moments in entropy

The Moment Of Truth

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Most of us know or have seen the reality TV show The Moment of Truth. It is a gameshow whereby contestants are required to answer a series of personal and embarrassing questions. If the contestant answers a question truthfully, he/she wins the corresponding amount of money and progresses to the next question, which gradually increases in difficulty (degree of personal nature). The contestant wins the jackpot of $500,000 upon answering all questions truthfully. Whether or not the answer is the truth is determined by a lie detector.

Prior to the actual show, the victim contestant is asked a set of about 50 questions while hooked up to a lie detector. The test is recorded, and is used as the reference to see if the contestant is being honest later during the show. At the show, the contestant is asked 21 of the same set of questions, without knowing the result of the polygraph test done earlier.

I think this is misleading. Lie detectors (or polygraphs) are not 100% reliable. It works on the concept that our bodies exhibit certain physiological responses when we lie. These physiological responses include blood pressure, pulse, respiration, breathing rhythms, body temperature and skin conductivity. These bodily changes are measured by the polygraph while being asked a series of questions.

The bodily changes can actually be controlled by the subject. If for example you are a hardcore professional liar, or just an uber passive person with a poker face as your normal face, maybe the polygraph test is no biggie for you. Controlling breathing, having a solid rest and being confident, plus a very good ability to do some damage control after answering the questions should be enough to win the jackpot. Heck you could probably conspire with your friends, relatives, partner, etc. before you join the show. The show is, anyway, all about the money.

But still, lying is bad. Your parents should have told you that already.
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Things I didn't post

Monday, October 19, 2009
Today is my offday, and so is tomorrow. The noisy construction outside is so annoying so I'll let Teddy do the noise minus the annoying parts. I'll be meeting the Maybelyne later for some important appointment so I'll make this a quick one.

I've been absent from the blogosphere for quite some time now, and I have a few reasons for it:

The 'new post' page doesn't load properly on my Macbook; I don't know if the problem is with my browsers (Safari 4 and Firefox 3.5) or my Mac. I'm now using Chrome on my Windows desktop and nothing seems to be wrong - except that everything else is a lot more sluggish. I have had this problem before and after some time it somehow fixed itself. But not this time.

I'm now back on scene at my old workplace in DG Lifestyle at VivoCity. I'm still picking up on new policies in the shop, but all is good. I usually work with Vivian or Miffy, our two gals from Downtown China. When I'm lucky I also get to work with my dear. There will be a new shop opening at Northpoint by the end of this year, and it's a sure enough bet that I will be transferring over. It's a lot nearer my place: I'll be able to save a lot on transportation expenses. I already saw the new place, and it doesn't seem to be any bad at all. There are a lot of places for makan - complete with McDonald's, Starbucks, KFC, a Japanese food market, and some local food shops - much like VivoCity. The bus interchange and the train station are just opposite the mall. And it feels like we wouldn't face much competition, if there will be any at all that is. That means we will be THE Apple store in the North. The only thing to get out of the way is the 'getting used to' part. VivoCity is a cool place where a lot of nice people go to everyday. But, like ORD, the only direction is forward.

Among other things, I am hoping to get us a new lappie. My Macbook, though surviving, got turned into a desktop. It's battery is bloated that my crystal case wouldn't fit anymore. It grew about half a centimeter thicker - scarier than someone who abused steroids. I only use the battery whenever I need to move the Macbook from our room to the living room. Any longer duration than that and I get paranoid that the battery will go Boomz! while in the Macbook.

Aside from the battery issue, the cosmetics on my Macbook is horrible. The click button on the trackpad is sometimes unresponsive, and some of the material are chipping away. The signs of ageing are way too obvious but then, it has already served its life purpose.

I have my eyes set on the 13" Macbook Pro. I think it's perfect for what we need - portable performance good for gaming, graphics-heavy applications like movie editing and Photoshop-ing, running Windows, etc. - all in a stunning and durable aluminum casing. After I get it, it will take over my white Macbook and my Windows desktop. Then maybe Maybelyne will get a netbook for herself to use in meetings and stuff. You know, business. Hopefully budget permits all of these.

Funny. I could hear Gu Jun Pyo's ringtone again. Oh wait my phone's ringing! Gotta get get going!
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If I had long hair...

Monday, September 21, 2009

...this is what I would have looked like.

Dear says I'm pretty; Maybelyne says I'm scary; Vivian and Miffy say I'm handsome.

What do you think? I kinda like it - reminds me of Yoon Ji-Hoo from BOF. But the hair's fake.

