Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rest in Peace - Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba (23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011)

I am totally skeptical about his mystical power, and I am not impressed by his amateurish magic tricks. (see youtube). I know AAA (from South India) who is his adherent and is grateful towards Sai Baba for curing his cancer. Anyway, nobody really trusted the words of AAA, who is always lying. 

His personal wealth is estimated to be $9billion, definitely one of the richest spiritual leaders. Well, at least, he did a lot of charitable work and spread the message of peace. 

I regretted not visiting Sai Baba's ashram last year when I visited Bangalore. I had the intention, but did not find time to do it. Now, it is too late. I should have done it!

RIP Sai Baba

"It’s not the things we do in life that we regret on our deathbed. It’s the things we do not."
 - Randy Pausch

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Affirmation by Savage Garden

Heard this Song more than 10 years ago, but I did not appreciate it until now.

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse tv evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

Friday, April 22, 2011

One New Experience Each Week - Public Listed Company AGM

Board of Directors of Sinotel
(A Chinese Company listed on Singapore Stock Exchange)

I have invested in this company since Sep'09, but despite its increase in both revenue and earnings, the share price has nosedived more than 60%, as the company did not maximize the shareholders' value.

Even though I was a small shareholder, I was entitled to question the board of directors as well as the top management of the company. I asked a couple of questions on maximizing shareholders' value by changing the capital structure via factoring/debt financing, but the replies from the CFO was not satisfactory.

Well, I felt good especially when a fellow shareholder walked up to me and praised me for asking good questions. Good luck to that shareholder, as I sold my shares despite losing money. (But I might be the fool to sell the shares now)

One New Experience Each Week - Surfing on Artificial Wave

Chilling in a hammock at Sentosa Siloso Beach.

After playing beach volleyball with some students, my friend and I asked them if they wanted to join us to go to Wavehouse to try surfing on the artificial wave. One of their replies was they are students, and could not afford to go there. 

Indeed. I remember my days as a poor undergraduate (Now, I am working poor), my friends and I would just bring our own drinks and food, and we would chill out or play frisby/volleyball at the beach. Even though we could not afford to go to expensive club/bar by the beach, we enjoyed ourselves and those days were fun.

Surfing the artificial wave
(Unfortunately, this is not me)

I needed the assistance of the rope, and even with that, I could not maintain my balance. My verdict after an hour of trying: It was difficult and quite fun, and once is quite enough.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aurora - Northern Lights

This is definitely one of the items on my bucket list!
The World is Awesome!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inspiration: American Swimmer Dara Torres - Won 3 Olympic Silver Medals at age of 41

"Dara Grace Torres (born April 15, 1967) is an American international swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. Torres is the first swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008), and, at age 41, the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she competed in the 50-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter medley relay, and 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and won silver medals in all three events."

“My work is other people’s play. I am in a pool doing what I was meant to do, swim. For anyone who feels stifled or stuck in their life, I say break down those barriers of indecision. Never let anyone set your personal or professional agenda. Live every day with the passion of your last. If I can inspire both women and men in anything it would be that age is just a number, not a death sentence. Wake up every morning with a plan and a dream. If you do, like me, dreams do still come true in your 40s and beyond!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One New Experience Each Week - Singapore Biennale

My first time visiting the visual art displays of Singapore Biennale. I was never a big fan of abstract Art, as I could never understand and totally appreciate it. However, I still enjoy the process of looking, interpreting and admiring their creativity (which I'm lacking).

I will not comment on the pictures and let your imagination do the talking. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

One New Experience Each Week - Jakarta Biz Trip

Went to Jakarta for a short Biz Trip.

Only in Jakarta... these vehicles are not allowed on the highway. 
Anyway, the traffic jam was horrendous! The time taken to travel from city to airport (Dist: 15km, Time taken 2hr+), is longer than the flight from Jakarta to Singapore!!

Ranch 99 Market in Jakarta
It is really a cheap Chinese supermarket in California, but they re-branded it in Jakarta catering to a up-market class.  

