Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Resolution 2014

New Year Resolution, the list that makes you look incredibly lousy every December.

It's time to fill myself with dreams that probably will remain as dreams.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Amazing Butt of the Dragonfly Nymph

The dragonfly is an amazing creature. Like sharks, dragonflies have changed very little since they first appeared during the Carboniferous era.

And the nymphs are equally if not more amazing than the adults, because these tiny critters could do a lot of things using their BUTT.
Image: blog.cat.org.uk

Dragonfly nymphs are ferocious predators. They feed on other aquatic insects, other nymphs, small fish and even tadpoles. But their prey items are often fast-moving creatures themselves, and so the nymphs have to act quicker.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday To This Blog

*This post was supposed to be published in November.*

Four years have passed, and now the blog has 480 entries.

That's 120 entries per year. Holy Mother Mary indeed.

Some people persevere for a year. Some two, three, four or five.
I wonder how long will I continue to blog?

Anyway, I would be grateful if you could write about yourself in the comment section; so at least I know a little bit about my readers. Maybe just state your name, your location, your occupation, and who do you think is more handsome: Loki or Tony Stark?

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, I'm Curious Too.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Squid, A Fish, And Myself

I cook my own meal every day. Well almost.

And cutting and cleaning flesh is part of the routine I perform every single day. Yesterday was seafood day (yaaayy~), so I took the squid out for defrosting before cleaning and cutting them. I took four animals and placed them on the cutting board, rinsed them with running water and began slicing them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tidur Boleh Menguruskan Badan

Sebagai seorang graduan fizik, saya memang suka membuat pengiraan yang bukan-bukan, contohnya pengiraan kuku yang tumbuh setiap hari, pengiraan bintang di langit, dan sebagainya.

Walau bagaimanapun, ilmu matematik saya masih di peringkat kanak-kanak lagi, jadi janganlah segan memberi tunjuk ajar.
Kita kerap dengar orang berkata bahawa tidur boleh membuat kita gemuk. Namun, pengiraan menunjukkan sebaliknya. Jika anda menimbang berat badan sebelum dan selepas tidur 8 jam, anda akan mendapati bahawa berat badan anda menjadi ringan selepas tidur.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why Male Antechinuses Mate Themselves To Death

Animal copulation is an awesome topic, because you get to write about phalluses and balls and explicitly use the terms which would otherwise considered taboo (though I will not be using a lot of these terms today). 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Do Bees Build Hexagonal Cells?

Have you ever wondered why bees build hexagon-shaped cells?

Isn't it fascinating? Why hexagon? Why not other shapes? And these apparently simple, instinct-driven creatures could build the perfect-six-sided-hexagon which, when you stack them up together, form a perfect array of honeycomb.
Image: www.bee-hexagon.net
More than 2000 years ago, Marcus Terentius Varro proposed an answer to this question. He thought maybe honeycomb built of hexagons can hold more honey and require less building wax, and this answer has since been called "The Honeybee Conjecture".

Thursday, September 12, 2013

印度--后记....India--An Epilogue



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The State of Malaysian Tertiary Education

Education is very important, and I believe anyone who possesses the right mind knows that. Even animals know the significance of education--they educate their young to hunt, to evade, to forage, and to survive. Education shapes the character, intellect, altruism, and etiquette of a person. Article 26 in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:




Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Elusive Bay Cat

I have always thought that apart from the big five (tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, cheetah), all other members of the cat family were not as rare nor endangered.
I was doing my daily reading this morning when I stumbled upon a webpage that talks about the seven threatened cat species you may not know. None of the big five got on the list, and there was one particular cat that caught my attention; one that doesn't have a picture (yes, it's that rare).
Image: blogs.smithsonianmag.com
 It's called the Bornean Bay Cat Catopuma badia.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can Humans Regenerate Lost Limbs?

Some animals are known for their regenerative power. If a salamander loses its leg, it can grow a new one within weeks. Crabs and spiders for example, can also regenerate lost limbs. If you held a small lizard by its tail, chances are that it would shed its tail in order to escape. And no, it wouldn't die from its injury.

So why can't humans do the same?
Nicely played. Image: www.infoniac.com
To understand why we can't regrow lost limbs like amphibians, we have to first understand how scarring occurs. Take for example, someone loses an entire index.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Image: www.foodsubs.com

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Lack of Research in the Conservation of Sumatran Rhino

Sumatran rhino is one of the most critically endangered animals in the world. 

The smallest member of the rhinoceros family once roamed as far as Myanmar, India and China. Today, there are less than 200 individuals left in the world, and they are all scattered across little pockets of forest in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Image: en.wikipedia.org 
Many people would cite deforestation and poaching as the two primary forces that are killing the animal. But those two clouts are also killing other animals. So if every species is facing the same threat, why is rhino's number dropping while the number of other endangered species manages to recover?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How Do Tornadoes Form?

via Scientific American:

Tornadoes occur on every continent except Antarctica, but more form over the central US than anywhere else in a zone called Tornado Alley. That's because conditions in the alley are ideal for creating tornadoes.

Warm humid air low on the ground moves north from the Gulf of Mexico and collides with cool dry air high above the ground  rolling in from the Rocky mountains. The collision of air masses creates a supercell, a massive thunderstorm that has a strong rotating updrafted air.

The difference in speed between the faster high winds and the slower low winds causes the air in between to rotate around the horizontal axis. If one end of the rolling air gets caught in the updraft, it's being upwarded into the funnel cloud. Its spin gets tighter and faster and the cloud becomes longer. Rain or hail from the thunderstorm can then push down on the tail of the funnel cloud until it reaches the ground, forming a tornado.

The top wind speed of most tornadoes is usually under 110 miles an hour and most are on the ground for less than 10 minutes. However, extreme tornadoes are truly extreme. The longest tornado path was cut by the tri-state tornado on March 18th 1925. It tore up property for 219 miles and was on the ground for well over 3 hours and killed 747 people.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why Don't Penguins Fly?

Because it's energetically-inefficient to be both a diver and a flyer at the same time. 

A recent study on a penguin-like seabird, the thick-billed murre, shows that it's inefficient to be both; be a Jack of all trade and a master of none.
This is probably how penguins flew several million years ago. Image: www.polartrec.com
Murres are horrible aviators. They beat their wings really fast and they land awkwardly. They fare better in the water, but still not as good as penguins.

Monday, May 27, 2013

China, Stop Raping the Planet's Seas

Apart from being a voracious burglar, China is also a big liar. China has been under-reporting what it’s taking from the world’s seas.

The number it presented to the UN Food and Agriculuture Organization over the last decade was 368,000 tonnes annually. A recent European Parliament report puts the number at 4.6 million tonnes—around 12.5 times more than what China reported.

And Africa is the main harvesting field for chinese fishermen. Africa loses 3.1 million tonnes of aquatic products annually—and up to 2.5 million tonnes of that is likely to be illegal.

China, stop raping the planet's seas.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pick Thy Husband and Quench Thy Thirst On His Sperm

Desperation often pushes us to do things we do not normally do. For example cannibalize dead comrades during war time or eat your own feces when you're trapped in an inhospitable environment.

And that's exactly what a female picture-winged fly does; expels and then gobble up male sperm to quench its thirst. But only the sperms of males deemed unfit to father her offspring.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Necrophilic Frog Rhinella proboscidea

Sex is an important aspect of evolution. But exactly how important is it? Well, for a small Amazonian frog called Rhinella proboscidea, to the point of copulating with a dead partner. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Research Is A Dangerous Business

When people talk about risk at work, they normally mean the risk of getting fired, losing a business deal, and probably encountering some minor accidents like electrocution while charging their electronics. 

Unlike these risks, the risks you encounter during research are far more unpredictable because you work with unpredictable subjects; the weather (climate scientists), wild animals (zoologists), chemicals (chemists), and sometimes, the product of your own research (physicists). Even in social sciences, the research is often far more dangerous than your average nine-to-five job.
Image: www.specialtyexecutives.com
One particular technique in psychology, called participant observation, involves taking part in the activities of those you want to study. For example, if you wish to study the drug cartel, you would need to actually get your hands dirty. Sociologist Mick Bloor, a professor at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences once ended up in a bar fight while studying male prostitution in Glasgow. Lorraine Dowler from the Pennsylvania State University was forced to flee when her interviewee became the target of a street-level assassination attempt. Social scientist Frank Burton woke up one morning to find a submachine gun pointed at him. The body of Ken Pryce was found washed up on a Caribbean beach after investigating criminology in Jamaica.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Post GE-13

I haven't been blogging a lot in recent months because of, well, business.

Anyway the Malaysia 13th General Election (abbreviated as GE-13 henceforth) has proven to be the most controversial GE ever. There were alleged blackouts, phantom voters and extra bags of votes disappearing. I was really angry the night the result was out because I felt my virgin vote was brutally raped by a dark, unseen force. And despite losing out on popular votes, Prime Minister Najib still managed to grab more seats than the opposition party and thus formed the government.
Image: www.kinibiz.com
Gerrymandering at its best. Congratulations. Maybe one day we should emulate the U.S and Taiwan, whereby the president is chosen by its people. Then we'll see how good Najib really is.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

General Election 2013--My Take

Barrack Obama loves the internet. It's his favorite weapon, and also his deadliest. 

During the run-up to his campaign in 2008, he deployed a group of internet-savvy data crunchers to collect and assess vital information about the public, to attack and to defend, and to promote his campaign.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Grim Confession of A Movie Maker

I should have anticipated this shouldn't I?

I recently made a general-election related video for a group of friends, but it was not at all smooth-sailing. Far from it.

It all started when the leader of the group proposed to write a song to urge young, indecisive Malaysians to go home and vote. I was basically excluded from the conversation until a day before recording. It turned out that some pro video makers weren't actually interested and so I was called in.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Most Endangered Animal On Earth -- The Red River Giant Softshell Turtle

Last year, experts at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) produced a list of the world's 100 most endangered animals and plants, and one particular animal caught my attention.

It's the Red River giant softshell turtle, or Yangtze giant softshell turtle.
Image: www.turtlesurvival.org
It is perhaps the most endangered species of all animals because there are only four individuals left--all of them in zoos-- in the world.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Justin Bieber Set To Contest In Pelangai, Pahang In GE13

Kuantan — Teenage sensation Justin Bieber is set to contest in the Pelangai constituency in the upcoming Malaysia General Election.
Image: www.aceshowbiz.com
The news was released by Bieber's agent, Carlos Ikanmasin yesterday during a press conference in Georgia, who said that the teenage star "wishes to try his luck in politics".

Friday, April 5, 2013

8 Glasses of Water A Day--How Did It Come About?

As a child I've heard my mom nagged at me for drinking too little water. 

Seriously I preferred flavored water to plain water back then. But most if not all the medical advisers I've met thus far have said that drinking 8 glasses of plain water a day is a must, in addition to other liquid like coffee and soup. That sums up to like... 10 glasses of liquid a day?
Image: www.just-eat.co.uk
Do we really need that much water in our system everyday? Who proposed that ludicrous idea anyway?

Monday, April 1, 2013

North Korea II

Kim Jong Il was still alive when I first blogged about this hermit kingdom several years ago. Today, Kim Jr. has taken over the throne and his people's lives are getting worst.

First off, we all know that North Koreans live miserable lives. Personal wealth, nonexistent. Internet, very strictly regulated. Freedom of speech, f**k that sh*t. Media freedom, f**k that sh*t too. Human rights, election, starbucks, Big Mac, etc, forget it. And most importantly, thou shalt not talk foul of the regime, lest thou be sent to the gulag.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Trematode: A Penis-Eating Parasite

Last May I found two isopods in the mouth of the Indian Meckeral I bought back from the market. And several weeks ago Carl Zimmer posted an excellent piece about this tongue-eating parasites.

Today, I'm going to write about another parasite that eats not the tongue, but--get ready to cringe, guys--phallus.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kenaifan Sultan dan Militan Sulu: Ini Bukan Zaman Menggunakan Kekerasan!

Sejak dari zaman kemerdekaan Malaysia lagi pihak Filipina telah menyasarkan negeri Sabah sebagai tanah jajahan mereka.
Dua minggu lalu kita semua dikejutkan dengan kehadiran kumpulan militan yang diketuai oleh Sultan Jamalul Kiram III di Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Sultan Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III. Image: thestar.com.my
Pihak polis telah mengadakan rundingan dengan Sultan Jamalul Kiram untuk menamatkan konfrontasi ini secara aman, tetapi sehingga kini tujuh orang ahli pasukan keselamatan telah terkorban (2 di Lahad Datu, 5 di Semporna) sementara pihak Sulu mempunyai 14 orang terkorban (12 di Lahad Datu, 2 di Semporna).
Tetapi wajarkah Sultan Sulu menuntut kembali negeri Sabah menggunakan kekerasan?

Thursday, February 28, 2013



Image: funnypoopers.com
有位仁兄 Max Read 日前问了个问题:

Can you eat your own poop? We've all heard of people who claim that drinking your own urine has health benefits (vitamins, etc). Why not poop? Would there by any benefits to eating your own poop? Since it's already been fully processed by our own bodies, how could there be any dangers? Might it even be GOOD for us?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ng Yen Yen: Yes Yes Yes. Crowd: No No No!

I think by now most Malaysian are familiar with what happened in Penang during PSY's Chinese New Year visit to Malaysia earlier this month. If you don't, check it out here.

And history repeated itself four days ago on Chap Goh Mei--Dr Ng Yen Yen were inundated by cries of "No! No! No!" from the crowd in Malacca during her failed attempts to coax them to say otherwise. She appeared frustrated with the response and had also asked the crowd to talk to the hawkers on Jonker Street who’ve benefited from Melaka’s growth and flourishing economy: “Go ask the hawkers at Jonker Street how much they earn each day’.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Who Should Be In Charge Of Defending Earth Against Asteroids?

Earlier this month humanity witnessed something most of us would never dreamed of witnessing before--a 10-tonnes spacerock smashed into Chelyabinsk, Russia, injuring thousands.

But why didn't NASA do anything to prevent the crash? We have employed highly-sophisticated telescopes on earth as well as above us, in the sky, and we have literally thousands of eyes peering at the sky at all time. So why didn't anyone spot that piece of rock? Physicists have been discussing methods of avoiding giant-dino-killing-asteroids for decades, and yet this event acts as a grim reminder that we're not entirely ready to face the inevitable.

Currently the responsibility of spotting giant killer asteroids rests upon the shoulders of United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It composes of scientists from NASA, the European space agency and the world's other space agencies.
But who do you think should be in charge of defending earth against asteroids? Or better, invading aliens?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Of Superman Flying Posture

Have you ever wondered why Superman has to keep his hand in front of him when flying?

Wouldn't it be easier for him to just align his arms alongside his body and fly like Ironman?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How Fast Can Thor Fly?

Early February, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted that Thor's hammer weighs as much as a herd of 300 billion elephants.
That's one heavy hammer. In fact it would sink all the way to the core of the Earth if Thor accidentally dropped it.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Over the past few weeks I've been soooooooooo freaking busy I literally had no time to blog.
And certainly no time to even read as much as I normally would.

But that doesn't mean I haven't been reading at all. There were some interesting stories to be shared but I have yet to properly study those papers and articles. One interesting article talks about how Muslims have moved on in their thoughts about evolution. Another interesting article talks about the need to face hardcore-animal-welfare-groups when it comes to some invasive species. Cats, for instance, are killing native birds and mammals for fun in many corners of the world. Animal lovers are calling for more neuter efforts, but those neutered cats will continue to decimate small animals for the remainder of their lives. I agree with the author to euthanize some of the feral cats because protecting endangered species is more important than saving your next door kitty. 

