Thursday, December 30, 2010

Issues facing the Malaysian churches

The chairman of NECF, Rev. Eu Hong Seng, writing in the November-December 2010 issue of Berita NECF offers us this sobering message to end the year.

I see the top five issues that plague the church of Jesus Christ in this nation today as the following:
  1. Prayerlessness - just look at the attendance of prayer meetings in most churches, if they still hold them. Most believers would hardly spend more than 15 minutes in prayer daily. Where is the altar in our lives?
  2. Migration - this is symptomatic of lack of trust in God who has placed us in this country for good and not for evil. Barring a sovereign word, every migration speaks of our unhappiness with our lot in life in the country God has placed us in. We worship our happiness rather than obey the will of God.
  3. Materialism - we succumb more and more to the desire to acquire and enjoy. We are more holiday conscious. We have no qualms about spending thousands of ringgit on ourselves but gripe so vehemently about the few dollars we have to pay for Christian courses and seminars which we need to improve ourselves.
  4. Content to be Christians, but not disciples - lukewarmness characterizes so many in our churches. We are prepared to "surrender" a few hours to our God on Sundays and no more. Many could be mistaken as "Christian atheists", as far as their lifestyle and faithlessness is concerned.
  5. Reluctance to be sent - Jesus Christ's command to "Go…make disciples" wherever He sends us is but a good suggestion for a few to do. The church has become "immoveable" for the wrong reasons.
read more

Something to think about as we end the year.


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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Batman Christmas 2010

no, it's not my birthday, it's my Christmas present


Spiritual State of the World's Children : Malaysia

A recent survey by OneHope-Asia Pacific and NECF Malaysia titled strangely Spiritual State of the World's Children : Malaysia when it is actually "A Qualitative Study - English Speaking Youth Report" which deals mainly with youths. The survey reveals some interesting facts about the youth and youth pastors in Malaysia and worth the reading. I am fascinated by the weaknesses identified by the study:

Weaknesses & Threats: Relative to Church and Youth Ministry
  • Youth today seem to make poor and hasty decisions due to lack of spiritual and parental guidance
  • Malaysian youth struggle with self-identity and look to their peers for affirmation and guidance when problems arise
  • Youth are so engrossed with the Internet and the virtual world, that they are having problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Youth are not interested with the current methods the church is using to reach out to them and they view the church as boring and irrelevant
  • Malaysian youth view the education system as weak and rigid which creates tension and frustration among students
  • Malaysian youth are often misunderstood by the older generation and this contributes to the growing gap between the two
  • The lack of fatherhood and mentors as role models are deterrents to finding new and emerging young leaders
  • The amount of time youth spend on tuition and extracurricular activities makes it difficult for the church to be involved in meaningful discipleship-making
  • Discipleship is seen as the responsibility of the church, when in fact parents should be more involved in the spiritual growth of their children
  • Church leaders recognize that the church is weak in responding to the challenges that exist among Malaysian youth
  • Church leaders acknowledge that the societal shift towards materialism will present potential future problems within the church
read more

Do you agree? Young people, what are your views?


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reading Batman during Christmas

My Christmas reading of the complex and interconnected stories of Batman by Grant Morrison. Starting with Batman and Son, The Black Glove and Batman R.I.P which leads to the final chapter of Final Crisis where Batman/Bruce Wayne was presumed killed by Darkseid. However it turns out that Bruce Wayne was not dead but was sent back in time by Darkseid's Omega Sanction

This 6 issues miniseries of how Bruce Wayne made his way through time to the present was quite a disappointment compared to the efforts used to set up Dick Grayson as the new Batman of Gotham City.

Nevertheless it is a good read of the adaptability and strong will of Bruce Wayne.

Batman: The Return is about Bruce Wayne revealing himself as the Batman but allowing for Dick Grayson to remain as the Batman of Gotham City.

