Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

End of a dreadful week

It’s the last day of the working week again! To anyone who’s reading this during office hours, get back to work and appreciate the gleefulness in you of knowing that a weekend is ahead – given that you don’t have to work overtime again. For the ‘dreadful’ part, I will describe it in rather vivid detail later in the post. Let’s focus on my promise to you first:

Fonty Friday

For this week, we have the font Sketch Rockwell (free) / Sketch Block (paid) by Artill. It’s a really nice font, simple, neat and nice in one.

Fonty Friday - Sketch Rockwell

In case you haven’t notice, this is also the font used by Embr for his header design of his lovely WordPress theme.

Infrared photography works

I’ve been doing some infrared photography from time to time, and this week was a fantastic week. I wonder why good weather always, always has to coincide with exam periods where people are grounded in their rooms for revisions. When I decided to have a break last Saturday, I walked under the searing heat to get some really nice shots. All photos are taken with RAW + Jpeg (but I processed the Jpegs instead, I was too lazy), with a Hoya R72 50mm infrared filter and the standard Sony Alpha kit lens.

Click on the photos to reveal a larger version of it. The larger photos are around 300kb, so you might want to wait a little while for them to load.

It all goes downhill from here.

It all goes downhill from here.

Taken further up the road near the Graduate Hall, looking down the hill that leads to my hall.

Tree trimming

Tree trimming

It was a really warm afternoon. It was so warm that the row of tiles leading to the canteen actually cracked open from the heat. The tree cutters were working since morning to trim the tree branches along the road so that they will not snip any tall vehicles – we have double-deck buses traveling around campus, so they have to keep the stray branches away.

Just another scene outside my hall.

Just another scene outside my hall.

Another common scene I see everyday as I step out of my room to catch a bus – sans the traffic, that is. Nanyang Cresent, the name of this tree-lined avenue, is usually packed with traffic all the time – it all starts at 5.30am when the first bus plough the streets, and ends around 2am when people stop driving around at that hour.

Royally dreadful week

<rant length="long" type="moody" profanity="some" rating="M16">

Sat for and survived another three papers this week – Basic Cell Biology, Principals of Genetics and Business Finance. The first one I did fairly well, but I epically bombed the last two, especially the latter. We only had two hours to sift through a handful of complicatedly-phrased questions, and I had only 30 minutes left when I realized that I haven’t touched a single question on the multiple choice section. As the papers were collected, I looked around and everyone had that dreadful look on their face – half relieved that the paper was over, half dying inside that the paper was a killer one. Principals of Genetics didn’t fall far behind on the heartache it gave me – being a multiple answer multiple choice paper (meaning that each question can have more than one choice), I fumbled pretty badly. I hurriedly stole a quick glance at my notes after the paper at the bus stop, and it felt like driving an ice pick driving through my sternum. Painfulness2.

I was a little disoriented and depressed for the rest of Wednesday, walked around aimlessly on the campus ground for the entire afternoon and evening, hopping on and off bus stops. I should have brought my camera along – who might know that photography therapy works. I remembered staring into the campus swimming complex near the evening, the sun was gorgeous. I checked my bag and realized I conveniently packaged my swimming gears, but was too self-conscious and afraid to trot half naked around the poolside. In the end, I headed out for McDonalds for McTherapy instead.

For the entire day, I only listened to one song on my music player, looping over and over again – Komm, süßer Tod, which means ‘come sweet death’ in German. Music therapy works as well (although not as effective as McTherapy). I woke up on Thursday morning and the first thing that ran through my mind was my royally f#$@ed up papers. What a great start. It immediately zapped my motivation to study for my last paper next Tuesday, I rolled on the bed for around 10 minutes, slipped back into lalaland and woke up at 2pm, totally missing lunch. I headed out for dinner again, settled for something more expensive today to make myself feel a little better (it’s something like retail therapy, except that it’s the ‘foodie’ version).

And then came Tuesday night… or was it Wednesday night? I couldn’t remember. Headed out for dinner with Jyno, met Jackson along the way. I was pacing around the dizzying array of stalls when this person from my Business Finance module showed up. I had no hard feelings against him, just a little irritated at the first impression he left me – he wants to be ahead of everyone. I totally didn’t see it coming when he asked me a whole lot of details of the exams – how did I feel about the paper, how did my friends think about the paper; then moving on to how many questions did I not do, how many questions did my friends not do; then bragging about how many questions he did (to quote, ‘I think I’ll get 70 and above’).

