Pssst. Lemme tell you something.

I’m going to tell you something now
It’s a great truth
It’s something you will never unlearn or forget about once you learn it
I’ve known about it for 5 years and could never stopped noticing it
It ruined my life!!!!!
(well, my movie experience anyway)
The truth is…
Do you really want to know?
You can’t go back
You will notice it everytime and can’t get it out of your mind
It’s something you cannot unlearn
The truth is:

The reason actors don’t stare straight at the camera (and thus your
TV screen) is because it was deemed too confrontational by most test
audiences. Thus, they will always be looking slightly to the side, even
in interviews.

So now you know
and you will never stop knowing
You will always notice it now.
I had not wanted to impose this blight upon you, but I just felt like it. :)

In other news, I got a call early this morning from the IT faculty
politely informing me that I’ve not paid my September Internet bill.
Hmm…they must be real hard up for money to charge for net access now.
It used to be free. I reckon they should give people living on campus
some allowance since we can’t get net access any other way. The way
this works is, each account is given a certain amount of data transfer,
which differs for each faculty. I’m in CSSE (School of Computer Science
and Software Engineering) but yet I only get 400 MB per month. They
charge for everything that goes over that. I got a A$54.75 bill for
September and a A$74.37 bill for October. Sucks.


Anyway, I’ve been watching this TV series called Dark Angel
[darkangelfan.com]. It’s not related to the Buffy spin-off, Angel. This
one is set in a dystopic 2019 after an EMP bomb set off by terrorists
basically changed life as we know it. The premise is good, but the
series is very formulaic:

1. Genetically engineered super soldier protagonist complete with an
Achilles heel (she gets seizures due to a neurological defect).

2. Crippled computer whiz who works wonders with everything electronic.

3. Sexual tension between the two.

4. They Fight CrimeTM and Bring JusticeTM in a post-apocalyptic world.

I still like it though. :) I’ve finished watching all three seasons
of Roswell and I wanted another TV series to watch. I’ve downloaded
both seasons of Dark Angel from the network, and it seems that the
series will not have a third season from what the official site
[darkangeltheseries.com] says. It’s mildly reminiscent of the
Blaxploitation films of the past, but there is a slightly more
well-balanced ethnic cast in this one. Hey, there are even heaps of
Asians to be seen. Apparently James Cameron (the creator and executive
producer) and Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) agree that a dystopic future
must include Asian over-breeding. It’s kinda like Roswell, in that the
Asians are not given main characters, but the camera conveniently
focuses on them for a few seconds at a time to satiate the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Asian equivalent.
Well, actually this series is pretty respectful and doesn’t stereotype
Asians, so it’s all good.

Cool Codeine

Disclaimer: This is a post by Veritas,
a guest author of sixthseal.com. The author’s views and opinions does
not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of sixthseal.com.


Nurofen Plus – Each tablet contains 200 mg Ibuprofen and 12.8 mg Codeine

I’ve always heard of people getting off Codeine cough syrup back
home and there are many cases of nurses bumming Panadeine Forte tablets
off the hospital pharmacy over here. Codeine is classified as an opiate
agonist and is converted into morphine by the liver. I’ve never
experimented with opiates before so I’ve decided to start with this
relatively tame opiate. (skip the next part if you’re just interested
in the trip report)


The Nurofen Plus blister packs

Codeine cough syrup is Rx (prescription only) over here, but there
are many OTC (over the counter) Codeine containing preparations that
you can get without a prescription. These usually comes in tablet form
and is required by law to contain one other active ingredient in
addition to Codeine. This is usually paracetamol or aspirin.

Aside: I’ve heard of people trying to kill themselves with 12
tablets of Panadol (paracetamol/acetaminophen/APAP – they all refer to
the same thing) but the LD50 for APAP is 338 mg/Kg. Assuming someone is
50 kg, they will need 16900 mg or 169 tablets to reach the LD50 (the
dose which is has a 50% chance of being lethal). Assuming that the
person has low tolerance and requires half of the LD50 to kick the
bucket, that still comes to around 80+ tablets. Is there even enough
space in the stomach for that many tablets? (considering they need to
be washed down with water) This leads me to believe that all
paracetamol attempted suicides are cries for attention rather than a
serious attempt. It’s just not that practical to kill yourself with
paracetamol.


