Last post in 2015

 

Girl carried in the Father's arm
Girl carried in the Father’s arm

<Ah look, a cute little girl was carried by his father while climbing “The Man Stairs”, which is consisted of 108 steps>

I believe this little girl felt really tired as myself desperately catched my own breath. Naturally, the father of this little girl brought her in his shoulder.

This scene is just too sweet for me. These two characters in this photo strongly attached in my mind after I arrived at home. Such a clear relationship between father with his daughter, the same also goes for Our Father and us, His children.

The year of 2015 has been finished. Now we turn the page to 2016. Another stairs to climb or easy-peasy downhill to walk with our eyes closed? Could it be more hill to overcome? I don’t have any single idea. But what I know for sure, we are not alone. He is with us, walks with us and carries us in His mighty arm.

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
-Isaiah 46:4-

I am grateful for the few new friends I have made in 2015. They are just… superb! In such a short time, I feel a sudden connection with them, such a rare occasion as it for me. I am looking forward for another wonderful fellowship with them in 2016! At the same time, being with them reminding me with others that I have connected so far.

Time is fleeting and moments are coming. I don’t know how long I can be with them. I will remember this time as part of my life. In the end, Together with them, I want to sail 2016 with joy in the heart, like Yotsuba <- This is my number one favorite manga 🙂

Yotsuba and cat. Image taken from: https://ghostlightning.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/yotsuba-cat-stick.jpg
Yotsuba and cat. Image taken from: https://ghostlightning.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/yotsuba-cat-stick.jpg

Happy New Year 2016

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Another new day.. a new experience

Travelling for 20 hours from Trondheim to Tokyo, added with load of works I had done 6 hours before I woke up, continued with packing of what to bring for my long stay in Tokyo, really pushed my endurance to the limit. I had lack of sleep, less food resulting increase of temperature within my body. I did hope to not fall sick during this period and after I arrived at Tokyo.

This time I had to pass three different immigration processes. One was at Copenhagen airport since I was about to leave Europe to Asia, second was at Shanghai Pudong airport where the purpose was to take out my checked-in baggage (it was considered as leaving the airport) and then re-check it in again and the last one was in Narita airport, my last stop of flight. The immigration process (or queuing) was quite slow in Copenhagen, but when it was compared with Shanghai Pudong, the process in Copenhagen was relatively fast. Surprisingly, I did not expect too much in Narita. There were lot of foreigners on the plane flying us from Shanghai to Narita. I thought it would had gone in the same pace as it was in Shanghai Pudong airport.But the fact did not tell like that. I believed that the immigration process in Narita was the fastest I have ever encountered.

The only difference that I felt was how active the immigration staffs were. Ok, I was relieved. Out of immigration, I took my checked-in baggage, another worries came over my head: choosing train from the Narita airport all the way to the place where I am planning to stay. Ok ok, I got the information about the train I had to take from http://www.hyperdia.com/en and http://www.transit.yahoo.co.jp, but still, it was piece of papers. It was an enormous feeling when I saw ticket machines standing here and there which languages I knew very little. After taking out money from ATM, since the exchange rate is much better than money changer, I went to the counter to buy train ticket. I was planning to get passmo with my name registered on it, but I cancelled it because I did not have my Japanese mobile number. I had a bit of struggle to understand the staff whom I asked from but fortunately, I finally got my ticket 🙂

Anyhow, my Norwegian phone number was useless in here and fortunately enough get Wifi coverage to send my confirmation arrival and the approximate time of my train to reach there to the staff of that shared house. The problem was, I was already inside the train station located in the basement of Narita airport, which the signal was very low.

Now, catching the train. I was completely no idea how to read the direction for transiting between stations. In every station, I always asked somebody to make sure that I took the correct train. I told myself not to fall asleep at the moment where I was waiting for the upcoming station. Finally, I arrived at the last transit station, however I had to go out from that station because of different train company operating that line. Going out itself was a problem. I did not know that I had to insert my ticket to the check-out machine, but instead putting it in the fare adjustment machine lol.

Finally, out of the station. After 15 min or so looking for the designated station, by the helped of one guy (he was distributing free tissue with an advertisement in it, which I thought night club), finally I found the direction. To reach there, I had to take my luggage, lifted it up to the fourth floors..

I need a new ticket for this one. I did not know where the “English” option in that particular ticket machine. Bit panic since I was late already from the planned time, I looked toward to 3 old ladies (about their 50’s) and asked their help with stupid hand gesture. I did not know what kind of face I showed to them, explaining in broken Japanese and simple English did not guarantee them to catch my message, but they tried their best to understand and help me. I asked whether I was in the correct train station and which ticket should I buy. To my surprise, they gave me 100 Yen to buy 200 Yen ticket (another 100 Yen was from me). I actually had 500 Yen that time, but they were not pretty sure whether it gave the change. One of them said it was a “puresento=present”. We had short chat, like where I come from, what I will be doing in Tokyo and where the university is. The funny thing was, I replied some time in Norwegian, like “nei” or “takk” lol. Once again, they explained to me the number of stations that I would be passing before reaching my destination. Just to make things more clear (in term of language), they told me as well their station where they had to stop together with the number of stations they would be passing. “Wakaru? wakaru” “Do you understand? do you understand?”

