Select Page

Geeking out at Tech Saturday (Upsized!) 2018

(I am back! Well, sort of. I graduated from my master’s course AND sold/bought/renovated our home so things are still a bit crazy around here. One month after graduation and it still has not sunk in that I. HAVE. GRADUATED. That realisation will kick in soon and I will write soon but in the meantime, I am excited about something else!)

The man that I married is a geek. He loves tinkering with computer things. When I was pursuing my master’s, one of the subjects that killed most of my brain cells was on the measurement of electronic audience. I know, I know, I was also all -_- when I started the subject.

Anyway, the husband sweetly tried to explain how web beacons and something something worked and all I heard was “blah blah packet sent here blah blah sent there”. Suffice to say, I was a terrible (live) audience, my eyes literally glazed over and till today, the technicality of it all eludes me. And that is a fate that I would like my boys to avoid. In this technologically driven world, they need to be adept at understanding and mastering technology such that they are not only consumers of technological content but producers too.

Actually, one of the things that I really want them to pick up is coding. I think coding requires a level of logical thinking, it teaches patience and above all, it allows them to be creative while having fun. These are skills that are necessary for kids to survive in tomorrow’s world. So I am always interested in all things educational and tech-related for them.

Last year, we went to Tech Saturday (Upsized), the tech carnival for everyone (SERIOUSLY, they have activities for, like, four- to 70-year-olds or something) and the kiddos had fun coding and playing with bots. We also attended the Little Artists for VR workshop, where Aidan had fun creating his own VR world (while Zac was busy terrorizing the room…in his defense, he was not quite three so..). This year, we are looking forward to go back again.

I have signed the boys up for the Augmented Reality Animal Flashcards workshop, only because they are nuts over AR (thanks, Pokemon). They’ll get to search for animals and feed them, all via AR!

If you are keen, here are five other activities that I would love to check out when we are there.

AI Goalkeeper
When we were in Zurich, we visited the FIFA World Football Museum. It was an incredible place, filled with really cool multimedia exhibits. But what made my boys go animal-creature-wild-thing-wild was the gaming zone, where they could play football in a pinball-styled setting. They were all over it, trying to kick the balls into the net to score points. I reckon they will be super excited over the AI goalie, trying to beat it. (They are no Messi though, so I think the AI will triumph over them.) This was also developed by Temasek Polytechnic students, and I am totally not biased even though I happen to teach there.

Make a Light-Up Greeting Card with Circuit Stickers
Since Father’s Day would be approaching, why not get your pre-schooler to make a greeting card that lights up with an LED? Dads – geeks and non-geeks alike – will surely appreciate this gesture while the kiddos can learn about the electrical circuit. Don’t worry, the LED is safe and this activity is meant for four- to six-year-olds accompanied by a parent.

Design and Print a 3D Model
This one is for the big kids aged 17 and above (ie. ME. And probably YOU). You get to learn more about 3D printing, and even design your own 3D model. I first saw a 3D printer at PIXEL (same time as when A was attending the VR workshop) and it’s seriously fascinating. I’d ditch the kids with their geeky papa (they’d probably go to the Lego booths and code a Lego bot or something) and do this for me.

Star Wars Jedi Challenge
To find out if the force is strong in you, you can put on a headset and wield your very own lightsaber in the Lenovo’s Starwars Jedi Challenge Augmented Reality experience. I have always wanted a purple lightsaber, like Mace Windu‘s, bless his very dead Jedi soul.

IMDA Lab on Wheels
My boys have a strange fascination with buses and I think the IMDA Lab on Wheels might excite their easily excitable selves. The interactive buses – there are two of them at the event – have AR/VR/MR headsets on one while the second requires your to solve puzzles in order to ‘escape’ from the ‘escape bus’.

Check out Tech Saturday 2018 (Upsized) on June 2 and 3 for a fun weekend out!

EVENT DETAILS
Date : June 2 & 3 2018
Time : 11am to 7pm
Venue : Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre Halls 404 and 405
Price : FREE!!
Register for workshops here, registration ends May 23, 5pm.

Thank you IMDA for sponsoring this post! We are looking forward to being geeks at Tech Saturday (Upsized) 2018!

Curating at Naiise

When the folks behind Naiise contacted me and asked me if I was keen to curate pieces from their online shop for a Mothers’ Day special, I jumped and said yes.

You see, I’ve always had a crush on that site. Naiise is all about design and their shop is chockfull of items that not only look gorgeous but are functional to boot. Plus, I love that they champion the work of local artists. And honestly, the whole notion of curating the items was a bit like make believe shopping – I was imagining placing all these beautiful things that I covet into the cart and KA-CHING! ALL MINE!

Alas, one can only dream.

(I’m always hoping that I can decorate our home all over again, much to the chagrin of poor Mr Thick. I mean, my design aesthetic has changed so much over the past five years but ah, that’s not in the cards right now. Maybe when we have been here for 10 years!)

naiise

Anyway, here is the list of items that I had selected (and which I would be most thrilled to receive, not only for Mothers’ Day but also for Christmas, anniversary, birthdays etc. hint hint hint).

And here is my interview with the lovely Naiise folks.

I’m a Fitbit Flex-er

One of my bad (or good, depends on how you see it) points is that I can be really, really competitive. Not just with others, but with myself. I know, it sounds strange but it’s really a case of me applying my legendary stubbornness to something and making 100% sure that I succeed. Even if nobody cares, because I care.

(That’s how I could go through seven IUIs and still bulldoze my way forward. Crazy.)

Anyway, Mr Thick snapped up two Fitbit Flex for us recently and almost immediately, I have found myself doing my best to match up to the goals that I had set. For instance, my target is to hit 8,000 steps a day. But but but…it is term break now and I am hardly on my feet these days.

This was why husband found his wife pacing round and round the living room last night, muttering to herself. He was all, what are you doing? and I was like, I need to hit 8,000 steps.

So the school has what we call FIT Day on Wednesdays, where we can take off at 5pm to exercise either on campus or around the nearby reservoir. I took a leisurely walk this evening at 5pm – the weather was nice and cool – and lo and behold! 8,000 steps! And more!

MUAHAHAHAHA.

Let’s see how long this obsession of mine lasts.

Oh, we have been extremely geeky these days. My tech-loving husband recently presented me with the Pebble watch. One of my favourite watchfacees is the hobbit one and I have to say, I really like living on hobbit time. After breakfast is second breakfast, and then there’s lunch, and right after lunch is a nap. BEST THING EVAR.

And yes, as Mr Thick said, my wrist is all Bluetooth-ed out. It IS very nice to have married a geek. Who cares about diamonds when I can have a Pebble?

Hello, bubsicles!

14 months after delivering my little man, I went through a lengthy process of coming up with another baby: my new site, Bubsicles.

bubsicles

Bubsicles was born out of my identity as a mother and it was really a desire for me to build a community of women sharing their experiences of being and becoming mothers openly, freely and without prejudice. Too often do we see “mommy wars” being ignited. If anything, parenthood has taught me that there are many different options out there and not one is better than the other.

I started toying with the idea last year but it took a while for me to get my act together and I bought the domain name in November. Then work took over my life, I was busy fighting fires in school and the little man slept so poorly. Somehow, through sleep-heavy eyelids and fuzzy brains, I managed to put together a site that looks halfway decent.

There are times when I think I must be crazy, starting a new project when I barely have the time and energy to deal with whatever is on my plate now. Call it itchy fingers or being a stubborn old mule – but once I had that idea in my head, I could not get over it without getting it done. Yannisms will still be here and I will still be writing about this little boy of mine. Bubsicles is more about life as a mother and all the tips and tricks that get me through it.

So here it is, my bubsicles. Right now there’s just me and me alone but I hope to be able to gather more women in future to share their words and lives. In the meantime, enjoy and please send any feedback or suggestion this way!

The emperor’s new clothes

It’s really of no surprise that I get bored of my blog’s theme pretty often. I mean, I get bored of my wardrobe on a regular basis, to husband’s chagrin.

But he, being the wonderful, loving partner that he is, indulges in my whims. And this is why my blog has a new outfit – the good man bought me a new theme!

Between work and the little man, I have precious little time and energy to fiddle with it right now so it looks a little threadbare at the moment. I love tinkering with CSS and HTML stuff (basics, please) and it will take a little while before this place looks more me.

Pardon this minimalist look while I go about fixing it and in the meantime, if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

RIP, Steve Jobs

We’ve never met the man.
And yet, we feel his loss deeply, and keenly.
Because we know how much he has changed our lives and our world.

They call him visionary, the Einstein of our generation.
But I think he is much more.
He is the “crazy one”, a round peg in a square hole, a genius who has reinvented so many of the things that we never knew could be made better, faster, sleeker, more beautiful.
He is the classic and everlasting example of courage, of creativity, of perfection, of passion.

A person like him just isn’t comparable to anyone else.

Unfortunately for us, he’s like the shooting star that blazes brightly and furiously across the dark night sky for that mere millisecond before his life is snuffed out all too quickly.

He was a creative, a virtuoso, a mastermind.
But more importantly, he was also a husband and a father.
If he has left a gaping hole in our world, god only knows how devastated his death must have left his family.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

We will miss his genius.

Apple heaven

%d bloggers like this: