Sharing of common sense and wisdom…

Archive for August, 2011

FAIL To Succeed

Extracts & Commentary

Sent in by:  Adolf Peter

29 Aug 2011   MON

Author Tim Harford’s new book “Why Success Always Starts with  Failure – Adapt” deals with failure and in it, he does a series of case studies, taking sharp look at how failure can play an integral role in finding solutions for success.

Harford uses this analogy: 

“If you look at medical funding in the US, the majority comes through the National Institutes of Health. It’s taxpayer funded and it’s scared to fail.  Their results are excellent.  Almost every project is a success.  BUT the successes are modest, there aren’t so many huge successes.  Then there’s the Howard Huges Medical Institute – it’s much more ambitious in risk-taking and will back scientists even when the chance of failure is high.  That’s explicit in their mission statement, by the way – ‘to back scientists when the chance of failure is high’. 

“It depends on your definition of success.  If it’s avoiding failure, then the Howard Huges institute is not very successful because they have many failures.  But if your definition of success is a few incredible results, Nobel Prize winners, research papers that really define new disciplines within a field – then the Howard Huges Medical Institute is hugely successful.”

“In the world at large you need both sorts…”


I would think that a more critical definition on this matter is rather, based upon How Much Resources one (or an institution) can afford to put into a project, as well as What’s the most important task(s) that requires immediate solution.  Funding of any project per se, it is to seek clarity upon which What’s important can be defined. 

People who seek successful life (or meaningful life) therefore need to identify their peaks before they start climbing.  Most will not have the luxury of huge supply of resources to do many things they wish for.


Swimmer Tao Li “Sacks” Her Coach

23rd Aug 2011  Tue

Extracts of Singapore News

Apparently Singapore swimmer who performed badly in the recent swimming meet (World Championships) has decided to let go her coach, due to reason cited as “Differences in strategies” (about training regime for her 2012 London Olympics).

The Moment of Truth has yet to come. Instead it will be at the 2012 London Olympics swimming pool!  Let’s be patient and wait for the truth… it’s not now.

But it’s not too surprising that Tao Li has more to prove… based on her recent poor shows.

This is fact...

What Dignity Means

21st Aug 2011   SUN

Contributed by:  Benedict Ow (Hong Kong)

What Dignity Means

One of my friends attending church on Hong Kong Island side related this story to me.  There was this old man who was the director & conductor of a church’s choir. When he was in his prime time he was well-respected by his church members as well as the christian community.

However, after he got the Parkinson disease when he’s old, he could no longer lead and conduct the choir at church.  His body became very rigid because of his illness and could not even bend.  His family members somehow just refused to place him on a wheelchair.  Apparently that his family took a lot of pride of him who had been a very respectable music conductor; and hence should not be seen on a wheelchair.

Each week the hired maid (caretaker) were to push this ex-conductor’s rigid body into the church hall with great effort. As he stands as straight as a piece of trunk leaning back against his maid.  The small size maid has to push him upright manner across the floor like moving a fridge, to his seat along one of the rolls.

My friend felt sad for this ex-conductor. He should have received much more dignified way of treatment sitting gracefully on a wheelchair instead of being pushed around like a piece of furniture. All eyes are on him whenever he’s been pushed into the church hall.

But sometimes people do not get the right idea of what’s dignity means to them.  In WW II, US president Roosevelt was confined to wheelchair but that didn’t make him a less dignified person. Roosevelt was still active on political scene and successfully bring the Allied forces to victory with his leadership.

The essence of things is one should be given the right level of respect as a human being without being pushed around like a piece of thing.  Whether he’s sitting down or walking tall is immaterial so long as he is given the right level of respect – keeping in steps in life and, that’s what Dignity means to all of us.

God bless.

Keeping In Steps Is Living Life With Dignity

What’s Food-for-thought

20 Aug 2011

Extracts of Article (TheEdge Singapore)

Commentary by:  Allan Scotts (Pastor & Theologian)

The article is about a great chef (Michelin 3 stars) Ferran Adria of Spain. He ran one of the most famous restaurant El Bulli which is hardest to book a table. It estimated receiving two million requests for the about 8,000 seats available in the six months it was opened each year.

Adria has just closed the El Bulli on 30th July 2011, moving on to create the El Bulli Foundation, a non-profit culinary creative think tank that will launch in 2014.

This is one character who dare to make changes and defies status quo. Yet, he is making changes that will create more meaning in what he’s been doing. yes, the essence is to create greater meaning for masses.

It is realized that the modern world don’t need philosophers.  In the old world, philosophers were needed to point out the right ways in slow-paced progress.  The Internet changed this. These days, some good philosophers teach in the university, and many half-baked philosophers (self-proclaimed) talking away their life. Instead of adding value to society, these half-baked idiots create more confusions rather than social values.

