Monday, January 1, 2001

Nikoi Island - Night Sky

Date: June 8, 2014

[Note: Click on all the photo below, you can see higher resolution photos of the stars in the sky]

When you live in a city, every night, when you stare at the sky, you will be happy to see Mars, one of the brightest star you can see with your eyes in a city. If you are lucky, you will see other stars, may be 1 or 2 dozens of them in the sky when there is no clouds.

For many years, the kids have been living in a world where they can see only these 1-2 dozens of bright stars. Their knowledge about the universe and galaxy are so limited simply because they have not learn the truth yet until last week.

We were at Nikoi Island and the night came. We can see a lot of clouds in the sky.

Then, we had a long dinner. After dinner, the kids were all shocked staring at the sky. Quickly without knowing what is the best setting, my wife shoot the sky and we can clearly capture this blurry sky full of blurry stars.

The kids has never seen so many stars in the sky before.

Quickly, my wife googled how to take photos of Milky Way and stars in the sky. With a high ISO > 4000 to 10000, with f4.5 and 25 seconds to 30 seconds shuttle to capture the lights. She soon used her Canon to capture a lot of photos with many stars in it. Some photos, she even manage to capture the light of an airplane flying across 30 seconds (becomes 3-4 tiny straight lines).

The kids then learned how big the universe is. There are so many of them in the sky. "Why we cannot see it when we are in Singapore?"

So, a demonstration can explain this. Lights! City is full of lights and with all the bright lights surrounding us, our eyes cannot capture the tiny lights emits from the stars in the sky.

In a city there tends to be more clouds too.

So, let's take a photos with the Moon in it. And you see less stars.

Got it?

At Nikoi Island beach, there are lesser lights. It is also away from the town which has lights at night too. So, your camera are able to capture more star lights if given enough time, i.e. 25 seconds or more to capture the lights.

Here is another example where the jetty has all these small lamp and it was captured inside the photo. Can you see lesser stars in the sky?

We downloaded many star char app on our iPhone and iPad. The best one we used so far is the StarTracker app. It uses the GPS and the accelerometer and Gyro sensor to figure out where you are, how you stand, where you staring at, and it gives you a very precise view of what you seeing into the sky. Simply align the iPad in your viewing path.

We are able to find the Sagittarius constellation.

The scorpion constellation.

The Libra.

We saw Mars and we saw Saturn.

Every night, after the kids were tired and tucked in their beds, Mommy will bring her Camera trying to capture more stars.

How big is the galaxy?

It is big!

Is there any life out there?

What do you think?

Of course there are.

Somewhere up there, on many of those stars, there may be an island similar to Nikoi, and there are those Aliens watching towards us too...

"There, that's the Solar Systems."

"There may be life on some planets within the Solar Systems."

Can you guess what is the constellation of this star formation?

All the stars are gone when the sun rise.

So, this is another great reason to go to a nice beach to take photo of the stars. Actually most of the beach is like this at night, it does not need to be in Nikoi Island.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Jay & Time Management

Date: Oct 27, 2013

This is a normal father & son conversations. . . ..

One of event this week have given me an opportunity to teach my son about Time Management.

To a Primary 1 student, they will not know what is "Time" means. Of course they will learn it in school. But still, when you tell him "Make sure you come back before 6:30pm" when he asked for permission to go downstairs to play with his buddies, they will always come home around 7pm or so. It is usually the bigger kids who has grasp the Time concept and wanted to go home for dinner, then, he knew it is time to come home.

On Thursday afternoon, his good friend's mommy asked if she can picked Jay up after Jay's Chinese Tuition on Friday (the next day) to Lukas's home and play? I knew immediately, this is another "Self-Invite" event but requests were made thru Lukas' mommy.

So, I told her that, I need to have a chat with Jay first before I can decide.

Explaining the Scenario

So, I spoke to Jay Jay after I picked him up from his BrainFit class. That was about 4:30pm.

Daddy: I understand you have not done your CMA home work. (Usually CMA has a lot of homework. We don't mind that because it is the only subject that brings back a lot of homework. It is good for him to "experience" and "feel" the homework pressures. Its not hard homework, it is just simple repetitions homework, but still give Jay Jay a pretty good idea on "real homework".)

Jay: Ya. I can do it tomorrow.

Daddy: But tomorrow you have a Chinese Tuition. So, when you think you have time to do this, given Saturday morning 9am is the class?

Jay: After I come back from school, I got time to do it.

Daddy: You come back 1:40pm, the tuition starts 3pm. You no need time to shower and eat meh?

Jay: After tuition can do too.

Daddy: But I thought you want to go to Lukas's home to play?

Jay: But Auntie Cheryl says cannot go. No time.

Daddy: No... She Whatsapp me say can go now.

Jay: Yeah!

Daddy: Don't yeah. How about CMA homework?

Jay: After I come back from Lukas home, I do?

Daddy: Do you think you can come back that early? When you come back, you take shower, and don't you think you need to sleep already?

Jay: (Feeling a bit stress)... oh....

