Monthly Archives: January 2007

Generating electricity from candles

It’s not the boil-water-to-turn-steam-turbine thing I was expecting and is easy enough for primary school children to do.

Now I know how to power my laptop when there is a blackout. I will need a lot of this stuff though…

Candle Power – Who Needs Batteries? – video powered by Metacafe

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In anticipation of Transformers live action movie

You know, sometimes it is better to try and fail than to not have tried at all. At least if you fall short of the target, you might still have achieved something worthwhile. However there are some other things that are so sacred that you should not touch it if you cannot get it to work.

The Lord Of The Rings was one very successful movie adaptation of a well-loved story. The essence of it was captured, the story was followed faithfully without relying too much on the artistic license to modify the original. There were towering giants and hobbits are really halfling-sized. You get the feeling that everything is authentic and that the producer is not trying to improve too much on the original. Peter Jackson must have been an otaku to have gotten all the details right. There is a danger when you take a fantasy story and try to make it too realistic.

Take a look at the promotional trailer for the Transformers live action movie:

After watching the trailer and seeing what Optimus Prime will look like, I’m not sure I will enjoy this “more realistic” version of the movie. Prime looks more Gundam than Transformers! And the villain Megatron will be hardly recognisable!

Is this really an improvement over the original?

I am willing to bet good money that the 1986 animated movie would be much more enjoyable than what this Hollywood product will be. The animated movie went for a different kind of realism. I remember how the transformation of the various characters from robot mode to vehicle mode and back took longer and had more detail than the cheapskate TV cartoons I watched in the early 1980s when I was a kid. It was realistic in that it closely followed how the toy would transform, and how better to please a kid?

But this Hollywood adaptation must a movie catered for adults because it follows the rules of physics. According to the fan blog that keeps track of the latest news, robots will not change their mass when they transform, so Megatron will not transform into a pistol, Optimus Prime will be a different model of truck because the original model is just not big enough.

But you know, not all adults grow up. Not those fanboys who are paying a few hundred dollars for a vintage TF toy, or those who collect comics. And let’s not forget that otaku will be paying for the collector’s edition of the DVD while casual viewers will be more willing to buy the pirated version. Hollywood has much to learn from the otaku. Maybe they should have let the Japanese do this live version since the animated version turned out wonderfully. But let’s not talk about the Japanese versions of the TV serials (Masterforce and others that have been adapted to their culture).

The only consolation is that Optimus Prime will sound the same because they are getting the original voice actor. I am not sure if I have the heart to watch this live version. Some things are just too sacred and should be left undefiled.

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Of growing boys

I was not able to meet my students for tuition last week and a stand-in tutor was assigned to them. I was very surprised at the comment she left, describing one of them as studious but quiet. With me, he has a short attention span and he was not very interested in his studies, constantly joking and trying to get out of doing work. Perhaps assigning an older female has a positive effect on twelve year old boys? Or could it be that something happened after his PSLE and he became a more serious student? Judging from his response after I explained a working three times, his lack of interest could be due to an inability to grasp some topics by himself. I hope that tuition will help him if the explanation sticks with him.

My other two student come much more regularly than him and I’m constantly surprised at how they seem to have gotten bigger physically. One of them is getting into the habit of using the seven letter hokkien expletive that all locals are familiar with, but he seem a little ahead of his time. He is a smart one, and hopefully will realise that there are more creative ways to express displeasure than using a crude and offensive slang.

The disturbing part is how some of them are willing to splurge on expensive lifestyle items even though they are in the “less well-off” neighbourhood. I guess these kids are better off than some of their neighbours. Going by their lifestyle products, they might even be better off than me! One has a Sony Ericsson 800i (I think) and is sending SMS the whole night out of a prepaid card which has no free SMS in a monthly quota, but will cost a few cents per message. He probably spends more than a dollar a day if he sustains his rate of messaging and makes a few calls a day. That is much much more than what we used to spend when I was his age. Another spent over $300 over the December holidays on the local MMORPG MapleStory. Considering how my WoW account cost USD$15 (SGD$25) a month, I take a year to spend that much money!

Kids who grow up with too much money to spend may find themselves with a problem if they are not able to earn enough to sustain this kind of lifestyle. It is disturbingly easy to earn money from students. Children are impressionable and susceptible to the suggestion to spend. If I were a businessman, this is one market segment I will be targetting mercilessly.

