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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy 42nd Birthday Singapore!

Fresh Brainz would like to wish all fellow Singaporeans a happy National Day!

For this occasion, I would like to highlight a commencement speech by one of Singapore's pioneering scientists, Dr. Lee Kum Tatt.

Common Sense and Your Blue Roses

Dr. Lee recounts the difficulties of the early days in Singaporean science, and offers two pieces of advice for our new generation of scientists:

1. As you start your profession and career, do not start by demanding and complaining that you are not getting what you think you deserve. Offer what you have, deliver and the rest will take care of itself...

2. ... the bread is something I need to live on now. As a human being the rose reminds me that I always have something to live for... we must have our own Blue Roses as our inspiration... we must have something that we love for which we are prepared to fight, sacrifice and even die for. These include our family, our special dreams, and our ideals.

And now... back to your regularly scheduled science fix!

We do the hard work of examining the globe for the most mellifluous science articles - so you don't have to.

The Serpent's Teeth (Bad Astronomy - USA)
I like shiny photos from space telescopes...

With 'pyro-something' AND 'epigenetics' in the title, you know its gonna be cool (ERV - USA)
New sequencing technologies reveal 40,500 HIV integration sites...

A different kind of White Shark (Laelaps - USA)
It's really white...

Why isn't this death dominating the news channels? (Pharyngula - USA)
Extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin...

Crystal Palace dinosaurs now Grade I listed structures (The Ethical Palaeontologist - UK)
Preserving a piece of dino history...

How to retard scientific progress (The Other 95% - USA)
Make people jump through hoops and eliminate them using standardized metrics...


Teck said...

Hi Lim,

I read abt the Yangtze dolphin (baiji) back in the 90s when I was a student. In a decade, it's gone.

The book was "Last Chance to See" by Douglas Adams. It's a good read.

Excerpts from book (not baiji chapter) here:

Julia said...

Thank you for continuing to link to my posts, LH, and happy National Day!

John - Evolutionary Middleman said...


Oh, you didn't have a revolution?

Lim Leng Hiong said...

To Teck:

Thanks for the info. Truth be told I wasn't aware of the Yangtze dolphin before this. Sad story.

To Julia:

Thank you! I only link interesting and juicy articles. Nothing less!

To John:

Yup, no revolution. Singapore became an independent nation under sad and demoralising circumstances. In 1965 we had the same GDP as Ghana. We tried our best to make do with what little we had.

That almost sounds like the story of this blog!

OK it doesn't.

But we should celebrate anyway. As the great pessimist Lim Leng Hiong once said:

Celebrate your victories and ignore your defeats - because victories come so rarely that you must put effort into remembering them, and defeats come so often that you won't ever miss them.

Julia said...

Will endeavour to keep the articles juicy just for you!

Could you update your link to my site to please? I've recently shelled out for the new domain and moved everything over. You can still see the archived items, so everything you linked to is still there, for the time being.