Wednesday, August 31, 2005

August 31

Now at 2100 words and I am only 4 paragraphs short of completion of my HP assignment. Just a short post dedicated to this particular date.

August 31 means a lot to my country, to me, and to many people around the world...

  • This year, is my first Merdeka day overseas. Stuck with assignment, and many coursemates are back to exam mode. Saw many online MSN contacts who are overseas, they all bear “Merdeka Day” on their screennames. I don’t really know why we don’t even feel like watching the National day parade on the TV, but we celebrate National Day in the cyberspace by unspoken words. Maybe that’s what we call the oversea-student dilemma, the search for identity in a land of strangers...

  • Last year, I was in Shah Alam, trapped in the grim city, doing nothing in the hostel. For some reasons, I was down. Very down.

  • Two years ago, I was in Shah Alam, guess so.. Remember I joined a MARA Merdeka Celebration, where Dato Seri Mahathir, the then Prime Minister gave a speech. We watched fireworks, and we were in awe. Beautiful, still fresh in my memory. Besides, Swee Sing and Meow Joo left for Korea on the National day. I remember when Swee Sing last came to my room, we were playing Michael and Victor’s “Friends” (光良品冠-朋友).

  • Three years ago, I went to a celebration in Alor Star, together with Winson, Yee Pin and Jason (don’t remember if there was anyone else). We said that it was probably the last time we could spend time celebrating Merdeka together. It really was, at least, until today.

  • Four years ago, I was on a St. John Ambulance uniform, serving my duty as the event first-aider. I thought I looked smart, but looking back my pictures at that time, I was actually quite chubby.

  • Eight years ago, the radio broadcaster said that Princess Diana died in an accident in Paris. I told my mum, “Haha, how come people can create rumours like that?”

  • Forty eight years ago, Federation of Malaya was born. “Merdeka” reverberated through the heaven, lifting elated spirits.
In every year, August 31 never fails to capture my memory and freeze it in the passage of time. Different time, different place, different people, different people.

Happy Independence Day, fellow Malaysians. Let it not be a routine holiday to display our flags and to revere our Agong on the TV. Let it be a day of reflection, of our own, and of our country.

So that we will march on.

p/s: And today is the last day of Winter. Welcome, spring!


Monday, August 29, 2005

PBL Story

I am half way through my HP assignment now, or to be exact, I have written 1100 words for my 2500-word essay. Still not free, but just feel like sharing something that happened in my PBL class this morning.

We had a simulated case where a 27-year-old woman was having constant diarrhoea for two months. Being nice doctors, we were supposed to cater to her physical well-being as well as psychological well-being. So our tutor facilicated our discussion about the woman’s mental state by asking, “So, how does the woman feel after having two months of diarrhoea?”

And a genius Rob replied,



Friday, August 26, 2005

HP Nightmare

You may or may not have noticed that I have been blogging less frequently in recent days. PBL apart, I have been troubled by my procrastination talent again–I haven’t started my HP essay assignment writing, and it’s going to be due on next Friday! Well, I do realise what a wonderful worker I am... Just hope that my future employers-to-be are not going to check my blog and find out this article as a self testimony about my laziness.

And I have ranted way too much, at the same time. Time to go back to my reading and writing, and very probably I won’t be writing anything here until next friday. Wish me luck in my assignment!

p/s: The HP assignment is a continuous prose writing which consist of no more than 2500 words. We have been told about the assignment early in this semester but hardworking as Chang Yang, I have not been doing anything for the past 6 weeks and now I finally face the music. We had 4 questions to choose from, and those questions concern ethical and medical issues that we have learnt in the previous lectures. The question I chose is as follows:
What is social stigma? And why is an awareness of it so important in medical practice?
Any comments? :D


For Those Who Think Blogging is a Waste of Time...

I used to think that blogging is a waste of time. Two years ago, I reckoned that blogs exist for teenagers with angst or attention-seeker to get the attention they crave for. Or it provides a platform for something as serious as independent journalism like Jeff Ooi’s blog, where he lives up to the motto of “thinking allowed, thinking aloud”, exposing the flaws of the policy setters, highlighting world news and bringing salient points to the attention of the general public. They have got their own reasons to blog, and I agreed.

But should everyone blog too? Yea yea yea, I know you are going to say, “It’s a very personal choice”; but the question here is, does everyone have a reason to blog?

I started out this blog due to kiasuism , following the trend without a clear idea of what I was going to do with the weblog. As such, this blog has since been neglected for the next one and a half year until I finally rediscovered it and redeveloped it into the state it is today.

Since I first started the blog, the blogosphere has evolved quite a lot... You can subscribe to blogs so that you receive instant notification about each update (subscribe to mine), and everyone can create their own blogs effortlessly with blogspot, MSN space and so on. Things have changed, and so does the purpose of blogging.

Today, most people who are acquainted with the Internet either have their own blog, or are planning to have one. My friends use their blogs to tell their stories and to share their feelings. I remember when I bid farewell to Alvin in KLIA in February, we promised each other that we would always post in blog to keep each other updated. He has since updated his blog less frequently than he watches anime and goes to the city with his friends, which I perfectly understand as part of his personality and interest. Some friends like Zhe Jin, on the other hand, shared nice poems and lyrics which struck a chord in her. Some friends like Jing Yi preferred to write in chinese language while friends like Eric Fu and Michelle Chong write in good English. Some talked about their life in a secondary school while some write good account about university life in Wellington and Singapore. Some bloggers update their blog rather frequently, while some only update their blog once in a few weeks. A few blogs started rather long ago, while some friends like Jasmine Yow started as recent as a few weeks ago.

But behind all these blogger’s words and pictures, there are purposes for blogging. You can see blogging as rather time-consuming; but then again, people do spend time telling their story at one time or another, online or offline. Blogging has become more and more popular, and the only way we are going to live with it is to read it, write it and reflect it along with the author. And perhaps, we shall one day learn that, aptly put in Jasmine‘s words,

...we all need a place to express our feelings and thoughts.
(Yow, 2005)


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Random Question

I wanted to talk about my interesting hospital tutorial today but I don’t think I can afford the time. I need to sleep as soon as I finish with this.

So, just a random question that I stumbled upon in a comment in Slashdot:

When you are using a computer, have you ever looked at your watch / wall clock or even asked your friend for time? In other words, you turn to other sources of time-telling and forget the lower right corner of the desktop completely? If yes, how frequent is that?
It shows something. Over-exposure sometimes means zero exposure.

Off to dreams.

Fresh stuff today: Google Desktop Search 2.0, Google Talk, and some interesting knowledge about gastrointestinal signs and symptoms.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lecturers and lectures

What makes a lecturer good and what makes a lecturer bad? What are the criteria we should use if we were to rate a lecturer?

Whether the lecturer...

  1. Makes us sleep?
  2. Drones on and on with monotonous accent?
  3. Explain the fact like the textbook?
  4. Gets thunderous applause after a lecture?
  5. Get a lot of questions down the stage after the lecture?
  6. Looks vivacious?
  7. Makes us interested in reading more about the stuff?
  8. Makes us understand the points?
  9. Knows what he / she wants us to understand, at all?
  10. Prepare good lecture notes?
Well, from the way medicine course is run, we have to learn cross-discipline in the same semester. So there will be cases like we learn physiology in this week but cram in anatomy in the other week. In that context, we are all priviledged to be taught by a lot of famous professors, doctors, researchers in the University of Melbourne. But the thing is, is famous equal to good? Is it that people at the pinnacle of the research career would certainly make a good lecturer?

I doubt so. There was a saying that the more smart or knowledgeable one is, the worse one tends to perform when it comes to explaining and teaching. Well, it’s a rather generalized claim, but I shall say that in some people I have met it’s rather true. I am not sure whether it’s because a smart person can’t explain things in a way so that not-so-smart people like us can understand... I hypothesized that when you are very knowledgeable, that means you must be a rather good learner and therefore you don’t know what it takes to make sense in not-as-smart people.

Always quite true, you know... many teachers/lecturers etc, when it comes to very hard questions they can answer any question in the world you could throw to them; but explain stuff they cannot. Errmm.

Well, to me, lecture hours mean struggling hours. I hate the feeling of not knowing stuff when a person is telling things that I am supposed to learn, and I am there hardly grappling any idea presented on the screen.

Note: Just for the record, I am highly motivated by the anatomy lecture I had today. It’s about the posterior abdominal wall and its related musles like psoas major, psoas minor, illiacus, quadratus lumborum, erector spinae and lattisimus dorsum. Just how good is she? Hmm... imagine having a silent lecture hall for the full hour, making me understand and remembering an anatomy lecture without the need to revise at home, and getting an applaud from the students for every single lecture. She is absolutely fantastic. The other lectures, like the physiology lecture by Professor Trefor Morgan today are also rather clear and concise, but by comparison he just appeared less lively and his monotonous voice can drive the most alert people to their slumberland. :D


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Happy Birthday, Tailou!

Yong Chin: No, I didn’t wear a spotlight on my head!
Tomorrow marks the 20th birthday of tailou (a.k.a. Yong Chin–my roommate), so we gathered and had dinner together in my small cosy apartment... Well, it’s the very first time people are here for dinner, and we did purposely make it for the special moments of his birthday. All of us cooked the best dishes ourselves and then had a simple yet meaningful dinner together. Nice, like a family, although not a real one...

The highlight among all the “ambrosia” we had for the night is definitely the chocolate cake proudly made by Freda. It is definitely one of the best cakes we have eaten in a very long time... Simply lovely!

That’s all for today... tired, and still have some assignments to do. Happy Birthday to you again, tailou! Wish you many happy returns, and surely I will be there through your ups and downs.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

They Didn't Tell Me This When I Entered Medicine...

... and suck. 5 times, anyone?


Friday, August 19, 2005

2 Year Blogging Anniversary

Today, the 19th of August is the second anniversary of My Little Moments!

Some people may ask, "What? I thought you have just started recently..." Well, technically, I have only been blogging actively for 8 months, but My Little Moments has existed for a much longer time rather obscurely. I registered a blogger account in August 19, 2003 when I was back in Shah Alam out of the curiosity and kiasuim... you know, when the whole world was talking about "blog", I just could not resist jumping on the bandwagon too.

In 2003 and 2004, I was rather busy with the academic life in Shah Alam, and I did not have the access to the Internet in my hostel. So I had almost forgotten the existence of my blog during the long gap. When I finished my AUSMAT course, I sprang to life in cyberspace again, and since then, I have been chronicling my life faithfully in this little corner of mine. As time slips by, I have been posting from Alor Star, Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne; I have been recording my Birthday, Chinese New Year [1,2,3,4,5,6], and anniversary in Melbourne; I talked about topics ranging from photography, mathematics, learning skills, jokes [1,2,3], to meaningful articles, ReCom posts, comment in other famous blog, and seeing cadavers. The most important of all, I shared all my little moments, be it forlorn, elated or bland.

To put it in numbers, for the past two years, I have written 113 posts (111 of which posted in the last 8 months) which have received 309 comments. Today, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone. Whether you have just dropped by, whether you have left your comment, whether you found my blog interesting or not, you are the ones who make this blog possible. Your footprints here mean a lot to me, because it's you who make up my little moments!

I hope to see you in many days to come. Happy birthday, My Little Moments...


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Toilet Graffiti

An average human tends to waste quite a lot of time inside the toilet cubicle, doing virtually nothing apart from eliminating wastes. Well, some may have some books in the toilet, and many adults admit to reading newspaper in the toilet every morning. But then, normally in public toilets, you don’t have much reading materials at hand... Some may suggest spending time by fiddle with mobile phones, but then there is a risk of dropping it inadvertently. Not worth it...

Well, there are reading materials in public toilets. I often find myself amused by the grafittis in the cubicle walls, written by previous visitors who unleashed their creativity in the conducive environment. While a lot of the grafittis are political satire and pornography pictures, some are purely entertaining.