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humorous spam

I usually just scan through spam comments caught by wordpress’s akismet before hitting the delete button, but this caught my attention with its creative attempt. It even feature some researcher’s website. But please, who will go leave a joke as a comment on such an old entry?

Still spam and I have deleted it, but not before I preserve it here with its nine links to viagra sites taken out. Now this is spam that actually value-adds, oxymoronic as it may sound.

I figured could use a little humor.



Day 1.
Just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with not much to celebrate.
When it came time to re-enact our wedding night, he locked himself in
the bathroom and cried.

Day 2.
Today, he says he has a big secret to tell me. He’s impotent, he says,
and he wants me to be the first to know. Why doesn’t he tell me
something I don’t know! I mean, he actually thinks I haven’t noticed.

Day 3.
This marriage is in trouble. A woman has needs. Yesterday, I saw a
picture of Nelson’s Column and burst into tears.

Day 4.
A miracle has happened! There’s a new drug on the market that will fix
his ‘problem.’ It’s called Viagra. I told him that if he takes Viagra,
things will be just like they were on our wedding night. I think this
will work. I replaced his Prozac with the Viagra, hoping to lift
something other than his mood.

Day 5.
What absolute bliss!!.

Day 6.
Isn’t life wonderful but it’s difficult to write while he’s doing that.

Day 7.
This Viagra thing has gone to his head. No pun intended! Yesterday, at
Burger King, the manager asked me if I’d like a Whopper. He thought they
were talking about him. But, have to admit it’s very nice – I don’t
think I’ve ever been so happy.

Day 8.
I think he took too many over the weekend. Yesterday, instead of mowing
the lawn, he was using his new friend as a weed whacker. I’m also
getting a bit sore down there.

Day 9.
No time to write. He might catch me.

Day 10.
Okay, I admit it. I’m hiding. I mean, a girl can only take so much. And
to make matters worse, he’s washing the Viagra down with neat whisky!
What am I going to do? I feel tacky all over….

Day 11.
I’m basically being screwed to death. It’s like living with a Black and
Decker drill. I woke up this morning hot-glued to the bed. Even my
armpits hurt. He’s a complete pig.

Day 12.
I wish he was gay. I’ve stopped wearing make-up, cleaning my teeth or
even washing but he still keeps coming after me! Even yawning has become
dangerous ..

Day 13.
Every time I shut my eyes, there’s a sneak attack! It’s like going to
bed with a scud missile. I can hardly walk and if he tries that “Oops,
sorry” thing again, I’ll kill the bastard.

Day 14.
I’ve done everything to turn him off. Nothing is working. I even started
dressing like a nun but this just seems to make him more horny. Help me.

Day 15.
I think I’ll have to kill him. I’m starting to stick to everything I sit
on. The cat and dog won’t go near him and our friends don’t come over
any more. Last night I told him to go and fuck himself and he did.

Day 16.
The bastard has started to complain about headaches. I hope the bloody
thing explodes. I did suggest he might try stopping the Viagra and going
back on Prozac.

Day 17.
Switched the Viagra pills but it doesn’t seem to have made any
difference……Christ !!! here he comes again with Viagra.

Day 18.
He’s back on Viagra. The lazy sod just sits there in front of the TV all
day with that remote control in his hand and expects me to do everything
for him. What absolute bliss!!.


Reply with good jokes if you know any.


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Office workers

It was drizzling again when I left office. At the traffic light just beside my office block, a girl was busy blocking the the rain and brushing water out of her hair. I offered to share my umbrella with her but she sheepishly refused.

She was really chio, pretty, with her hair coloured brown and dressed in very nice office wear. But that was not the reason why I offered her my umbrella! I would likely have offered even if it was a smelly old man. It was just one of those things that gentlemen do, though only strange people still do such things these days. Anyway it turned out that we went the same way at least halfway to the MRT station. She was holding a little sports bag so she may be on her way to a nearby gym.

But looking at her, I wonder how people who also work in office can have the energy to go workout in the gym, groom themselves and shop for such nice clothing. To have a job that pays well enough to afford all these in her youth and not have all her energy drained out by the job. That is amazing when I’m always feeling drained.

I keep telling myself that I just need to endure until the bonus comes in April, and then I will find a job that better suits me, paycut notwithstanding. It must be wonderful to be contented where you are working.


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