This is an interesting variant cover of Batman: The Return where instead of the dark Gothic features, the artist uses a lot of Christian symbolism in the cover. Bruce's ordeal in the past is liken to Jesus' forty days in the desert.

The return of Bruce Wayne herald in a new direction in the Batman mythos. His journey from the past to the future have given him much time to think. Wayne has decided to set up "Batman Incorporated" which is a form of franchise system where he, Bruce Wayne/Batman will train up 'Batman' in various major cities in the world to fight crime. Looks like he has finally picked up some ideas from his father-in-law, Ra' A Ghul.

This variant cover shows the Batman we are familiar with and not a corporate symbol. Considering the amount of trouble he have had with his training of and trusting his Robins, Batwoman, Batgirls, the Huntress and numerous others that seen to be collected by him, it will be interesting to see how Bruce Wayne/Batman the untrusting control freak will run his franchise. Harvard Business Review please take note.


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas One and All!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Children

As a paediatrician in practice, I often have to deal with children who are given complementary and/or alternative medicine (CAM) in addition to the medications and treatment modules prescribed by me. CAM includes traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathic, cupping, joss-stick burns, special diets or dietary restrictions, and many other modalities. I have often cautioned parents who are too enthusiatic about CAM.

A recent study from Melbourne has this sobering results.
Adverse events associated with the use of complementary and alternative medicine in children
Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/adc.2010.183152
Alissa Lim, Noel Cranswick, Michael South ,
Department of General Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia,
The University of Melbourne, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

There were 39 reports of adverse events associated with CAM use, including four reported deaths. Reports highlighted several areas of concern, including the risks associated with failure to use conventional medicine, the risks related to medication changes made by CAM practitioners and the significant dangers of dietary restriction. The reported deaths were associated with a failure to use conventional medicine in favour of a CAM therapy.

read more

picture source.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Single Breath

 There is a Zen story about how a single breath can free us from the confines of our intellectualizing and unite us with all creation. Tokusan was a brilliant scripture scholar who went to study with Zen Master Ryutan. One night as Tokusan was leaving to go home to bed after a long evening of discussion, he noticed that it was pitch black outside. Zen master Ryutan lit a lantern and handed it to Tokusan. Just as Tokusan reached for the lantern, Ryutan blew it out. In that moment, Tokusan experienced enlightenment and bowed in gratitude. Tokusan realized that he was not dependent upon words and teachings to light the way for him. Even in times of darkness, he could experience his essential nature directly and be a lamp unto himself.

— Ellen Birx in Healing Zen

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Top Ten Articles from Medscape Paediatrics

What are some of the top articles paediatricians have been reading this year? Here are ten of them.

Here are the highlights from the Medscape Top 10 for Pediatrics in 2010:
  1. Brain Tumour Risk in Relation to Mobile Telephone Use
    Is it safe to take that call? The results of a much-awaited report from the largest international study to date on mobile phone use and brain tumors with particular importance for children who will use these devices for many decades.
  2. Immunization Resource Center
    In aggregate, articles about Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) immunization recommendations produce the highest interest among our pediatric members. Although not part of the top 10, this reference center summarizes the recommendations published throughout the year.
  3. AAP Issues New Guidelines for Management of Iron Deficiency
    New recommendations for breastfed infants recommend more broad use of iron.
  4. Eradicating Head Lice With a Pill
    What works best in persons who do not respond to head lice treatment?
  5. Best Children's Hospitals Ranked
    US News & World Report has released its annual list of best children's hospitals.
  6. Mupirocin Nasal Ointment Plus Bleach Baths Achieve Long-Term S aureus Decolonization of Skin
    What works best in previously infected children, including those with methicillin-resistant Staphycoccus aureus?
  7. Whooping Cough Epidemic Hits California
    Infant deaths have been reported in California, and South Carolina also sees an increase in cases.
  8. Universal Predischarge Bilirubin Screening
    Should universal predischarge bilirubin screening of newborns be mandatory?
  9. Trashed on the Internet: What Should You Do?
    If patients give bad reviews to physicians on Internet rating sites, does a doctor have any recourse? This article discusses strategies for dealing with the situation and protecting your reputation.
  10. Bring Breech Babies Back at 6 Months for Hip Dysplasia Check
    Screening infants for developmental dysplasia at the hip doesn't stop with ultrasound screening at 6 weeks.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vote for Christmas


