071 Degrees of Uncertainty

What I want to do in university (for now)...

(in order of descending preference)

1. NUS Double Degree in Material Sciences and Physics
2. (insert a relevant Double Degree offered by NTU)
3. NUS BSc in Physics with specialisation in Physics in Technology
4. NUS BSc in Physics with specialisation in Astrophysics
4. NTU BSC in Physics with specialisation in Nanotechnology
6. NUS B Eng in Engineering Sciences
7. BSc in Chemistry (NUS or NTU)
8. Any other overseas University for BSc in Theoretical Physics

(Note: The two (4.)s are intentional, their positions are interchangable)

Note to self: Consider doing Engineering Courses in University (if yes...
(Locally) place under number 7 on list;
(Overseas) place at the very bottom)

List of Scholarships to apply for... (also in descending order of preference)
1. ASEAN Scholarship for NUS and/or NTU
2. Universities' internal scholarship (if eligible)
3. Keppel Group Scholarship
4. Any other local scholarship that accepts foreigners
5. PM (not prime minister) scholarship (don't ask what this is doing here...)
6. Consider applying for PR... (last resort, please don't ask... please, please, please...)

PS: Try to apply for good UK universities as back-up plan...
PPS: Try top-notch US Universities too, if A-Level results are good enough...

(07 X 10) Rain and Umbrellas

Another Quickie, you really don't have time to do anything much nowadays, sigh, I just downloaded this song off Youtube, and I downloaded it because it's quite nice, and I like the beat... I always fall for nice beats. Sigh (again), it is Rihanna's "Umbrella", it's a catchy song but the actual video (not the one here), is a little... well... not to my liking... though it has nice dance moves.... Ai, school's back to normal tomorrow, I will really miss the Learning Festival Days, sigh (for the third time)...

069 A Kitty Quickie

I knew this would happen to Erwin Schrodinger... (see entry titled "A Quantum Story: Probable Problems in Probability")

068 Beyond Block Test 2

Knowledge of what lies beyond a potential barrier, only remains a probability, that is sometimes so small that it would be physically impossible for us to know, unless we tunnel through the barrier, but that will take a very long time. This is quantum mechanics, but I always like to project the quantum world onto reality to see how it fits in.

I always tell people, "a life without uncertainty is not a life worth living", we need uncertainty in life, because a well-planned out life does not allow flexibility in options and the cultivation of spontaneity, although at the back of my mind I avoid being too spontaneous and being an at-the-moment person, because there is always something we plan to do.

So, life beyond Block Test 2 is painfully uncertain, besides going on to prepare for Prelims and goodness knows how many other tests in the middle, but then again, do we really want to know what lies beyond...

"There's this part from the latest Harry Potter movie, where Sirius Black falls "beyond the veil" in the Department of Mysteries after being shot with by a spell. Harry, who loved his godfather so much wanted to go into the veil, (It should be noted that "Beyond The Veil" was the chapter title where this event happened in the book), but was stopped by someone because he knew that Sirius would never return."

The future is like this veil, once we go beyond it, we would never return to the point we enter it. The future may not be dangerous and we don't have to be shot to enter it, we enter voluntarily, but sometimes we don't like to see what is in it. What is there to do? We just must go on....

"Another story I would like to tell is the story of the missing brick. Once, a man was planning to build a house of bricks, and he drew out a meticulous plan on how to use every brick in his structure. However, when his order of bricks arrived, he found that there was one brick short. What could he do? He could choose to redraw the entire plan just to account for the missing brick, or try to accomodate for the missing brick by modifying the structure or removing a feature. There were many things he could do, but he chose only one method. He simply ordered another brick"

The lesson behind this allegory is to show that we should not let just any small problems destroy our entire plans. We plan and plan and when the day comes, we find and error. We don't start from scratch, or formulate a new plan on the spot. No, we should just solve the problem with as little effort as possible and then let life take its course again. Don't be like a boulder, which gets stopped by a pit in the ground but act like a river, and go around any rock that blocks the path.

Suddenly, the future doesn't seem that bad, after all, we only have to learn how to face it and treat the future like it is a blessing rather than a curse.

067 One Liners

I have been... preoccupied lately, trying to understand and search for Higgs Bosons and neutrinos. They are rare and not easy to find, even in particle accelerators. So, while I take a break from looking, let me entertain you with a poem, the last poem in the North Coast Poem Series, the Homeward Compassion. And before I leave you with the poem, I would like to say that Harry Potter was an OK book, but I think the loose ends were tied up a little to quickly. Oh well...

