Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 New Year Resolution and 2014 Year In Review

I know, I know, it's time for that OhyesI'mgonnasetmyselfsomeincrediblydifficult-to-achievenewyearresolutionwhichImaynotbeabletocompletebutsinceallofmyfriendsaredoingitsoI'lljustmakeoneanyway.

Yes! It's New Year's Eve today and it's time for New Year Resolution *Yayyyy*.

Okay, first things first, I've got a confession to make: I didn't complete a lot of my last year's resolution, which was actually meant to complete the things I didn't complete the previous year, and was actually written based on the things that I should have completed the year before.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Christmas Truce of World War One

It was 1914, exactly 100 years ago, on Christmas Day, that something miraculous happened.

It was World War I, the defending Allies were engaged in a bitter combat against the invading German troop at the Belgium-France border.

But on December 24th, at points along the western front, Germans placed lighted trees on trench and the Allies joined them in an impromptu peace.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Encounter With Kopi Luwak In Indonesia

It was around 3pm in the afternoon when we arrived at the Ijen National Park, East Java, Indonesia. We were passing through a coffee plantation when Wahid, the driver of our tour suddenly broke the silence.

"A cup of this coffee can make you wide awake at night," he said,

"But that's not because of its' caffeine, but it's because of its hefty price!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why Do Humans Have Uvula?

I believe many of us have experienced looking at ourselves in the mirror, with our mouth wide open, and wondered what's that dangling-testicle-lookalike-thing doing in there?

That dangling thing, my friend, is called the uvula.
So what exactly is the function of uvula?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Birthday to "I'm Curious Too"

Ladies and gentlemen,


( •_•) ⌐■-■

Happy 5th Birthday to I'm Curious Too.


Today marks the fifth anniversary of I'm Curious Too, the blog that I started five years ago. The number of posts have admittedly dwindled over the past 12 months, and I hope to push the number up in the coming months.

I started blogging because I needed a space to write down -- as a way to consolidate my memory -- interesting science news that I read online. Blogging has given me a lot of exposure, writing experience and opportunity to learn. It's really fun to look back at some of my favourite posts and laugh out loud, and--as the saying goes, practise makes perfect--blogging really does make thesis-writing easier.

Thanks to everyone who read my blog this year, and I hope to see you all again next year.

Wait, let's do that again.


( •_•) ⌐■-■




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Science of Interstellar Q&A

(Spoilers alert)

Firstly, a huge credit to Christopher Nolan for producing such a wonderful film.
I like the character of Mr Cooper and Professor Brand. Anne Hathaway's character—apart from her stunning look—doesn't really appeal to me; some of her lines are clearly misplaced, like the one when she starts murmuring about how love transcends gravity and shit-I-can't-even-recall-because-it's-so-cheesy-and-embarrassingly-bad-I-mean-wtf-you're-being-illogical-as-a-scientist.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why Do Cats Love Being in Circles?

I guess most of you have seen this because it's been all over the internet over the past two weeks; a cat owner makes a circle on the floor using masking tape, a wire or a rope, and the cat, as if drawn by a mysterious, unseen force, walks into the circle. All. By. Itself.
After reading from the website, one of my friends—an avid cat lover—started an experiment of her own using masking tape and, voila, it worked!
Image: Hooi Yuan Teng
Interestingly, according to a Taiwanese website, cats also favour smaller circles, especially those that have more or less similar diameter to the cats' body.
But why? What triggers the cat to behave in such a way?
Do cats have a secret affinity for circles?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Poor Whales, They Can Only Taste Salty

Two years ago I wrote an article about how carnivorous animals are oblivious to the taste of sweet things: tigers, lions, dolphins, sea lions, and your cat cannot differentiate between a bowl of sweet milk and a bowl of plain water.

But cetaceans, it seems, have lost more than just their sweet tooth.
Dolphins in the Ocean World Park, HongKong. Image: Malcolm Tang
Five basic types of taste exist: sour, sweet, bitter, salt, and umami. These five tastes can be distinguished by humans and are fundamental for physical and ecological adaptations in mammals. Umami and sweet tastes are attractive because they not only taste good, but are also essential to the ingestion of protein-rich and nutritious food. Salt, at low concentrations, is an attractive taste and is associated with sodium reabsorption and basic functioning of cells and neurons. Bitter tastes can cause taste aversion,thus protecting mammals from ingesting toxic substances. Sour tastes are unpleasant and can prevent the ingestion of unripe and decayed food resources.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

大便能吃吗 Part II

去年我写了一篇 “大便能吃吗?”,里头解释人类为什么能 / 不能吃大便。




Monday, October 20, 2014

Mount Bromo-Mount Ijen-Bali

It's been a while since I last blogged, and that's primarily because I was kinda busy with work and life and erm, preparing for this trip (my friends and I have been preparing for this trip since February, but we didn't actually prepare for it until a week before the trip).

