Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008

Happy New Year 2008 to you who finds this blog. :-) May the year of 2008 brings you peace, prosperity, and good health.

Writing about good health, don't ever disturb someone's sleep again!
A research shows that disruption of deep sleep once too many times may increase the risk of getting diabetes 2. Weird as it sounds, but be very careful. :-) Your pastime might kill someone.

On another note, more reasons for you to get your man to bring you to eat your clams.
A couple found an irisdescent purple pearl inside their clams! Pity the cook who is too engrossed in preparing the food, if not they could have found it first.

O yah, I spent my new year's countdown in Changi Airport. Sadly, for an airport touted as the best in the world, not even a sentence of Happy New Year 2008 is uttered by the operator. Every person in the arrival hall seems fixed on finding their relatives/ friends/ loved ones such that none of them seems to aware that the clock has ticked past 12 midnight. I guess New Year is no more something special. People seems to take time for granted. It's eerie that people shall forget that time is no longer in their minds.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jun's corner bukit batok

I just ate my lunch from a malay stall called Jun's Corner, in Kopitiam behind the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, Bukit Batok. I have never been given such a measly portion yet in my lunch time as what I was given by the Chinese man from the stall. I bought squid stir fry in rawon like sauce, and I was given literally 6 small pieces. My sambal goreng is a pathetic 6 small pieces with one piece of long bean. My rice + 2 such meal cost me S$2.50!

My friend's tauge and cabbage is literally gone in one scoop of rice and I understand that tauge is definitely very cheap.

I'd never buy any more lunch or dinner or whatsoever from that stall again. The portion is amazingly suited for kids with adult pricing.

IPOD Classic 80 GB

Recently, to my surprise, my company gave everyone an IPOD Classic 80 GB! Wow, I thought, what an amazing gift.

After admiring the IPOD and being overwhelmed for a while, I start to think about what to use the huge space for. At the end of the day, I can't think of anything. Even after loading my songs into the IPOD, I have only filled less than 5 GB of the space. What should I use the 75 GB for??

I bet some people are filling the IPOD with DVD file, but I don't think I'll squint my eyes just to watch any video off the IPOD screen, which is merely 2.55". Audiobooks? Nah, I don't fancy that as well. Podcast? Erm... I am not so grateful for all those podcast as well. Even with all those items, I don't think 80 GB is necessary. Why do you want to keep 10 DVDs in IPOD anyway? or 1,000 podcasts? I can't think of any reason. I'd love to learn some of the reasons though.

Hence, I personally think that unless one need 80 GB of IPOD to fill up their lives, one should just be content by having IPOD with far less space.

I wonder how many owners of 80 GB IPOD Classic can make use of the space effectively.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Singapore Airlines

After flying Singapore Airlines to Jakarta from Singapore (pp.) twice in a month, I can vouch for the uniquely Singapore Airlines' experience. The seat feels another notch higher than Lufthansa. The provision of hot towel is amazing. The feeling on hot towel on your face ebbs away a bit of your tiredness. The felt and at times practiced freedom to ask for the drink you wish for (as long as they have it on flight), the ability to choose between 2 meals, and the hard effort of the steward/ stewardess to smile are really worth the premium price! At least the meal from Singapore Airlines is decent, not like the burnt pastry I got from Valuair or pathetic Sandwich from Lufthansa.

Not a big wonder that many people around the world chooses to fly with Singapore Airlines despite having to pay higher price. The flight experience is at least 10 times better than budget airlines despite price difference of far less than 10 times. Hahahaha....

Perhaps people would argue that the flight is a mere 1.5 hour. Hence, if it's possible to save money, we should really save the money. However, on another note, the less convenient, or far less than satisfactory flight experience might really worth far more than the save money for many people.

It's a freedom to choose but perhaps noting the value instead of just staring at the price should sway the choice.


A week ago I went back Jakarta with Valuair, thinking since it's a 1-hour flight, a little "suffering" should be okay. Furthermore, it saves me around S$60.00

Considering that Valuair touted itself as a budget carrier, despite having relatively higher costs than Airasia or Tiger Airways, I never imagine that that S$60.00 would buy me extremely better flight experience.

Valuair's seat gave me a feeling that I am seating on a car instead of a plane. The seat cover looks like some cheap leather that has not been cleaned well. Cracks lining on the seat cover appear here and there and amazingly, the flight to Indonesia was treated to a special meal, i.e. a measly pastry or a tasteless and bland looking fried rice (on my flight out of and back toi Singapore respectively).

Paying S$60.00 more would have allowed me to fly with Lufthansa with a real conventional seats found on "normal" passenger plane, same leg room, and more decent meal. The flight experience is really worth more than that S$60.00 difference! And at non peak times, I reckon the price difference should even be lesser!

If I am not really pressed for the date, I would never fly Valuair anymore, really.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I just came back from Jakarta after a few days trip. The trip makes me realize what really put Changi to the top in the realm of airport service.

Every time I step on Soekarno-Hatta, I harboured worry about the safety of my luggage or whether any lost of luggage will be compensated. The airport also does not have any drinkable tap water, not that many countries in the world has this feature. Changi airport is not expected to field a late service staff as well. In Soekarno-Hatta, some people have to stand waiting for more than 10 minutes in front of the gate since the staff of Valuair has not appeared to man the booth despite the board showing clearly "GATE OPEN" for some time prior to the queue.

On another note, taking Valuair makes me remember why people are choosing SQ. :-) I slept over the initial period of meal distribution. Upon my waking up, I asked the stewardess for my meal and she said okay. Yet my meal did not arrive such that I have to ask for it the second time with the lead steward :-) The gentleman sitting behind me was reminded by the same stewardess to fasten the child seatbelt at landing which the gentleman was never given at all. Hahahaha.. Ah well....

Monday, December 17, 2007

How to be famous and rich

This is what a writer need to write to be famous and rich in 21st centuries:
1. Write a common sense that they can change their fate by behaving differently and trusting themselves (cf. The Secret)
2. Write that a certain religion needs its basic fundamental truth questioned (cf. Da Vinci Code)
3. Write that you need to invest money rather than just save them in the bank since the bank has lower interest rate than stocks investment or sort (cf. Rich Dad Poor Dad)

This is what you need to write to be "try" to be famous in 21st centuries:
1. Write a book to debunk topics you think is a myth (cf. The Secret of The Secret, Decoding Da Vinci Code, etc.)

2. Write a book that win you a Pullitzer Prize (normally these authors are famous for a little while and then they disappear into unknown)

Friday, November 30, 2007

MRSA and silver

The craze and fear of MRSA seem to benefit mostly hardware producers. I've read a number of silver related products being boasted on and on to supply protection to MRSA. Those hardware companies are jumping the wagons based on the MRSA fear. They seem to play it well. The fact left unsaid in all articles regarding the company and the product is that silver has been a controversy in the use of it.

Taken from,
"In a laboratory-based study, van Hasselt et al [96] examined the antimicrobial properties of three types of colloidal silvers against a range of test organisms, showing a complete lack of activity and concluding that 'claims of its potency are misleading and that there is no place for it as an antiseptic'."

Hence, be very careful with the use of silver, not all silver formulation shows bactericidal activities. Not all effective silver formulation maintains its efficacy in body fluid. After all, body fluid has totally different components not possibly replicated in completion in laboratory,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Facebook craze

Many people are active in facebook nowadays! I found myself spending quite some time in it to play defense of the ancients. Nothing beyond that though. There are just too many things to do there. It has such an open environment for numerous aspiring programmers out there that the applications are overwhelming for me. Imagine having 10 notifications on invite to use this or that application from my limited number of friends. Amazingly tedious just to click ignore, not that I don't appreciate their invitation. I just don't have the time to even click 'Ignore'.

Facebook may really reduce lots of productivity with its tonnes of application. I bet there are some people who spend their entire night gluing their stares to facebook. There should be a phrase called facebook addiction!

Perhaps those time spent on facebook should be spent in the real world calling or talking face-to-face with friends. It should enable more fruitful words exchange and emotional conversation. After all, virtual is still virtual. It's cold and will stay cold despite all the flowers and sort being sent.

Monday, November 5, 2007


It has become a norm these days for wealthy businessmen/ businesswomen to say "Grades is not everything, the rich people are normally not the first class honours holder but those that merely scrap through the academic life". Normally, people nod their heads on this opinion. I, as one of those grateful of my good grades from my hard work, tend to feel discriminated and disregarded by the opinion. Somehow, nowadays, the consideration of success is in how much money you can make. It's so sad that the so much well-meant word "success" has degraded to such a level.

A search using wordweb dictionary gives the first definition of success as "An event that accomplishes its intended purpose". Hence, it's not really the wealth that should be the measurement of success. Those top students, who earn their grades, are actually successful people as well. After all, they accomplish what they set out, that is to be top students. But hey, why should al the rich people kind of condemn the smart people? Being smart and not rich don't give the wealthy to look down on them! Success should not measured by the wealth. Some people enjoy working for others. Some people enjoy just being as what they enjoy at the moment. Success is the feeling of accomplishment after all, not the wealth.

It's even sadder to see that some business people are looking at their success in terms of ability to employ the smart and work the smart people's asses off without paying them properly. I read that somewhere. Not many people look at the opinion of those wealthy men/ women as a discrimination, but I do feel discriminated despite the fact that I do feel successful having a job, a pretty and nice girlfriend, and many nice real friends. I feel hurt by the opinion and I do think that they need to look further than money as a fulfilment of life. :)

Money buys happiness in short term, but won't buy the real happiness.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MRSA? Poverty? The analogy

The news on MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus suddenly gets very hot on the net. Every one in US is talking about the superbug as if it's a new species or alien just discovered. It strikes me as something very ironic. Staphylococcus aureus is in fact a very common bacteria found on the skins and 70% of the populations should have the bacteria ALL THE TIME inside their nostrils!! The "amazing" mutant of Staphylococcus aureus, the superbug - MRSA, has actually been a common cause of death by hospital infection since early 1960s!!!

There is absolutely nothing new about MRSA. The so called community strain has actually been in publications since late 1990s! So, what's the big deal? Well, MRSA is known to strike bed-ridden people to death but not a normally healthy teenagers. Ironic huh? Only when the long feared bug is striking near us that we take a notice and scream out "HELP!!" and requesting all those sort of practices that scientists have been advocating to no avail for YEARS!

We, human being, need to learn to care about people and event in the world, not just the surrounding. It really saddens me to draw this parallel. An analogy of MRSA case can easily be drawn to the plight of the Ethiopia, Congo residents, North Korean poor citizens, and even the lepers. The attention that normal folks, not affected by poverty, on those people are near to zero. Have we human degraded so far to a level that unless the event is affecting us, then we'll do something about it? Shame on us, shame on us!

It's really the time for people to realize that there are many things happening on earth. Things as simple as the dangerous permanent residence of hospital - MRSA - should have been understood by even the common folks and in specific, those that are to be admitted to hospitals. After all, the sick need to know that not being careful in the ward can easily get the inflicted by a bug that has 40% chance of causing them death. Lots of cases are noted where patient A goes into hospital for X diseases and then later died because of Y infection worsened by MRSA. Yet, despite the danger, there is no public dissemination of such risk.

Should we really wait for danger to strike at home before we observe hygiene carefully? Should we wait until our country has 99% poor people before we realize that the poor need help and the hungry people need to be fed?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Work ethics

I believe it's understood by all employees that a company can progress well only by having a highly productive and efficient + creative employees. Yet, it seems very difficult to get employees whose work ethics is at least reasonable.

People in general dilly-dally in order to get a few spare time for themselves. The dilly-dallying of people in a working chain further increases the lead time of product delivery. At times, we can't blame them anyway. It's not easy to find superiors who can sort out and provide equivalent work scope and job allocation to everyone. Ideally, every person has to be given a non-action packed time in order for them to rest or think about non-action related part of the job! A person who is madly trying to reach deadline and clear as many jobs as he/ she can is not going to be very creative or innovative! The less creative and innovative employees a company has, the less progression the company can make. This chain reaction is overlooked by many people.

Engaging both sides of the population is very important. Open discussion should be encouraged to level up the job. I believe it's very important for a company to purposely assign task force to look at business process improvements. However, there is a need to purposely allocating time for the task force. Doing so, the top management indicates to the entire office population that business improvements are indeed in the priority. Often, chasing deadlines induce dementia to the top management and office lives end up as rat race. I do think that this is partly the cause of many turn overs in lots of companies.

Strike the balance! Only happy employees will stay. Yet, not only happy, the retained employees must be those with willingness to improve themselves and the company!

Singlish: a culture

In the airport today, I heard a girl, around 3 years old, saying to her mom "the MRT is long long what...". Wow, the girl is speaking Singlish!! Her mom doesn't seem perturbed and why should she be perturbed? She is speaking Singlish as well anyway. I'd tend to think that a child can only learn to speak those language and phrases being spoken by people living around her. Hence, drawing conclusion from that idea, it could only mean that people around the young girl speak Singlish.

If the language called Singlish is indeed so prevalent and so accepted widely in the society, I think it should really be accepted as a Singapore culture. I find it rather ironic for the government of Singapore to cook, brew, and look for possible Singapore culture up and down while trying the best to bury Singlish, which arguably is the strongest Singapore culture at the moment. For the government, somehow Singlish is being treated like a plagued or perhaps unwanted children, owing to the fact that Singlish is perhaps thought as "broken English". It's rather apalling that people generally accepted and amazed by people who speak multiple languages while the chance to have Singaporeans having English as a second language seems like eating the forbidden fruit. Why is it so difficult to accept that Singlish is just another form of language and it's possible to accept Singlish and proper English spoken side by side as two different languages.

Even Bahasa Indonesia is formulated from Malay and improved over time. It should be possible to leverage Singlish and differentiate it from English further as well. Rather than seeking for inexistent culture, the government of Singapore should have just accepted the fact that Singlish is indeed a unique Singapore culture.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lead in everything

According to Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) of USA, one should worry if 10 microgram or more leade was found in a tenth of a litre of blood. It is thought that even the content of lead at a lower level can hamper IQ development of a child. In adult, lead can result in various neural related disease. After all, the dementia of many Roman emperors was thought to be caused by the addition of lead in the wine and food product of that time.

The limit of airborne content of lead is apparently set at 50 microgram per cubic metre of air averaged over a period of 8 hours, according to OSHA office of USA. Apparently for adult, the lead limit in blood is set higher than kids, which is now at 40 microgram per 100g of blood, which roughly calculated to 4 times higher than the concentration limit in kids. Kids are generally thought as weaker and more susceptible to any kind of safety hazard. But hey, who to say that adult should tolerate more lead? Won't the final damage be the same?

The current lead limit in candy is 0.1 ppm. The USA government, arguing that it's hard to determine the lead content of candies for sure, has merely advised parents to prevent their children from chewing candy wrapper and disallow their children from eating too much imported candy. I wonder how difficult it is to control the import and just stop the producion.

Recently, the added scare is due to the findings of lead in lipsticks! Lipsticks are so popular and an almost must-have for career woman. I don't think there is any woman who has never licked their lips while they are wearing lipsticks. Hence, if the lipstick contains lead, the woman should have been ingesting lead. Now, I wonder why Revlon was said to have lipstick containing no detectable lead while, the more expensive L'Oreal can't be made without it. Is there any difference in the appearance of the lipsticks? Or are people paying more because the lipsticks contain lead? hahahaha...

Lead is toxic due to its ability to bind to molecules which normally bind Calcium, Iron, or Zinc. The three elements are of many utilities in our body. In addition, binding of lead doesn't allow the molecules to perform their normal function as when they bind to the three elements. After all, Calcium ion is involved in the synpatic transmission of our neuron. I wonder whether this is the link between lead poisoning and neural related disease.

One thing for sure, I have not found the information on the normal amount of lead in air, water , or food yet.

Fried chicken with cracker

Fried chicken with cracker

800g of chicken breast, unskinned
2 pcs of egg
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
dashes of white pepper
1 pack of Julie's Butter Cracker, mashed to small pieces

Cooking method:
1. Cut the chicken breast to small pieces (up to the size you want)
2. On a bowl, beat the egg and mix it with the salt, sugar, petter, and cracker
3. Dip the chicken to the mixture and fried it in hot oil. Be careful not to turn the fire too high since egg is easily burnt.
4. Enjoy it :)

The fried chicken has a lovely butter flavour. Niceeee

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Addiction to money

Money is very important, isn't it? Without money, we can't get a staying place, we can't get food, etc etc. We can even buy happiness, can't we? Yeah, to a certain level.

Many of us is caught in the race to earn money. Little did we realize that earning money is addictive. Yup, ADDICTIVE. Why is it so? It's because there is only a slim chance that we'd think that we have had enough money. You can see clearly that Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Murdoch, etc are still making money, don't they? Not that I think they are addicted to money, it's just that they are still earning money while they have had tonnes of it.

People are inspired by the rich, easily nowadays. So, we race to earn more and more money while thinking that our family needs the money. At first, perhaps the family is very supported. However, as we earn more, there is high tendency that we lost the first and foremost thought that we might have wanted to earn just enough money for our family. We end up earning money enough to feed the entire province in Indonesia, for example. Then, as we earn and look for money, we unwittingly distance ourselves from our family, slowly but sure. At the end, it's highly probable that we'd lost our family, at least mentally and spiritually.

Beware, myself and friends, that while money is needed, earning it need to take into account our family as well. We'd need money, but balance is very important. It's either we set the balance and purposely spend the time with our family or we'd just lose the balance.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Seabass and genetic engineering

So the story is out, Singapore is breeding "super sea bass".

The sea bass is said to be hardier, bigger, and grow faster. The flip side is, according to some gourmet critic and chef, a less firm flesh. Apparently, the lay man theory is that the fast growth cuts the time needed for the muscle to strengthen the flesh.

Reading the theory, I wonder about what will happen to the genetically engineered food items that are to grow faster as well. Although the sea bass is arguably not genetically engineered but merely selectively bred, the flesh of the "normal" sea bass and the "super sea bass" is apparently different. Considering that there should be a maximum DNA replication speed that could be hard to surpass, there should be a theoretically highest possible cell growth rate. If the cell growth rate has been maximized by the genetic engineering, shouldn't it mean that harvesting the food stuff shorter than an optimum time might actually compromise the quality of the items?

It does makes sense for longer period of growth to produce firmer muscle in the fish. What about corn? genetically modified cow, etc? In the effort to produce food faster, it's not far fetched to think that perhaps the food items are not entirely the same as those wild type that grows naturally. I wonder what else changes in the fish and future genetically modified items besides less firm flesh.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Youtube for scientist

Wow, I came across this website

It's a youtube containing science-related information!! It's
launched last month by the US National Science Foundation and online journal publisher Public Library of Science.

Check it out and watch some science presentation today!

Btw, it even has video on how to do oral presentations and write grants :P

A water that cost $55

Fancy buying the most expensive bottled water?

A bottled water that costs $55 since it is in frosted bottle and studded with swarovski crystal hahaha.. now, do u buy the bottle for collection or do you buy the water that has been purified by at least 9 steps? :)

What about you? hehehe

Salt water as car fuel anyone

This is what I call geek science:

My goodness... Radio Frequency Generator (RFG) invented by Kranzius simply degrades the hydrogen bonding of salt to generate hydrogen molecules that is burned by the heat resulted from the radio frequency vibration. It's amazing. The heat is reported to reach 3,000 F.

Too bad that the efficiency is extremely low. Hahaha... it'll be still some time before we can use salt water as fuel :P

Sudden hope for peace

Wow, after 60 years of conflict, suddenly

There might be a chance to split Jerusalem under the sovereignty of two countries. Really, after fighting for the same city, same sites and claiming the lives of so many innocent, I can't think of a better resolution. I hope the idea does follow through and both states agreed upon a peaceful settlement.

I can only say, finally a light at the end of the darkest tunnel.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Time and Value

I'd like to write something about time and value (not time and money) :)

At times we'll meet people who really concerns about money. So when they are faced with a choice to save some dollars, they'll go all out to get that. Say, a shop somewhere in town is selling an item for 40 dollars, while a shop in the neighbourhood sells the same item for 50 dollars. Yet, to travel to town, one will need to spend a total of 1.5 hours in the journey. Still, some people will travel just to save that 10 dollars. Little did he/ she realize that he has lost that 1.5 hours of his precious time and little did he/ she realize that transports still cost something!!

One thing that normally slips the mind of such people that time has a value that far exceeds the monetary savings that he/ she might obtain. Referring to the paragraph above, that 1.5 hours of his/ hers could have been spent resting, be with his/ her family, doing some other hobbies, etc. Those time that was gone can never be turned back. The passing time can not be obtained again. Hence, the Value of time used wisely if priceless. Why should you save that "little" amount of time while sacrificing the time that could be used for something priceless?

Think about it. Use your time to be with your family or doing something you love rather than just merely thinking about saving some little sum of money. You can earn the money, but you can never earn time. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Live simply

Got this forwarded to me:

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "H-M-M," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YEA!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly....... Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.


Love the article so much. It's so true and yet seems so far away. We can always try harder and harder, can't we? To learn to dance in the rain and laugh at all the slips we have due to to wet terrain :) May each slip improve our steps more and more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Statistics is always cited everywhere and it's always use to justify certain decision. Nevertheless, little did people realize the ease of which statistics can be used to "manipulate" or "design" the result portrayed to the public.

For an example, government tends to talk about the reduction of unemployment rate. However, I see more and more unfortunate people selling tissue paper and even plain begging, everywhere including in Orchard. My question to the statistical data posted by government is:
1. Does employment include those working part time?
2. Does employment include those working once in a month?
3. Does employment exclude those considered unwell to work (for whatever reason, including having one hand)? Or does a person including one hand but having a work is considered in the base but those without a work is excluded from the base?
4. Does employment include those proclaiming self-employed although they are without income? i.e. people who is without job, trying to be an insurance agent, jumping into the field and get out in 3 months. Is the person who quit jobs after the next 3 months is considered as having a job?

There are tonnes of ways to calculate many things. It really depends on the analyst to spin his/ her own side of story. Beware with whatever you read. I'd tend to think that we can formulate our own decision by our own perception on our own limited base. After all, we are in the population.

Yet, we tend to forget that even ourselves can make a difference. Whether our decision is for the better or for the worse, it all rests upon ourselves.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ask and you shall receive

In general people like to wait for things to be offered to them before they take it. But, the fact is that if we never open our mouth to ask, most of the items on our wanted list will not just drop in from of us. We need to spend efforts by simply asking. Without asking you'd never know if you can't get what you want. Chances are that you don't get it simply because you don't ask for it!

Another thoughts. If you feel that you need to learn and get the training, just ask for it. If you never ask and admit you don't know, you'd either get sidelined because you are assumed as not able to perform or simply ignorant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ode to Robert Jordan

Sigh.... Little did I realize that Robert Jordan, the author of the Wheel of Time fantasy series has actually passed away on 16 September 2007. :( My wait for the series completion shall no longer be satiated. Would the notes that he passed down to another author enable the new author writes the book in his style? That will remains a question. I'd prefer the story to stay as it is, incomplete, simply because that's original.

I have been greatly touched by his book. First introduced by my best friend, I have been hooked and followed the series till the "Knife of Dreams". Despite many people critiquing that the stories becomes very political, I believe that was what he intended to do. To write about power struggle without political conflict is simply impossible. Somehow, I tend to think that everyone is more or less playing politics to a certain level. It only depends on whether to use it for something wicked or just to ignore it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Work as if it's your last day in the job!

Some of you could be thinking that I advocate laziness and idleness in work. I will disappoint you that I actually intend to ask you to work harder! :D

At jobs, many of us tends to just work our way through the day without much thoughts. In the end, complacency and contentment set in and we'll be just there, as in there... hanging in the air, not moving spiritually and mentally. Not moving forward to be a better person each day should have disappointed you. You are not created to be just in status quo! Work as if it's your last day in the job and keep innovating. Keep your minds moving to ensure that if you are sacked or decided to change job that day, you'll be able to get a better one in no time!