And then he dropped the bomb – I don’t want to get a meazly A-. I want to get an A or A+. I want to minor in business. Disgruntled, I told him that he doesn’t need a freaking A to get a minor – even a C will suffice. Unwilling to torture myself with his wacko answer and self-centeredness, I ran off as abruptly as how he started the conversation. If it weren’t for the crowd and for my sanity, I would have shoved my feet into his face.

I headed back to the table, rambled the whole baloney that idiot gave me at the stall and Jyno laughed. It feels good that someone actually understands what I’m talking about, and more importantly, emphatizes with me. So, my best guess is, it’s not a ‘myself’ thing against that person, but more of him being an anal-retentive jerk.

Ah, I rambled too much this week. I hope I will be fine for the last paper.

</rant>

It feels a lot better now. I shall leave it behind me – what has happened, has already happened. I couldn’t care more about the past anymore – a painful reminder, yes. A lesson learned, yes. A thing to dwell on, no. Time for me to move on, and more importantly, salivate over the prospects of spending two months at home this summer (and perhaps, some impromptu vacation!).

p/s: Oh, and I took an hour or so designing an error/gotcha page for a directory that hosts my demo pages – tell me if you like it or not.

Never judge a book by its cover

This was what made my day – Susan Boye auditioning for a place in Britain’s Got Talent.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

The original video source is YouTube. For a longer (and compressed) version, check this video out.

The video is of reasonably high quality (26mb in size), so you might want to play and pause it to let it buffer for awhile before starting to watch.

What we’re seeing here is 48-year-old Susan Boyle, performing I Dreamed a Dream by Les Miserables. The 48-year-old charity worker from West Lothian who claimed that she has never had a boyfriend and never been kissed, will find herself swamped with thousands of fans around the globe. In less than a week after the video of her performing on Britain’s Got Talent, the YouTube video has managed to hit 9 million and counting. Even actress Demi Moore (@mrskutcher) was moved by her performance, after being sent a link to the video by hubbie Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk). Simon Cowell is also planning to sign Miss Boyle into a contrast, and mould her into a star just like what he has helped Paul Potts rise to fame, with his first album hitting #1 in 15 countries.

What really made me love the video is how much confidence Susan had in herself – she said, while swinging her hips in a jolly manner, that “…and that’s just one side of me“. You can see as the video cut to the audience that this girl in blue blouse starting to roll her eyes (I loled at that) and when she expressed her wish to be as popular and as great as Elaine Paige, a row of old ladies discussed her line in disbelief. But soon after that, when the first line of the song came, she justified what she told to the audience and judges – she can sing, and more importantly, she sings it great. Her first line is blew me away, and the expresison on my face was somewhat a mix of that on Amanda’s and Simon’s face – disbelief and partly ashamed to think that Susan was being boisterous, and at the same thing, being completely captivated by the beauty and power of her voice.

Little kids at the playground

I travelled to Vivocity last Saturday to get some toffee from Marks and Spencers. I only love toffee candies from the store, and not from anywhere else. Thanks to Jaslyn, Mingyun and Cheryl for introducing me the lovely sweet from Marks and Spencers! Now I couldn’t live without it.

Back to the main topic, I’m finally using my camera again after weeks of disuse. Exams and intense cramming really do <sarcasm>magic</sarcasm> to one’s creativity – mine was literally snuffed out for the past month or so. I decided to grab my camera alongside with the new Konica Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lens I’ve purchased online (second hand) – I’ve never quite experimented with the lens before, so the trip to Vivocity will be a good practice.

I arrived at the open-air play area for kids on the second floor, and started shooting away. Each photo has it’s own little story behind it, and the thumbnails can be clicked to reveal a larger version of the photo. They’re also posted on my Flickr photostream, just in case you’re interested.

I'm tired, mom.

I'm tired, mom.

Amidst the screaming of the other kids, she looked at me. Her eyes were telling me that she’s tried, She’s cold. She wants to go home. She left the play area for her mom behind me, where mom lovingly wrapped her with a dry, warm towel.

It rained, shortly thereafter.

I feel good.

I feel good.

Nothing beats the spray of water on my chest. It feels so good!

Mmmm, waterrrrr.

Mmmm, waterrrrr.

You wanted to catch the columns of water, but to no avail. The water columns look like something you can grasp, but the moment you lay your hands on them, they shatter into tiny little sparkling droplets.

You gave up catching it. Instead, you bathed in them. Mmmm, waterrrrr.

Can I pee here?

Can I pee here?

