Friday, May 20

Rise Lord Vader!


The circle is complete! And more importantly, I've watched the movie! Touch meeeeee...arrgggggggghh...touch me!!! Saw it yesterday midnight. (at the last moment, we managed to get tickets, pity those guys who booked the ticked and came to find out its gone! thanx to the ticket girl...hehehehe)

I wont do a review, not now, everyone should watch the movie and decide for themselves, this is a cultural event. What I can say is expect some kickass SFX, some decent script (sci-fi movies dont rely on strong dialogues, its the concept and story that matters), great Jedi saber fights, some very sad, tearful moments and last but not least, the rise of Darth Vader! Hats of to the guys at Industril Light and Magic (ILM).

Somehow, I think the sensors had some snip fun cutting away important scenes! I was freaking damn angry at this, shouted in the cinema (but ppl very engrossed in the final scenes, no one realized expect maybe my friends who were visibly schocked...:p). I was waiting for that one scene all along, I think many have seen it in the trailers. Its the moment when Darth Vader will complete the transmorph into the evil side and Darth Sidious would say " Lord Vader...Rise!" and that magical scene where Vader will rise...its not in the movie! Please do tell me if anyone anywhere else have seen it, or did it not make the final cut.(?)

Have fun guy, true fans would love this movie.

-Gp 2005-

P/s: By the way, hehehe, this summer was not started by Star Wars after all, but by one film by this one guy.

Thursday, May 19

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

The Milky Way Over the French AlpsCredit & Copyright: Marc Sylvestre (Universia)


…so passes away the glory of the world. Defining reality to me to us and to everyone. Something is not right as always, something changes for the better or worst, most of the time beyond our control. What glory had the world? What glory did we loose then?

Why do we refer to the past as the glory years? The century of invention. Before that the century of renaissance. No coincidence that the best scientists died long ago. Stephen Hawking could be the only living legend, a superstar scientist only of his challenged existence and not because of the science he preaches. Einstein, until today, dead or alive, do command the same title and glory. About 0.0001% of the world understands astrophysics. 0.00001% percent has the qualification and experience to teach quantum mechanics. 0.000001% of humans identify with the theory of relativity. And this entire field gathers into one faculty that signifies the forces that govern the universe. Physics. Dynamics.

*****
He: Do you love me?
She: Love? You mean now?
He: Well yes. It’s about time.
She: But it’s been only 2 years.
He: Two years is not enough? I understand you, I feel you.
She: Feel? As in touch?
He: Why must you break everything into observations, shallow judgments?
She: {laughs}
He: Empirical evidence against future heartbreak?
She: What!
He: So that you can elaborate to the moderator when you sign the divorce letters.
She: Stop it! I haven’t even answered your question. And now were already married?
He: So, do you love me? It’s a request by the way, not a question.
She: It depends then. We have to analyze this relationship further.
He: Arrrghh! She’s a scientist now!


*****
So we had about 2 hours of power outage. And all this poured out of my head. Maybe it’s because the 50 Hz electric buzz doesn’t exist now. For a while at least. So I lie there, beside the balcony, looking at the sky. Not that its warm, the nights cold, but I don’t want to sleep in the room. Somehow this few hours, without power, has brought some spark of genius into me. So back to the balcony, the thin comforter over a very cold marble floor. And I watched that solitary star. And a real live firefly. All this while I wrote poems and stories of firefly not realizing its been ages since I’ve seen one. And it flew away, into the dead night and the star slowly drifts past. As the hour passed by, it moves about a parsec or something. So the earth does revolve then. Were alive! I wonder what star it is. A solitary star, it could be Sirius or Alpha Centuri. Maybe it’s the Barnards star.

*****
He: And the silence means?
She: If, IF I say yes, what’s in it for me?
He: About a billion bucks, a mansion in Spain and all the food you can eat.
She: That’s all? You are a boring guy. Maybe you know too much.
He: Ok so I’m a mad genius. But I desperately need love.
She: To prove something then? To someone?
He: Maybe. Hey look at the sky, aint it beautiful?
She: Don’t change the topic!
He: Ok, I’ve been lonely for too long. Being alone is not good for the heart.
She: Are you dying? You have a terminal disease and you want to die peacefully?
He: Honestly, please stop reading those sappy novels. Do science fiction sometime.
She: Science fiction is dark. They paint an ugly future.