At times jobs are segregated very well such that every single person is very specialized and very skilled in their jobs. The process might be such specialized and compartmentalized that once the owner of the process decides to change job, the company would be at loss. Even a sick employee might delays the process. How could it not be if the job segregation allows only the process step owners to understand the step? A company should be designed, ideally, to keep moving and productive even if suddenly they lost 50% of their staff strength at the same time. A process step should clearly identified such missing employees (due to sickness or holiday) will not derail the projects.

Team leaders should actively understand the status of their junior colleagues' project and have free access to the project's item. The managers should be able to recall all projects' status and to even do what the junior employees do when needed. One should work such that one is not indispensable but to ensure that other people can easily take on and continue one's job easily. By doing so, one can easily be sick and take a holiday without fear because one can be sure that other people can easily continue one's project without much adverse effect on timeline and quality! Wouldn't you wish to take leave easily without having to be afraid of getting called by colleagues to ask about any work? :)

So, work as if it's your last day in the job and ensure that you can take leave without having to worry about your job (provided you are a responsible person, some people might not have the work ethics to even consider this matter). Work as if when you leave, you won't cause any adverse events to the company! Be responsible today and learn to be a better person! Trust me, it's not easy to work as if it's your last day in the job, responsibly.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I'd say complacency is a danger to health! When you feel that you love the status quo, you might have fallen into the trap of complacency. When you like the situation as it is, you might rest too well such that any possibility to improve is obscure and you'll lose the notion of living to the challenge. At the end, your thoughts might have withered away.

Complacency kills! It kills your brain cell and might sway you from making improvements to your personal and/or working life. Keeping yourself on the tip of the toe once in a while is good. It keeps your brain working and ensures that you'd have enough brain cells working to prevent old age mental problem from setting in too early. Hahaha... but the root benefit is to ensure that we makes our own lives a better one each day by not being complacent. Feeling challenged is good for health provided that it doesn't set into depression as well.

Balance is the key yet complacency should be entirely avoided.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's that time of the year!

Yeah! It's that time of the year in Singapore! Time for bus/ MRT operator to raise their fee!

In Singapore, the bus/ MRT transport fee is bound to increase every year. The reason being put by the operator is that they have not raise the fee when the economic is in down turn (as if they HAVE to increase the fee EVERY single year). Ironically, despite the implicit statement that they are facing higher operating cost, they are actually posting HIGHER PROFIT in 2006 compare to 2005. So, I bet they are going to have higher profit in 2007. Time to buy the operators' share guys. It seems that the operators care more about the shareholders than the public although they are public transport operators, in which case, residences DO NOT have other operators to choose from except the two that are operating in a seemingly "purposely separated" route. Yeah, the operators does not run the same route!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Food facts

Got this from "Bread for the World"

1. 800 million people in the world go hungry every day.
2. 12 million chidlren in the United States have to skip meals or eat less than they want so that their families can make ends meet
3. 6 million children die each year from causes related to hunger.
4. The basic health needs of the wordl's poorest people could be met for less money than what animal lovers in the United States and Europe spend on pet food each year.

I am more surprised of point 4 than the rest. So many expensive pet food nowadays and so many animal rights group. So, where's hungry children rights group? Not that animal rights group is wrong. Yet, I feel that the plight of animals are being advanced far more often than hungry children's rights.

Let's be mindful of what we do bearing in mind that there are lots less fortunate people in the world and be thankful of what we have. Be able to save money to help other poor people should be in our mind.

Luciano pavarotti left his mark

Luciano Pavarotti was called back to God. He was a great opera singer and has left his mark. For the outsider like me, he looks like a person who has lived his life to the fullest. But, who knows how he really feels inside, huh?

His death kinda reminded me of late Mother Teresa's letters that talk about her darkness in her search for God. Human soul is too deep to understand and the corner of the soul normally is a kept secret, even to the dearest one. So, it is very normal for even saint-like people to doubt her faith in such a way. It's not in the sticking out with strong faith all the way but it's the resilience and persistence to stick with the faith. That's what matter. The struggle to maintain faith is something that has to be learned and even more difficult to maintain. The choice to stick with it, that's the strength.

A writer some day ago wrote in The Straits Times criticizing Mother Teresa's portrayal of Kolkata. The author blames her for equating Kolkata with the downtrodden saying that Mother Teresa has covered up the resilience of the town. I can but wonder whether the author himself is not deluded into doing what he seems to hate. That is to see only the bad effect. After all, Mother Teresa has tried her best, always. She helps many despite their background. It's the media that brings up the news and sensation. I don't think it's Mother Teresa's will for her work to be exposed in such a manner anyway. So, perhaps let's just cherish the good work and learn to face the truth that there are many other poor people in so many other cities. Mother Teresa is but one human who has tried her best to live her dream and helps as many as she can.

She has died living a legacy. Pavaroti as well, has died living a legacy. It's not a comparable persons of course. The key point is to treasure the living ones and understand that every one can make a difference.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life, precious yet wasted

The murder board in New Orleans. The number of crimes against fellow human being is always alarming. In addition to the news on the murder board, another news on the killings by youth in Britan should make anyone cringe with horror. Human life seems to be valued cheaply or perhaps for free. The condition in some cities and/ or countries seems similar to war zone where life is simply not worth a single penny.

Why is life wasted so easily? Perhaps the hardship has not taught resilience to people but the victims of the hardships (physical or spiritual) are becoming more desperate and selfish to a point that no life matters to them. Perhaps again, that love should be dispensed to them more freely. Hope should be rekindled. Only hope and love can cure the lifelessness of human and brings light to the darkness of heart.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Appreciate all and treat all as able persons. Every one should be able to do many things. It's how the training and motivating work. Having prejudice kills yourself and others.

Working life

I would like to propose an idea.

Enjoying your work is hugely affected by your colleagues. Despite whatever you do, there is no way to win the world. If somehow, there is a mismatch between what you and your colleagues, there is a high tendency for you not to enjoy your work anymore. Perhaps then there is a need to patch up the relationship and you need to seek out how to improve them. Having sour relationship in office creates office politics, a very dangerous situation. Avoid that at all cost!
If somehow, you feel that you have attempted your best and it still doesn't work out, then perhaps it's the time to move on. Don't cry over spilled milk.


The news are fast and furious in reporting the failures and defects of China made product. It's as if suddenly all China product has a "DANGER" sign pasted all over. I remember clearly ten years ago how my parents have kept reminding ourselves about the possible of made-in-China. It was also widely accepted that cheap products equal to low quality and my parents realized the matter fully when they decided to buy made-in-China. Yet, somehow someone nowadays is trying to blow up the danger of China made product into such a gigantic proportion. It's pretty unfair to China. Their products should have always had the same level of reliability since the first time China market is open for investment. Product quality does not degrade over night!! Big corporations who are jumping the cheap guns are partly to blame. Principle economy has always ruled the expansion and search of suppliers. "Get the most while paying the least". We, consumers, need to be realistic. Hoping to get a good buy with low cost is partly dreaming and partly contributing to the poverty of huge part of the world! Your money is ending up anyway in the employees. Eventhough we might argue about corruptions, higher amount of money we pay should still end up with at least a bit higher pay than when we pay super low.

It's not too late for the consumers to take responsibility of their own lives on their own hands instead of blaming "made-in-China". It's not too late to realize that "you get what you pay for" and it's not too late to realize that the wish to push down cost has caused big companies and manufacturers to contribute to the woe of billions of poor people/ employees in the world

Friday, August 10, 2007

Time and love

There is equal number of hours in a day for every single human. However, the perception of whether the nature has provided enough time for every single one of us hugely varies. Some might be running a 100-m sprint race all their life while chasing they-only-know-what. Every single point of their life, they are wondering what they are doing and why the time is never enough for them to reach their goals. Some might be standing still and still of the same feeling as the previous group of people. Some other people might be running 100-m sprint race punctuated with standing still while realizing that they do have enough time to race. Some people might be running with a constant slow speed and still feel burned and not have enough time to gain everything.

The difference of all those people should lie on one single item: the perception of success.

