Monday, November 30, 2015

My dad's philosophy for now

I took time to check out some places we can go for a short holiday with my parents and we thought of going to Ipoh. At first, I thought we could just be thrifty and book a budget hotel in town. We've stayed in Ritz Garden Ipoh before and found it decent and thought we book rooms there.

But no. My dad wanted a better hotel. His philosophy? If he doesn't enjoy life now, when can he do so? :)

And so we booked an apartment in this award winning hotel and we are certainly looking forward now to our short holiday.

The Haven Resort Ipoh 


Sunday, November 29, 2015

The New Atria

My hubby suggested that we go to Atria for lunch today. I thought to myself, why does that place sound so familiar and yet I can't place it at all in my mind what and where it is.

It was only when we got there that I realized it is the good old shopping complex that I used to go to back on those days for get-togethers with my old friends.

And how different it is now. It was apparently under massive renovations since it closed for business back in 2008. It was reopened in May this year.

It has changed so much it is unrecognizable, and it no longer bring back any of those good old memories.





Photo Sources: Julian Si, Go Where, Visit Malaysia , The Malaysian Insider

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to best do your peer assessment assignments in online courses

I have again used up my weekend to catch up on my Coursera courses, and time well spent.

However, I was finding it hard when it comes to assessing the assignments of my peers. As much as I want to be generous in my assessment, which I usually am, I found it hard this time in the peer assessment of the final exam assignment in On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn From Philosophy - Part 1.

And from what I have learnt in my own submission, my peers' assessment of my work and my assessment of theirs, I think these will be good pointers on how to submit a good assignment in Coursera.

1. The most important point to take note is that the people who are assessing your papers are not experts. They probably just know as much as you do. Therefore, you need to present your paper clearly in the simplest form and language as you possibly can. If your arguments are all over the place or if your explanations are too complicated, most probably you will not be getting good assessments from your peers.

2. Read the assignment question properly and ensure you have met all the requirements. You need to know what exactly is required of you. For example, if they want two arguments, make sure you do have exactly two clearly different arguments.

3. Take note in the length required. This paper for example puts the requirements in number of characters, not words. I was assessing a paper which was 1500 words in length, when it was actually just 1500 characters required!

4. Arrange your assignment in sections according to the requirements. For example, if they asked for two arguments, title your sections Argument 1 and Argument 2. This will simplify it for your peers to give you the marks you deserve.

5. If you were to write a paper based on a topic taught in the online lectures, state the title and lecture number at the beginning of your paper. Not everyone will remember if your chosen topic were actually from the lectures. And you would have saved them the time to go check and keep their attention on your paper to give you your points.

6. Before you submit your work, check it though the evaluation criteria, i.e. what exactly will award you the points. This will enable you to ensure that you have included stuff that will actually give you the points. I have assessed assignments which have good information and views but because it does not meet the requirements, I could not award any points at all.

This is what I have so far. I will add on more when I come across more examples and when I submit and assess more assignments.


Friday, November 27, 2015


I was feeling absolutely dazed today. And in reading this article, I have what which is called the Fuzzy Brain!

Well, this was what I felt exactly:
...there are days when it just feels like your brain isn’t all the way there. You stare blankly at the computer screen, your eyes glaze over, and no matter what you do, you can’t quite pull your head out of the fog. Ah, yes—the dreaded “fuzzy brain.” Its cause is unknown, but if left untreated, it can be quite detrimental to your productivity.
For more, check out the article here.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

I'm no traveler

I'm not a proper traveler. I don't like to be challenged or have too much change and prefer a week just to relax.
~ Karl Pilkington

My mom was proposing that we go for a trip end of the year - somewhere in Asia, not near but not too far.

I spent these two evenings checking out places, flight fares, hotels and interesting places to do and visit. The thing is with just two evenings of research, I got so tired I don't feel like going anymore.

I think I will just stay right here at home.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Worrying Times

I read this in CNN today: How is this not World War III?

With the recent attacks in Paris, and then with Turkey shooting down a Russian plane, CNN reported that "If this had occurred during the Cold War, we would be bracing for the possibility of a nuclear war. Thankfully, that conflict is over...Don't misinterpret the moves as evidence of calm; a furious Russia has called Turkey 'accomplices of terror' and Putin warned of 'significant consequences.' And these are just some of the latest developments in the world's most complicated conflict."

It is indeed worrying times.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Thousand Words #178

I spent the entire day discussing the company's vision and mission with my colleague, to no avail, but it was still a good discussion.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Questions I had with Genesis

In my recent commute to work, I was listening to Genesis on mp3 and it was very interesting as I began thinking as I listened. These were the few thoughts and questions I had.

