Thursday, March 29, 2007

Breast Examination

Today we learnt to perform breast examination on a real person. It's the first sensitive test I have ever done throughout the medical career, and it turned out to be great!

The day was divided into a few sessions, and there were demonstration from the so-called "clinical teaching associates", experience sharing from breast cancer patients / survivors, history taking ("interview") of someone who presents with a breast lump, and last but not least, hands-on practice on the associate.

As a guy I was supposed to be terribly nervous, shaking and petrified for the day, but I turned out to be okay with the whole thing. The day started with the demonstration where 12 of us stood around a "doctor" and a "patient" who demonstrated the real technique of clinical breast examination. Well, the feeling of seeing real breasts were... Eerm, surreal. But nah, it wasn't "stimulatory" at all if you wonder. :D When you are concerned about the steps and the patient's problem, you kind of put behind the stray thoughts.

So, yeah, we had experience sharing from a breast cancer survivor next. The talk was engaging since it comes from someone who has been through it all. She talked about her diagnosis, her past, and her concerns throughout the disease. Although she removed her breast and has been well for the past five years, the prospect of a recurrence will be looming for the rest of her life. She said she's already made the preparation should things go down that path, and her children even know where to spread her ashes for the funeral. It's a heart-rending story although she managed to put up a positive front throughout the session. You really get to empathize strongly about "count everyday as a blessing".

Next session was a boring, usual interview session. I played a role of a 53-year old patient who's complaining about a lump in my right breast. It's firm, about the size of a marble, and tends to move about when I touch it. What's worse was my mum and my sister both had a breast lump although those were not cancerous. Haha yeah, you get to role-play these kind of things a lot here.

The last session was the real breast examination. Three of us were allocated to a patient, and we took turn examining the breast. It's kind of interesting how all the protocols work: we have to be extremely careful about our language, for example we should say "examine your breast" instead of "feel your breast". Besides, the very important thing was to get a consent from the patient to perform the examination. After some briefing, three of us shyly took our turns at examining the breast. If you would like to know what the examination involves, there are:

  1. General observation - the raise your arm, lower your arm, roll your shoulder thingy.
  2. Palpation - the doctor uses his fingers to examine all areas of the breasts.
  3. Lymph node inspection - the doctor feels for the nodes below the armpit and along the collar bone.
So yeah, that's it. My encounter with breasts. I salute the courage of the volunteers who allowed us to learn so much through sacrificing their privacy. They are heroes.

p/s: And a public health message - if you are a woman, please self-examine your breasts regularly. This is especially important if you have a family history of breast cancer. Ask your doctor about regular breast cancer screening - it really, really saves lives.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ambulance Without Petrol

It's a national disgrace. [The link is no longer working, but I saved a copy which you can view here]

A woman with severe headache presented to a hospital emergency department, but for 5 hours nobody attended to her. The doctor only saw her when she lapsed into a semi-conscious state. She was transferred to another hospital for CT scan, and the scan revealed a blood clot in her brain (stroke). But the second hospital couldn't perform a surgery, so the woman had to be transferred to another hospital for emergency operation. There was a huge problem.

All the ambulances were out of petrol.

It took them some time before they sorted out the problem and sent her to the destination, but she was pronounced brain dead on arrival.

I am embarrassed.

p/s: By the way I am curious why the husband didn't send the wife with his own car, or at least ask for help. Weird. Regardless, this doesn't detract from the hospital's negligence.


Virus and Bacteria

Virus and bacteria are absolutely different things. Bacteria are little single-cell critters. Virus is just a genetic component plus a protein "cap", and sometimes a oily envelope. Their structure and function are entirely different. Perhaps the only similarity between them is that they both contain species that could cause disease in humans.

But apparently some of the reporters in Australia can't really tell the difference between virus and bacteria.


Eerm. Sometimes I find that the mass media isn't reliable when it comes to scientific information. Recently I have been finding some misconceptions in many newspapers, and some of them actually went on the frontpage. I remember reading things like "egg could stand on its end only during equinox" in Sinchew JitPoh when I was back in Malaysia a few months ago. Probably we could be lenient because it's not meant to be a scientific news after all. However, when it comes to scientific articles, newspapers seem to be born with a knack of giving misinformations. So ya, when the information is passed on from the scientist to the reporter, and from the reporter to the editors, we can basically forget about accuracy.

It's not all that bad, and most of the time the news are pretty accurate. However, slight mistakes do accumulate, and as the ol' trusted source of knowledge, newspaper ought to be more rigorous in their fact-checking. When we have already got urban legends spreading like wildfire online everyday, newspaper editors should try their best to avoid disseminating misinformation.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Death Clock

According to Death Clock, I only have 2,134,917,517 seconds more in my life.

Oops wait, I only have 2,134,917,375 seconds left. Better go back to studies.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Run For The Kids

I am going to Run for the Kids on next Sunday, April 1.

On that day, thousands of Melburnians will join a run for a good cause - we are paying 34 dollars to run for 15 kilometres, and 29 dollars of which will go to Royal Children Hospital in Melbourne.

As anyone close to me could testify, I am not exactly an athletic person. In fact I only enjoy playing "leisure sports" like table tennis, and anything more vigorous than that is not my cup of tea. Sometimes I would go for half-an-hour of jogging, but I thought that's the max I could do. And sometimes at the end of that I would ask myself, "why the heck am I torturing myself like this?"

So when Wee Loon invited me to join the race, I kind of faltered... Could I even walk for 15 km, let alone run? Before I could make a decision, Wee Loon's invitation received a great response from our friends. Many people decided to join, including Xuan Ni, Boon Phiaw, Yong Chin, Freda, Thow Kong, Boon Hoon, Ai Ling (who pulled out later) Ee Syn, Sze Mei etc.

So I decided to join it, as a form of challenge to myself.

PICT7244 (by changyang1230)We started to have "trainings" at random time throughout the past few weeks. We went to the Princes Park nearby a few times for some evening jogs, and the distance was about 3 kilometres a lap. Three weeks ago we ran to St. Kilda beach, which was 7.7 km from our house. And the last weekend, we ran along Yarra River for exactly 10km!

I clocked about 80 minutes for the St. Kilda run but it was not a good measure because we were significantly slowed by the crowd in the city and the endless traffic lights in Melbourne. For the Yarra River run, I successfully clocked 75 minutes which was equivalent to 8km/h! That was quite a success for me because I remembered that I couldn't even sustain 8.5km/h for long last time... Must be the fresh air there at work.

Jogging 180307 (by changyang1230)
The Yarra River practice
I am becoming inspired after those runs. In fact I started to enjoy the sense of satisfaction that overwhelms me whenever I achieve a particular target. Yes the journey is always arduous, and the legs are sore afterwards, but at the end of the day it's really quite worth the effort. And I should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle if I were to advise others some time in the future, shouldn't I? :P


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mathematics in Malaysia

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote a real post. You would think that I have been so busy that I don't go online at all; but the fact is, I have been littering my two cents here and there in blogs and forums. I am writing "real" posts all the time - only not in here.

In order to make up for my negligence, I decided to copy one of my ramblings over from others' blogs. This post is about mathematics, something that makes up such a large part of me yet is so rarely mentioned in My Little Moments. As you will see, I wrote quite a big chunk in koln's blog so it's a bit wasteful not to import it here. :P In the following, I modified the text a little bit to make it more coherent and reader-friendly.

Maths and meds are two words that sound so similar yet are drastically different. They are both related to me - one is in the past, one is in the present. As you know, I am doing medicine now. But interestingly, among my current friends, not many people know about my past at all.

Most Impressive Formula in the whole of Mathematics (by sheepoo)My involvement in maths is a matter of the past. There is no point bringing it up today because it isn't quite related to what I am currently doing. Maths belongs to the museum. Besides, my maths has already deteriorated so much after years of disuse, so there's a high risk of embarrassing myself by mentioning the word maths. Today, however, I would like to write about mathematics in Malaysia from the perspective of someone who's been through the whole system. I try to present the picture of Maths education in Malaysia, and bring in some insiders' info in the context of Olympiad competitions.

Since I will mention IMO quite a lot, maybe I should start by a brief introduction. IMO, which stands for International Mathematical Olympiad, is the biggest international mathematical competition for pre-university students. It's organized every year in different countries where contingents from various countries get together and tackle 6 tricky maths questions. For the past ten years or so, Malaysia has been sending a team of 3 - 6 students (that's the max for each country) to the annual competition. Throughout the years, we have struggled with not-so-proud results - out of the possible maximum of 42 marks, our candidates are generally scoring less than 10, and some of our representatives actually scored zeroes. Those who scored zeroes were by no means struggling in maths, mind you, but their performance serves as a grave reminder of how bad our country is faring in this prestigious competition. By doing some analysis, we shall see that Malaysia's poor performance in IMO points to a few inherent weakness in its education system.

First and foremost, there is this undeniable factor of terribly watered-down syllabus of maths in our country. Since the 70s, our education board has been cancelling topics, moving "hard" topics to form 6, and reducing the exam papers to a collection of fixed "question formats". Just grab a maths textbook from your dad and compare it with your current text, and get ready to be amazed by the vast gap between the levels of difficulty. You will begin to respect your dad for going through that ordeal.

But it's not just the syllabus, it's the whole learning culture in exams, especially in maths.. Yes, ask most high-scorers how to answer questions in SPM paper, they will tell you every single step. But the problem is, many people do not understand how to answer a maths question; they just know how to answer a question. By rote learning, by remembering the steps, by familiarising with the syntax and algorithm. People get 80s, 90s and 100 in SPM maths, but the score doesn't really mean that they are good at maths, or they understand maths. They just learnt how to do the few dozens of question formats.

Therefore we get really few ingenious students out of this culture... Let's just ask a question like, "between 3pm to 4pm, when will the hour hand and minute hand coincide"... This question can be solved using SPM maths alone, but it's a "hard question" because it's not "one of the question formats". Ask this question to form 3 students... I think most of them would not be able to solve this problem, despite having learnt algebra which is more than adequate in solving it. By the way this problem was one of the Olympiad bongsu category (form 1 & 2) questions a few years ago.

In China and some other countries, if you look at their maths book from primary schools, you will notice that this kind of "critical thinking" skills are inculcated, taught and tested from a young age. The clock question I asked above could be found in Primary maths text.

Apart from that, there is another major factor of our below-par performance in IMO - inadequate training. In our country, the IMO training is run by a few dedicated professors from UKM maths faculty who organize a few training camps every year. Those who do pretty well in the malaysian olympiad are chosen to those training camps, and in the camps the most outstanding students become the country representatives.

The thing is, the training camps are scattered, and to cover the whole gamut of olympiad type skills would require a more intensive training. I am not saying that the trainers are to be blamed, in fact they did the best they could and dedicated a lot of time and effort into this. However, without intensive trainings like those that we see in national swimmers, for example waking up every morning at 4.30am to swim, you won't get a good outcome like other countries. Yea we could say that the students themselves could be initiated to self-train everyday, but it's a pretty tight situation here.

In China and some other countries, they have special schools and also special intensive trainings where the future representatives study in. It's in that kind of setting where you could get ample training to tackle the olympiad type questions.

It is very inaccurate to say that "the best brain of Malaysia students are worse than the best brain of China". It doesn't work out that way. Shien Jin, one of our very own bronze medalists in IMO said that his colleagues in MIT aren't distinctly super-duper when it comes to intelligence. Of course they are very smart people, but they are not 3 to 4 times smarter than us, as their IMO scores might imply.

So one of the master keys is the training. And that's where we should aim at improving.

[... to be continued]
[Apr 30, 2008: Continued here]


A String of Good News

It's been a special week filled with a string of exciting news.

First, Eric "the maths guy" secured a conditional scholarship from USM to pursue post-grad studies in top universities! For those not in the know, Eric is my friend since day 1 in Keat Hwa Secondary School, a model student and the record holder as a class monitor for 6 consecutive years. To quote from someone in his blog, he naturally exudes an aura of an professor, and his students are amongst the most fortunate people in the world. I was absolutely thrilled when I read his post about the scholarship. Eric is simply fabulous, and I can't congratulate him enough for his feat.

A few days later, I came across a news about four Malaysians who were admitted to MIT this year. At first the news seemed unrelated to me, but upon further reading, I was utterly surprised. Wei Jian, one of my secondary school juniors was one of the admittees! The whole Malaysian education blogosphere was hustling with the excitement over this record-number admittance, and I could say I am one of the happiest soul upon hearing the news. Why?

Because I used to dream of going to MIT last time.

Seeing someone close to me realize my dream gives me some kind of, how should I place it, satisfaction-by-proxy. Wei Jian used to be involved in IMO and maths olympiad competitions together with me, and in an occasion I used to be one of the "tutors" in preparation for the competitions. I would be lying if I said I played a part in his success, because I didn't help out much. And certainly he achieved so much more than me, with three consecutive participations in IMO and now, MIT admittance. It's not that I had any part to play with his achievements, but I do feel genuinely happy and proud of him. I begin to understand why teachers derive such great satisfaction from their job, even it's not exactly similar in my case.

I extend my heartiest congratulations to Eric and Wei Jian. Hope that they make full use of their opportunities in the land of liberty.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Great Comment Tracking Tool

Have you ever commented on someone's blog, only to forget about your comments entirely? Have you been involved in an "intellectual debate" in someone's blog, and you always wanted to be notified when your counterpart writes a reply?

I have always been troubled by the fact that I need to manually go back to a blog to follow up on comments. And when I comment on a few blogs, in the next few days you will see me visiting the same blogs over and over again. All that is very confusing, and even if you bother to follow up for a few days, you wouldn't be able to follow up forever. And if someone adds a comment three months later, you will never know.

A few months ago, I decided to look for a solution - and I got it. There are actually websites out there which help you track blog comments, and more. The most famous ones are co.mments, commentful and cocomment. After trying all three of them for some time, I decided that co.mments suits me best.

So how do you use those websites?
It's very easy. Taking co.mments as an example..

  1. First of all you need to sign up for an account.
  2. Next, get a "bookmark button" where you can keep in your bookmark list.
  3. Whenever you want to keep track of comments in a particular post, just go to that blog post and click on that bookmark button.
And how do you know when there are new comments in the posts you are tracking? You can either:
  1. Check it out at co.mments website.
  2. Or easier still, use RSS to track it! You can use the inbuilt RSS reader in Firefox / IE7 / Opera, or website RSS readers like Google Reader / Bloglines etc.

So yea, if you are a nerd like me, co.mments is your best friend. Try it out. :)


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tongue Twisters

We Chinese in Malaysia have some nasty rituals when it comes to wedding ceremony. On the wedding day, the bridegroom would always take a borrowed Mercedez (it's always Mercedez in Kedah, for some unknown reasons) to the bride's house, and be challenged by a course of obstacles in order to win the bride home.

It's quite fun apparently.

Some people who lack ingenuity like to play cliché tricks such as asking the bridegroom to say "I love you" in ten languages, or sing the most romantic love songs off their head. But it gets old, really, and every smart bridegroom today would have prepared a list of 100 different translations by the time he gets to the bride's house. It's not that fun anymore.

So people should think of new games. Like homophone tongue twisters. Pronounce all of the following at one go.

"Wouldn't the sentence 'I want to put two hyphens between the words Fish and And, and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign' have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, and after Chips?"
嗰個哥哥高過嗰個哥哥 (in Cantonese)
(That older brother is taller than that older brother)
妈妈骂马吗? 马骂妈妈吗?
(Does Mother scold horses or do horses scold Mother?)
"Sayang, sayang, sayang sayang sayang. Sayang sayang sayang?"
(Darling, I love you. Do you love me?)
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
(It's wiki page is arguably the best article in Wikipedia, and don't miss out the audio version of that text!)
Last but not least...

石室詩士施氏, 嗜獅, 誓食十獅。
十時, 適十獅適市。
是時, 適施氏適市。
氏視是十獅, 恃矢勢, 使是十獅逝世。
氏拾是十獅屍, 適石室。
石室濕, 氏使侍拭石室。
石室拭, 氏始試食是十獅。
食時, 始識是十獅, 實十石獅屍。

(also check out the audio version)
At the end of the ordeal, if that's not enough, ask the bridegroom to say everything in reverse.


Tag - About Me

It's been a long time since I wrote a serious post. While I have quite a lot of things to talk about, I will leave them to next time while I fill my blog space with this tag thing. This time it's from See Hua, the helpful guy who's studying in Germany.

Tag #1
Q1: Who is the most wanted blogger that I want to meet?
Eer, I don't really get this question. You mean the blogger I want to meet? Hah that should be day-dreamer. I have known her online for two or three years but never got to meet her in person, and the other I was in her town but she was not free to meet me. So yeah, one day gotta claim a char kuey teow treat from her. :P

Q2: Who is the group of blogger that I most wanted to meet?
St. John friends... It's been a long time since I last saw some of them (eer, three months to be exact).

Q3: Who is the "I can meet, want to meet but somehow never get to meet blogger'?
Not really anyone.

Nah I won't tag anyone.

Tag 2

Name: Yew Chang Yang
Birth Date: 30 December 1985
Current Status: In a relationship
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Black
Righty or Lefty: Righty

My Heritage : 100% Hokkien, also 100% Nan An district if you know what it is.
My Fears : hmm... being disapproved.
My Perfect Pizza : No preference. Normally I go for the classics.

My Thoughts First Waking Up : I overslept.
My Bedtime : ranging from 1am to 4am.
My Most Missed Memory: Having great fun with ol' good friends.

Pepsi or Coke: No preference
McDonald's or Burger King: McD
Single or Group Dates: Single
Adidas or Nike: Nike.
Tea or Nestea: Neslo
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate
Cappuccino or Coffee: Coffee.

Smoke: Never...
Curse: Seldom.
Take a Shower: Yes, everyday.
Have a Crush: Not now, of course.
Think You've Been In Love: Have always been.
Go To School: Yes.
Want To Get Married: In the future.
Believe In Yourself: Yup
Think You're A Health Freak: Not really, but starting to take interest in running since my recent long-distance jogging exercises. :)

Drank Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirit. But I can't take more than 2 drinks, I am allergic.
Gone To The Mall : Am I supposed to list them all or?
Been On Stage: At a lecturer's stand, yes. Dancing floor, no.
Eaten Sushi: Yepp, but not more than 3 times. I don't really enjoy Japanese food.
Dyed Your Hair: Never.

Played A Stripping Game: Nope
Changed Who You Were To Fit In: hmm... not really

To Be Married: Before 30 i think

Best Eye Colour: No preference
Best Hair Colour: No preference
Short Hair or Long Hair: Long... hehe...

A Minute Ago: Typing out this thing.
An Hour Ago: Having lunch and going to an education fair in the Student Union in Melbourne Uni.
4.5 Hours Ago: In one of the four lectures I am having today.
1 Month Ago: Who remembers? I am in Melbourne, that's all I know. :P
1 Year Ago: Getting quite stressed by the semester about heart and lungs.

I love: Living beings
I hate: Nothing.
I hide: My passwords from everyone.
I miss: My family and buddies.
I need: to finish this faster so that I could go back to studies. :P


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


PICT7249 (by changyang1230)

It's a Y. I recognize it as an immunoglobulin.

Immunology looks interesting. But it is not that interesting when I am two weeks behind the lectures and the lecturers babble about all the TNF-α, IL-4, IL-5, IL-12, TNF-β, CTLA etc etc like nobody's business.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Stupid Test says I'm 1% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!

This test is inaccurate, I know I am stupider than that. :D


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Distortion and Urban Legends

I once wrote a blog post about a forwarded letter which tells the tale of a smart student standing up against a stupid atheist professor who was "arguing against" God's existence. It was an excruciatingly long piece, and since it was just a mindless rambling, I have since put the whole behind my mind.

My memory was conjured when I was surfing today - I came across the very same post in Snopes (one of my favourite websites). In the Snope page, there was a lengthy analysis of the origin and content of the email. And guess what, the forwarded email turned out to be a variation of the original, and in the original version the student was supposed to be Albert Einstein. Needless to say it's one of the many parables which try to appeal to authority in order to validate their points; and as with many other stories, the tale was entirely fictional.

Anyway, if you are interested, the Snopes page (here) is a good review about this and some other similar stories. Besides, in general Snope is a great website for fact verification whenever you receive an email with horrific / stupid claims like "drinking cold water causes cancer". 9 times out of 10, you will find the answer there.


The Irony of Immunology

The irony struck home when I was staying up in the midnight to read this line in an article called "adaptive immune system":

The immune system is enhanced by sleep and rest, and is impaired by stress.
I should sleep. Good night.


Monday, March 05, 2007

New World Record - SPM 19A1 scorer!

Yes, it's been revealed - this year there is a 19A1 scorer by a Malay girl from Johor! Read more about it here: Utusan Malaysia article.


This has become a hot discussion topic in ReCom (the student forum I frequent). I did offer my two cents as well:

She might be really smart, and I congratulate her sincerely for the brilliant result. Presumably she must have put a lot of effort in the preparation process, and regardless of any suspected ulterior motives or conspiracy theories, the result she's reaping is definitely a personal achievement that should be lauded.

