Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.

Dream Mashup

So what happens when you read Percy Jacksn & The Lightning Thief for a few days and then do experiments with mussles?

You dream about the Olympians helping you crack open mussels so that you can get to the adductor muscle to draw out haemolymph.

I'm that much of a geek, yes.

Not Enough Hours In A Day

Have you ever thought that there’s not enough hours in a day to do every thing that you need to do? I have that thought every single day.

Let’s take a look at the break down of my day.

At least 2 hours of total commuting time, to and from work/school.

9.5 hours in the office (without overtime).

3 hours of school after office hours.

At least 6 hours of sleep.

That leaves only 3.5 hours in a day to do everything else, like study, read notes, shower/eat. And people still think I have all the time in the world to do other things. Sure, school is only twice a week but accumulation of exhaustion is just as bad in the long run.

I need a time turner.

Saturday Adventures: Early Morning Trip To Jurong Fish Port

During one of modules last semester, my professor wanted to take the class on a field trip to a fish port to see how fish are brought in and sold. We never got around to doing it last year, so he asked around this semester, to see if we were interested. A few of us hardcore students agreed to go, even though the field trip was going to be in the wee hours of the morning.

As I didn’t have my own transport, a classmate of mine decided to pick a few of us up and drive us to the fish port. So at half past twelve in the morning, I made my way to the agreed pick up point. It was a quick trip to the port, especially with the help of his GPS device. At the entrance of the port, we had to exchange our identification cards for their card thing for security purposes. I don’t know why they wouldn’t accept a driver’s license as photo identification, but what ever.

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Piles of fish for sale

Even though it was early, early in the morning, the port was already bustling with activities. There were guys unloading containers of fish from the boats, guys unpacking the fish containers out into piles of fish, people selling the fish piles, people packing the fish piles into boxes for sale at markets and/or restaurants.

The group of us did a round of the wet market, while waiting for the professor to arrive and we saw so many different species of fish on sale. Some I’ve seen before and some I’ve not. Out of the lot that we saw, I think I could only name like three different types and even that, only in Malay. The rest of them, I would need a guide book to identify and name. To rectify this hole in my fish-naming knowledge, I think I should follow my parents to the wet market more often.

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Selar kuning, famous for being in nasi lemak.

The market wasn’t called a wet market for nothing as the guys selling the fish would just tip the containers of melted ice and fish juice, over on its side and drain the liquid onto the floor and into the drains. Some of my classmates had gotten themselves a pair of rubber boots, so their feet were safe and dry from squishing in fish juice and icy water. I wasn’t so lucky as I had on a pair of rubber sandals, so my feet were cold and rather sticky.

After the professor arrived, we went into the wet market and took another look at the wet market. There were more boats unloading, so there were even more piles of fish that appeared at the market. Ever few meters, we had to move to the side to make way and to avoid the trolleys of fish containers that were weaving through the market to get to the lots of fish or to the lorries for delivery. I think that the men were rather unhappy with us because we walked very slowly and due to us being a relatively large group, it took a some time for us to move aside and let them pass.

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Glass prawns

We weren’t the only people who were there to look-see, look-see. There were other people there too. I saw them walking around with their pants hiked up to their shins, wading through the icy puddles of water and their plastic bags of their purchases in hand.

While waking through the wet market, I wondered if the fish caught and sold at the market complied with the WWF Seafood Guide. Were this fish endangered where they were caught? Were there enough of these fish left in the wild to sustain their population for many years to come? It would be extremely sad and bad if there weren’t enough of the fish in the wild and that we were eating the last of the population.

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Flower crabs

Anyway, after a few rounds looking at the fish, the class decided that since we were there, we might as well buy something. Most of us ended up with at least a kilo of the glass prawns. Some of them bought fish as well. There were crabs and even sea cucumber for sale but none of us bought any of that. We left the port at about half past three with our purchases, smelling faintly of fish.

I thought that it was a rather interesting trip. I wouldn’t mind going back there again with my parents. The fish port is actually open to the public or basically anyone who was willing to go there in the wee hours of the morning to get their fish.

Things That I Want To Achieve In Life

1. To be happy and thankful with what I have.

2. To do a different kind of science, the kind that doesn't make me kill animals just for the sake of science. Culling/sacrificing of animals always makes me sad.

3. To have a family of my own.

4. To have a book written solely by me, published and be at least a minor hit. (hoping and praying that this day will come)

5. To have enough cooking skills so that that the man won't be saying that I need more practice. (Currently, I do not have the time to practice)

6. To travel to places other than the Asian Pacific region.

7. To make my parents proud of me.

It's not too much to ask is it? I just need to get off my ass and do it.

You Know The Saying, Be careful Of What You Wish For?

It seems that some time last semester, I said that I was looking forward to getting reading materials to read and was disappointed that there was barely enough to keep me busy. Yes, well this semester, the amount of reading that needs to get done is totally overcompensating for the previous one, and then some.

For just one module, there are at least close to thirty papers that were given to us to read up on environmental health and toxicology. Not to mention the other hand outs that were given during lessons and the lecture notes itself. The professor did say that this unit is going to be very content heavy and she wasn't kidding at all. There's a project, some lab work and I'm sure a few other assignments thrown it. And that's just one module. Sure that we could divvy the readings among my group mates but in the end, I still need to read all of them anyway for my own reference. At least, I get to brush up on my scientific journal reading skills.

The other module has it's own set of reading materials and more than a few hands-on sessions as well. With a few back to back classes and assignments thrown it, this semester looks like it's going to either make me or break me. Hopefully, the former because I didn't come this far just to falter halfway through the course. It'll be a waste of all that money and effort spent, wouldn't it?

So, wish me luck. I'm going to give it my best and hopefully, it'll pay off.

Saturday Adventures: The Incidental Adventure To The National Library

On Saturday, I was supposed to go on a trek up Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with my Adventure Crew (Seriously Sarah, Raven Silvers, Joelyn Alexandra and Avariel) but I had come down with a cold and my mother was worried that I would pass out and fall down a ditch somewhere, so I gave it a pass. However, I was feeling much better after lunch and went to meet up with them anyway at the Singapore Arts Museum to pick up my t-shirts from Sarah. Then we decided to go to the National Library to do some research on our stories.

Avariel left to meet her friend, leaving the rest of us to go to the library. At the open space at the library, they were having an environmental/sustainable living showcase of some sort. I wasn’t really paying attention as I was riveted by the Segway thing. I managed to give it a try and it was rather easy to manoeuvre. I must say, it was fun and I really want to get one (if it was cheap that is).

After some quick refreshments at the cafe, we went to see these interesting machines that’s supposed to help recycle drink cans and bottles.

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This machine will crush the cans and the bottles, and also separate them into different bins, for easy sorting and recycling.

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This machine will just store the bottles as is.

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Side view of the machines.

These machines are not available yet but a company is trying to promote it. Hopefully, that if there are enough sponsors, the machine will be available at schools and offices around the island.