Saturday, January 31, 2009

On the Singapore Flyer

Yesterday, I took a ride on Singapore's Flyer, the world's largest observation wheel. Not a bad 30 minutes ride as you get to enjoy the spectacular aerial view of Singapore though the ride would probably be more worth the $29++ for each adult after the casino has been completed (projected to be end of 2009).

Sharing the cabin with me were a Chinese family of 5 and a couple. Along the ride, the kids were running around in excitement as the cameras were clicking away. Meanwhile in a corner, the mood was set for romance for the couple as they teased each other and flirted endlessly. At about the 3/4 mark, he whipped out a red ring box and got down on one knee. My brother was prepared to clap and perhaps I should have screamed "marry him" for additional incentive for the lucky lady, but alas we just sat there and let the moment settle in.

Her expression at this romantic gesture was neither of shock, pleasant surprise or joy. It was as if she has been expecting it with a calm and polite response - "Thank you."

"Ouch!" He put himself out there and..... But then again, if it was the two of them, a little quiet gesture may have been enough. Since there was more than a couple of witnesses around, he should have professed it confidently in public instead of doing it so softly in a corner.

The mood quickly turned awkward. She grabbed his hand and locked it with hers. Their hands were interlocked tightly with no words spoken. The silence soon followed them off the flyer.

This has been quite the hectic and tiring trip quite unlike the relaxing vacation I had in mind. My Singapore trip will however end on a high note leaving me satisfied with what I have accomplished in such a short time. There is nothing more satisfying than meeting all my old buddies knowing time will never come between us.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The reverse life

Subject: "Next Life" by Woody Allen

In my next life I want to live my life backwards.

You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.

You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born.

And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!

I rest my case.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Be careful of what you eat

After watching "Deadly Delicious", I started paying attention to what types of food cannot be eaten together. If you eat things together that you should not have, you will not only be unable to assimilate all the nutrients but also at risk for some negative side-effects. Since foods have different chemical structures, some of them, if eaten together, may result in an unfavorable chemical reaction in your body. In some cases, it can even lead to food poisoning.

For instance, soya milk and eggs should not be eaten together. Soya milk can reduce the activity of protease, which is used to help the human body assimilate protein. Eggs are, of course, very rich in protein.

Persimmons does not go well with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes produce hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Hydrochloric acid can help turn persimmon into precipitant in your body. And precipitants can become insoluble stones, which you can neither digest nor discharge.

Believe it or not, milk and chocolate do not match either. While milk is rich in protein and calcium, chocolate contains oxalic acid. Eaten together, calcium from milk and oxalic acid of chocolate can combine and form insoluble calcium oxalate, which is not only indigestible but also can cause diarrhea. As such, I am not sure how chocolate milk works.

Some fruits contain tannin which when combined with protein can produce insoluble and indigestible materials. It is advisable that you eat these fruits four hours after you have eaten seafood

Milk products do not go with some vegetables like broccoli, soya beans and spinach. Chemicals in these vegetables negatively affect assimilation of calcium from the milk products.

This is just a short list that I have found and I am sure there are many more combinations which we have to be refrain from. I will make it a point to be more conscious about what I eat.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spell It Right, Get A Cookie

A first-grade class comes in from recess, and the teacher asks a little girl what she did outside.

“I played in the sandbox,” she says.

“That’s good,” replies the teacher. “Go to the blackboard, and if you can write sand correctly, I’ll give you a cookie.”

The girl gets her treat, and the teacher asks a boy wearing a turban what he did during recess.

“I tried to play in the sandbox, but everyone threw rocks at me,” he says.

“That’s blatant racial discrimination!” says the teacher. “And if you can write blatant racial discrimination on the board, you’ll get a cookie.”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Death Race

Language: English
Running Time: 105 mins
Rating: NC16
Genre: Action
Tagline: Get ready for a killer ride.
Starring: Natalie Martinez, Ian McShane, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen
Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Company: Cruise/Wagner Productions

It came out sometime in August 2008 but I just got the chance to watch it on the Eva flight. I am not sure why Jason Statham keeps doing these high speed driving flicks but he is certainly the one that comes to mind as a such icon. I have never heard of Natalie Martinez but she looks hot in the show especially in the slow entrance scene which so many movies deploy. She plays the typical "Navigator" passenger.

In a nutshell, the movie tells the story of a laid-off steel worker and ex-race-car driver who gets framed for his wife's murder and thrown into a cell on Terminal Island. He should gets propositioned to race under the identity of a masked "Frankenstein"in exchange for his freedom. The title should have given the rest away. It is a race with heavy artillery, missiles, nitrates and shield called "Tombstones". Think Mario Kart and the attack/defence boosts they have all over the map. The point is to make the race exciting and interesting so that they can attract more viewers for a nifty profit. Bottom line is - only the winner will walk away alive.

While most of the highly modified cars are all modest in size, the almighty warden can deploy her ultimate vehicle, Deadnought, when she pleases. Deadnought is like a train which makes all the other cars look llike babies. But, you will learn that size is not what matters in a race, it is the skills and brains that do.

It doesn't take long for the truth to unveil. The wife was killed so that Jason can be thrown into jail and forced to participate. How will Jason respond, stay alive, take his revenge and get back his kid?

Well, I will give it a 7 for entertainment value.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chinese New Years from Singapore

Happy Chinese New Years.

Greetings from Singapore. This trip has been real lucky for me.

First, I was on Eva airline Deluxe Economy and they bump me up to Premier Laurel (business) class for my flight from Vancouver to Taiwan. Then I continuously run into several friends who are taking the same flight.

I am so happy to be back in Singapore to spend Chinese New Year's with my grams and catch up with old friends.

Year of the Ox. Not particularly a good year for me so they say. But so far, everything seems great. I will be busy for the next two weeks, but I will try and drop in some short posts here and there.

Laterz. Out to enjoy the sun.

Caught in your web of profession of love.....

How to turn down a boy after his confession of his love?:

  • Actually, I am an alien from Mars. I am on Earth for vacation and it is time to return. It has been great knowing you. I promise I will call you from Mars. You do have galaxy roaming, right?

  • I have a secret I want to tell you. But I think you already know and I have realized it a long time ago. Since we are sharing confessions, let me tell you….. You are an idiot.

  • What? You like me? Want to go out with me? Are you nuts? We have been friends for so long and you never knew I am male? That hurts, man.

  • My kitty is sick and I have to take her to the hospital. My puppy was angry yesterday because I didn’t hug him so I have to comfort him today. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I also accidentally stepped on an ant yesterday, so I have to get home, bury and pray for him. Sorry, I really have no time.

  • Well, weekdays are no good. I have work in the morning, courses at night and gym whenever I have time. During weekends, I have piano lessons, paintball wars and Yoga. Holidays, I have to spend time with my family. In Spring, I have dozens of outdoor trips planned. In Summer, I have to play with my air-conditioner, eat my watermelons and slack off. In Autumn, I have to sweep leaves and write poetry, alone. In Winter, I have to hibernate. So that’s my schedule, what time is good for you?

  • My house rules are very strict. I can’t stand to a guy closer than 10 feet. I can only converse for 5 minutes tops. No eye contact, no physical contact. No makeup allowed. No phone calls with men….. If you agree to my house rules, I can bring you the contract tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sandra Dewi


Age: 25

Location: Indonesia

Hometown: Bangka Belitung, Jakarta

Height: 5'10"

Marital Status: Single

Religion: Catholic

Occupation: Actress

Personal Website: Sandra Dewi

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Foggy Days

First there was the heavy snow, then now we have days of fog. What is happening to Vancouver's weather? If only we can be like people in Persona 4, wear a pair of special glasses and everything clears up.

Oops, didn't see you there. You better leave me your number. I want to make sure you are alright later.

The Doctor and Mechanic

A mechanic was removing the cylinder heads from the motor of a car when he spotted a famous heart surgeon in his shop, who was standing off to the side, waiting for the service manager to come to take a look at his car.

The mechanic shouted across the garage,'Hello Doctor!! Please come over here for a minute.'The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked argumentatively, 'So doctor, look at this. I also open hearts, take valves out, grind 'em, put in new parts, and when I finish this will work as a new one. So how come you get the big money, when you and me is doing basically the same work? '

The doctor leaned over and whispered to the mechanic.....He said: 'Try to do it when the engine is running !'

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wrap me a Foosball Table

Did I mention I am a foosball expert? I almost never turn down a foosball challenge. Come to think of it, I never owned a foosball table. What a shame it is that my skills are not put to more use. So anyways, you guys are welcomed to give me something for the coming New Year's.
While most foosball fans can settle for anything ranging from $200 to $800, the hardcore ones will probably want something more.

The Opus foosball table from ElevenForty has certainly elevated the status of the game from masses to classes and has taken the status of the game to its extremes. The table features luxurious craftsmanship, precision engineering and design making it the most desirable option for the football lovers. Each table is hand-craft from your choice of woods, and stainless steel hardware. Price tag: ~US$75,000

My other half list

What do I look for in a mate? Too many people have been bugging me for this so I decided to consolidate what I think I want into a list. The list is broken into two parts. The first will be my top 10 qualities list. The second would be the good-to-have bonus points list. Enjoy!


  1. A smile sweet to the bone, makes the heart melt. (Of course, she must also like to smile)
  2. A natural grace which comes from maturity and confidence.
  3. A witty humor to make the joking bearable and keep the bantering interesting.
  4. A quiet selfless nature means she care for you unconditionally and from her heart. She craves not for attention but hope to bring happiness to people around.
  5. Has an abundance of love and responsibility, especially for kids and family.
  6. Open to criticisms. Constantly self-reflecting and improving. Must be reasonable to a degree.
  7. Sensitive but not overly so. Sometimes any amount of care is enough.
  8. Socially adept, friendly and has an active social circle with some class.
  9. Must be a music lover. Being some kind of musician helps.
  10. Never gambles or smokes or do drugs. Being rebellious is one thing, these are dangerous habits that are hard to shake.


  1. At least know how to cook 3 dishes I like
  2. Has a beautiful voice
  3. Plays go and is stronger than 10 kyu
  4. Has dancing background, preferably ballet
  5. Great fashion sense
  6. Natural beauty (Does not require makeup)
  7. Thrifty or financially sensible
  8. Has a love for writing and reading
  9. Organized and strongly capable of multitasking
  10. Maintain high level of cleanliness and neatness
  11. Athletic, love various sports or running
  12. Makes lingerie’s look good or look good in lingerie’s (It’s all about packaging)
  13. Has a close and loving family
  14. Possesses substantial wealth (You can’t complain about more money)
  15. Wide hipbones to ease the delivery of babies. (Tight hipbones squeeze babies fragile head as they are delivered)
  16. Constantly shower me with pleasant surprises
  17. Is not high maintenance (Attention-wise, financially I think I can still manage)
  18. Believes in trust in relationships completely and my loyalty (None of that insecure BS, building things up in your head and whining about every encounter I have with the opposite sex)
  19. High stress tolerance/thresholds. Must be positive thinking (always look at the bright side) yet realistic (Not delusionally positive).
  20. Accustomed to Chinese culture.
  21. Has the traditional values especially pertaining to morals and family
  22. Open to new and better ideas/suggestions
  23. Willing to give up her career for her family
  24. Intoxicating, unforgettable scent (You are what you eat. I think vegeterians smell best.)
  25. Calm and logical, handle self with poise (You can be spontaneous, just not erratic and insane)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration of the 44th US President - Barack H. Obama

Pausing occasionally for applause and cheers, Mr. Obama finished his speech by drawing on the words of George Washington, the first president:

“So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have travelled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people: “Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

Standing outside Capitol Hall, tens of thousands of people gathered in the chilling cold which dragged the temperature to -10 degrees Celsius, all in hope of witnessing history.
“Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.”
Inspiring words. Emotional moving. I wasn’t born in the times of Lincoln or Reagan, but now standing witness to the youngest American president I can finally understand how one person can unite a country and build a bond that can achieve the impossible. Looking at the sea of people cheering him on, a certain sweetness of victory consumes me. Deep down, I do believe in Obama that he can stands for something like true democracy and freedom. I do believe that he can and will make a difference.