The point we should raise from this news, is not whether she's really that smart or good at studies (two of them are not equivalent), because you can only tell if you know her in real life. She might be vain, or is simply ambitious, but that's not known to us so any accusation here would be judgmental, and potentially sour grapes. In this case, no conjecture would do her any justice.

Instead of discussing her ambition or motives, what we should reflect on are the issues raised by the insane amount of A1s in general:

  • the disproportionate attention our society is giving to the number of A1s
  • the loss of differentiating power in SPM results
  • the exacerbation of mark-driven education
  • the unhealthy rat race of SPM quantities instead of qualities
  • the continuation of scholarship-related clamor (which is related to the loss of differentiating power)

Some people might also be suspicious about the racial factor of the top scorer in the past few years, but that will only remain as a subject of hypothesis. And that would be inconvenient for me to discuss as well.

By the way, ReCom has had many discussions about the amount of SPM subjects in the past. Read through those discussions if you are interested:
Proposal to limit the maximum of 12 subjects for SPM
Lots of A1, does it show anything?
I want more A1 in SPM! The Motivation
High achievers in studies turning into national celebrities?


My First "Transaction" in eBay

eBay is one of the websites where you can find the real online hustles and bustles. Some people sell stuff there to earn some quick bucks, and some people find cheap stuff there. Some got ripped off, some got great bargains.

Just a few days ago I got my first eBay experience - I wanted to buy a slide rule.

nestler1 (by changyang1230)I have always liked maths, and a few months ago I came across a post in "Good Math, Bad Math" which talked about slide rules. I was tremendously captivated by its magic. Immediately after reading the post, I wanted to buy a slide rule as part of the "nerd's collection".

What is a slide rule? What's so special about a rule which can... slide? It's hard to describe a slide rule in a single paragraph, but put shortly, it's a mathematical instrument which can help you calculate all those things by sliding its parts:

  • 35.2 * 795000
  • Sin (54.3 degree)
  • 790 / pi
  • 1.2200
  • 5810000 / 390
  • 73^4
  • 1.015^100
  • log (528)

Yes, without a calculator! Basically it works by "logarithm" which I think everyone is familiar about, but the translation of logarithm to such a ingenious instrument is enthralling, to say the least, and that's what kept me so enthusiastic about it. If you are interested in how slide rule works, you can follow the link I gave above - it shows you how it works, and you can even play with a virtual slide rule online! :)

I guessed I have gone off-track here.. Anyway, ya, I went to eBay and looked up for a slide rule. There was this slide rule which looked quite attractive to me, and I decided to bid for it. It's my first time on eBay, you see, so I kind of read the help and "how-to" to guide myself along the way.

When I first bid for it, the price tag was at 1.54 dollars, so I thought, "wah so cheap". Mana tau when I started placing my bid, the price went up to 3 dollars, 4 dollars, 5 dollars. And I only managed to outbid others at 5.50 dollars. "Alright, that's about the price I am willing to pay for," I thought to myself.

So four days later it was the last day open for bidding. And it was a sad, sad day... I don't want to bother anyone with the details anymore, but if you are interested just have a look at the bidding history of that particular item here. Pay attention to the time for the highest prices... :( Those people are crazy.

In short, I lost my first bidding in eBay, and I am going for second round very soon. I would welcome veterans advice from any of you. I am going to win a slide rule, no matter what. :)


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Finger-licking Pageturners

Studying... (by fanz)Ahh, finger-licking pageturners.

I am not sure whether I am the only person who finds it disgusting, but most people are highly tolerant of people who lick their finger(s) before leafing through a stack of paper or their books.

Some will lick, then turn three pages, then lick again.

Some will lick, then realize that it's not wet enough, then lick again, and turn one page.

Some lick the tip of the fingers; some lick almost the whole length of their fingers.

And to think that I actually saw some of my tutors did that, in a semester about microbiology. It's such a universal habit that nobody seems to have a qualm about, and that grosses me out. Think about it. Your finger is clean (hopefully), then you lick it and turn a few pages of newspaper, and it's now a swarm of germs and commercial inks, then you lick it again, rinse, and repeat.

And then I come along and read the same newspaper.

Am I the only person who is disgusted at such a habit? Tell me please. Are you a finger-licking-good pageturner yourself, and are there many people around you who do it?

p/s: Read this, and this about finger-licking. It's fun to read others' stories about this habit.