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Entering 2009
December 31, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Believe, Mind Cloud, Shout

(email from my sister)

How will you spend the last few days of 2008?
Shopping? Sleeping?  Surfing (the web)?
Want to do something different? Something that may actually bring God pleasure?
Here’s my suggestion – why not use the last few days of 2008 to say ‘Sorry’ to someone.
Or else, why not give someone the opportunity to say ‘Sorry’ to you?

In the bible it is very clear that Jesus was sent into the world not only to make peace between humanity and God but also to restore peace between those who are hostile towards each other.   Again and again those who are called God’s people, those who have been shown mercy and forgiveness are encouraged AND often warned (see especially Matthew 18:21-35) to likewise show mercy and forgiveness to others.

As Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.  23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

And as Paul also writes:

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” {Ephesians 4:26-27}

Brothers and sisters, with only a few days left in 2008 – the sun is well and truly about go down!  Who are the people that you need to forgive or to ask forgiveness from?  Your mother? Your father? Your brothers or sisters? Your grandparents? Your flatmate? Your classmate? Your neighbor? Your husband? Your wife? Your children? Your Christian brother or sister?

Or maybe you need to say ‘sorry’ to God?

As we approach the last few days of 2008 (ready to begin 2009), it is good for each of us to reflect again on God’s great offer of forgiveness that comes at the cost of his Son Jesus. Because no matter how often (or how terribly) we have failed God at various times this year, God makes the incredible promise that because of what his Son did by becoming man and dying  on the cross for us, his righteousness is now ours!

‘By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.’ {Romans 8:3b-4}

Forgiving someone is never easy – it costs.  And asking someone for forgiveness is also never easy – but brothers and sister, this delights God.
So why not make time in these next few days, before the sun goes down, to make sure 2009 begins as a wonderfully fresh new day!

22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
{Lamentations 3:22-23}

God bless.

Singapore 2009 Public Holidays
October 28, 2008, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Mind Cloud

Something good I like about 2009, almost all the public holiday gives me long weekend 🙂
How are you going to plan your holiday with this?

Scheduled Public Holidays for 2009

New Year’s Day Thursday 1 January
Chinese New Year Monday 26 January
Tuesday 27 January
Good Friday Friday 10 April
Labour Day Friday 1 May
Vesak Day Saturday 9 May
National Day *Sunday 9 August
Hari Raya Puasa *Sunday 20 September
Deepavali *Sunday 15 November
Hari Raya Haji Friday 27 November
Christmas Day Friday 25 December
* The following Monday will be a public holiday.

On another note, it’s 2009… just another year before 2010.
And I have a target for 2010, I can’t stop wondering if I will reach the target.

“be it unto me, according to Your word.”

What Matters Most
October 23, 2008, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Mind Cloud

(migrated from my old blog: 100cents, written back in 2004)

Part of the orientation program for new staff, the company gave me a pack of Personal Management Tool. If you’re wondering what on earth it is, it’s just a kind of thick organizer that contains plans and schedule, etc.. but a bit more, it also includes personal plans and mission tracking,.. such as defining vision, roles, the values that I have to hold on, etc. Hehehe… if I confuse you more while I tried to explain and make it simpler,.. you’d better check out the website of Franklin – Convey, my company implements this method, and I have to use it too. A good training indeed,… and one quote that I find it really cool :

– Often we don’t use time to indicate what matters most, we don’t see what the most important is.
– Because we don’t see the most important, we treat everything as important.
– Because everything is important, we have to do everything.
– Unfortunately people see us doing everything, so they expect us to do everything.
– Since we have to do everything for people, we don’t have time… to see what the most important is.

Some of you are under stress,… because of your project, organization, works, or other expectations that people put on you. After you read this, spend few minutes to see everything from a new angle, things that you are busy with,.. which one is the most important ? What matters most ?

All the best for your study and works.

