Tuesday, October 30, 2007

6 degrees in Auto-industry

Find this interesting graph illustrating the relationships of major automobile companies in the world.


When I was a kid, just like many others, I loved to imagine things. Like if I’ve superpowers, what will I do. If I got stuck on an island (like Tom Hanks in Castaway), what will I do, etc. As I grow older, just like many others, I imagine less and less. Nonetheless, I think I still have ‘kid at heart’, so I still do imagine once in a while. Lately, I wondered the following ‘what if’ situation that I find it quite interesting:

What if….I can go back in time to see certain things…what do I want to see?

Certainly, as I’m older, I would self-impose certain conditions as follow:

1. I’ll not interfere with historical facts from their happenings.
2. I can safely return to nowadays without any injury.
3. I’ll only be observer there and others will not be able to notice my presence.

So, with the conditions set, I will list the following 10 things that I want to see (not in particular order):

1. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ
2. The moving of the last stone to build the Pyramid of Gaza
3. A tour of the tomb of the first emperor of China
4. A glimpse of T-Rex in hunting of preys
5. The first hour at the site of the Roswell UFO crash
6. When Moses crossed the Red Sea
7. How the Easter Island statues were raised
8. The last day of the Maya civilization
9. A tour of the Atlantis if it really existed
10. See my granddad, my grandmom, my dad and my mom when they were young.

Wonder what others would choose if they have the choices.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Questions as answer

As a logic person, I like things to be precise and concise. Yes, sometimes ambiguity is fine. However, in order not to mislead other people. I like to give straight and honest answers to questions. Nonetheless, I often like to criticize the ‘quality’ of questions especially those so called ‘general’ questions, which usually deserve ‘general' answers.

For example, you will say ‘fine’ when people ask you ‘how’s going?’ Actually, what is so ‘fine’ about? What exactly you are trying to ask me?

I find that answering general questions are wasting of time. That’s why sometimes I will answer those questions with questions like:

What exactly do you wanna know?
What is your definition of xxx?

Sometimes, it sounds rude to some people. Well, on the contrary, I would quite appreciate if they could answer my questions back. Cos, I find that means they really want to know something about me or care my opinion. It is just they’re kinda lazy to compose a precise question initially but make an effort to correct that.

I also care how other people define certain terms which are ‘commonly’ known, but it could be subjected to different interpretation.

For example, ‘Do you love your country?’ It is a very common question you see in the media nowadays. For me, I will definitely answer the questioner with these questions:

‘What is his/her definition of ‘love’ in the context of the question?’
‘Does ‘love’ refer to a feeling internally within my mind or it refer to some specific actions that I will take to demonstrate the feeling?’

For the latter, what kind of actions can be classified as love for your country?
Also, I will ask, ‘what do you mean by ‘country’ in this question?’
Is that means the ‘ruling regime’? the ‘history +/- culture +/- people +/- geographic region’?

I think all these questions are valid questions to be clarified before a more accurate answer can be given. I wish to know more people think along my way of thinking, cos I think this days many people in our society do not think critically and they happen to be those have access to make ‘noise’ in the media. That’s sad and appalling.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

EQ on problem solving

People do get frustrated in life from time to time. They may face real difficulties and don’t know how to handle them, or they get upset due to a series of hiccups from different aspects which could happen separately in sequence in short period of time or together at the same time. Or just they get upset for no particular reason.

Anyway, as every problem is different, so does their solutions. I’m not trying to tell anyone how to solve their problems. But, many people have to go through some emotional ups and downs before they can begin to work out the solution to their problems. I think that there are always some ways to deal with those negative emotions like frustration, anger, and sadness. Some people relies on drugs, religious practices, sports, music, foods, sleep, bathing, spa, reading, chatting with others, even shopping, or a combination of the above to deal with their emotions. I did try some of them before (certainly not drugs), sometimes they work, many times they don’t. But I’ve a method that work for me quite often -