Front, back and side views of the tablets

After doing a bit of research, I found that the strongest OTC
Codeine preparation here is the relatively new Nurofen Plus, containing
200 mg of Ibuprofen and 12.8 mg of Codeine in each tablet. There are
newsgroup rumors that says the tablets can be split evenly in half,
with one half containing Codeine + filler only and the other half
containing Ibuprofen. Initial experimentation by myself indicated that
there is anecdotal evidence that the pill is indeed made up of two
halves glued together, coz it came off easily when broken. There is a
small split line lengthwise, covered by a bit of binder. I ate both
sides anyway anyway, I didn’t want to make a mistake and end up getting
all the Ibuprofen and no Codeine.


The tablets seems to split easily into two halves, one with the N+
(supposedly codeine + binder) and the other half is unmarked
(supposedly Ibuprofen)

The (recreational) Codeine FAQ
[erowid.org] states that a good starting dose is in the 30-60 mg range.
I decided to go for 102.4 mg of Codeine (8 tablets) and see what
effects I would get. I did not do a cold water extraction because it
seems that 1600 mg (8 x 200 mg) of Ibuprofen is within the safe range.
RxList reports that Ibuprofen is safe up to 3200 mg [rxlist.com] daily.

Trip Report


8 tablets @ 12.8 mg each = 102.4 mg of chill codeine

Substance: Codeine Phosphate (102.4 mg)
Set: In my room
Setting: Lying on the bed in my underwear. All lights turned off
except a soft table lamp. No distractions (cell phone off, no Internet).
Music: Pink Floyd: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd:
Obscured by Clouds, Velvet Underground, Velvet Underground –
Chronicles, Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon.
Reading: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, David Frampton (Illustrator).
Time: 11:58 pm

11:58 pm (T+ 0:00)
The 8 pills were crunched in my mouth coz they couldn’t be broken using
a saucepan and thick book.:) Nurofen Plus tablets are really sturdy.
Ibuprofen tastes really funky, all thick and chewy and “deep” and
tangy. Codeine tastes bitter, although not nearly as bitter as meth or
Ecstasy. I had to wash the goop down with lots of water coz little bits
keep on getting into my teeth cracks. Nurofen Plus does not powder
well. It only gets chewed down into goop. The goop tastes spicy. It has
been 5 hours after my last meal.

12:10 am (T+ 0:12)
The fan makes a small creak every time it turns
the sound is rather pleasant

12:13 am (T+ 0:15)
i am been re-reading a particularly witty paragraph in good omens
hehe

12:15 am (T+ 0:17)
hmm feeling slightly short of breath now

12:17 am (T+ 0:19)
oh no i just caught myself absently scratching my right shoulder
its itchy and so is my right thigh

12:20 am (T+ 0:22)
feeling a definite heaviness in my upper frontal lobe
hehe i can feel it so well i can localize the area

12:23 am (T+ 0:25)
ive been worrying my right shoulder all this while but i dun really
mind at all. it feels good to scratch and read a good witty book at the
same time

12:28 am (T+ 0:30)
i think im rather sedated now.im thinkin how awesome it is to enjoy the
simple things in life. reading a good book slowly savoring each word
and feeling contented coz there are still a lot to enjoy in this fine
book.snuggling under my covers in my underwear with the cool wind of
the fan softly caressing my skin.hmm i feel like a mills and boons
writer. the soft refrains of pink floyd adds to the warm feeling.

12:33 am (T+ 0:35)
hmm i moved to get my camera just now and it felt like moving thru water.slow and steady.i feel sedated.
:)

12:38 am (T+ 0:40)
my face and hands feel slightly numb.esp my face.

12:39 am (T+ 0:41)
oh and my head is feeling real heavy now
its like its weighting my body down

1:02 am (T+ 1:04)
ive just been enjoying reading and scratching myself lazily for the past few minutes
usually itching pisses me off but now it just feels good to scratch.

1:10 am (T+ 1:12)
i noticed that codeine’s effects are rather subtle. my whole body feels
good, my head feels heavy and i have a nice sedated buzz. doing simple
things like quietly reading a book is enjoyable. in fact it feels nice
just to lay in the dark, doing nothing, happy with the knowledge that a
good book is nearby

1:25 am (T+ 1:27)
ive just been lying in the dark listening to pink floyd. i would never
have done that while sober. i would have felt that i was wasting my
time and go do something. i dont like to listen to mellow music
normally too. hmm i can just lie here and chill out without any worries.

1:35 am (T+ 1:37)
heh.im contended just to lie here in the dark, listening to the
cranberries ode to my family. yup i dragged myself out of bed to change
the playlist. i feel sedated. i would not have “wasted time” like this
normally. now i see this not as wasting time but giving my mind a nice
break.

1:45 am (T+ 1:47)
i feel so relaxed and sedated. just laying here in the dark without any
thoughts going thru my brain. how amazing. usually when i lie down
quietly my brain starts to worry or daydream, but now it can sit here
thinking nothing. its like i don,t have a care in the world. everything
is ok.

1:50 am (T+ 1:52)
i feel so chilled out its funny. hehe

2:03 am (T+ 2:05)
i can see why people can like opiates so much. it’s a really pleasent mind and body high. mmm…so chilled out and relaxed.

2:07 am (T+ 2:09)
so chilled out. heh. i know ive said this a lot of times already but im
in a chemically induced very good mood so ill say it again. so chilled
out. a warm and nice body high with a relaxed and nicely mellow mind.
comforting.

3:08 am (T+ 3:10)
i feel myself coming down now. getting clear headed and mildly
restless. i still feel a nice afterglow though. feeling sleepy now.
vertigo coupled with nausea experienced when not laying down. feeling
that 1600mg of ibu cant be good for my stomach

3:38 am (T+ 3:40)
drowsiness and significant nausea at the end of the trip. vertigo when
not lying down. very dizzy when not lying down. very close to throwing
up at the end. had to made a conscious decision not to. appetite
suppressed too. i forced myself to eat a bowl of instant noodles to
stave of the imminent ibu induced gastric. i really had a HUGE and
nearly unbearable urge to puke every time i swallow a small mouthfull
and gave up after the second mouthfull. retching and had to fight not
to throw up. instead i drank some milk of magnesia and brushed my teeth
and went to sleep

Postmortem:
I slept a good 12 hours last night. The sleep quality was very good,
with lots of REM sleep. I remembered a lot of weird dreams. I feel fine
after I woke up, no nausea. I noticed that I didn’t have the urge to go
to the toilet after I woke up too, even though I drank 1 liter of water
before I slept. I forced myself to go and ended up with only a small
quantity of urine. Codeine is an anti-diuretic so I’m not worried.
Urinary function has resumed normal function now (T+ 18:45). Codeine is
good to mellow out and relax. The effects are subtle and creep up on
you, leaving you in a good contented mood. I’m not inclined to repeat
the experience though, the nausea towards the end is really strong and
just thinking about the spicy tablets makes me queasy. :) Codeine (and
probably other opiates) gives a really “empty” high, it’s like admiring
the beauty of nothingness.

w00t!

I just got off the phone with the travel agent. This is my tentative
coming home date. It could be subject to change, depending on the date
my IE walkthrough is scheduled in. I’ll have to spend the night in
Kuching too, but that can’t be helped coz all December 1st, 2nd and 3rd
departure times are in the afternoon, instead of the midnight one I
usually take.

Melbourne -> Kuala Lumpur
MH148
1st December
3:40 pm – 8:30 pm

Kuala Lumpur -> Kuching
MH2534
1st December
10:20 pm – 12:05 am

Kuching -> Sibu
MH2252
2nd December
7:50 am – 8:25 am

The need for speed!

I felt the need for speed today. Oh yeah, I did indeed. :) I went Go Karting with a couple of my buddies today at Go KartSport Racing [gokartsport.com] at Moorabbin.


Go KartSport Racing

This is an indoor stadium at Chesterville Road, and it’s actually a
pretty big venue. It takes up one city block by itself and there is
ample parking at the back. The place looks good too, very cool decor.
The front entrance is made of glass and the race track is visible from
the front. The stairs are all metal and looks very industrial.


Go/Stop

Very nice place indeed. Anyway, there was a total of 10 people in
our group, so we went for the Formula 1 style 2-race format, with a 10
lap qualifying session and a 15 lap main race. The 15 lap main race is
from a standing start, with the fastest qualifier at pole position.
Anyway, we suited up and put on the balaclavas and helmets.


That is me.

There was a short briefing about the kart’s capabilities and the
flags and then we’re off for the qualifier. I was the 6th in line, and
the first lap was done in order of starting position for the
computerized timing system to log each kart. I quickly got the hang of
things and started banking and drifting in the second lap to try and
catch up with the first few. Lucky for me, two karts in front of me
collided and I managed to nip past them.


Team Red (Left: Fu Liang Right: Huai Bin (me))

I passed the next guy by driving aggressively, basically staying on
his tail and harassing him coz the track was too tight to pass at that
point. I got my chance when he slowed down to make a turn. I stepped
hard on the accelerator and skidded past him. Woo hoo. Two more to go.
The next one was passed by an impressive (if I say so myself) but
rather reckless squeeze at a hairpin curve. Unfortunately, I couldn’t
catch up with the race leader and got 2nd in the qualifier. My fastest
lap time was 42.44 seconds vs Jun Kae’s 39.23 seconds, according to the
print outs.


Fraternizing with the enemy (Left: Huai Bin (me) Middle: Adrian Right: Fariz)

There was 20 minute break after that before the main race, and I was
determined to shave several seconds off my lap time and get pole
position next round. :) I grabbed a Gatorade Frost and sat there
watching another group race. This wasn’t a good idea though, because I
hadn’t had anything to eat the whole day. True enough, I was hit with
really bad gastric pains before the main race started.


Cafe Go, with the dastardly Gatorade Frost

But I’m not going to blame that for my performance though. No, my
dismal performance in the main race was due to a mistake at the start
of the race. We suited up again and did a practice lap before being
lined up according to the qualifier results. I was in second place and
watched the 10 red lights start counting down, two by two. The green
lights came on and I was off.


This is me inside the kart. Number 5 is an auspicious number. Don’t ask why, it just is.

I chased down the first kart down and tried to pass him at the first
curve. I was accelerating the hardest I could, true pedal to the metal
and I didn’t want to brake earlier than he did. He braked, and I waited
3 seconds before applying my own, intending to step hard on the brake,
steer hard against the curve and drift straight out of the curve. I’m a
big fan of drift racing after watching Initial D. Unfortunately, I lost
control and spun 360 degrees and watched 6 (SIX!!!!!) karts pass me by
before I righted myself.


Mint go karts on display, with prominent Do Not Touch signs.

Damn it, now I really have to race hard to even get into top 3. I
immediately started going at it hardcore, and rammed into another kart
in an effort to pass him (further slowing me down, grr…). I got a
warning flag for that. I managed to pass one dude by taking the
disadvantageous outer line while going into a curve and another by
squeezing thru a crack, leaving only 1 mm between our karts. Okay,
perhaps there is some embellishment, but it sure was close. :) Anyway,
I was still in 6th place at that point and there was this guy trying to
pass me by already.


The start track

I (rather unsportingly) drove erratically to avoid him passing me
and tried to pass another guy myself. I nearly pulled it off, but it
resulted in another mini collision. I managed to compensate faster and
I was off again, in 5th place and 2 more laps to go. I really had to go
fast to catch up with the front 4 karts so I didn’t even use the brake,
which made for some really uncomfortable moments where I didn’t crash
only by the grace of God. :) The grace of the almighty one is not
endless though, for I crashed into the barrier later, dashing any hopes
of ever catching up. I thought I was out of the race, coz I already had
two warnings, but the track monitor let it pass. There wasn’t enough
time to catch up with the front 4 karts, although I did try and nearly
passed one near the finish line. Didn’t happen though.


The track, as viewed from above at the cafe

Oh well, I blame it all on that mistake at the first lap. Grr… :)
I did improve my lap times though, I clocked in 38.13 on the fastest
lap and reached a max speed of 43.95 km/h. It was hard to drive faster
than that coz the lap is really loopy, not many straight runs. Anyway,
it was a fun day and Fu Liang produced a cake for Adrian at the end of
the session for his (belated) birthday.


Adrian with his birthday cake.

I just realized that we never did take a group photo. Anyway, the list of attendees are:

Huai Bin
Jun Kae
Sie Wong
Chuck Fong
Chuan Loon
Chuck Yong
Fu Liang
Erwin
Adrian
Faris

Those were the names from the results printouts. Apologies if I got anyone’s name wrong.

There is no spoon

I just had a really vivid sense of deja vu. I was looking at this picture here

and it suddenly washed over me that I’ve experienced this exact
scene before. I think I dreamt about it many months ago. I remember
looking at this picture and loading up a content management system,
which was odd considering I ran an old skool HTML blog back then. Hmm…
Anyway, I was having real trouble parsing sentences out of words at my
client meeting today. I couldn’t think properly and ended up making a
lot of grammatically unsound sentences. I wasn’t able to even
communicate with myself. I’m concerned, is it due to lack of sleep or
something more sinister? Perhaps I should take it easy with the synapse
degrading, neuron impairing and general cerebral culling substances. :)
Anyway, there was this group of people setting up the final arts
exhibition at the ground floor of B block today. I happened to pass by
while going to my client meeting and took a couple of pics, including
the one that gave me the deja vu, even though I didn’t knew it then. It
only fell into place as I sat here looking at the picture and intending
to open up Movable Type. Interesting. Here are the pictures:

Mmm…strange phallic structure.

Ah…this must be about the media’s portrayal of women or something.

This one is my favourite.

I said a lot of “fucks” just now coz I had to rewrite this post. Note to self: Do not use Paste when you intend to Copy.

Sum…hmm…mmm

I’m listening to Sum 41’s Does This Look Infected? album now. They
sound like a cross between NOFX and Offspring. Cutting off the edginess
of NOFX with the mellower sounds of Offspring. The basslines are really
good too, I can feel them rebeverate down my neck in two chords (which
are my neck cords). It seems rather teen-oriented though, with the
angst and insecurities and all that. I like NOFX’s wittiness better.
But can’t deny them great chords going down my cords. I like Over My
Head though. I’m totally chilling on the chords and I like the lyrics
too. The voice sounds slightly whiny too, as should be. Slightly
nostalgic. Sure brings me back to ’94. I would have loved them when I
heard them then, when I was 14. Mmm…So Good Chocolate Flavoured
Soymilk.

b0x3n

Damn, it sucks to watch other people packing up to go back. :) I’ll
only be going back for a month max in December. I guess it’s just as
well since I’ll be graduating next year in July anyway. Anyway, I’ve
been busy these few days with my IE programming modules that I want to
get done before I go back. Oh well, at least I got some Cheetos today
at Coles. Mmm…Cheetos.

WHEN IT COMES TO TEAM-KILLING, I’M A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR. [gamespy.com] hahaha Look at this, it’s really funny.

Fireworks

Summer is here…the temperatures are heating up and the cicadas are
coming out in force. Anyway, I saw some fireworks over at the cricket
oval just now. Don’t know what’s going on there, but heard the
fireworks and saw a couple of people watching from halls. I did get a
couple of pictures, but there was a spotlight in the way so it’s either
underexposed or overexposed. Here they are:

Anyway, the halls are starting to empty out now that the examination
period is nearly over. Summer at halls is really boring, there would be
like only 5 people in each hall. I stayed here during the summer of
2000 and I was the only one on my stairway. It gets really deserted
over the vacation period since everyone is going home. Oh well, I’m
planning to go back in December instead of February anyway. It seems
impossible to finish my IE project within the month and the client goes
on a one month break after that. I’ll be taking a summer subject in
January, so I’ll only be home for about 3-4 weeks in December.

The silver hand print

Well, I’ve just finished watching the first season of Roswell
[crashdown.com]. It can be a real pain to watch at times, some of the
plot lines are just too cheesy. Especially the kissing causes
flashbacks scenes. God, I cringe for whoever thought up that idea. I
cringe for you mate.
Anyway, besides that, there are some good things about the show. I like
the alien conspiracy line and how the characters developed, and I like
William Sadler as the sheriff. Also, Sheri Appleby’s good looks can
carry the show pretty well by herself. :) She looks a lot like Natalie
Portman actually, and not just because they’re both Jewish.
Well, I’ve got the second and third season on my hard disk (they’re all
Tivo rips) and I’ve decided to watch them even though it can be grating
at times. I’ve even made up a top 5 list of the cheesiest but oft
repeated lines in Roswell.

1. This changes everything/Things will never be the same
2. We can’t let anyone know
3. You won’t understand
4. We’re different
5. What have you been hiding from me(us)?/Why wasn’t I told about this?

Anyway, Roswell is not even trying hard enough to be sci fi. There
are some very distracting realism issues, like the one near the end of
the first season where they snuck into a military complex. It’s a high
security military complex and yet they were cavorting inside like they
owned the place. One would think that security cameras would pick up
their frolicking, but no…Oh well, I guess it’s not meant to be a sci
fi show. Most people’s responses about Roswell would be But it’s so teen. Which is true. :)

Well, anyway I’ve fixed the problem where the sidebar disappears in
800 x 600 resolutions. It turned out to be because of the POTD being
too big. I’ll be working on my programming project for IE today so the
other fixes would be done tomorrow. Things I’ve still go to do: get
pictures and the about me stuff online, make a best of sixthseal.com
thing where some of the better old posts are available, grouped by
topic and create a new logo. The old “solar eyes” one is a half assed
attempt anyway.

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