Thursday, August 28, 2014

My first encounter with Paypal - Withdrawal procedure and queries

Several tips and guides on how you can withdraw funds from Paypal to your local bank account

I won't say that I'm a total pro at this, but I have done some really extensive digging and calculating in order to get the information that I'm posting here, inclusive of questions (and the answers that I've gotten) from Paypal customer service and the results that I've gotten by experimenting with Paypal.

A flow chart on how the transfer of funds will work. I'm using my Fiverr account as an example.

XXX (Pending flow chart)

Some common FAQs for Paypal withdrawals

Withdrawing into another person's bank account?
No, you cannot do that

Use someone else's credit card 
No, you cannot do that

Withdrawing into a joint account whereby your name is listed as the second bank account holder
Pending answer from Paypal

Failed withdrawals due to valid errors
Minus RM15 fee from your Paypal account
(You can contest this via opening a petition on Paypal to reclaim your RM15 if you think the error stated is not valid)

NOTE: The local banks themselves may impose a charge as well if the withdrawal is rejected.

Withdrawal limits
(Unverified account): RM 2000.00 per month up to a maximum of RM 12,000 
[This is not exactly true] - No wonder I am unable to withdraw over a thousand ringgit at one go. Anyway, the new limit is RM1000.00 per transaction and in order to hit the monthly limit of RM2000.00, you will have to perform 2 separate transactions in a month.

(Verified account = meaning that you have a valid credit or debit card added to your Paypal account): No limit

Conversion taxes?
Yes, please refer to currency conversion below

Withdrawal duration
2-4 days if you're lucky. It's best to withdraw on Monday or Tuesday in order to get your money within the week (without any public holidays in between) and avoid any unnecessary delays.

Worse case, it may take up to a month. However, if the withdrawal is delayed for around week or two, please check if the hold-up is on Paypal's end or on your local bank's end. How? Check whether Paypal has listed the withdrawal as 'completed' or not. 

Most of the time, it's the local bank that is holding-up your withdrawal. If so, you'll need to contact your local bank, but it doesn't hurt to lodge a report to Paypal as well.

Don't worry - this is a common issue. You'll get your money in time.

List of banks with confirmed withdrawals from Paypal
These banks are confirmed to work based on comments on the website listed in the 'Other resources' subtopic.

  • Public Bank
  • Maybank
  • CIMB bank
  • RHB bank
However, any of the listed banks should work perfectly as well. These are just a list of banks that other people have withdrew money from Paypal to successfully.

I've added my bank account months ago and my bank account status still says 'checking account'.

The term 'checking account' does not mean that Paypal is verifying  your account. It refers to your bank account type = savings account. - Being someone who is unfamiliar with finance terms, I was duped by this... lol.

Just a note, the type of your bank account doesn't really matter in regard to withdrawals.

For withdrawals less than RM 400...
Please be aware that you'll be subjected to an additional charge of RM 3.

Currency conversion

This question warrants an entire section by itself. Anyway, I hope you can understand my explanations.

Conversion of currencies will be subjected to tax and a flat rate.

  • The flat rate maximizes out at $1 (USD). (Will vary depending on the currency you receive)
  • The tax will differs depending on where you receive the money from (Refer to the source for more info).


For transferring more than $400 (USD) at a time, you will be subjected to ~4.4% tax and a flat rate of $1 (maximum) for USD to RM. However, from my calculations, I as subjected to only ~2.7% tax as compared to the 4.4% stated on Paypal's website (the flat rate still applies). Not sure what's wrong, but then the tax is less than expected so I'm happy :). 

If you transfer less than $400 (USD), you'll be subjected to a combination of tax and flat rate of around 2%. I've tested this by transferring $12 (USD) and I only get $11.76 (USD) in my Paypal. 

The current balance that you see on your Paypal account was already subjected to the deductions mentioned above. Hence, the money you earned is less than what you expected - by quite a lot in fact.

NOTE: Paypal exchange rates are way lower than the current exchange rates

As of 15:00 15/8/2014, Paypal is only providing RM 3.08 for each USD as compared to the exchange rate stated on Google which is RM 3.17 for each USD. That's almost a 10 cents difference for every dollar you cash out!

Edit: I've checked the currency rate for USD to RM again today and, not surprisingly, Paypal's exchange rate is almost always 10 sens less than the current exchange rate.

If you have any other queries, do not be shy! Go ahead and send Paypal an email through their support site:

Other resources: 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sam Tsui - Shadow


Bags all packed, make sure you remember everything
No looking back, no more; not for anything.
This is what you wanted, isn't it?
Clear it out just like you've never been
What's a goodbye good for, anyway?

There's nothing left of you to remind me
But somehow you're still standing behind me

I'm trying hard to forget you
But my empty walls won't let me let you go
When you took it all, you forgot your shadow
You say you wish me well without you
But something 'bout you tells me that you know, oh oh

When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow
When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow, your shadow, oh oh

Hide all your photographs,
But I can feel you watching me
How long does your memory last?
It's time I ought to be
Moving on and getting over you
I bet it looks like I'm not even trying to
Here all alone, my past on the walls

With nothing left of you to remind me
So why are you still standing behind me

I'm trying hard to forget you
But my empty walls won't let me let you go
When you took it all, you forgot your shadow
You say you wish me well without you
But something 'bout you tells me that you know, oh oh

When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow
When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow, your shadow, oh oh

It's always there, too close, too much
The shape of something I can't touch
I turn, and find the shadow's grown
Those empty eyes I begged to stay
Are watching me from yesterday
You can leave me, can you leave me alone?

I'm trying hard to forget you
But my empty walls won't let me let you go
Let me go
You say you wish me well without you
But something 'bout you tells me that you know, oh oh

When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow
When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow, your shadow, oh oh

When you took it all you forgot
Your shadow, your shadow
Bags all packed, make sure you remember everything

Sam Tsui - Don't want an ending


I don't wanna fall out
But we're all out of time
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
In one day
No way you'll be mine
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)


My heart is running on empty
One more day and then we go
Yeah, the time goes on now
Don't ask me how
I don't know
You'll be home tomorrow
About a thousand miles too far away?
Say you won't forget and i'll be okay

At least tonight
It's just you and me and honestly
That's everything i need

I don't wanna fall out
But we're all out of time
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
In one day
No way you'll be mine
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)

Tonight's the countdown
'Till the day we're not around
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
And you're gone
And we're on with our lives
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
I don't want an ending
Don't want an ending...

The days... turn to hours
And it’s just a moment before they go
I’m scared to say goodbye,
‘Cause what’s after that?
I don’t know.

As the years look past us
-If we lose track,
Or lose the fight,

I will search forever
To find a way back..

To tonight
Where it's just you and me and honestly
That's everything I need

I don't wanna fall out
But we're all out of time
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
In one day
No way you'll be mine
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)

Tonight's the countdown
'Til the day we're not around
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
And you're gone
And we're on with our lives
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
I don't want an ending

We said "see ya later"
But I know there's no way we're
Going Around here again (yeah)
And every until next time
Feels like -one bad punch line
And I don't want that again

I don't wanna fall out
But we're all out of time
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
In one day
No way you'll be mine
(Is this over?)
(I Don't want an ending)

I don't wanna fall out
But we're all out of time
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
In one day
No way you'll be mine
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)

Tonight's the countdown
'Til the day we're not around

(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
And you're gone
And we're on with our lives
(Is this over?)
(Don't want an ending)
(Noo...) I....
Don't want an ending
(All out of time....)
Don't want an ending
Don't want an ending

Avoid using the word 'very'

Credits to 9gag for creating this... I think. Not sure whether the site ripped it off somewhere else though or it created this. Anyways, I'm done with the credits, now onwards to the content!

And I suppose this blog post (although a bit late) can be considered a tribute to the late Robin Williams. RIP.

Click the pic to enlarge and to download.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Twitch Reflex Challenge!

Twitch reflex.... if you didn't know about it, it's basically about how fast you respond with your mouse clicking finger. Gamers (FPSers and perhaps MMORPGers) usually have better score.

So, here's my best score out of around 20 times lol :P
Holy cow! 0.29s! xD

I clocked an average of 0.3s though. What about you? :)

Click here to accept the challenge!

