Saturday, 2 May 2009

Fun-Static! (and a prank idea)

Being one of the globally renowned oil company, Petronas practice strict rules and policy with regards to HSE – Health, Safety, Environment. Hence during morning meetings, attendees are encouraged to raise/notify any substandard act or condition.

Two days ago, the HLO (Helicopter Landing Officer) complained that while trying to open the door of a just-landed chopper, he received several static shock. Apparently they flew through stormy weather before arriving at Resak.


Later after the meeting a personnel approached me and asked (in a puzzle-riddle tone):

An airborne aircraft is bound to accumulate static charges while cutting through the air. How does this kept away from harming the passengers? Or how does the earthing of the charges work (while still flying)?

I thought it was time to Google the answer, but my ego won’t budge. He obviously knew that the answer and was testing me out. So I brainstormed a bit.


I remember last year while shopping at Carrefour with Azie. With 20 cent handy, I detached a shopping cart. The cart was rather aged; the wheels squeeked as they spin. The bearings must have really worn out. Holding the handle bar (of what material I don’t know), I pushed around for quite a distance.

Then I touched the steep body, and ‘Hadoi!’, a jab of electrostatic shock striked me.


Come to think of it, those friction at the wheels must have mounted up static charges on the metal body. Failing to earth through the wheels (what? was it rubber?), it chose an alternative available path, ME.

Damn trolleys… it occured several times even. But it gave me an idea to conduct an experiment/prank.

While pushing the cart around, I had one finger touching the steel frame. As the wheels generate charges, I store some of them in my body. Not only this prevented me from getting more shock, I have became a walking-human-capacitor, ready to strike!



Hehehe.. lawak2.. you should try that sometimes. Unlike charges attract!’, so that’ll improve chemical bonding between you two.


So back to the aircraft situation. I could only speculate that as the aircraft build up static charge, the passengers store them too. Therefore there won’t be any electricity exchange between the bodies because they’re all of the same potential.

And that the charge will instantly be earthed once it lands. (And well, maybe extra charges accumulated during stormy weather did not discharge quick enough.). Make sense, kan?

But but…

Gile hape, this would spoil all the instrumentations in the aircraft, as they are highly sensitive to even a miniscule amount of static electricity.

And how bout those SWAT teams absailing down from a hovering chopper, mesti gila kene shock masa sampai tanah, as he is the only earthing path!


So what are the other options? Through the air?

Ok Mr, I give up. But I’m gonna Google it first, THEN tell you the answer.


Ooohhhhhh.. it’s called a wick.

PS: sorry eh yang… :P

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Resak CCR

There are times when I feel really really really bored on Resak, and being a relatively new platform, almost everything is automated, so less work for all of us. With limited internet connectivity and reading material, I knew I had to find something interesting to keep myself occupied (heh, don’t I always?).

I’m very much intended to take some pictures of the platform, but to comply to a photo-taking permit is such a hassle; no flash allowed, gas test required, bla bla bla. Leceh

Hence let me just present to you Resak main control room. Obviously I’m not in the pic; who else was gonna hold the camera?

Insyaallah I’ll come back later with more pictures.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Cryptography + Arithmatic = GeekyFun!

A few years back (before the era of widespread Sudoku craze), I was hooked on a particular type of cryptarithm. Being a puzzle enthusiast that I always am, I had a book full of this puzzle which was almost completed.

Having nothing much to do, it sure feels sentimental if I can revisit those puzzles and re-evaluate my deduction capability.


A typical example of such puzzle is as follows. (created by this old dude)

    S E N D
+   M O R E 
= M O N E Y

The goal is to identify the value of each letter, while abiding to the following rules:

  1. Each letter must represent a different digit
  2. The leading/leftmost digits must not be zero
  3. The solution is unique (usually, unless otherwise stated)

If you’re willing and persistent enough to try, it is not difficult to discover the solution.

    9 5 6 7
+   1 0 8 5 
= 1 0 6 5 2

Interested? More cryptarithms can be found here.


Also, try out below puzzles too. They took me a half-a-lunchtime to create and verify. (The solutions may not be unique)

    S A Y A
+   S U K A 
= M A S A K

           K A U
+   B O L E H 
=     B A L I  K

    A Z I E
+     A N D 
= H Y R E E

Do post your answers in the comments.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Force needed to tip a cow

hahahaha. Found this on Digg.

Too lazy to verify the force calculation as my physics got really rusty (fadhli, aimran sila tolong). The only flaw I found is that the centre of mass should have been higher.

Get a partner, and lets go tip a cow!

Sources: 1, 2

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Earth Hour may cause power surge...

...if TNB isn't prepared, endangering the national grid and severely damage many generators.

earth hour

In 1999, a short solar eclipse hit the UK. naturally everybody would turn off the lights to observe the rarely occurring phenomenon. Sudden drop in power demand was promptly handled.

But as soon as the sun reappeared, demand increased rapidly as people resumed normal life, causing the most significant power surge in the UK thus far.

(source: ni semua EES lecturer Tim Green yang cerita)

Lets hope every utility providers in the world has foreseen this and be fully prepared.

Hooray for Earth Hour!!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Your desktop = You

How you arrange your desktop icons and your wallpaper of choice can represent what kind of person you are. According to psychologist Donna Dawson;

Desktop with icons strewn across the screen - the owner is disorganised and tends to lose focus easily

Even icons on each side - owner values balance and proportion and tend to keep a cool head in tricky situations. Likely to be organised and dislike clutter

Desktop with many rows of icons - reflects a person who needs everything to hand, likes to feel in control and on top of their life, while at the same time revealing a tendency to be slightly disorganised

Personal photos as wallpaper - indicates the kind of person you are and what priorities you have. Often a parent will have a photograph of their child, or a keen traveller will have a photo of an exotic location. Photos of friends shows popularity, useful in work environments where you need good people skills

Plain blue wallpaper - suggests the kind of person who likes to keep their personal lives private

Trophy photos as wallpaper - Choosing pictures of past successes can suggest a big ego and someone who glories in their past successes so choose carefully!

And here is my desktop as I'm posting this:

desktop (800x500)

The layout of my icons is highly dependant on the image composition of the wallpaper I currently put up, and my wallpaper of choice revolves every month. So what does it says about me?

Source: Gizmodo UK

Friday, 6 March 2009

DIY car remote amplifier

A few days ago I learned something new on the net: pressing your car remote against your cranium while pushing the unlock button boosts its signal and could get you a few extra meters than the maximum distance normally needed to unlock your car!

I was really skeptical. Can your skull really work as an antenna? The harder question is, can it conduct radio frequency, or even amplify it? My amateurish physics knowledge says it shouldn't.

So I put it to the test, Mythbuster-style, although control parameters and fixed condition are largely ignored. Azie was my witness.

Step 1: Approximately 30 meters away from her Myvi, I pressed the remote while holding it up high, trying to get the signal reach as far as it could. Car not unlocked.

Picture 0007 (160x120)

Step 2: At the same position, I held the remote against my temple, surprisingly the car was unlocked!

Picture 0008 (160x120)

Step 3: Retrying Step 1, I had to move in 5 meters closer to unlock the car.

Sigh. It worked (when I thought it shouldn't). I don't know what to believe now. Somebody please enlighten me.