So you have decided to pursuit on starting a PhD?

Well really, glands it doesn’t matter in what areas you’re thinking to do your PhD, women’s health as the pain and pressure level is almost equal. This might be an article to read before you make your decision. I thought I share with you guys whose seriously thinking to pursuit a PhD. Well, neurologist if you want to do a PhD, who can stop you from doing it, but my advice is to start researching about it so that you are aware of the situations that you might be experience in future. I agreed with most of what Emma is saying here, but I think there are some parts such as relationship with supervisors can be add in as a reflective way to provide insight of the situation. It can add some spicy and bitterness in the progress of your PhD.

And before reading the article watch this video first 😉

Created by Minnie Mouse 1224– “So you want to get a PhD in the Humanities”

A PHD is like childbirth for the brain

PEOPLE often say that writing a PhD is like giving birth to a baby. Having given both these projects a whirl in recent years, I’ve decided that some parts of the analogy are more apt than others.

Like making a new human, enrolling in a Doctor of Philosophy program often seems like a good idea at the time. It is frequently accompanied by thoughts such as “how hard can it be?”

The answer in both cases, of course, is “mind-meltingly, stomach-churningly, sleep-deprivingly difficult”. In fact, I wonder if any sane person would ever knowingly embark on PhD study or biological reproduction if they were fully cognizant of the hard labour that was actually involved.

I’ve lost track of the lunatic number of: weekends I’ve relinquished to study; journal articles I’ve read but failed to understand; sentences I’ve written and discarded in existential funks; and exotic European theorists whose names I’ve mispronounced at annual reviews.

Thinking back over these brutal statistics makes me feel like sleeping for a week then reading nothing but pulp fiction for the next century.

It’s erudite alright.

Like many other students, my doctoral difficulties began with conception. This is because PhD candidates are required not simply to learn stuff but to make an original contribution to their field.

In other words, you’re supposed to come up with something that is both brand spanking and new.

Human propagation is a cinch in this respect. Prospective parents do not have to wrack their brains formulating an innovative combination of outer and inner characteristics for their offspring. They are able to outsource this part of the process to the magic of DNA.

(And here I also note that accusations of plagiarism are rarely hurled at those parents whose biological compositions show signs of uncited genetic replication.)

In PhDland, however, you can’t enrol until you’ve come up with a proposal, and you can’t come up with a proposal until you’ve absorbed everything that’s ever been written on the topic in which you’re interested.

It is then necessary to devise a research question no-one has ever asked – quite a feat given the extent of human curiosity and the surfeit of PhD students.

The imperative to find avant-garde inquiry angles helps explain the delightfully specific nature of many PhD titles. One of my personal favourites is The Biomechanical Effects of Acute Fatigue to the Lower Extremity in Female Kentucky High School Cheerleaders.

I’m also a big fan of Relaxation Processes in Semiconductor Quantum Dots and Using a Controlled Lagrangian Drogue to Document Plankton Patchiness.

(Easy to mock. Very hard to do.)

Once deciding on your bizarrely narrow topic and having it cleared by the relevant authorities, you must then commence the lengthy task of PhD gestation which – at between three and five years of full time study – is positively elephantine.

Here, PhDancy has distinct advantages in that it is possible to reduce your workload or take official breaks. (Pregnant ladies, on the other hand, do not have the option of gestating only at nights or on the weekends. Neither can they temporarily suspend their candidacy in order to visit Venice or fall in love with someone from the dog park.)

As with human propagation, some theses don’t turn out to be viable and may miscarry under tragic circumstances.

Complications during the first trimester of PhD-ing include what the 2007 book Supervising Doctorates Downunder refers to as the inertia caused by “an orgy of reading”.

Failure to read can also be problematic. In his paper Diseases of the Thesis, Chris Fleming from the University of Western Sydney notes that acquiring a library’s worth of books is not necessarily an incentive to read any of them.

He writes of the belief that mere proximity to books in a room can be absorbed by some mysterious process of osmosis: “Who has not, at one time, breathed a sign of relief after copying a long article, momentarily forgetting that one then has to read it, and feeling let down by the banality and drudgery of it all?

“Now, this all seems to be produced by the vague feeling that you “don’t know enough” (indeed, this can grow into an almost zen-like absoluteness of a mantra like “I don’t know anything”).”

Other PhD-related pathologies described by Fleming include Fraud Paranoia (characterised by the conviction that your intellectual ambitions are an elaborate con), Never-ending-story Delirium (in which you become convinced you will never finish your thesis) and Motion Sickness (involving the endless postponement of study in lieu of tea preparation and house cleaning).

To these, I would add One-track-mind-eosis in that PhD students are required to think about the same subject for years on end. Forget the aphid-sized attention spans required for modern media forms such as Twitter.

Doctoral research requires fixation in extremis, an obsessive focus I suspect may be more detrimental to the human psyche than the much-discussed inverse.

The final processes of labour involved in the birth of a PhD share many similarities with those involved in the birth of a child.

Both can involve pain, panic and a feeling of profound alone-ness (despite the attendance of various loved ones and assisting specialists). And both may be followed by an inscrutable, post-delivery melancholy which is exacerbated by outsider assumptions that you must be feeling only unmitigated joy.

So why do it? Why make babies or embark on long degrees? Are these acts of unadulterated masochism that would die out if any of us ever had the benefit of hindsight?

Happily, no.

When it comes to parenting, the ceaseless slog makes sense because of the crazy love we feel for our children. A similar attachment can form between a student and her dissertation – and, indeed, between a student and higher education in general.

I am on the cusp of formally submitting a PhD thesis after five years of study (all of which also happened to have been spent either being pregnant with, giving birth to or raising a tearaway daughter).

And as I strain away in the academic delivery ward, I’ve concluded that – like parenthood – studying brings with it great exhilaration as well as great exhaustion.

Education is aerobics for the brain. It might hurt at the time but it affects the way you perceive and think about things long after you’ve stopped reading the theory, writing up the paper or mispronouncing Foucault.

Will it leave you time take a shower, do something fancy with your hair or interact with other actual grown-up humans? No, it will not. But, like making babies, it does make the world a far richer and more complicated place.

This article is written by Emma Jane, The Punch. Original article can be found here.

Turtle Brush & Eggs slicer

This new technology arrived..

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RepRap from Adrian Bowyer on Vimeo.

Can you believe it, or even dream of that someday this brilliant technology became reality and part of our everyday culture? Design has continue to make impact in our life and the way we do thing. Now this new technology, invented by a British Engineer and Mathematician, Adrian Bowyer that allow us to reproduce in a small scale our every artefact, instead of buying it at the hardware shop. RepRapProject is an open-source self-replicating 3D printer. This printer allow us to first make duplicate of itself, so that then we can start making duplicates of other little thing.

What is more interesting with this self-replicating 3D printer is it can duplicate almost anything provided you could find an open source 3D work of an artifact for example a coat hanger online. If you do have it, then you can reproduce a coat hanger as much as you can. Now when it comes to the material, here is where I am concern. That these material are made from plastic and I am wondering if it can be recycle and not ending up as a waste. If it does then what can we do with it? So far this project is still under its working progress with several engineer around the world participating in the prototype testing project.With this printer, we move to another era and perhaps it is not too much to say here that we might move little step forward. Imagine in future, if you think of needing something for the house, instead of going out to hardware shop, you download a 3D model which is an open source, and print it. It is almost similar to the changing era from print (paper) to digital world. People don’t have to buy newspaper anymore, because they now can download  (through subscription ) a digital online newspaper monthly monthly. Or they can connect to the web and read it online. Well.. even though most of us still catching up with many new updates with new technology, we cannot stop it from evolve..
Creative Commons License

It is obvious that Japanese culture have been parts of our everyday life, pills
in particular popular culture. Hello Kitty, Mangga, Samurai, Bento, Sushi, Honda and Kawasaki are among products and brand that most of us are familiar with and perhaps adore to owned. I like to engage in the discussion about Japanese culture and its influences in Malaysians’ everyday life since the time Japanese occupied Malaya between 1941-45. At that time the name Selipar Jepun (a Japanese made slippers, or also know in Australia as tongs) and Terompah (a wooden made sandals used outside of the house) became popular.

