Name: Andrew Loh Zhu An
Date of Birth: 2nd June 1987
Nationality: Malaysian

andrewlza[at]gmail[dot]com

SMK Damansara Jaya 2004

Swarthmore College 2010


From the Andrew's Heritage Dictionary:

Andrew (AND-roo)

1. noun. common name.

2. adjective. smart, dumb, intelligent, retarded, clever, stupid, bright, dull, witty, tounge-tied, shrewd, stuttering, slow, quick-witted, moronic, autistic, lively, outspoken, eloquent, dense, daft, idiotic, foolish, thick, spirited, sharp, vigourous, rude, arrogant, pompous, bloated, ostentatious, boastful, inflated, direct, brave, cowardly, gullible, free, free-spirited, burdened, depressed, optimistic, pessimistic, defensive, creative, innovative, irritating, annoying, impossible, infuriating, shy, loud, displeasing, norm-challenging, harassive, irksome, troublesome, vexatious, worrisome, provocative, impatient, pleasant, diplomatic, unreserved, trouble-making, short, defiant, fickle, shallow, timid, audacious, brainless, indoctrinated, indoctrinatory, proud, exploitative, zesty, humourous, anal-retentive, rebellious, lame, innocuous, dangerous, explosive, spontaneous, adaptable, stubborn, pig-headed, nervous, offensive, pestering, useless, ironic, paradoxical.

Usage: You're so Andrew! [Interchange with any of the above definitions]

And yes, I did look at the thesaurus.

Google




   

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Disclaimer:
This is a personal blog and should be taken as such. So don't sue me if what I write pisses you off. Or if I write lies. Or if I give maladvice. Or if you fail to read through my sarcasm. Et cetera.

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Is it in bad taste to quote one's self?

"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart." -- Andrew Loh

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Quotes
"How many times have you chickened out?" - Qu Hsueh Ming

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." - Sir Winston Churchill

"Affirmative action is something the good don't need and the bad don't deserve" - A wise man

"The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us." - John F. Kennedy

"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy

"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually." - James A. Baldwin

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is but a broken winged bird that cannot fly." - Langston Hughes

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Sir Winston Churchill

"Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?" - Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - John Calvin Coolidge

"We will either find a way or make one." - Hannibal

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte

"For evil to triumph, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

"War begins in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must first be constructed." - UNESCO Constitution

"The proper study of mankind is man." - Alexander Pope

"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death." - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

"Patriotism is to support your country all the time and your government when it deserves it" - Mark Twain

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

"Democracy is a system ensuring that the people are governed no better than they deserve." - George Bernard Shaw

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

"When the people fear the government, you have tyranny. When the government fears the people, you have freedom." - Thomas Paine

"I sense a learning: that much dumber people than you end up in charge. Look at the way things are. I'm no fucken genius or anything, but these spazzos are in charge of my every twitch. What I'm starting to think is maybe only the dumb are safe in this world, the ones who roam with the herd, without thinking about every little thing. But see me? I have to think about every little fucken thing." - Vernon God Little, Act II



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Friday, August 11, 2006
MPH Essay

I am so evil nowadays with all my long long posts! :D

And well I'm posting my MPH Young Writers Competition essay here because if I get shortlisted they'll post the essays on some website also, so I'll let you all read first lor. Very big "if" lar. See I'm so kind. And if there's some online competition thing like last year I expect you all to vote for me kay kay kay?! Muacks.

Oooo and I have a SCHOLARSHIP named after me. The Andrew Loh Scholarship for Analytical Chemistry awarded here. ROFLMAO! =)


MPH Essay: The Test (I know, very uncreative title, but what to do)

Andrew Loh Zhu An

 

Prompt: How is it that a few seconds can seem like an eternity yet years can fly past without our realising it?


He counted fifteen items on his spacious mahogany work desk, and frowned.

The clock chimed eight.

Mr. Tan was late, but he didn’t rush.

 

 

8.06 am

 

“Mr. Cheong.” He had barely entered the class when he headed purposefully towards a specific occupant of the far side of the room, who had chosen that particular seat so he could be as close as possible, to both the windows overlooking the school field, and Jennifer.

“Yes, sir?”

“Your project, please.”

“I, um, don’t have it with me right now.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not done yet. No time, sir.”

“Every single student in your class had time except you,” Mr. Tan said, sternly and deliberately for the words to sink in. “What makes you so special?”

For starters, I went out with Jennifer last night, Kyle thought, and all the boys are jealous.

“Do you have anything to say in your defence, Kyle?”

“Uh, you were late too, sir.”

“Excuse me?”

“You were late to class by six minutes, sir. So, proportionately, a one day extension for a three week project should be, uh, justified.”

The class stifled their snickering somewhat unsuccessfully.

“Nice try, son, but it doesn’t work that way.”

Some sense of justice you have, thought Kyle.

“The truth is, sir, I, uh, didn’t bring my project because it’s a joke I’m playing on you. April Fools!”

His attempt at exploiting the date fell flat with most, but fortunately for Kyle, some classmates guffawed anyway. He should’ve known better than to joke with a Physics teacher who couldn’t find humour in ‘mho’ as the SI unit for conductance.

“I am not amused.”

“Aw, come on, sir, can’t you take a little joke? I mean, what’s the difference between handing my project up today and tomorrow?”

