Friday, October 27, 2006

Obese Malaysians

Today, I remembered something in the newspaper I read last week. Sometimes, I have to recall from the recesses of my memory new topics to blog about. Anyhow, the big subject was Malaysians were getting too obese.

Now, I’m thinking, wait a minute. Compared to other societies, especially Americans, are we really that bad off? Certainly we don’t see a lot of Malaysians as fat as this guy.

Still, generalizing based on personal observations, isn’t a great idea. So let’s look at the food Malaysians typically eat compared to food that Americans eat. I’ll list down a few fat related facts from the Men’s Health Magazine August 2004. In this edition, Men’s Health did a study on the nutrition of local food.

I'll compare the local food to the famous McDonald's burger: the Big Mac

For the above, the Big Mac comes in the lowest in calories, among the lowest in fat, and tied for the lowest in cholesterol. In one oustanding case, Char Koay Teow has 4x the amount of cholesterol than in a single Big Mac.

Looking at these facts, one has to conclude we are in a “Stealth” obese society. Heck, Malaysian food doesn’t look fat, I'd probably never guess in my wildest dreams that the Big Mac is healthier than all of the above 5 foods. At least when US people get fat, they know as they hock down steaks, burgers, and what not. These are pretty massive pieces of food they consume.

Here in Malaysia, a couple of plates of Char Koay Teow or Mee Goreng per week, and before you know it; you’ll hit the obese category.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

The New Yahoo! Mail Beta

Last week, I started to use the New Yahoo! Mail Beta. But previously I used something like this:

I know. Why am I sticking with Yahoo, while I could go use Gmail? It definitely puts yahoo mail to shame. Something about Yahoo, I just can’t simply change to Gmail or another base. Or maybe I’m too lazy to shift my main email address.

Anyhow, for those who haven’t tried the New Yahoo! Mail Beta, it’s a sexy looking site.

Well, not exactly sexy in that way, nevertheless, pretty attractive for a web based email. Overall, it’s rather intuitive, especially for outlook users, and for the first time deleting emails doesn’t require checking off and deleting. Just highlight the mail and press the delete key on the keyboard. I don’t know if web mail companies realize this, the old style of checking the box requires a lot of tedious hand to eye coordination.

From what I know, the New Yahoo Beta mail has been in beta for a few months. Initially, some of the reviews said that it was very slow. In the current version, the speed is acceptable, although this depends on the individual’s tolerance. That said, Yahoo Beta mail has good features. And it’s nice enough to overshadow the loading speed for me. Those with slower internet connections, I have no idea how slow it is and thus might have a different opinion of the web-mail.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Richard Branson

I had an interesting conversation with Timothy this past weekend. This involves Mr. Richard Branson, the founder of all that is Virgin. Mr. Branson is Stewie’s most inspirational business hero. The ultimate poster boy of entrepreneurs, this man has been through all depths of hell in the business world and has lived to tell about it. In fact he’s thriving like a plant on “super-gro” fertilizer.

Before I read about Sir Richard Branson, I thought that he was a rather normal businessman. Stereotypically thinking, I presumed that his character was similar to other rich people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. Of course he never did fit that mold. When I finished reading about him, the book destroyed any preconceptions I had.

Let me digress and point out the motivation for entrepreneurship. People sometimes say “I’m doing business for entrepreneurial glory and because I love doing it.” Don’t pay too much attention to that. People do it for the money. It’s the same anywhere, sports, music, etc. In the end, it’s all about the Benjamin’s – the faces on the US dollar. Or in the case of Malaysia, the Zetis – the faces on the RM note. Anyone who says otherwise is lying through his or her teeth. No offense. So anytime someone appears on MTV or Channel V saying “I’m doing singing for the love of music,” just replace music with money; and you’ll have an accurate statement.

As interesting as Branson’s story is, the average person will have trouble following in his footsteps to entrepreneur riches. This man is like an athlete who has some insane talent. Think of the Wayne Rooneys, the Michael Jordans, etc. The truth is most people will never have that kind of talent, so most people can never expect to become fantastic entrepreneurs in the mold of Richard Branson. So what is Richard Branson’s entrepreneurship style? It took me a while to come up with this term, I’ll call it “Run and Gun” entrepreneurism.

So, “Run and Gun” entrepreneurism, exactly why do I say it like that? After reading Branson’s book, How I lost my Virginity, I had this feeling of the wild wild west shoot-em-up movies. A few survive, but most end up dead. People will disagree, but I feel Branson is a bit like this in his book. It’s one of those too good to be true stories. So, Branson is insanely good, lucky, or he told a damn good story. Speculation aside on the accuracy of his autobiography, I believe he’s insanely good. I can’t really argue with his results.

Sometimes, I believe people read this story and immediately say “holy shit, I wanna be just like that guy.” Hopefully, they’ll calm down and realize that jumping into the fighting ring with a guy 5 times your size without a well-planned strategy doesn’t sound like a good idea. I lost count how many times Branson has almost went bust. Surprisingly, he always managed to come back. Most people fall down and never get back up.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hazy Days

These days newspapers have been calling out Indonesia for the haze. Unfortunately, it seems like Indonesia is doing very little. Without a doubt, everyone would like this problem solved. We long for haze-free days.

So thinking positively, I’m offering some solutions. If you can't beat it, make the best of it!

1) Lower the alcohol tax. By lowering this tax, people get will consume more alcohol and forget about the haze. When people are drinking, they tend to forget what kind of air they are breathing.

2) Scream at Indonesia more. Yes, nagging at someone to fix the problem would definitely help, though unfortunately that person might start to resent you. But hey, it gets results. It’s not like they haven’t heard the protests before, or have they?

3) Give a RM15 subsidy for cover charge at clubs. When people are partying, they tend to forget all their problems. In ancient Rome, having big sporting events such as gladiators was a common strategy to keep the masses appeased. So it’s a no brainer that people would take their minds off the haze if their attention was elsewhere.

4) Add the playboy channel to Astro. By adding Playboy to TV channels, people will be less reminded of the haze problem. They will be watching girls skimp around with no clothes on. Usually, people can think only one thought at a time. Certainly they won’t be thinking haze and girls skimping around at the same time.

5) Declare hazy days a national holiday. People happily look forward to hazy days now that they get an off day. What better way to soothe the anger of the public than to have more holidays?

True thse are not real solutions, but what can the common citizen do? So, in ending, I would like to share with you some words from the famous Bob Marley.

“In every life we have some trouble,
when you worry you make it double
don't worry, be happy”

Monday, October 02, 2006

It’s the rainy season

Yes folks, it’s that time of year. I remember it being not so bad the last few years. These days, it seems like the rain just won’t go away. It dampens my spirits. That’s why my blogging has slowed down. Alright, no excuses, I’ve just been plain lazy. Sorry! Heh.

This being the rainy season, it looks to be continuing for quite some time. Thus I have to come up with things to do. Or else, I’ll just be downright depressed. And if anyone else is bored, yeah you can borrow mine! Don’t need to think, just read.

  1. Read past issues of my blog. I’ve got some pretty girls and nice cars. Why not? I admit, though that its a wee bit of a narcasisstic suggestion. smile.
  1. Look at other people’s blog.
  1. Web – This is the most popular Malaysian website as rated by Isn’t a rainy day the perfect time to go and be kaypo on what everyone else is doing? With up notifications of any alterations to the friendster profile, no change goes unnoticed.
  1. Web – If you ever wanted to watch random videos that people put up.
  1. Web – This is a site which I just found out about. It’s pretty nifty. If you haven’t done so, check it out. Tip: Use the search, then it’s smooth sailing.
  1. Sleep. No comment here. I’m thinking this is for rain or shine.
  1. Complete things that have been procrastinating for a long, long time.
  1. Read.

For the girls, since I’m not one, I pulled these ideas off some girls’ suggestions in a forum:

  1. Handicraft: Fingerpaint, Knit,
  2. Bake cakes
  3. Write a journal.
  4. Clean out stuff.
  5. Organize closets and cabinets.
  6. Watch a DVD series (sex in the city, etc.)

Ok, there you have it. Now may your rainy days hopefully be a bit less boring!