No, you can’t. But in the end, you didn’t. In fact, I didn’t know if you’re intending to pee or just waiting for the water jet.

What’s with the big bloated tummy, by the way? I bet you had an awesome lunch :)

Hello!

Hello!

Daddy loves to see you wonder around. Daddy hid behind columns, in a corridor nearby, giving you all the freedom to explore the tiny little world around you.

You weren’t afraid of strangers. Passerbys squatted down to smile at you, some waved at you, some made funny voice to get your attention. Before you wandered to far, daddy came out of no where, hugs you and drown you with kisses on the forehead.

You turned backwards, and saw me with my camera.

Hello!

It’s Friday again!

Even though I’m in the midst of my exams, I haven’t forget the weekly Friday upate. Fonty Friday is of course, one of the reason why, and alongside with that, it forces me to stay away from my notes a little while, take a deep breath and invest some time doing nothing academic related (like blogging). It refreshens me and of course, serves as an awesome stress reliever.

So for the weekly dose of font, we have Anivers, created by typeface designer Jos Buivenga.

Fonty Friday - Anivers

My visitor count has taken a nose-dive since I started to update weekly due to my current busy schedule, but no worries, I will be back after my final paper on the 28th. Plus, I’m not very bothered by the visitor count. What really matters is I have quality readers like you :)

Bookmarked: 45 Beautiful Motion Blur Photos

45 Beautiful Motion Blur Photos

Motion blur is frequently used to show a sense of speed – any object moving with respect to the camera will look blurred or smeared along the direction of relative motion. You can artificially achieve this effect in a usual scene using cameras with a slow shutter speed. The article provides you with some inspiration of what can be done with motion blur.

Good Friday – A day of reflection and giving back

A big happy Good Friday to those who’re celebrating! I’m no a religious person myself and of course, didn’t know much about Christianity. On Wednesday I was walking with ChoYee and Jaslyn from lunch and was reminded that Good Friday is on this week. Curious, I jumped into this impromptu questionaire session with Jaslyn, who celebrates the festival with her family and church members. Knew a little more about Good Friday and Easter Day, thanks Jaslyn for the enlightenment. I hope you’ll have a great weekend celebrating… and others too!

Again, I would like to apologize profusely that I’m so busy I won’t be leaving any comments on your blogs for the next few weeks. Take it as a debt I’m extending to you guys, which I will gratefully repay when I’m done with all the exam baloney.

The L’Aquila Earthquake

Countless of news agencies covered the tragic earthquake that struck Italy. Measuring at a magnitude of 6.3, it struck the central Italian region of Abruzzo on 6th April, leaving 100+ dead and displacing up to 28,000 people. To make things worse, the prime minister said that the displaced population are so well cared of that they should consider themselves to be on a “camping weekend”1. Of course you could say that – sitting in your office overlooking the rescue efforts. What a travesty.

Boston.com compiled 30+ photos from various sources and put together another stunning and impactful gallery as their latest ‘The Big Photo’ feature, The L’Aquila Earthquake. Some may find a few photos slightly disturbing – user discretion is advised.

Here are a few photos that really left me shaken after browsing through the whole gallery. The most impactful one, I would say, is #27.

A firefighter cries after finding his daughter, dead in the rubble of a collapsed house after an earthquake in Aquila April 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

A firefighter cries after finding his daughter, dead in the rubble of a collapsed house after an earthquake in Aquila April 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

A woman is comforted as she reacts following an earthquake aftershock, at a makeshift camp in L'Aquila, central Italy, Tuesday, April 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

A woman is comforted as she reacts following an earthquake aftershock, at a makeshift camp in L'Aquila, central Italy, Tuesday, April 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

More photos are available at Boston’s The Big Picture gallery for the earthquake.

Thumbs up to the Italian police forces, firemen, rescue workers, health workers who’ve worked day and night to rescue and take care of earthquake victims. It’s very heartening to see the people of Italy uniting together at such hard times, showing graceful, unconditional care and concern for those who’re injured or dead. Kudos to Madonna for donating a large, undisclosed sum (it was rumoured to be around $500k) to the victims in Italy. My thoughts are there for those who’ve lost their lives in the disaster, and my prayers are up for them as well.

Sponsor Lee, and help disabled children

I recently read about webdesigner and blogger Lee Munroe attending the London Marathon to raise funds for disabled children.

