Friday, May 30, 2008

Jenga: From 14 to 32 Stories

We were at Starbucks yesterday. Having nothing to do other than sipping coffee, we took out a box of 42-piece Jenga set (14 stories) for a game. On the third attempt, we really took our own sweet time, 20 minutes to be exact (I know that's way too long), and aimed for 30 stories.

Voila!!! A 32-storey re-arranged yet un-toppled Jenga!!!

We don't actually abide by certain Jenga rules. Anyway, we did it just for the fun of it... :-P

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Again... Longest And Shortest... Song Titles

I am truly amazed at the outcome of my previous Wiki/Google research, finding out the extreme of movie titles. I cannot believe someone could actually ignore making a summary of the movie in the form of a decently short title. Even my longest blog post title is way less than that. I do appreciate Narnia though, because it is merely an adaptation of a story book of the same title.

And now what? The grandfather of long song titles!! According to Guinness Book of Records, the longest song title would be:

I'm a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doin’ Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues (written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1945)

However, my further search revealed an even longer title:

The Sad But True Story Of Ray Mingus, The Lumberjack Of Bulk Rock City, And His Never Slacking Stribe In Exploiting The So Far Undiscovered Areas Of The Intention To Bodily Intercourse From The Opposite Species Of His Kind, During Intake Of All The Mental Condition That Could Be Derived From Fermentation (performed by a Swedish group named Rednex)

Weren't this the case where the song writers simply want everything to be spelt out in the title itself? Why do they ever need to write the lyrics?

The longest single-worded song title is from the movie Mary Poppins. So, what is it? It is none other than Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, lead performers being the lead actress Julie Andrews and lead actor Dick Van Dyke. Tell you what, when I was young, I had a video cassette (yes… video cassette, and not DVD, mind you) of Mary Poppins, and watched, rewound, and watched again (yesss… video cassette needs rewinding one!!!). So many times that I can actually pronounce the word without any problem. I can even do it within 1 second! Haha! How I wish I could do it for Big Mac Charm – I would be fat (from eating the burger everyday) and rich (from saving my money supposedly spent for dinner)!!!

Hmm… how about the shortest ones? There are three of them:

7 by Prince & The New Power Generation
X by Xzibit
U by Loni Clark

Since I am a Chinese, of course I have to name Chinese songs with long titles. The longest in the list is:

我们连觉也没睡决定连夜赶去拜访艾立克克莱普顿》 by Cheer (陈绮贞)

Erm… I guess this song is very new. So, I don’t quite know how this song goes. I don’t even know if it is famous. But what I know is, nothing can beat the following song, in terms of the fame of the song, the fame of the artiste who sang the song, and the fame of the title itself. It is none other than the late 80’s classic:

是不是这样的夜晚你才会这样的想起我》 by Jacky Wu (吴宗宪)

The shortest Chinese song? Since Chinese characters are not alphabetical, and many single-character Chinese words can actually carry a solid meaning by its own, it is not surprising to find tons of single-character Chinese song titles. So, if I were to list it down here, the webpage would be super long that it would hang the Internet browser whenever someone try to launch this webpage.

However, the one album which I find to be quite unique was Edmund Leung’s (梁汉文) album named 10号 (meaning "the number ten"). It comprises of ten songs, beginning with a song with title containing “0”, followed by another containing “1”, and another “2”, and so forth. The shortest title in the album is 《》 (it simply means "eight"). Innovative!

Strange stuff DOES exist under the sun!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Highway Consumers Ain't Stupid

For the past umpteenth days (or rather, months), toll concessionaire Grand Saga had been building a barricade, forcing Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) residents to travel additional 6km in order to pass through the toll plaza on the Cheras-Kajang Highway (CKH), whenever BMC residents need to travel to Kuala Lumpur City. Well, when a company wanted to force its consumer to 'buta-buta' travel additional route and to pay toll-fare somemore, of course BMC residents are not very happy about it. Consumer rights are being challenged! So, over and over again they have been 'blasting off' the barricades, just to find out that the barricades are rebuilt the next day. There was once where the police have to use tear gas to rid the angry residents.

So sad - consumer rights were challenged and mocked just like that.

Read MalaysiaKini news about the Cheras Grand Saga here. Also, see map below. Red route marks the simplest route from BMC to KL, free of toll charges. Blue route marks the additional 6-km long route which passes through the toll plaza - in the event a barricade was built on the red spot.

But then, there is still a peaceful solution. No need to fight with Grand Saga. No need to vandalize their belongings. And, no need to be rough. Just be a good citizen, and travel just a little bit further, possibly another 2-km route, into Cheras Perdana before coming out to CKH. Free of toll charge. How ah? Aiyoyo... KL people should know and be adventurous a bit la... See pictures below.

So, problem solved. Haha!

You may try to argue with me. But before that, let me tell you - I have traveled from Mid Valley to UNITEN and back, without paying a single sen on toll fare. Umpteenth time! Wanna argue? Try it first yourself before you do that!

Maps and pictures are courtesy of MalaysiaKini and Google Map.

Super-Humongously Long Movie Names

I might have missed some long names in between, but, just for the fun of it, here's the list that I found. I am going to change the following font to Courier.

1. Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating Subhumanoid Zombified Living Dead, Part 3
2. Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Terror
3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
6. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
8. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
9. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

On the other hand, no movies can beat the following:

Followed closely by:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: A Review

Dr Jones is back! New adventure. New artifact. New villains. But the same old men. Yes, men! Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas!! And, of course, this movie we would see something different - the artifact is not Christ related. Well, Temple of Doom is also NOT Christ related, you may say; but let me tell you - it is very different! Further mentioning of it would become spoilers. Also, introducing the Transformers' fame Shia LeBouf, and Cate Blanchett (LOTR, Babel, Elizabeth) as the villain! Huh!?

The story was set in 1957, way after WWII, but in the midst of Cold War. Stalin was of course mentioned in this movie, and this strange "Ukrainian" woman named Irina Spalko (Blanchett) was hired by Stalin to research and attempt to harness psychic powers in order to control the world. In the beginning, they captured Indiana Jones (Ford, of course!) to help them find some sort of mummified body - hoping to get some mind juice out of it for telepathic research I guess... ugh! He escaped. In the later part of the story, Jones was called by this rough teenager Mutt Williams (LeBouf) to save his mom (Karen Allen) and Professor 'Ox' Oxley (John Hurt) from the same person who captured him - Spalko. In the process, Jones and Williams teamed up to solve s clue left by Ox, a clue that led them to the lost Crystal Skull - a treasure known to point to a lost city built of gold and wanted badly by Spalko. But Spalko - crazy for psychic powers - could not have wanted gold? Or could she? Or was she looking for something more? Something that might lie behind the skull itself?

If you have not watched the past movies, you may just wonder who this Marion Ravenwood was, and maybe you'd find it strange when people laughed at scenes such as Jones saving his hat or Jones landing on an enemy truck. And maybe strange to find the old-fashioned method of tracing on a map with red lines and dots whenever Jones traveled on a plane. These scenes are common across all the 4 movies! And Ravenwood was part of the first movie!

And, as usual, Dr Jones cannot die one! Innumerable gunshots were fired on him, but always missed him and left him unscathed. He was left just a few miles from ground zero for atomic bomb test, and a few seconds to escape, yet he survived the deadly furnace of atomic blast (how ah? how ah? Duh... save it, I'm not gonna spoil the fun here!). He and his team fell of three waterfalls, and yet suffered no harm other than getting themselves wet and slightly traumatized (especially Ravenwood).

And not mentioning romance at its fullest! Enough said here.

And, Shia LeBouf - he simply made me recall Jonathan Ke Quan (Ke Huy Quan) and the late River Phoenix. They just simply want a youngster in almost every movie. Anyway, he did have a significant role here, far more significant than Quan.

One amazing thing was (I would rather say, a deliberate goof), a magnetic object was less effective in its magnetic effect when it was covered. Why? It was very clear that the crystal skull was highly magnetic, yet when it was covered, its magnetic effect was not as strong as when it was exposed. Also, about magnetic effects, it seemed to be selectively attracting metals like guns and weapons and only at certain times. It did attract for sure gunpowders and shotgun bullets. It would never attract metal cars. Something that really, really caused me to reduce my rating of the movie due to its fakeness.

I think George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had lost their creativity. Several ideas actually appeared as they were borrowed from other movies. I am not going to mention any here, because I received feedback that the list was enough to spoil the movie, even though it is just the tip of the spoiler iceberg.

Hey, they accidentally exposed the lost Ark of the Covenant (the one in the first movie) during the first fight-and-escape scene! I thought that it might have a slight significance in the movie, until I remembered the title of the movie. Ha!!

Nevertheless, Indiana Jones movies always came with comedic scenes, and Skull is no exception. The trailer had spoilt some. Others include Mutt spreading his legs across two parallelly-running vehicles and having occasional plant from underneath hitting on his private; Mutt initiated a gang fight, making it a diversion for the escape; and, I must say, the Indy hat scenes. :-)

Okay, okay. Too much of a non-spoiler. I would give an eight out of ten. Erm... slightly more than eight. Won't mind watching it again.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Corpus Christi

DISCLAIMER: I am no theologist. This is not a professional theological article. The contents are mainly my personal opinions. Nevertheless, readers are welcomed to comment on their views, as well as suggest corrections on my article which might be erroneous in some way.

Yesterday is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). A celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Bread of Life, the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

During Mass, Fr. Fab's sermon was, as usual, interesting. Although there are three parts in his sermon, I am not going to elaborate everything here - as some would be common sense to Catholics. In fact, what he is eventually led us to opened my eyes.

