Thanks For Visiting! Site Review 2007.

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Who are you? The Don demands to know...


A Big thank you to all of my readers. This site has progressed from having only a handful of hits a day to an average of more than 20 hits a day. More importantly, a few return readers click in each day. Statcounter was really a blessing, it allowed me to see what people were clicking on and where they came from (half of the 4200+ hits are from google images!). It's even smart enough to avoid counting my own visits!


The internet has made the world a smaller place.



A typical week...



9.8% of visitors are returning visitors!

Holiday Life @ Home

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Prawn Entrée



I've been home for about a month now. '=.= Yet this is only my second blog entry since coming back. Yeah, I've been busy.

Clocked about 100 hours on the CS:UWCIII server at SgXplorer. Finally reached level 32. Counter-strike:Ultimate Warcraft III is a modified version of counterstrike that is more fast paced than the original counterstrike. Runspeed is three times faster. Skills such as phoenix and vengeance allow players to respawn - turning pussies into heroes who dare to 'storm the front'. The more you play the more XP you get. This in time allows you to increase your base attributes such as health, dexterity and agility. Skillpoints allow you train skills such as entangling roots, teleport (!), vampiric aura and hex. Since skillpoints and XP accumulate, it's really addictive. Spells such as heal and repair (armour) lets you fix your teamates hp/armour for XP. There is even a shop (activated by saying "shopmenu") that allows players to buy stuff like the helm of excellence that prevents headshots. It is a totally awesome game that allows for very dynamic, fast paced action. Respawning means you dont have to wait for the next round to start if you die early.

A number of tactical options also open up. My personal favourite and fun strategy involves maxing out my Invisibility skill, buying an Amulet of Cat (no footsteps), and buying an Orb of Frost (freezes opponents for 1sec when you shoot them). Invisibility is highest when switched to knife so I then hide and wait for someone to pass. I sneak up behind them and pistol kill them with a silenced USP. Yeah it pisses enemies off, but it's just so damn fun. Shadow strike (poison) or carrion beetles (disease) finishes the job if i dont get to kill them. If they notice me, I'll gate (a spell that teleports me back to base, binded convieninently to mouse3 for quick response).

I am, "Outpinged"

I also managed to find myself a pair of Grado SR80s. They are hands down the best headphones i've ever used. They bring new life to my entire music collection. Instruments sound like they are being played live in front of me. It's just awesome.

Last but not least, I've been enjoying the great food mum makes. From nasi kerabu to laksa johor. Malaysian food is different from food in australia, even chinese and malay food. This is because grounded fresh chilli paste is not available there. And of course chinese food in places outside malaysia is missing one very key ingredient - belacan!


Nasi Kerabu


I was wondering why my mum wanted me to buy anchovies from Australia. She wanted to make Budu! Budu is typically made from preserved fish, but mum told me that i could make it myself if i cant find it using anchovies. It doesnt taste half bad. Below is a picture of what is quite possibly the most expensive "budu" ever. A very very small 50ml jar of anchovies cost about RM10. A huge 800g bottle of "budu" costs only a few ringgit.

"Budu"

Clinical Reflections

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Clinical Reflections
I have two more months of holidays to go. This time will be well spent, revising stuff I learnt over last year. I guess I have reached a point in my education where dry memorization doesnt work anymore. The bottom line is that I have to put more thought/thinking/mental effort/focus into my work. I have started a new blog to fulfill this purpose. I will be updating it with things that cross my mind that I feel are related to my course. Medicine is about familiarization and application of knowledge. The inaugural post is about angioplasty - a topic that i happened to hear about, and subsequently look up, when a relative had heart palpitations.


All About Banners
It took me awhile to come up with a suitable banner for the new site. It had to be something that reflected the subject matter. Initially i used a red crystal (alternative to the red cross/crescent/star/lion) and WHO caduceus (snake thingy).




I did a bit of reading about the two symbols. Apparently the red crystal is protected by the Geneva convention, and using it is a violation of international law. The same goes for the WHO watermark I used. I decided to remove the WHO watermark and use just the crystal symbol instead. In much the same way as some videogames (eg. Call of Duty) replaced the internationally protected red cross symbol with an army green cross, I changed the colour of the red crystal to army green.



The problem now was that the banner looked ugly. Imagine the banner with the above symbol and no WHO caduceus. It didnt even feel like it had anything to do with medicine. I then set off to look up wikipedia for some opensource images that made a viewer think "medicine" on first glance. The free to use images werent of the best quality, but would suffice for my banner with some editing. I decided to use the image of a syringe and needle. Sthethescopes are too cliche.




After playing around with it awhile, I came up with another banner.




It still somehow didnt have the feel I wanted the new blog to have. Working on GIMP (opensource, free photoshop) I came up with a suitable banner a few hours later.



Click the banner above to drop by my new site!

Why Malaysia Rocks

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Char Kuay Teow Seller, Penang Back Alley
ISO400 f/1.4 50mm Kodachrome
.
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What can i say about Malaysia in comparison to Melbourne?

1) Driving is fun. In Australia there are traffic lights everywhere. There are drop dead boring 40 km/h school zones and the speed limit is only 80 km/h on the Princess Highway. In Malaysia, the speed limit is how fast you dare to drive. Forget the monotonous traffic light grid of the Melbourne suburbs. Malaysian roads are dynamic. Potholes pop up here and there daily.

2) Food is free. Well, practically free. After getting used to paying 20-odd ringgit for a meal, I dont think twice before ordering that extra bowl of chendol during lunch.

3) Toilets have hoses. My arse has never felt so clean!


It's good to be back =)

The Futile Pursuit of Happiness

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The Hedonic Treadmill.


Money cant buy happiness. Well, it could be argued that people who say that dont know where to go shopping. Ladies love new shoes and guys love new playstations. Boys toys and girls toys may be different, but fundamentally material possessions do bring happiness.

But do those possessions bring lasting happiness? No. Studies of lottery winners show that after merely a year, lottery winners are back to their former pre-win happiness levels.

Human beings are designed to chase material/worldly wealth and possessions. But as one gets more wealthy, the amount of new wealth required to get that feeling of happiness starts to increase exponentially. In the end, whatever material wealth obtained will stop bringing happiness as in the case of lottery winners.

You could live in mansion, playing playstation on your 72" plasma screen while listening to tunes on your Bang and Olufsen audiophile setup yet you will still eventually reach a stage where those things will no longer bring you happiness. You can run the hedonic treadmill, but your run will lead you nowhere - stop running and the treadmill stops spinning. You then realize that you havent really gone anywhere.

After one can well afford basic needs and simple luxuries, running the hedonic treadmill is a futile pursuit of happiness.

The hedonic treadmill is distracting. too much focus on material wealth and the happiness that is harder and harder to get achieve will inevitably lead to neglect of other aspects of life. To be sociable and extroverted actually means putting thought/mental-focus to the existance/needs/feelings/happenings of others. An introvert caught up in the hedonic treadmill does not do that.

As a kid, an influential figure started telling me that 'friends are temporary' and 'come and go'. My emphisis on social interaction was never the same after that. I was suspicious of the intentions of others and proud of my own flawed constitution and ideals. An introverted worldview during my teens practically destroyed my social life.

It is only now that I realize i should have put more thought/mental-focus/effort in interacting with others. I had been too caught up with myself, too introverted and too focused on the hedonic treadmill that I neglected a very important part of life - friends.

The next stage of the development of me as a person will revolve around social networking. An excellent opportunity awaits next year for I will be Richardson Hall's international rep.


ESSENCE of happiness and wellbeing
  1. Education (x)
  2. Spirituality (x)
  3. Stress Management (x)
  4. Exercise (x)
  5. Nutrition (x)
  6. Connectedness (O) next year's focus
  7. Environment (x)

Too Little Too Late.

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Anatomy Workstation


When i first approached the subject of anatomy, I was completely lost. My first attempt at the subject involved staring at atlases (Netter's). Bad idea. It's impossible to remember anything at all or their relevance to the bigger picture. Imagine looking at a map of France. With dots representing towns. Then try memorizing the name of each dot. Lack of depth. No understanding.

I then tried to read a very comprehensive, descriptive, surgical textbook (Last's Anatomy). I referred to the Netter's atlas to picture what Last's was describing. Trying to comprehend the book was a glorified page-flipfest. Flipping pages of an anatomy atlas over and over was not much fun. Reading two pages took me half an hour! That was no fun.

After months of trying, I am finally able to study the subject at a reasonable speed. Reading Last's was really helpful in giving "depth of meaning*" to descriptive anatomical nomenclature/language. However, it was still one big glorified page-flipfest.

Finally, the page flipping festivals ended with the arrival of the A.D.A.M. Interactive anatomy DVD. It usually costs $150USD, but i managed to get it bundled with a book for only $70USD from Amazon online. It is spectacular. You could dissect a human body from all sides just as you would a cadaver simply by moving a slider bar or rolling the mousewheel.

Now i could study anatomy faster. Covering two pages of Last's in about 15 minutes. But still, I could not cover all that needed to be covered in time for the exam.

Last's is an awesome textbook, but does not give much information about the pathology of clinical conditions resulting from the relevant anatomy it explains.

I ended up using Dartos, a wonderful piece of software by Monash's own lecturer Gerry Ahern. It is brought to us by the Dartos Contractors, as Dr Gerry jovially points out (link). The dartos contractors are amazing. They work hard in the cold! Anyway, it has within it a compilation of interactively labelled images from cadavers and medical imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI). The newest version even has a voiced narrative of each cadaver dissection.

Dartos + A.D.A.M. + Last's is quite possibly all i'd need for anatomy these coming years as an undergraduate. Pictured above is the latest incarnation of my anatomy workstation. A.D.A.M. is running on the monitor, showing multiple views (different angles) of the thigh. Each view can be individually dissected layer by layer with a click of the mouse. Last's is the reference when i want to know more about any muscle/nerve/vein/bone/landmark described in Dartos. A.D.A.M. let's me understand what Last's is describing.

I received the A.D.A.M. DVD a week before the finals. In the end, I only managed to cover about two fifths of the anatomy scyllabus.

Damn. I will not let this happen ever again. When i look at the map of france now I go on a virtual roadtrip. A.D.A.M. labels all the towns and cities vividly and makes each place easily serchable. Last's textbook lays down detailed information about the roads that connect the towns and cities. Dartos describes to me important landmarks. For redundancy, I keep an image of my computer's hard-drive (flourescent orange external disk in the picture). So even if my hard disk suddenly dies, and is replaced with a blank one, I could get my workstation back in less than half an hour.

*Thoughts/Understandings invoked when i read a particular word.

Ten Dozen Virgins All Need Humping

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Mmm. Chocolate. I know which one i want.


A bit about the natural fondness for chocolate.
Some time ago I suggested that life's like brocolli (link) not a box of chocolates. That wasnt entirely true. Life is also like a box of chocolates. Yeah, Forest Gump did have a point. We all want the best things in life. Like sweet nice tasty chocolate. There's white chocolate, brown chocolate, black chocolate and all the colours in between. Like most other guys, I like chocolate and dislike jellies.
A minority of guys prefer jellies (like the yellow turkish delight pictured) over chocolate but that's their life choice and even though I feel disgusted I dont think we should discriminate against them like some people do (link).


Reality struck...


Fvck, there's competition.
The problem is, everybody else also wants the nicest, prettiest chocolates. Predictably, the prettiest pieces of chocolates are taken first. Leaving the not so desirable chocolate behind.

What I want
The nicest chocolate I could get. Problem was, I wasnt even at the table rushing for the chocolates! I was behind the camera taking the picture! Ergh... I've spent too much time on the computer blogging this. Im going to the gym. Gotta be fit to have a chance catching the nicer chocolates.



Questions

What's up with "Ten Dozen Virgins"?
The title is an acronym. Initialisms in anatomy make a really boring subject a little more palatable. Tibialis anterior/posterior, flexor Digitorum longus, Vein, tibial Artery, tibial Nerve, flexor Hallucis longus. (Stuff under the flexor reticulum of the ankle)

So what does the title have to do with this post?
It is an allusion to the "chocolate" mentioned in the post.

Ok, then do you like white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
No comment.

You're not really disgusted at guys who prefer jellies are you?
Yes I am. I mean, come on, it's unnatural and disgusting. I dont hate them though as their existence has made cartoons such as family guy and southpark way more funny as they tend to be the butt of jokes - no pun intended.

Transcending The Inner Bigot

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Full Circle*


A Decade In A Nutshell

1997 was the year I had my first crush. The following ten years of my youth could be described as quiescent and tranquil by the outside observer... I was not outwardly rebellious. But beneath the calm surface of my life my mind was in turmoil.

