Monday, 26 May 2008

Wonders of Hue

Let's start off with an experiment. Below are 2 pictures of me in Legoland London, the first one being oddly coloured, the second one black & white (middle click each to enlarge in new tab). Now

  1. In the first pic, stare at the centre dot for roughly 15-20 seconds.
  2. Then immediately move to the black & white pic and focus on the centre dot.

legoland-inv (200x150) legoland-desat (200x150)

Provided your focus do no wander away from the centre dot in the second pic, the photo will momentarily appear coloured!

So what's going on here?

To people who enjoyed the illusion, but not interested in what actually happened, this is where you get off. To those who has a little theory and want to compare with mine, read on.

Complementary Colour


Let's start by going through the concept of complementary colours (although we have all learned this somewhere, sometime at some point of our life). Conventionally, there are three basic colour components: Red, Green, Blue (abbreviated RGB). The mixture of two adjacent colours result in another set of colour components: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (abbreviated CMY).

From the diagram, you should be able to tell which- colour-plus-which-colour-equals-which-colour.

Clearly, yellow is a product of red and green. Blue does not in anyway contribute to the production of yellow.

Here, blue/yellow are said to be complement. So do green/magenta and red/cyan pairs. In other words, these colour pairs are also said to be inverse or negative of each other.

cmy Conversely, and interestingly, if CMY is taken to be the basis palette, the mixture result goes back to RGB.

Note also that C + M + Y = BLACK, as shown the middle of this image, as opposed to R + G + B = WHITE above.


The first question goes: What happens when you stare at something (colour) for too long?

The cone cells in your retina, which are responsible for interpreting colours, become over-stimulated and fatigue. Eventually, those sells will send along an inverted signal to the brain, in attempt to level or counter the received signal.

E.g. If a patch of retina is over-exposed to yellow, the excited cells will try adapt by inducing blue to mute down yellow.

The effect shall remain for a few seconds once it stops receiving yellow. This is the so-called afterimage or ghost image.


legoland (200x150)Therefore, the oddly coloured Legoland picture is simply the negative of the original. No special trick here.

By staring at the inverted pic for an extended period of time, your eyes develop an afterimage with the original colours.

Notice how the green Lego shirt becomes pink in the inverted version; negative indeed.

Now I'm not sure about this one, but I think (and as suggested by Fadhli) that traditional film negatives work the same way. It may have something to do with material properties used to make the negatives, that colours become inverted in the film imprints, and has to be re-inverted to make sense.

Oh, and if you're an art student who's wondering what's the complementary colour of red, just stare at that colour for half a minute, then close your eyes, and your desired colour may then appear immediately.

Thorpe Park Rocks!

Vortex Thorpe Park rocks! Special thanks to Fadhli, Pear, Hanafi A, Hanafi S, Sofia (organizer), Hafizah, Baya, Lai & Syafa for the wonderful time we had. I intend to write a new entry regarding the trip, but it wouldn't be complete without some photos (which are yet to be scanned). Just wait, it's coming soon...

Meanwhile, I think I have a couple of backup drafts here, saved in Windows Live Writer weeks ago, patiently waiting to be published just when I'm running out of material, or time. Let me dig up some.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Sour 24 turns sweet

17th May; I turned 24. That's almost a quarter-centennial. Quadruple that, I may be a part of one complete century. 80 times that, I may have lived since 0 AD. Now how old is that?

Although I always feel like a 16-year-old entrapped in this ever aging body, I must not resist nature's progress. I do notice my thoughts towards things becoming more matured as I age, albeit probably a bit slower than my peers. However, I see no harm in retaining this childishness. That being said, I still like toys like I always do, and that's what makes me me. Yayyay.

Life expectancy of a Malaysian male averaged at 70.05 years (female at 75.65 years, how unfair). Therefore statistically speaking, I now have 46 years left to live. There' still a lot to do, and the probability of those to-do's getting completed is decreasing year by year.

Above may be the reasons why I seldom celebrate birthdays. Well, partly because I never quite see the significance of celebrating one. Of course, I get birthday wishes here and there, but it still felt like every other day. Why do people make a big fuss about birthdays anyway?

Later, I realize that celebrating a person's birthday is not about celebrating him/her being a year older. It is about celebrating the person him/herself who came into being. This is what makes celebrating birthdays meaningful

The presence of my beloved fiancee Azie into my life somewhat spice up my birthdays a lot. Dining outs weren't just regular dinners, but dinners where I'm being celebrated. Too bad you weren't here this year Azie, I miss you so much.

DSC04705 (494x640)

A lovely card received from afar

Nonetheless, even without Azie being around, I still enjoy this year's birthday big time. Special thanks to all my coursemates/housemates for the wonderful eat-outs and jalan-jalan. And thanks for the 'surprise' birthday cake and present today. I didn't know my birthday could extend up to 4 days now.

DSC00010 (480x640)

Kek buah 'kurang kalori' yang sedap

Also a million thanks to every single person who messaged me on Friendster or Facebook saying 'Happy Birthday'. It is like election, when so many people vote, it matters a lot (and I'm NOT saying it doesn't matter if so few people vote).

All in all, had a great birthday this year! ありがとうございます!


Insyaallah, I'm getting my flight back to Malaysia on 07/07/08. 'Bile Uncle Heli balik?' asked my 3-yo nephew, calling me Uncle Heli as he always does. 7-7, that's when.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Some random chat on Yahoo! Pool

These few days, there has been a sudden, unexpected craze towards the multiplayer Pool game on Yahoo! Games among a few of us. We usually play against each other, but sometimes I prefer wandering around looking for strangers to play against.

My avatar is this cute looking brunette . And yes I do intend to make my opponents think they're playing against a woman, just for the fun of it, but I never explicitly say that I am one.

So yesterday I met this guy (or is it?), we played a few rounds, won some lost some, but what I enjoyed most was the conversation. To protect the innocent, let his Yahoo nickname be concealed. Keep in mind that he thought I'm a woman.

He’s in blue and I’m in red.

hi gl


where u from?

some country in asia

ni hao

speak chinese? (what, does everyone in asia speak chinese?)

wo hen hao (luckily I do)

xie xie

jiao richard

bu yong ke qi

where u from?

u s a

i was looking for a chinese wife



its true



i learn some chinese


i think

chinese girls are nice

not like americans

why aren't american girls nice?

too independent


isn't independent good?

yes and no

so you're looking for someone who follow your every word?

hard to find a faithful woman

there is too much sex and violence

i see

too many disfunctional american women

(He won the game)



do u work?

still studying


goodluck finding a spouse

xie xie

wo yao

lao po (means wife in chinese)

hahaha. jia you



youre up kinda late right?

(He pocketed the black ball. I won)



yeah. got exam tomorrow

study hard

of course

what subject



i have associate degree

electrical engineering


but now

im just electrician


i forget most of it


mind if i ask.. how old are you?

dian gong (means electrician)

53. you?


nu er (means girl. He was asking. I didn't answer)



u will be engineer?



you choose for yourself?

ofcourse. y do u ask?


just ignorant

of your ways

want some pizza?


so.. haven't you found any 'candidate' in the past?


one day

she love me forever

next day

she disappear


(I won)


killin me

one of us is killing me

as an american

can i ask u something

yes ofcourse

what do you think of muslims

a random one eh.. hehe sorry


not sure

muslem itself is ok

depends on if they are radical

i am a christian

god loves all people and hopes they will be saved

yeah. they sure will



i think

they wish to take over the world

i dont

neither does anyone i know


no matter what

all people are important

(He won)




u want to become a muslem?

i am one



nice to meet you

are you an eskimo?

nice to meet u too



so did u have any change in perception

once i told u im a muslim?


i don't really know any muslems


i think

all people have to be evaluated independently

thank you very much

were you born muslem

does it matter


just use your common sense

dont let anyone talk you into anything

that you wouldnt do

i know

as a christian

there are christians who are not right either

i chose for myself


that's why jesus gives us the holy spirit inside of use

to guide us

dont worry. i do believe in jesus


as a messenger that is


i really dont know muslem doctrin


jesus himself says he is god


this is proven in the bible


for talking into this

no really. im fine with it

i was the one who brought this up right

(I won)


hey. my breaks over

gotta go back hit the books

maybe we can play again sometimes


nice to meet u


im 33


Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Perfect Metaphor

Seems familiar... (click image to enlarge).

2 papers to go. A mild headache. Not a very nice combination. Going to sleep now.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

The Black Stripes Effect

I'm in the middle of exams now so this would be a quick one.

Examine the picture below. To most of us with non-freakish eyes, it seems like an ordinary square pics filled with senseless black stripes.

Now move a couple of metres away from your screen and you'll see something familiar: my profile pic.

The original picture was re-levelled to give really faint colour, still fairly noticeable without the stripes. But the presence of black stripes force your eyes to assume the unstriped area are of the same colour - white. When you look at it from further away, the original information starts to reassemble.

(Hint: you can cheat by tilting your laptop screen backwards. But this just has nothing to do with the illusion, just the behaviour of your LCD screen. )