“Your grade, Kyle, that’s what.”

Mr. Tan turned away from Kyle to the whiteboard to begin his lesson, satisfied with the enormity of his threat. Kyle sighed and closed his eyes, as if deep in contemplation.

Kyle didn’t want to flunk Physics. He did all right in all his other subjects, and even excelled in History, but the mother of all science was his Achilles’ heel. The enigmatic equations and complex calculations in his textbook could be mumbo-jumbo and hocus-pocus for all he cared. Stupid subject, he thought.

It was a matter of habit for Kyle to stare at the whiteboard with every ounce of concentration and still see little sense. Today he amused himself by observing how Mr. Tan’s thin, unsmiling lips puckered tensely after each sentence. Kyle also noticed that he swallowed his saliva once at least every thirty seconds, then wrinkled his nose, adjusted his glasses, and brushed off dandruff flakes from his shoulders. Predictable, boring, routine, ugly Mr. Tan. No wonder he’s a Physics teacher, he thought, the teacher reflects the subject.

A refreshing breeze blew his boredom away, albeit temporarily. Almost instinctively Kyle turned and looked out the window onto the school field, where some class was having P.E.. I belong there, Kyle muttered, not in Physics class. It was agonising to be restrained in this de facto prison. Every hour seemed like a decade, perhaps even longer when he saw other people having fun.

But then there was Jennifer.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

RING, BELL, RING!!! Kyle’s restless soul had enough of Mr. Tan’s facial dynamics and the goalless football match. He wanted to scream and break free of such misery, but social constraints dictated otherwise. Therefore he contented himself with fantasising about his date with Jennifer after school. Ignoring the incomprehensible verbiage from Mr. Tan’s moving lips, his eyes gradually made their way to Jennifer.

She looks ravishing as usual, thought Kyle, but rather dejected today. He worshipped every inch of her; her piercing eyes, her teasing smile, her fragrant hair. Her mere presence made Physics almost bearable! If only Jennifer was teaching me, Kyle wished, instead of the old fogey. If only. Then I wouldn’t mind spending years in a classroom, even if it was Physics.

Kyle had never failed Physics per se, but the low Ds he scraped through with were a perennial source of disharmony between him and his parents. He was under intense pressure to get his grades up, or at the very least sustain them, or he would be banned from seeing Jennifer. Jennifer – the love of his life! Kyle was infatuated with her. He could skip meals and computer games and television shows whenever she telephoned, and not even notice! Although his parents liked her personally, they thought her too much of a distraction for Kyle and his lacklustre results.

But mom, he’d complain, I don’t spend enough time with her anyway. Besides, she’s really good in Physics for some odd reason, and concentrates so hard in class that she ignores me.

Jennifer paid no attention to her admirer’s longing gazes. Kyle had no choice but to entertain himself with either Mr. Tan’s antics or the monotonous game. What a humongous waste of my time, he grumbled.

Let it end, please, I beg of you, prayed Kyle. Let my suffering end.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Mr. Tan knew how to control a class. His exact, precise manner instilled Machiavellian fear into his students. They all listened attentively when he lectured, or at least they seemed to. Everyone except Kyle. Only his eyes dare wander when I speak, he discerned, as Kyle winced at yet another wasted football goal opportunity.

Mr. Tan also loved Physics. Since twelve, he relished the thought of enlightening young and malleable minds about the wonderful world of science. O, how he remembered his schooldays, always sitting in front, always getting the right answers, always being praised, always teacher’s pet. How he would passionately devote five unflinching, intensive hours a day studying Physics in the library because the curriculum wasn’t challenging enough. The good old days…

He snapped out of it and was transported forty years into the present, from Tan Chong-Ming the prodigy to Mr. Tan the teacher.

How fast time flew.

Especially during my Physics lessons, he thought. There’s never enough time for my lessons. Every time I get the students energised enough to learn productively, every time I’m having fun cruising along the syllabus, the dastardly bell rings. What’s wrong about schools today is that they schedule too little time for science and too much for useless subjects like Moral Knowledge.

Don’t ring, bell, hoped Mr. Tan. Please, I beg of you, don’t ring.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Riiiiiing!!!

Thank you, God, smiled Kyle.

Blast it, cussed Mr. Tan. I wanted to finish the chapter.

The students poured out of the class as fast as they could. As Kyle was about to catch up with Jennifer, he heard: “Hold on, Kyle. I’ll have a word with you.”

Kyle cursed his luck. Mr. Tan remembered his missing project! “What’s up, sir?”

“I’ll be working on your final grades today. Since you did not bring your project, you shall stay back and complete a test for your marks. You understand?”

“Bu—but I’ve a date after school!”

“You do, indeed. With me. Remember, without this test you will fail your Physics.”

Defeated, Kyle gave in. Bummer, he thought, Jennifer won’t be happy.

 

 

1.45 pm

 

“The time starts now.”

It was an inverse juxtaposition of sorts. Now, Kyle lunged at his test questions at a furious pace, while Mr. Tan lounged in his comfortable recliner with a relaxing anthology of poems.

…explain the Theory of Relativity in layman’s terms, quoting Einstein…

To every thing there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under heaven.

…sitting next to a pretty girl for an hour feels like a minute; placing one’s hand on a hot stove for a minute feels like an hour…

Tick. Tock.

A time to search, and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away.

…the time needed for K to reach the ground when dropped from a height of…

Tick. Tock.

The only audible sounds were the rustling of pen against paper and the hypnotising tick-tock of the wall clock. Sweat dripped profusely from Kyle’s forehead as Mr. Tan’s eyelids gradually grew heavier. Kyle squirmed uncomfortably, jerkily, as he tried to hold it all in.

“May I use the bathroom, please?” Kyle pleaded, still scribbling feverishly, not even looking up.

“Huhh–ah,” muttered Mr. Tan, caught unaware. “You may, but there will be no extra time.”

Kyle swore under his breath for the second time today, admonishing himself for forgetting to take the trip before the test, as was his custom. He stopped himself, although he was thirsty, from adding to the already burgeoning burden in his bladder. He did not have enough time to accomplish both his mental and physiological tasks, and so after a quick value judgment he chose the more important one.

…the large specific heat capacity of water…

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Tick.

…friction will substantially decrease velocity…

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

Tock.

…differentiate Charles’ Law from Boyle’s…

To the last syllable of recorded time,

Tick.

…interference destroys waves…

Out, out, brief candle!

Tock.

…according to Newton’s Principia

It is a tale

Tick.

…Bernoulli’s principle was…

Told by an idiot,

Tock.

…maximising amplitude…

Full of sound

Tick.

…increasing entropy…

And fury,

Tock.

…the nuclear advent…

Signifying

Tick.

…zero.

Nothing.

Tock.

“Time’s up.”

 

 

He hurt everywhere. It was not only his throbbing headache, sore fingers and bursting bladder, but also emotional agony, and a pulsing dread of the immediate future. He was crucified, and he made his slow, painful, encumbered walk down his via dolorosa to the bathroom.

It took quite a while to relieve himself of his most pressing urge. He splashed his face with water, took a hard look at his wretched self in the mirror, and decided that he had to face the cold, hard truth. It was time to be a man. He started the long journey back.

A sense of irony prevailed. For Kyle, an hour of Physics passed lethargically, excruciatingly; an hour of testing zipped by, hastily, like an arrow to its target. Paradoxically, Mr. Tan was always acutely aware of his lack of lesson time; while his leisurely, even sleep-inducing invigilation session dragged by without him realising it.

Einstein was right. Time is relative.

 

 

3.02 pm

 

Kyle found the room deserted, but his paper was still on the table. He crept up to it, taking long strides that lasted centuries. There he found it intact, but with newly added bold, red font:

 

APRIL FOOLS TO YOU TOO. I expect your Physics project to be on my desk by 8 am sharp tomorrow.

 

Mr. Tan

 

P/S: Jennifer won’t be seeing you this evening. I’ve grounded her for breaking her curfew last night.

 

 

 

 

            (1800 words)



Posted at 06:23 pm by andrewlza
(13) dogs bit me  

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
MENSA Epicurean Quiz



Hehehehehehehehe.

Now I get my RM 50 I paid to join MENSA back.

Hehehehehhehehehehehe.


Posted at 05:20 pm by andrewlza
Bite me.  

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Pengetahuan Moral Acronyms ©

One of my kids told me over MSN that all the Moral teachers in my school want my memorization technique. =)

Stupid subject and all that, you know.

But still they've got to take exams, so here goes:


Pengetahuan Moral Acronyms

 © Andrew Loh Zhu An 2006
SMK Damansara Jaya
               

* Usage of Moral Acronyms©  is only suggested. Use own inventions if possible. More personal = Easier to memorise.

 

Bab 1 – Diri

 

K

King

Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan

A

Andrew

Amanah

H

Hits

Harga Diri

B

Big

Bertanggungjawab

H

Hairy

Hemah Tinggi

T

Tiger

Toleransi

 

 

 

B

Big

Berdikari

K

King

Kerajinan

Raj

K

Kong

Kasih Sayang

Loves

K

Kacaus

Keadilan

Adil

R

Ronald's

Rasional

K

Kucing

Kesederhanaan

·       For the KKK in the middle, use Raj Loves Adil to remember which comes first.

 

Bab 2 – Keluarga (K)

 

KeHorMaTan

K

Kasih Sayang terhadap K

H

Hormat dan Taat kepada Anggota K

M

Mengekalkan Tradisi KeKan

T

Tanggungjawab terhadap K

·       Be careful: terhadap is applicable for the first and last nilais, while kepada is the second.

·       Make sure you remember that the third has Kekeluargaan and not Keluarga.

 

Bab 3 – Alam Sekitar (AS)

 

M

Monkey

Menyayangi dan Menghargai AS

K

Kacau

Keharmonian antara Manusia dan AS

K

Kacau

Kemapanan AS

P

Pig

Peka Terhadap Isu-Isu AS

 

 

Bab 4 – Patriotisme

 

CeTuS

C

Cinta akan Negara

T

Taat Setia pada Raja dan Negara

S

Sanggup Berkorban untuk Negara

·       Freaking tricky prepositions. Just remember, ALPHABETICAL ORDER. Or remember Andrew's Pink Underwear.

 

Bab 5 – Hak (H)

 

K

King

Melindungi H Kanak-Kanak

W

William

Menghormati H Wanita

P

Puts

Melindungi H Pekerja

G

Giraffes in

Menghormati H Golongan Kurang Berupaya

 p

Pants

Melindungi H Pengguna

·       Even the Moral inventors got bored, so they decided to alternate Melindungi with Menghormati.

·       Melindungi comes before Menghormati, remember, ALPHABETICAL ORDER.

·       Remember the Ber- in Berupaya.

 

Bab 6 – (Pseudo) Demokrasi

 

M

Monkey

Mematuhi Peraturan dan Undang-Undang

K

Kacau

Kebebasan Bersuara

K

Kacau

Kebebasan Beragama

P

PigS

Penglibatan Diri dalam Pembangunan Negara

S

Sikap Keterbukaan

 

* Notice that the letters are the same as Bab 4, except this one has another S.

 

Bab 7 – Keamanan dan Keharmonian

HiSS (rhymes with Peace if you pronounce it as Piss)

H

Hidup Bersama secara Aman

S

Saling Membantu dan Bekerjasama

S

Saling Menghormati antara Negara


I hope this helps, yeah, kids? Tell me how it goes.


Posted at 01:09 am by andrewlza
(19) dogs bit me  

Monday, July 31, 2006
Kill your bandwidth, London Pics

Adrian Lim Wen Han has just won a

National Economics Quiz Championship!!!!

Go to his blog and leave a congratulatory message.

Now.



And now, London, as promised.

We stopped over at London because IMPAC was generous and flexible enough, they booked air tickets with 3 days for us to visit London.

We stayed in Malaysia Hall (they had an 11 pm curfew you know!!!!!) where we could get Malaysian food cheap. Mmm.

London Heathrow SUCKS ass. Hot and old and LONG LINES. Why do they only have 2 immigration queues? Stupid. Ack.

London in summer is hot hot hot hot hot hot hot bloooooody hot. It was exactly like Malaysia, only less humid. I came all the way to feel this very familiar temperature? .........

I can't (don't want to) remember the chronological sequence, so it's all random.



Buckingham Palace

We were here for the Changing of the Guards. Very boring and crowded, overrated. Red mounted soldiers on horses, yada yada yada. The only interesting bit was that the military band played the Beatles!



Statue of Victoria outside Buckingham Palace

VICTORIA

REGINA IMPERATRIX


St James' Park



Pelicans at St James Park

Eh, all the Monopoly site names come to play now eh! Hhehe. St James Park is in the Orange Group!


St James Park




Parliament Palace by night

I like this pic. The reflection tells it all: we were in a bus.



Spiky spiky!!!!!!!

Hahahhahahahaha. Camera at some Underground station.

I LOVE the TUBE. MUACKS MUACKS it goes everywhere and is so bloooody cheap because you can get a unlimited day pass for 4 - 6 Pounds depending on which zone you're travelling to on the UNDERGROUND AND BUS.

Our LRT, on the other hand, is no doubt, air-conditioned, unlike the Tube, but the coverage is not very comprehensive.

(Think Abdullah Hukum is only 100? meters away from Midvalley Megamall - the stupid people didn't put an LRT stop at Megamall because they thought that would increase the competition to KLCC. Satoopeeed. And the LRT Bangsar free feeder bus that goes to Megamall is supposed to come every 30 minutes bt actually does every 90 minutes. Asses. I will NEVER go there again. Unless someone drives me there.)

Plus it's not integrated very well either compared to London. There were complimentary brochures about the various stops on the integrated lines there, but Malaysia doesn't even have one.

And the LRT is overpriced you stupid money sucking dumbasses who run it. $4.80 to go to KLCC and back!!!! I can eat two chicken rice meals la bodohs. No unlimited day passes, no unlimited monthly passes, no plans, nothing. Where is this komuniti penyayang ah, kerajaan yang aku cintai?



Parliament Palace from the London Eye. Very nice!!! They should start a KL Eye or something. Cool cool.



Parliament Palace

Oh yeah that reminds me that London is so paranoid after the July 7 bombings that they don't have TRASH CANS at ALL in their underground stations!!! Litter and garbade and rubbish = on the ground, baby. Hahahhaha mom and I thought that they were just as dirty as Malaysians, cause we couldn't find anything. Ahahahahahha so there's a reason behind that after all.



Big Ben

(Only the most recognized piece of Britain worldwide.)



Parliament Palace



Flying Buttresses!!!

@some old cathedral near Parliament Palace



Westminster Abbey

Look at the Baroque spires man! Gothic architecture is always cool.



Tower Bridge

Eh the blue paint damn ugly right.



St Paul's Cathedral

Designed by the one and only Sir Christopher Wren.



Museum of Natural History, South Kensington

The brickwork is just so... awesome.

Got dinosaur fossils also you know? Coool leh, and the best thing was: IT WAS FREEEEEEEEEEEE. When was the last time a Museum in Malaysia was free?



King George V

Check out the feathered guests, his crowning glory.




Trafalgar Square

There was a party of some sort!!! Guess what it was???



Hare Krishna!!!!

There was open proselytizing and free foooood, baby!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.

This (the open proselytizing part) would never happen in our
 
OH-WORLD, LOOK-AT-ME because I'm a paragon of multicultural, multireligious, multiethnic TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING, the bastion of internationalism where so many races and so many religions can coexist peacefully and harmoniously, and where we can discuss ALL OUR ISSUES LIKE LOGICAL PEOPLE AND NOT ACT LIKE GANGSTERS unlike you European neo-imperialists and colonists and blatant hypocritical racists who only discriminiate against Muslims,

NOW, would it.

