I Like Science, Esp Physics … …

I like science, esp physics, partly because it can be proven and partly because it is this understanding that allowed many modern inventions. I also like physics because it meant that when I studied kinematics (way back in secondary school and JC), I only had to study once and can apply the same stuffs in three different exams!

The one thing I love was the mathematical proving1 in JC. Not that I was particularly good at it, ‘cos I frequently prove that 0 = 0 or 1 = 1 and not prove or disprove the intended question!

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While I have this passion for maths, physics and science, I also wonder how many of us take it as fact or truth as long as scientists say so. How many of us have proven all the mathematical, physical and chemical laws, and how many of us assume it should be right?

Granted, I have confidence in those in labcoats, and I do not propose that we learn years of aerospace engineering before taking a plane or civil & structural engineering to stay in a highrise without becoming paranoid.

Physicists are using Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as the instrument to find or verify the presence Higgs boson (particles). Their experiments would be mostly unintelligible to most of human kind. Their findings will only be verified and proven by their fellows in the field, and not even by scientists in other fields. Should we doubt their findings?

In Buddhist teachings, the mind is our instrument, but we need to train it so that we can use it to see the true nature of all phenomena. The Buddha saw how it was and was consequently released from craving and attachment, leading to an ending of suffering.

Others who have repeated this procedure realised the same truth and was likewise liberated. They are then declared as Arahants, the Noble Ones, by virtue of their purity and freedom from craving, attachment and defilements.

Their accounts were recorded and later verified by others. Some even came from other schools to challenge the Buddha and his teachings, but through their own verification, ‘converted’ to the Buddhist teachings.

The invitation to Buddhists and non Buddhists alike has always been this: Ehi passiko. Come and see.

Suki hontu! ^_^

Footnote 1: The mathematics in university was so crazy, they had crazier names!  These include things like binomial series, bernoulli, la place, fourier transform (no, not transformer transform!), root locus, among others … … come to think about it, I have this pet project to go figure most of them out completely, just so I don’t waste this life time of study in university! … but that is another blog post … ^_~

EDIT:

Meanwhile, for those who like studies and clinical tests by the scientists, there are numerous articles citing changes in the grey matter linked to meditation.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/how-meditation-may-change-the-brain/?src=me&ref=general

SBF Funding for Youth Projects and Programmes Approved in Principle

Back from SBF meeting earlier this afternoon.  Some of you may remember about the idea to have funding for youth projects and programmes.  Well, SBF has set aside a certain amount of funds for this very cause!  
Thanks to a preliminary proposal by Soon Han, a working panel comprising Ven. Sumana, Ven. Xiang Yang and Soon Han will be developing this proposal into a working programme for youths groups to apply for funding.

In particular, we will be working closely with the tertiary institutions’ buddhist societies (TIBS) to make good use of the funds in their activities and projects so as to further the sharing and propagation of Buddha Dharma.  More information will be made available in the days to come.

For a start, we should be having a simple meetup with the TIBS to share with them this programme.  All buddhist youth groups in Singapore are encouraged to take full advantage of this programme, so contact us today!  The Buddha has already done the R&D, it is up to us to learn, apply and share the Dharma!

Suki hontu! ^_^

EDIT:

The above working panel is responsible for formalising a working programme for Buddhist groups to make use of the school facilities in Maha Bodhi School and Manjushri Secondary School.  The funds programme is still happening! ^^

Why Aren’t We Piping the Heat from Air-Con Compressor / Coolant Units to Heaters Yet?

Was wondering … why aren’t we piping the heat from air-con compressors / coolant units to heaters yet?

These units are transferring heat from the room or fridge to the coolant gas and onto the air surrounding the unit.  Go check out the back of your fridge or the compressor unit of your split-unit aircon in your house, the one sitting outside the house, and you would find the air around it warm or hot.

Can someone device a way to make use of this excess heat?  As it is, this heated air is either going to waste or increasing the temperature outside.  Granted, no heat is ever wasted, it is just transformed to other forms of energy … or loss to space, ie out of the earth’s thermodynamics.

Just wondering … …

Mass Animal Die Offs … Is the World Coming to An End? Or the Sound the Hare Heard!

There’s been recent reports of animals dying off world wide.  Some people are panicking and declaring that the world is finally coming to an end with an “Aflockalypse”.

Scientists however, are not so quick to draw such a conclusion.  According to US government agencies, mass die offs are common but merely unreported.  Others note that the advent of camera phones and internet has made it easier to highlight and report such occurrences; it does not mean that it is only happening now or is happening more frequently or intensely.

This reminds me of the earthquake reports that went online quite frequently last year.  While a few of the major earthquakes were really catastrophic and their reports was certainly helpful to bring awareness and aids to those who needed, the ease of capturing and reporting information online has meant that the general public may start to think that there is an increase in natural disaster when in fact the perceived increase is also due to an increase in reports of major and minor earthquakes made possible by advancement in technology.

Is the world coming to an end?  I think not.  But if this spur us to appreciate our daily life, our every breathing moment with our friends, family and love ones, even those with our enemies or those we dislike, then perhaps it can be positive too.  But if we get all paranoid and start behaving irrationally or irresponsibly, harming ourselves and others in the process, then we may want to take a page from the Jataka Stories (Birth stories) of the Buddha, and learn something from “Jat 322: Duddubha Jataka: The Sound the Hare Heard”

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/kawasaki/bl142.html#jat322

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/07/now-its-dead-doves-falling-from-sky-in-italy/

Our Favourite Cup, Dress, Shirt or Otherwise

We all have our favourite something.  If it is a cup, we drink from it.  Not that drinks taste exceptional with it, but we kinda get used to it over time.  We drink from it everyday.  It is our favourite cup after all.

One day, maybe our favourite cup is broken.  At first it is a small crack and we still use it.  If it is repairable, we should repair it so that we don’t hurt ourselves using it.  But if it becomes so broken that it cannot be repaired and we are hurting just by drinking from it, we have to ask ourselves if we should still hurt ourselves this way.

This is when we should reflect on how this cup has
served us well but that it is no longer suitable for us to use the cup anymore.  We don’t have to smash it up or start getting angry with the cup.  It does not make it any better.  Put it aside (or recycle it?) and move on.

If we cling onto the cup, identify with the cup and grasp onto it strongly, then we end up hurting ourselves.

When we are thirsty, find a cup, drink, put the cup down.  Don’t bring it to the loo.