Saturday, August 28, 2010

why is there bullying in school?

i've alway thought that kids will be kids & that bullying is a phase they go through while growing up. a black eye is like having a vaccination - you get it & you move on. but it didn't occur to me to figure out WHY the need to exert violence to get what you want.

until i read today's star. (read here)

claiming to have been falsely accused of embezzlement, this brainless moron guy is challenging the CM of penang to a fist-fight to settle the issue - in the holy month, at that! seriously, how would a brawl resolve the issue?

and because kids eagerly imitate their parents' behaviour, good AND bad, this is my theory of the origins of bullying in school.

**image from the Star**

Friday, August 27, 2010

2 moons?

apparently tonite is special. the earth & mars will come so close that mars can be seen almost as big next to the moon, even though there's a distance of over 34 million miles in between. & this won't happen again till the year 2287.

the email that has been circulating proclaiming this event is actually a HOAX. read here.

the "bright star" seen near the moon is actually jupiter & it'll only appear as a bright spot.

i took this picture myself & it's just convinced me of one thing........

.......i need that dSLR!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


the boy & the girl are both like chalk & cheese. she is focussed in her studies, hardworking & determined. a science student through & through.

he, on the other hard, is playful, likes to explore gadgets & work with his hands. very likely an artsy or technical sort of student.

& unlike his sister, he plays the piano because he actually enjoys it. so that's why we decide to give him exposure to a second musical instrument when the opportunity came round. my colleague has a cello teacher who comes over to teach cello to his 2 kids. he asked me if i was keen for the boy to take it up as well. since the teacher allowed a couple of trial lessons, we agreed.

we are happy that he has been looking forward to the lessons. hopefully the enthusiasm persists...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the tooth, the whole tooth....

one of the boy's front tooth fell off this morning. he asked me to check his gums, then calmly washed the tooth & put it in a container where he kept all the previous dropped teeth.

i asked him if he was going to keep it under his pillow tonite & maybe the tooth fairy will reward him. he gave me a puzzled look & asked, "the tooth fairy doesn't exist, right?"

that's when i had to come clean with him & admitted to the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth about the tooth fairy & how the tooth under the pillow is replaced by cash in the morning. while at it, i also debunked the myth about santa.

in church later, while the offering bag was being passed around, i asked him if he had brought any money as offering. he blew me off when he replied, "no, but i brought something else. myself !"

he's just a kid but he's definitely growing up nicely.

PS. he's never kept a tooth beneath the pillow, he's never brought any money from his coin-box for offering & i don't think he understands the significance of offering himself to the Lord.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

can 2 wrongs make a right??

this piece of research just came off the press...

doctors at imperial college london have discovered that if you live with an unhealthy diet, in this case a QuarterPounder with milkshake, you can actually reduce the cardiovascular risks by taking a statin tablet (which reduces cholesterol), even to the extent of providing these tablets to go with the meals, & further justifying this by stating that it doesn't costs much more to supply these tablets!! read here.

they even defended this proposal by quoting other examples of dangerous lifestyles, like wearing seatbelts while driving & using filters in cigarettes, to minimise the associated risks.

this is like saying, drinks manufacturers should include diabetic tablets with their 6-pack sodas, or cigarette firms include chemotherapy pills in their packs.

does this sound like logical reasoning?

what this study doesn't highlight is that statins have their own side effects on the liver, muscles & kidneys. so now, instead of just destroying your heart by wolfing down fast food, you're also threatening your liver and kidneys with a chemical drug.

i think the simple (??) solution is just to abstain from fast-food/sodas/cigarettes, etc etc., or more conventionally to take in moderation & eventually to stop altogether.

because, in this scenario, 2 wrongs certainly don't make a right!!

Monday, August 16, 2010


how often do you stand or walk under a coconut tree? not often, considering there can't be many coconut trees in town.

and how often have you actually witnessed a falling coconut? even less, i'd think.

so it's utterly unfortunate to have a coconut fall on your head, like this 60-yr-old lady in ICU now. she's recuperating from surgery for a big bleed into her brain but her recovery will not be complete for she will not fully gain control over some parts of her body.

trees are useful - they provide shade, bear fruits & make up part of a green lung in cities. heck, you can't have a tree house without a tree & where would tarzan be without one?

but the downside is that they sometimes topple on you, your car or house. & you really don't want to take shelter from one in a thunderstorm.

so watch out for the coconuts.

or durians.

talk about the wrong place & the wrong time.

