Monday, November 30, 2009

Cloud Computing To Warm Homes

Okay, last post for this week! I promise! (naughty SM, rule-breaking again!)

Up till a few weeks ago, I had no idea what 'cloud computing' was and had only heard of the term a few months back. I feel ditzy for not knowing where all my emails and blog posts and Facebook activity logs were being kept at all this while. I've always wondered but was too lazy to find out. But at last I've kind of gotten a rough idea of what 'cloud computing' is! Thanks to an informative and cute tutorial on CNN.

Anyway, the boundaries of our world, as we know it, is evolving into one that has no borders - whether we like it or not - as most of our lives have gradually become entangled with the 'online' world. And for this reason, cloud computing is so important. What is cloud computing? It's basically an infrastructure filled with racks and racks of servers, or better summarised as data centers (yes, so unimaginative when compared with the term 'cloud computing'). At least that's the gist I'd grasped from reading about it.

As we know servers generate a lot of heat and a proper cooling system needs to be in place for the machines to operate efficiently. According to this Reuters article, Google already uses around 1% of the world's energy to sustain its data centers and in a typical data center, only 40-45% of the energy is used for the actual computing - while the rest powers the indispensable cooling system.

Now to deviate a little: Personally, I've found my laptop power adapter a very good source of heat to warm my freezing fingers when I'm in office or a place with super-numbing air-conditioning. I usually feel very self-conscious when I need to defrost my digits, and so, I stealthily creep closer to the adapter and rest my frozen palm onto the hot plastic like it was an everyday thing to do! This is called 'let not the energy be wasted via loss through heat radiation.' haha

Well, referring back to the Reuters article, Finland is going to use the excess heat from a data center to be located beneath the Uspenski Cathedral - which is one of Helsinki's tourist attractions - to be channeled into the district heating network. A system of water-heated pipes will warm homes in the Finnish capital as well as recycle the heat generated by the servers, which once was a lost cause in the energy cycle.

Now, that's a green idea!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tongue Discipline

I'm glad that I just bit my tongue (literally) and didn't say what I wanted to say! That would've burst someone's bubble... although that would have been one up for me! But yes, I'm determined not to be evil to people who've been evil to me...

In a totally different case today, I discovered that my boss 'ciplak' (plagiarised) my leave record MS Excel template and implemented it in our office! He didn't even change the months of which I've worked here!! hahaha Should I be angry or flattered? I think I'll choose the latter.

Hope the rest don't find out I'm the one who started it (all the red tape)... Shhhhh!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What We Call "Diarrhoea Mouth"

Note: I'm breaking my rule of becoming a hermit till my exams are done and over with, by writing this post. But I just had the urge to compose something...

The term 'diarrhoea mouth' was introduced to me by my aunt a couple of years back. I've never heard anyone else use it before, so perhaps it was something she coined or for some reason, it has not caught on (I tried Googling for it, with no satisfactory results that point to the meaning of this term).

Well, basically 'diarrhoea mouth' refers to someone who simply condemns a subject when he himself will be a partaker of the said subject. A common example would be someone who hurls insults at a particular food and ends up finishing the food till the last grain. So the term diarrhoea comes into play because this person is not selective of his words and all sort of rubbish comes out from his mouth, somewhat like the loose stool you get when you have a bad case of food poisoning.

In some cases, the phenomenon of 'diarrhoea mouth' may have undertones of sarcasm, meant to shoot out at one of the audience. An example would be, a very-soon-to-be-married guy watches Mrs World on Star World channel while expounding "it's a fact that ladies get fat after they get married!" and the silent listener thinks to herself, "Hmm, tough luck to you then... you're getting married next month! Since you believe that's a fact, then it will become a reality that you'll be facing in the very near future," and *smiles*.

So kids, moral of the story is "always think before you speak" because you don't want to show the brain constipation you're having through your diarrhoea mouth!

This is another community message from SM. Lets all work towards a better world!

Monday, November 23, 2009

We Came, They Came...

Today's turnout was pretty surprising. In a way, I'm glad, because it shows that the congregation still has faith in the leaders. At 10.30am, we looked around and there were so many empty seats and thought to ourselves that 'it was only to be expected' but the crowd came later on and I didn't feel so uncomfortable then. I guess that people will gravitate to where God is, and today is evidence that He is still with us, as a church.

He will never leave you  nor forsake you. - Deut 31:7
I don't know what to think, what to believe and who to trust. Unfortunately ever since finding out about some of the details (it's been more than a year now, so that 'article' was not a total shock), I've found it very hard not to second guess every word said or action done and this has been a source of distraction for me. And for this, Lord, I'm very sorry! I just pray that He will have mercy on us all and on ALL who's directly involved with the matters.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let's Learn Something From Our Neighbours

Our dear politicians could learn a thing or two from Singapore's former PM, instead of pointing fingers at one another and subjecting the 'rakyat' to their fickle face-saving decisions (i.e. PPSMI or teaching of maths and science in English). Although PPSMI is already old news here, I was pretty put off when the government announced that we were going back to teaching maths and science in Bahasa Melayu (after that whole hoo-ha in the Dewan Rakyat in June). This shows that our education system is just another political battlefield for our "leaders" to win votes.

I just don't get how the government could implement a policy without doing a proper study or consulting professionals in the linguistic field and instead, they made rash conclusions from the results while the project was still in a transition state. Don't they realise that it takes time to see the fruits of the change? Maybe the government should work on change management instead of taking the easy way out and reverting to the old system (of which I am a product of). And personally, I found that first few months transitioning to English while in Form 6 (STPM) a little confusing, but ultimately it made the whole learning process more interesting and eased the search for extra resources. Thank God 80% of the courses I took in university were in English! I really can't imagine how I would have survived researching and writing my thesis in BM. Seriously.

Anyway, the article below is from . I reproduced it here because they update their news content daily and I don't know whether they have an online archive.

Lee Kuan Yew concedes language mistake
From News Reports:
Singapore, November 21: Singapore’s initial enforcement of the teaching of Mandarin by rote had been a mistake, the republic’s founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, said at the opening of the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language.
“A language is first listened to, heard and then spoken,” he said.
“It's not read or written - that follows later. (But) we started the wrong way. We insisted on spelling and dictation.”
The way to correct the mistake was to encourage a child’s interest in the language, regardless of their linguistic ability because, with interest in the language, they would have it for life.
Students forced to memorise a language without applying it, would aim just to pass their exams and then forget about it, he warned.
“Successive generations of students paid a heavy price because of my ignorance and my insistence on bilingualism,” he said.
“We had teachers who were teaching in completely Chinese schools and they did not know how to use any English to teach English-speaking children Chinese,” he said.
This turned children off completely and caused parents to waste much money and time on extra tuition for their off spring.
Lee Kuan Yew said he had mistakenly equated intelligence to language ability but later, his daughter, neurologist Lee Wei Ling, told him that they were different.
As a consequence the Education Ministry in 2005 had increased the weight of primary-school oral Mandarin over that of their ability to memorise Chinese characters.
This followed the recommendation of a Chinese-language review committee in 2004 to put more emphasis on speaking and listening.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Itching To Post About Sesame Street!

For the past week, I've been seeing Sesame Street everywhere on Google and CNN! Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th anniversary! It has brought back fond memories of how I used to watch that everyday in the 80s and early 90s... I loved those puppets to death, and still do find them really entertaining!

I have a post outline forming in my head but I'm afraid it will take up quite some time to actually get it into formation. So, I'm postponing that post till the second week of December (onwards), as currently I need to concentrate on Corporate Secretaryship and Corporate Governance. Trying really hard to disregard all the temptations that seems to be popping up at every corner I turn to! :S

Anyway, Happy Birthday Sesame Street! I love you, Cookie Monster!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paper or Plastic?

I've never had a credit card before. "Why?" - you may be asking. During my studying years, I didn't see the need to have one - I was staying at home and studying reasonably nearby. Plus, my dad didn't want to give us, children, a supplementary credit card for fear of us running up the bill irresponsibly. So, while in school, credit cards were a no-no. I just relied on physical paper cash (and the occasional 'tumpang guna' of mum's card... haha).

After a year of working, and a couple of people pestering me, I decided to go ahead and get one. It took me a couple of months to actually start looking around for the benefits each bank offered for the range of credit I was qualified for. I'd pretty much settled on which bank to sign up with and was waiting to catch my friend online to ask her more about it, since she is in that line. And then came Budget 2010... and the RM50 tax the Government was going to charge per principal credit/charge card and RM25 for each supplementary card. And so, now it's back to credit card-less me!

