Friday, May 30, 2008



Melbourne Zoo
1/250s - f/2.8 - ISO 400 - 50mm


1/250s - f/2.8 - ISO 100 - 45mm


Child Pornography - Where to Draw the Line?

Note: This post is adapted from one of my posts in ReCom.

First off, some background for the uninitiated:

In most Western countries, it's not illegal to possess adult materials as long as the viewer, and the subject depicted are above the age of majority (usually 18 years old) and the "artwork" is done with the subject's consent. However, child pornography is a universal no-no - it's illegal to possess anything depicting naked subjects who are less than 18 year old. You can read more about it in these Wiki articles:

Wikipedia - Child Pornography
Wikipedia - List of Pornography Laws by Region

Last year, a Monash medical student was convicted of possessing child pornography and faced ruin for his whole medical career. *(news here)* He was supposed to be an outstanding student with an impeccable background, but he will very likely lead a life with shame because of this incident.

Recently, one of the hottest news in Australian papers is this Bill Henson who had photographs consisting of pictures of naked 13-year-olds in art galleries. He is an otherwise "decent and inspirational" man; but these works of his, now perceived as child pornography, may now bring him some court or jail hours in the near future. *(news here)*

Meanwhile, Keira Knightley, your pretty princess in "Pride and Prejudice" and "Pirates of the Caribbean", showed her bare breasts very legally in a movie called "The Hole", when she was 16 years old. And Saaya Irie, the "Busty 11-Year-Old Girl with F cup", is very well a legal thing because she wore bikini for her very suggestive photos.

At this juncture, you, the readers of this post, might already be tempted to find the pictures of Bill Henson's works and Keira Knightley's The Hole screencaps. Yes they are available online, BUT WAIT!!! It's illegal to view those in Malaysia. Beware, you might face the same consequence as that medical student if you are not careful. However, you can very well enjoy Saaya Irie's pictures and videos, because, as you might have expected, as there are no genitalia or nipples in those works, you are still a free and legal man.

Do you think Bill Henson should really face the charges? Assuming that Bill Henson's works were genuinely "artistically orientated", how is his work more inculpable than Saaya Irie's shots? Just how should we draw a line for child pornography?

Image Credit: Chuck Gallagher


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Tower

IMG_4986 (by changyang1230)
Melbourne Central
1/10s - f/2.8 - ISO 800 - 17mm


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Please Donate to China Earthquake Relief Funds

There aren't many things that could bring me to the verge of tears. But everyday as I read about the tragic news trickling out of the China, I can't help but to become emotional. The heartrending and the heartwarming stories never fail to send chills down my spine.

I felt remorseful that I didn't donate earlier for the earthquake relief funds; though I did in the end. To people who haven't done your part - think of how much you spent for your last meal in your local restaurant, or a snack you had yesterday. And how much you could have donated to help the thousands of people who lost their lives and homes.

Please donate. You can help. You need to help.

p/s: I am relieved that AMS is over.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Had A Dream

Note: You might want to read this fascinating article to understand the context of this post.

I had a dream this morning.

It was a gloomy day. The air was stagnant. I was having a bland breakfast at home, worried about something. I was going to volunteer as a subject in an interesting experiment organised by some students. The experiment sounded simple enough: I was to be confined alone in a room for three days, while being guarded by the students all the time. I was free to bring in some food and books to my liking. Apparently there's going to be TV too. There's no goal to achieve, no mission to accomplish. Just solitary confinement.

The more I thought about it, the more fear of the unknown crept in. What if it transformed into the Stanford's Prison? What if I were to be manipulated and brainwashed during the short stint? What if I couldn't stand it all, and crashed under claustrophobia and sensual deprivation?

I did not know. But deep inside, I was confident of my capacity to brave through the challenge. I knew that when the time came, I was able to call off the experiment, regardless of what the Milgram experiment suggested. I knew I was tough. With that thought, I departed. And I woke up.

Freudian dream analysis, anyone? :P

Image Credit: The Reel McCoy - The Green Mile


Friday, May 16, 2008

Love Templates

You know how they have SMS templates on your mobile phone, like "I will be late", "Pick me up at..." and so on?

Apparently they have this love template too:

I love you too.
Nokia, connecting people.

Image Credit: Idiot Toys


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Differences in Faith

The biggest problem in the conflict between people of different faiths, and between theists and atheists, is that very often they ignorantly make hasty generalisations about the others based on the worst examples they see in the opposite camp.

Some people see the planes crashing into World Trade Centre and go, "Oh crap, Islam is the terrorist religion".

Some people see overzealous Christian evangelists and go, "Oh shit, bloody annoying Christians!"

Some people see snobbish atheists and go, "Oh despicable people feeling proud about having no purpose in life."

What the hell, I go. Sometimes I feel that critical thinking skill is as important as, if not more important than faiths.

Image credit: Hope Christian Church


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Approaching The End

AMS (my research year) is nearing the end, but the eleventh-hour work is excruciating. Not the most apt line, but this is what I am reminded of:
We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long...


Mother's Day

Thanks Mom!  Happy Mother's Day! (by Froggy Pond Road)
For my mum and all mums in the world. All of you are so lovely. :)


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Have You Ever Thrown A Boomerang... In Weightlessness?

At first I actually typed the title as "Have you ever thrown a boomerang in zero gravity". And you know why I changed the word to weightlessness instead. :P

Anyway, this is Japanese astronaut Takao Doi, on board of the International Space Station, who has proved that a boomerang returns to the person throwing it even in the zero-gravity conditions. The idea came to him by request from his friend Yashuhiro Togai, a world boomerang champion. The result is exactly what the science behind boomerangs predicts.

Interesting huh. :)


Monday, May 05, 2008

RSS Feeds Now Available in Malaysian News Websites!

For a long time, I have been rather disappointed by the lack of RSS feed in local news. I know The Star does have RSS feeds, but its RSS is hidden in a separate page and is not auto-detected by Firefox or Internet Explorer. Most other news websites, notably all Chinese news websites, did not have RSS, making it hard for me to follow them daily. It's very disappointing as RSS has been widely used in all major international news websites for at least four years now.

To my surprise, when I visited SinChew's home page today, my browser detected the RSS feeds on the web page! Just go to any of the sub-categories (international, local, sports etc), and look out for the RSS logo.

I did some exploration, and found that Utusan also provides RSS feed, but Nanyang still doesn't feature it.

Note: If you have no idea what RSS is, visit this page for a brief explanation, and try out Google Reader for a feel of it. Needless to say, my blog has a RSS feed too, and if you read this blog regularly, you probably should try it out! :) This is how I read all my friends' blogs regularly.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

U R...

In Royal Melbourne Hospital, there is this patient registry where every patient is identified with a reference number. The reference number is called the "UR number", which I believe stands for "Unique Registration number".

So one day, I was visiting a ward to look for a patient.

Me: Hi I am looking for Maria Levoski, may I know which bed she is in?

Ward Receptionist: *flip flip flip*

Ward Receptionist: I can't seem to find her now. Let me page the bed manager.

Ward Receptionist: *Open the software for paging and start typing out a query for the bed manager*

Ward Receptionist: You are?

Me: My name is Yang.

Ward Receptionist: No I mean the patient's UR number.

Image Credit: AP Photo


Of Happiness and State of Content

Be happy and be contented can be different.

Sometimes in pursuit of happiness, we let desire dominate our thoughts. In doing so, happiness often comes hand in hand with disappointment, especially when our desires are not fulfilled.

State of content, on the other hand, is a state independent of worldly desire, where you have a fulfilled psyche without the side effects of euphoria. So the state of content is arguably more desirable (pardon the adjective) than state of happiness in our life.

This may sound a bit like Buddhism philosophy (it actually is), but such attitude should be applicable for everyone regardless of your faith.

Image Credit: Blissful Travel


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Night · Melbourne


Hardware Lane, Melbourne.
1/30s - f/1.8 - ISO 1600 - EF 50mm/II


Britain's Got Talent - Michael Jackson

I just have to share this: