Book review: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

This is a book by Ashlee Vance, a famed tech writer. Initially I thought the writer is a female!

Elon likes to think from the first principle. The whole space rocket can be boiled down to the physics. Instead of improving the existing rockets, his company built everything from scratch, minimizing cost of each component, and increase efficiency by thinking about how to change fundamental things. One thing that is different also, is that, every component in the rockets or cars he built is built in house.

At one point after reading, I am sort of in sync with what he is talking about, the plan to have human live on Mars, the steps he envisioned to achieve that, after he tells you about the that, you can actually see how this can be done.

Elon is hard on people, people may have his vision like myself, but I doubt I want to work with him.

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. A review from 2016.

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature start screen.
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature start screen. Source: CoolROM.com

Around 2005, when I was still a teenager, I remember playing this game on my PlayStation 1 with my brother at my old house at Bandar Utama. We stayed in my parents room and we have the PS1 attached to the small square TV in the room.

I was excited and amazed that I can enter any name of my choice for my character and the game will type out my name during conversations with the characters, which blown my mind as a kid as this level of customization is very new to me.

The game is about a boy inheriting a farm from his grandfather, and his life there. You can plant vegetation, chop woods, stomp stone, buy a barn, rear sheep, chickens, cows, squeeze the cows for milk, sear the sheep for wool, and collect eggs. You can also marry in the game, there are few girls that you can court, and the level of intimacy with them is indicated by the heart color at the end of the conversation box with them.

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature gameplay.
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature gameplay. Source: Rambling Fox Reviews

There are blacksmith, hospital, church, fishing dock, gathering place, potpourri, sauna, lumberjack, and horse farm which you can visit and interact with the people inside. There are occasional events held at the common square.

This is one of the most memorable game of my growing up period. I bet my friends still have memories of this game too.


Edit:

There’s a similar game called Stardew Valley (2016), heavily inspired by Harvest Moon.

Here’s some funny memes about Harvest Moon:

Harvest Moon hoe meme
Harvest Moon hoe meme

Harvest Moon meme

Murni Discovery at Aman Suria

Murni Discovery is a modern mamak, with a roof, fan, air condition, and TV. Many young people and families frequent this restaurant. It serves some western and local foods. The thing that strikes me at this restaurant is its menu filled with colorful delicious foods. As well as some special drinks such as “I Love You”, “Poison”, “Traffic Light Special”, “Don’t Worry”, “Be Happy”, etc. I must admit that the menu looks better than the foods taste. The drinks are worth trying though.

My favourite at the restaurant is the Butter Cheese Chicken Alkiev (RM15.90). The chunk of meat is wrapped with layers of chickens. In the center, there is cheesy sauce. It comes with three different sauces and some fries, salad.

Butter Cheese Chicken Alkiev
Butter Cheese Chicken Alkiev

This is me flipping the menu, too many foods to choose, there are more than 10 pages of menu!

Shaun flipping the menu
Shaun flipping the menu

Traffic Light Special (RM6.35: Medium) looks nice, it has three layers, like the traffic light. Poison is better though. All the drinks and foods came with label on them.

Traffic Light Special
Traffic Light Special

This is poison (RM5.30). It tastes heavenly when I first sip it. It is sweet, contains some Nata de coco, lychee, mint leaves, some cucumber, and soda (fizzy taste). Remember to stir it before you drink as the sugar is at the bottom.

Poison drink
Poison drink

Me playing with phone while waiting for foods to arrive.

Traffic Light Special and Poison
Traffic Light Special and Poison

The menu has some crazy naming, “Naan Mozzarella Beckham Special” (RM9).

Menu showing Naan Mozzarella Beckham Special
Menu showing Naan Mozzarella Beckham Special

Basically, a Roti with cheese inside.

Naan Mozzarella Beckham Special
Naan Mozzarella Beckham Special

Fried calamari and chilli sauce (RM8.50).

Calamari
Calamari

Murni also has Ramadhan special menu. Ramadhan is a special month for Muslim, and they are allowed to break fast during the evening. This is where the menu comes in. It has some catchy titles for the foods such as “Lord of the Wings”, “Attack on Titan”, “Vitamin Sea”, “Pacific Rim”, “Now You See Me”.

Murni Ramadhan Special menu
Murni Ramadhan Special menu

I ordered a “Vitamin Sea” (RM30), which is a prawn pasta. The noodle is actually maggie mee. The look is very good, big prawns, etc, but the taste is OK.

Vitamin Sea
Vitamin Sea

Roti with ice cream on top!

Roti Fujiyama
Roti Fujiyama

Some drinks with cincau inside.

Jockeying drink
Jockeying drink

Murni Discovery has outlets at SS2, Aman Suria, USJ, Sunway Mentari, Kepong, Bukit Jalil, Bandar Sri Permaisuri, and Shah Alam.

Website: http://murnidiscovery.com

Menu: https://www.zomato.com/selangor/murni-discovery-sunway-mas-commercial-center/menu

Book review: Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective by Carl Sagan

Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective by Carl Sagan
Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective by Carl Sagan. Source: Goodreads.

I knew about the book from the documentary Cosmos: A Space Odyssey (2014) hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson. It was a book given by Carl (the author) to Neil during their meeting as a teenager.

The book talks about the gold plaque aboard the spacecraft Pioneer 10, which was designed by Carl Sagan and his wife. There are interesting reactions from people and is told in the book.

There are some interesting discussion on why alien hasn’t visited us (Fermi paradox), the way to search for them, is it wise to search for them, etc.

The search of alien life has to be rid of human chauvinism, alien life may not be similar to life on earth. The book also goes through the journey on how Venus is found out to be a sort of hell like instead of the beautiful planet people onced imagined, this fact is known due to scientific method.

There are some dated scientific fact such as the cause of dissapearance of dinosaur (attributed to climate change, but now known to be caused by meteor), but most of the facts are grounded.

The chapter on starfolk fable is interesting because it showed us how we get complex elements from Hydrogen and Helium. Then how life got started.

The book ends with neutron star/ pulsar and black holes, these were theoretical space objects that scientists had hypothesised which later found out to exists. Pulsars are used as “space candle” to measure distance. And black hole is left to the wonders of the reader as a possible “space station” to traverse the long distance of space.

Rating: 4/5

Big Bang concert at Stadium Merdeka 1 Oct 2016

I went to the South Korean pop group, Big Bang’s concert, I liked listening to their song, so I thought I want to go and see their concert.

There were people selling some merchandise along the way to the entrance. I am not sure if this is real merchandise!

Some merchandise on sale along the entrance
Some merchandise on sale along the entrance.

There were lots of people queuing up, and the walk is slow. After this entrance, there is another entrance to queue.

Lots of people queuing up to enter the stadium
Lots of people queuing up to enter the stadium.

Finally, I entered Stadium Merdeka after more than 40 minutes. The time is 7pm. I bought the RM200+ ticket, which place me at the far end of the stadium, on the right looking towards the center. The sky is still not yet dark when I seated. People are still coming in. I saw people holding the star light stick and light wearable on their head.

Before the concert starts, the sky is still not dark.
Before the concert starts, the sky is still not dark.

The concert starts with Big Bang members playing some games.

Big Bang members playing some ping pong game
Big Bang members playing some ping pong game.

Here are two videos that I have taken, songs playing in the videos are Sober and Fantastic Baby. There are other songs but I have not take video of them.

The concert ended, lights are turned on. People are still waiting to see if there was further performance.

After the concert, the lights turned on, lots of people , then leaving
After the concert, the lights turned on, lots of people , then leaving.

The music at the stadium is a bit different from listening at home, the sound system is very good. I realized one thing, people shout a lot! Mostly girls though.

Not my cup of tea, concert, I just dislike crowds.

Here’s the ticket:

Big Bang Made V.I.P. Tour 2016 ticket at Malaysia
Big Bang Made V.I.P. Tour 2016 ticket at Malaysia

Feel the fear and do it anyway

I will share 5 truths from the book to you:

TRUTH 1
THE FEAR WILL NEVER GO AWAY
AS LONG AS I CONTINUE TO GROW.

TRUTH 2
THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF THE FEAR
OF DOING SOMETHING IS TO GO OUT AND DO IT.

TRUTH 3
THE ONLY WAY TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF
IS TO GO OUT . . . AND DO IT.

TRUTH 4
NOT ONLY AM I GOING TO EXPERIENCE FEAR WHENEVER
I’M ON UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY, BUT SO IS EVERYONE ELSE.

TRUTH 5
PUSHING THROUGH FEAR IS LESS FRIGHTENING THAN
LIVING WITH THE UNDERLYING FEAR THAT COMES
FROM A FEELING OF HELPLESSNESS.

Truth 4 gives you comfort, because everyone else faced fear when they are doing unfamiliar things. What differentiates those that felt crippling fear and excitement is whether you approach it from position of helplessness or power. Fear faced by everyone is comforting because we are not alone in this (one of the element of self compassion is shared humanity).

Truth 5 resonates with me because I have been avoiding stuffs lately, and the sense of helplessness it caused me made me worse than if I face my fear directly.

The things I am happy about this week

  • I talked more and deeply with parents. My mom used to felt ignored when she talks to me but I now respond to her. Also, I found both of my parents interesting.
  • I shared what music I like (Big Bang, Jay Chou), and my dad shared the old music that he liked.
  • My dad brought me to two very good banana leaf Indian restaurant. We went for movies, MATTA fair, cybercafe, random places.
  • I started to smile in front of my parents.
  • I verbalize my problems (such as overthinking) to my parents and they gave good advice such as stop thinking about it in a caring tone. I feel like I can depend on them for help.
  • I lists out all the friends I currently have, and I realised that I do have lots of friends. My friends liked my posts, I always thought they disliked me after meetups. They also offer to have future meetup with me.
  • I also know who I want to be, more light hearted, express more emotion, open to experience, spend time have fun with family and friends.
  • I also want to thank my doctor and therapist for various help they offer when I seek their help.
  • And I decide to go back to my old church tomorrow, its been 6 years, some may have forgotten me, some may be surprised to see me, some may be happy that I am back, I miss them.

Debate resources

  • IntelligenceSquared Debates – YouTube
  • iqsquared – YouTube
  • Intelligence Squared
  • Oxford Union – YouTube
  • ConvinceMe – Debate Online
  • Debate Online – Social Networking Site for Debating – Debate.org
  • Debate website — Theworlddebating – Just debate
  • Debatewise – Where great minds differ Where great minds differ
  • ForandAgainst.com – The Best Place to State Your Case
  • Home – IQ2 Debates
  • idebate.org
  • iPidato – Premier Debate Site

Does your environment limit your potential?

I have this worry for some time, that my potential will be diminished due to outside forces such as families, political situation, economic situation, loss of passion.

In my mind, all outside forces have to be perfect for my potential to grow. But this is wrong.

In The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything, the author noted that geniuses and talents exist no matter the economic or political situation, be it war, famine, death, church control, etc, talents are still there. Why?

Because we are blaming on the wrong things. These are all non factors, what matters the most is what you do, do you deep practice everyday? That is, fire your neurons to form the network. The network is what talent is about, myelinated neurons. If you do, your talent will rise, no matter where you are. Most of the talents the author found belongs to “chicken feed Harvard”, not an impressive place where big expensive building and facilities are available, but produces great talents.

I would say, stop complaining, and focus on honing your skills, those are the things that matter more.

Places I have been

singaporean-flag-small

CNY 2016 Singapore Trip 3 days 2 nights (6/2/2016 – 8/2/2016)

Participants

  • Mum, Dad, Uncle, Second Aunt, Brother, and I

Singapore CNY Trip 2016


Flag_of_Hong_Kong.svg

Hong Kong 4 days 3 nights (28/8/2015 – 31/8/2015)

http://www.reliancetravel.com/
https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/2779821 – All About Hong Kong V4, A place to share things about Hong Kong (Travel)

Souvenir for wymond – potato chips that are not sold in Malaysia (DONE)

Extra things to bring

  • Lonely planet book
  • Xiaoyi cam recorder

Participants

  • Mum, Second Aunt, I

Photos and videos

Blog post


malaysian-flag-small

Genting 3 days 2 nights (18/8/2015 – 20/8/2015)

Participants

  • I (Alone)

Extra things to bring

  • Sweater

Tips

  • Buy bus ticket and skyway at One Utama, buy return ticket too

Flag_of_Hong_Kong.svg

Hong Kong 7 days 6 nights (Dec/2010)

Participants

  • Uncle, Second Aunt, Big Aunt and families, Brother, and I.