Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome! Year 2010!

31 December 2009
The last day of the FALSE decade of the millenium.
After the few experiences squeezing in the crowd in hip countdown places like Orchard & Marina Bay, this year we took it easy and had a small steamboat gathering at Shin's place.
A very healthy steamboat with almost all vege, and tom yam soup.
The only thing unhealthy is the 2 bottles of Vodka by Ye Dan & Yueting+YY.
But too bad our hardcore drinking kaki is not around, so we cant even finish 1 bottle.
Yueting YY bought a limited edition Absolut Vodka Rock, wrapped in leather with studs.

Not sure if it's just me or not. A few movies and games after the steamboat make me lost track of time. I didn't really bother bout the strike of midnight, until they me so. We just switch to Channel 5 and watch the live broadcast of the fireworks at Marina with those MediaCorp artistes' cheering masked by the bangs & crackles of the fireworks, and wish everyone a Happy New Year, then switch back to our movie.

until.... ~2/3am, we pull out the extra mattresses from the store and concuss on bed.
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1 January 2010
Slack through the half the day. Then finally wake to decide where to go tonight.
After an unproductive discussion, we settled on Chinatown Food Street for dinner, then Pitstop Board Games Cafe for night activities.

Pitstop Board Games Cafe



View Larger Map
Located not so strategically at the 2nd floor of a shophouse near Clarke Quay, Pitstop does give me a cozy feeling. I especially like the montages of photos of previous customers pasted all over the walls. And somemore the waitress is cute =).
But due to its small compound and low ceiling, the place can get a bit crowded and noisy when a few tables start playing games like heart attack.

A picture taken at PitStop Cafe by THE cute waitress
Saboteur
The game we played that night
Some pictures of the cards in the game: Saboteur.rar

A rather simple way of welcoming the New Year I must say.
But during this economic downturn, my only wish is for the economy to go back up, and hopefully I get more bonus this year. =)
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Oh! What's with the FALSE decade of the millennium?
A few friends of mine are arguing with me how should we call 2000, ie. the end of the 2nd millennium or the beginning of the 3rd millennium.
My take is the former one. Because there is no year 0, the year after 1BC is 1AD not 0AD. So logically one millennium is 1000 years so the first millennium should be 1-1000AD, second mil 1001-2000, so on and so forth.

Illustration of years with a 00–01 demarcation
2 BC 1 BC AD 1 AD 2 3 4 5 ... 998 999 1000 1001 1002 ... 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 ... 2998 2999 3000 3001 3002

First one thousand years (millennium) Second millennium Third millennium

But they say, when you say 1990s, you mean 1990-1999. Similarly, the 1900s means 1900-1999. So logically the new millennium should start with 2000.
But like that your 1st millennium will only have 999 years!

Illustration of years with a 99–00 demarcation (starting AD 1)
1 BC 1 AD 2 3 4 5 ... 998 999 1000 1001 1002 ... 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 ... 2998 2999 3000 3001 3002

First millennium (999 years only) Second millennium Third millennium

So unless you are following ISO 8601 (astronomical numbering system) and using Year zero, 2010 should be the end of the 1st decade of the third millennium.
NOT 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Poker Face [-_-]

Guess everyone has heard of Lady GaGa with her 'Po-Po-Po-Po-Po-Pokerface' or 'Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma Roma-ma, GaGa Ooh-la-la' stuttering style of singing.
Never really like her dance & rock songs.

