Tuesday 27 January 2009

Happy 牛 Year

On CNY eve, I played the computer from about 7.30pm to about 5.40am. This is the only day in the whole year that I was allowed to play on the computer for a long time. There is a Chinese belief that when the children stay up late on CNY eve, the parents can live to a ripe old age. I just played some random games.

On CNY Day, we went to my cousin's house at Simei Green for lunch. I loved eating the baguas. We also watched some videos on the Youtube there and received some ang baos. After that, we went to my grandmother's house at Queenstown for dinner. We hardly did anything there, as most of my relatives had already left. Only my maternal grandparents, eldest auntie, 7th auntie and her children were there. We received more ang baos. I think I collected about $300 in total.

Our 4 days holidays are going to be over so quickly. I wish everyday could be Chinese New Year, then I can play on the computer for as long as I want on the eve of everyday. There will also be no school. We will also receive a lot of money from the ang baos everyday. Haha.

Sunday 18 January 2009

This Semester's Modules

This semester, my most-like to least-like modules are:

1. MA4105 Sequences, Series and Mathematical Induction. I always put maths first no matter what. This is a Year 4 module, the teacher Ms Sie is not boring, she is experienced and gives detailed explanation.
2. MA4107 Vectors in 2 and 3 Dimensional Space. This will be covered after the above is completed. I can predict that I will like this subject.
3. CM2104 Foundation Chemistry 2. We are learning chemical reactions. I just like the subject.
4. FA2102 3D Basic. I get to create the sculpture using clay. It's fun.
5. PC2110 Foundational Physics II. We are learning Thermal Physics, Optics and Electricity & Magnetism. I always like Physics as it is just like Maths, but the teacher is boring.
6. BL2101 Human Reproductive System. I don't really like Biology, but the teacher is thorough and gives a lot of information.
7. EL2103 Narration and Description. I am weak in language, but luckily Ms Lau (our form teacher) is nice, loud and clear.
8. GE2101 The Dynamic Blue Planet. Last year's module (on population, industrialisation and globalisation) made me dislike Geography, but this year should be better as we are learning about the earth.
9. Da Vinci. Very long, 3 hrs of research project every week.
10. PE. I hate to run under the sun and exercise.
11. CL2101 Chinese 2A. What can I say?

Actually, I am also attending Maths Olympiad training on Saturdays (3.5 hrs) at NUS Maths Dept. This is under the National Team training, no module credits are earned. If I must rank it, then it is after PC2110 and before BL2101. Though I learn new things in the training, most of the time the topics covered are quite cheem, probably JC level.

Sunday 11 January 2009

Do-It-Yourself Ice Cream

Today my family went to the Yuki Yaki restaurant in Marina Square for a Do-It-Yourself steamboat, Teppanyaki & Ice Cream Buffet. The steamboat and Teppanyaki (bbq on hotpan) are nothing unusual, so I shall not blog much about it. After our main course, we changed table and had our ice cream buffet. The same Teppanyaki pan was used but this time the thermostat was adjusted to a cold temperature, ready for ice cream making. We started to choose from a variety of ice cream flavours (passion fruit, tiramisu, chocolate, yam, durian) and made our ice cream using something like the Spongebob's spatulas.

My sister trying to scoop out the frozen ice.

Durian flavour with rainbow rice and chocolate rice toppings

We just poured coca cola inside the pan, to make coca cola ice cream.

Our newly, invented water melon fruit ice cream

We also experimented with sprite, orange juice, lemon juice, zapple and even plain water! Most of them tasted horrible. Zapple is probably the nicest.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Interesting Memory Metal

Nitinol is a metal alloy that is made from Nickel and Titanium. It is also called 'memory metal' or Shape Memory Alloy (SMA). Shape Memory Alloys have two distinct types of crystal structure, depending on whether they are above or below a certain critical transformation temperature. Below the critical temperature, Nitinol is flexible and can be bent easily into any shape. But once heated to the critical temperature, Nitinol shows its 'heat memory' by springing into its remembered shape.

What are the uses of Nitinol? One use is spectacle frames. Nitinol is soft, so the frames are comfortable to wear. But if they get accidentally bent, you can heat the frames using hot water, and they will spring back to their original shape. Currently Nitinol is quite expensive. But as its cost goes down, there can be many other potential applications. Another possible use is vehicle parts that will repair themselves after an accident.

The 'hot' wire video below demonstrates the properties of Nitinol.