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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Wish to be Taught By French-Trained Artists?

Dad loves to give me assignments. One of the recent assignments involved designing a name card for him.

Well actually that's not entirely true. He made a rough sketch of the cards on paper and my job was just redraw everything digitally. The problem is I frequently disagree with dad when it comes to designing. When I saw that he wasn't around, I took the opportunity to twist the design around to my liking.

Like father, like son, my sweet behind.

Here are the name cards, one in English and another in Chinese.

Chinese Name Card

English Name Card

Wish to be taught by French-trained artists? Contact us!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Sights of Sheffield: Things I Saw

So we return to UK (metaphorically speaking) after what? Four months?

One of the few places I visited over the nine months I spent in England is Sheffield. Tempted by my friends' offer to visit them and the cheap coach tickets (£4 for a return ticket!), I decided to take a look around the City of Sheffield.

Sheffield was famous for manufacturing steel weapons in early 20th century. Its important role in providing weapons in World War II and proximity to Manchester City have led to a number of bombings in the 1930s and 1940s.

Tools Not Toys
Weapons (presumably manufactured locally in Sheffield) on display.

One of the first places I stopped by in Sheffield is the Sheffield Hallam University.

SHU Walkway
SHU after a drizzle.

Not too bad a campus, but I still prefer Nottingham. (No offense.)

SHU Interior
Interior of one of the main buildings of SHU. Vertical panorama of 3 horizontal shots.

Then a few of my friends toured me around Sheffield.

I wonder what's up with English cities and ferris wheels? There's one in London, another in Nottingham (albeit only temporarily), and now Sheffield.

Eye of Sheffield

I also took the time to drop by Sheffield Hallam Football Club on my second day. Not nearly as impressive as, say, Arsenal FC's Emirates Stadium.

Wall of Fame

Members of SUFC are also called the Blades, a nickname earned for the important export of weapons from Sheffield decades ago.

There's a second university in Sheffield besides SHU. Unlike SHU, the prestigious University of Sheffield is located a little further away from the city centre and doesn't look that modern.

The Slope to Uni

I passed by this door to University of Sheffield's Student Union building labelled "Fire Exit". It was ajar and there was no one in sight. Maybe there was a fire. Or maybe students there tend to ignore the "Fire Exit" sign because they have trouble reading.

Was there a fire?

Not too far away from the University of Sheffield lies Weston Park. Just like Nottingham's Wollaton Park, you can't miss the museum in Weston Park.

Weston Park Museum

But the most memorable of all places is the Botanical Gardens. Amazing place.

Sparkling Fountain

I literally spent hours doing nothing there.

Bah. How I wish I can return to UK for real.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham logo has changed several times, most recently in 2001 (if I'm not mistaken).

The futuristic and minimalistic logo is definitely a real looker. It is prominently featured in so many of UoN lecturer's presentation, papers, journals -- you can find one on the covers of every single FYP thesis by UoN students here.

However, the lack of a high-resolution image circulating among the students have caused various low-quality images (probably the tiny ones featured in Nottingham's official website) being used everywhere. And I'm telling you, they don't look good when stretched to fill all four sides of a regular A4 paper.

Wikipedia has an SVG version of the image, but it's of relatively poor quality -- the text are all jagged up, and while they may look "cute-sy", it's no where near the official logo.

So I fired up a vector graphics editor and started working. The result is this. (Click here to open in a new tab.)

Open it in a new tab, hold down the control key, scroll your mouse wheel upward and enjoy a super high-resolution logo of the University of Nottingham.

PS. To certain someone -- a very warm welcome to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

My CNY 2011 Outfit

I don't camwhore. Even if I do have the biceps to show off (which I don't), my rather unassuming looks will easily make any lens crack in despair and disappointment.

And I didn't get an SLR so I could catch pictures of myself. The effect is downright stupid -- the action of capturing it and the resultant picture alike.

But as Lady Gaga said, promises are promises, and ever since my tweet about the new shirt my mum got me for Chinese New Year, some people have expressed interest in seeing it.

So I grudgingly set up a tripod in my room in the middle of the night and started snapping.

Sounds stupid right?

OK this is where I look stupid.

CNY 2011

Are you done laughing yet?

If you have, let's talk about it. Mum picked the shirt for me, and I wasn't there when she paid for it. She actually picked something else at first, but it turned out so small I couldn't even button it so she exchanged it for this.

You'll notice I was wearing something around my neck. We'll take a closer look.

What is This?

Well in my opinion this looks rather cool, although I have no freaking idea what it's supposed to mean. Anyway, mum didn't get his. I got this from UK (for £1) because I needed the chain that came with it for, er, my thumbdrive.

The shirt, however, came with these on a metal chain.

The Rings of Love

Nope, not the glasses. The rings.

Yeah. I know.

How many mothers dress their sons like this?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Power of Life




And now this.

My Room

What do you see?

Power of Life

Yes. A plant. Ivy, probably.

Wildlife is so taking over my room.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Vid: A Rainy CNY Eve

The frequent rain the few days before Chinese New Year got this song wedged to the tip of my head for hours everyday. I even got my piano rendition of it recorded, something I haven't done for quite some time now.

It's not exactly good, but I assure you it sounded much better "live".

This is actually more of a video-test of my D90. In terms of image quality, it passed (I wasn't even recording in 720p, D90's highest quality setting). But when it comes to sound quality, there's much to ask for. A sampling frequency of 11kHz is lightyears from enough.

I truly dread the day I hear my voice recorded by this camera.

Oh well. It is the first SLR to record video after all.

Hope you enjoyed the video. Happy Chinese New Year.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Reunion Dinner

Mum's a busy person.

She takes care of us, cooks meals at home, clean up the house, bakes cookies to earn a few extra bucks, and still manages to find time to work as an art teacher.

However, one only has so much time to spare, and here comes the compromise — she usually spends no more than 45 minutes preparing dinner, usually closer to 20.

Not that I mind eating simple dinners. While they may not smell (or look, I guess) as good as the fried fish prepared by the grandma next door, they're still healthy, and most of all, my mum made them.

Today, however, mum finally managed to spend more time preparing her dishes.

Soy Bean Fish
This may look like a mess, but the looks don't justify for its taste. The fish were first fried before cooked together with the rest of the ingredients, a double-process mum usually would not bother to pull off. Sorry for the blurry photo, was in a hurry to resume my sumptuous meal.

And boy, when she puts her time, effort and heart into culinary, I could never eat enough to satisfy my tummy.

Boy, this sure looks good, does it? Some people may point out the shininess of the dish indicate usage of seasoning (say, MSG) but I assure you my mum's against artificial seasoning — you'll even have to convince her to add more than a pinch of salt to her cooking.

I felt like I was the luckiest boy ever as I indulged on my mum's masterpieces.

Maybe I am.

Five Spice
Five Spice (Wu Xiang) made by my mum. I remember my maternal Grandmother making awesome Wu Xiang, and that's probably where my mum got her recipe from.

If only my sister were here to enjoy this meal.

Wishing everyone a blessed Chinese New Year.