Also, if you like hashtags, you can use the hashtag #twitchreflexchallenge on Facebook to brag about your results lol and seriously, no hacking allowed. 

(and no, I didn't develop that test nor I own that website. This is not an advert but it's for fun... and for bragging rights! :P)

P/S: I know mouse response time and internet speed should also be taken into account lol :P But just for fun, what's your score?

P/S 2: Considering the huge number of ALS ice bucket challenge being thrown around, I thought I should challenge myself too lol and it so happened I was writing a game review for something that triggered this term to resurface in my mind. So, yeah... stop procrastinating by reading this! What's your score? :D SS it for proof :D

For more 'tests' such as this one, feel free to check out my other posts:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tuition anecdote - Trick question

Goat or not-goat... that's the question!
One of my std 1 kids gave this to me. I had to asked her what this is, and she told me that this is a goat with 'horns' coming out from its neck. 

Then, she proceeded to ask me, 'Do you know what those things are?', while pointing to the 3 lumps under the goat's belly.

I tried to put it as gently as I could and said, 'Yes, of course... those are 'thingies' that baby goats drink milk from...'

Then she looked at me, annoyed, and said, 'No lah... those ARE the baby goats themselves....'

At that exact moment, I have half a mind to smack my forehead... I should have known better to just keep my mouth shut and asked what they are. 

It's obviously a trick question lol... and there I was thinking that she must have seen a picture of a mother goat on Nat Geo or something... aiks!

In the end, I asked her to colour it for me, just so she would have something to do to pass the time. :P

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Balance Personal and Work Life

Sage words for any budding micro-entrepreneur.

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, there exists in you a burning desire to get it all done. The point is, your goal should not be to get everything finished, but finish what is important. Stress levels peak because of a feeling of being rushed not being busy.
 ------ stress level still peaking after almost 2 months... sigh and it's getting even worse.

On outsourcing - 
It is more affordable than you may think. Is it cheaper to do it yourself- yes, of course. But ask yourself, “How much is my time worth?”. 
----- Exactly what I told somebody and declined any further job offers from him lol. I told him, 'Although I enjoy working for you, but you have to make it worth my while to work for you too.' and by that I don't mean getting paid ridiculous sums of money for a simple job... I'm stating that I'm seriously underpaid and I can't afford to continue working like this.

On defining success - 
Lastly, we all to often allow others to dictate our values and our self-worth. What does success look like to you? What will it feel like for you to achieve it? Ultimately you will be the one putting in the hard work and sacrifice to attain it, so what exactly do you want? 
----- Some people see the ability to travel overseas often as a mark of success, some other defines it by driving the coolest cars or having the biggest house. I'm not sure what I want yet, but I know I don't want to be stressed out all the time... I seriously need to manage distractions, my workload and finding a balance. I feel like I'm working my ass off.

The 12 types of postgraduate students in the lab

This may only be applicable to postgrads who are pursuing a full research Masters' degree in any science field that is lab-based (biology-related fields in particular). I may add more if I can think of any.

Enjoy! :)

NOTE: This is written in no particular order or preference and that some labmates may have 2 or more of the following characteristics. These are all written in the lab context and MAY have been exaggerated for a humorous effect.

LEGEND: PI = principle investigator

1. The Reagents Supplier

This is the person to go to for any reagents that you're too lazy to prepare. He or she has a collection of different pH Tris or Phosphate buffers (or other reagents) at varying molarities or even stacks of agar plates with different antibiotics added. You need it, they've got it! And, they are usually very generous with their reagents.... or perhaps they will give those reagents to you for a price.

2. The Inconspicuous Bench Hogger

These sort of labmates will place their racks of tubes closer and closer to your side and if you didn't notice it or are too timid to stand up for yourself, one day, they will have hogged half of your bench. Or perhaps, after a two-week conference trip (Vacation!), you will return to see that your bench has been taken over by the hogger. Sometimes, they might even informed you that they are just borrowing your bench space for their racks for a couple of days, only to take over that spot on your bench forever. Be extremely wary!

