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Like to listen to what goes on behind the scenes in film making or acting straight from an actor? Click here.

A Reunion Dinner with a secret to hide. Click here.

Have you taken all the modern comforts for granted? Behind every modern device there is the technology and with them comes the management and risks. Interested to find out what goes on below the hood? Click here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Environment 3b - Flowers vs Weeds

These are bramberries. They are lovely fruits found in abundance and also sold in supermarkets. Since they are highly perishable, they are not that cheap either. However, in the wild, they are mostly considered as 'weeds'. I think this is because they have long thorny vines that take over your land quickly. They are so robust that your other garden shrubs would die in competition with them.



This is a blueberry plant. They are low shrubs and bear these blueberries which are very good for taking out the toxicity in your guts. We had those in the garden bearing lots of fruits when we first moved in. It was a wild garden. Then as we organised the garden and shifted it to a discreet shaded corner, they bear less fruits. They like their natural spot to grow. In a prominent spot, we treated them as 'weeds', and that's why had them shifted.


These are morning glory flowers. Lovely flowers, but as they are such robust plants they can take over the undergrowth of the forest too.




These are wild strawberries. They are about 1cm in diameter on average, but very fragrant and sweet. More so that their cultivated cousins. They grow together with grass. Actually in Chinese, strawberries are called, "grass berries". So, they can easily be seen as weeds, until you see them bearing those delicious fruits.

.These are tiny flourescent flowers I found while taking a walk in the woods. Don't what their name is, but they look lovely to me and therefore, I won't consider them as 'weeds'. Yet, I don't see them being cultivated in standard gardens.

Bucky Group 32 - 3W's

This post is from WhatIDiscover:

Hi Bucky Fellows
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I attended the mind of Buckminster Fuller's talk today. The talk isconducted by fellow Bucky Group member - Titus Yong. He shares what heseen at the Buckminster Fuller's exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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He also talks about what he thinks about how Bucky thinks. I recall what he says and express it in 1 diagram.See attached Bucky Mind Triangle diagram before read on.
Whole Wide World
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Whole - seek synergy
Wide - seek knowledge across disciplines
World - seek inspiration from our World
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Thanks for sharing Titus.
Please correct me if you feel I have misquoted you.
Regards :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kids Play 15 - Colours

It's difficult to teach Hadri about colours when he was two and a half.
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Me (pointing to a leaf): Hadri, this colour is green. Now what is the colour?
Hadri: Colour.
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Me: No, I mean, what is the colour? The colour... is it 'green', 'blue' or 'red'?
Hadri: Colour.
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Haiz. I was a little concerned. It is one thing getting confused with colours, but yet another not understanding even the concept of colours!!! Alarms!!!
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As we strolled down the path in the woods, I saw some bramberries and decided to use them to illustrate to Hadri.
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Me (pointing to the black bramberries and very slowly...): Now this bramberry is BLACK.
Hadri (suddenly interested): Yes, black ones can be eaten, red ones can't be!
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I was stunned and speechless! So he knew it all along!!! It all comes down to 'motivation' isn't it?
Sometimes I wonder what goes on in their little heads.
It would be wonderful if we know exactly what goes on.
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Bramberries.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cat's Play 2b - Up the tree

I was in the kitchen when I saw my neighbour's cat sitting there waiting and meowing, trying to tell me something. As soon as I opened the door, he went around my legs. I thought he needed a cuddle and picked him up, but when he was in my arms, he struggled, jumped down and ran towards the tall pine tree. He then leaped up the tree for about 1.5 metres then came back down on the ground and looked up the next tree.
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Up the tree was about five storeys high, was... guess who? My silly kitten, crying for help! Haiz! Will she ever learn? This is the third time. I will wait till I later to bring her down. Right now, I was busy.
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About half an hour later, I went to the tree to take a picture of my kitten, but to my astonishment, she was gone! Did she jump? I looked around, and to my relief, saw her playing with the neighbour's cat in the far end of the garden. Saves me the hassle of climbing up the tree with a basket again! So she has finally learned how to back track down the tree. Not so silly after all! :)
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These is about what it looks like (re-enacted pixs):
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What amazes me was the clarity of what my neighbour's cat communicated with me. It was just that we don't have a common language to talk to one another.
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A Tao master once told me that everything (including the so called 'non-living' things) around us have intelligence. Their intelligence is their nature. But at present, we don't know how to communicate with them. For more of the Tao master's talk, click here
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The hero

