Thursday, 30 September 2004

Exam Time Brainology

quote taken from a student's handed up assignment:

"When the exams are around, everyone's brain consists only of the left and the right. On the left, nothing's right. On the right, nothing's left."

- Anonymous

Sunday, 26 September 2004

Sheares Bridge Run and Army Half Marathon 2004

i allowed myself to be coaxed into running the army half marathon (21km) this morning, instead of the 12km fun run i originally signed up for, and I managed to finish the whole thing without stopping in a little under 3 hours!! :D

by no means olympic standard and suffering from some aches in my thighs and ankle now (which i imagine can only get worse tomorrow) plus in desperate need for a quick snooze but it sure feels good to set a new milstone in my running! :) thanks to my pal for believing i could do it and pushing me along.

to more exciting running adventures in time to come!

next: The 10km Second Link Run (from Singapore to Johor) in Oct. Should be fun!

Thursday, 23 September 2004

terry fox run 2004

it was supposed to be 8km. but it was definitely no more than 6.2km.

they cheated us!!! hope sheares bridge this sunday will really be 12km.

Monday, 20 September 2004

boycott M1!!

on behalf of my dearest friend Kai, i ask that all of us who can do so..


grrr.. shouldn't have just extended my contract with them for another two years just to get the Sony Ericsson 610... hope ST Forum publishes her complaint letter. Bad customer service deserves a sound whopping! :(

Sunday, 19 September 2004

International Coastal Cleanup, Singapore 2004

I joined an enthusiastic bunch of environment conscious folks at Chek Jawa (Pulau Ubin) this morning for the annual International Coastal Cleanup. As far as I know, there were more than 3000 people cleaning up the various coastal areas of Singapore this morning! Way to go! :)

Our team of about 40 cleared more than a tonne of trash from amongst the mangrove roots over the course of a little more than 2 hours, including more plastic bags and mineral water bottles than I could count, slippers, tires, light bulbs, cigarette lighters, ping pong balls, fishing nets, jerry cans, glass bottles and other random things. We worked fast and against the rising tide, sometimes knee deep into mud, pulling out plastic bags and ropes that had wrapped themselves around the roots of the mangrove plants at low tide.

While I was there, I took time to observe the nature that nevertheless managed to survive - amazing little crabs with single oversized pincers, large mudskippers, yellow-green sea grass.. the whole place was like a secret garden filled with wonderful mysteries.

Pulau Ubin as we arrived

Chek Jawa at low tide

The Mangrove Swamp in silhouette

Secret Gardens

My group's 200+ kg of trash

Friday, 17 September 2004

On Fear

"What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it. "

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death."

~ Betty Bender

"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Winners are those people who make a habit of doing the things losers are uncomfortable doing."

~ Ed Foreman
Nick Nolte (on Life)

"Look, everything we repress, we put in a bag and carry behind us. Sometimes it gets too full and breaks open. That's what happened to me a couple of years ago.

"When that bag overflows is when I'm going to learn. When I mess up, there's a problem and I have to recognize it. I find my anger, my rage. I find that love is temporal, passion is forgettable and pain is always with you."

- Nick Nolte (The Toronto Sun)

Do you agree?

I don't know about pain.. but guilt does stay a long long time...

Monday, 13 September 2004

A common misconception is that antisocial personality disorder refers to people who have poor social skills. The opposite is often the case. Instead, antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of conscience. People with this disorder are prone to criminal behavior, believing that their victims are weak and deserving of being taken advantage of. They tend to lie and steal. Often, they are careless with money and take action without thinking about consequences. They are often agressive and are much more concerned with their own needs than the needs of others.
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by mood instability and poor self-image. People with this disorder are prone to constant mood swings and bouts of anger. Often, they will take their anger out on themselves, causing themselves injury. Suicidal threats and actions are not uncommon. They think in very black and white terms and often form intense, conflict-ridden relationships. They are quick to anger when their expectations are not met.
Very High
People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. They also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.
Very High
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by self-centeredness. Like histrionic disorder, people with this disorder seek attention and praise. They exaggerate their achievements, expecting others to recongize them as being superior. They tend to be choosy about picking friends, since they believe that not just anyone is worthy of being their friend. They tend to make good first impressions, yet have difficulty maintaining long-lasting relationships. They are generally uninterested in the feelings of others and may take advantage of them.

Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a need to be taken care of. People with this disorder tend to cling to people and fear losing them. They may become suicidal when a break-up is imminent. They tend to let others make important decisions for them and often jump from relationship to relationship. They often remain in abusive relationships. They are overly sensitive to disapproval. They often feel helpless and depressed.
Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder is similar to obsessive-compulsive anxiety disorder. People with this disorder are overly focused on orderliness and perfection. Their need to do everything "right" often interferes with their productivity. They tend to get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. They set unreasonably high standards for themselves and others, and tend to be very critical of others when they do not live up to these high standards. They avoid working in teams, believing others to be too careless or incompetent. They avoid making decisions because they fear making mistakes and are rarely generous with their time or money. They often have difficulty expressing emotion.

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

Sunday, 12 September 2004

seeing eye dogs

everyone in the cinema went "awwwwww... sooooo cute!!!!"

baby lab

then there were more awwwings and aahhhings cos there were more of them..

a bunch of baby labs

finally everyone settled down to watch Quill and found out how seeing eye dogs are selected and trained and loved.

sweet movie for labrador retriever lovers.

or for all dog/animal lovers for that matter.

Friday, 10 September 2004


had a nasty fall last night while running (yes, not a good idea at my age.. sigh..) and both my shoulder and two kneecaps are throbbing with pain now, badly scratched as i had fallen sprawled clumsily onto the rough tarmac after i tripped over a kerb while trying to avoid this guy strolling in front of me who had his cigarette butt held out dangerously by his side. grr...

thank goodness my sister is a nurse.. this was what she did for me, which closely corresponds with what i found later from a First Aid website:

1. Calm your child and let him/her know you can help. (my sister brought me my favourite Penguin soft toy - Pingu - which was great comfort..hahaha.)

2. Wash your hands well. (which she did, before laying out all the surgical implements neatly on the dining table)

3. Wash the abraded area well with soap and water, but do not scrub the wound. Remove any dirt particles from the area and let the water from the faucet run over it for several minutes. A dirty abrasion that is not well cleaned can cause scarring. (i flushed the wounds with blasts of cold water from the showerhead - thankfully i'm a bit of a masochist so it was ok..:p)

4. Apply an antiseptic lotion or cream. (we used Betadine)

5. Cover the area with an adhesive bandage or gauze pad if the area is on the hands or feet, or if it is likely to drain onto clothing. Change the dressing often. (i had it nicely taped up and dressed expertly by my sister)

6. Check the area each day and keep it clean and dry. (when i looked at it this morning, it was dripping and oozing with the yuckiest stuff you can imagine! i had to troop down to the pharmacy for fresh dressing.. eeww..)

7. Avoid blowing on the abrasion, as this can cause germs to grow. (i didn't cos i forgot, though i reckon i would have had i remembered. Now i know so i won't)

hope this doesn't affect my run next week at Sentosa! grr...

Thursday, 9 September 2004

emotional intelligence

have you read about the Marshmallow Test?

i was reading my 8-year-old copy of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, given to me on my 22nd birthday by my dearest friend Lynn, and i came across this interesting study:

Four-year-old kids from the Stanford University preschool were the subjects.

The experimenter put a marshmallow in front of each kid and said: "You can have this marshmallow now, if you want, but if you wait until I finish running an errand, and don't eat it until I get back, you can have two then."

