Sunday, October 26, 2008

Koalas safe to eat?

This melamine contamination has affected so many products (and of course its consumers) and finally China is waking up to face its incompetence and overly-slack (or absolute lack of) regulation.

No doubt there needs to be drastic action taken against such irresponsible people, let's not over-react without first finding out information that we would want to know. Everyone must have heard warnings to stay away from certain products because of the melamine scare, and even some of the clean products have definitely been on those warning lists.

But how bad is this contamination? Check out a report made by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). The AVA has noted traces of melamine in some of the products sold in Singapore, and even gave details of the extent of contamination. (Even one of my most favourite snacks when I was a kid was posted there.)

Let me just replicate some of the figures given, using my favourite snack as an example:

Product: Lotte Koala’s March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit (21g/pack)
Tolerable levels for an adult of 60 kg weight (amount daily over a lifetime): 104 packs
Lotte Koala’s March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit

"AVA would like to assure the public that the levels of melamine detected so far in the affected products are low and hence unlikely to result in any adverse health effect."

Althought the AVA has also demand that suppliers recall all contaminated products and warned consumers to not purchse these products, I'm not sure of the rationale behind such actions. I would probably be more worried about having to call NKF for help if I had eaten 104 packs of chocolate-filled biscuits in a day before worrying about melamine. I'll probably die of dehydration or chocolate-overdose even before the melamine can kill me. And note, it says 104 daily over a lifetime. Now, doesn't it just seem even more impossible to die from melamine contamination?

There might be one or two products with higher levels of contamination, but even then I don't recall anyone in Singapore or the region dying from eating a few Hello Pandas or Marching Koalas. The victims in this big contamination are mostly infants who drank contaminated milk. Think: You are probably 5-10 times heavier than an infant, and milk in your food probably constitute 10% to 20% of its overall contents. Enough said?

So okay, I shall get back to my Koalas. Yummy.

(Disclaimer: This post is not, in any way that may be perceived, intended to encourage the consumption of any (possibly) contaminated food. Please check for relevant information before deciding if you would want to purchase/consume any products that may have been contaminated. For more information, do look up the AVA website, or you may also look here for the report referred to in this blog post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The first draft.

It's finally done, the 2500-word essay. It really takes a huge load off me and I'm glad that this is now over. At least, mostly over. Just some touching up to do, as well as awaiting some feedback. I'm quite excited about submission now that I have it more or less in shape.

This essay has taken so much of my time and attention, and it almost feels like the entire second-half of my semester just revolved around this single essay. It's now time to start on my revision for my other subjects.

This semester hasn't been too heavy for me, with Macroeconomics being quite close to what I have already learnt. Accounting this semester also resembles what I did last semester, just a little more complicated and tricky. Business Process, well okay, a little of a pain considering it's a subject where I don't even know what really is expected of me. I guess the past year paper(s) would help there.

Anyways, I'm glad how things are progressing. It's really like tracking through a jungle which comes to an abrupt end. No light at the end of no tunnel, just a sudden, wide open space - bright.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sing for me.

Looks like the US presidential campaigns always lead to loads of creativity from the public. Check these out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Song for the soul.

Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence.

Somehow I can put this song on repeat the entire day and I never get sick of it. I don't know what it brings, or what it stirs up in me. It seems to create quite a mix of everything within, and the overall effect is just a swell of emotions that tends neither to the down or cheery side.

Always loved their simple yet beautifully blending songs. Tranquility despite all the emotions.

Maybe I think too much. Just enjoy the music and shut up, right?

On a more modern-note, Secondhand Serenade seems to appeal a little more to me too. No, not just the overplayed 'Fall For You' but also other songs. Again, the blend. I just love it when two voices match so nicely.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Absolute incoherence.

Absolute incoherence.

My apologies, but my recent lack of writing has led me to write with no flow and no direction whatsoever. I have told myself in the past to not write as I think as my thoughts tend to jump around with no proper structure, and it seems like I have lost that focus to write properly. Time for more practice again I guess.

I'm still the the midst of writing my essay for my final submission on the 5th of November, and I hope it's going on fine. I've no idea how fast/slow my progress is, but going by word count, I have 400 words out of 2000, so I can sort of say I'm 25% done. Not that it is accurate considering the amount of editing and revising I would have to do. Furthermore, the first 400 really is just a brief introduction and some main ideas. Nothing concrete at all. So maybe I'm lagging slightly behind there. 3 weeks to submission, but I'd want to finish it in 2. Dad has asked me to send it to him to take a look and I really can't wait to let him see it. (First time he has explicitly shown such great interest in my work - no, not saying he had never been interested in my education, but the fact that he asked this time really serves as a motivation for me.)

I guess "writting" essays really isn't what I'd want to do here. It's more of crafting - I hope I can reach that level of writing. Constantly editing and re-writing can be quite a pain, but when I finally read through it, I guess that sense of satisfaction really cheers me up. At least I know I am headed somewhere.

Ok, break time over. Back to work.

Religion today.

Understanding comes with knowledge, and with a cetain level of understanding, it makes acceptance a lot easier - especially so for ideas and practices that ar foreign to you. I guess my little time spent studying another religion had had a rather positive impact on me.

It's not an issue whether or not man created religion or if God created man, but to me what is important is the role of religion in our lives. The corruption that lies in many religious bodies of today have resulted in many religious conflicts we witness today. Perhaps is the nature of religion that allows any individual (or group of 'scholars') to take almost absolute control by determining the 'way of life'.

So now, who is at fault. The people, or te religion itself?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Early Christmas

I know, X'mas is still some time away, but I have finally found the video of one of the most entertaining performances. So here you go, Straight No Chaser with their (comical) rendition of 12 Days. Yes, it's the bird-in-the-tree song.

And if you (like me) can't get enough of them, here's another - Lion Sleeps Tonight.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Never long enough.

As a kid, school holidays were never long enough. Things have not changed much at all. As a gron-up kid, holidays are still never long enough. Only difference is that I used to complain of insufficient time to play, and now I lament the fact that I have insufficient time to do my work. I have not even considered that I have barely had time to catch my breath.

My only wish is for Thursday to come soon, where all 3 assignments are due and I can finally let off this huge load, then concentrate on upcoming lessons and revision for my papers. And also my essay, which I can't wait to finish soon. I'm pretty excited about it actually, despite all the weird responses I get when I tell people I'm doing a module on Islam.

Well, who cares why I did it in the first place, I am doing it and I am going to finish what I have to do. I don't think I'll regret taking this subject unless my results prove otherwise. (I know, this mentality just reflects a very pragmatic side of Singaporean students, but hey, who takes subjects only to do badly?)

And I should make it a point to come back a little more often to post. It does take some stress off and offer some relief, even if only for a fleeting moment.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Break's over soon.

Okay, long time no see. Finally back at this place again. Nothing much has happened these 2 weeks except for loads of assignments and group meetings. Glad that it is finally working out well now.

43 days to the end of my papers, and the end of 1st year. 50 days to home then.