Friday, October 31, 2008

...In no other country on earth is my story even possible.

Roger Cohen writes beautifully.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

November 5 approaches

i am fascinated by the American elections. it's this generational shift thing that's going on. on one hand we have a 70 year old white man who fought in Vietnam, and on the other a 40 year old black man with roots all around the world.

it's like America isn't voting for a President as much as they are voting for the future. you can choose more of the same, or a total break from the past. and with the world being totally globalised now, it seems that choosing Obama represents a symbolic switch to a more inclusive world.

how did one man transcend such barriers? he appeals to a broad range of people, with words like Change and Hope. not since Hitler has the mere use of words and images played so well, and that's paying Senator Barack Hussein Obama a huge compliment.

i hope the American people will not vote for "more of the same" - divisive politics by the village idiot cannot be allowed to perpetuate any longer. i wish i had a vote - i would vote for Obama.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

pissing God off

no one wants to do that, i'm sure. but oftentimes we commit blasphemy unintentionally - either our mouths are quicker than our brains, or intentionally - a blatant sin.

(ever get the feeling where you just wanna say something, anything at all, but it doesn't necessarily makes any sense at all? oh no, i think it's one of those times when i just feel like writing something, but i'm not sure exactly what to write, or why, or for what purpose)

i think i may have shot off my mouth in the past, and certainly tonight as well, so with all the humility i can muster - Lord God, i am so sorry if i p***ed you off at any time. i'll try harder - you'll like that, right?

good night, and good luck!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kuala Lumpur!

we have a fantastic and frequently under-appreciated Ibu Kota Malaysia. getting its name from a muddy estuary, borne from the confluence of Klang and Gombak, a former tin mining colony - hardly the inspiring story of the great cities of the world.

but then again, New York and London and Paris were also born on the banks of the Hudson, Thames and Seine respectively.

i spent 4 nights in KL for the Conference, and i had a grand time! lucky me i had a very good friend along, and was never lonely or bored. i forgot how much i loved KL - its energy and vibrancy, the enormous entertainment options and makan shops, there's always something going on - and how much i hated big cities too, with its traffic, heat and impersonal people (i saw a bitch fight between 4 scantily-clad ladies while waiting in queue to buy movie tickets!).

but now i'm back to Taiping, a town i fervently love. and i'm in trouble - slightly more than a month to an exam that i feel a little under-prepared for. back to work!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

National Diabetes Institute Conference

i haven't been to a proper conference for ages. used to be i'd have to go for debating tournaments up to 8 times a year, and maybe 2-4 of them would last 7-10 days. that's a whole lot of packing, and then a whole lot of unpacking (and the attendant laundry, i'm afraid). it almost felt like i went to medical school when i wasn't going to debating tournaments and medical student's conferences.

good times, those. i miss debating, and my partner and i were thinking of just participating in another tournament, just for old times' sake. but that's another story.

tomorrow it's the Malaysian diabetes conference in KL. my old professors will be there delivering lectures, and it's the first proper conference i'll be going to as a medical professional. yay!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

time, time... we're running out of time

i remember asking my mother and sister just recently, what they considered to be the most important thing in the world. is it Time? or Love? or Money? or Family? Health? Peace? Knowledge?

all three of us gave very different answers, and i answered Time.

it's not like Apocalypse is coming soon, and i do have tonnes of years before my natural life expectancy takes me away, but all the same we ARE running out of time. 

all my life i've been doing something. different periods in my life defined who i was, from the experimentation in primary school, to Scouts in secondary school, to the Prefects in Form 6, to debating in university, and now chasing a diploma.

there was always a deadline, i've got to get to that target before my SPM, before STPM, before i finish 4th year of medical school. and those are the larger targets, God knows how many small projects i've set upon along the way and set aside once completed.

funny, when i think about it, i don't know what it's like to live without a target. heh.

(funnier still when i think of how little money figures in my targets. it should, right? after all, i want to marry and have kids, and that involves money, doesn't it?)

so i go from day to day, chasing stuff. but you know what, i'm not getting tired of The Chase, because i suspect that i realise that it's not The Target that's important, it's the Journey. 

Friday, October 03, 2008

whoa! where's our plan?

back in the 70s, in a world of Mutually Assured Destruction and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaties and Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties, there was a very real fear of a nuclear holocaust. even Einstein said, "I don't know how the Third World War will be fought, but I know that the Fourth World War will be fought with sticks and stones".

so recent documents released from Whitehall (after 25 years of secrecy, their documents are released to the public under the Official Secrets Act - isn't that a nice idea for Malaysia?) show how prepared the British Government were, in the event of a nuclear calamity.

this is what would have been broadcast by the BBC, if Brezhnev had pushed any red buttons on his desk:

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. The number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. Stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes. Radioactive fallout is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and all fires are extinguished. You should refill all your containers for drinking water after any fires have been put out, because the mains supply may not be available for long. Until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Water means life. Don't waste it. Ration your food supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more. If you live in an area where a fallout warning has been given, stay in your fallout room. When the immediate danger has passed, sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. Do not go outside the house. Radioactive fallout can kill. We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours' time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again.

chilling, isn't it? i can't imagine RTM broadcasting anything like this. 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vote Not Sarah Palin

i'm getting incredibly distressed by Mrs Palin. she may look smart and sexy, but there's not much behind those librarian glasses. 

1. when she was mayor of Wasilla, she signed a law saying that all rape victims must pay for their rape-detection-kits as well as swabs and other related paraphernalia, whenever they report their case to the police. apparently that saves USD15000 a year. 

basically, if you get raped, you have to pay to collect the evidence to prosecute your rapist. wtf? 

i'd love to accuse Sarah Palin of sexism and misogyny, but how can i? she's a woman, and she kills moose. for fun.

2. "Alaska has a narrow maritime border with Russia" makes her an expert on international affairs? shaking hands with one foreign dignitary at the UN makes her qualified to take that 3am phone call?

3. completely misunderstanding the financial crisis (together with her Presidential candidate John "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" McCain) makes them both the Deadly Duo, literally adding credence to the McPain nickname. 

whatever these guys do to the economy will have a huge impact on our lives, even in faraway Taiping. the newly-opened cinema may close because they took a loan from Bank A in KL, who has stock in Unit Trust B in Shanghai, who in turn invests in Large Bank C in New York, that is slowly turning insolvent because AIG can't pay a dime. so it's A to B to C to Depression.

4. i love Tina Fey in 30 Rock, and i love her here: