Lateral Thinking Puzzles

29 January 2012

1. You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

  • An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
  • An old friend who once saved your life.
  • The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Knowing that there can only be one passenger in your car, whom would you choose?

2. There are six eggs in the basket. Six people each take one of the eggs. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

Solutions (and more puzzles) at:


Mintak tulun

27 January 2012

…vote kan untuk dan juga sahabat saya SJ.

Cara nak vote:

1) Register sebagai voters sini –

2) Kemudian, masuk page ini – dan klik butang vote warna hijau tu.

3) Vote for SJ here:

thank you.

Learn Machine Learning at Stanford (online)

26 January 2012

Class will start Feb 2012. I have registered.

(hat tip: Mark Lee — thanks, keep the links coming!)

How to win a Nobel Prize in Physics

25 January 2012



by Gerard ‘t Hooft


This is a web site (still under construction) for young students – and anyone else – who are (like me) thrilled by the challenges posed by real science, and who are – like me – determined to use their brains to discover new things about the physical world that we are living in. In short, it is for all those who decided to study theoretical physics, in their own time.

It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet. Is it possible to weed out those very rare pages that may really be of use? I know exactly what should be taught to the beginning student. The names and topics of the absolutely necessary lecture courses are easy to list, and this is what I have done below. It is my intention to search on the web where the really useful papers and books are, preferably downloadable as well. This way, the costs of becoming a theoretical physicist should not exceed much the price of a computer with internet connection, a printer, and lots of paper and pens.

I can tell you of my own experiences. I had the extreme luck of having excellent teachers around me. That helps one from running astray. It helped me all the way to earn a Nobel Prize. But I didn’t have internet. I am going to try to be your teacher. It is a formidable task. I am asking students, colleagues, teachers to help me improve this site. It is presently set up only for those who wish to become theoretical physicists, not just ordinary ones, but the very best, those who are fully determined to earn their own Nobel Prize. If you are more modest than that, well, finish those lousy schools first and follow the regular routes provided by educators and specialized -gogues who are so damn carefully chewing all those tiny portions before feeding them to you. This is a site for ambitious people. I am sure that anyone can do this, if one is gifted with a certain amount of intelligence, interest and determination.

Theoretical Physics is like a sky scraper. It has solid foundations in elementary mathematics and notions of classical (pre-20th century) physics. Don’t think that pre-20th century physics is “irrelevant” since now we have so much more. In those days, the solid foundations were laid of the knowledge that we enjoy now. Don’t try to construct your sky scraper without first reconstructing these foundations yourself. The first few floors of our skyscraper consist of advanced mathematical formalisms that turn the Classical Physics theories into beauties of their own. They are needed if you want to go higher than that. So, next come many of the other subjects listed below. Finally, if you are mad enough that you want to solve those tremendously perplexing problems of reconciling gravitational physics with the quantum world, you end up studying general relativity, superstring theory, M-theory, Calabi-Yau compactification and so on. That’s presently the top of the sky scraper.

Two (free &) cool educational resources

24 January 2012

Learn programming in seven weeks. We’ll teach you enough about computer science that you can build a web search engine like Google or Yahoo!

(hat tip: Irsal Mashhor)


CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the “FlexBook,” CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning through the FlexBook Platform.

(hat tip: Mark Lee)

Tank Man from ground level

24 January 2012


“On June 4, 2009, in connection with the 20th anniversary of the protests, Associated Press reporter Terril Jones revealed a photo he took showing the Tank Man from ground level, a different angle than all of the other known photos of the Tank Man. Jones has written that he was not aware of what he had captured until a month later when printing his photos.”


20 January 2012

I’m in Labuan now with my trusted aide, Saudara Dzul Afieq.

1. Labuan city is very small. All the important buildings are within walking distance of each other.

2. I walked round the city earlier today. On the way back to hotel, I got lost. I asked two people for direction. They gave me the direction (in Malay) but I don’t understand what they were saying… hehehe…

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