******
So what does astrophysics says about stars? That our solar system is something unique. Stars often exist in pairs. The sun is an exception. Not many lone stars out there. Sol must have drifted away from some other system then. And looking at the sky, when will we ever travel to another star? In about 100 years. The worlds too political to come up with the resources to build a viable mission that would take 10 to 20 years to reach the closest star. And then I realize why I love science fiction. I’ve been to the stars. Many times before. Ive met other intelligence. Ive seen worlds, star ships, space battles. I feel rich, happy to know that I know things that others don’t know. Why does this genre attract so little readers but then sci-fi movies makes tones of money? Money Talk reported that the Star Wars franchise is worth about 20 billion dollars. More money that the GDP of a dozen nations. Does this story signify glory then?

******
He: Somehow I think this night won’t last long.
She: In case you don’t realize, its 3 am now. We have about 3 hours till sunrise.
He: It would be romantic then. Should we wait?
She: Romantic if youre with a lover. Not a friend.
He: Since when does a friend become so underrated?
She: Since you mentioned the word ‘love’ and ‘me’ and ‘do’ and ‘you’.
He: And why is it bitter then? Do you love me?
She: Why? Why now? Do you want me to love you?
He: Why? There is no answer to the question of why.


*****
Amazing how one single word: Why, doesn’t have a real answer. Its just loops waiting for that illusive end. So not the Pi, not some hyped mathematical solution will reveal the answer to the universe. The answer of existence lies in why. Once we know the answer to why, then we know God. But why create such an unbreakable mystery to solve? Maybe not to let us stay idle. And it will go on forever then. Maybe the answer is in us. Psychoanalysis. A Freudian nightmare let loose on unsuspecting souls who opted for the rebirth rather than the nether world, or heaven. Somehow, people detested Freud and his theories. Of incest, of animal instincts in humans, of repressed emotions, the great Oedipus complex. And surprisingly, he’s having the last laugh now; the earth stinks of vile sexual relationship, of rapes, of sex. Where is God then now?

*****
She: Ok, yes, yes I do.
He: You do what?
She: Duh!
He: You love me then?
She: Yes, the nights too beautiful to let go. I want this to be a memory not to forget.
He: I’m happy. But somehow, deep inside me, I sense hate. Depression.
She: You don’t love me then now?
He: It’s a circle. I asked, you said yes, and I said no?!
She: It’s not that easy.
He: What is? What is not easy then?
She: Love. It’s just a social contract. You can never let go of your own world.
He: You mean sacrifice? Sacrifice for love?
She: Yes. And more. There can’t be two people together forever. A third will interfere.
He: What if we die then? We will be together. Peace.
She: A solution or a choice?

*****
Death is indeed a choice. Liberation from the corrupt world. A quick solution from pain and hurt. Some love is not easy to let go. Some relationships are too strong to break. Bonds of friendship, of siblings or parents. Who do we love then? God? Why do some religion teach us to fear God when God itself is created to diffuse fear and suffering from people. A creation that many die for protecting. Honestly, would man die fighting for some supernatural existence that doesn’t interfere to stop calamity and destruction to the very earth it created? Or does man die fighting for his own creation? Of the concept of God that has all the powers to magically elevate suffering to a select group of humans. What ugly creation causes waves of death if not of men? God is a state of mind. The future will have no God.

****
He: It’s not a solution. But it is a choice. This means we don’t have to talk about it.
She: I feel happy now. I feel your touch.
He: But I haven’t touched you.
She: You don’t comprehend love, and you want it?
He: Like I said, I need it. Maybe it will take a while.
She: Hope that while will be soon.
He: Definitely. Do you believe in fate? Of destiny?
She: It depends on who created fate. God maybe?
He: I refuse the idea of God but I believe in fate and destiny.
She: If you believe in fate then you have to believe in God.
He: I don’t believe in God more than as an artifact of the cultural evolution of humans.
She: Hey! Youre getting too industrial, too hypothetical.
He: It’s true then; if you understand the mechanics then it’s true. It must be.
She: So love is the higher intelligence? The force that binds the universe?
He: That’s original. I’ll have to look into it.
She: ET loves ET? It’s hard to imagine where all those tentacles go when they hug.
He: Stop reading commercial sci-fi novels. Read some Baxter or Asimov.
She: So ET doesn’t feel love? The force of the universe?
He: I think love is another human artifact. A newer artifact, unlike the ancient relic of religion.
She: That makes it extra special then. Something so beautiful but limited.
He: Love?
She: Yes, love.
He: Maybe.

