Friday, 30 November 2007

The Power of Mush-up

The following three youTube videos are based on the same song. Which one you think is better?

Here are my choices.

Place 3:

Place 2:

and the Winner:

Do you agree?

Here are two other based on different tunes. For those who have lived in Hong Kong, the tunes in the next will be very familar.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Use Google as Your Own P2P Network

More than just teach me how to Google as my own P2P network, I also learnt a few tricks as well.

1. intitle: in google search
2. that a period (.) in the search keyword stands for ., _ or space
3. making a bookmarklet (for firefox)


Monday, 19 November 2007

The Unique Effects of Including History in College Algebra

via Scout Report:

A team of mathematicians at Black Hills State University {...} decided to investigate what the effects of including historical modules in college algebra might be in regards to students' understanding and mathematical communication.

The result - 'Over the last three years at BHSU, great strides have been made in improving student outcomes in College Algebra with the inclusion of history in the course.':
1. increase in following enrolling (triagonometry) - 5 students in 2003 and 2004 to 20 students in 2007
2. significant improvement on test problems where mathematical vocabulary and notation have created difficulty for students in the past.
3. 10% increase in the College Algebra passing rate since 2005 has come since the addition of the historical modules

The faculty feels that including historical development of mathematics is of key importance and believe that the full benefits of history inclusion have yet to be reached.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Zeitgeist - the greatest lie ever told

Here are some comments about Zeitgeist - The movie from the post.

1. use cheap graphic effects with bad rendering and metaphors


loosely plagiarized version of the God Who Wasn’t There, complete with much of the same archive footage. The premise is that Christianity is based upon previous religions. Fair enough, apart from the plagiarism

usually means nothing and is patently false but incredibly seductive

Do they qualify as triangulation [see Where is the truth]?

The post coined FEBL (Fucking Entertaining Big Lie). I would add FEBLBP - FEBL Blog post!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Where is the truth?

In a comment left to Zeitgeist - The Movie, my reader asks

Ok, I understand that I shouldn't take this film as gospel and I need to find the answers for myself, but where? Wikipedia is apparently a joke. The internet is full of false information, and after watching this video I don't know if I can trust history books anymore. If we are in fact being lied to, then what resources exist that I can actually trust? I'm feeling very cynical about this. Can anyone ever really know the truth?

Good question. Where can we find the truth?

Different people will have different answers to this question. To me, where is only one way: Triangulation from multiple independent sources.

For scientific facts, If I were doing science, I would repeat the experiment myself and verify to my own satisfaction that the outcome is really as described. Unfortunately, under most circumstances, not everyone has the resource to repeat an experiment. The second best would be find other data of similar experiments and verify the data and calculation to see if the same conclusion can be drawn.

For historical accounts, such as 9/11, again triangulation from multiple independent sources. Some sources will have more weight than others, for example those first person account IMMEDIATELY after the event, those TV interviews on that terrible day. Other important things to look for are minor details - details that rehearsed versions will not cover.

By now, I have forgotten most of "Zeitgeist - The Movie", however there are a number of questions still remain in my mind which I don't have a satisfactory answer:

1. How to explain the claim that multiple explosions were heard by people escaping from the collapsing towers on that day. These people escaping from the falling towers did not have any motivation to tell any lie. They were saying what they felt/heard. May be the "explosions" were floors hitting one another. But the speed of collapse (at free falling speed) could not support floor hitting each other.
2. How BBC could have reported the collapse of building 7 BEFORE the building had actually collapsed? Millions of people would have seen that news (and there are plenty of that video on the web) and none have come forward to claim that that news was fake. So, how can we explain that?
3. I remotely remember I saw a photo of ground zero showing huge steel column with a clean skewed cut. If my memory of that photo is correct, how can we explain that clean cut would be caused by burning of airline fuel?

Back to the main issue of this post: Where can we find the truth? The answer will not come from those with vested interest. We should be looking at elsewhere, from sources with NO motivation to lie. We should forget about the theory and look for evidence and form a theory for ourselves.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Monkey keeps a pet cat

This monkey in a zoo is keeping a pet cat. Enjoy!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Free online citation tool - Zotero

from the website:

is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Look like I will be putting proper citation in future blog posts more.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Same Issue, different viewpoints

Shanghaiist has posted an interesting article: Made in China: Australia's Channel 7 vs. Al-Jazeera. Two youtube videos side by side, one by Australia's Channel 7 and other by Al-Jazeera.

Australia's Channel 7:


I learn at least the following after viewing both videos.

1. While the Australian are complaining about the quality of products made in China, we must remember that it is the business that have created the issue in the first place. The workers who painted the toy with lead-based paint are at greater risk than the children who may play with the toy. If we are to lay blame, we should catch those who profiteering.

2. China has 1/4 of the world population. The sweatshop is not limited to those within the geographical borders.

3. Extending the issue, China is only one of the developing countries. As she progresses, she will definitely move out of the "sweatshop" era. However, there are many more under-developed countries. Would we, in the affluent countries, help these people?

Watch this as well:

and one of comment said it well:

Therefore, please, kids, China is not the point here. The point is Wal Mart, Capitalism, Globalization.
It is just happened that Wal Mart has found china to be the most cost effective place to produce its products at this moment. Tomorrow there will be other place, such as India or South Africa, even more cost-effective tha China.