Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Resolution 2013

Time flies. 
And the world didn't end. By the way I didn't even bother to write "survive the 2012 apocalypse" in my last new year resolution because we all knew it's nonsense.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas For The Godless Flock

I've spent 23 Christmases at church, two at home. 

I know and understand the meaning of Christmas for Christians, but back in the days I couldn't understand how atheists and godless people perceive Christmas. I thought the whole purpose of Christmas for atheists was just to buy gifts, get drunk and have sex. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sperm Swimming Speed And Promiscuity

Science can get sordid sometimes. I should have enrolled in zoology instead of physics because, as I've found out during the course of my studies, studying animal copulation is way more interesting than studying particles you can't actually observe with the naked eye.

Okay, let's get into serious business now.

What is the relationship between sperm swimming speed with promiscuity? We all know that sperms are mini tadpoles on steroid. Out of billions of sperms only one can fertilize the egg. And within the acidic canal of the Fallopian tube many more will die, so there's no room for your little demons to sit back and chill.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Are Wedding Dresses White?

Have you ever wondered why are wedding dresses white? Why not blue, green, yellow or red? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

When Sir David Attenborough Talks, You Listen

He is a giant in science, period. 60 years in the wild, chasing animals and delivering breath-taking spectacles to all of us at home, spat at by cobras, groomed by gorillas, and sadly, not all of us recognize his name.

Guardian UK recently published a profile of Sir David Attenborough, and I was really upbeat reading the piece. I have been watching him for as long as I can remember. His voice is hoarse at time, full of grandpa-ish kindness and yet never lacking in authority and power.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The World's Longest Diary

We take photographs and write diaries to document our lives.

By looking at a person's diary or photographs, we can roughly setup an imaginary personality of an individual, though the results of our imagination may not hold water.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

FIFA to Launch Inaugural Fallon d'Floor

The world football's governing body has launched an inaugural award to honor top divers in the sport.

ZURICH — FIFA has announced its intention to launch a new individual award alongside the Ballon d’Or award to honor and remember the drama contributed by cheaters of the sport.
Image: telegraph.co.uk
"We have decided to name the award Fallon d'Floor. It's an exciting new award for every player because everybody can have a go at this award," said FIFA president Sepp Blatter when interviewed at his office.

"It doesn't matter if you're playing in a top league or a lower league. The more dramatic your fall is, the higher the chance of you getting this award."

The full list of preliminary nominees, which was announced yesterday on FIFA's official website, includes Real Madrid’s duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria, Manchester United winger Ashley Young and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Other prominent stars include Sergio Busquets of Barcelona, Arjen Robben, and Fernando Torres.

The winner and runner-ups will be given a trophy and cash prizes. All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 7 January 2013 during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube. In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the gala.

Malcolm
p/s: this is a fake news.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Life of Pi

If you're an animal lover, you might love this movie.

The movie chronicles the remarkable journey of an Indian teenager who is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger.
Image: imdb.com
The plot of the movie doesn't follow the typical Freytag's pyramid. In fact I think the actual climax of the movie was when the ship sunk. And it doesn't end the typical hollywood way--no fireworks, no exuberant celebration. For me the ending could only inspire a sigh of relieve, and I think that's good. I've had enough hollywood endings I think it's time for me to try other flavors.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Birthday: Three Years Old

This blog is three years old today. 

What began as a event-recording-hideout is now a blog with a steady output of at least seven posts per month. While the blog covers a wide range of topics; politics, traveling, food, personal experience, history, goof, sports, and even music, it has been loyal to science. As of 28th of November 2012, this blog has already published 419 posts. Not a bad number considering the fact that most of my peers have published less than a hundred posts in three years.
So, what's next?

I realized that shortly after I began blogging, the number of articles I read every week has doubled, and maybe even tripled. Now I've added TIME and Discover Magazine to my vault, apart from the daily feed from Ed Yong's blog, Dr Phil Plait's blog, Jesse Bering's blog, and various other sources. Of course I can't possibly remember all the facts. But I think that repeated reading is a form of brain exercise that can help to improve my brain power, and that is to me more important than memorizing all the stats. If you think I am pretty dumb now, that's because I was dumber before I started blogging.

If you want to improve, read more.
But if you want to improve further, read more and start writing.


Malcolm

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scientists Aren't Smarter

Scientists are not special bunch of people. They defecate, eat, sleep, and have sex like everyone else.

Very often, the reaction I get when telling people that I'm a research student in Physics "Wow! Physics!"
Image: scienceworld.wolfram.com
No boy, that doesn't help.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

现代天才,古代天才

我一直都有个问题;古代的天才和现代的天才,谁比较强?比如拿 Da Vinci, Plato 等人和 Stephen Hawkings 和 Roger Penrose 等人来比较,谁比较聪明?如果有时光机,我们把古时代的天才(牛顿,孔子,华佗等)带到现代,他们能够学习用手机吗?如果我们把现代人带回古代,我们真的能变成当代最聪明的人吗?那如果牛顿出生于2012 年而不是 1643 年,在这科技发达的时代他还能脱颖而出吗?

