Final Year Project

After my attachment in Perth, Australia, the large missing gap in my entries of this blog was largely attributed to the Final Year Project. A 3 month project that i did in school, with my partner. We were given a project title my Mr AK. We were suppose to investigate the expression levels of TGF beta 2 in breast cancer cells.

ELISA

The project was mainly cell work and ELISA, since we needed a large amount of cells grown in tissue culture flasks for the different treatment conditions that were set up to determine the levels when subjected to them. It was a really boring affair, day in and day out, we did nothing but cell culture and maintain the cell lines everyday, for the majority of the project, till we had enough.

There were several setbacks that we encountered during the project, such as unhealthy cells, contamination, cells not growing well etc. Its really frustrating because toward to end, it was a really stressful period. To get the results, tabulate them, and write comprehensive report was a daunting task to meet. But we made it, despite all those setbacks. Though we didnt get the expected results, we at the very least managed to use these results and write a pretty good conclusion. In the end we got an A for the project.

The good thing about the project was that, despite it being routine, we were able to come and go to school as we like to an extent. Growing cells takes time, and the preparatory work can be pretty brief. Therefore most of the days we spend less than 4 hours in school each day. Almost everyday we would come to school at or 10 and finish at 2. Though it wasnt allowed as stated in the school rules pertaining to projects, our supervisor were pretty lax about it. The reporting time was supposed to be 9am and you can only leave at 6pm. Our supervisor was very understanding because it would be a waste of time to just rot in school doing nothing while waiting for the cells to grow. It takes about 24 to 48 hours for the cells to grow by the way.

Our routine became the envy of our classmates, who werent allowed to go off any earlier than the rules stated. At first it seemed that our project would never be finished and we would be left writing a half completed report with little to no results. But in the end, we realised that other project groups faced a similar predicament.

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Lastly ive uploaded the full 50 page report that we did on the internet. You can see it HERE. 

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Dragging my fingers to type this one post for angeline.

Okok, so ive played a little dirty trick on my friend ( see previous post)

Obviously she’s a little dissappoint at my sudden lack of inspiration in writing and updating my blog. To make up for it, ive decided to write a brief one, recalling what ive done since after finishing school, the recent weeks and up to this point.

So ive finally completed my diploma course, after going through the 3 months of project hell, and getting an A to boot (yay) and right now im slacking. Ive been slacking alot, since i dont bother getting a job. The demotivation is partly because im going to NS anytime now, and id rather use the time to pursue my hobbies. Hobbies such as watching anime, reading my numerous books bought that ive yet to read, and of course hanging out with friends new and old.

Its been pretty good slacking. I had fun, most of the time. Though it can get a little boring, but at least i know how to fill my time. So what have i been doing all these time?

Well for one, ive been hanging out with my classmates, usually during the weekends, because they are working. What i’ve realised that is that though we see each other during school almost every day, there is still a lot to catch up and lots to talk about. Partly due to the fact that during the last 6 months, before ending school, we havent really seen each other. And to use these free time to come together and just chill is really refreshing. For once, we do not have to talk about school, or stuff relating to school. We went for dinner and movies and slacking session by the cafe.

We also organized our first ever chalet for the class. It took place on 4 april 2007. For one night we booked at Costa Sands Pasir ris. The turnout was pretty good. Almost all attended the chalet, but the location was horrible. We should have booked the Costa Sans downtown instead of that ulu pasir ris. It was really that ulu, not many people were there. Its almost at least 80 percent vacant! Maybe its the offpeak season, but by the gods, when we went to our chalet, there were so many cockroaches!! Thank the heavens they were all dead. Probably the cleaning maid kiled them all when she was clearing the cleaning the unit. there were like 2 near the bed on the floor, and another 3 in the toilet. 1 was alive when we got there, and it was crawling on one of the pillow. We swung the pillow outside and it flew off. We changed the pillow sheet after that. There about 5 to help me check into the chalet. The rest came well into the evening. By then the bbq had started and the party was in full swing! And to add to the party atmosphere, the unit beside was also occupied (by a group of guys) and they had loud music on. So the music was the added effect.

But in the end only 4 of us stated overnight. What a somber turnout.

Anime. Ive been trying so hard to catch up on them, but no matter how fast i go, or how much i watch in one day, im still left with tons of them. It is highly unlikely that ill finish them when i go to NS. But its ok, i dont mind that all. Right now i dont really feel like watching any anime for the time being, despite having some series being half completed. I always have that ‘mood swings’ for animes. Ill watch one whole shot, and then get sick of it, not watcing any for the week, and then it comes again. Im no consistent watcher that im sure.