Undeniably, every single soul on earth wishes to live a successful life. Even kids who seem to love only playing should be yearning for success. The difference perhaps lie in their perception of success, which should be winning over their "enemies" in sports game, words game, etc. Additionally, stay-at-home mom might feel that they are successful when they have raised a "good" child. What is success is difference across the board.

Executives might be running round the business track with money dangling over their front sight while wearing side-blind. They are arguably running like a horse in a horse race. Knowing nothing but chasing what's in front of them, the money is always felt to be of the same distance and so unreachable, yet they keep running. These are the people that prone to feel the lack of time.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some people who are slow and perhaps without much talent to call their own such that they are working (or not) with low pay (or nothing at all). Some of these people might be feeling the harshness of the world and cursing their life every single time they have a chance to do it. In contrast, some of them might actually feel more lucky than the executives.

I think everything lies on where we set our goals. The sight of success and the feeling is pretty much tunable according to our own wish. Setting a far flung dream and chasing it all time long distract the living of the now and the joy of life is easily forgotten. I feel that we need to really think about our own life and limited capability while understanding its impact to how we perceive success. Success should come in the form of joyful feeling of life, which should be perceivable without owning 1 million dollars or sitting in a directorship position. Of course, I acknowledge the fact that a single soul can change the world, as has been proven time and again. By all means, if you feel that you can do it, do it. The key point is not to lose sight on what we actually values most and re-tune our perception of success to include not only us but perhaps our loved ones. To align how we think about success and how they feel about our success is very important. That's another success point.

For those who think they don't have a loved one, perhaps they can stop to stand still and see the surrounding. There are many people who need love. It just that our living race perhaps have distracted us and make us forget about them. It's not that easy to remember that in giving that we receive. In loving that we feel the love.

Arctic and the owner

I think it has been a long time that an area is so highliy disputed. The last time war erupted due to claims over a treasure-rich area was perhaps in the colonialism era where "new worlds" were plundered. I wonder whether the history is repeating itself with the current claim of Arctic. Many countries are spearheading multiple missions to claim pieces of north pole, said to contain oils and God knows what. Never did once those countries talk about preserving the area., Never did once those countries said anything about the environmental catastrophe that might happen when lots of human venture and even stay in the pristine environment.

Untouchable by human for million years, north pole is known to contain rich ecosystem due to the isolation from the rest of the world. The findings of many new and unique species happen only when the ice melt. I wonder how many of those claimants of north pole truly realize the meaning of north pole without ice.

I am wondering what do we, human, think of our north pole and our earth without ice. I wonder about the perception of the value of future when it seems that many of us only think about living the now with such a greed. For me, it's a scary thought.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Standards and working ethics

I wonder how long it would take for someone to learn the standards being followed by an organization. Be it ISO, JIT, TQM, TPM, Six Sigmaor whatsoever, it seems that methods to standardize processes are very much in the trend. Although I believe all those are useful, I can yet figure out how to apply them in an organization effectively.

Truthfully speaking, unless the top guys really show their commitment publicly, I don't see how the lower ranked guy would ever think of burdening themselves with the enormous needs of documentation. Each single piece of documentation can easily be used as political warfare munitions. How can it not be if every single meetings are to be minuted and every single email will be rooted out to pinpoint whose fault this and that is. Gah, the misunderstanding around the use of standardization really amuses me a lot.

It's even a big wonder why we call certain processes and things standardized when people can't produced out the example of the standardization or how the standard method/ process should go about. How do educate the middle managers and seniors if the standards are lost in the complexity of an organization?

I can't even stop to wonder how many small organization with employees of <>

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Do we need to categorize dreams?It seems to me that most people should have the dream of "being rich" and then "doing nothing" type of dream, shouldn't they? All of us simply want to enjoy. Yet, this so-called dream of material richness, how attainable is it? I don't think there is >1% of the world population with enough money to warrant abundant life without working.On the other hand, there are, arguably, simpler dreams like having a good family, starting a business, becoming an outstanding chef, becoming an author, and so on and so forth. Then, there are wild dreams of basketballer wishing to be a singer, like the guy in High School Musical. All these are relatively easier to attain than a super broad dream like "becoming rich" aren't they?

It seems to me that there are 2 types of the so-called dream, one attainable, the other far far away type of dream. Where shall we draw the line?

Auto with breathalyser

If you like to drink driving, you won't buy a car that's equipped with breathalyser, will you?

If so, who will buy the Nissan that won't let someone to drive the car when the electronic system detect higher than permitted level of alcohol in the driver's breath?

Perhaps someone with really high willpower to stop drinking. Yet, if one is with willingness to stop drink driving, is there a need for him to buy the car? The willpower should be enough to prevent him from trying, I think.

So, where else can such a car be good? Hm.... car rental company?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Those advice you read

Nowadays there are tonnes of self improvements. There are also many advices laying around.

This morning, I read an article that teaches how to write a "good" resume. The gist is that one should sell oneself and give lots of good figures in the resume.

I have only one disqueting feeling about such advice. If one is good with the job, perhaps in sales, one shoudln't even need to reach such an advice to know how to boast and put the figures into place in the resume. Often it's only when one realized that one was without any extremely good things to write in resume that one look for advice. So, in such case, how can the article help??

Furthermore, the article that tell one to boast about this and that seems to fail in considering that the bulk of students is not super bright and only a small percentage of student gets good mark while having tonnes of leadership position + extracurricular activities.

There is a real mismatch of what you learn from university and what the real world is looking for. At school, life skills are not taught and academic lessons are not tailored to fit in to the industry. At graduation, many graduates are left in the lurch, not knowing what to do.

I guess human resource employees need to learn how to read feelings perhaps. Perhaps those fresh graduates with less figure to boast should learn pour forth the passion they feel about the jobs they apply and recruiters need to relearn the basic human feeling that people can learn and they should be given chance to learn. Perhaps the complain on the difficulty to find skilled worker that I often read nowadays lie in the lack of willingness to give fresh graduates chances to learn.

As I glance through job ads, so many advertisement are open for people with experiences of 3 years and above. It's as if people can get experience without starting afresh. In Singapore, opening for fresh graduate nowadays open mainly for insurance agents and private banking sector. I feel sad for the multitude so-so fresh graduates.


Heat wave in Shanghai, at 40 C. Heat wave in Romania, 12 ppl died and temp reaching 42+ C. On the other hand, flooding occur in London, some parts of Europe and parts of China. The earth is dying. Even the air stream is reported to have change direction.

South Korean over zealous missionaries is still in Taleban's hand. Noone knows whether they are still alive or not after the dateline for negotiation has passed.

Japan starts to run hybrid trains. It reminds me of a story in TV about a man who lives self-sufficiently in Morocco. He runs his housing complex using wind and solar power. He has one or two cow for milk production and some chicken to lay eggs. Vegetables are abundant in his own farm. Amazing :) My discussion with a friend of mine converged on the thought that human needs to get self-sufficient in the same line as fossil fuels are running short. I don't think alternative energy will be in time to cover up the loss of fossil fuels.

The island of Kalimantan in Indonesia is suspected to have some Uranium. Too bad the country has poor skill in extracting such mineral. The risk of stealing and illegal mining by foreign agents was underlined by one of the local miltary officer of Central Kalimantan recently. I think the risk is real. It should be quite easy for countries with proper stealthing equipment to enter into Indonesian territory. Although whether they can survive the magical ability of the tribal people or not is up to your guess and mine. There have been many reports and sightings on the unearthly skill of some Kalimantan tribes. Supernatural/ psychic skills of human are not to be underestimated :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Giant catfish anyone? Can last for quite some time huh? :P

Photo taken from National Geographic website. The fish can only be found in Mekong River. It seems that Mekong river basin hold quite a number of "monster" fishes.

Dominant and controlling leader

Some leaders are very dominant. Despites having some committee heads, they still want to control the workings of the committee and micro manage them. It's quite amazing to observe how these leaders pile job and job upon them. I don't think that's quite a healthy way of leading an organization. Micromanaging projects might let the leader miss out the big picture. Furthermore, at times the members would feel distrusted and discontent may easily brew.

A good leader should learn when to let go and when to hold a tight rein. It's definitely not easy to do that. It'd be good if the leader can identify experienced people from newbies as well. Experienced people should be sought for advice. That's why the Japanese organization are good in their successions. Highly experienced and skillful employees are trusted and provided with advancement. Leaders who distrust their employees and always hold tight control on everything are spelling their own project downfall and employee dissatisfaction.

Laptop and productivity

I wonder why my company never gives a lower rank employee such as me a laptop. At times when I am at home, work came into my mind and I might just get an idea to solve something. I am sure there are some other people who feel so. But then again, perhaps not having a laptop also gives me more non working life. Should be a good point I guess :P

Just that I am quite amazed by the gamble that many western companies take in allowing their employees to work from home. Depending on the willingness of the employee, such a step should increase the productivity.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Just in time

Just-in-time aka lean manufacturing is quite tough apparently, when a disaster strike. Toyota reported that it has to slash 55,000 units of production due to the earthquake in Niigata. The disaster disrupts one of Toyota's part supplier. Due to the lean manufacturing process of using Pull system, inventory is at a very low level, meaning that no extra stocks will be available when material supply is disrupted.

Nevertheless, the system has allowed Toyota to gain far much competitive advantage compared to its competitor. Such disruption should have not been viewed as loss. I guess, true to the Toyota Way, Toyota will overcome and come out with some contingency plan for the future occurrence of such disruption of
parts supply. I read that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan sent 650 lean engineers to help the part supplier restart its production!! Amazing!

I think this is just a small feat achievable only by lean manufacturing.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Various seminars on entrepreneurship in Singapore always look down on MBA and degree. The focus is on challenging yourselves and make money as much as you can without having to care about your background.

On the other hand, the corporate world seems to still stay at the MBA mindset. Most companies seem to rely heavily on the MBA graduates. Almost all giant corporations have training/ recruitment programme for MBA graduates. Not many openings seem to exist for engineer with so-so engineering skill.

No wonder many seem to end up in insurance, wishing to make quick bucks. :(

Unfortunately, not many seem to realize that insurance market in Singapore is already quite saturated. In bukit batok MRT for example, there is this favourite spot for insurance agency. Last month I saw Prudential, last week I saw AIA, this week another company. All use the same position and the same type of table and chairs. Amazing! Haha...


Failure and mistake happen on and off. The real challenge is to forgive ourselves and move on with better opinion of ourselves as we tackle and get above the past. The tendency to come out with excuse to shift blames to other people is too real. When we feel that we should not be blamed and we shifted the weight to other people, we tend to feel better for a short term but it doesn't solve anything.

The long term solution is to forgive ourselves for the mistakes, shift no blame to noone and move on learning from the mistakes.

The act of forgiving ourselves is far more difficult and challenging then just shifting blames to others.

Not that I advocate blaming ourselves for no reason. However, most of the time it's always easier to blame others and turn a blind eye on ourselves.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nothing to write

Nothing much to write lately. By the time I get back home and touch my computer, I have forgotten everything that happens hahaha..

But one thing I realize, working with people has never been easy. A simple dispute in a company can affect many people indirectly. Conflict management has not always been one of my virtue. I guess it's time to learn.

It also amazes me that very few project management people seem to consider value generated against the cost/ effort needed. Perhaps at times we, lower rank and file, need to poke the project managers and remind them that they need to consider us who are the one toiling endless hours for the projects and that a more complex project warrants for higher revenue.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Harry potter and star wars

I think there is a similarity between Harry Potter and Jedi. Hehehe... Basically, in Harry Potter: Order of Phoenix movie, Harry Potter looks very angry and near the ending, he was "possessed" by the dark lord. He has weak will to resist dark lord because he is just too angry. Sounds similar to the concept of Jedi being drawn to the dark side. :P

The movie does a superb representation of wicked Umbridge. She really looks like those evil mother-in-laws who wish nothing but destruction and yet smiling and behaving like some uber rich carefree women. Hahahaha.. The care taker is also shown to be really happy and enjoying the companion of Umbridge.

Nice show and nice broom race in London!

Education and what you might want to do

I feel that there is only one thing to do when one get into a university.

That is to set one's eye to a particular job, and hone oneself in a particular skill needed for that job. One can get all the mediocre grades in all sort of subjects but one must make sure one score well and understand the skills one wanna grab for the dream job.

Getting all A's and finding hard to get a job is quite a reality nowadays. Seen a few so far.

Job and education

Just met a friend from my faculty who is already jobless for a year. I wonder whether he is one of the considered outliers in the government and school's census saying that economy is picking up and graduates are getting jobs within 6 months of graduation.

The problem with university education nowadays is that it doesn't really teach industrial related skills. I find that most of the skills are really outdated. I asked around and my friends commented that they use probably, I reckon, 5-10% of what they learn in school. I guess university education is merely about getting the mindset then. Nevertheless, I do think that university needs to upgrade and update itself to the needs of the industry. Engineering faculty churning up students who end up working in insurance and banking industry are not doing justice to the society, especially when the manufacturing industries still need lots of manpower.

I confess that although I am graduated from a mechanical engineering school, I won't pass doing any complex drawing using engineering drawing software. I don't even understand tolerance pretty well despites all my good grades. Ouch.... Education really doesn't equate to proper jobs nowadays....

Friday, July 13, 2007

Price and government

Singaporeans are well known to rely heavily on government to handle many things. Complaints are rife once something need straighten up and the request is for government to come up with rule A, rule B, etc.

Little did I came to realize that Indonesians are the same, or even perhaps, worse. After enduring nearly one or two week of milk price increase, mobs start to organize protest to ASK government to control milk price. How the heck does the mobs expect a government to control milk price?? By manufacturing more milk powder and releasing it to the market to increase supply? I didn't realize that the government is a milk powder manufacturer. Hahaha.. Considering that corruption is so rife and tax evasion is daily activities in Indonesia, the populations really need to wake themselves up from their dreams of relying on government to do anything. After all, the money is mostlyh in the mobs anyway. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sneak preview

Some sneak of my friend's photography:

What I saw yesterday

1. A guy wearing a neat pink long sleeved shirt and pink dark-striped ties. Doh, so many self professed metrosexuals tend to prefer pink colour shirt with shortly trimmed hair. It makes them so feminine. ^^"
2. A 20 something lady wearing hipster with at least 1 cm of her buttock split showing up on top of the pants :S
3. An old lady wearing bright pink low cut blouse with pink shoes :S
4. A early 20s lady playing pink coloured NIntendo DS. Great product colour from Nintendo DS. The simple and funny games it has should have further strengthened the base of its woman customers.
5. Doh, forget about others hahaha..

Taxi woo

When I was in the CBD (Central Business District) around 9 pm, I saw only a few taxis with the sign "HIRED" and no empty taxi around. It reminded me of some letters in the newspaper complaining about the disappearance of taxi near midnight. As I got out of MRT station on my way back home, I realize why so few taxis are in sight in the CBD at 10 pm and above. So many taxis are queuing in the shopping mall waiting for passengers in the taxi stand of the shopping mall besides the MRT station. However, no passengers is actually in sight.

Perhaps due to the strain of working in night shift, to reward the night driver, Singapore government endorses a regulation to get commuters to pay extra if the taxi is taken at midnight. However, the regulation seems to have backfired. Instead of getting passengers in the CBD at 10 pm, most night taxi drivers prefer to loiter around not crowded area (Imagine waiting for passengers in residential area at near midnight) so that they can cash in and charge extra taking passengers after midnight. The argument for them is simple. Taking passenger from CBD at 10 pm will deprive them the chance to get passengers at that place around 12 pm, because they might still be on the way back to the CBD from residential area, so they prefer to wait around in far far away residential area. As you might have guessed, calling for taxis work if the taxi is near to the place you are calling from. If all taxis is in Boon Lay (west most MRT line), and you are calling from Raffles Place, no taxi will ever show up for you. Hehehe....

I wonder what makes those taxi drivers shun the CBD before 10 pm. Avarice perhaps? Can't they just simply take passengers from CBD at 10 pm? There must be a number of passengers whose house is < 1.5 hrs two way trip. The spirit of service seems very much beaten down by the avarice.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Live earth and rubbish!!

Hahaha.. I just wrote about Live Earth and the energy it spent and then today I read in the news that critics are already picking bones with how much carbon each celebrity in the event actually emitted. It was reported that Madonna actually generated 100 times more polluting gases than average Britons. Hahahhahaha...

The news also showed the amount of styrofoam collected during the Live Earth event. Ouch... don't make me start to wonder why a green earth promoting event used styrofoam. Doh.. so brainless....

One thing I really wonder is why Singapore government haven't started putting recycle bin in level 1 of each HDB unit. The amount of waste paper generated per day via a HDB mailbox system is tremendous. I found on average a A4 total size of advertisement in my mailbox. On an on and off basis, some stores give a huge booklets of their advertisement that's usually went to rubbish as soon as I found it.. Collecting those waste papers in regular basis should cover the recycle bin cost, right? ^^"

Monday, July 9, 2007

Live earth - do they practice what they preach?

The live earth concert have so many celebrities that makes me wonder how much can be gathered if every one of them pledges to give just 1% of their income for green earth activities :P

But one other thing that I question is whether the event itself and the celebrities do what they preach. The event lasted 24 hours with so many electrical equipments wired that I bet it might just be equivalent to months of normal electricity supply needed by some remote village. It would be lovely if they can show that the electricity is supplied from green power source like solar or wind. Nevertheless, I don't think they use those power sources because if they do, they would have used it to hyped the messages further.

Not that I am an opponent of the concert. I am in fact a believer of energy conservation and pretty much a green activist in my own heart. I merely think that it's a shame for the organizer not to make the concert green :) A lost effort in that point of view.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Wow, it's hard to find really nice place for pre-wedding shot in Singapore. Went for a total of 6 hours, nice places are mainly urban. Of course, the Ficus tree in Sentosa is always a nice place. It seems to be a rather compulsory scene so far. Haha.. We even took a couple of shot in tooth relic buddhist temple in Chinatown. Main good ones are having urban high rise as the background. Really nice, but well... it's very much uniquely Singapore as well.

My photographer friend is quite good with lighting. Pretty hard to satisfy him by using a reflector. :S Hehe. but nice experience and nice pictures. WIll share some in future after post processing :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

We like personal branding

Human loves personal branding. In fact, every single one of us have always known about personal branding, or even branding in a more general term.

How many of you have losers in your school years or even in your working life? How many wise men/women do you know? How many smart geniuses do youn know? How many "monkey", "dog", "frog", or whatsoever in your school days? I bet every one of us is capable of answering "yes" to one of the questions. The underlying fact is that personal branding or branding in general is not only separated with thin line with stereotyping. When you observe that you don't like your friend's way of walking, you call her a duck. You practicaly brand her as "DUCK". When you observe that your friend talk too much, you or your friend brand him as something else. When you see a wise men, you highly regarded him/her, perhaps. When I was in my high school, despite being ranked in top 5% at school, I was called name as one of the most stupid character in cartoons world. All those are practically personal branding that we attributed to someone.

Basically, we tend to be able to attribute someone to some words after some time. Those people are already branded. Simply compare the "branded" people with other branded goods/ person like Nike, Adidas, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, etc. In your opinion, how difference are those two groups of goods/ people in terms of rememberance? I reckon you'd realize that you can remember those two groups, when their corresponding attributes are mentioned, equally well. This simple comparison should easily show you that personal branding is in fact, prevalent. Every single one of us tends to even subconciously brand ourselves as a certain someone. We tend to portray an ideal self of ours to get a certain image of social self (we as viewed by others), which tend to starkly differ from our true self. :)

All in all, I don't forgive branding people with ridiculous traits or names. I know their sufferings :P Spare them please and just see the positive side of theirs. :)

Ban of European airlines to land in Indonesia

Just few days ago, EU warned European to stop flying Indonesian airlines and that EU banned all Indonesian airlines from flying to European Union. The effect is said to have stopped a number of Europe tourists from leaving for Indonesia. Today, Indonesia government officials said that Indonesia is considering to ban EU's airlines to fly to Indonesia as a tit for tat move.

This is not the first time that I am amazed, to use a softer word, with the action of Indonesia govt officials' action. The ban of EU for Indonesian airlines is in fact a symbolic one. NONE of the airlines fly to EU anyway. The reason for not flying there might in fact lies in the fact that the plane might not even reach there safely. It doesn't make sense for the airline not to fly there if they are able to since there are huge number of European tourist visiting Indonesia per year. In fact, stated by Tourism Indonesia (
, Europe market that used to make Indonesia one of its more popular holiday destinations has dropped after Garuda Indonesia stopped flying to Europe. Therefore, Garuda Indonesia IN FACT stopped flying there long before the ban. It's ridiculous.... The fact is that despite the poor service and age of aircraft, etc, Europeans USED the airlines long time ago.

Now, the tit for tat move to ban EU's airlines is clearly going to impact the number of Europe tourists hitting Indonesia further. I wonder whether the officials even think about who is at the bad end. The ban by EU is perhaps hurting the tourist arrival by a mere 20% while the ban of EU airlines might as well stop 99% of the EU tourists. The way some of the officials think are simply preposterous. Too often such words and actions are simply fueled by short-term and super short-sighted "nationalistic" view. I wonder whether it ever dawns on them that hurting the tourism industry, which fed so many poor people living from the already hurt tourism industry (due to terror), is against the nationalistic point-of-view, in the bottom line.

Politics are used to often in expense of the small folks in virtually all countries. Not a big wonder that some religious took it upon themselves to run the office. Not that I side with them. Mixing religion with politics will create another realm of problems. I don't want to talk about it here. It's simply too complicated. :P

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Human is a rather terrible creature. It just dawned upon me that it took a mere 80 years for human to wipe out the entire dodo species. Read about it in

The simple introduction of rat by the human immigrant to the stable ecology where dodo lives has partly caused the extinction. And global warming is causing an ongoing extinction in many parts of the worlds. Reported by the national geographic, some of the ancient arctic lakes supporting a unique ecosystem is drying u and the organisms in the lakes are nowhere to be found.

We really need to play our part in reducing the global warming. Simple action like using less styrofoam and showering for a shorter duration can contribute towards a better environment. A million people using 1 less styrofoam per week per person signifies 4 million less styrofoam per year. That's a huge number, isn't it?

Internet, you, and your money

In the internet age, information is at our fingertips. Unfortunately, not many consumers are able to gather the appropriate information to aid their purchase decision. I just saw some pre-wedding photos taken by a so-called professional photographer. Unfortunately, the photo looks very much amateur to me >< Doh, the lighting is terrible. I wonder why my friend's friend is willing to pay the photographer S$3,500 to have such an ugly photo taken.. Why don't they take a short time to browse the net for photographer's website and get an idea how pre-wedding photo can look like, the better ones of course.

I am going to help my photographer friend to do some of the shoots later. I hope I can help him with the styling. I'd show some of the processed photo when it's done.

Photo-editing software is so much advance nowadays that refusing to work with it sounds like refusing to use gas stove to cook and decide to use coal instead. After all, the photo-editing software only builds up on the high quality photo taken by the photographer. A photo with improper colour composition can't be magically changed into an award winning photo despite using sepia or grayscale tone. Hehe...

I hope I can push my friend with the photography work. At least, there is a channel for me to improve my soft side. :P

Jobs and overtime

It never quite dawns upon me why there is even a need for people do some overtime in their working life. I saw people toiling away their lives in the office, involved in seemingly unending flow of work. I am confused on why it can happen.

I keep wondering what makes a company have a lot of employees who are working over time. Does that mean that the process is not right such that the wastage of time is abundant? Does it mean that the company is simply understaffed? Does it mean that the employee is slow? Does it mean that the company is trying to employ slaves to boost up margin? Unfortunately, somehow it seems like the erring point is at the company.... Process can always be improved, margin can always be improved without sacrificing the employee's time and pay, and so on. However, it's difficult to get the entire company to put effort in improving the business process unless some top management guys are openly supporting the changes.

A middle manager and lower ranked employee can't do much to improve processes without clear mandate from the boss. I think ideal company should manage its employees time well such that extra time are available for the employees to embark on ad hoc projects to improve the company's overall work and life satisfaction. Too often that in order to achieve short-term profit, employees are forced to work overtime without extra pay, with low pay, and/or in terrible working environment. It should be difficult for such company to survive if the employees are feeling the burden daily and no time and effort are put to improve the processes, procedures, and even on the business development side. After all, if you keep chasing the dangled carrot in front of your eyes, you won't be able to see what's at the side and your concentrated focus on the carrot will cause you to bump to the walls in front of you.

Continuous improvement on a company's process is mandatory and innovative solution and working environment needs to be fostered if a company wishes to remain competitive. However, if majority of the employees are kept busy on their work without much room for creativity to wiggle, it's pretty hard to imagine the company to succeed in the long term.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Seen Hehehe.. it's a website created by a man who was practically starbucked. He encountered such a disappointment in Starbucks' service that he set up an anti-corporation website by his own money just to make sure he put his point clear. He has changed into a brand assassin.

I wonder about the number of brand assassin in Singapore. I have not been able to advocate any single brand although I have been exposed to quite a number of them in Singapore. After all, Singapore is a global city where most corporations seem to set up HQ here. Yet, despites the enormous amount of branded goods here, the service of salesperson and call center in Singapore is not great. I still recall how many times salespersons caused me to swear not to buy from shops. There have also been so many stories from friends on how restaurant waiter/ waitresses non-chalantly treat the diners as if the restaurant is paying the diners to dine there!!

The outrageous part of the service in Singapore is that there has been many calls for the customers to behave themselves before asking the service providers to provide good service. Now, who is the most affected party in this supposedly mutual business relationship? I would like to argue that it's the business units who are supposed to provide great services before they can expect loyalty, advocacy, and excellent attitude from their customers. The customers came with a certain expectation and that expectation should be met if the business would like to have a repeat business. Only by extending hands to the customers, can a company creates civilized customers and generate more profit.

Monday, July 2, 2007

There is something about statistics

Statistics is used everywhere to justify company policies. The challenge on using statistics is to learn not to torture the data. Amazingly, when one has some data, statistics is always use to make the data confess a particular response that the user would like to see. Once the user find something extraordinary (that he/she doesn't like), methods of regrouping, taking out the so-called outliers, etc will be employed to "smooth" the data and ta-daaa... the data analysis will produce something that the user would love to see...

Amazingly, although we know it's not so wise to torture the data, we still do it. Countless of times, I saw it happening, not only in academic scene, but more so in corporate scene. It's just very hard to see that the initial data analysis does not produce something we want.

But, do we really ever do a 5-why analysis on why the data looks wrong or why A is higher although it should be lower? Instead of fiddling with statistics to produce the "wanted" result, perhaps additional analysis (that MAKES SENSE) or simply letting the data as it is is wiser. As my friend said, "Data does not lie". Perhaps there is genuine explanation to the seemingly bewildering scene. It just that when we torture the data, the explanation will almost be definitely overlooked.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Breastfeeding has long been proven to provide additional immunity to the babies. I'd say more breastfeeding produce less mortality in babies and therefore, more children who will buy powdered milk. But then, those milk powder producer prefer to market infant formula, claiming milk powder is better than breast milk (Philippines). I wonder whether more living infants buying advanced formula for age 6 will give more income to the manufacturer or selling infants < 6 months milk formula. I tend to think that more surviving baby will give more income though since babies from 6 months onwards still need milk powder hehe... on the other hand, babies, who take infant formula, having higher mortality rate might only live for 6 months or less and not gonna need any more milk powder in the future :P

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Doh... marijuana ok as food seasoning, Indonesia VP said

At first, I really thought it's a hoax... How could a vice president said that marijuana is okay for use as food seasoning.. but then.... confirmed it....

So, Jusuf Kalla simply said.... marijuana user and courier + dealer will be sentenced but local people (especially the Acehnese) is welcomed to use it as food seasoning. Acehnese chefs are said to support the use of marijuana since it "enhances" the local taste of food.... It's sort of de ja vu for me since not long ago some Japanese spices are said to contain traces of cannabis. Countries which those spices are exported to have withdrawn the items from shops. Yet Indonesia VP said it's okay to use such "enhancer". No wonder the plants are popular ....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Made-in-China's cars and tires

Tell me... after you see the following pictures, would you still buy the cars from the brand involved?
The test is held for Brilliance BS6 which is to be sold in Europe. The test is under NCAP standard.

Amazingly, the China car company actually produces BMW for BMW in China. :-P

The pict courtesy of

There was also a report from the same website that tires made-in-China failed in some cases and customer in Mexico and US is feeling the bad end of the defect. A GM's van apparently went into accident when the tires' rubber portion allegedly went off from the steel frame. Ouch...

Long way to go ... indeed....

The cars for developed countries' consumption should have been made to follow much stricter standard. Failing important test and not being responsible with defect-induced accidents are not the way to go in garnering higher customer satisfaction.

But perhaps, China manufacturers really need to learn the bad end of their irresponsibility before they can produce better products.. perhaps..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Different selves

This is what I learn.

We have 2 selves:
1. Actual self
2. Ideal self

Actual self is divided into 3 sections:
1. Manifest self : how we behave, consciously
2. Social self : what other think we are
3. Latent self : what's our subconscious mind think of ourselves

It's in the ideal case that latent self shall be known so as to allow one to understand on how to control the behaviours arising from that self. If one was not aware of that latent self, some behaviours related to that self will be manifested subconsciously and maybe quite destructive. The awareness of that 3 sections of actual self will allow one to reconcile them and rationally understand one's behaviour and control them better.

Ideal self is divided into 2 sections:
1. Personal ideal self : what we want ourselves to be like, ideally
2. Institutional self : what our institution demand us to be like

At times, what we are are not the same as what we want us to be in ideal case. Maybe we'd like to be very nice guy who can accommodate to every kind of people. However, in reality, we'd have our share of being an angry person. On the other hand, our job might demand us to behave in a certain manner. For example, a call center officers would be required to be very nice and are expected to answer all questions nicely, including knowing all answers to all sort of related questions.

One would have to understand oneself entirely from that 2 types of selves if one would want to control how they behave. :P Hard, but should be doable.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Racing in life

So, we are all in a sort of racing competition in life. The racing is most of the time, self-induced, aka voluntary. So, one fine day morning, one woke up and decided to pursue one's dream. Before that day, one has dinner with one's spouse or friend or boyfriend/girlfriend at least six of the seven days. After that morning, having decided to spend time to pursue that dream, one only manage to have dinner with one's loved one, once a week or twice a week. Why is it so? Well, normally the dream "worth pursuing" has the loved one in the picture, but the loved one is at the end point. In the journey, the loved ones are not involved. The closest analogy I think suitable is painting a picture and then cutting + pasting the loved ones' picture from another painting to that newly finish painting.

Why the event unfolds as such? One great "guru" taught people that the five closest people surrounding one describe one's future. So, people normally follow that "rule" very closely and guess what, one's loved one rarely allow one to reach a particular dream, especially if it's "prosperity" and "success". Therefore, the said event in the paragraph above happens. One's life becomes a race to reach that dream in the hope that the loved one can finally enjoy that dream with the racer.

One flaw, biggest flaw I observe in running a race and chasing such dream is the failure to consider that one can't control how long one lives! No matter how healthy you live (eat all organic food, no fried stuff, salad and seafood or whatsoever), there is virtually no way to control whether the oncogene in one's body will turn into cancer. There is no way to control that one won't encounter any accident at one fine day. If bad things happen, will one be able to turn back time and enjoy the life more with one's loved one? Friends, live your life to the fullest and chase your dream but don't forget to spare bulk of your time with your loved ones. Self employment does not bring real happiness to your loved ones. Ten million dollars does not bring real happiness to them either. It's either you live your life now and make them your priority (at least spend >50% of your non working time with them, and now... don't start calculating the number of hours...) or risk losing the one in a life time chance.

It's not that I am such a wonderful person living a very enriching life. It's just that I don't wish to see friends withering away in their chase of dreams. Those self-induced works lasting 16 hours a day has something wrong in it. Working life is 10 hours, at most 12 hours. More than that, find a better place friends. Life happens once and only once. Seize the day and have a nice dinner with your loved one, spend your limited time on earth with them.