Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Originally uploaded by RescuedMan.
Back from Paris for over a week now and just realised that the photos I've promised some people are still not up. Terrible, given that the 'greater-Europe-is-not-connected- to-the-net' excuse has lapsed now that I am back in The Intelligent Island. Part of this is probably due to much busyness and administrivia madness in the office as heaps of non-core paperwork mysteriously land in my lap all at once.

But I also begin to wonder if my still evolving bloglife has some kind of nonlinear recursive strange attractor behind it. If you have been paying attention and checking this blog daily (why are you doing that?? get a life!) you might notice that blog entries mysteriously appear in the past in blog time. I go forward in heartbeats that mark time, then recurse back to fill in blog bits of the recent past, then forward again.

So this post, for example, is a heartbeat. Hello World, I am alive!. In fact, I just had a birthday some days ago. I'm 32. Happy Birthday to me. I like 32. It is a power of 2. The next one will be 64. Wow. That seems like a really far way away. I wonder what the next 32 years will be like. But I suppose all ages are like that. Half-way-there points. Will the next X-amount of life be like the last X-amount? Last year I was 31, a prime number! Before that, I was 30, the sum of the first 4 squares 1 + 4 + 9 + 16 ! And I could go on.... (down to 0 at least)

Anyway, I digress. Paris pictures will magically reappear in some past posting at some point in the future. And maybe even an account of the simply wonderful dinner that melted me and other things that the amazing multi-talented Noo did for me on my birthday.

Meanwhile, if you are reading this, post a wave, leave a heartbeat say you exist or something.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

who's your daddy?

who's your daddy?
Originally uploaded by RescuedMan.
In Paris for work this week. Despite the endless number of people you keep telling me how charming/ atmospheric/ romantic it is to just be walking around in this city, I just don't quite get it. Maybe being in a part of town surrounded by 70s functionalist architecture has something to do with it. Maybe being here in the middle of winter has something to do with it. Or maybe I need to get out more.

In any case, the quirky continues to surprise as always. Like this giant 100-foot inflatable box of powdered sugar on the side of a multi-storey parking lot.

I somehow suspect the eyebrow raising branding of this wasn't lost on the marketing folk behind this. Although I do wonder if the idiom exist en francais.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Lost in Translation

i wonder what they taste like
Originally uploaded by RescuedMan.
Milled about Chinatown pre-CNY to see what the eye could see. Amidst the heaps of ling ling long long heartlander goods, a few things stood out. Ever notice how an eye hungry for the non-pedestrian gets drawn to odd things like this?

Don't ask me what they taste like.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Noodle Mirror

this is my brain on freeware
Originally uploaded by RescuedMan.

The ultimate mirror glance! After 30+ years of wondering what the "I" of IthinkthereforIam fame actually looks like, I finally got around to visualizing the surface of my brain , thanks to MRIcro, a really nifty piece of brain imaging freeware by Chris Rorden. That and a 22.5 MB file of my 3T brain scan, courtesy of the lovely and fabulously multi-talented Noo - who also made this picture:

an open mind
Originally uploaded by RescuedMan.
No, I didn't really need to get my brain scanned but getting a free scan was a nice geeky reward cookie for lying still in a dark tunnel for 45 minutes and being Noo's lab rat.

The ever professional Noo thinks MRIcro is pretty basic actually, but since I am only at sandcastle level on the vast beach of neuroscience, I am plenty happy mucking about with it.

Before discovering MRIcro, and desperately curious enough to spend some time reverse engineering the scan file, I managed to hexedit out the relevant sections of the file and spoof a .bmp header to create images of each of the individual slices. But since each voxel field was 16-bits wide with the first 8-bits mostly zeroes, the inital 8-bit grayscale bitmap had a weird squished and striated look.


Re-scaling the width in a photo editor kinda fixed it. But doing it thusly by hand for all 180 slices would have been a fairly maddening exercise so eventually a nifty python script did the job. Using more freeware I ended up making some movies of progressive noodle slices. You might recognize me in the slightly macabre Front Scan.

One of the flicks even had a small cameo role in a wonderful local play.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Orange at -180°C

iceblocks on orangeworld

hoo! they turned the colour on.

We're on the surface of Titan!

eh, why no colour one? Posted by Hello

sometime yesterday evening, while we were all unwinding into the weekend on a lovely friday evening here on earth, all of us - at least those of us outdoors - were being ever so gently bathed in the invisible glow of data bits raining down on earth from the Cassini space-probe cum Huygens lander rebroadcasting station. we got pictures from the surface of possibly the only other body in the solar system with liquid on its surface! this is awesome crazy! okay, okay. so it is just rocks and dirt that looks like rocks and dirt. but this is rocks and dirt that nobody has seen before from a world 1.2 billion kilometres away!

it reminds me yet again of the amazing tinyness of man and the mind blowing bigness of God. after centuries of science and technological progress and 25 years of planning, we get one tiny keyhole peep of a world that is only a infinitesimal picofraction of all the fabulous design ideas of God realised at creation.

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one,

and calls them each by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:26

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Into The Wild Blue Yonder

here i go again

It takes courage to fly. Something I'd almost forgotten after climbing back into the left seat after nearly 6 years of living relentlessly at sea level. Remembering how to push levers and read dials helps of course! But landing on the beach that day nearly 2 months ago it slowly dawned on me how much I had needed and used it without realising it. It also reminded me of how easy it had been to slip into living life couragelessly. Not in outright fear or trepidation but mindlessly staying and even aspiring to advance in the well know. As if pushing levers and reading dials were all there is to it.

I hope I remember to see it more clearly. And more often. I could sure use it at this point in life.

thanks for capturing this epiphanic moment, ec ! :)