Friday, April 25, 2014

Going to Compete in the Braun Büffel Art Competition

I just received word that I have been approved to compete in the 3-hour Braun Büffel art competition set to be held at VivoCity on May 10. I can't wait to paint on a white Braun Büffel bull figurine and try my best to win the top prize inclusive of a trip to Germany and $2000. My $20 participation fee would be donated to Very Special Arts Singapore(VSA Singapore). I follow a vegan diet and I don't use animal products so I would not be using the complimentary leather accessory given to all participants.

There would be an auction for the contributed pieces from various regional artists and I hope they would receive high bids as all funds would be donated to VSA Singapore. My father used to heavily support disabled mouth-and-foot artists by buying their greeting cards so the competition would give me my turn at supporting a similar cause.

I will keep my choice of art technique a secret for now until the competition is over for obvious reasons. Completed pieces will get to be displayed publicly at the Esplanade Upper Concourse Area from 16 May (Fri) to 15 June (Sun), and ION Orchard Atrium L1 from 24 July (Thu) to 30 July (Wed).

I am very excited to see how my art piece would look while being displayed at such prominent locations, it would be similar to having my own art exhibition. I think I would surely spend hours at those places and take lots of pictures. Getting my art to be displayed in public is worthwhile even if I do not win any prizes.

I remember once thinking of going to art school but gave up such thoughts because I felt I couldn't make a career out of making the kind of art I like and going to art school for years would be a huge waste of time and money. The cost of art materials to complete just one common size painting can cost up to $100 for my preferred type of art technique so going on the art route is definitely not cheap. But I still do not regret skipping art school because I have really found much more important things to do with my life. I don't mind making art just as a hobby.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Charlotte Ashton's Article on Misery City Singapore: The Accurate Word to Use Should Be Thoughtfulness Instead of Compassion -- Some/Many Singaporeans Don't understand What Thoughtfulness is

I read how quite a few people commenting in the local media(letter in TODAYNTU students) who misunderstood Charlotte Ashton's BBC article where she describes Singapore to be a Misery City with a massive compassion deficit. They misunderstood her article and said that she should have asked for a seat if she wanted one. However, the point of her article wasn't about whether or not the seated commuters would really give up their seats if they were asked, but whether or not they had put in much thought in looking out for others' needs before others even ask for it(being thoughtful is more than being helpful), just like the thoughtfulness of the sensitive and gracious Singapore Girl(flight attendant in Singapore Airlines) being sensitive to what passengers need before they even ask for it. Being thoughtful of others is the same as being caring for them.

ANA seems to have got on SIA's tail:

Singer Stephanie Koh explains in a video about how the people in an Australia airport were thoughtful enough to ask about her laptop when she accidentally dropped it. That is the exact thoughtfulness that Charlotte was talking about in her article and what some locals still cannot understand to be missing. Being too subservient and lack of room for thinking freely for themselves and others have really made some/many Singaporeans stupid to not understand the meaning of being thoughtful of others. 

Why I am not proud to be Singaporean

The focus of Charlotte's article was on thoughtfulness/consideration that is why it discusses the reasons why commuters could lack thoughtfulness/consideration due to being too concerned with other matters such as earning money or being too concerned with themselves.

I feel that the word Charlotte used in her article to describe the commuters shouldn't be "compassion" since such a quality doesn't necessarily lead to the required physical help. A better more accurate word to use should be "thoughtfulness" or "consideration". The quality of being thoughtful or considerate can be recognized from a person's appropriate physical response to the needs of others.

Commuters on a train can have compassion but can fail to show it due to being distracted by their phones and therefore fail to react considerately/thoughtfully/appropriately/responsively/caringly to those who need a seat. But if they are thoughtful/considerate enough of those who might need a seat, they would choose not to be distracted by their phones but be constantly aware of those around them who might need a seat.

Having compassion is just one thing but having thoughtfulness/consideration can encompass compassion as well as having the constant awareness, adaptability and responsiveness so that one can respond considerately/thoughtfully/caringly to the needs of others.

Another example would be the people who are reading newspapers on the train who have much compassion but can fail to bring about any appropriate response from such compassion towards any needy person around them who might need a seat due to lacking thoughtful awareness by being too distracted with their paper. So even if people are innately compassionate, they can fail to evoke any considerate/kind/caring actions from such innate compassion if they choose not to be thoughtfully aware of those around them who might need a seat.

It is more important for commuters to have thoughtfulness/consideration that can lead to the appropriate physical response to those who need help in public, rather than just having innate compassion that may fail to come about to lead to an appropriate physical response to those who need help.

