elb's hovel of thoughts

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Stuff like this can really freak me out at times:


'I was thinking about the research project, and I was wondering if I could apply chaos theory to the problem...'

'Oh! Did you just get my e-mail?'

'E-mail? I haven't checked my e-mail since early this morning'

'Are you sure? I just sent the e-mail like 5 minutes ago...*silence for a second followed by a nervous grin* this is kind of freaking me out!'

'Well, umm, I've been thinking about the chaos theory bit for over a week now, was just waiting until I was free enough to drop by... I just had a couple of lectures before this'

Brrrr.... its like almost as if it was telepathy, between supervisor and the student; i.e. when he was typing his mail, I decided to walk over to his office to talk to him about it.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Bubbles alive!

For some reason, I like the picture below. It has a sort of surreal effect to it, rather like in the movies or something of something coming to life. In a way it was; the wind was blowing and making the lump of bubbles (which had a sort of plastic consistency) which I photographed below shimmer to life as it swayed to its side, contributing to its 'coming to life' effect that just would not have happened had the 'tentacle' remained upright.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Liquid doughnut

Anyone willing to bring out their Homer Simpson side? (ahem @ pleasureable hole seekers)

Okay well, its not made from mashed doughnuts, but rather a flavoured thick milkshake that tastes a bit like raspberry and dough.

It tastes fine, I suppose, but not something I would drink everyday.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Origins of Chinese?

Once upon a time ago, one of the pastors at my old church did a little presentation for his sermon. It was on the history of the Chinese language. Apparently we could relate certain words in the traditional Chinese language to scripture....

For example, the word 'migrate' is a combination of the chinese words 'great', 'division', 'walk', and 'west'. A reflection of the great dispersion of mankind after the tower of Babel. Et cetera.

Or how the word 'first' in Chinese is a combination of the three words 'alive' 'dust' and 'man' (representing Adam, the first man, who was made of dust)

Or how the character 'righteousness' in chinese is a combination of the words 'sheep' (Jesus is also known as the Lamb of God) and 'me'

Or how 'large ship' comes from the words 'eight', 'person' and 'boat', as a reminder of the eight people God saved during the Great Flood (Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives).

And so on. Maybe its best to take a look here:

To my best knowledge of Mandarin (which is almost pathetic, truth be told), I can say that the words that I know which are featured in there do make sense. I am also aware that this can inflame certain people (a friend of fine immediately shot it down within a few seconds saying that the English used was wrong or something. Refused to clarify with me though).

Anyhow, I think that this is really thought-provoking.

p.s. Thanks to Mel for the link, without which I probably would not have remembered any of this at all.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Got the time?

*Teet teet... teet teet*

Ummmmfff.... *hand reaches out to the alarm clock perched on the radiator*

Click. *Grunt and returns to dreamland*

5 minutes later: *Teet teet... teet teet*

Bah. *Hand goes up again*

*Metallic sound as alarm somehow manages to fall to the back of the radiator*

Bloody.... *instantly wide awake*

No amount of cajoling using ruler or newspaper or magazine or belt worked, as they barely reached the top of the clock. It was lodged tight in the middle of the radiator directly against the permanent mounting.

Went to the High Street to get a new alarm clock. Wanted to buy one of those cool LED pendulum clocks which moved so fast, it gives the impression that the time was appearing in mid air. 35GBP though. And too bulky for travelling, so I settled for a normal alarm clock (which I made sure was big enough not to fall down the stupid radiator) which cost a much cheaper 10 GBP. Not that much more expensive from my old alarm (which I paid Rm60 for, its a good one)

So there it is, the end of my faithful Citizen alarm clock, doomed to a lonely existance of ticking away in the darkness. At least until my landlord services the radiator.

Useless tidbit of information: Ever noticed that brand new clocks or watches on display are set to the time of roughly 10.10? Ever wondered why? This is because that the hands give the impression of a smile; i.e. the timepiece is beckoning to the user to buy it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Girl Next Door

Two nights ago, out of boredom, I popped in the DVD 'The Girl Next Door' and promptly watched it. Heck, I enjoyed it so much, I watched it again the next afternoon, and immediately after that, a third time, this time with the director's commentary on. To be honest, I've never really watched films of that genre, but I suppose some prodding by Steph has changed that.

Okay, I know that the movie is a bit old. Laugh all you want. But I tremendously enjoyed the movie. No, not because Elisha played an ex-porn star in that movie. Why then? I suppose because of the incredible way the movie was pulled off. The usage of eye contact in the movie was extraordinary; the way Danielle (Elisha) looked and talked when Matthew wanted to bed her in a motel.

"Isn't this what you want? To fuck a porn star in a cheap motel? *pause* So this is what you think about me..." A powerful reminder to us guys out there that women have feelings; and to never treat our ladies as sex objects. In the movie, that shattered Danielle's faith post-porn industry, and she promptly calls back her pimp to take her back in. Then the shot of Danielle at the SexExpo as she smiles for the cameras, which promptly turns into the look of a woman trapped as she turns to walk to another part of the stage. And the shots of the pimp and the school bullies staring each other out was just so cool, as was the mesmerizing looks of Elisha during the only (very tame) love scene in the movie. I could almost believe that she was in love with me, and not the male lead. Yep, she was that good.

There was a reasonable amount of suspense in the movie as well; i.e. when the pimp started putting on leather gloves on a deserted lane (which was full of bullet casings), you wondered if he was going to pull out a gun at any moment. Or when they were making the porn movie at the prom, and the teacher promptly walks in. You could just feel yourself gasp in shock, then you realize it was one of those 'what if' scenarios. Et cetera.

But perhaps the main reason why I was attracted to the movie was simply because I am the kind of guy who would definitely fall for the girl-next-door type. Ah well.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

License to thrill

What is the size of a credit card, is pink (of all colours!) and gives the owner the permit to dart around anywhere in the world?

Why, only this:

(Sorry about the horrible editing done using Paint; my copy of Photoshop on my laptop is locked plus I don't have the CD/ can't seem to find it on BT)

Now I no longer need an international driving license; this more or less doubles as one.

I can imagine myself getting pulled over back in Malaysia, and as the traffic policeman asks for my license, I'll just flash it at him. Bet that'll be something different from needing to even mention a bribe on their part. However, the country of origin bit on the license might just ruin it :(

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I was searching high and low for my digicam charger, but I only found the second half - the bit that compromises the mini transformer to the charging unit. Erk. Fortunately, the first half of my laptop charger manages to fit - otherwise I would have no way of charging my digicam, and I wouldn't be able to load my pictures

At any rate, this picture was taken over the weekend - the busker takes his craft to new heights- literally.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Digital depression

Open this up and read what comes out:


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Torn between two loves

"If you are really interested doing this, we can offer you a PhD as well"

Those words are ringing in my ears right now. The offer was pitched at me by a lecturer at the end of a discussion I had with him about choices for my final research project.

Its so tempting. I love experiments. Its something I had in me since the days of primary school, when during Grade 5 we made blue crystals of copper (II) suphate and watched a blue solution turn colourless. I was almost always able to obtain one of the best experimental results during Grade 10 & 11, as well as in A levels. Unfortunately it kind of died off a little during the stressful past two years; learning non stop theory so complex you felt like puking just looking at the equations.

All this has been starting to change the past week. I spent a few hours with various lecturers, letting them explain to me the various projects that they had in mind. My love for chemistry / engineering was reignited. And getting stronger, that I am considering not doing the financial research project (which I am reliably told had never been offered in the previous couple of years, plus it was offered by the lecturer who knows that I have a strong affinity for business) in favour of an experimental/modelling one.

I mean, Wow. Modelling structures of powder complexes until the fifth dimension. Researching what possibly could be the next generation of chromatographs; discovering new possible methods for creating membranes. Getting involved in new methods of drug delivery to patients. Getting your name mentioned in a prestigious journal for your work in modelling advanced air purification systems.

Unfortunately its in conflict with another of my interests: business/ finance. Something I had gotten interested in probably from playing too many Tycoon games as a kid and a teenager; fuelled by observing my father's job. A good chance at a lifestyle many would die for (the money doesn't hurt), although I could always invent something new and patent the process and get royalties.

On one hand, my parents would only fund my studies for one more year, i.e. my Masters. A PhD requires three years. I need money from somewhere! And its very unlikely my university would be able to sponsor me, unless I'm involved in something a company has interests in :/ Then the problem with overqualification in Malaysia, et cetera.