这问题我想了很久。牛顿等人毕竟脑力过人,观察力强,学习能力一定很强,那学习用手机应该没问题吧?
牛顿。Image: ultimateuniverse.net
首先,请不要认为这问题是不切实际。因为这关系到我们如何看待其他人。我相信如果给于足够的时间,所有人都可以变得一样聪明,只是一些人知识吸收的比较快,一些人比较慢。

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You're Not Stupid. Nobody Is

The recently announced Nobel Prize winner in medicine, Sir John Gurdon was considered "too stupid" by his science teacher during his days at Eton College.

He ranked last out of the 250 boys in his school at biology when he was 15, and didn't do well in other science subjects either. He still has the school report from his master sit on his desk at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Underwater Mysterious Circles Made by, ahem, An Animal

Modern crop circles are a popular thing among UFO enthusiasts. These man-made marvels (yes, man-made) began with the original 1970's hoaxes by Bower and Chorley, and they are surprisingly easy to make. Forget all those messages-from-aliens theories, crop circles are just, well, pranks.

There are mysterious circles in the sea too, though they are made from sand and not crops. And the prankster here is not human--underwater circles are the work of the male puffer fish.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Truth About Spiderman

The creator of Spiderman was a horrible observer. 

There is no similarity between Spiderman and normal spiders other than the ability to climb walls and produce silk. Even that silk part was emulated inappropriately.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cameron Highlands-Gunung Irau

I was supposed to visit Singapore during this Raya Haji holiday. But a last minute cancellation by one of the guys ruined the plan. So I was left with only a few days to come up with a surrogate plan
.
Gunung Irau is the ninth tallest mountain in Malaysia, only 80 meters lower than the tallest peak in peninsular Malaysia, Gunung Tahan.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Twisted Minds of Republicans

America is supposed to be the most powerful country on Earth. They have the strongest minds in science, the best research facilities, top universities, and the dumbest of politicians. Looking at the nonsense uttered by republicans I can't help but wonder how on earth these douchebags got their votes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Is The Elephant Tusk So Valuable?

New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman reported that in 2011, there were 38.8 tons of elephant tusks hacked off 4000 dead elephants worldwide.

That's a very frightening number--4000 dead elephants from an estimated 500,000 elephants left in the entire world today. Putting that into perspective, it's like 56,000,000 people getting killed for their teeth.
Image: treehugger.com
 Why on Earth would anyone want an animal's teeth? Elephants don't brush their teeth.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

福州--月圆人团圆

我的贯藉是福州闽清。
我公公婆婆在战乱期间为寻求好日子不惜背弃家园远赴南洋。听说我婆婆当年才十几岁,从我祖屋到福州城需要走三天,然后坐船到香港一个月,再等下南洋两个月,全程三个月。
我老豆就是个念旧之人。这次回乡终于把我们全家人带回祖墓去扫墓,顺便与福州的亲戚共度中秋。

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How Many Viruses Are There Around Us?

The fact that we're constantly surrounded by viruses and bacteria is nothing new. But exactly how many?

A team of Korean scientists set up some traps to catch viruses and bacteria floating in the air. They set the traps in Seoul, in an industrial complex in western Korea, and in a forest. Their work was published in the August issue of The Journal of Virology.
Virus. Image: ucmp.berkeley.edu
Based on their study, they found out that the abundance of airborne viruses exhibited a seasonal fluctuation. The abundance increased from autumn to winter, and decreased toward spring.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Pharaoh's Serpent

I stumbled upon this video on Youtube and I was like: what-the-hell-is-this?

And by the way the person who uploaded this must really learn to edit his video first. The real meaningful part of the video didn't begin until about the halfway point.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tail Wind And Phosphorescence Strips

As a Sarawakian studying in Peninsular Malaysia, I've flown a lot over the past six years. But on the flight en route to Kota Kinabalu last week, I heard for the first time something I've previously only heard on films and documentaries--tailwind. 

We were about to land at the Kota Kinabalu airport at that time--in fact we were already so close to the ground I could see the bodies of individuals walking on the road--when the pilot suddenly pulled the aircraft upwards again. He then announced that we couldn't perform the landing because of the strong tailwind.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Evil In Your Eyelashes

The eyelash is an important feature of the human eye. Eyelashes help to protect our eyes from debris and most importantly they make our eyes sparkle (if you know what I mean).
Image: supermodels-secrets.com.my
Unfortunately, the eyelash is not as innocent as it seems.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stroke in Bible

The book of Psalm was one of my favorite books of the Bible as a child. Many of those passages have been made into songs, extolling and praising the omnipotence of God. 
Image: uncyclopedia.wikia.com
But there are some chapters in Psalm that are less sympathetic; warning the people of the punishment that awaits them should they stray away from righteousness.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mount Kinabalu 2012

Scaling the highest mountain in South East Asia has always been one of my childhood dreams. And unfortunately for me as the youngest kid in my family it's always difficult for me to attempt anything adventurous. Like many of my recent trips though, my parents were oblivious of my Kinabalu adventure.
A piece of advice: if anyone out there wants to book a slot, make sure you do it at least six months ahead. The best time to visit, according to the mountain guide, is around April, when the rain is few and far between.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gay and Lesbian Guidelines?

The entire Facebook community country was stunned by the news of Ministry of Education publishing guidelines to identify symptoms of homosexuality among youth. The purpose of the guideline, according to officials, is to help parents identify signs of homosexuality in their child.
The news was featured in newspapers in the UK and a talk show in the US, severely damaging the image of Malaysia.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Twinkle-Twinkle In The Sea

While I was at Redang Island for the sea turtle rescue unit (SEATRU) volunteer program, I often observed something glittering in the water at night. 
One night I picked them up and they glowed at the tip of my index finger, bright enough to actually see the minute detail of my finger.
Image: aquaviews.net
I've seen these creatures in National Geographic, and they are supposed to dwell at the bottom of the ocean. I remember the narrator talked about how deep-sea creatures rely heavily upon these bioluminescent plankton to hunt and to evade predators. But those I saw were in shallow water.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Physics of Batman's Cape

Bruce Wayne needs to consult his engineers before he make his next leap. Otherwise he would soon become a messy afterthought for the street-cleaners of Gotham.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Opossum Is Unpoisonable

Opposum, or commonly called possum, is a type of nocturnal marsupial famous for its ability to play dead when threatened. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sea Turtle Rescue Unit Volunteer Program (SEATRU)

I ain't even sure how to start with this.

7 days on the remote side of Redang, an area off limit to tourists, sipping river water, using candlelight at night, sleeping on the beach, hunting and fending off monitor lizards, tagging turtles, releasing babies, watching shooting stars, snorkeling, I can go on forever.
Kuala Terengganu
It was the 29th day of Ramadhan when I arrived at Kuala Terengganu. That night I discovered something special about Kuala Terengganu-- the people of Kuala Terengganu do not wait for laungan azan at 7:30pm to end their fasting. Neither do they watch the TV nor stare blankly at their watch. Instead they wait for a cannon fired from Bukit Pak Apil, which signifies the end of fasting. It is a much efficient way because the sound of the cannon can be heard up to 10 km away, and the laungan azan from different mosques can be incoherent and confusing at times.
Look at the size of that fish!
Flying fish
The journey to Redang island was a rough one and everyone was sleeping during the 45-minutes trip. Except me. As the boat broke one wave after another I saw something shot out of the water and glided for at least 5 meters in a straight horizontal path before landing back into the water.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

长得最可悲的动物 Atretochoana eiselti

每个生物都有生存的权利。长得帅丑高矮肥瘦都是由天而定,你我不得取笑他人,对吧?

可是当我第一眼看到这动物时,我爆笑了。
Image: Juliano Tupan
看了关于它的资料,我笑疯了。

Saturday, August 11, 2012

With Big Brains Comes Fewer Offspring

Ben Parker once said to his nephew Peter, "With great power comes great responsibility".

Scientists recently discovered that there is a trade-off in intelligence as well--with great intelligence comes fewer offspring. At least in the case of guppies. 
Image: aqua-fish.net
In fact, the 2006 movie "Idiocracy", starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph, highlights a same concept: dumb people outbreed smart people, because smarter folks tend to care too much about the cost of raising children, the insurance, the fuss, the pain. But dumb people couldn't care less. Just go on have fun and have sex.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary + Bukit Tinggi Tour

I was ffk-ed by by two friends who initially invited me to a jungle trip at Sungai Lembing.
So I came up with the idea of riding to Lanchang, Pahang to visit my mammalian friends.
I woke up at 6am and departed an hour later. The journey reminded me of the days when I toured around Peninsular Malaysia. My loyal kapchai has now gone to more places than most Malaysians. We've had some disagreements in the past, though--he unchained himself and made things hard for me whenever I pushed him too hard. This time, however, we did 239km in a single day. It's the longest route I have ever traveled in a single day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Unusual Names of Places

These places are named after some of the most absurd words in the English language.

1) Fucking (German pronunciation, [ˈfʊkɪŋ]) in Austria, for example, has suffered road-signs theft by tourists for years until they were modified to be theft-resistant in 2005.
Image: en.wikipedia.org
This village of 104 has been through a number of name changes:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Parody: Venomous Snakebites Can Be Painful, Says Expert

KUALA LUMPUR--A team of researchers from the University of Manchester reported that snakebites can be painful, especially those delivered by venomous snakes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Miraculous Blood of Horseshoe Crab

When I was young I was baffled to see blue-colored blood squirting out from the chest of Broly, the antagonist in the Japanese anime Dragon Ball, after he was sent hurling towards the sun by Goku and sons. 

So I thought having blue-blood was one of the characteristics of alien races.

Most animals have red blood. Our blood is red thanks to the presence of iron (Fe) in our hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen, and since oxygen has poor solubility in water, iron is needed to bind those oxygen molecules onto the hemoglobin.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

How Mosquitoes Fly In The Rain

Have you ever wondered how insects, especially small ones like mosquitoes and flies survive the downpour?

Raindrops pose hazard to mosquitoes because of their relatively large mass and speed. A mosquito is around 2~5mm in length, weighs around 2mg, and flies at 1m/s. On the other end, a drop of rain has 1~4mm radius, weighs 2~50 times the weight of a mosquito, and travels at 5~9m/s. Putting that into perspective, it's like us getting hit by a blob of water with the size of a shopping cart, weighs 3 tons and travels at 18~32 km per hour.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nuclear Tuna Coming to Town

Remember Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011?

It was the most serious disaster since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The crippled reactors released an estimated 22 x 10E 15 Becquerel of Cesium-137 into the ocean, which was then picked up by the Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis and carried all the way across the northern Pacific.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Flame Challenge

Brevity is the soul of wit~Carl Zimmer.

The Flame Challenge is aimed at explaining what a flame is to a bunch of 11-year-olds.
 For some of you who think that it's easy, you're dead wrong. 
Just because you've seen flames all your life doesn't mean you can explain what it is to a fellow economist or accountant--it has to be simple enough for them to understand, and at the same time include all the complex scientific concepts.

This is a challenge faced by science writers everyday-how to use everyday language to convey insights that scientists describe to each other. Words like atoms, electrons, and nucleus are usually enough to repel the most avid of non experts. And most 11-year-olds nowadays have cell phones, X-Box, and Facebook to distract them. Hooking up their interest in science is getting harder by the day.
 
The winner of this competition is Ben Ames, a 31-year-old American doing graduate work in quantum optics. For those of you who wish to learn what a flame actually is, you can watch the youtube video here.


Malcolm

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How Does Snake Venom (Hemotoxin) Affect You?

Snake venom is one of the most sophisticated bio-weapon in the natural world. A single drop of cobra venom is enough to kill several men in a few hours. 


There are three different types of snake venom: hemotoxin which affects blood, neurotoxin which affects your nervous system, and cytotoxin which affects your muscles.
To develop antivenom, we need to first understand how venom works.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunset of Mars

Women love sunsets (so do mosquitoes), because sunsets are gorgeous. 

There are a menagerie of colors appearing in the sky during sunset--orange, red, maroon, yellow--that reminds women of their own temperament; hot, suffocating, just like the planet that bears their namesake. 
Image: skitzone.com
On Earth, we see orange, red and yellow merging together around the sun, and when we look away from the sun the sky is blue. But a Martian sunset is different. It's blue surrounding the sun, and the color fades into faint pink as your eyes trail away from the sun. It's blue where the red should be, and red where the blue should be.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Random Rant

I was feeling really really down yesterday morning.
SUPER DOWN AH! t('-'t)

1) I am currently a member of the sponsorship team for an NGO organizing the one of the biggest camp in Malaysia, and my job-scope includes looking for sponsors. The thing is, I didn't choose to join this team, I chose three other teams but out of respect for nobody the interviewers decided to lelong  me into this 5-person team without getting a nod from me first. I didn't get any notification, nor did I get any email telling me anything at all, until the day I was told to attend a meeting and even then I was confused because they themselves weren't sure which team I belonged. 


And they want RM100K from us 5 ugly ducklings. Great.

And despite that I've decided to do my job and be professional a little bit. Bro-Sis-mance or not, this shall not be a highlight of my life. Unfortunately there are some asses who don't really know how to speak nicely, and they, thanks to their awesome imagination, wish to build a castle in the air. Some stubborn asses lack serious knowledge about PA system-some could easily cost up to RM10K-and think it's possible to get concert-quality system, along with live-feed for free. For three fucking days. Which includes a live band performance.

Great. You go find. I play band for so many fucking years and couldn't find a shit company to sponsor us for anything less than RM3K. And. You. Want. It. For. Free. Dream. On. Asshole.

2) Some seniors in my lab recently graduated. Seats are scarce, and single-seats-with-personal-table are even more so. According to the rule we should wait for our turn to take the single seat. Unfortunately some sissy guy decided to skip the queue and jump straight ahead. Some bitches, too, jumped the queue.

But this is just a small matter. I wouldn't let this small this ruin my day. But seeing several 23++ year-olds fighting and moaning to get single seats is just pathetic.
Seriously, I have the utmost disrespect for sissy guys. They can complain about anything; too far, too hot, too steep, too full, too hard. Especially those fair-and-always-upload-profile-picture-and-don't-do-sports sissy guys. They are basically good for nothing.

3) Experiment. Yes. Another down day. =.=

4) My amplifier spoiled. The orange amp was still functional last week. Last night it was okay initially, then it went berserk. I can't dish out another RM60++ to fix the damn port. And there's only one fucking store in the entire Malaysia that knows how to fix this brand. Fucking overrated fruit.

