Gunung Datuk Rembau – First trek of the year

January 31, 2016 Leave a comment

 

 

Gunung Datuk Rembau is located in Negri Sembelan in the Seremban state of Malaysia.  I had started hiking in 2015 attempting the beginners hike of Broga Hill which is ~400m high.

Gunung Datuk Rembau at 800m (2900ft) is twice that and it was my first hiking trip of the new year.  The climb to the top of the summit took us almost 2 hours.  We started at 6:30 am in the morning.  To reach the summit, we had to climb vertical ladders and this is the most risky part of the climb.  The view of the clouds and the scenery from the summit is awesome.  You can catch the sunrise and a  breathtaking, birds eve view of Seremban from the summit.

I had carried only 1 litre of water and would recommend that you carry atleast 1.5 – 2 litres of water for such a hike.  Certain parts of the trek were challenging and we had to be careful with our step as we only have tree roots for support. This is a good hike for beginners as it has a clear trail to reach the top.

Along the trek you can hear some beautiful bird sounds and monkey calls.  We were a group of 32 people and we enjoyed the trek!

Categories: Books

Quote Me

January 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Do you have a favourite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

 

I love this quote because it reminds me that true beautyis in our inner nature and essence and we don’t have to seek for it anywhere. If we recognize this truth then our beauty will shine forth revealing the divinity that is hidden beneath.

 

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror

Khailil Gibran

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://artandlife11.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/quote-me/
2) http://captainjillsjourneys.com/2016/01/28/quote-me/
3) https://jdcgzm.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/daily-prompt-quote-me/
4) https://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/daily-prompt-quote-me/
5) https://myvividvisions.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/my-lifestory-in-my-favorite-quote-ii/

 

Categories: Books

Learning style

January 18, 2016 1 comment

What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

 

Reading books is the primary source of my information. In college I learnt in a group. The advantage of this method of learning is sharing, discussion and better understanding.

Today there is a wide range of information on the internet and self-paced learning is a reality. Moreover, higher institutions like MIT are also offering their classroom content free online. So there is no dearth of material for a keen student.

However, to really assimilate the knowledge that is learnt, one has to experiment and make mistakes.  This is the best way to imbibe knowledge and understand the fundamentals of a subject.   There is no substitute for ‘learning by doing’.

However, some content may not be verified to be authentic and one has to use one’s judgement when learning online.

Studying a new concept one-on-one is difficult as there is less room for questions and discussion. The most important requirement for learning is a blank mind with no preconceived judgements. This allows curiosity to flourish and questioning leads to better knowledge.

I have found that in a classroom there are children of all types. Some are relatively quiet and can listen. But there are children who are hyperactive and need active learning or exercises to stimulate their learning. So it is a challenge for educators to cater to a wide mix of students in a classroom and design the lesson so as to benefit everyone.

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/2016/01/18/not-by-rote-please/
2) http://confessionsofasahmsite.com/2016/01/17/teach-me/
3) http://christinegoodnough.com/2016/01/17/lessons-everywhere/
4) http://teepee12.com/2016/01/17/binge-learning/
5) https://wyrewitterings.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/learnng-style/
6) https://allisonveneziowrites.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/learningstyle/
7) https://jottingsandwritings.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/daily-prompt-learning-style/
8) http://pavlostog.com/2016/01/17/learning-style/
9) https://fluffypool.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/how-to-feel-intelligent/
10) http://clearshave.net/2016/01/18/mixture-of-learning-styles/
11) https://awlscribe.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/daily-prompt-learning-style/
12) https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/learning-style/
13) https://mandyblake95.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/learning/
14) https://yichinglin.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/playing-together/
15) https://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/daily-prompt-learning-style/

 

Categories: Books

Now You See Me

January 14, 2016 1 comment

You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will.  When and where will you use this superpower? Tell us a story

Now, its awesome.. to be gifted with this superpower – the ability to make myself appear and disappear at will!

I would like to disappear from situations where there are arguments, anger, violence, hatred, gossip and other negative vibes.

I would like to appear near my loved ones, my family, my friends, ,my community who puts their selfish interests aside and work for the welfare of society.

I would also like to use this power to help the poor and those in need by doing surprise acts of kindness. I would also like to catch corrupt politicians and criminals red-handed using my superpower.

Other interesting posts in this category:

1)https://nananettie1969.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/328/
2) https://myrandomlifeintexas.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/invisibility-superpower/
3) https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/superpower/
4) https://paperdollsletter.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/read-at-peace/
5) https://jitterygt.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/pulling-a-rabbit-out-of-your/
6) https://mandyblake95.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/invisible/
7) https://crookedeyebrows.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/superpower-of-compassion/
8) https://victorsmind.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/now-you-see-me/
9) https://thatmontrealgirl.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/daily-prompt-evanescence/
10) https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/fade-away/
11) http://robssurfreport.com/2013/12/03/hopping-madness/
12) http://hudleyflipside.org/2013/12/03/mockery-of-them/
13) https://shardsofsilence.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/atonement/
14) https://thebippityboppitybeautifulblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/e-v-a-n-e-s-c-e-n-c-e-photograph/
15) http://lifeisgreat0.com/2013/12/03/scary/

Categories: Books

Resolved

January 7, 2016 1 comment

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution that you kept?

I believe that our life is not like rocket science where everything has to be planned and executed to perfection.  The fun is in the spontaneity.   But making some small plans and bringing them to fruition gives life some meaning!

In 2015, I did not pen down my resolutions but I did fairly well. First, the items that I accomplished:

  • Published a collection of my poems titled ‘Vibrant Vibes’ which is available in paperback on Amazon as well as an e-book Kindle edition. To-date have sold around 60 books.
  • Read interesting books like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Man’s Search for meaning by Viktor Frankl. I resolve to read atleast 10 books this year.
  • Active in Toastmasters and won the runner-up at the Area level Humorous speech contest but did not take up any leadership role
  • Volunteered with SGcares and Participated in Seagate’s Volunteer activity on AmCham day at FaithActs center
  • Played a lot of table tennis
  • Went for 2 hiking trips
  • Visited family every few months and made some trips with them.
  • Got a promotion on the work front
  • Went for ice skating and swimming

 

And the items that I have leftover are:

  • Travel to any new destination (other than India)
  • Read atleast 10 books this year.
  • Do some cycling and inline skating.
  • Publish another book
  • Get invited to speak at an event

Other intetesting posts in this category:
1) http://domesticatedmomster.com/2016/01/05/workout-wednesdays-jan-6-2016/
2) https://prachymohan.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/resolved/
3) https://zoelhernandez.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/new-years-resolutions/
4) https://jdcgzm.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/daily-prompt-resolved/
5) http://www.windchilde.com/bluedepth/2013/01/02/post-a-day-1213/
6) https://qtheadult.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/keeping-broken-promises-daily-prompt/
7) https://themercenaryresearcher.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/the-daily-prompt-resolved/
8) https://satiarenee.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/daily-prompt-post-resolved/
9)https://chikawithyeneyes.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/daily-prompt-resolved/
10) https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/daily-prompt-resolved/

Categories: Books

Science events that shaped 2015

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment

The year 2015 saw some interesting events in the field of Science

plutoCRISPR-mechanismsolar impulse  2quantum spookinessparis

  1. Flyby of Pluto
    Pluto grabbed the spotlight when the New Horizons spacecraft flew past it on 14 July. The world revealed itself as a geological wonderland of ice mountains, nitrogen glaciers and smooth, frigid plains. The sheer complexity of Pluto’s surface astounded planetary scientists, including prinicipal investigator Alan Stern, and raised major questions about what could be fuelling the geological activity that created it. 

    2. CRISPR Gene-editing
    In April, scientists in China reported use of the technique to edit non-viable human embryos, which spurred researchers and bioethicists to debate in editorials and meetings whether the technology should ever be used in human embryos, even for basic research. The debate culminated in the International Summit on Human Gene Editing in early December in Washington DC, which brought together nearly 500 ethicists, scientists and legal experts from more than 20 countries. The organizers wrapped up the event with a statement: the tools are not yet ready to be used to edit the genomes of human embryos intended for pregnancy. But they did not call for an outright ban of this work for basic research.

  3.  Quantum Spookiness

Physicists celebrated the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity in November with special conferences, books and collections of his papers. Einstein also made headlines in August when physicists presented the most convincing proof yet that two objects, such as subatomic particles, could be linked, or ‘entangled’. This would allow one particle to influence the behaviour of another, even if the two are widely separated. Researchers showed that they could produce a robust entanglement between two electrons placed 1.3 kilometres from each other.

Einstein famously despised this phenomenon, which he called ‘spooky action at a distance’, because it seemingly broke the universal rule that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Despite Einstein’s misgivings, the approach could one day be used to build a highly secure quantum Internet that is immune to hackers.

4. Solar Impulse 2

This revolutionary single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747-8I) for a weight of just 2,300 Kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,000 solar cells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy.

During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 Kg (2077 lbs.) which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.

Despite the hard work of the Solar Impulse team to repair the batteries which overheated in the record breaking oceanic flight from Nagoya to Hawaii, the solar powered airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will stay in Hawaii until early spring 2016.

The two pilots associated with this project to demonstrate the potential of cleantechs are  Bertrand Piccard, psychiatrist and explorer with his avant-gardist vision, and André Borschberg, engineer and entrepreneur with his managerial experience.

5. Signing of Climate accord – Paris 2015

The world got serious this year about climate change. With the United Nations climate summit in Paris looming in December, both industrialized and developing nations pledged for the first time to control or reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions

The meeting, which took place under heightened security because of the Paris terrorist attacks in November, yielded a landmark agreement on 12 December 2015 that was approved by 195 countries. It commits most countries to reduce emissions and keep warming to ‘well below’ 2 °C. Nations will assess their progress in 2018 and must revisit their climate pledges every five years starting in 2020.

(Stories: Courtesy – Nature)

Categories: Books

Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan!

December 9, 2015 1 comment

Do businesses thrive best in chaotic conditions?  Does adversity bring out the best in us?

Dabbawallahs
The stories of the Mumbai dabbawallahs is now well known and even being studied in MBA courses around the world.  It is amazing and mind-boggling how such a system works with clockwork efficiency without the need for advanced technology.
Daily on the streets of Mumbai 5000 dabbawallahs deliver home-cooked meals to 200,000 working people all over the city.  A simple colour-code serves as an ID system to identify the destination and recipient and boxes with the same colour code make it to the same trolley.  This has been going on for 100 years and in 1998 Forbes Global magazine awarded them a Six Sigma for efficiency.  The system works on strong teamwork, time-management and simplicity.

Dharavi
Asia’s largest slum lies right in the middle of India’s financial capital Mumbai.  A never-ending stretch of narrow dirty lanes, open sewers and cramped huts is home to more than a million people. Amidst this poverty are several thriving small-scale businesses producing embroidered garments, export quality leather goods, pottery and plastic.

These products are made in tiny manufacturing units spread across the slum and sold to domestic and international markets.  The annual business turnover here is estimated to be more than $650m a year.

The Mumbai local

It is also called the lifeline of Mumbai.  As many as 6.1 million passengers travel on the Mumbai local daily.
Yet, it is amazing that these trying circumstances can bring out the best in people.  In a train where people are literally packed like sardines, the community spirit is nowhere so evident as in a Mumbai local. Some good habits which are ingrained in the passengers are:

Giving up seat to fellow passenger and taking turns to sit down
Helping to keep briefcase on the upper rack during office rush hours
Playing card games to have a good time.
Singing Bollywood songs & bhajans
Cutting vegetables for dinner (ladies compartment)

The above examples show how team-spirit, resilience and a jest for life make living in Mumbai a dream for the locals and a nightmare for visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Books

Non-Regional Diction

November 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent

 

This problem so cheem
I never do before
Eh goondu help me lah
Don’t yaya papaya

I know you very clever
But don’t hao siao
Want to impress
That pretty charbo

Lets go makan
I am so hungry
Walao this chicken rice
Makes me so song

I am sorry lah
Paise Paise
Never sabot you lah
You are my kaki

Why so sad?
Who takan you?
Don’t sit like a bodoh
Later kena mati

So kepo for what
Why you wayang wayang
Eh abang get lost
I taboleh tahan

You macam blur sotong
Suka suka park your bike
Don’t say never tell you
When you get saman

You speak like angmoh
Wah – powderful man
But when you see spider
Why so kancheong man?