A Facebook Christmas

HT: Alan


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PhD Research Scholarship in Glouchester

Dept of Humanities
University of Gloucestershire

The Department proposes to offer a studentship for a PhD in the area
of the Bible and Spirituality. The studentship will be held within a
three-year project sponsored by the Department’s Research Centre for
the Bible and Spirituality in conjunction with the Bible Society. Its
aim is to explore forms of spirituality that find expression in the
Bible, and the relation of these to other contemporary concepts of

The studentship, which is designed to cover a substantial part of the
student’s costs, may be awarded to a suitably qualified candidate who
proposes to work in any area of biblical spirituality, Old Testament
or New Testament, within the terms of the project. The studentship
will begin in February or September 2011, and is renewable annually.
Further details are available on request from:

Mrs Patricia Downes
Humanities Courses Administrator
University of Gloucestershire
Francis Close Hall
Swindon Road
GL50 4AZ

Tel: 01242 714570

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Why are Christmas Trees associated with Christmas?

Ever wondered about Christmas trees?


Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?

The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.

Edwin and Jennifer Woodruff Tait (Thursday, December 11, 2008}

Not until the Renaissance are there clear records of trees being used as a symbol of Christmas—beginning in Latvia in 1510 and Strasbourg in 1521. Legend credits the Protestant reformer Martin Luther with inventing the Christmas tree, but the story has little historical basis.
The most likely theory is that Christmas trees started with medieval plays. Dramas depicting biblical themes began as part of the church's worship, but by the late Middle Ages, they had become rowdy, imaginative performances dominated by laypeople and taking place in the open air. The plays celebrating the Nativity were linked to the story of creation—in part because Christmas Eve was also considered the feast day of Adam and Eve. Thus, as part of the play for that day, the Garden of Eden was symbolized by a "paradise tree" hung with fruit.
These plays were banned in many places in the 16th century, and people perhaps began to set up "paradise trees" in their homes to compensate for the public celebration they could no longer enjoy. The earliest Christmas trees (or evergreen branches) used in homes were referred to as "paradises." They were often hung with round pastry wafers symbolizing the Eucharist, which developed into the cookie ornaments decorating German Christmas trees today.
The custom gained popularity throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, against the protests of some clergy. Lutheran minister Johann von Dannhauer, for instance, complained (like Tertullian) that the symbol distracted people from the true evergreen tree, Jesus Christ. But this did not stop many churches from setting up Christmas trees inside the sanctuary. Alongside the tree often stood wooden "pyramids"—stacks of shelves bearing candles, sometimes one for each family member. Eventually these pyramids of candles were placed on the tree, the ancestors of our modern Christmas tree lights and ornaments.

read more

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Presidential Report on Synthetic Biology

From the

Paul Root Wolpe Discusses PCSBI Report on Syn Bio

The President's Commission on Bioethical Issues released the Executive Summary of its Report on the Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies. (To read the full report, click here.)
Screen shot 2010-12-16 at 7.49.16 AM.png
The Report suggests five ethical principles that should inform our ethical evaluation and oversight of emerging technologies, and then makes 18 recommendations for public policy around synthetic biology. While The Report specifies synthetic biology, it is clear that the recommendations could, and are meant to, apply to many other emerging biotechnologies as well.
The Report first rightly points out that, despite some of the media hype around the creation of an "artificial cell" by the Venter Institute last May, the cell did not "amount to creating life either as a scientific or a moral matter." The creation of a synthetic genome is a fine technological achievement, but it does not immediately require any change on our basic ethical oversight of biotechnology.
The five ethical principles articulated by The Report include (1) public beneficence, (2) responsible stewardship, (3) intellectual freedom and responsibility, (4) democratic deliberation, and (5) justice and fairness. These principles are used as categorical rubrics under which the 18 recommendations are described.

read more

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spiritual Formation Institute Conference 2005

I was going through my files and came across this beautiful poster.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BPMC Camp 2010 musings

One of the joys of being a camp speaker is that you start the camp with a group of strangers and end it with lots of friends.

I meet a wonderful sister-in-Christ with her three delightful children. This is what she shared on her blog         I Can Do It!

*Dr Alex Tang was our speaker. Soft-spoken yet firm, he was excellent in his focus on the Bible, relating stories and personal anecdotes and the use of multimedia to share on the theme – ‘Lights That Cannot Be Hidden’ – how do we let our lights shine amidst the darkness in our society? Lessons were drawn from the book of Jeremiah (Chp 1, 12, 35). Dr Tang first gave us the background of the book. Then he shared about God’s response to Jeremiah when Jeremiah brought his concerns before Him. In Jeremiah 12.5, God said

“If you have raced with men on foot

and they have worn you out,

how can you compete with horses?

If you stumble in safe country,

how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

Immediately, I understood that God wanted my family and I to run with the horses – it started at the camp (yes, God worked fast) when I had to handle the children by myself, relying only on God’s strength. And God gave me assurance that we will win, because He will empower us. Although we will run in the face of wild and windy challenges, God impressed upon my heart that it will be a time of receiving. Huh? I couldn’t understand how that’s possible but I will take God’s word by faith. I’m really excited and am eagerly awaiting another adventure with the Lord – God knows how the adrenaline rush motivates me. “HOLD your horses!! Remember this…” God gave me a timely reminder. I see the familiar image of a huge guy holding the hands of a little girl in ponytails – that’s my Abba Father and me

read more


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Scriptural Bible and the Academic Bible

Interesting insight from Scot McKnight on the Scripture Bible and Academic Bible.

Let this be said: what approach we use in reading the Bible determines not only what we see in the Bible or get from the Bible but also who we become. In other words, if we bracket faith and bracket theology and bracket orthodoxy, we will eventually learn to read the Bible without faith and theology and orthodoxy, and that leads — often enough — to the lack of faith, the lack of theology, and the lack of theology. What is permitted it is what comes out.

read more


Monday, December 13, 2010

Stem Cells and Beauty Therapy

Finally, someone is speaking out on the fraudulent use of stem cells.

Therapy in session: Platelet-rich plasma being injected into the elbow.

Star online Monday, December 13, 2010

Credibility of stem cell therapy offered by cosmetic products

Many are falling prey to unscrupulous marketing tactics touting stem cell therapy as the new-age antidote for ageing.

From where it all stems

THE term “stem cell” was first proposed for scientific use by Russian histologist Alexander Maksimov in 1908.

Guidelines for stem cell treatment

Guidelines for stem cell research and therapy in Malaysia don’t apply to the beauty industry.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Training of Doctors in Malaysia

Some sobering reports about medical education in Malaysia

Sunday December 12, 2010

Cleaning house


Concerns persist regarding the quality of medical graduates and the Government is preparing a number of initiatives to finetune the system.
HOW hard is it to tell the difference between a sleeping patient and a cyanosed one who is on course to meet his maker?
Observing the simple rise and fall of one’s chest would be a good start. Checking for a pulse would be another and observing that the patient has turned blue is an absolute must.
However, the obvious did not happen in the case of one Pak Abu, who was deemed to be sleeping by house officers.
Fortunately, an observant doctor on his last rounds came into the picture and Pak Abu was resuscitated.
The three house officers in charge, who graduated from Russian and Ukrainian universities, were reprimanded for negligence, and things went from bad to worse when it was discovered that they did not know the basics of resuscitation or what an oxygen face mask was.

