Tuesday, 17 May 2011

At last....

So, with some luck, I computed something of use in some current work..

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Conference at Perimeter Institute

Wow it has been months since I last posted... I suspect its because I spend all day in the office and can never find the privacy to blog there.. Some people have stopped blogging for various reasons, but I think its nice to have a platform to coherently arrange thoughts and say stuff. Facebook just trains you to make 1 sentence things and wait for responses(fishing for comments). Either that, or you tag ppl in a note. (but you might as well blog right. less spam on people)

Anyhow, I'm in Waterloo right now for a conference, managing to come because of an odd number of reasons... But there are a few observations so far, about science, and waterloo and travelling.

1. Canadian waitresses seem to be at least a 7 on the mel-hotness rating for some reason.. Is it something in the water? They're all tall and pretty.

2. Singaporeans need to remember that everything is DRY when they're away from the tropics.. I'm barely keeping up with the water loss from breathing.

3. There are many different ways to give a talk. Some are better than others. The most interesting one was Sandu Popescu with a blackboard presentation on the relevance of the phase in various operators in QM.

4. The local beer is nice.

5. It can get bloody cold. Its spring right now, and on the windiest days, my black vest and Gore-tex jacket are simply insufficient. The last time I was here, it was summer and we didn't have all these crazy problems with the cold. I'm in jeans all the time here, whereas my usual school outfit is berms and T-shirt.

6. Adjusting to jet lag took about 1 day this time, at least the larger adjustments... It might be helpful to note that you might not get much sleep on a long flight (one jump was 15 hours), so landing around evening or late afternoon is nice. Have food and rest, try not to get up before 6am, and do minor adjustments on each day onwards.

7. Some scientists can be very very friendly, even the very well known ones.. I had a famous guy coming up to my poster to ask questions, and some students from various places. It is humbling to explain your work to people in the field; and it really underscores the fact that if you take pride in your work and do it well, it can be polished and presented as a good piece of work. In this aspect, science is not too far from craftsmanship. (of course you try not to craft too many useless things)

On the other side of the equation, social interaction takes at least 2 parties.. I was going to say Singaporeans are not very social, but perhaps its just me. So I should really say that, small talk is really important. A lot of the time, people are trying to find conversation topics to get me involved in the talking, where I usually am content to observe(this i make a mental note of, since it is really nice of them to try)..

I guess it depends on your personality, but interacting with people over a cold beer is an interesting way to relax a bit, especially after a long day of science.

8. Not all overseas internet connections are fast.

9. Make jokes in your talk, but not too quickly.. Let people relax and laugh.

10. Bacon is good for you.

11. Astonishingly, during breakfast on Monday, when we told the waitress we were going for a conference in Perimeter, she actually asked us the topic. There's a certain heirarchy for such questions, and most people don't even ask me anything further after i say i'm studying physics.

Apparently, the local channel in waterloo sometimes shows some TV programs on what goes on in Perimeter, (and the waitress watches it) O_O

If this happens in Singapore the following chain of events will occur.
a i) parents force children to watch scientists talk about information theory instead of TMNT
ii) arts kids are reassured of their choice
iii) science kids study chemistry or biology instead

b i) aunties complain
ii) TV company stops the program and puts some taiwanese 10,000 episode program back on

Unless, of course, they screen this at 1am in the morning, which is the time where geeks are finally winding down to rest at 2am or so.. then it would be great. Also, late night TV means young kids will never be scarred at such a young age, so maybe there is a Singaporean future for science.

12) Coffee should never be taken with milk if there is cream available.

Time for breakfast. I had the most magnificently prepared poached eggs on Monday.. maybe I should go back to the same place.

Monday, 6 December 2010

What's New / What's Not / What the dot dot dot

Okay I saw this link that was shared by a friend on facebook and I cannot resist putting this up here.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Why does every single thing on the planet want my time these few weeks?

Every. Single. Thing.

except single women.



Saturday, 30 October 2010


My workplace organised a lasertag shootout day two days ago and it was AWESOME!!!!!

The RED team.. (they lost)


And I seldom get photos of me so..

and my personal favourite - Looking for trouble