So yeah, here's a brief summary of what to look out for in these three places.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Can You Really See The Great Wall Of China From Orbit?

Legend has it that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure that can be seen with the naked eyes from orbit. 

However, according to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who had just returned from a five-month mission aboard the International Space Station, it is not possible to see the Great Wall of China from orbit.

So you're telling me that it is not possible to see a 8850km-long man-made structure from another man-made structure parked 330km above the surface of the Earth?

Monday, September 15, 2014

If You Cut An Earthworm In Two, Will The Parts Grow Into Two Separate Worms?

You may have been told as a child that an earthworm will regenerate into two separate worms if it's cut in half crosswise. At least I was.

But I never really had the opportunity to experiment with a real earthworm--all the worms I dug up from my garden ended up as fishing bait.

Like most other animals, the humble earthworm has a head and a tail. Since earthworms have no eyes, the only way to identify its head is by looking at its clitellum.

Friday, August 29, 2014




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is An Outstanding Fund-Raising Campaign, A Poor Awareness Campaign

My current facebook newsfeed is inundated with videos of people executing in various ways the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Before I start, I have to make clear my stance: I support the ALS awareness campaign. I support all types of disease-related awareness campaign wholeheartedly. I genuinely think that this campaign is an effective way of raising fund to support the research into battling this lethal disease.
However, I can't help but to also feel that the movement is beginning to skew from its original intent of raising awareness of the disease to raising awareness of one’s own altruism and/or attractiveness in a wet T-shirt.

Monday, August 18, 2014

How Big Are The Craters In This Picture?

What is the size of the craters in this picture? And if we have a crater that size on Earth, how big would it be?
The moon has craters on its surface --lots of them-- and some are huge and some are small. These craters are the results of the collision between the moon and other smaller celestial bodies such as asteroids, comets or meteorites. Unlike the Earth which has a layer of atmosphere to burn incoming foreign objects, the moon has no atmosphere to help shielding it from even the smallest of meteorites.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Plants Get Cancer, Too. But They Don't Care.

Cancers are horrible shit.
It knows no boundaries, age, color, gender, and it can hit at anyone at anytime on any part of the body--nose; throat; lungs--regardless of one's lifestyle or daily habits, though smokers and obese people do have higher chances of contracting cancer.
And it has no cure.

And animals get cancer, too. The Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) has been decimating Tasmanian Devils population since 1996, and we've seen facial tumours in dogs, cats and horses as well.
A devil with a face tumour. Image:

And then there's plant. Yes. Plants get cancer, too.
You may wonder why do plants get cancer, right? It's so unfair for them to contract the life-threatening disease. After all they're just standing there doing their harmless business of turning sunlight into energy. They rarely ever hurt anyone and they don't annoy other trees people by exhaling second-hand smoke and they don't consume fatty food. Why oh why?

But wait. Yes, plants do get cancer, but it's not like the cancer you see in animals.

In animals, a tumour develops when a cell (or group of cells) loses the built-in controls that regulate its growth, often as a result of mutations. Plants can experience the same phenomenon, along with cancerous masses, but it tends to be brought on via infection. Fungi, bacteria, viruses, and insect infestation have all been tied to plant cancers. Oak trees, for example, often grow tumours that double as homes for larvae. —

Well, despite harbouring cancerous tumour plants are less vulnerable to its deadly effect. For instance a plant tumour wont metastasize (layman's term: spread) because the cells are locked in place by a matrix of rigid cell walls. And even when the cells begins dividing relentlessly the tumour will remain in the same place. It can't migrate like human tumours and hence not as fatal as cancer in animals.

And for humans it's unimaginable to know you have a tumour embedded in your throat; lungs; or brain, we just can't survive without those organs. But plants lack such organs. And trees don't die when you break one of their branches.
So plants don't really care when they get cancer.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Sungai Lembing 26-29 July 2014

Ops I did it again~

I woke up at 4 am on the 26th of July, and departed via the KL-Karak highway towards Kuantan. It's a 266-km journey from where I live to Sungai Lembing, and so I had to split the journey into four sessions; stops at Karak—Temerloh—Maran—Sg Lembing—and estimated myself to arrive at about 11 am.

But I was so wrong. So very wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Do Butterflies Drink Water?

It was a Sunday yesterday, and out of the curiosity to test the macro feature on my camera lens I figured I'd pay a visit to the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. The park is located near the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and the entrance fee is only RM 10 for Malaysian, but RM 20 for foreign visitors.

While shooting pictures of the critters I noticed something strange: the butterflies intermittently danced around and landed on the wet floor.
Are they drinking water?
But why?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why Do We Wear Underwears?

Okay folks, it's time for weird and random questions again.

I always have weird questions popping up in my head at the random-est moment, and this happened earlier this morning while I was having my breakfast. Sipping my coffee, I felt a little bit cold and realized I was wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. Well, okay, I thought, so clothes protect us against the climate, and that makes perfect sense. Some tribes in Papua New Guinea walk around naked due to the warm, humid climate in which they live. The Inuits wear thick clothes made from animal skin because they live in the Arctic. Inhabitants of the ancient Angkor civilization that thrived under the hot scorching sun of South East Asia did not wear anything except for a piece of clothing that hanged from their waist (before you ask, yes, both men and women of ancient Angkor were breast-naked).
Inuit women. Image:
If the primary function of clothes is to provide warmth, what is the function of the underwear? Is there a need for an extra layer of fabric wrapping around our groin to provide extra warmth? Why can't we just put on a shirt and a pair of pants and walk straight out the door? Moreover, the male testicles function only at a temperature slightly lower than the rest of our bodies (and that explains why the sac hangs innocuously underneath your phallus, outside of your body), so why would anyone hamper their own fertility by channeling extra heat to their groin?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How Do People Get New Ideas?

It's truly amazing what the human mind can do. How can anyone produces music that tickles the soul? Have you ever looked at your mobile phone, GPS or car and asked: how the heck did they come up with this thing in the first place? Well it's all down to one thing: creativity. New idea. Innovation.

But how do people get new ideas?

I rarely experience those bulb-going-off moment because, frankly, my creativity level is horrendously low. Routine is what I do best, and then I looked at people like Hans Zimmer, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison and thought how pathetic my brain power can be, and to add to my woes all three of them didn't even go to college and Zimmer, the composer for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean had had only two weeks of piano lesson when he was a child.
We often think of those people as a whole different species altogether -- geniuses -- and we seek comfort in knowing that most, if not all, of them are probably more dweeb than we normal people are (with the exception of Schroedinger--that guy tried to get his wife to live with his mistress).

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Six Tips To Improve Your Memory

I'm not sitting for examination this semester. In fact I haven't taken any written examination since 2011, simply because I'm now a postgraduate researcher, and researcher don't take exams! :D

It's exam season now, and I feel bad when I see people trying so hard to memorize their notes. Boycotting Facebook is one way to stay focused, but you need some time off as well and immersing yourself in a sea of books isn't going to help.

Forget about your grandma's magic potion or the tips given by your CGPA 2.0 seniors. Here are six ways, backed up by solid science, for you to improve your memory.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Math, Science and Other Learning Abilities: Hereditary or Acquired?

I was browsing my Facebook yesterday when a friend of mine posted about a math question she couldn't solve, and then she said something that I think a lot of us have heard of:

".....I dun(sic) have those maths brain (I believe it is genetically determined!)...."
Even I myself was once a victim of this concept of selective genes. I was constantly reminded of my limitation in maths by my parents, and that our family lacks the math gene, so it's perfectly fine for me to flunk the subjectuntil I was humiliated by my add-math teacher in class for failing so badly (to be fair to him, he was so mad because he had never seen a student getting a measly 6% for his test).

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Underreporting of the Boko Haram Kidnapping Issue: Whose Fault Is It?

Boko Haram is a militant Islamist group based in northeastern Nigeria. The name comes from the Hausa language, a language spoken by people in Niger, Nigeria and Chad, which roughly translates to prohibited western education or western education is sinful.

Founded in 2002, the organization seeks to establish a pure Islamic state ruled by sharia law.

