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Month: January 2009

Lateral thinking

Lateral thinking

After helping Willy with his event at the Grassroot Club along with Huishan on the 24th Jan, we had a supper at Willy’s favourite carrot cake stall somewhere on Ang Mo Kio. It somehow lead to a lateral thinking session. If I am not wrong, it all started with Huishan going, "Open, close. Open, open, close. Open or close?" (I still cannot figure it out still.)

Then Willy went on with more lateral thinking questions. It was fun to see Huishan puzzling over some of them.

Question 1:

I like apple, but I don’t like pear.
I like glass, but I don’t like window.
I like bottle, but I don’t like container.
I like noodles, but I don’t like rice.

Construct the next line with the format: I like _____, but I don’t like _____.

There are other questions too, but most of them need hand motions to complete them. However, I supplied with another question, which left my fellow Plurkers puzzled. Oh yes, the lateral thinking session was spilled over into Plurkville. Due to some language problem, I will display only the English translation.

The English translation:

3 worms line up in a row. The 1st worm says, "There are 2 worms behind me." The 2nd worm says, "There is 1 worm in front of me, and another behind. me"  The third worm says, "There is no worm in front of me, and no worm behind me." Why is this so?

The answer can be found here.

What other questions do you guys have?

Work Politics

Work Politics

When I was assigned to my current responsibilities, I thought everything was simple and would be smooth sailing. It was otherwise. I recently had to work with one guy on polishing up and correcting on our work flow. The outcome was 2 weeks worth of hard work on my part, while, to give some credit, a day or 2 worth on his part. While I could bear all this, since I don’t mind filling up all my spare time with something to do, I cannot bear it when someone said that he was good. There is no need for such unworthy praise on that guy.

Anyway, I can’t be bother to correct this misconception. Let the rest interpret what they can see.

Extracts from Obama’s inaugural speech

Extracts from Obama’s inaugural speech

Obama is rather inspiring in his speech. He peppered his speech with words and phrases that highlighted the history, the people, the tribulations that the country is and has been through.

He played tribute to the founding citizens of the country:

… greatness is never a given.  It must be earned.  Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less.  It has not been the path for the faint-hearted … Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and ploughed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life.

He saluted the citizens who are working hard on current or recent events:

… brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains.  They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.  It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

He wants change, and stated plenty in his speech:

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. 

we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect.


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Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships

I saw the Facebook events page and realised that the Museum of Broken Relationships was ending on 18th. I had free time only on the 17th. I then left a Plurk, saying,

off he goes to visit the Museum of Broken Relationships…

The Museum was tucked away in a not-so-small corner of the Esplanade.  It was in the Jendela, a Visual Arts Space by Cristal Caritas Trust. The items displayed, from what I know, are just a small part of the collection that the main Meseum has. However, I can’t help but to wonder why are there so many items with Singapore connections on display. I was expecting more items from other countries. 

Still, this Mesuem showcases a part of our life which we usually keep quiet about. No matter how much each of us broken hearted says I have let go, there is always a remanent of the relationship remain within us. Be it memories; tokens of affection; or simply a feeling or a thought, all these still tie us together, bond us. Some of the displays are quite emotional (love letters), some are simply comical (a torned caterpillar, representing a long-distance relationship that went bad). Still the significance is still there. 

I am wondering should I send mine? I guess not. I rather keep things within me and private. What is there to share when the feelings and emotions are just to remain within the affected?

A blast from the past: Class 4/2

A blast from the past: Class 4/2

I was viewing the photos in MHSS Facebook Group when this photo popped out. It was from the time when I was in my final year in MHSS. This was my entire class, sans Adnan, who was the photographer, and Yue Wei, who simply was not around. I could not remember when we took this, but it was a pleasant surprise to see this again. When I saw each face, 3-4 years younger us, I saw poignant stories, some serious, but mostly joyous and memorable ones.

I seldom keep in touch with the rest of this class, but I still receive updates of some of them through, not surprisingly, Facebook. I get just a gist of what they are up to, I don’t know how well they are faring in life. However, some of these are not active on Facebook. There are those who I did not add on Facebook or even Friendster. These people, I am simply cut off from them.

I simply wonder, where they are now; how are they faring. And I wonder, when can we all meet…

Arrangement of words

Arrangement of words

I was typing a reply to a Plurk and after I hit the "’Enter’ key, I realised what I typed was weird and maybe plain wrong.

No gain, no pain

No pain, no gain.

What is the difference? They are all words, 4 words only. But it is the arrangement of the words which brings out the difference in the meaning.

No gain, no pain. What it implies is there will be pain as the end result of the hard work put in. What is the point of working hard if all we get is pain? It does not sound like a good deal. Negative rewards for positive work. Nah, I will pass…

No pain, no gain. This phrase implies that without putting in any effort or sacrifices into the work we are supposed to be doing, there will not be any achievements or even results. Going through great difficulties and getting rewarded in a way or another sounds like a much better deal than the above one.

One phrase offers a pessimistic view about achievement while the other is the complete opposite, offering a optimistic one. At the time of my reply to that Plurk, I was typing “No gain, no pain”. I guess I was simply too tired from work then and had a time to sustain a positive thought about work and sub-consciously, life.

What other phrases, like the 2 above, having the same words and have differing meaning?

Working too hard

Working too hard

I confess. I think I am getting too dedicated with my camp duties. When I could rest in bunk, I went ahead with the remaining, and growing pile of work I am doing. I just a workaholic. Employers will love this kind of worker boy…

Getting stressed out soon with the lack of sleep. My call, my decision, but I want everything to be perfect, if not, excellent in the upcoming event. Gosh.

OK, I am too scatter brain to blog now…