Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Life of a Researcher - Chronicles Log 4

I think I have left out a lot of entries that seemed to be interesting as well as experience gaining. I should have taken some time to jot down those entries, guess it'll be scripted into the realms of time and continuum.

Perhaps there is something happier to to talk about, as some have already noticed, I am officially a full time research assistant in my campus and embarking on a new chapter towards higher learning. I cannot say that things will be smooth, but it will be interesting. I personally feel that I have already sunk too much into my comfort zone to go back to work. This is somewhat a bad omen for me, that is why I prefer to try to maximize my time to do other things to keep me happy. Unfortunately, my time spend wasn't as productive as I expected it to be. For instance, I have been a part-time research assistant in Asif's lab, but the skills I have attained from there were not exactly up to expectations. Mostly it was due to my ignorance to evade useful lessons. Moreover, nine months of no full-time employment is like experiencing another term of national service, where it kinda erodes my self-worth and makes my brain rot. Though it is happening to me, I believe I have managed to preserve at least some of my sanity and competency for the work that has yet to be poured onto me.

I could say that life is getting on the better side at this moment - relationships are blooming, opportunity to embark on my career, having my own personal space and time, etc. I just hope that times like this concur much of my time in campus. Though my partner and I are both researchers-in-progress, I believe that relationships can blind any form of reasoning; I hope we have ample time for each other.

I wanted to put this in earlier entries but I kinda missed it, but I noticed that humans (or at least in the society that I grow in) tend to choose (selectively) their partners mostly based on exterior/structural appearance as well as character. I cannot tell the extent of my hypothesis but everyone has a specific set of facial/body/hair/etc. structure that we choose to like. I.e. Lets just say I like people with long hair, sharp chin and slim figure. Most of my choices for a partner will fall under these categories and I would not really consider anyone out of the list (or at least refrain from choosing). However, character-wise would not be so similar. We always think we would like to find someone of similar interest, but somehow, we would usually choose someone who has a different set of interest than us. I do not say opposite because it is subjective and would seem wrong to implicate a fixed set of interest from the start. At times, it would seem that your partner's characters are opposite of yours; at times, it would be very much different from yours. In either way, it would somehow suggest a completion of your life to mask over characters that you do not hold initially. Or at least that's how I feel so far. But the point here is that, if we put it mathematically:

1) We choose partners based on exterior appearance proportionate to our list
2) We choose partners based on character inversely proportionate to our own

Another thing I noticed is that people with almost similar facial features, tend to have almost similar names. Not only that, these people of similar features have almost similar characteristics as well. If this, to some extent, is true, then what is governing us when choosing names for our off-springs? Is it a fabric of nature? Is it a form of animal instinct? Is it that people of similar features have an invisible connection between them that encrypt names? Is it a secret code in their genes that secretly bond these people together? It would be interesting to know this though.

The Mixed Boy

Friday, January 08, 2010

Life of a Researcher - Chronicles Log 3a

OMG, I didn't know about this webtool in google, it's call "google translate". I think it's super cool and I also feel that I'm so dumb not to notice it. However, the translation only corrects your words to the nearest direct translation. Nonetheless, let me try to replicate this entry in Japanese now:


私は、私のパートナー私のわめきを容認することができました感謝している(にもかかわらず、私は彼女の目で見ることは、彼女にうんざりしなっていた)を参照できるし、どんな過酷な事は私を許した私は状況に係ると述べた。もちろん、私は彼女の忍耐のための彼女は個人的に感謝した。ある一つのことは私だけでなく、誰もそこから学ぶかと彼女は願って - ときに世話をするか聞く耳を提供するボランティアは、あなたがやっている仕事に十分な注意をそらすしたいです。物事に刺激され、すでに怒っている人動揺としてぶら下げままにしないでください。それが我々の検索とテスト潜在的な薬について、我々を理解する必要がありますし、参加者は、我々に薬を与えているに注意を払うの臨床試験に似ています。この患者は重要なのは、フォームは我々が患者に何を懸念しているに注意を払っても良い結果ではなく、。