He quoted St Augustine's words, or I'd say, a prophecy from Jesus Himself. It sounded: "You would not change Me into yourself as you would food of your flesh, but you will be changed into Me." Amazing? Or not? Think about it... we normally partake food so that the food that is eventually digested becomes part of our body - muscles, bones, fat tissues, and, at some time, for repairing the parts of our bodies that are scarred/loss - for instance, skin, hair, blood. Most of the time, the food is transformed to the very basic need of our body - energy. That is true for all kinds of food, except one, or rather, the One. Which is the Body of Christ, the Holy Eucharist, Flesh of Jesus Himself. St Augustine's prophecy stated, when we partake the Body of Christ, we are instead transformed into the Body, in communion with Christ, through the Grace of God and (of course) our faith! We are called to be holiness after entering the Communion in Christ Jesus! A point that I always overlooked.

During the sermon, something struck me in an intellectual way - the type of blood Jesus carried. I knew that, through the many mysterious manifestation of the phenomenon of Transsubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus, it was scientifically examined, confirmed, and announced that Jesus was having AB+ blood type.

I did a little bit of research on blood types and groupings through Wikipedia ([1], [2]), and I found out that people with AB+ is the universal blood receptor. Which means, Jesus in His human form can receive blood from any human alive, and in a way, 'transformed' the received blood to His. However, from St Augustine's prophecy, Jesus did something quite different. He gave us His Life, and poured to us His Precious Blood to us, transforming ours into His! Instead of receiving and transforming, He was giving and transforming!

Also, I also learnt that, there are a total of 29 human blood group systems are now recognized by the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT). Each grouping system highlights certain existence or deficit of certain type of proteins or antigens. The most common blood groupings are the infamous ABO-grouping and the Rhesus (Rh) grouping, which give us the various blood types of O+, O-, A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, and AB-. According to what I found out, AB+ blood type means the blood contains Antigen-A, Antigen-B, and Rhesus antigens. O- means the blood is deficient of the aforementioned antigens. If we take the existence of antigens as dominant (or in a layman term, superior), then AB+ is highly dominant, and O- is highly recessive.

If we take this context into Jesus' Blood, His Blood is highly dominant! I am not saying that all people with AB+ blood group has equal dominance and hence does not need Jesus' Blood for redemption, because:
1. This is merely what medical science has so far confirmed on the scientific aspect of Jesus' Blood.
2. There are 27 other recognized blood grouping methods unverified on Jesus' Blood. Chances are, Jesus' Blood is dominant across all the other 27 blood groupings as well.
3. God created science. Who are we to determine scientifically the dominance of Jesus' Blood? And, who are we to equate blood dominance with redemption through the Blood?

What I am trying to say is, Jesus' Blood is beyond price. That Jesus' Blood is Precious and is a price God paid for our sins. Through faith, we know that He poured out His Blood for the redemption of mankind. We are called to partake the Body and Blood of Christ worthily. Which means, we have to live a holy life in order to be worthy of the Eucharistic Feast - for God is Holy. The more we lead a holy life, the more worthy we are in front of God, and the more we are transformed into His Image through the Eucharist! Amen!

At the end of the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the Monstrance for silent reverence by the congregation. At that time, I did feel the tingling *bzzzzt* feeling all across my body! What an awesome experience! Amen!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May Twenty-Second - Part 2

KDU Penang was organizing a charity buffet dinner called Symphony Of Love. Its purpose – a fund-raising project for St Joseph’s Orphanage, Penang Road, and as a practical exposure to the students of the Catering and Hotel Management course (Pat, I know this is not correct, please do correct me in your comments.). Pat was one of the organizing committee members. So, must go there and support la… :-)

The food that they prepared was superb!

I had the pasta…
Spaghetti bolognaise – my number one item of the night
(According to B, the cook was one of the lecturers, which explained of the great taste.)

The Char Kuey Teow (fried fettucini-like noodles)…
(The bean-sprout was not well-done… that’s the bit of my comments)

Cream of mushroom… – my number two item of the night
(Definitely not from Campbell’s which are whitish… the cream that they serve was freshly made and authentic, as they were greyish in color)

[ Forgot to take photo of the following ]

Bain Marie…
With nasi minyak, curry chicken, fried chicken, fish, Japanese beancurd, and mixed vegetables
(I love the fried chicken the most – my number three item of the night)

Tartlets and Swiss rolls
(Not bad)

I missed out the puddings… well, I was too full then.

They had games as well. First was the folding of newspaper into half, and have two persons standing on it, and then further folding it into half and so on. The second game was when D got trapped and forced to play. It was a game of guessing of movie names and characters just by acting it out. So, D got this: “Neo of The Matrix”.

And so, he pointed at himself, and then he did the infamous bullet-dodging-in-slow-motion scene

and the one-hand-stopping-all-bullets scene.

Haha… I thought at a moment that D would do the Trinity-froze-mid-air-in-180-degrees-camera-angle scene!

D received another birthday present - a gift for the correct guess. Of course la, who does not know the Wachowskis' trademark action? Hahaha!!!

There were also several rounds of lucky draws. B got a complimentary lunch for two in Sarkies Corner, E&O Hotel!! That is cool!

B and Pat, hope you’d enjoy the meal this weekend!

Well, it was indeed a great evening! D, on his birthday, got to meet B’s girlfriend at last. We occasionally joked of D’s mole in front of Pat. Haha…

May Twenty-Second - Part 1

A busy day. Also, a happening day it is.

It was my first time organizing a birthday lunch for my group of colleagues. It was a monthly event, when the whole group will treat the birthday babes of the month. Normally this was organized (or co-organized) by the supervisor of the birthday boy/girl. However, this month, 4 of my colleagues, including my own supervisor, was celebrating their birthdays. So, I was assigned to organize for this month.

We went to Ribs BarBQue Restaurant on Burmah Road. I had been there twice, so I knew how good the ribs were. Indeed, the food was not bad.

Barbeque Full Ribs…
(trust me, AP can finish this!!! Hahaha…)

Babyback Ribs…
(humungous, but equally juicy and savory…)

Ribs and Lamb…

Rib, Salmon and Prawn…

Roasted Chicken…

Fish and Chips…

The birthday babes.
CWC, SO, CWP, and AP.

The team. A happy family.

May Twenty-Second - Part 0

Why part zero? It is because it happened before part one la… hahaha… It was actually May 21, but that evening, D, B and I went out to have a pre-birthday celebration with D (which was on May 22).

We went for a dinner at D’s recommended zhu-cha restaurant opposite Tapak Pesta Sg Nibong. The food is good and at a reasonable price. I love the Marmite Chicken the most, a dish highly recommended by D [see left]. That dish was big!! We nearly couldn’t finish it.

Other dishes include curry fillet fish, hot plate beancurd, and fried belacan kangkung (马来风光).

Next, we thought of having a mug of beer either at Frenz or Bailey’s. The former was packed, and the latter was a bit dark, I felt, so I suggested off both places. Instead, we went to Infinity Cyber Café at Sg Dua for a game of Counter-Strike. B and I actually wanna kill time, so that when midnight come, we’ll wish D birthday.

So, at 5 to midnight, we left the cyber café, and at that time we passed him a prank gift. He ripped it open, and there was a yellow star, stating “Shine Like A Star. Daniel 12:3”. We reminded him of his mole represented by the bright star. Hehehe… He was very happy with that prank present from pod… He rugi teruk la…

It was 5 past midnight when we reached D’s apartment. At that time, we faked that we were giving a nasty big gift – a cake on his face. So, we smashed on his face… a birthday card!! Messages from G, Ling, B and myself were on it. Btw, the “bird-day” was on the card.

Finally, the actual present from the pod was given. Hillsong Live – Mighty To Save – Music Book CD-ROM. With this, D could team up with his musicians and jam all the way. :-)

A message for D:
You are no longer a teen, not yet an adult!
Happy Birthday, buddy! And, wish you a double-happiness!!
Double? You know what I mean!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Anointing in Shalom

DISCLAIMER: This article describes my own experience, involving encounters which are spiritual and faith-building for me. Something which is very common amongst Charismatic Renewal community.

April 18, 2008
A physical healing night

For the past 1 month, I had neck pain caused by improper sleeping position. The pain got worsened and caused my left shoulder to be slightly numb. Recalling a year ago when I was prayed over on the same neck-pain problem and got healed one day later, I asked God to heal me. I rested, and got up. And you know what, the numbness was gone! I was healed instantly!!

April 25, 2008
Fire-anointing night

A few of us felt the joy of being in the presence of the Lord that we laughed while resting in the spirit. During that time, I heard a buzzing sound – sound of an un-modulated noisy radio frequency. I felt that God had been talking to me, and I was finding a hard time trying to tune in.

May 2, 2008
Another fire-anointing night

The manifested presence of the Holy Spirit was very strong. Moreover, the Holy Spirit first appeared to me as a Person and not imaginary fire/dove. A asked us to stretch out our right hand, a gesture to introduce ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Indeed, I felt my right hand was pressed by an envelope of warm air, as if two hands were grabbing my outstretched hand. I rested right after the experience, face down to the ‘unmatted’ floor. I did not weep, but I has a manifestation – I felt needing to let out groans and to stretch my body.

According to A, that might be a lion-anointing. Btw, during that time of manifestation I understood why R prayed over me to calm me down. There were a lot of first-time attendees that night, and we definitely didn’t want them to feel as if people were possessed or hexed – that’s not God’s way for sure. I know I wasn’t possessed or whatever, because I was aware of what happened around me – and I just wanted to glorify God with my body that time. However, if what I or other regulars did caused others to shun away from God, that is NOT good!

May 9, 2008
The night before Pentecost Eve
Night of the Holy Spirit in Person

A introduced a seat in front of the place where the worship leader stood. The seat was called the Holy Spirit Seat as that night A sensed that the Holy Spirit would have His manifested presence by sitting on the seat. Then, during worship, A asked us to approach the seat one-by-one and introduce ourselves to Him, simply by saying, “Hi Holy Spirit, I am so-and-so…”

As I approached the seat, I could feel Him bending over to me and enveloping me once again (I knelt quite a distance away from Him actually). I felt peaceful and calm. I was also assured of God’s love no matter how broken I am.

These 4 weeks, together with the experience from LSS, had been a great experience for me. Indeed I became more faithful – moreover, the experiences made me feel wanting to love Him more. Praise God!!!

Creative Christian Cards

Went to Baptist Book Store and found these…

I really like the first one. It was really funny with the Jesus Fish logo slightly changed to a Jonah in the whale’s belly. The second one, we bought for D’s birthday. ;-)

Also noticed of this vertical scroll. The Chinese characters mean “Give thanks to God”. Very creative in putting the cross across the character that means “God”.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Yep. Life in the Spirit Seminar. This year marks my third time attending an LSS. This round (same as my last round 3 years ago) it was organized by SWYF.

The following table marks the entire seminar schedules, spanning across 9 sessions in 7 weeks. Each session lasted for about 2 to 3 hours (from 8:30pm onwards).










God's Love







4 & 5

Repentence & Renunciation




Inner Healing




New Life




Receiving God's Gift







10 & 11

Growth & Transformation




High Praise



Few things did happen to me throughout the entire LSS journey. The one happening that I could observe with immediate effect is that, God had given me strength to worship Him and followed through the talk! For the past 2 months, I have been having lack of sleep, practically almost every weekday. And, because of the two consecutive weeks assisting in D's mom's teambuilding sessions [1, 2], I was almost dead-tired on the two Saturdays. Yet, amid the sleepiness and weary feeling, God managed to electrify me with His strength! As soon as each session began (with a short worship), I was more or less alert! Indeed, I could not have had such strength without God! Praise Him!

Second, God managed to close the wound in my heart during the Inner Healing session. Something that happened to me 1.5 years ago, causing the wound. I knew all the while that the wound was still there, but I let it be and heal by itself. I was proven wrong - God touched me and renewed me again. God also reminded me that I had to put in my own effort and do something to completely heal it. God might have healed me, but if I were to do nothing, my past memory will rip it open again. Well, I can say right now I am still in the midst of doing that something right now. I think I really need to do it before I even move on with life! [ I'm not elaborating it because it is too personal. ]

Third one happened after the LSS ended. There was a post-LSS High Praise on May 18 afternoon (4pm). During the praise and worship session, my encounter with the Holy Spirit as a Person deepened. When "Send The Fire" was played and sung, I could feel that the Holy Spirit was standing in front of us and was shooting small stones of fire to us - as if you see a person's heart being a fiery stone that exploded and sent the fiery debris to us. I could feel a gradual empowerment of my life through the power of the Holy Spirit!

I wept twice during the High Praise. First happened when we worshiped Him with the song "Flow To You". I was sitting down that time, when I suddenly felt the urge to lie prostrate. And so I lay, and I could feel an enveloping and embracing love of God around my body. So, with my face on the floor, my tear flowed out and wetted the mat (:-P).

The second time was when the SWYF core team and ex-core team began to guide the children to receive the charismatic gift of tongues. We were singing softly the song "Receive The Power" - claiming God's promise (in Acts 1:8), also (I feel) served as the bit of encouragement that we could do. I could sense the immense love God had for the children when all the children received the gift of tongues!! A kid at the age of 6 praying in tongues!!! Can you imagine that? I wept in joy of the Lord's promise on the children.

I never regretted attending the LSS.

Praise and thank You for Your love, Daddy.
Glorify Your Name, Jesus.
And thank You for Your strength for me, Holy Spirit.

Finger Pain Liao!!!

I got too many things to write, but I have too little time. Sigh... There will be 5 consecutive posts ongoing!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shun Kimura --> Takumi Reizei

Hey, Gnu, you're right!!! It seems to be random. I'm now Takumi Reizei... Hahahaha!!! Very close to Takumi Fujiwara!

Gnap, Pat, go and try out again! Maybe you'll get Ayumi Hamasaki, Kyoko Fukuda, Norika Fujiwara or Utada Hikaru!! LOL!

Your Japanese Name Is...

Takumi Reizei

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shun Kimura

Your Japanese Name Is...

Shun Kimura

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trinity Sunday

DISCLAIMER: I am no theologist. This is not a professional theological article. The contents are mainly my personal opinions. Nevertheless, readers are welcomed to comment on their views, as well as suggest corrections on my article which might be erroneous in some way.

Today is the Solemnity of Trinity Sunday (Sunday after Pentecost). The main theme is, of course, the celebration of the holy mystery of the one God in three Persons - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The term Trinity is so called as a mystery - indeed yes. To a lay person, how to explain one God appearing in three Persons? How can our God be the Heavenly Father, God be the Jesus Christ, and God be in the Holy Ghost? During Mass, I was reminded of my own explanation on the differentiation of the three Persons to a friend. I said:

God is like a factory that make cups. We human are the cups. And so, God the Father creates and manufactures the cups - hence creates us. When the cups are being used, sometimes the cups suffered cracks on the side, or maybe, smashed. Jesus as the Son comes and mends the cracks and glued the smashed pieces together - that is how Jesus bore our sins and sufferings to Himself. And finally, a cup without water means it was not used. So, Holy Spirit comes and fill the cups with water - rather, re-filling the cups continuously. That is how the Holy Spirit comes into our lives as the Breath of God, and gives us life.

Well, the above explanation is nothing compared with the professional theological teaching of the holy mystery. However, I myself felt more convinced through my explanation - that I acknowledge God the Father as the Master of Creation, Author of Life and Salvation, and our Daddy, Abba, Father; that Jesus came and died for us, the Lamb who takes away my sins and the sins of the world, the Lamb who bore our transgressions so that we would be healed; that Holy Spirit gives us life and be the Paraclete Who walk alongside with us as our comforter, reminder, and strength.

I was also reminded of an argument that broke up in one Internet forum. A skeptic requested for an explanation of the Trinity, whether it meant 33% Father + 33% Son + 33% Holy Spirit = 100% God Almighty. I was impressed with the response to this question. The guy who responded replied NO. It should be 100% Father + 100% Son + 100% Holy Spirit = 100% God Almighty. This is very true. When we refer to God the Father, He is all-powerful, and not only having 33% power. Same goes to God the Son and God the Holy Spirt - They are all-powerful as well.

Anyway, we humans can and should never use our logical mind to understand God using Mathematics. After all, God created Science and Mathematics. Who are we, God's creation, use back God's creation to understand the mystery of God the Trinity? And, like what Fr. Fab said during today's Homily, it is a mystery that could never be solved by Mac Taylor or Horatio. Indeed, it takes a leap of faith to accept the mystery.

So, this is merely my sharing lah... :-)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Who Misused Acronyms?

Thanks for the initiative on broadcasting our country's Parliament meetings, we get to see a bigger picture in a Parliamentary debate. In another sense, the rakyat get to witness all kinds of arguments and havoc wreaked amongst the Members of Parliaments (MP).

On May 12, 2008, I witnessed a horrific debate which brought to the usage of acronyms connecting to controversial words 'Khinzir' and 'Babi' (both meaning 'pork' or 'pig' in Malay Language). The meeting, commenced at 10am, began with MP of Rembau Parliamental constituency under National Front (BN) political party (for name sake, let's make it shorter, say, BN-Rembau MP) Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar presenting his maiden speech in Parliament. As soon as he touched on Clause 25 of his speech, he began mentioning "Projek Khinzir Raksasa" (literally means "giant pork project" in Malay language), emphasizing its acronym P-K-R.

At this point, the MP from opposition coalition (namely People's Coalition or Pakatan Rakyat, PR) began to get agitated. We could see PR-DAP, PR-PAS and PR-PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or People's Justice Party) from this video jumped up and argued at Khairy's statement, and further on requested Khairyto retract his statement. To them, tying Projek Khinzir Raksasa to the acronym PKR is definitely an insult to Parti Keadilan Rakyat members. Particularly when "Projek Khinzir Raksasa" could be most possibly referred to the pig-breeding project in Selangor state executed by her current state government (controlled by Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PKR). By the way, the project was, as far as I know, approved by the previous state government (then controlled by BN) [see here].

At some point of havoc, PAS-Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar said, "P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara." It literally means "nation's pork project", but the more impactful term was its acronym to the name, P-B-N. At this point, I could see some PR MP jeered at this term P-B-N. Khairy then repeatedly questioned in a seemingly agitated voice, "Siapa babi negara?"

Well, from Khairy's speech text, it seemed nothing wrong. But come and think about it. He initiated the referral to a pig-breeding project to an acronym synonymous to the acronym of the name of one of the opposition party components. Was it an insult to the opposition using a controversial word? You judge.

When opposition countered with P-B-N, Khairy questioned it. Literally he said (as per the video), "Apa dia... apa dia... Dia sebut babi negara tadi. Saya minta penjelasan... siapa babi negara?" (Pardon... pardon... He said national pork just now. I request clarification... who is national pork?) He sounded as if he was deeply offended. Maybe to Khairy, that term sounded an insult to himself personally - I want to know why. Or, maybe to Khairy, his speech was perfect that no one was allowed to debate it - I REALLY want to know why and based on what reason.

Indeed, when P-B-N was used to refer to "Projek Babi Negara" by an opposition MP, a BN MP will be indirectly insulted. Think about it again. Which MP started with using acronyms to the level of offending other MP? Who stirred up the dirty linen?

Interestingly, Mahfuz only said "P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara". Possibly he was merely referring to the same "Projek Khinzir Raksasa, atau singkatannya P-K-R". One and the same pig-breeding project in Selangor state. Mind you, "P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara" was the only word heard from the video. He did NOT even refer it to any person or any object. He did NOT say "siapa" (who).

Khairy coined the freedom of simply using initials of a phrase as an acronym to any name by saying P-K-R as... enough said. So, it should also be right in the eyes of Khairy to have Mahfuz coin another acronym. What's wrong with that?

Also, what for Khairy gave a speech, offended people like nobody's business, but yet when people counter-attacked his speech in some way he suddenly turned sour? He may be the son-in-law of our Prime Minister, but is he, a BN-Rembau MP, really above all other MP in the Parliament? So 'superior' that he mocked others but does not accept mockery against himself? "Siapa babi negara?"

Khairy might have stolen the limelights of the week, earning himself the MP of the week. Nevertheless, judging from the response in the short 7-minute video, I think Khairy was very successful in instilling deep hatred feelings against himself amongst many Malaysians.

I hope Khairy would not forget his own name - that his first name begins with the letter K. Misuse of acronyms is very dangerous.

DAP - Democratic Action Party
PAS - PArti Islam Se-Malaysia, or Pan Malaysian Islamic Party

Recapping classic words uttered from the mouths of MP in Parliament for the past 2 weeks:

"Itu pun tak cukup bagi satu Kerajaan Negeri yang telah meletakkan keutamaan nombor satu pentadbirannya kelulusan Projek Khinzir Raksasa atau singkatannya P-K-R."
("That is not even sufficient for a State Government that has placed first priority of its administration on the approval of the Giant Pork Project, or in short, P-K-R.")
-- Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, BN-Rembau, 12 May, 2008

"P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara."
("P-B-N, Nation's Pork/Pig Project.")
-- Mahfuz Omar, PAS-Pokok Sena, 12 May, 2008

"Siapa babi negara?"
("Who is national pork/pig?")
-- Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, BN-Rembau, 12 May, 2008

"Adakah YB Ipoh Timur (Lim Kit Siang) setuju dengan pepatah Melayu 'siapa makan cili, siapa rasa pedas'?"
("Does YB Ipoh Timur agree with the Malay idiom 'whoever eats chili feels hot' (the person who did wrong feels guilty)?")
-- Nga Kor Ming, DAP-Taiping, 6 May, 2008 [here]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Iron Man: A Review

"Proof That Tony Stark Has A Heart"
"Heroes Aren't Born. They're Built"

These phrases would sound familiar to you if you have watched Iron Man. Yes, the long awaited Marvel Production movie is out!

The story revolved around a super-genius named Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), who inherited from his late father a multi-million worth company that manufactured weapons for US Defense. During his trip to Afghanistan to test his killer weapon, the Jericho, he was assaulted and captured by a terrorist group named The Ten Rings. In the process of escaping, he built himself a metal armor suit super-powered by his Ark Reactor, enabling him to power up the suit and at the same time power up a magnetic coil that would stop shrapnel fragments from entering his heart (due to an injury sustained from the assault). After he was rescued and transported back to US, he decided to shut down the weapons manufacturing plant, and dedicated himself to perfecting his metal armor suit. A series of happenings threw him into action in the suit, hence Iron Man was born. His direction and determination had pissed off certain people, and out of deceit, unleashed was the villainous Iron Monger, much bigger and more powerful, rivaling Iron Man. Who would eventually win - the smart guy in red/golden suit or the mammoth machine?

I didn't read any Marvel comics, so frankly speaking, I did not know anything about Iron Man before the movie. However, after watching the movie, I did find it awesome, amazing, and brilliant! Not mentioning comedic.

The movie was so action-packed that the 2:06-long movie appears passing by very fast. Nevertheless, the action was coupled with funny scenes that made this movie interesting. The funniest part that I found is when Stark tried the flight system of Mark 2 (code name for his experimental prototype silver suit). "3-2-1-go!" He ricocheted to the wall behind him, hitting on it some 10 feet above ground and fell. As he landed, Dummy (his worker robot) sprayed on him as if he has caught fire.

Also, another funny scene was when he ended his later-perfected flight with Mark 2. However, as he powered off the suit on the roof of his house, the armor was so heavy that it crashed open the concrete roof, down one floor with a grand piano, and another with a sports car. What an extravagant experiment! Haha!!

