Friday, August 31, 2012

Overheating Issue

Ever since I came back to Toronto from Vancouver, my computer has had a worsening overheating problem. It would suddenly shut down when I browse the internet, when I let it sit idle while a browser is open, and even when I let it sleep during safe mode!! I mean, doesn't safe mode use a lot less processing than normal mode? And for the computer to overheat while one safe mode and asleep? The problem was clearly not negligible.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Top 100 Books from BBC

I recently stumbled across Facebook's book list challenge, which (falsely) states that BBC claims the average person has only read 6 items out of a total of 100.  It's actually not a very good book list challenge, because items like "complete works of Shakespeare" simply don't make sense (especially when Hamlet is another item). Also, the book list itself is from the Guardian...

So I have decided to use BBC The Big Read'top 100 books for my book list challenge.

Here's where I stand as of August 2012:

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

On a windy day, the pilot of a helium balloon fails to anchor it properly, causing the balloon to go afloat with a child still in it. Several men at the scene help out by holding onto the ropes of the balloon and weighing it down, but the pilot— who has been trying to get the child out— accidentally falls out of the basket when a strong wind comes, and this causes the balloon to rise up in the air. One of the man lets go of the rope, then three others follow suit, leaving only one man who hangs on with the balloon high up in the air. His grip eventually weakens, and he falls to his death.

After this accident, the narrator— who has been helping out— makes eye contact with Jed Parry, who has also been trying to help. At this moment, Jed Parry believes that the narrator is in love with him, and thus begin their unpleasant entanglement...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Although Fight Club is both a popular movie and novel, I didn't know what it was about until roughly a week and a half ago, when I searched it up on Wikipedia after a friend of mine had recommended it to me. At the time I was quite intrigued by the psychological element of the book, and— fueled by my friend's recommendation—decided to borrow and read it.

Judging by the fact that I have actually finished the book already, you can guess that it isn't a bad book; normally it takes months for me to actually get to and finish a book on my book list. Indeed, I thought the book was interesting and reasonably fast-paced, and had a very good twist.  However, I can't say that I liked it very much, either.

Summary of Fight Club

The novel starts at a point very close to the ending, where Tyler and the unnamed narrator stand on a tilting building that is about to explode, and Tyler is pointing a gun into the unnamed narrator's mouth.  The narrator then goes on to describe his circumstances and all the events that have led to the final moment.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Too Asian?"

Being an Asian, I was immediately drawn to the title of this book when I saw it in the UBC book store. This is why I have so quickly gotten a copy of it after I came back to Toronto. To clarify, the full name of the book is "Too Asian?": Racism, Privilege, and Post-Secondary Education, and it has several authors, who each writes one or more chapters/essays.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Volunteering Incident

Today when volunteering at the hospital gift shop, there was an unhappy incident which I thought I should reflect on.

Having only one short training session and three shifts volunteering at the hospital so far, I am still not very familiar with using the lottery terminal. Of course, I can do basic transactions such as selling and redeeming tickets, but there are still certain scenarios that I am no very sure how to deal with. For example, what should the retailer do if the customer wants to redeem tickets plus buying tickets using the selection slips? This problem was the cause of the unhappy incident today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Atonement by Ian McEwan

To be honest, I was a little disappointed by Atonement by Ian McEwan. Not because it was a bad book— I thought it to be quite good— but because it was kind of over-hyped. When a book is listed under TIME magazine's 100 best novels of all time and named as one of the 10 best books of the decade by the Guardian, you would naturally expect a lot of it. And unfortunately, this book didn't live up to the high expectation that I had for it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Long Walk by Stephen King

The Long Walk by Stephen King was recommended to me by a friend, and upon hearing the premise of the story, I immediately wanted to read it.

The novel centers around 16-year-old Ray Garraty, who is a competitor of the Long Walk. The Long Walk is an annual walking competition consisting of 100 boys who have volunteered to be in it. Once the competition starts, the walkers have to keep a pace of 4 miles per hour, or else they get a warning. If a walker' speed drops below 4 MPH after his third warning, he will "buy a ticket," which is a euphemism for being shot dead. Then, the competition continues until there is only one walker alive...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Olympics— It Doesn't Have to be All Canadian

Today when I was flipping through the channels, I saw CTV broadcasting the elimination race of men's omnium, in which every two laps, the slowest person would be eliminated. It was actually very interesting to watch because it was a very close race and each cyclist was constantly trying to pass each other.

However, just as I was enjoying watching the tight race, the one and only Canadian got eliminated. The camera then zoomed over to the faces of the disappointed friends and families, and then there was a sudden commercial break. Yes, a commercial break when the race was going to finish in a few minutes!

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

In Peril at End House, a young woman named Magdala Buckley— nicknamed Nick— has had three near escapes from death. Once a heavy painting fell off from the wall and almost hit her, once her car wouldn't brake, and another time a huge boulder fell and almost hit her car. Then, when she was talking to Poirot, a bullet went straight past through her hat, almost killing her...

Seeing that she was in danger, Poirot tried his best to protect her. However...

Spoiler/Plot development:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

File:Full Dark, No Stars.jpg

The book Full Dark, No Stars contains four short stories by Stephen King, although two of them are so long that I think can be classified as novellas. In any case, the title perfectly indicates the mood of these stories— all four of them are extremely morbid, to a point that would make readers shiver.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Report Card (grade 11 final)

This year, I wasn't able to physically see my report card until July 27th— when I came back home from my summer camp. Therefore, in order to find out my marks earlier, I had to ask my mom via Skype.

Of course, my mom would not just tell me my marks without some fun— she made me guess what I got in each subject. The problem was, it was extremely hard to guess because I had no idea how I did on the exams or the final projects! So I just guessed a bunch of random numbers that were close to my marks going into the exam, hoping that she would say "correct!" at one of those numbers.