Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sooran! Sooran!

These past years, there is a little extra variable that I considered when I arranged my timetable: campus concert. Fortnightly every Wednesday at 12:45 - 13:45 the university and a sponsor invite musicians to perform on campus, in one of the smaller lecture theater. The range of musician and musics varies wildly from traditional songs from all over Asia and the world, widely (and narrowly) known composers, even Bengawan Solo! (Though we haven't got a rock band yet) Two weeks ago it was T'ang quartet, tomorrow there'll be vocal and piano, earlier today there was Fukunone ensemble. Wait, today? Fortnightly, every Wednesday, what happened to that? Well, the extra surprised me as well.

It was traditional Japanese music, Koto, Shakuhachi, Shamisen, and what seemed to be Taiko. I'm nowhere near being an authority in music, but when I find a performance enjoyable I do say it enjoyable :O. The Shamisen duet felt like the olden days equivalent of two rockers in a modern days riffing duel, rock off! The festival song had a feel of melancholy and hope in it, and lastly, the fishermen work song was filled with energy, reel in the fishes with burning spirit! (um... passion and willpower?) There's a yell in that song that goes "Sooran Sooran", the lead, the shakuhachi player, gestured to the audience to follow suit, Sooran Sooran. Well, being in a Singaporean institution, what would you expect? The first round, everyone was just too shy, second and the rest? I could see people opening their mouth Sooran Sooran, but there's just no voice coming out. Well, me too, so blame the penguins.

They sold CDs too after the concert too. I'd get one, but well, let's just say I had a cup of coffee too many in the morning. Anyway, usually they post the recording in this site, I'll be keeping watch.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Into Your Soul

If you stare at them for too long, they'll stare back into your soul

Made with GIMP and Inkscape, both are free open source softwares. They aren't hard to get into if you've been editing images with photoshop. I'll try to post the tutorial for above images when I have the time :]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lookie

I wrote an article for Kuntum blog. Read it if you've got the time :) Milestone Harian

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sixty-Two, Get Well Soon

Yesterday was August 17th, Indonesia's independence day. It has been 62 years since we declared independence and drew our borders on planet earth, the pale blue dot, the tiny piece of rock orbiting a nuclear fireball. So the rocky sphere got a new partition, congrats. Mother Land, with all due respect, Mother Earth is Mother Earth.

Like many independence from colonialism, Indonesia's involved a lot of struggles, though those struggles were mostly told to me through texts and pictures in school textbooks, so I can't appreciate it's whole magnitude. I think it's gigantic, whatever, it's big, and the founding fathers and mothers deserve a lot of respect. That is why any unfairness in the government and the people is a thing for the whole country to be ashamed of. That being said, the perpetrators of injustice and propagators of corruption are the ones that should be ashamed the most. If pride means anything, then we should see a somewhat rampant attempt at repentance. Don't point any fingers yet, point it at yourself for a moment (if you're an Indonesian, that is). Has pride died?

I would like to tell a little story from my junior/senior high school days. Schoolers in Indonesia, elementary, junior, and senior high, are required to attend a flag ceremony once in one or two week (senior high schoolers have it bi-weekly, the rest weekly. At least when I was at school). I used to have no problem about it in elementary school, but afterwards, I despise it. I still do, I believe. I don't see the point in standing stiff in formation staring at people doing the ceremonial proceeding as stiff as they can. Even more true for the ceremonies they have at the palace, they need more than ten people just to pull a flag to its pole, that looks very much like a waste.

When a was a junior in junior high, I had the chance to be part of the student choir that sang in the ceremony at the palace at August 17th. The dislike hasn't grown at the time, then again back then the president was a scientist, a professor in fact. Well, that wasn't half bad, we had seats to relax and tarp to protect us from the sun. When I got to senior high, there was a student organization that's responsible for flag ceremonies at school. It was called Siera, Sub-seksi Upacara (Ceremony Sub-section). My mother saw them once and commented at how cool they were. It seemed that she wanted me to join in. Well, I liked myself the way I were, not walking all stiff and funny like that, so I joined the Comic division of the student media instead. My mother had no problem with that, she's not the type to want me to be the stereotypical manly-man type anyway.

The last four August 17ths, I was at school, away from home, away from much hype about the independence day. There were always a ceremony (and free food!) at the embassy each year. The first three, I didn't come because I had classes. Yesterday morning? It rained heavily and I decided walking to the bus stop was too much hassle and went back to sleep instead. Anyway, I wish the best for the land where I was born, where my families are, and where I will most likely spend my later days (can't hold my breath for Candyland). I also hope that whatever I'm doing later for a living, I will benefit the country in many ways (It's Elekronika, Algoritma, Cinta, dan Dunia. We humans drew the borders). The future is about fun and great justice. Happy independence day Indonesia, get well soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Meow! Cute Given Shape (2)

Next kitty, Richie. My Mom got her as a birthday present. She's about as old as Bayi, but over twice as shy. See, being posted in a blog makes her want to hide in a corner

Uh... Hai?

Unlike Bayi, Richie doesn't like to sleep in bed, she loves carpet edges, mats, and grasses instead. She's also very quiet; rarely meows, when she does, she does it in a real low voice. I can only think that she's either developing some kind of amplifier or researching the lowest audio frequency audible to cats. Maybe other cats call her Prof, I wouldn't know.

Pondering hard the most unsolvable of unsolvables

Doesn't scratch or bite people, but hides, hardest to find when hiding, in fact. Hates brush, just like me, I don't brush my hair often. Can't climb or hunt, of course. I think she would just run away if faced with a mouse. Modern domesticated cats just see a lot more computer mice than real mice.

An insight! quick, quick, must draw diagram
Aww, look at that, they posed for us

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meow! Cute Given Shape (1)

My family members are all cat lovers. We keep seven cats at home now. I'll try to feature them all here in time. First in turn is the eldest, Bayi.

Hai!

My little sister found her in front of her school when she was an elementary schooler, that's about ten years ago. Promptly adopted. She could barely stand at the time, small, dirty, and helpless. Now she's fat (the vet says she's overweight, truly!), loves to sleep in bed (photos below), and pampered through and through. You know, she doesn't even have basic cat skills like climbing and hunting. Moreover, I have a suspicion that she understands Indonesian, so I talk to her in other languages, obfuscation.

What have you there, mister?

Not so friendly to other cats, friendlier to humans. May scratch when moody, but totally obedient to my little sister, she's the one to call if a Bayi emergency happens. Unlike the other two, she doesn't like cheese (the rest are still too small). Two more photos of her sleeping, it's like the world is filled with peace and love.

Bed invasion! You're so not going to play outside tomorrow
It's all peace and love in the world

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Forgive Me, Master Time

A lot of time I whine about how swiftly time goes by. Before I knew it, it's report deadline; before I realized, it's exam period; before the idea sunk in, holiday's over. (Never apply to weekend, weekend is always about forever minus one day away, unless it's weekend, then it's exactly one week away)

For me, school lasts for 13 weeks each semester, excluding exam period and recess week. This semester I'm taking four subjects that have 2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week (say, type-A), one subject that has 1 two-hours lecture and 4 two-hours tutorials throughout the semester (type-B), one subject that has 1 three-hours class/lab each week (type-C), and final year project (FYP). No time is specified for FYP, but the general feeling is that every waking hours that is not spent in other classes has to be dedicated to FYP. To make it simpler, as it is a ten academic units subject, let's just assume that it takes ten hours each week, including recess week. Now for the calculation:

Type-A: (2*13 + 1*12)*4 = 152 (tutorials start at week 2) Type-B: 2*13 + 2*4 = 34 Type-C: 3*13 = 39 FYP: 10*14=140 (recess week included)

Total = 152 + 34 + 39 + 140 = 365 hours

The total amount of time available in that 14 weeks is: 14*7*24 = 2352 hours. Let's be generous and give 8 hours each day for sleep, that makes 14*7*8 = 784 hours. So, the amount of time I have remaining in the whole semester for goofing and penguin-ing around is 2352 - (365 + 784) = 1203 hours. That's enough to redo the semester (365 hours) three times over! (about 3.3 times)

Of course, there'd be commute, meal times, prayer times, etc, but I doubt it would take the time needed to redo the semester once (365 hours or 15 days and 5 hours). That means even after factoring that in, I would still have the time to go through the classes two times over! Now, I would have to ridicule all my talks about passion and willpower going on here if I can't make use of all those excess hours!

Elektronika, Algoritma, Cinta, dan Dunia!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Where's The Work?

We talked a lot about passion and willpower, and of how the earth will become Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower. One thing that should've been mentioned over and over again is, of course, hard work. Like I said, I'm a hard working person: hard to put to work.

Hopefully, hard work comes automagically from overflowing passion and willpower. Extending 'passion and willpower' to 'passion, willpower, and hard work' seems to be too much trouble after all, penguin.

Writing something like that might mean suicide if my future employer should search my name and find this blog and find this post. Well, at least they'd get a good reading about passion and willpower, and The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower.

When I first got to university, many professors encouraged us undergrads to work hard and play hard. Now I guess that's still true, but it'd be better for me if playing means doing some extra work (I'm not sure if I should sigh here). Now, proceed to procrastinate!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Candyland

Where life is sweet and peace lasts forever, or until the end of civilization, whichever comes first. In Candyland people are always happy and never have any reason to hurt each other. We can see people laughing to tears on the streets because they're just that happy. Love, passion, and willpower are overflowing wherever we see. Scientists would never have to see their discovery used to make weapons. Oh Penguins, weapons are all stored where they belong: museums, documentaries, and fictions. Anyone and everyone are lovely and sharp, in their hearts the fire of progress burns bright and in their minds the avalanche of innovation never stop. The world is as one, borders are erased; the people know that earth is just a tiny piece of rock orbiting a nuclear fireball. Armed forces everywhere are disbanded, Candyland has no need for it. Ex-soldiers volunteer to be kindergarten teacher, wearing pink uniforms and nekomimi headband; relinquishing the power to destroy the future to help build a gentler tomorrow. Maybe we would meet some alien civilizations too; infecting love, passion, and willpower all over the universe! Not going to happen anytime soon. Certainly not in my lifetime. You know engineers, we work from ideal cases, ideal devices, and add practical non-ideality afterwards.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Osu!