1999 was the year I entered high school. Over the next few years, I would be nearly consumed by the raging fire of theological zeal. My future could have disappeared at any moment. I am thankful I managed to put out the flames before it consumed me. I was never able to wipe the soot off my blackened face in high school. Cold ash everywhere. I graduated with almost no knowledge about relationships. A painful lesson, painfully learnt.

2004 saw me as a college student. The road ahead was paved, but uphill. So I struggled to perform to fulfill my promise to myself and my family - that I would be successful in life. I came to be fond of a lady, and made every mistake in the book. The depression that followed nearly made me lose focus. I was already finding it difficult to make the grades required for a place in university. The depression had a very negative impact on my studies. Luckily, as quickly as it had began, it ended...with a white bloom. In the following two years my view on relationships started to mature.

2007 is the year I turned 21. Life in Melbourne has opened my eyes to the reality that is the world. I overcame my childish fears (link) and realized my weaknesses (link). Overcoming despair and sweeping away the remnants of the cold ash that darkened my heart gave me much insight - yet from 1997 it took me ten years to even realize simple truths such as those outlined in ladder theory (link). As much as I had reflected on issues surrounding me, I was looking at only the truths that I wanted to see. This is why 2007 is so special in the development of me as a person. It will be remembered as the year spent transcending the inner bigot. I am beginning to find my center. Spiritual issues have been resolved. I have financial security and I am in the country/university/course of my choosing. The veil has been lifted. I see now that the final frontier in my development as a person will need to revolve around interpersonal skills and kinesthetic knowledge - two things that I had consistently neglected for the past ten years. Things are looking bright. I've never felt better.


*Full Circle: A fire spinner, Jarrod from Richardson Hall shows off his skills. Minimal postprocessing. Long exposure. Some parts of the picture such as the dark outline of the fire spinner were digitally removed.

Ramadan Reflections

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First and foremost, I'd like to wish all my Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya!

The holy month of Ramadan comes to an end once again. For some reason to me that month to me has always been about contemplation and reflection. I have always been pampered and well protected by my parents until I left for residential college in 2005. In 2007, I came to Melbourne. Three very busy years in the ongoing evolution of me.


2005 - 確かに今灯がともる
"Surely now a light will light!"

"I'll put on chains in a fake dream. I want to say that "I am nothing". Throwing away the shirts that I got used to wearing. The strength of believing in things you can't see, and the weakness of disbelieving things you can see. Before the sun washes them away. When I wake up in the morning, I'll take a vow. I am myself, yes, I wonder what I'll do in order to keep that? My chest tightens in this night that I feel, the angry darkness in my heart.
Surely now a light will light!" -
Beautiful dreamer, by GLAY. (translated from japanese by megchan)

I had just gotten out of a relationship that had sucked the life out of drained me, and was on the rebound. White flowers were blooming. I started photography.


2006 - Paradigm β

From Picture Imperfect v1.0*:
> Paradigm β: Thoughts, mind, feelings, heart... evolved. Control or trust? Time flies fast. Dust to dust...feelings past.
> KMB** Nights: warm humid crickets sing fan spinning focused tired tense

The following Ramadhan saw the evolution of Paradigm β - a new way of looking at the world. Quite significantly, my view on relationships started to mature... "control or trust?". I was at a very busy period of the IB diploma course. Things were picking up. 2006 was the year I was awarded my International Baccalaureate diploma. Much of my mental focus and time went to study. Sowing the seeds of success...


*Picture Imperfect v1.0 (archived) was at blogmalaysia.com/ezralimm. It is no longer online.

Red. In Retrospect

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Red.


I look,
glazed memories.

I shine a light,
I see.

psychiatric morbidity,
Red.


I've been in Melbourne for about eight months now. I am no longer the person i was before. Life's like a box of chocolates. Life's like broccoli. The pill of reality is bitter when you're green. But as time passes, you grow up and learn to eat it. It's good for ya.

My mind's eye had never had a sharper focus. I can now make out the reality that's obscured by the fog of preconception. Transcending the inner bigot, I see the light.

Real life is not the movies. Real life is not dictated by ideology. Real life does not necessarily favour the politically correct. Real life is dynamic. There can be no results without antecedents.

I looked to my past and saw it for what it was. It wasnt what I have been telling myself it was. I saw red - psychiatric morbidity. There were times when my entire future could have vanished. Im thankful it did not. I tried to cope by myself. I got through by much internal reflection and material distractions. I lacked behind in the development of interpersonal skills and kinesthetic knowledge - never realizing it.

I like broccoli now. I am getting healthier day by day.

What does the picture* have anything to do with the post? Well... by eating lots of broccoli I came to realize that I have to make myself more attractive to be attractive to an attractive lady. Sounds absurdly simple and common sense but I never realized it until I read up about ladder theory.


*no colour filters were applied. the place really was dark with red lighting. 158kb png. Couldnt use jpeg (~30kb) as i normally do with all the other pictures on this blog as it goes blurry. It is very high contrast. Viewing on a CRT or high contrast LCD is recommended.

Donations...please.

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Guitar Blues


I live in suburb #3800. It is officially the poorest suburb in the state of Victoria. Our evil landlords are demanding higher and higher rent. It's going to increase again next year. The price of food has already increased. Even simple luxuries like ice cream has increased in price.

"...They ask thee how much they are to spend (in charity);
say: "What is beyond your needs."
- Qur'an, 2:219
Donate your excess income.

"A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

- Proverbs 11:25
The more you give me the more you will prosper.

"Maimonides 8 levels of charity #2
Giving charity anonymously to an unknown recipient"
- Hilchos Matnos Aniyim 10:7-14:
I know you may not know me

"To receive, even if sinless, is bad; and to give
Even without a heaven, is good."
- Thirukikkural Veda, 222.
Even atheists are welcome to donate.

“If you wish to experience peace,
provide peace for another.”
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th dalai lama.
Being charitable will bring you peace

Please send money to Ezra L., Richardson Hall, 3800, Victoria. Your donations will improve the life of me - indirectly preventing social ills such as drugs and violence. Doing so is good for your karma. Dont miss this opportunity to be charitable. Give now and be happy. You will also be rewarded in the afterlife.

NOTE: I have received some complaints about this post. To the people who havent figured out that this is a joke, #3800 is the postcode for Monash Residential Services that caters for yuppies from generation Y. WE ARE STUDENTS and dont really earn money hence file very little, if any, income tax. Thus we are the poorest suburb in victoria.