*****
Ultimately were just like any other animals on earth. Were fighting for the survival of the species. Maybe we’ve gone beyond it but then we had the intelligence and the intuition of survival. Still the same earth doesn’t know politics. It doesn’t do racism or economics. When time comes to retune the system, it has its own ways. Will we survive beyond this century? The glory of humans should be written in the stars. In a century or two unless we sail in space, then the Carter catastrophe will come true. Mutual annihilation. Where and when will it start? An economic logic portrays how China eats up the world resources and in little time becomes the biggest polluters. A collective hive mind drives the people who remain under the oppression of communism into efficient workers who continue to collect and provide for the queen bee of the republic. A small provocation by the other superpower will eventually result in nuclear war that involves China, Russia and America leaving the rest of the world at peril. Attempts by France, Britain and India to launch its crude, fragile nuclear arsenal leads to many localized obliteration. Its hard to understand India who had the upper hand in nuclear technology in the early 60’s would fall under the pressure of corrupt politics that eventually leads to China developing its arsenal first and claiming the lucrative veto seat in the UN. So maybe, the key is with China and worst, the rest of the world are powerless against it. A move to stem its power will only lead to total destruction or maybe a mass exodus of its population that seeks better life elsewhere. Both are bad. I think in 20 years, we will come to grasp the true economics and dynamics of the world forces. May we live to write future history?

****
She: It’s too cold here.
He: The world? Yes it is.
She: Not the world! I mean here, where we’re sitting.
He: The world is cold too. It has a superior significance.
She: Ok! I dropped enough hints. I need warmth here. A hug maybe?
He: Oh! Ok. Come here…
She: You can’t describe hug in words?
He: I tried, it’s hard, it’s personal, and so I don’t know how to share this with the readers.
She: I love you.
He: I never stopped.

* Another experiment with forms. I love to write. I want to write. I hate this gamble I’m living now, its slow, its taxing, and its heading nowhere. How to write and make a living? How to do a coup like the Da Vinci Code? After all it’s written by an expert arts researcher. Thus continues the never ending fight between the arts and science. While science comes out with intelligent unique accounts of the universe, arts commercialize the very existence of humans. Da Vinci Code is another page turner, a thrill ride with substance but little maturity in writing. Something similar to Harry Potter. But both works made hundreds of millions of people read. They made children tune out from television and turn pages. Something science and science fiction as a genre fails to do simply because it’s too intelligent and too advanced for the people.
* This writing title ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ follows the life style of humans dwelling in anxiety, and alienation of man in a century that moves too fast. An unpopular premise explored by Franz Kafka the legendary German language writer. I find my life similar to that of Kafka. His stories resemble his personal life and his maturity into the crude world of late 19th and early 20th century. I loved the genius authoring of ‘The Metamorphosis’ that describes a man who woke up from sleep as a giant insect and how his family and social group reacted to the change until he eventually dies from neglect and despair.
* I hope this would be the last post for this week, and I sincerely hope I get a lot of comments. I can’t relatively figure on why some Bloggers get a million hits per day while I get a dozen or so who doesn’t leave comments! Somehow I figure the Desi Bloggers communities are very selective in spending their time. And I find it amusing every time I write, say or hear the word Desi (which means Indians I guess) because the very first exposure of the word for me came from some pornography websites. Ill use Indian Bloggers from now on. All said, have a great weekend folks!

- Gp 2005-

Wednesday, May 18

SilverScreen Summer

And I thought I can rest from blogging for a week or so. But then the summer is exploding into your life, Star Wars is opening, so ive decided to come up with a must watch movie list for this summer (and an intro into next summer).

[Done] Star Wars: E3 Revenge of the Sith . The must watch movie of the year, decade or forever simply because this will be the last ever made (atleast by Lucas).

Batman Begins . Now this one movie is not to be missed either. Expect Gotham city to be darker than ever back to the glory years Burton and Co. And with a cast to die for.

War of the Worlds. Not only the worlds at war, but the masters of movie making are at war too, at the box office that is. But they do have some sense, StarWars and WOTW are releasing a month apart (unline some tamil movies....sigh..). Tom Cruise wont be the classic SF fugitive as in Minority Report here, he'll be just another 'im going to save the world American hero'.

And the others I wont want to miss, but may not be liked by many;

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (remake of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory). Tim Burton and Jhonny Depp...need to say more?

The Island a SF Action Thriller by Michael Bay, starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlet Jhonson, Michael Clarke Duncan.

Serenity. By the makers of Firefly (the cancelled SF Tv Series)

A scanner Darkly. SF, Animated. StarringKeanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Rory Cochran (Do watch the amazing trailler!)

