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My Views- Lee Kuan Yew

Hi guys,

As you probably know, i am a Singaporean and the past week has been a rather sad week for us Singaporeans. On the 23rd of March at 0318 hrs, we lost one of our founding fathers, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I know that this is a rather touchy topic but i feel that it is important for me to voice my opinion on the issue.

Since February, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been hospitalized for (from my knowledge of the situation) pnemonia and since then, the Prime Minister’s Office had been releasing statements regarding Mr Lee’s situation. At some point in March, Mr Lee’s health began to deteriorate and many Singaporeans began to send in their well wishes, hoping that Mr Lee would make a speedy recovery. Some people on the other hand, criticized Mr Lee and the actions he took during his leadership. However, the situation continued to go downhill until Mr Lee sadly passed away on the 23rd.

Since his passing, thousands of Singaporeans have sent in messages to pay tribute to Mr Lee, some of which are posted on the Remembering Lee Kuan Yew website. An orchid species has also been named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

I personally feel that it is important for Singaporeans to understand what Mr Lee has done for our country and how significant the changes he made during his leadership are to us today. We are very fortunate to be able to transition from a third world country to a first world country and without Mr Lee and his team, we wouldn’t have been able to do so.

But I’m not here to prove to you that Mr Lee was a great man who did great things. (If you want proof, look out of your window. That’s proof.) I’m here to offer my opinion on how things went during the past few days.

Please note that these are my opinions which may differ from others.

The fact that Singaporeans still remain united during this period of extreme grief is very heartening. I think that the late Mr Lee would have been very pleased to see that Singaporeans, behind our busy, seemingly mindless selves, still remain united as one.

But that is the very thing i find weird.

If Mr Lee did not pass away, would none of this have happened? Thousands of Singaporeans thanking him for his service to the nation. If he hadn’t passed away, how many of those people would have thanked him for his service? Personally i am an atheist, i do not believe in the afterlife. Why do we wait until that person cannot hear us anymore before we give thanks to him/her? Even if you do believe in the afterlife, what if it doesn’t exist? You can only hope it exists. Why do we not thank him while he can still hear our thanks and see our messages? This does not only apply to Mr Lee but practically every single famous person who has passed? The famous suicide of Amanda Todd, why did everyone wait for her to commit suicide before saying she was beautiful? We should thank these great people while they are still alive. All of these people left this world without ever hearing the thousands of people thanking them, cheering them on. I feel that this situation shows us that we need to show our thanks and cherish those who are still alive. Crude as it may sound, there is no point waiting until someone is on their deathbed before telling them how thankful you are for their help or for their mere existence. Cherish the time you have left with these people, if you feel that you haven’t been thanking your grandparents enough, it doesn’t have to be a word of thanks, actions speak louder than words. Make them a cake, a nice meal or do something nice for them on their birthday. Don’t wait any longer, you don’t have the time to wait.

But yes, we must acknowledge that Mr Lee was a great leader who played a HUGE role in Singapore’s development. Several people have been criticizing Mr Lee’s decisions while he was in power. I feel that even if we disagree with anyone’s decisions, we shouldn’t be criticizing them while they are on their deathbed. Several people have also remarked that these people are not grateful for what they have today. I partially agree with that. Singapore has been sort of a miracle. We somehow managed to turn from a third world country to a first world country, not an easy feat especially with all the problems that arose during that period. Several other countries are trying to escape the third world status but Mr Lee managed to actually pull us out of that situation.

Now that Mr Lee has passed, i hope that Singapore will continue to develop further. This is what i believe Mr Lee would want to see.

“Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me to the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up.”

-Mr Lee Kuan Yew

He will get up for his spirit lives on within all of us.

 

Clyde Lhui

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Home, My Views

My Views- Why you shouldn’t hate science

Hi guys,

I decided to type this post because I’ve been thinking about this topic more frequently lately.

This year, i have had the chance to participate as a facilitator in an event organized by Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS) called Open Little Eyes (OLE). I participated in this event together with a few friends from my school. Through the event, i have made several new friends, who are either the same age as me (Sec 2) or one year younger than me (Sec 1). I have been talking to them quite a bit even though the event has long ended. When we talk, we usually talk about school and other stuff. However, whenever i bring up the topic about physics or science in general, they would all start freaking out. They have told me multiple times that they do not like science (or physics to me more specific). That made me think more why didn’t so many people like physics or science? Its not just my OLE friends, its practically everyone who I’ve met (excluding some people).

Let’s begin from the start. When Singapore was a very young nation, the government decided to implement mathematics and science into the education system so as to increase the rate of growth of our nation by rapid industrialization which required skills such as proficiency in mathematics and a basic knowledge of scientific concepts. This has to this date remained an integral part of our education system, training critical thinking and the ability of students to solve problems. However, this has caused some students to start feeling doubtful of the subject, some of them even strongly dislike these subjects. I myself have questioned the reason for us to study math and even engaged in a debate with my dad, finally conceding to the fact that mathematics is useful to me.

