Saturday, 31 March 2007

Revving up the engine...

Whoppee!!! Finally got my poster printed ^^ Think it's too wordy but considering that Prof didn't vett it or anything... The edges of the words are a little pixelated, unlike those that were printed at the DBS office but the pictures in those are super dotty... Give and take I guess but at least it's out!!! Now that my writing engine has finally gotten started, I need to whack out a full thesis draft for Prof by Friday or esle forgo the chance of joining urchin_kaka, woceht, DW, applecow, k, and the other labbies who would be going coral spawning next weekend. That and prepare for poster presentation on Tue. Do hope there're no major boo-boos on my poster, and that I know my experimental design and stats well! Extra thanks to woceht for doing some basic discussion on stats online on Wed, and DW for spending half the morning explaining GMAV and stats and stuff to me last Friday. Really helped me alot!!! *hugs to both you angels*

And when I got home, my parents had gotten me more memory whild doing the weekly groceries!! *bwahaha* Am now the proud owner of 512mb, 1gig, 2gig SD cards and 54mb, 256mb, 1gig thumb drives *grins from ear-to-ear* Good thing both my digicams use SD cards, and now there's more than enough memory to split between Caplio and Ixus!! More thumbies to make my work more transportable too!! My Prestigo 100gig external HDD can stay at home and be the backup drive for everything, and my three thumbs can handle the active projects! *yay*
Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 28 March 2007


Okies, so maybe I shouldn't have gone for the Hantu 3rd anniversary dives on sunday but it did give me my first night diving experience in our local waters!! ^^ Same thing as with after AOW, no photos or updates of photos since I am sneaking this entry in despite having the humongous T-H-E-S-I-S hanging over my head. Oops, did I just say "hanging"? More like urgently pressing down on my shoulders, giving me all sorts of aches all around~~ Been pushing all non-urgent matters (meaning EVERYTHING) to after thesis submission, meaning I am technically off the hook after 11 Apr, 10am but need to do catching up on everything else!!

Before I go on an unstoppable rampage, I wanna say a BIG THANK YOU to the Debby and her team of volunteers for bringing us out and about Hantu ^^ Especially my guide Gina and buddy, Chay Hoon!! Real pity about your cam's batteries but it sure was enjoyable diving with you guys!! Saw tonnes of juvenile goatfish, gobies, crabs (during the night dive), crinoids, icon seastars, cuttlefish, rays.... Missed out on the seahorse since I lost G and CH at that time... Also, taking photos during night dives sure is challenging in Singapore. All the silt that showed up in the photos!! *yes, promise that the photos who slowly but surely appear after 11th Apr* Not to forget the interesting bunch of people who were also onboard while we chitchatted, dived, and strolled on Hantu with ^^ Jimmy, Som, Han Peng, Geraldine, Marcel etc. Hope to see ya guys on more dives in the future!!!

On to the explanation on why I am braindead. Another reason why I shouldn't have gone on the dives on Sunday is that I was actually having a bad tummy the few days before. Was thankfully ok by Saturday but after Sunday, seems like I am on the verge of coming down with flu *again* Probably contributed to why I KO-ed for at least half a day on Monday instead of being able to stay up late on Sunday to finish up my poster. It's still not done since I am still struggling with the stats!! Bane of my life!!! But I cannot admit defeat!!! Not if I wanna continue doing research... *groans* Woceht has been real patient helping decipher the tangle that I am in about attempting multivariate analysis, thanks girl!!

*drats* Need to grab a quick bite before the SPS seminar... Aargh. Why am I a specialist mentor doing Honors intensive period?!
Click for the rambling...

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
Click for the rambling...

Monday, 26 March 2007

Hantu 3rd anniversary dives~~

Am cheating a little since this post is coming up a month late... Hehz... Am finally free to sort through the photos and pick some nicer ones out to be posted here. Still need some time to sort out all photos properly to put in my online albums though. Below are some of the things we saw, definitely have a whole bunch more but those are all going into the albums!!! Not surprising that we saw quite a number of nudibranchs since I was with Gina and ChayHoon, expert nudi spotters~~

The echinoderms...tubular feet organisms

First iconic seastar I have seen in Singapore, as well as first seastar I haven seen while diving!! All those knobblies and commons seastars I have come across were all during intertidal walks....

First cushion star while diving in Singapore!!! Color looks off since I had to take it with flash using the IXUS underwater mode... Manual with customised white balance works the best, but when I need to use the flash....

Fishies....Never really felt up to the challenge of taking fish photos in Singapore's murk... Generally end up rather obscure it definitely was a day to "seas the moment"!!

Common copperbanded butterfly fish that we actually have on our stamps.. Usually seen in two and difficult to take since they seemingly disappear with a quick turn.

Butt view of one of the larger gobies around our shores. This fella seemed to be hunting amongst the holes, and it's rather fast, so shots are generally but views.... [EDIT] Checked with K and this goby is known as the barred high fin goby aka beautiful goby.

Anemonefish!! First time I am seeing them outside of Kusu ^^ These are false clowns since they lack the black band between the white and orange bands. The larger one wasn't exactly very welcoming when the 3 of us were just taking shot after shot after shot of them and their host anemone...

And on to corals!!!

Closeup of a mushroom coral. Unlike other hard corals, this group of corals are actually free living, meaning they are MEANT to be loose and "mobile". Love this closeup since you can see pretty colored bandings near the mouth ^^
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This one is a super asymmetrical mushroom coral. You can see that the top side is HUGE and the bottom kinda small in comparison. Wonder what happened to make it become this way? Maybe it got broken in half before and the smaller half is some osrt of re-growth?

Real beauty, ain't this? Anchor-head coral, also known as Euphyllia. This hard coral hsa it's tentacles out 24/7, making ID-ing pretty easy, even during the day!!

Not exactly sure which coral this is. Can tell that it's an octocoral, and it's rather pretty since they look like a mini-meadow of flowers on the substrate....

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Kinda did a quick collage of the crabs we saw... The bulk of them during the night dive, with some rather shy crabs making a quick appearance from cracks and crevices during the day...


Finally managed to catch a full grown cuttlefish in Singapore on my cammie~~~ The super friendly small one we were "playing" with some time back doesn't count!! Bwahaha...Cuttlefish!!! Buibui!!


All of these are our common blue spotted stingrays but to see ray after ray after ray, all so nicely staying on the substrate and posing for us (while eyeballing us carefully) was just amazing!!!


Yar, I know this is the super common flatworm that we just keep on seeing both in the sea and in the intertidal areas. But this one was looking at me head-on!! So my photoshooting skills aren't great.. It was looking at me nicely and I still got it a little blurred up~~ Grr... But it took of off and swwam almost immediately leh...

Sluggies~~ ^^
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Too many nudibranchs to post individually, so collage time!!! All so chio!!Some were just a cm in length and I still wonder how I managed to get the blue and green one in focus...

More slugs~~These are sea hares. Tiny and cute and green!!!

Yep. So who says that our seas are devoid of life? Hantu may be heavily dived but it's STILL teeming with life!! And really, kudos to Debby and her Hantu bloggers team for dutifully showing our reefs to divers every month!! Hope to dive with you guys soon~~
Click for the rambling...

北极星的眼泪 [张栋梁]

像断了线 消失人海里面
我的眼终于失去 你的脸
再等一会 奢望流星会出现
愿 如果真的实现
明天 或许来不及变
但曾经走过的昨天 越来越远
北极星的眼泪 说不出的想念
原来我们活在 两个世界
北极星的眼泪 你哭红的双眼
被淋湿的诺言 淹没在心里面
我抬头看着 爱不见

再等一会 奢望流星会出现
愿 如果真的实现
明天 或许来不及变
但曾经走过的昨天 越来越远
北极星的眼泪 说不出的想念
原来我们活在 两个世界
北极星的眼泪 你哭红的双眼
被淋湿的诺言 淹没在心里面
我抬头看着 爱不见
当对的人 等不到对的时间
就在放开手的瞬间 爱撕成两边

北极星的眼泪 说不出的想念
原来我们活在 两个世界
北极星的眼泪 你哭红的双眼
被淋湿的诺言 淹没在心里面
我抬头看着 爱不见
整个宇宙都 流眼泪
Click for the rambling...

Friday, 23 March 2007

What happened to rationality?

This article raised a number of questions with regards to zoos and human meddling in the lives of animals. Just because Knut's mum abandoned her two cubs, doesn't mean that she would have done so in the wild, and definitely doesn't justify outright murder of a polar bear cub!! Yes, an abandoned cub in the wild would mean near to sure death but it still isn't definite, and aren't polar bears supposed to be protected? They definitely are endangered animals. Maybe making the cub dependent on humans isn't exactly the best thing to do but taking the other extreme of just killing it off ain't right either. What happened to methods of remediation? How about using puppets or roleplaying etc. to attempt to teach Knut how to fend for himself, so that he could be re-introduced into the wild? Wouldn't that make more sense, even from an animal rights point of view?

Really, the bizarre things humans think of protesting about. If the only solutions we can come up with when faced with problems with regards to animal protection are only the two extremes, we probably would end up doing more harm than any good at all. How then can we be responsible caretakers of this earth of ours? How then can we face the inevitable climate change (or crisis) and continue to protect our lives, livelihoods, and biodiversity?

And here's yet another piece of disheartening news about another group of mammals, our ceteceans. This period is depressing enough with my thesis looming over my head and all the mentoring duties I have cramped in the next 2 weeks, and I definitely could do without such disheartening news...

Click for the rambling...

Friday, 16 March 2007

Just because I haven't done this for a while...

3 things that scare me:
Falling from a height
Total darkness
Marilyn Manson

3 people who make me laugh:
Just pick any 3 of my friends ^^

3 things I love:

3 things I hate:
Green peppers

3 things I don't understand:
Macromedia Flash

3 things on my desk (in lab):
Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
The Statistical Sleuth
FiNS magazines

3 things I'm doing now:
Playing KoL
Chatting online
Typing this

3 things I wanna do before I die:
Visit random places in Japan
Visit random places in UK
See whaleshark in the wild

3 things I can do:
Dive but not drive
Swim but not cycle
Play the piano but not a guitar

3 things you should listen to:
Common sense
Your conscience
The sea

3 things you should never listen to:
Offkey singing
Jolin Tsai

3 things I'd like to learn (haven't started yet):

3 favorite food:
Cha soba

3 beverages I drink regularly:
Orange juice

3 TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid:
Enid Blyton
Captain Planet


And thus I complete today's quota of randomly useless stuff to do ^^

Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

To Dayang and back...

Whoopee!!! Had my quick weekend break to do AOW before resigning myself to the mercy of the paper mill. Thanks everyone for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. Despite not being able to find that elusive whale shark, we sure did see many many fishies (too many triggers for my liking, many bumpheads), many cuttlefish, many crabs, cushion stars etc. Not to mention learning a new fin stroke and being an extra in rescue training as well. Sorry to disappoint but really have too many readings and projects and stuff to do so no intensive photo blogging but I promise to have the photos up in my albums once semester ends!!!

Now... do I really wanna go do rescue as well?
Click for the rambling...