relationship between people so let us be 'priest' to our friend. Relationship with people is best at first hand. The notion of mutual friend actually conveys nothing. As per the principle, don't use other people as conversation fodder and refrain to manipulate other people to 'repair' relationships. Each person has his/her own autonomy, each relation is independent of each other in some sense. So you are personally responsible for each relationship you maintain.

But I warn you, when you hurt a person, you are touching the person's friends, relatives, associates and ultimately, God. What matters to an individual matters to the network.

I am no different from any other person and I've learnt the hard way too. I can give you this is the result of years of observation and listening around on what others have to say.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What is Quorn?

A new advertiser has arrived on my blog, how can I not talk about it? I am going to introduce you to Quorn from a life scientist's perspective.

The product is made from an edible mould with a scientific name Fusarium venenatum strain PTA-2684. The mould was discovered in 1967 and chosen as the best candidate for protein production after an extensive screening process. This research for alternative protein sources was back in the 1960s.

quorn meat texture
It's just like any other meat

How is Quorn produced?


The mould is grown in an oxygenated and sterile fermenter. Glucose is added as a food (carbon) source and ammonia as nitrogen source for the fungus along with vitamins and minerals. When a desired level of growth is reached, the mould is extracted. The extracted mould is called mycoprotein. It is heat treated to remove excess RNA. Without heat treatment the genetic material is metabolised in humans into uric acid and can lead to gout.

The mycoprotein is dried and added with egg albumen (as binder). It is textured and pressed into desired shapes. At this stage, the mycoprotein has a varying colour and flavour resembling meat.

quorn nuggets
Nuggets I love 'em!

What are the benefits?

Quorn is high in dietery fibres and proteins and low in lipids (fats & cholesterols) and salt. It contains all of the essential amino acids making it a suitable alternative protein source for vegetarians. The product is of course meat free and soy free too.

Which amino acids are essential? Human beings have eight essential amino acids. They are named essential because the human body doesn't synthesise them. I name all of them here:
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Challenge: Draw out the molecular structure of these amino acids!


A Burritos made with Quorn.

You can obtain your nutritional needs without sacrificing a life. Isn't that cool? Quorn products are now availablie in Australia so head over to the supermarkets and grab one now!

Cakes of Life

cupcakes


kuih Victoria


kuih Victoria

These cakes were served as refreshments during inner champion encounter, the capstone of Inner Champion course by Planetshakers. To enrol in Inner Champion, you must have already done DNA.

If you are interested in signing up for a church course (DNA, Inner Champion, Kingdom Purpose) by Planetshakers, ask about it at Dallas Brooks Centre in East Melbourne (on a Sunday) and get your life empowered!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back from Melbourne Freeze Frame

The previous night, I was attending prayer night by Planetshakers at Collingwood Town Hall. Stepped my foot there early so I helped cleaning up the venue 'coz they were having a youth group.

The session requires full participation of your heart and soul. You really need to press in, directing your full attention and viola! In unity the session can become unbelievably powerful. But when I came home, I stayed up till 8 am.

After a 2 hour sleep I headed to CBD for my virgin flashmob, Melbourne Freeze Frame Project.

Commonwealth Bank Australia Headquarter Melbourne

Melbourne Freeze Frame Project 2010 Bourke Street Mall
Spot me.

Flashmob is fun when you look at the wondering face of the people around! Detailed post coming later.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

TweetDeck now features Foursquare!

This has been a while but for those fans out there, here's another reason to add in your arsenal of desktop applications!

TweetDeck version 0.34 now supports Foursquare.

TweetDeck Foursquare
Single-column view of Foursquare on TweetDeck

Apart from all the usual buttons, Foursquare has a map button.

Foursquare map button on TweetDeck

By clicking the map button a map is displayed. Clicking on the map button again hides the map.

Foursquare Google map on TweetDeck

With the map you can:
  • Pan the map around
  • Zoom the map in and out with the + and - button
  • Click on a profile picture to see his/her detailed location
  • Change the presentation of the map (Map, Satellite, Terrain, Hybrid) by clicking for a drop-down menu

So what are you waiting for? Download TweetDeck from their website! Make sure you have in place already!

ps. TweetDeck v0.34 supports Google Buzz as well. If you're a Buzz fan you're welcome to try it and write your own review!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Walter & Eliza Hall Institute Discovery Tour

20 May 2010, the next day after my Australian Synchrotron tour, I went to for a discovery tour.

Where is Walter & Eliza Hall Institute (WEHi)? It's behind Royal Melbourne Private Hospital and south of University High School in Parkville, Melbourne. Just next to GTAC where I usually go for science talks!

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Professor Doug Hilton, director of the institute gave us a welcome and presented an overview of institute research. Medical research is hard work to find cure for diseases! This is what research is actually like. I'm not talking about finding the answer in days or months. From discovery to commerciallization, a research can take up to 10-20 years.

Plus, medical research rely on financial contributions from the public and government initiatives. The contributions you make today will translate to a better and comfortable treatment tomorrow.



A biomedical animator showed us this video. Chun!



Time to hit the labs!

lab bench
This is how a lab bench in a research institute looks like. Unlike web labs in your school/college, you don't get much workspace. But, all the reagents are yours to use!

I was brought into a lab under the Division of Stem Cells and Cancer to hear about breast cancer research.

Dr Julie Sheridan role of stem cells in breast cancer
Dr Julie Sheridan introduced us to the role of stem cells in breast cancer.

Stem cells are the master cells in your body that can form any type of cell. In breasts, stem cells replenishes dead and worn out breast tissue especially during pregnancy and milk production. The last thing you want is these cells develop into tumour. One cause of tumour formation is genetic mutation.

breast cancer spread
Stained cells under the microscope. The dark area is the cancerous tissue.

WEHi discovery tour visitor looking under microscope
Beneath the microscope is a tissue sample of treated breast cancer tissue.

Then, we went into another lab under Division of Autoimmunity and Transplantation to hear about rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr Kate Lawlor rheumatoid arthritis research
Dr Kate talked to us about rheumatoid arthritis.

All of us know joint inflammation (arthritis) is annoying and painful. The focus was on a type of joint inflammation called rheumatoid arthritis. I was told that the condition is quite a complex one, all sorts of immune cells are present at the site of inflammation.

How do those immune cells end up at the joint? It's because of some chemical substances secreted in your body that attracts the immune cells there. The chemical substanced which Dr Kate talked about was Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF).

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute is a happening place in biomedical research, cutting edge research is going on there! On a final note, don't forget the Institute needs your contribution as well. What researchers do behind the scenes actually matter to you a lot, because they are producing the fruit (better and safer treatments) you enjoy in the future.

If you want to donate, drop me a comment guys!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stuff to come

  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute discovery tour.
  • Inner Champion encounter (foodie post).
  • PlanetUNI Combined Urban Life sem 1 2010
  • Connect Lounge @ Planetshakers (foodie post)
  • Wei-shen's birthday surprise.

Keep anticipating!

DNA motif

dna motif

Guess where was I?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Australian Synchrotron tour Part 2

After Ian Gentle had taken us around the perimeter of Australian Synchrotron experimental area we moved on to the particle accelerator itself.

The parts where electrons travel in a synchrotron are divided to electron gun, linac, booster ring and storage ring. After electrons are created and accelerated to high speed they remain in the storage ring for up to 20 hours.

The tube where electrons travel are kept to an absolute vacuum. Presence of any other substance inside the tube will slow the electrons down a whole lot and make electrons disaapear. The electrons doesn't just physically go missing, their demise will be accompanied with emission of gamma rays (this is a law of physics).


We are crossing over to the inner parts.

synchrotron hazard
Remember there're hazards when the synchrotron is online.




The switchboxes.


Sophisicated computers and power supply for the synchrotron.


Dean Morris is bringing us into the tunnel.

The synchrotron was not operating, so there were no worries about radiation or magnetism. But when it's on, it's a different story altogether. Remember law of physics is non negotiable, so are your safety.


