Month: September 2008

Dari Whitworh Park ke East Grove

Peta untuk tontonan mereka yang mahu berkunjung ke rumah saya di East Grove, dari perkampungan Melayu baru: Whitworth Park.

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University Life Part Four

Strange art. One of the buildings in Manchester Ciy Centre.

Princess Street. A view of someone who was tiredly waiting for the bus to come.

I did not update my blog for quite a long time. I am not that busy, and I have peacefully settled down in my new cosy room but it is the internet connection that is a problem – thanks to BT. Currently I am using a friend’s mobile broadband.

Probably I should just write a bit about what is happening here before I jump into topics I have in mind – which I will soon write about InshaAllah.

The final part of my university life has started, and to my surprise, my academic timetable is way too relaxed. I have four modules this semester – Research Dissertation (unfortunately the topic I was eyeing was given to someone else – if that is because I wasn’t around during summer to discuss with her, then I’m fine with it, but she’s offering me another topic right now), Book Module (read a book , master it, and answer exam questions based on it), Aqueous Systems Technology, and Aerial Emissions Avoidance and Abatement.

What’s funny is that the timetable I obtained today only consists of a few lines (instead of tables, as usual), which looks like this:

MEng Chemical Engineering with Environmental Technology Lectures start: 29/09/08 – 19/12/08 Reading Week: 3rd-7th Nov 2008 Research Dissertation – Semester 7 and 8 Book Module – Semester 7 (1 lecture date to be advised) Aqueous Systems Technology – 1 week intensive module w/c 27/10/08 Aerial Emissions Avoidance and Abatement – 1 week intensive module w/c 10/11/08

What these lines actually mean is:

1. I won’t have any real lecture until 27 October, which is approximately one month away.
2. Except for the two weeks of intensive modules (which means that I will finish one module in one week, listening to lectures 9-5), I will only have appointments with my research supervisor, otherwise I can just work from home.
3. I need to find something else, something serious to make me busy!

The third point is a serious one. I mean, I’m not used of self-study (thanks to years of 9-5 lecture) so having an empty timetable might make me less particular about how I spend my time) – the saying that ‘the busier you are the more efficient you’ll tend to be‘ applies to me. I figure out that maybe I should really find a part time job, particularly in environmental sector (Let’s go to Part-Time Job Fair) and if I could not get any, I will resort for a permanent volunteer work in the same field – for experience sake.

A whole year without any direct involvement with MCOT (which has been a part of my life since I was in my first year) obviously will increase my free time. Probably more activities with fellow theatre-goers, Young Greens, and Islamic knowledge-seekers will keep me busy and occupied (thus deters me from indulging in time-wasting acts). Visits to Careers Service.

I’m off to The Riveters first meeting this evening, Young Green‘s Introduction to EU & Green Politics tomorrow and its first meeting on Thursday, inshaAllah.

Eyeing to book a ticket of the incoming performance of Independent Means next month. And guess what they are staging in two months? Great Expectation! Definitely a must-see!

Anyone interested to be my date?

Previously written:

University Life Part 2
University Life Part 3: A Short Note

A Note from Dubai

Alhamdulillah, All praise to Allah. I have now finish the first sector of my journey back to my second home, currently in Dubai. To be exact, the massive Dubai International Airport.

Luckily this time I am not alone, my ex-classmate in Mara College Banting is on the same flight, thus knowing that he will kindly help me with my overweight hand luggage (which means pulling it all the way and guarding it while I am performing solat or just like now, stuck with my laptop in between two sleeping guys – an Aryan and a possible Caucasian).

I was sitting with a Chinese guy in my previous KL-Dubai flight, who was actually going to Birmingham for the first time for his third year of twinning program, and he’s doing chemical engineering as well. So you can imagine how lively our conversation was, until he realized me being so uncomfortable, of course not with him, but with the flight taking off. Yeah, I still dread taking off and landing – my flight home two years ago found me getting sick right after the flight touched down. Pity the person sitting next to me. Oh, wait. It was Hanee.

I wanted to finish my reading but since it was quite dark and I hesitate reading under dim light so I resort on committing the most boring in-flight act possible – watching films. I watched Narnia (the first one)..yes, I was yet to watch that, but somehow I did not find that very exhilarating. I just feel that the plot was quite shallow – by shallow I mean that the question of ‘hey, how can they do something like that when they previously was just doing this’ just popped out in my mind along the way. So Narnia is rated ‘not recommended’.

