The "Final" lecture from a great professor

"Last lecture" is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question is this: What would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a rollicking and riveting journey through the lessons of his life.

The full version is here. Youtube has partitioned it here.

Stupid International

Today I didn't feel like doing any work, so I idly surfed the net and accidentally wandered into MENSA Spain Website. (MENSA is a high IQ society. To be a member, you must have IQ score higher than 98% of the population.)

It has a "mini IQ-test" there -- 16 questions, 8 minutes. Naturally, I took it to see if I'm the "elite" 2%. Here is the result:

Agradecemos el esfuerzo y tiempo empleados en realizar el test orientativo que hemos colocado en nuestro web.Su puntuación ha sido de 16 aciertos sobre 18 posibles. De ello deducimos que cuenta con posibilidades para entrar en Mensa.

Si está interesado formar parte de nuestra asociación, puede solicitar realizar el test preliminar o el test supervisado.

Si reside fuera de España lamentamos tener que informarle que, debido a los estatutos de Mensa Internacional, sólo estamos capacitados para realizar el test a residentes en España. Así pues, para entrar en Mensa deberá dirigirse a la página web de Mensa Internacional

Having no knowledge of the Spanish language. I plugged this glob of text in the google translator.

The result is.... illuminating.

We thank for the used effort and time in making the orientative test that we have placed in our Web. Its score has been of 16 successes on 18 possible ones. Of it we deduce that it counts on possibilities to enter Stupid.

If it is interested to comprise of our association, can solicit to make the preliminary test or the supervised test.

If it resides outside Spain we were sorry to have to inform to him that, due to the statutes of the Stupid International, we are only enabled to make the test to residents in Spain. Therefore, to enter Stupid Web of the Stupid International will have to go to the page
Now I know why so few people has joined MENSA in Spain.

Memashow's new blog design

Head over to see!

This is my congratulation gift:

The Legend of 1900

This is (in my humble opinion) the most beautiful song ever written.
It's from the movie "The Legend of 1900." The Main Character (whose name is "1900"!) was born in, you guess, 1900, on the cruise ship. He was left there by his parents and was raised on the ship by the crew members.
Having born in the ship, he never set foot on land. Later on he became a genius pianist who could compose songs on the fly.

This scene is when he became famous and people asked to record his music. He started playing random tune but then it changed because he saw someone... his first love.

There are other memorable scenes too:

More on IQ and Extreme Intelligence

Here's an interesting question:
If there are a pill that will increase your IQ by 100 points, will you take it?
That would push your IQ into 200-300 range, making you the smartest human alive.

I would take it in a heartbeat, and I think most people will do the same.
What's not to like?

Upon some more thinking, I found that the cost might outweigh the benefit.

The Good:
You will have a much deeper understanding of the world. You will breeze through most of the stuff that normal people finds difficult.

The Bad:
You will lead a very abnormal life (by normal people standard.) It will be hard to find someone that has the same interest as you do. Most people will not understand you and might label you a madman.

The Ugly:
You can't talk to anyone openly. Being much smarter than the rest of the society, it's like you're living among chimpanzees.

People are social animal. We need to communicate. We need to be understood. We need to feel that we belong somewhere. And When we can't do that, we become a very unhappy person.

Here are some examples that support my point.

- William James Sidis, an american child prodigy with 200+ IQ. He first became famous for his precociousness, and later got shunned from the public media. He avoided mathematics entirely in later life, and would only take work running adding machines or other fairly menial tasks. Sidis died penniless in Boston at the age of 46.

- Theodore Kaczynski, A.K.A. "The Unabomber", is a Harvard graduates turned serial murderer who carried out a campaign of mail bombings that killed three and wounded 23. He sent bombs to several universities and airlines from the late 1970s through early 1990s. It is said that he has IQ in the range of 160-170.

There are also some movies and literature that reinforce my belief.
The famous ones are Flower for Algernon and Phenomenon.

However, there are also a lot of counter evidences. Many of the 180+ IQ individual seems to live very well in the normal society.(See the Termites.) Another famous high-IQ person, Marilyn Vos Savant, live a very normal (almost boring) life writing weekly magazine column.

After all these evidence, I would summarize as this:
Having extremely high IQ will not make you mad, but there is a extremely high chance that it will.

Update: This article has some intriguing analysis of the 180+ IQ individuals [specifically the termites] and their social (mal-)adjustment.

Interesting Note: I noticed that there are no "genius" or nobel prize winner that has 180+ IQ. (only in 120-150 range) Why so?

What's your IQ?

I used to write an IQ test when I was a little kid (10?) and got very excited about it.
The score is quite high -- 143. I printed the result, and to my dismay, the tested date is April fool! (The score was still valid though)

Since then, I've taken several online IQ tests, and scored between 130 - 163. Sorely inaccurate, I'd say. The S.D. is wider than the Pacific ocean.

Right now, I still really want to know my IQ. I read that if you want the score that you could brag about, you should have a real psychologist testing you. And so I found out how to do that...

1) Take a Mensa IQ test. 40$, and the testing sites is nowhere near my town.
2) A test Administered by Local Psychologist. 300$. That's right, three-hundred-dollars.

The common sense kicked in and said "look what you can do with all that money! Is it worth it --Going through all that just to know some esoteric score that's weakly correlated with my intelligence?"

Well, I figured that everyone who has an IQ of 120+ would choose:
3) Save the money for something else. And so I did. :)


I so love this cat.
Find more here.

Sickos on

Recently, Michael Moore released "Sicko" -- a documentary examining the state of American health care system. Moore has obviously favored Universal Health care (or Socialized health care, and vehemently promoted it in his film.

Anyone who saw this film will see that Moore picked the worst problems in US health care and masterfully showed it to the audience. On the other hand, he portrayed Socialized health care system as a panacea of all problems. It went on so much that I would have described the system as "Utopian."

Now, I agree that US Health care system has a lot of problems. But so as the Socialized system.
Any reasonable person could see that the film was downplaying one system and trumpeting another. So it all boils down to which political agenda Moore is trying to push.

Nevertheless, the film will promote discussion and I like that.

What's really shocking me is diggers reaction to this issue in general. Here. Here. and Here.

Some diggers are at least rational and respectful, but most of them are... sickening.

Having know nothing, they proceed to digg down every opposing comments regardless of how well it was written.

In Contrast, the inanes but popular comments has a 30+ digg.
This observation confirms that most diggers are left-wing socialist. (and apple fanboy)

Finally, I wonder if most American people are the same. I hope not.
(most diggers are young (about 15-35), working in tech-related job, and support democrats)

Cooking -- A Pleasant Surprise

After moving in a new Apartment, I cook every day.

Do I need to cook? No, not necessarily.

I cook because I love cooking.

Every moment in kitchen contains unexpected surprise -- Like forgetting to buy some important ingredient -- to cracking raw egg and let it fell right into the burner hole. (luckily i can open inside and scoop it out.

Not to mention, you can experiment with new recipes and new ingredient.

And lastly, if you are lucky, you will get a delicious meal.

Here is one of the first meals I cooked in the U.S.

"Spaghetti with Beef Tomato Sauces"

You can see the rest of it here!
(*note* - some of them are not photogenic.)

My Life : Updated : From Thai to Illinois

I'm here at Illinois[Champaign] for 3 days now.
Trying to get accustom to the weather and other things.

Here's some pics from my journey.

May 15 4:00AM [BKK time], Arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Well actually, that's the only photo I got. throughout this trip, I was too excited to take a picture.
Let's move on.

May 15 6:00PM [BKK Time], Plane took off. it would land at Narita in another 6 hour. I sat next to a Thai and we had on a great conversation. He is actually a US citizen now and has been living in L.A. for 20 years. I learned a few things from him about living in the US.

May 15 1:40PM [Japan Time], Arrived at Narita Airport -- 20 minutes to change flight.
Because of the weather, I was delayed for 40 minutes. I thought I was not going to make it to the next flight. (Detroit)

May 15 2:00PM [Japan Time], Yes, of course I got there on time. I was happy that things were going well, not knowing the ordeal not far ahead -- the 11-hour flight.

May 15 1:00PM [Detroit Time], That 11 hour was pure hell. Imagine sitting still for 11 hours in poor lighting condition,with only 2 round of food and 2 glass of water to between those nightmare. Luckily, I sat next to a very very nice Japanese guy. Although he can barely speak English, we shared a lot of story and develop rapport. Believe it or not, I mainly used my rusty Japanese to communicate.

May 15 2:00PM [Detroit Time], I passed a US immigration check. It was an interesting experience. I wait in line for half an hour because of an indian family in front of me got a questionable Visa. When it was my turn, the policeman behind the counter was already grumpy. In fact, he was a Big fat grumpy black policeman with the name tag -- "Little John." Yup. Nice knowing ya.

May 15 4.00PM [Detroit Time], this was the time I should board my plane to Champaign, IL but some problem came up. Due to the lighting storm, my plane couldn't take off and my flight was cancelled. This was my worst nightmare, but it actually turned out quite well. There were a lot of people who booked this flight, so I went to talk to them and become good friends (1 Australian, 1 Singporean, and 2 Koreans.) The Airline apologized and booked us the following morning flight. After that, we went to hotel nearby and slept through the night.

May 16 8.30AM [Detroit Time], Finally got on the plane to Champaign. It's a little AirBus plane. It can only take 30 person at a time.

May 16 10.30AM [Detroit Time], Arrived at Champaign,IL! What a long journey... It's beautiful here, and also very cold. Anyhow, my life here at the US ... has begun.

My Life: Updated

It has been 4 months since I last posted.
What did I do with all that time?

Jan - March : 3 Freelance Projects , Prepare for School and USA Visa stuff
April - May : Play games

Wow! That actually sums it up quite well.

Hmmm wish I would waste less time playing game (especially online games).


It's now an "8-day" countdown.

I'm flying. Away from home. Away from everything I got used to.

8 days from now, I would be half a globe away.

Kinda strange, it didn't feel so exciting anymore.

I heard someone said, " Everyone wants progress, but noone would like to change "
It's really true.

Wahhhhhh~ Does Anyone get homesick before they leave?

My Blog-tag

Well, I got Blog-tagged from Memashow, so this is my response..

5 Things about me that people never know before:

1. I have Synesthesia (The Fusion of Senses):

It's the way my brain is wired. Mainly I see alphabets in colors -- any alphabet.
For example: the m in "me" is brown and e is poop-like. Yes I know it is all black.

I start notice it when I first learned A-Z. I asked my mother why A is "red" and she freaked out. (she thought something is wrong with my eyes)

2. I started learning English because I thought it would make me "cool":

Until this day, I still think the ability to converse in other languages is awesome. It should also helps with getting girls (or boys.) Speak French = Sexy!

My goal is speaking/writing fluently in 8 languages. Oh.. imagine the chicks you get! I will go set up a Harem now.

3. I bought a lot of books and never finished them:

My interest mostly waned after the 2nd chapter. I always feel guilty about this, but not much.

4. I survived getting hit by a car when I was very young:

Well... I dodged it, actually, by lying on the ground.

I was very young then. I was playing near the front yard of my neighbor's house and incidentally a car was going out from garage to the main road. the driver should have seen me, but back then I was so short (my head is lower than the hood), so he drove at me in full speed .

I turned around and saw the car coming toward me very fast. Amazing, I was shocked and falled backward, making my lying on the ground. The car literally went over me, but leaving me unharmed. Nevertheless, it's a long time before my family let me play on that yard again.

5. I have a natural red, brown, and occasionally gold hair:

Although my hair is mostly black, sometimes I found 1 or 2 strands that are in those color. I thought it was very cool.


Well, that's it. I hope you never know these before. If you do, then you must know me very well indeed.