Just this morning, I was using the toilet inside Brownless Biomedical Library when I stumbled upon an interesting one. Not a long one, it was just a few words.. At first, I noticed this “instruction” on my left...

Well, being the usual obedient guy, I followed the instruction to find this on the right cubicle wall.

I was fooled. :(








I remember the first paragraph very well... For some reasons, it kind of strikes a chord in me at times.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sign and Symptoms

Signs are something that can be seen, observed or listened by a doctor examining the patient, while symptoms are activities or feelings that are reported by a patient. Signs can be found out through physical examination (colour, shape, tenderness, reflex etc), while with symptoms it has to be drawn out from the patient either actively or through listening actively to the patient.

If a gastrointestinal problem is present with the patient, some of the possible symptoms might include:

  • pain
  • vomit
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • distention (bloating)
  • anorexia (lack of appetite)
In most gastrointestional problems, pain is one of the most indicative symptoms and hence elaboration of pain is very much sought after in a medical history taking. In doing so, a doctor has to be careful in obtaining a full medical history, and characteristics that a doctor should look for are varied, as follows:
  1. Site of the symptom
    ... and also whether the pain stays on the same place or migrate

  2. Onset date / time
    ... when did it start? Any similar experience before this?

  3. Time course and frequency
    ... how long has it been, how frequent is the pain etc

  4. Severity
    ... by comparison with common types of painful sensation or by the scale of 10

  5. Quality / character
    ... whether it’s sharp, dull,
    colicky, burning, positional etc

  6. Aggravating / relieving factor
    ... what might worsen or relieve the pain

  7. Associated features
    ... is there any vomiting, nausea, weight loss etc?
Sounds interesting? That’s about one quarter of what I was taught in ICM today.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Who Would You Choose?

Unwilling to leave my blog empty today, I decided to post a story that I have always wanted to share... I read this thought-provoking story from emails and websites, and it’s been one of my all-time favourites since I first read it. I googled for it and copied from one of the sources. The story is about children playing on railway tracks... Let’s get started:

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused.

Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track.

The train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. You could make the train change its course to the disused track and thus save most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather just let the train go its way?
Okay, let’s say you are there, and you have no time to think over the decision. What would you do, in that split second?

Let’s move on when you have made the decision.
What is your decision?

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess.

Exactly, I thought the same way initially because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child was a rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally.

But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?

Nevertheless, he would have to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was.

This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday.

In the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority is, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority is.

The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track would be sidelined if the train was diverted.

And in the case that he should be sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

The friend who forwarded me the story said he would not try to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that the track was still in use and that they should have run away if they heard the train’s sirens.

If the train was diverted to the disused track, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track!

Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe. If the train was diverted to that track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake!

And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids.

While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one.

“Remember that what’s right isn’t always popular... and what’s popular isn’t always right.”
So, now, who would you choose?

The first time I answered the question, I decided to choose to save more children, and hence I would divert the course of the train.

After reading the explanation, I thought that I have done the wrong thing, so I told myself, I would rescue those who deserved to live. But then again, who gave us the power to decide who to live and who not to?

And now being instilled with medical values, when it comes to human lives, we always aim for saving more regardless of their background, motivation of life or even criminal background. You can’t refuse to save a dying person even if he or she is a nefarious murderer or a rapist.

What should I choose, then?


Mount Buller Pictures Uploaded

Just a short notice to inform you guys that I have already uploaded the pictures taken in Mount Buller... It was fun!!! Snowballs, tobagan, chairlifts, snow wars... I am certainly going there again!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Should A Tree Be Known By Its Fruit or Its Root?

A few weeks ago I put the abovementioned question as my MSN screenname, to the puzzlement of many online contacts. To begin with, I saw Shze Wei’s acronym one day and I thought that was interesting...

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit
(Goh, 2005)
So I was wondering... eih, why is the rationale like that? Is the tree’s worth manifested by its fruit alone, and do we always overlook all the other parts that constitute what we know as a tree? The trunk, the root, the branches, and even the twigs?

