Meritocracy Again?
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Read(s) of the day (or week): What price, patriotism?, Is there a price, patriotism? and Dilemma of studying overseas.

If you're a student, the issue of meritocracy in Malaysia should ring some bells to you. It's nothing new, and it won't go away - at least not in a foreseeable future. So we just gotta choke on that.

Meanwhile, I do notice a brain drain - even long after the country pledged to reduce this. I've friends who couldn't get into local universities, and are now studying abroad. You can even turn to StarTwo and once a while notice the column called "Malaysians Abroad". I read about an Alaskan Chief Judge who's a Malaysian. He applied for to get into UM (in the 70's) but was denied a place; ended up studying in a foreign university. His life since, needs no elaboration.

The issue of meritocracy can be resolved, of course. But it just won't happen here in Bolehland. Make no mistake, I have many friends who wished that they were treated fairly, and appreciated for their ability and excellence in their fields of study - this includes all races. So for a start (and to end the decades-long dispute), why don't they take-off this blanket of protection? Beats me.

I, for one, will never be a contender at the top end - cuz I'm a fcuking lazy student. *grins*
Would've Rotten If It Wasn't For Today
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
After posting the entry on how anacondas and crocodiles make love last night, I went straight to bed and slept like pig. It was already 2am plus, and I had to wake up at 7am plus this morning. I picked Steph up before headed towards OUG, where Hing How was already all nicely dressed up, awaiting us. A text from Liwei said that she and Elaine were still in the train, on their way.

Starving (as we planned to take breakfast together), we drove to the Seputeh stop (right before MidValley) and waited. The two from Seremban arrived at almost 9.45 - you can tell how long we had waiting, and starved. We had our breakfast in some morning market near Imbi Road - and crap, it was so damn crowded. Food was good though - especially the toasted breads, awesome. Thanks to Hing How's recommendation, that is.

We watched The Polar Express at the IMAX theatre, and... we were wowed. Big stuff indeed - the cinema and all. Will talk about the theatre later.

We had snack (tea) in Secret Recipe after the movie - which, about 2 hours later, we realised we'd made the wrong move. Our clothes stank! For some reason, the place was real stuffy inside. There were not many customers - wonder what the heck was going on in the kitchen. We were practically stoning - contemplating whether to watch another flick somewhere else. We knew the Shutter was given good reviews, hence recommended. We ended up in Steph's place instead.

Sent Steph back home in Sg Buloh - spent some 'quality' time fostering "close housemateship". Boy, I had forgotten the last time I played Uno Stacko!

After a coupla rounds, it was time for dinner. A tiring day, an enjoyable outing. More importantly, and more often that not, it's the company that matters most!
Narrow What?
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
My nickname is band. Narrow band (usually written as one single word). I've been asked about what my nick means. Before anything, let me clarify that it (my nick) was not meant to describe my personality or "open-mindedness". Totally unrelated. Ok :p

In 2002, I was inspired by the term "broadband". Back then, I did not have broadband internet access. As a dialup user, I merely relied on my 56K US Robotics modem - it was once a luxury. In the same year, I set up my Yahoo! Messenger account and used "narrowband" as my nick - simply because I wasn't on broadband, so "narrowband" instead!

Since then, I've been using the same nick for various purposes - in forums as well as LAN gaming. While in campus, I was on LAN and Counter-Strike used to be very popular.

Over the years, I just couldn't be bothered to come up with a new nickname. What for, right? :)

So how did "narrowband" come about? For those who wonder: There, as explained. For those who don't wonder about these things: Thanks for visiting Living Gem. Heh! *Grins*
Carpentry = Good Workout
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Two days ago, I was at Chee Keat's place doing something kinda out of this world (from my point of view). It had been more than 5 years since I held a saw - and cut wood. And I kinda appreciate that our education system makes us learn basic carpentry. Well, you may think that carpentry doesn't require any learning - it's all common sense. But learning the basics in school gives us the invaluable experience - of first time cutting a wood!

Armed with a saw - albeit quite a blunt one - and nothing else to hold these pieces of wood in place, it was no easy job. I was sweating profusely after the second round - and probably due to the blunt saw, each cut took almost forever, not to mention numbing my hand in the process. We took turns, and built a little slope, measuring 1.0m by 0.5m - for our project.

And I just received a good news - We'll have to build another one cuz we need two. *faints*
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