3. The Saboteur

The stealthy and malicious saboteur may have been previously wronged by the already graduated postgrad or the postdoc who has left the lab ages ago, but he/ she decided to heap his/ her unfulfilled vengeance onto the other students in the lab. Re-filling your 10% APS with sterile water? Checked. Hide your antibodies so you cannot find them? Checked. These people are the worst and may have contributed to the new trend of using several heavy-duty padlocks (or if you're rich, biometric locks or retinal scanner) for your lab drawers and lab fridges (if you're lucky to have a whole -20C fridge to yourself). The saddest thing is that they are so busy sabotaging other people's work, that they developed extreme paranoia over time and hardly have any time to work on their own experiments... leading to delayed graduation dates and generating even more frustration. It's a vicious cycle.

4. Lab's Version of Gossip Girls 

(Can be boys too, gender does not apply much in the lab IMHO)

From what Prof XX is doing on his weekends down to which underwear the lab prettiest girl is wearing (no, not really), if you ask them anything remotely gossipy, brace your ears coz they are going to be blasted off by these 'Gossip girls'. You may even hear about stuff that you wish you didn't hear about. These 'Gossip girls' know about the petty squabbles between lecturers and their 'cold wars', who is no longer talking to whom, all the wrongdoings the new postgrad or undergrad in the next lab has done... well practically everything, really. They even talk while doing their lab work... so it's not surprising if their lab work failed spectacularly.

5. The Spontaneous Singer/ 'Bollywood Star'

These are the sort of people who, at unexpected moments, burst into song or dance and the song or dance may be something that is popular ages ago (but is currently considered outdated).

Yes, you get your own live show in the lab and it's pretty cool too, except if the person who is spontaneously singing or dancing or both is not really very good at it. They may have accidentally and indirectly destroyed someone else's experiments or sensitive and fragile equipment while that someone else is being distracted by these people's singing or dancing.

6. The 'Lone Ranger'

The person in the lab who come, do his or her experiments for the day and goes home every day without talking to any of the other lab people unless absolutely necessary. Most 'Lone Rangers' are independent, but is antisocial. They usually won't join in the festivities or any Happy Hour sessions that the other labmates may be enjoying.

7. The Borrower/Stealer

These sort of people are among the worst kind in labs... and can also be associated with the saboteur since you cannot truly know whether they really forgot to return the items to you or they purposefully wanted to steal from you. This may include transferring items (like antibodies) from your -20C boxes to theirs or use your reagents and finishes them off without helping you to re-prepare them and. all the while. conveniently forgetting to ask you for your permission or to return the items to you.... every time. What's even worse is that the borrower can also be coupled with The Contaminator as well (Refer to 10).

8. The FB-er

The FB-er only comes to the lab for a couple of hours at a time and within the short periods of time, he/ she only check their oh-so-many social media sites... Facebook in particular. What's surprising is that these sort of people may somehow graduate... perhaps even faster than you all the while doing absolutely nothing! They must have 'magic skills' or they have managed to blackmail the PI... this is all up to your imagination.

9. The 'Boss'

They are usually the chemical-store-keeper and the person to go to if you encounter any problems during your research as well. Don't bother spending any brain cells on troubleshooting or learning a new skill, just get the know-it-all boss to teach it to you. The only difference between the 'boss' and the unpaid 'lab assistant' is that the 'boss' usually doesn't do your work for you... they will only teach you. And of course, they practically oversees the lab for the supervisor/ PI. Some 'bosses' may even report any wrongdoing to the real Boss (your supervisor/ PI). There will also be 'pseudo-bosses' who act like they are the 'boss' in the lab when they aren't even close.

10. The Contaminator or the Person with the Finger of Doom

You wouldn't want these people anywhere within a 10-mile radius of your reagents or culture plates. Anything they handle will end up in the biohazard waste... and there goes your months or years of hard work. What's even worse is that when the borrower is coupled with the contaminator, all your reagents may already have been contaminated, but you won't know until you failed your experiments multiple times... or until when you decided to prepare ALL your reagents again.

This can also be applicable to damaged lab equipments. Their favourite phase? 'It's already damaged when I used it, but I didn't or forgot to report to the lab officer about it'. Sometimes, if the equipment is extremely expensive, they may even deny using the equipment at all. Hence, in the case of lab equipments magically getting damaged by their own accord after being used by a person, that person is called 'The Person with the Finger of Doom'.

11. The Lab Kid

This person is usually the life of the lab due to his/ her childish tendencies to do silly things or pranks in the lab. He/ she will think that the lab is a huge playground... literally. For example, spraying you with 70% ethanol solution or dropping ice cubes down your lab coat or in your lab coat pockets... when you're doing lab work. However, the downside here is that he/ she will frequently get into a lot of trouble and will drag you down along with him/ her if you joined in.

12. The Unpaid 'Lab Assistant' or The OK Man / Lady

Also known as The OK Man/ Lady. These people are usually the most junior in the lab or is perhaps an undergraduate/ intern and will have to do whatever work that the other more senior people needed doing (and are reluctant to do)... including washing the autoclaved flasks or Scott bottles, cleaning the gel tanks, disposing of biohazard wastes or some simple lab work like DNA extraction. They are usually unpaid and will have to do these work in addition to their existing responsibilities. These people may also turn to complaining to whoever who listens in order to reduce their stress and frustration.

There are many more other 'types' of postgrad students in the lab of course... what other types can you think of? Feel free to post them in the comments below. :)

Disclaimer: I do not intend to offend anybody through the display of my lame sense of humour. If you don't like this, you can just click away and continue watching your cat videos on YouTube. :P

If you like these sort of things, you can check out my other scientifically 'funny' stuff or personal experiences here:

Overly Honest Methods - A Personal Compilation

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Joy of Discovery

"Because of the universe's existence, and we are driven to pursue that, to find out where we came from... the joy of discovery, that's what drives us and these questions are deep within us. It fills me with joy to make discoveries every day of things I've never seen before, to know that we can pursue these answers..." - Excerpt from the video and from Bill Nye's debate.

Overly Honest Methods - A Personal Compilation

Being a scientist myself... well somewhat... I'm a science postgrad in full research mode... no? Okaymeme.jpeg

Anyway, I find these so hilarious that I want to share with you guys.... and to whoever who reads my blog posts :)

Have fun laughing your heads off... I might just add a few of my own... but please don't tell my supervisor :P

----- I was forced to do that.... once. But the usual case is I created a master mix and I have some leftovers - I try to put the leftovers equally into all my sample tubes because magnetic streptavidin beads are hella expensive.
----- Yup!

--- lol, in this case, I'll be like 'Fck the experiment, my stomach is more important' and then you'll develop a guilty conscience and go 'nah, I'll just repeat this one more time... it might just take a pity on me and work if I'm hungry'
---- and in fact, lab rats (the actual rats) are treated better than the people in the labs.
----- Just the abstract of those papers ;)
----- super agree... it's more like approximately... but it's a very rough type of approximation. And since I measure the powder by directly using the Scott bottle as the 'weighing boat', it's not like I can take the powder out.
----- I used to actually read lots of papers in a day (from front to back)... then I realised that it is absolutely useless. You won't remember any of them by the time you are writing your thesis or academic paper.
----- yup, enuf said!
---- ahahaha! I'm going to aim for this achievement in my discussion for my thesis.
---- this is exactly what my BF experienced... or something like that. And in the end, dunno how many days' worth of work goes down the drain.
----- always! well, almost always!
---- yuppp!
----- I just did this for one of my graphs in my thesis and there are still 2 more graphs that needs repeating... sigh. My co-supervisor told me that this is 'normal practice' and that I should do it if I want to ever graduate... I was hooked on the graduate part.
----- protein expression and purification can be a total biatch. Seriously...
----- LOL! Like my currently under-review review paper... the reviewer wanted new information (and it's not like I didn't include 2014 papers, but he wanted more), so I just searched a list of recent papers up on PubMed using the keyword and viola! xxx new papers cited in my review... lol...
----- although this did not apply to me, but it's still pretty funny :P
----- well, the results won't turn up right and the PI will still blame you for being the 'lousy teacher'
---- like my current crappy project...
---- okay, this is a mistake that almost every fed-up beginner in postgrad does... but most of the time, it's mislabelled. You can ask my BF how he fared when he wasted months of work due to mislabelled forward and reverse primers...
----- ah... just the typical PI ego.

