Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All things must pass

His performance with Elton John, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Mark King (of Level 42) here.

Requiēscat in pāce.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Multi-touch into Space

Those who are short on time — or are inDUHviduals with no sense of history — may choose to scroll down and view the last video:

A presentation by Jeff Han during TED 2006.

A more comprehensive demo.

Perceptive Pixel, Inc. was founded by Jeff Han in 2006 as a spinoff of the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences to develop and ... market the most advanced multi-touch system in the world.

Pranav Mistry presents an overview of his SixthSense device at TED 2009. More here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nic was right


There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action. (Bertrand Russell)

"Sir, we're surrounded by the enemy."
"Great! Then we can attack in every direction!"

Beware the leaders you choose to follow.

Bilingual policy was most difficult: MM

Jeremy Au Yong
Nov 6, 2009

INTELLIGENCE does not necessarily translate into a flair for languages.

That was the lesson Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said he learnt in implementing the bilingual policy in schools.

'Initially, I believed that intelligence was equated to language ability. Later, I found that they are two different attributes - IQ and a facility for languages. My daughter, a neurologist, confirmed this,' he said in an interview carried in Petir, the People's Action Party magazine.

Asked to pick policies he would have implemented differently, he cited the teaching of bilingualism, especially in English and Mandarin, as the most difficult policy.

'I did not know how difficult it was for a child from an English-speaking home to learn Mandarin,' he said.

'If you are speaking English at home and you are taught Mandarin in Primary 1 by Chinese teachers who teach Mandarin as it was taught in the former Chinese schools, by the direct method, using only Mandarin, you will soon lose interest because you do not understand what the teacher is saying.

'You spend time on extra tuition, and still make little progress. Many were turned off Mandarin for life.'

In the end, the Government recognised that students with the same ability in other subjects may not be able to cope being in the same second language class. It took 30 years for the issue to be resolved.

'Eventually, we settled the problem in 2004 by teaching the mother tongue in the module system. Had we done this earlier, we would have had less wastage of students' time and effort, and less heartache for parents,' he said candidly.



Nice to know that I was one of the guinea pigs in yet another great social experiment that failed. (Read other guinea pigs' thoughts here and here.)

Where's my compensation for all the sweat, blood, tears, and years I wasted?

What do the Chinese Culture Chauvinists (CCC) have to say now?

If Chinese culture is that great, then why are you in Singapore — and why are you complaining so much about the PRCs joining you here? What is it about their cultural ways and manners (or lack thereof) that irks you so?

Across the Causeway, why are Chinese wives so adamant against having PRCs as domestic maids? What's that about "little dragon ladies" and husband-stealing again? Where's your "Asian values" schtick now?

The admission of wrong — 30 years late — is cold comfort, but it's nice to know that my personal vendetta against the CCC asshats who tormented me is justified.

Expect me, you bastards.

Related posts
So this is why I never got along with Chinese [Mandarin] teachers
Why I am not Chinese
Cultural immersion
"No" to being a hangar queen
China admits taking executed prisoner's organs
The Duckling
A culture with the longest history, and one not too far from the world's oldest profession
China's Shocking Dog and Cat Fur Trade (video)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Burj Dubai Lake Fountain

Recorded by Gerald, using a Canon 5D MkII, with a 17mm TS-E ƒ4L.

(Yes, I am breaking outside the usual 480 width limit as it does not do justice to the recording.)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lusus naturae

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.
(Elwyn Brooks White)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Qui bene cantat, bis orat

One of my favorite songs. 'Live' version with Warren Ellis on the violin (in place of the church organ) here.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Belated Halloween, or, the importance of comprehending English

Yesterday evening was nice: I went to the reservoir to watch the sunset.
Three other guys were also there, fishing.
They too, watched the waters turn gold as the sun went down.
Then, one of them went, "We better go. It's getting dark."
They asked each other if they had a light. Then, they asked me.
"Light? I don't need a light," I replied.
So, they stayed on. We stayed on.
Then I walked out. They followed.
I walked briskly through the forest in the darkness.
Soon, they lost me, and I returned home.
I said I didn't need a light.
I didn't say anything about them needing a light.