Popular cultures in Malaysia are very closely linked with the Japanese culture or it is not to exaggerate to state here that have shaped partly most Malaysians’ everyday life. A soap opera known as Oshin (I’m sure most of Malaysia remembered the spirit of strong Japanese girl who have fought for her life to survive and gained respect for her generation) for example have an influential recollection of teenagers’ life for many Malaysia in 1980’s.

The close connection between Japanese and Malaysia are inevitable, since their occupation in Malaya early 1940’s to the establishment of Malaysia in 1963 and till present days. Large numbers of Japanese products are used in most Malaysian household, from the bigger scale appliances such as rice cooker, washer machine to the little tiny stuff such as hand brush and eggs slicer.

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My visit to one of the most popular Japanese café in Melbourne known as CIBI reminded me of my childhood in Malaysia. CIBI is a café that served coffee, Japanese breakfast and lunch. It is situated along 45 Kelle St, Collingwood, Melbourne. An interesting set up and approach, CIBI not only provide delicious home made Japanese breakfast and lunch, but also been actively participating in promoting and exhibiting Japanese design kitchen products.

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Recently CIBI conducted an exhibition called ‘Japanese Kitchen tools’ or Nippon No Daidokoro Daigo (contact CIBI for further info at info[at]cibi.com.au). It exhibits mix of old and new kitchen appliances used in Japanese kitchen. What I found fascinating while browsing around the exhibition space is that some of the products are very familiar to my childhood. And all this while I thought it is locally made because it is heavily used in last decades of Malaysian generation. My grandmother used to have it all the time in her house. Can also be known as all-purpose brush, the hand brush known as Japanese Turtle Brush or Kaminoko Tawashi is a traditional Japanese brush made from hemp palm fibre. It is a hard brush mostly designed for the hard and rough surface to scratch mud on rough surface vegetable, shells fish, bathtubs, floors or muddy shoes.

Another product is the egg slicer. Most of the hawker or roadside store that sells Nasi Lemak one of the all time Malaysian favourite dish (coconut rice served with anchovies, sambal –cooked chili paste, slice cucumber and eggs), will have this egg slicer handy to slice the eggs. Discovering more and more product that are used in Malaysia comes from Japan, makes me wonder how much Japanese culture have influence Malaysian everyday life practices.

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The Author :
Nurul Rahman is currently working on a research project under School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia on tracing the Japanese cultural route in Malaysian culture
(Jan-August 2011). Permission and copyright (photograph and text) in this blog please contact through email : nurulrahman[at]gmail.com

Turtle Brush and Eggs Slicer by Zainurul Aniza Abd Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
http://www.nurulrahman.com/blog
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.nurulrahman.com/blog/?page_id=1222.

And while we were catching up with the latest technology updates…a printer can reproduce itself.

This new technology arrived..

anaemia 0, shop 40,0″>

RepRap from Adrian Bowyer on Vimeo.

Can you believe it, or even dream of that someday this brilliant technology became reality and part of our everyday culture? Design has continue to make impact in our life and the way we do thing. Now this new technology, invented by a British Engineer and Mathematician, Adrian Bowyer that allow us to reproduce in a small scale our every artefact, instead of buying it at the hardware shop. RepRapProject is an open-source self-replicating 3D printer. This printer allow us to first make duplicate of itself, so that then we can start making duplicates of other little thing.

What is more interesting with this self-replicating 3D printer is it can duplicate almost anything provided you could find an open source 3D work of an artifact for example a coat hanger online. If you do have it, then you can reproduce a coat hanger as much as you can. Now when it comes to the material, here is where I am concern. That these material are made from plastic and I am wondering if it can be recycle and not ending up as a waste. If it does then what can we do with it? So far this project is still under its working progress with several engineer around the world participating in the prototype testing project.With this printer, we move to another era and perhaps it is not too much to say here that we might move little step forward. Imagine in future, if you think of needing something for the house, instead of going out to hardware shop, you download a 3D model which is an open source, and print it. It is almost similar to the changing era from print (paper) to digital world. People don’t have to buy newspaper anymore, because they now can download  (through subscription ) a digital online newspaper monthly monthly. Or they can connect to the web and read it online. Well.. even though most of us still catching up with many new updates with new technology, we cannot stop it from evolve..

p/s: Just close one eye on the look and its presentation, because its capabilities is what most of us is after.