This spring season, there werent that many that ive chosen to be in my collection. The releases are less than stellar. I think i have less than 7 that has already been confirmed, out of 30 over. Though the number may increase, as there are still a number of them that ive yet to watch and evaluate.

So what do i do when im at home, not watching anime. Well i read. I have a few books in my shelf that ive bought, but never had the time to read. So right now with all the time that i have, i’m actively catching up to them . One book in particular is the recent english translation of the popular japanese novel-cum-anime, 12Kingdoms. Ive waiting like almost 9 months since news that they are translating to english. And i have it right now. I’m curently reading and its really a great novel. Reading the novel that has been adapted to my most favourite anime is truly a dream come true for me. At 400 pages, in beautiful red hardcover, with occasional illustration to give a most manga feel to it, this is truly a treasure to behold. Its currently available at kino. Its not in the manga section though, fyi, rather its in the asian literature section. You wouldnt miss it, unless its sold out.

On the western front, in the realm of books, im totally addicted to this series written by Raymond E feist and his Riftwar Saga. Its a total of 4 books and i just finish the first 3. The first 2 books was combined into 1. I bought that book a long time ago. Almost a year if i remember correctly. But it was only recently that i managed to finish it. The first attempt at reading it halted my at around page 100ish. But during that time i was busy with school, and project was coming along, along with overseas attachment that i entirely forgot about it. I picked it up again recently and i gobbled up those pages (700 pages in all) in a matter of days. It was that good. Never have i read a fantasy book that is that engaging and mesmerizing. Ive read a lot of fantasy novels believe me, but this has totally captured my imagination. I immediately bought the third installment just this monday, and finished it on wednesday. The only other book that i read that fast (for a standard 350 -400 page novel) was Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy, another fantasy book. I now have the final installment bought just yesterday. I expect to start reading during the weekends. For those who are interested look up at the author and find out more on the internet.

A few reasons why im hooked to those books authored by Raymond is that his characters are truly 3 dimensional. Rarely have i actually feel for the characters in the book, emotions run high when i read it. A diverse cast and by the time you finished the first book, you gain a deep understanding and connection to the main characters. That is why i got so hooked to it because i just had to continue reading to know what happens next. Not so much of the plot itself, but rather what will happen to the characters as the result of the plot that is brought forward to the reader. And its pretty compelling also to note that these characters change over time and they dont remain stagnant in personality or age, as the storyline spans several years. So the deeper you are in the story, the further developed are the characters. And the further developed they are, the more they are intertwined with each other and thier relationship, making it even more compelling should the author introduce more characters.

All these reading was also partly to remove my mind from the anticipation and the outcome of my university admission. Ive been wiating patiently for the letters to arrive, from NUS and NTU. Another letter, my ns enlistment letter. So far ive recieved my NTU letter and nothing more. Im overjoyed at the outcome. Ive been accepted to NTU!! When i read out the letter i was so happy in many ways. Howeer im still waiting anxiously for my ns letter, since most of my classmates have recieved them. It should come anyday now.

So now that ive briefly updated my blog, it think you should by now know what im up to. Oh by the way Sanjaya the finalist from American Idol is out! Im soooo relieved! Ive been wanting him to be kicked out of the competition ever since… ever since ive seen him.

Over and out!

Mug and Cup

Yeah, so before i left, the lab team gave me a beautiful sandlewood fine china mug and a farewell card. They are the sweetest bunch of guys around, and truly speaking, will be one of my most treasured possessions.

Not only that, ill be expecting a letter of recommendation (YAY!) from our professor soon in our mailbox. I think we deserve it and it will be a great boost when finding a job in a science related field. Hell, it may give us an edge in admitting us to a local university, which i desperately wanted to.

Starting to pack my luggage, clean up my lab desk.

Im starting to miss my lab desk. It was soo cosy and i made it so. So many stuff cluttered around, looked as if i had been there for sooo many years!

Anyway, ill definitely miss the team. Wei, Tracey, Danielle, Holly, Anandhi, Ching, Donna, Naomi and last but not least, our professor, Professor Peter Hartmann. They have been truly wonderful, giving us great hospitality during the 3 months and making sure we are well taken care of.

Its been a ride really. Analysing more than 1200 human milk samples, from various mothers. It sure is tiring and im starting to understand and appreciate the tough job of being a research scientist. Even before becoming full fledged researchers, getting a degree or a PhD is tough work ahead. Really really tough work ahead. I can see a whole lot of comittment coming from some of them and the sheer amount of focus that they are giving to their work, just to earned that qualifications. I sometimes doubted myself on whether i can take the pressure. The scientific world is sure one challenging place.

Before we official leave the place, we had a mini party again, not by the river, but at the tea room. (because it was about to rain.. cliched huh?) Everyone was there, and Wei ordered fish and chips and we chatted and after that we took group photos. But before that, they presented us with a farewell gift and a well wishes card. It was soo sweet of them. I didnt expect anything from them, considering im only here for a short time. But i was touched by their consideration.

I’m lucky to have Wei as my supervisor. She has been soo supportive of us, and whenever we needed her help, she would always answer our call, even though she is busy with her work. I admire her truly. Danielle, and her bubbly nature, Holly, hard at work. Ching and his never ending sniggers, anandhi and her truly remarkable tandoori bbq chicken and savoury rice pudding and the rest of the team.

4 more days left

What happened to all the stuff that you have been doing for the past month? Where are the posts for all of that? I never wrote them and never will.

Its not that i dont have anything to write or i havent done anything! I have done and seen lots of things while im here in Perth. Its just that ive never updated this blog for soo long, it seems tedious to write them here and post the pics at the same time.

I have lots of images i wanna share, but im just lazy to post them. I have lots of pictures taken during the memorably Red Bull Air Race, which in my opinion is the best event that i have ever attended so far in Perth. Its a once in a lifetime experience and i dont think i would encounter such event again ever. Its such a rarity and for me to witness it and absorb all those raw atmosphere, its intense. Anyway, loads of material to share when i get back, but dont feel like sharing it here.

So has boiled down to just 4 days. 4 more days left and i just cannot wait. I miss lots of things back at home. the food, the people, my friends, my family, my life.

I just want to get back to a normal life and return to my humble pc back at home which has been coughing blood a few weeks ago and needed a monitor and motherboard replacement. Great, now i have zero pocket money and those 2 costs a bomb. Guess ill be living in scraps for a month or two. Heh! its funny when im already living in scraps, barely enough to get by with what i have right now in perth. Trying so hard to save money, that extra bit of money to buy souvenirs and stuff for my friends, precious as they are and will be for time to come. I still havent buy some of the souvenirs for some of my friends and i dont know what to buy for some of them. Oh well i guess i do a little shopping on the last day here to get something for them. I hope they like it.

Well anyway, last week, something terrible happened to me in my lodge that ive been living for the past 3 months. Those darn frenchies! They recently accused me of hogging the internet, when i can barely get internet! Thats not all, i know that they know that they block me. Why they block me you ask? Well because that thought that ive been hogging the bandwidth. Since when!? Oh god, seriously, they just dont know who to point fingers at the correct person. They have no proof and i can show you that im not a resource hogger. And to block me to boot, thats gone to far. For me thats ok, since i can use the internet in school and i can live without internet for a while, but sometimes i try my luck and sometimes i can get in, and its godsend believe me. So one day they appraoched me and told me to back off and try to reduce my download speed. Excuse me? since when did i download anything on hours on end? And to think that the same person tries to block my access, is the same person to tell me to back off, im soo pissed. But i didnt do anything. I simply said, i didnt download anything, and that if i ve done something wrong ill just see if i can do something about it. I didnt apologise ( no use for those blockheads). At least they didnt pursue the matter and i just let it go , since i only got a week left here anyway.

Yeah a week left, nothing to fear anyway, just avoid them anyway. Its so easy, since i roughly know thier daily habits, since they are longterm stayers. But im lucky that thats the only incident ive encountered. And im fortunate that im not evicted. out. Heh.

Yeah so there was another incident, a real lame incident, based on a very flawed system of bus ticketing. Well what happened was, usually when we board the bus, we pay concession rates which is at 90 cents, for 1 zone ( limit of your area of travel) and that ticket can be used for 2 hours and within that period you can trasnfer to as many busses as you can, so long as its within one zone. Fine, its kinda cheap, considering that i pay $1.80 a day on transportation to and fro a day and that i have to take 2 different busses to get to the University. (Adult fare is $2.10 by the way and they still use the coinage system)

So it happens to be that the lady driver was having a bad morning, or having her PMS, we board her bus one fine day, and she told us to present our student card for proof that we are students. Excuse me, student card? We are students, cant you see? No she dont. She insisted on the student card. We dont have one. University doesnt issue one to us. Bam! $2.10 on the spot. We were like: ‘Dumbfuck! She’s blind!”

Okie some might argue that its their policy to ask for student card as proof. But 99% of the bus driver dont do that! Why should you? we are going to the university for pete’s sake! And the fact that they dont have such policy on issuing student cards for temporary students, is just plain stupid. Plain stupid.

Fortunately that doesnt happen often, and the fact that they are changing the system soon to the EZlink copycat kinda system and that its mandatory for university students to be issued a tap card, provided that you are a full time student, im lucky to be leaving soon!

Oh one last thing: (Click for bigger picture)

The whole team that i have been working with for my attachment program! They are really great people to be with and ill missed all of them dearly!

Post Exam Syndrome

YATTA!!! Its finally over!!!! The last of the last exam paper is done!!! Business wasnt so bad. Though there were a lot of things to write. The one thing i dont like about the paper was the fact that the sub questions within the main questions were overly long and lengthy, requiring you to provide several examples to the many points mentioned in the previous question. Its just very lenthy and troublesome

Anyways, now that its over, we are now suffering post exam syndrome. What is that? Well, suffice to say, its the feeling of extreme boredom or nothing to do right after the end of the exam period. The fact that you worked so hard, for the exams, spending countless hours revising and now you are left with soo much time, and nothing to do with that time, because you never given a thought on what to do with them. So caught up we are in the exams that we are left empty after that. I feel like i just got out of exam prison and now im directionless.. lol…

Oh well, i guess i need to prepare for my overseas industrial attachment. Accomodation has been a done deal. We will be staying at beattylodge for one month, and then we will decide on whether to move to YMCA or not. But first we need to take a look at the place first. The beattylodge can be safe assured that my dad’s friend has taken a look at it and its pretty good overall. So we shouldnt be worried to much about the nitty gritty stuff when it comes to semi hostels.

Just thought about it… i need to do a bit of shopping here before i depart. I need to buy a couple of extra t shirts for outdoor wear. Prefferably something a little bit more covered, its gonna be cool there and i dont want to get a chill at night. But it shouldnt be too cold, or its gonna get any worse as the months progressed.

Monday is our final bbq for the class. At ben’s house and response has been good so far.So its gonna be fun i think. Im going to be the guest this time round. Been organising this stuff ar too many times. Would be interesting to come as a guest.

Just for your info: My flight will be on the 9th of september, departing at around 9am. So we expect to be in the transit area at 8am. Arrive and check in at around 7am. Will arrive at around 2pm. So if i blog on that day at 2, means that ive already arrived!!! Look forward to it.

As for coming back, im arriving on the 3rd of December. A day after our official arrival, this gives us time to settle stuff over there before we leave.

Thats about all.

Densha Otoko [Train Man]

Shocked by the paper yesterday, Proteomics. So many questions i didnt expect to appear during the exams, and it did. And its a good thing. Coz its easy!!!

Personally i thought i wouldnt do well in this paper, but now that ive done it, i think i might do quite alright! The questions were straightforward, from the notes, and even questions from the first chapter came out for the paper! Unfortunately ididnt really study in detail the front parts of the lecture, but fortunately i remembered them 🙂

Its over anyway. Gotta study for the final paper and that is… Essentials in business management. Should be a problem. tips are clear cut, concise, as sharp as a knife, all listed down and ready to be referred. (thank you Mr Hang!!!!)

Oh yeah, before i forgot, on my way home, i bought this really good book that ive been waiting for it to be translated, and after many years, i finally got hold of this book. Its entitled, Train Man, or Densha Otoko in Japanese.


This is a true story that happened in 2004 about a geek guy who happens to save this young lady from being harrassed by a drunken fart while they were in the train together. They were complete strangers. So a few days later, he recieved a thank you gift from the same lady whom he saved back then.

But being a geek, he has no clue on how to respond to her thank you gift, should he call her, or ask her out. So he sought help from this popular forum and discussion board and told him his story happened. Soon swarms of people replied and helped him and advised himonline through the discussion board on all manners, like how to strike a conversation, ask her out on a date, what to wear and all those kinda stuff. So basically you see this geek, introvert and always getting the jitters when talking to girls transformed to a gentleman, confident and demure with the help of total strangers and it was truly a success! They get to know each other and fell for each other. They went on dates and stuff.

I dont usually read romance novels but i wanted to read this book so bad because firstly, its a true story and secondly its not a novel at all. The book actually compiles original forum posts of train man and the people who responded to him. there are thousands of posts compiled into a book, unedited, unscripted. So basically you get to see a series for response through a series of posts and some of them can be quite funny.

You can see a sample page here. This page accounts what happened on his first date with the girl. The date, time of posts are unedited except being anonymous. Till this date, on one knows the real identity of Train Man.