looking for baudrillard, boorstin, or eco?

dare to hope for what is good
instead of what is merely good enough.
Dead in sin | Saved by grace | Living in hope | Walking by faith | Surviving on a prayer

+ sola scriptura + sola gratia + solus Christus + sola fide + sola Deo gloria +

mercredi, janvier 30, 2008

 The worst enemy to creativity

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
- Sylvia Plath
I've never really thought about it that way, but I think this is true, having been in the clutches of self-doubt for as long as I can remember.

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
- Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
... and sometimes, it does feel like that.

Libellés :

[The worst enemy to creativity]
Sngs Alumni @ 30.1.08 { 0 comments }

lundi, janvier 28, 2008

 The Internet was closed (plus other news)

In other news, I am not well. Food poisoning or a severe tummy upset. Not very good for a girl who (1) needs to write 3 reports, (2) submit to a journal, (3) finish a research powerpoint, and (4) go to Australia for 10 days on Thursday.

Plus: I missed the homecoming drinks and dinner thingy with the girls, and don't think I'll get to see CK till we're 30. This statement COULD be so true that it's freaking me out a little.

Libellés :

[The Internet was closed (plus other news)]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.1.08 { 1 comments }

samedi, janvier 26, 2008


Chanson d’amour, cherie
c’est fantastique
Comme on chante de nos coeurs

La joie de vivre
Comme on chante quand on est amoureux

Les regards languereux
Les balades romantiques
La belle vie, rien de mieux sur cette terre

Chanson d’amour, cherie
c’est fantastique quand on est amoureux

It's a pretty song that a couple of friends have as their ringtones... But I can't find it on youtube - the perils of having a generic title like Magnifique!

Libellés :

Sngs Alumni @ 26.1.08 { 0 comments }

vendredi, janvier 25, 2008

 Reading Through The Bible [Day 3]: Not our ways

Reading through the book of Job is always a frustrating/illuminating experience for me. Questions about predestination and God's justice, sense of fairness are not easy ones to grapple with - in fact, I would rank them among the hardest lessons to learn: that God is God, and while God loves us (John 3:16), the clay cannot question the potter's intentions nor deny the potter's existence (Isaiah 29:16). Notions of morality, and ideas of right and wrong are completely overturned by the presence of God - for to admit that God exists would be to accept the premise that God is above all things.

Isaiah 55
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 29
16 Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

Casting Crowns - Praise You In The Storm

I was sure by now God, that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining!

As the thunder rolls,I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you."
And as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise, the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are, no matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried, You hold in your hand
You never left my side, and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind, You heard my cry to You, and raised me up again.
My strength is almost gone, how can I carry on, if I can't find You.

As the thunder rolls,I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you."
And as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise, the God who gives and takes away.

[Psalm 121:1]
I lift my eyes onto the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Libellés :

[Reading Through The Bible [Day 3]: Not our ways]
Sngs Alumni @ 25.1.08 { 0 comments }

lundi, janvier 21, 2008

 Would you like to play?

In today's TIME magazine roll of "most emailed articles", this one gave me the most smiles:
Flirting captures the interest of the other person and says 'Would you like to play?'" And one of the most exhilarating things about the game is that the normal rules of social interaction are rubberized. Clarity is not the point. "Flirting opens a window of potential. Not yes, not no," says Perper. "So we engage ourselves in this complex game of maybe."
Ah, for more people to play the game with.

Libellés : ,

[Would you like to play?]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.1.08 { 0 comments }

 Password = Password (and add a monkey or two)

In late 2007, studies were done on passwords, showing that the top ten passwords of all were:

1. password
2. 123456
3. qwerty
4. abc123
5. letmein
6. monkey
7. myspace1
8. password1
9. link182
10. (your first name)

The Onion also came up with a (fictional) list of all the "unguessable passwords" - see right graphic for the statistics.

The strange thing is that the word "monkey" has been a password feature for the longest time - even Wired.com finds our fascination with monkeys for passwords perplexing. Why do we love our monkeys so much?

Libellés : ,

[Password = Password (and add a monkey or two)]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.1.08 { 0 comments }

dimanche, janvier 20, 2008

 Sheryl Crow: Detours

There are very few artists out there whom I will rush out of the house and very gladly pay full sticker price for their new CD, but Sheryl Crow ranks among the top (if not The Top) of this shortlist. Now out with a new album "Detours" - which resonates with me somehow - this girl and her dreadnought are back.

