Monday, August 31, 2015

Olive Garden at MidValley Mall

Our son wanted us to try out the newly opened Olive Garden in MidValley Mall, and it turned out quite good. Their serving was quite big and every main comed with soup or salad with their famous breadsticks, both unlimited.

Here was what we ordered and it was delicious.


Breadsticks with Pasta e Fagioli Soup


Smoked Mozzarella Chicken Penne Pasta


Five Cheese Ziti am Forno

pearlie
Photo Source: Your Slow News Day and The Mama Report

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Chick Lit Binge

I'm not into chick lit but I want to get into a reading binge today, and what better than chick lit.


The In domestic Goddess
by Sophie Kinsella


Remember Me?
by Sophie Kinsella


The Statistical Probability of Live at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith

pearlie

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bersih 4 Rally

Today is Malaysia's Bersih 4 Rally and as of now, it's still ongoing. Bersih means clean in Malay and it's a call for a clean government. I did not manage to go, but I'm following the live feeds from Malaysiakini.com.

The entry here in Wikipedia gives good perspective and background.




Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su


Photo: Michelle Liew


Photo: Melissa Goh


Photo: Matthew Wong


Photo: Steven Yap


Photo: Malaysiakini.com

pearlie

Friday, August 28, 2015

Chat without network connectivity



I was introduced to this very interesting social media app that allows you to chat without network connectivity. It's a peer-to-peer "mesh networking" service. It uses the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in your mobile to connect it to other devices directly, and the more people uses it in the area, connectivity increases.

With the Bersih 4.0 Rally coming up tomorrow, I downloaded and it works, and it was very busy too. There is too much chat in there. I only hope they will stop chatting when the rally begins tomorrow so that the app can be used more effectively.

pearlie

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A reader begets a reader

I think whilst Generation Z kids are a generation that whizzes ahead in technology and the digital world, they are quite conventional and traditional in some of their behaviours.

Like my son, he would still insist on reading print books. Even after much persuasion, he would not relent. Like most conventional readers, he tells me he likes the smell and feel of books.

I must mention that I do too. I love the smell and feel of books. Just that the convenience and mobility of ebooks trumps smell and feel.

I was in KLCC today for a conference and I invited him to join me for a meal after school. And naturally after that, we stopped by Kinokuniya. It's our favourite book store, though we have not visited it in ages.

There he fished out his personal book list kept in his iPhone, hunted for the titles and settled with these three books.

They look so interesting that I would love to dig into them too, except that they are in print.

But I'm happy with his book choices. A reader indeed begets a reader.


Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
by Matt Parker


What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
by Randall Munroe


Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline

pearlie

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Emperor of All Maladies, A Biography of Cancer


The Emperor of All Maladies, A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee

I read this book in January 2013. I noticed back then that more and more people around me were getting cancer, and I wanted to know more about it.

I found this book, bought a copy and dug in. It was not an easy read. It gets technical at times and the book is thick. But it is a good book.

Two and a half years down the line, the number of people contracting the disease has not abated. I myself is getting a little paranoid as well.

Mukherjee begins the book with this:
In 2010, about six hundred thousand Americans, and more than 7 million humans around the world, will die of cancer. In the United States, one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer during their lifetime. A quarter of all American deaths, and about 15 percent of all deaths worldwide, will be attributed to cancer. In some nations, cancer will surpass heart disease to become the most common cause of death.
In Malaysia, the ratio is one in four, though I was told that for Malaysian Chinese, it can be as bad as one in three.

I'm thinking, in looking for a book to read, I might just reread this one.

pearlie

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I am in an introverted phase

I am a learner. But I find myself presently uninterested in attending seminars or classes, even though the topics are very interesting to me. I thought about it and concluded that this must be the phase of my life where I am more introverted than extroverted.

According to the personality type theory, every person, whether an extrovert or an introvert, will have their more introverted and extroverted phases interchangeably. As much as I am an introvert, I can extrovert when required. Just that, for now I feel that I prefer to spend my time mainly in more introverted activities.

So in terms of attending classes, I am currently more attracted to online learning rather than actually attending them physically. I used to hate online learning, maybe because of the compulsory sessions that I needed to do then. But with the many MOOC programmes available online, this is the perfect time to look for programmes that interest me and spend my introverted time in them. When I was introduced to MOOC programmes two years ago, it did not catch on to me like it does now. I feel that I was in my more extroverted phase then.

I have signed up for Fundamentals in Project Planning and Management with Coursera.org, and just after the first week, I am learning so much from it, and wanting more.

Having said that though, I have signed up for a symposium in the next few days. Not that I wanted to, I was required to.

I am looking forward to the learning, but just thinking about the hoard of people there, I am feeling tired already.

pearlie

Monday, August 24, 2015

TV vs. Books

I have been watching too much TV lately and have not been reading at all, which is bad. It is just that I can't seem to get myself into a book. And I find it harder and harder to find my next read.

I have been watching Bones, Haven, Criminal Minds and Orange is the New Black. Oh dear...

I blogged before about watching TV versus reading and asked if reading were a waste of time. That was when I felt I was actually reading too much. I decided then that both is good, if done moderately.

But now? I am getting too much TV and I need to get back to reading.

But the challenge is first to get my next read. I have not found a good tool for that yet. I don't go to the bookstore that often anymore, if at all. So book browsing is out. I use sites like Amazon, Kobobooks and especially Goodreads to recommend me books. It is hard if not impossible to book browse in a website.

Sites like YourNextRead.com, WhatShouldIReadNext.com are just ok. OpeningtheBook.com is interesting as it recommends books to you based in your preference and mood.

If you have another other good tools or ways to find your next read, do let me know.

pearlie

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Citizens of two worlds

The sermon this morning was on 1 Cor 6:1-8 about lawsuits against believers. The preacher did not much talk about lawsuits per se, but about how Paul admonished them as being too caught up in silly lawsuits when there are more important things around them.

One point which I found interesting was when he gave a brief introduction on the Corinthian context. He said the Corinthian church was a church that was reflecting the world in many ways.

This is also true he says, in any churches at any place at any time. Churches reflect the world and context they are in and at the times they are in.

This reminds me of what NT Wright has been writing about, the kingdom of God which is already now with us. We are both the citizens of the country we are in and citizens of the kingdom of God. We behave like most citizens of the country and we must also behave like children of God.

How do we do that? How do we be loyal to both and yet not betray either?

Interestingly, in the recent blog post by Roger Olson, he was against putting up flags of the country in the church. I never thought of that, since I have never seen that done here before. At first, I wondered what was wrong with that.

But he says there are two reasons why it is not right, one for the sake of our allegiance to God, in that the flag may symbolise one's highest loyalty even above Jesus Christ and two for the sake of the flag, one would be flying it in submission to God, and apparently a flag cannot be flown in submission.

I know Matt 6:24 or Luke 16:13 is about choosing between God or money as master but the first portion sounds relevant here, does it?
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
Can it be applied in terms of our citizenship? One to our country and one to the kingdom of God?

pearlie

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mean Doctors

I have had my share of mean doctors, and I encountered another one today. He was downright rude and overbearing. He spoke to me and asked me questions like I'm inferior and deserved his rebukes and reprimands.

He even asked me if I exercised regularly expecting me to answer in the negative so he can chide me further. He was surprised when I answered yes, that I do exercise regularly. I knew that because he further challenged me, asking me in disbelief what exercise do I actually do.

Argh, it makes me angry thinking about it. I'm thankful he is not a doctor I need to go back to. Good riddance.

This reminds me of a doctor I've met when I fell sick when I was once in Ipoh. He was so nice, courteous and kind. He spent almost twenty minutes attending to me, making sure I was okay, and answering my questions. I remember thinking to myself, why can't we have more doctors like him.

pearlie

Friday, August 21, 2015

It has been ten long years



I am catching up on the latest season in Criminal Minds, and I am amazed I am totally into this TV series for ten years now. And ten years is a long time.

As much as the episodes are mostly so violent that Mandy Patinkin called it quits after two years, I find the stories they have interesting and captivating. And of course it matters that in the end, justice prevails.

pearlie

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lighter Head, Brighter Face



My hair is very long but limp. I finally cut it short today. Not a bob cut but almost. My head feels much lighter and I suppose my face looks brighter now, I hope.

But so far neither my husband nor my son have noticed that my hair is almost 6 inches shorter.

Proves that we no longer look at each other much. Sadly, our eyes are always stuck to screens.

pearlie
Photo: SalonPriceLady

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I finally figured out what a Memory Palace is

I am still following on the older Introduction of Psychology course by Coursera. I'm on the fifth week lectures on memory, where I was linked to this very good TED Talk by Joseph Foer.

He spoke about his adventure in training his brain to perform amazing feats of memory that people have actually mistaken it as being a savant.



I learnt a lot watching the 20-minute video. He was very interesting and engaging that the 20 minutes did not feel long at all. And I finally learnt about The Memory Palace.

The thing is this: I couldn't believe that even after watching many TV programmes that made references to The Memory Palace, I did not know what it was. I had in mind my brain like in the cartoon The Numskulls and was wondering how can one compartmentalise the brain to keep memories.

