College Oh Shit! Random

Cambridge Interview Tomorrow

Here’s a stpry from to soothe the nerves >< Heh.

Clive, Computer Science at Robinson College, Cambridge: I stayed overnight the night before my interview so that I didn’t have to wake up at 4am that morning to get there in time. The first thing that struck me when I got there was how nervous I was – I wasn’t particularly nervous before I’d actually got there. I collected my room key and meal vouchers and went to my room where I attempted a bit more interview preparation. This attempt having failed, I went to the JCR with the hope of mingling with other people. The reality of this attempt at mingling was that I felt like I was intruding and interrupting people’s conversations, so I just went back up to my room until dinner. Then, at dinner, I was approached by a few other applicants, and we ended up forming a huddle of four terrified 17 year olds in a sea of… other people. There’s safety in numbers, though, and once we’d been at the bar for a while our nerves soon calmed down! The big bit was the next day, though. After a sleepless night, I made my way down to breakfast, and then on to the JCR as instructed where I would wait for my TSA exam at 9:30am. While I was waiting, I met a few other people from my course… I’ll admit to secretly trying to weigh up my chances as to whether I stood a chance against any of them: as far as I was concerned, I was doomed for failure! I was surprised by the relative ease of the TSA exam, and fortunately the exam managed to take my mind off the imminent interviews. After the exam, I went back to wait in the JCR, and that’s when the nerves really set in. When I was finally called to my interview and was sat outside the room, I was actually trembling in fear. I, of course, blamed the cold. Interestingly, though, after a few deep breaths, I managed to pull myself together before I entered the room… I recommend this to anyone and everyone going for an interview: it really helps! When I went into my first interview, I shook the hands of the two people interviewing me, and then sat down ready for the interrogation. Prior to the interview, I had been sent an extract from a book to read which had a task at the end of it which I thought I had to prepare for at the interview. They asked me if I’d done it, and if I’d enjoyed it, but never actually asked me what I did! Their first question was “why computer science?” which was relatively easy to answer, since it was the most anticipated question I could have thought up. After another 5-10 minutes of asking me about things on my personal statement (although in no great detail), I was set the task of finding the complexity of an algorithm. I had to ask for help several times throughout the problem and stopped and started all the way through, but I reached the correct answer eventually, which was quite satisfying! My second interview was entirely mathematical, and I thought it went terribly. The mathematical knowledge required to do the questions they asked was at AS level at the very most, and I was stopping and starting all the way through what are, looking back on them, very easy questions. Then came the long wait until 3rd January for the result… to my surprise, I got in! My GCSE/AS grades were hardly impressive, and I didn’t think my interviews went that well, but I have a genuine passion for Computer Science which I think shone through in the interview. For example, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and I didn’t pretend to know things that I didn’t know… like, when they asked me about what programming languages I had used, I immediately disclaimed that I was no expert and just played round with them for fun. The nature of the interviews was very informal compared to what I thought it would be like, too! It was one surprise after another.

College Oh Shit!

Class of 2016 Admit Rates

This is bad…

IVIES Overall Early Round Estimated Regular Decision
2016 Admit Applied % Admit Applied % Admit Applied %
Brown 2,760 28,742 9.60 556 2,919 19.05 2,204 25,823 8.54
Columbia 2,363 31,851 7.42 605 3,088 19.59 1,758 28,763 6.11
Cornell 6,123 37,812 16.19 1,171 3,609 32.45 4,952 34,203 14.48
Dartmouth 2,180 23,110 9.43 465 1,800 25.83 1,715 21,310 8.05
Harvard 2,032 34,302 5.92 772 4,245 18.19 1,260 30,057 4.19
Penn 3,846 31,217 12.32 1,148 4,526 25.36 2,698 26,691 10.11
Princeton 2,095 26,664 7.86 726 3,476 20.89 1,369 23,188 5.90
Yale 1,975 28,974 6.82 675 4,304 15.68 1,300 24,670 5.27
Total Ivies 23,374 242,672 9.63 6,118 27,967 21.88 17,256 214,705 8.04


MIT + Stanford Overall Early Round Estimated Regular Decision
2016 Admit Applied % Admit Applied % Admit Applied %
Stanford 2,427 36,631 6.63 755 5,880 12.84 1,672 30,751 5.44
MIT 1,620 18,109 8.95 680 6,008 11.32 940 12,101 7.77
Total 4,047 54,740 7.39 1,435 11,888 12.07 2,612 42,852 6.10