But whether or not Charlotte has used the right word to describe the commuters in her article, her experience still made her feel miserable about Singapore after all.

I wrote a blog post about Singaporeans being too subservient due to Asian upbringing, which is why I feel they can lack the skill and ability to be thoughtful for themselves and for other people's well-being.

How People Misunderstood Jason Richwine's Dissertation: Explaining Racial Incompatibility is Different From Racial Denigration

(I wanted to write this post about Jason Richwine's dissertation because the superficial people who accused him of being racist are only judging his dissertation very superficially and lack the mental depth to understand the true meaning of being racist. So I hope I can enlighten them with this post and resolve the misunderstanding.)

The definition of the word "racism" is the following:

"1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

To judge whether or not people are racists, one has to look at their intention and not simply judge their actions and behaviour alone, because racism is based on a person's intention to denigrate others, racism cannot be determined simply by judging the words they wrote in a dissertation.

Jason Richwine's dissertation was to explain whether or not certain groups of people would be compatible or incompatible for American society and its economy.

Being analytical about different races' compatibility for living in American society does not make the person a racist that is obsessed with denigrating other races of people.

Jason was perceiving the incompatibility/compatibility of different races for living in American society in his dissertation, no one except him can know whether or not he had any intention to denigrate those races.

For people to simply assume that Jason had the intention to denigrate those races without evidence(of his true intentions) and to perceive him as being racist and a bigot is simply being unfair, over-assuming, immature and perhaps blame-shifting as well.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Going to Start Working on My Second Book

I remember writing a note on my Facebook profile page back in 2008 just after self-publishing my first book on finding Happiness and the Meaning of Life that I wanted to work on a second related book(with examples and personal experiences) that would undergo a traditional form of publishing. It seems like I did not have enough material and personal life experience to work on it, which could be why I have been putting it off for 5 over years now. But now that I have gathered enough ideas/material for a thick book, I recently felt like putting together a second book. So I think working on it would be a project that would keep me busy for the next few months.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Proven Link Between Cold Climates and High Anti-Depressant Consumption, High Suicide Rates and High Cancer Rates

Research has shown that exposure to negative ions is able to negate the use of antidepressants for people suffering from chronic depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) (aka winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression).

Countries located in very cold temperate climates are shown to have the highest amount of antidepressant consumption in the world. I realize that those countries do not contain much presence of negative ions in comparison to countries located in the tropics such as Singapore and Thailand(both with very high presence of negative ions) that interestingly do not have high antidepressant consumption. I therefore saw the clear link between the deficiency of negative ions in cold gloomy countries and their high amount of antidepressant consumption.

The sight of gloomy cold weather seems to hide the main cause of depression that could come from the lack of negative ions.

Treatment of seasonal affective disorder with a high-output negative ionizer.
"Treatment with a high-density negative ionizer appears to act as a specific antidepressant for patients with seasonal affective disorder. The method may be useful as an alternative or supplement to light therapy and medications."

A controlled trial of timed bright light and negative air ionization for treatment of winter depression.
"Bright light and high-density negative air ionization both appear to act as specific antidepressants in patients with seasonal affective disorder."

Controlled trial of naturalistic dawn simulation and negative air ionization for seasonal affective disorder.
"Naturalistic dawn simulation and high-density ionization are active antidepressants that do not require the effort of postawakening bright light therapy. They can be considered candidate alternatives to bright light or medication."

There’s Something in the Air: Empirical Evidence for the Effects of Negative Air Ions (NAI) on Psychophysiological State and Performance
"The analysis, particularly with randomized, controlled trials suggests that NAI treatment for mood disorders is in general effective with effects almost equivalent to those in other antidepressant non pharmacotherapy trials. Despite the growth in clinical research, there remained a substantial gap in mental health services to translate state-of-the-art treatments and incorporate them into mainstream practice."

Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes
"Columbia University studies of people with winter and chronic depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants."

"The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods," says ion researcher Michael Terman, PhD, of Columbia University in New York."

"Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy."

"Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy," says Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C."

"Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. You may have experienced the power of negative ions when you last set foot on the beach or walked beneath a waterfall. While part of the euphoria is simply being around these wondrous settings and away from the normal pressures of home and work, the air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions -- Much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, and many register a flat zero."

"They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation."