But this version of Poker Face really stunned me. Never thought Poker Face can be sang this way.
Poker Face by Mika


Acoustic version of Poker Face by Lady Gaga


That said, I still prefer Chris Daughtry's version. Got the power, the 男人味

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Original MTV

Saturday, December 26, 2009

How I Spent My 疯狂 Christmas Day

Watched Avatar at noon at Shaw Lido Cineplex.
If Batman: The Dark Knight is the #1 movie of 2008, Avatar is definitely the #1 movie of 2009.
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Ate an early pseudo-dinner at ~4.30pm at an unbelievably lousy restaurant- T.G.I.Friday's at Heeren.
Service is very very slow, with inattentive waiters/waitresses. Not sure if it is because they are all newbies, but for the money we spent I definitely expect something better. Waited for 20 minutes for them to bring us to 2 tables which are empty all the while, no serving of ice water, and everytime we ask for something, the waiter need to return to the counter spent a few minutes dunno do what before getting back to us.
Sigh... What I can't get from the service I expect it from the food. But the food turn out as disappointing...
We ordered Jack Daniel's Glazed Ribs, Dragonfire Chicken, and Cedar Seared Salmon Pasta.
With a price comparable to Tony Roma, the ribs are disappointingly not juicy at all, and sauce is rather normal. Cafe Cartel has better ribs, and read my lips, it is served at half the price of TGIF (I just compared the prices online).
Written on the menu: Dragonfire Chicken- A plump, juicy, fire-grilled chicken breast glazed with a fiery chilli-garlic sauce then served over savory rice............ But the fact is the chicken is very dry as well, and the fiery chilli-garlic sauce tasted like tomato sauce...
For the Salmon Pasta, the only think worth mentioning is the freshness of the salmon, which I personally think has nothing to do with the cooking.
I must say... remember this logo and especially this outlet. My advice is, unless you have that extra penny to spare, please do not go to this restaurant.
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Next stop Marina Square, original plan was to play bowling, pool or arcade.
But being not particularly interested in those, and feeling NOT-SO-FULL, the few of us went looking for a 2nd makan place. A coin-flip brings us to Dôme restaurant, and it was fated that we are gonna have our actual dinner there.
I ordered a Beef Meatball Penne Pasta. Different from the Swedish meatballs which has a creamy taste, the meatball here are more meaty. And the pasta sauce is very rich. At a promo price of S$9.90++ you get a Soup-of-the-Day, the Pasta, plus welcoming waitress, and sincere Christmas greeting, what more is there to ask for...
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We then meet-up with the others, and visit our third restaurant for the night- The Manhattan Fish Market.
This time while the hungry bunch ordered 2 Combo Seafood Platter, the few of us who had had our scrumptious dinner at Dôme ordered only one Brownies with Ice Cream.
They are very generous in adding chocolate and walnut when making the brownies. But I still miss the Brownies on Sizzling Pan I ate at Empire State at Iluma. Too bad they dun have sizzling pan dessert here.
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Last stop of the day, IndoChine Empress Place, next to the Asian Civilization Museum.
Had a jar of very plain Vodka Pineapple. Feeling unsatisfied, we kena 唬烂 by oks to go for another tower of beer, first to Boat Quay then to Clarke Quay only to realise all the bar that he recommended are closed.

Though the day ended with me myself wanting for more, it was still a fulfilling Christmas Day.
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Found this video on my friend's facebook. Definitely gotta share this.

Avatar

Watched with high anticipation (mainly due to the many two-thumbs-up reviews and critics), and exited the cinema feeling "hmm.. It's not so bad after all."
Shall not write more reviews, since the Internet probably has tonnes of it by now.
Just wanna say, despite the rather cliché storyline, the fantasy elements did give me some surprises. The 3D CGI is superb. Guess the hundreds of millions dollars are well-spent.

And Oh ya! It's definitely worth your extra few dollars to watch Avatar in 3D
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The Visionary Director~ James Cameron

I seriously have to salute him, patiently waiting for technology to catch up with his ideas...
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The Fantasy World~ Pandora

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The Theme Song ~ “I See You” by Leona Lewis

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to ALL!!

Even the creepy ones come together and celebrate. =)

虽然有点诡异,但还真得蛮有创意的…

Merry Christmas to ALL!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Makes A Malaysian A Malaysian?

Quite lost touch with things happening in Malaysia.
But the fact that reading this makes me 会心一笑, makes me know that I AM A MALAYSIAN.
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  1. A typical young Malaysian can name all the players from a top English Premier League club, but ask him to name one football player from Malaysia, he cannot!

  2. When StreamyX come, you complain StreamyX too slow. When Maxis Broadband come, you complain Maxis Broadband always disconnects. When WiMax come, you complain Wimax too expensive. In the end, you say StreamyX still the best lah.

  3. When highway toll price increase, you complain. When petrol price increase, you complain. When you go Starbucks buy RM10 coffee, NO COMPLAINTS.

  4. When you cannot find parking in a shopping mall and have to walk very far, you complain. When you go inside the shopping mall and there's SALE, run from one end of 1Utama to the other, that one, NO COMPLAINT.

  5. You are always late. And the excuse you give when you're late is always either: (a) traffic jam (b) no transport or (c) cannot find parking.

  6. You have a parent who forces you to take science stream in high school, study engineering in Uni, then when you graduate, they ask you to forget everything you learnt in Uni and do commerce.

  7. You know someone who can specially develop an angmoh accent when speaking to an American / British / Australian.

  8. You complain against the government in kopitiam, you talk loud loud. Leave anonymous comments on blogs, you also talk loud loud. Attend ceremah by DAP, you shout loud loud. Then when Opposition organise a protest and ask you to go, you dun wan. Scared later kena tangkap by ISA.

  9. Every year on the 30th April, you are one of the people below queuing up last minute to submit your tax return at the IRB.

  10. When you pay RM10 for something that costs RM1, you blame the Chinese.

  11. When a government service is too slow, you blame the Malays.

  12. When a building is not good and collapsed, you blame the Indians.

  13. When a Chinese student won a scholarship, you say 'Wah! Very clever hor?' When a Malay student won a scholarship, you say 'Aiya! Of course lah! He Malay mah!'

  14. When an angmoh stranger kisses you on the cheek to say hello, you very happy. When a Malaysian guy kisses you on the cheek to say hello, you slap him in face.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Send Big-Size Files over the Web

Despite the fact that Gmail offers ever-increasing storage space (7GB to date) and Windows Live Hotmail has so-called ever-growing storage, they have a rather small attachment size limit.
To be exact:
Hotmail : 10MB
Gmail : 20MB

So what if I wanna send big size files?
Well, there is always RapidShare and MegaUpload, with 200MB and 1GB upload file size limit respectively. But the download bandwidth, country limit, 1minute countdown etc just don't make it too useful for me.
And I guess everybody knows about Yousendit, one of the first online platform that allows user to send send files up to 100MB. That's 10x the file size you can send with Hotmail. But compared to the size of files nowadays, 100MB may not be enough.

So here are a few alternatives that I prowl online and read from other tech review. All these 4 websites do their job well. Simple and clear interface, built only to serve 1 purpose: to send big size files over the web.
Enjoy!

1) WeTransfer
http://www.wetransfer.com/
File Size Limit: 2GB

2) File Dropper
http://www.filedropper.com/
File Size Limit: 5GB

3) File Savr
http://www.filesavr.com/
File Size Limit: 10GB

4) Load2all
http://www.load2all.com/
File Size Limit: Unlimited...
Wow! UNLIMITED! Isn't that too good to be true?!?
Well, it's not really unlimited, but it has some algorithm to split your files into .rar parts then upload them for you to different mirror file hosting sites. So no more worry about file size limit imposed by file hosting sites. =)

Most of these file hosting sites delete your files after a period of time if it is not downloaded.
So if you wanna keep them for like forever, here's 3 file hosting sites that I can recommend.

1) 4Shared
http://www.4shared.com/
File Size Limit: 200MB
Storage space: 10GB
Very simple and easy to use file-hosting platform

2) Windows SkyDrive
http://skydrive.live.com/
File Size Limit: 50MB
Storage space: 25GB
Easy to share with contacts, or make the files public.
With SkyDrive Explorer allow fast and easy access to SkyDrive online.
3) Badongo
http://www.badongo.com/
File Size Limit: 1GB
Easy classification of files into photos, music, videos and files.
Offers a large selection of widgets, eg Photo slideshows, MP3 Player, etc
Note: Photo, Music and Video are never deleted but Files are deleted after 50 days if they are not downloaded.

Besides, the one I listed here, you can google 'file hosting' or 'file sharing', and find more file hosting sites. Phew... we are pampered with so many choices. So don't just look at the size. Choose one that really fit your need. Although smallest among the 3, my 4Shared Folder had served me well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Yours~ (I also want a son like this!)

A search using 'I'm Yours' in YouTube return ~110,000 hits. 'I'm Yours' is definitely a blast.

Here's the song sang by the original singer.
Jason Mraz -I'm Yours (live in Korea)

Jason Mraz - I'm Yours

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Facelift

Been using the last 'Rounders 4' Blog Theme since the first day I started this blog.
Getting a bit sien of its design, un-user-friendly layout edit, and waste of room with its 485px-wide content space.
Been wanting for a change for some time, but this time what really triggers me to go down bit by bit to change the layout is because the flash game 'Continuity' couldn't fit into the content space in 'Rounders 4'.

I lookout BloggerThemes.net for a template, and wah-lah!
A modified version of Somewhere There theme.
Simple and nice, and suit my 心情 now of wanting to fly somewhere.
Most importantly its 'layout html' is easier to understand, and it allows room for changing the design of the header in the future.

Will stick to this theme for a while now.

Oh yah! Those wanting for a change of blog theme can lookout BloggerThemes.net. They really have a number of nice blog theme.

Continuity~

An addictive brain-teaser .
Haven't finish all the levels yet, but cant wait to put it here for you all to try.



Check out its website at http://www.continuitygame.com/

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Season's Greetings

Finally the last month of the year is here.
And everywhere in Singapore is immersed in Christmas spirit already.

As with every year, Orchard Road is decorated with beautiful lights for this festive season weeks ago.
This year, Orchard Road is divided into 3 zone, namely Blue, Yellow and Red Zone. Personally prefer the Blue Zone the most.
The decorations have been rather boring for the past few years. Maybe because the Orchard Road’s Best Dressed Building Contest was discontinued back in 2002. Well, it is back this year. Not sure if it's just me, the shopping centres seems to put in more effort to decorate their facades.
For more info on Orchard Christmas Promotions & Street Performances, visit OrchardRoad.sg/Christmas
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Found a website where you can listen to Christmas songs, be it classic or modern, online.
Visit Jingle Bell Jukebox to listen to more Christmas songs.


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Counting Down to Christmas...

NUS NUS got a New Friend

Introducing....

Domo

Domo's first 7-Eleven Slurpee

More of Domo-kun at Domo Nation and more Domo-kun vidoes at VEOH

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I am Farmer Seng

It seems like farm games is very popular now on FaceBook.
We have Happy Farm, Farm Town, Farm Life, Barn Buddy, TikiFarm, FarmVille, Country Story...

I started with FarmWars.
where you can grow crops in plots, water them, then harvest them when it is ready.
I like the idea, where it is passive gaming. I only need to focus for ~1 minute or so, on a daily basis, then I can quit and do my own work. very much like MouseHunt, that I introduced in my previous post.

My FarmWars Farm
After playing for a month or so, the graphics began to seem too primitive for my liking.
Then wall posts and invitation on FarmVille start to show up in my FaceBook homepage.

My FarmVille Farm

My 兵马俑 animals defending my cottage
It was a good game. Nice graphics. and interactions.
But the farm began to grow too big, and the work of plowing, sowing, watering, and harvesting begin to take too long for my liking.

