Monday, July 21, 2008

Create Digital Fireworks

HELP to Create (Digital) FIREWORKS in the sky for the GLOBAL PEACE FESTIVAL MALAYSIA.
YES, Use your mouse NOW and help us to create (Digital) FIREWORKS for GPF MALAYSIA ! Remember to switch on your speakers too.

After you have visited the website above, please proceed to http://www.GPFMalaysia.Org

Friday, July 18, 2008

My cycling in Singapore experiences - water from above and below

Saw this improvision from mrbrown's Quick Guide to Bicycle Commuting in Singapore. It brings back my experiences related to rain and cycling.

1. Most of the time, rain doesn't stop, it is the ... cloud that moves.
This is the first lesson I've learned. The first time I was caught in the rain, without rain coat, I was together with some other motorcyclists under a shelter. A short while later, the rain "stopped". However, those motorcyclists didn't show any sign of carrying on their journey. Another couple of minutes passed and they are still waiting. I didn't understand why, and so I moved on. Just only a few minutes later I saw the boundary of the rain, and too late to react and I rode into the rain, again.

2. No more rain, but the floor is still wet.
On another ocassion, I waited till no more rain, and added another 15 minutes wait for the clouds to be far enough. Happily I moved on. Only when I got back home to change then I realized how ugly was the back of my shirt. The real wheel, especially MTB tyre had "sprayed" my shirt with water on the ground. This led me to my next lesson.

3. These are called mud-guard, not water-guard.
Not knowing what that black thing above the wheel is called (see pic above), I went to the stop and asked if there is anything that can prevent water from hitting my back. This thing was suggested and happily I cycle before the road is dry after a rain. Still, I found my back is still sprinkled with dirty water from the ground. Only later I realized that this thing is called a mud-guard, and thus as the name suggests, it is not designed for the problem I was facing. At that time, I envy those road bikes that have the semi-circle cover to tackle this problem.

4. My favorite material to extend the mud-guard.
I had the similar approach as the one shown in the above pic: to extend the mud-guard. Initially, I used carboard, but it couldn't tolerate water. I put it in one of those transparent magazine wrapper envelope, but moisture still got in and it couldn't last long. The idea of water proof led me to water holding items. I didn't use water bottle like the one in the pic, which I think is quite troublesome. Initially I used those use and throw plastics cups, which are free, softer and easier to cut. However, under direct sunlight daily, it decays within months. Eventually, the best material I have found and used is transparency. It is not free, but I can get those used and unwanted ones. It is light, nice looking, firm when curved, and able to last for years under direct sunlight.

5. Rain coat doesn't keep you dry.
After being equiped with a rain coat for months, finally, I have the chance to use it. Happily, I put on the rain coat and moved on. It was so stuffy. Then becoming sticky. By the time I reach my destination, I was drenched. The rain coat kept me from the rain water but also prevented sweat from drying up.

6. Headdress.
Another problem with the rain coat is that it can't cover your face, especially when cycling, the wind keep blowing the head cover backwards. Thus, my spectacles have too much water to be usable, and my eyes soon have difficulty opening with water keep running into it. For people like me who don't wear helmet, it is good to have a cap to hold the head cover in place and also to provide shelter to your spectacles and eyes. Furthermore, headdress is also useful to block the sun.

7. Avoiding is the solution.
Nowadays, I don't have the mud-guard. I don't carry rain coat with me. I carry umbrella, but I avoid using it while riding. If caught in rain, I am ready to lock my bike nearby, use umbrella and continue my journey via public transportation.

Help others to help everyone

I think there is a saying, "feed the cow if you want milk". This is what I felt when I look into this service, Zookoda. It is an email marketing application designed specifically for bloggers. Zookoda enables you to send a daily, weekly or monthly summary of your latest blog posts directly into your visitors' inbox.

Now, the important part is: ... it’s all FREE! Is this a free lunch? Isn't there no such thing as a free lunch?

Consider the above phrase, would you charge your cow for the food you provide to it? Thus, I guess that's why it is free. This can be considered as a type of investment. Just as those countries that subsidized heavily for all their citizens to get educated. Here, it is more like a company that is building up an industry, the industry that it is in.

The parent company is into online advertisement, particularly advertising in blogs. With this free tool, it is helping bloggers to improve their blogs readerships, and this translates into an increase in the value of the advertising time and space of the blogs. This should grow their revenue through growing the industry.

More importantly, as bloggers, we can benefit a lot from Zookoda that enables us to:
  • Manage email newsletter subscribers
  • Enhance your blog with custom newsletter subscription forms
  • Design eye-catching newletters to match your blog design
  • Schedule recurring broadcasts for each day, week or month
  • View real-time open, bounce, click and unsubscribe reports
  • Access mobile users by emailing blog content in text format

Sponsored by Zookoda

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What's your Bills IQ?

Oh no! My Bills IQ is low! Even though it "congratulates" me. When I did a comparison, the average of many are ... about 86%. Sigh...Interested to know your own's Bills IQ? Click here.

Why marry?

Singaporeans list key challenges to marriage and parenthood, which includes difficulty in finding suitable partners, owning a home, financial security, work—life balance, and childcare arrangements.

However, I think the most important issue is not these difficulties and challenges faced by Singaporeans. Fundamentally, it is the lack ...
of understanding of why marriage?

In the business world and the study of management, it is already very clear to many of the importance of vision and mission statements. Once these are clear, then difficulties will be viewed as challenges to be overcome. Otherwise, they are just excuses and obstacles people use to avoid responsibilities.

In majority of the history, the task of finding suitable partners is not done by either of the partner. Owning a home, or having financial security first are ridiculous ideas, conflicting with the wisdom in the proverb 成家立业 (establish a family, then build a legend).

I hope the government stop losing themselves in trying to solve such trivial issues by not clearly stating the correct understanding of why marriage. By the way, let me pre-empt by saying that why marriage is NOT for population sizes, nor national prosperity.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cash out from SocialSpark!

Announcing the first cash out made from SocialSpark: ... The current earnings from SocialSpark is 40.70 + 36 (pending payments).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My cycling in Singapore experiences - Middle man

Cyclists are in the middle between pedestrians and drivers. We to the pedestrians is like drivers to us, and we to the drivers is like pedestrians to us. Thus, I again stress the important of any efforts to make better the cycling facilities MUST consult the cyclists, especially those who are also quite often a driver and a pedestrian.

In my early days of cycling, I hated pedestrians who ... like to stand in front of me when waiting for the green man to cross a road. I hated because they are delaying my time. At the same time, I found myself like to stop in front of cars at junctions. I stop in front so that drivers are aware of me, and since they have faster speed, I am not delaying much of their time.

However, later, I realized I was wrong. Looking at it from the opposite, it is better for pedestrians to be in front of me so that I am aware of them. It is not about faster or slower speeds, it is about length of traveling time, and therefore, the same amount of time delayed in percentage to a pedestrian (5 minutes of walking journey), a driver (20 minutes journey), and me as a cyclist (typically >30 minutes ride) is decreasing.

Recently, a common complain by pedestrians about cyclists on pavement is they zoomed pass me so closely. The same have been my initial experience on roads. I find cars are passing me so close and fast. Later, I realized that it is my own fear and not-trusting attitude towards drivers' judgments that gives rise to such feelings.

Slowly, I learned to trust that drivers did not drive pass me close and fast. It is more likely that they have judged that it is safe before they drove pass me. Similarly, I make sure that there is sufficient space and either the pedestrian is aware of me, or he/she is very unlikely to suddenly move sidewards before I overtake them slowly. Nevertheless, many of them were still shocked, and very likely I had been cursed and scolded by many of them.

Virtually all cyclists are pedestrians, and many are also drivers. Furthermore, as a cyclists on road and on pavements, we experience similar feelings of pedestrians and drivers, respectively, Thus, please do seek feedbacks and comments from cyclists.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Old cult

I came across the phrase "a new cult" somewhere totally non-religious related. However, before knowing what it means, I thought of something. Is there such a thing as an old cult? I guess ... no.

Only new group of beliefs invite others to label and name it as a cult, and here I am using the negative meaning of the word cult. If a group is correctly a cult, then it won't have the chance to become old. If a group does become old, it is probably not a cult. Furthermore, when it is old enough, it would have proven itself as a proper religion.

That is, all religions are old enough cults.

PS: I saw the phrase in the a news article about a gift given to the US President Bush from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of The Council of European Union Janez Jansa.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Look deeper

Recently there is a study and the focus is on Indians are ignorant about sex till age 15. From the western perspective, this is a problem, but is it?

If a kid body temperature is found to be 37.8 degrees Celsius, it is an issue from the western medicine perspective, but is it? During the SARS in 2003, guidelines were given to disallowed children with fever to go to school. However, there were a number of kids were being kept away from school for many days because their daily temperature ranges much higher than the "normal" 37 degrees. Later, it was recognized that ... although their measured temperatures were higher than 37 degrees, they are not having fever nor feeling unwell.

So, what's going on? We should not just look at numbers and forget about the context. The normal 37 degrees is an average derived from observations, but not based on theory. For a person who is not similar to those being observed, or even for an individual among those observed, we shouldn't insist that the person normal temperature be that average.

Another example, if there were a study on general knowledge regarding winter, I am quite sure that Singaporeans will have extremely low scores. However, this will not be a worry because such knowledge is not relevant in Singapore, unless the weather changes drastically. Put it another way, it is not that Singaporeans have failed to acquire winter knowledge or Singapore education system has overlooked this area, but the circumstances here doesn't require us to know so much about winter.

So, what does the result Indians are ignorant about sex till age 15 suggest? Does it suggest that Indians are in danger because of this ignorant? Does it mean the India education system is behind time? I seriously don't think so. It should reflect that in India, most people do not need to worry about these knowledge because they are relatively much safer than the western world as they are not too affected by the bad influences from the sexual revolution since the 60's [yet].

Thus, the alarm is that how could we delay or avoid the influence of the terrible sexual revolution?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Recycling" unwanted items in Dungeon Runners

Before I begin talking about this video game, let me admit that I am super behind time in regards to video games. I can still enjoy those historic ones such as Space Invaders and Galaxies.

One of the most successful game types is MMORPG, massively multiplayer action role-playing games. I believe DOOM is among the very first ones, and the only one that I have my hands on, but ... only for a few minutes. I must also say that I was at a non-graphical terminal of a Mini computer. Nevertheless, I guess I am just not the type to enjoy such games, sorry.

Unknown-1Dungeon Runners is the post-apocalyptic survival MMORPG about one man and his pony. For fans and gamers who like the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with purchasing a box, Dungeon Runners retail box will be hitting store shelves very soon. Players can access the new Bling Gnome sidekicks1, that help you collect loot and, ahem, ‘process’ your gold. This magical Bling Gnome eats unwanted items and turns them into gold. Hmmm, this is one of the many things that such games can fulfil players' fantasies that are otherwise impossible in the real world.

Feel free to tell others, including me, how you find the game.
"Dungeon Runners plays better than most pay-to-play MMOs, and therefore deserves attention." — GameDaily
1 Available only with the boxed version of Dungeon Runners.
Sponsored by Dungeon Runners

We need Actions Against AIDS?

When asked about the results of his fight against Aids,
“We have hardly moved from the time we began 20 years ago. The number of infected people has been growing. The trend these last few years shows a jump which is alarming — 357 in 2006, up from 317 the year before,” he (DR ROY Chan) says. Last year, the figure shot up to 422.
Three things — HIV sufferers need help to buy expensive retroviral drugs, employers must not discriminate against employees who contract HIV, and three, educational programmes must reinforce the drive for safe sex.
1. I have mentioned before, he and his Action For Aids is not fighting against AIDS. He is fighting ... for the wellbeing of people with HIV/AIDS.

2. Instead of admitting that the approach is not working, many other things were being said, with implications existence of intolerance, discrimination, inappropriate laws, etc.

3. The first two things mentioned have nothing to do in fighting against AIDS. These are about the wellbeing of people with HIV/AIDS.

4. There is no such thing as safe sex! Sex has always been dangerous in terms of viral infections. That's why it should only be done between life trusting people, i.e. husband and wife.

5. I further feel that the possibility of safer sex due to another not exactly related technology in contraception, started and caused the spread of many STDs. Thus, promoting safer sex cannot be the way to go.

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