----- and some of these OHMs made it into academic papers as well xD
------ I'm famous for doing this in my lab lol. And I'll keep 'used' gloves around because all my data or any impromptu protocol modifications are on them :P

---- yeah, like the load of quotation work or if your PI is aiming for the professor position, his professorship application forms and documents...
----- I've failed so many times that I've lost count, so even though my negative results are 'statistically significant', I cannot explain them lol
------- yes, yes and yes! It's just 0.2 or 0.5 anyways, it'll work. xD I did that plenty of times... any pH buffer can be a pain in the ass to adjust the pH.
----- I should do this to my second reviewer who said my paper is a load of trash lol... (Unlike the first, third and fourth reviewers who recommended my paper :P) If only I knew his/her name... lol
----- like my 25 paged introduction and lit review as compared to my possibly less than 10 pages of results and discussions... oh well, time to enlarge the font size and narrow down the margins
------- try that with adding samples to a whole bunch of PCR tubes or microtiter wells and you'll cry... nah I'll just make an educated guess as to where I've stopped and proceed as usual
---- like me needing to get ethical approval for using my own urine sample in a spiking experiment...

------ lol! exactly what I did for my thesis lit review... dayum~

----- so don't test me on molecular bio jargons, I'll out-jargon you xD but I'm not taking on people who have more experience than I do in this field btw.

------- and sometimes even later because I wanted to sleep in
-------- it all boils down to the free gifts. Like the time I ordered a kit and some other unnecessary stuff (but they are reagents anyway, so I will use them.... one day) from a supplier just so I can get a chance to get free movie tickets...... I didn't get them

Source: A fake Los Angeles Times news site.

My personal experiences or other people's experiences that I've witnessed first hand 
... or maybe I've just made them up ;)

The fact that I incubated my samples in -20C overnight rather than in -80C freezer just so I could go home.

Or that I incubated my samples in the drying oven instead of the water bath or the heating cube because they were already occupied.

Or that time I was sick on a Friday and my blot was destained over the weekend... and it worked. Since then, I've destained every blot over the weekends...

Or the countless hours of 'over-incubating' my samples because I went out for a long lunch and then forgot about the time.

Or the time I copy and pasted my proposal literature review into my academic paper, my conference abstract, scholarship application AND my thesis. Recycling and reusing ftw! (Just the 2-3 pages on aptamers and the figures lol)

Or using weight balances which were not calibrated (coz some stupid idiot moved the stupid machine and didn't recalibrated it) just because there is no way in hell I'm picking up someone else's sht. I've done it plenty of times in the past but no longer!

Or the time when the waste pile is so high, that once autoclaved, a horde of drosophila spewed from the autoclave machine. Don't blame me though, it's not my turn!

Or you've forgotten to put the autoclaved Scott bottle of agar into the oven? Don't worry, put the solidified agar into the microwave oven and hope for the best!

Or my experiment involved spiking because I've tried with real samples and it didn't work.

Did you know what happens when the common lab computer has so many files on the desktop that it no longer has any space to display anymore? You probably don't, but I do. :P

Here's a quick anecdote - There was a time when I used PowerPoint to draw a gel image to provide the audience an image of the expected result of my experiment and one of the audience said to me, 'Wow, nice gel image! How did you get that?' I was like.... 'Didn't you listen to me when I was presenting? It is just the expected results...'

And some academic papers are exaggerated possibilities based on a very little not-really-accurate data. Like have you ever imagine why there are so many papers on cancer cure discoveries or 'possibilities' but none of them actually discovered the actual cure?

For more funny and overly honest methods, check these out:

If you like these sort of things, you can check out my other scientifically 'funny' stuff or personal experiences here:

The 12 types of postgraduate students in the lab

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dragon Nest SEA - Village theme song

Ontas kritela nosontilis
Virtili valetzuri
Kiyetu sanala hala'hui
Leilian vo elus virras


Vira notu sotiso
Wori melivra o
Hui'sas sanaa'ela hala
Rekriato me
Kaya naiatolus
Werihi kala'us
Le'a le'u teras
Rekriato me...
Rekriato me...