Universities 2016 2015 2014
Admit Applied % Admit Applied % Admit Applied %
Carnegie Mellon 4,694 17,300 27.13 5,030 16,527 30.44 5,135 15,459 33.22
Chicago 3,344 26,277 12.73 3,539 21,762 16.26 3,639 19,340 18.82
Duke 3,751 31,600 11.87 3,938 28,145 13.99 4,207 26,784 15.71
Emory 4,539 17,502 25.93 4,548 17,027 26.71 4,488 15,550 28.86
Georgetown 3,316 20,100 16.50 3,480 19,254 18.07 3,619 18,077 20.02
Johns Hopkins 3,636 20,496 17.74 3,576 19,391 18.44 3,787 18,459 20.52
Northwestern 4,895 32,065 15.27 5,575 30,926 18.03 6,379 27,615 23.10
Notre Dame 3,850 16,952 22.71 4,019 16,548 24.29 4,009 14,510 27.63
Tufts 3,500 16,378 21.37 3,743 17,104 21.88 3,757 15,433 24.34
UC Berkeley 13,038 61,702 21.13 13,523 52,953 25.54 12,914 50,372 25.64
UC Davis 22,538 49,416 45.61 21,074 45,825 45.99 19,460 43,315 44.93
UC San Diego 22,939 60,838 37.71 18,212 53,461 34.07 18,307 48,112 38.05
UC Santa Barbara 23,803 54,831 43.41 22,386 49,033 45.65 19,741 46,721 42.25
UCLA 15,455 72,657 21.27 15,689 61,528 25.50 13,013 57,648 22.57
UNC Chapel Hill 7,596 28,491 26.66 7,469 22,652 32.97 7,559 23,271 32.48
USC 8,381 46,030 18.21 8,566 37,210 23.02 8,715 35,794 24.35
Vanderbilt 3,757 28,335 13.26 4,078 24,837 16.42 3,906 21,827 17.90
Virginia 7,759 27,200 28.53 7,750 24,010 32.28 7,212 22,512 32.04
WUSTL 4,873 27,265 17.87 4,763 28,823 16.52 5,285 24,939 21.19
Comic Relief Oh Shit!

Urinal Penis Repulsion Theory

I like to call it the “Urinal Penis Repulsion Theory,” as it’s similar to the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory in Chemistry. When choosing a urinal, men tend to choose the one farthest away from any other men.

For example, say there’s five urinals on a wall. There are no walls between them, and they are all empty at the moment. The first man walks in, and takes the urinal to the far left. A second man comes in, sees the first, and deliberately chooses the right-most urinal so to avoid any close proximity to the first man. A third comes in and takes the center urinal, since it puts him as far as possible as the other two. The fourth and fifth men then either wait until one of the three are done or fill in the second and fourth urinals, depending how much of a rush they are in, all to stay as far away from the other penises as possible.

Which is indeed very true lol.

Comic Relief Oh Shit!

The NTUC Fiasco

My wife always insists I accompany her on her trips to NTUC. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women – she loves to browse.

Yesterday my wife received the following letter from the local NTUC Fairprice:

Dear Mrs. xxxxxxxx,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Lim , are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras:

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House wares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women’s restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, ‘Code Yellow in Houseware section. Get on it right away’. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’ SCDF was called.

9.. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly humming the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his ‘Madonna look’ by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled ‘PICK ME! PICK ME!’

14. October 22: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed the fetal position and screamed ‘OH NO! IT’S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!

15. Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where is the fitting room?

And last, but not least:

16. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, ‘Hey! There’s no toilet paper in here.’

One of the clerks passed out.

Oh Shit!

Stupid Hosting Provider

I had a nasty problem with my hosting provider HostSo that caused my site to be down for the past 3.5 days. This is the 2nd downtime in as many weeks, with the first caused by a HDD swap. Well I expect a certain level of hosting redundancy built into place, even as I pay pennies for my hosting every month.

[a fatal error or timeout occurred while processing this directive]

can’t write into /home/superuser/.cpanel/nvdata.cache: Permission denied at /usr/local/cpanel/Cpanel/ line 65 Carp::croak(‘can’t write into /home/superuser/.cpanel/nvdata.cache: Permissio…’) called at /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.6.2/i686-linux/ line 76 Storable::logcroak(‘can’t write into /home/superuser/.cpanel/nvdata.cache: Permissio…’) called at /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.6.2/i686-linux/ line 248 Storable::_store(‘CODE(0xa3d1074)’, ‘HASH(0x8b72758)’, ‘/home/superuser/.cpanel/nvdata.cache’, 1) called at /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.6.2/i686-linux/ line 236 Storable::lock_nstore(‘HASH(0x8b72758)’, ‘/home/superuser/.cpanel/nvdata.cache’) called at /usr/local/cpanel/Cpanel/ line 65 Cpanel::NVData::_savecache() called at /usr/local/cpanel/Cpanel/ line 155 Cpanel::NVData::_loadcache(1) called at /usr/local/cpanel/Cpanel/ line 187 Cpanel::NVData::_get(undef) called at /usr/local/cpanel/Cpanel/ line 133 Cpanel::ExpVar::expvar(‘$NVDATA{‘x3_hideicons’}’) called at cpanel line 1722 main::execiftag(‘<cpanelif $NVDATA{‘x3_hideicons’}>’) called at cpanel line 3864 main::dotag_finished_headers(0) called at cpanel line 3664 main::cpanel_parseblock(‘<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “…’) called at cpanel line 3612 main::cpanel_parse(‘GLOB(0xa6273d4)’) called at cpanel line 2491 main::doinclude(‘/usr/local/cpanel/base/frontend/x3/branding//index.html’, 0, 1) called at /usr/local/cpanel/Cpanel/ line 49 Cpanel::Branding::Branding_include(‘index.html’) called at (eval 5) line 1 eval ‘Cpanel::Branding::Branding_include(@{$argref});’ called at cpanel line 1136 main::real_exectag(‘<cpanelif $NVDATA{‘x3_hideicons’}>’) called at cpanel line 3876 main::dotag_finished_headers(0) called at cpanel line 3704 main::cpanel_parseblock(‘<cpanel Branding=”include(index.html)”>^J’) called at cpanel line 3612 main::cpanel_parse(‘GLOB(0xa4cb308)’) called at cpanel line 5121 main::run_standard_mode() called at cpanel line 424

Oh Shit!

Farm to Fridge – The Truth Behind Meat Production

I’m feeling queasy.

Farm to Fridge - The Truth Behind Meat Production

Army Oh Shit!

Restful Night

I trudged wearily home yesterday night, chest hurting with each breath and cough, with a duffel bag on my back (now this lyrics sound familiar…). I called home only to be told to take the MRT home. And to clear the 4 flights of steps to the doorstep of my house, I winced my way through all of 5 minutes.

This marks the end of fieldcamp. This.

Field camp made me realise that I could run a fever while running between movement drill stations doing artillery drill; that I could march, blisters erupting on my toes and soles, for 8km in sun. It made me discover that digging the shellscrape was as tiring as digging through my homesick mind was painful. I didn’t fall out, though at times I wanted to;there was once I just stood outside the medical tent, deliberating in my sick state if I should seek some medical help and the shelter from the relentless rain that accompanied it.

Upon retrospect I still do not know why I didn’t immediately report sick and just heck all. It was a draining experience: having to layer cameo in slabs throughout the five days (a girl’s worst nightmare, and probably the main reason why the fairer sex doesn’t have to undergo conscription); having to high kneel whenever we went such that my knees turned angry red by the second day; having to comply with stricter discipline standards and bear punishments (including leopard crawling through freshly wetted loam for 50m in the freshly cold morning); having to endure not a night without a downpour or a day without gloomy skies; having to miss mum and dad and sis and home so acutely I just paused digging and sat down and teared.

It was one long lesson in resilience – mentally I was emptied of rational thought, emotionally I was a train wreck, physically I bore boot blisters. Even returning to the company line was tough work, comprehending the senselessness of reaching coyline at 4pm but sleeping at 4am to do sundry, postponable items like polishing the rifle.

And my mum and dad was ever so pleasant with me as I raised my voice in indignation over the many exhorts to eat dinner, bathe or to bring the duffel bag in through the door. My mum gave me painkillers, flu, fever and other supplements. She fed me the spoon of cough serum.

(Mum and dad got down to helping me scrub the field pack  when they realised I was just not up to it to do it myself. Can I seriously ask for more? They’re not angels, but they’re angel enough for me. I love you mum and dad. <3)

And there’s rethinking about how this field camp will affect my chances of entering command school.

Most of those I know are in JC, and are aiming for command school. Plenty of us want to become Officers; a few want to become Sergeants. Of course it’s good to want to lead in the SAF. But we should do a little rethinking on our motivation to become commanders.

So far the most outstanding reason has been personal achievement. The logic goes something like this: first, you’re here for 2 years in a parallel universe from which you cannot leave; second, you don’t understand military life fully so far; third, and however, you feel a distinct obligation to do your best in everything, and NS is something.

It’s the third component where the arguments tend to bend dubiously. We display a natural ambition to ascend any social ladder we see. But just because it is natural does not lend in any inherent purpose. A role placed before you as an opportunity to ascend and accelerate through the ranks does not mean you must pursue it.

There are people who are naturally placed and passionate to do so. They should pursue those roles. But officership shouldn’t go to people who just want it for the sake of status, or who become unforgivably pretentious for a role they want for exclusively ego reasons.

Army Oh Shit!

What I’ve Done


I shouldn’t have done what I did.

See how the image above doesn’t resonate with what I want to convey to you? That’s just me. My facade.

My words versus my thoughts.

My inner smirk versus my exterior smile.

I don’t understand you –

and you don’t understand me.

Let’s keep it that way.

And if you know what I mean, here are some links: