Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Generation of iKids

Do you sometimes hand over your smartphone to your obnoxious noisy child to keep him from disturbing you? I plead guilty!

I try not to be one of those parents who do it in restaurants and in public, but there are times when I give in. Mental war is not fun. The devil says "Go on, just give it to the poor kiddo, a game or two won't blind him".... and the angel says "Resist, my mortal one, iPhone games are baaaaad for childre.......... Ah, what the heck, just give it to him. CHILL MAMA!"
It's really not fun having this fight in my head.

I do let Daniel play with the iPad and my iPhone occasionally. The 'habit' became consistent during the first two weeks of starting Primary One. I would let him play when he got home. I think it was a subconscious 'reward' for him, and I became soft-hearted. I pity the kid who gets home later than I do. So basically I let him do whatever he wants at home.

And then my overreacting-maternal-instincts kicked in and I have barred him from going near the iPad, iPhone and computer games. Since the CNY! Zilch, nix, zip, nada, diddly-squat. He'd ask everyday, and I'd say NO everyday. I practiced total control and discipline for him and myself. Everytime I feel tempted to give in, I think of those reported cases of extreme games addiction.

AND THEN I came across this somewhat sensible article. One point from the article which made me realize something I never thought of before;
"...children view technology inherently differently than their adult counterparts. They see it as something fundamentally human, easily assimilated into everyday life – as opposed to adults, who view it as separate from humanness. Kids are viewing technology as “moving from acts of knowledge transmission toward acts of exploration, collaboration, and creation.”

Kapow right! I never viewed it as a child, that the expectation is that technology is everywhere and anytime. It is a natural part of life.I am still living in the times when kids should be playing physical traditional games like batu seremban (five stones), congkak, police and thieves, badminton, dig holes in the soil, catch spiders and climb coconut trees. Gosh I'm Jurassic!

SO, after a long digital break, I guess I will let him indulge a little bit. BUT not too much....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Doctors Die

Read the article here.

“Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Mid-Thirties Woman

I will officially hit mid-thirty end of this week. How do I feel about it? Awesomeness of epic proportions. I feel like my life has just begun and it's exponentially reaching it's peak. Do the men normally panic at this time? I don't know, but as a woman, yabadabadoo!! Not only you're glowing with the mid-thirties confidence, you'll find yourself evermore assertive in your choices in life, and many more glorious advantages this age has to offer. For me, they all pretty much sum up to:

"I am beautiful, and I finally see it"
I was never confident about my looks, only after a good haircut. My good haircut was 4 years ago. Now, I feel beautiful even in my sweatpants. I feel beautiful knowing I have a healthy body (so far), a FUNCTIONAL body, and a body that allows me to dance, to do so many wonderful things, and to touch people's hearts with kind gestures. And most of all, I have body that can make ANOTHER body! And then another!

"No nitrites and trans-fat please , thank you"
I am increasingly concerned about the food we eat. Processed and refined junks. And your body has a way of telling you. I guess, I am also listening more to my body. I'm trying to get the nutrients I think I lack, from natural sources of food instead of popping the pills. Boy I love the internet.

"I want to speak to your manager, you lousy sheet of asswipes"
I can no longer tolerate bad service or injustice. Being a woman in her mid-thirties brings me closer to the Auntie Attitude. HAIL AUNTIES! I am capable of making a scene (in another words, a case) without being embarrassed, because it's my prerogative. I am using my voice to express my displeasure and to lecture if necessary. I'm still practicing though, these things take a lot of guts! I must say, having small children tends to accentuate this, because we face cranky unreasonable infantile behaviors at home, therefore we cannot tolerate similar traits coming from another adult. Betul?

" Let's have a reunion"
Never underestimate the power of family in times of joy and crisis. Your own parents, your sibling, your cousins, your aunts, uncles, grandparents, even in-laws. They may nag, they may be distant, but when it comes to serious stuff, these people are on your side. It's amazing, I never knew this. Being an only child, I lived like an island, isolated from others. I strive on privacy and my own world. Now, I learn that we can all live as islands CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER BY BRIDGES!

" Dear God..."
The spiritual path is sometimes the trickiest. People change, beliefs change. I am a Christian by faith, but I am open and curious about other faiths too. Not only in religion but in life as a general. And along the way, I make up my own set of beliefs. It may not be tried and tested, but it feels right. It is true... I AM the Goddess of the Mid-Thirties.

"Just Do It"
I am doing what I enjoy and love most. In my twenties, I was cluelessly tagging along. Everyday was just another day. Nothing to look forward really, nothing that drives me to the point of passionate insanity. Then around the age of 30, something stirred in me. I wasn't going to spend another 10 years tagging along still. I had an artistic interest and I acted on it. I set up my station, I bought supplies, I invested in pricier tools, I MADE THINGS. And then it wasn't enough. You know when you have found your passion, you just can't stop! I opened an account, and set up my online shop. I took good pictures of my cards with effort. And I sold them! It was my drug. No matter what happened, my crafting mojo would ALWAYS come back, and I know this is true love. So mid-thirties is also about making things happen. Waiting is not fun anymore.

Coincidently, my 'savvy thirties' life is blessed with amazing tools like the internet, filled with endless informations and opportunities. If not for Facebook, I wouldn't have been equipped with so many news, trends and viral videos of rude KFC staff punching customer. I would've made an Auntie scene big-time. Happy Birthday to me yo!

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Month of Love

February is the month of retail love. There goes our angpows! Some people say all kinds of negative things about Valen-marketing-gimmick-tine's Day, and sometimes I'd agree. There were some years when we spent it like any other day because we hate crowded fully-booked restaurants and overpriced flowers and menu. We didn't' even do anything special at home. We even ate RICE! You are supposed to eat ang moh food on special occasions right?

But today, now, I'd say, HELL YES, CELEBRATE IT! If you are with someone special in your life, even if it has been 10 years, even when you've had a herd of kids, even if you had a long day at work, even if you don't feel like doing anything with anyone, celebrate it! It doesn't need to be extravagant. At any moment during Valentine's Day, just grab your beloved, any moment, in the morning before you leave for work, or at the end of the day before bedtime, look him/her in the eye, hold him/her firmly and lovingly, and say "Pork chop, you made me a very happy man/woman. I don't know how, but you did and you still do. Happy Valentine's Day my chocolate topped baby kailan".... or insert your own favorite affection names.

Here's why we should give V-Day a little credit.

Love is a miracle. You have to meet someone that you are attracted to, mutually. You have to go on that first date. You have to learn about each other, and remain attracted to each other. This process could take 10 years. Then you have to take that leap and get married. Now that is a miracle, don't you think? Like a sperm swimming the distance to meet AND fertilize the egg! So, at least acknowledge the special day and commit a moment to thank your honey for everything that you two have gone through together, no matter how trivial, coz BEING together is worth the celebration.

Here's some of my favorite Valentine's Day card.

Rifle Paper Co.



And here are some that I made!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Top Ten Worst Aspects of Working in a Lab

The Top 10 Worst Things About Working in a Lab, by Adam Ruben

10. Your non-scientist friends don’t understand what you do.
Even when talking about their jobs to outsiders, your friends in other professions can summarize their recent accomplishments in understandable ways. For example, they can say, “I built an object,” or “I pleased a client,” or, if your friend works on Wall Street, “I ate a peasant.” But what can you say? “I cured … um, well, I didn’t really cure it, but I discovered … well, ‘discovered’ is too strong a word, so let’s just say I tested … well, the tests are ongoing and are causing new questions to arise, so … yeah. Stop looking at me.” At least you’re doing better than your friends with Ph.D.s in the humanities, who would answer, “I put sheets on my mom’s basement couch.”
9. The scientist who is already the most successful gets credit for everything anyone does.
If you discover something, your principal investigator (PI) gets credit. If you write a paper, your PI gets credit. If you submit a successful grant proposal, your PI gets credit (and money). And what do you get? If you’re lucky, you get to write more papers and grant proposals to bolster your PI’s curriculum vitae.
8. Lab equipment is expensive and delicate. And you, you’re not so coordinated. Nope. Not so much.
Oops! You could pay to replace this one broken piece, or you could hire another postdoc.
7. Sometimes experiments fail for a reason. Sometimes experiments fail for no reason.
As anyone who works in a lab knows, things that work perfectly for months or years can suddenly stop working, offering no explanation for the change. (In this way, lab experiments are like Internet Explorer®.) This abrupt and inexplicable failure changes your work to meta-work, as you stop asking questions about science and start asking questions about the consistency of your technique. You can waste years saying things like, “When I created the sample that worked, I flared my nostril in a weird way. So this week, I’ll try to repeat what I did last week but with more nostrils flarin’!”
6. Your schedule is dictated by intangible things.
Freaking cell lines, needing to be tended on a regular basis regardless of your dinner plans. Freaking galaxies visible only in the middle of the night. If it weren’t for your lab work you’d have such a vivacious social life! Sure. That’s why you have no social life. It’s the lab work.
5. Science on television has conditioned you to expect daily or weekly breakthroughs.
Have you ever had a breakthrough in the lab? Yeah, me neither. Sure, I’ve had successful experiments, which usually means that the controls worked and no one was injured. But a real, eureka, run-down-the-hallway-carrying-a-printout, burst-into-a-room-full-of-military-personnel-and-call-the-President-even-though-it’s-three-in-the-morning breakthrough? Not yet. Unless you count the programmable coffee maker that, after much cajoling, made decent coffee at the appropriate time. Maybe I should publish that.
4. Your work is dangerous.
People say their jobs are killing them, but you work with things that could actually kill you -- things like caustic chemicals, infectious agents, highly electrified instruments, and angry PIs.
3. Labs are not conducive to sex.
Unless you work in a sex lab, which may or may not be a real thing, it’s unlikely you can convince anyone to crawl under your lab bench with you (“Just ignore the discarded pipette tips, baby”) and, as protein biophysicists say, put their zinc fingers in your leucine zipper. But hey, prove me wrong, people.
2. You have to dress like a scientist.
When I worked at an amusement park, I had to wear a purple polo shirt tucked into khaki shorts with giant white sneakers, so I suppose things could be worse. But some of our (scientists’) uniform choices are pretty unflattering. Disposable shoe covers look like you stepped in two shower caps. Safety goggles trap humidity as though you’re cultivating a rainforest on your face. And white lab coats with collars and lapels make men look like nerds and women look like men who look like nerds.
1. You can feel time creeping inexorably toward your own death.
If you think I’m being melodramatic, you were obviously never a grad student or postdoc. As a grad student or postdoc, you spend longer than you’ve planned working on something less interesting than you’d believed, all while earning less money than you assumed reasonable with an endpoint that’s less tangible and less probable than you thought possible.

LOVE No. 7!