Well, maybe he has it easy. Things cannot be worse than they are, I hope, so they can only go uphill from here on. Question is how long it will take before recovery gets into play. For the government, there is little time to waste.

Obama has another quality that sets him above others. I always believed that problems are not fatal, lack of courage to face the challenges and problems is. Obama overcame adversity, attempted the unthinking, pursued his dreams and passions. His will power, character strength and courage makes him an extraordinary individual.

Take a bow, my friend. You deserve to be the hope of the people, the new president of the United States.

Bank of Canada cuts key rate to record low

The Bank of Canada cut its benchmark overnight rate by half a percentage point Tuesday, bringing the benchmark to just 1 per cent. Globally, economic troubles are mounting while in Canada, economists say, signs point to a recession.

The U.S. Federal Reserve under Chairman Ben Bernanke has already taken the unprecedented step of bringing its key Fed funds rate to a range of 0 per cent to 0.25 per cent. Unemployment in the United States is growing and the picture darkens with each set of data.

Last week, the European Central Bank under Jean-Claude Trichet slashed its key rate for the fourth consecutive month, bringing it to just 2 per cent. Several European economies are suffering deeply from the global slowdown, and economists believe the ECB will continue to bring down interest rates.

In Canada, the central bank is faced with a deteriorating outlook, and has already said the country is entering a recession. It had already brought interest rates to generational lows in a battle against this slowdown, and is expected to continue the fight. At the same time, inflation is not a concern, leaving the Bank of Canada free to flex its muscles.

Canada is still deemed to be in a better position than many other countries. Indeed, unemployment is not projected to reach the heights of the last two recessions in the early 1990s and early 1980s. Still, the country is in the midst of a downturn and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, for example, recently projected a sharp slowdown.

The Bank of Canada is trying to spur lending, as spending by consumers and businesses is key to a recovery. But in its most recent survey of business conditions, it was clear credit is tight. The percentage of companies reporting tighter credit conditions hit a record high in the central bank's quarterly Business Outlook survey, which has been conducted since 1997. Similarly, in its Senior Loan Officer survey, which collects information from major financial institutions, the Bank of Canada found that the cost of loans is increasing as banks seek to pass their own higher costs on to those seeking to borrow.

Similarly, job losses are a concern and the outlook is grim. Canada lost 70,000 jobs in November and more than 34,000 in December. The federal government, which is expected to unveil economic measures in its Jan. 27 budget, has also warned of mounting unemployment.

The sales outlook is also darkening for many Canadian companies.

Amid this deteriorating outlook, economists had believed Mr. Carney could go as far as cutting three-quarters of a percentage point, and some see the central bank still continuing to cut rates at its next policy setting March 3. Another reduction of half a percentage point would bring rates ever closer to zero, with the benchmark at just 0.5 per cent.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New ideas, New inventions

After concert dinner at Gothams
(I am at the far end of the table)

It was quite the crowd at yesterday’s Facioli concert, perhaps to share Mr. Facioli’s grace or to catch the wit and charm of Bruce Greenwood live. But more than anything, it is a valuable chance for many to experience the Facioli piano’s excellence.

I enjoyed Bruce’s interview with Mr. Facioli featuring questions of the piano’s high quality, limited production of around 120 per year, wood choice and future developments. Particularly intriguing is Mr. Facioli’s explanation of undergoing research for a mathematical model that can construct a realistic model of the piano yet to be constructed and thus allow the clients to listen and tweak the music as they prefer. This would certainly be a remarkable breakthrough not only for the end users, but also increase the efficiency of the Facioli production.

Incidentally while I was getting a haircut before the concert, I was juggling thoughts of the future of hair grooming. With the technology already allowing people to preview what they would look like with various hair styles, we can easily replace human barbers if we can just program a precise equipment to do the cutting and trimming. We start off with a scan of the head shape. Then we use static electricity (perhaps dryness will help) to make the hair stand. Pick the hairstyle you want and the mechanic barber will go to work. Since you can cut all the hair at once, this process will undoubtedly reduce waiting time to within 5 minutes. No more falling asleep while waiting and this should eliminate any long queues. Now, if only I can find someone to make this kind of machine.

You can check out some cool new inventions at Idea Connection. Digital polaroid? Mobile phone projector? How about that cancer catcher? The mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste. Let's keep it active.

Friday, January 16, 2009

新不了情 - 張靚穎

Even though she didn't impress me as much during the competition, she has nicely developed into a singing sensation. She sang this song with such conviction that tears almost welled up in my eyes. Almost....

張靚穎 (Jane Zhang)

Birthday: 11 October 1984

Debut: 2005 超級女聲 3rd place

The Needed Change - From Bush to Barrack

In a couple of days, Obama will be inaugurated marking the official end of Bush's miserable 8 year presidency term.

The Economist broke down Bush's years as president saying,

“I inherited a recession, I’m ending on a recession,” he(Bush) noted at his press conference on January 12th. He wasn’t asking for pity, only to be judged on what happened in between. Unfortunately, that economic legacy is littered with wasted opportunity, bad judgments and politicised policy. The budget surplus he inherited is now a deficit, the fiscal hole in America’s retiree programmes is bigger than ever, the tax system is an unstable, patched-up mess.

It has been a roller coaster ride watching Bush run the show, not knowing what and where his incompetence will screw up next.

4 years ago, John Kerry completely destroyed Bush in the presidential debate, coming out as the more level headed, composed, reasonable and intelligent candidate. Heck, Bush was not even answering the questions or staying on topic through the debate, instead he was reiterating one point and one point only, "We need this war!!". What surprised me was that he still had a commanding lead over Kerry after the debate and people were calling Kerry indecisive because he kept changing his mind.

Isn't one of the most important skills as a leader the ability to adapt to situations no matter how dire? With new information and the world in constant change, doesn't that warrant a need to be flexible in thinking and actions? Isn't it important to be able to learn from mistakes? And what has Bush done in 4 years? Why don't we give him another 4 years to screw up more?

Honestly, I never felt pity for the mess US is in now. They had been bullies, barbarians, robbers and to make it worse, they sugarcoat it with noble intentions. Peace, equality and freedom. For who or whom, may I ask? They have been abusing their superior power and status since Russia fell out of the picture. They have been consumed by greed for money and power. The Americans are to blame for their own plight. So do they deserve any pity? I think not.

Bush gave his farewell speech yesterday saying that while most people have recovered from the trauma of 911, he never did as he shoulders the responsibility of maintaining peace and order of the United States. He made the tough decisions and seven years without a terrorist attack is proof that war was the right decision. His conviction is that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace. In the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect Americans.

I almost wanted to smash my TV. How can it be the only practical way when it leads to heavy draining of the nation's resources and drives the nation further into debt? How can nothing happening be sufficient proof that something works? What about using violence as a form of suppression to force people to accept freedom? Digging their nose into every business that is not their own, using their superiority to control things the way they want, yet you stand there and claim America did nothing to deserve the conflict with terrorists?

Bush continue to baffles me with his weak arguments and flawed logic. And please, please don't give me all these hypocritical trying-to-sound-noble crap. Yes, you made the tough decisions. But you did not make the right decisions. You created more problems than you solved. That, Mr Clueless, is the story of your presidency.

Which brings us to Obama Barrack. Do I think he can reduce the deficit, calm the lost confidence, bring US out of the current economic crisis and reclaim US's dominance in the world? No. Though no fault of his own, I think Bush left too much of a mess and Obama came in with too little chips on his hand to make a difference. He will try, but he will fail. The important thing is his presidency will stand for something at least. Change. Hopefully, it is for the better.

God bless USA. It is not a given, it is a prayer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


One topic of concern during a chat session yesterday hovered on deforestation. Becoming more and more palpable is the fact that rampant slashing and burning of tropical forests is second only to the energy sector as a source of greenhouses gases. It may escape many to draw the link between deforestation and global warming until you fully understand the effects of deforestation.

Most people think of forests only in terms of the CO2 they absorb. The rainforests of the Amazon, the Congo basin and Indonesia are thought of as the lungs of the planet. But the destruction of those forests will in the next four years alone, in the words of Sir Nicholas Stern, pump more CO2 into the atmosphere than every flight in the history of aviation to at least 2025.
But trees have many other significance. They are the bridge to turn sunlight and rain into nutrients in the soils. Without nutrients, the land becomes nothing more than a desert. Trees act as a buffer to absorb the rain like a sponge and in so doing prevent flooding. Floods will destroy crops, structures and as they flow into the ocean, pollute and disrupt the ecological system. Sea levels rise and temperature rises. Can anyone spell extinction?

The problem lies with civilization. Civilization has evolved with the foundation of rights and values clearly defining every boundaries so as to avoid conflicts. Nature has been classified as assets, properties or simply given a monetary value, depriving them of their rights and privileges. In so doing, the system is flawed while driven by greed and selfishness. Nature has been compromised, even abused for personal gains because the current value system underrates the importance of maintaining a natural balance in the planet we live on.

The question is how do we reach a balance between nature and humans keeping the ecological system running smoothly? With natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and tsunamis hitting the world with increased frequency, it is getting harder for people to ignore the damage they have already done to the natural order.

We live in a troubled time filled with consistent economic, environmental and cultural problems. Somehow such turmoils are progressive with our evolution as a race. How we come together as a race to counter these problems will decide our future. There is no time to waste.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Richmond Olympic Oval Free Day Pass

If you haven't had the chance to visit the new Richmond Olympic Oval, here is your chance now!!

Oval Free Day Pass

Remember to print in color!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nozomi Sasaki

Is there anything cuter than a cute girl in a cute kimodo??

Also don't miss out her cute face making clip below.

Nozomi Sasaki (佐々木希)

Birth date: February 8, 1988

Blood type: AB

Hometown: Akita Prefecture

Monday, January 12, 2009

The fresh unemployed

It does not come as a surprise really. Not when you see the disheartening numbers: Global unemployment expected to rise by 25 million over the next two years; estimated total number of jobless people around the world at the end of this year - 210 million.

Graduates no longer have the luxury of looking for their dream jobs but rather take whatever jobs they can find. We live in a world of demand and supply. Since the job market is oversupplied, there is already overabundance of over-qualified workers. Then you start thinking about the future. There is growing numbers of people looking to go back to school as a response to diminishing work opportunities. In 2 to 3 years time, fresh graduates will once again flood the turning market. Let’s face it. No matter how much you study, you will be facing intense competition when you join the workforce.

Education no longer equates to a good job and in turn downplays the significance of institutions of higher learning. If you take away the teaching, schools still provide an invaluable experience and social networks. Does it justify investing years in pursuing a degree and the costs incurred? Of which leaves something to ponder upon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Profound Thoughts

Two men are out ice fishing at their favourite fishing hole,just fishing quietly and drinking beer.

Almost silently, so as not to scare the fish, Bob says, 'I think I'm gonna divorce my wife. She hasn't spoken to me in over 2 months.

'Earl continues slowly sipping his beer, then thoughtfully says,'You better think it over, Bob. Women like that are hard to find.'

Saturday, January 10, 2009

M. Liminal - Vancouver's most expensive piano

January 10, 2009


VANCOUVER, BC - It's called the "M. Liminal" and it's built by Paolo Fazioli in Italy. There are only five in existence. With a price tag of nearly half-a-million dollars, the M. Liminal is the most expensive piano ever to visit Canada.

Many have said that it's the most futuristic looking piano they have ever seen. The impressively 'avant-garde' art case stretches to a length of almost nine-feet! This beautiful work of art is on display at Showcase Pianos in Vancouver, 1224 West Broadway

Sixteen Fazioli grand pianos have been sold through the relatively new Showcase Pianos store since they opened a year ago. Fazioli Pianoforti in Italy confirms that this is a record for a new dealer.

"This proved to me that bringing these amazing instruments to BC was long overdue", says store owner Manuel Bernaschek.

"For many years there was much talk in the piano community about a man in Italy who was making the finest pianos in the world. We kept hearing that more and more famous pianists were converting to playing on Fazioli pianos, so I really wanted to bring them here."

Paolo Fazioli is the new kid on the block in the world of piano making, a place that doesn't often get newcomers. In 1979 Paolo Fazioli - himself a pianist and an engineer - decided that he wanted to create the best piano known to man. Now, 30 years later, Fazioli Pianoforti in Italy is widely regarded as the finest piano maker in the world.

Although various orchestras across Europe and Asia use the Italian made piano as their main performance instrument, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra (VMO) made history last week when it became the first orchestra in North America to choose a Fazioli as one of their performance instruments.


In recent months many retailers have been creating their own 'economic bailout', throwing in 'a little something extra' as an added encouragement for consumers to spend their hard earned dollars.

Bernaschek is giving away a three night's vacation package for two at the incredibly luxurious Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island.

Located in the fragile Clayoquot Sound Biosphere reserve, this all-inclusive resort is one of the most unique and exclusive eco-destinations in the world, and in recent years has become a popular vacation spot among celebrities.

The M. Liminal can be seen together with a Fazioli that is finished in the exotic Amboina wood from Indonesia - one of the rarest woods in the world.


Honestly, I have never heard of Fazioli till of late. But then again, I am not that active in the field. I am also not good enough to tell the difference between the woods which is key to determining a piano's quality. My first impression of Fazioli recognized it as a great piano but still it did not sway my preference for my Steinway. It is simply too light for my liking which some players prefer. Yet the more I play it and as I get used to its action, it started to grow on me.

So from totally oblivious to its existence to being somewhat of a fan, it can be attributed to my dad's persistence to visit the store and learn about the product. I am not even sure of my dad's recent obssession with music. This is not to say that he doesn't appreciate them in the past, but it seems like it is all he talks about these days. Layers and layers of research materials still lie on his desk. Maybe this is his mid-life crisis. Maybe he finally has time to find a hobby. Who knows?

Why God never got a PHD

WARNING: Material might be offensive to some. Proceed at own risk.

1. He had only one major publication.

2. It was in Hebrew.

3. It had no references.

4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.

5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.

6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?

7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.

8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.

9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects.

10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects.

11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.

12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.

13. Some say he had his son teach the class.

14. He expelled his first two students for learning.

15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests.

16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.

17. No record of working well with colleagues.


Some people do not think that we should make fun of his Holiness. Well, forgive me for I am an atheist and do not believe that a little humor will hurt. Not to show his Holiness any disrespect but I found this joke quite intelligent and funny. Point made.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Job Loss - The Good & The Bad

Headlines blared "worst since 1945" on Jan. 9 after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the U.S. economy lost 524,000 jobs in December and 2.6 million for 2008 as a whole. Get a grip, people. We all know things will go continue southbound with more job losses to come as companies either learn to cut costs or go bankrupt. But this is not the time to panick as it does not help us, not one bit.

Plus, I am sick of hearing all these comparisons to some 60 years ago depression or even recent years. The fact is we are threading on unchartered waters and it is all beyond what history can tell us. Heck, logic has long been a casualty in this war.

Now, as we take a closer look at the shocking numbers of job losses, we can understand one thing. The employers are cutting in bulks so as to avoid small dribbles of smaller cuts in the months to follow. If you think about it, this is really a good sign that companies are not waiting around for help but taking actions to prepare for the growing storm. It is therefore unlikely that the job loss numbers get any worse.

And let's not forget, crisis breeds opportunities. Money is scarce. Markets are volatile. Morale is harder to boost in an atmosphere of anxiety. The world is different and continues to change beyond anyone's comprehension. This is the time people will make it or break it. Taking away your job will leave you with more time to study the current environment and think about what to do.

What to do when capital has dried up all over and banks are not lending except to special clients? You need to recognize that the key players are those with the fundings to take advantage of the situation. For those non-key players, it is imprudent they learn to follow the key lead.

Just remember, a job will never make you rich. But opportunities will.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to do business

Check out this 15 year old cartoon. If this means that they realize the problem 15 years ago...... what the hell have they been doing since?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The sexiest Guan Yin (观音)

In the new Journey to the West (西游记), we will get to see Bai Ling(白灵) playing Guan Yin (观音). Talk about shocking. There are mixed sentiments regarding this cast choice as Bai Ling is better known for her roles in movies like "Red Corner", "Three Extremes - Dumplings" (饺子) and even her posing nude for Playboy in 2005.