Unleashed. Jet Li and Morgan Freeman (movie shot in Glasgow, nice camerawork, screenplay, fight coreo...)

And something for next year...

The Da-Vinci Code Tom Hanks, Jean Reno (what a cast!) Movie by Ron Howard and the whole crew of A Beautiful Mind.

*Alot more movies are due this summer and Xmas....get all the trailers at; APPLE MOVIE TRAILERS.

Tuesday, May 17

Weekend Review+Monday+Tuesday

Tremors

Felt another tremor last saturday. An earthquake in Sumatra measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. This is the 2nd time in 2 months I felt the tremors at my apartment. I think I live directly in line with the quake wave. But luckily we did not evacuate, I dont think anybody realized it since it happened in the afternoon and everyone was busy with their work and all. But the previous one (8.7) 2 months ago was around midnight and everyone ran down of the building. Somehow after the DEC 26 Quake, I feel like I'm living in Japan, where they feel tremors everyday. Another point is that I never felt the DEC 26 quake tremor. Could be because it happened deep underground and the later two happened near to the shore/ land.

Get your Earthquake Info here and here .

*By the way Tremors is a tv series based on the cult classic Tremors Movie about a giant worm.

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Ultra Laziness Virus Reported

Ok, I was supposed to finish about 40 pages of report (chapter 3 and 4 of my thesis) by monday, which did not happen. Everytime I sit infront of the PC I feel week. I just cant move the fingers. Nothing comes out of the brain. Its either I'm facing information overload (referring to too many publications) or Im just damn lazy.

And then, was supposed to build 3 websites. One for CosmicCode (partly done by the host;Todd) another for Ghost Particle (my own) and another for Swastikas Digital (the AV company I freelance at, this would also be the first ever matrimonial website in Malaysia, hopefully). All this did not happen either.

Something is seriously wrong with me, and I think I need some kind of revelation, a voice from the sky maybe? Muruga! I have exactly 5 weeks to submit my thesis and have about 50% left to be finished.
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Monday Surprise

My buddy and mentor Fred mailed me yesterday to inform that the Ghost Particle Music Project composed its first song (December Fireflies) and will be played on two radio stations in Pittsburgh, USA, and in southern Portugal. Thanks to Jeff (the singer) and Davis (the drummer) (of Mispel Bellyful) and Fred (of Daymoon) for the composition. And thank you to myelf for the great lyrics (hehehehe). The original poem is here. This is the song:

December fireflies (the song)

Sometimes, somewhere,
I think there will be fireflies flying,
-there will be fireflies flying
Shining their enigmatic light,
Illuminating the field,
and your grave.

{ music }

Sometimes, now, here,
I wonder weather fireflies are real,
Weather they shine in joy or pain,
Weather they resemble our feelings,
Or maybe they are the dead souls of you
and in time, me.

{ chorus }
{ music }

Sometimes, far then,
A long time ago beside the river,
The clear water reflected a dream,
One vision that could come true someday,
Then, was the time we were young,
and full of dreams.

{ chorus }
{ music }

chorus:
December Fireflies,
There's one less star in the sky,
another painful memory,
i remember you and me,
together on this cold december night


* Happy I am feeling. The mini album will have about 4 songs. Ill post a post when all the songs are done. December Fireflies will be available as a single soon (a small PayPal donation are welcome for those who wants to download to support the Ghost Particle Project and recording)

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Tuesday and Decisions
I had this feeling that I have to go home, maybe this weekend or next week. Thing around here are not going too well, need to 'rebuild' myself, go home and have some good rest and come back in a week or two. I hate the city, the pollution, the noise, the people (yes!) and the climate.
What I can find 20 minutes from my hometown (my home) (and I would never find in the city):

Field Of Dreams

Paddy Fields

Glory Days

Tanjung Dawai Beach

Get all my photos in my webshot gallery.

*I might not blog for a week or so, depending on wether I go home or not. Technology is driving me sick, but hopefully I can cure this before its too late!

*Have a great week guys and girls.

Friday, May 13

Miyazaki San

Watching all these movies on TV reminds me of some great moviemakers. Not-suprisingly, not all great movie makers are from America. Even directors like George Lucas refer to Asian movie makers for their inspirations. Probably the greatest ever would be Akira Kurosawa. But more about him next time. Now Ill update on another great movie maker from Japan. His name his Hayao Miyazaki and hes an animator.


