Uncategorized

C – Z

Updated : August 5, 2019

Census

In Colonial Burma, the administration compiled “Than Kaung Sar Yin” (literally meaning “list taken at midnight”).

US Population Census

The US Population Census Data is compiled every ten years as mandated by law, but the census data takers do not visit houses at midnight.

The data is collected not only from US citizens, but from anyone who happened to be in the US (e.g. studying or working) at the time.

The data is to used mainly for planning (e.g. restructuring of voting areas) and not for storing personal details.

Census Bureau employee Herman Hollerith invented the electronic tabulator and punch cards for the 1890 US Census.

The company that Hollerith founded grew to become IBM (International Business Machines).

UCC

UCC computer and machines were used to process the Population Census Data in Burma in the ’70s.

Processing was done mainly with the FILAN software package. Some low-level coding were done using PLAN (assembly language for the ICL 1900s series).

Character Codes

A character in a specified language can be coded as a string of bits (binary digits).

In the early days, English was the primary language used for communications in most parts of the world. The English alphabet consists of 26 letters. 5-bits (which can represent 32 symbols) are need to represent (a) upper case characters (b) lower case characters.

5-bit, 6-bit, 7-bit and 8-bit character codes were developed and used. Some early standards include (a) 7-bit ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) (b) 8-bit EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code).

With the wide spread use of computer technology, Character sets for the various languages were developed. Some languages (notably Chinese) require long bit strings.

Fixed length coding gave way to Variable length coding. The most used characters in a language are represented as one byte and the lesser used characters are represented as two or more bytes.

Unicode aims to have standard character codes for the languages. There are formal and informal institutions to help develop, propose and approve new Unicode character sets. UTF is a Unicode Transformation Format to transform Unicode characters to fit the specified length (e.g. UTF-8, UTF-16).

Standards may be (a) De Jure (set by law) (b) De Facto (set by common usage). Standards must be followed for Compliance.

Recommendations, which should be followed, can cause variations in the implementations.

Chess

Chess Sets

I had several Chess sets.

  • My parents bought me a regular sized Chess set with Plastic pieces.
  • Saya U Maung Maung Gyi, my father’s teacher, gave me a set with leaded wooden pieces.
  • My elder brother gave me a Portable set that he bought during his trip to Colombo, Ceylon to compete in the 1960 ARAE Annual Regatta. He coxed the winning team with U Tin Htoon (A60, Stroke), Sunny Teng (left BIT for abroad), Victor Htun Shein (BAF pilot, GBNF) and Dr. Harry Saing (Pediatric Surgeon and multiple athlete). They won the Willingdon Trophy for Coxed Fours.

Chess Books

My cousin uncle Dr. Aung Nyein played Chess at YMCA. He had Chess books specializing in

  • Opening
  • Middle
  • End game.

He also followed Chess Columns and the analysis of Championship games.

I did not have time and energy to study Chess literature.

RIT Chess Club

Ko Aung Than (EE) spent time with Chess and Cards more than classes and had to leave RIT before graduation.

He co-founded the RIT Chess Club with Ko Maung Maung, Ko Thet Lwin (Henry) and the visiting Soviet lecturers.

Computer Chess

Although I stopped playing chess regularly, I followed the “History of Computer Chess” starting with the Professor Don Michie’s wager with David Levy. The professor was a pioneer in Machine Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh and was optimistic about the computer’s capability to play championship level Chess. David Levy — a programmer and Master level Chess player — wagered a year’s salary if a computer program could beat him within a decade.

David Levy won the bet.

The challenge inspired Computer Scientists (such as Ken Thompson, co-designer of Unix) to develop software and specialized software to play Chess.

It took several decades before a computer could beat a reasonably good Chess player, and ultimately beat the World Champion.

Deep Blue

Deep Thought” was developed at Carnegie Mellon University by a designer of special purpose chip for multi-layer pruning. With the help of four other Ph.D. students (two of whom are excellent Chess players), Deep Thought was taught to learn and play against Top Chess Programs. It won the Championship for Computer Chess hosted by ACM.

IBM hired three of the Ph.D graduates (that worked on the “Deep Thought” project) to design and develop “Deep Blue” with the help of Grand Masters. The objective was to beat Gary Kasparov (then World Champion) in a Best-of-five challenge match. Deep Blue lost on the first encounter.

In a rematch of another Best-of-five series, “Deep Blue” succeeded to beat Kasparov. Per saying, “To err is human”, Kasparov made a slight mistake, and “Deep Blue” relentlessly attacked and won the game and the series. IBM “retired” Deep Blue.

Watson

The hardware and software technology used for Deep Blue were enhanced to develop Watson (and the variants) for

  • beating the Jeopardy (TV game) champion
  • assisting medical doctors in training and diagnosis
  • incorporating AI in IBM projects.

Exhibit

CHM (Computer History Museum) had an exhibit on the History of Computer Chess.

I have autographs of the panelists from the CHM session on Computer Chess.

Clocks

An old joke : “Which one keeps time better : a stopped clock or one that runs fast or slow?”

RIT-YIT-YTU has both types of clocks. One type shows the correct time twice a day. The other type shows the correct time (in different parts of the world) every instant.

Grapevine says that many machinery and laboratory equipment were magically transported during the Adhamma Era.

With the Swel Daw Bins razed, the old Clocks were the last standing symbols of the Thabon Kyaung.

New clocks could be installed, but the rebellious spirit of alumni preferred to restore and/or repair the old clocks.

Thanks to Beik (Mergui) Soe Myint (M72) and his team, most clocks are running and keeping correct time.

U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) wrote :

The joke is true, an old fashioned dead clock shows the correct time twice a day. It may not be true if a modern-day dead clock using military time. 😉

Just a coincidence that I have been looking for a small atomic wall clock for my bed room. As the reviews go, many of them on Amazon, the most common failure of these clocks is that it failed to sync up with the Atomic Clock at the DST (Daylight Savings Time) switch. I still have a big atomic wall clock in my living room, which took couple of weeks to show the correct time at the DST switch. [The Atomic Clock is located in Boulder, Colorado, US, under NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government department under Department of Commerce. It emits radio signals and the atomic clocks supposed to synchronize the time using this signals.]

Just a little anecdote with regards to Computer Time synchronization. The early Windows OSes had a hard time synchronizing the time between them due to lack of coordination between themselves. One very early authentication/authorization package used time-based schematic where it challenged a person, under the wraps, to specify a token – a feature known as handshake which sets an expiration time. This scheme occasionally failed because the return handshake went on to different server with slightly different system time. The tolerance was a fraction of a second. One Engineer came up with a small script running on each and every servers in the cluster, several thousands in those days, calling this Atomic Clock’s website, and have the time synchronized on every servers. I personally gone through this scenario, it’s a nightmare to locate, diagnose and correct this recurring problem. Thank God! Due to this problem. Windows team – and other OS vendors came up with a Time Server/Service, where only handful of servers in a big organization sync up with the Atomic Clock and all servers/desktops etc in the organization in turn sync up its own Time Server.

Complementary Skills

The success of a company or a product often requires complementary skills. Three examples are provided.

Microsoft

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, passed away at the age of 65. He had the technical expertise.

Bill Gates had the business acumen to turn Paul Allen’s ideas into products.

The two were complementary.

Apple

Steve Wozniak is fondly called Woz (Wizard of Oz). He built the microcomputer and wanted to give it free to the members of the Home Brew Computer Club. After retiring from Apple, he returned to school under an assumed name.

Steve Jobs had the business acumen and persuaded Woz to form Apple Computers.

The two were complementary.

Music

Oscar Hammerstein wrote beautiful lyrics.

Richard Rodgers was a talented composer.

The two were complementary. They combined their talents to produce hits for the Broadway and the movies. Their works include “Oklahoma”, “Sound of Music”, “South Pacific” and “My Fair Lady”.

Currency

For about three years, the Burmese experienced the Japanese Occupation.

Japanese Currency

Several Japanese forces brought along their printing presses to produce the Japanese currency for use in Burma.

Not all Japanese notes were accepted. The note must be able to “stand up” and to “pick up sand”. It is known as “Htaung Ma Lei; Thei Kaw“.

In the early days of the occupation, the common practice was to barter goods (e.g. a car tire in exchange for food or other items).

Sad to note that when the Occupation ended, all the Japanese Currency in circulation was declared void and useless.

Dana

Dana may stand for offering, alms, and donation.

Dana transcends religion and culture.

For Buddhists

Dana provides opportunities to gain kusala (wholesome deeds) before, during and after the offering.

One can share merits when performing a Dana. One can rejoice past Dana and gain merits.

Dana may be performed anonymously, privately or publicly. Dana may be performed daily or on specific occasions (e.g. sabbath, birthday, anniversary).

Dhamma Dana

Individuals, groups and organizations offer free books and CDs covering dhamma talks. They include :

  • Dhamma Download web site
  • Triple Gems Publications
  • Tathagata Meditation Center (TMC)

An old saying states, “Dhamma Dana excels all Dana”.