By the way, credits to Vivian for the hair ;)

Do check out this video too when they were trying "fix" my "hair".

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My life as a Sim

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Hi. My name is GD, and I'm a sleazy Sim. I live in Downtown SimCity, if you know where that is. Apart from being a sleaze, I also have a good sense of humor. I'm friendly, active and I'd love to think I'm a genius as well. I love to have a good conversation too.
I am currently romantically involved in three other Sims. One of them is my spouse, and the other two are, well, backups, in case she cannot do any more WooHoos. And speaking of WooHoo, I'm not your average 60-second guy, but I have had eight WooHoos in one day. That's right, eight. Top that Austin Powers!
I work as a line chef at the Corsican Bistro. I earn 200 Simoleons a day - not bad if you ask me. My boss is Marcell, who is such a swell guy. One time he helped me take off my chef's hat when it was too tight and I was choking, although unfortunately I got too excited to get some fresh air afterwards and tripped and sunk my face in hot soup where I drowned. But that was a few days ago. Luckily I saved the game before that.

Although I work as a chef, I'm not a very good cook. I am better off fishing or gardening. Whenever I'm not working, I'm usually at the Lake fishing. It's a nice hobby and past time, and a good source of money too. For instance, I can sell a tuna at the Quickmart for 100 bucks. But tunas are rare enough at the Lake. I mostly catch salmons or catfish but still, a catch is better than no catch at all.
Usually, when I go fishing, there are other Sims at the Lake too. I got to know a lot of people at the Lake. Some of them became my best friends, and one of them became my nemesis. I got a few dates here too, although I get more sleeping at other Sims' houses.

This is my wife, Kia. She works in the local Laboratory as a biologist. That's right - she's always sleeping. Her work is quite stressful. I used to work in the Laboratory too, right until I took a drink from an unmarked test tube and died.
It's a bit frustrating when your spouse is always sleeping. No WooHoo. It sucks. I try to do other things to divert my frustration, like:
 watching TV,
...reading books,,
...or being myself and getting dates.
It depends mostly on my mood what I want to do throughout the day. But whatever it is, hygiene is very important. I keep myself squeaky clean by having a shower at least twice a day,
...and by visiting the toilet regularly. This is to prevent wetting myself, which is absolutely very embarrassing, not to mention messy.

And at the end of the day, Kia and I hit the sack early for next day's work - right after our WooHoo of course ;)
And it's all in a day's length of our Sim life.
Get yours now at the iTunes App Store.
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I am a PORNSman

Thursday, September 10, 2009
I am to officially ORD tomorrow, but I already finished my last shift at Woodlands Checkpoint, and heck I already got back my IC and COS. Just a few days ago, for two years, I was a PNSF - Police National Service Fulltime. Now my COS is telling me that I am now a PORNSman, short for Police Operationally Ready National Serviceman (it's actually Police ORNSman but it's a mouthful to say).

It's a bit saddening to think that I'll be saying 'goodbye for now and see you around' to the good people I met during those two years: something like highschool sort of sadness. And now that I'm at it, I think the mood is just nice to reminisce what is to reminisce and remember the good ol' days of WCP Team C, and other stuff before that.

My first few days in Tracom was probably the worst days I had in my two years, mostly because of some level of culture shock, and some muscle and mental shock. I've never had anything "physical" in years, hence, you know. But I eventually enjoyed the rest of my BPT. I mean who wouldn't - free decent food three times a day (with occasional night snacks), fitness training with a free access gym (which I never got to use), free law classes (mostly interesting, but a bit dry at times), real shooting (with a revolver, but admittedly it doesn't compare to a M16), unarmed combat (painful), and fun people. I was sleeping most of the time, but I know when one of my bunkmates is singing Rihanna's Umbrella in his sleep.

After BPT I was posted out as a Checkpoint Officer at Woodlands Checkpoint, where I was attached to Team C. Among the four teams, I think ours was the most balanced, and one of the more efficient. Our team is equally good at work and at play, and we know just when to do which. I am really grateful that I was posted to this team, and not to any other.

Our team is like a bag of assorted nuts (think Growers). It's made up a lot of different nuts, each adding a different and distinct character to the whole. Then there's everybody's favorite, and the one no one seems to like as much as the rest. Our team is also like united nations. We have ah beng, bangla, pinay (?!), melayu, china, and the average Singaporean. We also have Jay Zhou and Romeo (a few of us) (!). Then there's the vocalist, the dancer, a few artists, and a few riders. And who could ever forget our uncle?

Another interesting part of working in the checkpoint is we get to work closely with Aetos APOs, and with other agencies like ICA, LTA, etc. Aetos officers are interesting: they may all wear the same uniform, but each of them has his/her own story to tell. I know one guy who had been in the force even before there was National Service in Singapore, and when the police wore shorts. He has the photo as proof. Then there is this babe my age who used to be a wakeboarding instructor. Working with these people from all walks of life is, to say the least, quite enriching. Not to mention fun.

I would like to again thank all the people of WJOC, most especially to SPF Team C, for making my one and a half years so meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable. I had the privilege to be under the supervision of a very capable but down-to-earth team leader, and his right-and-left-hand regular officers, who assist him in managing the team. Likewise, for my fellow NSmen, for always being supportive. And for all the APOs I have worked with, thank you as well.

And for that pretty ICA girl who lost her security pass which someone handed over to me, sorry I didn't get your number because I had to go to the toilet because my zipper failed.
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We are currently experiencing technical difficulties...

Monday, August 24, 2009
Recently I'm having problems with Blogger, thus I am not able to post much. I can't post photos the way I do, and I can't format text without using HTML (WTF!). All I see on my 'Create Post' screen is this.

You see, it's totally bare. I'm not sure who else is getting this same problem as I am but I know one friend who does.

This doesn't mean I can't blog though: it only means I need to give extra effort to manually code formats, links, and embed photos and other media manually. Still being a novice steering clear of HTML codes, this is tedious work for me. On top of the fact that I have been busy with stuff lately.

This update is just to inform readers that this blog isn't dead nor is it on coma; it's just a bit sick that's all. I'll try and find some time and topics to post, and a workaround regarding this problem. Any help or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

BTW. Maybelyne and I watched The Proposal. It's a must, must see! There's no reason not to see it. It's not one of those chic flicks (e.g. He's Not That Into You) and I like it better than Sex and The City. There was a Nuffnang contest regarding this movie but I won't be available on the screening date, so there wasn't much point for me to join. Anyway, do check out the ads to find out more, and quickly find a date to see it with!

P.S. If you're a nice gal staying in SIngapore and you can't find someone to watch it with, call me for an appointment. *wink
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Legend of fine print on hot beverage cups

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
These days it's so difficult to work in the service industry. The general public becomes more and more demanding, and they are always snooping around trying to find faults. And with email being increasingly available to everyone, especially with the increasing popularity of the smartphones and push email, shooting a complain is just right at their fingertips, literally. Though this is good for our end making it more convenient to report the wrong to the relevant authorities, some people abuse the system and use it for their own selfish advantage.

My girlfriend and I were talking about this over a porridge breakfast from KFC. She mentioned how, in some country, McDonald's was sued by a drive-thru customer. The story goes like this: Woman told the drive-thru counter she wanted hot tea; she gets hot tea, pays, then drives off. Later on while driving, she spilled her hot tea and burned herself. She then shot an email of complaint to McDonald's saying they did not indicate on the cup "Caution: Hot!" (or something like that). She asks for compensation from McDonald's which the latter denied, until she filed a magistrate's complaint and asked for thousands of dollars of compensation.

If I were the magistrate, I would have slapped her back to reality and tell her not to drink and drive. The lady didn't get thousands of dollars of compensation and only got back her clinic fees, but McDonald's did spend a lot of money and effort fighting the case.

Ever since, all the fastfood brands indicated outside the cups of hot beverages that the drink is hot.

Dumb desperate people get money through crime. Smart people get money through lawsuits.
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Solar eclipse survival

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Just for the benefit of those who do not know, the longest solar eclipse in the 21st century happens today, 22 July 2009. It will be visible in most parts of Southeast Asia, and will last, at its maximum, 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds. It starts at 23:58:18 UTC (21 July), which means here in Singapore it will be at around 0758hrs, if I'm not mistaken and if it is even visible here.

Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth so that the sun is partially or fully covered. You may ask how can the moon appear to be as big as the sun (hence covering it during an eclipse) when the sun is hundreds of times bigger than the moon? It's fairly simple: the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther from Earth.

A solar eclipse shadow generally has two parts: the umbra and the penumbra. The umbra is the darkest part of the shadow, whereby the sun is completely blocked. A penumbra on the other hand is a region where only part of the moon is blocking the sun.

The umbra will be visible in some cities in India and Mainland China. And the rest is Wikipedia.