Daddy: How about today?

Jay: But I want to play with Kay Kay at the playground. (We need to picked Kay Kay up as mommy is in US).

Daddy: So, if you finished play ground you can play? I thought Shao Yuan (Neighbors from next Block) and you are playing bicycle from 6-7pm.

Jay: Oh ya.

Daddy: So, today, I teach you Time Management. Time management is just like Swimming, another "life skill" you need to learn on your own. Nobody got right or wrong answers, but you need to learn how to think and use it. Time Management is to control your time. How to make sure you have free time to do things, to do home work and to play.

Jay: But I have no time already.

Daddy: To me, how I see it, you left with the time after dinner. before sleep.

Jay: But I cannot play iPad. (It is Thursday, it's usually iPad night).

Daddy: Time management is about sacrifices.

Jay: Huh? What is sacrifices?

Daddy: Err... It is like, out of three things, you can only do two, and you have to pick which one you do not want to do. Normally, you are in situation where you want to do all three things but time not allowing it.

Jay: ohhhh...

Daddy: So, if you wan to play with Shao Yuan, then you have less time. If you want to play iPad, then, tomorrow, you cannot go to Lukas' house. If you want to go Lukas house, then, it is likely you cannot play iPad. Or you want to sacrifice the time to play with Shao Yuan.

Jay: OK. I know.

Daddy: (Reached home). OK, go start doing CMA homework.

10min later, around 6pm, his friend Shao Yuan came up and ding dong the door bell. So, I told Jay, "go, go play with your friend."

7pm, he came back. We have dinner. He had a shower. And then... without asking... he hit his study room and start doing his homework.

And he took about 40 minutes to complete 90% of it. And he told me he will do the listening one (20min MP3) tomorrow.

So, tomorrow, when I see him again after he went to school, it was at Lukas' house.

So, I asked him.

Daddy: Have you finished your CMA listening test?

Jay: Yes.

Daddy: I see you go long list of home work to do, have you finish this and that?

Jay: Yes.

Daddy: When do you find time to finished so many home work?

Jay: After I come back, after my lunch. I finished CMA, and in school, when I got time, I already finished the English homework. And I also finished reading the Chinese mini test. and so on...

I am very happy about this. As this is the first attempt to explain Time management and priorities with him.

As you know, we have trained Jay to be independent to do his home work on his own for almost 7-8 months now. And this is the first time he demonstrates how he understand priorities and arrange his time to do his homework.

Of course, Top Priorities for him is to PLAY. And I want him to play too.

At the same time, I also taught him that leaving the home work and not doing it for so long will shorten his time overall. By the time he realize he needs to do the home work and submit the next day, he will be very kan ciong.

Well done Jay. If you reading this after many years later. You know Daddy is very proud of you to achieve this. Bravo.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Our First NDP (Preview)

Date: Aug 4, 2012

We had never been to any NDP or NDP preview before. But since majority of my family are Singaporeans, mind as well be a "Virtual Sinaporean" and join in the fun! I know the kids will love it!

We bought our "Uniforms" I think from Giodano. I can't recall there are instructions asking you to wear red, but it is a patriotic to wear red.

As for me, I will top up with my fancy yellow short to make me brighter! Hahaha

Anticipating The kids will be tired after the NDP, and huge traffic jam... We ask uncle Edwin help to book us a room at MBS. Kids enjoy the fun in the bath tub!

We prepared this as our dinner/snack. Later we found out people bring in Mc Donald la, Chicken Rice la, Satey la... Any kind of food you could imagine. Haha

This shall be the first time we walk on the bridge connecting the stadium and MBS.

The Helix bridge suppose to have lots of color at night!

Yes! We will be sitting at the green section!

A Lion Butterfly?

This is what we came here for, the amazing goodie bags. We have 4 and lots of things inside!

NDP is about lots of walking and climbing stairs. You have to prepare your kids for the stamina.

Ok. The seats is first come first serve. We are glad to sit at the first row at the entrance. We can put goodie bag at the back of the seat, and can access toilet easily too!

And let the Singapore greatest show begins. It is really different watching from TV. Here you gets lots of excitement and noises.

Wow! They even did not forget to ask people to kindly donate on that day. What will happen to the donation box later? No body knows and care.

No a bad view from here.

Very patriotic waving your Plastic stick (I don't know what they call it) lots of noise lots of fun!

YouTube Video

Waving your Singapore scarf.

And here comes the police force just behind us...

YouTube Video

Very nice might view from the platform stadium here... Cool

I didn't know how much fireworks they actually display in the NDP, but seems like full length... Lots of fireworks!

YouTube Video

Mommy and Kay seems to have fun!

However, at the end of the day, it is I the virtual Singaporean knows how to sing the full length National anthem. Strange indeed. Haha

Waving flags...

YouTube Video

And we concluded our NDP by ordering in room dining at the hotel. And it takes more than an hour for food to arrive.

Kay Kay loves the fish and chips.

Lastly! Happy Birthday Singapore!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone