Thursday, December 08, 2005

In Canada!

Gee, I'm finally here at home. Home's so fun. I love home.

I'm gonna be posting photos of what I'm doing, but only on my Life in a Photo blog, once I'm able to access a more permanent internet connection. Till then... keep waiting...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

So Happy!

So happy! Yesterday was one of the best days I've ever had in my life!

A morning with academic work, and afternoon with a special friend, and an evening with my class. I'll always treasure such a day. I wonder when I'll have another one like that.

Thanks everyone! =)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Saturday, November 26, 2005

JAE Flashback

While slicing olives for the olive fried rice later, I flashed back on the moment when I chose my own JC. For once, I had the opportunity to choose my own path, without any perceived influence, pressures or restrictions from my mom. I wasn't bound by what they wanted, what they felt, or what they saw in me. I would go where I wanted to go, no strings attached.

But coming with this, I felt that I enjoyed my freedom that little bit too much. I know now the value of parental advice. But inside me is this struggle to balance the two - how far do I choose my own path, and how far do I consult my mom for advice? Nowadays, I realize how badly I made use of my time in JC, and as such, I know I should choose a path that I really want. But then I must stop and examine my choices, and ensure that what I'm doing is truly good for me. I can spend a long time mulling over it, but only a parent can instinctively tell you what's good and what's not. I have lots to learn.

Tak, thanks for telling me that statement. I have lots to learn.

Guilt. Stretch. My Mind.

Looking at those who still have Bio S papers on Monday... I suddenly have a surge of guilt. I didn't stretch my mind as much as I should have. I know, I know within me, that I have the potential to go further... it's just that I didn't capitalize on the opportunity to work harder at my academics and achieve more than what I had so far. Gee. I swear I'll stretch myself in future. No more regrets.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Random Musings


As I walked out of the classroom, I could feel the wave of depression overcoming me like a tidal wave. The Bio paper was tricky. I had lots of answers to which I didn't have confidence in.

Then, visions of the other subjects came in. I started to believe that I would get ABBB for my A levels. Oh no! How could that happen to me? I've always wanted AAAA! It seemed like my days for university would be miserable with this big blow behind me.

Suddenly, I wisened up. I thought, this is just a stage. It's nothing but a stage. It isn't what Kai Liang once mentioned, that the A levels is the mother of all exams. There is no mother of all exams. Maybe to Singaporeans, yes, the A levels is the mother of all exams, but not to me.

I'm going back to Canada. I won't need the A levels that much. Granted, they're gonna use it to determine my eligibility for admission into the Faculty of Science. But then again, it's just another cert in my life. Perhaps one blemish will spur me on.

MIT? Seems like a faraway goal.
Caltech? Seems like I'm never gonna get in there too.
UBC? Amanda tells me it's a cakewalk. But with ABBB? Seems tough...
UToronto? Ranked better than UBC. Seems like I ain't gonna go nowhere...


Gee. Depression? Perhaps. Maybe I shouldn't talk so much about it anymore. Perhaps if I work hard enough and get triple 800s for my subject tests, things may turn out better. Oh, I don't know. Right now, the future seems so distant, yet so near.

The future seems distant? Yeah, because there's tons of unknowns. I'm returning to a home that I've not seen clearly for 10 years now. I'm returning to a place outside of my comfort zone. (Yes, it sounds weird, but Singapore has effectively become my comfort zone. Then again, I'm a young adult know. I should be challenging myself.) I'm going to face Canada, a vast land of crossroads between prosperity and poverty, all on my own. Will I end up poor and desolate? Or will I end up leading a comfortable lifestyle?

But the future is, in reality, near. 5 December, I will be a free man. I will return home, permanently, to the ordinary lifestyle of an ordinary citizen living in an ordinary home in an ordinary city in the spectacular Canada. 5 December. That's less than two weeks away. How far, yet so near.

-----Random Musings-----

Just as I stepped out of the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore today, I could feel a wave of relief. I'm gonna be a free man, in say, two hours. Yeah. No longer a Permanent Resident (PR = Peace Renounced), but a true and pure Canadian citizen.

The lady at the counter tried to "warn" me about the consequences of renouncing my PR status, such as difficulty in re-applying for a permit. For every warning she gave, I told her, "It's okay. I'm fine with that." Everything went surprisingly smooth. Two hours later, I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna get my social visit permit, and I'm gonna be a free man.


I am a Canadian citizen. I was a student of Hwa Chong Institution and The Chinese High School. I attended Catholic High School, and graduated from St. Andrew's Junior School. Before that, I was studying in St. Michael's University School, and Montessori Kindergarten.

I am fat. I am dense. I am athletic. I am smart.

I am a joker. I am a worrier. I am a thinker. I am a doer.

What am I? Who am I? I'm in the search of an identity. I have a family, which I'm going to leave behind in Singapore. I have a special friend, whom I may have to leave behind for another four years. I have a class, who will be dispersed for many decades to come.

-----Wants, Don't Wants-----

Yet, I have a future, I have dreams, I have things I want to do, but I also have major responsibilities.

  1. I want to make sure my brother can attend university too. Or at least, I want him to be able to have the chance to do so. If he wants to, he may go. If he doesn't want to, he may not go. But I'm gonna earn money to make sure I can relieve the strain on my mom, so I can help him pay for his university tuition if he wants to go there.

  2. I want to do something meaningful and significant. I want to go out there, and achieve a major accomplishment. I want to have a profession that will allow me to explore my interest in Physics and Astronomy fully. Yet again, I have this dying urge to do cell biology and, especially, genetics. Will I get to pursue both of my interests?

  3. I know what I probably won't want to do professionally. I probably won't want to be a lawyer. I probably won't want to be a doctor. I probably won't want to study psychology, music, arts, or social services. You get the point. I want to do sciences.

  4. Yet, there are two fields in the arts that can stir up my interest. I have a love for philosophy and literature. I love to think and think and think, and question my own assumptions about life, and I love to express them beautifully, succintly, and yet incisively in a language that can convey my ideas in an exact manner. I will want to do these in university.

  5. Ben Jones of the MIT Admissions Office told me something in an e-mail that I won't forget. "To me, university life represented the only 4 years in which my only responsibility was to learn - and that is a wonderful and powerful thing." I accept what he says, and I believe in that statement too. Imagine 4 years of learning, absorbing, and preparing yourself for the working life. Not bothering too much about crappy grades, pressures from parents and so on. Being carefree, to responsibly choose the path that I want to lead in life. That's college, Ben? If it is, thank you for letting me know.

Enough rattling. The ideas are all poured out; the container's dry.

Time to eat lunch.

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

I am a free man.

Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I am free at last.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I can feel it inside me. A growing sense of urgency. A growing sense of discipline. All coming from within.

These are my early university resolutions, in no order of priority:
  1. In university, in my first year, I will join one sports activity and one academic activity. Likely ice hockey and debating. I will discipline and sharpen my brain through this.
  2. I will balance out my time by listing out in the morning every major thing and place that I have to do and go to for the rest of the day. Structure first. Spontaniety later.
  3. If we go to university together, I will spend time with her every week, to nurture the relationship between us. Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons will be kept sacred for this.
  4. I will take the most challenging courses that I can find in university. I will make sure that I go for the most rigorous, most challenging and most advanced courses or academic routes that I can find. I will develop my mind to its fullest.
  5. I will score tops on my examinations, big or small, and treat every test seriously. No slacking allowed.
  6. I will seek out job opportunities in laboratories or internships when I university. I will prepare myself for the working world by gaining work experience.
  7. I will make sure that I can connect with the rest of my peers, and not be isolated again. However, taboo topics would include computer games, fashion, and other mundane topics. I want to engage others intellectually.
  8. I will seek out every resource to help me with my academics. I will consult my professors, peers, interent, library (in this order) in order to help me get through my assignments. In doing so, I will strive to attain the best grade possible.
  9. I vow to top my class every year.

Biology No More?

A fleeting thought crossed my mind. Should I, or should I not drop Biology when I reach university? I can't avoid it; all 3 universities that I want to apply to require Biology in the first year...

I think I understand why I'm getting kind of sick and tired of Biology. It is because of the following:

1. Physiology
Physiology simply bores me. There's absolutely nothing worse than memorizing structure and function of body parts and plant parts. Given a choice, I'd rather be solving genetics or DNA problems, not labeling body and plant parts. I particularly love those questions that require me to decipher "what's going wrong", and that's particularly important in physiology. So I believe it's a love-hate relationship.

Still, I find that physiology is reserved for those who want to become doctors or researchers in human kinetics and health and disease. None of them interest me. I want to work with proteins (proteonomics), genes (genetics), and cells (cell biology).

2. Teaching methods and my grades
For two years in JC, I've always barely passed Biology. That's way much in contrast to my Biology grades in Sec 3 and 4, where I usually would be near the top of my class. And that was when my Biology teacher was something like the toughest one available. Here, in JC, I suddenly find that I'm unable to absorb the large amount of information that they give us... and as a result, I'm usually unable to answer the test questions adequately.

Large quantities of information that has to be memorized bores me out. Especially if it's about physiology, of which nearly half of our syllabus is about. Gee... I just hope university-level Biology is less about memorization than it is about understanding... Case-in-point: Bio essays, which are essentially regurgitations of our lecture notes. Gosh, might as well print Bio essays for us, rather than our lecture notes...

3. My teacher
And then there's my teachers. They're pretty much dogmatic about their content (except for those really good few like Ms. Ong and Ms. Wang, who try to instil some appreciation of thought processes that help link ideas). My own Biology tutor, Ms. Yang... well, I wouldn't say she's bad, because she's really nice to print out notes and study guides to help us, but then I would say that I can't follow the way she teaches very well. She's one of the dogmatic teachers around, almost like Mrs. Foo. Hmmm... then again, on second thought, perhaps it's the nature of the content that makes the Biology course in Hwa Chong so dogmatic. So is it my teachers or is it the A level syllabus? Sigh. I wish I knew better.


Frankly speaking, I'd rather be working in the lab, learning the content that I need as I go along. It's just like what Mr. Steven Su, my Sec 3 Physics teacher, told us: What I teach you, it'll always be JIT -- Just In Time. I think when things are "Just In Time", it'll enter your brain better. I swear, when I teach my students something in future, it'll always be JIT.

Experiential learning. That fits me better. I'll probably not be able to succeed now... but mark my words, I swear that once I reach university, I'll pawn everybody else around. I'll succeed, someday, no matter what I get for my A levels.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Support the SPMF and buy these teddy bears from them

The SPMF isn't able to secure publicity in the newspaper ads for these teddy bears. I am helping them out for now by sending out e-mails to everybody I know to help them garner publicity. Hopefully, you who reads my blog will download this photo and send out the following e-mail to everybody you know to support them:


Hello everybody!

Needy children need your support to help them get through school. The SPMF will help them by giving them by giving them a monthly pocket money allowance of $30 (for primary school children) or $50 (for secondary school teens) to help them buy a meal in school. Most of them go through recess without eating, and starve throughout the day. The allowance translates into $1.00/day for primary school kids, and $1.67/day for secondary school students.

Just think about your regular meal. Is it $3 per meal? Is it $7? Or is it a sumptuous $50 lunch with your friends at a posh restaurant? Now, think about those needy students' meals - can they afford a $3, $7 or $50 meal? Definitely a question to be pondered.

The SPMF is selling teddy bears year-round to help them raise funds for the School Pocket Money Fund . These teddy bears are perfect as gifts for your friends and family. Please support them by buying one or two of them. Buying one teddy bear will help one primary school child get through 3 days worth of recess meals , so the more you buy, the more children you support!