Double Dana

Sayagyi U Ba Than donates the Garwara Money that he received from the SPZPs and alumni back to Charitable Organizations.

During one my visits, I witnessed the donation of One Lakh Kyat each to ten organizations. They include : Bo Bwa Yeik Tha, Little Sisters for the Poor, School for Deaf and Dumb, School for the Blind, U Hla Tun Foundation, Nar Yay Ah Thin.

Pyinnya Dana

It may stand for offerings made for the advancement of education (of the people and the society).

There are different forms of Pyinnya Dana. They include :

  • Sponsoring scholarships (e.g. NorCal RITAA provide some financial assistance to eligible YTU students with the help of RITAA.)
  • Donating to the “YTU Library Modernization”
  • Sharing of experience, knowledge and wisdom

Health Care

Swel Daw Yeik Foundation (SDYF) provides some financial assistance to eligible sayas and sayamas for Hospitalization and Frequent visits to the Clinic.

Cash and Kind

RIT Ah Nu Pyinnya Shins donate to the various noble causes (e.g. SPZP, Shwe YaDu, YTU Library) in cash and kind (e.g. paintings, cartoons).

Days

We were aware of Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Labor Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

For a long time, we were not aware that some of them are celebrated on different days (depending on the country and religious order).

For example, the Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas and Easter according to the old calendars (e.g. Julian).

The Mahayana celebrate the events (Birth, Enlightenment, Maha Parinibbana) on dates different from those of Theravada Buddhists.

We later learn about Kabyar (Poem) Nay, Myat Saya (Teacher) Nay, Secretary Day, and Friend Day. Some wonder why there is no Grandfather’s Day, Grandmother’s Day or Grandparent’s Day.

Not all events are holidays. Even among holidays, there are Public Holidays, State Holidays, and Bank Holidays. There may be good reasons (social, commercial) for having the designated days.

For us, every day is Thanksgiving (time to repay to our parents and mentors for their unbounded love and care).

Adeline Hpyu Hpyu Aung wrote :

Yes Saya. We should be thanking God, Parents and teachers everyday, without them we will not be who we are.

KMZ wrote :

My left brain at times over-analyzed many of these days. 😉 Many of these holidays are the work of “Holiday Industrial Complex’.

As Ma Adelyne Hpyu Hpyu Aung posted, some of these days like Mothers’ Day/Fathers’ Day should be 365 days a year, not necessarily just the designated day a year.

Believe it nor not there also is a ‘National Splurge Day’ which is June 18th. US Congress eventually passed a law to stop creating those days.

Deep

Indian

Deep is an Indian word meaning Light. The extended meaning is Wisdom.

Several Indian names have “Deep” (e.g. Deepak).

Deepavali is the Indian Festival of Lights. Some call it Diwali. During our younger days, some Hindu friends would give us Indian sweets as part of their Diwali celebrations.

Measure

We express the depth of a physical object or an idea as “Deep” or “Shallow“.

In computer applications, we use “Deep copy” of “Shallow copy” of objects.

Deep Thought

Deep Thought was a Chess Machine (hardware and software) developed by Ph.D. students at CMU (Carnegie Mellon University). One Ph.D. student designed and implemented a special purpose chip to implement multi-ply search. Two Ph.D. students, who are Chess experts, designed and implemented the algorithms to play championship level chess. Two more Ph.D. students provided feedback and assistance. Deep Thought beat the competitors to become World Computer Chess Champion.

Deep Blue

IBM (International Business Machines) recruited the three Ph.D. graduates to develop Deep Blue and challenge Gary Kasparov (World Chess Champion) to a Best-of-five match. Kasparov prevailed in the first encounter, but made a costly error — a prime example of “To err is human” — to lose in the second encounter.

IBM made intensive preparations. It hired several Grand Masters for studying Kasparov’s games and techniques.

Deep Learning

Deep Learning is an advanced form of Machine Learning. It has become a core subject in AI (Artificial Intelligence) courses.

Deep sleep

There are numerous studies about Sleep and Insomnia.
Most people need about seven hours sleep.
Sleeping more than eight hours may be detrimental to one’s well being.

The quality of sleep (e.g. Deep sleep) is important.

Digit

  • A digit may stand for a finger. The use of ten fingers for counting may have given rise to the Decimal Number System.
  • A digit may stand for a symbol of a Number System.
  • A Number System has a Base (or Radix)
  • The Decimal Number System (Base 10) uses ten digits : 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
  • The Binary Number System (Base 2) uses two digits : 0 and 1.
  • An Octal Number System (Base 8) uses eight digits : 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • A Hexadecimal Number System (Base 16) uses sixteen digits : 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F.
  • Some early computers and calculators use Base 10.
  • Most computers use Base 2 internally. Since binary numbers are long, they are expressed externally using Octal and Hexadecimal.
  • Computers and programs support easy Conversion between the Number Systems.
  • Digital displays (read outs) are common.

Disasters

It is sad to learn about disasters happening in various parts of the world.

Several are natural disasters. A few are man-made disasters.

Despite advantages in technology, there is no reliable and cost-effective system [yet] to predict and/or prevent disasters.

There are general predictions like “the coming of Doom’s Day”. Some are serious about “nuclear wars” (and similar scenarios of “Apocalypse”) and spend exorbitant money to order or build underground hideouts in remote places and also extensive “evacuation plans”.

There are some predictions based on past data, e.g. “The next big earthquake is due. You should take extra care since you are living on a fault line.”

A few could not and would not leave their homes even when the authorities issued “mandatory evacuation”. Some evacuated, but they when they returned they found their houses missing or being vandalized.

Disaster recovery is not simple. The countless lives lost to Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath could have been minimized with proper planning and mobilization of the rescue teams.

Kudos to the individuals and organizations that offer “disaster relief funds”. But, disaster relief is at the tail end.

DSL

Dana Sri Lanka

DSL may stand for Dana Sri Lanka, which was co-founded by Sayama Daw Tin Tin Myint (Emma, “May Tin”, “Mae Daw Gyi”, ChE70) co-founded DSL. DSL has provided financial assistance to Burmese monks studying in Sri Lanka.

Digital Subscriber Line

DSL may stand for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL allows a relatively high speed Internet connection over ordinary copper telephone lines. ASDL (Asynchronous DSL) is a variation of DSL.

EI

Emotional Intelligence

EI may stand for Emotional Intelligence. It is often expressed as EQ (E Quotient).

Sayagyi Dr. Aung Gyi gave a Key Note at SPZP-2000 on the importance of EI and EQ.

EI may stand for Electrical Inspectorate. The Chief Elecrical Inspector used to be Visiting Lecturer at RIT. EI conducts Basic courses and Refresher courses. Saya U Moe Aung taught at several of the courses.

EI Refresher Course by U Moe Aung


Energy

In High School Physics, we learned about Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy. We studied some old laws such as the “Law of Conservation of Energy”.

Energy comes in different forms (e.g. Mechanical, Thermal, Electric, Chemical, Nuclear).

Alternative energy sources (e.g. Solar, Wind) were marketed with Tax Incentives.

E = M C^2 (squared) is a overly simple explanation of the generation of nuclear energy.

The A-bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to debates on the appropriate use of nuclear energy.

Doomsayers feel that Apocalypse due to Nuclear War is highly likely.

Most countries initially do not care about environmental changes caused by the production and use of energy.

Some later care too much about the environment. The restrictions and bans (e.g. on the use of fossil fuels due to potential pollution) had economic bearing on some nations.

Trends include Renewable Energy, and Sustainable Energy.

Feature

During the design phase, the product manager and the developers categorize the requirements as (a) Must have (b) Nice to have.

During extensive testing and often much later, bugs (of varying severity) show up. Some subtle errors are dubbed “features”.

Facebook has a couple of features.

In group photos with Yours Truly, FB would tag me as my brother. The error might be due to the

  • facial recognition system (which is not yet perfect)
  • unintentional tagging (by some user hitting the wrong key when asked to tag)
  • the guesstimate (“guess estimate”) algorithm to “match” faces and names (in the post)

I would often get friend requests from some questionable FB users.

  • There are several who belong to 50+ (or 100+) groups. I am not sure whether they are humans with lots of free time, or robots.
  • The meaning of a friend (e.g. A friend in need is a friend indeed) has been “downgraded”.
  • Some have no photos and bare info on their timeline.

The “View As” feature contributed to an opportunity for data miners, hackers and crackers.

Fire

Fire is a good servant but a bad master. Fire is one of man’s five enemies.

There are several causes of fire. They include :

  • failure of power and gas lines
  • lightning
  • negligence
  • hate crimes
  • arson.

Three Wild Fires in California

In 2018, three fires occurred in California almost at the same time and caused severe damage. It was a relief to learn that the Burmese in California are not affected by the fires.

Fire in Northern California

Camp Fire devastated Paradise in Northern California and transformed it into Hell.

Smoke from the “worst fire in California” polluted air to cities near and fire. Several people wore masks. The term “worst” refers to the fact that the number of structures (buildings, garages, and barns) destroyed by Camp Fire is a new record.