Ferran Adria proves himself a great chef yet within him, an equally good human philosopher. Fine cousins are just his platforms upon which, he delivers meaning to many…

Not only a chef...


Trapped In The Human Knowledge – Adam & Eve

18 Aug 2011   Thur

Commentary by:  Pastor Aparong 

Before you read the following extracted text given below, here’s what i would say about this paradox; that science can misled us into thinking towards “validating’ Faith.  Scientific discoveries do not stand on the ground of trying to validate or destroy faith.  They are the parallel of the railway tracks.

Men shall not interpret biblical revelation with sciences. 

Here’s the extracts of article: 


Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve

Aug 9, 2011

Let’s go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?  

According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam’s rib.

Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe this account. It’s a central tenet for much of conservative Christianity, from evangelicals to confessional churches such as the Christian Reformed Church.

But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.”

Researching The Human Genome

Venema says there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple. He says with the mapping of the human genome, it’s clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists can’t get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

To get down to just two ancestors, Venema says, “You would have to postulate that there’s been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.”

Venema is a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. The group was founded by Francis Collins, an evangelical and the current head of the National Institutes of Health, who, because of his position, declined an interview.

And Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century. Another one is John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan until recently. He says it’s time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.

“Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost,” Schneider says. “So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings.”

‘Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith’

To many evangelicals, this is heresy.

“From my viewpoint, a historical Adam and Eve is absolutely central to the truth claims of the Christian faith,” says Fazale Rana, vice president of Reasons To Believe, an evangelical think tank that questions evolution. Rana, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio University, readily admits that small details of Scripture could be wrong.

“But if the parts of Scripture that you are claiming to be false, in effect, are responsible for creating the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, then you’ve got a problem,” Rana says.

Rana and others believe in a literal, historical Adam and Eve for many reasons. One is that the Genesis account makes man unique, created in the image of God — not a descendant of lower primates. Second, it tells a story of how evil came into the world, and it’s not a story in which God introduced evil through the process of evolution, but one in which Adam and Eve decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.

Abandoning Theology?

Fuzale Rana isn’t so sure this is a Galileo moment: That would imply the scientists are correct. But he does believe the stakes are even higher in today’s battle over evolution. It is not just about the movement of the earth, but about the nature of God and man, of sin and redemption.

“I think this is going to be a pivotal point in Church history,” he says. “Because what rests at the very heart of this debate is whether or not key ideas within Christianity are ultimately true or not.”

But others say Christians can no longer afford to ignore the evidence from the human genome and fossils just to maintain a literal view of Genesis.

“This stuff is unavoidable,” says Dan Harlow at Calvin College. “Evangelicals have to either face up to it or they have to stick their head in the sand. And if they do that, they will lose whatever intellectual currency or respectability they have.”

“If so, that’s simply the price we’ll have to pay,” says Southern Baptist seminary’s Albert Mohler. “The moment you say ‘We have to abandon this theology in order to have the respect of the world,’ you end up with neither biblical orthodoxy nor the respect of the world.”

Mohler and others say if other Protestants want to accommodate science, fine. But they shouldn’t be surprised if their faith unravels.

“Grow Up! If You Want To Be World Champion”

2nd Aug 2011

Singapore news extracts

It was reported in the Singapore local news that Tao Li’s coach finally spoke to his “poor grading” student (Tao Li) that she needs to Grow Up!

According to the news report, apparently Tao Li’s coach expressed that his swimmer student needs to conform to tougher regime of training and also, she must live her life a world champion should and not in a mess. Otherwise… it’s impossible to make it to the top ranking and become a real champion.

There it goes… You Can’t Blame The Coach.

"She needs to grow up...."

Blame Culture & Loser Mentality

1st Aug 2011 MON

Commented by:   Kampong Kid

Recently two sports scenes in this part of the world show us the same ugly side of bad loser sportsmanship, though they are of different type of games.

The losers must take stock and accept the hard fact that others have the right to improve themselves much faster and have the right to beat a weaker team/competitor.

So, don’t blame the training regime or others, look at oneself and take a real hard look, admit that it’s too bad, this time round the competitors have improved much more than YOU!  Nobody should hold back their potential to excel and give chance to people who always love to win but shy away from personal responsibility.

As in the newspaper report for the case of a bad Singaporean loser in the recent Fina World Championships, her coach highlights a stunning fact of her training preference: “That the swimmer would only prefer short training regime than a tougher one.”  

Looks like even the sports arena in Singapore has started to go for expensive “instant noodle” sports lifestyle…?  Worse still, some may resort to the Blame Culture to save their own face. How would their coach and supporters feel? 

Singapore sports are not like that in the past… It’s hoped that the rest of the sporting games do not follow such Loser Mentality.

Blames the winner "play cheat"... !?

Blames training regime...


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