I was plesently surprised this week. The reason for this surprise relates to my YouTube account. Yes, I have a YouTube account which contains a great number of videos. A great number that totals upto three that is. These videos have been up there for a while and have not garnered much attention.

Then suddenly this week I got some notification about a few comments on one of the videos. The first comment said: “Vsauce 4 life”. I assumed it was a spam message, but didn’t bother deleting it as I was at work. Then there were a couple more, both mentioning ‘Vsauce’. So, I did a bit of seraching and found Vsauce. It seems that he makes all these very interesting vids and had linked to my video in question in one of his videos. Specifically, this one.

So, thanks Vsauce for the traffic.Β  πŸ™‚

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It’s been pretty quiet on the rugby scene since the mighty blackness took their rightful place. But that is about to change ‘cos the six nations is around the corner and I for one m very excited.

I’ve never paid close attention to the six nations and have been content with watching the tri nations until now. But while watching RWC2011 I realized that I don’t know much about the European teams. So, in order turn this around, I have decided to watch the six nations this time. Obviously not all the matches – but at least the good ones. Of course it goes without saying that the time difference also comes into play here.

Scrum.com (I still call it that even though ESPN renamed it) has brought back the fantasy league which was wildly successful during RWC2011. Here’s the link: http://espnscrum.fantasyleague.com/

Note: I will be creating a private league soon. When I do I will update this post with the name so that you can join in the fun.

All right, that’s it for now.

 

I try to listen to TED talks whenever possible. I must admit that I don’t do it often enough. Today, I thought I’d share some of the good ones that I have seen.

I like this one since it’s about gaming and how it can be productive. Although I am an ardent fan of video games, I never got the hang of playing online. Maybe I should invest some time in getting better at it – at least to save the world πŸ™‚
http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

The story of the CAPTHA:
http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.html

Schools killing creativity. So friggin true. I have seen many schoolmates who stigmatized by teachers because they didn’t follow the path that way layed out for them. Some of them still found their way despite this treatment while the others lost their way.
http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Information bubble problem – very very true. You tend to notice this with facebook adicts (me included – when I was on it)
http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html

 

Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite TED talk is.

There is a huge uproar in the land of the lions about the Advanced Level results being completely unreliable. So, I thought I’d add my 2 cents on the subject.
Disclaimer: I did study math at uni, but I’ve forgotten all most of it and I took only one stat class. So, I will keep it simple – that is not by choice, I am forced to.

The problem has arisen due to two different sets of exams taking place due to two different syllabi being employed. There are repeaters from 2009 and 2010 doing the old syllabus and then there are the 2011 kids doing the new syllabus. So, the outcome is that there were two sets of results.

But for university entry there needs to be a result set from which the top few can be selected. From what I understand, they took the two means of the Z-score distributions and polled it to get an adjusted mean. From this the adjusted Z-score was calculated.

There are 2 main errors in this process.

First, the Z-score calculation is not a linear function. Results from non-linear functions cannot be treated with linear functions. A simple example is to take the square function.
10+3=13 but 102+32 β‰  132
Similarly, linear manipulation (polling the mean) of results from non-linear functions (Z-score) gives erroneous outcomes.

Second, how can 2 different exams be matched up properly? Two people who got the exact same result on two different exams cannot be deemed as equals. Furthermore, taking the mean, median etc are all flawed methods.Since the population taking the exams are varied there is no way to match one to the other.

So, the bottom line is that there is no correct (or should I say justifiable) way of doing this. 2 different exams – 1 result. One way or the other, some people will get the short end of the stick. But, I guess that’s life people – it’s not fair. You just have to live with it.

This year went by pretty quickly. This was a very active year for me. First and foremost, child rearing was a whole new challenge and a huge change of lifestyle. Nevertheless, this year I got up to more new things that I had in quite a while.

At the start of the year, a few enthusiasts from my old Alma-mater started up a alumni branch here in Perth. So, there was a lot of rounding up fellow members followed by a few activities.

The weekly social touch rugby meetup that we had going strong for the past few years slowly dissolved away. The most enthusiastic members had all become dads, therefore getting out of the house became a challenge that cannot be overcome. So, I had to look for alternative ways to expend my excess energy. First, I started playing touch rugby on a regular basis again by joining a league competition. Next, I started riding my bike to work once a week.

