Archive | April 2007

Capilano Salmon Hatchery & Cleveland Dam

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Visited the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, and it’s really cool! The initial thought of going there sounds “yummy” but when I got there I realized salmon fish are really “tough” and strong. Not in the foody kind of “tough”. But Salmons are really determined when it have to swim up the river in search of fresh water to lay their eggs!

Some history of the Hatchery:
In 1954, Cleveland Dam was constructed on the Capilano River to supply water for the growing city of Vancouver. However, the contruction of the dam blocked the route of coho and steelhead salmon traveling up the Capilano River to spawn. To mitigate this loss, the Greater Vancouver Water District constructed a concrete river weir and fish ladder. This system collected adult salmon returning to the river to spawn. They were then transported in transport tanks and deposited above the dam to continue their journey upstream. However, young salmon migrating downstream to the ocean suffered high losses, as they had to travel over the dam. Over the next decade the Capilano salmon stocks continued to decline. To address this problem, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans decided to build Capilano Hatchery to rear and release salmon below the dam.

So the baby Salmons are saved! But do you know the process of “collecting the eggs” from the adult salmons to rear the baby salmons? They have to slice open the female salmons, remove the eggs, and poke a hole through the male salmons, releasing the sperms and then tada! The eggs are fertilized in a pail. Even though it sounds cruel and unnatural, this is the only effective way to increase the survival rates of the baby salmons. The adult salmons will die anyway in the natural habitat after the birth of the baby salmons. That being said, it sounded as though humans are doing a good deed for the salmons but I guess these salmons are mainly for human consumption, for our own good.

Poor salmon but it tastes way too good to resist.

Jason: Let’s go again in June when you are here! We went there too early many adult salmons are not there yet.

Note: Some of the photos were really bad with the spotlight there. But I guess it’s better to have some pictures to visualize. Haha.

The picture of the Oreo cheesecake was too random! Haha, Sheryl and Sheena made a cheesecake for us! Yummy!

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We specialized in burnt cookies

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Dawn and I went on a cookie making adventure yesterday! Even though it turned out slightly burnt and looked kind of “ballooned” it still tastes crunchy and yummy! Ok, Colin and Val must be laughing at our ugly looking cookies. Haha… ours is definitely not as professional compared to LA’s cookie, but it is filled with love and good luck for people who are still having exams! Dawn and I were one of those “irritating” people who finished our exams early. Had lots of fun baking it but was definitely a long day for us. Haha…

Thank you Chelsea for the Cookie mix!
Thank you Jimmy for your kitchen!
Thank you Wenjing for the dinner!
Thank You Dawn for baking cookies and painstakingly drew the pictures on the bags!

24th April 1915 – The Armenian Genocide

I went to the Armenian Genocide memorial service at a church yesterday. The scale and organization of the killing set me thinking how racism can be deadly.

May the Lord bless the living Armenian families with peace and love to forgive and heal them of the pain they suffered in the past. Amen.

With a vague understanding of the Armenian Genocide after the service I’ve decided to do some research on the killing.

Here is some abstract information of the Genocide.

“The slaughter and fatal deportation of hundreds of thousands to over a million Armenians as well as intentional and irreversible ruination of their economic and cultural life environments during the government of the Young Turks from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire.

The first true genocide in the 20th Century in human history and the second-most studied case of genocide. Twenty-one countries have officially recognized it as genocide while the Turkish government on the other side currently rejects the applicability of the concept of the state organized genocide.”

Do you know the scale of this genocide? How well organized and well planned by the Ottoman Empire?

People involved:

Mastermind: Ottoman Empire
Five years before World War I, the Ottoman Empire came under the control of the secular Young Turks. In an effort for constitutional reform, Abdul Hamid II was deposed and his younger brother Mehmed V was installed as a figurehead ruler. At first, some Armenian political organizations supported the Young Turks, in hopes that there would be a significant change for the better. Some Armenians were elected to the newly restored Ottoman Parliament, including Gabriel Noradoungian, who was elected by parliamentary members to briefly serve as the country’s foreign minister.

However, from 1910-1912 the leadership of the Young Turks split into several parts lead by two main factions: one faction, known as the Liberal Union, remained committed to liberalizing the country and establishing equal status amongst all minorities and; the second faction, the Committee of Union and Progress, was more radical and racist in its views and was headed by a triumvirate: Ismail Enver, Mehmed Talat Pasha and Ahmed Djemal. The CUP rejected the Liberal Union’s ideals and assumed full leadership of the country after assassinating the Minister of War, Nazim Pasha, a Union member in January 1913.

Hired Murderer: “Butchers of the human species.”
The government released majority of prisoners who mostly committed murders to form a special organization which was in-charged of the deportation and killings of the Armenian. Prisoners released were selected based on their ruthlessness to form the special organization. These people who escorted the Armenians participated in robbery, rape and murder during the deportation instead of providing for their well-being.

Victims: Armenians
Armenians who were Catholic Christians in the 19th Century were recognized non-Muslims, along with Greeks, Jews and other ethnic and religious groups. They were subjected to separate laws from those that applied to Muslims in the Ottomans Empire. Armenians were exempt from serving in the military and were instead forced to pay an exemption tax, they were not allowed to bear arms, they were heavily taxed, and they were treated overall as second-class subjects, although they were one of the largest minorities in the Ottoman Empire.

Claimed motives:
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Central Powers when Ottoman gunboats attacked Russian naval bases and shipping in the Black Sea. In November 1914, Enver, now the Minister of War, launched a disastrous military campaign against Russian forces in the Caucasus in hopes of capturing Baku. Nearly 90% of the Ottoman IIIrd Army was destroyed by Russian forces in the Battle of Sarikamis and many more froze to death after Enver issued a retreat order in January 1915. Returning to Istanbul, Enver largely blamed the Armenians living in the region for actively siding with the Russians.

“In order to justify this enormous crime [of the Armenian Genocide] the requisite propaganda material was thoroughly prepared in Istanbul. [It included such statements as] “the Armenians are in league with the enemy. They will launch an uprising in Istanbul, kill off the Ittihadist leaders and will succeed in opening the straits [of the Dardanelles].” These vile and malicious incitements [were such, however, that they] could persuade only people who were not even able to feel the pangs of their own hunger.”

True motives:
In order for the immigrating Armenians not to re-constitute dens of conspiracy, the Supreme Military Command communicated a letter dated 26 May 1915 to the Ministry of Interior, considering the following aspects:

1. The population of the Armenians in the locations they newly immigrated to should not be in excess of 10% of the population of the existing tribes and Moslems.
2. The villages the Armenians to be re-established should not be bigger than fifty houses each.
3. The Armenian immigrant families should not change houses either for the purposes of travel or transfer.
These Armenians were then killed to create the “new population” according to the “ideal” mix of different ethnic groups.

Results:
Estimates vary between 300,000 (the Turkish claim) and 1.5 million (the Armenian claim) Armenians were killed. The lack of a public prosecution of the organizers behind Armenian Genocide by the Allied powers was said to have largely influenced Nazi Germany’s fascist leader Adolf Hitler on the Jewish Holocaust.

All information presented here was abstracted with minimum editing done from:-
1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

2) http://www.armenian-genocide-lie.com/reasons-behind-armenian-relocation.html

Ancient Greek: Meaning of Love

Affection (storge, στοργη) – a natural love
– fondness through familiarity, especially between family members or people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance.

Friendship (philia, φιλια) – an admiration love
– a strong bond existing between people who share a common interest or activity.

Eros (έρως)– a passionate love
– love in the sense of ‘being in love’.

Charity (agapē, αγαπη) – a sacrificial love
– love directed towards one’s neighbor which does not depend on any lovable qualities that the object of love possesses.

What’s yours?

The greatest sacrificial love that was observed in ancient history was and still is Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross to die for the sin or all mankind. He who was without sin sacrificed for others who were with sin.

UBC Botanical Garden

UBC Botanical Garden totally satisfied my hunger for flowers! Did I tell you how much I love flowers?! And goodness, they have the biggest tulips in the world!!! The petal is almost ¾ the size of my palm!! HUGE!

At the garden, we saw pretty looking flowers with weird names! Ok, the weirdest that we came across was “ Silene Vulgaris Robin Whitebreast”. Goodness! It’s a lovely plant but they made it sound so bad! Silent vulgarities together with Mr Robin Whitebreast?

After walking for so long, we laid our mat and had our picnic again! Ate donuts and prawn crackers, read Cosmopolitan and simply lazed around!

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The End is the Beginning

Yahooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve finished my EXAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOHOOO!!!!! WOOO WOOO WOOO WOOO!!!!

This is the only time I can shout after my exams because of the quiet /silent time system they had in our hostel!

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For those who do not know, this system was introduced in the beginning of the exam week and really is just about keeping quiet or absolute silence 24/7.

Went to botanical gardens today! Uploading the photos soon!

Frappuccino vs Strategic Management

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I’ve decided not to sleep tomorrow to study for my last exam! Strategic Management! Even though I believe that if I concentrate on my studying today and tomorrow I would be able to read most of the required readings. However, looking at the speed of my performance today, I guess not.

My laptop is such a huge distraction! I kept reading blogs, writing blogs, surfing online for my upcoming-long awaited-BIG TRIP. Wahaha… Called Dawn after dinner to help me get coffee from supermarket in preparation for my long night tomorrow! That lucky girl went cycling at Stanley Park!She finished her exam on the 16th! Haha!

Thanks Dawn for the Starbucks Frappuccino! And I will join you soon! Hehe… 1 ½ more days…

Wish me luck!

Tan Si Lin Serene

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The lady at the cashier of Vanier Café said, “Thank you Serene. What a beautiful name.” [They knew our name because we are using our meal plan card.]

Serene? Nice meh! Common name I would say. Everyone in Singapore is called Serene! Ok not everyone, but we know Serene is such a common name!! Nice meh! Hmm, the only thing I can think of is Serenity… which means peace and quiet… so not me!

That’s not enough. Serene is common. Tan is very common. Serene Tan is extremely common. Tan Si Lin Serene! OMG, soooo common. I started googling for “Tan Si Lin Serene” and wala! Surprise surprise! Tan Si Lin Serene is not that common! Tan Si Ling Serene is more common!! Hehe… Then I found me! Hehe… I exist! Yes! That’s me!! Happy happy!

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Note: Please bear with me. I’m really bored. Totally not in the mood to study for my last exam on Monday. Strategic management. URGH

A Snippet of Dictionary : “Damn”

Ever wonder what “damn” actually means? I was studying Consumer Behavior when I came across the word “damnation”.

From Oxford Dictionary
Damn – v. 1. Curse 2. Doom to hell 3. Condemn …..
Damnation – n. eternal punishment in hell – int. expressing anger

This is the seriousness and true meaning of “damn”. Do we really want “it” to be condemned, cursed or perished in eternal flames? I doubt so.

Moral of the story:
Don’t use “damn it” so lightly! Use words like, “Shit it!” [That sounds weird], “*@#&#*!!!?#*#” [Ok, that’s not a word.] or whatever. [I can’t think of other words to replace it.]

***You realized how bored I was studying for Consumer Behavior. URGH

Weigh-ing Ma-chine

Me:

Hi. Do you have a weighing machine here?  

Counter staff:

?? [Blank look] Raining machine??

raining.jpg machine.jpg

Me:

Er no. Weigh-ing ma-chine

Counter staff:

[Blank look]

Me:

You know, the machine that you weigh things??

Counter staff:

Weighing Scale! She wants a scale!

 scale.jpg

Me:

Er, yes… a scale…

[Stupid Singaporean, how can it be a machine??? It’s a scale! Hello!! Why did our primary school teacher tells us that it’s a machine?? Why??]

 

**Before you start pondering why on earth do I need a weighing scale, I’ve not put on weights![At least that’s what I believe even though I’ve got no courage to step on to that “machine” yet.] That “machine is for my luggage!

The Silent Killer

The thing I hate about insects is the way they “bug” you when you did nothing to them. Flying into my room, flying around me, flying onto my precious stuffs like my BED! I thought I’ve got rid of the moth incidents when I tried to kill one of them (the first one) the other time in vain. I even MSN Joel and get him down to kill the moth! But it mysteriously disappeared when he was here. After that fateful incident, I saw moth again!! “It” tried to come into my room by banging against the window a couple of times!! Gross! Just a few minutes ago, I had another battle with another moth! URGH! This time round the moth “walk over” the battle!

Some strategies I used were…
(a) Open the door and squad down like a squirrel. Hoping it will make its way out. Of course it doesn’t work! What was I thinking!!
(b) Tried the above mentioned method and off the lights in the room. Hoping it will be attracted by the brightly lighted corridors and make its way out. URGH. It doesn’t work too.
(c) Try using my bright orange Giodarno umbrella and knock some sense into the puny brain of that moth. [Do insects have brain?] Yap, this time it worked! The moth got hit by me [I’m good! Hit its brain!] and stupidity kills the moth. I didn’t kill it! After being semi-conscious with my mighty hit! It flew right into my light! And within 2.7 seconds of struggling it got killed! Yes! The light bulb did it! The silent killer!! 

I think that’s also the reason behind the unsolved mysterious disappearance act by the first moth mentioned earlier! There, in the glass casing of the lights, laid many dead bodies of insects! [What do you call dead animals? Not corpses, but something else. I can’t remember.] All kinds! Some with skinny wings while others with fat wings. URGH!!! I HATE INSECTS!!!! ALL KINDS!!! GROSS!!! And I’ve got a killing field for moth in my room!!! HELP!!!

gross moth

Announcement: Termination of Phone Line in Vancouver

I will not be adding any credits to my prepaid card for my cell phone anymore.

Therefore, if you guys need to contact me, you can
(a) SMS/Call me at my Singapore cell phone number 9431 XXXX
(b) Email/MSN me if it’s not urgent at “XXXXXXXX@hotmail.com”
(c) Don’t bother contacting me

This will take effect on 15th April 2007 11:59 (Vancouver time).

Val: We have to come up with a strategy on “How-to-contact-Val” at LA with the least costs incurred.

Jason: Baby, you can SMS me to my phone at local rates! No excuse now for not SMS me. I will probably reply via M1 Internet message

Mum & Sister: Sista, please inform mum about this news, and you can SMS me too!

Chocolat et Vin

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Accompanying me in this lonesome night was “consumer behaviour” readings. I thought that’s how my lonely night will end. Till Joel came knocking on my door. “Hey! We are having a party at Dawn’s room!” “Huh???”

Shaun [Dawn’s boyfriend from France was here. Yes, he’s literary from France. But he’s not French. Haha. Singapore-an la! Exchange exchange!], he brought us nice rose vin [wine] and chocolat from La France! Fattening? Yes! Guilty? No! Delicacies!!!!

To Jason: Mon amour. Vous êtes à mon coeur. Dans mon esprit. Jamais une fois loin. Vous. Mon aimé. Mon coeur aspire à toi. Mon esprit s’ennuie de toi. O, mon amour.

Baby this message is for you. Interestingly, I used the Goggle translator to translate from English to French and the above passage was shown. Just to be sure of the message when I translate it back into English. This was what it shown. 

French to English:
My love. You are in my heart. In my spirit. Never once far. You. My liked. My heart aspires to you. My spirit is bored of you. O, my love.

My goodness!!! Translator suck! What I typed was…

What I typed:
My love. You are in my heart. In my mind. Never once away. You. My beloved. My heart yearns for you. My mind misses you. O, my love.

I am so not bored of you baby! Hehe….

Boredom resulted in the act of silliness.

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We were so bored yesterday and thus decided to head down to True Confections for cakes and teas. It was “Yumi-licious”! After having such fulfilling desserts, we head back to Vanier for “Picnic under the stars” at 12 am! Ate pizza and sat in the cold while having heart-to-heart sharing about our opinions on gender differences, sexual issues, marriages and relationships. It’s interesting to hear different views from the guys about these “sensitive” topics. The sharing went on so smoothly as though we were having a camp in our secondary school days. We ended up clearing the site at 3 am! Haha…

Note: Baby guess which cake did I pick? Hehe

Tennis + Serene = …

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It’s the second time that I’m playing tennis! It made me realize that I’m so not a “tennis material” from my coach Sharon and “ball-boy” Beniah!

Comments like
(1) Your posture is a bit weird
(2) Too stiff
(3) Lim-bei lim-bei [New inserts: “According to Jason, this means your father. What I’m trying to say is Lembeh = weak! Definitely nothing to do with your father and I’m not trying to be offensive here. World Peace!”] 
(4) Lock your wrists
(5) Eh…. Your posture looks like playing badminton
(6) React react …etc etc. hahaha

Despite my above mentioned flaws we had lots of fun!

Stop Abortion!

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Millions of babies – 41 million, according to one estimate – are being slaughtered every year through abortion and the world is turning a blind eye to this truth.

People were protesting and handing out leaflets in UBC to bring attention to this awakening truth. What is wrong with people’s value system in today’s society? Everyone likes the freedom to choose. But what if our choices harm other human beings?

BEP End-of-the-Year SOCIAL EVENT

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A farewell dinner Sauder Business School had for us. Free burgers and beers! The wonder of free stuffs!

Even though most of my Tabeem friends feel kind of sad that our exchange program is coming to an end, I am actually looking forward to it! After the exams, I’ll meet my mum and my boyfriend! And I’ll be starting on my grand tour and splurging my money on shopping instead of the current frugal life I’m living. Here I come Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Montréal, Toronto and some other small little towns! YEAH!! Even though it means that there wouldn’t be any intern positions left for me, I believe I’m making the right choice.

“Shopaholic Takes Manhattan”

shopaholic takes manhattan

Read “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” by Sophia Kensella during the weekend and actually finished reading it in 2 days! Wow! When was the last time I can actually sit back and read something I like?? Perhaps one or two years back? Way before the hectic life in NUS. To me, it’s satisfying when one can choose not to study and do things he/she enjoys. [Not that I hate studying! Haha] Me, as a late adopter (This book was out in 2001!) only started browsing through fictions at the bookstore recently and chance upon this interesting title. I like her “chic” style of writing. It gives some interesting insights of how shopping in New York can be totally crazy! I’m so going to read her other titles! Totally love it!