Wednesday, February 21, 2018

time of year and time of life

Festivity is a time of nostalgia as it brings back the hope and excitement of childhood memories.In the big,extended family,third uncle and aunt would buy gauzy materials from textile shops like Mun Long in Petaling Street and sew nearly identical frocks for all the nieces and nephews.It's a time when the stone mill is brought out to grin d glutinuous flour to make nien gao.Huge woks and tins filled with banana leaves to steam the sticky nien gao.The family altar table was cleaned and decorated with fresh fruit and flowers.we young kids made red paper cuttings to paste on mandarin oranges and pomelos.It was a bustling kitchen as ma ma or grandma presided over rolling of dough,making peanut puffs to fry in woks of boiling oil.It was a time to eat waxed duck ,meat, and yu sang or raw fish.The wan yu was bought live and kept in a plastic basin,before it swam in our stomachs.The loud firecrackers caused the road outside to be lined with red paper.
     The feasting is still fabulous but my younger sister in Singapore has globalised the food.The only traditional dish was the LOHan vegetarian and the almond dessert.The rest of the meals was global from Japanese croqueetes filled with mochi and cheese,Greek and Italian red wine,egg yolk butter fillet,prawns in herbal chinese wine with dong quai,smoked duck,duck rillette,parslane greek salad,french cheese and lots of love letters and pineapple tarts.My sis has  acquired a gourmet tast in fine dining and her kitchen is amazing with precise utensils to male japanese black garlic which was surprisingly delicious to homemade Japanese plum wine also fantastic.Everything is home made and it was better than dining in a five star restaurant.
   I worked out morning with yoga and tai chi and swam everyday.Had time to read Ken Robinson's book Creative schools and bought Murakami's short stories Desire.
The connectivity of public transport in Singapore is smooth and seamless except when my idiot son who tried to push me in a rush for the MRT when my knees are so creaky that I nearly slipped and fell.I basically hate concrete jungles and so I cocooned myself in my sis's rooftop garden and swimming pool to rest and relax.Man made entertainment and structures are a big yawn.
   The service industry is excellent and efficient which makes moving around easy.Visited the Sri Lanka temple in Bendemmer road and saw how the had beautiful floral arrangements in a plate for homage to lord buddha instead of that plop into a vase floral non arrangement.The Thais,Sri Lankans and Balinese are more artistic than the Chinese.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Music as stress reliever

I got so pissed off when my workout at the Taman Kiara Rimba park was disrupted because the place where I did aerobics was cordoned off for a private event and VEHICLES with their carbon emissions were allowed in to add to air pollution.Thank you for the breathe of fresh air in the park.Why even allow vehicles to be driven inside a jogging path.Beats me and sure as hell angry.
Luckily to vent my frustration,I could belt out my karaoke in the car.Thanks Taka for the song Suddenly and One by One.It's loud heavy metal and can scream in the car.
   One OK Rock band,You guys rock .Dirty polluting car in park _you suck big time.
  While I was screaming when mopping the house,it drove the sleeping dog MAD and he threw his  plastic lid at me.Better sing in car and let sleeping dogs lie.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Brief History Of Time _The 800 lb Gorilla

A Brief History of the Future,
The strategic director of trends of Philips Design is a female historian.They use
 an interdisciplinary team comprising anthropologists and social scientists as
 innovation is driven by people who are passionate about how society and culture
 are changing while keeping an eye on the megatrends.One thing they designed
 was a non irritating alarm clock.It reminds me of the innovative alarm clock bought
 online,a China design that is fun and innovative as the clock has wheels.
While ringing,I cannot hit the stop alarm for the clock circular in shape will roll off
 the bedside table and keep on increasing the sound of the alarm until I get out of
 bed to shut the damn alarm. 
It works so we don't need to reinvent the wheel.
Design thinking and meeting needs of user does the trick.
A product that need reinventing would be the sanitary pad.It's a huge market but
 contributes to unsustainable waste and clogs toilet bowls.The person who can 
revolutionise the product will strike gold.Tampons are risky as a recent female model
 had to have her leg amputated when she had toxic shock from blood poisoning
.How to make it safe,convenient and environmentally friendly?
Megatrend Women showed that increasing levels of female education and working
 women mean more financial independence and purchasing power but more stress.
Megatrend health research revealed a demand for wellness products that have a 
health benefit and are free of additives. After surveying 15,000 women,they 
found women wanted it all.They wanted to be spoilt but to have a clear moral
 conscience(a % of the profit goes to Waris Dirie's foundation against FGM in 
Africa).The drink gave them self confidence,energy without the calories and a 
sense of well being.The design of the bottle is small and sexy,no pear shaped 
bottles reminding them of big bottoms or failed diets.

The result was "VERY" all with Dong Quai,a Chinese root with a positive effect on
 female hormonal balance.The response was hot when launched in 2004 in Austria
 until the man financing the project mysteriously disappeared and the whole project
 collapsed.Shows you can plan the future and follow trends but you cannot predict 
everything.
My energy is much less compared to the past-so exhausted that I've no energy to cook and clean the house.I skipped Tai Chi as my back
 and knees were throbbing with pain.Yesterday,I took out the Chinese herbs
 my mom gave me when I complained of tiredness.I boiled the Dong Sum root,
the dried Cordycep flower and goji berry with old chicken to give me a boost of
 energy and last night I had a good night's sleep again.Today I'm drinking tiger milk
 mushroom tea to boost immunity against flu.Prevention is better than cure.
.Design is the crucial link between people and technology.In ambient intelligence,technology is discreet and unobtrusive.The use of anthropologists and social scientists at Philips Design means innovation is driven by people who are passionate about how society and culture are changing while keeping an eye on megatrends and business.
Green believes that the best futures work is not about looking at what you can
 predict,but what you can imagine.Corporate futurism will be more multidisciplinary
 with electronic artists,historians,ethicists and philosophers in the team especially 
with the rise of AI and terminator soldiers.





Friday, January 12, 2018

Social entrepreneur

Laurence Brahm is a social entrepreneur and is proactive in bringing changes to communities through the Himalayan Consensus.Change starts from grassroot organizations and empowers the marginalized whilst giving them a livelihood in an environmentally sustainable way.
   The more I read,the more I realize my ignorance.His ideas tie up with Mohd Yunus's Grameen bank-changes from the bottom up and not the top down.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Searching for Shangri La

I came across the concept of fusion economics on Youtube. Laurence Brahm is an American economist with groundbreaking thinking -I am enthralled by fusing the West and East in fusion food,in blending the traditional and modern as in Yoshiki's avant garde blend of classical with rock and his fusion fashion of the kimono and now what the heck is fusion economics.It's gonna be an interesting time exploring how economics balances between meeting the demands of consumers with the needs of the environment,a balance between the individual need and the collective needs.Brahm is the modern day Marco Polo-he sees the consequence of rampant exploitation of the environment with finite resources to meet economic growth.as in certain parts of Europe there are no more virgin forests.He comes to developing countries to warn us to learn from the mistakes of relentless focus on rapid expansion on economic development at the expense of the environment and destruction of cultural heritage.
   I would love to study more on the ideas of this academics in line with Amartya Sen developmental economics.His ideas on preservation of environment and cultural heritage is what Chinese say that when we do something,we shouldn't only focus on ourselves but to keep the big picture in mind." Gu chun dai gok" a Cantonese idiom.This guy looks familar until when I was reorganizing my book shelf and I came across his travelogue in Western Tibet in search of a lost city predicted in the Shambhala Sutra. No wonder his face looked so familar-deja vu.The photos he took showed his abiding respect and love of the nomads.It's amazing he can speak Mandarin and Tibetan-a Marco Polo.
    May we live in interesting times!
Taka of J rock band is a promising band to watch out for! This young man is so energetic in his live concerts -jumping,spinning, prancing and hopping that his energy is so infectious but after my creaky joints have help from anagelsic cream,I'm not doing anything more hip than swaying my hips to the beat.Hips don't lie but screaming knees don't lie either.
 When learning,how does music and movement help to reduce stress in studying?
To try out my theory movement stimulates the release of endorphins and reduce stress of sitting for hours on the butt immobilised and music stimulates retention of information.i've put in place the double M target in class.No dozing off or my rendition of moving to Back Street Boys or jazzercise is back.The kids would think twice before any shut eye happens.It would energize body and brain to keep blood flow up and focus and attention boosted.Watch out sleepy heads.They gonna dance to my beat or face the music.
   Last night,my Tai Chi sifu is expert in martial arts and gave us a lecture on Wu Wei or the philosophy of Taoism- non action in action.Interestingly profound as in don't put too much effort and push body to extreme in practising and burnout the store of energy and neither put in no effort and  not to practise.I understand it as be effortless in practising Tai Chi.It strikes for the middle path and go with the flow.
It's a union of the mind and the body.Super cool.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The taste of memory


The taste of memory

Mom I'm munching on unhealthy snacks
Echoing in my ear "don't eat heaty food"
Bad for health -it's junk
Mom, good food taste blah but junk food is addictive
These prawn crackers you've fried you hid out of sight
Just so I don't snack non stop
That which is bad gives me a kick
That which is good is hard to swallow
For I live to eat and not eat to live
I live to love and love to live
Those barley and herbal tea you boiled
To make our bodies strong and healthy
Is your way of saying you care for us
Those long hours of boiling herbal tonic soups
Is your way of saying you love us so much
Food is your gift of love to us
Food prepared with care 
Is the taste of the memory of love
A bittersweet  memory that lingers  
makes a lump in my throat
Choking over the junk fries I'm munching
Guilty as hell for forbidden food
Mama's"eat healthy food"rings in my ears
As the taste of memory returns with a vengence
I lick away the salty tears streaming down my face
As I recall your love that is never spoken but only shown
By the mooncakes you baked and the rice dumplings wrapped
There's a knot in my stomach
A lump in my throat
When i recall the memory of love that lingers
Bittersweet it tastes ,never boring or bland
Drink the herbal tonic,then the eat the apricotplum sweet
Eat the bitter in life,later the sweet will follow
Xian ku hou tian
I miss this taste of memory
The memory of your love forever
You were my pillar of strength in my moment of weakness
My shelter from the storms of life
My shadow that never left my side in good or bad times
How uneasy you looked when I told you "I love you"
But I must tell you before you never get the chance to hear it
You mean the world to me.
You bring back the taste of memory
The memory of a lifetime of love.