Monday, September 19, 2005

Gynaecomastia

I know some people will start grumbling when they see this title, "This Chang Yang is talking about nerdy stuff in some alien language again!" Well, don't worry, it's nothing so nerdy or alien, so please read on...

So, What the heck is gynaecomastia? According to the Online medical dictionary, gynaecomastia can be defined as:

gynaecomastia

An excessive development of the male mammary glands, even to the functional state.

Temporary enlargement of the breasts is not unusual or abnormal in boys during adolescence or during recovery from malnutrition. Gynaecomastia may be abnormal as, for example, in Klinefelter's syndrome.

Origin: Gr. Mastos = breast, gynh = a woman or female.
Gynaecomastia is a rather familiar medical term for me. Not because I have just come across this term in this morning's PBL, but it's because it's the first sophisticated medical term I learnt in my life. To be exact, I knew that about 5 years ago..

It was my sisters who first taught me this term. You know what, they said I have got gynaecomastia... Eerm, you see, I don't drink alcohol (to be precise, I haven't had alcohol when I was 14), so it can't be alcohol-related gynaecomastia. Dunngg... I am so stigmatised. Why lar say me got breast when I only have a little protusion on my chest? I wasn't even obese that time, although I have been a little bit chubby all the while. Therefore, I will take it as the normal enlargement of breasts during adolescence, and no teasing please. Again, I should emphasize that it's not that large. LOL..

Anyway, a mild gynaecomastia isn't all that bad for my body image... I remember when I was in form 2, sometimes I have to be take off shirts during physical education class, for basketball or football, for the purpose of identifying two different teams. There was once, I was taking off my shirt at the bench beside the basketball court when a friend of mine approached me to my surprise:
Chang Yang, since when you have you got chest muscle?
So, the next time your little son, nephew or cousin have got a "little breast", tell them don't be shy, they have just got a gynaecomastia! They will be glad that they learnt a new medical term in their vocabulary! Haha.

Small talk: My family was here last Thursday and they are now in Sydney for a self-organized tour. Things have been easy going recently and I enjoyed the med ball. I am still stuck with my studies while most other courses in the university have already started their two-week holidays. Eerm... Right now I am looking forward to my family to come back this Wednesday so that we can have great fun together. As for the activities that I left out in this blog, I will fill in the blanks when I am free to do so. To Jason and Yee Pin, wish you enjoy your new lives in UK! Ciao.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Best Language

English language is one of the funniest language I have ever learnt. Oh yeah, it's not like I have learnt a lot (I only know Chinese, Malay and English language), but when I compare these languages, I find a lot more peculiarities and unpredictable variations in English language. It's not something bad though, it serves better as a source of amusement.

This is one of the best examples I stumbled upon in Slashdot.

A linguistics professor is giving a lecture. He explains that in English, prescriptive grammar dictates that a double negative creates a positive, for instance "I ain't got no money" would parse as "I have money." He then goes on to explain that in many languages, a double negative creates a more emphatic negative, for instance, in Russian "U menya nyet nichyevo" (literally, "By me is not had nothing") uses two negative phrases to create a stronger negative. Furthermore, the prof explains, in most languages, using two positives will create a more emphatic positive, or at the very least, will not change the meaning of a phrase, for instance "Yes, I have bananas" is fundamentally the same as "I have bananas." However, the proffessor concludes, in no language does a double positive create a negative.

A student, in the back of the class, muttering under his breath, was heard to utter "Yeah, right."
Enjoy! Good night...

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Welcome to Melbourne!!

Exams = over!!
Poster = almost over!!

And my parents and two sisters are going to arrive in 7 hours!


Life has been rather stressful but nevertheless wonderful. I managed to survive the mid-semester test, and surprisingly I performed not bad in it. Poster was half done, and I am more than excited to meet my family soon.

I will be rather busy for the next few days, as I have mentioned in the previous post, I am going to a fabulous Med Ball and I have to do some catch up in everything - studies, friends, works, maths and this blog.

So see ya around! I will be back.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Exam Hiatus

With the utmost regret, I shall hereby announce that I will stop my blogging activity from today until September 13, which is the date of my Mid-semester exam. It has just dawned upon me that I have 7 weeks' lectures to cover in one week. Oh gosh, did I miss the speed-reading course the other day?

Anyway, whilst the torture of doing revision will end with the exam, September 13 doesn't imply the end of everything. After the exam I will have to design poster for the IMSS Gala Dinner; on the 15th my parents will arrive, and I have to prepare for a Med Ball on the 16th as well.

So, a short farewell to all my friends and readers of this blog. I shall check the message boards from time to time, and if time permits, I may even post something short and sweet. Good bye then!

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

On the Shoulder of Giants

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
I have long been appealed by Newton's flair of creating quotable quotes despite his actual reputation of being vengeful and arrogant. In his letter to his arch rival Robert Hooke, he penned down the abovementioned sentence. Newton presumably intended it as a sarcastic remark to tease Robert Hooke's relatively short stature, but it has been so cleverly disguised as a note of humility. This sentence, without the actual historical context, is such a perfect example of humiliation in which a scientist acknowledges his success as being built on previous works.

Today, I am reminded of this post because of a science article I read in Slashdot. Well, the article in itself is nothing so particular, but I was particularly attracted by the footnote at the bottom of the webpage. It's a revision of Newton's quote, as follows.
If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.
I have to give a loud applause for the person who came up with this line. Fantastic indeed! The spirit of science, contrary to popular belief, is not to believe in what is taught by the teacher totally. Rather, it's the spirit of sceptism, inquisition and asking question, that have made us where we are today. If not because of Galileo's sceptism of Aristotlic teaching (e.g. heavy object falls faster than light objects), he wouldn't have discovered that free fall speed is the same regardless of its mass.

Well, enough for science today. I just can't help but to show my admiration for that quote. :D

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Assignment Over, Exam Comes

First and foremost, I dedicate this message to the owner and the waiters of Bismi restaurant in Brunswick:

One day you will have to learn that there’s always a reason behind people saying “customer is always right”. I am totally disappointed with your lackadaisical attitude, seriously. And not to mention the price of my rice and my roti tissue honey. The severity of your service attitude, if ranked in a scale of 1 to 10, is 9.9.
Okay, that’s the ranting part of my post. Sorry ya, I normally choose not to rant in this public space so as not to spoil people’s appetite, but this particular restaurant really irked me pretty seriously when I had to fork out 12.75 dollars for their appalling attitude and exorbitantly expensive rice and roti. Hehe, so sorry for the personal complaint.

Back to my assignment. Yeah yeah, it’s finally over! After one week of sleepless nights, I have officially finished my assignment when I printed the 2717-word article at 4:03am on Friday. Well, it is not as hard as you might have thought from my description, I wouldn’t do justice to this interesting write-up if you were made to think about it as a tedious assignment. Some people took only 3 days to finish it, but it took me one week of 4-o-clock work. That’s included with my constant slacking and online activies, of course. It’s like that larr, assignment is never the cup of tea for a professional slacker like me. While I was halfway throught the assignment on Tuesday, I could stop halfway to try out the Opera 8.02 for almost half a day. So how productive can I be? Haha...

So, we have finished assignment, and we went for the post-ass dinner in Bismi. No more mentioning it, thank you. Anyway, on your visit to my blog, you might have observed that ticking on the left of this page is the countdown clock to my family visit in Melbourne. They will come to Melbourne to find visit me on 15 September, and that is 2 days after my mid semester exam. I have been waiting eagerly for their visit, as I miss them so much! However, there is this shadow of mid-semester exam looming large behind me, so I have to brave through this two weeks with more revision. 7 week of lectures culminating in 25 MCQ, it’s not an easy task.

Well, that’s all for today. I know it has been nothing but just my daily chronicle and senseless complaints, but this is indeed what I intended to post. If you have read this far, I seriously think that you have wasted your time.. :P haha.. But really thank you for those who have supported my work and my study. I will post about other stuff when I have the writer’s inspiration. See ya!

p/s: Oh ya, forgot to mention this. YB Lim Kit Siang has started his blog a few days ago, and it’s rather interesting. In a few days time, he has garnered hundreds of comments in his posts, such a popularity of blog! You have my bow in admiration. Hope that you have your voice be heard in both political arena and the blogosphere: the land of freedom.

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