The Power of Negative Ions- The Ocean and Bodies of Water
"You might have noticed that you feel more refreshed near the ocean, a waterfall or even taking a shower. This is because all of these areas have a higher concentration of negative ions to positive ones. The ocean typically has 2000 negative ions and 1000 positive. The force or energy of the falling or splashing water causes splitting of neutral particles of air, freeing electrons which attach to other air molecules causing a negative charge."

Effects of negative ions on cognitive performance.
"Together, the findings of these studies suggest that negative air ions can indeed exert appreciable effects on cognitive performance."

The Health Benefits of Negative Ions

"Cations are produced by machines and technology: Computers,televisions, airplanes, refrigerators, heating units and air-conditioners saturate homes, offices, and other indoor environments with cations.

They are also called free radicals.

Free radicals (cations), are active forms of oxygen and can be produced by: Electrical Discharge from high-voltage network, heating and cooling systems; TVs, radio transmitters, radar systems, computers, exhaust and cigarette fumes, smog, radiation along with harmful chemicals and toxins.

Cations can damage cells and are believed to be one reason for deteriorating our physical and emotional well being and have a role in the aging process and instigating cancer."

Negative ions have been found in a Japanese lab study to prevent cancer, slow down aging and extend lifespan.

Cold Countries Hold the Highest Cancer Rates in the World

Since negative ions have been proven to prevent cancer, and cold countries have less presence of negative ions compared to tropical countries, people living in such cold countries would have less protection against cancer compared to people living in the tropics. Cold countries currently hold the highest cancer rates in the world compared to tropical countries.

Cold Countries Hold the Highest Suicide Rates in the World

Cold countries that lack high presence of negative ions currently hold the highest suicide rates in the world far surpassing any country located in the tropics by a very long shot.

Comparing the Warm Tropics to Cold Countries

I made a list of places and opportunities in tropical Singapore where negative ions can be found(from nature and water splashes) and it amounted to a very long list. I think the sunny tropical climate really does have strong underlying factors for creating a happier mood after all. And gloomy weather really does have strong underlying factors for depression.

List of places in Singapore where negative ions can be found or generated:

1) trees, lush nature reserves and forests all year round
2) frequent rain and thunder all year round
3) small water drains and large canals
4) the beach(sun tanning, water sports)
5) water reservoirs and lakes(strolling and jogging)
6) condominium swimming pools(swimming and suntanning)
7) condominium fountains
8) large fountains at shopping centers and business buildings
9) children playgrounds with water features
10) showering after swimming
11) frequent showering due to hot weather
12) frequent face washing
13) frequent feet washing
14) frequent washing of clothes
15) scheduled floor washings of public housing corridors
17) ferry and cruise rides to neighbouring islands
18) negative ions from tropical fruits and vegetables

In comparison to cold countries such as Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the opportunities to generate negative ions in those environments are very few. In addition, people living in cold climates are less inclined to leave their homes in cold weather to get exposed to any negative ions found in nature. The deficiency of negative ions in such Scandinavian countries as well as people's lack of exposure to it could very well be the main factors for the high levels of depression, antidepressant consumption and cancer rates found in those countries.

Besides nature's ways of producing negative ions, the artificial way to generate negative ions can be done with negative ion generators. Such generators are now very affordable for a small sized unit that can be plugged into the wall socket. Smaller generators can be plugged directly into a computer's USB socket. There are also generators made for cars.

Small generators(<1 watt to 2 watts) can generate 1,000,000 to 6,000,000 anions per cubic centimeter, and can cover only up to 3 square metres. Large generators(6 watts) that come with air purification costing a few hundred dollars can produce about 25,000,000 anions per cubic centimeter, and can cover a much larger room area.

The one I am going to get from my own country for my computer usage is this:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The American Dream is Already Dead: How Jason Richwine is Actually Right in His US Immigration Policy that Disfavours Races with Lower Average IQ

In regards to Jason Richwine's Harvard dissertation that discriminates different racial groups in immigration policy, what he said about races with lower average IQ pulling down the average IQ of Americans is actually true.

First of all, the minority few of the other racial groups who are the exception that have high IQ and well-educated would most probably make it in their home country, and would not require to migrate so far to the United States for greater opportunities to earn a better living or even just to live a more abundant wealthy life.

The United States is one of the cheapest and easiest countries in the world for lower skilled immigrants to migrate to. Without the US having proper immigration safeguards, the lowest skilled immigrants from all over the world can easily make their way there.

The majority of those who would have to migrate to the US would be those who would seek lower-skilled jobs, and would compete with the lower-skilled lower social classes of American citizens for jobs. This would lead to greater job competition among them, leading to the lower-social classes of US citizens to become poorer in the end.