read more

Another perspective

Sunday December 12, 2010

We should not be faulted, say housemen

KIM*, a doctor in Pahang saw the early stages of the glut towards the tail end of his (then one-year) housemanship two years ago, while Rozaid* and Mok*, who completed their two-year housemanship last week, were part of the glut.
Turning back the clock, Kim said that he initially thought that the increased number of housemen would be a blessing.
“There were only a few of us (housemen) in Terengganu back in the day and I initially welcomed the increasing numbers as we were overworked,” he said.
With the influx of housemen, senior doctors have sounded the alarm that an overemphasis on numbers could come at the expense of quality.
“Although the number of patients became more manageable for us, the influx of housemen became alarming and even the policy makers were not prepared for it.

read more

Sunday December 12, 2010

The parent trap

ALTHOUGH there is a tendency to blame various parties in the housemen quagmire, parents should take a good look in the mirror and ask whether they contributed to the problem.
The adage goes that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and Physicians for Social Responsibility vice president Datuk Dr Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir said that parental pressure is partly to blame for the quality of our housemen.
“Students who are pressured into medical school won’t make very good doctors as they lack interest in the first place ,” he told The Star.
“Parents should not ‘coax’ their children to learn something if they don’t have any interest in it.”
He added that misconceptions about the medical practice made things worse.
“Many think that the medical practice is lucrative but in reality, it is all a case of demand and supply,” he added.
“There were fewer doctors in the past so it was definitely better then, but things are becoming more competitive.”

read more

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A Spiritual Covenant

download powerpont here

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Friday, December 10, 2010

BMPC Camp 2010 Day Three

download powerpoint here

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

BPMC Camp 2010 Day Two

They have a wonderful room set up with prayer stations for people to pray in before the morning and evening sessions.

Some prayers are shared on a prayer wall

group discussions

02 keep.light.bright
View more presentations from Alex Tang.

download powerpoint here

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Solo or Sola Scriptura?

Solo Scriptura

The Difference a Vowel Makes

Image for Article
The twentieth century could, with some accuracy, be called a century of theological anarchy. Liberals and sectarians have long rejected outright many of the fundamental tenets of Christian orthodoxy. But more recently professing evangelical scholars have advocated revisionary versions of numerous doctrines. A revisionary doctrine of God has been advocated by proponents of "openness theology." A revisionary doctrine of eschatology has been advocated by proponents of full-preterism. Revisionary doctrines of justification sola fide have been advocated by proponents of various "new perspectives" on Paul. Often the revisionists will claim to be restating a more classical view. Critics, however, have usually been quick to point out that the revisions are actually distortions.
Ironically, a similarly revisionist doctrine of sola Scriptura has arisen within Protestantism, but unlike the revisionist doctrine of sola fide, the revisionist doctrine of sola Scriptura has caused very little controversy among the heirs of the Reformation. One of the reasons there has been much less controversy over the revisionist doctrine of sola Scriptura is that this doctrine has been gradually supplanting the Reformation doctrine for centuries. In fact, in many segments of the evangelical world, the revisionist doctrine is by far the predominant view now. Many claim that this revisionist doctrine is the Reformation doctrine. However, like the revisionist doctrines of sola fide, the revisionist doctrine of sola Scriptura is actually a distortion of the Reformation doctrine.

The adoption of the revisionist doctrine of sola Scriptura has resulted in numerous biblical, theological, and practical problems within Protestant churches. These problems have become the center of attention in recent years as numerous Protestants have converted to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy claiming that their conversion was due in large part to their determination that the doctrine of sola Scriptura was indefensible. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists have been quick to take advantage of the situation, publishing numerous books and articles devoted to critiquing the doctrine of sola Scriptura. One issue, however, that neither the converts nor the apologists seem to understand is that the doctrine they are critiquing and rejecting is the revisionist doctrine of sola Scriptura, not the classical Reformation doctrine. In order to understand the difference, some historical context is necessary.

read more

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

BPMC Camp 2010 Day One

Had a wonderful welcome from this church who extended to me the right hand of fellowship and made me feel at home. It is a joy to share God's word with them

View more presentations from Alex Tang.

download powerpoint here

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Jesus' Gospel or Paul's Gospel

Good article on understanding Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom of God and Paul's 'justification by faith.'

Jesus vs. Paul
Many biblical scholars have noted that Jesus preached almost exclusively about the kingdom of heaven, while Paul highlighted justification by faith—and not vice versa. What gives?

Many biblical scholars and lay Christians have noted that Jesus preached almost exclusively about the kingdom of heaven, while Paul highlighted justification by faith—and not vice versa. Some conclude that they preached two different gospels. Others argue that really they both preached justification; still others say it's all about the kingdom. What gives?

read more


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Evidence Based Medicine-Can You Trust the Evidence?

Virtual Mentor :: American Medical Association Journal of Ethics |
(For best results, view as HTML or request text version from
Virtual Mentor. December 2010, Volume 12, Number 12: 909-966. Full Issue PDF

December 2010 Contents

Journal Discussion

Evidence-Based Medicine—Can You Trust the Evidence?
Yvonne M. Buys
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:930-933.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Human Fatty Tissue as source of Stem Cells

Finally, there are news that regenerative medicine using stem cells are beginning to have practical applications. There has been a lot of hype about the enormous potential of stem cells which has yet to translate to clinical practice. This article highlights an important source of stem cells - from our fatty tissue. This sidestep the whole ethical and religious issue of using embryonic stem cells which are harvested from days old fertilised eggs (blastocytes). Fatty tissue are from adult adipose tissue and most of us have much to spare.

All Natural: Why Breasts Are the Key to the Future of Regenerative Medicine

Photo: David Slijper
Who needs implants? How tissue engineering and a new kind of stem cell can help the body rebuild itself.
Photo: David Slijper
To be in the company of Chris Calhoun is to encounter breasts, and encounter the damn things anytime, anywhere—including over a plate of spaghetti in a bustling Manhattan restaurant.
On this spring afternoon, the 44-year-old CEO of San Diego-based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics pulls out his laptop, launches a PowerPoint presentation, and there they are: conical and cantaloupy, As through Ds, beige and pink and taupe and tan, more breasts than you might see in a women’s locker room, never mind in the middle of a lunch table.
A passing waiter does a double take at this lively slide show, but Calhoun is oblivious. He’s talking excitedly about how these women’s bodies led him and his team of scientists to a discovery in tissue engineering, a process that could well be one of the most momentous medical advances of the 21st century: the use of stem cells—specifically stem-cell-enriched adipose (fat) tissue—to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs.

read more


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Hawaii Five O

I loved the new reboot of Hawaii Five O.

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Johnny Cash Sang

Pure Johnny Cash.


"why, me, Lord?"



Thursday, December 02, 2010

Book Review on The Element

This is an excellent 2009 book by Sir Ken Robinson on creativity, multiple intelligences and finding your passion which he defines as "the element". The element or our human potential is "where the things you love to do and the things you are good at come together (p.8). Based on numerous interviews conducted by Robinson and his co-author Lou Aronica, this book is both a collection of success stories of people who dropped out of the education system and made good, and a subtle critique of the inflexibility and ineffectiveness of the education system. However, the authors did not specific which education system as they drew examples from both side of the Pacific. They seem to be aiming at a generic education system. (see Sir Robinson's lecture in TEDS).