The Sesquipedalian Miracle Pill

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sɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪliən


How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

Last friday, i learnt of a drug that promises to revolutionize medicine. Here's some facts that I gathered from the lecture:

1) It has been shown to be just as effective at suppressing cough as any current cough medicines.
2) It does produce side effects, although they are completely temporary and non-harmful.
3) It reduces anxiety.
4) It aids in reactivating existing bodily functions such as disease immunity.
5) It reduces the biological effects of stress, improving healing and regeneration.
6) Helps prevent cancer by improving activity of anti cancer cells.
7) May prolong lifespan and improve quality of life.
8) Patients are a little wiser after completion of treatment if they are given a special vérité pill.
9) It has half the potency of Morphine in reducing post operative pain.
10)

Many varieties of the drug exist, but it has been noted that the more sesquipedalian versions of the drug have a more potent effect. Similarly, more unpleasant tasting oral versions of the drug are more powerful. Injections are the ideal way for dispensing the drug with maximum effect. It could be surgically administered but it is no longer done for ethical reasons.

The name of the most efficient form of the drug is:
dioxyribosynctio-2-isoflaviogen activated hex-4-chromino-telomerase.

also known by it's commercial name: "Placebo". It has been proven by randomized controlled trials that no cough medicine actually works. Codeine makes you sleepy and doesnt count as people cough less when they are sleepy. and yes, it does produce side effects... depending on what the patient is told, of course.

Thanks for visiting ezralimm.blogspot.com. I shall end this post with a sesquipedalian sentence: Placebos make people feel that they have been treated and reduces anxiety and stress that in turn reduce biological factors such as corticosteroids that suppress the immune system that also protects the body from cancer which is a known factor in reducing life expectancy and quality of life.

Masala Chai

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Chai


I've been in Uni for 6 months now...and for the first time last week i set foot in WholeFoods. Why havent I been there before?

The first thing that struck me when i entered the place was the atmosphere. The walls and tables were brightly painted, a guy was standing in the corner rolling a cigarette, another was singing and playing a guitar. There were a unnaturally high number of people wearing turtlenecks in the place. Wholefoods, Monash Uni's hippie hangout.

Masala Chai is tea prepared with typical indian spices. It tastes oddly like nasi biriani. It was made, wholefoods vegan style, with soy milk so it even had the same umami (savoury) taste as nasi biriani.

The longest day... ever.

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gotta chill


We had our exams on Wednesday. As usual, i got fidgety and couldnt sleep the previous night and only got four hours of sleep. The exams were from 8am to 11am. Then there were afternoon classes till 5pm. Got back, and didnt even have time to bathe or nap before going out to a buffet in the city with the Singaporean gang. Came back from the city late at night. Only got to sleep for four hours.

On Thursday, had classes from 8am to 3pm. Got back so exhausted yet had to be at Chadstone mall for Mowling (bowling+movie. A MUISS coined term for an outing). So there another day was spent without doing much. Got back at 10pm. Exhausted. Studied for dissection the following day. Only got to sleep for four hours.

FRIDAY was the longest day... ever. I've only slept for four hours a night for three nights prior. It was the third day in a row having lectures starting at 8am. The 8am lecture was followed by a tutorial from 10am-12pm. One hour break for lunch. We were then stuck in lecture hall C1 for three hours from 1pm to 4pm. The day wasnt over. I had a dissection practical from 4pm to 5.30pm. I wasnt half myself during the practical. But it was quite an experience cutting up pickled people. Got back. Had dinner at the Mess Hall, and by 8pm I was playing badminton and pingpong at the sports center until 11pm. The longest day... ever.

8am-10am lectures
10am-12pm tutorial
12pm-1pm lunch
1pm-4pm lectures
4pm-5.30pm practicals
7.30pm-11pm badminton and pingpong (Monash Sports Center)

The weekend was much kinder on me. Went to Malaysia Hall for merdeka day celebrations with the KMB gang. Had some nice Nasi Kerabu and got to chill out abit.

Fellow Mooses (moosi?), pictures from last month's Mock Wedding event are up here: http://picasaweb.google.com/ezralimm/RichardsonHall

The Human Body

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Beautiful isnt it? Well...em, that's a beautiful healthy bellydancer in her 20s. Doctors dont often see these kind of people.

I enter the tutorial room. The laser pointer gets passed around. The surgical resident looks at me, flips on a slide on the projector. "Ezra, describe what you see". I stare blankly at the Picasso on the wall. Very abstract. Very deep. I give up interpreting the work of art. The human body is a masterpiece. That's the problem. It's very complicated. Which nerve goes where? Which artery supplies what? Which muscle does what movement? Anatomy is a subject that makes me feel $tupid.

Imagine being given a map of Paris. Then another map of the subways, sewer lines, and different floors of buildings. Colour pictures of a 3D environment. Labelled in a french of course.

That's anatomy in a nutshell. Learning about the human body takes a whole new method of learning. It's not my greatest subject. Im still struggling to discern just how far down the long lateral thoracic nerve flows down the face of the serratus anterior muscle. A new language. I like the challenge.

.

Satiety

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Pick a breakfast. Option one: two slices of toast, lightly buttered, a slice of lean cold meat (veal, beef, turkey, ham, cat, dog...any meat low in fat), 200ml Orange Juice. Option two: Two hardboiled eggs, a small bowl of oat porridge, 200ml Coke.

Option one sounds healthy, but it really isnt. It will give you a sugar rush and you will be hungry in two hours. Orange Juice contains as much sugar as Coke! Option two is a smarter option. Eggs and oat porridge give you a great sense of satiety. 150 cal worth of oats and 180 cal worth of eggs will keep you full for hours. Coke gives you the same sugar rush as Orange Juice, so it's not as bad as what people say (of course, OJ has more nutrition in it).

The human being is a perfect creation...em... well, not exactly. One of the interesting things about studying medicine is that you get to know (figuratively) all the things that can go wrong with the human being. It's a science - and like all things human... isn't perfect. Paradigms change with time. What's considered unhealthy may one day be considered healthy. So called "research" is often affected by what is known as "confounding" factors. For example, wine companies used statistical data to claim that wine prevents cardiovascular disease. Yet the data was misleading. It is now know that the "regular wine drinkers" in the statistical surveys were less likely to overindulge in fatty foods and fast foods as they were more likely to be affluent (rich) and health conscious. The lifestyle of wine drinkers was a confounding factor to the study. Im not saying it's wrong to believe statistics, but one has to be wary.

Occasionally, it's impossible to get proof without the use of statistics. Modern medicine is pretty advanced and many biological mechanisms are now studied and targeted by drugs. However, many drugs are also based on statistical evidence without any sound theory of cause and effect behind them. Asprin has been prescribed since antiquity yet until now, nobody really knows how it works. It just does.

.

Fallacy of Reasoning

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Which of the following statements is/are true? [1] The picture below is of a forest fire. [2] Vitamin C is good for health. [3] Milk prevents osteoporosis because it has calcium. [4] Fat free food is good for your health. [5] Eggs are bad for the heart as they contain cholesterol. [6] The number of deaths for every 1000 people in 2006 is higher in Sweden than Columbia. [7] Alcohol is bad for the body.


Rural Australia


The answer is [6]. Yes, none of the first five statements are true. I took the picture above in Churchill, Victoria. The sun is rising over the horizon. Just beyond the hills lies a powerplant and three massive cooling towers -hence the steam. It's easy to believe it's a forest fire from anecdotal evidence. The colours and trees suggest that it is a forest fire.


Taking Vitamin C supplements has no proven health benefits. Sure, vitamin C deprivation causes scurvy, but taking Vitamin C supplements has no proven health benefits. Most people, including those in developing countries do not require Vitamin C supplements at all. There has been no proof that it is beneficial in large doses. In moderate doses, it does reduce the severity of flu symptoms by 30% in people who are already suffering from the flu. That's all it has been proven to do. It does not even help prevent the flu.

The same could be said for milk. Bones are made of calcium. Milk has lots of calcium - so it must be good for bones...right? Well, for the millions of dollars spent advertising the benefits of calcium in milk, there has been no proof that milk actually improves bone density unless a person is calcium deprived. This, of course, almost never happens even in developing countries. Hunter gatherers in Africa consume only ~300mg of calcium a day. They have strong bones and osteoporosis is almost unheard of. European women on the other hand consume up to ~2000mg of calcium a day. Still not convinced? A Harvard study of 78000 nurses concluded that consuming 3 glasses (0.6L) of milk a day does not help prevent osteoporosis. European women who consume lots of milk and calcium rich dairy products have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world*. It is now hypothesized that too much milk is actually bad for bones. The hypothesized biological reasons for this can be quite complex - it involves the survival and propagation of osteoblasts (bone creating) and osteoclasts (bone destroying) cells within the living tissue of bones. Bottom line: Milk is not good for bones unless you are calcium deprived or a young child. Want to prevent osteoporosis? Go for a walk. It will do you more good than gorging on milk. Physical activity stimulates the healthy remodeling of bone tissue.

Fat free food almost always contain high amounts of sugar and salt. Salt isnt a problem for most people (with normal blood pressure) and is readily excreted by the kidneys unless you are dehydrated. However, the sugar load it places on your body gives you a sugar high - followed by a sugar low. Bottom line, you'll feel hungry faster and end up eating more than if you had ate normal food with healthy amounts of fibre and protein.

Eggs yolks are loaded with cholesterol, a substance that in high amounts has been shown to be a major factor in heart disease. True, people with high cholesterol levels are at significantly higher risk of heart disease. But eating eggs does not actually increase a persons cholesterol level! The cholesterol is not absorbed by the body. Many people are depriving themselves of eggs due to this false belief. Bottom line: Eggs are a good, nutritious source of protein and vitamins. They provide long lasting satiety ('fullness') for minimal calories too. So what causes high cholesterol levels? Well the answer is fatty foods. Fatty foods with lots of saturated fat and trans-fatty acids to be precise. It gets absorbed in your gut and your body has to somehow clean it from your blood. Guess what molecule it uses to do so. Cholesterol. So yeah, a diet high in fat does result in high cholesterol levels. Eating eggs does not.

Do you see a trend here? The examples above illustrate the dangers of following anecdotal evidence. As for the the 7th statement, Columbia may be the most dangerous country in the world with many murders and shootings but it's death rate is actually lower than sweden. Why? Because Columbia has a 'young' population. Most of it's people are young. Sweden on the other hand has an aging population. More people, per 1000 citizens, died in Sweden than in Columbia in 2006. This is one way statistics could be used to distort the truth. The fallacy of drawing conclusions from crude rates that apply to the entire population.

The problem with the last statement is that it is too broad sweeping. Alcohol is excess is very very bad for the body. But as it turns out, alcohol in moderate amounts is actually quite beneficial to people of age groups who are at risk of ischaemic heart attack. Consumed with a meal in moderate amounts (~1.5 standard drinks), it lowers the surge of blood lipid levels. This effect is due to the alcohol (ethanol) itself. Despite much effort by wine companies to promote the supposed benefits of wine, drinking other spirits could achieve similar effect. Be wary of wine companies promoting their product claiming that some substance (usually with a nice sounding scientific name) is good for the body. As with the case of Vitamin C and milk above, anecdotal evidence means very little. Just because substance X is found in your skin does not mean consuming it will improve your complexion.

Phew, that was a long post. Thanks for reading. What is the standard of truth and reasoning that you follow? How do you discern truth from fallacy? Comments welcome.


*There is a possibility of ecological bias with this statement. The European women may be more prone to osteoporosis for other factors in their environment.

MBBS. Semester Two.

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The exams came and went on the first day of semester two. I only spent about a week studying, but I think I did reasonably well. The first sem exam got postponed for technical reasons so yeah, I was studying on the last days of my holiday.

Semester two is picking up alot quicker than the semester before. Lots of things to learn. Got to play with pickled human beings cadavers last week. Not nearly as bad as I imagined. I even felt hungry as we had classes straight from 8am to 2pm, and the anatomy session was a 1pm. The texture of pickled human muscle looks and feels strangely like beef jerky. The session was eye opening in the sense that I got to see for the first time the insides of a human being in glorious 3-dimensional'ness. The only thing that reminded me that they were real people one was traces of nail polish on one of the cadaver's fingernails.

The car has been great. A great convenience. I now have a reasonable sense of direction. I've owned it for more than a month now...and never washed it. Hehehe. I guess it's just not one of my priorities. And it's been raining almost everyday here. So there's no point either i guess.

I write this on a saturday night on the end of week one, semester two. Time passes so fast when you're busy...

Voice Of An Angel

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Fate. Like a tree, roots fixed firmly in the ground. Which branch I climb is my choice to make. Paths cross. People come and go. Where will my road lead? Who will I meet? What will stand the test of time?

Traffic was heavy. I was feeling the stress. Then I got lost... I drove off the main road to get my bearings and read the map. It was a normal Wednesday afternoon. The main roads were busy. But I was somewhere deserted. There was an open grassy area, surrounded by low rise buildings on all sides. In between the buildings there were glimpses of busy roads. Empty cars lined the encircling road. In the middle of a grassy field, lay a tree, bathed in the bright light of day.