My method is to take a walk on my own and talk to myself. Namely, I will take a walk slowly, anytime of the day is fine, better to be in an open area where I can see the nature, like by the seaside, or in rural area where there are trees. Walking in shopping mall or on busy street is certainly not recommended. I find it better to be alone so I don't need to deal with others. Also, I prefer that place to be as less crowded as possible. So, it won’t be so weird when people see me talking to myself. Certainly, it is better nowadays because others will think that you must be talking to your hand-free. Anyway, I talk to myself as if I have split personalities. On the one hand, the ‘wounded’ me would tell my other self what the problems are, how much they hurts and how upset I am. On the other hand, my other self will play the therapist and comfort my wounded self. Telling him not to worry, everything will be ok, trying to look at the silver-lining of things, there will be light in the tunnel, reminding myself some past experience that the worst that I had thought didn’t materialize, there are always alternatives, people will understand, and just take things one step at a time....Also, the stronger self will telling my wounded self to pick up myself, there are always someone worst than me, remind myself about them who I read in the news or books in the past, telling myself there is a supreme being in the universe that will look after things, there is Karma, and God is fair, but God has not responsibility to tell everybody how fair HE is or sometimes we are just not intelligent enough to understand how fair HE is….etc.

Usually, after an hour, I would feel much better and regain a calmed mind. Then, I will get a cold drink or take a shower, I would be ready to sit down to start to map out the practical solutions to my problems. Don’t know if it will work for anyone, but for me, it works.


Recently, there are news about some people couldn’t handle problem and commit suicide. Some of them even took the lives of other innocent people like their kids with them. That’s so tragic and sad!

I think that the act of committing suicide is all triggered in our head. Yes, there are real issues in reality, like you owe heavy debts, you are sick, you lost your love ones, you failed in exams, you are fired from job, you are scolded and humiliated in public, etc. However, there is always someone worse off in the world than you. There are always alternatives to killing yourself, which in most cases, is such a horrendous and selfish act that I personally find it disgusting. Regardless where you will go after you kill yourself, what you left behind for the livings, particularly those that love and care about you will suffer. You may have just transferred your burdens to them or create new one for them. It is so unfair to them, regardless how much you told you love them when you were alive. I think it is the second worst punishment to your love ones behind you killed them yourselves. Besides some special cases in recorded history, in which some folks sacrificed their lives for some noble or higher value or for saving others, suicide is a horrible act. That’s why some countries treat suicide as a crime, also most ‘normal’ religions do not condole suicide. A life is fragile but strong, it is cheap but valuable. This statement sounds contradictory, but they are true. So, if someone you love kills him/herself, in most cases I would suggest you to start ‘unloving’ him/her immediately and ‘forgetting’ about him/her. Usually, that’s exactly against the wish of the dead and I think that’s what they deserve.

Confusion and mix-up

Not telling the whole truth is not equal to intentional lying. For example, the whole story is 1,2,3,4,5. When someone ask you to tell them the story and you only tell them that there are 1,2 and 3 in the story. When they find out that 4 and 5 are in the story, then they say that you lied to them. But, the fact is, you didn’t. 1,2 and 3 are indeed in the story, you just didn’t tell them that 4 and 5 are in the story too. Maybe, it is because you forget to tell them Or you didn’t tell because they didn’t ask if 4 or 5 are in the story Or you just tell them part of it and didn’t tell the whole thing because they didn’t ask for the WHOLE story to be told. On the other hand, if you told them the story is 1,2,6,7. Then, you did LIE to them, cos 6 and 7 are never part of the true story. Whether you intend or not by telling them that 6 and 7 are in the story, you did lie. See the difference? That’s when many people got these two situation mixed up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

History of Religion

I found this very cool flesh in http://www.littleoslo.com/ Just wanna share with you all. It is originally located here: http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/history-of-religion.html

"How has the geography of religion evolved over the centuries, and where has it sparked wars? Our map gives us a brief history of the world's most well-known religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Selected periods of inter-religious bloodshed are also highlighted. Want to see 5,000 years of religion in 90 seconds? Ready, Set, Go! "

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Public Apology

In spite of my sleepless nights with my baby, I still try my best to keep up with news. Knowing what's going on in the world is very important to me. Recently, many famous people in Hong Kong, especially those in politics are making apology for one thing or the other. Most of them are about what they said the day before or years ago. I don't know how sincere they are, cos I believe that most of the words that coming out of their mouths that they later apologize for coming from their heart. Yes, they are that ignorant about history or arrogant of their power. They apologize now are simply trying to mend the damages that they did and try to get back on their quest for further fame, power, and money.

For Westerners, make public apology is nothing to be ashamed of and somethings that do translate to be something positive. Especially they are public figures that depends on public support. Clinton did that, and countless many celebrities did that. However, for Chinese to make similar apologies, regardless their intention, I think that it is an advancement after all. Cos, saving face has long been more important than many thing else in Chinese community. 'I'm sorry!' is not something you hear common. Cite my family as an example, I've never heard my dad saying he is sorry for anything. Certainly, my dad is no saint and we know that he made mistakes. I think we heard him using some poor excuses to explain his mistakes rather than saying sorry. To make him be quiet about that is already an victory in our eyes or the best he would do. It is not much different in the large Chinese community in that scene. Politicians use obscene excuses to cover their mistakes and tried to lay low. Trying to use 'time' to 'wash out' their mistakes, saying sorry is easy, it takes seconds, but they won't do it. That's why I really admire westerners' willingness to apologize. They have no bad feeling to say 'I'm sorry' when they make mistakes. They don't mind to say 'I'm sorry' to their kids, to their colleagues, to the public, to foreigners, or even to offspring of victims for wrongdoings that their parents or grandparents had done. Like the German prime minister (I forgot his name) who knee down on both of his knees on the commemorated graveyard of Jewish victims when he first visited Israel. The news report describe that he said something I think is very moving and great as a leader, or as a man. I can't recall the exact words, but the meaning is that he kneel down on behalf of his nation to apologize for the crime that his nation caused in WWII, but when he stood up, that translated to a revival of the moral of his nation or something like that. It takes a lot of gut for a leader to do that. That makes me think if I'm the Emperor of Japan, I will probably do similar things to end all bad feelings once for all for what Japan did in WWII.

Anyway, I think making public apology is a good thing in Chinese community and I hope people up North will learn to do that as soon as possible.

Friday, October 12, 2007

English Baby Name

Long before the birth of our baby, my wife Cora and I had discussion about baby naming. Actually, we didn't put much effort until almost the end of her pregnancy. About his English name, I did check some websites to see what're available. There are few names that I like, such as Damien, Jeremy, or Ethan, etc. However, Cora neither like their pronnounciation or has some bad associations to some folks that she doesn't like. So, she basically plays as an eliminator of my suggestions. At the end, we come up with few names, but we decide that we are not going to officially input that on his birth certificate. Instead, we let him to make his own naming decision when he gets older. By the time that he is eleven, he can request to put a name that he likes on his child ID or later on his adult ID. That reminds me about my case, my parents didn't give me any English name, and I picked Joel myself when I was in high school. I'm glad that I've the choice to choose and I think my baby will be happy to have that too.

Nonetheless, we will still use his English name if it is requested by his school in future. Up to this point, you might ask what name does we pick? Actually, three names were come up: Samuel, Isaac, and Matthew. We will call him by one of them, but he may pick something entirely different when he gets older. We will see.....

Daily life adjustment

My baby is almost one month old. My life is still in transition stage. Cos, our 'hated (that's gotta be another separate story later)' hired baby-mom care provider is still in the house till end of next week and my wife won’t be back to work till late Nov. So, how we are going to adjust our daily routine around our baby has not been finalized yet. It is still a challenge. Currently, my wife is doing most of babysitting/caring. Certainly, our Indonesian maid is actually doing more, like bottle-feeding, diaper-changing, bottle/clothes-washing. I only do one set of bottle-feeding in the evening and do some baby-cuddling myself before I go to bed. My wife and the maid wake up in the middle of the night for the baby and I sleep through because I can sleep in noise and I have to work. Nonetheless, I do take turn to let my wife sleep more on Fri and Sat nights.

My baby changes everyday, he got his first scratch on his face (under his left eye) few days ago as a result of his sharp fingernails. Gloves are hard to keep them on and he is still learning to control his arm movement. He also got his first pimple yesterday. I don’t know where does that come from, definitely has nothing to do with fried foods, that’s for sure. He is above 9 lbs already. Getting heavier by day, but he is still naughty to be fed, don’t wanna finish his bottles and wasting milk powder which is expensive, cos we are feeding him Japanese brand. I think milk powder and diapers are the highest cost for now, but that’s not much we can do about it. We want him to be fed well and he gotta piss and pooh pooh when he has to.

We don’t watch much TV at home, except news or shows before or after that. Not much music either, other than Mozart which is played less often than we did when he was still in my wife’s womb. The only thing that I’m still able to do is using internet, and watch Youtube sometimes, to catch up with the latest episode of "Heroes". That’s all.

We are still working on managing our living routine better and hopefully things will get better.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Hands, mine and my baby's. He is in my hand....for a long time to come. Yes, time flies, but not that fast, especially the sleepless nights. Changing diapers, feeding and cuddling. Though we both are exhausted, it is worthy.