Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year Eve 2012

One more day till 2013.
It always feels exciting to be able to live another year.
Everyone is one year older,
Hopefully one year wiser,
One year happier.

I am having one of the best time of my life right now with a bunch of humble pies :)

Today calls for make-up!! I rarely wear them. But, today is a rare occasion.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, 30 December 2012


I made scones today. I had it with the extra cream cheese I had left after baking cheesecake for christmas. The combination of fresh scones with cream cheese was amazingly divine.

I like making things in the kitchen and giving it to a few of my friends to eat too.
Unfortunately, one of my friend has never heard of scones and therefore did not know how to spell it. He posted on facebook a picture of me, mispelt scones and I laughed so hard till I teared. At least he did not think it was called Stones!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day in Glasgow

What I did on Boxing Day??

First, I walked to Nando's at St Enoch. I had to wait 45 minutes for a table. Upon being  seated, I waited for 15 minutes for someone to take my orders. Later on, I only realised I had to place my orders at the cashier. I had the Full Platter, which was one whole chicken with large fries and large portion of garlic bread. Three people, one Full Platter of Extra Spicy Peri-Peri Nando's Chicken. We were very very satisfied. Compared to Malaysia's Nando's, Glasgow's Nando's was so much better. The sauce in both countries taste the same, but the chicken in Glasgow was definitely meatier and bigger. I banned Nando's in Malaysia as the meal was always not satisfying due to the disproportional meal size vs the price. We were so full when we finished our lunch at 1pm until we did not need dinner at all.

After lunch, we went to Carphone Warehouse and then Primark. Bought nothing. Then we decided we'd rather be at home. So, we went home.

The end of my Boxing Day  :)

R 1

Monday, 17 December 2012

Mayan forecast

Here is a picture I found about the Mayan forecast. So many people are worried that 21st Dec would be disastrous. I was told by a friend to buy extra water to keep, buy batteries and torch light amd stock up on food. People are saying that there will be no sunlight for three whole days, which means it will be freezing cold here. I remember last time when it was too cold in New York i think, the water pipes were frozen amd so some people did not have water supplies. How true is the Mayan? NASA says nothing will happen. Wikipedia says it is just a change of the era where some countries might be affected due to tsunami and earthquakes.

Latest news I read in Yahoo! Says that Malaysia will have medium sized earthquakes in the near future. Those affected would be the places which has felt tremors before. Previously, small earthquakes and tremors were know to cause damage to our country's building structure. Therefore, a medium earthquake might cause major destruction as our buildings are not earthquake safe.

Predictions - u wanna believe it and yet you also dont want to....

Half the world is probably stocking up for safety while the other half go on with their lives not fretting about THE day.

For me, I have chocolates :p

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Scottish Highland Cows (Cattle) @ Pollock Country Park

This trip was perfect because the temperature was 7 degree Celcius and it did not rain. After experiencing minus 6 degrees for two days, 7 degrees felt like nothing. We walked so much in the park till halfway through I was walking without my jacket on.

This trip was perfect ALSO because I had the chance to see Highland Cows! First of all, I would like to say that if I did not follow the tour, I would think that I will just be in Pollock Country House visiting the museums and the famous maze. I would not have found the Highland cattle because we needed to walk further up to see it. There were two museums in this park which I did not visit.

The first farmland we walked by had Highland cows but the cows were really far away. The tour guide thought this would be the only chance we would get to see the cows, hence he directed us to trudge through some muddy undeveloped farmland near to where the cows were, in hopes of us getting a closer look at the cows. There were plenty of thin branches with sharp tiny torns. Thank god for jackets and long pants. I could hear the torns scratching (or maybe tearing) my pants as I walked through the path. I think someone once came to this place to poop a I saw a pile of it.

We could go no further as there was a river between us and the farm. We took shots of the cows from where we were. Very tiny shots.

When we were back on the main road of the park, we walked further up and lol behold, we saw another farmland with Highland cows right in front of our face. We spent a good 30 minutes or so just looking and snapping pictures of the cows.

The Highland cows looked so peaceful with no worries in the world. They did not moo at all. They hardly budge from their spot except one which came closer to us. The horns on them makes them look fierce like bulls, but they were really gentle. They have cool hairstyles too :P

Besides the cows, we also saw this huge tree believed to look like that due to a witch curse.

On the way back to the train station, I saw a set of teeth (i an guessing false teeth) in front of the Pollock Park sign board. It was intriguing but disgusting at the same time. Anything other than that, the park was fantastic.