We're now at the starting line of synchrotron operation.

electron gun Australian Synchrotron
This is where free electrons are created. Electrons are emitted from a metal under intense heat.

linac

linac australian synchrotron
Then accelerated in a linear accelerator (LINAC).

linac magnets
Electrons are relatively slow at this point. So the magnets are small. Some serve to increase speed of electrons, some serve to bend the path, some are for path correction.

After passing through these magnets these electrons enter the booster ring for further acceleration.


I remember this red thing is part of the radio frequency control system of the synchrotron.

Then the electrons enter the storage ring. At this point the electrons are at 99.90% of light speed.


These radiation shield blocks are placed at bends. They're such vital safety device that touching them requires authority from above.

storage ring magnets
See the yellow box on the left? That's the bending magnet. At every bending magnet there's a beamline channeling synchrotron light to a lab.


A single machine cost a ton. No joke!

I made my way out of the tunnel and the tour came to an end.


Thanks guys!

Thanks ANZAAS for organising this tour. What a memorable experience of learning about a premier facility that's the heart of scientific research in the southern hemisphere.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Book of Jobs

With people around me unboxing their newly arrived iPad in excitement and anticipation, some posted Youtube of themselves receiving their prized tablet, a husband went to the extent of freezing the iPad in a chocolate slab wtf for his wife.

I've had a chance to see iPad in action in my friends and even tried out its interface. In short it's an iPhone at the size of a tablet. I don't have the $$$ to get myself new tech toys so I went on the web to revisit those jokes about iPad when it was announced.

Ladies please skip the first part.
But even Part 2 may not be tasteful.

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iPad like a tampon

Many of the iPad jokes are about feminine hygiene. At first I thought Apple is starting to sell sanitary pad lol! Here are some for you to laugh at:
The iPad: Protecting your data from embarrassing incidents. (kathycacace)

Uncomfortable cramping and bloating? There’s an app for that. (Attagrrrl)

The iPad surfs the Web AND stops the bleeding. (tjakabon)

If I order an iPad, will my boyfriend and I have to worry if it arrives late? (fauxfruit)

If you and your friends all buy one, will they sync up? (andBegorrah)

So will iffy Wi-fi coverage be called iSpotting? (vlvtjones)

The 64-gig iPad will forever be known as the “Heavy Flow” model. (Johnpapa)

Does the Period Tracker app come free? (Lymed)

Mac’s iPad. Say it with me, folks. Maxipad. (TastyBites)

A friend tweeted that, "All this talk about the iPad is giving me iCramps," so I suggested iBuprofen. (betty.black)

Microsoft’s answer to the iPad is the “Technical Automatic Material Peripheral Onboard Notebook,” or TAMPON. Coming real soon. (franzenjim)

I’m not buying an iPad. Period. (melizeche)

So the iPad has two data plans: Light Flow and Heavy Flow.

I haven’t heard this many period jokes since I was forced to watch “The View” last month. (TwittsMcGee)

I heard that for one week out of every month the iPad will be unresponsive and seem harsh when you touch it.

iPad: a bloody good idea.


But, not until I stumble at this I got another joke!

Steve, I’ma let you finish, but Moses had the greatest tablet announcement of all time. (WewillroastU)

Hey, we have Ten Commandments of (?) written on iPad! But don't tell me Steve Jobs smash his iPad when he got upset ok? Write me the TEN COMMANDMENTS on an iPad rawwrrr!

Steve Jobs dressed as prophet

So, in the Old Testament times, Steve Jobs created the iPad. And he went up the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights and came down with ..... So, instead of The Book of Job, we ended up with The Book of Jobs in our modern Bible!







During the days where we complained about devices falling short of functionality, Apple has heard our cry. So Apple wanted to show, how do do it right, and let us know "I am the BIG FAT APPLE!"

Steve Job led us to a new era of technology like we've never experienced before! Apple, with a mighty hand, separated the sea where everybody can't seem to get through with existing ideas. Right here right now, we're in the Promised Land where information flows like milk and honey.

Next up is iPhone 4! Can't wait to see its functionality.