Tuesday, September 30, 2008

5 days & 4 nights over Fall Break 2008

Some pictures from my recent trip to New York & Boston with Marcel, Johan and William. It was a great trip overall and an eye-opening experience for William personally. haha. New York? Great city with great diversity. Boston? Beautiful historical city with great restaurants. Personal preference? Boston, by farrrr... 

View from Brooklyn Bridge: something missing, if only the trip was not with four guys. hehe

Successfully manage not to smile in this picture. It was Sept 11 2008 when this picture was taken and people were commemorating the tragedy.

The Charging Bull, it does not look so 'bullish' at this critical moment in time.

In the inside of United Nation main meeting hall; dream job? probably.

After struggling through some "disagreements", here we are at MIT.

Boston, I'm in love. Right view with the right person. lol.

Finally, there were girlsss. minus Melissa, the photographer.

Happy Ending (not forgetting the super long walk though): O-H-I-O

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Us Against the World

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
be kind anyway
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends;
succeed anyway
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
be honest and frank anyway
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
build anyway
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
be happy anyway
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
do good anyway
Give the world your best anyway
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
it was never between you and them anyway



I cannot put this better than Mother Teressa. It rings really true that people (even those we swear "friendship forever" with) fail us occasionally, job security disappears at a flick (employees at the impregnable Bear Stearns & Lehman Brothers learn it the hard way), and good intention begets skepticism most of the time (just give Al Gore and his opponents a call).

So do we stop there? No, because if everyone simply stops at every stop signs, India would not gain its independence, Apartheid & Segregation would not be abolished, and Salvation would not be given to mankind. 

History told us, through Mohammad Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Jesus Christ, that something revolutionary happens not when we try to gain people's acceptance but when we love people more than their opinion, when we hate injustice/sins more than the corrupted individual/society.

Those role-models made it because, no matter how big the resistance or dissent was, they did it anyway. To borrow Harriet Tubman's advise (which Hillary Clinton also used on her speech),"If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they're shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."

Yes. Because, in the end, people's opinion and acceptance are absurd. It was never about them nor about the perfect society, it is less about the temporal and more about the eternal. In the final line, it is just about you and God. 


Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Dahsyat" in Metamorphosis

Have been planning to write an entry about my new house and its transformation so, I have taken before-and-after pictures of the new house to compare how destructive it was and how neatly and meticulously it is arranged now. Plus, to show the world (and to those 'neat-freak' girls out there) that even six guys living together can turn an old and almost dilapidated house to a ... hmmmm.. (I am having a hard time finding the right words here) warm and fuzzy house? 

Brief background story: There are six of us in this house (JoI, Richard, Hendy, Andika, Johan and Me) and for some random stupid reasons, we call ourselves "The Dahsyat". Online dictionary, Kamus Orisinil, defines 'dahsyat' as horrifying or awe-inspiring. Judging from the pictures below, I guess all of us will shout in accord that we are way far from horrifying creatures. So, let's go with the latter definition: Awe Inspiring. Unlike "horrifying", "Awe Inspiring" cannot be judged simply from a photograph. So, even if the definition contains an untrue declaration, no one is going to notice :p

Below are two shots at our living room and my study room. Please pardon the discrepancies in angle or color or picture quality and please turn your focus to the metamorphosis that has taken place. If this is one of those games we play at Dave & Buster, I'm sure you can point out myriad differences in those two pictures. 

Last remark, I hope these pictures overturn the common belief that six guys living together in a house is a nightmare. Well, The Dahsyat has proven that it is untrue, at least so far. (Or.... as long as I am one of the six guys, lol)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Juice and Bruise

For those of you who haven't noticed, there is a new game in town for college students. Imagine this, an online forum where you can make fun, ridicule, mock, or (in a more positive term) voice your opinion anonymously. Yes, total anonymity and 100% guaranteed privacy. Further, to make sure this policy is being served, the forum even provides software that protects web user's IP address from being tracked. It's slogan: Always Anonymous, Always Juicy

Ring a bell? Yes, I'm referring to Juicy Campus. Now, not only college students can rate their professors, they also have the freedom to throw demeaning racial insults or vicious homophobic comments without any fear of being caught, totally oblivious about the negative psychological and social effects that the subject matter will have to carry. 

Imagine if you are the promiscuous, ugliest or 'nasty whore' whose post ranked no 1 in the 'most discussed' section. Imagine if it is your name that is listed on a discussion about the 'most disgusting person in Columbus'. Imagine what your reaction would be when there is a post about you having a Sexually Transmitted Disease. 

Now, it's my turn to voice my opinion freely. This is a major misinterpretation and degradation of The First Amendment: the freedom of speech. I believe what the founding fathers had in mind was not about the freedom to express your hatred to a girl who dumped you, nor it was as trivial as so-and-so has the smallest or the biggest dick. It is about the freedom to voice a sounded grievance and annoyance to the government without fear of being persecuted or imprisoned. It is a practical form of democracy.

Then, when the meaning is diluted, this is exactly what happens: an irreverent generation who does not respect what it took to get them the freedom and a coward generation who hide behind the mask of anonymity. Irreverent because the once national-matter issues are now downgraded to featherweight issues. Coward because it teaches college students that consequences can be avoided or even discounted; the whole idea of responsibility is reduced to insignificant. It also gives the impression that someone's reputation is secondary compared to the rights to speak; The rights is absolute and irrevocable, social harmony and people's feeling can be taken care later. 

I'm not saying that the concept of juicy campus is totally bad since there are quite a number of informative posts, but the fact that libelous comment is the most viewed and discussed post creates the problem. It is defamatory. Also, the main purpose of the forum is not to share information but purely to gossip, "C'mon, give me the juice". And to ensure the juiciest gossip is posted, no moderator exists. This is a heaven for gossipers. It's free, anonymous and uncensored. How better could you get? 

Any comment or opinion?