Friday, August 13, 2010


this cannister is part of an elaborate anaesthetic machine used to provide anaesthesia for surgery. it contains soda lime granules which absorb carbon dioxide from the patient's breath & then return that breath back to the patient minus the carbon dioxide. a recycling of gases, if you will.

soda lime contains a colour indicator which tells the user when it is already saturated with carbon dioxide (in this case, from WHITE to PURPLE) & therefore needs to be changed. so when it turns purple, the whole cannister is emptied & fresh white-coloured ones refilled. something akin to changing your domestic water filter when it turns brown.

another manufacturer makes RED-coloured soda lime which turns WHITE when saturated with carbon dioxide. it really doesn't matter which manufacturer you source the soda lime from, as long as you are aware of the colour change.

so what happens when you decide to change from one manufacturer to another? surely, you'd completely exhaust your existing stock before using the new supply, or else the colour change will be confusing, and dangerously so.

this is what happens when people get careless & therefore set the stage for a medical catastrophe.....


this lackadaisical attitude happens everywhere though :

in school, when wrongs facts are taught;
in construction, when wrong angles are calculated;
on the roads, when overtaking on double-lines;
& even at home, leaving the gas stove burning with a curious child on the loose.

i seriously think a lot more things didn't get a lot more worse because of divine intervention.

btw, it's friday 13th today but do have a good and SAFE weekend!

Friday, August 06, 2010

insider tip

surgery on the body below the waist can be done under general or regional anaesthesia.

for general anaesthesia, the patient is rendered completely unconscious & largely pain-free till the surgery is complete.

for regional anaesthesia, only the part of the body below the waist is anaesthesised. the patient remain awake but lower body is immobile & pain-free. operations suitable for this technique include C-section, haemorrhoids & lower limb surgery. (read here)

if you are young & healthy, there's not much to choose between the 2 techniques but as the co-existing medical problems like hypertension or diabetes occur with advancing age, it may be (but not necessarily always) safer to have the surgery done under regional anaesthesia. this is largely due to the fact that regional anaesthesia interferes with body function (eg. heart, respiration) to a lesser degree compared to general anaesthesia.

take C-section as an example. everything else being equal, it is inherently safer for the mother to have a regional (in this case, spinal) anaesthesia because it removes the risk of having gastric contents enter the lungs, which is a possible & dangerous outcome if the mother was rendered unconscious by general anaesthesia. besides, being awake at the time of delivery provides the mother with the precious opportunity to hear the baby's cries & be bonded by physical contact.

but here's the deal - very few private doctors will tell their patients that it costs less, up to RM500 & sometimes beyond, to have a spinal instead of general anaesthesia. this is because fewer medication & equipment are required for the former.

so now you know.

PS. however i must put it on record that regional anaesthesia may NOT be appropriate in all operations below the waist. you need to discuss this with your doctor before making a decision.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

running on empty

the current average life expectancy in malaysia is 74. (71 for men & 76 for women) (read here)

so any day lived in health beyond that can be considered a bonus. some call this having a long life; as an avid fan of Air Crash Investigation on Nat Geo channel, i cynically call it Running On Empty.

this 86 year-old woman was brought back to Casualty by her family, just 3 days after she had been discharged. she has heart disease, a previous stroke, was bedridden & had just recovered from pneumonia, having spent 3 weeks in hospital, 1 week of which in ICU.

in Casualty, she was gasping & was barely conscious. i explained to the family that she was very ill & recovery would be very unlikely, given her current & past medical problems. however, the family was firm that i should do the necessary for the her.

i wished they had never said that.

because unfortunately, "do the necessary" here means putting in a breathing tube into her windpipe, attempting many times to insert a cannula into a vein but succeeding only once because she had dainty blood vessels. in the end, we had to proceed with CPR because her heart had stopped. in the process, we used over 20 ampoules of medicine & broke a couple of ribs from the vigourous compression on her frail chest.

all in vain.

i wished they had never given the instruction "do the necessary" because i knew she was already running on empty but i was duty-bound to provide a service i had been trained to do.

i wished they had said 3 other words instead, like maybe "make her comfortable" or "make it painless". masterly inactivity would have provided a more dignified end to a long life.

may her soul rest in peace.

Monday, August 02, 2010

and 3 more were added...

we had a baptism yesterday. actually, there are 3 souls saved but the event was different.

i've witnessed baptism by submersion in a baptism pool in church & at sea, but because both were either inaccessible or impractical, we had it at a brother's house with a swimming pool. yet another sign of the changing times.

but, surely it doesn't matter where it's done, whether in River Jordan with John the Baptist, or in the desert with Philip, as long as the heart is transformed. yesterday, there was much rejoicing in heaven as it was on earth

i'm certain the Father is well pleased.