Honya valelus sonavelis
Viri as'ana dore
Ashai valerias solathelas
Resha uro huitusviratus

(repeat cho)

Vitoris analesa litus
Kaya noseras sai'us
Vitolis analesasa litus
Kaya noseras sai'us

(Repeat cho)

Credits to Tori Camilion (You can sub to her channel by clicking on the video - that's her video by the way :) ).

Dragon nest review

Ah... the nostalgia!

I've played Dragon Nest 2 years ago and somehow since my old laptop died, I didn't went back to the game even though I have loved the graphics, gameplay (though repeated dungeon runs even at different difficulty is a bit boring) and animations... and most importantly, the soundtrack (yes, I'm serious :P)

Anyway, due to having to write a review for one of my Fiverr employer, I've reinstalled the game and to my surprise, the game is so much smoother than before. The music is as brilliant as always :)

Just thought you guys would like to know :)

This is the music that you hear in town.

 And... this is the song you'll hear after an exhilarating video for character creation :)

The full review will be done today, so I'll post it up soon! Stay tuned! :)

Update: Unfortunately, due to a request from my employer, I am unable to post the full review here. I'll work on a summary and will post it up soon :) 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Who asked the first question?

The difference between apes and humans...

Apes are known to be able to learn sign languages and 'talk' or communicate like a 2.5 y/o child, but they have never been known to ask a question - they just answer. This doesn't mean that they are not curious, it's just that they are unable to comprehend that other apes may have information that they are not privy to.

In other words, they thought all organisms think and feel like they do and this sets us, humans apart from apes in the evolutionary tree (besides the obvious physical and bodily characteristics).

(It's free, you can download it and read it at your leisure)

Inspired by: 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Changing the size of your powerpoint slides

The background canvas I mean, so that you can fit more stuff into it. How?

1. Design
2. Page setup
3. Slide sized as: -pick the one that you want- OR you can customise the slides size as well!
4. Viola!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The real reason as to why we work 8 hours per day

You can read the article here. However, for this blog post, I'm just going to comment on several things that are mentioned in the article.

Here in the West, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business. Companies in all kinds of industries have a huge stake in the public’s penchant to be careless with their money. They will seek to encourage the public’s habit of casual or non-essential spending whenever they can.

It's not even only in the West. It's a worldwide issue! Heck, I've even spent RM20 on a simple meal just so it can 'motivate' me to work more. That Starbucks coffee that you need every morning? Yeah, it's an indulgence and not essential (a simple coffee will do the same work... so why do you need Starbucks?). 

I even have a friend who used to go to karaoke (which is very expensive) every weekend for months on end just so she can prep herself for the following work days.

The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends.
lol, what does this say about people who work more than 40 hours a week? I work evenings, nights and even weekends forgawdssake. It's no wonder that I'm as stressed up as I am now. Damn, I'm probably going to die young :\

The eight-hour workday developed during the industrial revolution in Britain in the 19th century, as a respite for factory workers who were being exploited with 14- or 16-hour workdays.
As technologies and methods advanced, workers in all industries became able to produce much more value in a shorter amount of time. You’d think this would lead to shorter workdays. 
But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
This is very true for me. If I work less hours, I'll use my time for more gaming, as well as getting several online degrees (on courses that I'm actually interested in) and learn several languages that I want to learn. I would even get the long-needed exercise lol.

I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing.

The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time.
Suddenly I have a lot more money and a lot less time, which means I have a lot more in common with the typical working North American than I did a few months ago. While I was abroad I wouldn’t have thought twice about spending the day wandering through a national park or reading my book on the beach for a few hours. Now that kind of stuff feels like it’s out of the question. Doing either one would take most of one of my precious weekend days!

This hits the point right on! I used to read a lot and write too (my blog for example), but now, I'm just rushing for one deadlines after another... and I'm supposed to be a postgrad student who is supposed to be working on her thesis lol :P

-More comments soon, my break time is up lol- 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's important to be stupid in scientific research

A fellow facebook friend shared this and I happen to stumble onto this. I gotta say - this might just explain why, despite my immense interest in science, I don't really like research (besides the intense politics and bullying). Enjoy!

The importance of stupidity in scientific research

By Martin A. Schwartz 

I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, although in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School and is now a senior lawyer for a major environmental organization. At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else.

I had thought of her as one of the brightest people I knew and her subsequent career supports that view. What she said bothered me. I kept thinking about it; sometime the next day, it hit me. Science makes me feel stupid too. It's just that I've gotten used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I actively seek out new opportunities to feel stupid. I wouldn't know what to do without that feeling. I even think it's supposed to be this way. Let me explain.

For almost all of us, one of the reasons that we liked science in high school and college is that we were good at it. That can't be the only reason – fascination with understanding the physical world and an emotional need to discover new things has to enter into it too. But high-school and college science means taking courses, and doing well in courses means getting the right answers on tests. If you know those answers, you do well and get to feel smart.

A Ph.D., in which you have to do a research project, is a whole different thing. For me, it was a daunting task. How could I possibly frame the questions that would lead to significant discoveries; design and interpret an experiment so that the conclusions were absolutely convincing; foresee difficulties and see ways around them, or, failing that, solve them when they occurred? My Ph.D. project was somewhat interdisciplinary and, for a while, whenever I ran into a problem, I pestered the faculty in my department who were experts in the various disciplines that I needed. I remember the day when Henry Taube (who won the Nobel Prize two years later) told me he didn't know how to solve the problem I was having in his area. I was a third-year graduate student and I figured that Taube knew about 1000 times more than I did (conservative estimate). If he didn't have the answer, nobody did.

That's when it hit me: nobody did. That's why it was a research problem. And being my research problem, it was up to me to solve. Once I faced that fact, I solved the problem in a couple of days. (It wasn't really very hard; I just had to try a few things.) The crucial lesson was that the scope of things I didn't know wasn't merely vast; it was, for all practical purposes, infinite. That realization, instead of being discouraging, was liberating. If our ignorance is infinite, the only possible course of action is to muddle through as best we can.

I'd like to suggest that our Ph.D. programs often do students a disservice in two ways. First, I don't think students are made to understand how hard it is to do research. And how very, very hard it is to do important research. It's a lot harder than taking even very demanding courses. What makes it difficult is that research is immersion in the unknown. We just don't know what we're doing. We can't be sure whether we're asking the right question or doing the right experiment until we get the answer or the result. Admittedly, science is made harder by competition for grants and space in top journals. But apart from all of that, doing significant research is intrinsically hard and changing departmental, institutional or national policies will not succeed in lessening its intrinsic difficulty.

Second, we don't do a good enough job of teaching our students how to be productively stupid – that is, if we don't feel stupid it means we're not really trying. I'm not talking about `relative stupidity', in which the other students in the class actually read the material, think about it and ace the exam, whereas you don't. I'm also not talking about bright people who might be working in areas that don't match their talents. Science involves confronting our `absolute stupidity'. That kind of stupidity is an existential fact, inherent in our efforts to push our way into the unknown. Preliminary and thesis exams have the right idea when the faculty committee pushes until the student starts getting the answers wrong or gives up and says, `I don't know'. The point of the exam isn't to see if the student gets all the answers right. If they do, it's the faculty who failed the exam. The point is to identify the student's weaknesses, partly to see where they need to invest some effort and partly to see whether the student's knowledge fails at a sufficiently high level that they are ready to take on a research project.

Productive stupidity means being ignorant by choice. Focusing on important questions puts us in the awkward position of being ignorant. One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time. No doubt, this can be difficult for students who are accustomed to getting the answers right. No doubt, reasonable levels of confidence and emotional resilience help, but I think scientific education might do more to ease what is a very big transition: from learning what other people once discovered to making your own discoveries. The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries.

Citation: doi: 10.1242/​jcs.033340 June 1, 2008 J Cell Sci 121, 1771.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A messed up world

Sometimes, don't you feel that the world is so messed up?

If you pursue something that you like (but it may not mean that you're extremely good at it lah) but it doesn't pay well, then tough luck, buddy.

If you pursue something that pays good but you don't like, then you will probably not be happy with your life, most of the time.

If your job is something you like and it pays very well, then you're one of the lucky ones.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Level 2 on Fiverr!

It happened earlier this week but I was too busy catching up with the orders lol :P

Anyway, here it is! Yay!

Also, if you would like to check out my gigs on Fiverr, feel free to click on my Fiverr link on the sidebar on your right. :)

Have fun!