(Stop being a hypocrite, Badawi)



Nelson's Column

The guy who defeated Napoleon at Trafalgar.



Regent's Park

This park was the nicest of all the parks in London. This and St James'. Hyde Park was nothing but weeeds and grasss.



Roses! The air was sooo sweet smelling with them.



Black swans!

All in all, I think I enjoyed Ireland more.

Because of the temperature.

But St James' and Regent's were amazing.

What can I say, I'm a weather person.





Posted at 11:55 pm by andrewlza
(19) dogs bit me  

Saturday, July 29, 2006
Eire Pictures

News alert (I know, I'm repeating myself, but I can't help it)



SMKDJ WON FIRST and THIRD at


the HELP LAW OLYMPIAD 2006
!!!!!!



Pwnage la DJ this year. Rawr. Pn Lee sure damn happy one.



I wrote this article for theStar but I sent it in late so I don't know whether it's coming out one.

A free trip to Ireland for two, a seven day stint at one of the most happening cities in Europe, and a chance to meet the winner of the world's most lucrative literary award – not too bad a reward for listening to my mother and staying up late to write an essay on the extended competition deadline itself!

Winning the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Young Malaysians 2006 came as an absolute surprise to me. I was already more than satisfied to be short listed. Before, I never really thought of myself as a writer; but now, I found confidence to explore a new, exciting field of study. Nevertheless, I was nothing less than thrilled when I won: my mom and I were going to the emerald green isle of Eire!




Dublin Seascape

Day 1

We arrived on Sunday, 11 June. The first thing I liked about Ireland was its weather; its cool, rejuvenating, I-can-hardly-break-a-sweat-even-if-I-run weather. Oh, how I relished the wonderful, perfect breeze bringing life back into my tired, jet-lagged frame. I instantly knew that I was going to like the place.

We were taken to the posh Morrison Hotel, where we were to reside for our entire trip. This centrally-located four-star hotel overlooks the River Liffey, which runs through the heart of Dublin City, or Atha Cliath in Irish.


River Liffey (a bit the dirty one. can see green mold, hehe)

Atha Cliath is a pleasant-sized city; not too big, not too small. Home to about 1.2 million residents, it is the capital of Ireland. A lot of its buildings still retain their original facades, and the city is a fusion of romantic cobblestone streets and Georgian and Edwardian architecture. I believe that there is a cap on a Dublin building's height at four or five storeys – there aren't any skyscrapers in Dublin! This policy preserves the city's cultural and historical atmosphere – ancient structures with their flying buttresses, soaring steeples and Romanesque columns seem more prominent this way.



Cobblestoned streets

(Look reeeally carefully and you'll see that the streets are strewn with cigarette butts. Dublin is as dirty as Malaysia, but it doesn't feel that way, because of the perfect weather and breeeeeeze.)


Georgian architecture (think red red red brick)

Tourism and immigration have given Dublin a very metropolitan, multicultural feel. Mom and I tried to guess of what ethnicity people we met on the streets were (Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Polish!), with varying degrees of success.

One thing about Dublin: it is an extremely walkable city. Everyone walked everywhere! There were traffic lights and pedestrian crossings at almost every junction, and even the waiting periods at these intersections were soothingly short. The perfect weather definitely made it easy – I couldn't resist going out for a stroll in such conditions. (It never once rained when we were there – Mom claimed that we brought the sun over from Malaysia!) Truly, the best way to explore Dublin is on foot.


Four/five storey cap for buildings.

 Day 2

I met the other Young Writers – John Raithel and mom from Rhode Island, and Britta Bell and dad from Connecticut. John had won for a story he wrote entitled Perimeters, and Britta, a poem called Keeping My Father. We trotted over to Trinity College Dublin for a walking tour and an exhibition of the famous Book of Kells.

Trinity College Dublin



Trinity College Dublin


The Book of Kells is an ornate, colourfully illustrated medieval manuscript produced by Celtic monks. Intricate artwork and stunningly complex decorations interweave with lavish calligraphy to create an awe-inspiring, breathtaking, almost sacred sight, even to the casual observer. Striking hues of green, red, purple, gold, pink and blue belie their true age. In the days when paints were painfully expensive and hard to obtain, surely the monks didn't spare any expense in its creation: pigments were acquired from all over Europe; the extraordinarily costly semi-precious blue lapis lazuli was imported from Afghanistan!

We then went over to the IMPAC Office to have an enjoyable, light, getting-to-know-you session with the illustrious Judging Panel for the International Literary Award. (They wouldn't tell us who won!)

 

Day 3

Did you know that no less than four Irishmen have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, namely William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney? Not forgetting giants Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, Ireland has contributed remarkably, disproportionately to world literature. And for this Irish literary heritage, the world's richest book prize – the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is held there.



Poet, Dramatist, Wit: Oscar Wilde lived here


Dublin Coat of Arms. But check out the irony: Flaming castles and obendientia in Dublin.



John, Britta, Me


It was there, in Dublin City Hall, where we were among the selected few to learn, first-hand, that Colm Toibin had won the award and the 100,000 Euros for his tour-de-force, The Master. He is the first Irishman to win the award since its conception.