Then I switch to Playfish's Country Story
My Country Story Farm
This is my favourite Farm Games.
Nice graphics, and frequently updated with not only new crops, but also new features like trees, building, animals, etc.
And you can only work on a maximum of 60 plots of crops. so it won't take too much of my time.

This type of Farm Games grew so popular and addicting that artiste like 蕭敬騰 even wrote songs for them

Haha. In the day I am a farmer researcher working on Arabidopsis thaliana, the model organism for plant research.
At night, I am a farmer farming at my virtual farms.

I am Farmer Seng

Dooms Day in 2012?

Watched the lastest 2012 movie few weeks back.
Despite having quite a number of ridiculous escape scene, this movie leave me pondering...
What would I do if the world was to end in these few years time.
One of the first few thoughts that come across my mind is to appreciate those around us more.

I don't care if the hypes about this apocalypse based on the Mayan calendar are the viral marketing strategies of the movie producer. I think it is a pretty good movie with nice plots and great CG animation. A movie really worthwhile to watch on big-screen.

The 2012 Movie theme song, Time for Miracles. by Adam Lambert

Having said that, the world is most likely not gonna end in 2012.
Why? See what the top scientists in NASA has to say.
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Top 10 Reasons Why the World Won't End in 2012
Taken from Discovery.com HERE

10. Changes in the Sun's magnetic field will lead to powerful flares.
So what else is new under the sun? The sun goes though a well-documented 11-year sunspot cycle that is driven by its magnetic field entangling, reforming and flipping polarity. Yes, the peak of the next cycle is in 2012 (or 2013), and some predictions suggest it might be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last peak.
But experts say it will certainly not be the biggest peak ever recorded.
The bottom line is that no dragon's breath of flame will stretch across 100 million miles of space and blowtorch Earth. The largest solar flare recorded to date, on Nov. 4, 2003, spewed several billions of tons of plasma in Earth's direction. The flare's X-ray radiation that impacted our protective atmosphere had the equivalent radiation of 5,000 suns.
We're still here.

9. The Earth's magnetic field will reverse.
Don't hold you breath. The last field reversal happened nearly 800,000 years ago. Fred Flintstone and our other ancestor cavemen survived. Geological evidence shows that the field has reversed its orientation tens of thousands of times over Earth history. Yet there is no definitive evidence that a magnetic field reversal has ever caused any mass extinction due to increased cosmic ray influx.

8. The Earth's rotation axis will tip.
This isn't nearly as easy as tipping cows. Unlike Mars, which does go though wide excursions in it axial tilt, Earth's tilt is kept steady by the gravitational influence of the moon. An object the size of Mars would have to hit Earth to transfer enough momentum to knock us out of kilter. But Mars-sized protoplanets were kicked into interstellar space over 4 billion years ago. The solar system doesn't make "planets-gone-wild" anymore.

7. A grand alignment of Jupiter and Saturn will gravitationally perturb Earth.
For the past several decades there have been doomsday claims that the combined gravity from grand planetary alignments will cause geologic and meteorological upheavals on Earth.
None are scheduled for 2012.
In 1962 an extremely rare grand conjunction of the classical naked-eye planets drove astrologers crazy. The conjunction happened on Feb. 4-5 and was accompanied by a solar eclipse! The most infamous grand conjunction was in 1982 and popularized in a book called "The Jupiter Effect," which predicted earthquakes and massive tides. Life went on as usual both years. The moon has a vastly greater gravitational influence on Earth than Jupiter. It's called location, location, location! At a whopping distance of 400 million miles from Earth, Jupiter's tug is pretty wimpy.

6. The Sun will align with the galactic equator on the winter solstice.
So what? These are simply coordinates in the sky. It has no physical reality any more than the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue at Times Square influences the geology of Manhattan Island. This is greatly confused with the fact that the sun's position actually oscillates up and down as it orbits the galaxy, like a horse on a carousel.
We pass through the galactic plane every 35 to 40 million years. It's possible that an increased number of comets might be hurled towards the Earth because of gravitational interaction with the densest parts of our galaxy during this passage. But we are talking about the consequences spanning many thousands of years, not crashing down on our heads in any one specific year.

