Sunday, March 31, 2013

Exploring Singapore

So on Friday I had some time to explore Singapore. I was staying on the campus of the Nanyang technical University. This was a very pleasant campus, but it was big and a bit separate from the surrounding city. I planed to get a bus to a railway station. What I read in the guide book about tickets looked a bit complicated. When I got on the bus I couldn't understand what the bus driver said, so I think he let me on the bus with no ticket. At some point everyone got off the bus, so I did too. I was worried about not having a ticket. However I was still on campus and far from any bus station.

There was a big highway and a bridge over it. On the bridge there were signs asking the students to be quiet when coming back late at night. I crossed the bridge and wandered around some big apartment blocks. It looked very regimented. I saw a couple of schools with big signs outside that reported their successes. One success was winning a hip hop dance competition in Las Vegas. It was hot and muggy and I just could not find the railway station

Once I saw the train line I knew I could survive the heat. After drinking a quick life restoring coke,
I found the station. It was easy to buy a ticket with a few coins. I travelled to the centre of the city. There was an area created by some old governor called Raffles.. I got off at a station called City Hall. This turned out to be a shopping Mall. It was so hot outside that I didn't really explore. There was lots of nice food sold in the basement. The place was full of people even though it was a work day.

After lunch I took a train to the Marina area of Singapore. It turned out that the Marina was a big shopping mall as well. You can walk outside too. There is a view of some huge skyscrapers

I stopped at bar. After a cocktail and 1.5 pints of beer I got a bar bill of just over 52 Singapore dollars or roughly 32 Euros. The big skyscrapers are partly due to finance companies so that must have pushed up the bar prices. There were quite a few people in the bar.

Friday, March 22, 2013

In a bar at Amsterdam airport

I flew from Dusseldorf to Singapore with KLM, so I had a bit break in Amsterdam. There are some good places to work in the airport with a laptop. I didn't try the wireless much, although you are meant to be able to get 1 hour free. After making a few slides, it was time for dinner. I ate a nice burger and fries and I thought a beer would be good for desert.

I the bar there was a couple talking to the barman. The guy was English but the woman was from some other country. The guy told some story about how he was working in a bar and some drunk guy told him to get a career and that changed his life. Don't get me wrong, they were pleasant enough. But I was amused when they were ordering burgers and getting the beer deal. They were planning their preflight drinks and then the bar man told them what the time was and they suddenly remembered they were on European time rather than UK time. A typical middle class couple I thought, slowly sinking into booze. The guy did, let the barman pull me a beer, before the barman made him a cocktail.

Of course I should not have been in the bar anyway. I could have made another few slides, or read my book.

random Singapore stuff

I have been staying in Singapore this week, while I have been attending a physics workshop. I am staying in the NEC guest house inside the campus of Nanyang technical University. It is a huge campus and the guest house is a bit far out. I had to work in the evenings for my talk, so I didn't have much time to explore the campus.

There are a couple of canteens on campus. There is a big hall with a large number of little shops that serve different food. It is cheap food as well, I get a bowl of noodles and meat for 4 Singapore dollars. The guest house is close to a  sports field. There are a lot of people training in the evening. There are people running around the track. I saw some people wearing gis getting ready to train in Karate.

It is so hot and humid here. It is swampy hot here. I can barely stand to be outside. Thank God for air conditioning.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Singapore I

I am sitting in a hotel room in Singapore. I flew in on Sunday night. I took a taxi to the hotel, but the driver didn't seem to know the address, even though it was was a guest house in the University. I had just been on a long flight from Germany, so my brain was a little fried. I just have a jumbled memory of big roads. The driver was friendly with an interesting English accent.

I was happy to feel the swampy heat after the long cold winter in Germany. I have been at a physics workhop. Today I have my talk, so I can relax more, because the stress is over, but I just feel  so tired. I have been getting up early to write yet more of my talk...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Listening to Liquid swords on a Sunday night

I felt like listening to some some rap music. In my Amazon music collection I found a Wu Tang Clan album, which I must have purchased some time during the last 15 years.

I really liked the Wu Tang Clan. Amazon recommended Liquid Swords -- this is rap music mixed with Japanese martial arts (mostly involving swords). It is a solo project of one of the Wu Tang Clan. It is great!

Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok 1

On Saturday I rented Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok from Itunes. It is a simple Japanese anime based on the idea the Norse God Loki is expelled from the home of the Gods and becomes a school boy detective in Japan. All the stories were light hearted, but it was the most basic animation I have ever seen. Sometimes it looked as though the cartoons were being moved by hands. Still it was good fun to watch.

Given that Amazon are selling DVDs of this for 66 pounds the 2.50 I payed to rent from I tunes was a good deal.

Failure in physics

There is a great article in the New York Times about the trial of the theoretical physicist Paul Frampton. He was arrested in Buenos Aires with a suitcase with cocaine hidden in it

Although it could be that he was very naive and  stupid to try to a take a suitcase from a stranger on a plane. He gives the impression of being unworldly, but the text messages showed he knew more about the drugs than he claimed. Also, doesn't he have a credit card? He didn't seem to be able to pay for his airfare home.

He has written a lot of papers, but in the news paper article he notes that he has not managed to predict anything that exists, so he will not get a Nobel prize unless that happens. Given that the LHC has not found any evidence for BSM physics so far, there will be many Profs in the same situation.

It is a bit sad that at 68 he wants a family.

I remember watching a film based on Chekhov's the cherry orchard or perhaps it was Uncle Vanya.
Here is a great summary of the end of an academic career.  There was an even better speech about the Professor character that dripped even more of failure.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Phone, love and guilty nachos eating.

I love my phone. I looked out the window this morning. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. The end of winter I thought. But then I looked at my phone and it told me the temperature was sub-zero, so I put my scarf on. It was good that I trusted my phone, because it was still fucking cold, even with the warm sunlight.

My phone also tells me of cool places to drink beer. One place it suggested was the Red lounge in Wuppertal. It turned out that this place was close to the Lola bar that I sometimes go to. When I found it is was actually next door to the Lola bar. It looked very closed, but the web site looks still live. It doesn't look to open until 22:00.

So I drank a couple of beers in the Lola bar. Worse than drinking beer, I ate a portion of Nachos. Not really diet food. I was reading American Gods on my phone. I need to read the book before there is any chance of me seeing the HBO TV series.

As I left the Lola bar I thought I would try another bar before taking the bus home. When I walked past the bus station I saw my normal bus was in.  So I got on. I saw a woman who was in the bar. I felt bad because I worried that she might think I was stalking her. So I unsteadily stared out of the window until it was my stop.

If you are wandering what the philosophy of this post is. Well, you are never alone with a phone.

Flashing light attack

I was just about to walk through the forest to my apartment block. I suddenly I saw bright blue flashing lights. The flickering light pounded into my brain and I felt disorientated. There was a leather seat places in the middle of the pavement. It was just an ambulance. It was empty, so I don't know why the lights were still on.

There are no free beers for Craig

When I got home last night there was a case of beer outside the front door. I couldn't see anyone around. Was the beer a gift to the people in this house? Perhaps I will just take one bottle -- it is best not to be greedy, I thought. But then given that I had 6 cans of beer in my rucksack, I didn't really need any more beer. So I walked in to the building. As I pressed the button for the lift, a guy came in carrying the case of beer. He had the build of a man who likes beer, but he was hard enough to break a beer thief's nose. Lucky escape!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Losing a mother on a train platform

In a dream last night I was sitting on a train with my mum and her friend. The train stops. My mother's friend is getting of at the station. My mother gets off as well, to say goodbye to her friend. The train starts moving again very quickly and my mother is stranded on the platform. All her stuff is in the train with me. The train driver shouts that she will be back in a few moments, but I see my mother running after the train. My mother is too old for the stress of  running. The train travels a long way through the green country. I switch my mobile phone on. After a few minutes I start to think about how to get a complaint form.

The start of my political career

I have just read an interesting article about the recent Eastleigh byelection. The article claims that there is a disconnect between the current set of politicians and the population. This has been true for  a while.

Now is the time for a new type of politician -- one who likes black leather and shouting. I need some kind of angle or hook to get the electorate to choose me. I am not too keen on blaming immigrants or the poor on the UK's troubles, but if I must do that to gain power then I will.

I would like to reach out represent the silent majority whose votes and enthusiasm is not represented. I like the idea of making speeches to large audiences. My rhetoric would whip up the audience to screaming adulation. The meetings would be at night. The flickering flames from the blazing torches would light the sweat on my brow , so my people could see how hard I was working for them.

One problem with democracy is that people have worked out that going to war involves normal people dying. Luckily with the advent of technology I could create a huge fleet of drones controlled by tablets or games consoles. I would make Prince Harry a general and his thumbs could do something useful for once. So perhaps a minor war with a country that doesn't have nuclear weapons.

I would need the backing of the finance industry based in the city of London. I would have to reassure them that I would be a safe pair of hands, until I would have power. Then there would be some changes as I exerted my divine will.

What thrills me about a career in politics is the idea  of service .

Joan of arc and the lack of historical accuracy in the Cohen song

I have to admit I don't know a lot about British history. I know that 1066 is an important date for some reason and some guy called Henry had eight wives

I have been watching  Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War on the Iplayer.
This was a history of the various conflicts between France and England. I of course knew who Joan of Arc was. What I didn't know was that she was burnt by the English in a war between France and
England. I have listened to the song by Leonard Cohen about Joan of Arc, but it never mentions who burnt her.

You can see why Michael Grove wants us to learn more about British history. We need history to teach us what evil people the kings and queens of England are capable of. We can rejoice that we have democracy now and the NHS and so on.

I have been a lazy bad boy

So I still weigh 91 kgs. What went wrong? I trashed my wrists on Monday when I added additional weight to my barbells, so I have done very little weight training this week. My wrists are now better, but still sore.

I have also not written any jokes, or read my book on how to write jokes.  I have achieved nothing this week.

It looks as though it will be warmer the next week, so I no longer have the excuse of being cold for not working out. But there are challenges ahead. I noticed that one of the bars I go into when I am downtime serve Nachos as a snack. I also scoped out a number of other bars downtime Wuppertal, that I will visit next time I feel like drinking outside my flat.

I am lazy, wicked and should be punished.

Saturday, March 02, 2013


When I first heard about the film looper I was really excited. One guy's job is to shoot a person as soon as they get sent back in time. Then his future self comes back and escapes. So the first half of the film was both exciting and interesting. Some interesting time travel paradox's were set up.

However, the second part of the film involved him waiting at a farm while his older half went on a rampage to try and change the future. I was disappointed with the final scene. It was just so obvious and corny.

You have to admire Bruce Willis. There was a recent article in the guardian about him noting that he can still bring in audiences to a firm, while other older action stars can not. He is not afraid to look old and a bit broken (but still hard).