Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Morning Walk

So, what will you do when you realise that none of your classes start at nine in the morning?

I think I lucked out this term for my timetable. I don’t have any of the early morning lectures at all. Well, except for lab on Wednesday but that’s once every two week so that’s okay. There are also only two lectures maximum per day except for Friday when we have three. Seriously, if you look at my timetable you’ll think I’m slacking off.

Most people, normal people that is, will see this as a perfect opportunity to not get up early. However, since I’ll get hungry if I don’t get breakfast, and I’m quite cranky when I’m hungry, I suppose I’ll still wake up at appropriate times. One good thing of not having early lectures is that you can still go to the gym early morning, not having to rush through breakfast and have a nice walk to class. Being in a rush is something I don’t like, so I’m always grateful for these morning walks.

On the way to the dining hall

a closer look...

Passed King's along the way

Probably one of the most featured on Cambridge postcards

Still along King's

The New Museum Site

Destination reached

Ahaha, sorry about that, just thought it's a fun thing to do. Anyway, can't take too many pictures, lest I look like a tourist. Eeeek, the horror!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Credit card

Ooooh, I felt so adult-ish!

Ha ha, okay for those of you who know me very well, you can stop giggling now. Or rather, giggle all you want. Don’t care. I’m feeling a spout of maturity and I’m gonna bask in it while it lasts.

I went to the bank the other day to upgrade my card. The reason was because at that moment I have a solo debit card. Hence, I can’t use it that freely in the cyber world, such as buying things from National Rail or Dell. The people at the bank told me, however, that I can’t upgrade unless I change my account to a student account, which I’m applicable for since I’ve been in this country for three years already.

Okay, so I went back to see my tutor, asked for a verification letter, went back to the bank and got my account upgraded. We looked at the options available, and I managed to get a maestro debit card. Yoohoo! Then the bank worker mentioned that I’m applicable for a credit card. Huwow! Credit card! Seriously?!

First of all, I actually don’t know nothing about using a credit card (did I just use a double negative? God, I’m an embarrassment to the scientific community). But then again, it’s there, so why not? So, after answering a few questions with yeah’s and uh-huh’s, I got my card. Well, I got approved, and the card will arrive later.

So there you go, I’m not even working yet and I’ve got my own credit card. Feels unbelievable. Of course, to tell the truth, I’m likely to not use it since I’m still vague about how the whole credit thing operates and I’ve seen far too many ‘Kisah Benar’s (True Stories; it’s a TV show) on TV to know that it can ruin your life if not controlled properly. Oooo, that gives me the chills.

Heh heh, so here I am, feeling all grown up. Welcome to the adult world of money management. Okay, not really. Plus, when all these happy-giddy excitements are over I’ll probably treat it as I normally do. It’s probably a good thing I was given so little pocket money in school in those old days, it teaches you self-constraint a little. Ha ha.

Know what a friend said when I told him about the card? “Great, let’s party!”

*takes a deep breath*… self constraint… self constraint….


Thursday, January 25, 2007


Alright, so… following from the bizarre meteorological phenomena post the other day, I would just like to announce…

… it snowed!!

Ha ha ha, I looked through my window in the morning and there were these white stuffs falling down. It was beautiful. Regrettably, the snow didn’t pile up to more than a few centimetres so we couldn’t make a snowman or anything like that but it was still really nice.

That same morning, rumour has it that some worker had accidentally cut off the power supply to the New Museum site where my department is. Don’t know whether this is true or not, but all lectures for the day are cancelled because of the blackout. Of course, they will be replaced at a later time but why worry bout it? Free day!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Of Cold and Warmth

Ooookay, so I was naïve! It was a fine morning, well… a bit cloudy but other than that it was all okay. I would only be gone for half an hour anyway to breakfast. It’s not even that far. Unaware of the impending doom, I put on my jacket, left my umbrella on the table, and walked out to the dining hall. Halfway there, there was a tap-tap-tap sound and it felt like grains of something falling down on you.

It sleeted.

Yeah, after three years here you thought I’d have known better. Mentally cursing myself for the apparent stupidity, I ran towards shelter. Luckily it wasn’t liquid water coming down from the sky or I would have been drenched.

It was a bit more pleasant today. It snowed. Well, not really snowed because it was very light and lasted for only a few minutes. It didn’t even have time to settle on the ground. That was okay though coz it was quite pleasant.

Talking about meteorological phenomena, I was baffled the other day. Err, maybe shocked-into-silence-by-the-cluelessness-of-some -people is a better description (is cluelessness even a word?). You know how America used to not care about the environment and global warming that much, what’s with not signing the Kyoto protocol and all. Well, I was browsing the web and I came across this comment by some random person:

“…I still don't believe that global warming is happening. So far there has not been any conclusive scientific studies that prove that global warming is happening. I think that this warm feeling is a warming and cooling trend in the climate that is natural and has been cycling since long before humans were here.”

*shocked into silence*

Arrghhh, idiot!!! (Napoleon Dynamite style)

I really want to scream that out loud! Okay, so it is a bit (actually a lot) ridiculous that this guy, which I’m assuming represents quite a chunk of the population of the said country does not know things that the rest of the world have agreed upon eons ago. How clueless can you be?! Of course, can’t really blame him entirely since said country has sheltered its denizens from the truth for ages but still, it’s totally preposterous! These ignoramuses are killing me.

Last year there was a documentary film titled ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ released in the US about global warming. The US government also recently changed its stance, when it finally agreed to study whether the polar bear should be considered an endangered species because of melting ice caps due to global warming. Heh heh, finally.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Einstein?! Hawking?!

Is hallucinating about famous scientists a sign that you've been pushing yourself too hard?

I was tidying up bits and pieces of my work in the library when Einstein walked by along the aisle.

Wait a minute. That can't be, he's DEAD!

The entity turned around and... phew! It was just the library caretaker with the trademark messy white hair.

Yeah, maybe I should take a break.

On the other hand, Stephen Hawking is of Gonville and Caius college, so those observant enough might luckily see him around. I haven't yet, but a friend of mine has spotted him a few times in Cambridge. Grrrr, I'm envious!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sadly misunderstood

With nothing better to do with my time, I was browsing through Facebook (if you don’t know what that is, then you’re missing a lot) when I came across a note that was posted by a friend. It was a collection of Bush quotes: you know, the stupid and absurdly funny things that came out of his mouth that would sometimes make people wonder if the person who said it is really mentally retarded. Amused, I read through the list. Some of the stuffs were hilarious.

And then, I came across these two.

I thought, hang on a minute, I don’t get it. What's so funny about that?

That’s when I realised. Oh. My. God.

See, the thing is, everybody knows Bush lies to people, so it comes as no surprise that you don’t automatically believe everything he said (though I sometimes wonder why on earth people would elect someone who blatantly lie to your face as president). However, this time he spoke the truth and sadly enough, a lot of people have associated Islam with terrorism that when somebody equates Islam with peace, they all laugh it out as a joke.

(I’m not including the friend in this group of people because I know him and this is probably a mistake in his part, maybe he didn’t realised it before posting… or something)

This is a depressing truth, but hardly surprising to some people I suppose. What’s with all the stuffs about bombings and terrorism going on on the media, some which give a really distorted version of what’s going on, which certainly doesn’t help. I read an article on Iran’s nuclear weapon on Digg the other day. As an aside, I stopped reading comments on Digg because I was always left with a sour mood in the end, what with all the comment bashings and people acting like they know everything whereas in fact, they simply don’t. For this article, I steeled myself and scrolled down to the comments section, knowing fully well what I would find. As expected, lots of heated… discussions, seem to be going on. And then, just as I predicted, someone made comments that sneakily changed the ‘Iran is a threat’ to ‘Islam is a threat’ and hardly anybody noticed. The frustrating thing is he presented ‘facts’ that were supposedly taken from the Qur’an showing how violent Muslims should be. To an average naïve person, he probably came across as convincing.

