Friday, August 28, 2009

Power / Girl Got Game

I haven't had such strong a dislike for any manga since Fruitsbasket, or maybe disappointment might be a more appropriate word to use.

I've been reading scanlations for the past couple of weeks whenever I've the time. I'd browse through titles, then look up interesting ones in Wikipedia and look through the gist of the story before deciding to read a particular manga. I thought Power sounded interesting, a bit like Hana Kimi.

"Kyo Aizawa is very excited about getting to attend Seisyu Academy, which is famous for its adorable girls' uniforms. Her spirits are crushed, however, when she opens the package containing her school uniform to find a boy's uniform.
Her father explains to her that, as Seisyu Academy is also famous for its boys' basketball program, he enrolled her as a boy so she can fulfill his own dream of becoming an NBA basketball star. To make matters worse, she has to stay in the boys' dorms, and her roommate is the same boy she came to hate at tryouts."

Sounds cool right?

But urgh, it was much too much of a poor ripoff off Hana Kimi. And with a plot like this, there's bound to be much comparison with Hana Kimi.

First, the main characters have nothing appealing compared to Hana Kimi's characters. Aizawa is too dumb and bimbotic that she doesn't get my sympathy. Eniwa is dumber and immature, and the artwork done for him wasn't too good looking, so he totally doesn't have the X-factor. And that is when I haven't even tried comparing him to Sano. Sano is in a class of his own, the perfect man class, no fictional character can even come close, not to mention Eniwa. Even Edward Cullen has to bow down to Sano Izumi!

And yea, the artwork isn't good. Hana Kimi's artwork was really impressive, even for the first few chapters. Usually I've noticed that in long running series, the first few chapters don't have good artwork, but as the series prgresses, the art gets nicer. But Hana Kimi's art was all along very beautiful. Power just sucked, even the last few chapters weren't any improvement.

The breaking point of urgh-ness is the plot. The romantic development between the main characters for Power wasn't convincing. There wasn't much explanation for their falling in love other than, ooh he looks so cool when he plays basketball. Erm, erm... Erm... And for Eniwa, I still have no idea how he fell in love with Aizawa when he so clearly stated that he loves basketball more than women, and he thought of Aizawa as a bother.

The plot progression is also a big muddle. There was this totally senseless plot twist in Power that left me with a big huh. The whole part about Yura was totally unnecessary. It didn't help further the romantic development, it didn't cause any lasting impression that changed the characters lives, it didn't anything. Hamaya and his nudity also served no purpose in the plot. And it wasn't comedic, it was totally lame.

The finale, was the ultimate lame fest though, nonewithstanding the lameness of the earlier chapters.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Woes of a Chelsea Fan

So I visited Tampines1 today, and went to this Football Madness shop to peek around any Chelsea merchandise that I can decorate my car with.

But they only had Man Utd and Liverpool's scarves :(

My sister nudged me to ask the two sales staff there to see if they've other stuff hidden somewhere else, but glancing over that them, all I noticed were that they were both in red. So I replied to me sister "They don't look like they are in very friendly colours". One was Arsenal, the other Liverpool :(

Unfortunately they heard me. They asked if I was looking for something blue, Chelsea blue. Nod nod. They said that they are actually very neutral people.

"We are neutral. Until we close the shop and step out of the door."


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Luck is all I need"

Joan took the Which Singaporean Elite School Do You Belong To? quiz and the result is Dunman High School

You think that you are different from other elite schools.You probably know the difference between a yangqin and a liuqin. You believe that you are better than them, as evident in your world-views and personal experiences. And in most cases, you are right. That is until you find yourself inevitably sucked into the rat race. You sometimes resent yourself for turning into the competitive and unfeeling creature that you really are not. Otherwise, you are generally good-natured, kind-hearted and frown upon vicious competition. In your quiet moments, you think "Luck is all I need".


I always thought myself as different from other people. I imagined a life of glitz and glam, yet relaxed and comfy, it's all part of the living in the east kind of suburban lifestyle. I wanted to be a writer, and publish hot-selling books, and have them sold across the world, maybe translated into different languages. I could do my books in both English and Chinese with little problems. I'd be sleeping in the day and working at night, I'd be meeting friends for high tea, and maybe even with a acessory kid in a chic stroller, I'd be bringing my laptop down to the beach to view the sunset and the plot unfolds before my eyes. Home would be a smallish but cute condo tucked somewhere in the East. Along the way Hollywood would pick up my stories and adapt them into full length motion pictures. Book tours, readings, discussions, seminars, all of them would follow...

Well, as life proceeds on, all I can see in my future is a stable job in the civil service, a HDB flat in Sengkang, marriage, a kid, maybe an upgrade to an executive condo in Buangkok, another kid, continue on with my job and get long service awards for 10 years, 20 years, watch my kids grow old and get sucked into the same kind of lifestyle as myself, grow old, retire, live on my CPF and maybe my kids, pray hard I don't fall sick, die. Great...

*stares at the pile of manuscripts in front*

If only I have an agent, or maybe a publisher, just one big break for me to make it big... And I know I have the talent for it!

I read widely, I read in both languages. I love my Donna Leon books as much as my Liang Yusheng's. I know the difference between Jin Yong and Gu Long. I can even read traditional Chinese characters in the up to down, right to left format. I have lots of wonderful ideas and interesting plots which pan out inside my head. I've a pile of manuscripts collecting dust somewhere. I have a life before me... So where am I?

Honestly, I have no idea...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Class 3 License Named Desire

Recently there's been a debate about a family member taking up driving lessons. It made me think about the time when I was 18, fresh out of A Levels, with lots of time on hand and nothing to do. Why hadn't I learned driving then?

I only started taking up lessons into my final year in NUS, at the ripe old age of 22-23. It isn't too uncommon. There were still plenty of people who hadn't started taking lessons yet, also plenty of people who hadn't passed their TP test yet, but there's also a fair number of my peers who are already driving for a couple of years. I wasn't particularly old among the students in my driving school. All my driving instructors regarded me as a student, along with the other 18 year olds since I was still technically a student, even as a fresh graduate.

I passed my TP test on my first attempt. Ask any Singaporean who drives and you'll know this is something to be bragged. The passing rate is low, the passing rate for first timers is lower, and the passing rate for female first timers is about shin high.

So why hadn't I been driving much earlier?

I was 18, fresh from my A Levels, and scared of the world that awaits me. All the talk about low passing rates, high driving lesson fees, and the difficult controlling the clutch frightened me. I knew I wasn't ready yet. Furthermore, I can't deny the fact that my hand-eye-mind-leg coordination was trash, I can't differentiate right and left, and worse, I have very poor judgement. I am definitely not what anyone can describe as a driver. But I love cars. Nothing excites me more that a fast German car, and I'm proud to say I know my CLKs from the SLKs, and I have my preferences. I know one day I will be driving. But that day wasn't when I was 18.

My father did express some disappointment when I wasn't like any other 18 year olds pestering to learn driving. He talked to me much about his days of driving illegally as a 14-15 year old when he was an apprentice mechanic with access to cars in the workshop, and his TP test when he had a stroke of bad luck and almost met with an accident but still managed to pass because of his quick thinking and fast reflexes. He also talked about the good old days when being 16 was all you needed to get a license. But I knew I was going to be a road hazard, and I was scared of failure. Maybe more of the latter, much more than I thought so then.

I finally decided to take up lessons in my final year of studies for a very selfish reason. That was the last year I was leeching off my parents, and if I took lessons, they would be paying for it. The deal was that they would pay for all my lessons until my driving test. If I failed, I would have to pay for more lessons on my own since I would have graduated then, and I knew I would have done so. But until then, I was happy living off my parents.

The first few lessons confirmed my greatest fear that I sucked at driving. I could have got full marks for both theory tests but that had no bearing on my ability to think and transmit my thoughts to my eyes, hands and legs in a split second. My engine stalled almost every 5 minutes. And I couldn't bring myself to learn automatic because of the dream of speeding down the A8 in a CLK in Germany. But at that time I truly hated driving. Maybe it wasn't driving that I hated, I hated that sense of failure. My life has always been plain sailing, and there wasn't anything that I truly sucked at, if there was any, I wasn't doing it, so it didn't matter.

Driving was killing me so bad that I took a 6-months break. In all my life of studying, I never once felt this amout of stress and pressure on my that I felt so suffocated. I pushed registering for the TP test because I felt I wasn't ready, and I wanted so badly to pass so that I needn't have to pay for additional driving lessons on my own.