Interestingly, this JTTW rendition has changed the story line so much so that Guan Yin will fall in love with the Monk Xuan Zang (玄奘). Wait, there's more!! Guan Yin drinks Martini and Xuan Zang is white. Yes. White!! They will even kiss and hope to be together next life (apparently this life, they are both a little busy being noble).

What can I say? It is a crazy world. You better keep an open mind.

A short chinese article discusses the show here.

Note: Guan Yin's mortal life was a male and she has been debated to be both male and female in immortal form.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yuri Ebihara

Yuri Ebihara is a Japanese model and actress. She is especially popular with young men and women. She has been quoted as saying, "If someone doesn't find me cute, I want to know why because then I'll work on it to get better at being cute". Heck, she is about as cute as it comes.

ProfileName: Yuri Ebihara 蛯原友里

Profession: Model and Actress

Birth date: 3 October 1979

Horoscope: LibraHeight: 168 cm

Place of birth: Miyazaki, Japan

Measurements: B82/W56/H84

Monday, January 5, 2009

This Year Will Be Crazier Than 2008

Check out the mock article "This Year Will Be Crazier Than 2008: William Pesek".

Seriously...... it might happen.

Two-screen Laptops - The next generation

Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard are messing about with laptop forms in some rather interesting new ways. The former's ThinkPad W700ds (pictured above left) has a 17-inch display--and a 10.5-inch fold-out screen, perfect for palettes. The latter's Firefly (above right) also has a 17-inch screen, and a small 4.3-inch display buried right underneath it.

Neither of these machines are light--the ThinkPad weighs in at 11 pounds, while the Firefly tips the scales at 13 pounds. But a key difference is that the Lenovo is real (due for release this month) while the HP is just a concept.

Report From Core77

Two screen laptops is becoming quite a common concept. Asus plans to ship new notebooks that have touch screens on both the top (where the screen normally goes) and the bottom (where the keyboard normally goes) as early as the first quarter of 2009, according to a report. It features four usage modes as listed below. This is the one I am really looking forward to.

1. Tablet mode. Snap the laptop open and flat, and the two screens work together as one giant touch screen.

2. Laptop mode. Open the virtual keyboard, which appears full-size on the bottom touch screen, and use like a regular clamshell laptop.

3. Book mode. Open an e-Book and hold it sideways like an open book. One page appears on the left screen and the next page appears on the right. Touch the corner to turn the page.

4. Two-person mode. Open it flat again like Tablet mode, but click a button to make one screen orient itself for one user and the other toward you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

爱呼2:爱情左右 (FIT LOVER 2008)

30 may be the mark of a man's maturity but it is also an important age for a woman. This story evolves around a woman turning 30 and given 12 choices for her ideal mate. How will she choose? She is a beautiful TV host who lives in a huge apartment and has enough money to squander. Not quite like the desperate type but overall still a realistic rendition of the modern career women. I am not even sure why I enjoyed it. The impossible-to-please lady brings a smile to my face and then there are the times even if it seems so right, it is so wrong.

Now these are 12 prime choices, each with their own charm but also flaws. There is the straight-forward tycoon who goes to a nightclub and pays the ladies to answer his question on what woman wants. Unfortunately, he has a skewed sense of romance and knows nothing about what women want. Moving on. There is the struggling artist who is finally able to put down his sob-sob past and attempt to love again. What’s there not to love about a guy who can’t work in a clean environment and trusts his feelings so immensely? We even have the ultimate romantic insurance salesman who knows how to sweet talk and all the special ways to touch a lady. But in the end, it was the guy who has always loved her who won her heart. Maybe this is proof that love transcends time and is patient.

I have always liked the female lead, 林嘉欣. She has the sweetest smile that can melt anyone’s heart and has that special effect. She is not gorgeous or stunning but she has a certain quality that shines through. I may be biased as I have always been a fan so forgive me. Her performance in this show while entertaining does not reflect her best work. I believe all the guest appearances took away the attention on her, well because they had better acting and more appeal. This is similar to a concert where you get all these guests appearing in the middle.

Nowadays, anything that can break a few laughs can be a success on the big screen - no matter how idiotic or pointless the plot. Romance have been done so many times but can never get old. People want to believe in love and hope.