Sponsor Lee to run the London Marathon for Action for Kids

Sponsor Lee to run the London Marathon for Action for Kids

He will be doing all the hardwork of training for the marathon and running on the actual day, and all he needs is for you to chip in a little and donate to Action For Kids. Take it as doing a good deed on Good Friday and Easter weekend – any amount of money will do. He will also be linking donors/sponsors to his run, but that’s not the main point – if you donate just to get listed (and get all the SEO love all over yourself), boo.

If you can help, just do it. Kudos to Lee for his effort!

Fonty Friday: Fontin & Fontin Sans

We’re here again, for Fonty Friday! Jos Buivenga, the designer behind Museo (and Museo Sans), Fertigo, Anivers and Delicious, brings us Fontin and Fontin Sans. I’m always impressed with his typefaces – they’re unique and interesting. Elegantly designed, not horribly generic (and boring), lovely, regular spacing between characters.

Fonty Friday - Fontin & Fontin Sans

That’s all for this Friday’s updates! Happy Good Friday, people!

  1. “Berlusconi gaffe as he says quake homeless should enjoy ‘a camping weekend’s” – News article

Some people wait a lifetime

Happy Birthday, Latrina!

The first thing I have to say is a big happy belated birthday to Latrina! This message is seriously overdue, her birthday was a few days back on a lovely Sunday. Sorry Trina about the timing! May you have a great year ahead. Oh, and this is another super late message but she got engaged to her fiance, Chris, around two weeks ago. All the happiness to you both! It’s not easy to find a soulmate that complements and completes you in the world, and some people wait a lifetime for that to happen. Hereby I’m dedicating a song by Leona Lewis, titled A Moment Like This:

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It is really an honour for me to know Latrina – I realized that we’ve both been through a lot in life, survived depression and all, and we’ve found each other to have similar insights to life. Insights are things that are unique to each person, and I couldn’t be any happier to found someone whose thoughts echos mine, whose words reflect what I have in my mind. When I read her entries, I can feel as if she took the words out of my mouth – breathtaking, that’s for sure, and more importantly, the sincerity behind her entries. The struggle she faced, the emotional turmoil she once experienced, all written in words, like poem, like art. It’s not that kind of writing you stumble upon everyday.

I didn’t get you a birthday present, but I hope this cute little teddy bear will make your day.

Latrina, Happy Birthday!

Latrina, Happy Birthday!

Updates of my life

My sleeping cycle is completely botched – I find myself sleeping 2~3 hours every night and feeling incredibly tired in the afternoon, taking naps up to 4 hours in length. This is totally not the way I’m going to prepare myself for the exams – I’ve got to ditch this really bad habit as soon as possible. My first paper is in a week’s time, and I can feel the queasiness creeping up and inside me as I rush through my revision schedule.

Today I was sitting beside Cheryl during tutorial and we were talking about confrontations among people. I sheepishly confessed that I’m not very good with confrontations – in fact, I feel very depressed and fearful if someone ever gets angry with me, even if I didn’t do anything wrong at the first place. I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt and shame when I realized that not everyone around me is happy, and that I could have done something to diffuse the tense situation. I hate confrontations – regardless of whether is it between people or other person and me. I’m so gullible and exploitable, but I just couldn’t help it.

I was revising my psychology chapters the other day and read about the term learned helplessness. Basically, the researched electrically shocked dogs when they’re strapped down, but when they gave the dogs the chance of escape a shock when they’re unstrapped, they won’t move – they’d rather get zapped instead. The same theory applies to people who’re depressed – they’ve been through so much failed relationships and other miserable events in life that they don’t hold much hope of escaping from their current situation. The human learned helplessness.

A sunny side of my life is that I fell in love with Leona Lewis (explains why I dedicated Trina Leona’s version instead of Kelly Clarkson’s version). I’ve been repeatedly watching her audition clips on YouTube, and my favourites have got to be Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word and Summertime. Not to mention the final songs, A Moment Like This and All By Myself. I recently got my hands on her Spirit: The Deluxe Edition album, and I couldn’t stop listening to I Will Be – it’s such a powerful song.

I might not be updating or replying your comments in the next few weeks. My last paper is on the 30th of April, around 3 weeks away. Wish me luck!

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Hello Easter Egg hunter! You've discovered the magic of the Konami Code!

Yea. You probably know what the Konami code is before getting to this page. So now what? Here is a randomised YouTube video on my favourites list... which includes Rickroll, if you're luck enough to get it.

You are currently watching Hilarious Budweiser Commercial. Loving it? You can even watch the video in its full screen glory :)

The Konami Code:
Konami Code sequence