Saturday, July 28, 2012

Can I touch yo' sushi?

My beautiful sushi on a plate, I shall name you all: (L-R) fatty salmon, scallop topped with cod liver, tamago

(L-R) fatty tuna with less tendon, sweet shrimp, swordfish

and la piece de resistance, yellowtail at 20% off... (top L, clockwise) sea salt, plain, black truffle sauce, citron junos sauce, black truffle oil

Where the place? Itacho at Changi Airport T3. Lots of seating, less lining up for a place at the table. Satisfied the Japanese craving I've been having for the last couple of weeks. XD

Friday, July 27, 2012

My little runaways

So if you leave
Don't expect me to run after you with flowers
and beg you on my knees to come home.
I will not play your schoolgirl games --
that is all they are and I am not so easily manipulated.

But at least today you've acknowledged
that the keys to your future are not in my hands
but your own.
At least you know that much.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ancient technology

Watched an episode of Ancient Aliens on History Channel. O_o

One of the interviewees was going on about how some form of extraterrestrial tech such as "sonic levitation" must have been an agent in the raising of humongous megaliths that are otherwise beyond modern ken as to how they got stacked one upon the other by our long-deceased ancestors.

Only today, apparently, are we just beginning to rediscover the technology that allows us the ability to harness sound waves. Nonsense. We've never lost that technology -- in fact we use it practically every day.

"Hey, you good-for-nothing idle bunch of low-life slackers! I want Block A stacked on Block B by this evening! I don't care how, just get it done... or else [fire and brimstone consequences]!!!"

Nothing to it, really.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Now hear this!

One key mistake we make when studying for our subjects is that we use our eyes. That sounds counter-intuitive as the material we study from is textual and is therefore accessible via the eyes.

But the eyes are much better used for observing events, that is, for gathering data first-hand. Visual input goes straight to a binary decision-making flip-switch that responds through instinct, not logic. The two options are MOVE or STAY. MOVE breaks down to two possibilities -- Fight or Flight -- in response to a perceived threat. STAY is the primary default state (due to the Law of Conservation of Energy). There is no time to process visual stimulus. Whether one ends up as someone else's lunch or whether we get to consume another meal is highly dependent on instant recognition of a threat and the instant reaction to it.

Study through the eyes messes up our mental state. We experience a sensation akin to fear due to the stress we are under when studying. Instinct tells us to MOVE, but visually there is no real, physical, urgent threat to MOVE TO confront or AWAY FROM to avoid. So we STAY in a confused state until ennui sets in. Actually learn anything? In that state of mind, y'think?

Text is language-based, and the eye doesn't apprehend language at all. Text is, after all, second-hand knowledge. Language is a translation of different stimulus input that has to undergo a process of encoding (where it becomes an idea) before it can be relayed to another person who then has to undertake a decoding process in order to apprehend the idea being transmitted.

This process involves the faculties of reasoning based on logic and requires a common set of shared ciphers and congruent reference points in order to function. The eye has no time for all this processing. Language is fully dependent on our sense of hearing and our ability to listen, not just to the text itself, but also the undercurrents of emotion and nuance that are all but invisible but not to the empathetic ear which picks up inflection and tone and recognizes further meaning in them.

Kids, when you study from text or any other visual stimulus, the best sensory organ to use are your ears.  The listening path is the more direct route to the processing parts of your brain if you are apprehending knowledge through language. The idea that we are visual learners requiring varied visual input to learn is a myth. The reason why we learn faster from video is not due to the image itself, but rather the accompanying audio track that tells us what the hell is going on.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tripping hazard

While director, Chris Nolan, spins a ripping yarn about the downfall of the Bat at the hands the Bane of his life and is able to tie what seem like unconnected loose ends of this trilogy together, I can't help but get distracted by the awkwardness of the cowl and the cape, especially in the fight sequences.

The fact that everyone else is dressed more or less normally, even Bane and his oversized retainer (I bet he got that way because the kids in school kept picking on him), Batman with his literally over-the-top mask and unwieldy cape, far from making him look inconspicuous as it's supposed to, instead made him stick out like a sore thumb in company. What's the point, anyway, since anyone who can't figure out that Bruce Wayne is the fabled Dark Knight has to be the densest material on the planet?

At some point, I wish he'd lose the darned things and just fight in his armour. Since this movie seems to have been marketed as the most realistic of all the other superhero movies this season, there's little call for the protagonist doing his thing in a silly outfit. It looks impractical and gets in the way of the action. Even in the shot with the Batman standing on a perch overlooking the city, the cape just... drapes over his shoulders, adding nothing to the drama apart from a distraction. I was more worried about it being a tripping hazard than as an awe inspiring device that the comic book genre makes it out to be.

But perhaps Wayne's inner struggle is right there. While the Batman persona relies on theatricality, technology and training, Rises is Wayne's story about his arduous climb back from the dark into light; from losing everything to finding happiness against all odds. The two personas are irrevocably separate, yet together. And that's the odd thing: the Bat survives when times are tough -- nothing makes the Bat come out stronger than when he is suffering. Make him happy, though, and you just might see the end of the Bat. Who'd have thought?

Does the trilogy end on a happy note, as all good legends should? I can't really say. Though Nolan may have directed his third and final installment in this trilogy, the producers seem intent on keeping the Wayne legacy and the franchise alive.