After Wildflower met with less commercial success than her earlier albums, fans of her distinctive sound will be happy to hear that the songs that were released seem to sound like a return to the shades last seen in C'mon C'mon (Love is Free) and The Globe Sessions (Shine Over Babylon). The common link between these two songs released is that there's a strong social message behind both singles released - Shine Over Babylon is definite social commentary on the state of the world today, while Love Is Free is about the resilience of the people of New Orleans to rebuild after Katrina (proceeds go to them, of course.)

I am happy. My girl's back!

Libellés :

[Sheryl Crow: Detours]
Sngs Alumni @ 20.1.08 { 0 comments }

samedi, janvier 19, 2008

 Microsoft Word Formatting for Your Thesis: A Guide

This post will continually be updated as I figure it out.

[Rule Numero Uno: Format before you start writing.]
And I mean, format everything. Put in:

a) Your starting page numbers (you know, the preface pages that have to be labelled with lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv etc).
- To get the pages broken properly: use Section Break (Next Page) for this... path: INSERT > BREAK > SECTION BREAK - NEXT PAGE
- To get the page numbers and titles done up (TBC)

b) Your chapter title, subtitle, sub-sub-title placeholders (if you go anywhere beyond three subs, you're on your own, pal.)

c) Your auto-generating table of contents (ToC), figures and tables. IMPT NOTE: MS WORD DOES NOT HAVE A FUNCTION FOR ABBREVIATIONS.

d) Your styles in order...


Libellés :

[Microsoft Word Formatting for Your Thesis: A Guide]
Sngs Alumni @ 19.1.08 { 1 comments }

vendredi, janvier 18, 2008

 A Christmas Oratio (an excerpt from For The Time Being)

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry
And Newton's mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
"Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake."
They will come, all right, don't worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God's Will will be done, That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.

-- W. H. Auden

... and so, Christmas is over, and we return to the mundane reality of our lives.

But, as Auden implicitly asks, are we merely filling in the Time Being between events? The night of agony still to come though - are we ready?

Libellés : ,

[A Christmas Oratio (an excerpt from For The Time Being)]
Sngs Alumni @ 18.1.08 { 0 comments }

jeudi, janvier 17, 2008

 Time Crimes: Huh?

Who could resist watching a movie whose stream-of-consciousness synopsis read like this:
Time Crimes follows a guy who, after seeing a naked woman in the woods, ends up in a way-back machine and then must piece together his own increasingly fractured history. [wired mag online]
I'm sure I would be tempted to travel through time after I see "a naked woman in the woods". Naked women are, of course, essential to any important male thought process.

Libellés :

[Time Crimes: Huh?]
Sngs Alumni @ 17.1.08 { 0 comments }

mardi, janvier 08, 2008

 One Laptop Per Child project dropped by Intel

Let me tell you a secret ambition of mine which I've kept close to the vest for the longest time - I've always wanted to bring the One Laptop Per Child into Singapore. Not to GIVE kids the laptops, but to bring the development into Singapore itself - manufacturing and maybe assembling the stuff here. I've kept a pretty close eye on this project since it pretty much combines most of my interests into one cute lime-green package - take a look:

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Sure, it looks like the early iMac laptops, but this cute little thing is supposed to be for kids. In case you're not familiar, the OLPC project aims to give one laptop per child in developing countries. Laptops should cost approx US$100 each. They're into their fourth prototype already, and it looks pretty nifty, doesn't it? The guy who thought of it is Nicholas Negroponte, formerly the Chair of MIT's Media Lab (I actually filled in the application for this school way back in the day - but stopped when I saw how much it cost), and almost everything's designed by MIT geeks.

If I remember correctly, the laptops can connect wirelessly to the Internet - but that's par for the course, innit? But wait, there's more - as the OS was built from the ground-up from Open Source Software (OSS), and is thus completely free. Also the distributed computing brains spent an extra five minutes on the can and thought: 'hmmm, maybe networking the OLPC laptops together in their own little network would be fun' - and they did it. So all OLPC laptops can network wirelessly with each other, even without Internet connections! How cool is that? *complete geek out*

The project is not without its problems of course. A lot of stuff is derailing it now, not the least being the environmental people (damn you, Al Gore!) insisting that the project be made of recyclable and responsible materials. I wish they would go make a difference somewhere else, let's say, oh, I don't know, maybe the dumps in India? They should start thinking of refuse disposal instead of bothering the geeks.

Now it's been reported that Intel Quits Effort to Get Computers To Children. This is clearly a twin failure - a flawed business plan on Negroponte's side, and a short-sighted perspective on the Intel side. Negroponte should have made some business school deans sit down and work out a win-win plan with the industry - or better yet, why stop at a new OS? Have the entire project developed by new technologies. Dump Intel - just get some MIT people work on a new processor. The possibilities are endless, and those kids without computers aren't going anywhere.

Intel's also short-sighted - this is a completely new market, completely untapped because the price of a computer is beyond what any of these children (and their communities) can afford. Why not just break into it first, and let the aspiring computer hacks have access to the Intel chips? They'll build more country-specific hardware and apps to use your chip, and voila - there's your ready and willing market all primed for your big entry. Might take a couple of years, but it's not like Intel's in this industry to make a quick buck. The pie is big enough for everyone. These puny little laptops aren't going to last very long in each child's hands before they start clamouring for more computing power, which they can't provide because that would bust the US$100 target sales tag for each laptop.

Libellés : ,

[One Laptop Per Child project dropped by Intel]
Sngs Alumni @ 8.1.08 { 0 comments }

lundi, janvier 07, 2008

 George Herbert - Bitter-sweet

Ah my dear angry Lord,
Since thou dost love, yet strike,
Cast down, yet help afford,
Sure I will do the like.

I will complain, yet praise;
I will bewail, approve;
And all my sour-sweet days
I will lament, and love.

Libellés :

[George Herbert - Bitter-sweet]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.1.08 { 0 comments }

 Higher Education: The Horror Movie

Apparently, there are help groups out there for struggling/ strangling/ dying grad students.

Simon Wolff offers some warnings to would-be (science) PhD candidates, which I wish I'd read before taking this endeavour on.

Had I read Myshele Goldberg's piece on procrastination earlier, I might have avoided the pitfall that I find myself in right now - lots of work to do, no motivation to actually get it done, and deadlines looming like nobody's business.

Richard Butterworth offers some constructive criticism of the support that postgraduate students receive from their institutions (i.e. NONE), and urges all grad students to not take it lying down. He also advises: "The only way to find out how to do a PhD is to do one. Therefore, all advice is useless."

Brilliant man.

It is very telling that his page is titled: "I did a PhD and did NOT go mad."

He also offers a link to Diana Bental's "Delaying Higher Degree Completion", which is interesting reading fodder, especially if you're procrastinating. It gives advice to supervisors - like mine, who obviously wrote the book on it. In counterpoint to this is the very heartfelt article from an anonymous PhD student (presumably discovered by Connell, whom the article is attributed to), which writes:
"At the core of the project is an intellectual relationship between student and supervisor. If this relationship works well, the result is not just that the student learns particular ideas or techniques from the supervisor. (Indeed that need not happen at all - I can think of several theses where I contributed little technically.) There can be a shared intellectual development in which both parties gain some new perspectives and the result of their joint labour is some public gain in knowledge."
In an amusing, but horrifyingly true twist, Gina Hiatt lists five types of supervisors from hell:
  1. The Advisor Who Ignores Your Existence
  2. The Advisor Who Sits on Drafts
  3. The Advisor Who Demands A Perfect First Draft
  4. The Advisor Who is Too Busy to Attend Your Defense
  5. The Cruel and Cutting Advisor

My new years' wish for higher education in Singapore is that they take a page out from UK's movement to train professors to function as supervisors. No more crap idiots who don't care!

Libellés : ,

[Higher Education: The Horror Movie]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.1.08 { 0 comments }

dimanche, janvier 06, 2008

 Oh joy. 2008.

Libellés : ,

[Oh joy. 2008.]
Sngs Alumni @ 6.1.08 { 0 comments }

vendredi, janvier 04, 2008

 Would you choose water over wine?

We're going on a driving holiday down under!

hold the wheel and drive...

Libellés :

[Would you choose water over wine?]
Sngs Alumni @ 4.1.08 { 0 comments }

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Musings on Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life (PII)


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Stuff I'd Like
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