This tauke went round the circle, and concluded that Faye Wong is the best !
I used to keep a prized collection of Faye's albums when I was in my early teens. Those tapes were so valuable, my sister just need to fool around with them in order to irritate me.
Somehow along the way, with the transition to CDs and the high price, I stopped collecting them, and banked on TV and radio to play her latest songs. The passion for her kind of diluted la, along the way.
Till the concert in rain last Friday - it was excellent despite all odds. Yeah, now no more a teen, Faye Wong is still my type of singer and entertainer.
Many thanks to Ennie for asking me to join her for the concert.
Introduction to Clinical Medicine, written by 2 MDs, graduates of Harvard Medical School. A student-to-student Manual, they say. A good book, but the medical approach is kind of too American for my taste.
I am in 4th year(I think...), what on earth am I still reading an introductory book? Am I not supposed to be a seasoned player of the field?
By the way, just realised that Petaling Street is down, estimated for one week. Come to think of it, we have taken PPS for granted. What a good traffic generator it was. Keep up the good work, Aiz.
This article from The Edge Options May 2004 by Amir Muhammad was so ‘good’, I have to type it out for you guys, who are too stingy to buy The Edge. (Hope the Ho Kay Tat gang is okay with this, hehe….)
Septinus George Saa - Indonesia’s Nobel hope?
A teenager from Papua, Indonesia, earlier this month won a gold medal at an international physics competition that has been dubbed “The First Step to the Nobel Prize in Physics”. Septinus George Saa, 17, wrote a mightily impressive paper that beat hundreds of candidates from 73 countries.
His topic, Infinite Triangle and Hexagonal Lattice Networks of Identical Resistor, scintillated the judges thanks to its creativity, clarity, originality, and ability to provide solutions. Since I am a dolt, I don’t have much of an idea of what his paper is about, even after(or because of) reading along Bahasa Indonesia synopsis.
The head of the Indonesian Physics Olympiade Foundation, Prof Yohanes Surya, is all praise: “His formula can be called the George Saa formula since he created it.” And George (as he is known) isn’t even the first Indonesian winner. Five years ago, I Made Agus Wirawan from Bali won the gold medal at the same event.
Oge will spend a month at the Polish Academy of Science after presenting his paper there later this year. How did a boy from a region that even most Indonesians consider somewhat backward get this far? The moral of the study:Skipping school and deceiving your mother can be good for you!
The deception came about after Oge won a scholarship to Jakarta from the Papuan authorities after winning the disctirc-level chemistry olympiade. His older brother knew that their mother wouldn’t allow her youngest to go. She was only informed when the flight took off. “She cried for two weeks,” his brother says. This sort of thing would, in any old aisan folktale, cause Oge to be struck by lightning, turned to stone or be swallowed by the earth – preferabbly all three.
Oge also frequently skipped school, not due to laziness, but because his father couldn’t always afford the transport. The bus fare was only Rp 1000 (less than 50 sen) but that was beyond the reach of this man. Oge also had to help out at the farm, so that he and his siblings could live and eat.
Needless to say, books would have been a luxury. But Oge has one of those frightening capacities to fully absorb whatever is said in the classes he did attend. He was so brilliant that he was offered chance to skip a year in school, but this was rejected by his other who thought it improper for him to be in the same class as his older sibling.
His classmates all seem to love him because he would rephrase whatever the teacher said in a way more comprehensible to them. All this, and he’s basketball player who’s popular with the girls too! Yes, he’s the sort of bloke you’d normally love to hate, the bursting-with-potential git who would be snuffed out tragically early in those “straight from the hood” tales of deprivation, represented in Indonesia by Garin Nugroho’s street-kids film Daun di Atas Bantal.
