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.