The Atom’s Atom – Chapter Two

I have never had such a tiring day in my two years in Singapore! I think spending an extended period of time in such a fickle climate has messed with my hippocampus[1], to the point where my own colleagues have labelled me as an “accident waiting to happen”! Hurtful (but funny) as that is, I admit that I am a scatter-brain, and nowhere near as systematic and clinical as Horten.

Yes, it is utterly tiring to lose things! It is even more so to lose your way, lose an important item, and lose track of time, all in the same day! I cannot begin to imagine how I managed to get lost walking from my residence to the lecture that Horten and I currently co-teach. Then, I proceeded to lose my keys somewhere between the start of the astronomy lecture and my walk back to the faculty office. In my flustered state, I then misjudged the amount of time I had, and ended up being late for a faculty meeting with new graduate students.

It must have been such a scene – a pale faced, panting man in his thirties bursting into the conference room muttering incoherently about something resembling a profuse apology. The mess that was me attracted some disapproving glares, with the exception of Horten (he simply flashed me a knowing smile) and a young lady who barely suppressed her giggle. Perhaps being messy has its own charms too!

Right after the meeting, I was reminded why I need characters like Horten in my life.

“Dr. Thorne. You will find that the keys to your humble abode are in my pocket. Of course, if you remembered that mobile communications are a necessity today, and not left said device at home, you would have known that before embarking upon your wild-goose chase!”, he grinned as he rapped a set of jingling metal objects in his right trouser pocket.

“O Horten! You are such a lifesaver!”

“Yes yes, what would you do without me…?”

I laughed a sigh of relief. “How are the new graduate students? We still need a teaching assistant for the astronomy module. Fancy we’d get the cute young thing sitting behind Professor Cooper?”

“Be careful there young doctor… Lest you lose your heart like you lost your keys!”

That night, as I slipped into bed, my last thoughts lingered upon her fair almond shaped face. If anyone thought the moon was beautiful, her face should be presented as a point of comparison, like a moon without craters. Her cheerful giggle and apparent approval of my tardiness amuses me, and attracts me in a way my Ph.D. mind could not comprehend. Ms Berres Orv… What an enchanting name…

The hippocampus is the part of the brain associated with long-term memory and spatial navigation.

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The Atom’s Atom – Chapter One

This was a term paper that we wrote for GEK1508: Einstein’s Universe & Quantum Weirdness. Thanks Marcus and Gail, my awesome groupmates!


She was intent on making this breakthrough, and proceeding with her plans to enter the unknown dimension. Not even her life was important to her anymore. It was simply a matter of entering a wormhole, and hoping that her calculations would bring her to the right place. If it worked, she would bring about a change to the scientific community greater than any of her predecessors. If it failed, she would simply be forgotten, and that did not matter – no one bothered anyway. The beauty of the unknown  drew her, and with similar intensity, she could not wait to leave this world.

Chapter One

As it has been for the past five years of my life, I rouse from slumber at precisely 0530, stumble in a half conscious stupor to the bathroom of my apartment – the “Blue Horizon”. Aptly named – the estate is set nearest to the western coast of Singapore – presumably being as close as possible to the ‘horizon’. Of course, my Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science magna cum laude diplomas sitting in my study would blatantly protest this absurd name. How can a horizon be blue?

Like clockwork, I freshen up and refuel, proceeding to my morning jog around the estate. With crisp cool air brushing pass my skin, and the lack of any intrusion into my train of thoughts, I feel that this is the best time of the day, a time where I can seek solace within myself, and ponder the workings of the universe. Well, that is before I report to my day job, and where I officially ponder about the workings of the universe, as Associate Professor Horten Arnold, faculty member of the National University of Singapore Physics Department. More importantly, I belong to an esteemed group of researchers heading black hole studies at the Chan Particle Collider. [1]

As I approach the 2 kilometre mark of my route, I am sweating profusely and enjoying the mixed sensation of heat emanating out of my body and sweat cooling it right back down. I reduce my pace to allow my body to focus more of its attention to my cognitive processes, and begin to rehearse my schedule for the day.

Together with my comrade in arms (actually pens in this case), Dr. Roland Thorne, an Assistant Professor in the department, we will be pioneering a new undergraduate module to kindle some interest in astronomy. Students will also be able to observe first hand our breakthroughs in black hole research! Dr. Thorne and I had to climb mountains and cross oceans to push for this astronomy module, as the Physics department found it hard to see the merits of grading undergraduates through the practical use of telescopes. Other issues such as tutorials in the night were highly unusual and logistically challenging, and the department was worried that the module would be undersubscribed. Eventually, they relented, right after Dr. Thorne, in a stroke of brilliance, cleverly showed them a picture of Einstein toying with his telescope in his own backyard. What would I do without this blessed soul!

The Chan Particle Collider was developed in 2116 by renowned Astrophysicist Dr. Phil Chan. It is the most powerful ULHC (Ultra Large Hadron Collider) to date, and is housed in deep space due to its immense size. Its sole purpose is research into alternative energy sources, primarily from the creation of black holes.

