Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Ten

Tonight is the start of second half of the league matches and we are hosting Kirkby Lonsdale B. Last time we won 13-5 at their home ground so we are not really worry facing them again. However Paul and I were fumbling during our first set and we eventually lost 10-15. We recovered in the second set and won 15-8. After that there is no turning back.

Tim was on holiday so Mark replaced him as my second double partner. We won quite comfortably 15-9, 15-6. Brenda and I then won another two sets with a score of 15-13 and 15-11. In the end we won 15-3 overall, our biggest win so far.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My first backgammon tournament win

I joined on the 20th February 2007. After 9 months and 3 days and 792 finished matches(368 wins, 424 losses) I finally won my first tournament. What a relief, I thought this day will never come!

Friday, November 23, 2007

You're all the same

* received this joke in my-email today, thanks Bong

One Chinese person walks into a bar in America late one night and he saw Steven Spielberg. As he was a great fan of his movies, he rushes over to him, and asks for his autograph. Instead, Spielberg gives him a slap and says "You Chinese people bombed our Pearl Harbor, get out of here."

The astonished Chinese man replied "It was not the Chinese who bombed your Pearl Harbor , it was the Japanese". "Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, you're all the same," replied Spielberg.

In return, the Chinese gives Spielberg a slap and says "You sank the Titanic; my forefathers were on that ship." Shocked, Spielberg replies "It was the iceberg that sank the ship, not me."

The Chinese replies, "Iceberg, Spielberg, Carlsberg, you're all the same."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Nine

Tonight we played against Bolton-le-Sands A at home, a team that only lost once out of 7 matches so far. They got relegated from Division One last year and are really determined to get back into that division next year. So we are not expecting much from them, just hoping that we will get a decent result.

My first match with Paul actually turned out pretty well, as we won 15-10, 15-6. However, Tim and I were a but unlucky as we lost narrowly 12-15, 16-17. This is the second time Tim and I lost 16-17. Somehow we just couldn't get the last point. As for the mixed double match, Brenda and I managed to split the score by losing the first set 9-15 but winning the second one 15-11.

Overall, we lost 6-12 but I think we still maintained our third position in the league. However, Tim will be unavailable for the next two league matches and a cup match, so it will be tough to remain at the same position.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brian May named university chancellor

I tell you, I am rather impressed when reading this news. It's like Socrates, the Brazilian football legend during the 80s who is actually a doctor of medicine. But unlike Brian May, he earned his degree while still playing professional football.

LONDON - Brian May, rock star and astrophysicist, has been appointed chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. May will be installed as the university's figurehead leader early next year, it was announced Monday. The 60-year-old Queen guitarist said the appointment was "a great honor and a great new challenge."

He is an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, which has a well-known astrophysics research institute. "Brian May is an intensely talented individual who achieved global success with Queen," said the university's vice chancellor, Michael Brown, in a statement. "In this age of celebrity culture, it is rare to find someone who has fame, fortune and universal acclaim and yet who remains true to his core values of learning and enlightenment." May succeeds Cherie Booth, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Liverpool John Moores University was formed in 1992 from the former Liverpool Polytechnic. May completed his doctorate in astrophysics earlier this year. He was awarded his qualification by Imperial College London. He was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when he joined Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to form Queen in 1970, but dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became more successful.
May is the co-author of "Bang! The Complete History of the Universe," which was published last year.

Monday, November 19, 2007


B-Active League

Single match with Ken (thanks Owen for the picture)

Starting last weekend, our badminton gang have entered the B-Active Badminton League organised by the Lancaster University Students' Union (LUSU). We sent two teams, Bulu Tangkis 'A' and Bulu Tangkis 'B'. Turned out that there are three other teams in that league. Last weekend Bulu Tangkis 'B' had their first match and they won easily 3-0 (the format is two singles and one double) against Badminton Bads. This weekend both our teams are playing but Team 'B' opponent (Green Street) didn't come so they receive a walkover. Team 'A' won comfortably against Lancaster Lemmings with a score of 3-0. I'm in the Team 'A' and partnered with Sean for the double match. After the match we play amongst ourselves for another hour or two. The interesting match should be next weekend where Team 'A' will be playing against Team 'B'. Whoever win this match will definitely win this inaugural league.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Visitor from Malaysia

Prof. Madya Dr Mohd. Sallehudin Abd Aziz from UKM is here for two weeks on a study visit to the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University. We had dinner in my flat last night and we were chatting on many things, but one particular thing that interest me is the potential use of web-based system to assess students performance, which he is going to look further when he is meeting another lecturer in Newcastle University. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Eight

Tonight we played against Overton B in an away match. We won 12-6 last season at their home ground and with Sue playing again after recovering from her injury, we were pretty confident. However, we found out that they have a new player, a young boy on their team. And he is good, I mean really good. As usual, Paul and I started the match and we managed to win the first set 15-8. But we lost the second 9-15. And it all went downhill when Tim and I lost both our sets 11-15 and 10-15. Last season I drew both matches with Paul and Tim so things are not looking so good at the moment. Luckily our ladies were on form and they managed to win all four sets. So its up to the mixed doubles to determine the final score.

I had to play against that boy again in the mixed double and was not really looking forward to it. To my surprise he was not really know how to play mixed double quite well and Brenda and I won easily 15-4 and 15-6. Last season we won both our sets too. In the end we won 11-7. Oh, forgot to mention that all men were wearing the new Yonex shirts. So we won in style.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Young and Pretty

*received this in an e-mail yesterday

A young and pretty lady posted this on a popular forum:

Title: What should I do to marry a rich guy?

I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here. I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above. You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York. My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you? Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden (?), $250k annual income is not enough.

I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:

1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)
2) Which age group should I target?
3) Why most wives of the riches is only average-looking? I've met a few girls who doesn't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys
4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)

Ms. Pretty

Here's a reply from a Wall Street Financial guy:

Dear Ms. Pretty,

I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyze your situation as a professional investor. My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here.

From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain. Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of "beauty" and "money": Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square.

However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year. Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worried 10 years later By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a "trading position". If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term - same goes with the marriage that you wanted.

It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or "leased". Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income. This has better chance than finding a rich fool.

Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in "leasing" services, do contact me


J.P. Morgan

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Body Fat Part 4

Rainbow in Lancaster

Today I went to the town with my family for our weekend outing. Only when I'm in front of Boots that I realised that it has been exactly a month since I last weight myself. I haven't really been dieting for the past month and I won't be surprised if I gain my weight. Plus that we have just celebrated Eid, what with all the visits to friends' houses with plenty of foods on the table. So imagine my surprise when my latest weight is 78.1kg, which is 300 grams lower than last month. Woohoo! Although my BMI is down 0.1 point to 25.8, it is getting nearer to that 25 treshold. And there is more good news, as my body fat has been reduced from 22.8kg to 21.5kg. In term of percentage it has been reduced from 29.1% to 27.6%. Time to start watching again what I'm eating? Hmm.. maybe not, let the nature takes its course.. eh!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Most Ludicrous Laws

I read this on BBC news website and thought it was an interesting article. I'm especially hoping that someone can explain to me what the law mentioned in the last line of this article really means!

UK chooses 'most ludicrous laws'

Legislation said to prohibit people dying while in the Houses of Parliament has been voted one of the most ludicrous laws in the UK. Treason laws which reportedly could be used against someone who places a stamp upside down on a letter were also cited by those polled by UKTV Gold.

Nearly 4,000 people picked laws on a list compiled by UKTV Gold researchers. It examined laws that have never been repealed even though statutes could have rendered them obsolete.
A UKTV Gold spokeswoman said many of the regulations were referenced in the book The Strange Laws of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne.

A total of 27% of those questioned by UKTV Gold thought the law against dying in the Houses of Parliament was the most absurd. Mr Cawthorne told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that anyone who dies in Parliament is technically entitled to a state funeral and the law is in place to ensure this does not happen. However, a spokesman for the House of Commons said: "The people who know about these things here say there is no basis for such a law, not to say it does not exist somewhere in writing."

