Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review: Very Good Lives


Rather than a book review, I would say this as a 'thought after the read' more of Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination. If you have always been thinking you didn't have time to read a book, please - please, check this one out. This iss practically of a length not-a-book, and a message of so-much-more-than-a-book. In fact, you might find the text on-line somewhere because this book is exactly the speech J. K. Rowling gave at a Harvard Commencement. To be able to stand there and give advice to the future generation, that must be something. J. K. Rowling came to me through Harry Potter, when I was still a child who was not very fond of reading and not very good at making friends and finding life not really fitting together. The wizarding world had served as my comfort zone, my emergency blanket during my secondary school years and at the same time, a initial culture, preparing me to understand the real world. Through this so-called virtual world, I learned to understand human, I learned what it means - life. And this convinced me Rowling had a set of good life principle. In fact, I find her way of life interesting, not all perfect, but not all bad - and that's where we can learn from. In this book/speech, Rowling gave a few advice through her own life experiences.

Here are a few quotes I find moving, among a whole list of quotes (I can't paste everything here!):

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

Many of what she spoke, might sound to you, normal, simple, everyday and mundane. And that was what matters. Most of the time, it was the simplest, commonest things in our life that actually matters. These little reminders...

It made me thought of the speech during my commencement. I can't remember the whole of it, but what stroke my thought was 'not to chase for honours, let the honours chase after you'. It was a waking bell in some way and a reminder.

In case you are interested in listening the speech, here it is:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Phuket-Land Trip 2015 IV

20 June 2015

Cashew Nut Factory Visit

After the previous stop, we continued our journey on the vehicle. Here are the other two passengers chilling while the wind flew by...


We get to see more of the streets of Phuket. There were familiar shophouses selling daily stuff like this one (left). Piles of pails, bottles, containers, chair, broom, cups, bowls... anything you need - the dry stuff - in your house. And there were also houses which were well-painted and looked very nice (right). They were beautiful and I wondered what it's like, to stay in there...



Our next destination was a cashew nut factory. It was a coincidence when I just had a conversation with my ex-colleague over the chat group about cashew nut, water guava and jambu. This was a small scale factory, more for display rather than functional.

So, visitors were quickly gathered at each stations where demonstration of traditional processing of cashew nut was shown. The first one showed the extraction of the raw nut from its hard shell. This machine here has a screw-like punch which will go right through the 'eye' area and pry open the nut shell. And from inside, you get one cashew nut.


If you are curious. The red coloured object was a demonstration of how cashew nut fruit looked like. Having come from the same family of jambu air, they looked almost the same, except the nut of this, which could be seen at the bottom of the fruit after the bell-shaped body, is edible.


In the same factory, there were some machines too. Those were not as large scale as those manufacturing plant machineries, but it should be sufficient for the local factory uses. The one on the left seemed to be a roasting machine while the right one is a packaging machine. It was a pity the tour did not include explanation to these sections. 


The tour was quite short and we were shortly leaving the area. This is how it looked like from outside...


Monday, August 10, 2015

Rocks That Bleed by Bertie Gilbert


I watched Rocks That Bleed, a short film by Bertie Gilbert, today. The work-in-progress feed about this work was always filling up my screen but I didn't really know what was it about. I used to watch Bertie Gilbert's Youtube videos. In fact, he was one of the first vloggers whom I watched and followed. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I knew about Bertie from Harry Potter. And some resourceful fans pointed out this channel he had and I started watching the channel. At first they were simple, funny videos, which sometimes left you like 'what?'. But after some time, his skills improved. If I haven't mistaken, most of his old videos were taken down. Anyway, his current videos were more artsy and have more meaning, in my personal opinion. For example, this short film. It didn't have complicated plot. It was not long. It was not heavily manipulated. However, the feeling is there. I could get what the film was trying to convey, the emotion, the message. Nonetheless, one thing I like about his new film was the filmography, the shots were well captured, very ecstatic indeed. Do give it a try and have a look!

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