Oh, well, I watched Transformers the day before and now I wonder no more why this film was screened for more than four months in Malaysia- it is totally awesome! I don’t recall myself being a fan of Transformers animation series when I was younger (particularly because I was unable to understand what it was all about back then) but now in film it was way too cool to be described by words.

But then, watching films with so much actions- Wanted, Transformers, just to name two of my most recently watched films – make me wonder how difficult it was to differentiate the reality and a robot/fake/imagination. I think this is one of the issues discussed back then when I was taking IT in Global Society subject for International Baccalaureate.

Oh wait, I’m going to continue this post later. The boarding gate is now open!

Pray for my safety, OK?

Entering the Fourth Year: A Will and A Prayer



Somewhere in Sheffield is where I found this.

Going back to University soon.

My flight with Emirates, from KLIA will be on 15 Sept 0055, with a stopover in Dubai for approximately four hours before heading towards Manchester. A total of 19 hours. I’m leaving home tomorrow for Penang for an iftar with my uncles and aunties and cousins, before going to KL to my sister’s house.

Sad?

Unfortunately, yes.

I keep telling myself that it is going to be only a year before I’m coming back for good, InshaAllah, still, I can’t help but feeling sad. Especially since I rarely get to see my two siblings – my younger sister and little brother particularly. Both of them are away, my sister in UIA Matriculation Centre, while my brother, though just a few centimetres away at MRSM Beseri, were not at home with me any longer than one week. Yes, out of 3.5 months at home I only managed to see them less then ten days in total – after two years.

I am a bad influence, I’ve to admit (since my mom keeps telling me that). I don’t like staying at home alone – and the last time I came home two years ago, I have influenced my younger sister to move back home rather than staying in the hostel , using the concrete reason of helping her with her studies to conceal my motive of having someone else to talk to other than my parents (though I think I did contribute to her significant improvement from 5A’s to 8A’s in her trial exams).

And this year, for the same bad, self-interest motive I have influenced my little 8-year-old cousin to go with me to KL (since I could not bear a seven hour journey with only me and both my parents), that she missed a few days at school. I convinced everyone that she’s brilliant enough to skip a few days, and gotcha! She was with me. I used the same ‘you’re-brilliant-enough-to-skip-school’ excuse for my brother too, and that helped at least to get him off from school on weekends (MRSM is really good in keeping innocent young kids off their family!).

And yes, I broke into tears again this time when I finally said good bye to him just now, and he too, but this time less obviously (that’s because he’s already 17 and we were right in front of girls’ hostel).

Happy?

Partially.

I’m eager to get into my busy life again (I’m convinced that I am not good at doing nothing by now) – new students coming means a chain of programmes and activities before MCOT annual general meeting in November, my final year focusing on environmental subjects(this is going to be exciting), my final year dessertation, and plenty of other extra activities I’m planning to do, which includes trying to find a part-time job in environmental sector, voluntary works whenever possible, language class (I just need to wait for my acedemic timetable to come out before signing to any of the class; Mandarin, Hebrew, or maybe French), of course new MCOT religious study circle groups to handle and everything else. Maybe I should start attending Young Greens (of Green Party UK) weekly meetings too, have been planning to do so but never got the chance. I signed up for swimming lessons as well, but told that my name is currently in the waiting list.

Planning on increasing my fitness as well (darn, I’m so lazy when it comes to this part) – kick-boxing session maybe? Yoga and pilates sound interesting too. Walk to school three times a week while fighting the temptation to utilize my bus pass.

And yes, I miss attending religious class, talk, whatever you call it. Plenty of them here in Malaysia, I know, but thanks to our so-called democratic government, my mom is reluctant to allow me to go to markaz for the classes. And talks are usually held at night, which means a big no for me to go driving alone. We have those in TV, but it is different. I cannot ask questions to the speaker, can I?

And my plan to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina this winter needs to be readjusted – well, since Haz found a new priority (I am sulking, Haz!). Maybe I should start sweet talking to my three housemates, hopefully they will be interested to join me. When it comes to traveling, I have always wished I were either a guy that I can travel alone, or married so that I can drag my partner wherever I want to go.

A year to go, plenty of things to achieve.

I guess what I need to have now are a will and a prayer.

A strong will.

A consistent prayer.

Green all the way!

I can’t sleep, so I continued my study on nuclear energy, and had a great time until all hell broke loose – my mind that is. I came across an article on anti-sustainability, trying to prove why sustainability is wrong. Radicals and extremists are generally harmless, but reading their arguments can confuse you especially when you are in need of some sleep (but you just can’t).