Now thinking back, I realise that deep down in my subconscious, it was never about money, it was never about age, it was all about my fears. I wanted so badly to drive well despite knowing that nothing my my bones and reflexes contained the ability to drive. Yet still I wanted to prove my body wrong and that my will could triumph. It took my 4 years to muster up that will. Listening to horror stories of friends, listening to triumphant stories from different people, and listening to myths about how to pass. Now thinking back, I think deep down I knew I could do it.

I stepped out of my 6-month hiatus without forgetting anything about driving. All it took was another driving instructor to bolster up my confidence. It wasn't that my previous instructors were bad, but they were telling me the things I wanted to hear. This instructor seemed to be made to work the way I handle my work. And things got better, I stopped stalling, I gassed up and accelerated, I felt welded to the steering wheel, my confidence grew.

Now that my class 3 license is safely in my pocket, i slackened. I have yet grown used to driving but at least I know I could do it. My early fears were also what motivated me to prove myself.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

UEFA Euros 2008

i'm watching football! i'm supporting germany! and they have a match tonight, against croatia~

the reunion of the K and K strike force but on opposite team, haha... hope klose scores some goals, hope all's well with klasnic even though i'm hoping he doesn't score. anyway, it's not about scoring goals as seen in the first match.

that assist klose did for podolski was the exact same reason why i fell in love with him back in summer 2002. football is not about scoring goals and personal glory, it's about teamwork, and klose truly exemplifies teamwork in his unselfish assists to his other team mates. he could have had a 50-50 shot at goal, but his team mate had an 80% chance of scoring at that position. a great read of positioning and all rounded awareness of the game. yays for miroslav klose~

okay, i'm going back to playing my fluff friends now ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2008


After years of persuading, we've finally got scv! Here's the chelsea match...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Absolutism in Brandenburg

Absolutism in Brandenburg-Prussia

This presentation covers the two variant forms of absolutism which were exemplified in Brandenburg-Prussia, military absolutism during the reign of Frederick William, the Great Elector, and the enlightened absolutism of Frederick the Great. The key aspects of military absolutism is highlighted and so is that of enlightened absolutism and the significance both variant forms of absolutism had on Brandenburg-Prussia specifically thereby contrasting the differences in these variants with the theories of absolutism.

Timeline of Brandenburg-Prussia 1640-1786

• Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
• Reigned from 1640-1688
• He was also known as the Great Elector
• Frederick I of Prussia
• He was the Elector of Brandenburg from 1688-1701
• In 1701 he proclaimed himself King of Prussia
• Went on to reign as King of Prussia until 1713
• Frederick William I of Prussia
• Also known as the Soldier-King
• Reigned from 1713-1740
• Brought military absolutism to its height
• Lived simply without extravagance
• Frederick II of Prussia
• Better known as Frederick the Great
• Reigned from 1740-1786
• Anti-Machiavellian
• Based on his ideals and motivations as king, brought upon a kingship of enlightened absolutism

Brandenburg before 1640

Before Frederick William and the concept of military absolutism in Brandenburg, that electorate was under a feudal system based on Treu, or a kind of loyalty, loyalty towards the feudal lord. But Treu was more than simply loyalty, but also a form of unwritten law. It was based on this Treu that the lords governed the peasants and the peasants listened to the lords. However, if there was a breach of Treu on the part of the lords, the peasants would then revolt against the lord. As such, throughout the middle ages there were many such revolts. It has also to be noted that Brandenburg was merely an electorate under the Holy Roman Empire. As such, it came under the kingship of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Elector of Brandenburg was but a feudal lord under the Emperor.

Unlike many other classical European cities, Brandenburg was landlocked and without a major river passing through it. Hence, water was scarce and trading costs were high. Furthermore, at its location in the middle of Central Europe, it was extremely precarious to enemies from all directions, especially from the Swedes to the north, the Habsburg Empire to the south, Russia to the East and France to the West. When faced with warring states from all surrounding, it was difficult for Brandenburg to remain at its size. It also found itself caught up in power struggles between the other hegemonic powers such as the Habsburg Empire, France, the Holy Roman Empire, Sweden and Poland. This became glaringly apparent with the Thirty Years War which caused Brandenburg to lose 50% of its territories and much of its population. It was due to the impact of this war on Brandenburg which moulded Frederick William’s ideology of a military absolutist state as he grew up under the conditions of this sort of ravage upon his electorate. He saw the need of Brandenburg to build up on its military defences to ensure its own survival.

Frederick William, 1640-1688

Frederick William the Great Elector came into power with the death of his father. He was known as the Great Elector because during his reign he managed to heal Brandenburg from the wounds of the Thirty Years War while building up its military might and political recognition among the other European cities. By building up Brandenburg’s military forces, he established a rule which was later coined by scholars as military absolutism. However, this military absolutist rule here was not one which was intentionally imposed by Frederick William the Great Elector but was a result of circumstances and much hindsight by scholars.

What is military absolutism?

Perry Anderson
Perry Anderson argued that absolutism arose in Brandenburg-Prussia after a formal Charter in 1653 whereby the nobility voted to allow taxes to be imposed on the towns and peasants rather than on the junkers themselves. This gave the state total control over the territories, which is a key issue in the theory of absolutism. The difference in Brandenburg-Prussia from other absolutist states such as the France of Louis XIV was that when the junkers voted to allow for the taxation on the towns and peasants, they also voted for taxes to pay for a permanent army which ensured that the army become the core of the state. As Anderson stated, “it was a pact which both increased the political power of the dynasty over the nobility, and that of the nobility over the peasantry.” Hence the key difference between this two absolutist states is that the bureaucracy in Brandenburg-Prussia is made up of the military rather than a civilian body which was the feature in absolutist France. Anderson also brought up the key in Brandenburg-Prussia’s military absolutist state is the focus on war.

Thomas Ertman
Thomas Ertman drew up a comparison between the various Europeans states during the Early Modern Period and classified Brandenburg-Prussia as bureaucratic absolutist, however, he also recognised that the bureaucracy of Brandenburg-Prussia was effectively its military. This was a result of geopolitical competition brought up by Otto Hintze which was seen in the wars Brandenburg fought to protect itself from foreign occupation. Rather than identifying Brandenburg-Prussia as being militaristic from a result of jostling for military supremacy in the region, HW Koch argued that there was a need for Brandenburg-Prussia to turn to its military in order to safeguard its own existence. There was never a choice for Brandenburg-Prussia since it was needed of Brandenburg-Prussia to be militaristic. Based on this argument, it is clear that it was also not due to the ideology of a single leader that Brandenburg turned militaristic, but that it was forced by circumstances to do so.

Prussian Absolutism
JAR Marriott and CG Robertson
The rule over Brandenburg-Prussia was through the unity imposed by the ruler, the crushing of every institution that hampered the absolute control of all resources, human or material, in the state, the interpretation of law as the will of the ruler, and of civic duty as obedience to a self-determining authority. And all this was enforced using the military apparatus. Marriott and Robertson even went far enough to state that Frederick William was the founder of Prussian absolutism and the originator of the machinery that it required and the obstinate champion of the social structure that the system demanded.

Why was Brandenburg-Prussia a military absolutist state?

Based on Koch’s argument, Brandenburg-Prussia was a military absolutist state because that was what which ensured its own survival. As quoted from Koch, it was transformed “from a weapon of the military entrepreneur” into “an instrument of state”. Internally, a strong military was needed to maintain public unity in this fragmented territory. Frederick William the Great Elector and most of his nobility were Calvinists despite the population in his territory being still largely Lutheran. Hence there was a need to safeguard the religious freedom preached by Frederick William the Great Elector within his own territory and prevent disharmony from the other states around as they were mostly Lutheran or Catholic.

Another reason for the need of a strong military and absolutist rule from the external perspective was the lack of free waterways for Brandenburg-Prussia. Brandenburg was a landlocked territory without any major rivers passing through. Hence trading was difficult and Brandenburg-Prussia needed to use its military force to ensure that all its trade were safe. Not only that, any military blockades from unfriendly neighbours could also turn into the cutting off of logistics from entering Brandenburg thus spelling their demise. A strong military government was needed to deter unfriendly neighbours.

Features of the military during Frederick William’s reign

• Heavy punishment as deterrence
• Severe discipline
• Any act of plundering would be punished by hanging
• Any attack on civilians would be stripped of his rank for a year and have to carry the musket as common soldier
• Was issued bibles and had to attend religious service every morning and evening
• Not officered by nobility
• Rigid command structure
• Unquestioning obedience to orders
• High wages

Frederick the Great

From the reign of Frederick the Great, there marked a shift from military absolutism to a form of enlightened absolutism even though Prussia military might was still a force that dominated upon Central Europe. After he came into power, Frederick the Great attempted to put a change in the handling of state affairs from his father by declaring his reign as an enlightened ruler. This was a term he gave himself, so whether he was indeed an enlightened ruler is debatable. Still, in all effort, Frederick the Great was indeed a man of the Enlightenment breezing though Europe during that period.

What is enlightened absolutism?

Frederick the Great’s idea of an enlightened absolutism
• enlightened reason
• power was justified and only justifiable if used to promote a rational well-being
• power as unlimited as reason
• ambition of the Hohenzollerns and the pride of Prussia
• power and prosperity

Why the transition?

The change from military absolutism enlightened absolutism was solely the decision of Frederick the Great, even though he was influenced by the other enlightened philosophes of his time.

One major key reason for the shift towards enlightened absolutism is traced back to Frederick the Great’s upbringing under the stoic militaristic rule of his father, Frederick William the Soldier King. Frederick the Soldier King was as his name suggests was titular of the term military absolutism, and he not only governed his land through that belief but also controlled his son with such. Young Frederick grew up under strict military control with little pleasures. He did not have the freedom to read what he wanted, if he were to read he could only read state documents from Frederick William the Great Elector’s reign. There was definitely no court fanfare such as those of Vienna and Paris in Berlin which Frederick grew attracted to during his time abroad. One of the most defining moments of Frederick the great was when he was still a young soldier, he and a close friend of his deserted the army and was caught. His friend was sentenced to death and himself was almost sentenced to death had it not for the pleading of the nobility around the region. In his letters corresponding with French philosopher Voltaire, he stated that it was since then he realized that he needed to be an enlightened ruler.

From his friendship with Voltaire, it was clear that Frederick the Great was heavily influenced by the arts and philosophy and the wave of Enlightenment spreading through Europe during his time. In his biography, it was described in great detail about Frederick the Great’s first visit to Vienna. It was bright and colourful and filled with an atmosphere of fun and decadence, which was everything opposite of his life in Berlin. In Berlin, under the rule of Frederick William the Soldier King, dinner and balls such as those witnessed in Vienna was considered to be extravagant and a huge waste of money.

How was it implemented?

After he came into power, Frederick the Great attempted to put a change in the handling of state affairs from his father by declaring his reign as an enlightened ruler. However, he was still an absolutist ruler as he had the power to decide what type of reign he wished to rule by. Be it an enlightened one or a military one, there was no doubt that the king had the power to be an enlightened ruler if he wanted to do so. Still, Frederick the Great favoured a benign rule where the ruler uses benevolence to govern his people. Unlike the military absolutist rule of Brandenburg-Prussia under the previous rulers which take on many highlights of Machiavelli’s view upon governance, Frederick the Great opposed that. In his later years, he wrote a book called Anti-Machiavelli which preached a way of governance totally unlike that which was preached by Machiavelli, instead, preaching his way of benign and enlightened rule.

However, despite Frederick the Great’s rule being benign, it was still absolutist due to the geopolitical factors influencing his way of governance. The geo-political factors which plagued Brandenburg-Prussia earlier during the reign of Frederick William the Great Elector were also the same factors which continued to put pressure on Frederick the Great. There was the First Silesian War, the Wars of Spanish Succession, the Wars of Austrian Succession, the Second Silesian War, and the most important the Seven Years War against France. However, victories in these wars came at a price. The surplus from the treasury left behind by Frederick William the Soldier King was drained, and to raise the funds for waging war, heavy taxation under military absolutist control was needed, thereby diminishing the impact of enlightened rule upon Brandenburg-Prussia.

How was enlightened absolutism different from military absolutism?

Because of the impact of the Seven Years War, Koch and Marriott and Robertson argued that in terms of economy, agriculture and military, Frederick the Great’s enlightened rule was no different from the military rule of his predecessors. The Seven Years War accentuated the need for a more centralised control to effectively finance the war effort, hence, there was a need for a more absolutist rule by Frederick the Great. To put the economy in place to withstand the war effort, there was a concentration of all capital and money traffic in the hands of a central authority. Production was planned and regulated. To feed his troops, there was also a need for Frederick the Great to control agriculture output. He forced the expansion of potato farming and promoted large-scale dairy farming in East Prussia. He also took upon inspection of his troops, administration and subjects himself, thereby consolidating all control under himself. Also, due to the numerous amount of warfare being waged and new lands being gained, he took it upon his directive to relocate large numbers of subjects on to these lands either to populate them or clear them away from the battle grounds.

How did Prussia differ from other European states?

Despite France during the reign of Louis XIV often being mentioned as the epitome of absolutist rule, there is a no lacking of such a scale of absolutism in Brandenburg-Prussia, even under the reign of the enlightened absolutism of Frederick the Great. Just as King Louis XIV said “I am the state”, Frederick William the Soldier King once said “I am the Finance Minister and the Field Marshal”. Compared to Austria, which was already in its decline and with the rise of the Hungarians in government in contest with the Habsburgs, indeed Brandenburg-Prussia proved to be more of an absolutist state. Eastern European states such as Russia had yet developed a bureaucracy and much of Eastern Europe remained largely feudal.

This difference was due to the geopolitical difference between Brandenburg-Prussia and the other European states. Brandenburg-Prussia was landlocked and access to ports was limited and was at the mercy of their neighbours hence that played into Prussia having to develop its own unique form of governance that would put it into position with the other European powers. This form of governance culminated in the militaristic rule of Brandenburg-Prussia. Its military was strong and effective but what also sets it apart from its immediate neighbours such as France is its effective taxation system and financial capabilities in sustaining warfare. For Brandenburg-Prussia, it has to be noted that it has an extremely high percentage of its budget set aside for defence.

It is also to Prussia advantage for the strong personalities of its rulers who proved to be capable and effective who were adequately effective in building up the Prussian Empire which started out as an Electorate almost falling into extinction.


Anderson, Perry, Lineages of the Absolutist State, (London: N.L.B., c1974).

Anderson, Perry, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, (London: Verso, 1996, c1974).

Ertman, Thomas, Birth of the leviathan: building states and regimes in medieval and early modern Europe, (Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Hubatsch, Walter, Frederick the Great of Prussia: Absolutism and Administration, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1975).

Koch, HW, A History of Prussia, (London and New York: Longman, 1978).

Marriott, JAR and Robertson, The Evolution of Prussia: The Making of an Empire, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1946).

Miller, John, Absolutism in seventeenth-century Europe, (Basingstoke : Macmillan Education, 1990).

Poggi, Gianfranco, The development of the modern state: a sociological introduction, (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1978).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Enlightened Absolutism

My political view is that democracy sometimes might not be the best form of government because a country of 51% baboons, under democracy, will be governed by a monkey, leaving the 49% under excruciating control. If democracy is not the best form of government, then what is?

Theoretically an enlightened absolutism could be the best form of control, if there is a benovelent ruler who not only is fair but also wise. There isn't a need to worry about stupid people ruining the country since the benovelent ruler decides everything. And people won't be upset with the decisions made by the benovelent ruler because he knows everything and his decision is always the best. However, this is only an ideal solution because man is faliable. Not man can achieve the benovelence and enlightenment needed for this to be successful.

As the popular saying goes, power corrupts. Any faliable man when put in a position of power will crave for more power and greater autocracy to make sure that his position of power will never be threatened by anyone else. As such, some decisions made by him would not be of the best interest to the general population. And because these decisions aren't the best decisions, people oppose, and the enlightened absolutism becomes a failure.

Another problem that we face is that the world is divided into many different types of governments. Because of the discrepancies of the various governments, it is impossible to establish a single type of rule across all borders to eliminate borders and create a uniform rule.

Creating a borderless society of the whole world would eliminate many problems faced by many lands in this present world and will eliminated the problems that have plagued mankind since societies were formed. The eradication of wars and disputes. There wouldn't be a need for wars when everybody in the world is from the same global society. There won't even be cultral conflict, racial, ethnic, religious conflict, since everyone is the same. How about a classless society? That would sound a bit Marxist...

Well, perhaps a classed society might be better. WIth everyone doing their job, a little bit like the worker ants, where there's a social hierachy but everyone working like a well oiled clockwork. Everyone knows their place in society and does their job well. Life would be so much simpler like that, and people can be happy with their day to day life, and not fret about climbing the social ladder and getting caught up in the rat race.

But no, it's not about birth rights, because that would lead to inbreeding and the degrading of the quality of the top tiered class. Rather, the class structure is based on merit and everyone has the chance to perform.

Utopian remains utopian because man is faliable and unable to achieve utopia.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

guess what i've been busy with lately?

This is what i've been busy with lately... Easter egg hunting, racing, petting, gifting, foruming, basically wasting my time, great.

I've even stopped reading blogs totally... This is like the ultimate addiction already, and the game is so dumb, haha~ yup, another microblog i'm doing on my N95 so that i can leave my windows free for petting fluffs, lol.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beware of Phishing

I got an email from a supposed Paypal requiring me to verify my details.

On the surface it looks pretty decent, a proper header, the use of the trademark signs when necessary, even the hyperlink and the return email address looks pretty legitimate.


The biggest tell tale sign that this is a phishing email is that this is not the primary email address I'm using for my Paypal account.

Then I ran my cursor over the seemingly legitimate hyperlink and look at this,

It appears that the hyperlink would be redirecting me to some other weird website.

So I ran a check on the full message header to check where the email originated from, and take a look at this,

It clearly states that the author of the email is not from Paypal but some other weirdshite organisation.

For pre-emptive measures, I decided also to check with Paypal to doubly make sure that this is phishing even though I'm already 99% sure that it is. So I ran around to check for an email address from Paypal to see if I can check it with them. True enough, Paypal does have a whole range of security measures, and specific departments to handle all sort of phishing complaints. To report phishing emails, just forward the email received to simple as that, and that was what I did.

And their response was pretty quick, not that I think it'd take pretty long for them to decide if they did or did not send out verification emails.

But at least it's one less worry off my back.

Usually I don't go to such an extent to report phishings, but Paypal is different because they handle my money, and anything that has a direct relation to me and my money is a pretty serious issue. Over here I'd like to highlight the importance of recognising a phishing email and not fall into the traps of phishing.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Malaysian Elections

For some unknown reason, I was actually quite interested in this round of elections in Malaysia. Maybe because I just returned from Malacca and Kuching, and looking at the actual state of Malaysia that made me think a little bit more, or maybe I just happened to have matured a bit, or maybe it's the high coverage of non-mainstream media reports that are floating about the internet that I can easily access. Or maybe it's a bit of a mixture of all those above mentioned reasons and some more.

But anyway, my point is that I'm quite unsure if a weak Malaysia or a strong Malaysia is better for Singapore. And I'm unsure if a strong BN equates to a weak Malaysia or a strong opposition equates to a weak Malaysia. Politics and social development is so complicated.

Anyway, I was reading some of the abstracts of the opposition party and I thought that the opposition parties in Malaysia are getting smarter. Or at least more sound that they're actually viable oppositions. Take for example PAS, I always thought that they were some sort of a staunch Islamic group, but they've modernised. The main focus of the party now is not to convert Malaysia into an Islamic state and impose religion on everyone, but to stand against corruption, rising prices, and promote harmony among the races. The DAP's also a very interesting party, there's a lot of highly educated people among the ranks, and they know what is it that could make Malaysia stronger, and their calls for a Malaysian Malaysia.

Well, let's just say that if I were a Malaysian... But anyway I'm not and I've different interests at stake, so I'll just watch the results and see how things go from there I suppose. Congrats to the the opposition for winning for than a third majority, good luck to you guys. Congrats to the BN for winning the majority of the seats, good luck to the government.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Food Fight

This is the coolest video I've ever since about wars and conflict.

Food Fight

If you don't understand it, check out the cheat sheet for the various food characters over here! Also check out the main page over here. I think this guy is really amazing.

My personal various part is his depiction of the Cold War. I also like how he depicted all the infiltration parts and the alliances coming together. And it's kind of funny how America is one big McDonald's at the end. Really cool shite!

A Really Cool Day

I woke up at 10am this morning. It was raining hard and cold. I decided to pull my blanket over my face and tuck the sides of the blanket under my body to prevent minimal heat loss from within the blanket. I rolled in my bed and continued lying in a semi-conscious state and do nothing, just resting. When I was finally awake, I reached for my ipod in my bag which was lying on my bed. I plugged the earpieces in and switched my ipod on. I watched a video on my ipod, a one hour long TV programme I downloaded some time ago. I brought the ipod under my blanket to join me while I still lay on my bed with my head snugly attached onto the pillow. Wonderful~

After the show ended, I wriggled on my bed and decided that I shall go online. I picked up my laptop beside my bed and turned it on. Facebook, with my Warbook, and Battle Stations. Yum yum, like that another hour passed by. What a nice cool wonderful day doing nothing but lying in my bed.

Are you jealous?

I am awake since 10am and haven't stepped off my bed, not even to the toilet, basically I'm just paralysed on my bed. I love rainy days~ I love rainy days when I'm at home with nothing to do and can sleep in and laze about and slack. woohoo~ Just hope that after today's torrential rain there won't be any more rain left for tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll be in school the whole day and raining would just make the situation more depressing. haha~

Ciao for now, I'm going back to playing my Warbook and Battle Stations. There's no plans for me to get off my bed until after lunch. My parents are buying lunch back for me, whee! I don't even need to get off bed to eat. I'll be staying in bed for as long as I don't need to go to the toilet, but I'll return to my bed straight after I'm done in the toilet, so it's still considered spending the whole entire day in my bed paralysed. haha~

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Lovely Sister

While I was at Sarawak, my sister spearheaded the parents to buy a very expensive adidas orginal jacket for me. The reason was because my sister lost my World Cup Germany 2006 pullover. Apparently, she heard that Changi Airport's T3 had this FIFA Concept Store, but she didn't know that it was in the transit area until she got there. Anyway, back to this jacket...

Rewind a couple of weeks earlier when I was out shopping with my sister. She spotted this jacket, pastel yellow with baby pink adidas three stripes, very nice and comfy and a very hefty price tag on it. Let's just say that it's the most expensive item in my wardrobe excluding my dinner dresses, and my adidas dress. Sure, I thought it was very nice, but my sister was in love with it. She told me to buy it, and I jokingly told her to buy it for me instead. The story ended there, or so I thought...

Fast forward back to when I was in Sarawak. Apparently, my sister told my parents that I called her to buy that jacket for me, so she wanted them to split the cost of the jacket with her to buy it for my birthday. So she paid for 1/3 the jacket while the parents each paid the other two thirds.

I came back from Sarawak pretty worn out with a deadline looming, and while I was in the state of half consciousness, I lay around my bed, probably half asleep. Somewhere, I thought I saw my sister bring in the adidas paper bag and put it on the foot of my bed, but I carried on sleeping. When I woke up I saw my birthday present, with a card on it. The card read that that was my belated birthday present, from my sister and the parents. My sister wrote it, so she used the personal pronoun ME, which she had it capitalised and underlined and bolded it. Below, she added a postscript saying that she wanted to borrow the jacket tomorrow.

erm, yes...

I think there's a Hokkien term for that, chao kuan. The parents too agreed that that was a perfect term to use on the sister.

Anyway, a little bit later, my sister told me that she told my dad that I wanted to rear a puppy. erm, let's rewind a couple of weeks ago...

My sister told me that she wanted a puppy, a pure white Siberian husky. So I told her that S wanted to rear a puppy too, so maybe next time we might rear one, and he's also quite interested in a Siberian husky. But that was just talk la, I'm not the kind committed enough to look after puppies, and of present, it was also not possible for us to have one, no money no space no nothing.

Fast forward back to present day. My sister said ta dah, there, you said you wanted to rear a puppy. -_-" I feel so maligned, like words taken out of my mouth put into the wrong context. Anyway, my dad didn't even bother listening to what my sister has to say about puppies, his decision is final, no puppies.

My sister still has the cheek to say that S can get a puppy first then put in our house and when we get our own place by then my sister would be staying in the hostel already and we can get the puppy back, erm, by then the puppy would have become a huge dog already. ahh... Whatever...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Why No Blog?

I'm tired.

These isn't much reason for me to blog lately since life has hit a nice little stream, no ups no downs, no serious blogging material. I don't want to think too deeply and write serious shite, I haven't been writing since ages, not even reading much, no many movies, not many everything at all.

Life now revolves around school and S, the two big Ses. Yes, I went to Malacca and Kuching and went to some jungle, but that's about it. Until I find the momentum to do up the photos, I'll be too tired to blog about it.

Oh yar, I just had my birthday. A great big thanks to everyone who remembered and wished me happy birthday even though I was in some kampung in Sarawak, so couldn't reply to your thanks. But I did feel all the warmth radiating back from home. Love ya guys so much.

I'll be rushing off for my driving lesson now, after a three month hiatus, wish me luck. I'll need to renew my PDL too, wish me a short queue ahead. Ciao, folks~