Monday, December 26, 2011

I came face to face with a burglar just now.

I looked at him and he looked at me. Both of us pretended that nothing has happened.

It was about 7.30pm on Dec 26, 2011 when I heard someone was trying to open the back window. So, I peeked through the backdoor and I saw him. A scumbag was trying to steal something from my house.

I looked at him and he looked at me and he pretended that he was just loitering on the backlane. I pretended that nothing has happened too because I don't know what weapon he has. He was just a foot away from me. I guessed he was pretty surprised to see me standing there looking at him.

So, I watched him walked away and then only I shouted "PENCURI!!!!"

And he scolded something vulgar.... "pkm", and he started to run.

And I shouted even louder "PENCURI!!!!!!"

My neighbour who stayed behind came out and looked too.

And the scumbag ran away.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Phishing scam alert

Look at what CIMB sent me below...

Looks like CIMB has sent me an email requesting me to update my details at

Hmmm....but it looks fishy to me.

It is because a bank will never never never never send any emails to its customers! So, remember that!


Dear Customer,

Greetings from CIMB Clicks!

Your online banking will expire soon. To avoid any interruption to your service,please log in to your CIMB Clicks account using our website below to updateyour internet banking profile.

Sincerely,CIMB Bank


I rolled my mouse over the link and it shows as

Don't be fooled by such emails.

If you want to go the CIMBClicks website, go to google and type it down the full link yourself.

Also, check the URL address at the top of your browser to ensure it is indeed after you have entered into that website.

By the way, what is

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to survive in an ODL environment?

Many of us have gone through the conventional learning environment of attending face-to-face lectures and tutorials at universities or colleges.

Many would then ask how is it like learning in an ODL (Open and Distance Learning) environment when hours of classes attended are limited or it doesn't exist at all!

For me, I don't like the idea of attending classes to learn something. I rather read a book on my own and learn it by myself. I prefer reading a book by myself rather than sitting in a classroom listening to some unnecessary dreadful painful lectures. Anyway, lecturers are humans as well just like you and I. If they can master the subject matter, so can you.

The key to success in an ODL environment is self-discipline!

You have to study on your own, practice exercises on your own, and revise everything on your own. If you have questions, just post your questions online and your lecturers/tutors will answer you. That's what I like about ODL.

If you had been attending tuition classes when you were in primary and secondary schools, the ODL environment will definitely give you a culture shock because classes are limited. The tuition classes you had attended when you were in school have made you very reliant on the teachers. Attending tuition classes does not encourage you to do your own reading and to do your own research. The tuition teachers are just spoon feeding all of the students by teaching, teaching, and teaching every single detail of the syllabus.

The ODL environment inculcates independent learning because you won't be given any lectures. For those who are lazy and for those who refuses to read on their own, they won't survive the ODL environment.

To survive in an ODL environment, you must be independent and you must have strong self-discipline!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Empty vessels make the most noise

A former classmate of mine told me about this guy in his classroom.

He often argues with the tutor, challenges the tutor, seeks answers for the assignments without trying, and causes trouble in the classroom. All these things happen in an MBA classroom as was told by my former MBA classmate.

Guess what? That trouble-making individual is a manager! But without a degree.

My friend aptly said, "Empty vessels make the most noise". My friend added, "He doesn't know much about the subject matter and yet causing so much noise in the classroom".

That manager also demanded the tutor to reveal the pages in the textbook to where he could find the answers to the assignments. And he demanded furiously and scolded the tutor as well if she did not reveal the pages.

Some people just want an MBA for the sake of paper qualification.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I just applied for a PhD programme

I just sent in my application for PhD in USM yesterday.

I filled in the application forms and got my referees to fill in the forms too. Together with the forms, I need to hand in 3 passport photos, copies of my academic transcripts and certificates, and my brief research proposal.

I managed to get a fee waiver for my application fees of RM70 because I got hold of the voucher from USM when they came over to PISA during the education and career fair.

All I need to do now is to wait for them to process. And meanwhile, I need to read more. The new semester will start in mid-February 2012.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Does experience matter in an MBA?

Does experience matter in an MBA?

I don't know. Because...

I have come across some coursemates who claimed to have over 20 years experience but they were still weak in producing a good assignment.

And yes, they were still some who did produce excellent assignments.

So, I think it all boils down to your writing and academic ability.

There is no point bragging about your working experience spanning over 49 years when that person can't even write a good assignment. When I was a student, they were some who bragged about their extensive working experience and complained that they were given low grades for their assignments. They complained and demanded to know why they were given low grades. Having over 49 years of experience does not mean that you deserve an A! How arrogant they are...

If experience is so important, they might as well award MBAs to all those hawkers, mechanics, plumbers with over 49 years of experience. (No offence to anyone).

I spoke to one of my tutors a few months back and she lamented to me such annoying attitude some managers have. They might be a big boss in their organisation and they still think they are a big boss in the classroom and henceforth, they should be awarded As for their not-so-excellent piece of work.

When some of them demanded to know why they were given low grades, all my tutor did was to put side by side their assignment and another student's assignment, which was given an A. Immediately, they know why they were not given an A.

So, does experience matter? I don't think so.

I think what matters most are your hard work, writing ability, and research ability.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nevermind is 20 years old!!

I should have written this a few weeks ago to coincide with the right date. Anyway....

The so-called album that killed hair metal is now 20 years old! It was on the news all over...

If you don't know, hair metal ruled the airwaves from the late 70s to the early 90s until this particular album - Nevermind was released on 24 September 1991.

Nevermind was the work of the grunge band called Nirvana.


So, imagine at the time when rockers were wearing tight leather pants/leather jackets /fancy costumes and growing long curly blonde hair; and out from nowhere, there was this unknown rock band from Seattle with its members just wearing t-shirts/flannel shirts bursting out into the rock scene introducing grunge music to the world. Hair metal, bye bye! Hair metal had its glory days and it was time for grunge to take over. That was the rock scene in 1991, 20 years ago. Finally in 1993, hair metal was declared dead. I'm serious.

If you had not listened to grunge before, the MTV below will do the job.

Caution: This MTV is not for the faint-hearted. Get ready for some head-banging!

I don't really like grunge anyway. It's like listening to someone venting their anger and strumming their guitar like a mad person. That is why grunge only lived up to 1996. Grunge seemed to have died out after 1996 only to be replaced by a more radio-friendly alternative rock.

I still prefer hair metal due to its mainstream appeal. Hair metal is much more likeable, radio-friendly, and you need to be a skilled guitarist to be a hair metallist. I still like listening to great guitar solos from a hair metal music.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Writing the proposal

Just the other day, I called up my MBA research project supervisor and I expressed my interest in continuing my PhD. So, I asked her whether she is available to be appointed as my supervisor.

She said "Yes" and she welcomed me to do so. Great!

Now first of all, I have to write a brief proposal before I could submit my application to USM.

I have spend the last few days browsing through some journals to get some ideas of the possible frameworks I could think about.

This is just the beginning of the lonely path of writing a doctoral dissertation.

How long would that be? Five years? Six years? Seven years? Maybe... And it's part time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Drug Resistant TB Alert!

Tuberculosis (TB) is back with a vengeance in Europe, now!

For those of you who travel frequently to Europe or Central Asia, just be cautious of your surrounding. Having said that, it does not mean you can relax just because you are in Malaysia. Our government has been trying hard for yearssss to bring down the statistics. For example in Penang alone, there were about 200 to 300 TB cases in 2004 but it has risen to over 1,000 cases in 2010. And that is in Penang alone.

TB is spread airborne, unlike H1N1 which is spread via respiratory droplets. The mycobacterium tuberculosis (the germ that causes TB) could stay afloat in the air for at least four hours.

Millions of TB germs are spewed into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs, or even if he sings.

H1N1 may kill you within days but TB is a "torturing device" that tortures you for years before killing you! In fact HIV and TB are like brothers and sisters.

Please read the article at The Star here - Dangerous TB spreading at alarming rate in Europe - WHO.

TB is curable but it has returned with a vengeance. They came back in the form of drug resistant TB, which are either Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) or Extensive Drug Resistant TB (XDR TB). These two types of TB are not easy to be cured. So, please do not take this lightly.

Thanks to people who do not know how to observe proper hygiene and those who do not practice simple cough/sneeze etiquette, that is why TB is spreading at an alarming rate.

Just remember the simple rule, if you are coughing for more than two weeks, see the doctor asap to query about TB.

And please, please, please, do NOT see the sinseh (traditional Chinese doctor). There is NO herbal treatment for TB.

You have to see a doctor in a hospital for a proper treatment. And yes, our government hospitals in Malaysia provide treatment at a very affordable cost. And I do really mean it, affordable, like just a few ringgit. Do not delay your treatment because TB is like a tumour. It grows very fast once you are infected and it eats up your lungs. And the damage is irreversible.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lecturing is no simple job

Many may still think that lecturing is an easy job. No, it is not.

Just look at the weightage of KPIs at University of Malaya.

30% teaching and learning
20% supervision of postgraduate students
10% research fundings
10% consultancy and expertise contributions
5% membership in committees and attendance to department meetings
25% publications

The above KPIs tell you the job scope of an academic in our public university.

To get your article published in a scholarly journal is no easy task as well. Those who have done so will know that the rejection rates are high.

Only those who are really passionate to be an academic will survive in the academia.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mist at Genting Highlands

What do I like about Genting Highlands?

I like the weather and the mist.

I like the theme park rides too. My favourite ride is the Motion Master virtual ride. Unfortunately, the Motion Master ride has changed so much. It is more like a 3D kiddie movie now. So, don't waste your time lining up for it.

But, the mist is still my favourite. Here are some pictures with mist. I love the mist.

The mist is just spectacular.

Not forgetting Theme Park Hotel, this hotel is just fabulous. Nice and cheap.

After trying all the rides, I would say my favourite ride of all time is the Flying Jumbo. Yes, I can't help but to ride it over and over and over again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chin Swee Temple

I noticed that Chin Swee Temple has been expanded compared to the last time I visited here in 2005.

There is a complex now with an underground drive way beneath it. I don't remember seeing it previously.

I read that they took 18 years to build this temple and it was finally completed in 1993.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to drive to Genting Highlands?

How to drive to Genting Highlands if you are driving from the north? Here's the guide for you!
This driving directions are for those driving from the north.

As you are driving along the PLUS highway, you will see a signboard indicating left to Tanjung Malim, Kuala Kubu Bharu and UPSI (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris). Exit into this interchange.

Exit the PLUS highway at the Tanjung Malim interchange. It will take you about one hour to reach the peak of Genting Highlands after exiting the PLUS highway.

You will reach the PLUS Toll Plaza. After paying the toll, you will see an elevated highway in front of you. Just drive straight and you will reach a T-junction with traffic lights.

At the end of the T-junction with the traffic lights, you will see a signboard indicating Kuala Kubu Bahru and Kuala Lumpur to the right. So, turn right (You can't turn left, anyway).

As you turned right, you will be driving down from the elevated highway and yes, you are now on your way to Genting Highlands. You will be driving along the old trunk road to Kuala Lumpur.

You will see many signboards along the road. Just drive straight and don't turn left or right.

Soon, you will reach a cross-junction. Just drive straight, don't turn left or right. Turning left at this junction will lead you to Bukit Fraser. So, don't drive up to the wrong hill!

Soon, you will see a signboard indicating Genting Highlands is another 36km to go.

More signboards to come. Just drive straight. There is another junction to the left again to Bukit Fraser.

Roughly about 20 to 30 minutes after your exit from the PLUS highway, you will hit the Batang Kali town. You will soon reach a T-junction with a signboard indicating left to Genting Highlands together with Batu Caves, Hulu Yam Bharu, and Ulu Rening. Immediately before the T-junction, there is a small bridge with a small river below. Turn left at this T-junction. Driving straight will lead to Kuala Lumpur.

As you turned left, you will see a blue colour building on your left at the corner of the T-junction. I believe it is some sort of a Malay bazaar. If you have driven here many times, this building is quite obvious. Now, just drive straight along the road. Don't turn left or right.

You will drive through two cross-junctions with traffic lights. At these two cross junctions, you will see modern shophouses on your left and right. You will also see a signboard indicating Genting Highlands upfront. So, just drive straight.

Drive straight until you see a signboard indicating left to go to Genting Highlands. So, turn left at this cross-junction.

As you turned left, you will see another signboard telling you Genting Highlands is another 30km. Yes, you are now on the right track to Genting Highlands. You will be driving up the hill and give yourself another 15 mintues and you should reach the police roadblock nearby the Genting Cablecar Skyway Station.

You will drive pass some cable cars above you and just follow the signboards, you should reach the peak of Genting Highlands in another 15 minutes. There are more than enough signboards for you now.