I met some elves and horses wearing Santa hats too.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Losing your child....

... Make grown men weep too!

So painful to know each kid was shot more than once.

Today we start to see the pictures of smiling six and seven year olds who could go no further in life

Newtown shooting

Feels so sad to read about the scary incident.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Miss Universe 2012 - Frontrunners

I read from Yahoo! that the Miss Universe Pageant this year will be held on 19th Dec in Las Vegas. They compiled a top 10 list of 'Early Frontrunners' and I must say, some of them looked really gorgeous. Our Miss Malaysia 2012, Kimberley Leggett is one of the top 10. Truthfully, she does not look Malaysian eventhough she is a Malaysian due to her mix parentage. But, I guess if that is what it takes to try to win the Miss Universe title.... that will do. The list:

Miss Malaysia 2012, Kimberley Legget

Miss Puerto Rico 2012, Bodine Koehler

Miss South Africa 2012, Melinda Bam

Miss Colombia 2012, Daniella Álvarez Vasquez

Miss Universe South Africa 2012, Melinda Bam

MissMiss Universe Ecuador 2012, Carolina Andrea Aguirre Pérez

Miss Universe Poland 2012, Marcelina Zawadzka

Miss Universe Venezuela 2012, Irene Sofiá Esser Quintero

Miss Universe Australia 2012, Renae Ayris

Miss Universe Philippines 2012, Janine Tugonon

Miss Universe Croatia 2012, Elizabeta Burg

Non-biological twins

I read an article saying that Everybody has a twin. While reading it, I thought the pictures were amazing and it was pretty cool to have a twin. In my mind I thought, they would be bestfriends! But when I finished reading the article, I recalled a time back in high school when I had a schoolmate who looked like me. Well, at least that was what most people said. I remember resenting having someone who looked like me. I avoided her like a plaque. I did not want to get to know her at all. We may look alike, but we do not have the same character. Generally, people's assumption when there are twins is that, they behave the same way and like the same things. Ask me again why I detested knowing that I had a lookalike - I do not know. Maybe its like having another girl wear the same dress like you at a party and you thought your dress was the prettiest until she wore it too??!!

But, of course, NOW I think it is cool to find out that you have a non-biological twin. Just do not expect them to be best of friends. See more pictures here: DAILYMAILUK

Thursday, 13 December 2012


It's a fabulous name: "Leviticus".  Sounds like an extra from the Life of Brian - perhaps a Centurion colleague of Biggus Dickus.  It's the third book of the Old Testament and it actually means "relating to the Levites" (the priestly Hebrew tribe).  Its very name has that Old Testament awe and divine "smite them" power about it.

We all presumably know the two passages most quoted from Leviticus:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination (18:22);

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (20:13). 
Why do we know these passages?  Because they are routinely trotted out by homophobes, predominantly traditional or evangelical Christians as proof of the "sinfulness" of gay people.  I have seen Norwich Reform Church* Members picketing Norwich Pride handing out leaflets based on the text to young gay and lesbian people.  The leaflets state that faithful marriages are the best way of countering Aids (along with wearing modest clothes), that homosexuality is a "perverted and degrading violation of normal human relationships" and that gay people must "repent".  They also say that the "medical, social and emotional consequences militate against the legalisation of homosexuality at any age".  Yup: they'd like to make homosexuality entirely illegal for all people in Britain, based on their reading of the Bible.

What we also (hopefully) know is the fabulous selectiveness with which the two passages are quoted.  They are part of the "Holiness Code" that was allegedly passed down by God, via Moses, to the Children of Israel.  My understanding is that they are a set of rules by which Biblical Jews should lead their lives.  There is a lot of scholarly debate about their applicability today, given that the Levitical priesthood and rules for animal sacrifice which are covered by them ended two thousand years ago, in AD 70, with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.

Here's a lovely link to a post by @jamesrbuk that sets out some of the things that Leviticus bans: yes, it covers eating (or touching) a pig, eating shell food, trimming your beard, selling land permanently, wearing clothes with mixed fibres, having a tattoo, picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard, reaping to the edge of your field, eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it, etc. etc.

"Protestors point out: We Can Quote the Bible Too"
The point has been made a million times, but it's worth emphasising.  When Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are quoted to justify denying LGBT people rights, where is all the outrage about Christians tucking into a prawn cocktail in their local Indian restaurant?  Why aren't people out holding placards calling for the death of non-virgins?  If you're going to live your life by the letter of this stuff (or more to the point tell others they should do so) then adopt all of it, not just the bits that suit your prejudices.

My former boss, a devout Orthodox Jew, was quite straightforward in his analysis: the Holiness Code is a set of rules for Jews.  What we "goyim" (non-Jews) do is absolutely no concern of his.  His job is lead his life following the rules of the Old Testament, which included tolerance and compassion to all people.  He certainly extended a kindness and liberality to me which plenty of Christians could learn from.


The selectivity of quoting the above passages is gob-smacking.  It does not, of course, just extend to Leviticus.  Those who feel the need, frequently choose other passages of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) to justify their views, prejudices and sometimes hatred.  The Dutch Reform Church in South Africa based its support of Apartheid on the Bible and only felt the need to apologise in 1992. Clearly a lot comes down to how you interpret Biblical passages and this changes over time.  It is also subject to human fallibility and disagreement (the World Council of Churches expelled the South African church because they did not accept the biblical justification to treat black people as inferior, for example.)

Much more recently, the Tory MP for South West Bedforshire was quoted this week in the Guardian as follows:

This is quite fabulous.  Selous is of course talking about moves to legalise same-sex marriage.  One of the passages he selectively quotes from, Mark 10, goes on to set out Jesus' views on divorce:
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
We remind ourselves of the fact that the Church of England was set up to facilitate the divorce by Henry VIII of his wife, Katherine of Aragon, in order to marry Anne Boyeln.  Remarriage is adultery and to allow divorce is "directly contrary to what Jesus said."

There is no doubt Selous is a devout Christian.  He is a trustee of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and sits on the group "Prayers for Parliament".  This group asserts that "the real power to change this land rests not in 10 Downing Street or in the Palace of Westminster.  It rests wherever you bow your head in prayer to the Almighty God who is sovereign over all."  He voted for Nadine Dorries' anti-abortion bill in 2011, voted to reduce the abortion limit to 12 weeks, and voted against the abolition of the crime of blasphemy, both in 2008.  It is not known, however, whether he enjoys prawn cocktails.

We also do not know what Tories like Selous think of passages like Matthew 19:24:
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
If we are going to change the land based on the Bible, this is a fairly powerful and little passage.  There's not much arguing against what it is saying.  How about a private member's bill from a Christian Tory MP to introduce an income tax of 90% on investment income, guys?  We need to save those rich people's souls and get them into the kingdom of God after all.

Nor can we say too much about Acts 4.32-35 which seems to be advocating in really quite clear terms an extreme form of socialism.  Anyone for that? Conservative Christian Fellowship?  No?  Oh.
You get the point.  I could go on and on if I wanted to.  The use of the Bible by people such as the Norwich Reformed Church or Andrew Selous MP is selective, manipulative and disingenuous.  They themselves do not lead their lives by the strict (and often contradictory commandments) of the Old and New Testaments, but they will choose passages from both to tell other people how they should lead their lives and to seek to prevent them from having the sames rights that they do.

Reform, Liberal and Masorti Judaism

The Reform and Liberal synagogues have clearly stated that they wish to marry same-sex couples in the eyes of God.  They have already been doing so for some time in the United States.  Remarkably, today, the Masorti ("traditional") synagogue movement in the UK hinted that it too might join them.  Masorti is the broad equivalent of the American Conservative Judaism movement.

If it does so, we have a really interesting triple whammy of three Jewish movements in this country wanting to marry same-sex couples.  It is wonderful, not just for the LGBT members of these synagogues who wish to marry, but because it is a massive slap in the face to the traditionalist and evangelical Christians who use the Old Testament Leviticus rules to justify their homophobia.  As I understand it, the theology behind the acceptance by the synagogues of same-sex marriage is that the Torah is a living book and set of commandments: it should not be taken to be rigid code that never changes.

Leviticus is undeniably a set of rules by which Jews seek to lead their lives: these are THEIR rules.  If three synagogue movements have studied them (Judaism is really quite good at this type of thing) and say it's okay by them in 2012 for gay people to get married (and even have sex without being put to death!), that really should be quite significant for anyone who believes in these things.  I don't see how bigoted Christians can keep banging on in the same way they have in the light of this.

Why am I getting into all this?

And on that last note, I just want to emphasise one thing.  The position of these Synagogues  is significant for "anyone who believes in these things".   I'm no theologian but I can recognise the highly selective and debatable use of Biblical passages.  I can chuck back the snippets I know and quite easily pick logical faults in the likes of Andrew Selous MP's arguments.  However, why am I even doing so?

Religion is in steady, dramatic and seemingly irreversible decline in this country.   This piece in the Guardian sets it out well  Fewer than 1 in 10 people who even says they are a Christian has been to church in the past week.  Even the Telegraph is under no illusions: the Church of England risks being wiped out.  WHY, frankly, is any MP in a highly secular country seeking to deny me my basic civic right to marry, in 2012, based on a passage of the Bible that he happens to believe in?

I am an atheist who believes that aspects of the Bible give us extremely powerful moral guidance.  Seen as a whole ("What would Jesus do?") I have no doubt it can offer wonderful, compassionate, loving and inspiring direction.  I also believe, though, that these qualities can exist just as well in people who do not believe in a deity, and that frequently atheists can be more "Christ like" in their deeds than some so-called Christians. 

The purpose of this post is not to bash all Christians or to mock their belief.  What it seeks to do is to highlight the problems of using the Bible as your bible.  Mixing your literal application of faith with law making is fraught with problems, particularly given the fact that faith is inherently open to differing interpretation over time, and the situation is made worse when there is selective quoting.  Of course some MPs will be guided by their Christian faith in the decisions they make.  If they think that their interpretation of this faith speaks for the country at large (or even for all Christians), or they "quote" it as the main reason to deny people rights of itself, however, I believe they are making a mistake.


The next time some wise-arse quotes Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13 at you and says that the Bible makes clear homosexuality is a sin, hand them a bacon sarnie and point them in the direction of this blog post.  Their argument is flawed from start to finish.  And they shouldn't wear poly-cotton.  Not because of Leviticus, but because it doesn't breathe half as well.

The tattoo refers to the Leviticus "ban" on homosexual acts

* For the avoidance of doubt, the NRC is not affiliated to the much more inclusive and open United Reform Church.

My New Year Resolution for 2013

My New Year Resolution for 2013 is to turn back the clock to look like the picture below again. That was the time when fried chicken was a no-no, I was active in gym and danced a lot... Which I haven't done much of since I started university......

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Jolly season 2

Ok, this picture looks more jolly than the previous one. It felt joyful maybe because of the christmas songs I was listening to. Those songs never grow old! the photo was taken to show the things I used to block out the fire alarm ringing as it was testing day and it rang on and off about 30 times today. It was too cold to leave the house!

19 People Who Are Having a Worse Day Than You


After reading that, Yup, My day was definitely much better. ;)

Life itself

Bad things do happen;

how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life.

I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness,

immobilized by the gravity of my loss,

or I can choose to rise from the pain

and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Jolly season

Alexandra Park, Glasgow

Of late, I have been an avid follower of tours organised by Gary from Student Tours Scotland. I was impressed with the knowledge I gained from the first trip I had with him. In my opinion, following a tour like this gives me a greater insight to the reason why buildings were built or why was a statue placed at that particular place. This kind of history lesson, I do not mind listening to :) Furthermore, the tours were priced reasonably.

Today, we had a walking trip to Denistoun and Alexandra Park. I asked a few others to come along on the tour but they laughed it off because Denistoun is so near where we live. But, I am glad I went. It was a free of charge walking tour. The tour started at GOMA, the meeting point. Since my friends and I were there early, we went inside GOMA to have a look.

After looking at the art pieces on the first floor, I can conclude that I did not appreciate those type of art. My thoughts: How can these be art?? *The ones I took pictures of were decent enough. There were other unimpressive ones* GOMA's library was not too bad. The library membership is free and we get to borrow books!

After 20 minutes, we met up with the rest of the tour outside the museum. Gary gave a brief run through of what we were doing for the day. Initially, the walk was suppose to include the Glasgow Necropolis. But, it was a good thing it was cancelled as it was dark already by the time we walked back from Alexandra Park. I definitely do not want to be walking around in a cemetery at night.

The walk to Alexandra Park took about 30 minutes. Quite a long walk but good thing the weather was decent. We passed through Dennistoun with their rows of houses. Coincidentally, I was actually there yesterday exploring by myself.

Along Duke Street we saw the Tennents Caledonian Academy and its Beer factory. It is a local Scottish beer.

At the entrance of the park there is a huge sign so you cant miss the park.

Because it was winter, the trees at the park had no leaves. It was mostly branches.

By the time we arrived there the sun was setting. There was a fountain with a half frozen pond. We could see ducks and swans there too. There were plenty of them.

So, I had some nice shots of the scenery  The walk was good as the weather was good.

This park was pretty big and I am sure during spring, it would be better. I do look forwards to coming back to Alexandra Park :)