Archive for April, 2008

Long day?

I actually enjoyed the dinner I cooked tonight (stop the presses!) and have even done some (teensey bit) of study for my Chinese test tomorrow. Feeling really sleepy – especially considering I’ve been awake less than 12 hours. Might go to bed now but first thought I’d share my evidence – I’ve always said that maths is bad.

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Well, I handed in my English essay today. I am not looking forward to getting my result for that back. As I write this Julie is sitting in my lap. She never does that. Yay me! When she puts her head up for me to scratch under her chin it really looks like she’s smiling. Her purring is making my chair vibrate.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I got my Chinese oral mark back – 1.85/2! I can’t believe it was only worth 2%! Still really proud of such a good result, though. I think I’m in trouble for the writing test I’ve got on Wednesday – and I know for a fact it’s worth 10%! Rats.

While I was putting off doing my essay this week I made a whole new layout for my webpage. I can’t believe it, I went from taking the picture, to designing the layout, to coding it and then putting it up all in one day! And now it’s a few days later and I don’t hate it! It’s a miracle!

Today when I got home from uni I tried to do some more work on it but was so tired (an hour of sleep last night) that I had a nap and woke up at 7.44. I assumed it was 7.44am, it was quiet and no one was around, though I couldn’t work out why it was so dark – guess I was still a bit sleepy. I was a bit gutted about having to go straight back to uni without doing anything, then I saw the ‘PM’ on my PC clock and was happy. For most of the evening I still felt like it was morning, though.

But anyway, did some more on my website tonight, ironed out some kinks, put my movie quotes back up and even added some new pages. I also found a new JS code to display a random movie quote, will try to remember to link that code later. So yup, you should go check that out!

I’m tired but Julie’s so still and warm and happy in my lap, I wonder if she’ll come to bed with me?

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Free Rice

 So it turns out that not all the news is bad news these days. Tonight on the 6pm news they had a piece about two schools, one in Indiana (U.S.) and one in Uganda, being connected by a website. The website was FreeRice.com.

If you go to the website you will see a little (English) vocabulary game on the main page – one word, followed by 4 definitions. On the right is an empty wooden bowl. To play, choose the definition which best matches the word at the top. Choose the correct definition, and 20 grains of rice is added to your bowl – and 20 grains of real rice, is donated to the United Nations World Food Program. That’s it! If you get it wrong you won’t get any rice, but the correct answer will appear and that word will reappear later to give you a chance to answer it correctly. It’s also great the way the level of word can be set, or otherwise automatically adjusts itself to your level. This means that anyone can play, from primary school students to rocket scientists.

So who pays for the rice? Well, theoretically, we do! As you play banner ads appear at the bottom of the screen. These businesses pay for the rice by buying the advertising space. From the FreeRice FAQ:

Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

 Where does the rice go? Check out this World Food Program (WFP) page. Feeling inspired? That link also has a colour poster that you can print and put up in your car window, uni noticeboard or office door.

So I was playing this and with my (mad) vocabulary skills I earned 2000 grains of rice in 5-10 minutes. So how much is 2000 grains of rice? (Where is Hanners when we need her?) Well, I was up to 44 in my counting before I realised the smart thing to do would be to look online. And sure enough, the FreeRice bug has caught on and everyone wants to know how much rice they’ve earned. I’m willing to go with about 7,000 grains in a cup of uncooked rice, which is 2-3 cups of cooked rice? So 2,000 grains of rice is like… a cup? ish? I hate maths.

But anyway, point is – 0.0001% of your time = food for hungry people.

www.freerice.com = Good thing. 


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Senbazuru IV: The Beginning

Right. As of today, I will provide updates on the progress of my 4th senbazuru. It probably won’t happen very often, as I don’t do them that much – only when I have about 100 other things I should be urgently doing. As I have a 4,000 word essay due on Monday which I have yet to begin, I figure now is the perfect time to write my first update 😛

 First, let me explain how I make a string:

1. The paper is part of a kit from the online Japanese Paper and Origami Supplies store, and it comes in several wee cubes, like this:

2. I take out each individual shade and make up sets in the same colours as the final string will have – 2 of each shade, from dark purple through to light pink. I put them in a big bulldog clip seperated by sheets of white

3. Then I write on the back of each one. If it’s lots of lines from the same passage (e.g. ‘Psalm 32’), I try to keep them in the right order.

4. Next I fold the cranes… pretty straight forward.

5. Lastly, I string them together (in order! That was very sad for me once 😛 )

It sounds like a lot of work, but I never do it all at once. If there’s a movie on TV I might fold a whole lot of cranes, and one afternoon if I’m bored I might sort out a few more piles of the right colours.

So, Progress Report:

  • I currently have 7 completed strings hanging on my wall (that’s 280 cranes)
  • 55.5 cranes lying on a shelf made but not strung (that’s right, I left one half done 😛 )
  • 24 squares written on, ready to be folded
  • And 3 sets of papers ready to be written on


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Just flicking through some blogs today and found this post at andylovemaggie. They’ve written their comments on a strange artsy sort of restaurant in Taipei – one that I went to and wrote home about! Looks like they too were more impressed with the architecture that the food (which I guess is why people go there in the first place). I found it really creepy the first time I went there ‘cos it was night and all dark and demonic and shadowy, but after that when we went there in the day time it was much nicer. The banana smoothie was also really good, in a death-by-headfreeze sort of way 😀


(I like how it looks kinda like a hot chocolate, except the marshmellows are really chunks of banana and the hot froth is really icey bubbles.)

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Natasha Bray

Natasha Bray’s funeral was held at 1pm on Monday in the Elim Christian Centre. Family and friends attended to remember a loving, bright girl who will be missed by many. Natasha was farewelled in a white casket surrounded by pink flowers, and some of her friends who spoke wore bright pink t-shirts with a white message on the front: “LOVE YOU TASH”.

The Principle of Elim Christian College said that he had hoped Natasha would become the school’s head girl next year. Her friends talked about how she loved to make other people happy and give encouragement to others.

“Thanks Tash. I’ll love you forever.”

Natasha’s mum and dad talked about what a thoughtful daughter she was, leaving them little notes to say that she loved them, her mum called her “Little Miss Positive”. Natasha’s younger brother Ben talked about what an amazing friend she was, and said

“I’d heard that God always takes the best ones. I know now that’s true. I love you, Tash,”

Natasha’s dad Andy is on dialysis after kidney failure, and he said Natasha had offered to give him one of hers, but he refused. At her funeral on Monday he said that Natasha’s eyes have been donated,

“I hope they have your vision”

Looking at photos of Natasha Bray, Tara Gregory, Portia McPhail – they just look like such beautiful, kiwi girls. They look like they could have been in my formclass at high school, next to me in the crowd at Parachute or playing on the other team for soccer. Like the rest of these kids they do not look like they should be in the news for this.

I didn’t know Natasha Bray or her family, the information above I read on various current event websites such as The New Zealand Herald. I repeated this information here because I want more people to know about Natasha and I want her to always be remembered.

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Tom Hsu

Huan (Tom) Hsu’s funeral was held at 10:30am on Monday morning at the Howick Baptist Church. Tom was a 16 year old from Taiwan, in his second year as an international student at Elim Christian College. He also lived with cerebral palsy. I remember hearing a man talk about him in an interview, I think it was Tony McClean’s dad, saying how Tom had trouble talking, and his hands weren’t useful, but his legs were great. I believe he was in the Special Olympics. This year he was also a peer support leader and on the student council.

Tom was described as being very funny, always cheerful, God-loving and having the ability to do his best in all he did.

Tom and and teacher Tony McClean were the final two left on the canyon ledge in the rising waters at Mangatepopo last week. Mr. McClean tied Tom, who couldn’t swim, to himself before setting off into the swollen river. They were the final two to be found by search and rescue below the dam, their bodies still tied together. As the NZ Herald reports, Mr. McClean’s mum was an international liason at the school, and told those gathered at Tom’s funeral she was glad that her son “didn’t die alone”.

About 300 people attended his funeral, where friends and teachers spoke about “a lively, genuine and funny boy, who was constantly encouraging his friends.” Tom’s parents were also at the funeral after arriving from Taiwan, and thanked the school community for their love and support of them and their son. Tom was remembered as funny, outgoing and

disabled but not disabled

Kish Proctor was Tom’s friend from school, and a survivor of the flash flood at Mangatepopo. He talked about Tom’s will and his encouragement of his friends. He said that if he were to describe Tom in three words they would be “courage, strength and perseverance”

“It was a privilege and an honour to know him. He was my brother.”

The NZ Herald writes how a video he made at last year’s camp was played at his funeral, a video of his testimony:

 “Hey, maybe some of you guys know me. I’m Tom. But don’t get me confused with Tom Cruise – I’m better looking.

“I always asked God, why? Why am I so different? Do I really need to care about what others think of me?

“God loves me, he made everyone different.”

I didn’t know Tom Hsu or his family, the information above I read on various current event websites such as The New Zealand Herald. I repeated this information here because I want more people to know about Tom and I want him to always be remembered.

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