John, Britta, Colm Toibin, Me


Colm, Me



Actually I won lah.


Later, Mom and I went on a walking tour of the city, where we visited, among other Dublin landmarks, the all-imposing Dublin Castle, historic Temple Bar, refreshing St. Stephen's Green, and a few ornate, antique churches. We would also attend the celebration dinner for Colm Toibin, where we would eat our hearts out and receive complimentary autographed copies of the winning book!

 



Mom and I, Christchurch Cathedral Dublin



I like the pic mah.



Dublin Castle

Day 4

The Young Writers and their parents were escorted to the IMPAC Office to meet the newly crowned Colm Toibin. It was very nice to get to know him personally; Colm was very humble, very down-to-earth. We congratulated and chatted with him about what it meant to be a writer, and about his experiences as one. His advice: take note of anything that motivates, touches, enrages, discourages, inspires, frightens you. Anything at all – for it is from your personal experience that you draw from when you write.



Rubbish!!! Mala = Bag in Irish.

   
The Four Courts

Next, Judge Eugene Sullivan, the chair of the Judging Panel and former Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals, took us on a tour of the Irish Supreme Court – the Four Courts. There we witnessed a civil hearing, saw some dangerous criminals in handcuffs, talked to an Irish judge, and took in some legal trivia from our affable guide. Did you know that toilets in courtrooms have a form of ultraviolet lighting to make it next to impossible for people to locate their veins, thus deterring them from committing suicide in the heat of legal action? Now you do!

 

Day 5

Today was a free day. Mom and I went on a bus tour to the south of Dublin, where we saw dramatic changes in scenery from the flat, sandy beaches to the East and the alternating green hills and rocky mountains to the West.

We went to Powerscourt Gardens, which is this gigantic, hauntingly beautiful, aristocratic estate to the southwest of Dublin. Its main mansion is said to be based on Versailles, albeit on a much smaller scale. Here we could see endless miles of evergreen forest stretching into the misty horizon. There were also the vast seas of emerald plains for which Eire is so famous for, and that very site was where the movie Braveheart was filmed! C'est magnifique!



Powerscourt Gardens, like Versaille, no?

Powerscourt Gardens: Braveheart filmed here! (Like golf course only)




Sculpture by some Italian sculptor



Powerscourt Gardens Central Lake




Japanese Gardens at Powerscourt



Look REEEEAAAALLY CAREFULLY (Very funny one!)




Inspired by a pepper shaker.







Pretty.

Day 6

The entire delegation went to a couple of readings held for the Dublin Writer's Festival where we listened to several accomplished, internationally-acclaimed novelists and poets present an eclectic selection of their work.



The harp: a symbol of Ireland

That afternoon was also quite an experience, catching the World Cup live from a hotel room in Europe!

The nights I had were reserved for hanging out with John and Britta – chatting and joking, alternating between school, life, politics, other deep stuff, and nothing much in particular. I had my first pint of Guinness. It wasn't bad, but comparatively, it's staggeringly thicker than other beers. Surprisingly, even in Guinness' birthplace, beer was quite expensive: 4 Euro for a pint (500 ml)!



Statue of Guinness founder in St Stephen's Green!!!


We left the next day for London.

I wish to thank IMPAC for making this trip so enjoyable for me and my mom. Thank you so much for your flexibility and generosity. Also, another huge thank you to the IMPAC staff in Dublin: Linda and Tana for taking care of us so well, and Chris and Gorpin for taking us out so often to make sure that we'd get at least one good meal a day!

All in all, my trip to Ireland was immensely fulfilling. I definitely see myself going back again. Now, if only they'd change the age limit next year…



Pleasepleaseplease.



LONDON PICTURES WILL COME NEXT! :D



Posted at 05:14 pm by andrewlza
(12) dogs bit me  

Friday, July 28, 2006
MPH Essay

OMG I'm done! 12 hours; 12 am - 12 pm.

"How many times have you chickened out?" - Qu Hsueh Ming

A few times, and I've lived to regret them.

Thanks, Hsueh Ming, you're a true friend. ;)

Anyone want to read and comment? Email me.

It's my first time writing FICTION, so be nice.


 
Edited:



SMKDJ WON FIRST and THIRD at


the HELP LAW OLYMPIAD 2006
!!!!!!



Pwnage la DJ this year. Rawr. Pn Lee sure damn happy one.

Posted at 12:02 pm by andrewlza
(3) dogs bit me  

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Why Israel is damned if it does and damned it it doesn't

Edited:
CHECK OUT THIS VERY APT CARTOON!



Hizbullah is not made of idiots. They are highly intelligent, calculative strategists. Their newest action has forced Israel into another Catch-22 situation.

1) Hizbullah kidnaps 2 Israeli soliders.

2) Israel has to do something. If it does nothing, the coalition government will fall, of course. And it's simple psychology. You do nothing to retaliate, you lose face, you lose support. You are weak. You get voted off.

Hizb 1, Israel 0.

Choices:

a) Negotiate with Hizbullah, exchange few thousand prisoners for 2 soldiers. Hizbullah wins, Israel loses face. Moreover this will incite Hizb to launch MORE kidnappings to free MORE prisoners.

