Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thesis: Acknowledgement

Okay, I've promised myself that I'll put up the acknowledgement of my Master's thesis here so that perhaps one day, the people that I'm grateful for might stumble upon it and get a very pleasant surprise :)

So here goes! 

P/S: Do not copy my Acknowledgement ya? Obviously, the people you will want to thank and the reason/s you want to thank them for will be drastically different from mine. You can use this as a template to get you started, but I find it easier to simply write from the heart. I'm sure you will realise that too :)

P/P/S: Names have been shortened to protect the people in this acknowledgement. The initials should be enough to let these people know that I'm referring to them :)


Firstly, I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to my esteemed main supervisor, Assoc Prof TTH for giving me the opportunity to pursue my masters’ degree. His advice and support is invaluable to me during this arduous postgraduate journey. I would also very much like to thank my honoured co-supervisors, Dr Subash G. and Dr Citartan M.. Their years of accumulated expertise on aptamers proved to be indispensable to this project. I’m also very grateful for their willingness to share what they knew to me. A special thanks goes to Dr HCH who was my mentor during my earlier months in the lab. His advice on lab techniques as well as on life (in general) is something that I will remember for as long as I live.

A huge shout out of thanks to my fellow lab mates at the Infectomic Cluster, especially to LLP and Kak Siti, for their constructive comments and guidance, without which I may not be here today. I wish them the best of luck in their own journeys! Another significant individual that I would like to express my utmost gratitude is to my dear friend and ex-lab mate, TYR (Lyra). Her cheerful outlook on life and her enthusiasm towards science are extremely contagious. I’m very proud to list her as one of my best friends (It is a very short list). Just in case I left anyone, who had helped to bring this thesis to fruition, out in this acknowledgement, sorry and thank you!

I would also like to express my appreciation to my family and also my boyfriend, TSY, for their loving support and encouragement, particularly when I had faltered in my journey. They saved me from the murky depths of depression when I could not see bright light in the seemingly endless and dark tunnel that embodies my postgraduate study and I am forever indebted to them.

Last but not least, my sincere gratitude to Advanced Medical and Dental Institute (AMDI) for giving me my student grant, which helped tremendously in getting some vital lab reagents that I could not do without, and also for awarding me with the position of Graduate Assistant that greatly reduced my financial burden.  Thank you!

Welcoming the New Year - 2016

Whew, what a year indeed!

I've finally graduated from the dreaded postgrad studies that I've landed myself in... thank goodness. I still feel like the mental torture that I've put myself through isn't really worth it though :P

This year, I've gotten myself a job that I actually like, though not something that has anything to do with what I've studied over the past 7 years (degree+masters)... but it has something to do with somethings (namely writing and gaming) that I've liked since I was young lol :P

I've even gotten myself a pretty sweet promotion at this job of mine, and some really nice gifts to go along with it. Honestly, I can honestly said that I've never been more content with my life... even though I'm still very unsure what my future will lead to.

Heck, I'm not even sure what I'll be doing a year from now, but what I now know is that I am perhaps strong enough to handle it :) Who knows? I might just go on ahead and finally set up that food business idea that I had stewing inside my head for so long :P

Anyway, not many of my resolutions are being completed... unfortunately (and as expected), but well, I'll still set goals for me for the new year... because at least you have goals :)

1. Learn how to play the guitar... but I'll have to buy a guitar first!
2. Actually finish learning the languages that I've kinda abandoned in 2015 (French, Spanish, Morse Code etc)
3. Learn more about what my job is all about - lots of online courses
4. Actually attempt to design a small game using Scratch :)
5. Create a new course for people learning Penang Hokkien on Memrise
6. Relearn how to swim - my swimming is supppeeerrr awkward at the moment
7. Go overseas for the very first time - for a vacation, of course!
8. Play at least some of my game "backlogs"
9. Spend more time with my Grandma (in particular), family, and friends
10. Find new ways for me to improve my digital drawing skills and new mediums for me to have fun creating fun stuff

And MOST IMPORTANTLY - Write more stuff on my blog! :D

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best Science Documentaries on Daily Motion

A list of the documentaries that I've enjoyed :) Have fun watching!

1. BBC Documentary - The Creative Brain: How Insight Works

2. BBC Science - Are Video Games Really That Bad?

BBC Horizon 2015 || BBC Science | Are Video... oleh Burak_Kavakc

3. NOVA Science Now - Human Brain: How Smart Can We Get

BBC DOCUMENTARY 2015 Human Brain How Smart Can... oleh Documentarychannel1

Very interesting! Writing down/journaling about your feelings and anxieties prior to a highly stressful situation helps your brain perform better... and reduces the chance of you getting that dreaded "going blank" phenomenon, especially during exams.

I used to journal on paper during my high school years - coz well, I love to write, so why not? Hehe :P But then I switched over to typing... hence, the birth of Aveyn Toh's blog... where I write prior to stressful situations like exams or rushing assignments for deadlines... I used to think I was procrastinating lol.. but now, maybe... just maybe, my brain is trying to teach me to offload the stress via my writing, so I can perform better later on :) Amazing!

4. NOVA Science Now - How Does The Brain Work?



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lily and the Snowman: An Incredible Short Film For Xmas

Instead of making me think of my loved ones - I like to think that I've spend a lot of time with them... which might, or might not be true from their point of view :), it made me recall my youth... where I would spend hours writing stories on the computer that will never be read while listening to my favorite tunes.

Well, maybe I'm just exaggerating... I do hope I would be a good enough writer/author to publish at least 1 or 2 of them. Mainly the gamebooks :P

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Battling Addiction

I was... um, I am a pretty big fan of Tyler Ward. He's a great musician... I love his songs... and he seems like he's a really chill guy.

I have no idea he had these problems though.

His video reminded me of the time when I was hooked on WoW. Granted that WoW is an excellent game and I still love it, I was very much addicted to the game... for years. It's not a major addiction, but it still affected my life and my studies (somewhat). And like all addicts, I was in denial about my addiction even though a small part of me is constantly nagging me... telling me that they (my parents) were right... that I was addicted.

I was very thankful that I have had a very strong will or I would have emerged from my addiction with even more "damage". At uni, I have a friends first policy that I could honestly say I've never broken. It's a struggle honestly... and it's not that I don't enjoy my friends' company, but the allure of WoW can be really strong... I was a total AH addict back then. I have this urge to check my listed items and relist items if I get undercut. It took up quite a lot of my time.

I also have a bit of a "kia su" (afraid to lose) attitude I suppose. No matter how much I long to play, I will still study for my exams and stuff.... but uh, maybe I just study a bit less and a bit more hurriedly, as well as study the subjects later than I would have liked (procrastinating). I got away with this (and still get OK results) for quite some time... until one day, I had a moment of terror when I completely can't recall the formulas I've memorized a few days earlier for a final exam.

It's the "blank" phenomenon... as we Msians call it and it scared the hell out of me. There I was thinking I had managed to do well with minimal studying but this one moment gave me the shock I needed. I still play WoW since then, but I'm a bit more careful about when and how long I play the game. I think that's when I realized that my future, my life... is more important than a virtual life.

And well, there's this: I have to keep my results up or I might lose my scholarship. So, yeah, I didn't went all cold turkey though... and I didn't delete any of my beloved characters, but I think they aren't there any more... it has been years since I last logged into the game.

Even after graduation, I still played the game for a bit, but I'm not sure why... the game starts to lose its hold on me. I still get addicted to games though, but now I know how to manage it... how to prioritise what real life stuff that I value more.

That said, although I still think WoW is the best MMO ever (I might try Guild Wars one day though... and maybe, I may change my mind :P) and that I would love to check out all the new stuff the game has had over the past few years, I'm now a bit afraid of playing WoW again.

Anyway, watching that gut-wrenching video of Tyler talking about his struggles made me realised how grateful I was to have a will that is strong enough to break myself free from my WoW addiction.

So.... that's all there is - my addiction story. What about yours?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fun Times in Dirty Bomb

Let me first say that I'm not one of those really hardcore shooters... but I do relish a challenge (and not being facerolled) now and then. 

Most games that I tried for shooter games tend to have some really hardcore players who have like zero tolerance with players who are still learning the game... they expect every player in their team to be a pro. And even worse? They do not even offer any advice or help, but straightaway start flaming people.

I had my fair share of insults mind you and yes, for some of the times, I don't need someone else to tell me I've messed up (sometimes, but not always) in the game - I do that very well on my own. 

Anyway, once I've gotten sufficiently proficient at a game, I do excel at them... somewhat :P Still need to polish up lots of stuff though... like reacting fast enough to avoid a Proxy's well-placed mine, or not be stupid enough to try to have a shootout with a sniper using a submachine gun/assault rifle xD (but well, at least my teammates will know that there's a sniper there and perhaps flush him out to avenge me) 

Here are some of my moments of triumphs :)

My first match of the day - not sure why I did so well this turn, but I sure as hell know that we have a great resser :P  Oh and check out that latency... lol. It's supposed to be a SEA server and my broadband is supposed to be 30 mbps zzz

Didn't do as well in the second turn, but the K/D is pretty good :P
I switched over to playing Objective mode - my favorite mode :)

A crazily tough fight - everyone made mistakes, but we still did it :) I planted both bombs (on the 2 objectives) despite having another Bushwacker on the team. I'm lucky that my teammates saw what I was trying to do and covered me... but well, I'm not that stupid and keep rushing in to get myself blindly killed either :P Oh and they have like 2 Proxies too, who are honestly very annoying.

I have never earned an Ace achievement before. It was a rather proud moment for me :P Update in April 2016: I've gotten a few more Aces since then... yay, I'm improving my l33t skillz

I had a very good team, but they made some mistakes... I do too. 1 good team member almost rage quit-ed, but he stayed... thank goodness, and thankfully, the opponents are pretty much at my/our skill level. So, it was a very good fight. They won some skirmishes; we won some too. It's just an incredible experience, overall :)

Ah well, that said, I'm off to get in an hour or 2 of Fallout 4 :P Ciao!