Fun Facts
October 17, 2008, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Mind Cloud

I like Snapple, and I’ll be a kid everytime opening the bottle, because under the lid they print some fun facts. Instead of buying hundreds of them to discover the fun facts, I visited their website and whoaa… take this lightly if you must, don’t try to digest all even they are fascinating. Here are some things that you might never know,… or might never need to know anyway:

* #1 A Goldfish’s attention span is three seconds.
* #2 Animals that lay eggs don’t have belly buttons.
* #3 Beavers can hold their breath for 45 minutes under water.
* #4 Slugs have four noses.
* #5 Camels have three eyelids.
* #6 A honey bee can fly at 15mph.
* #7 A queen bee can lay 800-1,500 eggs per day.
* #8 A bee has five eyes.
* #9 The average speed of a housefly is 4.5 mph.
* #10 Mosquitoes are attracted to people who just ate bananas.
* #11 Flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp.
* #12 Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backward.
* #13 Cats have over 100 vocal chords.
* #14 Camel’s milk does not curdle.
* #15 All porcupines float in water.
* #16 The world’s termites outweigh the world’s humans 10 to 1.
* #17 A hummingbird weighs less then a penny.
* #18 A jellyfish is 95% water.
* #19 Children grow faster in the spring.
* #20 Broccoli is the only vegetable that is also a flower.
* #21 Almonds are part of the peach family.
* #22 Alaska has the highest percentage of people who walk to work.
* #23 The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monument.
* #24 The state of Maine has 62 lighthouses.
* #25 The only food that does not spoil is honey.
* #26 The Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters.
* #27 A ball of glass will bounce higher then a ball of rubber.
* #28 Chewing gum while peeling onions will prevent you from crying.
* #29 On average a human will spend up to 2 weeks kissing in his/her lifetime.
* #30 Fish have eyelids.
* #31 The average human will eat an average of eight spiders while sleeping.
* #32 There are one million ants to every human in the world.
* #33 Termites eat through wood two times faster when listening to rock music!
* #34 If you keep a goldfish in a dark room it will eventually turn white.
* #35 Elephants only sleep two hours a day.
* #36 A duck’s quack doesn’t echo.
* #37 A snail breathes through its foot.
* #38 Fish cough.
* #39 An ant’s smell is stronger then a dog’s.
* #40 It is possible to lead a cow up stairs but not down.
* #41 Shrimp can only swim backward.
* #42 Frogs cannot swallow with their eyes open.
* #43 A cat’s lower jaw cannot move sideways.
* #44 The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.
* #45 Elephants are capable of swimming 20 miles per day.
* #46 Elephants are the only mammal that cannot jump.
* #47 Giraffes have no vocal chords.
* #48 Cats can hear ultrasound.
* #49 Despite its hump … camels has a straight spine.
* #50 Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.
* #51 There are 63,360 inches in a mile.
* #52 Eleven percent of people in the world are left-handed.
* #53 The average women consumes six pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.
* #54 The average smell weighs 760 nanograms.
* #55 A human brain weighs about three pounds.
* #56 A quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.
* #57 You blink over 10,000,000 times a year.
* #58 A sneeze travels out of your nose at 100 mph.
* #59 Brain waves can be used to power an electric train.
* #60 The tongue is the fastest healing part of the body.
* #61 Pigs get sunburned.
* #62 The lifespan of a taste bud is 10 days.
* #63 The average human produces 10,000 gallons of saliva in a lifetime.
* #64 Strawberries contain more vitamin C then oranges.
* #65 A one-day weather forecast requires about 10 billion math calculations.
* #66 Americans, on average, eat 18 acres of pizza a day.
* #67 There are 18 different animal shapes in the animal cracker zoo.
* #68 The longest one syllable word is “screeched.”
* #69 No word in the English language rhymes with month.
* #70 A “jiffy” is actually 1/100 of a second.
* #71 There is a town called “Big Ugly” in West Virginia.
* #72 The average person uses 150 gallons of water per day for personal use.
* #73 The average person spends two weeks of its life waiting for a traffic light to change.
* #74 You share your birthday with nine million others in the world.
* #75 The average person makes 1,140 phone calls per year.
* #76 The average person spends two years on the phone in his/her lifetime.
* #77 No piece of paper can be folded more then seven times.
* #78 Alaska is the most eastern and western state in the U.S.
* #79 There are 119 grooves on the edge of a quarter.
* #80 About 18 percent of animal owners share their bed with their pet.
* #81 Alaska has more caribou than people.
* #82 August has the highest percentage of births.
* #83 Googol is a number (1 followed by 100 zeros).
* #84 Oysters can change genders back and forth.
* #85 The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.
* #86 Until the 19th century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia.
* #87 A mile on the ocean and a mile on land are not the same distance.
* #88 A ten gallon hat holds less then one gallon of liquid.
* #89 The average American walks 18,000 steps a day.
* #90 The average raindrop falls at seven mph.
* #91 There are more telephones than people in Washington, D.C.
* #92 Fish can drown.
* #93 A kangaroo can jump 30 feet.
* #94 Lizards communicate by doing push-ups.
* #95 Squids can have eyeballs the size of volleyballs.
* #96 The average American will eat 35,000 cookies in his/her lifetime.
* #97 A turkey can run at 20 mph.
* #98 When the moon is directly over you, you weigh less.
* #99 You burn 20 calories an hour chewing gum.
* #100 In a year, the average person walks four miles making their bed.
* #101 About half of all Americans are on a diet at any given time.
* #102 A one-minute kiss burns 26 calories.
* #103 Frowning burns more calories then smiling.
* #104 There are more then 30,000 diets on public record.
* #105 You will burn seven percent more calories walking on hard dirt then pavement.
* #106 You weigh less at the top of a mountain then sea level.
* #107 You burn more calories sleeping then watching TV.
* #108 Licking a stamp burns 10 calories.
* #109 Smelling apples and/or bananas can help you lose weight.
* #110 Frogs never drink.
* #111 Only male turkeys gobble.
* #112 At birth, a Dalmatian is always pure white.
* #113 The fastest recorded speed of a racehorse was over 43 mph.
* #114 The oldest known animal was a tortoise, which lived to be 152 years old.
* #115 Bamboo makes up 99 percent of a panda’s diet.
* #116 The largest fish is the whale shark – it can be over 50 feet long and weigh two tons.
* #117 The starfish is the only animal that can turn its stomach inside out.
* #118 Honeybees are the only insects that create a form of food for humans.
* #119 The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards.
* #120 The only continent without native reptiles or snakes is Antarctica.
* #121 The only bird that can swim and not fly is a penguin.
* #122 A duck can’t walk without bobbing its head.
* #123 Beavers were once the size of bears.
* #124 Seals sleep only one and a half minutes at a time.
* #125 Pigeons have been trained by the U.S. Coast Guard to spot people lost at sea.
* #126 A pigeon’s feathers are heavier than its bones.
* #127 A hummingbird’s heart beats 1,400 times a minute.
* #128 Dragonflies have six legs but can’t walk.
* #129 Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.
* #130 Koala and humans are the only animals with unique fingerprints.
* #131 Penguins have an organ above their eyes that converts seawater to fresh water.
* #132 A crocodile cannot move its tongue.
* #133 Honeybees navigate by using the sun as a compass.
* #134 An ant can lift 50 times its own weight.
* #135 A single coffee tree produces only about a pound of coffee beans per year.
* #136 Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.
* #137 The city of Los Angeles has three times more automobiles than people.
* #138 Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows coffee.
* #139 Hawaii is the only state with one school district.
* #140 Holland is the only country with a national dog.
* #141 The square dance is the official dance of the state of Washington.
* #142 Hawaii is the only U.S. state never to report a temperature of zero degrees F or below.
* #143 “Q” is the only letter in the alphabet not appearing in the name of any U.S. state.
* #144 Texas is the only state that permits residents to cast absentee ballots from space.
* #145 Lake Superior is the world’s largest lake.
* #146 The smallest county in America is New York County, better known as Manhattan.
* #147 Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic.
* #148 The tallest man was 8 ft. 11 in.
* #149 Theodore Roosevelt was the only president who was blind in one eye.
* #150 The first sport to be filmed was boxing in 1894.
* #151 The fastest served ball in tennis was clocked at 154 mph in 1963.
* #152 In 1985, the fastest bicyclist was clocked at 154 mph.
* #153 The speed limit in NYC was eight mph in 1895.
* #154 Americans spend more than $630 million a year on golf balls.
* #155 In 1926, the first outdoor mini-golf courses were built on rooftops in NYC.
* #156 Swimming pools in the U.S. contain enough water to cover San Francisco.
* #157 The first TV soap opera debuted in 1946.
* #158 The first MTV video was “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by the Buggles.
* #159 The first TV show ever to be put into reruns was “The Lone Ranger.”
* #160 One alternative title that had been considered for NBC’s hit “Friends” was “Insomnia Café.”
* #161 The first TV network kids show in the U.S. was “Captain Kangaroo.”
* #162 The temperature of the sun can reach up to 15 million degrees Fahrenheit.
* #163 The first penny had the motto “Mind your own business.”
* #164 The first vacuum was so large, it was brought to a house by horses.
* #165 Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise.
* #166 Before mercury, brandy was used to fill thermometers.
* #167 You have to play ping-pong for 12 hours to lose one pound.
* #168 One brow wrinkle is the result of 200,000 frowns.
* #169 The first human-made object to break the sound barrier was a whip.
* #170 In 1878, the first telephone book ever issued contained only 50 names.
* #171 The most sensitive parts of the body are the mouth and the fingertips.
* #172 The eye makes movements 50 times every second.
* #173 Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.
* #174 The world’s biggest pyramid is not in Egypt, but in Mexico.
* #175 In 1634, tulip bulbs were a form of currency in Holland.
* #176 The first bike was called a hobbyhorse.
* #177 The first sailing boats were built in Egypt.
* #178 The first ballpoint pens were sold in 1945 for $12.00.
* #179 The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty in 1886.
* #180 The first VCR was made in 1956 and was the size of a piano.
* #181 The first jukebox was located in San Francisco in 1899.
* #182 A rainbow can only be seen in the morning or late afternoon.
* #183 The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. has 365 steps to represent every day of the year.
* #184 The most used letters in the English language are E, T, A, O, I and N.
* #185 A male kangaroo is called a boomer.
* #186 A female kangaroo is called a flyer.
* #187 There are over 61,000 pizzerias in the U.S.
* #188 Antarctica is the driest, coldest, windiest, and highest continent on earth.
* #189 The Sahara Desert stretches farther than the distance from California to New York.
* #190 Thailand means “Land of the Free.”
* #191 Popcorn was invented by the American Indians.
* #192 Jupiter spins so fast that there is a new sunrise nearly every 10 hours.
* #193 The year that read the same upside down was 1961. That won’t happen again until 6009.
* #194 You don’t have to be a lawyer to be a Supreme Court Justice.
* #195 Eleven of the 50 states are named after an actual person.
* #196 If you doubled one penny every day for 30 days, you would have $5,368,709.
* #197 The first person crossed Niagara Falls by tightrope in 1859.
* #198 The U.S. is the largest country names after an actual person (Amerigo Vespucci).
* #199 The largest cheesecake ever made weighed 57,508 lbs.
* #200 The first country to use postcards was Austria.
* #206 Over 1 million earths would fit inside the sun.
* #208 Add up opposing sides of a dice cue and you’ll always get seven.
* #214 Giraffes can lick their own eyes.
* #218 A jackrabbit can travel more than 12 feet in one hop.
* #221 The game of basketball was first played using a soccer ball and two peach baskets.
* #227 Tsiology is anything written about tea.
* #228 There is a town in South Dakota named Tea.
* #229 The Caspian Sea is actually a lake.
* #232 The blue whale’s heart is the size of a small car.
* #233 There are seven letters that look the same upside down as right side up.
* #236 Cows give more milk when they listen to music.
* #238 An ostrich’s brain is smaller than its eye.
* #244 The watermelon seed-spitting world record is about 70 feet.
* #251 There are more French restaurants in New York City than in Paris.
* #257 The first food eaten in space by a U.S. astronaut was applesauce.
* #258 Lemon wood is carved into chess pieces.
* #262 The act of chewing an apple is a more efficient way to stay awake than caffeine.
* #267 Double Dutch jump rope is considered a cross-training sport.
* #268 One lemon tree will produce about 1,500 lemons a year.
* #269 Horseback riding can improve your posture.
* #270 Colors like red, yellow and orange make you hungry.
* #272 At birth a human has 350 bones, but only 206 bones when full grown.
* #273 Each year, the average American eats about 15 pounds of apples.
* #275 It took the first man to walk around the world four years, three months and 16 days to complete his journey.
* #278 China only has one time zone.
* #292 Heavier, not bigger, lemons produce more juice.
* #294 No only child has been a U.S. President.
* #300 Pennsylvania is misspelled on the Liberty Bell.
* #302 Ketchup was once sold as a medicine.
* #312 A flea can jump 30,000 times without stopping.
* #315 No two lip impressions are the same.
* #326 On average, you’ll spend a year of your life looking for misplaced objects.
* #336 The last letter to be added to our alphabet was J.
* #346 The medical term for writer’s cramp is graphospasm.
* #351 Cold water weighs less than hot water.
* #354 Bamboo can grow three feet in one day.
* #357 A baboon is a variety of lemon.
* #358 Butterflies were formerly known by the name Flutterby.
* #359 A teaspoon contains 120 drops of water.
* #360 Mexican jumping beans jump to get out of sunlight.
* #363 Pearls dissolve in vinegar.
* #366 The center of some golf balls contain honey.
* #370 Heat, not sunlight, ripens tomatoes.
* #372 A housefly hums in the key of F.
* #381 Baboons were once trained by Egyptians to wait on tables.
* #383 Mount Katahdin in Maine is the first place in the U.S. to get sunlight each morning.
* #390 Jack is the most common name in nursery rhymes.
* #396 The dragonfly can reach speeds of up to 36 mph.
* #406 The deepest place in the ocean is about seven miles deep.
* #408 Panda bears eat up to 16 hours a day.
* #409 Approximately 16,500 people in the U.S. go by the last name Lemon.
* #411 Lifejackets used to be filled with sunflower seeds for flotation.
* #419 A jiffy is an actual time measurement equaling 1/100th of a second.
* #422 Apples, peaches and raspberries are all members of the rose family.
* #423 U.S. paper currency isn’t made of paper – it’s actually a blend of cotton and linen.
* #424 The “ZIP” in the ZIP code stands for Zone Improvement Plan.
* #425 Kangaroos can’t walk backwards.
* #427 Lemons ripen after you pick them, but oranges do not.
* #428 There are 118 ridges on the edge of a United States dime.
* #429 There are 336 dimples on a regulation American golf ball.
* #430 One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
* #431 A twit is the technical term for a pregnant goldfish.
* #436 Beavers have orange teeth.
* #437 The woodpecker can hammer wood up to 16 times per second.
* #438 Mount Everest rises a few millimeters every year.
* #439 Snails can sleep for up to three years.
* #440 The pupils in goats’ eyes are rectangular.
* #442 Bees’ wings beat 11,400 times per minute.
* #444 The Statue of Liberty wears a size 879 sandal.
* #445 If there are two full moons in a month, the second one is called a “blue” moon.
* #446 You breathe in about 13 pints of air every minute.
* #447 A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds.
* #448 The sun evaporates about a trillion tons of water a day.
* #449 Sound travels quicker in water than in air.
* #450 A group of cats is called a clowder.
* #452 There are approximately 9,000 taste buds on your tongue.
* #453 Raindrops can fall as fast as 20 miles per hour.
* #454 Polar bear fur is transparent, not white.
* #455 Lobsters can live up to 50 years.
* #458 Fresh cranberries can be bounced like a rubber ball.
* #463 The dot over the letter “I” is called a tittle.
* #464 Cows do not have upper front teeth.
* #469 454 U.S. dollar bills weigh exactly one pound.
* #473 Antarctica has as much ice as the Atlantic Ocean has water.
* #474 To temporarily revive your ballpoint pen, dip the tip into hot water for a few seconds.
* #475 Wrapping rubber bands around the ends of hangers can prevent clothes from slipping off.
* #476 Replacing your car’s air filter can improve gas mileage by 10 percent.
* #477 A chalkboard eraser is one of the best ways to wipe a foggy windshield.
* #478 Candles will burn longer and drip less if they are placed in the freezer a few hours before using.
* #479 Knots come out easier if you sprinkle talcum powder on them.
* #480 You can tell which day a loaf of bread was baked by the color of its plastic twist tag.
* #484 Rinsing bacon under cold water before frying can reduce the amount it shrinks by almost 50 percent.
* #485 Refrigerating apples can help them last up to 10 times longer than those left at room temperature.
* #486 While chopping onions, hold a piece of bread between your lips to keep your eyes from watering.
* #487 Place an apple in the bag with your potatoes to keep them from budding.
* #488 Place a slice of bread in the storage container to keep cookies soft when storing.
* #489 To keep an ice cream cone from dripping, stuff a miniature marshmallow into the bottom of the cone.
* #490 To take lumps out of a bag of sugar, place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
* #492 To remove crayon marks from walls, use a hairdryer to heat the wax.
* #493 To make a zipper slide up and down more smoothly, rub a bar of soap over the teeth.
* #494 Wipe the leaves of your plants with the soft inside of a banana skin to bring up shine and remove dust.
* #496 To clean paint off your hands, use olive oil – it softens the paint and makes it easy to remove.
* #497 To fix a button about to fall off, dab a little clear nail polish over the threads holding it on.
* #651 Forty-six percent of leisure visitors to downtown New York City come from outside the United States.
* #654 New York taxi drivers collectively speak 60 languages
* #658 New York City is made up of 50 islands.
* #660 The strike note of The Liberty Bell is E flat.
* #661 Pigs were banished from Philadelphia’s city streets in 1710.
* #662 Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States.
* #663 Forty percent of America’s population lives within a one-day drive to Philadelphia.
* #664 It is against the law to put pretzels in bags in Philadelphia.
* #665 One in six doctors in America was trained in Philadelphia.
* #667 The shoreline at Wildwood grows almost 100 feet per year.
* #668 Cape May is the oldest seashore resort in America.
* #669 In the game Monopoly, the properties are named after streets in Atlantic City.
* #670 Long Beach Island was once frequented by pirates.
* #671 There is a town called “Jersey Shore” in Pennsylvania.
* #672 The Wildwood Boardwalk extends nearly two miles and has more than 70,000 wooden planks.
* #673 The first Ferris wheel was built in Atlantic City in 1869.
* #674 Snapple helped fund the creation of more than 138 new PSAL Teams.
* #675 Snapple helped fund the creation of the C.H.A.M.P.S. Sports & Fitness Program, benefiting more than 15,000 NYC Public School Middle Students.