It felt surreal. In the edge of my eye, I saw someone by the tree. I got out of my car, Melways (mapbook) in hand, to ask for directions. I was greeted with a whisper as she shyly turned her gaze towards me. Innocence. In her hand, a polaroid picture - a silhouette of the tree.

Led by her voice,
The ride to Lygon street passed quickly.
I was no longer stressed.

I eventually made it to College Square where Carol, Alia and Zilal had made some really wonderful Nasi Kerabu for lunch. The day ended with me driving back to Clayton in terrible traffic to make Nasi Lemak with a group of Malaysians from the halls. What a day... yet I do not feel stressed.

Soul soothed by the voice of an angel...

She will return to Darwin tomorrow. People come and people go... )-:


Glay: Glorious, Global Communication.

Dare hitori betsu betsu no gooru ni mukau koto sayonara wo

Kotoba ni wa dekizu hashaideru
Everyone is running towards a different goal
Unable to say "goodbye" they act so cheerful

Koi ni koi kogare koi ni naku kokoro kara ah itoshii oh teenage memories ,
Eien no hibi wasurenai glory days glorys days kagayaite iru ,
Falling in love, with love, then torn apart by love ; from the bottom of my heart, oh teenage memories,
The eternal days I'll never forget. Glorious days.

Oikakeru renai mo owareru shigoto mo chikagoro no news ga tameiki ni kaeru
Shinkokyuu atarashii jidai no yukue wo terasu merodii
Takaraka ni ubugoe wo agete kure
Even the love I run after, and the work that chases me are turned to sighs with the latest news,
Breath in, the new melody that shines on a new era,
Cry out with all your pride!



.

The Never Ending Story

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opening doors


I heard a song on the radio recently. A song I hadnt heard for more than ten years! But the melody was so instantly recognizable and inspiring I found myself listening to it over and over again as soon as I found it.

OST: The Neverending Story (1984).
Reach the stars
Fly a fantasy
Dream a dream
And what you see will be
Rhymes that keep their secrets
Will unfold behind the clouds
And there upon a rainbow
Is the answer to our never ending story
Show no fear
For she may fade away
In your hand
The birth of a new day
Rhymes that keep their secrets
Will unfold behind the clouds
And there upon a rainbow
Is the answer to our Never ending story...


We were having lunch one sunny afternoon. The food was great, but the company better. The restaurant was almost empty. Soon, we were the only ones there. "Wow, you booked the whole place for us!", she jovially remarked...
.
.

beyond reach...

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illusive


Meandering through life, I noticed that while seeing the flaws of others makes one blind towards their own flaws, seeing the achievements of others makes one blind towards their own achievements. Unable to achieve that which is beyond reach, one's mind can easily fall into a cycle of blissful self righteous ignorance, negative preconceptions, and hate. Such is the human ego - willing to see the world the way that makes them feel good. I must never succumb to the fallacies my ego entices me to follow.

I was at a friend's place last night before heading to The Ship, a salsa club. Her brother is a professional chef. His culinary skills did somewhat make me envious (ok, my failed 2.5hr attempt at making Sambal Tumis the previous day didnt help). To become a good cook is a goal that is within reach. It may take awhile, but is definitely attainable.


Of late, I chanced upon someone. She is of pleasant personality and has
all the things I find so charming in a lady. It took me a week to summon the courage to contact her. I finally did... she was already seeing someone.

beyond reach.

Poland, Australia, Mexico, America and Malaysia..

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Piotr (poland), Hannah (australia), Oliver (mexico), Capella (states), Ezra (malaysia)
Last Class - Semester 1, 2007



What do we have in common? We love salsa. Oliver's our instructor and will hopefully continue his classes next semester. Capella will be leaving for the states soon. Yee Ming and Diane (not in picture) had to leave early as they had exams. Still, they showed up. Yee Ming had exams the following day but stayed till 10pm. That's dedication.



~ n00b ~


pro.


Special thanks to all those who showed up for Olli's salsa classes. A few more pictures, including hi-res printable pictures are available HERE (click Download on the right pane to get the full sized ~350kb pictures).

When time couldnt pass fast enough...

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I wish i could sleep for 24 hours...


Most of the time, I feel like 24 hours is not enough for a day. But now, I cant wait for 24 hours to pass. Why? Because Im going to pick up my car - my first car - tomorrow afternoon at 4pm!

I dont know what to do for the next 24 hours. Ok, I'll probably sleep 8 hours or so. But what about the other 16 hours? I've played computer till my heart's content, watched TV serials till i got sick of it, updated my friendster profile, posted in two forums, played pingpong, tried out Foxtel cable TV at the projector room, had countless dreamy semi lucid naps, and updated my blog.

The Malaysian gang hung out at my room on Thursday night. The first time I've ever had that many people in my room at the halls. There were 8 of us all together. Fueled by Tim Tams, a pizza, garlic bread, crackers, tea cheese and olives, I think we made a wee bit too much noise despite closing the window. LiChun from next door called me at 3am to tell us that. Eventually, one by one, they started getting drowsy. Pedon fell asleep first. Hashrul (pictured above) lay down and started drifting off soon after. We finally called it a night at 4.30am

Street Latin Cred...

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yeah... im sexy. lmao!



I passed the beginner's level street latin course @ Dance Sport Monash last week. It consisted of the Mambo, Salsa (my favourite), and Merengae. That's my dance partner, Madeline. I really wish I had started dancing earlier. It's so much fun. Kinesthetic knowledge is slowly but surely improving. I am now starting basic weight training and distance running. Probably stop swimming for awhile. Asides from the cold walk to the pool, I found out that one of the reasons I may have torn my plantar fascia (layer under foot) is that endurance swimming increased my muscular strength, but DID NOT increase the strength of my connective tissues (bones, joints and fascia). Now when i do basic bench presses, my muscles do not ache much - my joints start aching first!!! This is really odd. Whatever it is, I will have to strengthen my connective tissues before resuming endurance swimming. My plantar fascia has been healing too, but it takes awhile. Probably skip one more week of badminton to let it heal properly.

Scroll down for more pictures of beautiful people...



Mr and Mrs Smith




A progressive form of Salsa where participants dance in a circle - rotating partners after each sequence. l33tness... I was supposed to participate, but wasnt good enough after two training sessions to join them. Hopefully after a few more training sessions i'll be good enough.

True Live, Prince of Wales, St Kilda.

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We're about to set it off live,
Sound and the vibe with the one true live,
Crush the system blow it out tonight,
Any city any venue any town ignite.

Acknowledge the ways the crowd makes sound,
Witness the craze as the crowd gets down,
Steps loud, beats come by the pound..
everybody inside, shut the door slams(?) down.

-true live, TV.



True Live is a jazz-hiphop fusion band comprising four really talented classically trained musicians led by the lead singer Ryan. One cello, one double-bass, one violin and a keyboard and percussion set are all the instruments they use (with the occasional acoustic guitar). It's quite different from typical hiphop with synthetic bass lines. Their songs felt hip-hop'ish yet very natural. This is not your typical underground band. They are handpicked graduates in Music and the performing arts and can play by feel very, very well. They were talented enough to do an impromptu song fitting in keywords from the audience at the end of the show. L33tness...

I happened to bump into Kezia and Maddie, two other first year med students that friday night. Kezia drove us to St Kilda where the gig was held. It cost AUD10 to enter the Prince of Wales that night but it was money well spent. We chilled with some of Kezia's friends by St Kilda after that. Literally...chilled. It was kinda chilly on the beach at 2am. Took a cab with Maddie back to Swanston street to catch the night rider bus back to campus. Had McDonalds at 3am(!) before the bus came. Swanston street was alive at 3am. Surprisingly, there were lots of people on the street. Not dangerous shady characters - normal people.

Faded Expectations

"i dont want u to have any expectations of me. at all."
- 12:55AM 20.05.07

Cherries, dark chocolate and pomegranates.
The pain of memories once cherished.
To the person once dear, I shed a tear.
Expectations faded. Feelings hurt.
Never forgotten. What's past is past.

This post is dedicated to a memory.
A picture is worth a thousand words, yet no picture can speak the words I want to say.

Confession: I Have Chronic Motivational Deficiency Disorder (MoDeD)

1 Comments
Bubbly...

In an article published in the British Medical Journal in April 2006 (vol 332), researcher Leth Argos discovered the disorder using a combination of positron emission tomography and low scores on a motivation rating scale. Professor Argos claims that "This disorder is poorly understood" and "it's underdiagnosed and undertreated.". Thankfully, a new drug is in phase II of clinical trials to treat the disease. Indolebant(TM) is a cannabinoid CBI receptor antagonist that is "effective and well tolerated".

MoDeD (Motivational Deficiency Disorder) is a condition that is claimed to affect up to one in five Australians. It is characterized by overwhelming and debilitating apathy. Neuroscientists at the University of Newcastle say that in severe cases, motivational deficiency disorder can be fatal, because the condition reduces the motivation to breathe. Critics say that ordinary laziness is being medicalised. David Henry, a clinical pharmacologist, claims that "Indolebant may bring some relief to those with a debilitating form of MoDeD, but common laziness is not a disease. People have an absolute right to just sit there.".

According to the BMJ, a study of the economic impacts of MoDeD estimates the condition may be costing the Australian economy $A2,400,000,000 a year in lost productivity. This has prompted calls from industry and advocacy groups for a fast tracking of the regulatory assesment of Indolebant in Australia and worldwide.

Personally, I have a feeling that Motivational Deficiency Disorder is somehow caused by chronic exposure to Dihydrogen Monoxide (Hydrogen Hydroxide). It is already known to cause:

  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
  • Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
  • Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.
Corporations are profiting billions from the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide and are suppressing it's side effect by controlling the media. What is this world coming to? The ozone hole is growing bigger and karma levels are at an all time low. I sit in my room... staring at the hypnotic glow of my lavalamp. Trying to motivate myself to breathe...


Reccomended Reading:
http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/332/7544/745-a

Do Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoppJOtRLe4

The ESSENCE of Health

2 Comments
X marks the spot. A goal not too far away...


Education, Stress management, Spirituality, Environment, Nutrition, Connectedness and Exercise.

The E.S.S.E.N.C.E. model. A nice summary of what is needed to be a healthy person. I am content with my Education and my living Environment. But I am still trying to tackle the other five issues.

My Nutrition has improved greatly since the course began. My resolve to understand why I was underweight led me to measure calories. Eventually, I discovered that I had an unusually high level of postprandial anorexia. As opposed to anorexia nervosa (eating less trying to lose weight), I ate whenever and whatever I wanted. But I felt "full" too quickly and as a result, I was effectively starving myself each day ever so slightly - I never really noticed. I've upped my calorie intake to about 2500-3000Cal a day. Along with meat, cheese and eggs, I take lots of fruits and leafy greens on top of healthy servings of oats, wheat biscuits and milk. I have never felt better.

Connectiveness is a sticky subject for me. I dont really 'click' with groups of people. I enjoy my individuality and try to maintain good relations with those around me. Although there are some days where I believe I do not socially interact enough. I realize that on those days, I tend to be more anxious and less focused/mindful. I also find falling asleep at night more difficult. So yes, connectiveness is really essential to a person's wellbeing. Perhaps being socially in touch with others lets my subconscious self know that everything is good and well. As a result, stress hormone levels decrease and it's easier to fall asleep. The number of those relatively 'socially isolated' days has been decreasing and I take that as a positive sign that my policies on social interaction are working - despite not hanging around with a regular group of people ('clicking').

Exercise wise, I was totally incompetent back home in Malaysia. I tried going to the gym but found it boring. Didnt exercise much other than the occasional swim or game of badminton. Now in university, in the absence of distractions (sat TV, PS2, Xbox, Gaming PC), I have a much much healthier lifestyle. I have trained to a point where I can swim at medium speed, freestyle, non-stop for 50 laps (2.5km)! My weekly exercise schedule begins on Mondays (30 laps, 1.5km) and Wednesdays (50 laps, 2.5km). When I started, I could barely do 10 laps without having to have a break. I hope to push my endurance to 5km/100laps by the end of the year. On friday night, I play badminton from 7pm-10.30pm. On Sunday afternoon, I play badminton from 2pm-6pm. I've been trying to improve my kinesthetic knowledge as well. Dance classes at Monash dancesport every tuesday afternoon followed by Olli's dance class at the halls at night. Plan to go for another one on Monday night if I have the time.

I feel that i've very recently acquired my mature sense of Spirituality. To be at peace with the world and to understand the why of me. It came as my thoughts matured. It coincided with the time I turned 21 and came to be independent abroad. I will no doubt progress further Spiritually as years pass by. While reason and rationality gives answers to the question of 'how', spirituality gives answers to the question of 'why'. Spirituality soothes the soul and offers temporary relief to a soul filled with a sense of longing.

If my purpose in life were to be with her, then in future we shall be together.
If not, we shall be apart.
Either way, I wish her well and I hope we both find happiness,
wherever fate leads us...
I pray she gets to where her heart desires...


Finally, I have got to deal with my stress better. If i let it get to me, I lose sleep. If i lose sleep, i cannot focus in lectures. If I cannot understand my lecture or if im overwhelmed with work, I get stressed. It's a vicious cycle. Conclusion: I have to be on top of my work all the time. Starting to get the hang of it. To familiarize myself with my work. It's not about rote learning and it's not purely based on understanding concepts either. It's about familiarity and exposure. How each piece of information integrates itself with my conscious thoughts and rational processes. I've got my first anatomy practical tomorrow. I cant wait. Tonight, I shall consult the oracle on things I have to know in order to understand my lectures better. She is an elderly lady I call Aunt Wikipedia.

Im finding the MBBS course at Monash surprisingly progressive. The ESSENCE model was part of the health enhancement program for first year MBBS students. We are also taught of mind-body interactions and how feelings (yes, feelings and emotions) can quite literally make a person physically ill. But more on that later...

The Fear.

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Fire...



Fear. Once instilled it is present in the subconscious. Sneaky. Illusive. Subtly, it affected my deeds and actions. My mindset. I think alot...fear crept into my thoughts. Violent fear. Irrational fear. An absence of perspective. Just fear. Unjustified fear. Unneeded fear. Fear that consumed me. Fear that ruled my thoughts. Fear that led to hateful, childish thoughts. Fear I never realized I had...until now.

But the truth caught up with me. The healthy dose of reality that came with my new found freedom in university made me realize what fear has done to me. Fear instilled by those dearest to me. Fear instilled by the ones whom society dictates we should trust.

I am not stupid. I will not let fear rule my life. Truth is truth. Yes, in truth, some things are meant to be feared. But let the fear be justified and put into perspective. I no longer fear the fear. Irrational and violent thoughts be gone.

It took effort and time to realize what the fear had done to me. To my mindset. To my way of thinking. Effort that included mental effort, my use of my brain to consciously focus on what needed thinking.

My mind is now aware of the fear. My life will now have to catch up. All the time wasted away. Meaninglessness. Wasted years. I have a golden opportunity now to catch up. I am 21 and in control of my own life. I have to catch up before the golden years of my youth are over.

Nobody seems to understand. Those whom I turn to for support turned me away. Laughing. Talking only about things they want to hear. "Wasnt the weather nice today". Like something some bloke I'd bump to on the street would say. Predictable. Monotonous. Meaningless.

Perhaps I will write one day about my experiences trying to overcome the fear.

The McDonalisation of Me.

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Ladybirds!



No, i didnt just make up that word. McDonalisation is real (It has to be, we learnt it in class!). The world has become more and more fast paced. Efficiency is everything. Remember the good ol' days when you had to cut and squeeze oranges if you wanted to have orange juice? Well, people started getting lazy and invented canned orange juice. Of course, they still needed picks to open the cans until someone invented the can opener (50+ years after the invention of the can!). But that wasnt enough. Now we have snap open cans.

I've become quite inefficient lately. Too much grey's anatomy (no, not the medical textbook. Im talking about the TV series) it seems. My first exams are this friday. We had a lecture on complementary medicine today that stressed the importance of mindfulness based therapy and it's importance in making patients feel better. I have to become more mindful and focused at the task at hand. It just seems so hard to set my mind and do anything these days. I tell myself to study but end up doing other things instead. This has to end. It's time to become more efficient. I want to study. Well, previously I had to plan and make time to study. But I would cleanup my room, cook(!), write my diary, make my bed, do the dishes, do the laundry, watch Grey's Anatomy... then study. It's like squeezing oranges to get orange juice. I have to be more mindful. Snapping open cans of good ol' study goodness. Quick. Efficient. Focused. The McDonalisation of me.


Nadielle: I wanted to bring them back...but decided not to. I was carrying a vacum cleaner and I had some work to do that weekend. Even back home and in college, my thoughts tend to run astray as I burn the midnight oil.
I'm starting to miss home and those sweet treats would have kept reminding me of that I miss dearly... well, let's just say I want to save that warm fuzzy feeling for some other time :-)

Hello!!! Anybody there?

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Hello!!!

I've been in Australia for two months now. Life here has been so hectic that I never really had time to myself. Every consecutive weekend was packed with things to do. I guess that is ending now. For the first time, I'm finding myself with free time. It's easter and most people have gone home. The halls are quite empty. I guess that's when the homesickness starts to creep in. It's not that bad, but I am starting to feel it. I miss home, my mum's cooking, chubbykins (lil bro), Nasi Kandar...





Sweet memories...

To the one who knows: I was in BigW looking for a vacum cleaner when I stumbled upon them. My heart turned to mashed potato after walking past the candy section. Of course, I remained cool and macho in front of my friends who were with me but they were quite puzzled why i took out my camera (of all places, in Wall Mart) to snap a picture all of a sudden. :-P

Angels In Richardson Hall. White Party 2007.

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Angels have come to Richardson Hall! 4th February 2007. Pictures were taken under the cool UV lighting. I've learnt alot about low light event photography since the toga party, but this party was even more challenging as the lights were even dimmer! My yield was only about 3%. Took close to 400 pictures, but only a handful were acceptable.




Ollie and his special someone. After a passionate kiss. Ollie is Richardson Hall's dedicated latin dance instructor. He conducts free mambo lessons each week for hall residents. I've been going for a few weeks now. Together with the Dance Sport salsa and meringue lessons at the campus center, I'm becoming more and more competent at latin dance. Kinesthetic knowledge has always been my weakness... but that is changing. I can feel it :-)





This picture is dedicated to all the people who asked me why I dont post pictures of myself on my blog. I'm a photographer - behind, not in front of, the camera. Well, I lent someone my precious for a few moments to take this picture. Capella, MYSELF, and some (confused?) guy who came into the picture and wrapped his hand around me at the last moment. Capella's 3" taller than me btw. She's crouching a lil in this picture.



Richardson Hall ppl, I've set a signup sheet outside the shop. Write down your monash email address on it if you'd like to recieve some pictures from the party. Thanks to everyone who posed for pictures. Sadly, many pictures taken were not acceptable due to poor, .. very poor, lighting. But the ones that came out had nice colours.