もう一つは、ときに我々は、我々または何かを、少なくとも我々が何かをしようとすることが必要だと言う。別の方法の中のフレーズにするには、"我々は、話を話すが、私たちは徒歩ですか?"。 1つは、彼/彼女は、そのスタイルとそれをコスプレ好きだと言う。ちょうどそれのために、衣装をしないが、心と魂をそこに置く。もちろん、将来の研究者として、そのような事のための時間がないけど、これが我々の計画では時間を管理しています。したがって、で、生産性、事前の計画と集中。ないぐずぐずぐずぐずしないと、何もただ座って行われる。私はその時すぐに適切な鎧で十分ですが生成される左、私は再望まない場合は、外傷性のライブイベントを願っています。

私はまだ新しい仕事のための推薦状を取得しました。私はすぐにそれらを得ることを期待。加えて、自分のアプリケーションのみを1月10日に承認されると、別の2かかります - 3週間。ホープは、すべてうまくいくよ...

-=The Mixed Boy=-

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Life of a Researcher - Chronicles Log 3

Life wasn't so happy for the beginning of this year, I kinda gotten into many many mishaps. I found myself in some crazy chase on what to do for Cosfest and how am I to go about formulating the protocol for the IPS cells. Been in several arguments that were repetitive and incomplete. Things get worst by having injuries added to it. At a point in time I was too frustrated to think straight and was almost in the verge of just scolding everyone. But somehow, I was able to keep my anger to myself but became depressed for awhile.

I am very grateful that my partner was able to tolerate my ranting (even though I could see in her eyes that she was getting fedup) and forgave me for whatever harsh things I said out pertaining to the situation. Of course, I did thank her personally for her patience. There is one thing that I hope she as well as everyone else would learn from it - when you want to care or volunteer to provide a listening ear, divert ample attention on the task that you are doing. Don't try to leave things hanging as it will irritate and upset the person who is already upset. It is similar to clinical trials, when we search and test for potential good drugs, we must understand and pay attention to the participants that we are giving the medication to. This is a form of patient importance, where we pay attention to what the patient is concerned in rather than just good results.

Another thing is that when we say that we are, we must be what we are or at least try to be what we are. To phrase it in another way, "we talk the talk, but do we walk the walk?". When one say that he/she likes cosplay, then do it with style. Don't just do a costume for the sake of it, but with heart and soul put into it. Of course, as future researchers, we don't have the time for such things, but this is where we manage our time by planning. Thus, by productive, plan ahead and focus. Don't dilly dally, nothing will be done just by sitting down. I hope the time left now is sufficient for a proper armor to be produced, I don't want to re-live the traumatic events.

I've yet to get the recommendation letters for my new job. I hope to get them soon. Besides, my application will only be endorsed on the 10th Jan and it will take another 2 - 3 weeks. Hope that everything will be fine...

The Mixed Boy

Friday, January 01, 2010

Life of a Researcher - Chronicles Log 2

Food for thought:

Remember about all the talk on sudden cardiac death, (SCD), and that it may be some genetic disorder that also may be hereditary? I was just thinking, what if, it isn't something to do with genetics, but something as simple as exhaution? Not the person, but the cells or the ion channels. I can't say for sure, but so far, usually the news that broadcast SCD are usually people who are rather fit and train quite a lot. What if their cells we not as willing to carry on as much work as other cells could and they simply just stop working. So it isn't something hereditary. But of course, you could ask, if they get tired easier, would it mean that they are different = something in their genetic structure that causes them to be like that? How about protein structures/levels? Would they be of any cause? Even though SCD can be described as many forms of death, it has been around for a few decades already. There may be speculations of ion-channel failures or inefficiency, but wouldn't the host have manifested these symptoms way before SCD would happen? Why is that humans have managed to endure so much hardship in the past without dying but now, people are able to be stuck with a fatal event so easily? Is it a form of evolution? That the body has had enough and will not carry on working until it receives it's next "pay". There are many flaws in these assumptions, but it's more like food for thought...