Probably everyone heard of Japanese Animes. Animes are Japanese style animation which have their own distinct features in characters such as big eyes, and liquid movement that you can rarely see in other animations from other countries. While striving to stay original, anime do command a great fan base. Anime movie often beat real-life movies in box office collections in Japan. And not to miss, animes have million of loyal followers in USA and Europe.

Animes focuses into many real world thematic elements found in Japanese culture and some of the greatest animes such as 'The Grave of Fireflies' by Miyazaki pictured the suffering of the World War in graphic details. Probably the most famous work of Miyazaki would be 'Spirited Away' which won the Oscar for best animation 2 years back. My personal favorite would be 'The Grave of Fireflies' and 'Spirited Away'.

Miyazaki was also recently featured in the TIME 100 most influential person of the year list.


Some other entries on Miyazaki here and and a cool Spirited Away site.

-Gp 2005-

*IM trying to add short entries as a teaser towards the topics that I would cover indepth once my site is ready. And anime is one of the greatest passion of my life.

Thursday, May 12

Amazing Race 7!

If there ever is a God, he was watching over these couple all the time. If anyone watched the Amazing Race 7 finale yesterday, they would have felt the same. Its just unbelievable. They came from the last spot, had no money, they begged for money to pay the cab and they won it. Pure hard work, dont give up attitude. I just love this race.

There was so much at stakes. I think everyone rooted for them. Maybe the issue of color doesnt bring prominence anymore in tv in America atleast, but the rest of the world, for the people who are discriminated around the world, even a race like this brings inspiration, tears.

Uchenna and Joyce Agu, both of you made alot of people happy yesterday and to the future. Congratulations.



Winners of the Amazing RaceIn this photo released by CBS, Uchenna and Joyce Agu, married teammates from Houston, celebrate with series host Phil Keoghan, left, after winning CBS' The Amazing Race after arriving first at the finish line at the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 18, 2004. The two-hour series finale was shown on Tuesday, May 10.(AP/ CBS, Tony Esparza)


Some of the reports:
The MSNBC report.
The Houston Chronicle report: 'Karma leads Houstonians to Race win'

- Gp 2005-

Wednesday, May 11

Food Infinitum

Sometimes I feel like there's so many issues to talk, to tell, to show, but then I end up doing nothing. So, I was watching the telly yesterday, which incidently is the 1 week anniversary of us hooking up the satellite TV in the apartment. Until now, I'm more worried of how to pay the bills rather than enjoy the 35 or more channels. And like Maran posted, 'so many channels, nothing to watch'.

And so, 7 days of totally mindless shows, nothing exciting, not even on Discovery, or National Geographics. The only good news is probably when Liverpool advanced to the finals of the CL on ESPN but then again, it was on TV3 (a terrestrial tv station) as well.

And then yesterday, at approximately 10pm (local time) I tuned into the Travel & Living channel and I discovered this show!. It was hosted by super chef, and my favorite Anthony Bourdain. The 1 hour program's detailed the eccentric chef named Ferran Adria, who according to popular words, is 'the most controversial and imitated chef in the world'. Hes the master chef, and owner of the El-Bulli restaurant. The restaurant itself is considered to be the best in the world. And, listen to this, each day, only about 50+ customers are allowed, and EACH will have their own chefs!. And a meal full course will last about 5 hours!. If anyone watched the show, they would understand why. The Time Magazine article describes it as 'not really a conventional meal but a series of 25 to 30 small courses, some no more than a bite-size morsel or slurp.'



Ferran Adria is a food scientist. But Tony Bourdain, at the start of the show, said food should be art and not science. Food science means introducing artificiality into food and its production. Food art is using natural ingredients and cooking it. It soon changed when he went into Ferran's LAB . His kitchen, his lab, his experiments. Its really amazing. He and his collaborators, including his brother has came up with a complete database, including Hieroglyphs! (middle picture), for food chemicals and food products. Tasting his creations, he even demonstrates how the same cooked food tastes different to different person. And this mystery man even made it to the covers of the TIME magazine with his famous carrot foam (3rd picture above). And he has hundreds of more innovations. He even hired an industrial designer to design his servings. he dabbles with tastes, temperatures!, and even acoustic. His ice cream disappears in the mouth. Literally!. Tony was amazed!. Is he a genius? He might be. He doesn't use artificial substitutes. He mixes, and experiments. He is definitely the chef from future.

Here are more reviews and interviews of Ferran by Adrian Searle from Guardian Unlimited, Ferrans much sought after cook book elBulli1998-2002 .

And why all this? Because I love food, and this guy, he treats food like its gold. And it took me on a philosophical ride. Why does half of the world face famine, eat only one meal a day, while the other half eats all they want? Why Asian foods have variety but no character? More questions, more thought, I will have a food column once my website is done. Till then, enjoy the links, read. Because there is a 100% chance of us, anyone who reads this, will never eat something cooked by Ferran. Its Exclusive. And this must be the first time anyone read about Ferran on a blog in this side of the world!.

-Gp 2005-

* I hate math, but I came up of some crazy calculations. Just say, they show yesterday was watched by 30 million people around the world, and its repeated 3 times in a month with 3 million unique audiences every time. So there would be 39 million people who now knows who Ferran Adria is. And probably another 30 millions knows him either from his books, his restaurant, his cooking tours. So that makes 69 million. But then only 10 person would know him when they read my blog, and another maybe 1 million would have read his reviews online and went to his website. So the point, television still rules. Internet has a long way to go. And now does it justify the satellite at my apartment? I still don't know. (by the way, I like the number 3, hence...)

Monday, May 9

Solar System Rising


Solar System Rising Over Fire Island
Credit & Copyright: Larry Landolfi (Landolfi Photography)

Explanation: If you wait long enough, the entire Solar System will rise before you. To see such a sight, however, you will need to look in the direction of the ecliptic. All of the planets and their moons orbit the Sun in nearly the same plane, the ecliptic plane. From the Earth, this means that each day they will all rise in nearly the same direction - and later set in the opposite direction. Ten years ago, a series of time exposures caught, left to right, the Sun, Venus, the Moon, and Jupiter, all rising in the ecliptic plane behind Fire Island, New York, USA. Exposures were taken every six minutes and digitally superposed on an image taken from the same location at sunrise. Smaller members of our Solar System, including most comets and many asteroids, do not always move along the ecliptic plane. The picturesque Fire Island Lighthouse, visible in the foreground, was built in 1826 and is still in use today.

* For all the photography geeks out there, enjoy! Can you guys recreate this?
* Copyright of the image reserved and belongs to Larry Landolfi
* Image taken from NASA Astronomy Picture Of The Day Archive

Friday, May 6

The Noodle History

Noodle History Part I

I bumped into a friend of mine yesterday. Well not bumped, he stopped his car next to my bike at the traffic light. Fast forward 10 minutes, were sipping some tea, talking about life. All went good, when the question came. He took 30 minutes to actually asking me what I’m doing now. Ok so he’s different from the other guys whose first question would be "hey, so where are you working now?'. Ill leave out the next depressing hour.

So...what am I doing in life now? I’m a research student, a research scientist. I have a degree in physics so I’m a 'qualified' physicist. And now I’m finishing my MSc. Somehow, doing physics or being a scientist isn’t cool anymore. People just don’t care, because it simply doesn’t pay. So 'the' buddy, he drives a 2.0 v6 sedan, I ride a 14 year old 100cc Honda. 'The' buddy's getting married in a year, I talk to females once or twice a week. In 3 years nearly all my ex-school mates will be married. He lives in his own 4 bedroom apartment, I’m renting. And my parents pay my rent. And it gets worst...


Cup Noodle

How bad is it being a research student? See the picture on top. That’s my meal 5 days a week. The other days I average between bread and rice. My hair is thinning of all the MSG in the noodles. I’m 2five and my monthly income is negative 100 USD (none, but I have to pay 50 USD in rent, and 50 more for food and fuel. I still owe the university my semester fees and the thesis examiner fees, not to mention my study loan. And when I finally get my MSc, it would probably take me months or years to get a job. This is the general life view of a research student anywhere.

So is it all worth it? What the difference of being a scientist and a 9 to 5 office hotshot? Well, for starters, about USD 6,000 per year (the average per annum pay for fresh graduates in Malaysia). I make about USD 150 every 3 months or so (Im a freelance translator-English to Malay and vice-versa). My life stinks. I have more friends online than in real life. I stay away from public places as much as I can. And in 10 years,Ill probably have a PHd and be a scientist, eating the same noodles, staying awake when everyone’s asleep, manning some telescope on a mountain or in a jungle somewhere hoping to get my name on some new star, exo-planet or even a galaxy if I’m lucky. So now, is it still worth it. For me its 100% yes. I love what I’m doing. I hate not making money, but that’s life on the road less traveled.

So buddy, if you read this (I gave him my Blog url, I'm turning into a freakin geek, when I meet people I talk internet and computers). This is me. I would have said it yesterday, but I’m more comfortable online. This is my life. I hate you. Ok that’s a joke. But in a few years, Ill really hate you. But be nice to me. When I win the Noble prize in a few decades I hope well have this talk again. Ill be more prepared.

(Disclaimer: no offence to any noodle maker, any student or any scientist. No animals or noodle maker were harmed (eaten) during the writeup. No offence to readers whoselife sucks more than mine. Everyone dies the same.)
- 05/05/05- 11.00pm

-::- ____________________ -::-

Noodle History Part II

Ok, this is getting bad. Its like I dont belong doing science. Met my lecturer this morning. So I guess I wont get paid for my research after all. The rules it seems, says that I cant claim any backdues either. Ive been on my own for the past 2 years. Hoping to get the money, to atleast settle some debt with the faculty, but the powers that be decided its a NO! The last resort...reapply...for the 3rd time! Learned some tricks this time, so hopefully Ill get a part-time research position. Its a tough life. I hope anyone who wants to do research in locals universities in Malaysia will think hard before accepting it. Or atleast have secured a grant before commencing the research project and/or have a lecturer who has a healthy grant.

And then, we had some talks of how things are bad for everyone and all... And my supervisor gave me some Dr.Phil talk. He came out with quotes a few times. "Do ask what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country...JFK', 'The grass is not greener on the other site either', 'Why must we reinvent the wheel everytime we do something...". Man I really pity him. If hes in US or Europe, he would have been a proffesor by now. But this country, dont know where to put its priorities. We are already a 2nd hand country today. Tommorow, well be dead without some homegrown research!

TiungSat-1

And lastly, we went to meet the Space Science Institute director. Got some clarification on the grant, got the permission to apply again, talked about the future of Space Science in Malaysia. And its the same thing year after year. While the world is fast way ahead of us! India just launched another 2 satelites yesterday. We have one dead Mircosatelite-TiungSat-1 (pic above) circling the LEO for the past 5 years. Plus 2 comm sats (of MEASAT-ASTRO, our satelite pay tv). We dont have a reliable space programme. The government managed to buy a seat from Russia for an astronaut in 2007. But its humiliating, when you have to buy a seat rather than qualifying an astronaut to space. So what happens to all those real scientist and aspiring students who want to go to space? Just ask the government. Theyll buy you a place anytime...

-06/05/05 - 4 pm

-::- ____________________ -::-

Noodle History Part III

Century Man Finds Love

Once the century man hoped,
of a beautiful future love,
with passion he set forth,
his boundaries the sky blue

century man knows no fear,
he came to find love here,
time fuses amongst centuries,
his great hope remains true

near this ancient shore he sat,
watching from afar, lights shine
as the sun sets brilliantly,
he feels her touch ghostly alive

mesmerizing footsteps crept near,
like leaves in the jungle of space,
sensuously embracing the dust of stars,
she finally appeared, his love

this century man waited long,
until this day for his eminence,
as love came it brought the end,
of all immortals forgetting time.

-Gp 2005- 2/5/05

* Century man is a theme portraying all the people waiting for someone or something. The century itself holds the keys to many aspects of our lives. Birth, death, evolution, love and time govern the daily cycle of life. Love in this sense is the bond of all the aspects into building the universe. In the verses, the love refers to what the century man waited, hoped for. She who brought the love brought the answer. She is the secrets of existence.
* The existence is a state of mind. As we question then explore and answer, we gradually change the universe. When finally we managed to answer the question of why, we fulfill the destiny, complete the circle. Then as the century man finds out, there is no reason to exist, so we finally cease to exist. Then its true that we dont need money or power, we dont need immortality. When it ends, nothing matters, material or spiritual. We die the same.* Some late night philosophical pondering came of this conclusion; ‘God created Man, Man then created God’. A paradox. There is no end to this circle then. Just wait for either God or Man to be real.

-::- _________________ -::-

* this is my longest post yet. Sometimes I have so much to tell, to write, I start talking crap. But well, if its important to share, then its worth sharing. Have fun guys.

