Steph's Friend

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Da Chang Jin - Jewel In The Palace

The show "Da Chang Jin" (Jewel In The Palace) was a hit. Many people whom I meet know about that show. It's a Korean show that talks about a lady who worked hard to become a physician and medical expert in her hometown and later on in the palace. It's difficult to excel in a field dominated by men, yet despite that, she managed to excel, marry an official and cook many dishes. They lived happily ever after. Sounds kind of Cinderalla-ish.

One of my friends summed the whole show in this sentence: "Oh, that show. It's about this one lady who cooks and cooks and cooks."

What's the link between cooking and the medical field? Well, they believed that eating certain stuff helps certain organs in your body. Think Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Hence it was no wonder that Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) would use her in their ad. What's the link between KFC and this Korean hit? I guess it's the few pieces of kimchi in their burger. East meets West huh. Enjoy the ad below.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

2006 FIFA World Cup

Now everyone's mad about the 2006 FIFA World Cup. I am not a soccer fan myself so I don't really see what's so interesting about soccer. There was this scene that I saw today while waiting for the doctor that made me realise the power of the World Cup.

I was waiting outside for the doctor to call me. There was this patient who seemed as if he was limping. There was this other guy who looked like a doctor (from the way he dressed and the pass he carried) who was walking past me. It was then that the television in front showed the highlights of the World Cup in these few days. Guess what happened? The doctor sat down while the guy who limped watched. For a moment, the guy was not complaining about his limp nor was the doctor going to wherever he was planning to go. Both smiled as the winners of the match were announced. After the highlights, those two went back to what they were doing. One walked away while the other started to limp again.

The World Cup should be considered as an alternate form of medicine.

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Week's Wick: Fountain Of Knowledge

Week's Wick

Fountain Of Knowledge

Drink from the fountain of knowledge and you'll learn.
Gargling from it won't be of use.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blogger Comments

I was trying to place a comment on a particular blog when I saw this:

I can't help but wonder if it's trying to say something. I see one word but two words came into my mind. I won't elaborate on what those two words are. I've met weird ones before but this really tops them all.

What do you interpret it as? Hopefully you won't meet similar words while leaving a comment.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Week's Wick: Blame

Week's Wick


To err is human; to blame it on somebody else is even more human.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

"What you just did is wrong. Taking stuff from other people without their permission is wrong. Please don't do that again."

He corrects me when I have done something wrong. From a gentle reminder to a cane on the rear, he would explain the rationale of it to me - a 5 year-old kid. It's not easy explaining ethics and morales to a kid, but he did it.

"I can see that she has a liking for you, but I can tell you that it's temporary. It's this stage in our life where hormones would run all over your arteries and veins, making the other 50% of society more attractable."

True enough, after 2 years, she went for another guy. I was 12 then.

"You better study hard. It's your A Levels and I am sure you would want a good certificate. So please study hard. No more playing."

It didn't sound nice, but nevertheless good advice for someone who is still not buried in his books during the exams. Age: 18.

"You better sleep now. It's already past 10pm."

Almost everyday my dad would remind me to sleep early. How old am I? 20. Try to get a 20 year-old teen to sleep at 10, and you will know how hard it is. Moving the lawn may be easier than asking that adrenaline-pumped kid to sleep at 10. Yet, my father is able to do it.

Do I feel like a teen from "Oldville"? Nah, in fact, I feel special. Why? Because I can sleep at 10pm when others would go out at night. Sleeping early does have it's benefits. You feel more refreshed, able to concentrate on the things you do and you get less ulcers in your mouth. How do I know? My father told me so.

For all the guidance and care that you have given me, I am thankful for it Dad.

Happy Father's Day.

"Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad" ~ Proverb

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Daily Top Voted Blogs!

Something great happened this week. I went to BlogMad when I saw this:

I was overjoyed! Yay! Some people out there voted for my blog as they felt that my blog's good! Haha, I can tell you that the feeling is much better than picking up a $2 note on the street.

Thank you for all those who have voted for me :D

(In case you are wondering, my blog is second from the bottom.)

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Week's Wick: Control

Week's Wick


You can't control what others do to you, but you can control what you do unto others.
So are you going to slap or smile?

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Hunter And The Hunted

I was going to Church today when I saw this. If you are a bird lover, I won't recommend that you read on, especially if you are those who can't stand violence, gore and blood. You have been warned.

The above is an unlucky bird who may end up as cat food. It was originally held under the cat's paws, but after awhile, the bird tried to escape only to be caught again. Tough luck.

Following from behind it, my brother took another snap. The prey is being brought to some new site. The method? The cat's mouth.

Here are two more photos of "animal instinct". My brother has tried to take one from the front, but the cat always turned. I guess it's wrong to take photos of another's food.

At first, I've thought of helping the bird by chasing the cat away, but in the animal kingdom, animal instincts and their laws are one territory that I believe I shouldn't enter and disturb. This fact was emphasised when the cat looked, no, stared at me with prey held by it's mouth. Fine, you earned your kitty food by waiting under that tree for hours and you don't want me to take away your food. See what I mean?

Aren't you just happy that there's no such thing in our world? Yes, I am talking about the human world. You don't see someone pouncing on another person, yet the human world is filled with terrors worse than that portrayed in the pictures above. Betrayal from a loved one, back-stabbed by your closest friend and being late for your girlfriend's birthday dinner. It seems that our world too has it's own laws and mechanics.

(Okay I am wrong about the blood thing on the first paragraph, but hey, you get what I meant right?)

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Iron Sudoku

If you like playing sudoku, then Iron Sudoku is the right place for you. Why? There are lots of puzzles with different levels of difficulty for you to try. If you are new to the game, the helpful community of Sudok-ers are there to help you.

I've played sudoku for quite some time now and I find that it's pretty interesting. Not only does it helps to kill time while waiting for your queue number, it also improves your thought processing skills! Who says games are a waste of time? Of course a game's no fun if you can't complete it. But sudoku's different. You can complete it, it's just a matter of time. Sometimes you just need that break before coming back. Then will you realise that "7" should be placed in that corner instead of "3". So go over to Iron Sudoku and join the online community of Sudok-ers.

For more information on sudoku, you can click here.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

How The Future Would Be...

Technology is advancing so fast that before your toast is ready, some guy in a lab coat would have discovered something new. At such a rate, it's no surprise that fiction may become fact in the near future. Here are 10 things that may or may not happen in the future.

1. Writing pens may get better. Imagine your favourite pen who (yes, it's "who" and not "which") is able to talk to you. "Sir, I believe you've spelt "Hit" wrongly, there's no "s" in front." Is that intelligent or what!

2. Your fridge is connected to your health records. Everytime you try to take that chocolate bar, the fridge sends a signal to the Duty Nurse where he/she decides whether it's healthy for you. If it isn't, at the press of a button, the fridge will beep with a warning message. If you still take it, the Duty Nurse will place a tag on your health folio which means a 5% service charge on your next visit.

3. Pills may be very common. There's one for dad, mum, your sister and yourself. In it contains the precise amount of vitamins and minerals needed by your body as calculated by nutritionists. If you want, there's even one for Spot too.

4. Emotions may be felt any time you want. You want to feel sad? Just sniff a a small amount of "Tears and More Tears". Happy? Switch to "Joyous Sunshine". You can try anything else but not "?". It was reported that the last person who used "?" ended up in a coma. Now you won't want that do you.

5. Ever wondered what that girl next door thought of you? Well, with the MindReader, you now can. With it's LCD screen and I-Can-Read-Minds technology, her thoughts will appear in any font you want. But here's the catch, you need her MindReader Pass to be in your device's Safelist.

6. Ah Bengs may be more organised. They have a proper management system with Da-ge as the CEO (C Everything One). They have an intranet that allows one beng to communicate with another beng. This would be very useful in checking who still owes them money. Monthly checks will be conducted with a senior staff around the neighbourhood to see if "clients" are on time in their payment. Classes can be conducted for bengs-to-be. Modules such as "Da-ge And Me" and "Persuasion Skills" can be selected by students. Once the class is finished, they will receive a "Certificate of Specialty" which states the beng's specialisation. A student can specialise to be a "Beng Resource Manager", "Recreational Beng" or "Welfare Beng". Don't be surprised if Beng's Limited is awarded with an ISO9XXX award.

7. Buses will come with a mini tranquilizer dart gun situated at the back. Anyone who dares to create a commotion by either beating a foreign worker or hurling vulgarities will be registered in the gun's AI as hostile. You know what will happen after that. Everyone plays a part in public safety, so please don't try the system.

8. Online games will freeze after a certain number of gameplay hours. This is to prevent further cases of people who played to their deaths from happening again. Either that or a reminder for players to take their shower, meal, toilet break...etc.

9. Human augmentation may no longer be science fiction. You can choose the "Bionic Biceps And Triceps" set to overturn your neighbour's car. The "Ultimate Hearing" set allows you to hear almost anything, from someone who just passed a silent gas to your neighbour's secret revenge for his car. It's "hear no evil" no more. Superman will soon be deemed as "les inferior".

10. Games such as Command And Conquer may go from harddisk to reality! You can employ real minigunners or grenadiers to defend your HDB block or take over that bus stop across your street. Humvees and Orca helicopters can be purchased to secure that Community Centre. To spice things up a bit, Tanyas can be called to sabotage your enemy's swimming pool. Whoever gets MacRitchie Reservoir will get money (sounds like Dune) being paid in installments by residents around. For the finale, you can use the ion cannon and blast your enemy's HDB block in Jurong, making it look like a Tuas incinerator. Care for a nuclear bomb?

You have more? Feel free to add your idea(s) here.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Mozart On Bars!

Guess what? If you are from Singapore and love percussion music, this is just the concert for you. Why? Because my percussion friends are involved in this concert! They are great I tell you. We used to play songs like "The Final Countdown", "Thubthumping" and even "Vesuvius". If there's any group of lively and active bunch of people, it's this group. So what do you get when you have a bunch of adrenaline-pumped teens with percussive music? You get "NoiseRedefined", a wonderfully orchestrated item that, as you guessed it, redefines noise.

Oh yah, when you go there, tell them that this blog post sent you there.

Title: Mozart On Bars followed by "NoiseRedefined"
Time: 5pm
Date: 9th July 2006, Sunday
Venue: Ulu Pandan Community Club
Ticket Price: $10

So don't just read and stone, go for the concert! Instead of eating baked rice or burgers at Swenson's you can spend that $10 on music, something for that artsy part in you.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It's My Birthday!

Today's my birthday. Okay it's not a big event like the Fifa World Cup but it's the day where Steph was born.

The day started with my phone ringing from the SMS I received. Thanks to all those who remembered. The family had a discussion of where to eat for my birthday, we decided to go to somewhere nearby for the celebration meal. The meal there would be our lunch.

I was going to Jurong West when I saw Neo Shi Ming! I was waiting at the bus stop for my bus when I heard someone saying, "Hey Steph!". I turned around and there he was, my Commonwealth junior. He was on his way to the Jurong Polyclinic as he was sick. Coincidence isn't it to meet him on the bus stop.

Anyway, when it was about noon, we departed for West Mall. We walked around looking for a place to eat. We finally decided to go to Swenson's. This was way better than a suggestion that we go to a local Kopitiam. I looked at the menu and got the greatest shock of my life.

Can you believe it? Burgers for $10+! And I thought MacDonalds and Burger King were expensive. How wrong I was. Anyway, we scanned the whole menu and ordered what we wanted.

This was what my Dad ordered: Salmon and Mushroom Baked Rice

My mum's order: Aglio Oglio

My brother's: Chicken Baked Rice

Finally, the birthday boy's: Fish Fillet Baked Rice

The food was nice. We didn't order a birthday cake as I felt that it's primary-schoolish to "sing a birthday song and blow out the candles". I am already 20 in case you are wondering. The food was expensive (chicken rice costs only $2.50) but heck, it's my birthday! Come on, it's only once a year.

Finally after our main meal, we ordered the Topless 5. The flavours were: Orange Sherbet, Strawberry, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla and Almond.

The ice-cream was great! What do you expect? It's Swenson's where ice-creams are the main stuff.

The bill came and there was this lucky draw for 4 to go on an overseas trip. I don't think we will get it though as we aren't really good in lucky draws.

After the celebration, my family shopped around for awhile before going back home.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Someone Somewhere Is Far Worse Than You...

I've read the post "Smish Smashy Smack" by Jeremy and I agree with him totally.

Here's an excerpt from his post:
Sometimes, I think people who are miserable deserve it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm referring to those who simply choose to be all whimpy about stuff, and only complain and cry over things, and not do something. These are the people who deserve to be in the predicament they're in.

If you're met with a set back, it's entire OKAY to weep, feel angry, sad, give up hope on life, have suicidal thoughts, hope someone on a whitehorse will come and save you from the misery, for like maybe a few days, max. a week. But then after that, you've got to realize that what you're doing isn't gonna help the situation at all now, right?
Why do I agree? Simple. No matter how sad you are , there's always someone somewhere who is facing an even worse situation than you. Unless you happen to be that "someone somewhere", then I don't think that you should envelope yourself in total despair. Like Jeremy, I am not saying that it's wrong to be sad. Why, it's only natural for humans to be sad. Sadness is after all part of the emotional spectrum experienced by people all over. What I am trying to say is that you shouldn't shut yourself in a world of your own.

Your boyfriend/girlfriend may have just dumped you, but Jane's inheritance was taken away from her lover.

You may have lost your job, but Smith has just lost his family due to an extra-marital affair.

You may have lost your sense of sight, but Tanya has lost her will to live.

Get my point? Let me share a personal experience I had.

I was waiting for my O Level results then. I was fully confident that the JC (Junior College) I wanted to study in would be easy-peasy to enter, especially with my good prelim results. But when I received that slip of paper, my dreams were dashed! Poof! Gone! It was a very sad moment for me. The paper was in my hands; my eyes fixed on the results, but my mind was absent. In Singapore, when you go to RJC, HCJC or NJC, more or less your future is secure. It's not that I am mean or what, but in this "little red dot", papers are everything. Why, they even have a certificate for cleaning toilets!

Needless to say, I was depressed until I saw him. He was sitting at one corner near West Mall playing a harmonica with his mouth, guitar with his hands and tapping castanets with his toes. Tunes like "You Are My Sunshine" and "Amazing Grace" filled that little corner. I was touched. The whole scene was one that spoke powerfully. People passed him. One or two dropped a few coins. I stood there, listening to him. Did I give him anything? Just my attention. Yet he gave me something more valuable - an understanding that he's handicapped and he's happy. Such spirit!

I began to realise after that incident that my situation wasn't so bad after all. Half a day of disappointment couldn't possibly measure up to a lifetime of blindness. Is my poor result an excuse for me to shut myself from the encouragement and help provided by my friends and family? If yes, then I am truly a petty, selfish and short-sighted person.

I believe "sadness" is not caused by the events that happens around someone. It's how the person reacts to any situation that may result in sadness. So try not to dwell too long in that realm called "Sadness".

"My little sister accidentally poured some coffee on my shirt. Am I going to lose that job interview? Who cares? At least I get to see that girl from the laundry." ~ Anonymous

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Week's Wick: Witty And Pretty

Week's  Wick

Witty And Pretty

Witty and Pretty sounds the same, but can they ever be together?

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blog Hack!

I was doing my work when my friends told me that my blog was hacked. At first I thought it was a prank joke but when I saw my blog, the words were all changed! Ah...

This is the original post and the hacked one next to it. The words are hard to read, so you may want to click on it and view the actual image.

(Warning: The hacked Singlish version (the one on the right) contains hokkien expletives.)

As you can see, the hacked post sounds Singlish. I was confused as who could have done it. As I scanned the window for any clue that may be left by the hacker, I saw this:

It's a site where you can translate you blog, or any other site, to Singlish. It looks like I've been pranked on.

For information on what Singlish is, you can go here.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Green Orange

We know that oranges are orange in colour, but did you know that there are green oranges?

I was looking through my fridge when I saw this green orange. Since it was the last of its kind in the fridge, I went to take my camera to "document" this new fruit.

Here is how it looks like. Green with some white fungus-like stuff on top of it.

It looks big, but actually it's a tad smaller than the size of your palm. Here's a dollar coin beside it for a better picture of its size.

I began to peel it. The texture of the skin is no different from the orange orange.

Here's how it looks like when fully peeled. Everything's normal, no green goo or bugs in it.

Now's the important part. The taste. It tasted very sweet! Sweeter than orange oranges! I guess green is the in-thing in the orange world. Anyway, the seeds look the same as its well-known cousin. In case you are wondering, this green orange did not come from the planet Greenor, but from Indonesia. Do you want t count the number of seeds there? Come on, I know you want to.

An interesting thought came into my mind as I was "documenting" "Steph And The Green Orange". As I stared at the seeds through the camera, I began to realise that the concept of using sweet taste to disperse the seeds is actually quite smart.

Imagine this orange was in some forest. Some animal comes over and eats it. The seeds are either swallowed or spat out. Either way, it may end up in some soil patch in some area where it will grow and have fruits. The large number of seeds increases the probability that some of them gets to grow, unless they end up in my fridge where the probability is zero, but that's another story.

(I counted 26 seeds, how about you?)

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ego Boost?


Okay, I know I am smart. Yesterday I saw The Classic IQ Test at Tickle and attempted to do it. Guess what, my IQ score is 140! I am so smart I surprise myself :D

Mind you, it's a PhD certified test! It's not from Uncle Sam's convenience store. The signature there isn't edited. It came from some professor at Tickle. If a professor thinks I am smart, I must be smart.

Thinking I would do better, I tried again. This time I scored...*drum roll*...

Worse! I scored worse! (Let me say it again) I scored worse! Alamak! How is this possible? My score's 135. This is bad...very bad. Looks like the prof was wrong. If after 15 minutes my IQ drops by 5, this would be catastrophic. In less than a day, it will all go back to "goo-goo-gaa-gaa" and Heinz baby food!

Thankfully, it's not going to happen. Why? Ask the prof. He said I am smart and he's not wrong.

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