The videotaped results were hilarious. Some kids went up to the marshmallow, smelled it, then lept back like it's dangerous. Some went off in a corner and sang and danced to distract themselves. Some kids just grabbed it. About a third of the kids grabbed their marshmallows and ate them, about a third waited just a while, and the rest waited an endless 10 minutes until the experimenter came back, and they got their two, as promised.

These kids were followed up 14 years later, when they graduated from high school. The "grabbers" were still impulsive; they were quick to anger and not very popular. The "waiters" were popular and well-balanced emotionally. But the most astonishing finding was that the "waiters" had higher scores on their SATs - 210 points higher than the "grabbers," out of a possible score of 1,600.

Here are some social consequences of being impulsive: for boys - three to six times more likely to be violent by the end of adolescence; for girls - three times more likely to get pregnant in adolescence; for kids who are chronically sad or anxious in elementary school - most likely to end up as a substance abuser in adolescence during periods of experimentation.

Here are some consequences of being "waiters": A U.S. Department of Personnel study of outstanding performers found that they were flexible, adaptable, and conscientious; they stayed positive under pressure and had integrity.

i can't be sure what my EQ level is.. this test showed it was rather high while for the other test i barely made it above average... haha.. anyway, with stuff like that, who better to tell me then those dear long-time friends of mine who are always so brutally frank with me... :p .. should ask them.. haha..
love quotes

If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?

-- Lilly Tomlin

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.

-- Anais Nin

Tuesday, 7 September 2004

the bintan break

bintan beach

bintan's still a nice weekend break when you have great company, great food, great relaxation.

we could even see colourful fishes of several varieties when we swam out no more than 10 metres from the shore into the warm clear waters.

more random pics in a while.. in the meantime, stay cool..
On Self-knowledge

And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."

And he answered, saying:

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.

You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.

The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;

And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."

Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."

For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

taken from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, 1 September 2004

27 blocks spurn HDB lift upgrading scheme

yesterday's Straits Times had this story about how some elderly folks, who voted for the Lift Upgrading Programme in their estates and didn't get it are bitter, saying others are selfish. Parliament is hence going to discuss if these blocks should be given a second chance.

in particular, they quoted this 'accounts clerk Tan Aik Hua, in her 50s', who is bitter that the scheme was nixed at her block saying:

"I hope those who vote against it don't grow old."

now, my point is, what do you think this old lady meant when she said that?

read it again carefully.

did she mean.. "Wait till these people grow old themselves"? (which, of course, is a pretty reasonable thing to say)

or did she mean.... gulp!.... "I hope these people don't get to see old age"?? :O!!! i.e. .. this is one evil curse??? :O

i've asked around and most of my friends think i'm nuts for being quite sure she meant the latter.. but read it carefully and you can surely see why i believe that..

gulp... the old lady sure is angry.. :*
Happy Teachers' Day 2004

Sunrise 1 Sep 2004

to all the teachers out there.. here's something lovely for us on Teachers' Day... :)

The Molders of Their Dreams

Teachers, You are the molders of their dreams
The gods who build or crush
Their young beliefs of right or wrong.
You are the spark that sets aflame
The poet's hand or lights the flame
of some great singer's song.

You are the god of the young, the very young
You are the guardian of a million dreams
Your every smile or frown
can heal or pierce the heart

You are a hundred lives, a thousand lives.
Yours the pride of loving them
And the sorrow too.

Your patient work, your touch
Make you the goals of hope
Who fill their souls with dreams
To make those dreams come true.

~Clark Molenhoff ~

A Teacher's Prayer

I want to teach my students more
than lessons in a book;
I want to teach them deeper things
that people overlook--
The value of a rose in bloom,
its use and beauty, too,
A sense of curiosity to discover
what is true;
How to think and how to choose
the right above the wrong,
How to live and learn each day
and grow up to be strong;
To teach them always how to gain
in wisdom and in grace,
So they will someday make the world
a brighter, better place.
Lord, let me be a friend and guide
to give these minds a start
Upon their way down life's long road,
then I'll have done my part.

~ Jill Wolf ~