5. The black hole in the galactic center will affect us.
The Milky Way's black hole has no influence on the galactic disk. The black hole is three million solar masses. The Milky Way is several trillion solar masses when we add the tug of dark matter. Any gravitational influence of the black hole over the galaxy would be like the tail wagging the dog. The Milky Way's collision with the Andromeda galaxy will dump gas into the black hole and it will blaze as a quasar. But that's several billion years away.

4. An asteroid will smash into Earth.
A threatening near-Earth asteroid that's gotten the most press is the 900-foot wide Apophis. But its chances of collision have been downgraded to 1 in 250,000 at its next close approach in 2029. In theory, an uncharted asteroid or comet could come out of the blue tomorrow. But if we don't know about it today, the Mayans certainly didn't know about it 1,200 years ago. Earth-killer impacts are tens of millions of years apart. So there's no reason to be a doomsday clock-watcher.

3. The rogue planet Nibiru will swing by Earth.
There isn't such a planet any more than the planet Naboo from the Star Wars trilogy is real. Purported Internet pictures of the interloper are photographic lens flares or hoaxes. Don't believe every dot you see photographed in the sky.
Sorry guys, however convincing this video may look, the Planet Nabiru isn't real

2. Supernovae or hypernovae will irradiate Earth.
There are no stars that are so close to Earth that radiation from their supernova demise would seriously affect us. The nearest candidate, the red giant Betelgeuse, is predicted to explode in the next 1,000 years. The monster star Eta Carinae is also on a short fuse. Neither doomed star has a spin axis precisely aimed at Earth, so we don't have to worry about being fried by a narrow beam of gamma rays ejected from the core's implosion. In fact the kinds of stars that shoot out these Death Star beams are uncommon in the Milky Way. Earth has a one percent chance of getting zapped over 10 billion years. Scratch gamma ray bursts off of your homeowner's insurance policy.

1. A cloud of negative energy engulfs the solar system.
Wow! A dark cloud with a bad attitude! This sound suspiciously like a Star Trek episode. Dark energy is all around us already, but it is not packaged into clouds. The same goes for dark matter.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New way to search Image- Google Image Swirl



Google Image Swirl, a new image search engine, just recently launched by Google, really caught my eyes.

It organizes images into groups and sub-groups, so-called "swirls", based on their visual and concept similarity. In other words, it doesn't just display the most relevant images, it displays the most relevant "GROUPS" of images.
Particularly useful when we are searching for things with many ambiguous meanings.
eg, Apple: the normal red/green apple? or Steve Jobs' Apple?
Pretty cool, eh? =)

Google says that it leverages on 'Picasa Face Recognition'-like technologies to determine how images should be grouped together. But I guess for the current moment the algorithm that looks for meta tags and description of these images are still the main driving force. But as technology advances everyday, I won't be surprised when the day true image-similarity-recognition comes.

Comparing Image Swirl with Microsoft's new Bing Visual Search, I must say I like Google Image Swirl A LOT MORE.
It loads in split seconds, and I especially like the clean interface. Imagine how useful would it be when we can combine Image Swirl with Touchscreen.

Take a look for yourself HERE, and maybe your image searching experience will never be the same.

By the way, it's still in demo stage, so don't be surprised if your query is not included.
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A glimpse of Google Image Swirl, using 'Great Wall' as the query.
The main page showing the stacks of images grouped into categories
Images of Map showing the Great Wall of China
Black & White Photo of the Great Wall
People, with the Great Wall as background
Even different angle of viewing the Great Wall

Best of all, it keeps all the images in the links before. So with one click you can go back to where you stray from what you initially want. No more hassle of digging the history AND clicking Back and Forward.