Monday, July 26, 2010

Not Quite Easily Done (QED)

I was showing Sean an algebraic solution to a math question, and at the end of it, right next to the answer, I added QED. I don't know who put this in my head, but I had always thought QED was the acronym for Quite Easily Done. And I asked Sean if he knew what QED stood for.

His eyes lit up and he said, "Well, some people say it stands for Quite Enough Done, but actually, it is Latin or maybe Greek for quod erat demonstrandum, which means "that which was to be demonstrated."" My jaw almost dropped :)

Found this on wikipedia:

"The phrase quod erat demonstrandum is a translation into Latin from the Greek ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (hoper edei deixai; abbreviated as ΟΕΔ). Translating from the Latin into English yields, "that which was to have been demonstrated"; however, translating the Greek phrase ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι produces a slightly different meaning. A better translation from the Greek would read, "precisely what was required to be proved."[2] The phrase was used by many early Greek mathematicians, including Euclid[3] and Archimedes. These mathematicians, in particular Euclid, are credited with founding axiomatic mathematics with its emphasis on establishing truths by logical deduction (rather than experimentation or assertion); their use of this phrase symbolizes this emphasis, as well as marking this important step in the development of mathematical philosophy."

And where did Sean get this ancient nugget of knowledge? No where else but from the wonderful Kjartan Poskitt's Essential Arithmetricks. Gotta love the Murderous Math books.

Beijing Duck in Bangkok

I love Peking Duck, just love it. In London, we would eat this dish in our favourite chinese restaurant Pearl Liang pretty regularly. As expected, Peking Duck was hard to come by in our almost 3 years in Moscow. We did have it in China Dreams, a restaurant which was really far from our place, but it wasn't fantastic enough to brave traffic for.

Happily, in Bangkok, we were introduced to this dimsum restaurant in the city which serves very delicious Peking Duck at a superb price of 590baht (less than S$30) for an entire duck! Any surprise I've eaten here twice since Friday? The dimsum at the restaurant is quite good too, definitely better than other dimsum restaurants here such as Pan Pacific's Hai Tien Lo and Siam Paragon's Crystal Jade, and at more reasonable prices.

Of course, it has nothing on London dimsum restaurants, but the price here can't be beat. Won't reveal the name here cos as it is, the place is usually fully booked. We didn't make reservations today, and I had to talk to 3 waitresses before they reluctantly released a table for us.

Anyone who's visiting Bangkok and wanna try this place can always leave me a comment or ask me over FB/email, I will unselfishly reveal the name of this little gem.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Enigmatic Experience

Brian had a movie outing with his schoolmates today (Wednesday). First, we picked his friend John up and then arrived in Siam Paragon where they were to meet the others at Starbucks. Instead of heading home and out again to pick them up later on, I decided to watch Inception with Sean.

I love watching movies in Siam Paragon, the entire setup is lush and plush, even the basic lowest-price theatres have very comfy seats. Now for Inception, the next showing was one that was at the top-class theatre there, called Enigma. I balked when the staff said tickets were 1000 baht (S$45) a pop, and apparently you need to buy 2 to go in. Included in the price are appetizers, cocktails and popcorn. I said forget it, then he told me that with my stored-value member card, I only needed to top up 150 baht a ticket. I thought, hmm, why not, just for the experience.

Enigma, oooh, looks like entrance to a nightclub eh? Well, on the internet, it is touted as one: "When movies take on the clubbing style exclusively for members. Enigma is the one and the only cinema in the world that resembles the hottest club in town. The hottest meeting point where the amazing feeling of clubbing collides with the thrill of movies. Experience the visionary and eye-opening entertainment that take you out of this world at Enigma, an executive movie club for sleek individuals." Hee hee, of course Sean and I were out of place, but not so much on a weekday afternoon showing lah.

We walked up the ramp and found ourselves in a lounge just outside the theatre. We sat down and the concierge served us our drinks (ordered kiwi juice for me and coke for Sean).

The bar counter. The concierge then took our order of food down, to be served during the movie. Each ticket is entitled to an order of appetizer. Looked at the menu and saw mostly hors d'oeuvres and also spaghetti. Had just had lunch, so ordered Satay for Sean and Shrimp wrapped in sugarcane for myself.

The theatre seats only 34 and the seats are actually day beds, filled with plush pillows and blankets.

Got this picture off the internet. And this was how Sean and I enjoyed Inception, with food and popcorn and drinks.

As I said, Paragon theatres are already plush, and their VIP theatres have very comfortable reclining seats, but Enigma takes it to another level altogether. I could so get used to this!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A snail mail and an email

After dinner last night, Eddie suddenly remembered something, he said, "Sean, there's a surprise for you. Someone sent you a postcard."

The postcard had been sent to Eddie's Moscow office and rerouted to his Bangkok office. All the way from San Francisco.

It was from Sean's Kindergarten teacher, Ms Cheung who taught him in the 2008/09 school year. She taught in Moscow for only a year and went back to California after that. I thought it was so sweet of her to still remember Sean and to send him a postcard. He was thrilled.

And a month ago, right after school in Moscow closed for summer, I received an email, this one from, Mr R aka TBG, who was Brian's homeroom teacher in 2008/09. 2008/09 was Mr R's first year teaching in Moscow, and he stayed on for another year. He moves on to Shenzhen after this summer hols.

The email was sent to 4 families and it said,

"Dear Friends,

As I prepare to leave Moscow, I just want to reiterate how fortunate I consider myself to have had the opportunity to work with your children at AAS and to get to know your families better. I still look back fondly on my first year and consider that class the "one-in-a-million" that becomes the yardstick by which I evaluate future classes of students.

Please don't hesitate to give me an update on how things are going, and with some luck our paths will likely cross again.

Thank you again for your friendship and support!"

Mr R has always been a wonderful advocate for Brian while Ms Cheung has given me pretty sound advice whenever I shared my concerns about Sean. I'm so glad we're still in touch and hope all our paths cross again one day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So here's the plan...

I have tonnes of stuff to update, probably from March (Tokyo hols) onwards, including our experience during the red shirt riots. I can't not journal that, I mean, it was my first curfew in all my 40 and a bit years here on earth. There're also updates on the boys that some friends have been asking about. For those who are on Facebook with me, much of what I'll be posting will be old news, cos I'm cheating by using my FB status updates to guide me, but maybe with accompanying pictures, the posts won't seem that stale.

Well, at least that's the plan lah :) Remains to be seen if can be executed :P Anyway, watch out for a less dead blog here in the near future. But for now, I gotta go, we have 4 guests from KL staying with us and 2 of them are headed for a Thai massage with me now.

Backposts here, here, here and here.