Thursday, July 02, 2009

Feeling a bit meh today

Thru the window, tired day
in skies above pale streaks of gray.
Dusty road on nameless street.
Across the neighbors hide from heat-
ensconced in air-conditioned rooms.
Maybe in horizon looms
rainclouds, hope yet for respite?
Drops of rain, showers light
and in the distance farther still
green shoots on a faraway hill.
Hiking tourists, hawker stalls,
run-down shops with cracking walls.
A dull picture, boring, plain
as any seen through window pane.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Optimus Prime

Heading off to see that new Transformers movie tonight.

Wish I had the time and the artistic skill to go dressed like this though:

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to tell Japanese and Chinese people apart.

Found this while at the National World War 2 Museum in New Orleans, USA.

It's a World War 2 era American poster instructing soldiers how to tell the difference between their Chinese allies and their Japanese enemies.

Hilarious. Offensive, but hilarious. Transcript is below, in case the image isn't clear



AMERICAN soldiers must lean how to identify a Jap unerringly among the other Asiatic peoples whom he resembles in some ways. Making the correct decision may be a matter of life or death to the cunning Jap’s copiers.

And now that the existence of a well organized Jap fifth column in this country had been revealed, all civilians will be wise if they, too, familiarise themselves with positive ways of distinguishing a potentially dangerous Jap from a friendly Chinese.

Picture 1

CAPTAIN – Ryan, you and Terry have been out in China for a long time… How about showing the men a few points of difference between the Japs and our oriental allies!

RYAN – Yes, sir!

Picture 2

Here are two men just picked up by a patrol… The first thing to consider is appearance… The Chinese is “C”… The Jap is “J”. Notice that C is Terry’s size - which is average American; J is shorter – and looks as if his legs are joined directly to his chest!

Picture 3

C is dull bronze in color – while J is lighter – more on the lemon-yellow side. C’s eyes are set like any European’s or American’s – but have a marked squint… J has eyes slanted toward his nose.

Picture 4

The Chinese has a smooth face… The Jap runs to hair… Look at their profiles and teeth… C usually has evenly set choppers – J has buck teeth… The Chinese smiles easily – the Jap usually expects to be shot… and is very unhappy about the whole thing… especially if he is an officer!

Picture 5

You may find Japs among any oriental civilian group… that is a favorite infiltration trick… make your man walk… the Chinese strides… the Jap shuffles (but he may clever enough to fake the stride)… make him remove his socks and shoes, if any…

Picture 6

The Chinese and other Asiatics have fairly normal feet… The Jap wore a wooden sandal (“Geta”) before he was issued army shoes… He will usually have a wide space between the first and second toes… often calloused from the leather strap that held the “Geta” to his foot.

Picture 7

Sometimes the Jap officers have none of these characteristics – many of them speak English, some know our American slang… but most Japanese hiss when they pronounce the letter “s”… have the two men repeat a sentence like “Smith left the fortress” (or a similar line).

JAP A: “Smith left the faultless”

JAP B: “SS-S-Smit reft the fortress-s-s”

TERRY: “Or, try LALAPALOOZA on them. That’s a panic!”

The Jap sucks in on any “S” sound – and he can’t pronounce the letter “L”.

Picture 8

RYAN – Don’t trust any Japanese prisoner – they’re tough babies… and think it glorious to die if they can take an enemy with them! Even when a Jap is stripped down for jungle fighting, he wears a “G-string” which is really a “grouch bag”… always remove it and search both flaps carefully before returning it!

TERRY: “He doesn’t resist because he’s modest – here’s why…”

Picture 9

If you just slap a Jap’s clothing to locate concealed weapons, you may lose a prisoner – and your own life… Don’t unscrew fountain pens or tinker with any object that could contain acid or an explosive. Watch out for sleeve guns and other comic strip gadgets… The Japs are experts at such stuff…

Picture 10

To sum it up, spotting a Jap depends upon three things:

1 APPEARANCE – Short, squat, fairly heavy beard… lemon-yellow skin, slanted eyes. G-string. Almost no waist-line; stocky build

2 FEET – Wide space between first and second toes… callous on the web

3 PRONUNCIATION – He can’t pronounce our liquid “L”… Hisses on any “S” sound

Picture 11

RYAN – Remember that Jap spies have fooled even the Chinese… They’ll use any trick – even after pretending to surrender… and they’ll try to pose as natives of whatever country they’re in!

TERRY – The Japanese language is a useful code in itself… What they write or say to one another may mean your name on a casualty list!

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

IMO history archives

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soli Deo Gloria

Johann Sebastian Bach appended the words "Soli Deo Gloria" at the end of every piece of music he wrote. Soli Deo Gloria is latin for "Glory to God alone".

There are several ways that mathematicians indicate the end of their proofs. The traditional way is to close with a "QED" or "quod erat demonstrandum". I did that for an unpublished manuscript that I wrote in high school (along with the star for a partially completed proof). The Halmos Symbol, "□" is, I think the American Mathematical Society-approved way to do that now. That's how I end proofs in my recent paper for instance.

Once upon a time I ended my homework proofs with "Soli Deo Gloria". I need to start doing that again.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

PhD. Applications.

Finalized my list of schools to apply to for my math PhD.
I'm applying to 13 schools, in three countries, in two continents.

This is going to be a fun semester :|

Just about filled in the first of my thirteen applications, to the National U of Singapore.
It would be nice actually if I ended up in Sing, four hours from KL. I could go home on the holidays, maybe even on the weekends. The food would still be bad, but it won't be as awful as what they claim to be Asian cuisine here in the States (barring places like LA, SF, Houston of course)
Grandma could come to my graduation.

I could see myself choosing NUS or NTU over stronger math departments in the West. So many factors to consider.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Yowza. It's been raining all week, and Dallas-Fort Worth should get the brunt of Ike's wrath this weekend.

Mom, don't worry. I'm hundreds of miles inland. The rain won't be much worse than the monsoon season back home.