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.

Top 10 Reasons Why the World Won't End in 2012
Taken from 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.
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.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am so damn HOT!

The last few weeks was raining like mad...

Yet these few days was HOT like siaw!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monopoly Hype in Singapore

The recent launch of Monopoly Singapore by McDonald had caused a Monopoly hype, at least in NUS and my lab.
What we need to do is to order McD's meal to collect the label stickers. Each meal gives 4 labels, and you double you chances to 8 labels if the meal is up-sized.
Sounds simple, but it's not.
I have eaten for up-sized meals, enough to fill up a few maps and still have extras. But I have yet to get any of the rare pieces, namely,
  • Toa Payoh (M114) - $200 Toys ‘R’ Us vouchers
  • Joo Chiat Road (M112) - 32Gb Touchscreen MP3 Player
  • Thomson Road (M118) - $400 Travel Voucher
  • Tanjong Rhu (M121) - 2N Malacca/KL Cruise for 4 Persons
  • Scotts Road (M127) - 100,000 Esso Smiles Points
  • Shenton Way (M122) - Courts Prizes worth $3000 each
  • Orchard Road (M129) - 7D Hawaii Fly Cruise for 4 Persons
  • Sentosa Cove (M132) - $50,000 Cash

I already have 1 map in my lab, and 2 maps at home. Hopefully I can win something this time...
Finger-crossed. =)
McDonald's Monopoly Map in the Lab
McDonald's Monopoly Map on the fridge at Home
With so many people spending the extra $0.50 to up-sized their meals, who do you think the final winner will be?
I bet it will be Ronald...

Check out McDonald's Monopoly Singapore here

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Add Facebook Video to Your Blog

Facebook video sharing is good 'cos it notifies everyone in your network everytime you upload a new video or is tagged in a video. But unlike YouTube and many other video sharing sites, Facebook doesn’t provide an embed code for their videos.
That kinda troubles me for sometime, for I have to upload the same video to both Facebook and Youtube, one mainly for commenting, the other one mainly for embedding in blog.

Then, after some keyword search with Google, I found the solution to my problem.

Every video uploaded on Facebook has a unique ID that you can find in the browser’s address bar. Copy that number and replace it with xxx in the code below.
<object width="400" height="224" >
<param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" />
<param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" />
<param name="movie" value="" />
<embed src=""
allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="224">
Now I can embed that facebook video in any web page, like what I did with the video in my previous post.
That is until Facebook identify this act as an violation of some rules and disallow this way of embedding. =)

Extracted from here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Malaysian-KEVIIans '05 Dim Sum Gathering

A Dim Sum Buffet Gathering for the Malaysian-KEVIIans of 2005 at Dragon Gate Restaurant, initiated by Charlie.
Initial confirmed no. of ppl coming was 7.
Then after some persuasion and/or sarcasm and/or 发烂炸ism, the number of people present on that day doubled.

Anyway, it has been quite some time since we last met. Mainly because many of us no longer stay in hall after year 2, or graduated after year 3. Many of us seems to have put on some weight. Either because life outside is more comfortable, or life in hall is more stressful, that I do not know.
Nice to catch up with you all. Also good to hear that, despite the economic crisis, all of us have manage to secure a job. =)
Let's meet up again some other day.

Not sure if it is just me, but I think the dim sum at Dragon Gate isn't as nice as the last time I went with Float Design Team.
Dragon Gate (HarbourFront Centre) is a member of the Starling Group of Restaurant, which also includes Orient Ocean (Hotel Miramar), and River City (Excelsior Hotel).
Check the price of the Lunch/Dinner Buffet here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

真人版 灌篮高手

真人版 灌篮高手 Slam Dunk 片头主题曲


Found another 1...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lets Make Our World The Most Beautiful Home

Simple song, with a meaningful message.

Love the effect of sketching the modern environment out of the old.

The advertisement hit the local media hard, TV, newspapers, radios...
And it did make me wanna go to Hort Park to take a glimpse at the event.
Too bad my lazy bug won the battle over my curiosity and temptation last weekend.

But I think I will go down next year, if it is still at Hort Park. And maybe walk the Southern Ridge to Alexandra Arch and Henderson Waves again.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Living in 2009


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2 You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

14. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list

15. AND NOW YOU ARE LAUGHING at yourself.