Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh my lovely sunshine.

Just today my female colleague was complaining about the scorching sun around 1pm. Well, I didn't quite like the afternoon sun as well, but I told her, enjoy it as the sun gives us vitamin D. She told me that the afternoon sun was bad. And so came the qns when is the sun good then? She replied, "Morning! and Evening!". Then there was.... this post..... I mean, I thought to myself, isn't the sun the same sun, morning, day or evening?

Checking out Google, it proved to be a fairly difficult task to debunk this so-called "myth". Well, from wikianswers, it would seem that the sun is safe until 10am, after which it becomes bad for health and causes burns as well as the feared skin cancer. The sun is safer after 4pm. Well, at least this was what was quoted. One source, statistically, that's an insignificant result. Afterall, there's no scientific proof to prove that, or is there?


Hmm... it would seem that the sun does play an important factor in gardening. Perhaps by examining the reasons and rationale behind them, we can derive with a more "definite" answer. As quoted from a forum, and since I'm lazy to type everything down again, here's what's being said about the morning, mid and evening sun.

"Morning sun side - sunflower / 'fake' dill / 'real' dill / local lavender / moneyplant / mother
-in-law tongue / 1 hanging petunia / mint / air plant

Under the shade of morning sun - all the ferns / small asparagus (either hang high high or behind a shadow or very short exposure of the light)

Mid way (bright area no direct sunlight, - money plant / mint / all 'in the process of propagation plant' eg HL de mullberry temporary stays here sometimes a bit of west sun near the wall for - wondering jew / spider plant / asparagus / aloe / petunia + 1 unknown plant

Evening sun - periwrinkle / roselle (i think so) / pandan plant / mosquitoe plant + i unknown plant / petunia"

Not sure how accurate this info is, but I guess there's no smoke without fire.


When I searched for "morning sun vs evening sun scientific proof" all I got from Google was the existence of God. Side tracking a little, this "sun" thing made me reminiscence about a conversation I had with a couple of my close friends when I visited my best pal's new house. We were talking about new houses, and about whether the house gets any morning or evening sun, and started discussing a bit about Fengshui. I'm not too sure about it, but from what they told me, the general consensus is that there's 2 schools of thought for Fengshui.

Vaguely put, one is more on the overall direction, the other is about the direction in which the sun comes in from. Where the sun comes in strongest, that's the "front" door (even though it may be the balcony). Confused? Don't be, cos that's the best way I can structure my explanation since I'm fairly uncertain myself. Shan't "research" about Fengshui for now... cos I know it's open a door I can't close shut behind me once I do.

Well, from my astronomy classes back in University, I knew that Auroras or Northern lights are actually caused by the harmful solar flares or solar wind from the sun which hits the thermosphere (high altitude atmosphere). Ie. Beauty it is true indeed, as northern lights are evidence of our Earth protecting its inhabitants from the harm. It's almost like the Earth is a round spartan holding an invisible shield and blocking off any fire spears hurled at it.

It's sad that the sun will die in 5.2 billion years from now, since it's life span is only 10 billion years and 4.8 billion years have already passed. Though we would be dead by then, the thought is indeed shuddering. One can imagine what will become of our godzillionth generation.

Ok, I think I might have side tracked a little too much here. Any more of this and one would think my religion is Sun-ism. While there might not have scientific or clinical evidence out there which compares and measures the effects of the morning, midday and evening sun, one can only use general knowledge to solve this "mystery".

We all know for a fact that the afternoon sun is more hotter than the morning or evening sun. This is because the sun is higher up in the sky and there's nothing to block off it's crazy UV radiation. We know that the sunrise and sunset is caused by the atmospheric refraction of the sunrays as it rises above or below the horizon. You can find out more about the differences between dust, dawn and what twilight even means from the link: or you can just figure it out from the picture I ripped off from wikipedia.

Bottomline is, I assume, that it's similar to taking a flash light and shining it directly into the eyes of someone as opposed to using your body to shield off some light and let the remaining light sip through at an angle of your body. Of course the latter would be less glaring for the other party. Works in the same concept I believe, and while the amount of sunlight might not totally equal the magnitude of UV radiation, I believe there's still some slight correlation between them. Less light will result in less UV radiation. No light from sun will mean that there is no UV radiation (I think), since it's hard to imagine UV radiation bouncing off our skins at night. Cos many have said that even though it's a cloudy day, one is exposed to UV radiation... well, that makes sense since there's light from the sun.