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For other Cat's Play posts, click here

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cat's Play 2a - Up the tree

She did it again! Up on the tree crying for help in the dead of the night! You would think that after the saga the night before she would have learned not to climb up the tree again. *SIGH*

Here we go again, all the improvised equipment, torchs, ladders, sticky tape,...etc.
That's only half way up.
Anyway, this was second time round and it was easier. :)
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cat's Play 2 - Up the tree

This is my silly kitten.In the dead of the night, she climbed up the tree this high! She knows how to go up, but didn't know how to come down in reverse order. So she was stuck about 11m high (5 storeys high) and was crying out for help. We were brought to the attention by the kitten's mother, who was circling around the kitchen table nervously and calling us to follow her into the garden.
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My ladder is only 6m tall. She was another 5 metre above me and it was dark and cold outside. Climbing the almost branchless 5 metre section was too risky. We called the firemen, but their truck wouldn't be able to access our garden. It is also not possible to enter from the forest side. They would have to climb up the extra 5m after the ladder. Sometimes, the fireman might inadvertently frighten the kitten and she may panic and jump to her death. So they suggested that we leave her out there for a night and see what can be done the next day, but no more than a day as she will starve to death.
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Meanwhile, we cracked our heads and came up with an idea to tie something heavy to one end of a rope and throw it up over the branch where the kitten was, then lower the heavy object, and attach a basket to it. I tried that but it was too difficult. I dare not throw it too near the kitten in case I smash her face killing her, or scare her and she jumped to death. Besides, it was difficult standing at 6m on the ladder and throwing the dumbell (yes, we use a small one used by joggers!!!) almost vertically. I tried throwing up a few times - the last time it came down and landed on my chin. So now I have a bruised chin and the kitten was still up there crying in desperation.
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Next idea: we tied a basket to a fallen tree branch, but the branch was too short... haiz.

.So we extended the length, by with a few of them...

Thus, there I was at the top of the 6m ladder, in the darkness under the canopy of the night forest, straining my arms holding the bottom end of the heavy five metre long stick, moving the basket at the far end till it reaches the kitten. When the basket reached her, she looked into it, but didn't jump!!! URGH!!! My arms were now aching and wobbling, as it was heavy holding the stick with the basket at the far end. Besides, I was recovering from sciatic pains and every stretch of the leg was a stinging pain. As I persisted, my arms and legs shivered. I knew it was a point of no return. If I give up and lower the basket and the kitten happen to jump, she would jump to her death.

After ten more minutes, my persistence paid off. She finally got the hint and jumped into the basket. The sudden weight in the basket at the far end of the long stick threw me off balance momentarily, and I had to grab the tree quickly to keep still. So at last, the rescue is done. I got the basket and saw her. She looked petrified, but relieved.

A few months ago, I had another problem. I dropped my Dopod stylus in between the terrace timber floor boards. The gap is barely 1 cm wide and it is 10cm above a sandy ground below.

See picture below. We managed to rescue the stylus without taking out the floor boards or tunneling the ground. :) Do you want to think about how we did it? :)

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Lost In Conceptualisation 2 - Policing and Revenge

I was invited to a writing competition prize award ceremony organised by the Liege Police in Belgium, with the theme "Vengeance". The competition is a way of helping the police think out-of-the-box when solving cases.
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Being trained in the police academy and absorbed by the working comraderie, it is easy to get "lost in conceptualisation". Hence they seek the creative thoughts of fiction writers, and cast the net wide with a prize money. It is injecting professionals outside the trade into the trade, where they can now see things from the child-like observation and creativity of a child.