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Posting as yourself on the Facebook Page which you’re the Admin

So here’s a simple solution to post as yourself on the Facebook Page in which you’re the admin.

  1. Edit Page (top right corner)
  2. Your Settings
  3. uncheck Posting Preferences checkbox that says
    “Always comment and post on your page as [thePAGE] even when using Facebook as [yourname]”
  4. Save Changes

Facebook Pages is really an awesome piece of software and it’s free! The insights tool is really good.

It’s also quite cool to surf Facebook as [thePAGE] too. Apparently other pages that you “like” will appear as “favourites” at the left of your page. Quite cool. Just remember to switch it back to “yourself” after that, if not your friends will be puzzled as to why [thePAGE] is commenting on their statuses.

Check out the page in which I’m the admin

A Quest for Guitar Tuner Software (S60v3)

Apparently I was asked to be the guitarist and worship leader for the upcoming Cambodia Mission Trip. As it is quite inconvenient to bring our guitar there, we’re going to use the guitar that’s provided by our counterpart in Cambodia. As I have no idea how would the guitar look like and I don’t trust my relative pitch ear in tuning the guitar, the initial plan is to buy a guitar tuner (clip-on). But then i realize “Hey I have a E71 and I’m sure there are some apps out there that could solve my problem!”

So my first stop was Nokia’s Ovi Store, a simple keyword search of “guitar tuner” returns a few apps with price ranging from 1.99SGD to 7.99SGD.  I was about to purchase the app but then I realize that “Hey why don’t I google around first, I might just find a few free apps lying around”. Google around, I did.

My first attempt was “Smart Guitar Tuner”. It is really a guitar tuner app, when you pluck a particular string, it will indicate the pitch of the string. Sadly, it is so insensitive that 9 out of 10 times it failed to recognize the correct pitch. It doesn’t help when our friend Mr. Bike Tan started flexing a super-imba guitar tuner app on his newly purchase HTC Desire Z. The app is so imba that you can actually enable FFT Rounding, Tampering Function, Apply Harmonic Product Spectrum, Adjust Tempreraments, yada yada.. Not that those functions are useful for a guitarist but it just show how cool and powerful the app is! Most important of all, the app is actually more accurate in pitch-catching than his clip-on guitar tuner!

So I went on another round of googling around. I took a slightly different approach, I started off with “free symbian apps”, hoping to find some kind of free software repository websites. Lo and behold, I found “Bits For Free“! At this point I sort of gave up on those pitch-sensing app, instead I was looking for apps that can actually generate the correct tone so that I can tune by ear. Under S60 3rd Ed. Apps, I found two apps which is exactly what I wanted and more. Both of them uses Java but hey it works, who cares?

The first app is “Guitar Tuner Mobile“. It has a very simple interface with 6 strings “EAdgbe”, pressing each one of them plays the respective tone for you to tune by ear. It also has a sound spectral analysis function but I don’t think I’ll be using it much.

The second app is the more imba one “The Musicians’ Swiss Knife“. On top of a tone generator, it has a metronome and a manual beats per minute counter! One tool for all my guitar and drumming needs! The tone generator has 45 different instruments and is able to generate 48 notes!

I really have to thank the people @ “Bits For Free“. Thanks for making my Nokia E71 experience a little bit richer before I switch over to HTC Desire Z (hopefully in a few weeks time).

Scholarships Opportunities (esp. Malaysians)

Received these link from my dad. Apparently it was forwarded to him with a message to pass it along to friends, children, friend’s children, nephews, niece, students. The emails was signed off by a DR J ALFRED. I’ve gone through all of the links and modified accordingly. I’ve even flagged those that are not working. If you have a working link for that particular program/scholarship, please let me know @ the comments section. Thank you.

Apparently there’s this website Time has changed, if only this website exist back when I just got my SPM/STPM results.
  1. NUS / Asean Undergraduate Scholarship
  2. Nanyang Technological University Scholarship 
  3. UTAR Scholarships
  4. Yayasan Proton Scholarship
  5. PTPTN Education Loan
  6. The Star Education Fund
  7. Astro Scholarship Award
  8. 2007 MNRB Scholarship Fund
  9. OCBC Bank Scholarship
  10. Curtin Sarawak Scholarship
  11. The University of Nottingham Malaysia Scholarships
  12. HELP University College
  13. University of Adelaide   (Scholarships)
  14. Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (MAAC) Scholarship
  15. Kolej Disted-Stamford Degree Scholarships
  16. Loughborough University Human Science Scholarships
  17. UCL Pathfinder Scholarships
  18. University of Sheffield Scholarship
  19. Tasmanian International Scholarships
  20. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST Discovery  Scholarship)
  21. [Postgraduate] Universiti Malaysia Sabah Scholarship
  22. [Postgraduate] Leeds University Scholarships
  23. [Postgraduate] University of Malaya Fellowship Scheme

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