Hizb 2, Israel 0.

b) Force Lebanon or whatever external organization to force Hizbullah to return the soldiers. Will not happen. Hizb listens to no one.

c) Do it themselves - invade Lebanon and get rid of Hizbullah. Hizbullah still wins, because

1) Although they might lose the military war, they will win the political war - casualties from the Lebanese will definitely outweigh Israeli civilian deaths, and they can count on the World to condemn Israel, yet again.

Hizbullah 3, Israel 0

2) People are nothing to Hizbullah, and everything to Israel. Hizbullah sees people like Arafat the Corrupt did, as matyrs, as compulsory sacrifices, as collateral damage, as world sympathy bait. They don't care how many people from their country die, the more the better, for the world will condemn Israel.

Hizbullah 4, Israel 0.

3) Hizb hides their weapons amongst civilian targets. Kill more people, yay! Israel, of course, seeks to minimize civilian casualties but cannot because of this often overlooked fact. Hizb on the other hand invites the Israelis to kill more people, becuase in their dictionary loss of life = political gain mah. You really think Israel is that daft to want to kill more civilians for fun meh?

Hizb 5 Israel 0

4) Israel has to INVADE sovereign Lebanon to get Hizb. Bad political maneuver. Sure kena hentam one. What to do? Lebanon so weak, cannot disarm Hizbullah, so Hizbullah is grabbing them by the balls lah!

Hizb 6 Israel 0

5) Hizb will batter down Israeli columns into a bloody guerrilla war in southern Lebanon. Remember, every Israeli casualty inflicted is horrendous loss to Israel, while Hizb can't wait to sacrifice more martyrs. As I think King Saud of Saudi Arabia once said in the 1948 War of Liberation, "there are 50 million Arabs and 1 million Jews. What would it be to sacrifice 5 million Arabs to throw all the Jews into the sea?" The longer the war is, the more Israel will suffer, and it will suffer more than Hizbullah.

Hezbollah's motto is: "You love life, we love death." There is nothing, gushes Hezbollah's patron Ahmadinejad, "more beautiful, holier or more eternal than the death of a martyr."

What are you going to do to a group which WILL NOT BE CONTENTED UNTIL YOU ARE WIPED OUT FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH? What CAN you do? They don't care if they die, they WANT to DIE! Rhetoric it may all be, but you know how fanatical people can be from rhetoric la (think Hitler and his Nazis).

Imagine if an Israeli PM says that he wants to wipe out the Palestinians from the face of the earth to put it into perspective OK.

Only some other selective people can say things like these (wiping people off the face of the earth), start a war, and get away with it, and even be supported by 10% of the world's population.

The irony is that Israel can win 100 brilliant, against the odds wars and still be insecure, while if it loses just ONE, it can be destroyed forever.


Israel is damned if it invades, and damned if it doesn't. Israel. is. trapped. by this ingenious, brilliant political maneuver by Hizbullah.

Given all these of course lah Israel doesn't care what others think.

And so Hizbullah is MOSTLY, if not SOLELY responsible for the destruction of Lebanon, responsible for escalating every act of violence now. The blame IS theirs. Stupid, brilliant, crazy, heartless Hizbullah. If you want to point your fingers, point it at Hizbullah.

Hizbullah is willing to sacrifice the entire country of Lebanon and lose another military war to score another political victory against Israel. Much like Arafat sacrificed his hundreds of Palestinians and kept them in poverty and susceptible to fanatical illusions to spite Israel.

Go on, Malaysia, support these godless beasts.

But of course, the stupid, horrendously idiotic, inhumane way Israel has been treating the Palestinians is another thing.

But as Kuan Chuen said, it's alllll politics! Yay.

Why Hizbullah will still be in power in Lebanon? Because although the Lebanese hate Hizbullah for inviting Israel in wreak havoc on their fragile country, the politicians cannot say it out loud, because in true Malaysian fashion, saying that would mean that you are against Hizbullah and if you're against Hizbullah you're for the Israelis and if you're for the Israelis you're a traitor. Lebanon is TOO FRACTURED, politically, militarily and economically to take a stand against Hizbullah. It will remain in the Lebanese political scape for years to come.

And also a huge part of the Arab population in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia support Hizbullah for being able to whack the Israelis up unlike their cowardly governments. See lar, if the war continues you'll see these people going to Lebanon to fight some more as irregulars.

World peace. *waves hand like the Queen*


Posted at 06:51 pm by andrewlza
(9) dogs bit me  

Saturday, July 22, 2006
UPM Gangster School?

 
Shucks la I can't post youtube here! :'(

Why? I don't know. So if you're not websitally illiterate like me I'd appreciate it if you'd show me how.

Anyway, Go see

http://youtube.com/watch?v=b-GRuHAvVVE&search=upm


or

http://www.merdekareview.com/movie_show.php?sid=2


Is that what they teach you in local universities these days?

Old news la, only first time caught on camera. I think.

OOOOO and guess what? UPM students under UMNO Youth were having a demonstration at the US Embassy today when I went to collect my visa. Blocking traffic. Burning Israeli flags and Bush pictures in the middle of the haze season. Empty rhetoric, angry faces and nothing else.

When they left, the roads were strewn with garbage. If you want to protest, protest lar. But protest in a clean clean manner can or not?

I should bring my camera everywhere I go lar.

EDITED: IT WAS KHAIRY JAMALUDDIN! Hahaha he's really sold his soul now hasn't he? Fiery rhetoric for political gain! Shame, shame, hor hor, tata yoh, nyeh nyeh di bu bu.

"Israel pesuruh syaitan"

"Israel is the root cause of terrorism"

So laughable, eh!

Fun.

Wow the government is so fair and just in their implementation of the UUCA! So unselective of them by letting UPM students protest!

(I'm for their right to demonstrate, and also for EVERYONE'S right to demonstrate.)

Haha I talked to one, and asked him kenapa nak protes-protes ni? (what are you protesting for)

He answered tak cukup kereta, tak cukup tanah. (not enough cars, not enough land)

I was dumbfounded. (and thinking in my heart, for you or for the Palestinians?)

Which goes on to show that some people go to such things to show up and know nothing of any sort.

But the good news is that I met some UPM students who were nice lar.

I asked them why UMNO Youth was so selective in their demonstrations. It's like protest against Israel, yes, but so conspicuously silent over Hizbullah and Hamas and the kidnappings and missiles eh. Why they covered up Darfur and are only protesting about Palestine.

One answered there are 2 opinions about Darfur, A: Darfur(ians) are being persecuted, B: Darfurians aren't being persecuted because it's all a matter of opinion.

Then I said then there are 2 opinions about Palestine, A: Palestinians are being persecuted, B: Palestinians aren't being persecuted because it's all a metter of opinion.

Bullshit lar that line of defense.

There was one particular guy who was outstandingly outspoken, though. Nice guy. We talked about UUCA and other stuff lar. Openminded, him.

Then there was this gerai owner who, unfortunately represents the whole majority of citizens we have in the country.

He called out, eh-leh, you ni nak (murmur murmur) Islamic state (mumble mumble)

Which goes on to show that so may stupid Malaysians (especially of the older generation) can't stand to have a proper debate and associate differences in beliefs as racial and religious opnions.

Idiots.

But I sincerely hope more people in our unis are like the 2nd UPM guy I spoke to lar.

Or else God save Malaysia.

Posted at 01:30 am by andrewlza
(7) dogs bit me  

Sunday, July 16, 2006
The Gordian Knot

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

 - George Bernard Shaw; Playwright, Nobel Laureate




Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot, by Jean-Simon Berthélemy (1743–1811)
Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot, by Jean-Simon Berthélemy

The Gordian Knot is a legend associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem, solved by a bold stroke ("cutting the Gordian knot")

In ancient Phrygia, an oracle had foretold that a man with a wagon would eventually come and end their constant quarreling. Midas wandered into town with his ox-cart while the high council met, discussing the oracle's prediction. Midas was appointed king.

As a reminder of his good fortune, to thank the gods for his rule, Midas erected a shrine and dedicated his wagon to Zeus. Instead of being yoked to an ox, Midas placed his wagon in the center of the acropolis yoked to a pole with a large knot. The knot was an intricate and complex Turkish knot, having no ends exposed. Hundreds of tightly interwoven thongs of cornel-bark made the knot an impressive centerpiece for the shrine.

This was the famous Gordian knot, and it was further prophesied by the oracle that the one to untie the knot would become the king of Asia.

In 333 BC, wintering at Gordium, Alexander attempted to untie the knot. When he could find no end to the knot, to unbind it, he sliced it in half with a stroke of his sword, producing the required ends (the so-called "Alexandrian solution"). Alexander did go on to conquer Asia, fulfilling the prophecy.



Rubik's Cube in scrambled state
Enlarge
Rubik's Cube in scrambled state


I had a Rubik's Cube when I was like 10.

I worked on it for hours.

I couldn't solve it.

So I took out the colored stickers and stuck them where they were supposed to go.


:D

Heee.

(Now some stickers have lost their stickiness have are lost, forever.)

Rubik's Cube in solved state
Enlarge
Rubik's Cube in solved state


Posted at 08:24 pm by andrewlza
Bite me.  

Friday, July 14, 2006
It's that time of year again

It's that time of year again!

Don't need to get your eyes checked if

You can't see the KL Tower

Or the Twin Towers

Or your mom's face

(OK, you never notice that anyway)

Or the house right across the road.

It's not you.

Just

Whip out your

(sexy fashion statement Star Wars)

gas masks,

Breathe deep,

And prepare for the first

Of a googozillion of your asthma attacks!

It's that time of year

When the air-conditioner

Is your best friend!

When PE is cancelled

Because it's a health hazard.

Community service reminder:

Skip school.

Don't wait for your

Uber concerned, fantastically decisive, chronically acute, immensely sensitive

Education Minister

To declare a holiday.

He

couldn't care more.

(Maybe he doesn't

 Understand.

Or

Maybe he failed Bio)

Just

Stay at home for your own sake.

Hallmark

Of Malaysian diplomacy.

(Thanks, neighbour!)

Free carbon.

Not to mention sulphurous, nitrus dioxides and

Stuff.

Gratis.

And you know Malaysians never say no to free stuff.

More! More!

Shows you just how much

We care

For the health of you puny little disempowered citizens

Always on time,

Punctual,

Never tantalizing.

It never lets you down

It's freaking


: H : A : Z : E : 



season!!!


Posted at 04:18 pm by andrewlza
(7) dogs bit me  

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