In all the seriousness, I really don’t understand. So in a while, I came up with this question.
Should A Tree Be Known By Its Fruit or Its Root?
(Yew, 2005)
Now here’s the relevance of the question. I kind of related it to how a person judges another person, having been intrigued by the way of human judgment as time goes by. I have never tried to claim that I am mature, just and level-headed, because I know I am not. I have always been involved in some ridiculous banterings in which I was arguing for arguing’s sake. In many instances, I have lost my cool and I even resorted to sarcasm and personal attack in order to vent my anger. But among all these immature sides of mine, I have always reckoned myself to be rather forgiving when it comes to being offended by others, be it intentionally or unintentionally. To be specific, I am pretty sure that I have never been angry to a person simply because of an action without an intention.

But to my disappointment, it seems that some people simply don’t care... I don’t know why, but getting angry at somebody is always the easiest way out when somebody else irritates them. As a simple test, let’s say somebody who’s supposed to attend a personal meeting with you, turned out half an hour late, and appear to be happy without a hint of remorse on his face.

What will be your first reaction to him? Or rather, what would be the first emotion that catches you?

For many people, as I have observed, the first emotion would be–no other than anger, sometimes disappointment or even resentment. Yes, he has not been living up to his or her words, so logically, he is indeed culpable and deserves getting a straight face from us. Or at least, that is what we thought.

But have we given a chance for him to explain? Have we found out the reason before we let the anger unleash, occupy us and probably contribute to yet another prejudice?

No, most of the time we don’t. For we always judge from the impression and the action, just like how we often recognize a tree by its fruit rather than its root. Probably he is late because he helped a victim in an accident, who knows? I know this is kind of cliche, but let’s just suppose it’s indeed the case, and mull over it.

Let’s see how many times we have been angry to our friends when things are done unintentionally or even with a good intention. I think we may lose count, because we don’t even care about the intention. In actual fact, we simply get angry like a knee-jerk reflex. But by any means, it does happen all the time. Just like how we feel that we are misunderstood by others at times, that’s exactly what we are always doing to others too–judge someone before he can defend himself.

So, may I ask again, should a tree be known by its fruit or its root? I have always believed that, in any case, the nutrient of the fruit always comes from the root. So when the fruit irritates us, let’s count to five, and think of the root. It may help.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Blog Minor Change

Today I spent some time on changing some of the blog’s styles. Among the changes are the line height, the quotation background and the header of my blogroll. Should go back to my studies now...


Friday, August 12, 2005


A long long time ago, we studied Sejarah in Malaysia, and this was what they taught us in the textbook:

Dalam Bahasa EnglishInggeris (gosh, my Malay language is so rusty already!), History berasal dari “his story” iaitu “cerita dia”.

Translation: In English, history is coined from the word his story.

And today, after reading a comment in Slashdot, I can’t help but to doubt Malaysia textbook author’s credibility... They didn’t even check the origin of the word before making the claim!! Here are the original comment from Slashdot and another etymology note from


Somebody should have told you, plus maybe Michael Jackson, a long time ago that the origin of the English word “history” isn’t “his” + “story”. It’s the ancient Greek word “histor”, which meant “learned man.”

If I see some another Women’s Studies major write something like “herstory” again, I swear I’m going to shoot something.
[Middle English histoire, from Old French, from Latin historia, from Greek histori, from historein, to inquire, from histr, learned man. See weid- in Indo-European Roots.]

So these are what we are taught in the first chapter in Form 4 1. All the claims in the other chapters, anyone?


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Today I finally realised how badly I need to improve my English...

I was supposed to get a dietary history from a patient, when I asked the question of the year:

Do you cook yourself?
(Yew, 2005)

And all I got was a puzzled look. So paisehh...


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I Fell Sick

Yesterday night I went out with a few friends to eat Gelati (Italian Ice Cream)... Well, it isn't the best thing to do in the winter, but I went for the outing anyway.

It didn't feel normal as I walked along the streets in about 5 degree celcius. To be exact, I was feeling very tired, which was totally abnormal since yesterday was Monday. I tried to reassure myself that it was just some psychological effect and it would go away when I wake up today for school.

I woke up at 8.20 when Eng Kiat called me on handphone. Darn it, I overslept again. And guess what... I was still as tired as a dog after 7 hours sleep. I went for lectures nonetheless, but the tiredness just wouldn't go away. There are only two lectures today, but all the biochemistry and metabolism thing was perfect for haunting me and making me even more mentally exhausted.

Tell me what sickness that is, fatigue without a fever or the smell of acetone? Biopsychosocial factors, anyone?


Monday, August 08, 2005

[Forward] In Case of Emergency

In case of emergency : ICE

Paramedics will turn to a victim’s cell phone for clues to that person’s identity. You can make their job much easier with a simple idea that they are trying to get everyone to adopt: ICE.

ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. If you add an entry in the contacts list in your cell phone under ICE, with the name and phone no. of the person that the emergency services should call on your behalf, you can save them a lot of time and have your loved ones contacted quickly. It only takes a few moments of your time to do.

Paramedics know what ICE means and they look for it immediately. ICE your cell phone NOW!

Please pass this one along

Thought: It’s true, let’s add the number of our close contact to our handphone under the entry of ICE.


See you in Cambridge, Bro!

It came as a great surprise today–Yee Pin got straight A in A-levels and is guaranteed for the admission to Cambridge for law studies!! Well, for those who don’t know Yee Pin, he’s my “bro” (non-biological one though), otherwise known as “Tan Sri Tan” in my chatterbox, and since years ago he has been my best confidant for almost every single topic in this world!

You know, I was simply on the top of the world when I got his message! Just ask Xuan Ni, Gracie or Chong Chyn who were with me at that time. Haha, they must have thought I got some kind of love message when I read the message from Yee Pin. :D

Well, here goes my personal message:

Bro, wish you all the best in your studies... I have never dreamt of us getting that far apart in two different continents of the Earth, and now, the 5 minutes walk separation we have expected is amplified to 15 hours’ flight. However, distance notwithstanding, deep within I still believe in our common desire to be the best in our life, the passion we have always been sharing since we have become close to each other. I know you are going to become a conscientious lawyer in the future; and here I am, dedicated to giving the best to my career too. Do your best, always remember to beat yourself, not the others!

I believe it’s going to be hard when you hit your studies (actually I couldn’t imagine how law students manage their studies at all!), but then, before I end, let’s recite our familiar verses of Mencius... I believe it will always help.

Let’s keep it in mind!

p/s: Just got another news... Jason who’s my childhood friend has got a pretty good result too!! (not sure whether he would be happy to reveal his result here though, so I shall not disclose it) He’s going to Nottingham to study law although he’s still appealing for Warwick. You know what Chin Yaw, I am not sure if you are satisfied with your result (I know you have very high demand of yourself, so you might not be happy with your result yet), but once you get enrolled in the Law course, I am confident that you will do very well because you have got your unbeaten passion for it. So I know you are one step closer to your grand dream, and seriously I think we shall meet up somewhere in Downing Street to discuss your future property location.. :D

Good luck mates. With you guy’s enrolment, it’s pretty much the end of the secondary studies for every single person in our batch. We are all university students now!


Friday, August 05, 2005

Computer & Cockroach

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What feature do two of them share in common?

They both starts with C!! (haha, I know it’s lame but just spare your three seconds to laugh a bit, give face a bit can or not?)

No larr, the answer is.. (drum roll + tan tan tan tan) both of them can be found in SCRC in the medical building!

The story goes like this. This afternoon I had 45 minutes break before the 4 hour body thermoregulation practical class. Out of boredom and since I have already eaten my lunch, I went to the SCRC alone to browse the net and check my emails.

At first everything went well in SCRC, and I found myself more and more in love with the iMac after getting the hang of it. It’s simply so elegant and intuitively designed! Well, I know most people would have rebutted me that “Hey, it’s not as user-friendly as Windows!”... But heck, how many years have we been using Windows, and now you are comparing it with an operating system which existence you didn’t even know about! And for all I care, a Martian would have found Earth a harsh environment, it’s all because it is too used to the Martian environment. So back to iMac, use it, and after a little bit of trial and error you would almost like it as much as I do.

Oh ya, should have continued with the story about the two C’s. Errm, on the iMac, I noticed that the stupid IE is no where to be seen anymore, and to my greater delight now all iMac in SCRC is armored with Firefox! Yea yea yea!!! Go Firefox! (Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Mozilla Foundation a.k.a. Mozilla Corporation, whatever promotion I am doing for Firefox earns me zero cents in Melbourne)

Yeah, what an irony isn’t it? Most people in our computer labs would use Internet Explorer to surf the Internet, in total ignorance with the fact that Internet Explorer for Mac was last updated in 2003 (that means it’s badly outdated, unsafe and can’t view new pages like Gmail correctly) and also that Mac OS comes preinstalled with much better Safari! Hmm... Actually this proves nothing else than the success of M$ of brainwashing the most Internet population with the fallacy that Internet = Internet Explorer. ~~Sigh~~

Well, let’s get back to the two C’s, again. So I was mesmerized by the full power of Firefox, in the realm of elegant Mac OS. It really feels so different you know, the preference box, the drop down menu, it just feels so much a class above that of Windows’. Probably I will stay more in the computer lab next time...

Hmm. When time is almost up and I was about to log off, I saw a cockroach crawling on the floor about 6 feets away. Gosh, this is the first cockroach I saw since I came to Melbourne, and well, no surprise here, it looks just the same like the ones I always saw back in Malaysia. No acclimatization or sweat gland hypertrophy here. Oops, I got confused with my PBL... :P

So that’s it, the end of my story about the computer and the cockroach! If you felt that this is an anticlimax and I have been talking more about Firefox & iMac rather than the cockroach, you are absolutely correct. Muahahahahahhahaah...

In fact, the main purpose I am writing this is to promote Firefox and iMac. Not cockroaches. Dinner time!!


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Google For Hackers

Have you ever thought what version of Google that hackers use?

Here it is. If you could understand everything, then you are a venerable geek!


Sales on The Borders

The Borders is giving 20% off for almost all products in the shop! That’s quite a lot, especially for the bargain price books which were already as cheap as 10 dollars before the sales. After school, I went to Safeway to buy some chicken wings and on the way back, I decided to drop by the Borders (which is located in the same shopping complex) to browse around the shelves.

Kiamsiap as usual, I went straight to the bargain section to look for interesting books. Most of the books there are on the subject of crafts, home decoration, cooking, tarot cards which are not really my piece of cake. Then a few books in the corner caught my attention: books about sciences, history, geography, religion. They are all priced at 10 dollars, remember, and if I buy them today, I might save two dollars each, I thought. After much struggling with my inner kiamsiap evil, I finally to give myself a reprieve from my money-saving lifestyle. At the end, I picked up 3.. ya, not one or two, but three books altogether. They are:

  1. World Mythology
  2. The Handy History Answer Book
  3. Children’s Illustrated Bible
Haha... don’t ask me the reason of my sudden interest. I have always wanted to learn more about these topics but somehow I have never kept my interest alive. Well, not to say that my interest has reborn, but somehow my unknown renewed vigour is still burning... :D Let’s see how I fare. I think they will be kept on my bookshelves to collect dust, sharing the same fate with the Lord of the Rings that I bought a few months ago.. Haha..

Time for PBL research!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ICM - We Weigh More On a Carpet!

Today I had the first ICM session of the second semester in the Medical Building. It all started well and fine, and my group members consisted of 4 post-graduate students and 5 under-graduate students.

Since we are doing NDM this semester, our ICM naturally focuses on making nutritional assessment this time. For the first on-campus tutorial, we began with taking history of diets, activity level and anthropometric measurement (which is just another jargon meaning as simple as “measurement of the human body”).

The first two sessions were the similar routine, again we are familiarised with the basic interview strategies: open question first, focused question next and closed questions eventually. For example, what should we ask at the beginning? Well, basically the way we take dietary history was to have a record of what they call “24 hour recall”, so someone suggested that we might start off with “what did you eat for breakfast yesterday?” Our tutor Dr. Luke Dunne replied that it doesn’t make a good question. The reason? By asking what the patient ate for breakfast, we are already making an assumption that the patient did eat breakfast, which is not necessarily true. So instead of this opening statement, he suggested that we ask something which is wider in scope, e.g. “Can you tell me about what you ate yesterday?”

The first one and a half hour was basically about interviewing technique, so it was without any thrill or frill. Then we learnt the routine hand-wash technique, and it was not unfamiliar to me since I have learnt a bit when I was in St. John back in secondary school. However, I had to wash my hands for the second time before it was indeed germ-free under the examination of UV light. The first time there were quite a lot of remnant of germs which showed up like a sore thumb as florescent spots on my palm and the back of palms.

Then came the exciting part, the peer-to-peer measurement! Well, not too exciting, we are not going to measure anything “special”, just the height, weight, waist circumference and the hip circumference. My weight at the time being is 67.5 kg (down from 70kg a few months ago) and I am 1.75 metre tall–making my BMI 22.0 which is in the normal range. My waist-hip ratio (a ratio used to determine central obesity) is 0.8 which is again in the healthy range of male. Hey, I even qualified for the healthy range of female!! Muahahaha...

When we finally finished the ICM lesson, there came a heavy blow from my friend Xuan Ni–someone in their group told her that the reading of the bathroom scale is actually less than our actual weight! Oh gosh, that means I am actually more than 67.5 kg! Impossible!! I went straight back home and spent much time on research and discussion, and all I was thinking is.. how could that be? See, from the perspective of physics, the reading of a bathroom scale actually reflects the normal force of the scale to counteract our weight (which is caused by the gravitation force on our weight). So no matter what surface the scale is standing on, the scale would always need to exert a similar force to support me, or else I would have sunken to the floor!

Huhh.. after a little bit of Googling, I found some evidence that we indeed get different reading on different surface, but something that keep me relatively relieved is–we actually weigh more on a carpet! A lot of pages mentioned it, but I couldn’t really find the actual reason from the pages. Howstuffworks does have a page about the mechanism of the bathroom scale, but again there is no explanation to my pertinent issue.

There I was, searching and filtering one article after another... and there I was, a scientific studies and explanation about the issue in New Scientist! I couldn’t be more joyous than it, they proved that I actually weigh less than 67.5 kg now!! For a brief explanation, see the diagram below, sourced from the abovementioned article.

If the article and the picture is not enough, some eat-full-nothing-to-do scientist even did a thorough study on this phenomenon, and the pdf file of the research can be found here.

At the end, I can sleep well tonight. Good bye!


Tuesday, August 02, 2005



在这里可以说没什么机会写中文,即使有机会说也只是日常对话而已。而我呢,每次打电话回家也是用福建话来谈…… 哎,没退步也难哦!






当自己认为对的事情,和别人认为对的事情产生了冲突的时候,叫人应何去何从?是啊,从小到大总是听人说:我们不是为了别人而活啊,别人怎么说我们都不应左右我们的想法。但如果这冲突造成了友谊的裂痕,那我还算做对了事吗?是啊,我还是认为没错呀,但是当那不同的衡量尺判断了我的时候,我的对已成为了别人的错,而那伤口也只能任它撕裂…… 我能怎样?难道为自己认为没错的事情道歉?

我绝对赞成别人说的宽以待人、严以待己;但我也认为宽容是相互融让、沟通。人只要有独立思想的一天就会有意见不和的局面- 但容纳别人的不同想法,却是我们都必须学习的待人处世之道…… 宽容异己,说来容易做来难,有多少人能真正包容他的朋友呢?

我时常提醒自己应该接受每个人都不同的事实,但当一件又一件小事在我生活经历触及我时,我才知道我还还有好多需要学习。举几个例子吧,当我告诉我的朋友火狐狸比IE好时, 有些人会直接反驳我说火狐狸有什么好,还说他们绝对不会摒弃IE。哈哈,当然我不是因此而生气,但我发现我的确蛮不舒服的!

也许,我那培养出来的宽容,还没占据我内心的最深处吧…… 我会尽力的。