After all, the only need I have for a credit card (at the moment) is convenience when buying petrol. And also, some retail outlets such as Starbucks and F.O.S have discounts when you use a certain credit card to pay (but I've cut down patronising these places for the past few months, so... again, I'm not missing much). Otherwise I'm pretty content using cash for all my purchases.

Therefore, until the Government decides to abolish that policy or the banks decide to absorb that tax, I'm not going to sign up for any credit cards! (unless, for some unforeseen reason, in future I start traveling overseas a lot... then that's a different case.. haha) So, I'm going paper all the way! hmm... but our Ringgit isn't really made of paper these days... some sort of plastic-paper hybrid material... RM5 is completely plastic though... yeah, I'm losing my thoughts again... Here ends this post.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Scientific Evidence for My Rants

I don't mean to defend my 'ranting' posts, but when I read this article, it got me thinking. So now there is actually scientific backing as to why I write/express myself better when in a bad mood. From the Reuters article I had hyperlinked earlier, psychology professor Joseph Forgas at the University of New South Wales commented, that their research suggested sadness promoted information processing strategies. And when I read:
The study also found that sad people were better at stating their case through written arguments, which Forgas said showed that a "mildly negative mood may actually promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style."
It was like, "Yes, that is so true!!!"

Personally, I find writing my grouses out is the best channel. The more I talk about it to people, the more worked up I get. So when I write, it all comes out and the hate leaves me and I feel much better! The only downside is that it's all archived here and I'm not in the habit of taking off my posts whenever I feel like it. So if some people happen to guess that the post is about them, then that someone might get his/her bubble burst. But then, why am I wasting my time worrying about hurting those people's feelings (in the future) when they have so freely done so to me? I think I would only feel guilty with those that I have reconciled with.

But as my blog name "my life... as it is..." all my posts reflect how I felt at that moment in time and human emotions are not static. So let it be known that something from the past may not be the same in the present or in the future.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Nonsensical Comments on Facebook

A couple of days ago, a friend on Facebook posted a status update and I was in the mood to 'crap.' So this is what I commented (click to enlarge):
Note: Excuse the bad cover-ups as I don't have Photoshop on this notebook, only GIMP available. The image is saved in GIF to retain the picture quality, and not to make your life difficult. ;P

Hahaha... I just couldn't help it! And our very brilliant-but-weird mutual friend, who's notorious for his 'one of a kind' comments, notes and practically everything, responded to my comment (excuse the typo errors):

sm.. i know youre cheeking your mania meds.. u know you need to take your meds if u wanna get better dont u
I couldn't help bursting out laughing when I read it and then asked him to prescribe me some when he became a certified doctor! hahaha... Sometimes it's just so fun to write nonsense and take the cue by continuing the story. I guess we Generation Ys love to 'crap' - big time!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Little Sugar To Sweeten The Bitterness (of the previous post)

So... That last one was a little edgy eh? Yes, that was in the thick of the storm. Plus that with the extra emotional state I've been in these days... Kaboom! All the hate and fury burst forth! Still can't believe the pettiness and two-facedness of the said person. Lesson learned - colleagues are not your friends (unless you were friends before becoming colleagues), so henceforth I will consciously put a barrier between personal and office life.

Anyway, after that long long day, I decided (no, actually this was planned a week earlier) to induce the production of some endorphins - by going for a jog/walk. I'd told my friend that it was highly possible that it would rain in the evening (because it had been so everyday for the past week) and we'd have to cancel. However, when 4.30pm came... it was sunny. Come 5.30pm, it was still sunny! Praise God! It really was a miracle! I guess He knew I really needed that time of fellowship. And indeed, it was a good solid hour of sharing and laughing. When we parted ways, my spirit was lifted and I felt blessed. I always feel nice and fuzzy when such seemingly tiny unassuming miracles occur. They are like pleasant surprises in a mundane day.

After my jog, I took the new highway that cuts from the Subang airport road to the intersection near Summit USJ. And as luck would have it, I got stuck in a massive jam just around the cornering at the highway ramp. At one point, I was stationary in the same spot for over 15 minutes. The highway had become a parking lot where no one could exit. And to add salt to the wound, heavy rain started pounding down on my car at an angle which hit my rear window in full force and since the ramp was probably over 5 storey high, I could feel the concrete swaying a little when cars on the opposite road sped past. It was scary in a way. But with my spirit in an uplifted state, I did not start panicking and getting impatient (unlike the white VW hashback driver, who kept trying to weave in and out and squeezing through two parallel cars in a two-laned road), instead I prayed a "breath prayer" which I'd read from the book, Purpose Driven Life. After waiting for some time, trying to rehearse my testimony for Thursday's Alpha celebration dinner, the traffic started dissipating and when I reached the traffic lights (which was a long way from where I was stuck at), there were policemen directing the traffic. Godsent! On top of that, the rain had reduced to a shy drizzle and when I was on KESAS nearing my exit, it was completely dry! The rain had let up momentarily. As when I reached home and was contentedly eating dinner, the torrents of tears from heaven resumed its tempest.

Although my day started out on a lukewarm note and brightened as I said "good morning Father" on the way to work, and later unfortunately went totally black when I was attacked by that person with a "god complex" (see definition below; please note the use of lower case 'g'), I'm glad for the two miracles in the evening. I still feel the soreness from the attack, but somehow I feel I have the assurance that with God on my side, no one can harm me (in terms of morale). And this verse just keeps jumping into my mind (one of the few that I remember well... haha):

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.     - 1 John 4:4 (NKJ)
So ends the sugar topping that was purposed to sweeten the bitterness of the unsavory event of the day. Goodnight.

P.S: I'd forgot to add the definition of "god complex." I had simply put the words together and surprisingly it DOES exist (I just Googled it)! Very much surprised indeed! Here's what one definition states:
Definitions of God complex on the Web:
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Irritant

Let the one who's always asking others, "wanna die fast?", DIE first! It's very simple... in his very own words. And since you believe in karma, what goes around comes around. So watch out what you say, as it may bite you back in the butt any time.

If it's so bloody simple, then you can bloody well do it yourself and stop creating history of what you 'allegedly' (but DID NOT) say. Woe to you who put me in a spot for something I'm not in charge of and out of the blue give me shit because you feel like screwing some poor unsuspecting delivery guy.

To think that your supposed working experience in an MNC has not taught you to practice a little diplomacy and hone your EQ by not putting that 'accusing' tone on people when enquiring on something that was never expressedly stated in my job description. Bloody hell, I'm doing you a favour by giving you an answer already.

From now on, all civility on my part will be an act - just to get things done. No more genuine goodwill for you, you snake, who writhe on the ground and is only fit to eat dust!

P.S: Sorry, I'm very angry now. Will post something more pleasant when I cool down.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Good Sleep, Weird Dreams

I've been unconsciously having good sleeping habits for the past week or so (this due to my unsuccessful attempts at studying for Corporate Secretaryship and Corporate Governance) and the funny thing is that I've been having weird dreams almost every night! I can't recall half of the dreams, but one was about taking home an iPhone to try it out and in the end I gave it back because I didn't want to subscribe to the Maxis package. When I woke up, I was wondering whether it was a dream or reality, and when I realised it was all part of my lala-land, I was like "WTH???"

Another dream was about driving somewhere near Amcorp and I was turning at the traffic light when I heard something bump into me behind, but I carried on driving and in some magical way, I could see my car from the outside and that I had ran over a motorcyclist. I was horrified but then I started trying to rationalise the situation (while still in the dream) - how could I run over someone when the motorcyclist had knocked me from behind and I was moving forward? Well, that's when I woke up. And felt quite disoriented for quite some time.

The third dream that I partially remember was about me buying a Sony Ericsson cellphone. It was supposedly the latest model from the Walkman series but it looked quite similar to my current cellphone - strange! However, the stranger part was that the phone could be unfolded twice into something that was almost half an A4 paper size. I can't remember what that function was, but the cellphone could run on AA and AAA batteries too! At that point I started to feel that the cellphone was kind of outdated. However, I ended up bringing the phone back to the shop for a refund after discovering it lacked a feature - I think it didn't have a camera (or something). Anyway, the giveaway that it was all a dream was when I started thinking to myself - how could I buy a cellphone without researching on it first? And then I woke up.

There was another dream that involved a number of my friends (but I really can't remember who). Although I don't remember what the dream was about and the other details, but I know that those friends were from different cliques I've had and did not know each other. So how come they were so at home with each other?

Weird! I don't know what to make of all these 'dreams'. Is it even possible to interpret them? Well, to me, it all just seem like a bowl of crap. Hahaha... anyway, they're amusing as to how much emotion they stirred up and that I actually remember how I felt at that moment.