Friday, 30 May 2008

Sichuan Earthquake

To the shock of the world, an earthquake measured 7.9 hit Sichuan province on 12th May 2008.

I myself have received quite a number of emails on the earthquake. Below shows one of them about the great love of a mother:

" When rescuers found her, she was already dead, crushed by the collapsed house. Through gaps in the rubbles, they could see her posture.

Kneeling on both knees, her entire upper body bent forward, held up by her two hands pressed against the ground, as if performing the ceremonial bow in an ancient ritual. Except, her body had been compressed out of shape and looked somewhat eerie.

A rescuer extended his hand through a gap and confirmed her death. He called out to her, and tapped on the bricks with his shaft, but received no response.

As the team walked toward next building, the squad leader suddenly turned back, yelling as he ran, 'Come quick!' He came to her remain, labored to maneuver his hand under her body, searching.

He called out following some rummaging, 'There's someone, a child, still alive.'

With some effort, rescuers carefully removed the debris burying her, found her child lying beneath her, bundled in a little red blanket decorated with yellow flower prints. He was about 3-4 months old.

Shielded by his mother's body , he was totally unharmed, sleeping peacefully as he was brought out. His soundly asleep face warmed the hearts of all rescuers on the scene.

As the rescue team's doctor unbundled the blanket to examine the baby, he discovered a mobile phone tucked into the blanket. He subconsciously looked at the display, found there was a SMS message.

My Dear Baby, If you were to stay alive, you must remember that I love you.' No stranger to the pain and sorrow brought by death, the doctor nonetheless wept at this moment. The cell phone was passed around, every person who read the message wept. "

The world is reaching out to the earthquake survivors. In Malaysia for example, there has been a lot of fund raising activities going on. From this disaster, we see the warmth and sympathy in the people. There is this chinese slogan in Malaysia: "di(4) zhen(4) wu(2) qing(2), da(4) ma(3) you(3) ai(4). Translated into English, it means "Earthquake shows no mercy, but Malaysia contains love."

I would like to dedicate what follows to the earthquake survivors:

Yes, earthquake had taken your loved ones. Seemingly, it devastated your life. But then, look at those who sacrificed their lives to save yours. The mother in the email above had sacrificed herself to shield her baby. And many teachers also did the same to their students. Their sacrifices were indeed great.

So, the survivors should all the more walk out of the darkness in lives. See hope in your future. The tragedy has already occurred. There's no use looking back and being haunted by the traumatic experience. Those killed by the earthquakes do not wish to see you spiritless. So, get up and go on with life.

The damage done to your heart and soul may not be understood by us, the third parties. But we do feel sad. We cried too. And please, bear in mind that we are here to support you not only financially, but also morally. We pray for you. We pray that you are blessed with the strength, courage and resilience to recover from the experience. Yes, this will be over soon. You will rebuild your life. You will see a bright future awaiting you ahead. This is going to come true as long as you do not give up. I have mentioned this in my previous posts: There is always rainbows after rains, and spring after every winter.

Again, the world is praying for you. You have survived through the toughest time during the earthquake. Whatever hardships that come in your way is not going to deter you. It takes some time to mend a broken heart. All the best!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Enjoy life!

Have you ever been on a roller-coaster? If you answered yes, how did you feel when the roller-coaster went up and down at a high speed? After all the yelling and nervousness, if there's any, did you enjoy yourself with this exciting outdoor activity?

It's good if you give a resounding "YES" to this question.

Yea, we enjoy ourselves going up and down the roller-coaster. We shout our hearts out, raise our hands high in the air and hope to ride on it again.

Now, here's my question, if we can enjoy going on the roller-coaster, why can't we enjoy going through the ups and downs in life? Living life is like going on a roller-coaster.

Life is difficult. We have to confront everyday challenges and problems. No matter how tough the going gets, we have to get going. It's us-no one else-who will decide and impact on our very own lives. This may be a harsh reality, but it's absolutely true.

With the world becoming more and more competent, life is now getting more difficult. Some people among us, may be under so great strain and pressure that their mind pop up with suicidal thought. This is undoubtedly true - suicidal thought flashes through people's minds as a strong overwhelming negative thought.

But then, the fact is, committing suicide is not the way out. It's just a means of escaping responsibility and an indicator that the suicide victim is a coward who has no guts to face his or her life.

In face of adversity, why not stay cool and relaxed and enjoy the process of overcoming obstacles? It is a process of turning every adversities into opportunities.

Just like when we are sailing, we may be challenged by mountainous waves. Instead of grieving over and blaming the destiny, we should by all means enjoy the process of sailing through the sea of waves. And let's not forget that a calm sea always await us after we got through the strong waves.

>>> >>>

We can never change the fact. But we can always change our perceptions and attitudes. If we can learn to enjoy overcoming life's stumbling blocks, we will be the eventual winner in our own life. Remember, problems will stay if left unsolved. But they will definitely pass if we work them out.

So, enjoy life!

Below shows an e-card about life.

Send this eCard !

Ps: To those on the verge of committing suicide, think rationally. We have yet to see and enjoy many beautiful things in this world.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Just some thoughts

To be able to grasp what I am trying to deliver in this blog post, you guys need to acquire some knowledge in biology. Precisely, knowledge about the mechanism of protein synthesis in our body.

Just a warning in advance - You may be bored by the following.

I am going from protein to amino acids in descending order. Protein is made up of one or more polypeptides. A polypeptide is in turn made up by many amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. And the information used to synthesis proteins is coded in the DNA molecules. One gene will code for one polypeptide, as stated by the 'one-gene-one-polypeptide' theory.

Different combinations of amino acids result in different polypeptides. Thus, the position of each amino acids in the polypeptide chain is of utmost importance to ensure that a protein molecule can carry out its function.

Then, we proceed to the DNA part. The codes for the polypeptide are organised in triplet code form in the DNA. Each triplet code will be copied into a messenger (with the role of a postman), mRNA to be translated into amino acids. Once the wrong amino acid is placed on the polypeptide chain, the protein is not functional. In other words, if the codes are copied wrongly into the mRNA, the resulting protein would not be functional because it is the codes in the mRNA that code for the amino acids.

Now, you know the triplet codes (called codons) in the mRNA code for one amino acid. For instance, the code AUG codes for amino acid methionine. AGU codes for serine. In total, we have 20 amino acids. And we also have four bases that form all those codes. Using permutation, there are (4*4*4=64) probabilities of triplet codes that can be formed. 64 triplet codes code for 20 amino acids. How come?

Here comes the moral of the story, God has deliberately allowed several triplet codes to code for the same amino acid. The same amino acid can be coded in a few different codes. This reduces the incidence of mistakes that the enzyme makes during the copying process from DNA to mRNA. For your information, it's enzymes that catalyse the copying process.

This is what my teacher said - even enzyme would make mistakes in spite of their high specificity. Would we never ever make mistakes in lives?

We are human. We are not God. God does not make mistakes. But we absolutely make mistakes at times, even enzymes are not exceptional.

Our mistake might cost us deep sorrow. Our mistake might cost us great change in our life. Our mistake might cost us tremendous problems.

We are definitely unable to turn back time to undo the mistakes we did. More often than not, when we have committed a mistake, we would say, "How I wish I have the ability to undo mistakes." We would regret the mistakes we did. We would keep throwing in hundreds and hundreds of words of apology to the person concerned.

But the harsh reality is, we can't undo the thing we did.

Instead of regretting and crying over our mistakes, why not we take a deep breath, reorganise our tangled thought and untie the knot in our heart to accept the reality and admit our mistakes? I have read a book. The author teaches the us to shoulder 100% responsibility for our lives and our mistakes.

It doesn't matter to have done a mistake. But it does matter not to admit our mistakes.

We learn from mistakes. This is parts of the growing process. Do not cry over spilt milks. Learn your lessons then and do something to mend the broken heart.

Keep going!

p/s: What matters is not being perfect and never committing mistakes. We can never reach perfectionism. Learn form mistakes. That's what counts.

Friday, 2 May 2008

I might just save lives

This is gonna be interesting.

What do you think about this blog post title?

You are rest assured, I did not do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a girl. Even if I want to, I am just not in a position to do it. I am not a qualified first-aider. But if I have an opportunity to learn first-aid, I'll go for it. And I do feel a bit sorry for not joining St. John Ambulance during my secondary school years. And I would regret that in future when I see a girl passing out in front of me and I am not able to give her the immediate CPR she would want.

I would have just missed the great opportunity to meet my Miss Right. :P

And she would have just missed the opportunity to meet her Mr Right - that's me! :XD


Fine, I do not know how to carry out CPR. But then, I might still save lives. Guess what, I have just donated 450ml of my blood to Pusat Darah Negara in April.

The blood donation campaign was carried out in the school hall. The venue was great, but not the response this campaign received. But then, we have a rightful justification for the so-so response. Most of the students are not eligible to donate their blood. If I am not mistaken, only those aged 17 and above can donate their blood. I am sure that most of the sixth-formers, if not all of them do fulfill the age requirement. But then, the number of sixth-formers is not quite encouraging.

Anyhow, Leo Club had done their part to blossom success in the campaign. Announcement had been made, representatives had been sent to the classes to seek potential blood donors.

In fact, it's the Leos' who kept me company when I was lying on the bed, donating blood. A Leo member talked to me to distract my attention from the tube to be inserted into my vein. As luck would have it, it's a guy. In spite of the gender not of my preference, I do want to thank him for his great services. He fanned me throughout the entire process. Should some of you not know the process, the blood donors have to hold something, preferably of cylindrical shape in their hands. And they are asked to voluntarily contract and relax their biceps muscle while holding the cylinders in hand. This, I suppose is to increase the blood flow to the muscle and thus the blood vein so that more blood can into the blood pack at a higher rate.

Besides the Leo member, there was this auntie that lied on a bed next to mine. She talked to me and assure me that donating blood is a very meaningful and beneficial activity to us.

To be frank, I was initially quite nervous about the pain I would get. But then, probably the will and the strong desire to help people won over the fear in me. It has always been my dream to reach out to the sick. If then I am not even able to endure the small pain - in fact it's no pain at all - to help the sick, what position am I in to consider being a doctor saving lives? I am far away from being a doctor, but at least I could do my bit to help save lives.

In fact, the nearly negligible pain I got is absolutely incomparable to the pain an accident victim would experience.

How am I supposed to compare the pains and sufferings of a leukemic patient with the mere tingling pain I got?

If you insist on a comparison between the two different pains, I would draw an analogy between a mere human being with the expanding, mysterious cosmic universe.

I know very well that me alone can do very little contributions to save lives. But at least I have conquered my fear and taken the initiate to help save lives. And I really feel the satisfaction of giving.

Who knows, as you are reading through the lines, my blood is being transfused into a girl's bloodstream. She might just have escaped the fate of death in the nick of time. If this does transpire, I would be looking forward to meeting her in future. But only God knows whether or not we'll see each other.

Again, who knows, she might just be my Miss Right.

P/S: Donating blood not only benefits other people, but also the blood donors themselves. Blood donors are given priority for blood transfusion in case any serious blood loss happens to them. Do consider donating your blood when you have such opportunity.