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/daily-prompt-non-regional-diction/
2) https://marshalhopalop.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/daily-prompt-10-non-regional-diction/
3) http://sillyoldsod.com/non-regional-diction/

Categories: Books

The Power of Touch

November 20, 2015 Leave a comment

touch

Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and thus the sense of touch plays a big role in our lives.  Touch is regarded as the mother of all senses as it is the first sense to be developed in the embryo. However, how many of us even utter a compliment, let alone, give a hug, a kiss, a congratulatory pat, a high-five or a handshake.

Our touch can be used to convey emotions of caring, friendliness, support, encouragement, suggestion, provocation, offense, dominance or lust. Gentle touch or caress secretes happiness hormone Oxytocin inside the brain. A slap, a hostile touch or an accidental touch can lead to fights, anxiety and vulnerability.

Touching is also a subject to societal, cultural , gender and regional norms.  In some cultures, hugging and kissing is considered acceptable to convey love, affection and support whereas in other cultures it can be considered taboo.  In a study done by Jourard (1966), people from different cultures were observed in casual conversation. He counted the number of times they touched during a one-hour period. Touching occurred 180 times an hour in Puerto Rico, 110 times in Paris, in London, 0; and in the U.S., 2.

Touch has been an essential part of ancient healing practices.  Touch has roots in shamanic and religious practices, and is reported to have been an integral part of health care practices and medicine since their emergence from the realms of religion and magic (Levitan & Johnson, 1986; Smith, Clance & Imes, 1998).

Recent research done by the Touch Research Institute has demonstrated that touch triggers a cascade of chemical responses, including a decrease in urinary stress hormones (cortisol, catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine), and increased serotonin and dopamine levels. The shift in these bio-chemicals has been proven to decrease depression (Field, 1998, 2003).  The immune system’s cytotoxic capacity increases with touch, thus helping the body maintain its defense against pathogens (Field, 1998).

 

Touch, is one of the most basic forms of human relatedness, and has immense importance and positive potential.  It can play a big role in healthy development and healing.

 

References:

  1. To Touch Or Not To Touch: Exploring the Myth of Prohibition On Touch In Psychotherapy And Counseling, Clinical, Ethical & Legal Considerations By Ofer Zur, Ph.D. & Nola Nordmarken, MFT

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://jansdoodlesv2.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/power-of-touch/
2) https://hotplatekate.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/the-power-of-touch/
3) https://theshadowfoxblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/the-power-of-touch/
4) https://impossiblebebong.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/the-power-of-touch/
5) https://viewsfromaroundthecorner.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/touched/

 

 

Categories: Books Tags: ,

Ripped from the Headlines

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

The article that grabbed my attention was the Myanmar election news on Yahoo news.

It was heartening to see how Myanmar held an election without any major hiccups.  The world is watching to see how the democratic process in this country will evolve and if the army will give a free hand to the elected leaders to draw a blueprint for the future of Myanmar.

The Nobel peace laureate and longtime political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been able to contest the election and her party the National league for democracy (NLD) was able to garner an overwhelming majority of the votes.  But due to a clause in the constitution, she is barred from holding the highest office of the President (as her 2 sons and late husband hold british passports).

It will be interesting to see how Suu Kyi is able to work around the constitution in establishing democracy in Myanmar.  How long will a true change in the country take?  Will the army give her a free hand to run the country?

Foreign investors will be most interested in how the developments unfold.  Myanmar can see a huge inflow of investments and economic development if there is a  broad consensus and understanding among all political parties and the army to chart the future of this country together for the best interests of the people.

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://determined34.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/daily-prompt-ripped-from-the-headlines-it-looked-like-an-atom-bomb-telescope-saved-but-dangerous-bushfire-destroys-homes/
2) https://yasminezikry.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/ripped-from-the-entertainment/
3) https://keiththegreen.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/daily-prompt-ripped-from-the-headlines/
4) http://familyphotosfoodcraft.com/2013/01/15/daily-prompt-ripped-from-the-headlines/
5) https://myammynew.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/donald-trump-throws-in-the-towel/

Categories: Books Tags: , , , ,
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