Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The actuary

Often I have had many people ask me what course am i in exactly, and what i would be doing in the future. And mroe often than not when i tell them "Actuarial Science" and "Actuary" it would often end up with moments of deep thoughtful looks which ultimately ends up in the question "So whats an actuary again?"

So while flipping through my books i stumbled across a textbook defination of an actuary. Here's the answer to the great mystery:

"A person who passes as an expert on the basis of his/her prolific ability to produce an infinte variety of incomprehensible figures calculated with micrometric precisioon from the vaguest of assumptions based on debatable evidence from inconclusive data derived by persons of doubtful reliability for the sole purpose of confusing an already hopelessly befuddled group of persons who never read statistics anyway."
Steven Haberman (My actuarial methods lecturer)
So folks, i hope that you all have got your enlightenment on what actuaries do.

(By the way, my computer apparently is heading towards a hard disk failure-took a insane half hour to start up this morning. So if i disappear for some time, it probably means that my hard disk died...or i'm too lazy to post anything.)

Over and out.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Here is a free advert for Nike shoes.

Nike Air Turbulence

Pics courtesy of Lim Chia Wei who forgot about the chicken in the oven while taking the pics. Dont worry the chicken was fine.

Ok, ok i went shopping and feel the extreme need to show off.
Man i'm a walking billboard.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Of time, friends and love

Another week has gone by. And its sunday evening again, after church, and tommorow is the monday. A week drawn to a close, another week looming ahead..and passing by soon. I guess some of us never really appreciate time when we have it. And then often we run short of it, then complaining about how we have no time while we took it for granted when it was there all along. Was chilling out in my room after a long day not too long ago, reflecting on life in london so far. And it suddenly struck me that i've been here for a full 6 months. Which then made me think of how i've improved as a person, what have i accomplished, what have i done to be a friend to others and so on. "Not much.." i realised. Very much to my shock and fear. And time that has gone by can't be regained. And then you wish you can turn back time, which you cant of course. All you can do is try to make up for lost time, and hope you not lose focus again.
And reflecting on life, makes you think a lot about the friendships you have formed and made. I have never placed( or rather, fully understood) the issue of taking time out from your schedule to build relationships of such high importance till i came over here. Family, friends here, friends back home. Don't know what made me realize that. Maybe its the london air or the little bits of wisdom you get when u get older.
Speaking of which, you never know how much you love someone till something happens to that person.No i'm not talking about romantic love which the world so often sells and potrays, the best way to describe it is probably the same kind of love you have for a family member, a brother or a sister. Love that was formed by close and strong friendship. Unconditional and pure. Reading my friend's recent post on the lost of another friend made me think back on the events of that happened earlier in the week, where something i thought never possible happened to someone closest to me. Never thought i'd feel such anguish with concern and worry because of someone. Though it was never really a matter of life and death, I couldn't begin to imagine how my life would be like if i never met that person, be inspired, encouraged and loved. Definately nowhere near where or who i am today. Probably still wasting it away. Life that i was never really meant to have anyway. Only because of grace.
At the end of the day, what struck me was the realisation of how important people are. Family, friends, acquantainces, strangers on the street, they all matter. So here's a thank you to all of you, that have played a part in this life of mine, being there when i needed your support and encouragement, a friendly smile, or even if it was just taking time out talking crap together. A very big thank you.
I guess you can never underestimate the impact you can have on someone's life. Cherish people. Cherish life.

Monday, March 07, 2005

events of the past few weeks

Its been a while since i posted anything. Mostly due to the lack of time available. And time is still limited. Even as i'm smashing my way through my keyboard typing words and sentences that form in my head-occasionally stopping and deleting it cos it doesnt make no sense- the clock is ticking. Sometimes i wished that there were 30 hours to a day, then i could spent half of it cathching up on badly needed sleep, as i'm typing its been 18 hours(!!!) since i woke up this morning and had any rest at all, coupled with the lack of sleep that has been accumuated over the past week. And they say you're supposed to chill out on sundays.
So anyways the week has been hectic. I had a short sense of elation when i finished my 3 assignments(Finanacial and Investment Math, Statistics and Actuarial Methods-notice that they are ALL MATH!) only the find out the very next day we had a new MATH coursework to do. And also another Economics coursework (this subject continues to haunt me) due at the end of this month, not to mention an economics test in 10 days time, plus the fact that its already week 8 of the term(out of 10) and theres like another 4 courseworks coming up before the term ends, and also that i have major catching up to do in my studies(which includes this and last terms work), and also not to mention attending church related events 4(at least) days out of 7 (hey am not grumbling, i enjoy every moment of it-it keeps me sane), and also that i should be speding at least an hour a day practicing my guitar, plus going to classes....whoever needs a life, you can have mine.
But amidst all that, i still managed to plan up a trip to italy in the summer, which i'm really looking foward to. We(me and chia wei) are planning to catch a plane to venice, then go down to florence, rome and finally naples. Kinda excited about it. Wish i had a 1GB memory stick for my digicam. Also, not to mention helping other people's courseworks, mainly Human Resource Management and Math for Economists. There's a running joke here(which in truth isnt really funny if you are me) about me graduating with a double degree at the end of 3 years - when in truth i'm trying to survive and stay afloat in my 1st year here. Apparently now word has spread and i got a call from another friend from another course asking me to help her with her coursework also. Something about decision analysis-which i of course, honestly told her i had no idea what it was and politely declined. And also not to mention clocking up more hours on that satanic-time-wasting-violent-rage inducing game so fondly and affectionately known as counterstrike.
And today came wind about Matt Redman coming to Hillsong London for the 7pm service-to worship lead of course. After some initial hestitation, i decided to put away all the burdens and work and worries of my life(ie listed above) and go for the service. (For those who are wondering who the heck Matt Redman is, he's a famous british christian songwriter well known among christian circles all around the world, and also Hillsong London is the church i attend here in london, sister church of the more globally known Hillsong Sydney) . So as expected the dominion theater(thats where we have church) was packed to the brim, and squashing my way through to the front row seat where my friend had so kindly reserved for me. Anyways, Matt Redman came on, and then proceeded to lead the congregation in a time of praise and worship. The atmosphere was electrifying, and also ridiculously warm(maybe it was due the the fact that i was wearing long johns underneath in a tightly packed area) and indeed it was and awesome time of praise and worship.
One thing caught my eye though- Matt Redman is just an ordinary bloke. I dont mean that in a negative way, i'm not belittling him in any way, but rather that he is just like you and me. No aura of superiority or super holiness or whatever, just normal like you and me. And what i'm pointing to here is that here is a normal dude who chose to give and live his life to God, and through that has accomplished many amazing things that many of us only can dream of.
So folks, stop messing about and start living right. Me included.
"We were meant to live for so much more, but we lost ourselves"
How true is that.

Oh and it snowed proper snow this time. Enough for us to have snowball fight on the way to class. Totally awesome.

Peace out folks. Will post more if i survive the coming weeks.