Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Left and Right

If you happen to tell someone to turn right but he / she ended up turning left, I am willing to bet that person must be a doctor.

Blame it on anatomy. :)


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Royal Exhibition Building

The Royal Exhibition Building means many different things to Melburnians. For most of the pitiful students though, it's where their nightmares happen. For me, this is the place I am going to when the countdown timer on the left strikes zero - the exam hall.

It's ironic how this iconic symbol of Melbourne is used as the most dreaded place during the exam season. You can see that the REB is so beautiful, from the picture above. Now, if the facade is glorious, the decor inside is even more impressive (pic on the right). I can still remember the moment I first entered the hall in the first semester exam last year - I was awestruck. While my result achieved inside is nothing to be proud of, I can at least have pride in having exam in one of the most beautiful exam halls in the world. Unless you have your exams in Westminster Abbey, of course.

Oh ya, I haven't mentioned that the Royal Exhibition Building is part of the only site in Melbourne, Victoria to be listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building. The reason it has got listed in the heritage site is because of the significance of the building (as the only few surviving "exhibition building" in the world from the 19th century) and also the botanical significance of the surrounding gardens.

Oh well... probably another reason to be proud of having my exams there - who else here have their exams in a World Heritage site? :P

Duh. Does't give me any inspiration for studying though, having my exams there. I have just wasted 20 minutes typing this out. Enjoy, and fellow UniMelb students, be proud of your exam hall!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Flurry Screensaver

I like Mac. I can still remember that the first time I saw Mac, I was immediately enthralled by the sleek design and the "cool" factor. And then I saw this screensaver:

Screenshot of Flurry Screensaver
I was like... Wow!! From that moment, that screensaver became my favourite screensaver. Its simplicity and the aesthetic curves is simply captivating. Until yesterday I never knew that the screensaver is called "flurry", but its swaying arcs have always kept me in awe whenever I saw them.

I always lamented that why can't Microsoft programmers create a screensaver as good as this one, or at least give us more interesting screensavers. But for years, after Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, XP SP1 and what not, what we get are always the same ol' dull-looking simple lines, scrolling words, picture slideshows and so on. Yesterday, I did some googling and found that I can actually have flurry on Windows! Well, it won't turn my Windows into Mac, but it certainly helps a bit.

For those who are interested, you can get it from the original download website here. However, the original file doesn't work on laptop with integrated video adapter; therefore if you are using a laptop, it would be best to download this version.


Note: For those who are technically-minded, the only modification made in the latter file is changing the "scr" extension to "sCr", and this way you bypass the integrated video card checking by Intel integrated video card in laptop. The original file causes lagging in laptop because the OpenGL technology is turned off by the integrated video card.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Reason I Like Forwarded Emails...

Updated 23/05/06: Pointed the urban legends to its mythbusting pages.

Original 12/05/06: Promise.. This is a good one. I actually like forwarded emails. :P

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me your damn chain letters over the past few years. Yes, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of what's left of my heart for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.

Because of your concern...I no longer can drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer drink anything out of a can because I will get sick from the rat feces and urine.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day. [There are indeed some research that points to carcinogenic compounds to anti-perspirant. Deodorants are fine, anyway]

I no longer use margarine because it's one molecule away from being plastic.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the phone ill from hell with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer date the opposite sex because they will take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes. (Geez, the BIBLE did not mention it works that way!)

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

Yes, I want to thank all of you soooooooo much for looking out for me!

I will now return the favor.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds, a large bird with diarrhea will crap on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits.

I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's 8th husband's 2nd cousin's 3rd husband's ex-wife's mother's beautician!


Monday, May 22, 2006

The best artistic pieces, ever.


Music - Hear it

-- --- .-. ... . -.-. --- -.. .

18.5 Minute Mistake

Last page


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Number of Hair

Fact of the day:

At any given time in New York there live at least two people with the same number of hairs

From PigeonHole Principle.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Apartment

This is where I live in.

Daylight Map (Powered by Google Map)


I have already pinpointed my apartment at the map, and the point is the exact position - at the ninth floor, North-east corner of North Block of College Square. College Square consists of six squarish buildings, and it's located along Lygon street (the vertical street on the left hand side). Located north-west to College Square is Melbourne General Cemetary, a burial place so large that it is twice the area of my university. University of Melbourne is located Southwest of College Square, and I have labelled where the three-spike medical building is located.

If you visit the link I gave above, you will be able to zoom out and explore the Melbourne city. If you feel that the picture is too dark, it's not because there's something wrong with your monitor - the brightness of the picture is actually simulated by the website to reflect the actual brightness at real-time. In other words, if it's nighttime in Melbourne right now, you will see a dark picture; and vice versa.



Sunday, May 14, 2006

An Open Letter to Liverpool

Dear Liverpool,

I hate it when you guys play a great game after I have decided not to watch in order to "study". First, Champions League; next, FA Cup.

Congratulations, by the way. :)

A full-time MU fan cum part-time Liverpool fan


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Hardest Thing is Learning to Let Go

Did I just say I don't like forwarded stories in the last post? :D

It had been raining for more than a week, so much rain it made everyday seemed so restless and gloomy. She called and said she was coming up. It was the third time she came up to see me that week. I carried her excuse of why she came all the way here and went to meet her at the nearby 7-11. She was standing there alone, carrying her red umbrella. Her friend had dropped her off. It was raining and she was shivering. She looked weak and fragile in the harsh rain, wearing not enough to keep her warm. I walked up to her and said, "You shouldn't come see me anymore," and stuff like how we shouldn't be together.

She said, "I miss you."

I told her coldly, "Lets go, I'll take you home."

She did not open up her umbrella, I knew she wanted to share mine.

I said, "Open up your umbrella, let's go."

Unwillingly, She opened up her umbrella and walked with me to the car. She said she hadn't eat lunch or dinner and asked if we could stop at some place to eat.

Right away I answered with a stoned heart, "No!"

Disappointed, she asked me to take her to the train station, she said she would take the train back home.

Maybe it was the rain, all the trains were full of people with umbrellas and suit cases who were eager to get home, not caring about who just passed by. We waited and waited, she looked at me innocently. Being together for so long, of course I knew what she meant. I understand how she must feel when she came all this way here in this kind of weather and I treat her like this. With her soft eyes staring at me, I felt guilt and wanted to let her stay for the night.

But reality struck again, I said to her coldly, "Let's go try the other train station."

We were living in the same apartment building, on the same floor. Back then there were four of us, and we got along well. We would always eat dinner together, watch movies, and sometimes go camping. We were more like a family, but I didn't know I would end up falling in love with the only girl of the four. Maybe it was during the last year of college, having living together for two years, we developed deep feelings for each other. After she graduated she went back home, and I stayed for one more year to finish school. During that year I was only able to take the train down to see her on holidays, but never for long. That was how we kept the treasured relationship.

We were walking along the side of the road. She was in front of me and I was right behind her. Her umbrella had a broken spoke. She looked liked a wounded soldier, carrying her rusted rifle walking weakly. Many times, she was too into thinking or whatever she was doing, drifting off the road, she almost got hit by the cars passing by. I wanted to just take her in my arms, but with the love I had for her and the constant pain in my stomach, I did nothing. On the way, we passed by the park where we use to always go.

She begged and said, "Lets go in the park just for a little while please, I promise I'll go home right after this."

With her begging, my cold heart softened, but I still put up an annoyed face and walked in the park. I was just sitting on the benches looking like I wanted to leave. She went to the big oak tree and she was looking for something. I knew she was looking for what we wrote on that tree with a silver ink pen half a year ago. If I remember it right, it said, "Chris and Susan was here, Chris had tea and Susan was drinking hot chocolate. Hope Chris and Susan would always remember this day, always loving each other, forever." She was looking around for quite a while, then she came back slowly with tears on her face.

She said, "Chris, I can't find it, it's not there anymore."

I felt so sour inside, there was a stream of pain, flowing into my heart, the kind of pain I've never felt before. But all I could do was pretend I didn't care, and said, "Can we go now?"

I opened up my big black umbrella, she was just standing there, didn't want to leave yet, hoping there was still a chance. She said, "You made up the story of you and that other girl didn't you? I know I frustrate you sometimes, but I'll change, can't we start over?"

I didn't say a word, just looked down and shook my head. After that we just kept on walking towards the train station, didn't say a word to each other.

Four years ago, the doctor said I had cancer, but it was found early, so it was still curable. Thinking that it was okay, I started living my normal life again, and even forgot about the cancer. I didn't think about the cancer again and did not go back to the doctor. Until a month ago, my stomach was hurting for two weeks straight, and the nightmare awakened me again. First I thought the pain would go away, but it grew stronger until to the point that I couldn't take it anymore. I went back to the doctor and took an X-ray.

