Clocked 90km today

Actually the speedometer says 88.91km, how cruel.

Struggled awake at 5am, got the bicycle setup and headed down to Changi. Was expecting to be 15 mins late after getting lost somewhere around Rosyth Road when trying to find a shortcut, sp sped up and kept to the roads (Sat at 6 or 7am is empty and very safe).

Hooray, I saw Joelle glide in which meant I had shaved off 15 mins off the PCN time! We had both arrived at 7.30am in time to grab a quick breakfast. I wished Lekowala was there. He had picked up a pair of tyres from me last night but discovered a punctured tyre in the morning with no spare tubes – we made the mistake of not looking to see if we had new tubes stashed somewhere.

Well the two of us made our way back to Pasir Ris mangroves to join a colleage in order to introduce 400 students to the mangroves. We each had to relate a story we had cooked up 12 times at our stations. The 12 ten-minute sessions went well despite all three of us having not more than four hours sleep for some reason. The students seemed entertained and I am optimistic they will remember a few things from today; they’d better! I sacrificed content for delivery style. Well, we’ll see.

It was nice to see the ICCS Toddycats from Environmental Engineering amidst the faces today.

At 4.30pm, it was back to Changi Village for dinner with fellow Zendog NHQ who zipped down from Toa Payoh to ride back with us. We did the ECPCN (coastal park connector) back and it was a more more pleasant ride for the two on their way back, compared to a exhasuting, drizzly, dark ride they last took to the Toddycats gathering.

Then NHQ peeled off and it was the version 3 Marina route (modified after Ah Sheng and Dinesh) for Joelle and I. Her racer tyres held out well in some of the dicey parts and anyway she doesn’t hesitate.

She merged with the darkened end of Shenton Way and I turned into Cross street to battle meging roads, chaotic weaving cars and taxis and the worst of them all, uncles labouring on scarily unlit bicycles.

I’m happy survived my post-flu re-introductory ride. Of course it helped that I chickened out of the longer route back via Pasir Panjang and opted for River Valley chicken run instead.

Dst 88.91km, Tms 4:25:53, Avs 20.1, Mxs 43.0km/h. The first Changi run was avs 21km/h in 1:45.

Looks like I can think about donating blood soon.

Photos from the Pasir Panjang workshop

The RGS training for the Pasir Panjang workshop I conducted are finally up. Well Cheng Puay has been suffering from an eye infection, poor chap, so cannot tekan him.

Picasa Web Albums - Lim - Kent Ridge Bi...

You can see me clutching my Vicks cough mixture bottle – the tail end of my flu was petering out then. We were lucky with uneaten fruits that morning.

We hatched this idea during the Pasir Panjang Guides plant workshop which Cheng Puay was helping out in. Was pretty painless since he wrote up the proposal and I just had to turn up and teach.

Wonder what the ladies will do with the information. They are bound to be more creative in their delivery so I am looking forward to their version of the tour.

I’ll write the long story (eventually) on the Toddycats blog.

Cycling again!

After a long bout with a particularly nasty flu bug, I need to get back on the saddle. Since I need to be stationed at Pasir Ris Park for this Saturday’s geophysical environment class, I have been considering riding down.

Fellow Zendog Joelle who has been urging me to do needs the motivation too, so we agreed to meet for a quick breakfast at Changi at 7.30am. This means leaving home at 5.30am and waking at 5am. Well its possible since I have been waking around 4am recently for some reason. And once I start riding, it’ll be lovely that early in the morning.

We have to treat the entire cohort to an introduction to the mangroves in 12 sessions. I had come up with an outline for the stations during the recce on Monday but will plan my specific strategy while riding down. I like to have a a build of questions leading up to the concept.

Better pack extra water and Strepsils though.

And I’d better head home now…

My old tie pin

This is a photos of my St. Andrew’s Junior College tie pin that I used in 1983-4. The college uniform was designed by the first batch of students and they threw in a tie to strangle generations that would come after them. So I wore a tie almost daily during term for two years and subsequently only wear one during convos.

We got used to them though – the biology students would tuck their ties in their shirts between the 2nd and 3rd buttons during dissections to prevent blood splatter. Securing the pin was a problem and I used to always get help from a literature buff I knew.

The junior college later reverted to using the secondary school badge in the 90’s to unite the school. SAJC physically moved back to Woodville to form the St. Andrew’s Village in 2005.

I met a bunch of JC-mates after 24 years and we used a facebook group to hold our photos. I took a quick shot of my old tie pin for the group page until a scan of a report card could be made.

Hey Sarah Sarah

I have a student who says she likes old songs. So I played her a Doris Day song. She brightened up when she heard the song, and said she and her friends used to sing this to one girl, just to drive her nuts.

The name of the girl? Sarah – they sang “Hey Sarah, Sarah”.

The name of the song? “Que Sera Sera“.

This reminded me of a Lat cartoon which had a kid howling a tune next to a jukebox, “Oh Carol, I am bloody fool!”

Sigh.

Andy Giger on Art for Arthropods!

One of my friends, Andrew Giger is presenting an art appreciation talk during the NUS Arts Festival. I met Andy when we travelled through six cities in the US on a museum study trip. So we’ve had a lot of discussions about museums and science communication.

He began blogging and was surprised how two local science bloggers found out within hours of his first post!

He’s now a struggling artist amongst other things, and here he is taking science communication a step further.

Andrew Giger - Art for Arthropods
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Unveiling the Department blog

I was asked to setup a blog for the department’s biodiversity group (a research focus) last year and eventually settled for WordPress after some consideration.

Here it is: nusbiodiversity.wordpress.com

The Biodiversity crew @ NUS

I reconstructed a bare minimum from the short emails that our group head, Navjot Sodhi, sends out to help us stay informed about each other. I spiced it up a little with an image or two. I really got to fix that image on the template though. Nice as it is, its not suitable for a group of tropical biodiversity researchers!

Now that the site is up with a feel of what it can be like, a contributor from each lab is being added; I already have four recruits – hopefully they will find that it is easy to post once there is news 🙂

Well, here goes another experiment…

The Blogs et al. page lists links to photo albums, news sites and blogs including field journals. The latter is peppered with most of my recent students. It’s something I afflict them with in addition to their work; a little bit of communication. Some write more than others, and its surprising how useful it has been.

Blogs et al. « The Biodiversity crew @ NUS

Ria Tan has announced this on WildSingapore News.

“In the Valley of the Wolves”

Having heard so much about Yellowstone’s wolves, it was nice to chance upon this Bob Landis documentary on the National Geographic channel. The parallels in carnivore behaviour with the Jouberts’ “Lions and Hyaenas” made it additionally engaging.

This clip below from PBS is on YouTube – “wildlife cinematographer Bob Landis discusses the making of the film, including the ideal circumstances for filming a predation scene; the importance of spending a vast amount of time in the field; the uniqueness of Yellowstone’s Druid wolf pack, and more.”

The webpage overview is at pbs.org/wnet/nature/wolves/ and it has lots of resources and looks suitable for use in one of my tutorials. Well, next year that is.