Lost in Translation!
Requested for 3 glasses of Vodka Lime, and they gave 3 shots of Vodka! The cost was around S$40+ (US$30+) for one glass. 

Having a Hot Steamy Bath & Listening to all-time favourite songs from iphone.
Can't ask for more!!!  

The 5-Star hotel i was staying has a no-sandals policy. I found it to be ridiculous! Hence, I decided to test it by wearing my slipper and bermuda shorts for breakfast. The hotel staffs were obviously looking at my slippers while i stepped out of the lift to the restaurant. However, they did not make a comment or stop me. I observed only 2 other guests wore slippers in the restaurant, while most people were wearing business outfits. Then I saw a PRC lady, who beat me to it.

She did not breached the no-sandals policy, as she was wearing a low-heel footwear. She was wearing an awful looking cartoon-prints pajamas to the restaurant!

Power!!! -_-"

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Book: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

I would highly recommend reading this book. Jonathan's research is thorough and the reasons for not supporting factory farming are so compelling that I could not ignore and felt an urgency to encourage people to be more responsible for their actions. 

Below are some quotes from the book:

Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change.

Someone who regularly eats factory-farmed animal products cannot call himself an environmentalist without divorcing that word from its meaning.

The first time I was exposed to farming issues was when a friend showed me some films of cows being slaughtered. We were teenagers, and it was just gross-out shit, like those “Faces of Death” videos. He wasn’t vegetarian – no one was vegetarian – and he wasn’t trying to make me one. It was for laugh. We had drumsticks for dinner that night, and I couldn’t eat mine. When I held the bone in my hand, it didn’t feel like a chicken, but a chicken. I always knew I was eating an individual, I suppose, but it never hit me before.

Before child labor laws, there were businesses that treated their ten-year-old employees well. Society didn’t ban child labor because it’s impossible to imagine children working in a good environment, but because when you give that much power to business over powerless individuals, it’s corrupting. When we walk around thinking we have a greater right to eat an animal than the animal has a right to live without suffering, it’s corrupting.

Sick animals are more profitable (than raring healthy ones). The animals have paid the price for our desire to have everything available at all times for very little money.

KFC chickens are almost always killed in 39 days. They’re babies. That’s how rapidly they’re grown.

People say ‘What’s the big deal if the animal can’t walk or move, ‘cause it’s just gonna get killed anyway?’ If it was your child, do you want your child to suffer three years, three months, three weeks, three hours, three minutes? A turkey chicken isn’t a human body, but it suffers... what each person has to ask himself. How much suffering will you tolerate for your food?

When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.

One study found that roughly 4.5million sea animals are killed as bycatch in longline fishing every year, including roughly 3.3m sharks, 1m marlins, 60k sea turtles, 75k albatross and 20k dolphins and whales.

“For me, factory farming is wrong not because it produces meat, but because it robs every animal of every shred of happiness. To put it another way, if I stole something, that would weigh on my conscience because it would be inherently wrong.” – Vegetarian Rancher

So what kind of crime is animal agriculture, which uses 756millions tons of grain and corn per year, much more than enough to adequately feed the 1.4billions of humans who are living in dire poverty?

Try this thought experiment: Would you castrate animals without pain relief? Would you brand them? Would you slit their throats open? Most people won’t do these things. Most of us don’t even want to watch them. So where is the basic integrity in paying others to do these things for you? It’s contract cruelty to animals, and a contract killing, and for what? A product no one needs – meat.

Martin Luther King wrote “one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular.” Sometimes we simply have to make a decision because “one’s conscience tells one that it is right.

We know that there is something that matters in a deep way about the lives we create for the living beings most within our power. Our response to the factory farm is ultimately a test of how we responds to the powerless, to the most distant, to the voiceless – it is a test of how we act when no one is forcing us to act one way or another.

Beautiful Things in Life: Mt Everest

Majestic Mt Everest
(Taken on the Flight out of Nepal Dec'09)