The Award Ceremony
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The first prize story is about the monologue of a seemingly upright man trying to logic out why he had beaten up his mother and left her in the covered sewers of the city. The contradictions and pains of a man who was badly treated by his mother and ultimately got into a rage of madness to commit the tragic act. Yet, the novel depicts in monumental detail, the thoughts and concerns of the son of his already dead mother in the sewer.
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Arguably, there are better written novels that were submitted and had won the second prizes, but they all follow too much the rationality of conventional crimes. The first prize was won on originality that captures the hearts of the judges and the ability not to have the plot spun off from conceptualisations that most policemen are trained to think in.
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To read also "Lost in Conceptualisation", click here

Saturday, September 06, 2008

In Sickness or In Health 7 - Pain


Everything happens for a reason. I am in excruciating sciatic pain, from my butts down behind my thighs to the back of my knee. This is the result of sitting down too much and getting stressed out from work.
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So I got off my chair and went for a long long walk. As I walked the pain disappeared. As I stopped, the pain came back. The walk thus became a walking meditation.
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Somehow, like toothaches, pains get worse near bedtime. Then, I took pain killers and the pain disappeared. It was as if nothing is wrong with my sciatic nerve. But now, I have to be more disciplined not to sit down too much, as I don't have the pain to kick my butts. Listening to my body now becomes less obvious with pain killers.
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[more later... I am in pain... arghhhh!!!]

In Sickness or In Health 6a - Fair Weather

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Fair weather friends are happy when there is money and when the going is continuously smooth. Fair weather friends are friends when the situation is easy and desirable, as it is easier to soak in money, hang around people with money and live their life.
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But isn't friendship independent from money? Hmmm... sounds good, but does it happen in practice? Do people stick around in sickness and in health? Can friendship remain strong always?
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For those of you who have not trodden down the paths of hard times, you may not understand exactly what I am moaning about. However, to some of you 'fortunate ones', you may never have a chance to know who your real friends are either. It is when you are really down that you find out who your real friends are.
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When times are hard financially, we must still not let our spirits down. We must not let the hard times dull our body and soul. We are what we are. We are not what we are with money.
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I have heard of a friend who likes to impress girls with money. He then got married with one and divorced when he fell on hard times. Then marry another and also divorced later. With no money, so there is no honey. What goes around comes around. For those who believe that they can impress others with money will get fair weather friends or fair weather spouses. But do forgive them if you know any fair weather friends, for they do not know.
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We all prefer easier times, but hard times makes us stronger and prepare us for the next level of achievements. So life isn't so bad after all. At least I know who my friends are! Now I feel better already! :)
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More fun read with "In Sickness or In Health 6 - Fair Weather" - Click here
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Post scriptum:
If given with love, a handful is sufficient.
-- Telugu proverb
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Monday, September 01, 2008

Dream Interpretation 2

Dreams reflect our thoughts either symbolically or literally. It is useful to keep a dream log if you want to understand your sub-conscious thoughts, which you are not conscious of (well how else can I put it?).
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Journaling
Here are some tips on keeping a dream log, based on my own experiences:
  1. Relax before you sleep. If you are tense, you can't remember your dreams well. Also, you may have nightmares if you are tense.
  2. Suggest to yourself that you will remember your dream before you fall asleep, and sleep before 11pm. Put some rose quartz crystals under your pillow. It helps to remember your dreams better. I have tried that and it seems to work.
  3. Put a voice recorder or writing pad and pen next to your bed. Record your dreams immediately when you wake up, don't even get out of bed if you can help it. The more you move, the more you will forget.
  4. Record everything you can remember. Do not be inhibited, rational or logical. Record as it is: what you see, who you see, the colours you see, the emotions you had,... etc. Be as detailed as you can. Draw it out if you can. Don't worry about the interpretations and logic. Leave that later. If you have trouble remembering, start from the last scene, then work backwards.
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Interpretation:
  1. Your journal may not make sense to you immediately, but when you read back later, you will notice a pattern that recurs. For instance, you may always dream of going back to college, or missing the exams etc. Over time, you will be able to interprete your dreams.
  2. Dream dictionaries are only useful as a guide, as different people regard different symbols differently. For instance, "death" may be terminal for some people, but for others who believe in reincarnation, it is just a gateway and transition to another state - so literally, the dream may mean that he is moving into a new house or office.
  3. Focus on your emotions during your dream. They are the key to what the dream really mean.
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Benefits
I understand myself better since I started dream journaling. Sometimes, I foresee people in my dreams, that I later met up with in my waking hours, months later. Sometimes, I foresee the happy times that are ahead. But these can be considered as just petty dramas in life, as we should all take life as they come instead of worrying about the future. However, it is spiritually enriching to understand ourselves better through our subconscious. Dream journaling enables that.
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Some Dreams I had:

I heard a friend of mine telling me that his wife was asking for a divorce, in my dreams sometime ago. Eight months later, she really asked him for a divorce.

I told my friend after he is divorced and he asked me why didn't I warn him before hand. Should I have told him at that time? I thought it was only a dream after all then. If I have told him, pehaps he would have taken measures to save the marriage. Now, it is better to believe that it all happens for a higher good. May be it is better for the marriage that was not working to end and move on to the next stage in life.

I met a girl five months after I saw her in my dream. She has the same Oriental features and even the same dress.

She is a girl I saw in my dream, but not my dream girl. Here, it is important not to be distracted and be judgmental, but take it as it comes.

In my dreams a few days ago, I saw a few parrots and parrakeets perched on a line. What struck me was how brilliant the colours were. They were pink, white, green and grey.

I knew immediately that the birds are symbolic of new things that will be liberated soon, as to me birds are symbols of being set free.

To me, the colours:

  • Pink represents love and compassion
  • White represents purity and a new beginning
  • Green represents nature and healing
  • Grey, ought to represent "dullness and depression" according to the dream dictionary, but it means "intelligence" and "wits" to me. I am familiar with African Grey parrots - they learn new tricks and sounds very quickly.

I will let you know how these signs will manifest itself when the time comes. What is to come will become clearer as I draw nearer to the manifestations. At the moment, I have some intelligent guesses as to what they will be.

So, you have to truly relate to your dream symbols according to your own encounters in your life. However, do not be bias towards what you want to, or like to hear. In other words, don't bluff yourself. Step back and be as objective as you can. Sometimes the truth can be undesirable or painful, but nevertheless is the truth. However, whatever happens will happen for the highest good.

To change your lives, change your thoughts. That's what dream journaling can help you - to have clarity of your own thoughts. As you change your thoughts, your dreams will change too.

Extras

You may also like to combine your dream journal with your waking life journal. I have started doing so recently, so that I can correlate what happened in the dream vs what happened during the day, and vice versa.

Keeping a diary is a way of appreciating ourselves without going into an ego trip. It is a way of enjoying our own company. Loneliness only comes to people who does not enjoy their own company. It is said that if you do not enjoy your own company, why inflict it on others? :)

Sometimes, I do non-dominant hand journaling, in the same book. That means writing with my left hand about anything that comes to mind. It is said that after ten minutes, what we write with our left hand comes straight from the sub-conscious. That will be evident when you read back what you have written, it will not seem like something you could possibly have written. It may also feel eerie the first time round. But do not fear, it is still yourself writing, albeit your hidden sub-conscious self. The same journaling techniques for clarity and detail apply here to non-dominant hand journaling.

Keeping these journals in the same book is fascinating. It makes me more mindful to be an observer in my own life.

Some Parting Shots...

When we are still, we see much more of everything around us and know alot about what is happening, sometimes even about things that will happen in the future. Journaling, just like meditation or chanting, can yet be another exercise in stilling the mind.

You may also like to read another post on dream interpretation - Click here