For a start, lets talk about mathematics. Math used to my second most hated subject in the 4 core subjects (Math, Mother tongue, English and Science). The reason for this hatred? The very nature of mathematics. Math is very repetitive in nature and requires a lot of practice. Without sufficient practice, one may find the subject extremely difficult. In fact, practice is the only way one can master mathematics. Sometimes math may seem useless. Algebra for instance seemed useless to me at the start of last year. I always wondered “Why would i ever need to factorize anything in real life?”. Over time i realized that math was actually very important in real life. Physics requires the use of a lot of math. I also found the fun in math. However it still ranks third in my 4 core subjects. (I still love my English and of course my science).

Now on to the core of this post, why do people dislike science? I found out that the reason lies in others’ perception of the subject. People perceive science as an extremely difficult subject and they stay away from it. In some cases, this fear of the difficulty of science causes their standard of the subject to drop. They get intimidated and they stop trying. I have to admit, i was daunted by secondary school mathematics at first. However after analyzing the subject at a deeper level, i see its beauty and its importance. This then motivated me to try to understand the key concepts rather than just learning how to do the questions. This is also another problem: the fact that students learn only what is required and not trying to progress further. Science is a very broad subject and there are may areas in which people might be interested in. I actually do not like parts of physics. Although its my favorite subject, i still hate certain topics (especially optics). If you stop at what is required of you, you might just miss the interesting parts. The only other reason why people might not like the subject is because of the way that it is being taught. As for this, you might want to consider approaching your friends or your teacher to further inquire. I used to ask many questions and that is what caused me to like science so much. To this day, i’m still asking plenty of questions and it certainly helps in my learning process.

To end off, I wish you all the best in your journey of scientific inquiry and i hope that you have an awesome times studying science. Whatever you do, don’t give up on science and it won’t give up on you.

Regards,

Clyde Lhui 🙂

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My View- What is Physics? (or Science rather)

Hi guys,

I’m doing another ‘My View’ post. Sorry for not posting any science concepts for so long. I’m working on it.

Why did i choose to write about this? I have been asked this question many many times. Please do note that this definition of physics that i speak of is my own personal opinion and it’s not a universal fact so feel free to comment and voice your opinions!

But just for those who wanted a standard definition:

noun, (used with a singular verb)
1. the science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force.
Physics is the study of the fundamental ‘things’ that make up and influence everything in the universe and their interactions with each other.

Physics aims to unify everything to get the most fundamental ‘things’ that govern our universe. When I use ‘things’ I mean practically everything. From forces to energy, from matter to antimatter.

And precisely because of the fact that physics is so fundamental that i love it so much.

Allow me to use an analogy, the engineer who knows how every single part of a car is able to understand how to drive the car, but the driver who drives the car does not know how all the different parts of the car work. And this is why physics is so powerful.

It is able to explain the other 2 sciences, chemistry and biology. It can explain how particles interact at the subatomic level, therefore being able to explain things at the atomic level, therefore being able to explain things at the molecular level, therefore being able to explain things at the biological level.

Then aren’t the other 2 sciences useless? NO! Biology and Chemistry are very very important. Despite physics being the most fundamental, biology and chemistry allow us to be much more efficient and be more accurate at the macro level.

Let’s go back to the analogy, if the engineer who knows how the car works but doesn’t know how to drive wants to drive the car. Theoretically he can slowly learn how to control the car by analyzing its most fundamental components. However this would be very impractical as he would have to waste a lot of time to do so.

Biology and chemistry allow us to focus on broader issues while sacrificing breadth for depth. They allow us to be efficient and in the modern society is very very important.

So does that mean that Physics again is useless? Obviously not. Physics is still able to describe other phenomena that occur at the macro scale. Thing such as forces and velocity are still important.

So what is Physics to me?

(After all this is a ‘My View’ post)

Physics is the subject that I love so deeply. The subject that keeps me coming back for more. The subject that never fails to intrigue me. The subject which relieves my stress yet at the same time stresses it out. I hate it yet i love it.

When i first became interested in science, i loved chemistry. I thought that chemistry could solve all my problems. I thought it was the science that made the most sense, until i met physics. In the beginning i found it interesting and i wanted to learn more. However i couldn’t find anyone to teach me the basics. My only source of valuable physics knowledge were my weekly physics classes. I asked questions, many many questions. I asked questions like “Does light have mass?” “What is antimatter” and even engaged in debates with my father and my friends about these concepts.

By this point i was learning something new every week. The pace of which i was absorbing knowledge was increasing steadily too. Then i hit a wall. The questions were getting more and more difficult. I realized that although i was absorbing a lot of information, it wasn’t all useful and it was fragmented. The link between each topic was very vague.

At the end of the year, i received something, something i am thankful for to this day. In the beginning i underestimated its power, until i experienced it for myself. At Cnergy i was learning more than i had ever imagined. It has become the thing i look forward to every Monday. The knowledge i had access to was unbelievable. I was progressing so fast that i found myself being extremely stupid just a few months ago. The friendships i have forged in the Cnergy programme are the most valuable thing i have gained from this programme. Our Cnergy group is extremely tightly bonded.

Cnergy has also given me the opportunity to participate in many various courses and competitions. It has truly enriched my life.

Last but not least, SJPO. The Singapore Junior Physics Olympiad. I have learned so much that its literally indescribable. I am also very thankful for the chance to participate in the trainings.

So back to the question, what is Physics to me?

Other than all the things i have mentioned above, Physics is a path, a journey, a path that i am still walking on.

And I’m never getting off this path.

 

Regards,

Clyde Lhui 🙂

Home, My Views, Science

My View- Science Education

Hey guys,

Today, I had my Physics paper (or at least when i started to type this post) and as you guys probably know, Physics is my favorite subject. And today i would like to voice out my opinion on science education as a secondary 2 student.

I have been studying science for the past 6 years of my life and it has been a pretty awesome experience. When i first started to learn science, i was really really interested in the subject already. I even began learning beyond my syllabus. By Primary 5, i could already balance equations. This year i have already learned Special Relativity. However, despite the amount of science knowledge i have accumulated, i still feel as though there are some HUGE flaws in my knowledge.

Before i go on to explaining why, let me talk about the 2 periods which i learned the most so far.

The first time i started learning that there was knowledge which was way awesome than i thought possible was in my late Primary school years. I learned about chemistry, physics, biology and such, mostly chemistry though. I learned this mostly through my dad and some from my primary school teachers. I would stay back in school until late in the afternoon, around 4-5pm, asking my science teachers various questions until i decided it was too late to stay any longer and just went home. However during that period, my learning pace was extremely slow, i took around 3 hours to just learn what was a hypothesis. Back then, i questioned things at the subatomic level and many of the teachers who had taught me said ” What you’re asking is quantum physics, you might want to read up on that.” However i did not get the chance to understand what quantum physics was as Wikipedia and books were way beyond my field of understanding. I literally flipped 2 pages of the books and gave up. As for the wiki page.. Go wiki “Quantum Physics” and ask a Primary 5 student (11 year old) about his opinion on the wiki page.

I only got to learn about the idea of quantum physics only this year. Which is the second point in my life where i had a jump in knowledge. I was selected for a science talent programme called ‘ CΩergy’ and i met a teacher called Mr Damian Boh. He has taught me and is still teaching me a lot in the realm of science. I can safely say that this second leap was a tiring yet rewarding experience. As  compared to my first leap in knowledge, this one was to me a lot more efficient and had a higher quality in general.

Now back to the HUGE flaws in my knowledge. Though i do know a lot, its bits and pieces of knowledge here and there about very specific things. I do not have the full knowledge of everything from the base up and it irritates  me a lot. It forces me to think about the loopholes more than i think about progressing further in my knowledge itself. In my opinion, this huge ‘knowledge abyss’ which i’m in right now is the result of my first leap in knowledge being incomplete and inefficient in nature. Why do i say it was inefficient? I was learning at a much much much slower pace as compared to that of which i am currently on. To be honest i can’t blame it on my Primary school teachers, i feel that they have done their best in educating me and i thank them a lot for that. It’s just the fact that in the past, i asked questions which did not really link, causing the HUGE gaps in my knowledge. If i had asked the right questions, my knowledge would, although might not be so advanced but would be more complete.

I feel that students, when they show interest in a particular area, should be guided and helped to develop a more complete knowledge. Rather than building a really long and tall stone rod, why not build a more stable, more solid stone block? Also students should be empowered, in the sense that they get to choose to go further in what they like rather than in what they don’t. Lastly, i feel that a student with the interest in something is like a machine, without being supplied the resources and energy required to run it, it would not work and its potential to accomplish something is just wasted.

To end off, I would like to thank all my friends who have helped me in this journey in my quest for scientific knowledge and all my teachers including Mr Tan Kian Tee, Ms Lee Limin, Mr Tan Teck Nam, Mr Tan Ping Hock, Mr Adrian Yao, Mr Edmund Yong and many others! And last but not least, You, the reader. By reading my blog, you may help me further understand science by pointing out mistakes in my explanations and allow me and the rest of the readers to further understand science!

To the edge of humanity’s knowledge of science we go!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

P.s: I’m starting a YouTube Channel soon and so is my co-writer, Jackson! Stay tuned for more updates.

P.p.s: I’ll be doing a post/video on electricity so0n!