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I almost died in Bhutan

By on Aug 27, 2015 in Travel | 3 comments

I almost died in Bhutan. No joke. Tuesday was my second last day in Bhutan, with my flight out leaving early morning Wednesday. I was spending my time in Paro, where the only international airport in the country is located. My plan was to spend this last day visiting the Tiger’s Nest, a monastery that’s 3,100 metre above sea level. It’s situated high up in a mountains among steep slopes, with a 2-3 hour trek leading up to the ridge where the monastery is located. (More on my trip to Bhutan in general later.) I had no problems on my way up, making it to the top in 1.5 hours. I explored the monastery and surrounding caves, met with monks, chatted with other hikers and police officers. I had a great time. I started my descent at around 3.30pm in the afternoon. For one-fourth of the route, it was easy going. Descents are easier than climbs anyway and I expected to be down...

Thoughts on Jurassic World

By on Jun 14, 2015 in Reviews | 2 comments

I went to see Jurassic World yesterday, I movie I’d been highly anticipating for a while. Normally I don’t get time for any blogging these days, but this is such an exception. Thoughts… Jurassic Park was one of my favourite movies as a kid. It used to come on Star Movies all the time, practically every week. (The first two movies I ever saw were, if I remember correctly, Independence Day and Godzilla Roland Emmerich version.) I was completely fascinated by dinosaurs like any kid would. My favourite dinosaur was a triceratops, also because one of my favourite characters on the animated cartoon show DuckTales was Tootsie the Triceratops. Holy guacamole Batman, there’s more product placement in┬áJurassic World than a Michael Bay movie. And of course there’s a fucking Starbucks while trying to look at dinosaurs. Is that a ’92 Jeep Wrangler? Of course it...

For 2015, I’m Trying To Give Up Antidepressants

By on Jan 2, 2015 in Personal | 3 comments

It’s been a while since I have spoken about my mental health issues publicly. And I think it’s time to talk because I’m trying to stop taking antidepressants…and I don’t know yet whether I’ll succeed. *** I stopped taking my antidepressants in the first week of December 2014. Not suddenly…I went on a proper action plan for slowly weaning myself off them. My current bout of depression started in September 2012, which makes it just over two years now. For over a year, I had been on the highest dose of my antidepressant medication – citalapram, 40mg / day – as my course of treatment. Additionally, I am still currently on pregabalin – a drug more commonly used to treat nerve pain in chronic cases – to control my Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Seven months ago, I started feeling better…and that depression was no...

Amazon’s Fire Phone is incredibly smart…and what it means for the future of smartphones

By on Aug 25, 2014 in Tech Takes | 2 comments

The announcement of the Amazon Fire Phone is one of the most interesting technology news I’ve come across in recent times. While the jury is out on whether it will be a commercial success or not (UPDATE: recent estimates suggest it could be as low as 35,000), the features that the phone comes with got me thinking about the technical advancements that have made it possible. The caveat here is much of what follows is speculation – but I do have a background in research projects in speech recognition and computer vision related user experience research. I’m going to dive into why Fire Phone’s features are an exciting advance in computing, what it means for the future of phones in terms of end-user experience, and a killer feature I think many other pundits are missing out. Fire Phone’s 3D User Interface I did my final year research project on using eye...