Allowing in such immigrants is to take in the social-economic problems of other countries and adding it all together in the United States. If the US handles all the 'economic rejects' coming from other countries, it is the lower-classes of US citizens who will pay the biggest price.

Because the US is one of the most heavily targeted countries for the lower skilled immigrants from all over the world, it has to implement very strict immigration safeguards to protect the livelihood of the lower-classes of Americans.

People who oppose the rule such as politicians, TV personalities, writers, students, journalists etc are often the ones who are financially well-cushioned or have already made it in society so they would not feel the pinch and would not understand the social-economics problems that would surface for the lower social classes of American citizens. They should first consider the well-being of the lower social classes of Americans before worrying about the well-being of immigrants. They want to protect racial equality at the cost of causing the poor in America to become poorer, which will only widen the social income gap.

However, if the US takes in high IQ immigrants that are not social-economic 'rejects', then it is the upper social classes of US citizens who would face the competition from such high IQ immigrants. But it is more bearable for them compared to poor lower-classes US citizens facing such job competition.

But for an immigration policy made for the US, the ones to reject would be the main focal point of such a policy rather than to consider the ones to take in. An immigration policy should not worry about the exceptional few with high IQ. For the exceptional individuals from such a group who has high IQ, they could survive elsewhere without needing to immigrate to the US, so people should not worry too much about them. (I don't think the US is the only country in the world, and why would truly smart people want to go live there anyway? lol)

So for the well-being of the lower social classes of US citizens, the immigrants to be mainly rejected should come from the group who would pose the greatest competition for the lower social classes of US citizens. And the identity of such a group is already well-defined.

The bottom line is that the US has to worry first about the well-being of its own lower-class citizens. It is currently in no healthy economic state to perform charity by catering to any exceptional few(and overlook the rest). If it wants to perform 'social-economic charity' at the sake of being 'politically-correct' and 'fair' then it is the lower classes that will suffer the most.

The American dream is already dead, now is the time for the US to reduce its losses.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Singapore Tourism Board's Ad Video: Many Singaporeans Cannot Perceive in Abstract

In reply to the people who did not like the Singapore Tourism Board's promotion video made for the Philippines, I have some thoughts that shed light on the behaviour of those overly-critical Singaporeans.

I actually like the video that was taken down. It is not so rushing like the other commercials. It is suitable for romantic people who like things slow. Fault-finding people are those who do not have an exciting social/sex life so they cannot relate to the romantic themes in the video. And I have made and edited videos before unlike unqualified people who don’t have such experience.

Ads have to be dramatic enough like a musical performance to catch people's limited attention to deliver their message and it is successful in doing so. I see people saying that this ad is too exaggerated in its speech and acting yet people don't call out on live musicals, live plays and movies for portraying the actors' 'over-acting', which only means that those people are hypocritical in calling out one thing and not the other.

The video is more realistic unlike most of the superficial advertisements on TV. If people want to compare it against those fake ads on TV then it only shows how fake they are and distant from reality. People who have unexciting sex would compensate by being overly-demanding because they need more superficial stuff to make up for the lack of excitement in their lives.

The ad uses many abstract techniques compared to normal ads in many areas such the portion involving the pregnancy test kit. Do we blame art for being abstract? No. If the message of the ad can be clearly seen then I don’t see how the ad has failed.

I think the people who find it hard to perceive information in abstract are heavily lacking in imagination and creativity, and perceive the world mostly in a superficial level. So to them, they would think that abstract works are ‘badly done’.

The populace in Singapore is not well-known for being artistic, creative, imaginative and innovative as compared to the Filipinos. Singaporeans depend heavily on realism to earn a living and they lack the artistic skill to grasp abstract information without finding it abnormal.

Most Singaporeans are just lacking in imagination and creativity but are uptight, constricted and small-minded people.

Singer Stephanie Koh explains why she thinks Singaporeans lack creativity:

Why I am not proud to be Singaporean 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Theory on Why East Asians and Ashkenazi Jews Have Highest Average IQ Scores in the World

I was looking at the toys in a Toys "R" Us newsletter and then began thinking why East Asians have higher average IQ scores compared to western races as reported in research findings. I realized that East Asians do not play with as much toys as their western counterparts yet they managed to score higher average scores in IQ tests.

I was thinking about the main environmental factors that could possibly influence such a difference in average test scores, so I compared the similarities and differences in both eastern and western types of childhood, and it came down to 1 most seemingly substantial environmental factor.

