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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Garmin nüvi 3700 Series

Alright, Garmin has come up with another new series of Nuvi(s).
This time, it's thinner, and more portable.
It's 9 mm thick.
It looks almost the same as the iPhone's outlook.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Never Gave Up

Another meaningful story going round email forwarding...
One day a young lady was driving along with her father. They came upon
a storm.. The young lady asked her father what should she do?
He said, "keep driving".

Cars began to pull over to the side, the storm was
getting worse. "What should I do?" the young lady asked.

"Keep driving" her father replied.

On up a few feet she noticed eighteen wheelers were pulling over also.
She told her dad, "I must pull over. I can barely see ahead. It is terrible out here
and everyone is pulling over."

Her father told her not to give up just keep driving.

Now the storm was terrible but she never stopped driving and soon she
could see a little more clearly.

After a couple of miles she was on dry land and the sun was out. Her
father said, "now pull over and get out of the car."

She said, "but why now?"

He said, "get out look back, at all the people that gave up and are still in the
storm. You never gave up and now your storm is over.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My contribution is forgotten

Some people are just forgetting that I am paying for their enjoyment every month. If this amount of my contribution is not observed, or other words being ignored and not being treated accordingly, I would have been more happy to rather pass this amount to those unfortunates who at least I know they will utilize it meaningfully and not disappointing me; rather than paying to nonsense meaningless activities, which in fact act as knives stabbing my heart for no reason.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's wrong with eating too full?

I am not sure how accurate it is, but received from a friend of mine through forwarded emails.
Just for reference then...
What's wrong with eating too full?
Take time to read this mail. You will appreciate that you received it and read it.

Don't overeat and don't encourage your family members and friends to overeat
- unless you wish to shorten their healthy living and perhaps die younger!

An interesting article about eating too today's Dr Lee Newsletter Issue:
"The more you eat, the sooner you die. The lesser you eat, the longer you live." This is what Dr Lee always says in his health talk. He also mentions, "Eating too full causes all sort of health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, etc."

Why eating too full is so harmful to your health? What can you do about it?

Mice experiment
To see how eating habit affects life span, a professor from University of Texas did an experiment on mice.
For the first group of 100 mice, he let them eat without any restriction, just like a buffet meal. The second group was fed only 60% full. And the third group was given food without restriction too. But this time, he reduced protein content to half. After 2.5 years, guess how many mice were still alive out of 100?
* First group (eat without restriction) - only 13 mice was alive. Opsss...
* Second group (eat 60% full) - 97 mice was still alive. Only 3 mice died.
* Third group (eat without restriction with protein cut half) - 50 mice still alive.

What can we learn from these results?
Firstly, eating too full is really harmful to your body. Secondly, eat 60% full if you want to live longer and healthier. Thirdly, taking too much protein is harmful to your body too. We don't need so much protein after all.

Overworking body
Imagine having a small family car. Instead of using it for short travel between home and office, you use it for long distance travel between different cities every day. Instead of using it 1 hour a day, you use it for 10 hours a day. Instead of driving at 70 km/h, you always speed up to 170 km/h, hitting engine's red line.

Can you estimate your car life span? Do you expect having various problems with your car after a short time?
Driving your car at high speed for a long time is like always eating too full. You force your body to always work at its red line.

Do you know that digestion is the most demanding work for your body? Think about the organs involved such as your mouth, stomach, liver, pancreas, duodenum and intestine. Think about the length of digestive tract from your mouth to intestine.
Eating too full zaps up much of your body energy for digestion. Otherwise, this energy may be used for other purpose such as enhancing your immune system.

Do you realize you become very tired easily after a big meal? That is the sign of your body working hard to digest all the food you take in.
If you eat an extra bowl of noodle, your pancreas has to produce extra insulin hormone to process the extra carbohydrates you take.
Your liver, stomach and intestine also have to produce extra enzymes to digest and process specific nutrients from that bowl of noodle.
Therefore the more you eat, the harder your body has to work to process it. Of course, we must eat to survive. But we don't have to eat that much!
If you drive your car slowly and handle it gently, you can use it for a long time. But if you always floor the accelerator and drive like a rally driver, you know the consequence on your car life span.

Side effect of eating
Your car engine burns fuel to move your car and bring you to anywhere you like to go. As a result, the engine produces exhaust smoke which is toxic. It must be dispersed out from your car. Similarly, your body cell burns nutrient for energy to survive. In the process, it produces free radicals. Since free radical is toxic to your body, it has to be neutralized and expelled.
"Just metabolizing food especially fatty and carbohydrate- rich fare causes the body to produce free radicals, which attack cells and can promote the development of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer," says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D.
Of course, your body can control free radicals in small quantity. But the more you eat, the more free radicals your body produces. Without adequate control, these free radicals easily attack your body cells and eventually cause all sort of diseases.

Good eating habit
After knowing the harmful effect of eating too full, what's your choice?
Do you want to live longer, just like the second group mice in the experiment?
Or do you want to risk ending your life earlier, just like the first group mice?
If you wish to live longer, here are some tips you can follow:
1.. Always eat until 70% full. Do not exceed 80% full. You may want to stop eating when you feel slightly full.
2. Avoid having buffet style meal which makes it harder to control how much you eat. Instead, prepare the food you want to eat in a plate. After finishing it, don't add anymore food.
3. Leaving the dining table earlier may prevent you from picking some extra food to eat.
4. It is always a good idea to prepare lesser food in the first place. Some people are afraid of having not enough food for everyone. Actually, lesser food is beneficial for everyone..In a restaurant, order in small amount first. You can always add in some extra order if necessary. But if you can get by with the original smaller order, that's great.

Remember this: You have higher chance of overeating if you serve more food on the table. You have better chance of not overeating if you serve less food.
5. Avoid stuffing your fridge with ice cream, chocolate or other dessert. You cannot eat what you do not have.
6. When someone prepares a big plate of food for you, look at it first. Ask yourself, "Do I want to stuff it all into my stomach?"
If your answer is no, just put aside some food to another empty plate first. After finishing your food, look back at the extra food on that new plate. Say to yourself, "Phew! Luckily I didn't stuff that portion into my stomach."
7. When you get too hungry before your meal time, just take some fruit instead of heavy meal. The tendency to overeat is very high for modern people. Do you know most monks only eat twice a day?
They wake up at 4am, meditate and say their prayer. Later they have their simple breakfast at 7am. Before 12pm, they have their lunch. That's all for them. They eat no more after that. No tea break. No dinner. No supper. They still look strong and energetic.
Of course, we don't have to eat like them. But it reminds us we can eat less and stay healthy. So remember to eat only 70% full if you want to stay healthy.



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to become a Formula 1 Designer/Engineer

I think this is a good piece of reference to those planning/interested to become Formula 1 engineer. It's been written since SEPTEMBER 2, 1997. BY PETER WRIGHT




Of the many millions of people around the world who follow Formula 1 motor racing, a tiny percentage are sufficiently inspired by it to pursue their technical interests into a career in the engineering side. Thirty years ago, when I applied for a job at BRM, the Chief Engineer, Tony Rudd, warned me that it was a risky path to follow and that I would be better off to join one of the large engineering companies such as Rolls Royce Aero. Engines. However, I wanted to be in Formula 1 too much and was prepared to take the risk of working for a small company in the unstable world of motor racing, and he finally agreed to take me on. Today the situation is different; motor racing employs thousands of designers and engineers from all disciplines, and offers one of the best careers in a shrinking market for mechanical engineers.

How does a young, technically orientated boy or girl, inspired by the sound of a high revving racing engine, or by the artistry of Schumacher controlling a wayward Ferrari, go about reaching the peak of motor racing design or engineering - Formula 1? What sort of education and experience is needed to get on to the first rung of the ladder? What specialisation's are most sought after? How did those who are now at the peaks of their careers start? The answer to the last question does not provide much direct guidance:

Patrick Head (Williams) joined the British Navy.

John Barnard (McLaren/Ferrari/Benetton/Arrows) worked on production machinery for making light bulbs.

Gordon Murray (Brabham and McLaren) designed machines for making plastic containers.

Rory Byrne (Benetton and Ferrari) was an industrial chemist.

Eric Broadley (Lola) was in the building trade.

Gary Anderson (Jordan) was a mechanic.

Nigel Bennett (Penske) was studying to become an architect.

But, all of them designed, built, tuned and raced specials in their spare time. Their day jobs funded their hobbies until this passion for racing cars took over and launched them upwards towards Formula 1 and Indy cars.

In the days when these men started in racing, it was still possible for one person to understand, and hence design, a Formula 1 car or engine. He could take any part of the vehicle, look at it and understand how it worked - or did not work. Keith Duckworth designed the Cosworth DFV, the most successful Grand Prix engine ever, virtually single handed. Today it takes a team of designers and engineers to create the technical "tour de force" that is a modern Formula 1 car. No single person can possibly understand all of it - aerodynamics, composites, electronics, control systems, materials, combustion, lubrication, transmissions etc. Specialists engineers research and develop each aspect and multi-discipline designers create the whole. The Chief Designer's or Chief Engineer's job is to guide and co-ordinate this team of experts towards realising a carefully optimised concept. He must be able to discuss details with the CFD or FEA specialist, and be able to interpret the mass of data from the car and engine. Most of all he must take all the inputs and information and make critical decisions, i.e. he must direct and manage the whole technical side of the business.

The leading Formula 1 teams have expanded their design, engineering and R&D departments in the last decade, as the requirements have expanded and large budgets have been acquired to finance them. They may be as large as 100 persons, covering all aspects of engineering:

Designer - Mechanical - Engine

- Chassis and suspension

- Transmissions

- Systems

- Models

- Composites

- Electrical

- Stress

Race engineer

R&D Engineer - Aerodynamics - Wind tunnel


- Structures

- Vehicle dynamics

- Electronics

- Materials

- Hydraulics

- Control systems

- Data systems and analysis

- Engine

- Safety

- Testing and test rigs

Production Engineer - Machine shop

- Composites

- Assembly

- Quality control

- Planning

It is not just the teams that employ large engineering departments. Engine manufacturers, tyre companies, fuel and lubricant companies, the FOCA TV organisation, TAG-Heuer, and all the specialist components suppliers such as carbon brakes, clutches, electronics, data systems etc have significant motorsport departments to support Formula 1 and the other major series.

With such a large and diverse set of technical disciplines involved in all forms of motor racing, it is difficult to generalise about what educational path an aspirant should follow in order to best prepare him/herself for a career in top level motorsport.

The personal attributes needed by an aspiring Formula One designer or engineer are:





Ability to work hard consistently


They cannot all be gained by education. However, the wrong education can negatively impact any one of these characteristics, reducing the natural level possessed by an individual.

With technical knowledge increasing almost exponentially, much of education is tending to concentrate on the gaining of knowledge at the expense of understanding. A recent survey of undergraduates entering British universities set a fairly simple trigonometry problem for them to solve. More than two thirds of them were unable to calculate the correct answer as they did not know the formula, and were not equipped with the understanding of trigonometry to enable them to work it out from first principles. We are flooded with information and facts via books, multi-media and the Internet. It is important to know how to find and interpret these facts, but it is not so essential to remember them as it is to understand them and their limitations. All too often the CV's of job applicants list all the CAD and CAE software that the person knows how to use, but this merely tells the interviewer how many courses they have been on. Details of software written by the applicant would tell much more about their understanding of the subject involved. Of course, just as a draughtsman used to have to know how to use drawing instruments and how to dimension and tolerance a component, the designer of today must be conversant with CAD and CAE. However they too are just drawing instruments, in the wrong hands they will generate bad designs. A good designer, who has never used CAD, is better than a bad one who knows all the CAD systems. Converting a good designer to CAD is a matter of attending an appropriate course, and practice. Converting a bad designer into a good one is probably impossible.

For this reason it is not really important which technical subjects are studied at school and university, as a person who has a good understanding of the basic technical subjects i.e. maths, physics and chemistry, will be able to learn the essentials of a particular specialist subject and apply his or her fundamental ability to understand a wide range of topics. Rory Byrne did not learn much about aerodynamics or suspension design while studying chemistry, but this did not stop him becoming one of the designers with the best understanding of what makes a Formula 1 car fast.

There are not many science or engineering subjects that are not relevant to motor racing, one way or another. Even biology can lead to sports medicine or human factors research. At the moment, atomic physics and cosmic science are not involved, but you never know�

The quality of a degree or other qualification is important. The institution where studies take place should have a long term reputation for producing quality engineers and scientists. The qualification standards achieved will reflect the effort and dedication of the student. Since the mid-1980's Williams have been employing designers and engineers with good degrees. It is with this sound raw material that they have built up the top technical organisation in Formula One and the quality of their cars reflect this.

The first language of motor racing is English. This does not mean that in order to work in a team such asFerrari it is not beneficial to be able to speak Italian. However, in any discussion or meeting between people from a number of different countries the language used will inevitably be English, and any participant not able to follow the discussion will be at a serious disadvantage. Conference proceedings and technical papers on motor sport topics are normally published in English. Anyone intending a career in motor sport must have a reasonable command of English, especially technical English, in order to be able to integrate with other people in the teams he works for. Some European countries, with a minority language such as Dutch, educate their children from a young age in a number of languages. The result of this education is that they are able to find work almost anywhere in the world.

When it comes to seeking someone for a particular specialist post, applicants with either a Masters Degree - which does reflect understanding and innovative thinking - or relevant experience will be the ones of most interest to the employer. After understanding, experience is the most important attribute. Many complain that they cannot get into motorsport without experience, but that they cannot gain experience without having a job in racing. Not true. Schools and universities that provide opportunities to become involved in real, practical, competitive, automotive projects are numerous. These projects, allied to the right academic courses, combine practical experience with theory, giving meaning to much of the course work. A competitive element sorts out those that like to work under pressure from those less suited. Formula SAE, which has been running since 1981 in the USA involving numerous American universities and thousands of engineering students, is a perfect example of an initiative that is producing many excellent racing car designers and engineers.

(Note: I am sure there is a suitable Japanese example of a University based, automotive competition that could be included here.)

Gaining experience outside college is mostly a test of initiative. Motorsport is broad enough and deep enough to provide many opportunities for those prepared to take them and those who will make sacrifices. All of the top designers, mentioned earlier, gained their experience by becoming involved in racing one way or another and at whatever level they could find. They "just did it", either at their own expense or for no remuneration. If the right qualities are present in an individual, they will be spotted eventually and someone will offer to pay for them.

The lower formulae in motorsport, leading up to Formula 1, vary in the experience they can provide. Some have fairly free technical regulations and provide opportunities to innovate in the design and development of the cars and engines. Unfortunately they are becoming rarer and are being replaced by the one-make formulae such as F3000. These formulae have almost no technical freedom and hence provide limited experience for designers, but they do teach race engineers the precision and discipline necessary to this job well. Karting is not just a school for drivers, it is also a good starting place for enterprising racing engineers, as all the fundamentals of motorsport engineering are there, in their simplest mechanical form.

The old apprenticeship system was not wrong - it imbued young engineers with a feel for materials, processes and the reality of making things work, that generally enriched them as designers and engineers. For example, an engineer who wants to become involved in composite design would benefit enormously from a period spent making composite tools and parts. The Jordan car reflects the years Gary Anderson spent as a mechanic - building assemblies and rebuilding them until they worked properly. His cars are wonderfully practical machines.

If you know what area of motor racing engineering you want to work in, then go and learn it from the ground up. The best designers can make every part they design, with their own hands.

Becoming involved in motorsport at any level starts the development of a network of contacts, many of whom rise up and spread throughout the sport. This network provides information about jobs that become available, usually long before they are advertised, and is a source of technical intelligence from other sections of motor racing.

Getting to the top in motor racing requires a great deal of hard work. Because it is a competitive activity means that there is never any reason to stop work - if you do a bit more there is a chance you will beat the person who has all ready stopped work. While the rewards can eventually be considerable for those who succeed, both financial and in terms of life style, it is more a case of long hours and little compensation on the way up. To be prepared to slog away, far from the well equipped factories, luxury hotels and glamour, requires a passion for the sport and the technology involved. This attitude to cars and racing is essential if a young designer or engineer is to survive long enough to rise through the ranks to Formula 1 or another of the top racing series. Detecting the right attitude is a major factor when interviewing potential designers and engineers - or indeed any potential employee. Colin Chapman used to say that in order to assess an applicant for a mechanic's or a designer's job, it was not worth bothering to ask them lots of questions - designers tend to be poor communicators anyway - just look in either the mechanic's tool box or inspect some of the designer's drawings. This would tell you all there was to know about the applicant's attitude, and his or her ability to do their job.

Two of the best young engineers I have employed did not respond to advertisements, instead they sought me out with the claim that they had decided they wanted to work for Lotus, and what could I give them to do. As long as they earned enough to live, they were not interested in how much they would be paid. Both developed into highly skilled and motivated R&D engineers, making big contributions to Lotus. Within five minutes of meeting them it was obvious that both of them were the sort of people Lotus wanted working for the company; after that it was just a question of finding them something to do to get them started.

Formula 1 is expanding at the moment. The top teams are recruiting designers and engineers. If you do not mind hard work under pressure, and are stimulated by seeing the fruits of your labours being put to the test within a few weeks or months of inception, this is a good career. Even if you do not contemplate being involved in motor racing for your whole working life, it is an environment that provides a wide range of contacts in related fields. It is also now recognised that successful motor racing engineers possess most of the qualities needed in all forms of engineering, engendering the right attitude towards problem solving and getting things done.

If you really want to be a racing car designer or engineer, go for it! I can guarantee you will not be bored.



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hajime Restaurant [Thailand] - Robot waiters/waitresses

A high-tech restaurant to be marked as another point of interest to visit in Bangkok, Thailand.
This is the first restaurant in Thailand implementing automated robots to serve customers.
The owner, Lapassarad Thanaphant, invested about 30 million Baht (about $930,000.00) for this robotic systems/devices into her Hajime restaurant.
This cool restaurant has just been opened on April 1st, 2010. Yes, it's an April fool day, but the opening is not a fool.
Its location/address is kind of hard for me to find out, but at last i found it.
It's address is: (I hope I am not wrong)
บริษัท JMAX MONOPOLY จำกัด เลขที่ 97/2 ซ.นาคสุวรรณ ถ.นนทรี กรุงเทพมหานคร 10120
It's at Monopoly Park community mall in the Rama lll Road area of Bangkok.
Here's the video showing the hospitality robot able to serve food and dance as well!