All in A Day’s Work

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Had a mid-semester quiz on microbiology this morning, which was uneventful and without much surprises.

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Prof. Hu Jiangyong took over from Prof. Ong for wastewater treatment, and she dived straight into the hydraulic calculations of head loss through bar screens. It felt nice to have some calculations once in a while.

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Laboratory work in the afternoon about the detection of suspended particles in the air, then subsequently the concentrations of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. Much like how the PSI is determined. The TA, Mr. He Jun, was very patient in explaining the experimental procedures and operations of the ion chromatography machine.

I respect laboratories. They are places where knowledge boundaries are prodded at constantly, and rewritten with worldwide implications every now and then.

Home

Watched the last two episodes of the documentary series, featuring Sino-Indian and China-Kazakhstan relations.

The perennial problem in Sino-Indian relations is the border disputes. Wars have been fought over that, but both sides pulled back eventually as they knew a full blown war would be mutually detrimental. Right now, the focus is on the economies. Together, their populations make up a third of the world’s. A third! That’s an unimaginable proportion.

One image from the clip on Kazakhstan left a deep impression. It showed how China’s oil supply from Middle East and Africa have to be shipped through the narrow Straits of Malacca. Although we’ve been spoon-fed about the geographical advantage of Singapore since secondary school, it is astounding to see how it still applies today. Geography is truely a set of cards dealt from above: like it or not, live with it.

Kazakhstan decreases China’s dependence on this route. Middle East countries are blessed with resources, and Kazakhstan is no exception. The China National Petroleim Corporation acquired PetroKazakhstan for $4.2 billion (Straits Times, today) that can eventually provide 10% of China’s oil demand.


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