Monthly Archives: May 2007

The doctor asked me to smoke cigarettes

This is funnier than anything ever offered by Senario or Pi Mai Pi Mai Tangtu.
Title: Doctor asked me to smoke Artist: For your ears only

A transcript – part of of a longer recording

Date: February/March 2005
Place: Penampang
Occasion: Chinese New Year 2005?

T: [Doctor ask to] sharing the smoke?
UG: That’s why, doctor advise
G: To smoke again
UG: Not to smoke
N: Not to share [a cigarette]

UG: Because of that if i not smoke my… i’m go away lah, i’m go away
T: Further study?
G: Go where to where, further study?
T: where, to further study or what?
UG: No. Not go to the study … (go) forever.
T: Go to interview Agut* lah?
T: Ok, no… still young, still going strong…

* Agut is the owner of the top funeral management company in Penampang

The rest of Quantitative Analysis Course

It came and went – time seemed to slow down in the first few weeks of my stay at INTAN Bukit Kiara, then speeded up dramatically towards the end of April.

The exams went well – especially the first (stats) and last (research methods). I thought I didn’t do the second (SPSS) too well, even though I expected it to be easy. Lesson learnt: be overconfident at your peril!

And now, at the time of writing, it’s been 10 days since I came back on the 12th May.


Regarding the statistics exam – was held 16th April. We had to do 5 questions out of 8 in 3 hours. I ended up doing 7, because (i) I finished 5 questions with 45 minutes to spare; (ii) the last 2 questions was much easier than the first 5, and (iii) the examiners would select the best 5 anyway.

The 2-week crash course in statistics has certainly been eye-opening and quite stressful. It has not been unusual for me to review the day’s lecture till late at night. Everything was done at full speed ahead. For example, the ANOVA (>=3 mean test) part usually takes one whole semester, but in this course it was covered in a day. Every day is a different topic – you had to make sure you fully understood the day’s topic, for tomorrow is a different topic altogether.

The biggest problem is deciding which hypothesis testing approach to use in what situation. Even though the exam is open book, it definitely won’t be easy.

Another is that it’s quite easy to get lost in the long formulas. One wrong step, and you get the whole question wrong.

For example, the formula to work out the t value in hypothesis testing using regression looks like this:

One mistake on the scientific calculator or even Excel on the laptop, and you’ve had it.

One could use SPSS, but there’s no time to get well-versed enough with it. Plus, I think it’s good to know the fundamentals too, rather than simply keying the data.

Adding to the stress is that the statistics module contributes the most i.e. 45% to the whole course.

If we don’t pass the course, automatically the scholarship offer will be withdrawn. Of course, judging from past history, most people would pass, but nobody want to be added to the statistic of people who’ve failed.

Malaysia’s most expensive burger?

I encountered the Rm32++ burger on the 28th April at Hard Rock Cafe, Kuala Lumpur.

To be fair, it was humongous, big enough for 2 people. I was starving but still could not finish it off. The meat was at least an inch thick.

Still, it’s worth it, if only for the live band (Siluet / Silhouette, apparently from Bali, Indonesia). Check out this video which I took of their performance that night: Continue reading

“Strange occurrence at Keningau road” explained

Remember that news report in 2006 (2005?) in the Borneo Post about the 150m stretch of road along km 5, Keningau-Kimanis road (km 32, Kimanis-Keningau road) where apparently vehicles can move by themselves as reported in Borneo Post?

A Richard Lee was the first person who experienced this and he claimed that his car moved backwards up a 15 degree slope heading towards the direction of Keningau.

The newpaper further reported that “it is believed (that) a gravity force under the ground is making vehicles move forward / backward at a speed of 40km an hour.” In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening. That stretch of road is known as a magnetic hill / gravity hill, which is a type of optical illusion created by the surrounding landscape, which gives the impression that a slight downward slope is actually an uphill slope. For the illusion to work, the landscape must have a completely / mostly blocked horizon, which will make judging of the slope difficult due to a lack of reference. Trees which we assume to stand at a 90 degree angle to the ground might actually be leaning, hence offsetting the visual reference.

Other names for these kinds of sites include: haunted hill and anti-gravity hill.

There are hundreds of such places around the world, although I am not sure if Sabah has the nation’s first magnetic hill. Anyhow, I think this is a great opportunity to turn the place into a tourist attraction.

For Catholics only: what’s the deal with Pope Pius Bread / Our Lady’s Bread / The Cake of our Lady the Virgin Mary?

It’s been making the rounds, so I felt compelled to check it out.

If you’re a Catholic, and next time someone gives you a dough with a recipe and insists that his or her offer cannot be refused, beware.

This has been called the chain letter of the cooking world, a mutated version of the Amish Friendship Bread in the US. Continue reading

Kedai tak untung

“Tak Untung” in Malay means “unprofitable,” so if the choice of one’s name really reflects one’s fortune, this would’ve been business suicide.

Kedai Ubat Tuck Oon Thong apparently sells Chinese medicine, and yes, it’s still in business.

Someone mentioned that it is located at the heart of Bentong Town, Pahang, Malaysia, near the bus terminal. If you’re on your way to Raub or Kuala Lipis via Karak Highway and Bentong Town you will definitely pass this shop since it’s located on a one way street which everybody has to drive through.