There were a lot of things to be done. Chinese New Year, research paper. Oh yeah I did finish my second paper and submitted for correction ON TIME. Then there was the PSY concert in Penang i.e. humiliation of Najib. 

Dad said during the CNY eve reunion dinner that he would like to see the empty seats filled up by the next CNY. 
IMPOSSIBRRRUUUU given the circumstances I'm in now. And I was alone again this Valentines' Day....I had a severe headache that night by the way. 

The next few months look to be pretty gloomy for me. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hong Kong 23~28th Jan 2013

Okay, a list of places I've visited:
1) Temple Street Night Market
2) Avenue of Stars
3) Bird Garden
4) Ocean Park Hong Kong
5) Man Mo Temple
6) Hollywood Road (Antique street)
7) HSBC headquarter
8) The Peak
9) Madame Tussaud Wax Museum
10)St John Cathedral
11) Lan Kwai Fong
12) Sun Yat Seng Memorial Museum
13) Hong Kong Heritage Museum
14)Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb
15) Wong Tai Sin Temple
16) Ladies Market
17) Macau St Domingo Cathedral
18) Venetian Macau--Titanic Exhibition
19) Venetian Macau--The Human Body Exhibition
20) Michael Jordan exhibition

The original plan was to fly to HongKong and spend the night at the HongKong airport until the morning of 24th Jan.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What Time Is It In Antarctica?

The continent of Antarctica sits on every line of longitude. So what time zone should you follow if you're in Antarctica?

There are no permanent residents on the continent. But anywhere from 1000 to 5000 people, most of whom are scientists, reside in various research stations scattered across the continent throughout the year. So keeping watch of the time is very important.

Time zone is determined by the line of longitude. India for instance, is located several time-zones west of Malaysia, and hence the time in Malaysia is several hours ahead of India. The difference in time is determined by the difference in the longitude line, with each degree divided into 60 minutes.

Antarctica sits in all time zones, so adhering to the rule above means that... erm...

For practical purposes time zones are usually based on territorial claims, however many stations use the time of the country they are owned by or the time zone of their supply base (e.g. McMurdo Station and Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station use New Zealand time due to their main supply base being Christchurch, New Zealand).--wikipedia
Image: http://www.worldtimezone.com/time-antarctica24.php
Right. So the time in Antarctica now, according to this website, follows New Zealand time, which is 5 hours ahead of Malaysia time.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

拖车姐续集:Listen 姐

最近大家都在网络看到 Listen 姐的风采了吧?
这个故事教导我们,做事要看看自己的背景。贵为 Suara Wanita 1Malaysia 主席的这位 Listen 姐居然发小孩一般的脾气,完全不像一个有能力,有耐心聆听民声的领导人。这恶劣的个人品德不是第一次了哦。
Image: fizgraphic.com

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Rhino's Horn (Plight): Let's Inject It with Poison!

The population of rhino is in peril. 
The last one-horned Javan rhino in Vietnam was killed by poachers in 2010, effectively marking the end of a unique subspecies of Javan rhino. 

That leaves us with the last subspecies of Javan rhino Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus in Indonesia. But the last census (2008) noted that fewer than 50 of the Indonesian subspecies exist in the wild.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Problem With Rape

On 16th December 2012, a 23-year-old girl was gang-raped, beaten, mutilated, and thrown off a bus in India's capital New Delhi. The case sent shockwaves across the world. 
Angry civilians poured onto the streets of India for the next couple of days to demand stronger actions against rapists. The poor girl died of her injuries two weeks later. The six men who committed the atrocity have been charged with murder. But is that enough to prevent similar tragedy from happening in the future?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Let's Give Credit Where It's Due

Every person has two sides: a good side and a bad side.
The person you perceive as unethical and self-absorbed could be an ardent animal lover. The pretty lady you saw on the street today could turn out to be an arrogant b*tch. And if we acknowledge a person's bad side, we should also acknowledge the person's good side. Otherwise we're no different from the person we hate, merely a bunch of biased pricks.


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