The Homeward Compassion
Punggol Beach – Part 2

A long walk home awaits,
A dusty, sandy path lies before me,
Another route, another story,
Of unbearable heat and insecure feelings,
Where would I go from here?

A couple leaves, a white car passes,
The dogs come out from the bushes,
They bark, they growl, a streak of panic,
Following behind me, a worrying thought,
Then, the car stops, and a ride awaits me.

I quickly comply, gratefully, the beasts retreat,
Another dog in the car, can I ask for more?
It looks at me, I took a step back,
Wondering when all the strange adventures will end?

I get up; the dog was unsettled, quickly tamed,
I sat back, few words exchanged, to Punggol Central,
A pair of glassy eyes stare, I do not object,
As the destination approaches and I alight,
A warm feeling of compassion overwhelms me,
As the dog watches me leave the car,
It’s a farewell, the finale,
To the homeward compassion, and
The random act of kindness,
Surely not easily forgotten.

066 The Optimists' Prayer

Dear God, give me…

Draught, so that when rain comes, it would be a blessing
Rainstorms, so that I will know when to look for rainbows
Failure, so that I know success does not come easily
Pain and Sickness, so that good health will not go unnoticed
Betrayals, so that I know where my true friends lie
Trials, so that I know effort, where it matters, is important
Tribulations, so that life will not pass uneventfully
Vice, so that I am tempted to do otherwise
Temptations, so that I will learn to resist all things bad
Disappointment, so that I will have the strength to do better
Jealousy, so that I will understand that I am not the best in this world
Vanity, so that I will constantly strive to improve myself
Anger, so that I know that people and the world are not perfect
Sins, so that I will realize that others do not commit them as much as I do
Pride, so that I will know the limits of the heights I can reach
Challenges, so that I know how hard I can fall
Boredom, so that I will know that excitement is not a common commodity
Death, so that I will learn how to live life
Stupidity, so that the price of Wisdom will be better appreciated
Despair, for without it, we won’t search for hope and light
Selfishness, so that I will know the things I hold close to my heart
Tiredness, so that I will never wear myself out too much
Laziness, so that I will realize the importance of Time in life
Fear, for without it, we will never learn the reason we must be brave
Danger, for without it, I will never know that life is priceless
Complacency, so that one day, I will know the perils of dust under the rug
Sadness, so that I will know there are good times and also bad times
and lastly,
Pessimism, so that any evil that befall me will not be simply shrugged away.

065 A Story From The Heart 5: The Ending... or not?

Recent readers may not know what The Story From The Heart is, because it's buried somewhere in the archives of this blog. Old readers would recognise the title, which would include my parents and some of my closest friends, including one that has been pestering me to finish it, but he later forgot about it. This story ended at Part 4: The Crisis Looms, where, if I'm not mistaken is a cliffhanger... new readers should look up the old entries first before reading this finale, to tell you the truth, I never did meant it to have a happy ending... but you see... this story is no ordinary story... it's a semi-fictional story that runs parallel to my life... and I fear, the ending hasn't come yet in life, so personally I cannot truthfully write an ending to this story, the best I can do now is to soften the cliffhanger by writing this last part of the story to keep myself pacified and to reward those who have been most patient. So here it goes...

They have always said that there was always calm before the storm, and then came this part of life when we were too busy with our own matters, and ignoring the problem that looms ahead, for only one can go on to fulfill his duty as a grown person. There was calm, certainly, everyone forgotten about the this, wishing that this part of life would go on forever, and yet sometimes wanting to end because the uncertainty isn't there anymore. But wait, is it possible that there is no need for the problem to exist in the first place, we did not need to separate after all? Can the three of us coexist peacefully with one another, and not having to leave each other, WE were the summation of each other, but, in actual fact, the whole is more than the sum of its parts, isn't it? Conflicts between us could easily be resolved. While the "WE" being the "I" could be a philosophical burden that might impede life, yet it was enriching to know that the "I" is actually a "WE"...

Footnote: The entire story is simple, yet extremely profound, to the extent that. if taken at face value, the story may seem very trivial. You see, the story is about myself, and the battle of the self of being either a "WE" or an "I", at first, the "WE" was under the idea that, one day the "WE" must become an "I", but which "I"? Later, I thought that it was in fact possible that we could live life as a "WE" instead of fighting to become an "I". It was a battle which I had undertaken myself and this story attempts to mask a train of thought that I have done, and this is why the nature of the story seems to have changed considerably in the ending. This is my idea of how to deal with conflicting sets of principles and personalities, which is the "WE" in the SELF. What say you?