Wednesday, May 4

The Train Journey



This journey
forever winding through hills
sometimes crossing mountains
the mighty engine gracefully pulling
coaches of man, children and woman

This train
loves this journey
unknown to the dreaming passengers
and particularly wide eyed children
looking out to the deep valleys

This morning,
as the sun rises faraway
above a mountain covered in mist
like a streetlight on a day of rain and fog
I awoke to the soft sunbeam
and the song of morning birds

This moment,
i try hard to describe
to picture this instance in time
of a beautiful image in a distance
momentarily forgetting the fogged window
i see lights among the trees
of fireflies and rubber tappers
in silent unison with nature

This train,
brought memories of days
both happy and cold from a decade
of old people and young happy people
they’re on the same journey
on a rusty old path just like me
maybe happy maybe sad

This life,
of joyful people
of tears and raindrops on the window
a morning shower in the gray jungle
i wish everyone is awake
sharing this stunning moment
of rain, sun and a bottomless valley

This journey,
will end in a day almost
but my eyes and my mind still lost
among the dissolving green leaves
vaguely i remember my mission
my future as the journey ends
will start in a land of new
but this is a perfect sending
a perfect journey
of an overnight train...

-Gp 2005- 3/5/05

* My dream of a train journey in a deep jungle. Maybe in South America, where the trains still travel through jungles and mountains.

* As the journey that took me to the city half a decade ago, hopefully this new journey will open new doors for me, maybe in a new city, maybe in a new country.

* Train Journeys

* And this is one train journey I want to take before I die; The Trans Siberian rail journey. More sites and pics here and here and a Wikipedia entry here.

RED ARMY

Yes, the Reds have won the Champions League Semi's and are now in the finals in Istanbul. Alot have been reviewed, said and debated about Chelsea and Liverpool and who should be in the finals. But when the final whistle went at Anfield, there is only one clear winner. The Truth.

Two teams went onto the field yesterday. One to win the cup, the other for the glory. One played for the money, the other played for the supporters. Liverpool might be the Other's but we have something that Chelsea never had, we had glory, we had history and we had determination. Chelsea will have to go a long way to achieve the stature of the likes of Liverpool, MU and Arsenal. And during that game they learned their most obvious lesson, money doesnt buy soccer. A 300 million dollar team against a band of RED soldiers who had nothing to loose. Maybe the night is summed up for Chelsea when a fan lifted a banner saying "You cant buy this Chelski". Maybe the Russian will know what glory means to real soccer players and supporters.

The RED will march on to Istanbul and win the CL. Time will tell. We will prevail. You'll never walk alone.

[ The definition of Glory:
glo·ry (glôr'ē, glōr'ē) n., pl. -ries.
Great honor, praise, or distinction accorded by common consent; renown.
Something conferring honor or renown.
A highly praiseworthy asset: Your wit is your crowning glory.
Adoration, praise, and thanksgiving offered in worship.
Majestic beauty and splendor; resplendence: The sun set in a blaze of glory.
The splendor and bliss of heaven; perfect happiness.
A height of achievement, enjoyment, or prosperity: ancient Rome in its greatest glory.
A halo, nimbus, or aureole. Also called gloriole.intr.v., -ried, -ry·ing, -ries.
To rejoice triumphantly; exult: a sports team that gloried in its hard-won victory.]

-Gp 2005- 4/5/05

Tuesday, May 3

ATLAS Underground.

The LHC is one of the biggest physics experiment ever. Located at CERN, the picture below is of the ATLAS detector being build about 100m below ground. Its really Huge!

ATLAS
The ATLAS Detector

Commemorating the Year of the Physics, the Quantum Diaries were launched to chronicle the lives of physicists throughout the year. This picture is from the blog of Gordon Watts who wrote on the construction of the detector and LHC.

Monday, May 2

GhostParticle.com

The Ghost has a home now!

Finally, I managed to get the domain. Thanx to Mark.

GHOSTPARTICLE is now an official internet tradename for both personal and bussiness use. watch this space for more updates and plans.

Thanx again Mark.

-Gp-

Sunday, May 1

MAY DAY

Indian rubber tapper

Wishing all the workers, labourers on this earth a great WORKERS DAY. May we not forget the people who shaped and build this world.

* A Special rememberance towards all the Malaysian Indian rubber tappers, coolies, general workers who since the colonial rule have sacrificed their lives to watch this country prosper and today left neglected in memory.
Mayday in History Forgotten

down the annals of history,
written with blood and sweat,
exist a chapter in memory,
that was forgotten,
and made to forget,
the man and woman indians,
taken from the birth land forcefully,
today lay dead and trashed,
in the trenches of eternity,
fighting to stand up,
one day we will come back,
we will take our place in history,
to glorify a sacred future,
my indian blood will never die.
- Gp 2005 - 1st May 2005
* so much we have lost along the year, nothing brings tears and sadness than the state of the Malaysian Indians in this country. May one day we prosper and forget the caged past that we fought with blood and our lives.