The main environmental factor is the learning of the complex East Asian written languages.

For instance, the Chinese written characters are modified symbols of many patterns found in nature as well as in human behaviour. Since IQ tests subject people to recognize complex patterns, those who have already done much practice in recognizing and remembering complex patterns found in the Chinese written language would already have developed much skill in pattern recognition, and would therefore be faster and more effective in dealing with IQ test questions that require similar recognition and manipulation of complex patterns compared to those who lack years of such practice.

I myself have learnt how to read and write the Chinese characters from a young schooling age in Singapore, so I am well aware of the substantial mental requirements it takes to memorize the complex structure of new Chinese characters in detail and then visualize their structure well enough to write them out accurately without error. The written Chinese that is taught in Singapore is the simplified version, for Chinese people growing up in East Asia such as Taiwan and China, they would be learning traditional Chinese characters that are more complex in structure.

In Asian schools, there are frequent Chinese spelling tests that require Chinese students to do well in accurate memorization and writing in order to pass the spelling tests as well as final exams. Over the years of a Chinese student's school life, he/she would have accumulated many countless hours of such practice.

So I think the main environmental reason for East Asians having higher average IQ scores compared to westerners and Black people is due to having a written language that is more visually complex.

The Japanese use a written language that includes many kanji characters taken from the Chinese language.

The Koreans have a written language that is similar in form.

The Ashkenazi Jews who are ranked at the same top level as East Asians in average IQ test scores also have a written language with complex symbols. So they would also have gotten much practice in pattern recognition like East Asians do.

I think the neural plasticity that the brain has to go through would be more intense and dynamic for someone learning a complex written language compared to someone learning a simpler written language such as English.

Race and IQ - The IQ data is out - in Danish television


Update: I did some research after writing this blog post and found a research study that shares my theory.

Asian kids' IQ lift: reading system may boost Chinese scores

"Learning to read 2,500 pictorial symbols, as Chinese students do in grade school, yields a 5-point advantage on IQ tests, compared with the scores of Westerners whose languages are based on alphabets, according to a new analysis of mental capabilities of Greek and Chinese children. The international team of analysts, led by psychologist Andreas Demetriou of the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, attributes the scoring disparity to a superiority in visual and spatial tasks that comes with learning to read Chinese. 

"Our findings support the assumption that reading and writing systems are powerful methods for influencing the development of mental abilities, and perhaps brain growth, in individuals and in cultures," Demetriou says."

Fast and Easy Vegan Pasta Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese

This is a very simple pasta recipe that I bet many vegans already know how to make. But I just want to explain my own way of preparing it. Many people cook their cheese sauce but I just mix the nutritional yeast with the pasta water to make the sauce very quickly.

To make 2 servings, boil 250g of elbow pasta in a pot of boiling water. Add generous amount of salt to the water(as salty as the sea) and a splash of oil. Boil for 9 minutes stirring occasionally until al dente. Pour away most of the pasta water and leave about a 1/2 cm thickness of pasta water behind with the pasta.

Pour 30 g of nutritional yeast flakes, a sprinkling of dried Oregano herbs and a splash of oil directly into the pot with the warm pasta. Mix until there is a creamy sauce. You can add flax seeds and nori flakes too if you want. You can add some soy sauce or marmite as well.

Captain America Winter Soldier: 4 BIG Reasons Why Other Avengers Could Not Help

(Some spoilers ahead)

The reason why the other members of Avengers could not come to help Captain America and Black Widow is well explained in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD TV series.

1) Compartmentalization of SHIELD that prevents information from disseminating 
2) Level 6 Agents that are the Avengers do not have access to information for Level 7 agents and higher 
3) Hydra prevents information from getting to the other Avengers 
4) The other avengers and other agents are too far away from walking distance to be contacted 

The other avengers are not aware of what is happening at SHIELD because of the compartmentalization of the organization. So, level 6 agents that are the Avengers cannot know things that are happening on a higher level 7 and above(Agent Coulson, Maria Hill). 

It is specifically because of the compartmentalization of SHIELD that is why information can be slow to reach the other Avengers(level 6 clearance) until it is too late. If there were no compartmentalization, information would be instantly shared with all agents, and all members of Avengers would have total access to all information at SHIELD and they would be able to instantly react and arrive to help Captain America and Natasha instead of being kept in the dark. 

Director Fury got shot because he tried to contact Captain America. This also proves that Hydra was preventing Fury from seeking help from members of the Avengers.