coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
I've definitely been reading more ever since I got my kindle. So far I've finished reading 3 books on it, and am finishing the fourth. Yeah sure, that's still not much, but considering that I mainly return books borrowed from the library half read/unread these days... Because I pass out on the bed after work... That's an improvement. Well mostly because I'd bring the kindle out to lunch and sit there and read while eating. Even if it's just 40 mins or an hour of eating + reading, I still can get quite a lot done. I've started on two other books on the kindle too, but abandoned them because they weren't quite to my liking. Hard to find fiction books to my liking these days.

On the work side...

We're definitely feeling the effects of not having any microbiologist around.

My new sup??? (I don't even know who's in charge of me anymore, either way, she's higher ranked than me so yeah.... and she's been contacting me a lot since unsup left so yeah...) called me like twice today to ask about molecular and microbio stuff. And like the latest call was about... Let's say it's something that I'm still scolding myself for having to look up wikipedia to double check. One of those faceplams, OMG didn't you learn this is sec sch basics. Ok, I didn't learn this in sec sch... And I pretty much believed in the answer... But having been asked by someone else I just had to look it up to make sure. Gosh. A mirror copy of myself with more bio knowledge would be so totally mocking me now, like how I'd been mocking everyone else.

Meh.

Can also tell that the new rf... (I need to give these people nicknames soon...) really doesn't have much microbio/molecular bio background. Like she's never seen a filtration unit - ya know those that can filter 500ml or a whole liter? Nor has she used the BSC hood before. Ok, those are more cell bio maybe? And then when she picked up my fungified plate to examine, she put it back down the right side up. You always place plates upside down so that condensation doesn't get on the plates...

Meh.

On another note...

I'm still passing out at 10pm or so each day. And waking up at 5 am or something. Which is bad, because I want to go back to bed in the mornings... And I dilly my time away, and not get anything done. So it's been almost another week of no GRE and JLPT studying. And this is really, really bad. It's not going to change unless I change *something*. What? I don't know. Not waste time when I wake up maybe? And actually start studying. Yeah... I'm gonna try that. It's that or not pass out by 10pm. We'll see... :X

Anyway. Back on the books. I'd set on good reads that I'd like to finish reading 12 books this year. Basically, one book a month. I think I'm doing good on that so far. All thanks to the kindle. Won't be reading anything otherwise... Let's see how many books I'd finish on the kindle by the end of the year.
coolohoh: Biohazard (Default)
Who's excited for freestyle 2? I know I am! Of course I won't be able to view the exhibit... but pre-ordered the book! Yay! My sis would like it I hope! She purposely went looking for the first book when she went Taiwan after all. I think it'll be hard to get the book in sg...

Picked the regular, registered SAL shipping... The cost of the EMS is more than the cost of the book lol!!! Great, not my CDjapan points have been used up! XD Won't get a lot of points with this order... so I guess that means I don't have to buy anything from CDjapan 'just to use up the points' anymore XD Since it's used up already! Hahaha!
coolohoh: Biohazard (Default)
So I've read the book and watched the drama.

Of course this post is full of spoilers, so if you don't want to know, please don't read on!

Well for one... previously when I translated the news article, it was said that on the first night the story would follow the book closely, while the second night would be a twist. (And I swear, the Japanese word used was twist, straightforward, right out of the dictionary.) Of course, when you say twist, I thought it meant that they would be changing the story... maybe changing the tricks they used to commit the murder... or changing the murderer(s)... etc... Well granted, now that I've read the story it is quite hard to actually change the story while still making sure it's as good, or even better as compared to the original. Still... the words used by that news article...

Well it turns out that the second night isn't really what I would call a twist at all. Since it in no way 'twists' the main plot. Inside, the second night drama shows a 'behind the scenes' view of how the entire incident happened. Starting from 5 years ago when the Goriki family (or Armstrong, if you're using the names from the book) was killed. How the servants of the house left etc.... how they came together one by one and decided to carry out the unthinkable - kill the murderer with their own hands. They showed how Nino worked for that Murderer (sorry, I just suck big time with remembering names), how they got the Goriki former bulter to serve as his valet. How Nino got so frustrated at having to work for such an uncouth man and nearly wanted to quit but was persuaded not to... how the less educated servants got so frustrated at the lack of progress with their plans... how last minute changes occurred when the Countess wanted to take part as well - initially the plan was that her husband would take her place, and the wife would stay at home... how Nino made the mistake of burning the letter instead of bringing it back, which eventually led to their whole plan being revealed...

All in all I'd say it was an extremely well thought out drama. I could not spot any loopholes, or logical flaws (granted, they are following the plot of a well established writer after all). I think the behind the scenes story fitted well with the main plot, it was neither dull nor boring, and it was most interesting to see how the 13 of them executed their plans (and changed their plans as they realised Suguro Takeru, the famous detective, was on board) and committed the murder.

The drama was, as you probably already know, localised as taking place in Japan, instead of Europe as set in the book. Still, everything was well considered by the script writer/director and the localisation of the story was done with utmost care. For example, in the book the secretary had let Poirot known that the murdered speaks only English, but he had replied the train conductor in French. In the drama, Suguro asked Nino where the murdered is from, to which Nino replied that he had inferred that the murdered was from a particular locaility in Japan because of his dialect, whereas Nino had replied the train conductor in a different dialect. In the book the passengers were from various countries, but in the drama they were from various parts of Japan. The character names were properly considered too. The name association trick with the governess was reproduced by referring to a place in Japan when the real name of the governess and the fake one made up by the countess was put together. The oil spot trick too. In my opinion erasing a radical off the word worked better than changing a H to an E. You can tell that they had put in a lot of effort to make sure the drama included as much of the things mentioned in the book as possible. Still, as with all drama/movie adaptations there are parts that have been left out. For example, Poirot on Taurus express was completely eliminated, and with that elimination we do not get to see the govorness being distraught at the possiblity of not catching the Orient Express. Well in fact this whole Taurus Express thing was not only omitted, but it was changed, deleted, gone. The governess was shown as departing from the house with several other members of the group of 12, with the group departing at various different times. So no Taurus Express in the drama. Also missing was the writing of names/address when Suguro/Poirot was interviewing the suspects. The collection of passport was missing too, which does make sense because they were not travelling overseas in the drama. Only the count and countness had their passports with them in the drama. And no writing, so we didn't get to see who was left and who was right handed. Those were the two most obvious differences that I can recall at the moment... Ah one more. In the book the dead man's clothes were taken off for the doctor to examine the wounds, but of course they would not do that in the drama so as to make the show more family friendly.

Edit: Just remembered one more difference... In the book another carriage was added onto the train in a the station, and the company director moved to a room on the newly added carriage, freeing up his room for Poirot. In the drama that whole part was neglected, no new carriages were added on. The director merely moved to the 3rd class. As there's no new carriage added on, after the bloody knife was found, the actress wasn't moved to a new room simply because there was no new room to move to.

The acting was also superb. Not just Nino... but everyone else's too. A star studded cast indeed!

All in all I enjoyed both the book and the drama very much. I would certainly say that the drama has done the book justice, and I'd recommend you to watch the drama when you are free (and when subs are out I guess?). I'd definitely like to let my parents watch the drama (since there's Chinese subs) when there's a chance.

Alright! That's all for now! It's really late already and it's high time for me to head home!!! 
coolohoh: Biohazard (Default)
I thought I'll take some time to share the first ebook that I read this year. I came across this book when surfing Quora, a new favourite hangout of mine. It's a great site. People ask questions and others answer. The best thing about this site has to be the wonderful community there. There are rarely any trolls, or troll answers... that and the fact that the system is good and quick enough to remove any of such nonsense. The result is that the site is full of really high quality answers. People answering things from their own experience, or experts giving detailed answers from their own knowledge. You should give it a try if you're free...

So well, the book. It's originally written in French, but since my knowledge of French is non-existent, I could only read the version that's been translated into English. It's actually the first out of three books, but I could not/have not located the other two books in English. I'm not even sure if the other two books have been translated into English...

There's a wikipedia page for the book here, with a little info on the plot... (lazy to summarize, sorry)

Overall what I really like about the books were all the parts describing the behaviour of the ants. The social aspects, the biology, the anatomy of the ants... random biological facts interlaced with an intriguing story. Well as wiki mentioned, the story is about two parallel world - the ants and the humans. I very much preferred the story about the ants rather than the humans, though the human world can't be neglected because it is the humans that provides all the mystery that the ants encounter. I enjoyed the way the ants were portrayed. Fiction based on a good dose of facts. Things are exaggerated of course, but not so much that it would be impossible for you to imagine it happening. All in all it makes a very compelling read. I'd very much love to read the next two books, since the first book did kind of leave things in a cliffhanger. Hopefully the other two books have also been translated to English...

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