Sunday, May 27, 2007

True Live, Prince of Wales, St Kilda.

We're about to set it off live,
Sound and the vibe with the one true live,
Crush the system blow it out tonight,
Any city any venue any town ignite.

Acknowledge the ways the crowd makes sound,
Witness the craze as the crowd gets down,
Steps loud, beats come by the pound..
everybody inside, shut the door slams(?) down.

-true live, TV.

True Live is a jazz-hiphop fusion band comprising four really talented classically trained musicians led by the lead singer Ryan. One cello, one double-bass, one violin and a keyboard and percussion set are all the instruments they use (with the occasional acoustic guitar). It's quite different from typical hiphop with synthetic bass lines. Their songs felt hip-hop'ish yet very natural. This is not your typical underground band. They are handpicked graduates in Music and the performing arts and can play by feel very, very well. They were talented enough to do an impromptu song fitting in keywords from the audience at the end of the show. L33tness...

I happened to bump into Kezia and Maddie, two other first year med students that friday night. Kezia drove us to St Kilda where the gig was held. It cost AUD10 to enter the Prince of Wales that night but it was money well spent. We chilled with some of Kezia's friends by St Kilda after that. Literally...chilled. It was kinda chilly on the beach at 2am. Took a cab with Maddie back to Swanston street to catch the night rider bus back to campus. Had McDonalds at 3am(!) before the bus came. Swanston street was alive at 3am. Surprisingly, there were lots of people on the street. Not dangerous shady characters - normal people.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Faded Expectations

"i dont want u to have any expectations of me. at all."
- 12:55AM 20.05.07

Cherries, dark chocolate and pomegranates.
The pain of memories once cherished.
To the person once dear, I shed a tear.
Expectations faded. Feelings hurt.
Never forgotten. What's past is past.

This post is dedicated to a memory.
A picture is worth a thousand words, yet no picture can speak the words I want to say.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Confession: I Have Chronic Motivational Deficiency Disorder (MoDeD)


In an article published in the British Medical Journal in April 2006 (vol 332), researcher Leth Argos discovered the disorder using a combination of positron emission tomography and low scores on a motivation rating scale. Professor Argos claims that "This disorder is poorly understood" and "it's underdiagnosed and undertreated.". Thankfully, a new drug is in phase II of clinical trials to treat the disease. Indolebant(TM) is a cannabinoid CBI receptor antagonist that is "effective and well tolerated".

MoDeD (Motivational Deficiency Disorder) is a condition that is claimed to affect up to one in five Australians. It is characterized by overwhelming and debilitating apathy. Neuroscientists at the University of Newcastle say that in severe cases, motivational deficiency disorder can be fatal, because the condition reduces the motivation to breathe. Critics say that ordinary laziness is being medicalised. David Henry, a clinical pharmacologist, claims that "Indolebant may bring some relief to those with a debilitating form of MoDeD, but common laziness is not a disease. People have an absolute right to just sit there.".

According to the BMJ, a study of the economic impacts of MoDeD estimates the condition may be costing the Australian economy $A2,400,000,000 a year in lost productivity. This has prompted calls from industry and advocacy groups for a fast tracking of the regulatory assesment of Indolebant in Australia and worldwide.

Personally, I have a feeling that Motivational Deficiency Disorder is somehow caused by chronic exposure to Dihydrogen Monoxide (Hydrogen Hydroxide). It is already known to cause:

  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
  • Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
  • Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.
Corporations are profiting billions from the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide and are suppressing it's side effect by controlling the media. What is this world coming to? The ozone hole is growing bigger and karma levels are at an all time low. I sit in my room... staring at the hypnotic glow of my lavalamp. Trying to motivate myself to breathe...

Reccomended Reading:

Do Watch:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The ESSENCE of Health

X marks the spot. A goal not too far away...

Education, Stress management, Spirituality, Environment, Nutrition, Connectedness and Exercise.

The E.S.S.E.N.C.E. model. A nice summary of what is needed to be a healthy person. I am content with my Education and my living Environment. But I am still trying to tackle the other five issues.

My Nutrition has improved greatly since the course began. My resolve to understand why I was underweight led me to measure calories. Eventually, I discovered that I had an unusually high level of postprandial anorexia. As opposed to anorexia nervosa (eating less trying to lose weight), I ate whenever and whatever I wanted. But I felt "full" too quickly and as a result, I was effectively starving myself each day ever so slightly - I never really noticed. I've upped my calorie intake to about 2500-3000Cal a day. Along with meat, cheese and eggs, I take lots of fruits and leafy greens on top of healthy servings of oats, wheat biscuits and milk. I have never felt better.

Connectiveness is a sticky subject for me. I dont really 'click' with groups of people. I enjoy my individuality and try to maintain good relations with those around me. Although there are some days where I believe I do not socially interact enough. I realize that on those days, I tend to be more anxious and less focused/mindful. I also find falling asleep at night more difficult. So yes, connectiveness is really essential to a person's wellbeing. Perhaps being socially in touch with others lets my subconscious self know that everything is good and well. As a result, stress hormone levels decrease and it's easier to fall asleep. The number of those relatively 'socially isolated' days has been decreasing and I take that as a positive sign that my policies on social interaction are working - despite not hanging around with a regular group of people ('clicking').

Exercise wise, I was totally incompetent back home in Malaysia. I tried going to the gym but found it boring. Didnt exercise much other than the occasional swim or game of badminton. Now in university, in the absence of distractions (sat TV, PS2, Xbox, Gaming PC), I have a much much healthier lifestyle. I have trained to a point where I can swim at medium speed, freestyle, non-stop for 50 laps (2.5km)! My weekly exercise schedule begins on Mondays (30 laps, 1.5km) and Wednesdays (50 laps, 2.5km). When I started, I could barely do 10 laps without having to have a break. I hope to push my endurance to 5km/100laps by the end of the year. On friday night, I play badminton from 7pm-10.30pm. On Sunday afternoon, I play badminton from 2pm-6pm. I've been trying to improve my kinesthetic knowledge as well. Dance classes at Monash dancesport every tuesday afternoon followed by Olli's dance class at the halls at night. Plan to go for another one on Monday night if I have the time.

I feel that i've very recently acquired my mature sense of Spirituality. To be at peace with the world and to understand the why of me. It came as my thoughts matured. It coincided with the time I turned 21 and came to be independent abroad. I will no doubt progress further Spiritually as years pass by. While reason and rationality gives answers to the question of 'how', spirituality gives answers to the question of 'why'. Spirituality soothes the soul and offers temporary relief to a soul filled with a sense of longing.

If my purpose in life were to be with her, then in future we shall be together.
If not, we shall be apart.
Either way, I wish her well and I hope we both find happiness,
wherever fate leads us...
I pray she gets to where her heart desires...

Finally, I have got to deal with my stress better. If i let it get to me, I lose sleep. If i lose sleep, i cannot focus in lectures. If I cannot understand my lecture or if im overwhelmed with work, I get stressed. It's a vicious cycle. Conclusion: I have to be on top of my work all the time. Starting to get the hang of it. To familiarize myself with my work. It's not about rote learning and it's not purely based on understanding concepts either. It's about familiarity and exposure. How each piece of information integrates itself with my conscious thoughts and rational processes. I've got my first anatomy practical tomorrow. I cant wait. Tonight, I shall consult the oracle on things I have to know in order to understand my lectures better. She is an elderly lady I call Aunt Wikipedia.

Im finding the MBBS course at Monash surprisingly progressive. The ESSENCE model was part of the health enhancement program for first year MBBS students. We are also taught of mind-body interactions and how feelings (yes, feelings and emotions) can quite literally make a person physically ill. But more on that later...