The Indonesian media is all praise for Oge and, more importantly, his mentor Yohanes Surya, who has guided many gifted kids to similarly lofty heights. A Tempo magazine editorial says that their success provide, finally, a good reason for Indonesians to be unashamed of their country, after years of being bombarded with images of corruption, income inequality and failure to deal with human rights violations. The editorial concludes: saudara-saudara, sosok seperti Yohanes Surya dan timnya membuat kita tak jadi berpindah warga negara. Kita masih bisa percaya. (People, the likes of Yohanes Surya and his team stop us from denouncing our citizenship. We are still able to hope.)
This bright spark has gone some way in combatting the gloom of the current elections, which, although successfully carried out without violence, failed to fuel any idealistic hopes either. Five years ago, Megawati’s slogan was Perjuangan kita baru bermula! ( Our struggle has just begun!) Now, it is merely, “Ingat! Coblos muncung putih!”(remember! Vote for the white snout [party logo]!). Coming from an incumbent, it sounds defeatist from the start. Furthermore, with the dubious likes of General Wiranto and Akbar Tanjung, respectively suspected of widespread murder and corruption, emerging as potential candidates, you can see why a mere 17-year-old can inspire some much needed enthusiasm.
Oge’s win is not a victory for the Indonesian education system; the first happened in spite of the second. District-level education budgets are often the first to be slashed by feudalistic patrons eager to line their own pockets, leaving schools in a decrepit state. Who knows how many other bright kids have been denied a chance to realise their full potential over the decades? In a huge country of over 140 million, the amount of wasted talent must be huge.
Yohanes Surya admits that his first task is always to mentally re-programme the kids from the rote-learning they are force-fed at national schools. You don’t need to be genius to see that getting the kids to understand the process is finitely preferable to getting them to merely memorise dozens of formulae.
Another education-related story to hit the news recently, albeit not as happy, is the fatal bullying of 120-year old Wahyu Hidayat. The eight young men who assaulted him were sentenced to only seven to 10 months’ jail. The judge found that Wahyu died from knocking his head against the toilet bowl rather than being beaten up for the egregious faults of missing a parade and being late to submit a report. The judge, incredibly, found no causal link between the beating and his collapse in the tolilet right after. Just as there must have been many other potential Oges who slipped through the educational cracks, there must have been many other Wahyus during the censorious days of Suharto’s New Order who did not ger reported in the meida.
It’s understandable for the occasional scientific prodigy to get people’s hopes up for a Nobel Prize in those categories. So far, the only Southeast Asians to be garlanded by the Swedes have been from the fraught areas of Myanmar and East Timor, in the very political Peace category. Even we in Malaysia, not content with having our own Record Book, can’t wait to get a Nobel in something-or-other. But surely that’s the missing point.
I may never meet Oge, but I wonder if he will agree with me that the real success story is not just the happy ascension of one individual from the rabble, but the chance for others to similarly get the most out of education, for schools to inspire enlightenment and opportunities rather than indifference or even fear. It’s too late for Wahyu Hidayat - and his unwitting Malaysian counterpart from that Negeri Sembilan religious(!) school – but it might not be too late for others.
Amir Muhammad is in Jakarta under a grant from the Nippon Foundation’s Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship. Comments: email@example.com
The tauke also welcome feedback/enlightenment/arguments about the contents of this article of the Indonesia scenario.
I am currently paying attention to the logics and physiology of our body's electrolytes, water and the acid-bases. The strict control and regulation of such chemicals in our body is fascinating.
Too much of potassium will give you a cardiac arrest (meaning sudden death), and too little of it will give you muscle cramps. Too little of sodium (salt) will perhaps put you into a bout of fits or coma, while too much of it will also cause the same thing.
The unpleasant consequences of compromising the normal range for ions, somehow reflect the strict rule of balance that is called for in life.
When we take an issue too close to our hearts, we might end up heartbroken, severely disappointed. Similarly, we just cannot allow ourselves to love someone too much, thus putting ourselves at risk of being hurt. The amount of our focus and participation in life's issues and the people around us need a strict, conscious effort kind of homeostasis.
Having reached such a conclusion, the next problem, perhaps, is what determines the normal range. How normal is normal, what normal is normal? By convention, by the norms of society or by self-determination?
The chemistry and physiology at work is fascinating, at the same time, frustrating.
I would like to apologise to my friends, whom I have neglected (too little attention, devotion) and also to those whom I have clung too close (too much attention), in the end, causing a premature ending to whatever we may have. (you know who you are).
Klinik IkanBakar 06: Preventive vs Clinical medicine
Which one is actually the MEDICINE most of us are studying for ? Let's face it, the turn-out for Social & Preventive Medicine(SPM) lectures (except for the ones by Ms. Karina) is poor.
Two reasons, perhaps? 1) The medical students are too shallow to see its importance
2) Preventive medicine is not important, there is too much clinical medicine to study, no time for preventive
The arguments of SPM enthusiasts actually hold water. It is true that while the resources and means to treat and cure diseases is very limited, preventive medicine is relatively more promising. Very much promising actually. If we are really into it. It is the future of medicine, perhaps.
Clinical medicine is almost always associated with morbidity and preventing progression to mortality. Why not we prevent such morbidities/diseases in the first place?
Arguable. Understandable. Agreeable.
But is that what most of the medical students come here for? To prevent diseases instead of curing them?
Clinical medicine is purely of biological science - anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry and procedure skills.
Preventive medicine uses a fraction of such clinical knowledge, and integrates with sociology, politics and mathematics in its pursuit for prevention and disappearance of medicinediseases and to promote HEALTH.
Medical schools are trying to produce graduates skilled in both - clinical and preventive. But can we divide our attention?
While we can score in SPM exams (it involves mugging mostly), it does not mean we will be inspired to take up preventive medicine.
In fact, I am doubting whether our health ministry and public health schools are staffed by genuine SPM enthusiasts. (Or is it by medical doctors who are sick of the stinking wards?) Maybe that is why our public health policy, personally, is not up to the mark. Reactions to outbreaks and endemic diseases leave much to be desired.
So, perhaps we should leave the noble task of preventing diseases to a new profession, Public Health professionals perhaps. People like Ms. Karina, perhaps.
I enjoyed learning biostatistics and epidemiology in 2nd year. But here in Klang, it seems ridiculous to attend afternoon SPM lectures (that are hardly engaging) when we are fighting for time with our current posting in the medical, surgical or paediatric wards.
I think medical schools need to seriously consider these 2 things about the future of SPM education:-
1) Do we need to revamp the approach and syllabus in SPM ?
2) Should we consider creating a new profession specialising in Public Health from the undergraduate level?
Calling on medical students and healthcare professionals to respond.
After leaving the wards at about 10 pm last night,
I talked to my mom on the phone....
Mom: ..you know that girl whose mom always come to my shop.
F: yeah, the USM girl. Graduated already?
Mom: yes. but her mom told me she got a special exam.... for very good results one... like your senior,TKM, the WY's daughter....what do you call that exam?
Mom: ah, yes, viva.... wah...she also another smart one....
F:yeah, smart ah....
Mom: Wah, so far these 2 girls, one from UM, one from USM also so good ah. One get gold medallist, another one called for viva. So good ah.... these 2 girls from our neighbourhood.
F: Yeah, so good ah....
Mom:...how come I never hear you getting viva?
F: ..err (self-defense mechanism ON)...aiya, they are girls mah. Extra hardworking one.....
Mom: You not hardworking ah?
F: Me quite lazy one la. Not like them la. Some more my memory very bad. But no need to get all those distinctions one, still can be a good doctor.
Mom: No distinction, cannot specialise right?
F: No la! Like that, very few specialists la......!!!
and the conversation continued.
This is really funny. My mom has never asked me to get straight As for UPSR, PMR, SPM or STPM. Suddenly, out of the blue, she is questioning me why I was never called for distinction viva. Really funny.
Warung.fiction 04: Defence Minister to resign over embarrassing incidents in NS
Tronoh: Razark Najeeb in a solemn mood, announced last night that he has tendered his resignation as Defence Minister to the PM. The shocking but pleasant announcement was made after attending a post-mortem of the Phase 1 NS programme which has recently concluded.
The NS programme has been made ugly by embarrassing events like fights, indiscipline, sexual harassments, and the last straw perhaps was the confirmed rape incident involving a female trainee and a trainer from the army.
The resignation perhaps finally cement the arguments and doubts of anti-NS parties. The future of the NS programme has yet to be decided.
"I hereby acknowledge that the planning and implementation of the NS has been done hastily and without strategic and clever ideas. The Ministry of Defence is in want of competent planners and trainers of integrity. This is a failure of the government, and my ministry in particular. I take full responsibility for this sad outcome. Therefore, I have decided to resign as the minister. I call on the NS council to resign too. Regarding my position as the DPM, it is the prerogative of the PM to decide," said Najeeb after being questioned by a journalist about his reaction towardes to NS trainer-trainee rape incident.
The fact that NS was doomed from the start is widely known and extensively speculated, but the resignation of Razark Najeeb is unexpected. This is one of the very few good decisions ever by him as a politician.
Confusion and chaos in the Defence Ministry and the ruling party ARMNO is expected. Meanwhile, the KLSE is expected to soar as the exit of Najeeb could be the best news in recent times. The PM is also expected to use the opportunity to oust his deputy whom he reluctantly appointed.
Warung.fictions are merely fictitious stories that reflect the tauke's fantasy of a better Malaysia. Any similarities to real life are merely coincidental.
Warung.fiction 03: Singapore's 'The Streets Times' claims Sarah Mabuk is from Singapore, not Malaysia.
Johor Bahru: The girl whom Daveed Beeckham slept with besides his wife Vic Adams is actually a Singaporean, claims Singapore's most authoritative daily, 'The Streets Times'.
For the past few days, Sarah Mabuk has been widely featured, even in headlines and frontpages by the Malaysian paper, THE STOR, as if claiming credit for Malaysia for being her birthplace. Perhaps, Malaysia is very proud that a Malaysian born can attract and sleep with a famous, handsome footballer like Daveed Beeckham. However, it looks like the glory for Malaysia is now taken away to Singapore.
'The Streets Times' has published proofs like birth certificate and a sworn testimony by a retired midwife (who claimed to have delivered her) that Sarah Mabuk whose real name is Hoo Ker Slut, is in fact, born in Singapore instead of Malaysia.
This new twist to the story will indeed paint an embarrassing picture to THE STOR, who has been harping on the 'born in Malaysia' so happily and proudly till today.
"She is born in Singapore. It is easier to believe that way. Come on, why would any Malaysian-born girl be so desirable to Beeckham till he would want to sleep with her," said Chua Joy Mang, a former Cabinet Minister now hanging out in kopitiams to spend his free time.
"I don't know what the fuss is all about. It is already STUPID to write about Beeckham's sex life and his chicks. It is even more stupid to claim credit for being Hoo Ker Slat's birthplace. I am so glad she is actually from Singapore than Malaysia. Less embarrasing that way. I think THE STOR should change their editors," said Tan Ah Kau, who was enjoying mee hun keuh with former minister Chua Joy Mang. Certainly, Ah Kau is smarter than former minister Chua.
Not in UM at least, I think. Well, at least that's what I've felt for the past 3 years. In pre-clinicals especially. Perhaps that is why I am sort of lightyears behind the other chaps and gals in my school.
But today and yesterday, I got some subtle messages from speaking with my colleagues that there is competition around here, to know the most, to clerk the most, and to be in the good books of teachers.
Hmmm...perhaps I am just being paranoid, and exaggerating...
But then again, competition should be healthy. It does not necessarily be associated with kiasuism.
This is a lousy blog post, I know. Can't help it.
On the other hand, I spent one afternoon watching my 4th love movie for the month, "Love Actually", a brilliant British film. Hugh Grant as the PM, what pleasant fantasy!
From 0 to 16629: Dengan sukacitanya dimaklumkan bahawa sudah setahun Warung IkanBakar buka kedai, dan bisnes masih okay lagi untuk diteruskan
The tauke officially discovered blogging in April last year, and opened the Warung on 6th April 2003.
Haha, to unshamedly celebrate the anniversary, the tauke would like to re-publish the first post made on this bloggie.
LIFE is Indescribable: Some people say – life is difficult, life is unfair, life is beautiful, life sucks, life is great. To me, life is indescribable. In its core there are hopes and smiles, but filled with difficulties and trials. Whatever that are beautiful and meaningful in life, can only be manifested to us, and experienced,.. if we choose to participate in it.
Many a times, I grew cold and withdrawn after a setback, a discouragement, a disappointment, and failure. Perhaps, by not getting involved in the intricacies and the lives of people, I’ll be free from many obligations, and the risk of being rejected, betrayed, or disappointed. Maybe that’s why some people chose to opt out, and give up – to quit a struggle, to fall away, to break up, and to turn one’s back on a request, invitation.
Oh yeah, one will feel safe by minding one’s own business, downsizing one’s ambition to things pertaining to oneself, owing the least to people, and deriving the least from people for emotional security and strength. Then, of course, life shouldn’t be too bad, not so difficult. When we turn blind and deaf to matters, then of course, we won’t notice or be bothered by life being unfair, or being a big joke. Turning into skeptics or cynics is indeed a reliable way to escape. But in this way too, life can never be beautiful, meaningful. By not participating in life with others, life is nothing but a routine, an act of grasping for the wind everyday.
Perhaps, that’s why life is indescribable, and interesting. It involves taking risk, making decisions, applying wisdom and relying on God.
For the past 2 years, I have participated in some and retreated from some, finding joy, amusement, and also absolute rubbish in my experiences. Policies & priorities are reviewed, myself is rediscovered, ambitions challenged, threatened, ridiculed, and faith tested, renewed and being ruined. Pride has both shrunk and redefined. Maturity has collapsed and rebuilt. And as I type, I am still choosing between participation and withdrawal in certain issues.
Oh yes, indeed, Life is indescribable! So, seek Him first!
Klinik IkanBakar 05: Do you have some funny sounds in your chest, and a kampung of medical students are lining up, armed with their stethoscopes to listen ?
Most probably the sound is something the medics call a 'heart murmur'. (You can stop reading now, the tauke is just indulging in some notes-writing on his blog)
1) A murmur could be benign or pathological. It is most probably just a flow murmur if it is in the systolic phase; it is a ejection systolic murmur; it is not very loud(grade3/6 or less); it disappear after some postural change; it appears after a rigorous exercise, et cetera. Pathological ones are most probably due to defects to any of the heart valves(mitral, tricuspid, aortic, pulmonary valves)
2) Factors to take into consideration in approaching a cardiac murmur:- any peripheral signs? the timing - systolic/diastolic/continous? the intensity? the effect of special manouvres?
3) Systolic - Aortic stenosis(AS), pulmonary stenosis(PS), mitral regurgitation(MR), tricuspid regurgitation(TR)
Diastolic - Aortic regurgitation(AR), pulmonary regurgitation(PR), mitral stenosis(MS), tricuspid stenosis(TS)
(see the difference?) Continuous - Patent ductus arteriosus, aortopulmonary shunt (where the pressure gradient is always present, throughout from first to second heart sound)
4) Special manouvres:
i) On deep inspiration, systemic venous return is increased, thus, any murmur from the right side of the heart should be accentuated. On the other hand, intensity of left heart murmurs should increase on expiration.
ii) To increase ventricular volume - ausculatate on squatting or leg raising - murmurs due to all causes (except for 2) should be louder because of increased flow/volume/turbulence
iii) To decrease ventricular volume - Valsalva manouvre and on standing which decrease venous return:- It will accentuate murmurs due to mitral valve prolapse(mostly due to a redundant longer leaflet) and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.
iv) To increase systemic arterial pressure by handgrip reflex:- this will may cause AR and MR to be louder.
Notes from Dr Chong WP's tutorial.
Quotes of the day:- 1) The heart is a very logical organ. 2) If you do not understand, then you have to memorise which is very painful.
Next: Klinik IkanBakar 06: If you woke up one day with swollen legs and swollen face, do you know why?
“I’d have to go away today, but I wonder if I didn’t, whether you might let me see you a little or a lot maybe, See if you could like me again.”
"The fame thing isn’t really real. Don’t forget, I am also just a girl , standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her..Bye…"
The time was 3:34 am. There’ll be a long case with Dr.Chong at 8.30 am, but Notting Hill was really good. Worth my time.
I realised I can still have the mood for nice love movies. And this one is a gem, perhaps. It showed how some guys in their clumsy speech can appear so endearingly cute, how girls can say what they do not mean which may unnecessarily hurt, also how some people make moves without thinking of the consequences, causing the death of a much better chance in the future.
(I am beginning to like British humor, and understand why British blokes can be so much cuter than the rest. )
Having said that, one cannot help doubting still the reality of such love tales. Can a lady fall for a man so honestly, so mutually, and so bravely, without the mindless pursuit and persuasion and foolish attempts at impressing the girl from the guy? Why must the original boyfriend in the movie be portrayed as a jerk? Would a major Hollywood star fall in love with an ordinary chap in London?
Right now, a public health 'marathon' lecture is given on WATER safety.
How ironic. With the kind of heavily compromised water quality over here in Klang Hostel, I wonder how much we can appreciate Dr Moe's advocating the importance of water safety and the methods to improve the quality.
If they are really experts, please send some brains over here to improve the water quality for house officers, medical officers and of course UM med students.
Water quality and preservation in Malaysia is still, perhaps, third-class.
MCA is at it again. With the 'sacking' of Ah Meng from the Cabinet, the Ah Meng supporters are creating a fuss. This goes to show how stupidly unstable and un-united the MCA is.
For all the promises they make and the things they brag about.... Which goes to show politicians perhaps are the lowest kind of people around, they are the ones who aim for power, and almost all end up compromising their integrity at power-play, licking boots, and 'networking' just for the sake of recognition, seats and power. Perhaps 90% of the decorated politicians do not deserve the 'Datuk' and the 'Tan Sri'. (Teong, can you believe that Tan Chin Meng, the lowly MCA Adun for Kepayang is now a Datuk?)
Even the party that I am most comfortable with, the DAP, is looking bad right now. With those problems among Kerk, Betty, Ronnie, and all that, it is almost certain all the political parties in Malaysia lack character, and genuine strength. It is not made of great, honest people, but rather people who are obsessed with money and power.
It always make me sick to read about Najib, Toyo, Taib, Samy Vellu, etc. To me, they are there because of wrong reasons. Anyway, this shall be my last post on Malaysian politics for at least a few months. ( I hope! ) No time to talk about such chronic pathology. Instead, I should blog more about healthcare andmedicine, something that I should focus more on.
The internal medicine posting started today. Dr Chong Wee Peng looks good, and teaches good too. Liked him already. Presented a case of chronic diabetes today. Was badly prepared as always. But I learned alot. Finally I regained the 'flame' to study ALL THE TIME, just like in Form 6. I wished I can ask for a 2 month course on the basic sciences again.
I watched 'Patch Adams' for the 4th time, with Pravin. I needed the motivation.
Anyway, if you guys wanna read some real, personal stuff by NS Trainee/Blogger Kim - here you GO. Forget about the ones you read in The Star and NST. Most probably those are contaminated with excessive optimism.