Naturally, during solar eclipses, it's dark. It's not nighttime dark, but it's relatively darker than a normal day. They don't last very long though, as you can tell with the duration of the longest solar eclipse. Nevertheless, time is gold and if 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds was worth a hefty amount of dough, then the darkness would be quite costly. Examples:
  • If you are growing greens for a living and you need to water them tomatoes, or you just want to shoo those pesky Ah Nehs serenading their Indonesian girlfriends in the lawn, you will need a special hose when the lights go out.
Flashlight Nozzle. It's a garden hose attachment that features universal-fit pistol-grip with rain spray and an integrated LED flashlight that runs on 2 AA's. By Restoration Hardware.
  • You're out in East Coast Park for a run because you need to train for your upcoming NAPFA.
Pioneer - immaculate white shoes with headlights. Not only does it illuminate up to 1.5 metres ahead of you, it also charges the headlights by converting the kinetic energy from your steps (or strides) into electricity. By Yanko Design.
  • You went for a casual stroll down those narrow alleys in JB, then you were attacked by robbers.
Blind your assailants, then tear them to shreds with the K2 Porcupine Light. Its 70-lumen bulb is is bright enough to blind them muggers, while the retractable spikes slice them when they cannot see. By PentagonLight.
  • You were shooting the latest episode of your How-to-make-omelets video podcast.
The MII Flashcam is a tactical 85,000-candle-power LED flashlight with a built-in audio and video recorder and a 1.5-inch LCD screen. By Northland Security Products [product page].
  • Or you were just playing Scrabble.
The HUGlight sure knows how to keep those hands free in the dark. Or how about a hug in normal lighting? By

Let there be light this solar eclipse - and live!
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The Rules of Walking

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Walking is something everyone learns during the first years of our life. It seems like after our 2nd or 3rd birthday we are the masters of this human ability, thus we walk carefree. Besides, who else can walk upright other than humans? Chimpanzees? Puh-lease.

But why oh why, even after years and decades and millenias of practice, we still walk into trouble while walking? (pun intended) Did our ancestors forget to teach us something? What are we missing?

There are certain rules to walk by when walking (pun, again). These are the unspoken rules of walking. I'm not totally sure who came up with this, but I read about it here by coincidence. Here are the rules of walking, with teeny bits of my logic and reasoning:

Rule #1. When in groups, do not walk side by side.
In a shopping mall, walking side by side with your friends, especially if you have a big group of people, forms a wall. This blocks other people's way, and thus you will be bumped. Walking in line makes you look like a bunch of dopes though.

Rule #2. Give enough space for people to pass through.
If you are walking with your boyfriend/girlfriend, there is no practical reason for you to hold hands unless you have children that you don't want to run off, or if one of you are feeling unwell. If you really need to hold hands while walking, be sure to hold him/her close enough, or (for guys) wrap your arm around her shoulder or waist, so no one who is paying attention to his/her walking will try and pass through between the two of you. Otherwise, just leave a passable space, or else you will be bumped.

Rule #3. Your eyes should look in front.
Common sense: same logic as in driving. When walking, pay attention to where you are heading. Don't look left, right, up or down. Concentrate on your walking. Otherwise, you will be bumped.

Rule #4. Do not talk to your friends.
Actually, you can talk to them, but more importantly, pay attention to your walking. You can walk and talk - it's not anymore a chore to multitask these days. Walking and talking are the two things humans are most proficient in, so doing both at the same time shouldn't be a problem. SMSing or using the phone is a different story. Pay attention, or you will be bumped.

Rule #5. Do not daydream.
Concentrate. Doing anything without paying attention to what you are doing is never healthy. Daydreaming while walking is no exception to that. If you just got dumped, or too happy for winning the lottery, or just pissed that you almost did, still, walk safe. It is more important to reach home safely to cry 5 or 6 tears of joy/agony, than reach home in 5 or 6 pieces. Either way, do not daydream, unless you want to be bumped.

Rule #6. Do not stop suddenly and stop there pondering where to go.
Again, multitask. Thinking is another human ability that sets us apart from the beasts. Thinking while walking is easy, but prioritize walking and being wary of your surroundings. If you really need to stop to think very hard and your brain resources cannot handle thinking and walking at the same time, go the side. Or else you will be bumped.

Rule #7. Do not stop in the middle of the path.
Think about a car suddenly jamming the breaks and stopping in the middle of the road: an instant road hazard for unwary drivers. If you need to search your bag or make a call or send an SMS, go the side. Think, talk, and walk. Stop and get bumped.

And do not forget to follow the golden rule: Keep left.

Follow these rules and walk a happy life. Otherwise, you will get bumped.
Or you will get this:

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