Additionally, please pass the message on to your friends, classmates, schoolmates, immediate family, extended family, anybody you know in Singapore...... you get the point! =D This way, the message can be spread out very quickly!

Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail. Kindness will berepaid, and you will find gratification knowing that you've done a good deed. And please remember to spread the e-mail around!

Eric Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wacky Invigilator

We walk into the classroom. An old man, clearly nearing his fifties (or maybe even there already), waits for us at the table. He speaks.

"Have you all turned off your phones?" A wave of blood runs through me. I realize I haven't turned mine off. I stand up, walk to my bag under the whiteboard in front of the classroom, and turn my phone to silent. Relieved at doing the right thing, I walk back to my seat.

"Nobody is to have their handphones on. If you do... it'll be a bad thing when it rings. So nobody's phone is allowed to ring," and he emphasizes, "only mine."

We look on, stunned.

"Because when it rings, it'll be a good thing. Great compassion."

Huh? What in the world??

"大悲咒" (A Buddhist chant.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Will You Be There?

A poem, dedicated to my class 04S7B.

As time goes by, we share our woes and weals.
We ate together and shared our meals.
We shared our dreams and poured our hearts,
We enjoyed games of pool and darts.

Will you be there, in my memories?
Will you be there, in my future?
Will you be there, when I think of you?
Will you be there, when we get together?

As we step out, the world we have to face,
Will not care for those who fall from grace.
The sheltered school we've come to enjoy,
Will always be a memory, fading by.

Will you be there, in my future?
Will you be there, when I think of you?
Will you be there, when we get together?
Will you be there, in my memories?

Like you, I face the world alone.
Adolescence leaves sins for me to atone.
At times of helplessness, I recall,
The days gone by, the happiness once tall.

Will you be there, when I think of you?
Will you be there, when we get together?
Will you be there, in my memories?
Will you be there, in my future?

Years after years, score after score,
We will meet at the same old store.
A date for everyone, not to be missed,
Memories rekindled we kiss.

Will you be there, when we get together?
Will you be there, in my memories?
Will you be there, in my future?
Will you be there, when I think of you?

Monday, November 14, 2005

A New Wave of Killing

It's not physical anymore. It's not even spiritual. It's purely mental. Yeah, mental.

This year's A level papers are killers. I came out of them slashed, burned, scarred and scathed. I wonder how many tiger paws are going to be flying towards me till the end of the A levels.

Then again, it's only four more days, spread over one week and a few more days. Make it there!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Waves, Diffraction and Superposition

I have got you know. You're gonna be the pawn under my hands, you'll be the one I'll extract marks from for the A levels. I've mastered you. I'm your master. I will do it.

No More Maple

I solemnly swear now that I will abstain from MapleStory as a gamer, will uninstall every version of it (Global and SEA) from my hard disk, delete the installers from my MicroVault and hard disk, and block access to the website from my hard disk. May God, Allah, Buddah, Lord Vishnu, the Titans, Wang Mu Niang Niang (Queen Mother Goddess in Chinese mythology) and President Reagan bless me with the determination to do this.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Random Post

Nothing much to say. Just bored. Going to study physics soon, and chem too.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Last Lap

It's the last lap now. Go for it. You will get the results you want. Go for it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Mugger King

All this mugging is really getting to my head. I'm getting stupefyingly muddle-headed. I stop doing housework. I start acting like a king. As if my studies are taking top priority. This is unacceptable. Wake up. It's not time for you to be king, for there are no such things as kings anymore. Wake up.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Friends 2

Now, I've met Zikai, in addition to Hong Kin and Meng Kit. I wonder how he gets the motivation to move all the way from Hougang (his home) to Potong Pasir (at McDonalds) to study alone. He's been alone since 6.00 pm, and he's going to stay until 11.00 pm. Gosh...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Today, I met with Meng Kit, my primary school classmate. And oh boy did I catch up with a hell lot more people than just him.

At McDonalds was also Hong Kin, who went to VS and VJC, and then there was Jonathan Kwong, who went to ACS(I) and ACJC. Then, I also heard of the rest of the gang... Ben Sim, Yeow Kheng, Jeffrey, Adriel, Alvin Chee and Tay, Kanthaan, Linesh, Sriram, Vignesh, Krishin, Jonathan Yeo, Michael Tay. Gosh, the lot of them. All of them. MK's well-updated, at least on where who went.

Cheers to him. And his physics too. =)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Computers, first thing in the morning

Gosh. Now, I can tell, I'm totally addicted to... computers. It's what I'm on, first thing in the morning. How hellish can that get?

Gee, time for me to get off, make breakfast, shower, and wash up.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Gesundheit Institute

How can you not be totally moved by Patch Adam's initiative? Lend them a supportive hand.

This is what medical treatment should be about. It shouldn't be about detachment and ruthless efficiency. It should center about providing love, care and comfort. That is what truly fulfils the Hippocratic oath.

And for your information, here's the traditional text of the oath.

I swear by Apollo the physician, by Æsculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgement, the following Oath.

"To consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and if necessary to share my goods with him; to look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and the sons of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to the rules of the profession, but to these alone the precepts and the instruction. I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I Want To Go Home

All this nonsense surrounding me, and I want to go home.

Home to Victoria, BC, Canada.

Home to warm sun, luscious leaves, and the cooling sea breeze.
Home to white snow, fireplace warmth, and a bowl of hot soup.
Home to incessant rain, blooming flowers, and the call of nesting birds.
Home to balding trees, browning leaves, and the crackle of footsteps on them

Home to the orcas, kelp and the salmon of the seas.
Home to smoked salmon, woodlog fires, and log cabins.
Home to the pine trees, Rocky Mountains, and mountain glaciers.
Home to apple pies, shepherd pies, and crumble pie.

Home to the maple leaf.

Friday, October 28, 2005

It's alright. Thanks. =)

It's okay, you can write about him. I've gotten over most of it. Just that 9 Jan will always remain an important date for me.

And thanks for writing about me too. =)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks dies at the age of 91. The lady who rocked the faulty foundations of a nation of segregation.

I first read about her in "A Testament Of Hope - The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.", compiled by Harper Collins. He describes her resilience in the face of tyranny in one of his essays, "Our Struggle" (1956). Indeed, he quotes (and now I quote) Mrs. Parks as saying, "It was a matter of dignity; I could not have faced myself and my people if I had moved."

Her resistance was the catalyst for the social rights movement that soon overwhelmed the United States of America like an unstoppable wave. It provided a perspective, a context, for ordinary Americans to see the social injustice that permeated the social fabric, till every nook and cranny of society was filled with it. She stood up for the rights of black men and women, set and example for her people to live with dignity and pride. Not to be disheartened and trampled upon by the demon of unfair treatment. Not to be restricted by the chains and shackles that held them back from living a meaningful life. She was one of the pioneering catalysts for the true realization of American freedom for black men and women. A heroine of her time.

Hmmm... but a part of the social injustice still lingers on. Though I can't pin-point any real examples, one can still detect the hostility and racism when southerners in America still call the Afro-Americans "niggers" and "dirt". But at least from a legal point of view, Afro-Americans, and other minority groups, have achieved full equal status alongside their white brothers.

It seems her death prompted me to have another look at the movie "Remember The Titans". It was another movie about social segregation, about how one high school football coach, Herman Boone united the racially-segregated T.C. Williams High School, and eventually inspired the entire Alexandria, VA town with T.C. William's school spirit. Now that's a real story to take a look at too.

Update 28 October 2005:
Rosa Parks Links (best results rendered from

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sleep Early, Wake Early

Hmmm... So if I sleep at 9, I'll get up at 4. If I sleep at 10, I'll get up at 5. Means that, my body is a 7-hours sleeping machine, and I need 7 hours of continuous sleep. Wonder what that'll mean if I go to university; will I ever get my 7 hours of sleep?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Still Not Good Enough

You're not good enough man. You need to do it one more time. December. Go for it. Gun for perfection.


I just saw an iPod. As in, the large one. Not the Shuffle, not the Nano, but the big iPod. I want one. I just want one. I want one. I just really, really want one. And if I get one, I'll not get the white one. I'll get the black one. 60GB. Wahahahahahahahaha...

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Suddenly, I have this big urge to go to university and test out my new concepts of time management. Doesn't sound too promising, though, given that I'll have to wait another 10 months from now before I get into one.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Reviewing Essays

I kinda like reviewing essays that others write. After all, it gives me an opportunity to know other people better. It also lets me help others improve. Yeah. I like it.

Off M$

How nice it feels, to be rid of yet another M$ piece of software. Yes, I'm talking about Microsoft (eew) Office 2003. Finally, I'm rid of it.

You must be wondering, what software do I use in place of it? Why, of course! It's something everybody knows about now. It's something everybody's talking about now. It's 2.0! Go get it. It's smaller than M$ Office. Best of all, it costs no $$. ;)

Easy Simple Piece of Cake

Easy, now isn't it? I used to have problems putting everything into one blog. And to think it took me ages to figure out that if I wanted to categorize everything, I might as well set up different blogs for different purposes. That's the best thing to do.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Photo of Myself

Well, if anybody has been actually anticipating this, or wondering what I look like, here's a photo of myself for the world to see.


"We are all very very small. But we are profoundly capable of very big things."

Thursday, October 20, 2005


There was a lady whose name was called Bright,
Who set out one day at the speed of light.
She went round the world in a relative way,
And returned on the previous night!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Miso Soup

The best throat soother I've ever tasted.

Doubles up as food.

Best of all, easy to make!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sick. Damn. Sick

Hoola! I now have an interrupted timetable, stemming from the fact that I fell sick. Seems now that I'm gonna have to do some routine work - MATH - in order to get my body going back on track.

See you, world. Welcome to reality. Sickness.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Such and empty week

Next week will be an empty, boring week. My timetable has tons of blanks after correcting for possible consultations, which I doubt will be a lot. I'm going to make more additions now. Wonder how much free time I'd have left.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Will Manage My Time

Yes, I hereby vow to manage my time and my life properly, wherever I go to for higher education. Hell, even before that, I swear I'll learn from my younger brother, who can manage his time and study habits even better than I do. Gee.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Following my own path.

So far, I have lived 18 years not trying to fulfil my parents' expectations but my own expectations - what I want, and what I desire. I hated being forced to play the piano, no matter how much my mom tried to brainwash me that I had a talent for it - so I quit it. But I loved playing the harmonica - so I learnt it on my own. Years later, without coersion, I picked up the piano on my own again. I love learning - but only that which is based on my own motivations. I prefer to have the freedom to choose my path, and live by my own interests and passions.

Yet, all around me, most of my classmates are driven simply by what their marks show - they argue with their teachers for marks, I refuse to do so; they say that marks are the most important thing, I refuse to believe so, for what I have internalized is more important than what is reflected in my transcript. Their parents push them hard - tuition classes after tuition classes after tuition classes plague their schedule. I refused tuition, even when my mom advised that I needed it, because I would rather look for a teacher, who would be more capable than a tutor. After all, tuition teachers are generally paid 'nannys' to look after helpless students who need some extra discipline and blocks of time to do work. I would rather do work at my own pace, and I would tune it to follow with my school's curriculum pace.

Just a few random comments from a pensive mind.

Friday, September 30, 2005

MIT Interview

Cool! Just finished my interview at the American Club... The interviewer was a Chinese Hong Kongner who moved to Singapore, and was born in New York.

The interview went smoothly. We largely discussed my extra-curriculars, and my attitude towards studies. I guess I largely kept in tune with my application content... so that should be a good thing. Now, I can only hope for the best...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Apple: Greedy Labels

Okay, so the music labels want to raise the prices of the songs on the iTunes music store to USD1.49 per song. And then Steve Jobs lashes back at them labelling them as greedy. Well, guess what? I totally agree with him.

I'm definitely against rising prices. Isn't this a blatant and outright collusion by the industry to extort more money out of consumers? By rising prices to $1.49 per song, it'll cost more to buy the entire album of, say $10 songs, than it would to buy the album itself. That's just assuming the album prices stay the same - even if they don't stay the same, raised prices still wouldn't be a deal.

Heck, I still can't buy from the store yet, but nonetheless, if the music record labels still try to extort more money out, it'd be totally unreasonable. That'd just be a profit-maximizing scheme, which totally isn't the way to go. Companies should give good pricing, rather than maximize their profit, for only those that give the best deal to customers can attract them back. That's probably called "sustainable profiteering", rather than blatant extortion.

Even if prices were to be raised, now's definitely not the time. $0.99 per song has become the most best kind of pricing available, for it gives a flat rate that's cheap enough to combat piracy. If there were to be graded pricings, that'd only cause uncertainty in the consumer base, because this would mean that prices are subject to fluctuations at the whims and fancies of industry players. To put it simply, "That's not fair!"

Music record labels accused Jobs of holding up double-standards - that he could gradate the prices of his iPods, but wouldn't allow that for the music store. Obviously, very obviously, the music record labels are trying to shoot themselves in the foot. Why can Jobs afford to vary his iPods' prices? It's all a matter of PIRACY.

It's because he's not fighting a massive war against pirated iPods! He's merely facing competitors who are also trying to profit out of *similar* products. Hence, he needs to show his products' comparative advantage, in not only the pricing, but also the value for money. Jobs' iPods have different inherent value to themselves - being better, smaller, with more features - and, well, you can't possibly ask for the Nano and the Shuffle and the regular iPod to all be one flat price. That's unreasonable.

On the other hand, looking at the poor state of the music industry, they're only lucky they've got loyal consumers like myself who'll buy the un-pirated albums (but that's only because I'm a fan of those music groups whose albums I buy). They face rampant piracy - and they need to combat it fast. If they start to raise prices, they put off customers; if they gradate the prices, making newer albums more expensive than older ones, they risk alienating a good proportion of buyers from the music store.

Think, if they can sell more than 70% of their music through the iTunes music store, wouldn't that mean that they'd be shooting their own feet by raising the prices? Assuming that 15% of their customers get turned off by the raised prices, it would translate to 10.5% loss in sales from the iTunes store – wouldn’t the magnitude be good enough to scare them off?

Even if the labels say that music is an art, and newer albums should be valued higher than the older albums, well, then their own numbers would show whether the public values the items or not. If a particular song is super-duper hot, naturally, more people would value it and buy it, and that would translate into higher sales for themselves. Why, then, would they need to raise the prices?

Think, record labels, think. It just isn’t time, it just isn’t right.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pro Photos

Now I feel like a pro. I'm actually using plastic gloves, in order to protect the photos from fingerprint damage. Bet I look and act like the real archivist now... except... I'm still in a singlet and shorts. Haha...

4 AM Ice Cream and TV

Right, so I watched TV and ate 1/4 of a tub of ice cream at 4 AM in the morning. And now I'm blogging all about it. What an entry.

Yumm... the ice cream was chocolate and mint, while I watched "Crime Scene" on Discovery.

Actually, I could have well opted for the much healthier, and more convenient, grapes (which were on the coffee table), but I guess I couldn't resist my sweet tooth for the ice cream. After all, after a few dozen grapes, they all start to taste the same - sour-ish, bitter after-taste... no point eating them any more if they don't bring any pleasure, isn't it?

Ah well, that was a naughty move by me. Time for me to get back to sleep...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Stupid, selfish me.

Perfect. Now I've lost Jin Guan's watch.

How I should have known better, than to simply irresponsibly leave his watch on the class bench, enclosed in a box made out of the school magazine paper. Stupid me. I simply forgot that nobody would be looking after the box, and that there would also be a chance for the box to get thrown out by the cleaners.

Yes, and it was confirmed later yesterday when he buzzed me over MSN, and asked me about his watch. I asked if there was anything on the class bench, but he said nothing. And it was then that my biggest fears were confirmed - I had lost a borrowed item.

Now I'm going to have to wiat till mom comes back, before I can leave for school and start searching for his watch in - nowhere else but - the recycling bins. That's the most likely place that his watch would have been thrown into. Sigh... After that, it'll be to the lost and found, before I finally can sit down at the hui suo and do my Bio paper 3.

Gee, so much for learning about responsibility.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Right, wish me luck.

Wish me luck now. Biology paper's tomorrow. Hope I pass it with at least a C. Sigh. No, wait, C is too high. Fine, let it be a D. No D? Alright, E. Whatever. Get more than fifty, will you?

Uber s******

Gosh, Bio's later... the essays are going to own me. I'm so deaded. Save me, Mrs. Foo...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rocks my Socks, Pwns my butt...

Chem pwns my butt.. Imagine sitting there, in an air-conditioned room, for 2 hours and 45 minutes straight, rushing out ten 10-mark questions. Gee... wonder who can withstand that torture. I know, for one, that my butt was twitching by the time I reached Section D of that paper. The last two questions, on food chem, made me wanna eat.

And in comes physics the next day, my favorite subject... which, during the first paper, rocked my socks off. Gosh, who could have imagined that I wouldn't be able to finish off my MCQ!! (My last four answers were DCBA. There's only one obvious reason why.) So I slapped myself awake, and then started to psyche myself - "wake up bugger, wake up, stop wasting your bloody time!" Good, then I took Paper 2 in my hand, penned my name down, and following that, went straight into finishing the paper.

Gosh, the questions were horrendously out-of-the-magnitude-of-this-world! Things in the order of magnitude of 7 to 11, and then -5 to -9... it had my wits going round and round and round for every question. Heck, but at least I turned in the paper without much worry, for the answers all seemed to match in the end. Sheesh, wonder how many careless mistakes I made...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Qing Jing and Bowu Posted by Picasa

The junior girls: Jingzhi, Janet, Jiatian, Xiaoyuan, Kimberle, Jiaying. Posted by Picasa

He Fang and Jin Hui. Only He Fang was fast enough to turn away. =) Posted by Picasa

Junqi expounds a difficult theory to Keming. Posted by Picasa

Joseph, Quan Lun and Eunice Posted by Picasa

Finally got the photophobic Guan Lin on camera. Yeah! Posted by Picasa

Wei Liang and Glendon Posted by Picasa

Julian hugged by Yichao... dotz... Posted by Picasa

Math Down, 10 more papers to go

Hmmm... Math 1 is down, 10 more papers to go. It'll be interesting to see how things progress from here...


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Xuan You is angry, for his dao is broken... and Kian Boon fans on the flames of disapproval... Posted by Picasa

Xuan You can do nothing about his dao... Posted by Picasa

...except for mourn the loss... Posted by Picasa

... and pay final respects to his dao... Posted by Picasa

The firepiece is lit up Posted by Picasa

Eng Meng, the lead character, poses for a photograph Posted by Picasa

Notice the clarity of Xiaoye in the picture.. Posted by Picasa

Two sha guas looking each other in the eye, heads titled... =P Posted by Picasa

Yin Chu and Jiatian get sabotaged as a forfeit Posted by Picasa

The juniors looking on fervently as an uncle tries to throw a ball up the four levels Posted by Picasa

KC just got fed a biscuit by Xiaoyuan Posted by Picasa

Brent playing with the jiu jie bian Posted by Picasa

Guang Hao's funny look Posted by Picasa

Zhan Pei teaching Ming Han and Zhen Cong dao stuff Posted by Picasa