Now I realized it is not about compartments in my brain but it is in using any building that is familiar to me, e.g. my home, office, church. It's in imagining the building in my mind and using every imagined area in the building to store memories by mentally putting things in there that I can relate to what I want to remember.

Check this video for more information.



I tried The Memory Palace and succeeded in memorizing Psalm 1. It was fun and not hard at all.

By the way, a new Introduction to Psychology course by Professor Steve Joordens has just been put up and the next session will begin on 5th October 2015. I'm looking forward to it.

pearlie

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I can read 500 words per minute

I watched this video on speed reading and actually managed to increase my number of words per minute from 300 to 500.

Not bad after just 35 minutes of lesson.



Do check it out!

pearlie

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Rise of Phone Reading

I came across this article today: The Rise of Phone Reading.

For those who scoff at me reading from the small screen of my iPhone, you need to read this article.
Ever since the first hand-held e-readers were introduced in the 1990s, the digital-reading revolution has turned the publishing world upside down. But contrary to early predictions, it’s not the e-reader that will be driving future book sales, but the phone.
It is because of the smartphone that I'm back to reading. It's mobile, convenience and compact, holding close to a thousand volumes just in the palm of my hand.

The article does downplay it a bit but as far as I'm concerned, I am so used to it, I'm no longer a print person though I still like print books for keepsakes.

What do you expect? I'm an Ood, remember? LOL

pearlie

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Oh no! I am an Ood

My hubby, son and I were at lunch today in a restaurant when this usual scene emerged: all three of us staring into our phones while waiting for our food to be served. I'm usually the one who notices it first and will put my phone away. I will attempt to start a table conversation. Sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, I will pick up my phone again.

This reminded me of an article I read in The Economist recently.

It is about the rapid proliferation of the smartphone. It cleverly begins with a reference to the Oods in Doctor Who, my all-time favourite TV series.

It was then I realized, "Oh no! I am an Ood!" Except I don't look so ugly. And I am actually having second thoughts in putting such an ugly picture here in my blog.



I have always regarded my iPhone as an extension of my brain. I cannot remember everything and so I use it to help remember. I cannot put everything in my brain and so I when I need to find out or know something, I use my iPhone to search for it or to refer to my stash of books in there.

Therefore, I am very much an Ood after all. One brain in my head and one brain in my hand. Aren't we all?




pearlie
Source: An except from Telecoms and Society: The Truly Personal Computer, The Economist (Feb 28 - Mar 6, 2015)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Simple stuff on a simple Saturday

It has been a long time since I've been to the mall with my son, what with his additional classes every Saturday to get him prepared for the year-end public examinations. But we took the time to go to mall after his classes today and had some good quality time together.

One thing which I find quite odd is this: I can never find a comb anywhere. My son wanted one. We did not find any. And this was not the first mall where we looked for one. Can't find it in the pharmacy, or in the grocery store, or in the personal care department in the departmental store. So where in the world can I find one to buy?

But I manage to get some of my favourite stuff.

This tea is the most aromatic I have ever had. Some one once commented that it's like I've opened a bag of potpourri. But it is sad that I could not smell it anymore. It's odd right? I might have what they call olfactory blindness but that's another story for another day.


And this tea infusion is my favourite. It's the sugarless tangy fruity taste that I crave.



I finally finished using the hand cream I have in my office. It's suppose to be a solution for the driest hand, but it literally smelled the worst. I'm glad I've used it all up. And so I am happy to get a bottle of this. It's time I smell rosy? rose-y?



Yeah, a simple day with some simple stuff that makes me happy.

pearlie

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Other Woman

I have been thinking and posting about the infidelities of men, of husbands against their wives but what about the other woman. And of course the label The Other Woman is most famously pinned on Monica Lewinsky whom I have blog about recently when she made an amazing come back.

She may be an example of the other woman who is a victim. But when the suggestion came to me that there will be women who purposefully prey on married men, I was incredulous. But apparently there are such women who are pathologically addicted to sexual encounters and self-gratification.

I happen to find this eye-opening article written based on Proverbs 7. I have not seen the verses interpreted literally in this way before, but this is a warning to all men, particularly ministers and men of the church:

Beware the Seductress
by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D
"I know it's hard to believe that there are women in the church who are seductresses, but it is true."

pearlie

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Introduction to 1 Corinthians

I will be leading bible study tomorrow in CG and since we are beginning on 1 Corinthians, I thought it will be useful for me to spend some time with an introduction to the letter especially on its historical background.

I got this deck done, though I must later add in sources of info and photos I included in there, and maybe even notes and references for more information.

Will update this post when I get it done.

pearlie