Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Hello 2016!

First of all, bonne année! Almost a week into this new year, I am slowly wrapping last year's things and re-organizing this year's. I have updated a bit on my AJIT (A Journal of Impossible Things) just as what I did last year and the year before last. That is where I list down things I would want to do for this 2016 while keeping a progress record. At the end of the year, I will use that as a review and compare the resolutions.

This year's plan was basically almost similar to last year's. I mean, well, I didn't really change any great directions, so the things are roughly the same. There are a few interesting things I would like to do, but not priorities. These will be updated once I spot space for them. And of course, I leaved some space for unexpected surprises too.

For my resolutions, I do have a few words on them. I did not increase my reading goal compared to last year even though I exceeded my goal. One book a month is a reasonable goal for me, and this time, I asked for one more thing from myself - to read and enjoy the process. I realized there were times when I was rushing to finish a book, or glanced through one carelessly because I thought they were uninteresting. I should put in more effort on that. For Science, I want to widen and deepen the scale, to really live with it. There are still times I was not delicate or inquisitive enough, which should be corrected. Organization skill is also another thing I would like to take note. Others, all come into almost the same thing. This year, I want to fully utilize my time and energy for useful things. I want to push myself, to achieve better and more. Not that I am not happy with my life now. I want to go beyond that. Being happy is fundamental and that is my benchmark, it is time to go extra miles.

So to sum it up, this year is the year I know I will be actively reaching out for wisdom. I used to joke about this, that while getting older, we will get wiser. While many among us are worried about an extra lines on their faces (I don't see why we should be too worried about that because eventually physical aging will come to us. Plus, some lines make your face look more natural and happier.), I would like to dedicate my time to improve myself, to attain wisdom.

Thank you.

Friday, January 01, 2016

My 2015

I  made comments of my 2015 based on my resolution set early previous year in previous post. In this one, I will summarize further on matters.

2015 had been a great year in the sense that I was lucky enough to visit a few countries, Suichang in China earlier this year and Phuket, Thailand during the summer, twice. I am not a travel person, as in, I enjoy travelling but it was not my life priority and I preferred travel with agendas better. Well, my view might change in the future, but for now, it is a surprise for me to even go anywhere far. I even went to Johor Bahru once to meet up with friends. It was nothing big, but pleasant.

I did a dive trip, which was enjoyable. I made new friends during the dive trip and gotten my advanced open water diving licence. I know I will need more experience in order to be better so I will try to make more time for that.

I managed to get another certificate for my Karate. I have to admit I did not put in too much effort, which was a shame. 

I went for exhibitions this year, making full use of the availability of the museum and heritage board, which was cool! Learned new things and get a little bit wiser, I even get to look inside the Sultan Mosque in Singapore.

In terms of Science, there were ups and downs, and I think that was what life was all about. I grew a lot this year and failed a lot. I am still growing and there is a long journey ahead.

Is there anything I wished I could have done more? Oh yes. I tried to use more of recycling bag and did actually do well early 2015. But I started to not do that in later half of the year, so I really need to do this again in 2016. Another. This probably sound like an excuse, but the 2015 haze affected my exercise schedule. I really need to do something about that too!

It was a really really summarized version and I had a great year!

Thank you.

2015: A Review


Vision: Live to the fullest, so that when the time comes, I can say I did it right.
Mission: Be a wise person and a good scientist
1. Be a good person. To be able to contribute and add value to the world.
May not have done much in big scale, but I think I am improving. Still more to learn.

2. Live long and prosper. I would like to stress more on my own health, my family's relationship and also be useful.
I think I didn't really do a lot on this. 

3. SCIENCE. This is sort of top of the list. I mean, this is like my life, so how can it not be up there, right? But as the speech given during the Rosetta mission 'The thing about success was, it looks easy.' And a lot of us tend to forget the cost of succeeding in something, to make things work. It comes with loads of hard work, loads of team work, loads of thinking, loads of wisdom and many more elements that perhaps I haven't been wise enough to understand. And I'm putting that as my life goal, to truly master this art - not just for Science, because it applies to the other parts of our lives.
I am glad I did grow in terms of this field. I learned to do projects and plan things. I learned new things every day. However, the more I learn, I find myself not knowing more. So, there's a whole world out there to improve on. I applied for graduate school and will be waiting for results. Will see where this go...

4. Write. Anything, this time. I can accept myself trying different types of writing. It's more of a muscle memory, training kind of thing - to make it a habit.
I guess I wrote more in Science than fiction, so I need to buff this up a bit.

5. Strengthen my languages. ALL of them.
Erm... not much...

6. Draw. Again, this is like not really a goal - because I've been doing it for fun - so... yea...
Surprisingly, I did well in this one. I have been drawing a few here and there and posted them on instagram and deviantart. Not that they are good, but I improved a lot with practices. Yay!

7. There's this one specific thing I would like to work on. I would like to at least try remembering people's name.
I am pleased to say I can remember names of those in the office. Though, I remember their functions better.

What else have I done in 2015?

Science blog post: 2
Personal blog post: 32

Considering I actually abandoned my science blog, in some way, 2 post is an overstatement. Personal blog, well, I have lots of back logs to do, so that's bad!

Books read: 36
A Random Walk in Science by Robert L. Weber
The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Simon Baron-Cohen
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
The Time Machine and The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag
The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug by Thomas Hager
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
The Universe: Leading Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries, and Future of the Cosmos by John Brockman
A Mathematician's Apology by G. H. Hardy
Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
Apology by Plato
Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers
The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist by Richard P. Feynman
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
《大学》 by 曾子
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Martian by Andy Weir
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling
The Amoeba in the Room: Lives of the Microbes by Nicholas P. Money
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
The Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Laws: Another Copernican Revolution by Noel Curran
Writing for Film: The Basics of Screenwriting by Darsie Bowden
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons
The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell by Luca Turin
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
Building the H Bomb: A Personal History by Kenneth W. Ford

My 2015 reading goal was initially 12 books and I made it to 36, which is wow! Though I have a few things to say about that which I will include in my 2016 resolution.

Into the Woods, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Big Hero 6, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Pride, Fast and Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max, House M. D., San Andreas, Jersey Boys, Jurassic World, Minions, Divergent, Ant Man, X+Y (A Brilliant Young Mind), Mr Holmes, Rocks That Bleed, The Hour (Season 1 and 2), Dead Poets Society, Mr. Turner, Inside Out, The Martian, Blue Sushi, Bridge of Spies, Taxi Tehran, The Good Dinosaur, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Watched way too much movie. I need to filter them properly and make sure I actually do productive watching.

Videos made: 5

Another surprise on creative input of 2015. Never thought I would even post a video but I did! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Wow, it took me a month to start writing about my birthday!

To kick off with what I've got up my sleeve for my birthday this year, I did a little short cover on David Bowie's "Space Oddity" with a little thank you message before that for people who had played a part in my life.

My birthday at the start of this month was a Sunday, but basically it started the day before. Sharlene made a sudden invitation for lunch on a Saturday. Since I was going to the lab, I suggested NUH and it turned out KJ could join us too! We decided to have some Penang food at Penang Street outlet, which was enough to curb the desire for home town delicacies. We chat and joked and it turned out they planned to treat me for my birthday the day after. It was very nice of them and I thanked them. Through the conversation, we got to know about our common friend, G, who was admitted into the hospital but the visiting hour had passed. So we had to give it a miss.

On the day of my birthday, I woke up early in the morning to watch Doctor Who, it was the Zygon Invasion episode. Then, I prepared myself and went over to Maxwell Food Centre as planned with ZL and Stephanie. We got to eat some local food like pancakes and dumplings. We did not manage to try all the food there obviously, because we only have three stomachs in total. Stephanie showed me the banana cake she made as I requested that as a birthday special.

After the lunch, we walked a little around the area and went to Department of Caffeine for some café stuff. I got a latté and we shared a banana waffle (which reminded me of the amount of banana we had on the same day). We chat a bit and also decided to visit our friend in the hospital after that.

Before the hospital visiting hour, we still have an hour or two to spend, so I pop back into the lab for some quick stuff, like checking the cells and some simple experiments. It was fruitful, nonetheless. I was very pleased with the result. And later that day, we spent an hour visiting our friend, and get to know how he was settling in with his post-operation recovery phase. All is well but his mother was rather worried, which was normal. He got a very cute kidney plushie, which was cool! Dinner after that was in Kopitiam and we ended the day to rest for Monday.

ZL also gave me a pack of presents, which was very very nice of her. These stuff could easily be practical in my life. The tumbler, needless to say; the book, good for my 2016 to-do planner (I have been making good use of MUJI notebook for 2015 so I shall continue the habit); the brownie, my snack for the next few days; the shortcakes, literally my breakfast for the next week.

On Monday, I had a lovely treat by two of my lab members, somehow by surprise. I thought it was a joke, but it turned out they really treat me to good food in Marché. Not just that, they finally introduced me the infamous Tutu Kueh from Singapore. I haven't had one during my seven-year-stay here, so it was a shame. It was a small stall with a lady moulding flour with flavours in these funny-looking device. The whole steam-feel was making it so classic.

A photo posted by Mafer Seow (@freshwiz_mafer) on

The final product? Little round piece of white flour that melts in your mouth. I find myself liking the coconut-flavoured ones.

And hence, this is my birthday in a short summary. It was cozy and lovely, and I thought it was great! In addition to that, I also posted a sketch painting for my brother's birthday... which was just the day after mine..

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blue Sushi by Bertie Gilbert

Finally, I managed to space out some time in the morning for this piece of clip. I enjoyed Bertie Gilbert's other short film and thought when this one is out I should have a look at it. As I mentioned before, his style had matured and I am rather pleased with the things he made. Blue Sushi touched a bit on coming out as a transgender, but in my opinion, it was not totally about LGBT, it is the display of the fact that each and every one of us are the same. People or even ourselves, no matter which type of person you are, tend to think we already understand ourselves in terms of our choices, when in fact, most of the time we might not have the best and perfect answer. And the fact that it is not wrong and bad, it is called 'growing up', by exploring yourselves, your own choices and find yourself, and not according to what people think and say about you. This show, is about each of us, coming out in good terms with ourselves and be happy. I like it! (Well, of course, the above is my interpretation, feel free to add on.)

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