School's starting. Back to classes. Isn't this what I've been waiting for for a good part of my internship? We all gotta go with burning passion and willpower. After all we have Our Beloved Fantastic Teacher The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower, and his first disciple The Magnificent Papa Bear of Passion and Willpower behind us, keeping the fire in our hearts aflame. And don't forget what The Noble Ice Cube of Love and Sacrifice did for us.
Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower, just a passionate effort away.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Our Hero Penjahat Berewokan

Names in the following story are all kept in Indonesian, the future language of fun and great justice, the way they were first devised. If you need an English translation, hover over names with dashed underline.

As a little boy little Sulistyo Dermawan saw a thing no boy should ever have to see. He saw his best friend, Subroto Dorojatun Jaya, rammed by a Truk Manggis in a hit and run case. The image of the driver laughing maniacally at him before, when, and after ramming his friend was burned in Sulistyo's mind. However, the driver himself was never found and brought to justice. Young Sulistyo then vowed to drag that heartless driver to the face of justice.

Sometime in his high school period he found out that the driver was the leader of the one and only orderly, tidy, and clean criminal organization in Jakarta, Komunitas Kriminal Ibukota Jakarta Raya. Sulistyo then prowled the city streets at night, searching for members of the community. All members of the community have some common traits: they are always tidy, they never ever litter, they are kind to animals, and they care for mother nature. In fact, all those traits are included in their membership oath, anyone who breaks it will be hung upside-down from a tree three days with minimum food and drink for small offenses and be clubbed with electric guitars to death for serious offenses.

All those traits made them look nothing like criminals but they truly were criminals to the core. They did every objectionable things from petty thievery, major bank robbery, countless murders, all kinds of fraud, plagiarism and counterfeiting artworks, to much nastier deed like stealing ice creams from children and eat those in front of them. Their leader, the driver of the dreaded Truk Manggis, was called Taka Sutaka Martaka Raya. He pride himself by having more 'taka' in his name than most people. His appearance made the dandiest of the dandies feel unkempt. Mas Pimpinan, as his men called him, loved to collect electric guitars of all sorts, especially stolen ones, he's a criminal after all. He couldn't play guitar, though he had a charming singing voice, but microphones don't hit people as hard as electric guitars most of the time.

Back to young Sulistyo. In elementary school his friends used to call him Sulis, but in high school they all called him Sis to save time. Sulistyo didn't really think the time saved was really saved anyway and coerced his friends to spell Sis 'Schisz' just for giggles. All that didn't matter much for no one really ever needed to spell his nickname anyway, morever when Sulistyo began prowling the city at night to hunt for members from the community, he practically didn't have time to socialize if he want to keep pursuing his dream of becoming a kung-fu diplomat for starter and ninja president ultimately, so mostly no one ever needed to call him Sis. Imagine a diplomat that could break a brick wall with his yell or a president that could disguise himself as a wall and throw knives to assassins unlucky enough to target him, the world needed one thought young Sulistyo, full of dreams.

Although Sulistyo was firstly motivated by anger and vengeance in his hunt, he pride himself as someone who made the Great Capital saver. That pride slowly consumed him until whenever he saw a little girl or boy eating ice cream peacefully under a tree, he felt that it's because of him that they can enjoy their desserts. But all those pride would have to go crashing down after a fateful night. That night Sulistyo was very excited, he just got a lead on the whereabouts of a criminal community leader, someone close enough to Mas Pimpinan. He thought he would get information on the Supreme Leader, Mas Pimpinan Taka Raya. He didn't anticipate that the community member is a prominent martial artist with title Guru Besar Dunia Persilatan. Sulistyo's intense training in pursuit of his dream to be a ninja president might not be enough yet.

The post is already long enough, so we'll just skip to the aftermath of that night. It was awful. They were both in the association, Asosiasi Petarung Tangguh Nusantara Sakti. Their fight was like other fights between the bests of association members; bloody and messy. Blood splattered everywhere and trash bins flown all around, not to mention several trees which got early bulldozing from their special moves. If the community leader could get back to the community headquarter, Mas Pimpinan's favorite green electric guitar would be waiting for him, but he couldn't. He's dead. Sulistyo beat him.

The community leader didn't talk, though; he kept his silence. But important lead to Mas Pimpinan was not the only thing Sulistyo Dermawan lost that night, he also lost his pride as a champion of justice. The mess caused in the fighting was 100% made by him, the community leader fought carefully and gracefully; he clung to the community oath like dear life. Sulistyo thought that he was not better than a criminal, worse in fact. From that day, he prowled the night with a full-face mask of an unkempt, unshaven, scarred man. He was then announcing himself to his prey as Penjahat Berewokan. Sulistyo Dermawan is our hero Penjahat Berewokan.