P.S. I'm really sleepy now, it's New Year and I just came back to write this blog. So tired.

The Mixed Boy

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Life of a Researcher - Chronicles Log 1

Who knows that I would come back as a motivated researcher to try his luck to get into graduate studies. Unfortunately, it was not as easy as it seemed as I was rejected in three applications for my graduate studies. Eventually, I had to take an alternative route to get back onto the path I want. I slowly moved from a service ambassador in my campus's Office of Alumni Relations back to Science faculty as a temp research assistant (RA). Ever since then, I've been running dry lab, creating almost impossible figures and entertaining an aged man of 82 by giving him "orgasms" (inside joke).

Moreover, I had a very rare opportunity appearing some time back that paved a route for me to turn from temp RA into a perm RA in another lab. The drawback is that I had to do something with little knowledge of it AND I had to try my best (more like I have to) to produce/refine a technique that hasn't been positive for the past two decades, so why me? The only thing that made so possible was a mere "I see potential in you; you look like a hard worker; you're still young you can work till very late". So was the principal investigator (PI) looking for God or still day dreaming. Nonetheless, it was a good chance for me to challenge myself to something I have not achieved before - cell culturing. I am willing to take that challenge but hopefully, people around me will not mind me not fulfilling expectations that they placed on me.

Today's the last day of work for the year of 2009 in NUS. Nothing much was happening today, but I tried to spend most of my time reading papers on cell culturing. Moreover, I've been so busy lately juggling two labs and my social life that I have quite little time for myself. But being in my current lab kept me thinking of a lot of stuff, which I'm very grateful of it. Sometimes we think of strange or funny stuff during our discussions. Synergistic trust and discussions are essential for a productive yet fun lab. In fact, I can also tell you why a girlfriend (GF) is important in our lives (especially guys) in a while. Apart from my work life, I hope to master a little bit of Perl module as well as understand a little more on immunology.

So why GF is important: - A GF is important as she, as a woman, will provide moral support for you in whatever you do. Surprisingly, she can also give you ideas, regardless of whether it is random or not, for your research. Intellectual ideas are definitely good in producing good papers, but sometimes simple ideas can also prove to be better than any sophisticated method. A GF can also train your discipline and tolerance in accepting nonsensical arguments. In any office, politics are inevitable; similar to a lab, politics roam the vicinity. There are many times that you have more important things to do than to entertain an obstinate person who does not practice flexibility. You'd probably spend more time trying to convince him than to ignore him. So if you can tackle your GF, obstinate people are just dirt - ignoring them is just like you being there alone.

There is also one more reason why GFs are good, they are like growth factors. They help you grow in many aspects. Maturity is one of them, patience is another. But too many GFs are not good; we're like receptors, and each ligand gives a different response. But when too many ligands come together, they exhibit competitive binding. In cells, if to many complicated signals appear, the cell can undergo apoptsis to prevent further damage. I don't think you would want that to happen to you. So faithfulness is also essential to produce one particular response, which is happiness. The secretion of this 'ligand' varies from time to time. Don't disregard this 'ligand'; disregarding it is like disregarding insulin to an insulin receptor. Without it, diabetes can occur. So pay attention to it, if it gets too much, use inhibitors; if there's too little, stimulate your source. So GFs are good. Of course, you have to choose the right one. Not all 'ligands' give good responses. Some may induce cytokine mediated apotosis, some may induce cytokine mediated Janus-family kinase and STAT.

So choose your GFs properly, take some time to know your candidate before committing to one. Don't just get one just because your friends have one or because it is a fad, it's rubbish. Don't do it just because your parent tell you to unless you're tied down to an arrange marriage. Always know what you want, not what people say you ought to have. Because it will then not be what you yearn for but only feeding other people's curiosity on whether you two match.

I think I said too much already and I have yet to complete reading my papers. So I think I'll stop right here and finish up the paper that I'm reading now. Until next time.

The Mixed Boy

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My lousy week

Actually I kinda predicted that such things would happen, I just didn't expect that it would actually happened? I just don't know why I get dissed every time. Plans will always remain as plans, never reality. It's also so hard to get someone to see it your way...

The Mixed Boy

Friday, February 20, 2009

The way we scrutinize questions

If the definition of "spend thrift" is "someone who spends money prodigally", the what do you say to a person who "spends money prodigally" on charity? Is he/her a spendthrift? I'm sure you would understand the similarity in the intention of the two actions - "to indulge spending on", so are both of them considered the same? Should we not judge something bad as bad but also scrutinize the good as well?

The Mixed Boy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A home I can't go home to; a bed I can't sleep on...

I feel super down today... I don't really want to reflect on the bad stuff but it's rather upsetting that I nearly teared. I just feel like being in school and not go back... there's nothing I can do at home anyway, I'm just a puppet that responses to people who needs help, a slave. I hate where I am now, I don't even see my home as a home anymore, it feels so sad. I just want to cry or something. I hate to be the 2nd child, there's nothing good about being one. All the best genes go to the 1st, all the hard work go to the 2nd child. No matter how hard we try, we always go back to square one. I just feel ashamed of some things in life... So saddening...

The Mixed Boy

Friday, July 04, 2008


I don't know why my parents continuously want to irritate me. They keep treating me like a young boy, as if I can't do things myself. I don't even know why my family irritates me so much, why can't they just do things simple? What's up with them wanting to test for blood pressure with some stupid device, then when the stupid thing grips so tightly till my right arm can't move, my father thinks I was flexing. Then when he continuously ask me the same question, I just snapped back at him. Then with a reading of 118/81, it's considered normal for an adult, but my parents thinks it's too high. WTF. So they went for cardiovascular system course huh? I even think there's something wrong with the machine since takes very very long for a test to be conducted. If they think highly of their guesses, then why must I go for such a course in the first place. Plus, my mother says drink more water because I have "high blood pressure". Firstly, it's not even HIGH in the first place; secondly, even if it's high blood pressure, the more I shouldn't drink water because isotonic levels of water can elevate the pressure in the body... Geez, what's up with their "high-and-mighty" assumptions?

I noticed my temper shorten recently; I don't really like the feeling, but I can't escape the fact that there are people who are around to irritate me. I WANT to be tolerant, resounding to the fact that I don't like to scold in the first place. I hope I'd tame myself soon, I need to stay calm.

I haven't been talking much to Dada, I don't really know what to talk to her anymore. Neither did she had anything else to talk to me anymore besides the usual "how's your day?" or "have you eaten?". I guess it's already the time where things go back to normal again, back to the lonely days when I stare at the sky or the wall by myself, wondering what to do next or what's around me...

I want to emphasize that I DON'T like to scold, I hate scolding. It always leave me in the worst mood ever. I really wish I will change for the better. I'm still planning on what to do tomorrow...

The Mixed Boy


Today I have an upsetting day:

1) I didn't know what I had to do in office
2) Recently people call me "fat" or "Baba"
3) My sister gave problems again
4) My father's friend said that my brother is very handsome, but reluctantly said that "not saying that you're aren't handsome" (Been hearing this sentence many times already, WTF)
5) Yet another couple is been born in my group of friends, leaving me the single one out again
6) Tomorrow I have a seminar, but I'm not sure of whether to go or not
7) Tomorrow's running day again, going to be a tiring day once again
8) (Eight is the lucky charm) My mother talked to me about certain things relating to my brother, relationships and me. I think they are all totally unrelated but part of each makes me demoralised since people always think I'm not as handsome as my brother or as others (Sux)

Does this really mean I'm really unlucky?

The Mixed Boy