Test Your Thinking

When researchers put the following three problems to 3400 students in the US, only 17 per cent got all three right. Can you do any better?

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes five machines 5 minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of it?

The answer is here: Clever fools: Why a high IQ doesn’t mean you’re smart – life – 02 November 2009 – New Scientist


The Rise of Power Jeans – WSJ.com

…now, in the tech world, dressy pants can be viewed with suspicion. "When someone shows up to an interview or meeting in anything other than jeans, it shows inexperience and a lack of confidence," says Andrew Dumont, vice president of marketing for text-messaging company Tatango.

The Rise of Power Jeans – WSJ.com

I have never found jeans to be comfortable especially in hot and humid Singapore. Denim is too thick and often too stiff. Granted, I’ve never owned a pair of jeans from a high-priced boutique so they might be different.

If given a choice, would you wear jeans or something else?


Nihongo Jouzu!

Very true. At least in my own personal experience from my 4 1/2 years in Japan.

That is: in France and Japan, the deep-down assumption is that the language is pure and difficult, that foreigners can’t really learn it, and that one’s attitude toward their attempts is either French hauteur or the elaborately over-polite and therefore inevitably patronizing Japanese response to even a word or two in their language. "Nihongo jouzu! Your Japanese is so good!"


The American attitude towards English is: everyone should get with the program, there are a million variants and accents of the language, all that really matters is whether you can somehow get your meaning across. Because there are so many versions of Chinese in use within China, my impression is that the everyday attitude of Chinese people toward language is similar: You’re expected to try to learn it, no one will spend that much time mocking your mistakes, mainly they are trying to figure out what you’re trying to say.

Ivory Coast = France = Japan, in language habits at least – James Fallows

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Start a Mommy Blog!


Saw this on Let’s Panic! How true it is.

Also don’t miss their hilarious article – Incorporate Exercise into Every Minute of Your Day! I really need to burn some extra calories (and stop eating so many calories). Still hanging on to too many baby pounds. /sigh/

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Dressing for Work in Singapore

Going back to work in an office has been a lot of fun in many ways. I’ve definitely enjoyed "dressing up” which for me means a full face of make-up, work clothes, and some accessories.

Make-up includes:

  • Sun block
  • Concealer
  • Liquid foundation
  • Powder
  • Blush
  • Eye shadow
  • Eye liner
  • Mascara
  • Lipstick/gloss

Most of my clothes come from Marks & Spencer because it’s one of the few stores in Singapore that carry my size (larger than the average Singapore woman but smaller than the average American woman). Luckily, they’re a little more stylish than they used to be 10+ years ago so I don’t feel totally mumsy. When we lived in London, I would have only bought basics at M&S and the rest at Kew.

pearl braceletI’ve also attempted to accessorize with my small collection of Georg Jensen silver necklaces and a few other low budget items. Today I played around with a couple of freshwater pearl necklaces my mom gave me. They’re a little too short to fit around my thick neck but luckily for me, they fit perfectly as bracelets! From this I guess you can infer that my wrist is half the circumference of a skinny woman’s neck. :P

What do you wear for work?


HUGO Matters

My latest project has launched! HUGO Matters, the official blog of the Human Genome Organisation, is now live. Come check it out:


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Vent of Death

This is the air conditioning vent that blows directly on me when I’m at work. Even though I hardly ever get cold, the Vent of Death has the power to turn even me into an ice cube. Perfect for my ultimate plan to become an ice queen.


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People with Chinese Names at a Disadvantage?

Not in China or other Chinese-speaking countries of course but for those of us naturalized Chinese-Americans who never bothered choosing an Anglo name, it might have been a mistake.

Applicants with Chinese names fared the worst, having only a one-in-five chance of getting asked in for interviews, compared to applicants with Anglo-Saxon names whose chances exceeded one-in-three.

Australian bosses racist: study | Foreign or indigenous names ‘decrease job chance’

In any case, I get all confused here in Singapore because of the way people order their names. This morning I was told that I should be writing my name as LastName FirstName because I only have a Chinese name and no Anglo name but I have always written my name FirstName LastName as would be the case in all English-speaking countries! I was going to go along with Singaporean convention of LastName FirstName but after reading this article, I’d rather not.

Bastardized English Names

Please do not use the bastardized English naming convention of LastName FirstName:

      Lee Mo Rong

so commonly found here in Singapore. It will only confuse everyone outside of Singapore.

Do you want to go global or do you want to sit in your well?

And let’s not even start with the hyphen in my name which Singapore has decided not to recognize. Really think I should have chosen an Anglo name years ago. How does Fifi sound?


What mug do you use?


I grabbed Marv’s very old, very unfashionable Thermos mug for work. It keeps my tea amazingly hot but it is soooo boring.

What kind of mug do you use at work or at home?

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Stephen’s Robot Featured at iRobot SPARK


How cool! This 2D cardboard robot Stephen made in January 2007 (when he was 4 years old) has been selected for the iRobot SPARK gallery. I will have to have him submit something for the drawings area too. This one dates from May 2008.


iRobot SPARK (Starter Programs for the Advancement of Robotics Knowledge)

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