Control, with your brain!
October 17, 2008, 10:17 am
Filed under: Mind Cloud

Imagine if you can control things just by thinking, don’t have to move your arm or walk, just concentrate at the cup in front of you and it comes to your hand. Yeah,.. nothing new, we’ve seen in in many movies or TV series like Hero. Hey, but I say imagine if you can do it!
Well, at least in a game, with this new game controller that uses brainwaves as input. It looks like a normal headphone, except that it has electrode that monitors your brainwaves.

At the moment, even it’s already on shop display in Tokyo (where else?), it’s still on the “concept” phase, which means there is still room for improvement, exciting off course! NeuroSky, the producer, hopes that this can be used not only for games, but for practical applications at hospital, school, even in public transit. One ideal use  (at least if I have to decide) might be for disabled people, for those who can’t walk like us, or those who can’t hear and speak. Once people get used to it,.. imagine the possibilities! Imagine if you can only think of it and not have to move a little to do things. I think I’m gonna gain weight some more.

China, Milk, and Melamine
September 26, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Mind Cloud, Shout

If you are not aware of another the recent scandal of Chinese food production, read this post and know the world you are living in. If you just have few seconds, this is the news: Baby formula and some milk products made in China is poisoned, and you might have the products around you.

What happened is, some milk product made in China was contaminated with Melamine, a banned material for food production. About what Melamine is, and how it effects the health, is nicely described by AFP here:

What is Melamine

What is Melamine

Victim count: Official reports indicated 4 babies have died and more than 53.000 is seriously ill, this is in China alone, statistic for other countries is not confirmed yet.

The problem is not only with milk, but obviously with any product that uses milk as its ingredient. In Singapore some major supermarket chains have recalled the Dutch Lady milk as well as some products that contains Chinese milk ingredient, including those who have big market share such as Oreo, M&M, Snickers, and Dove ( all from Mars, inc.? ). Another recalled product that has been in the market for very long time and very popular (I remember liking this when I was in kindergarten) is the White Rabbit Milk Candy. Following is the list of the recalled products (update: deleted). Update: I have received a long list of recalled products via the email, but this list is yet to be confirmed. If you would like to have it, please contact me, but bear in mind that it might not be the official list. So far this has been a global crisis, Singapore is not alone, major food recall and warnings have been issued in New Zealand, US, Europe, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, and some countries in Africa ( …and the list goes on).

The issue was raised by a New Zealand co-operative – Fonterra – who has share in Chinese manufacturing company, after receiving some reports. Some cover-ups and delay in action made it worst, and obviously too late for some family with babies.

Here what Boomberg says:

Sanlu Group, the first company identified as having produced tainted milk, received complaints in December and knew of the contamination in June, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Sept. 22. It didn’t notify the city government of Shijiazhuang, where it’s based, until Aug. 2. The nation’s quality and safety watchdog started an investigation on Sept. 10.

New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group, which owns 43 percent of Sanlu, this week criticized the “appalling delay” by its affiliate in reporting complaints by parents of babies sickened after drinking its infant formula. The WHO yesterday described the contamination as “deplorable.” – source

And Economist reports:

Fonterra, a New Zealand co-operative that owns 43% of Sanlu, has been praised for working with New Zealand’s government to push Sanlu and the Chinese government to disclose information about contaminated products and get them off the shelves and out of homes. But it has also been slammed for not doing more—in particular, for not going public earlier (it first learnt of problems in early August). Several of China’s big internet portals have also been accused of filtering out information about tainted milk from as long ago as December, in order to protect China’s reputation during the run-up to the Olympics. – source

So what now… are you still confident with eating China-made food? Will the world still believe in China, its government and its system? Economist says further about it:

The government’s response has changed, seemingly overnight, from suppression to intervention. The chairwoman of Sanlu has been detained. Four milk dealers have been arrested and 22 others held for questioning. The mayor of the city where Sanlu is based has resigned, along with the local Communist Party leader and the head of China’s national department of quality supervision.

Whether all of this will address the problems with China’s food-production system is questionable. The boss of one big food company says that at a local level, regulation is the responsibility of the Communist Party officials. Companies close to the party get an easy ride, until there is a breakdown, at which point punishment is draconian. Until the regulatory and judicial systems become independent, there will always be an incentive to ignore problems until they explode.

Foreign companies have been concerned about the possibility of such a scandal for some time. Unilever dumped its joint ventures years ago, to ensure it had full control of all domestic Chinese operations. McDonald’s has created its own closed supply chain, spanning beef, fries, bread and pickles. Coca-Cola imposes stringent rules on suppliers of sugar, water and carbon dioxide.

This approach is being greeted with increasing approval within China. In monitoring consumer opinions, Coke says it initially found its recent effort to acquire Huiyuan, a large juice company, generated complaints on websites from nationalists opposed in principle to foreign brands. But support for the deal has since grown as a result of the company’s reputation for safety and quality. Chinese firms are just beginning to build up their own brands and have yet to establish the kind of trust that persuades people that it is worth paying more for a better product, says Tom Doctoroff, chief executive in China of JWT, an advertising agency. Never has there been more reason for that to change. – source

This all news leave me with 3 things to wonder:

– For cheaper price, would a man make decision that put himself and family in risk?

– For cheaper price – and hence bigger profit – would a business decision maker close his eyes and cover his ears? Would man risk others in the effort to gain wealth?

– Next time, when a baby formula states on its label “high protein” or “double DHA”, or another food “Vitamin rich”, or a drink with “all-sounds-good-healthy-chemicals”… will I buy it? Truth or Lie?

Passion is success key, obsession is another.
September 5, 2008, 9:50 am
Filed under: Mind Cloud

Do you know Bata? For people in South East Asia and India, these are the first shoes they wear to school. Tomas J Bata started the shoes mass production after understanding how Henry Ford applied the same concept with cars. That time, 1894, most of the shoes is custom-made for individual, just like tailoring. He later passed the business to his son, Thomas J Bata, who turned it into a giant brand until now. What interesting to me is…

When he was four his parents gave him for Christmas a miniature shoemaker’s bench, complete with all the requisite tools and a stool to sit on.

He greatly admired his father, later saying: “Throughout my childhood and adolescence my main ambition was to live up to his standards; to grow up to be like him.” Thomas’s pocket money was modest, and he was told that he would have to prove himself if he were to succeed his father as head of the family firm. As a teenager he was put to work on the assembly line, sidelasting 500 pairs of shoes a day.


One thing I realized, you can only be successful if you pick a focus and have a passion with it. Live it, breath it, eat it and sleep it. bata picked shoes, sounds simple but this is something everyone needs and they will always need it over time. Forget a big invention or cool gadget, how about toilet roll, soap, underwear… something that you use everyday?

And talking about passion, you know you have the passion when you can’t stop thinking about it, you can’t live without it and you are proud with it. Think of this… what are you going to put in your baby’s arms when he’s born? If you can think of something that you want to put in your baby’s arm, or something that you can enjoy with your baby once they grow strong enough to stand,… something that make you happy and proud when your kid play with it… start a business with it and you will be a giant brand maker.