5) There's an ass in the group that always invite me for futsal. I bet he can't even outplay a 13-year-old me--I know this sounds a little hubris but really, his basics are awful, he has zero skills, but still thickface enough to announce that he can dribble skilfully. I almost puked when he said that. The thing is, he always choose to be in the same team with me. Not only that, he loves to dictate how I play. "pass it!", "here!", "what the fuck?!", yes you read that right, he even wtf-ed at me when I passed him the ball and he failed to cushion it. Great, asshole, you'll see me in the other team tonight against you.

Seriously, life hasn't been kind to me.

I was contemplating about all these bad lucks this noon when I thought about counting my blessings. Okay lar, I obtained some things I've always wanted recently. Mom came for a visit, and fortunately both my parents are still well and healthy. And my brain is still active enough to convince me there's no such thing as luck and superstition, only chances and science.

Hm... that's about it. Not enough.
t('-'t) Fuck you life.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Superstition: Even Animals Have It

There are a menagerie of routines in some of our behavior which, when we stop to think of it, make absolute no sense.
Retired French footballer Laurent Blanc kissed the shaved head of teammate Fabian Barthez before every match. Ancient sailors would throw salt over their shoulders to keep the devil at bay. Coldplay's front singer, Chris Martin, won't go on stage before brushing his teeth first.

Friday, June 29, 2012

What’s in the sausages we eat?

We love sausages, don’t we?
Billions of people chomping on billions of sausages every year resulting in billions of retail sales, so sausages are essentially a part of our life.
But what is it in those meat sticks that make it so irresistible?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dung Beetles Love Human Poops

Why would anyone want to check out whose manure taste the best, I don't know. But it's exhilarating to know that we've won the interspecies dung contest (or rather, the first runner up).

The judges for the contest would happily chomp on any manure, and yes, they're a group of nine thousand dung beetles.
Image: scientificamerican.com
Two entomologists, Sean Whipple and W. Wyatt Hoback set out to an organic cattle ranch where there were plenty of dung beetles crawling around. They took dungs from several animals native to North America (bison, cougar, moose), and also from animals from other parts of the world (tiger, lion, zebra), and presented them to the panel of dung experts.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

搞笑日报:科学家鉴定下雨前必有乌云

(日本‧北海道1日訊)日本北海道大学科學家利用一項新的鉴定技術,成功发现下雨前的预兆。有關科學家指出,希望此发现能夠让人们调整日常生活来面对气象的改变。
Image: stormeffects.com
研究過程中,科學家們以报纸里的天气预报环节和风筒来研究下雨前的气象,他们发现到下雨前一片片的白云必会集在一起形成一片大云。由于目前还没有正式的科学名称来解释此景象,科学家们便将此云名为“乌云”。

Sunday, June 10, 2012

How Would You Sound Like On Venus?

In conjunction with the Transit of Venus this week, I think I should write something about Venus.
Image: sites.wff.nasa.gov
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, and it's the hottest planet in our solar system. The surface temperature on Venus can reach 482 degree Celsius, high enough to melt lead and even zinc.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Marsupials Have Three Vaginas

Marsupials are mammals that give birth to relatively undeveloped young, and then raise them in pouches. Examples of marsupials that we all know are kangaroos, wombats, koalas, and Tasmanian devils. 

Apart from the pouch, they all have another thing in common: female marsupials possess three vaginas. 
WOW.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Water on Earth

How much water is there on Earth?

We often hear people say 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water. Oceans and seas constitute the largest amount of water, roughly 96.5%. The rest exists in lakes, rivers, underground water sources, in our body, and in your pet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Isopods FOUND!

Yes you read that right.
I was dissecting the Indian Meckerel I bought from a local mart this morning to get rid of its innards when I discovered that I actually bought home, together with those meckerels, a pair of alien-looking lifeforms.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kissing--A Universal Language?

When you're kissed by someone, either on the cheek or on the lips, you get a surge of electricity flowing through you. 
You get aroused, and you think it's the universal language of desire.
Image: instructables.com
But who started kissing first? How did different communities around the world come to the same conclusion that the occasionally disgusting act of  pressing lips against the lips or other body parts of another person signifies love? In this modern age kissing is ubiquitous we think it's natural for humans to kiss.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How The Zebra Got Its Stripes?

The explanation I saw from documentaries stated that zebra evolved its stripes to confuse the lion.

Lions are color blind, so a group of rampaging zebras can be extremely confusing and headache-inducing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dog Ate My Homework: It's Legit!

My dog ate my homework excuse is really a lame one. 
But it's legit, i.e. you can now tell your teacher that your dog ate your homework, because a dog in the United States apparently chomped down some scientists' labwork and got sick.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Plastic-Eating Fungi Pestalotiopsis microspora

Plastics are non-biodegradable-- or so we thought.

A group of scientists from Yale University recently discovered a species of fungi in Ecuadorian Amazon that feeds on synthetic polymer polyester polyurethane in anaerobic environment. They're like the Chuck Norris of the fungi world.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Evolution of Sweet Tooth

We love eating sweet food because, errr.. they taste good. Chocolate anyone?