1. I realised Adam and Eve actually had quite many years in the garden of Eden before they became discontented and wanted more. They bore another sin names Seth after the death of Cain, when Adam was 130 years old (Gen 5:3). So they would have had many years in Eden before they sinned and were banished.

2. Adam and Eve didn't seem sorry for what they did when they disobeyed God. They did not feel that they needed forgiveness. Was forgiveness something that "existed" then?

3. If Genesis counted for the hundreds of years men lived as literal years, why do we take each of the creation day as millions and billions of years? Moreover, other parts of Scripture interpreting the creation days as single days. 

4. Why did God go through all the trouble with the flood? Why don't he just wipe them all out expect Noah?


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wonderful, how wonderful

Glorious Day by Casting Crown

I was worship leading today and the bible passage was on 1 Corinthians 15, the passage on resurrection. and I chose amongst others, this song by Casting Crown.

And I don't really believe in coincidences in that I have been reading quite a bit about resurrection lately, and still reading Surprising Hope by NT Wright.

Wonderful song. Wonderful book. But much more than that, what a wonderful God.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Addicted to Learning

I have to admit that I am currently addicted to Coursera! What else am I when I'm currently actively enrolled in a total of five courses. I kept finding courses that interest me. One on coaching, one on psychology, one on philosophy, one on thinking and one on both thinking and philosophy for managers.

And I had to catch up with my coursework in Introduction to Psychology, having kept it aside for too long. I spent my entire day on it today and completed the mid-term exam which was a 64-question quiz, and a peer assessment written assignment.

I was to write a 500 to 700-word paper on a current event relating it to a psychological concept from the lectures. I decided to write about the Bystander Interference effect from the tragic death of Wang Yue.

I might post it here later, after the deadlines are passed. It is a very, very tragic story.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Today is a five-star day

Today was a good day. I did not have high expectations but it turned out surprisingly well.

I spent the day in a Learning and Development Seminar organised by People Potential. I learnt quite a lot, reconnected with a former colleague and met some very nice people.

For one, I inadvertently took part in a situation game in stakeholder management and we came out as the winning team. However, I was quite left out because I'm not used to being in simulation games. In my previous experience in taking part in case study games, I normally take a really long time to even get myself into in right context. The other team members were really good. They catch on very fast. But at least it was a good first experience for me.

Next, I was in an Emotional Intelligence session and one of the tool that was introduced to us was the gamification of emotional conversation. The objective of the game was to share our lives and our feelings to inspire one another. I enjoyed it a lot.

Finally in the evening, I received my Coursera third peer assessed assignment grading in the What Managers Can Learn From Philosophers, and I scored another perfect score. Three assignments assessed, two left ungraded.

And when I retired to bed, I assessed my day with a full five-star in my Momento journal app. I can't remember when I last gave myself a five-star. Must have been a long, long, long time ago.

It was a wonderful day. Thank you Lord.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When I'm so tired

I found out today that when I'm very tired, I have a very short temper. And I also heard that the thinking part of our brain is six seconds delayed compared to the emotional part of our brain. This means that when we feel anger for example, we only begin to think and respond properly six seconds after we felt it. And it can spiral into reaction after reaction without realising it, which means our thinking and evaluation never kicks in at all.

I'm not sure if that is true, but I certainly must remind myself to wait and not react in emotions when I am tired.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It's all because of love

I am reading NT Wright and in two of his books, he used this saying by Ludwig Wittgenstein, "It is love that believes the resurrection" - a deep and profound statement I am still unpacking.

And I'm still figuring out what Wright means by "Love is the deepest mode of knowing because it is love that, while completely engaging with reality other than itself, affirms and celebrates that other-than-self reality."

But I love it when he said that, "All knowing is a gift from God, historical and scientific knowing no less than that of faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love."

I am here beginning to see love very, very differently. As a thinking person, I'm always for logic and truth. Love I have placed it under emotions and feeling, though in a much deeper and substantial worth.

I remember when I read the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, I felt disappointed that the reason for it all was love. Really? I remember remarking to myself. I couldn't see it or understand it. I dared not speak up about it because love is what my faith is all about, in that for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son. I had realized then that I need to know love from its very basic.

I have read DA Carson's The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God two if not three times but it is only until now reading NT Wright that I am finding myself beginning at the lowest rung in knowing it.

I see now that love should be the very basic in all that we do. From work perspective, I am in charge of employee engagement at work. An employee is only engaged at work if he love his job and as a result commits himself to contribute. Forget KPIs. If he loves what he does, he will perform.