Some were trapped inside the cars while trying to flee. Some had to leave their cars behind. A few managed to walk to safety.

Fire in Southern California

Fire occurred in two places in Southern California.

  • Thousand Oaks had a double tragedy : fire following a senseless mass murder.
  • Malibu — home of selected actors and actresses — was also hit by fire.

Gandhi and Nehru

Born Mohandas K Gandhi, he became known as “Mahatma” and “Gandhiji”.

Indira Gandhi is the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. Nehru’s letter to his daughter became a model for some writers (e.g. Saya U Aung Zaw [UCC]).

Three leaders U Nu, Nehru and Nasser took part in the Thingyan Festival. They had signed for the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Nehru’s India was a close Ally of Burma. Grapevine says that the shipment of arms by Nehru helped prevent the fall of Rangoon into the arms of the Insurgents.

Nehru was not all out for the choice of spouse by Indira. Mahatma blessed the bridegroom with the “Gandhi” name.

Rajiv Gandhi (the elder son) chose to be a commercial pilot.

Sanjay Gandhi (the younger son) was active in politics, but he was assassinated.

Rajiv Gandhi was coaxed to enter politics. He succeeded his mother, who was assassinated by her former body guards to avenge the “Storming of the Golden [Sikh] Temple”.

Mahatma, Sanjay, Indira and Rajiv all lost their lives prematurely.

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint wrote :

When Nehru and Indira Gandhi spent time with my father when he first visited Burma. Signed copies of “Letters to a Daughter” and “Glimpses of World History” were given to my father. After U Myint Thein was arrested, soldiers came to search our house. Many books were taken away including Nehru’s books. Father was told that the books would be returned but they never came back.

Garawa

It is a time honored tradition to pay respect to one’s parents, mentors and elders.

Garawa can be performed at any time.

Thadingyut is one occasion where most Burmese pay respect to their elders.

In our younger days, some come to our parent’s house with BOC candles, bananas, or token items of gratitude.

Ceremonies for Garawa include Thet Kyee Pu Zaw Pwe and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe.

Google

Google is a deliberate misspelling of Googol (1e100, or 1 followed by 100 zeros).

Google is not the first search engine, but it leveraged the power of multiple processors, Page ranking, translation, and Ad Sense.

Several books have been written about Google, GooglePlex, and the various products not only through R&D but also through acquired through logistic M&A.

Google bought Android and made it open source. Android-based mobile devices are ubiquitous. It is also noted that Google was able to fend off a lawsuit for “copyright violation of Java”.

Google is an active sponsor of ACM and CHM (Computer History Museum). It held company meetings and exhibits (including “Google Street Maps” and “Autonomous Vehicles”).

Vint Cerf, Past ACM President, is a co-author of TCP/IP. He serves as the Internet Evangelist at Google.

Google had a few “hits” by the publishing industry and authors, when it tried to scan books, journals, and documents to make it available online.

Per Professor Luc’s remarks, Googlers thinks outside the box and have passion. They not only think, but also enjoy thinking.

Heart

Heart is a body organ.

Heart attacks may result in death.

Heart aches and heart breaks are painful.

Heart Beat

Systems send “Heart Beat” to inform that they are still active.

Some Sayas and alumni contacted me that they had not received my “RIT Alumni International News Update” for some time. They were worried that I might not be well.

I had sent a “Heart Beat” to my sayas and colleagues that my writings can be read from four places :

  • My Time Line
  • RIT Updates (FB page)
  • lifelonglearning140.wordpress.com (free web site which contains archive of my posts)
  • hlamin.com (paid web site which contains revised versions of my posts)

Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart is a school in Rangoon. It is close to SPHS (St. Paul’s High School).

Heartians (alumni of Sacred Heart) include

  • U Tin Htut (Harry, Mon Yu, M69)
  • U Tin Aung Win (Oscar, M69)
  • U Win Boh (Robert, EC69).

Usage

The Heart Line is a major Line in Palmistry.

Heart is a symbol used in Social Media.

Hearts is a Card Game.

“From the bottom of my heart”, “With all my heart”, “Heart and soul” and “Heart to Heart” and “Heart break hotel” are lyrics from the Oldie Songs.

Heritage

Heritage may stand for property handed over to an heir.

Heritage may mean tradition.

Heritage may mean something that is transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor.

UNESCO provides grant for sites that have been designated as “Unesco Heritage Site”.

Yangon Heritage Trust has recognized SPHS (St. Paul’s High School), St. John’s College (originally called St. John’s Diocesan [Boys] School), Myoma National School and MEHS (Methodist English High School) as Heritage Sites.

In the USA, some sites and buildings are deemed to be “historic” (e.g. 150+ years old). Restrictions are placed on how to upgrade them.

Library

The Chief Librarians for Universities’ Central Library (UCL) include BBS U Khin Zaw (“K”), U Thein Han (Zawgyi) and U Thaw Kaung.

U Khin Zaw, father of U Wint Khin Zaw, served as the first director of “Myanmar Ah Than” (Burma Broadcasting Service).

U Thein Han co-founded the “Khit San Sar Pay”. He is a Laureate Poet.

U Thaw Kaung and Saya U Ba Than (M) were the early supporters of the HMEE (History of Myanmar Engineering Education) project. U Thaw Kaung provided access to the library archives for Saya U Soe Paing (EE, UCC) and his team to compile an early draft for the HMEE-2012 book.

Universities and Colleges around the world usually maintain libraries and offer cross-loans for rare books and documents.

There are Public Libraries and Private Libraries.

Before the Internet, most libraries use the Dewey Decimal System for cataloging books. Since the distribution of the books is not uniform, some books have several decimal digits following the original three digit category.

ISBN is used by major publishers. A Stanford University Arts Professor wanted to use “The Illustrated History of Buddhism ” by Ashin Janakabhivamsa (Taung Myo Sayadaw) and illustrated by Saya U Ba Kyi. Since the book did not have an ISBN, the book could not be ordered and sold through the University Book Store.

The Library of Congress has a large collection of books. It also has a section for books from Asian countries. The books in the Burma Collection are cataloged using phonetic transcription of the Burmese title.

U Win Pe (Maung Swan Yi) served as Secretary of the Burmese Curriculum and later studied Library Science. He wrote an article in Myanmar Gazette about collecting Burmese books for access via the New York libraries and the Library of Congress.

Language Classification

There are several ways to classify languages.

In Computer Science and applications, a Programming Language is a language used to program (e.g. instruct) computers.

In the early days, computer engineers and selected programmers have to program in Machine Language (with strings of Zeroes and Ones). They are due partly to the choice of Binary Number System as the basis of designing Arithmetic and Logic Unit inside the computer.

On the ICL 1902S computer, we often have to use the 24 keys to enter short pieces of Machine Code. That is history.

To bridge the human users and the computers, the next step was to use Assembly Languages such as (a) Simple/Symbolic Assembly Language (b) Macro Assembly Language.

A Macro Processor translates Macros (a well-defined group of Assembly Language instructions).

An Assembler translates a program in Assembly Language into Machine Language instructions.

The development of the first 11 (or so) programming languages can be found in the first HOPL (History of Programming Languages).

Currently, there are thousands of programming languages (some for academic purposes) and a limited number used for production.

Over the years, the style of programming evolved. The list is not exclusive.

  • Procedural programming (e.g. telling the computer system what to do, emphasis on the “verbs”)
  • Non-procedural programming (e.g. telling the computer system what one wants)
  • Object Oriented programming (e.g. emphasis on the “nouns”)
  • Functional programming (e.g. based on “functions”)
  • Logic programming (e.g. based on “Horn logic” and similar logic systems)
  • Top down step wise developmen
  • Bottom up & Middle out technique
  • AI programming

With each paradigm, there are several programming languages with known advantages and limitations.

There is a theoretical model called “Turing Machine”, which is primitive but has the computational power of modern computers.

Alan Perlis, a pioneer Computer Scientist and Programming Language Designer, defined a “Turing Tar Pit, where everything is possible [to compute], but nothing is easy.”

Luyechun

Luyechun may stand for Outstanding Student.

The Luyechun Camp was opened at Ngapali Shwe Wah Chaing in 1964. Luyechuns were selected for 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th standards. U Win Aung (M70, TTC) and U Win Myint (Mergui, UCC) were some of the 10th Standard Luyechuns in 1964.

A second Luyechun Camp was opened at Inlay Khaung Daing in 1965. Tekkatho Luyechuns were selected for the first time.

Dr. Khin Maung U (IM1), Dr. Soe Aung (IM2), Dr. Min Oo (Maths), Dr. Tun Naung (BDS), U Sein Shwe (RIT), U Hla Min (RIT), U Zaw Min (RIT) and Daw Khin Than Myint Tin (RIT) were some of the Tekkatho Luyechuns in 1965.

There were Htat Kwan (Multiple) Luyechuns. Some were selected four or more times.

As a saya from UCC, DCS and ICST, I was invited as a Guest Speaker to the Ngapali Camp. Saya U Kyaw Myint (DHE) was also a Guest Speaker.

The Luyechun Program folded in 1988.

A few years back, Luyechun (1964-1988) Group was formed. U Win Aung and Daw Pwint Than are active in the Group. U Win Aung posted an Obituary of a member (age 62) from that Group.

Mathematics

During our younger days, we studied Basic Mathematics in English as well as Burmese.

The authors include U Thon, Daw Hla Kunt, and U Pan Yi. Some are based on (or translations of English texts) such as Workman.

In Primary School and Middle School we studied
(a) Ganan Thin Char (Arithmetic)
(b) Ek Khaya Thin Char (Algebra)
(c) Gair Aw Me Hta Ree (Geometry)

In the old Government examinations, Mathematics examination is taken as two papers : Thin Char (Tit) and Thin Char (Hnit).

For some time, the HSF and Matriculation offered Additional Mathematics.

For our Matriculation, we took Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. They seemed easy to Mathematical Geniuses like Min Oo (Kenneth), who had studied Calculus.

Rangoon University used to offer Double Maths (Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics) and Triple Maths (Pure, Applied and Statistics). Most early sayas were experts in Pure Mathematics.

Some Professors in the USA view Mathematics as
(a) Continuous Mathematics
(b) Discrete Mathematics.

Professor Donald Knuth of Stanford University taught a course called “Concrete Mathematics” with topics from Continuous and Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science students. His teaching assistants published a book based on the course.

With the advent of computers, “Computational Mathematics” became a discipline.

MD and PhD

MD may stand for Doctor of Medicine.

MD may stand for Managing Director.

MD may stand for Maryland, a State in the USA.

Ph.D stands for Doctorate in Philosophy., where Phil means “love of” and Sophy means “wisdom”.

Some medical doctors have MD and PhD.

Barry Paw (GBNF), son of Saya U Htin Paw (EE58), is an MD, PhD. He passed away on a plane from a flight from Australia to the USA.

Win May (Winsome Ba Thike, MEHS61) is an MD, PhD. She is a Full Professor at USC (University of Southern California).

Hla Yee Yee (MEHS61) is an MD, PhD. She retired as full professor at International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Message

Dr. Nyunt Wai commented that Message should be more important than Messenger (e.g. media, format).

Keynote speakers also emphasize on the importance of Message. What is the key take away from the Keynote Speech? Videos, slides, humor … are entertaining, but without a memorable idea to act upon, a speech is usually not memorable.

Story Telling is powerful, informative, aspiring, educational, and entertaining. Books, movies, music, arts, history, archaeology, … leverage the art of Story Telling. Thanks to my Thin Sayas, Myin Sayas and Kyar Sayas for helping me learn and develop the art of Story Telling.

There is a book called “Naked Presentation”.

Dr. Nyunt Wai wrote :

Misuse or overuse of technology has led to a saying, “power corrupts, and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely”.

U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) wrote :

That’s true to some extent. I used to work for a VP who limited no more then one page of PowerPoint in any meetings as presenters/people spent more effort on it than actual discussions.

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint wrote :

One Sayadaw said about younger monks. He said, “The younger generation do three things: pariyati, paripatie, and now pari- putti i.e using FB.”

Methodist

Methodist was founded as a “revival” movement of the Church of England.

Methodist became a Protestant Denomination, and spread world wide.

Burma had three kinds of Methodist Churches and schools: (a) English Methodist (b) Burmese Methodist (c) Chinese Methodist

MEHS stands for Methodist English High School. MEHS was rebuilt after the War with the donation from the American Methodists.

MEHSA is an alumni association. The web site used to have a “validation process” to vet members.

ASSK attended MEHS before she left Burma to accompany her Ambassador mother. She is seen in the group photo.

Photo : Dr. Richard Yu Khin (MEHS 61)

MEHS VIID

Mingun

(1) For a certain period, the Mingun Bell weighing 55555 viss was the largest functioning ringing bell in the world. Young Burmese remember the weight of the bell with the mnemonic “Min Phyu Hman Hman Pyaw”.

One viss equals 3.6 pounds.

(2) U Narada (Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw) is credited for the revival of Vipassana (Insight) Meditation in Burma. Mahasi Sayada and Taung Pu Lu Sayadaw are two of his disciples.

(3) U Vicittasarabhivamsa (Mingun Tipitaka Sayadaw) is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his memory feats. He is the first to be awarded “Guardian & Treasurer of the Tipitaka”.

At the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Kaba Aye, Sayadaw recited and elaborated on Vinaya (Monastic rules of conduct), Sutta (Discourses) and Abhidhamma (Ultimate Reality).

Model

A Physical Model is usually a scaled down version of a real-life entity.

In our younger days, some schools and universities had Aero-modeling clubs. Ko Eddie (Edward Teoh, M64) helped run the Aero-modeling club.

A Mathematical Model is a representation of an idea, concept, theory using Mathematics. It could be a simple equation (e.g. F = ma), a system of equations (linear, non-linear, differential, partial differential, …) or much more.

A Computational Model leverages the power of computers. Many traditional subjects now have Computational aspect (or branch). Example : Computational Biology

Models include

  • Probabilistic Model
  • Stochastic Model
  • Simulation Model (e.g. Discrete Event Simulation)
  • Neural Networks
  • Econometric Model

Mortality

Benjamin Franklin said, “Two things are certain. Death and Taxes.”

Men are mortal. Some tried ways and means (e.g. via Alchemy) to have long life and perhaps become immortal.

Actuarial Tables are used in the Insurance Industry. They are based on the Life Expectancy.

Infant Mortality rates were relatively high before the progress of Medical Research and Health Care.

Sayas

Daw Nyein (Physics) lived over a hundred years.

U Num Kok (C) passed away in 2018 at the tender age of 98.

U Ba Toke is currently the most senior among the RIT sayas and sayamas. He is a Phwa Bet Taw of Rangoon University and the First Rangoon University Students Strike in December 1920.

RIT Alumni

U Ohn Khine (M70) reports the GBNF list of the 1st BE Intake of 64 (aka the Class of 70). It has 90+ members. Ko Peter Pe (swimming and water polo) was among the earliest. Ko Cho Aye and Ko Aye Win Kyaw passed away in 2018.

U Aung Min (M69) reports the GBNF list of the Class of 69. It has 80+ members. Ko Khin Maung Nyo was among the earliest. Ko Nay Win, Ko Chit Tin, Ko Myint Thein (Kabar) and Ko Tin Myint (John Lee) passed away in the past years. The mortality rate of 25% (or so) is quite high. Some have medical problems.

IM(1) Alumni

The Class of IM 67 (with Dr. “Leslie” Saw Naing as the recorder) could track only 17 or so deaths from the class.

The Class of IM 94 has 40 or so as GBNF.

Realist

Every morning when I wake up, I feel happy that I am alive and well. I am not an Optimist or a Pessimist. I am a Realist. I am thankful that I have a reasonably good health and memory to pay back to my beloved Motherland, my Alma Mater, my ancestors, my mentors, and all to whom I owe gratitude. Thanks to the readers who enjoy my posts and also share them to their friends and families.

Musical Instruments

Classification

The Burmese classify musical instruments as

  • Kyay
  • Kyo
  • Tha Yay
  • Lay
  • Let Khoke

Myanmar Saing Waing has Jazz as a distant cousin. They perform extemporaneously.

Myanmar Dobat is often performed in Thingyan and at Ah Hlu.

Philharmonic orchestras have various sections. They include

  • Wind
  • Brass
  • Strings

Pop Bands

During our younger days, most pop bands had

  • Lead guitar (e.g. John Lennon)
  • Rhythm guitar (e.g. George Harrison)
  • Bass guitar (e.g. Paul McCartney)
  • Drums (e.g. Ringo Starr)

Some musicians play multiple instruments. Examples :

Paul McCartney plays the Bass guitar and sometimes plays the piano.
George Harrison plays the Rhythm guitar and plays the sitar.
U Aunt Gyi usually plays the Accordion, but he sometimes also plays the piano and the guitar. At the Farmers’ Market, I have seen musicians playing two instruments (harmonica & guitar) at the same time.

Some bands play special guitars. They include

  • Double stringed guitar (with twelve strings)
  • Steel guitar
  • Hawaiian guitar

String Quartets

A String Quartet may consist of

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass

Visiting bands and musicians

During our younger days, several foreign bands and musicians visited Burma. They include :

  • Benny Goodman (saxophone) and his band
  • Duke Ellington and his band
  • 13th US Air Force band
  • US musicians (via the Cultural Exchange Program)

Synthesizer

The Synthesizer can simulate many musical instruments.

MIDI

MIDI stands for Musical Instruments Digital Interface, Composition and play back of musical instruments can be done with the aid of MIDI.

National Language Center

  • There is a NLC (National Language Center) at the University of Maryland (College Park), USA.
  • It used to provide free (or limited) access to Federal employees and eligible educators to study languages (e.g. French, Chinese, Arabic).
  • For a number of years, it chose from among the languages used by minorities to add introductory level courses to its library.
  • One year NLC chose to develop listening and reading comprehension for basic Burmese. NLC sent request to Burmese associations to help with the project.
  • I was accepted to be the Language Advisor for the Burmese project.
  • The listening comprehension consists of broadcasts (e.g. “Win Pe Lwai Eik”).
  • The reading comprehension consists of short articles (e.g. Ayotha Pyinnya Wun U Po Kyar).
  • Specific fonts and browsers were needed to read the script for the Listening and Reading Comprehension.
  • An English translation is provided. My task was to ensure the quality (e.g. correctness of the translation)
  • Exercises were provided
  • As a contributor to the project, I had access to LangNet
  • NLC no longer offers free access. Individuals and groups can subscribe to NLC’s courses for nominal fees.

Neikban

Neikban is the Burmese term for Nibanna (in Pali) and Nirvana (in Sanscrit). It is rendered as “Liberation” or “Enlightenment”.

Neikban Zaw

It is the pen name of my beloved spouse. She wrote articles for the Dhammananda Newsletter. I have re-posted some of them.

Some volunteers for Dhamma activities also call themselves “Neikban Zaw”.

Some associations for Dhamma activities may be called “Neikban Zaw Ah Phwe”.

News

News may stand for the four directions : North, East, West and South

News may be formal or informal.

In the early days, News Agencies served as a source for newspapers and radio. Reuters, AP, UPI are some of the agencies.

In our younger days, there were Morning newspapers, Evening newspapers and Weekly newspapers.

The newspapers were printed in batches. The early batches were dispatched to other cities via car or rail. The later batches were usually given to distributors. Some newspapers reserve space on the front page to print “Breaking News”.

Newspapers employ reporters or correspondents for the Local and Regional News. There may be student reporters, sports reporters and ad-hoc reporters.

Newspapers usually print corrections the following day, but some people might not take time to read such corrections. Unethical journalists may rush to report news (without fact checking).

After the Coup d’etat, there were changes.

  • NAB (News Agency Burma) was established to control the dissemination of news. The English Section editors compile the news from the news agencies. The Burmese Section editors compile the local news. They selectively translate the foreign news into Burmese.
  • Four old newspapers were continued as government newspapers. Two new newspapers were established. “Loke Tha Pyithu Nay Zin” was headed by Shwe Oo Daung. “Working People’s Daily” (WPD) was headed by U Khin Maung Latt.
  • Censorship grew over the years.

CNN (Cable News Network) was one of the early TV stations with emphasis on news. Its sister station HLN (Headline News) ran 30-minute segments of the “current” news.

The Internet and smart devices forced the demise of several newspapers.

Obsolescence

In our younger days, Opal was a decent car. But, when one calls someone “Opal” (or “O Pei”), then one is “obsolete” (good to be ignored for getting old).

There is T.O. (Technical Obsolescence). Some artifacts can be found only in museums, antique fairs, and die-hard collectors.

Some technologies are disruptive.

Many automobile workers lost their jobs when robotics (and the related fields) gradually displaced them. Those, who did not have alternate skills, were hit hard.

Touch typists and secretaries found that their skills have been marginalized by the word processors, voice-activated systems and similar advanced tools.

I might not have a reasonably good memory and a hobby of “connecting the dots” of seemingly diverse topics if I had access to the wonderful world of Internet, AI, and Gaming.

Slates, Chalk & Talk, Logarithm tables, Slide rules, Multiplication tables (up to 16), Grammar books, Pronouncing Dictionaries, and most now hard-to-find artifacts trained us “remember” (not rote learning per se, but using visualization and tricks).

T.O. required me to unlearn some old skills, and to learn new “latest and the greatest” skills.

Opinion

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. e.g. Social media is good for getting contact with lost friends, but not good for use in research papers.

Some newspapers have Op-Ed (Opinion and Editorial). e.g. There may be two competing opinions of DST (Daylight Savings Time) : one for and one against.

An opinion may not be true. It may have biases and unintentional errors.

One should not react to an unfavorable opinion. e.g. Names may not be a hobby for everyone.

One should take whatever is relevant in the opinion. Then, optionally, one should respond (e.g. which parts are relevant, and which parts are not).

The following are examples of incorrect assessments by experts.

  • “Joe Montana cannot be an efficient Quarterback, because he does not have the structure, strength and finesse.” Joe went on to win four Superbowl, and entered the Football Hall of Fame.
  • “Apple Music and Apple Computers are two different fields. There need not be confusion with Apple in their names and products.” The judge for the Trade Mark suit could not see deep into the future. The Beatles songs (owned by Apple Music) are played in iPod (owned by Apple Computers).
  • “The Long Jump record at Mexico City Olympics will not be broken at other places (with lower altitudes).”
  • Bob Beamon’s leap beat the existing Olympic and World Records by a wide margin, and was considered a “fluke” (partly aided by the rarefied atmosphere). The record was broken by Carl Lewis (who won the Long Jump at four Olympics).

Palmistry

Cheiro (Count Louis Hammond) popularized Palmistry with his readings of the rich and the famous, and his writings on Palmistry and Numerology. He classified seven personality types based on the structure of the hand. He also covered the major lines and signs.

There are several books on Palmistry by European, Indian and Burmese writers.

U Sein Win (C69, GBNF) was an amateur but proficient palmist. He had several discussions with a professional palmist. They tied the knot.

Saya San-da-ra was a famous Palmist in his days.

San Zarni Bo was suspended from his studies due to his antics (during a Union Day celebration, and during a Minister’s visit to RIT). He elected to study Palmistry …

Saya U Aung Zaw (UCC) wrote about his uncle Bogalay U Kywe and his predictions.

Saya U Myo Win (M/Ag65, GBNF) told some of his students that he would find a better pasture abroad (according to the lines and signs on his palm).

Parts of Speech

In our younger days, we were taught that there are eight parts of speech in the English language.

A noun is a name of a person, place, thing, or concept. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Proper noun (b) Common noun (c) Collective noun (d) Abstract noun.

A verb usually describes an action or a process. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Transitive verb (b) Intransitive verb.

Instead of repeating a noun several times, we may use Pronouns. A Pronoun stands for a Noun. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Person (b) Number of a Pronoun.

When we speak, the “first” person is the one who speaks. The “second” person is the one being spoken two. The “third” person is some other being referenced.

If there is only one person, we say it is singular. If there is more than one, we say it is plural.

In English, the term “You” may be both singular and plural.

There are Modifiers. An Adjective usually modifies a Noun or Pronoun. An Adverb usually modifies a Verb.

There are Connectors. A Conjunction (such as And or But) connects two parts of a Sentence (which is constructed using the parts of speech, and makes “complete sense”.) A Preposition adds information such as position (e.g. in, on, upon, under) and time (e.g. before, after).

There are words to express Mood (e.g. surprise). They are also called Exclamation or an Interjection.

There are two techniques : Synthesis (combining the parts of speech) and Analysis (breaking down into the parts of speech).

I was surprised when I first learned that the Pali language has only four parts of speech.

Political Science

We did not have to study Political Science at school. Some of our juniors had to study Political Science.

U Nyein Aung

  • He taught Political Science at RIT.
  • He was invited to SPZP-2007 in Singapore.
  • He was surprised when I mentioned that I had read his articles written in a Veda magazine.
  • One of his pen names was “Aung Nyein Oo (or U)”, which is the reverse of his real name.
  • He also wrote as “Saya Beda”. He studies and practices astrology, palmistry, numerology, and Tarot cards.
  • He also said, “Since you know a lot about people and their names, you should try working for projects that can benefit by your skills.”

U Tha Din

He taught Political Science at RIT.
He is a close friend of Aye Ko, a member of RUBC.
I met him at a SPZP-2012.

U Khin Aung Bo

U Khin Aung Bo (second from right)
  • He is a B.Ed.
  • He was recruited to teach Political Science.
  • He is the President of MARB (Myanmar Astro Research Bureau).

LSE

Several Burmese studied Economics at LSE.
LSE is known as the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ideologies and Theories

  • There are several Ideologies and Theories.
  • None of them are perfect.
  • The choice of “Burmese Way to Socialism” had dire consequences on the nation and citizens (who are not “First Class”).

Practice

Conventional wisdom says, “Practice makes perfect.” Unconventional wisdom says, “Perfect practice makes perfect.”

In our Matriculation class, Brother Clementian — former Brother Director who continued teaching — gave a weekly one-hour Mathematics test on Saturdays. We had to answer three questions. With the practice, most of us did well in the examination where we had to answer six questions in three hours. It was an example of “Perfect practice makes perfect.” He would hand out the answer papers on Monday. He would call those who did not do well to a special session after school.

To paraphrase Horowitz (a famous pianist) :

“If I do not practice for a day, only I will know. If I do not practice for three days, my mom will know. If I do not practice for a week my audience will know.”

There are several practice sessions before the event (e.g. Entertainment at SPZP). There may even be a Full Dress Rehearsal (final practice).

Giving a reasonably good “Prepared Speech” requires practice, but the practice should not involve “blind” repetition. One should try to remember the main points and the transitions.

Practice helps a good athlete to become a great athlete.

Ko Richard Yu Khin (MEHS61) wrote about the tough practice sessions given by Mr. Matsuda for ten selected Burmese swimmers. They had to swim five 50 yard sprints with one minute interval. He helped Tin Maung Ni shine in Burma and beyond.

Habits are easy to form. Bad habits are not easy to break. With patience and practice, we can “modify” and “substitute” the bad components in the habit with good ones. The triggers may remain the same, but good actions can yield satisfactory results.

I spent a lot of time playing the Solitaire Card Games. I received a sense of gratification with the awards : Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Perfect.

I stopped playing Solitaire and spent more time writing and sharing my knowledge and experience via Trivia Posts. I now receive a sense of gratification with the “kind words” by my readers.

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (SPHS60) wrote :

And why do qualified doctors keep on “practicing”?

Quality

An Adjective of Quality answers the question of “What kind of?”

QA may stand for Quality Assurance. SQA may stand for Software Quality of Assurance. QOS may stand for Quality of Service. QE may stand for Quality Engineering.

Many do not want to live too long without a good Quality of Life.

Air Pollution (with bad Quality) may be correlated to Lung Diseases.

There are Nine Qualities of Buddha (the Enlightened One). There are Six Qualities of Dhamma (Teachings of the Buddha). There are Nine Qualities of Sangha (Holy Order of the monks).

Quotation

In our younger days, we rely on Bartlett’s “Book of familiar quotations”.

Misquote

If people do not check the source, they may misquote or attribute a quote to the wrong person.

For example, many believe that Sherlock Holmes said, “Elementary, my dear Watson”. It is not true.

Most quoted

In the class book, the following are quoted the most

  • Bible
  • Shakespeare
  • Anon. (for anonymous)

Some quotations

I do not remember the authors of the following quotes. Provide feedback if you know them.

  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
  • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.
  • Worry is like sand in an oyster. A little produces a pearl. Too much kills the animal.

Rhyme

Rhyme (or Kar Yan) is an essential element of Poetry.

In most English poems, the end of specific lines rhyme. Some Burmese will call them “Ah Pyin Kar Yan” (Outer Rhymes).

Common patterns include :

  • A B A B (where the first and third lines rhyme & the second and fourth lines rhyme).
  • A B B A (where the first and fourth lines rhyme & the second and third lines rhyme).

I received “The Rhyming Dictionary” for taking part in the Debate held by RIT English Association. Saya Des Rodgers, Saya Sao Kan Gyi, and Saya U Khin were the judges. I gave the book to Ashin Ananda (Laureate Poet).

Most Burmese poems use the “Ah Twin Kar Yan” (Inner Rhyme).

For example,

o o o x
o o x o
o x o o
x o o y
o o y o

The first rhyme (say x) starts with the final (say 4th) position in the first line. It then moves to one earlier position (say 3rd) in the second line. The Kar Yan moves until it hits the first position.

As an option, a second rhyme (say y) can be started in the line where the first rhyme ended.

Some poets have their opinions and preferences. They do not strictly follow the rhyming rules. A few tend to use rhymes sparsely or not at all claiming that rhythm and ideas are sufficient ingredients of a Kabyar (poem).

Dr. Nyunt Wai noticed that moderate use of Kar Yan is acceptable, but excessive use of Kar Yan can transform a verse or poem into “Ah Kar Ah Yan” (secondary).

Safety

FDA

  • Most countries have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • They perform tests before certifying if a food or drug is safe to take.

Water

  • Some departments to monitor if tap water is safe to drink.
  • Some check if the claims for the “bottled water” are true.

Recall

Over the years, I have read “recall” notices.

  • Beef and chicken products that are contaminated
  • Pickled tea leaves that have been prepared using “unsafe” dyes and chemicals
  • Toys that are unsafe for children

Concern

  • During a visit to Yangon, a friend took me to his favorite restaurant. He handed to the Chef the oil bottle that he had brought from home to be used in preparing the dishes.
  • May be our immune system has degraded over time.
  • May be commercial greed has overtaken the health concerns.
  • I hope that there are no malpractices in the preparation of food (e.g. ah thoke, ah kyaw, …).

Scholarship

Collegiate Scholarships were given to eligible Matriculates. Sayagyi U Ba Than was an early Collegiate Scholarship holder.

The eligibility rules vary over the years.

In the early days, the scholarship holders get 60 Kyats a month.

In our days, the scholarship holders get 75 Kyats per month, but the net was still 60 Kyats (since the tuition fees was 15 Kyats per month).

In the early 50’s, the top 25 students were awarded Collegiate Scholarship.

In the later years (e.g. 1960), the top 100 students were awarded Collegiate Scholarship. In 1960, Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (who stood 6th in Burma) led the scholarship holders from SPHS. Dr. Than Toe (who stood 99th) was the last Schoalrship holder from SPHS.

In 1963, students from private schools (e.g. SPHS) have to be in the top 40. Students from government schools have to be in the top 100. In 1963, Dr. Khin Maung U (who stood 1st in Burma) led the scholarship holders from SPHS. Dr. Min Oo (2nd), Dr. Myo San (Freddie, 3rd, GBNF), Dr. Nyunt Wai (Victor, 4th), Dr. Thein Wai (5th), U Hla Min (7th), Dr. Aung Kyaw Zaw (Johnny, 9th), U Maung Maung Kyi (11th), U Aung Thu Yein (Brownie, 13th, GBNF) and Dr. Khin Maung Zaw (Frank, 17th) also won the Scholarship. SPHS had five students in the Top Five, seven students in the Top Ten, and ten students in the Top Twenty.

It took a year (or so) to complete the Nationalization of private schools and function them as SHS (State High School). Then, a specified number of top students receive Collegiate Scholarship.

In the 50’s, State Scholars were selected to study undergraduate and graduate studies abroad. The funding was provided by the Burmese government.

Later, some State Scholars received grants from UN organizations, Colombo Plan and others (e.g. Fulbright, Humphrey).

Dr. Yan Naing Lwin wrote :

The Burmese State Scholars numbered some 140 in early 1950 in the US alone. I came to US with 10 other Scholars in 1954-55. Our stipend was US $ 140/ per month.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor had the longest # of Burmese Scholars when I arrived at Illinois. It shifted to Illinois & Purdue University in later years.

Security

There are several aspects of Security.

A Secure Channel is based on the concept that it is difficult if not impossible to access the messages passing through the channel. At one extreme is a dedicated channel with reliable protocols for handshaking (hardware, software) to start a communication session and to maintain the session for a specified period.

A Secure Message adds another level of security (if used with a Secure Channel). A secure message is based on the concept that it should be difficult if not impossible to intercept or access the message and decrypt it within a reasonable time. An assumption is that the value of a message is time-bounded and the system that generates it guarantee the security for a secified period.

If the sensitive data in the repository (data base, servers) and the media can be “disguised” (using cryptography …), yet another level of security can be achieved.

Securing data requires time, resource and adherence to privacy rules, ethics. Even some large corporations (e.g. which maintain credit scores) are lax in guarding the information of their employees and clients.

Senior

At SPHS, the athletes are classified based on height as (a) Senior (b) Junior (c) Junior Junior and (d) Midget.

In Medical school, the lower classes are called 1st MBBS Junior and 1st MBBS Senior.

At RUBC, the Novices competition end with Senior Novices and Junior Novices. In the early years, the winners of Senior Novices event were given a brooch as a bragging right.

At “Thet Kyee Pu Zaw Pwe”, a Senior may be 70 – 80 years old (depending on the sponsors and funding). e.g. 70+ for UCC sayas and sayamas

U Tin Htut (Harry, Mon Yu) was not eligible for the “Sar Yay Saya PU Zaw Pwe) because he has not turned 80.

In most countries, Senior Citizens are provided some benefits and assistance.

In the USA, there are several definitions of “Senior”.
(a) The government usually considers 65+ year olds as Senior.
(b) Some shops and restaurants might lower the bar to 60+
(c) Some “Senior Centers” and AARP accept 50+
(d) For marketing purpose, (b) and (c) prefer to have not so old Seniors that can participate in their programs.

For bus (and may be light rail in some counties), a Senior pays
(a) one dollar for one way
(b) 3$ for one day
(c) 30$ for one month
(d) 330$ for one year

Some have Sr. as a suffix in their name. e.g. Thomas J Watson Sr.

So Ka Yay Tee

“So Ka Yay Tee” is synonymous with “Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin”.

Rangoon University has a “Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin”. Saya Dr. Maung Maung Kha and Saya U Ba Kyi are Patrons. Saya Kha would play the violin and accompany U Ba Kyi singing “Only Two” (Hna Yauk Hte Nay Chin De).

Under the then New Education System, Institutes (such as IM, RIT, Eco, Edu) were established. Most of them have “Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin”.

RIT Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin held musical evening extravaganza (“Geeta See Sar”). RIT Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin had a powerful presence at the 1970 RU Golden Jubilee Celebrations. It featured Swel Daw Yeik Ah Nyeint and Htee Yein.

Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War), Saya U Saw Tun (Saw Lu), Saya U Kyaw Sein (M65), Saya U Taing Oke (ChE69), and Saya U Khin Maung Tint (C69) are some of the driving forces for the outstanding performances by the Zat Sayas, Minthas, Minthamees, Lushwindaws, and the talented cast members.

The Pon Chan Chan also helped find soul mates.

  • Don Min U Yu Swan and Sayama Emma Tin Tin Myint
  • U Tin Tun and Daw Mar Mar Yee
  • Saya U Khin Maung Tint and Sayama Daw Khin Sandar Tun

Speech

There is a saying, “Speech is silver. Silence golden.”

It does not mean we should stay silent all the time. If one does not have meaningful things to say, it is better to remain silent rather than rambling or engaging in “frivolous talk”.

The length of a speech varies.

There are Elevator speeches (lasting less than a minute), Impromptu Speech (e.g. Table Topics lasting one or two minutes), Icebreakers (lasting four to six minutes), Prepared Speeches (lasting a specified time : typically five to seven minutes), TED and TEDx talks (lasting about 18 minutes), Keynote speeches (45 – 60 minutes with Q&A).

President Abraham Lincoln was requested to give a “few appropriate remarks” at Gettysburg. His address consisted of ten sentences. It was delivered in less than two minutes (which was not long enough for the official photographer to record the historic moment).

The message is important than the messenger. The speaker should provide a “take away” or an “action item”.

During our younger days, I had a book of the 40+ speeches given by notable people (e.g. Winston Churchill).

Rotary Club, Kiwani’s Club and Toastmasters International provide guidance and training for communication.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is known for “The Last Lecture”, where a Professor presents to an audience (e.g. those present for his forthcoming Retirement). Randy Pausch, who was diagnosed with Cancer, gave an up-lifting “The Last Lecture”. It can be viewed on You Tube. It has also been made into a book.

Steve Jobs gave a Commencement Speech at Standford University. It can be viewed on the Internet. In three parts, he connected the dots (e.g. taking a Calligraphy course to the aesthetic Font designs on Apple Computers.

SPHS

My parents decided to transfer me to SPHS (St. Paul’s High School) after passing Third Standard from PPBRS (Private Primary Boundary Road School). My brother was then studying for his Matriculation in SPHS.

SPHS has some unpublished rules. The Brothers prefer students to start from KG, or at least transfer from their affiliated Catholic Schools. The applicant should have a relative who is a current or Old Paulian. Even though I placed second in PPBRS, I was admitted to St. IV(D). After doing well in IV(D), V(D), VI(D) and VII(D), I was permitted to join Section (A). I attended VIII(D), IX(D) and X(D).

My class teachers at SPHS were
IVD : Mrs. A Benjamin
VD: Mrs. Violet Boudville
VID: Saya U Pe Maung Tin
VIID: Saya Nge
VIIIA: Brother Anthony
IXA: Brother Xavier
XA: Brother Austin

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint wrote :

I also joined at IVD, moving from St Philomena’ boy school (across the road from Convent). Like you wrote you start with D, then worked your way up to A. Our class teacher was Mrs Benjamin, who had to teach newcomers and plodders from earlier SPHS classes. Once when she was upset with us she shouted “Do you all know that IV D is the waste basket of St Paul’s?“. Nice to know that you were in IV D like me at the start.

Statistics

Statistics may stand for COSPAD —

  • Collecting
  • Organizing
  • Summarizing
  • Presenting, and
  • Analyzing Data.

One classification lists (a) Parametric Statistics (b) Non-Parametric Statistics.

Statistics became a Department at the Faculty of Social Science. Dr. Sundrum was an early Professor.

U Htin Kyaw (former President) and U Tun Shwe transferred from the Statistics Department at the Institute of Economics to become Application Programmers at UCC.

Statistic used to mean an item of measurement or information. Datum used to be the singular form of Data.

There are “Measures of Central Tendency” — Mean, Median and Mode.

There are Distributions, e.g. Uniform Distribution, Binomial Distribution.

There are Statistical Tests. The tests use “significance level” to accept or reject a hypothesis. There may be Positive and Negative Errors.

An early program is called SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Science).

Several programming languages have libraries, modules and functions to perform statistical calculations and tests.

An old joke: “Have you heard about the Statistician who was drowned while trying to cross a river with an average of three feet?”

Stipend

Stipend may stand for Financial Aid. There may be terms (e.g. agree to work for a specified period after getting the degree).

In the 50’s, Military Stipends were given to eligible students studying Medicine and Engineering. The graduates join the Military as Commissioned Officers.

During our University days, Stipend holders receive 75 Kyats per month. The amount is the same as received by the Collegiate Scholarship winners. The net is 60 Kyats per month since the Tuition fees is 15 Kyats per month.

The stipend was sufficient even for students who have to live in hostels. The hostel fees was 57 Kyats.

Several US universities provide “Free Tuition” to eligible students. A few US universities provide Free Board and Lodging & Free Tuition to eligible students.

Dr. Yan Naing Lwin wrote :

When I started teaching at WIU in 1965, a few Burmese students started to arrive in Illinois. They were graduate students of RU, RIT & IM (Institute of Medicine).

They pursed their graduate study as GA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) or RA (Research Assistant). Their tuition was free & their stipends varied from $ 300/- to $ 600/- per month. Many hundreds have passed through WIU (Western Illinois University) & all of them are very successful. I think it was their previous background, their hard work, their ambitions, & camaraderie that existed among them!

Tag

TAG may stand for “Technology and Architecture Group”.

TAG may stand for “Tun Aung Gyaw” or “Tom Aung Gyaw”.

Tag mean mean a label.

In Facebook, tagging a post makes a copy to the Timeline of the person being tagged. There are pros and cons for using FB tags.

In FB, the individuals in a photo may be tagged. There are pros and cons for using FB photo tags.

Some algorithms used by FB to process photo tags have “features”. e.g. I had a photo with U Osadha, a resident monk at Dhammananda Vihara. FB asked me to tag Ashin Pannagavesaka (Uzin Bobby Myo Tun, A69) even though Uzin was not present in the picture. The algorithms do not handle the case correctly for Theravada Buddhist monks.

In the early days, there is game called “Tag”.

There used to be Rag Tag Bands.

Thesaurus

The general meaning of Thesaurus is a “Treasure” or “Treasury”.

Dr. Peter Mark Roget compiled a Thesaurus of English words based on his system of classification.

A Thesaurus complements a Dictionary.

One looks up a Dictionary when one knows a word and wants to find out the meaning(s).

One looks up a Thesaurus when one has an idea or a concept, and wants to find out the right word.

Over the years, both have evolved and even converged.

One Thesaurus is arranged in Dictionary form for ease of look up.

Advanced Dictionaries include synonyms, antonyms and usage

There are Editors and Word Processors with built-in dictionary and thesaurus.

There is a “Visual Thesaurus” where one can start with a word and follow the links.

Tie

Tie may stand for Draw.
e.g. The match ended in a 1-1 Tie (or Draw).

In the early days, the winner of a soccer game [in a round robin or league play] earns 2 points. The loser does not earn points. Teams share 1 point for a tied game. Conservative teams tend to play defensively to tie games rather than losing.

In the later days, the winner of a soccer game earns 3 points. The loser does not earn points. Team share 1 point for a tied game. The scheme was introduced to incentivize offensive plays.

Tie Breaker

Some sports do not like to have Joint Champions. They have rules to break ties (known as Tie Breakers).

In Weight Lifting, the tie breaker winner is the one with a lower body weight.

In High Jump and Pole Vault, the tie breaker winner is the one with the less misses.

In a knock out game in Soccer, a tied game in regulation time goes into overtime. If the overtime does not produce a winner, Penalty Kicks are taken to break the tie.

In ice hockey, a tied game in regulation time goes into overtime. If the overtime does not produce a winner, Penalty Shootouts are taken to break the tie.

In a knock out game in Golf, a tied game after 72 holes goes into a “Sudden Death” play (of one or more extra holes).

In most Tennis championships, a tied set with 6 games each goes into the Tie breaker game (of 12 or more points, with the winner needing two more points). Thus, the final score would be marked 7-6 (followed by the points in the Tie Breaker).

Some Tennis Championships do not allow Tie Breaker in the fifth and final set. Some games with a long set (with 20 or more games) leave the players and viewers exhausted.

No Tie

In Basketball, a tied game continues with one or more overtime.

In Baseball, a tied game continues with one or more extra innings.

Time

AM and PM

  • AM stands for Ante Meridian.
  • PM stands for Post Meridian.
  • A day consists of 12 hours for AM, and 12 hours for PM.
  • Some missed schedules (e.g. flights) due to the AM/PM confusion.
  • Some medicine (e.g. pain relievers) to be taken in the evening and night has PM in the name.

Military

Military time uses the 24 hour notation.

Daylight Savings Time

  • Daylight Savings Time (DST) is a controversial topic for a long time.
  • In the US, some states do not implement DST.
  • “Spring Forward. Fall Back” has some truth.
  • Legislation changes have moved the start and end dates for DST.
  • Some say that DST does not save energy, and the laws should be repealed.

Other Systems

Some ancient Burmese Kingdoms employed the 60-hour day using the “water” clock. Day time can range from 24 to 36 hours. Ditto for Evening & Night time.

Some early civilizations use the Sun Dial.

The use of atomic clocks has to be supplemented by smart algorithms for idiosyncrasies introduced by DST, Leap second (to name a few).

Depending on the culture, the Day of Week may start on a Sunday or a Monday.

There are numerous software libraries dealing with Calendars, Dates, Times and Holidays.

U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) wrote :

DST in US, especially at the Spring time when the clock moves an hour ahead (Spring Forward), always have some good stories. Some years back we used to have a large group of people playing soccer on Sunday early mornings, as is called pickup games. It never failed to see people showed up late, forgot to reset the clock, every year. Thank God! The change was on Sundays, or else there would be more interesting work-related stories.

Microsoft Windows have those dates usually baked into the system, as a result when the DST was extended 2008, they had to release a patch to fix the issue.

Trust

In our younger days, we were delighted to know that “most doors [in some parts of Yamethin] were left open at night”. It was an indication of a high level of trust among people.

Later, we saw guarded windows and doors (with multiple locks) in most places. It might indicate a deterioration of trust among people.

Trust also eroded in the USA. In addition to the locks, there are security cameras and recording systems to deter vandalism and thefts.

In some places, car windows are broken to take away valuables in the car. Restaurants place signs “Do not leave valuables in your car”.

Back in the days of our parents and grand parents, one is sure to get back a misplaced item. My friend (Ko Patrick) remembered that his father left a hat at Rangoon Turf Club and he found it untouched on his “preferred” seat the next week.

Around the world, more people lost trust in banking corporations and investment firms after being hit by Ponzi schemes and variants.

The use of simple passwords has given way to longer pass phrases that are harder to crack.

Login to computer systems prefer multi-factor authentication (e.g. bio-metrics). The computer sends back a code to be used for verification. Even then, no system that has a “back door” is safe forever. It may be safe for a specified period of time.

Companies track the activities of their employees. Essentially, no one is to be trusted fully in the modern age with a gazillion of malicious schemes.

A different view of trust has evolved. People check feedback (e.g. on Yelp) to decide if a product or service is trustworthy. How much does an average person trust a room-sharing service or a ride-sharing service or a “friend” on an Internet Chat.

Uniform

Uniform may stand for “one form“.

Dress

Some schools may mandate their students to wear uniform on specified days (and may be every day).

Grapevine says that Bogyoke Aung San and U Thant had a debate on Uniform (during their University days).

During our younger days, we had to perform drill at (a) the Annual Sports at School Sports and (b) at the Aung San Stadium for specified events (e.g. Education Day Celebration). We had to dress up in uniform.

A uniform specifies items (some of which are mandatory)

  • Short or long pants (e.g. Kakki)
  • Shirt (e.g. long sleeved white shirt)
  • Necktie
  • Badge
  • Coat
SPHS Uniform

There could be alternatives : Pasoe (or Longyi), Taik Pon and Gaung Baung for the Burmese dress.

The full uniform is worn at formal functions (e.g. Award Presentation Ceremony).

Sayagyi U Ba Hli, Dean of Engineering, is seen in photos wearing a uniform.

Those joining UTC (Universities’ Training Corps) are given two sets of [usually old] uniforms. Most prefer to buy or order their own.

UTC Uniform

RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club) awards Half Green, Full Green and Gold. RUBC specifies Dress Code for the award winners.

RUBC Uniform

In the USA, sports team have at least two sets of uniforms : one for playing at Home, and another for playing elsewhere.

Used in my posts

  • A or Arch : Architecture
  • AFAIK : As Far As I Know
  • AFPFL : Anti Fascist Peoples’ Freedom League
  • Ag or M/Ag : Agricultural (sub-department of Mechanical)
  • AGM : Annual General Meeting
  • AI : Artificial Intelligence
  • ASAP : As Soon As Possible
  • Auto or M/Auto : Automobile (sub-department of Mechanical)
  • BA or B.A : Bachelor of Arts
  • BAA : Burma Athletic Association
  • BARB : Burma Astro Research Bureau
  • BS or B.Sc : Bachelor of Science
  • BFF : Best Friends Forever
  • BIT : Burma Institute of Technology
  • BSPP : Burmese Socialist Program Party
  • C : Civil
  • ChE : Chemical
  • Chem : Chemistry
  • COE : Center of Excellence
  • ConBro : Convent and Brother Schools
  • CS : Computer Science
  • CT : Computer Technology
  • DAC : Diploma in Automatic Computing
  • DCA : Directorate of Civil Aviation
  • DCS : Department of Computer Science
  • DG : Director General
  • Dio : Diocesan
  • DST : Daylight Savings Time
  • E : Electrical
  • EC : Electrical Communications
  • EC : Executive Committee
  • Eco : Economics
  • EE : Electrical Engineering
  • EI : Electrical Inspectorate
  • EP : Electrical Power
  • EQ : Emotional Quotient
  • Engg : Engineering
  • FDA : Food and Drug Administration
  • GBNF : Gone But Not Forgotten
  • GTI : Government Technical Institute
  • GJ : Golden Jubilee (Shwe YaDu)
  • HCF : Health Care Fund
  • HMEE : History of Myanmar Engineering Education
  • HSF : High School Final
  • I.A : Intermediate of Arts
  • I.Com : Intermediate of Commerce
  • ICST : Institute of Computer Science and Technology
  • IFL : Institute of Foreign Languages
  • ILA : Intelligence Level Aggregate
  • IM (1) : Institute of Medicine (1)
  • Intake : mostly 1st BE Intake
  • IP : Intellectual Property
  • IQ : Intelligence Quotient
  • I.Sc : Intermediate of Science
  • KG : Kindergarten
  • LSE : London School of Economics
  • M : Mechanical
  • Matric : Matriculation
  • MARB : Myanmar Astro Research Bureau
  • MASU : Mandalay Arts and Science University
  • MEHS : Methodist English High School
  • Met : Metallurgy
  • Min : Mining
  • MS or M.Sc : Master of Science
  • NLD : National League for Democracy
  • NorCal RITAA : Northern California RIT Alumni Association
  • PBRS : Private Boundary Road School
  • Pet : Petroleum
  • PPBRS : Private Primary Boundary Road School
  • PZP : Pu Zaw Pwe
  • Q&A : Question and Answer
  • RASU : Rangoon Arts and Science University
  • RGC : Rangoon Golf Club
  • RIT : Rangoon Institute of Technology
  • RIT69er : Class of 69++
  • RITAA : RIT-YIT-YTU Alumni Association
  • RU : Rangoon University
  • RUBC : Rangoon University Boat Club
  • RUESU : Rangoon University Engineering Students’ Union
  • RUSU : Rangoon University Students’ Union
  • SDY : Swel Daw Yeik
  • SDYF : Swel Daw Yeik Foundation
  • SEAP : South East Asian Peninsular
  • SJC : St. John’s Convent
  • SPHS : Saint Paul’s High School
  • SPZP : Saya Pu Zaw Pwe
  • T or Tex : Textile
  • UCC : Universities’ Computer Center
  • UCSY : University of Computer Studies Yangon
  • UCT : Universal Coordinated Time
  • Update : RIT Alumni International Newsletter Update
  • UTC : University Training Corps
  • YIT : Yangon Institute of Technology
  • YTU : Yangon Technological University
  • YUFL : Yangon University of Foreign Languages

Yadaya

Change

Yadaya stands for Change. Yadaya is similar to fire. It can be a good slave or a bad master.

U Myint Sein

According to U Myint Sein (GBNF), former Principal of BARB, ladies are excellent at Yadaya. They change their appearance (e.g. with the aid of cosmetics).

Folklore

According to folk lore, a student went to study at Tekkatho (Tekka Sila) to study under Ditha Par Mauk Kha (Professor). The professor was an expert in Veda. He saw that some calamity (probably death) will fall soon on the student. So, he told the student to return to the village for a while and come back at a later date.

The student did some good deeds on the way back. He moved some fishes from an almost empty pond to nearby stream. He pruned the hanging branches and righted some bent trees. He used some planks to create a make-shift bridge.

On his subsequent visit, the student told the Professor about his actions on the way back to his village. The Professor was pleased to know that the student’s Yadaya had thwarted the ill effects.

Extreme belief in Yadaya

The following may be attributed to some then higher authorities who believe too much in the power of Yadaya.

A classmate told us that there was a night walk on Minn Lann by the high authorities. The lights were out during the walk. Some other events (e.g. the construction of Karaweik) allude to a Kingdom.

The change to Nyar Lann Maung without making revisions to the road and the vehicles may be a Yadana to simulate a change to the right (from left [or Socialist]).

The issue of bank notes such as 45 Kyats and 90 Kyats may be due to the belief of Nawin or “Nines”.

The issue of bank notes honoring Saya San and Thakin Po Hla Gyi may be a Yadana to simulate the revolutionaries throughout the nation, and thereby thwart revolutions.

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