This biking exercise, which worked out to more than 30km a day once a week, proved to be quite agreeable with me. This sparked off a search for other tracks that I could ride on, and ultimately resulted in the formation of a small biking group. Turns out that I was not the only one looking for ways to expend some energy.

So, here is a pictorial look back at what happened with my life in 2011:
I went to Melbourne for work in February.

In March, it was a full house as my parents AND my bro, sis-in-law and niece visited!!
We made a trip down to Busselton. The Busselton jetty stretches out 3km into the sea.

After, the bro’s family left, took my parents to see some sights around Perth. We also went to Mandura and saw dolphins among other things.

Went to the Aquarium of WA and the zoo, both of which surpassed my expectations. My parents went back mid April.

Played some Cricket with the Trinians in Perth on a perfect autumn day in May

In June, went to see Lesmurdie Falls. Now, when people say, ‘falls’ in Australia, it doesn’t quite mean the same thing as ‘falls’ in Sri Lanka.

Rounded up the Trinitians to watch the Brady on a big screen. Full post here
Following the biggest comeback in the history of the Bradby we were ecstatic and to our luck had a Royalist in our midst. No points for guessing which one the Royalist is.

The first group biking event took place in July. We completed about 40km on the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail – a great ride through what used to be the train track.

I couldn’t quite stick to riding to work on a weekly basis, but when I did manage to do it, it was good fun. The ride is along the Swan river until I get to the city. I snapped this pic on the way home from work.

Heirisson Island is a small island just outside Perth city. Not many people go there or even know that you can get onto it’s the mid point of a bridge to the city. Went there in August after seeing it on the Amazing Race.

In September, we had planed to go out biking again. But, there was a thunderstorm in the area we were planning to go. So we changed plans and went in a different direction and ended up riding around in Swan Valley.

Snapped this pic of wifey and kid with sunset in Background in October.

Went up to an iorn ore mine called Cloudbreak, about 1000km from Perth, a couple of times for work.

A very good friend got ordained as a samaneri. Full post here

In November, went biking again. Mountain biking this time. A 10km easy track in Marrinup.

My cousin got married. When I say cousin, I mean my mothers brothers wifes sisters son. πŸ™‚ The cake was awesome.

The wedding meant that more relatives visited Perth, which led to more sightseeing. We took the visitors to the usual spots like King’s Park, Perth city, Bell Tower. Tried something new in Woodman point beach and was a bit let down by it. There’s nothing wrong with the beach itself, but it wasn’t par with Cottesloe or Scarborough beaches. Nevertheless, it seems like a popular place for kite surfing.

December brought about another mountain biking event. This time, wanting to try something more challenging, we chose the 22km intermediately difficult Kalamunda mountain biking circuit. Intermediate difficulty for mountain bikers works out to almost dying of exhaustion for me. Here’s a pic of me contemplating running a log ride, which I eventually decided against for the sake of keeping my limbs intact.

Went to the man made Lake Leschenaultia to spend the day. It’s a great place that offers camping, BBQ, boating, biking, swimming etc.

To finish off, visited some friends in Kalgoorlie for the X’mas holidays.

So, there you go. My highlights for 2011. More pics on Flickr here

I’ll sign off now, while wishing everyone a happy 2012. Cheers

I am.

Are you?

I’ve finally watched Thor and Cap’n America: The First Avenger thereby completing the five lead up movies to The Avengers movie which will come out next year. If you weren’t living under a rock for the last few years, you would know that other three movies involved are The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man I & II.

Not satisfied with just watching the movies, I have made sure that I have covered all the post-credits scenes. Additionally, I have watched the two Marvel One-Shot short clips. Β In case you missed any of them, here they all are, in a order that sort of makes some sense.

S.H.I.E.L.D and Avenger Initiative introduced in Iron Man post credits.

Marvel One-Shot : A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer
Continued in Iron Man II post credits scene

Marvel One-Shot: The consultant
More of above conversation shown in Incredible Hulk post credits scene

Thor post credits scene indicating Loki to be the main antagonist in The Avengers
And finally a small preview of The Avengers in Captain America post credits scene

To top it all off, I read up the full timeline of events here

So, I ask again, are you ready for The Avengers?

My good friend Sayy and few others are working on a new initiative. This is something very interesting and has a lot of potential, so I thought I’d spread the word.

Have a looksie when you get a chance.

http://sayys365.blogspot.com/p/yarl-it-hub.html