Genting Highlands! I'm coming!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Online conference

I have just attended a conference a couple of days ago. There were a few talks, a networking lounge, and an exhibition hall with booths.

So, where was the conference?

At my home!!

Well, it is an online conference actually. The conference was organised by my professional body. The digital age is already here!

Yes, there were live talks you can listen to, recorded presentations, chatrooms (to chat with other members of the professional body), and an exhibition hall with booths as well!

Yes, we all have been to education/career fairs walking and visiting one booth to another. But this time, everything was done in the Internet, visiting all the booths and asking questions from the representatives of the booths on the spot (Yes, there were marketing staff manning the online booths) right from the comfort of my own house. I even got to listen to live talks or recorded presentations without sitting in a crowded room or hall. You can even type in your questions and they will answer you. If you miss the live talks, you can listen to it on any other day because the talks were recorded for those who are unable to attend the conference.

The professional body also planned to overhaul its examination system and turn it digital. They are on the way to come up with a solution on how students are able to answer questions digitally (No, not just answering multiple choice questions but include writing essays and answering computational questions online). This is still in the early process but I believe one day everything will be digital.

The future is here.....ta dam...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Music: Richard Marx

There was one time I was driving when Lite FM played a very good song. Immediately, I could recognise it must be some 1980s power ballad. I listened till the end of the song hoping the DJ would tell us the name of the artiste and the name of the song. Unfortunately, there was an ad immediately after the song. That was it. I don't know who sang it and I don't know the title of the song.

Then again recently, Lite FM played the same song. This time the DJ revealed the artiste and the title of the song. It is Richard Marx and the title is Angelia. Initially, I thought it must be some 1980s hair metal band which sang the song because it is a typical power ballad.

If you like good 80s music, the 1980s big hairdos, and the 1980s acid wash jeans, you will like this music video. Anyway, enjoy the music. My rating would be 9/10.

Richard Marx - Angelia (1989)

Richard Marx is also famous for many other songs such as Endless Summer Nights (1988), Right Here Waiting (1989), Hazard (1992), Now and Forever (1994), and At The Beginning (duet with Donna Lewis) (1998).

Richard Marx in the 1980s (Yes, with the 1980s big hair)

Richard Marx in the 1990s

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shopping for a PhD

I have been thinking where should I pursue my PhD.

Option 1 - USM
The fees are affordable since it is subsidised by the government. It is located in Penang making it even so much more convenient for me.

But, I have been hearing scary stories as well. Scary stories that relate to the the oral examinations (proposal defence, proposal findings, and the viva voce). Yes, getting a PhD is NOT easy. People keep telling the same story over and over again, like seeing cases of students crying and ended up depressed after the oral examination. You must have thick skin and you must get ready to be bashed up during the oral examination.

Option 2 - Asia e University
This is my second choice. Unfortunately, the main campus is located in KL and there is no branch in Penang. But I am allowed to nominate my own doctoral qualified supervisor in Penang. If I do it in this University, I have to travel to KL probably only during the oral examinations or whenever there are any workshops. So, I don't have to travel to KL that often and furthermore, this is an online distance learning university. I can still stay in Penang and still be a student at this University.

No scary stories for this University unlike USM. Anyway, it's a private university. That's what I like about it. Anyway, the fees are just a little more expensive compared to USM.

I am still deciding....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eating porridge, porridge, and porridge....and porridge

I have been living on a diet of porridges, half-boiled eggs, mashed potatoes, and Milo ever since my wisdom tooth was extracted. I read advice from the Internet that one should not eat solid food after your wisdom tooth was extracted.

I also learnt some other things, like...
1. Don't drink with a straw.
2. Don't spit.
3. Don't do heavy exercises.
4. Don't rinse your mouth rigorously.
5. Don't brush your teeth at the affected site rigorously.
6. Don't eat hot/warm food.

I adhered to each and every one of the advice above.

If you don't follow the advice above, you will get a dry socket. Dry socket is some sort of an inflammation at the site where your wisdom tooth initially was.

On the first day when my wisdom tooth was extracted, that site bleed for the entire day. I have to change my gauze from time to time because all of them were soaked with blood. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped on the second day. So, heed those advice!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Extraction of wisdom tooth

Finally, my wisdom tooth was extracted on the 6th of July.

First, he injected me some anaesthetic, not just once, but three times. I thought there will be only one injection. Thankfully, the injections were not that painful. It was like some ant-bites. Not nice at all.

Next, he proceeded to fill up some cavities on my lower molars.

After the filling was done, he came back for the ultimate mission to extract the wisdom tooth. He took an instrument and touched my gum near my wisdom tooth. He then asked me whether I could feel anything. I said yes and I received another two more injections. Another two more ant-bites. Not nice.

Finally, he proceeded to extract my wisdom tooth. The entire process, I believe, took about three minutes or so. I didn't feel anything at all, thanks to the anaesthetic. A gauze was placed inside for me to bite on as well.

He then showed me my extracted tooth, which was already decayed. Yuck.

Yay yay finally everything was over.

Monday, July 4, 2011

It is time to work...

Yes, it is time to work write.

Yes, I have a job to do. The job is writing.

What do I need to write? I need to write a course material on an accounting subject.

We discussed just now at the University and what I needed to do is to revamp the syllabus and to simplify the module of that particular subject. I need to make that subject more understable to the non-accounting students because that subject is compulsory for all business students.

I don't want to produce another dry boring accounting text that make students sleep. It's been a long time I have not participated in the Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest. So, I shall unleash my untapped creativity into that material soon. it is time for me now to write something like Accounting for Dummies, with sarcasm, dry humour and comics, perhaps?

Yes, sir.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wisdom tooth

I visited a dentist last Thursday to do some simple scaling.

After doing the scaling, he told me that my wisdom tooth on the upper right has decayed and he advised me to remove it.

Should I remove it?

After some thinking, I decided to make an appointment with the dentist to extract that wisdom tooth.

Nothing so wisdom about this tooth, it's more like a troublesome tooth.

My next appointment is on 6th July (Wednesday). Scary...

Friday, July 1, 2011

What to do if you are too free?

What do you do if you are really free and have nothing else to do ("eat full, too free")?

Read a book on statistics.

Yes, I have nothing else to do but to read a book on statistics.

The good thing is that this book is unlike other ordinary dry boring statistics textbooks that could also put you to sleep. This book is written in the style of the Dummies series or the Complete Idiot's Guides series. So, dry humour and puns are scattered throughout the book. And yes, there are comics in it as well. That's what I like about such books.

If you think you hate statistics, you will end up loving statistics after reading this book. This book covers all the basic statistics from descriptive statistics to inferential statistics to some basic guides and pointers to SPSS software. Unfortunately, they don't cover advanced multivariate statistics. That's the one I needed most - multivariate statistics.

I hope some professors would quickly write up a book like Multivariate Statistics for Dummies and that would make learning multivariate statistics more fun.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tesco Tanjung Tokong

The newly opened Tesco at Tanjung Tokong was packed with cars and people. It was officially opened just about three days ago on 23rd June (Thursday), so, not a surprise with the crowd. The car park was completely full. Fortunately, there is still Straits Quay (shopping mall) just about 200 metres away. There's always next time for Tesco.

Anyway, as I was waiting at the traffic light junction. I noticed a purple Proton Wira stopping at the corner for no apparent reason and the cars behind were honking away. Yet, the purple Proton Wira still refused to budge. Apparently, the purple car driver must have thought he was supposed to stop at the red light but the red light was meant for those wishing to turn right, not left.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I have completed my research, my first scientific research.

Yes, I have completed my very first scientific research.

This research looked at the correlation between two variables and the hypotheses were tested in a non-contrived setting.

Yup, I lifted that sentence from my abstract.

It was fun playing around with the SPSS software analysing the data relying on factor analysis, reliability analysis, descriptive analysis, correlation analysis, and multiple regression analysis.

Statistic is never my favourite subject, what's more advanced multivariate statistics, but now I realise statistics are not really that boring.

My research supervisor told me she will help me to publish this research in an international journal. Great!

Now, the MBA is over. So, what's next? A doctoral research!

But, I still have to make several decisions.

Should I do a quantitative (a scientific deductive) research like what I just did or should I do a qualitative (interpretive inductive) research? A qualitative research can be quite interesting, it involves a lot of interviewing and observation compared to a quantitative scientific research which involves more on distributing and collecting questionnaires and using statistics. I stumbled upon a USM thesis where the candidate had to personally live with the orang asli in Pahang and to immerse with them in order to write up her anthropology doctoral research. That is one example of a qualitative research. That is anthropology, so I am not going to Pahang for sure, LOL. For me, my research interest is in organisational behaviour. So, if I were to do a qualitative research, I would have to meet up with some factory managers perhaps and interview them.

Should I do it at the business school or the social science school since I am venturing into the behavioural field? Well, I think it doesn't matter because a PhD is still a PhD no matter which school it is from. That's what my supervisor told me.

The journey has just begun...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The puppy is gone

I just found out that the puppy that I blogged in my previous post has passed away.

I found out that she was run over by a vehicle somewhere in the neighbourhood.

That's life as a stray dog.....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Abandoned puppy

Somewhere in January, a cute little puppy was abandoned by some irresponsible person in my neighbourhood. The puppy (below) has now grown up a bit.

From what I see, stray dogs are naturally friendly to human. If it is a Rottweiler or an Alsation roaming in the street, well, I think you better not mess with them. They are definitely pet guard dogs. It is unlikely they are strays. Don't ever try to pet them.

I am referring to friendly Mongrels. Stray mongrels are naturally friendly to human unless they have been abused in the past. You call them and they will wag their tails, they will come to you and lick your shoes, your trousers, your leg, and sniff your butt. They pose no harm to anyone. Instead, human beings are the real menace to stray dogs.

My neighbour, Ah Beng, is a dog owner. Just a few days ago, this puppy (below) roamed into his house. To punish the puppy for coming to his house, he decided to walloped the puppy repeatedly with a stick. And yes, you can hear a very loud cry from the puppy.

And of course, he likes to whack his own pet dog as well. From time to time, you will hear his dog whine and cry from the beating. So, it beats me why they decided to keep a dog in the first place.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's been a long time

It's been a longggg time....

Finally, I found time to write something.

I have collected, roughly, about 160 completed questionnaires. But, out of that, only 132 questionnaires are usable. It's because the rest are not filled in correctly. What do you mean by that? Example, some people just filled in the questionnaire by ticking...Neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral, neutral......

Everytime I see such a response, I feel like waving my magic wand sending them to a research methodology class immediately. Some people still don't see the importance of filling in questionnaires, thinking that research is something useless.

It would be good if all undergraduate students have to conduct a research before they can graduate. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Research projects are not compulsory in most undergraduate studies.

Even in some postgraduate studies, especially coursework Master's degree from Australia, research is not part of the syllabus. So, I ponder what is the point of getting that postgraduate degree if one does not have to do a research. It's just like doing another one-year diploma programme, except that it is called a Master's degree.

Anyway, it's so obvious that such blatant responses cannot be used. So, the questionnaires had to be discarded. If I were to include it in, it would wreaked havoc in my analysis.

No, I'm not to going to do a simple analysis in the Excel worksheet or producing simple graphs and charts. Instead, I'm going to analyse statistically using the SPSS 17.0 Software (Statistical Package for Social Science). And this software is smart enough to detect anomalies.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


  • According to the Merck Manual, there are two types of sinusitis - acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Since I'm better now, I probably suffered from acute sinusitis about two weeks ago. It is considered acute when the symptoms resolved within 30 days.

  • The common symptoms of sinusitis are pain, tenderness, nasal congestion, and headache. Yes, I had runny nose, headache, and some vague pain surrounding my nose. My nose was so runny that I used up the entire toilet paper roll. As the Merck Manual rightly said, one might get sinusitis after a common cold. Well, I did. Luckily, it didn't end up chronic.

  • Sinusitis is considered chronic if one has the symptoms for more than 8-12 weeks.

  • Doctors do not know for sure what causes it. Doctors will diagnose a sinusitis based on your symptoms, x-ray, and a CT scan.

  • So, how do you cure sinusitis? Since acute sinusitis is caused by bacterial infection, it involves taking antibiotics. Chronic sinusitis may be a little more complicated and it might involve surgery to treat it. Please read here for a more complete information on sinusitis.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I had a terrible common cold last week with runny nose, fever, burning nose, burning throat, burning eyes, and cough.

Now, the common cold might be gone but it has turned into sinusitis.

Now, the runny nose continues. My nose is stuffy with mucus and it causes some pain to my nose and headache.

I will blog about sinusitis in the future.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An interesting field experiment

A research (a field experiment) showed that drinking Yakult could lead to lower incidences of diarrhoea. And the result was statistically significant (p<0.01).

Ok, you might ask what is this p<0.01. It means that the result was above 99% confidence, in statistical sense. Read the news right here.

So let's have some Yakult to drink down those Probiotics (good bacteria) for a healthier gut!

Anyway, there is always ethical concern when comes to field experiment. The unfortunate kids who were given placebo are at the losing end compared to the lucky kids who were given Yakult at random.

I remember reading another field experiment where a group of sex workers were given placebo and some were given actual anti-viral drugs at random. Among the ones who were given anti-viral drugs, there were lesser reports of HIV infection. Again, the sex workers who were given placebo are at the losing end compared to the one who were given the actual anti-viral drugs.

Sometimes, sacrifices are needed for the benefit to the greater good of majority. Utilitarianism!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Race and Intelligence - Are East Asians smarter??

I recently watched a very interesting documentary on History Channel. The documentary is "Race and Intelligence: Sciences Last Taboo.

One interesting thing I learned from that documentary is about the research conducted by Professor Emeritus Richard Lynn.

Lynn's meta-analysis lists the average IQ scores of East Asians (105), Europeans (99), Inuit (91), Southeast Asians and Amerindians each (87), Pacific Islanders (85), Middle Easterners (including South Asians and North Africans) (84), East and West Africans (67), Australian Aborigines (62) and Bushmen and Pygmies (54).

I didn't know that, generally, East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) have a higher intelligence average at 105 compared to the Europeans at 99.

The documentary also reported that ever since Berkeley College started the SAT examination for college entry, the college's population comprises East Asians at 40% while the blacks at 3%. This certainly supported Lynn's hypotheses, in some way.

You can even see this already by yourself in our local Malaysian schools and universities on who always scored the highest in exams.

I also find that the host/narrator (Rageh Omaar) seemed to be unhappy during his interview with Professor Lynn. When Omaar asked the Professor whether there is a hierarchical difference in race according to IQ, the Professor replied "Yes" with a very very straight face. And you can see how surprised Omaar was on hearing that. It looked like the narrator being a black, cannot accept that answer.

Omaar also asked "What is the evidence for that?", the Professsor rightly replied that it was just a conclusion from the research.

Indeed, it was just a conclusion from his research.

The theory that race and intelligence are correlated is always open to be annulled.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The underrated TB

Every now and then, newspapers will publish news on new infection of H1N1 or the H5N1.

What about TB? TB seems to be old news and underrated.

Like I blogged previously, TB was like HIV prior to the 1940s because there was no cure for TB at that time. So, imagine HIV being spread airborne. Those were the days.

Unlike H1N1 or H5N1, TB victims, just like AIDS victims, are tortured for months or even years before being succumbed to it. Of course, there is a cure for TB now. But....

Now, let's put TB aside, instead we have MDR-TB (multi drug resistant TB) today. This is a cause for concern because it's not easy to cure MDR-TB. Again, we are going back to square one.

Please read this journal right here for knowledge sake. MDR-TB is alive and spreading!

According to that study, in 2008, an estimated 390,000-510,000 cases of MDR-TB have emerged globally and China reported a high proportion of drug resistance with the highest burden of cases in the world.

You should be scared.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jogoya at Starhill - The best buffet ever!

Recently, I went to Jogoya at Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. I would say this is the best buffet restaurant I have ever dined out. Cost at RM88, it is definitely worth it. There is a huge variety of food in it. And I do really mean HUGE. You have to even book in advance to ensure you have seats in the restaurant.

They have sushis and many other japanese food, which I don't know since I'm not a fan of Japanese food and yet I dined out at a Japanese buffet outlet. This is the only corner for which I have not taken any food from.

DIM SUM corner
Shark fins and lots of dim sum food

There are tom yam soup, miso soup, chicken soup, vegetables, fishes, prawns, scallops, and some other seafood

There are lot of dishes you can choose from and they will serve you

Lamb, grilled fish, name it, you have it

SEAFOOD corner
You can order whichever seafood to be steamed, fried, or whatever you want it and they will serve you

You can find such food in other buffet outlets as well. For example, noodles, rice, sausages...

DRINKS corner
Fruit juices, hot coffees, hot teas (green tea, chinese tea, and lots of other teas) and alcoholic drinks for non-muslims only

FRUITS corner

I was truly amazed with the huge variety of desserts available

They even have coconut water!

Burrrrppp! Awesome!