So, in summary, while the Sun is mostly good for health, I can only assume that it's true... that the sun is more hazardous to our body midday as opposed to the morning or evening sun due to its intensity and position in the sky. Though there's no scientific evidence to show this, I believe common sense wouldn't fail us, or me here. However, this is only true to humans. Skin cancer and all that sh**. Can't give the same conclusion for animals since there's always an exception... plants are proof of that.

Either way, I love you Sun. It is in your presence that keeps me awake, that makes me feel alive. There's a scientific explanation for this of course. About rhodopsin, of how it's responsible for both the formation of the photoreceptor cells (found in our eyes) in the presence of light. It is this that makes us feel more awake in the day. Well, I'm sure you're aware that if one is exposed to to prolonged periods of darkness, one will gradually become blind. (Actually, I don't even know if that's a myth or not... too many things to find given this short amount of time!!) Hmm, then come another question... if that is true, then is being exposed to too much daylight one of the causes of night blindness? Night blindness is known to either exist from birth, or caused by injury or malnutrition. Perhaps, too much rhodopsin causes a chemical adaption which results in night blindness as well? Would a sporty person be more likely to suffer from mild night blindness as opposed to a "normal" person?

I could keep rattling on, but I shall end off with this stay-home message. We cannot blame the sun for the bad it does to us, we cannot thank the sun for all the good it has given to us. Because the sun is merely just being itself. The sun is simply a ball of ferocious ball suspended in space, and waiting for time to claim it's life. It is like us humans, we cannot be blamed or be gratified for merely existing. Yet as we humans can be appreciated for our presence, we too can appreciate the sun for it's presence. Oh my lovely, sunshine...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I don't wann-a Beeeeeeeee.....

This afternoon while lunching with my colleagues at a nearby chicken rice stall, we encountered something very unusual. There were 2 bees constantly hovering around us and freaked most of my female colleagues out. I too gritted my teeth because the bees were less than 5 cm away from us most of the time. Then after hovering for a good 10 life-threatening seconds, one of them settled on my coke can!

None of my colleagues were having coke, or any drink in that matter... and I felt threatened by the bee. Took my coke can and tried to shake the bee away, but it just kept flying close to the can. The bee was so close to my hand I could almost feel its breath!

I put the can down, and it settled on the top of my can. Chased it away again, thankfully successfully on the second try and quickly drained out my coke. True enough, the bee came and settled on the top of the can, sipping the drops of coke around the groove on top of the can. It was an upclose encounter with a bee "in action". It was quite an amazing sight to see it so close, and to watch the size of the drops shrink one by one. The bee "drank" a few drops before flying away... and coming back again... repeating the same routine for a good 3 times.

I could imagine why the coke can attracted the bee... the striking red probably reminded them of flowers and the sweet coke reminded them of nectar. But what was amazing was that I since coke was carbonated, wouldn't the bees burp after sipping them? Imagine a fly sipping up different carbonated drinks and burping as it flies from one place to another.
That was also when I thought to myself... I shall give myself an assignment when I get home today. How to ward off bees!! And so, the outcome? This post!!

The main gist is that smoke relaxes bees and make them less likely to sting, and that essential oils and plant herbs ward off bees. Apart from the usual insect repellent sprays of course. On the other hand, perfumes attract bees. However, in the situation I was in today, I don't believe any of the "shoo-ing" methods would have been useful to me.

Came across a relevant video though. I'm sure you've seen a couple of chicken rice stalls hanging transparent bags filled with water at their stall fronts, where they chop their meat up. According to the chicken rice aunty in NIE, she said that its just a belief to chase houseflies away and have worked for her. Well, it would seem there are some truths behind it. Just that probably the older generations continued to do so because its just a technique passed down from generations to generations. It would seem that scientific studies have shown that the "invisible" prisms reflected off the bags irritates bugs, not just houseflies alone.

You can check it out at:

Just a short clip about a lady teaching you how to repel bugs by putting pennies in plastic bags filled with water. Similar concept, just that in this case there's additional pennies. Additional pennies, additional effects.. additional cost.

Then this idea (which just struck me) reminded me of another hearsay/belief. Ever wondered why people stick coins to cash registers and calculators? I have. I've heard that it has something to do with fengshui and will bring in more money. Did some google searching and ... well, not much info out there. It's plain simple. For luck.

Well, veered off a little there. Back to bees! Did you know that elephants can produce alarm calls to ward off bees? This discovery was made by a team of scientists from Oxford University and more information can be found at the link:

But it's actually more of alerting the tribe to stay away from the bees than to actually chasing the bees away. So, once again, interesting fact, but not relevant to my search for the answer.

It seems that all the "solutions" presented revolve around making your own bee repellents out of essential oils or planting strong smelling herbs such as thyme, spearmint and eucalyptus.

Based on these facts, if I ever see a bee a future, my best bet would be to get a bowl of hot soup, put it in front of me, and keep fanning the smoke around. (I absolutely do not condone smoking so even though the more obvious ans is there, I shan't even include it as one of my options.) Haven't tried it, but if anyone suay enough to encounter such a situation, and heng enough to try it, please do drop me a message to see if it really works.

Take home message of the day? And every other day? Knowledge is power. Wa la moments come from prior knowledge.

PS.: Photos are not mine and I claim no credit for them.

Monday, October 10, 2011

When the mundane gets going, the beauty starts to fade away.

Ever since I started work close to 3 months ago, my passion towards it has started to decline progressively. My satisfaction especially, it feels like "somthings/'s" just not worth it, it feels meaningless, it feels empty, I feel empty. Started coming home on time to get "things done" (not that I didn't get things done at work, but things done at work feels different somewhat), playing the guitar, watching movies, doing my magic... blah blah blah.

Well, though things might not have improved much, I've started to reach an equilibrium, an equilibrium of living to survive, vs actually living life. Today, I shall present yet another 3 wonders, "beauties" which came into my life, ever since I started to "search" for it once again... that satisfaction, that meaning which reminds me to keep living my life and not merely to survive it.

It was just like any other day, walking back from lunch with my colleagues passing through many people, many trees, many roads, many offices, many buildings. And whilst we were at Kallang Pudding Road, my colleague asked me out of the blue if I knew that a particular building was, as she pointed it out. I said, "Yup, I know. It's a Church." "Look at the unit number, isn't it interesting?"

I looked at it, and nonchalantly said, "Yeah, 60D. So?" ..... "It reads GOD!!"....
And I thought to myself, "OH MY 60D!!! How did I miss that?" I have been walking that stretch of road every day since I started work, I knew it was a Church as along, the unit number was so prominent, and yet, I failed to realize such an interesting fact!! This just shows that sometimes being observant isn't enough. The ability to connect seemingly "separate" things plays an important part in how we perceive beauty.

Everytime I got home from work, mentally exhausted, I would watch a movie or two. But it seemed that it was equally as draining, if not "meaningless". That's why my appetite for movies have dropped drastically and haven't been blogging much of them. However, I started to gravitate towards one of the my favourite past times which I was so crazily committed to a couple of years back... and behold... it is back indeed. My beloved classical guitar. The instrument which my girlfriend bought for me when we first got together. I loved playing the guitar because it relaxes me, even though I'm not good at it, and can't sing for walnuts.

Was checking out some updated songs to play since I too have been MIH (missing in hearing) from the modern music industry and came across several hidden talents online. I was flabbergasted at how nice their cover of songs were and spend an entire night (burnt some oil to stay up) browsing through them. Megan Nicole, Jason Chen, Tiffany Alvord, Cathy Nguyen.... OM60D!! Where have I been? What have Singaporeans' been missing? With all the blind publicity about the search of half-assed singers, there's actually a group of very talented singers and musicians online who would almost definitely hit straight to stardom should the media feature them.
(Cover of Perfect by Pink: Jason Chen and Cathy Nguyen) (Cover of Who Says by Selena Gomez: Megan Nichole and Tiffany Alvord) (Cover of The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars: Megan Nichole)

I've only attached the best songs sang by those talents, and apologise for any copyrights infringements if I accidentally breach them. But thought I share the vids with you. You can find all of them at youtube. Links after links of sheer music enjoyment. I take no credits for posting them, or making them, only for finding them in this "blind Singapore" that we live in.

And finally, today, when I was checking out my magic stuff online, I came across Hat Juggling. I knew of its existence, but never really did bother to check it out since Contact Juggling seemed more "relevant" to magic and looked soooo ccoooollll. But not until I came across Hat Juggling... This just opened my eyes to all the hidden talents in the world. Relating back to the singers online, I can't believe I was missing out on so much in the world. And therefore gave myself a "mission" or assignment... from now on, I shall start sharing the best of talent vids through my blog, not just to give publicity and recognition to talents like them, but to show everyone who's came across my blog, that there's just so many "beauties" in the world waiting to be
(Hat Juggling: Uncredited Russian?) (Contact Juggling: London Street Artist)

Look no more for diamonds, gems and the possibility of time travel. Look closer, look out for, and look deeper into our everyday lives. Start today, and if you choose rather to chillax at home, fret not. Because I hope to use as my blog as a window for such beauty. Oh wait, haven't I been doing that already? .....