Google Analytics

Friday, August 19, 2011

With the purchase of my new wireless Blue Track laser mouse, I was interested to find out how optical and laser mice work.

While going through this topic on How Stuff Works (http://www.howstuffworks.com/mouse4.htm), I learnt that CMOS stands for complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

09 August 2011, Tuesday
Life in London - Take Two - Going back to Singapore for a Week!

Finally the day is nearing, when I'll be flying back to Singapore the next day! Going to see my wife! :)


The company is extending our visa to November, so we need to exit the country and return again for the extension to take effect. 

So I'll be flying back to Singapore for a week, before going back to London again, till November.
The Meaning of "Sekali" and the Singlish Language

Today I happened to think of the word 'sekali', and wanted to look it up on Google. ;)

It's a malay word, but its crept into the Singlish vocabulary. I do not know if it's used in Singlish the same way its used in Malay. So I decided to find out.

So my search led me to Wikipedia's article about the Singlish language:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlish_vocabulary

The word is pronounced as scar-ly, and I believe a lot of Singaporeans (especially non-Malays) wouldn't know its correct spelling.

The way 'sekali' is used in Singlish is to give the same meaning as: Lest, what if. Eg, "Sekali he dunno what to do then press the wrong button."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Christianity and Fengshui

For some reason I went to search the internet on apologetics. I came across topics of apologetics regarding cults, superstition, theories. 

This led me to think about Fengshui. I searched for "Christian and Fengshui" on Google, and here's a site I stumbled upon: http://journal.equip.org/articles/feng-shui

It gives a very detailed overview of Feng-shui, the origins and how it became widespread in the present day. Then it goes on to give a reason why the fundamental belief system that Fengshui is based on, is opposed to the biblical principles of God in the Bible. 

It is definitely a good read for people who want to find out whether Fengshui, as it is very widely believed, to be part of the chinese culture, a science, a practical set of guidelines for harmonious living, tradition or something else. It is also a good place to read it from a Christian context.

I remember thinking about this because I was reminded about a conversation I had with a few of my fellow Singaporeans who came over to London on this working trip with me. 

It looked like things were not going very well with me. Being genuinely helpful in their own way, they suggested many things I could do to "change my fortune", or "alter the course of my luck". Suggestions like "Don't continue to wear the dark-coloured clothings all the time, change to something bright and auspicious", or "re-arrange your furniture", etc.

They seem to think of bad aura or bad luck, are real forces, and doing things to change the outcome of circumstances with these tips are tried-and-tested to work. One of them is a Catholic. I asked to confirm if he was Catholic. He gave me a ridiculous look and said, "This whole thing about Fengshui, aura and luck is a totally different and separate. It has nothing to do with whether you are Christian or Catholic". He said it as if it was the simplest truth that even a child would know. I think he means that practising Fengshui and observing the principles of luck and practices to bring good fortune to oneself, is not a religion, and thus, not mutually exclusive to any existing religious beliefs that a person already holds.

Now I am not a Catholic (but my wife was, my parents-in-law still are). I cannot say I understand the Catholic teaching, however similar or different from Christianity it is. If they base their faith on the Bible, which is the Word of God, it should be opposed to luck, auras and Fengshui as well. I really pray that this person can get to understand the truth about the concepts of "luck", "good fortune" and the religion that he holds. 

Like many other practices we Singaporeans get involved in, many people (and Christians) attribute them to being part of tradition and culture, and are reluctant to stop practising them, even if they go against the principles of the word of God.

In the case of my friends genuinely trying to give good advice for my situation, I get the general idea of what they were saying. I think they mean that the way things were turning out unfavourably for me, was due to how I operate. Hence the logic of, if you keep using the same formula, you will keep getting the same result. That I can agree with. I believe that a more practical approach was to examine myself and see if there are things I can change about myself, to bring about a more positive result to my work and my life. 

Of course the most practical thing to do for Christians, but we always use it last, is to submit our anxiety to God, and give up our burdens to Him, in exchange for the peace in knowing that He guides our paths, and He is in control, at any point in our lives.

Dear Lord please help me be still and know that you are God. Quiet my anxious heart and raise my eyes to You. Remind me that You work all things for the good of those who love and obey You. Help me see through the eyes of faith, and see how You look at circumstances. Let me be satisfied in Your presence alone. Amen.
05 August 2011, Friday
Life in London - Take Two - A Response Message to a Situation


About a month ago, Raymond began to mention that he'll bring a French guy that he knew, to stay at our place. We figured it was just an acquaintance to him. 


Raymond did not ask us, but rather mentioned how he was going to accomodate the friend. He told us he was going to buy a bed for him, or some mattress. So some of us were wondering why Raymond did not ask us. Afterall the house is the company's property, and a person who is not a close friend staying in the house is a potential security risk.

Now we have 5 people staying in the house. Mengdi is going to move out this weekend, to stay with Skeel. However, a month ago, we didn't expect to have anybody moving out.

Last evening before he left the office, Raymond sent a message over our office machines, to the rest of the Singapoeran guys telling us that his friend will arrive at this day, and please say hi to him because he is a friendly guy.

At that point it looked like nobody was going to say anything despite all the worries we were having by ourselves, so I sent the following message to all of us, but addressed to Raymond.

"Mr Raymond, we must tell you that your friend, if he comes, you must remember we are living in company property. If anything he does intentionally or accidentally, results in any damage or loss to our personal property or the rented house which translates to company property, we are going to hold you accountable since you are vouching for him.

This is taking into account that all our doors do not have locks on them. It means if you let him into the house there is absolutely no way we can protect any of our belongings.

If we are not comfortable with any of his behaviour at any time, we will tell you and you must convey that message to your friend. If he does not agree to conform, then we reserve the right to stop him from staying at the house at any point.

You know that property was acquired for the purpose of housing dneg staff from Singapore so we can work here in UK. So the opinions and consensus of dneg staff (namely the 5 of us sg people) are very valid and will carry weight in decisions like setting house rules and such. You can let him conduct himself in any way you like, when he is in your room. However, if we are uncomfortable with any of his behaviour within any other parts of the house, we will expect you to keep him in check and make him conform.

This sounds like a nasty message. But we must have a baseline of agreement. You know we are not nasty people, and we are friendly. But we need to agree on worst-case scenario, when things happen. You can now laugh laugh say everything 'will' be alright. But we need to agree what will happen if he accidentally sets fire and burn half the kitchen away. Who is going to pay for damage. If he runs off with YC's and my laptop, fly back to France, forever uncontactable, who can we hold accountable? He is your friend after all, and we know NOTHING about him. You vouch for him, you pay for consequences.

Of course we hope for the best, but we must be prepared for the worst.

So are we in agreement with the above?

Patrick"

Raymond replied something like, "Yes, I agree. I will keep him in check if he misbehaves".

The message did sound a little formal, the way it was worded. But I believe it was necessary to bring home the worst case scenario, if things go wrong. That's to give Raymond something to think about.

Happens that the same morning before I wrote that message, YC and Francis have already been talking to Raymond about that. So my message was in fact reinforcing whatever they told him that morning. According to Francis and YC, Raymond insisted that he told us he had this friend who was coming over. The difference is that he told us by mentioning that the guy was coming over, but he did not ask if it we were fine with that idea.