Cannon firing

Other lesser-known laws making the list included one banning eating mince pies on Christmas Day and another from 1313 stating it is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour. Almost half of those asked confessed to breaking the mince pie law, which was brought in by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th Century.

Last year, the Law Society highlighted a number of bizarre laws still in existence on the statute book in England and Wales. These included a ban on firing a cannon close to a dwelling house (Met Police Act 1839); a ban on the use of any slide upon ice or snow (Town Police Clauses Act 1847); and the prohibition of driving cattle through the streets of London (Metropolitan Streets Act 1867). An ongoing cull of obsolete laws by the statute law revision team, has seen 2,000 abolished since 1965.

Dead whales

Among the most ridiculous laws listed by UKTV Gold were:

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%)
  • It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen's image upside-down (7%)
  • Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned (5%)
  • In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants (4%)
  • The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%)
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (3%)
  • It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Seven

Tonight we played an away match against Kirkby Lonsdale C. They got promoted from the Division 3 last season as the league champion. However, things are not looking rosy for them in this division as they have been losing all their first five matches. So we are pretty confident when facing them tonight and in the end we won the match 14-4. It was our biggest win so far and I even managed to win all six sets for the first time this season. However it was a close match for me and Paul when we narrowly won 15-13, 15-12. I think we were trailing 10-13 in the first set and to win it was quite special. Tim and I finally managed to win both our sets for the first time this season and the score was a comfortable 15-5, 15-7. And Brenda and I managed to get our third 2-0 victory when we won 15-11, 15-5.

Overall, it was a good performance for everybody and this will definitely set a good mood for the whole team when facing Overton B next week.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fireworks in Lancaster

Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated every 5th November in Britain with fireworks celebration all across the country. Since this year that date falls on Monday, the celebration seems to start early with fireworks been going off here and there since Friday. However, the main celebration in Lancaster was on Saturday night exactly at 8pm. We took this opportunity to watch it since we missed it last year. So I took my family to the Lancaster City FC stadium carpark as it is situated next to the castle (which is where the main fireworks display will be). The fireworks lasted a full 30 minutes and by the end of it both my children are already inside the car as the night became quite chilly. But they did enjoyed it and that's all that matters.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Malaysian Success Continues...

Yesterday I heard news that one of our postgraduate here has passed his viva. I managed to meet him during our badminton session last night. It was true, Ken Lee is now Dr. Ken Lee. Congratulations! I think he is the sixth Malaysian to get his/her PhD this year, an astounding record considering that there are currently less than 20 Malaysian postgraduate students studying at different years of study in Lancaster. I hope this good run will continues towards next year as there are several students that will be finishing their own PhD by next year.

As for myself, I am currently preparing for my upgrade presentation sometime in December. I've already collected the data, outline the hypotheses, it is a matter of doing the analysis and getting the results. Plus hoping that my supervisors approve of what am I doing at the moment. It's crunching numbers time!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Six

After two consecutive wins, I was feeling a bit of confidence playing against Sunnyside C tonight. Little did I realise that we lost to them at home last season 7-11. And guess what, this time we lost again to them 7-11.

I partnered with Tim for the first men doubles, a change of tactic since Paul's partner, Sue is still injured. We were determined not to get split results again, and this time we do not get it, we lost both sets 4-15, 11-15. Last season we lost 12-15, 10-15 so it is getting worse. Paul didn't play against them at home last season because he was still nursing his injury. I played with Bazlan and we drew 15-9, 10-15. This time Paul and I managed to win both our sets 15-12, 15-4.

When I partnered Brenda last season, we lost 2-15, 11-15. This time we lost 4-15, 7-15. To be fair Brenda wasn't really comfortable playing because she felt something on her ankle or something and she doesn't want to risk it by playing too hard.

Well, next week we will be playing against Kirkby Lonsdale C at their home ground. Should be easy.