But do you know that cats are oblivious to the taste of sweet food?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

马来人那里来?

马来权威组织(PERKASA)常常叫华人回中国,说这片土地是属于他们的。
他们说的是真的吗?

对与错。

Friday, May 4, 2012

UKM NTLP XV 2012

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia New Tune Live Performance (15th) 2012.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nokia To Patent Haptic Feedback Tattoo--Irrelevant?

For all you tattoo + Nokia fans out there, the cellular giant is considering filling a patent for a, well, creepy technology which I personally think is kind of irrelevant (even after slashing 1000 jobs in Finland recently).

What is haptic technology?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Sleep To Remember

Examination looming? But your waking-up-to-revise-early-in-the-morning method might not work. Try revise at night, right before you sleep to be precise.

207 healthy Harvard students were recruited by Jessica Payne from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana for this study. The participants were assigned to study semantically related or unrelated word pairs at 9am or 9pm.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sea Cucumber Excrement Could Save Coral Reefs

Oceans around the world have been acting like carbon sponges for billions of years.

They suck in huge amount of carbon dioxide and thus maintaining the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. But the continuous rise of carbon dioxide level due to anthropogenic activities causes the oceans to become acidic. Low water pH is detrimental to coral reefs and aquatic lives, annihilating delicate reefs and fish eggs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

搞笑日报:各路英雄呼吁大马政府撤销莱纳斯稀土工程

(獨家報導:杨伟.吉隆坡14日訊)蝙蝠侠,超人,金刚狼,蜘蛛人,与其他英雄昨日通过媒体向大马政府放话,要求纳吉政府撤销关丹莱纳斯稀土工程,不然他们将停止协助警方维持大马社会治安。
英雄们与警方合作无间打击罪犯,关系甚好   Image: torquenews.com
英雄俱乐部发言人绿巨人今早接受搞笑日报实习记者杨伟访问时表示自己和其他英雄们都认为莱纳斯稀土厂不符合安全标准,所以政府根本不应该将临时营运执照颁给莱纳斯。
英雄们乘搭轻快铁(LRT)上班时接受本报记者访问。Image: pixzii.com
“说到安全,我自己就是个辐射产品,还有蜘蛛人也被辐射蜘蛛咬过,真的很不愉快。那痛楚真的很难受。”

Friday, April 20, 2012

Penile Fracture

It normally happens during sexual intercourse, when you perform an unimaginable acrobatic on your bullish pole, a flying leap perhaps, instead of a simple penetration. 

Yes, penis can break guys.
Image: nj.com 
How do you break a penis?
The human penis has no bone, and it's supposed to be spongy, no?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Best Way To Save A Species: Bring 'Em To Australia!

Australia is a broken continent, ravaged by the European rabbit, red fox, cane toad, and other invasive species. Any hope of preserving a pristine Australian ecology is long gone. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How To Keep Yourself Sterile?

Fancy a night out without having to fabricate a layer of rubber on your genital?

Some forty years ago, in 1975, Mostofa Fahim and his group of researchers from the University of Missouri published a paper on male contraception--they were looking at contraceptive methods without resorting to condom.
Image: thejimhuntshow,com
They strapped anesthetized rats to a plexiglass platform and subjected their dangling scrota to various testing. Some of the animals got a 140-degree Fahrenheit water bath for 15 minutes, some received a dose of infrared radiation, some got a short blast of microwave or ultrasound. After the test, the males were free to copulate with females until they impregnated them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Which Is More Important: Human Welfare VS Animal Welfare?

When a tiger starts killing people, regardless of how endangered it may be, it has to be put down. Similarly, if the extinction of a particular species could ensure the survival of mankind, hand me the shotgun please.

Of course, thing has yet to go that far. We're not facing some kind of apocalypse, and certainly not extermination by aliens so we can still work on sustainable development to achieve a win-win situation. But some people, and I seriously mean some people, emphasize the well-being of animals more than the well-bring of their own kind. And I'm not talking about the Japanese-hunting-whales-thingy. I'm against that, too.
Please stop whaling. Image: sustainablesushi.net
Some animal rights activists had recently pressured airlines and ferry companies against transporting animals to the UK for research purposes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Poets Get The Girls?

Had a chat with a friend on facebook, and she said poetic guys get most of the girls.

That was a very depressing news for me. And the most depressing of them all being; one of her friends, a modern day Shakespears, has had like, five girlfriends, or more? He's not exactly good looking, and probably a little bit more talented than Bieber, a lil chubby, and he currently has a hot girlfriend who looks like one of those Korean movie stars.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cara Menulis Tesis Yang Betul

Ramai di antara kita perlu menulis tesis pada akhir pengajian kita. Tesis merupakan laporan kajian yang kita lakukan terutamanya pada semester terakhir untuk memenuhi kehendak atau syarat kursus universiti.

Namun ramai di antara kita yang selalu menulis yang bukan-bukan dalam tesis, contohnya, mengarang Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa pada tesis fizik adalah sesuatu yang tidak wajar dilakukan, sebab profesor fizik memang tidak berminat pada hikayat tersebut. Mereka lebih berminat dengan Hikayat Sang Kancil dengan Buaya.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Aye-aye's Middle Finger is Cooler

In Madagascar, there exists a species of lemur called the aye-aye. This nocturnal primate has a pair of evil-looking eyes and enormous ears, and a set of rodent-like teeth. The strangest feature of an aye-aye though, is its thin and superficially long middle finger, which it uses to tap on tree trunks in search of beetle larvae. 
The digit is less than half the width of other digits, and hence is vulnerable to injury and poorly suited for bearing load.
Image: johnhawks.net
Given it's role in foraging, it's natural to assume that the digit is densely packed with nerves and blood vessels, and hence it is warm as any other parts of the aye-aye's body. But Gillian Moritz and Nathaniel Dominy from the Dartmouth College in the United States recently discovered that the middle finger of the aye-aye was cooler than other digits during periods of inactivity, only to warm up during foraging and hunting.

Monday, April 2, 2012

大摇 2012

佩雯写料,弥蒸写料,媛婷也写料,就轮到我啦。

首先,真的很佩服今年的筹委们。

因为大学入学期改了,学年日期统统喊吧烂改掉了,所以senior 留下的东西很多都不能用,一切日期,活动,筹募都必须重新策划过,就像刚开办大摇一样。而且现在大摇筹委都是摇篮手的,大家不分制作与非制作组,大家都要一起做筹募,做 booklet,做筹备,同时还要练歌,真的不简单。

Friday, March 30, 2012

大摇 Music Video--爱得起


词曲:媛婷,欣乐,哲韦
演员:哲韦,颖超,Kenny,Tanent,宝文
导演:Malct32 Production
拍摄:Malct32 Production
剪接:Malct32 Production
背景音乐:Malct32 Production

=P

Friday, March 23, 2012

Food Wasting

If there's one social sickness that our society has yet to curb, it's food wasting.
The birth of the internet era has generated more erudite elite than all other eras in the course of human history combined. We have more lawyers, teachers, engineers, pharmacists, and doctors today than there ever were, so these people should naturally have the sense to not to waste food, no?

Carried Too Far

Not respecting an opponent has its limit. Chanting abusive remarks is one thing, but to wet your opponent with your biofluids is right there at the top of the most absurd things to do.

This little twerp, an obvious Bulls fan, was downright stupid to think that it's funny to spit on his hand and high-five the Knicks players, and then post this absurdity on youtube.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Animal Parenting: Teat Ownership

Nature encourages competition, because the fiercest competition brings out the best in each of us. And the will to fight for the best is evident even among baby animals--the competition to get shelter, the best food, err, in this sense, teat.

What is teat ownership?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why Are We Not Hairy Like Other Apes?

We humans are dubbed the "naked apes" because, well, obviously not many of us have hairs all over our body. If evolution is true, we should be hairy like bonobos, no?
Image: fanpop.com 
Darwin said our ancestors discarded coarser hairs since it's warm like sauna out there on the savannah. And he suggested that we looked sexier without the hair covering our sexual features. Seriously though I can't imagine getting turned on by primates.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Payback‘s A Bitch: Neurotoxin BMAA In Shark Fins

We kill 100 million sharks a year to accommodate Asia's insatiable obsession for shark fins, and now the Elasmobranch is fighting back. Payback's a bitch ain't it?

Shark fins are just tasteless cartilage with fibrous protein collagen. Chinese believe that shark fins can boost sexual potency, enhance skin quality, and even prevent heart disease. But the benefits of shark fins have never been significantly proven, nor has shark cartilage been reviewed by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Entrepreneurs in Taiwan even substitute shark fins with Tilapia fins due to their bland similarities. But this hasn't stopped the massacre, yet.
Image: chinadecoded.com
A group of scientists from the University of Miami recently discovered that shark fins contain high level of cyanobacterial  neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). BMAA is linked to a plethora of neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Amyothrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Movie Review-This Means War

What happens when you have two spies turning against one another for a woman?
A comedy, of course. 
And This Means War is definitely one hell of a comedy you wouldn't want to miss.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fear Can Kill

Predators impact prey populations through well, predation. It's a fairly simple concept, just like the supply-demand concept of the business world.

Lion devours zebra, so when there are a lot of lions the population of zebra declines. And if the population of lion declines, there would be fewer predators to eat zebras so their population increases--or so we thought.
Image: sci.sdsu.edu
A group of researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada have recently published a paper that proves that the mere presence of predators in the vicinity could have an adverse effect on prey population. And yesterday there's another paper published by Liana Zanette et al. that shows the offspring produced by stressful animals have less chances of surviving to adulthood.

Friday, March 9, 2012

为何蝙蝠侠绝对不会是马来西亚人

最近不知道为什么本人和蝙蝠侠先生非常有缘。前天刚刚做了个蝙蝠侠漫画,昨天看到另一则蝙蝠侠搞笑新闻,刚刚又看到关于蝙蝠侠的笑话。

Thursday, March 8, 2012

No Head Equals Dead?

We can't live without our head. Common sense isn't it?
First off, the blood supply to our brain will be cut off. After six minutes without oxygen, our brain begins to die.
Secondly, we breathe through our mouth and nose, and decapitation stops that input of air. No oxygen goes into our system and hence other vital organs will start to die.
Thirdly, without a mouth to eat, the body basically starves to death.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Teaching Lions To Dislike Beef.

How do we teach a wild carnivore to avoid doing something that comes naturally?

In Africa, people have been turning grasslands and savanna into cattle farms, pushing aside lions' natural prey such as zebras and wildebeests. But instead of migrating together with the prey, the lions normally resort to the surrogate prey item--the cattles. And this is where the problem comes.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Do We Need Lynas--FAQ (Frequently Argued Questions)

It's essential to have our facts right before going out against Lynas, otherwise we would easily change our mind when confronted by "facts" from the proponent.

Some people joined the party last Sunday because they wanted to topple the government. Some people joined in because their friends were there. Some people did it because it's all over Facebook and Twitter, for the thrill, or because Lim Guan Eng was against it. A majority of the people joined for a simpler reason: because it's not safe.
Image: charleshector.blogspot.com
By the way if the Pahang government ask you to justify "not safe" in a public forum, how are you going to answer?

Quoting history (Bukit Merah and Fukushima) isn't really effective, because the proponent would argue that technology advances with time, just like cars. We have better refinery-technology now compared to the technology upon which Bukit Merah was built, and back then there was no proper storage. Fukushima was in Japan, a land prone of earthquake.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vegetarian Turned Meat Eater: The Curious Case of Sumatran Orangutans

We always think of orangutans as placid, complacent animals. Science documentaries often showcase the animal chomping on vegetation and fruits, and occasionally on insects and eggs.

Some great apes, however, have developed a liking for meat. Jane Goodall first documented the meat-eating habit of chimps in the early 1960s. Since then, reports of meat-eating great apes have been made, and we can no longer see these animals as strictly vegetarian. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kak Tunda Selayang

Antara berita yang paling hangat diperkatakan di facebook kebelakangan ini adalah berita tentang Kak Tunda Selayang, Jessie Ooi.

Siapakah minah ni?
Actually beliau adalah Ketua Beliawanis MCA Selangor.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Curious Case of Mosquitoes

Life really sucks if you're a mosquito. Apart from the ability to master flight, there's no good in being a parasite--your dinner can turn around and smack you dead if you're not fast enough, and your food can cause your little body to overheat. 

Oh yeah, and some neighbors will hunt you down and suck the blood right out from your belly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Volcano: How To Die?

Remember the scene in The Lord of The Ring: The Return of The King where Gollum inadvertently dove into the volcano to retrieve his precious ring?

I believe most female audience face-palmed at the prospect of the ugly sonovabitch melting away in the lava.
Image: goodschist.com
But we don't just melt away in there.
As always, Hollywood is not the place to learn science.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Problem Of Mining (On The Moon)

Our moon is our nearest celestial neighbour. And over the course of several million years it has been our best friend; albeit a faraway one--without Luna to shield us from asteroids and other celestial rocks, we would have been hit more frequently.
Image: nineplanets.org
That being said, the process of asteroids landing on the moon has made Luna a prosaic mix of a plethora of materials--silicon, iron, calcium, aluminium, potassium, and phosphorus. Ah, not forgetting the elusive Helium-3. Helium-3 is an isotope of the conventional Helium-4.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

World's Heaviest Critter VS World's Smallest Vertebrate

The world's heaviest insect-the giant weta, tipped the scales at 71 grams. And the world's smallest vertebrate-Paedophryne amauensis, weighs only 0.02 grams.

So the world's heaviest insect is roughly 3,500 times heavier than the world's smallest back-boned animal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Backpacking: Lake Toba

I was flipping around my planner last Tuesday when I noticed we would have holidays on the following Monday and Tuesday (Prophet Muhammad's birthday and Thaipusam respectively).
That's four days to spare~~ I ain't gonna spend the days rotting away at home. And hence I went on and booked myself a ticket to Medan, Indonesia on Saturday morning. A lil dramatic but, I had 3 days to prepare my itinerary and currency exchange and.....inform my parents and get myself transportation to KLIA.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

MAS Golden Lounge


If you purchase business class ticket from MAS, you're entitled to enter the MAS Golden Lounge.
I didn't. My bro did =P and he sneaked me in just moments ago.

Oh by the way I'm on my backpacking trip to Medan, and then to Toba Lake. This is one impromptu decision I just bought the ticket on Wednesday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm Back With A Vengeance!

I received an email this morning from the airline that gave me hell on 20th Jan 2012.
It's time to rock their boat!

The poster girl is hot~ so yeah I took the survey. No harm blasting them with my predicament.

Totally unacceptable

Honestly, I'd prefer MAS stewardess to dress like this airline; short skirt, tight OL dress XD


Feeling much better.

Malcolm

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