Why is there peace in the family? Why is there joy? Because there is love. Why are you so committed to them? It's because you love them.

Just think about it, in everything that you do, it is all because of love.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13

I have so much to learn about love.

Source: 'Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church' by N. T. Wright

Monday, November 16, 2015

Confidence vs. Arrogance

When you really believe in something with all your heart and would do anything to stand your ground, you can come off as arrogant, even though that is the last thing your want to be.

There is indeed a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

This is what I have observed:

One will listen to you and ask you questions to let you have your own opinion. The other will just insist he is right.

One will genuinely appreciate your accomplishments even though you both know you are not in his league. The other will put down or dismiss what you have done.

One respects those he does not agree with. The other bad mouths them especially behind their back.

One is humble. The other is proud.

What other behaviors have you seen?


Sunday, November 15, 2015

YouTube Weekend

I spend the entire weekend with videos in YouTube by CBN and Answering Islam.

As much as I have no conversion experience, being a third generation Christian, I could experience it vicariously through the testimonies of people in those videos. They were amazing.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

I'm already overwhelmed

I had a meeting in church today discussing about teaching youth in church next year, and the topic chosen was Theology.

With the topics that was listed out, I am feeling seriously overwhelmed, even though I will not doing all of them.

1. The Evidence of God
2. The Knowability of God
3. The Names of God
4. The Attributes of God
5. The Trinity
6. The Divine Decrees
7. Calvinism and Arminianism
8. Creation
9. Providence
10. The Origin of Man
11. Man as the Image of God
12. The Origin of Sin
13. The Covenant of Grace


Friday, November 13, 2015

Isn't it painful when you need to hold back your laughter

I was standing at my colleague's table today taking a break at work when I took and opened up a book on Dilbert's comic found on her desk. I leafed through the pages and read this strip. I found it so utterly funny and not wanting to laugh out so loud in the quiet office that I was really having a hard time!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pain God intended

I was going to do something but God put a block to it. He is indeed my pilot and my deliverer.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The King or the Fairy?

My hubby and I were watching Arrow when we heard a piece of music being played in the soundtrack. My hubby asked me if it was the piece from the Nutcracker Suite. Possible I said, and I tried checking it out via SoundHound. (I just hummed the tune to get it identified - the things we could do these days with technology).

It turned out it wasn't the Nutcracker piece but Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King.

You take a listen to both these and tell me they don't sound alike. I hear or sing one and would not be able to remember the other.

But one does seem more masculine and the other feminine, don't you think so?

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Saving my blog in PDF

I have been blogging since 2006 with daily blogging till 2009, after which it was intermittent till I was back to a daily from 2014 till now.

I have a total of 2,256 published posts including this one and I thought it would be good to save an offline copy of my blog.

I tried it here in BlogBooker and whilst the results may not be perfect, it can still generate a reasonably good one and it's free.


Monday, November 09, 2015

My recent interest in superheroes on TV

I seem to be watching a lot of superheroes on TV lately, with my latest on Arrow. But with both Marvel and DC, which do you prefer: DC Vs Marvel: Who Is Winning The Superhero TV War?

I am not really a superheroes fan but I grew up with Superman and Batman movies, and I like them. Marvel came with Spider-Man and I was just okay with it. But soon I was into X-Men and The Avengers.

And when it comes to the female leads, I am definite for Marvel. I simply could not stand the female leads in DC and I couldn't agree more with this writer when he said the scriptwriters could have done better and develop better characters rather than those that are "narcissistic, vindictive, incredibly self-righteous, and sometimes passive-aggressive," like that of Iris in Flash, Lana in Superman and Laurel in Arrow. Especially Iris in Flash...urgh...

Check out the article here.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

A Thousand Words #175

There is no coincidence I am having the worst migraine in years. It's a possible divine obstruction.

Source: myria

Saturday, November 07, 2015

When We Grief

Words will not express the grief we feel
But by words are how we are made
When God said, "Let there be light,"
And "It's not good for man to be alone," he said
The special people he places us with
Are those we have come to cherish
With whom we spend our time together
But some leave us sooner than we wish
We suddenly become as lonely as we can ever feel
God is with us we know we're told
And yet we feel we can never get away from
The pull of the darkness, the vortex, the hole

Yes, we can, my friend, yes, we can
You may not believe it now
For God is our best companion
It's that simple, that's how
Speak to him, he hears
He is just by your side
You may not see him but feel him
He is with you, before you to confide
Speak to him as you would any other
Your dad beside him is as real as you can imagine
The moment you feel you're going to lose it
Call to Jesus, he listens, so trust in him

And of all the people he has placed you with
As small as we are we're part of it
We feel for you, we're here for you
We're with you in person, in prayer, in spirit
We are all in the Lord
He made us not just one
But he has made us all
To comfort each other as we abide with the Son
So look to Jesus
You are not alone
That's what he promised
With him you'll never ever be alone

All rights reserved © 2015 Pearlie Ng

Friday, November 06, 2015

My Gallup Top-5 Strengths and Coursera being a big part of it now

My top-5 Gallup strengths are Connectedness, Intellection, Input, Learner and Empathy.

When I first got the results I had no idea what is Connectedness, I don't know why I have Input as one of my top-5, I was proud of my Intellection, I thought Empathy for me was more like a given and I wasn't too impressed with my Learner.

My thoughts about my top-5 has now completely changed as I began to understand more about myself and the five Gallup themes.

My now most troublesome strength is really Intellection. I can lose myself in it and lose you in a conversation. You'll still be talking away but I will be busy thinking about something you have just said. That's bad.

I am most proud of my Input strength. When I finally understand what it represent, I began to see its utility, pun intended (Input is where I collect things because of their utility). This is where my resourcefulness is at its best. Ask my friends and they will attest to the fact that I can usually get them what they need when they ask for my help.

I am still discovering what Connectedness means to me, and this is what I believe is the hugest theme in all of Gallup's 34. Or I may be biased.

There is no change in how I feel about my Empathy theme, in that it's a given for me. Though there will be a time when I discover it more in relation to my values and action.

This brings me to final one of the five - Learner. I said I wasn't too impressed with it. It's like, "yeah, I learn. So what?"

I was in a full learning mode when I was taking my Masters in Christian Studies for 8 long years before. And after that I had wanted to take up something in psychology but I didn't do because I have to manage my family priorities. So in that sense, that left me with not many opportunities to learn. Yes, I read and yes, I watch TEDTalks (though only recently) but those really are just small snippets of learning that never really satisfy me, though I do learn a lot from reading but it's very challenging to find my right next read.

This was the situation till I rediscovered Coursera. I went to it in the mid of this year, and found that since I discovered it in 2013, it has improved a lot and maybe it is also because I'm more ready for it this phase of my life.

Coursera is a dream come true to me as a Learner but I think it will be my undoing as well - because I keep signing up for courses and how I am going to keep with lectures and assignments I have no idea!

So far I have completed one course in Fundamentals of a Project Planning and Management.

I have completed all lectures and quizzes in Conversations that Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change, pending a submission of reports on 2 coaching assignments, which is still on-going.

I am midway through Introduction to Psychology. I have started on the lectures in August and almost finished them when they offered the course again in October and I signed up for it. A mid-term exam of 60-question quiz is where I am at the moment. I have not attempted it yet. Sixty questions! Oh boy...

I have just started On Strategy: What Managers can Learn from Philosophy and thoroughly enjoying it. The assignments are really challenging but I find them brilliant. Come to think of it, this course is like an amalgamation of my two strengths - Intellection or Thinking and Learner.

I should be happily settled with learning from these three courses running in tandem but I went and signed up for two more! Most probably I will not be actively following them. They are Introduction to Philosophy and Think Again: How to Reason and Argue.

But then again, looking now at the titles, I might just make time. So now you see what I mean by Coursera is both a dream come true and my undoing.


Thursday, November 05, 2015

Reverting to a Previous Version of an iOS app

I usually view through my Apple apps before I update them in my devices but I didn’t do that yesterday and simply proceed to “Update All”. I wouldn’t have known anyway, but Waze’s update was a major one and I was very unhappy with the new version of Waze 4.0.

I am so used to the interface of the previous version, but that is not the reason why I was unhappy. New interfaces just need some getting used to and some rewiring of the brain to relearn where to tap and slide for what I want. The reason why I was mad with it was the fact that with my not-so-great eyesight, with both shortsightedness and longsightedness, I could not really see the extremely thin directional lines in the app.

So I searched the Internet for a solution and found it here.

I managed to revert it back to the previous version, but do take note that when you find the old .ipa file you need in your PC, save a copy of it somewhere. I followed the instructions provided but the file went missing. Thankfully I did save a copy of it.

So much for the reverting but when I viewed my husband updated Waze in his iPhone 6, the directional lines were thick and lush. And why mine in the iPhone 5S is minutely thin I have no idea. Go figure.

But whatever it is, I will settle for the old version for now.


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

My Coaching Assignment

I began my coaching assignment today as required by the coaching course I am taking under Coursera, using the above Intentional Change Theory (ICT) by Richard Boyatzis. I am obviously incorporating the Gallup StrengthsFinder tool and it went very well. It is helpful to place it in a framework like the ICT.