In the end, they said, “ganbattene”, meaning “please keep your spirit”.

I was really thanksful for that moment. Then I said thank you to them, and continued to check-in counter. The train finally was able to bring me to the place I am living in here, now. The first day I arrived in Japan was really interesting. I wonder what will encounter me tomorrow?

Random thought in the past two weeks

I have had a pause from GaN growth since two weeks ago. It is actually good time to pull back myself from the hectic of growth ritual, where I can read, observe other group works and at the same time (try to) design experimental procedure what to do next. Surprisingly, it is not easy as I though before. To find out what is wrong, what is missing, something to be fixed and improved are tough work. Such kind of works have exhausted my mind to some sense. I tried different ways to implement what so-called active reading of those papers and it turns out to be a little bit better and effective, at least.

One or two questions are popped out in my mind while reading a paper. Sometimes they even do not appear at all. “This is a perfect paper!”, as it has been cited by many other authors. However, the questions which I can find after “digging” diligently throughout the paper, are not superb or wow. I can say that active reading is not easy at all. I may need more and more hours to sharpen this skill.

Most of the time, I have a wonder how is it possible for most academicians and intellectuals that they can easily point out something that is not “right”, just few minutes after they have read a paper or listened to a presentation. Just within some time, a new idea that I have not thought about it, a paper has been published. A friend joke about how these group of people have a dedicated “print” button on their PC for publishing their research data. The critical thinking and active reading which are normally attributed as something that hard enough to be grasped (at least for me), are they transformed into their instinct? Just like how human perceive hunger and without any further thought, he/she will look after food.

Such a disappointment of not having ability like them, has aroused many times for these past two weeks. No, I think even more than that. Such an inevitable circumstance since I have decided myself to start living my life in this way. Not easy path to live in, but I hope I will have such kind of instinct like that one day.

All the way from NTNU – home, detour edition

I can’t keep these photos in my hard drive. I guess I can put in here :p

The first three photos are the lab where I mostly work. This molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) machine are considered as a new in here. We had the opening celebration last March. Official photos are available in this NTNU Flickr album.

MBE Lab 1

MBE Lab 1

MBE Lab 2
MBE Lab 2
MBE Lab 3
MBE Lab 3

 

Now I am out of the building. Time to roll out from university, back home. I believed it was Saturday, 25 July 2015. Normal distance I usually took from university to home is about 3.5 km with 25 min biking time. Since the weather was extremely good that day, I decided to take a little detour back home. The distance increased to 11.6 km and it took 45-60 min to bike back home.

NTNU main building
NTNU main building
View in front of NTNU main building
View in front of NTNU main building
Roundabout in IKEA Leangen
Roundabout in IKEA Leangen
Fjørd view from Brundalen 1
Fjørd view from Brundalen 1
Fjørd view from Brundalen 2
Fjørd view from Brundalen 2

 

This is the route I took. Just a raw footage.

Detour
Detour

Summer in Trondheim, 25 July 2015

After weird summer for the past 2 weeks, finally the sun comes out today.

A good time to test my new Go Pro 😉

It is entry level 2014 edition though, but so far I am satisfied. I bought with 8 GB + vented helmet strap mount. I hope I can be more prepared documenting my life in here and onward.

I just… do not understand how Trondheim forget how to summer. Anyway, I want to this moment.

View from my office in the university. What a perfect day!
View from my office in the university. What a perfect day!

I want to return to the basic matter

The last two weeks, I have encountered two papers discussing about the Miller indices in the hexagonal structure (wurtzite). I spent almost total one hour to understand it. I can’t believe I took that long time! My conscious of comprehension in crystallography lied to me. That’s it, conscious is not the same with facts. That is the reality.

My first time in learning crystallography was six years ago. Well, I just memorized the basic of crystallography and it looked simple that time. One of them was Miller indices. I knew it but did not understand what it was actually mean.

Then I took course in 2011 and recently 2014. Part of these courses dealt with Miller indices. Again, it was just passing my mind. Nothing so special about this section that really memorable to me.

Then last week, I read a paragraph in one paper. The authors of that paper used selected area diffraction technique (TEM) to analyze the crystal structure and the lattice constant. It was strange number at the beginning and after spending an hour, I finally discovered where that number came from. Note: One hour!

In the next few posts, I think I want to write short note about the crystallographic, which I am now trying to appreciate. Though it is bit basic, but I discover that it is really helpful to me. I find out this website is really amazing to re-visit the concept of crystallography.