The Fence of Incredulity

Sometimes, out of boredom, I trawl the depths of Reddit for entertainment. There are a few gaming-related subs that I visit on these trips, such as /r/WorldofTanks, /r/Eve, and /r/citiesskylines. Beyond these Reddit subs, I don’t venture too far as I have no idea what dark corners of humanity brings me in the void of Reddit.

In this game, World of Tanks, you play as an arcade version of a tank crew in various tanks – so it is basically pixel tanks shooting other pixel tanks.

However, now and then, a nugget of brilliant comedy gold shines through and blinds readers (aka Redditors) into submission. This post at /r/WorldofTanks, was called [OT] 4chan determines the velocity necessary for a walrus to penetrate a T-72M’s upper glacis.

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Click to enlarge!

4Chan is another user board/forum on the Internet, but I would like to provide the warning that you should not go there. I find Reddit safer (at least these specific gaming-related ones) and interesting to read.

In all earnestness, a reply made on Reddit itself paved the way for this 4Chan post into the Halls of Legends.

[–]Cidious[NARWL](Scrubwhisperer)Sabot_Noir 220 points

So obviously OP didn’t account for Walrus normalization and basically set up the Walrus to impact at 0 degrees from normal which is fine I guess…

However, I am more disappointed with the failure of OP to calculate the yield deflection of the steel (you use the elastic modulus which is about 200GPA or the elongation at break which is 22%) and further OP failed to appreciate the consequence of this failure on their calculations. I’m using SAE 4340 which has very similar properties to MIL-DTL-46177 RHA the current US army standard. At 22% elongation the metal would be deflected into the tank by a distance of 1.05m if we apply that elongation along the armor plate’s short axis.

Additionally OP Failed to account that the metal under elastic deformation (read as prior to reaching the yield stress) acts like a spring with the internal stresses and thus also the force opposing the Walrus increasing in an approximately linear fashion. This means that OP has overestimated the required energy by a factor of 2 no matter whether we accept the other assumptions. Not to mention that since we only expect to see the yield stress at the plastic deformation threshold we have no bearing on weather the yield stress would even be reached by a deformation of .5m. From above we may conclude that 0.5 meters would only bring the plate half way to deformation and thus OP has further overestimated the energy required by another factor of 2.

I’m giving OP a C on this assignment because I want them to understand that they can do better. I will however allow OP to come to my office DURING OFFICE HOURS, to discuss some extra work which would demonstrate that OP has a more complete understanding of the principles at work here (do another problem right and I’ll make the grade a solid B).


That said I want to commend OP on attempting a Graduate level problem as an undergrad; the attempt to apply statics principles to a highly dynamic situation is as heroic as it is whimsical. For a more realistic evaluation we would have to consider the heat generated by dynamic strain and how that could lead to thermal softening which would concentrate the deformation into shear bands leading to cracking and failure.

We could also get a more accurate picture by representing the Walrus as a hyperbolic distributed load instead of a point force since the Walrus is large and mostly liquid upon impact.

Finally we don’t actually have to assume the Walrus is combat reinforced if we instead are willing to consider the effect of extreme sheer on the liquefied Walrus and how it would restrict the dissipation of kinetic energy and create a thermal energy hazard to the crew were any of the walrus were to enter the crew compartment through even a small hole in the armor.

Edit: TL-DR A sonic Walrus impacting normal to the UFP of a T-72M would likely result in a crew kill by penetration and infiltration of the tank with superheated walrus gasses.

Never, I tell you, never have I laughed so much I snorted coffee out of my nostrils.

Just a peek!

I am currently involved in a small project with a well established art society in Singapore.

As I work through the member profiles, I am very pleased to see artists that I have known through the years. Especially more so when I am filling in the member profiles for one of my art teachers.

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For this project, there is a certain amount of rationale behind the adoption of the WordPress platform.

Mr Boo has always been the soft-spoken and kindly person that I remembered as child. The few occasions that I do meet him during art exhibitions, he is still very much the same soft-spoken person.

Here’s another peak of the overall look…

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Member profiles of the artists.

I will post an update when the project is fully completed.

Class Observation @ Studio Miu

A few days ago, I went to observe my father during his Chinese-Ink painting class at Studio Miu. From its initial location at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Studio Miu has relocated to Centre Point to better serve its students.

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I usually use a mono-pod for photography as an aid to stabilise or to extend various angles for my shots.

You can read about my coverage of his lesson at Jin Yin Mo.

What struck me about my father’s lessons was that he was very approachable and interested in sharing his knowledge to his students. This is an aspect of my father that I had not witnessed but have heard about from his students or peers.

His students at Studio Miu waxed lyrical about how they loved his teaching style and how they enjoyed his lessons thoroughly. One student even stated very firmly that they plan their lives around his Friday lessons – to much fervent consensus.

I have never been taught by my father to paint. He talks to me about painting and all the important concepts behind the paintings, but generally left me to my personal development.

At a very young age, I developed an interest in painting due to my father’s influence. So he sent me to Gradsign Art School instead. I was taught children art by a Ms Tan, followed by Mr Lim Leong Seng and Mr Boo Sze Yang for watercolours.

I stopped attending art classes at Gradsign when I went to secondary school, but continued my interest in painting at the Art Club headed by Mr Ho Cheok Tin. Under Mr Ho’s tutelage, I learnt Chinese-Ink painting. I even managed to get an award from the Singapore Youth Festival for one of my paintings.

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Dad and me at the Singapore Youth Festival 1994

Besides covering Chinese-Ink painting, watercolours, gouache, I learnt Chinese calligraphy under Mr Lim Wong Hoe (whom I admired for his precise yet unique style of calligraphy).

Personal development is the core of my interest in art, with my father watching and supporting from a distance. When I made the decision to not pick up painting at a local art college, he was disappointed. While I may not be an artist now, I am supporting him as his manager… my interest and passion in the arts have never been extinguished.

When he shares with me the social going-ons in the art community, discuss various artists’ developments, and even asking me to critique his work, I am still able to rely on my self study of the arts and personal talents to be a competent arts commentator or as a participant in a dialogue.

While I may not have inherited my father’s flair for Chinese-Ink painting, I am honoured to be relied upon to support his work, and be able to advise other younger artists in their professional development.

As a personal belief, something that I hold very dearly to, I am a professional. Choon Jin maybe my father, but work is work. Just as I believe in paying the full value of a painting as per the label price, I do not favour my father’s works when I see something better from another artist.

While some people have laughed at me for being so silly and not asking for favours, I can firmly stand up on my own feet and act as I am, because I have straight convictions about art and knowing when things are professionally aligned. Thus on a professional level, my father is an artist in the wider arts community and he is treated as such.

I am relying on my own skills as a professional – my good eye and sense (for aesthetics, techniques, colours and compositions), my knowledge (of art and its social communities) and my preference for discretion (in the art community) – perhaps these are attributes that set me apart.

Standing here at Studio Miu and observing my father at work, I am appreciative of the way he delivered his lessons in class. Reflecting upon my newly-acquired knowledge of adult learning, he seems to have utilised an instructional approach but couched it in a friendly and open manner.

The students whom I have met, have different learning needs as well. The morning class was more socially interactive (two European students and one Chinese student) while the afternoon class leaned towards a “teacher to student” interaction (one Japanese student). I think my father’s friendly manner makes the students’ learning process much easier and adapt to, as well as receive feedback and critique from him.

Reinforcement and encouragement through his friendly critique seemed to go well with his students, as they earnestly accept his critique and expands the feedback session with more questions. His willingness to share more of his knowledge, and even suggestions for self practise, shows his passion in encouraging his students to push ahead on their own pace and even develop on their own areas of interests.

I hope to be able to participate in more class observations. I may have been away for a long time, I think this is a good time to understand my father and his work much better.

Planning a Credit Agency

[ Public Service Announcement – this is tongue firmly in cheek. ]

On this historical day, June 6, two strapping young lads (a handsome eloquent Caucasian and an irreverent Chinese guy) created a new brain child of a new workforce-centric credit agency. In line with a national accreditation process, a competency map was thus created to effectively plan and assess the competencies of one such credit agency’s employees.

In the competency map, there are five dimensions: task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills, job & role management skills, and transferable skills. These dimensions grant the ability to assess the current skills of the employee against expected skills – any gap will lead to further training to bring the employee up to standard.

Task skills refer to the performance of individual tasks based on expectations in the credit agency.

Task management skills refer to the individual’s abilities to handle multiple different tasks in order to complete an entire work activity.

Contingency management skills refer to the individual’s abilities to handle exceptional cases beyond the expected work situation.

Job & role management skills refer to the individual’s capacity to handle responsibilities and expectations in the work situation that is not directly related but in parallel to the individual’s job scope.

Transferable skills refer to the individual’s ability to transfer or up-scale existing knowledge and skills to an expanded work situation or expectations.

With that in mind and the local context (Singapore), a proposed credit agency’s skill set is thus developed – introducing Ah Long Inc.

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Competency Planning for Ah Long Inc.

For task skills, ad-libbing (for clients and public agency enforcers), prospecting (for clients) as well as collection of due assets.

For task management skills, documentation of receivables and client particulars is a very important skills. Decorative skills are required as well. Minor renovation-related skills (such as the ability to use adhesives on various materials for strong binding intentions) and butchery skills were considered, but something more realistic and less messy would professionalise the employees.

For contingency management skills, athleticism is a necessary core skill for unexpected and dynamic changes in the working environment. Hand to hand combat skills is proposed but a deep focus on self defence is needed to protect the employees from abuse and potential violence from clients. Contrite submission to authorities is a must for self-preservation skills.

For job & role management skills, the ability to persuade is very important. As professionals, this ability is tantamount to the survival and professionalism of the credit agency.

For transferable skills, employees will be able to transfer their existing knowledge to expanded operations or related fields. One such industry would be credit card companies as collection agents or loan officers. Ad-libbing will be another important transferable skill if the Commercial Affairs Department decides to have a chat with them.

Thus, with a well-thought proposal for the competency dimensions, a professional credit agency will have a good set of standards to adhere and aspire to today!

[ Public Service Announcement – this is tongue firmly in cheek.] 

The laughs in class were long and loud.

There was another activity later on developing standard operating procedures. The role play activity was to create a SOP on how to greet customers from various F&B service levels (from high-end dining, fast food dining and to hawker dining).

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My eloquent Caucasian course mate role played as a hawker assistant, while I role played as a customer. My hearty well-done to him for trying to speak in Mandarin.

Pro tip – go with AI CHIAK SIMI as the SOP for hawker assistant.