I am looking forward to my second coachee tomorrow and subsequent sessions for both of them.


Tuesday, November 03, 2015

What Managers Can Learn From Philosophy

I have signed up for this course in Coursera some weeks ago but have forgotten about it. On top of that, I am currently busy following two courses under their signature programme anyway, and so I wasn't actively looking for any new courses to follow.

I was reminded of it by my colleague today and I went to checked it out: On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn From Philosophy.

I spent some time on it this morning and almost finished the first lecture and it is really very interesting.

There is indeed much to learn about strategy and change from the philosophical point of view - the lecturer posits that there are two kinds of change and the one that he is teaching here refers to change in perception, as opposed to change in reality.

I have actually joined in quite late but for this course, I am allowed to readjust my time line and I did just that. I will be finishing the first lecture soon and looking forward to the peer reviewed assignment due end of this week.

I am very happy for these MOOC programmes now so readily and easily made available to us. With the Learner theme (under the Gallup StrengthsFinder) as my #4 strength, this is really like a learner's dream come true.

I will soon have 4 completed programmes under my belt and looking out for more.


Monday, November 02, 2015

Too much good TV to watch

I caught up with this TV series, Daredevil, recently and I have enjoyed it. I read somewhere that we are at the Platinum Age of Television - there is just too much good TV to watch. I hope I don't waste it all on TV though.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Enjoy your life!

I received an email from on a special price for this book. And since I am (always) seeking for my purpose in life and with Ecclesiastes being one of my favourite books, I bought a copy and started reading.

A Life Well Lived, A Study of the Book of Ecclesiastes
by Tommy Nelson

I like the way the book began. Here are some of the portions I like:
The Book of Ecclesiastes is as close as the Bible gets to pure philosophy. But it's different from most philosophy in that it is not so much an inquiry of one man's mind as it is God's declaration of the meaning of life.

Solomon begins with the position that life is vain. He does not mean that it is totally meaningless or that it doesn't have any ultimate purpose. By vain, he means that you live for sixty or maybe seventy years and then you're gone.

Life just doesn't have any natural reward of itself. It doesn't automatically head to a climactic point of happiness, meaning, and fruition.
It was alright as the book proceeds into its subsequent chapters, but I do find that Nelson tends to repeat himself a lot. Granted, Ecclesiastes does repeats itself a lot actually.

All in all, the lesson is that life in itself is meaningless. You would want to search for meaning through intellectualism, hedonism and materialism, but in the end, you die. You might leave a legacy, but that's about it, and that would depend on how big you can make it to be. But even if you are as big as Steve Jobs, you are still dead.

In the end, what matters most is our relationship with God.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (ESV)
This was the same lesson I have learnt from Ecclesiastes and other books on Ecclesiastes that I have read. But I did learn something new from Nelson, something I am still considering because it is quite different from the usual.

Nelson commented on the verses where the Qoheleth or teacher said to enjoy life.
Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil-this is the gift of God.
~ Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
~ Ecclesiastes 8:15

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
~ Ecclesiastes 9:9
I thought about it and I conclude that as long as we live and enjoy the life that God has given us, where we are, we are doing it right by him. And I like it when Nelson said, "If you love God, do what you want to do. God will control things in His sovereignty. Remember, though, that God will bring judgment. Make sure you play within the rules." (emphasis mine)

Here are some of the things he said that made me think:
Do some things that will matter for eternity. Serve Christ as long as you can until your number comes up, then die well. Enjoy the things you do know and don't be so concerned and distraught about things you don't.

The people with the greatest gifts often end up with the most tragic endings because they're not wise. So enjoy your life and work hard. But don't think that your natural abilities will give you automatic success.

Solomon is saying to live boldly and let the chips fall where they may. Live fearlessly in a life you can't always control. If you live scared, you won't have a life.

We don't always have to turn everything into a mystical decision. If you love God, do what you want to do. God will control things in His sovereignty. Remember, though, that God will bring judgment. Make sure you play within the rules. God knows that the only way truly to enjoy life is to live by wisdom. You can't enjoy life outside of the context of holiness.

Solomon reiterates the central point that he has made six other times: We should enjoy life with wisdom. You will get old one day, so enjoy life now but remember God in the midst of your fun. Don't become an old person who talks about what you wish you had done. Instead, be able to talk about what you did. Live a godly life. Get up early and spend an hour in the Word. Read your Bible all the way through every single year. Read three great Christian classics. Cultivate great friends. Travel. Do the things you like to do. what would I like to do?

Oh, so much!