Now, I know that not everybody is like that, but still, the number of people who are like that is staggeringly large that it’s just disheartening. They are probably just average people that get all their information from mainstream news and TV, so in a way, they’re not all to blame. I would really like to strangle the person(s) who spread the disinformation about Islam in the first place, but that would just defeat the purpose. Oh well…

So, what to do? There is another piece of comment I found on the net. Albeit actually being posted on a different website and topic, the gist of it is really relevant. It goes something like this, “Whenever things like this happened, I try to remind myself that I have Muslim friends, none of whom are in the slightest bit like those portrayed on the media.” I guess, being a Muslim student studying overseas, that is the least (and probably one of the most effective) of things that I can do: show people that Muslims are normal people too, instead of some bloody violent savages they're all being lead to believe.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Recycle bin

I was wondering… you know how when we delete a file and it goes to the recycle bin? Well, why is it named the recycle bin? What exactly are we recycling anyway? It’s not like we got anything new once we put something in the bin. Is it?

Confused Yaz.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


It was 7:30 a.m. and still dark. Slowly, I made my way to the porter’s lodge for the swipe card. The gym opens at 7:15 everyday but you can’t get in unless you use the card. Security features. Anyway, it will probably be empty; no sane person would be there in this cold a morning. At least, I hope so. It’s kinda embarrassing when you’re this puny kid wanting to go to the gym. Made you self-conscious.

7:31 a.m. “Can I have a gym card?”

The porter’s first words to me are, “Are you mad?” Of course, it’s not like I can tell him my real intentions.

“It’s my new year resolution.”

And I got away with it, heh heh.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In the gym

This is on the notice board next to the badminton court in the Trinity College gym. Well... a bit tattered and old but still...

Proud? Heck yeah!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Starting... almost

Technically the term starts tomorrow but the lectures won't start until the 16th. A good thing for procrastinators who haven't finished their holiday work yet.

I did some fluid mechanics example sheet on Excel just now. Only after I saved it that I realised the file is suggestively named 'fluidsexsheet'. Oops!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year

I'm back!

Just in case you don't know, I went to London for New Year’s Eve. The real reason for me going is because I needed to return a calculator that my friend left in Cambridge when she attended her interview. It was a TI-83 Plus, quite expensive and it’s actually her dorm mate’s, so she really needed it back. I also needed to overcome the frustration of not being able to be in London during Christmas, unlike the past three years, hence another reason for the visit.

This was my first experience of watching fireworks for New Year in London, and even though a friend of mine said that I had done this a few years ago, for the life of me I really can’t remember. Tis’ very strange indeed. They closed the Embankment and Westminster tube stations, hence people had to walk to the River Thames, and since I’m really unaccustomed to navigating London on feet, I had to just follow the crowd and hope that they’re really going to the London Eye instead of some random pubs or something.

Still, I made it at the end. It was crowded but not in an extremely bad way. At least, nobody was squashed to death or anything. It was also a plus that I got a clear view of the London Eye, only obstructed a bit by some tree branches and a lamppost. I can’t really say the same to some of my pals who went to watch the fireworks separately. Only the top bit of the Eye is visible to them since the rest are blocked by buildings. Awwww… pity.

I was planning to follow my friends to their place after the event. However, on the way, I lost them in the crowd, which was pretty embarrassing because we were talking about my disappearing acts (people who always travel with me will know) just minutes before that happened. Yeah, I can be a klutz sometimes. The same thing also happened in a bus station in Hungary, and some other occasions which I would rather not remember.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the night and videos as well. Let’s hope my camera skills have improved from last time. As an aside, I’ve made the observation that fireworks are far more spectacular in real life compared to what’s shown on photographs.

The countdown was displayed on a building and started a minute before midnight. You can see the number 42 on it.