One might argue on the concept of sustainability, as it is mainly based on the ‘so-called’ trans-generational responsibility. That’s true- as Brundtland definition of sustainability that is the most widely used definition says that it is the kind of development that satisfies the need of the current generation without compromising the future generation’s quality of life. Something like that, that is in my own words by the way.

But this anti-sustainability argues that the concept is based on our prediction of what the future generation wants. After all, do we really know what they want?

Sustainability policy relies on additional arguments: trans-generational equity, or trans-generational empathy:

A1. “We do not live in a nuclear waste dump, so we cannot ask future generations to do so.”
A2. “We would not like to live in a nuclear waste dump, so we should spare future generations this suffering also.”

Again, the additional arguments are biased toward continuance of the existing. Equity among generation implies similar conditions of life in each generation. Empathy with future generations is limited by the impossibility of imaging their condition, and therefore their preference. Ask people today about their preferred future, and they will describe the present, with negative aspects removed.(source)

And guess what, the whole idea of sustainability and trans-generational responsibility is traced back to a guy name Hans Jonas, a student of Heidegger, who was a Nazi philosopher, although not the philosopher of Nazism. It political source was actually a German right-wing ideology of the inter-war period.

Not bad.


Your Mind is Green


Of all the mind types, yours has the most balance.

You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.

You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don’t get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Nothing particularly important about this self-absorbed test, but hey, I am a green.

Cool. I like that result.

Di Mana Meriahnya Ramadhan dan Eid?


Dapatkan Mesej Bergambar di Sini

Saya merasakan kemampuan saya untuk bertutur dan menulis sepenuhnya dalam Bahasa Malaysia tanpa dicelah bahasa Inggeris semakin berkurangan sejak akhir-akhir ini. Jadi saya fikir ada eloknya saya menulis kembali dalam bahasa ini walaupun kalau boleh saya mahu blog ini menggunakan bahasa Inggeris sepenuhnya.

Tak disangka, 15 minggu sebenarnya berlalu sangat pantas – tak sempat saya menamatkan 15 buku seperti yang dijadualkan, menulis pun tidak sempat (dan idea tidak datang dalam cuaca panas-kering ini rupanya) ! Tak apa, yang penting cuti musim panas kali ini rasa-rasanya lebih baik berbanding cuti musim panas dua tahun lalu: daripada 15 minggu itu, sekurang-kurangnya 5 minggu saya habiskan di luar rumah untuk berprogram dan aktiviti ziarah, saya sempat meluangkan masa untuk sepupu-sepupu saya – cuma sedikit ralat tidak berkesempatan ke Pantai Timur dan bertandang ke rumah sahabat saya, Hanee, di Batu Pahat. Pecahan yang boleh diterima fikir saya – mengambil kira fakta bahawa saya sudah tidak bertemu orang tua selama dua tahun, maka seharusnya 2/3 cuti itu diperuntukkan untuk emak dan ayah. Itupun emak saya masih mengomel – cepat benar cuti berlalu, dan saya seakan tidak lekat lama di rumah!

Ramadhan datang bertamu ketika saya masih di Malaysia. Jujurnya saya tidak kisah di mana saya berpuasa, atau di mana saya beraya. Ramai yang bersimpati dengan saya kerana tidak sempat menyambut ‘Idul Fitri di tanah air untuk ke sekian kalinya, terima kasih, tapi saya sendiri tidak berasa sedih. ‘Idul Fitri memang hari kebesaran kita umat Islam, dan kita seharusnya bergembira, tetapi yang lebih penting adalah makna perayaan itu sendiri – adakah meriah bersama sanak-saudara itu lebih penting berbanding mencapai maksud ‘Idul Fitri itu sendiri? Idul Fitri disambut sebagai meraikan kembalinya kita kepada fitrah setelah sebulan menjalani latihan, madrasah (atau apa-apa terma yang selayaknya), dan jika setelah tamat sebulan saya masih lagi berlumut perangai-perangai yang tidak elok, ibadah pun belum cukup sempurna, maka apa yang perlu saya rayakan?

Saya terkesan dengan peringatan yang diberikan Ustaz Zaharudin tentang kesilapan-kesilapan yang biasa dilakukan dalam bulan Ramadhan ini, salah-satunya adalah seperti berikut:

7) Menunaikan solat terawih di masjid dengan niat inginkan meriah. Malanglah mereka kerana setiap amalan di kira dengan niat, jika niat utama seseorang itu ( samada lelaki atau wanita) hadir ke masjid adalah untuk meriah dan bukannya atas dasar keimanan dan mengharap ganjaran redha Allah sebagaimana yang ditetapkan oleh Nabi SAW di dalam hadith riwayat al-Bukhari. Maka, “Sesungguhnya sesuatu amalan itu dikira dengan niat”. (Riwayat al-Bukhari)

Meriah itu penting sangatkah? Saya sangat muak melihat iklan-iklan di akhbar – perabot raya, barang kemas raya, baju raya (ini biasalah), macam-macam raya lagi. Penat betul saya.

Tadi saya membaca keluhan seorang peniaga di bazaar Ramadhan Teluk Queen, Pulau Pinang. Katanya kali ini bazaar Ramadhan tidak begitu meriah, dan rezeki hasil jualannya pun berkurangan. Saya bersimpati dengannya. Tetapi mengenangkan keadaan di pasar Ramadhan yang saya kunjungi kelmarin, saya rasa ada eloknya perkara-perkara sebegini menjadi kurang meriah.Ditambah dengan kos hidup yang meningkat, ada bagusnya orang ramai berkira-kira untuk membeli juadah berbuka secara berpada-pada. Pasar Ramadhan berhampiran Stadium negeri itu memang besar, dan mujurlah saya (juga emak dan ayah) tiba sebelum tamatnya waktu pejabat, tetapi saya tidak betah berlama-lama – rimas! Banyaknya makanan yang dijual, sehinggakan kalau dijamu seluruh rakyat Perlis pun cukup!

Saya lebih senang hati dengan program-program sempena Ramadhan di televisyen. Lebih banyak program ilmiah berbanding program masak-memasak sempena Ramadhan dibandingkan dengan lima-sepuluh tahun lalu (berdasarkan pemerhatian sayalah). TV9 bagus pada saya, dan sekarang sudah wujud ASTRO Oasis. OKlah, bukan semua program di Oasis itu menarik, tetapi sekurang-kurangnya kewujudan saluran Islamik seperti itu menunjukkan adanya permintaan terhadap program-program yang lebih sejuk mata menonton. Yang paling menarik tentunya rancangan Jejak Rasul di TV3 yang berjaulah mengekori langkah Ibnu Battutah, penulis travelog paling saya gemari itu!

Dan dengan definisi meriah yang penuh kelam-kabut di Malaysia ini, saya kadang-kadang lebih rindu dengan sambutan Ramadhan di Manchester – malam menjelang Ramadhan, kalau berjalan-jalan di sepanjang The Curry Mile i.e. Rusholme, saya akan disapa mesra ‘Ramadhan Kareem’, berbuka puasa yang seadanya di Sackville Prayer Room, atau ketika mula-mula dahulu di St. Ambrose Prayer Room – nasi (ala-ala nasi bukhari) dihidang dalam dulang, dijamah bersama sahabat muslim berlainan warna kulit, lebih terasa kebersamaan. Lebih terasa kesatuan.

Teringat kisah Ustaz Lutfi yang menunjuk jalan sepanjang saya berada di Mesir, tentang perangai orang-orang Mesir yang berubah drastik menjelang Ramadhan – lebih pemaaf, bertambah-tambah pemurah – saya rasa itu definisi perbezaan sepanjang Ramadhan yang lebih dituntut Nabi s.a.w.

Dan ‘Idul Fitri, tidak hilang serinya jika tidak bersama keluarga. Dan saya sendiri, tiga kali berhari raya di dalam makmal tidak pernah menyebabkan saya menitiskan air mata mengenangkan seronoknya jika berada di samping keluarga, kerana pada saya, jika Eid, dan Ramadhan itu ertinya pada meriah bersama sanak-saudara, maka tentulah tidak akan berlaku Perang Badar al Kubra pada 17 Ramadhan dahulu. Kalau niai Eid itu sebagaimana kita dalam mood festival selama sebulan (‘puasa sebulan, raya pun sebulan’), tentulah tiada juga Perang Uhud, Ghazwah Bani Salim, Ghazwah Bani Nadhir, juga Ghazwah Bani Qainuqa’!

Motivation : Nobel Prize

In case you need some motivation to work harder. From here:

4 Muslim vs. 129 Jewish Nobel Prizes?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000,
or 20% of the world population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1988 – Najib Mahfooz

Peace:
1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 – Yaser Arafat

Chemistry:
1999 – Ahmed Zewa

TOTAL: FOUR

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000,
or about 0.02% of the world population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:
1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak Rabin

Physics:
1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910 – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 – Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloc h
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 – Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charle s Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 – Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert Fogel

Medicine:
1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois Jaco b
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 – Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989 – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B. Lewis

TOTAL: 129 ONE HUNDRED TWENTY NINE