Similar in essence to Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) by Malcolm Gladwell, the authors however argue that a passion for success is a combination of being in the element; doing what you like to do in the area you are talented in. While this true in the people they have selected for interviews (usually those who were miserable in school and those who dropped out), there are however two other groups of people which was ignored in the book. The first other group is school dropouts who did not succeed as spectacularly as those mentioned. The implication is that they did not succeed because they did not find their elements. The second group is that those people who stuck through school, graduate, get a higher education and are now pillars of society (clerks, lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc). The implication is that these people have not found their elements and are now unhappy in their lives.

While I agree some of the principles of many of the things the authors espoused, I believed their arguments are too generalised and giving it a label (the Element) does not make it better. Like Gladwell did in Outliers, these specially chosen interview subjects are chosen specially to provide their theories. However, what was obvious from the people interviewed in both books are their determination and perseverance to achieve their dreams no matter the cost. The lesson I draw from them is the indomitable power of the human spirit.


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Playing Vanquish on XBox

Finished playing the scifi video game on Xbox. This is the type of games I enjoy- fast moving adrenalin pumping action, space stations, advanced technologies and detailed textured cut-scenes. There is a sense of immersion during gameplay (see plot here). This game is similar in concept to the Halo series but lack the sophistication of the Halo universe. The program is driven by the Havok gaming engine. After this types of games, watching sci-fi movies seems tame. Developed by Platinum and published by SEGA:

The story of VANQUISH™ is set in the near future. Russia and the United States are vying for ownership of the world’s fast-depleting energy resources and the US has constructed a space station in order to harness energy from the sun. Russian forces capture this space station and divert its harvested solar energy into a blast wave that destroys San Francisco, aiming to force the US into a total and unconditional surrender. In response, the US tasks its armed forces with recapturing the space station before the Russians can annihilate their next target –New York.
Directed by Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil series, VANQUISH™ is a sci-fi shooter game that sees players take the role of Sam, a government agent kitted out with a futuristic battlesuit. A versatile war fighter with a huge arsenal of weaponry at his disposal, Sam also has an array of martial arts skills that he can use to take down his robot enemies.


Age of Music Piracy Over?

Another interesting article about online music. Now what about movies and television series?

The Age of Music Piracy Is Officially Over

 Illustration: Brock Davis
Illustration: Brock Davis
Mark down the date: The age of stealing music via the Internet is officially over. It’s time for everybody to go legit. The reason: We won. And all you audiophiles and copyfighters, you know who fixed our problems? The record labels and online stores we loved to hate.
Granted, when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003 there was a lot to complain about. Tracks you bought on computer A often refused to play on gadget B, thanks to that old netizen bogeyman, digital rights management. (It’s crippleware!) My local Apple store was actually picketed by nerds in hazmat suits attempting to educate passersby on the evils of DRM.
Well played, protesters: In January 2009, Apple announced that it would remove the copyright protection wrapper from every song in its store. Today, Amazon and Walmart both sell music encoded as MP3s, which don’t even have hooks for copyright-protection locks. The battle is over, comrades.

read more

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010


My Advent word for today is Longing. We are created for relationship with God and with any break in this relationship creates a deep longing inside us. The deep inner indescrible longing is like homesickness where you know there is another place you rather be. C.S.Lewis has described this longing well in his Surprised by Joy where he described his conversion. I remember I first felt this deep aching longing when I was twelve years old. I was too young to understand this and lived with this inner longings for many years. I read and devoured sacred texts from many religious traditions to find the the answer to this longing.

Three statements from Augustine, one of our most helpful theologian, help me to understand this longing.

"Let us come home at last to you, O Lord, so that we shall not be lost."

"I sought for you abroad, but you were within me though I was far from you. Then you touched me, and I longed for your peace, and now all my hope is only in your great mercy."

"I call upon you, O God, my mercy, you who created me, and did not forget me when I forgot you."

Advent is the season of waiting for the two comings of Christ. The first is when he came as a helpless baby boy to redeem the world and has been fulfilled, and the second is when he comes in glory to claim it. Christ's comings is both the answer to my longing and its fulfilment.


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