The picture came out and there was a big black spot, which proved the truth that I did not want to believe. I was at the most glittering part of my life, but it was coming to an end. I wanted myself and the people around me to go through the least pain possible, so I decided to commit suicide. But I couldn't let people find out about my intentions, especially Susan, the person I love the most in this whole world, who still doesn't know about the truth. Susan was still young, she shouldn't have to go through this. So I made up some stories and lied to her. It was a cruel thing to do, and it broke her heart, but it was the fastest way to wipe out three years's feelings. I didn't have much time, because I would soon start to loose hair and she would find out eventually. But now I'm close to succeeding, this drama would soon be over. Thirty minutes more this would all come to an end, that was what I had in mind.

The train had stopped running so I called a taxi for her. We were just standing there, waiting, loosing our last moments in silence.

I saw the taxi from far away, I held my tears and said to her, "Take care of yourself, take good care of yourself."

She didn't talk, just nodded lightly, and then opened up her misshaped umbrella and stepped out on the street. Out in the rain, we became two single life forms, one red, one black, so far away from each other. I opened the door for her and she got in, then I close the door that would separate me from her forever. I stood by the car, staring in the dark window, at the first love in my life, also the last one, walking out of my life. The car started, driving into the street. Finally I couldn't hold my sorrow and the twist in my heart any longer, waving my arms rapidly chasing after the taxi, because I knew, this would be the last time I see her. I wanted to tell her I still love her, I wanted to tell her to stay, I wanted to tell her so much, but the taxi had already turned in the corner. Warm tears kept falling down my face, blended with the cold rain drops. I was cold, not because of the rain. I was cold inside.

She left, and I didn't get anymore of her phone calls even until today. I know she didn't see my tears, because they were washed away by the rain. I left without regrets. But I'm not Chris, I'm that girl Susan, using my memory, and his diary I found after one year since he left, writing down these last words
Adapted from ReCom - The Hardest Thing is Learning to Let Go


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Nice Story, Wrong Way of Dissemination

Many teenagers like forwarded emails. Some forwarded emails are the "you are my best friend", "I can't live without you" or "the true meaning of love" messages, while some others are uplifting and touching little stories. I have to say that sometimes there are stories which bring me close to tears, but apart from that there are way too many same ol' cliche stories which are basically a waste of time. Those are the stories which you know at once that the author is trying too hard to make a story touching when it really is not. No matter what, I like stories - the good ones.

However, today I just received another forwarded story, and I can't help but to lament here. This story is about a mother who has just lost his son and got a letter from her son in heaven (read the story here). At the end of the email, there is an extra paragraph as follows:

Let's see Satan stop this one. Take 60-seconds and send this to five other people, within the hour, you will have caused a multitude of believers to pray to God for each other. Then sit back and feel the Holy Spirit work in your life for doing what you know God loves

"When you're down to nothing, God is up to something.
I flinched as once as I saw this paragraph. You know what, to the person who first added this line - this kind of expression is the exact reason why many non-Christians have biased perceptions towards Christian's proselytization.

I understand the kind intention of Christians spreading this kind of love messages, and you see, I am okay with a random pedestrian approaching me and telling me how great the God is. Normally I would just listen to them and reject them politely. It's not that I am oblivious to religions, God(s), or people's good intentions of spreading the Gospel. Quite contrary to that, I am a frequenter in ReCom's religion-related threads and I do involve actively in all the discussions. It's just that the whole idea, the whole religion doesn't appeal to the secularly-minded me. Religion just isn't that compatible with logic and science, in my opinion. (I hope that my comment box is not flooded with rebuttals from over-zealous believers... :P)

Therefore, to Christians who try to proselytize others, continue your kind work but don't shove your belief down others' throat. Don't nag and come back to haunt people who have already rejected you politely. Don't say that the other religions are ridiculous and it's foolish to believe in anything other than Jesus. Don't say that Jesus is alive but Buddha is dead. And to cap it all, don't lose your empathy towards non-believers - just imagine how insulting if people say "God is just a haughty arrogant cruel guy who wants others to glorify Him if they don't want to be condemned to the eternal hell". If you feel insulted, I can tell you it's the same feeling we feel when you say that "your religion is wrong".

Correction: I am only referring to the inconsiderate acts in some people, and I am in no way referring to every Christian out there. Sorry if you feel offended, it was unintentional.

And to the person who added that line of "Let's see Satan stop this one" - yes, I stopped this one, but not because there is a Satan in me. In fact, this sentence is the reason I stopped it. And I do realise that you think I will go to hell. I will only pray that you will learn to be more empathic.

p/s: To the person who sent me this story, I would just like to let you know that this is nothing personal against you. I am only unhappy with the "satan" part, and I know it's not you who added this line. I do appreciate you sending the story to me though. :D