And, Pat, truly, Burger King's there. They publicized it!!

The poignant scene was when Stark realized that the weapons that he manufactured eventually did harm to humankind. "I saw young Americans killed by the very weapons I created to defend them and protect them," he said. That was when he decided to call an end to the weapons manufacturing division.

One scene I found gruesome - much to D's disbelief and retort - was when the Ark Reactor to Stark's heart was detached revealing a hole in his chest, and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) had to dig her hand into the hole where the heart was supposed to be. Of course I know it was fake, but I just couldn't bear the imagination of me having a hole in my own chest - a vivid picture in my mind during that particular scene.

Robert Downey Jr had portrayed very well as Stark / Iron Man. I was actually very skeptical about him, after starring as the ***SPOILER*** villain in U.S. Marshalls, serious-and-not-very-funny investigator in Zodiac, and another villain in The Shaggy Dog (he was indeed funny in this one though). However, in Iron Man, he was humorous, glamorous, and romantic... but also, lonely. After watching this movie, I felt that Downey fit the role quite well.

I would give a nine (out of ten) for this. And, I am looking forward to its sequel - I'm sure there would be. Which Marvel's superhero movie blockbuster did not have sequels?

And, if you are really watching it in cinema, wait till the end credits are over. If the cinema personnel chases you out, spend the end-credit-rolling time arguing with him - yell at him, "I pay for every second of the movie!" You'll indeed get paid off.

Crazy @ Lunchtime

Just had one of my craziest lunch experiences today. I ordered myself a serving of chicken + "siow-ba" (roast pork) + "lap-cheong" (chinese sausage) rice. The chicken rice stall boss was having a hard time chopping the meat, serving, collecting money, and taking a breath, all by himself. He's too busy even to collect money from us. "Sii kor pek... lu jiak sing" (RM4.80, you eat first - in Penangite Hokkien dialect), he murmured.

So, it's time for us to leave the restaurant. We approached the stall to meet the ever-busy chicken-rice guy to pay our 'debt'. As guess what, the bowl where the money was kept was left unattended (sorry, I dun have picture of it). So, in front of him, I just chucked in my RM5 note and retrieved 20sen from it. Everyone else was doing the same. How hilarious! And amazingly, the chicken-rice guy so trusted us that he did not cared much of it! Amid the ever-horrific society of snatch thieves, robbers and rapists, he's leaving that bowl of cash alone!! I wonder how much he earned in the end. LOL!!

Next, came my stunt. How long is a Smart-for-2, you may ask? Here's the answer... erm... about 1.8 meters. How do I know? [see below]

And, how much guts did it take for you to go up a half-completed overhead bridge? Or, rather, an abandoned overhead bridge? [see below]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost Eve

Pentecost Eve Mass
May 10, 2008

It was supposed to be fully animated by CHS youths, but due to the insufficient time for the youths to prepare for cantor and musicians, A's cantor team took over the music part.

The Mass was great! The spirit of the youths were really amazing! And most importantly, the manifested presence of the Holy Spirit was indeed very strong. I did not feel it physically (some said they got the 'bzzt bzzt' feeling), but I did feel His enveloping love and peace during Mass.

The priest incensing the altar

The Offertory consists of our offering, and bread and wine. Being a Feast Day and youth-animated Mass, there are additional offerings...

a souvenir (a cross with doves on the arms) from the children, made during the Children's Lithurgy,

6 love balloons (representing our 6 petitions during Prayer of the Faithful),

6 birds (representing man/us - 6 being number of man/imperfection),

and a pigeon (representing God, making up 7 - number of perfection).

When the birds and pigeon was about to be released from the cage (outside the church building, of course), I felt a sudden wave of God's love. It was as if God took our imperfection and made it perfect, so that we were made whole once again. A feeling of being accepted by God. I was on the verge of weeping, but since I was on duty, I controlled myself.

For Thanksgiving Hymn, we sang the 2008 World Youth Day Sydney Theme Song "Receive The Power". A dance was presented that time, by a group of 10 teenage girls and two guys. The girls made up the entire of the dance sequence, while the two guys - G animated two reddish-yellowish flag representing the Fire of the Holy Spirit, and Han brought in a candle (representing the Light that was to shine unto the world through the girl dancers) into the center of the church. At the end of the dance, the girls lit their small candles and presented to the congregation. That was meaningful! Kudos to Corn for choreographing the dance. Moreover, it was the Glory and Power of God that empowered them to dance for God!

The video for the dance during Thanksgiving Hymn. Thanks to Corn and X Man...

And the pictures of the dancers in action and group photo for dancers, thanks to 5xmom!

As we sang the Final Hymn "Great Awakening", I really felt like stretching my hands up to worship God, though I was on duty. No lah... I was not doing it, lest I caught attention - attention should always be on God.

Well, the Fire was indeed Godsent!