And on the night of April 14 2014, the group raided a local school and took away 276 school girls. The leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau announced in a series of videos posted online that he will sell the children into slavery. “Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell.”
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. Image:

This news irritates me because I find it incomprehensible that slavery still exists in this era of internet, human rights and iphones. And it irritates me even further that it is again being done under the name of religion. Some reports state that the girls will also be sold as child brides to men in neighboring Cameroon and Chad.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blogger: How to Set Password to a Particular Post

Sometimes, we tend to treat our blog as a treasure trove or a record book, a safe place to write things that aren't meant for some people, and so we need to set password for a particular post to prevent people from seeing it.

But how should we do it?
It's pretty easy actually.

1) Type out your rant/confession in notepad or any other text program. 

2) Go to your blog, click template, and click edit html, and then search (by pressing ctrl+F) for "(head)""

3) Paste the following line BEFORE the "(head)".
(script src='' type='text/javascript'/)

4) Go to

5) Insert your password in the "key" column.

6) Copy your rant/confession in (1) into the "plain text" column, and click Encrypt.

7)  You can ignore the Cipher Text column, and go straight to the html code column, and copy it.

8) Go to your blog to compose a new post. Click HTML instead of compose, and paste the html code copied from (7) there.

9) Save and publish.

Leave a message at the comment section if it doesn't work.


Monday, May 5, 2014

大摇 2014


五千,5000, lima ribu, five thousand!!! 我拍大摇平均 150-300 张罢了,这些小鸟平均每个人 1000 多张耶。以下的照片全是小鸟拍的。

Sunday, May 4, 2014

不要老去 --Promo Video

My team and I spent 6 weeks filming this music video.
Have a look~~

Oh by the way the music in this video, as well as the music in the music video are both composed by ourselves. #WeDon'tSimplyTakeOutsiders'Works#

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Tragic Story of Einstein's Brain

It was stolen. There, I've said it.

And if that's not tragic enough, then take this: the brain was then cut into 240 pieces by the thief.
And if that's still not tragic enough, consider this: after years of investigation, it turns out that (maybe, just maybe) Einstein's brain wasn't even special after all. Allow me to finish this.
Einstein sorta knew what was coming after his death (why not? He's the smartest man to ever walk the Earth, of course he knew about the public's obsession with his remains). And so he "left behind specific instructions regarding his remains: cremate them, and scatter the ashes secretly in order to discourage idolaters"

Friday, April 25, 2014


最近足球界最 heng 的新闻应该就是莫耶斯被令下课的消息。


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why You Fall In Love With Your Work: It's The Ikea Effect

Imagine this:
You've bought a piece of furniture from Ikea. You got home immediately and started assembling the thing. 
It came out a little crooked, but you didn't care. You showed it off to your girlfriend and despite her best effort to sound polite, you felt offended because she said the work turned out a little awkward.
When I first built this sh-t and I thought it was awesome. And two months later I thought it was horrendously bad. 

It's a common psychology effect called the Ikea Effect: building your own stuffs boosts your pride and makes you feel competent, and that could override your rationale to consider other people's opinion.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Disappearance of MH370 Has Brought Technology Down On Its Knees

For many people, the disappearance of MH370 is utterly incomprehensible, and you can hardly blame them for thinking that way. After all, we're living in an era of GPS and Google Maps, and basically everyone is being spied on by the NSA.
So how can a plane so huge vanish into thin air just like that?

Ever since the start of the industrial revolution, humans have been creating countless wonders: building bridges; cars; airplanes; trains; guns and firearms; and two centuries later we basically have had the entire world under our feet. We have looked beyond our planet, snapping photos of the Sun, Mercury, and celestial body as far as Jupiter and the 67 moons that surround it. We have transformed the Earth according to our needs, creating dams and canals, altering terrain and destroying nature at will while pushing other species towards extinction. We have also expanded our clout onto a neighboring planet via the Curiosity rover. Hence, with this constant influx of the glory of our technology it's easy to think that everything is within our control, and that everything can be achieved by our technology.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Beauty of Xiaohe - A Non-Chinese Mummy In China

When I first set my eyes upon the picture of this mummy I was instantly stunned by her beauty. 

I could vividly see some faint colouration of her skin, the colour of her hair (gosh she's a redhead! Found in China for god's sake!), and her long, narrow nose, and thick lips. But amid all these, one feature stood out - the one thing that grabbed my attention at first glance was her stunningly captivating eyelashes. And I thought L'Oreal should sponsor her.
She has got to be the most beautiful mummy I've ever seen.
Image: Wang Da-Gang
She was discovered in 2006 in the Taklamakan desert, excavated from Xiaohe (little river), cemetery 5, Ruoqiang County in Xinjiang, China. Apart from her, there were other mummies as well, and they were all found in a cemetery that lies along the path that would later be known as the Silk Road - the rambling, braided trading route between Central Asia and China.
To appreciate just how beautiful she is, you need to see the relatively pitiful condition of other famous mummies. The mummy of the famous boy king, Tutankhamun, for example, is considered a "good" mummy by many, and yet his remains have reduced to a near-skeleton condition. And Ramses The Great's. Even the "perfectly" mummified monk in Koh Samui, Thailand, is in no better if not equal condition compared to her, even though he is only dead for slightly more than four decades. And the fact that she's around 3800 years old adds weight to her charm.
King Tut's Mummy. Image:
She's so perfectly mummified it's as if she had just died yesterday. So I set out, with the help of a stylus and my ipad, to try to portray how she would have looked like if she was still alive.
She's such a beauty isn't she?
And though she was found in Xinjiang, I can assure you that she definitely has no Chinese blood in her. A typical Chinese has small eyes, flat nose, small lips, and a flat face. And everything about her is the exact opposite of what you see on a typical Chinese. So she is definitely someone from central Asia, possibly from the neighbouring Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, or Kyrgyzstan. Or even Europe. In fact the Chinese government allegedly got worried about her as a proof that Europeans had entered China earlier than what's written in the official history that they decided to pull the mummy from the museum exhibition in the United States back in 2011.

Plot twist: But what if she really was a Chinese (spoke mandarin, used chopsticks and celebrated Chinese New Year), and she was on route to become the new queen of China, and got murdered by ruthless bandits marauding the Silk Road? *hair-grabbing* omgomgomgomgomg!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

How Does Cloud Seeding Work?

Hot weather is horrible. Prolonged drought is even worse. 

Last month was the driest February in Malaysia for the past ten years. Water level at the Klang Gates Dam has dropped to a 10-year low, forcing the authority to begin rationing water supply.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How Do Blind People Dream?

Dreams can be fascinating, compelling, inspiring, or scary.
We attach such characters to our dreams because we can experience and feel our dreams through our visual and auditory senses. I'm sure nightmares will be less scary if we can't see nor hear the content.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ask A Leech: How Do You Survive A 24-Hour Submersion In Liquid Nitrogen?

How much cold can you withstand?

The coldest place I've ever been to was -3 ⁰C. I didn't last beyond an hour.

In August 2010 the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was measured in Antarctica; it was a staggering -94.7 ⁰C (though it was not an official record because it was measured by a satellite).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

You're Not Safe From Crocodiles Even When You're On A Tree

Most of us thought that when pursued by a crocodile (on land, crocodiles can run at an impressive 12-14kph for a short period), climbing up a tree signals the end of the chase.
Well, that's not entire true; because it turns out crocodiles CAN climb trees.

Yes, climb trees.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wasp-Eating Falcon. Hoorayyy~

Entomologist Gwen Pearson recently wrote about an animal so weird it blew my mind: a wasp-eating falcon.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What Does It Feel Like Getting Drunk?

I was part of the crowd that flooded the Haadrin beach for the Full Moon Countdown party in Koh Phangan, Thailand last week. 
If you haven't read about it already, please do it here. I drank three buckets of the infamous cocktail and then, according to my friends, I got drunk.
Very drunk.
So how does one know whether a person is drunk?
First, he murmurs sh*ts you don't understand. That includes those who present their final year project without knowing what the hell they have done.

Secondly, he can't stand/walk properly.

Thirdly, he falls asleep, but he hears whatever sh*t you say about him.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Koh Samui-Koh Phangan-Full Moon Party

The Full Moon Party in Thailand is considered one of the most important stops for any serious backpacker. 
The mere mention of the infamous party conjures up images of a wild-out-of-control-drink-all-you-want beach party where people of various nationalities get together and have fun.  

It all started in the 80s when a group of backpackers in Koh Phangan held a birthday party for their friend on the night of the full moon. They had such a wonderful time that they decided to return to the exact location the following year to do it again. What started as a innocuous, endearing birthday party gradually evolved into the alcohol-fueled, pee-into-the-sea beach party we see today.


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