November 30, 2005

Bird Flu and Travelling

Will be going to an Asian country for holiday in December.

At first I was a little worried about bird flu. But then I thought:

The present situation (bird flu) may continue as it is for weeks or months. After that if the situation improves and the threat diminishes, then well and good. On the other hand, if the situation gets worse and the epidemic starts with human to human transmission, then you cannot go anywhere for years. So this is not a bad time to travel if you have been planning to do so.

Furthermore, the risk is very low if you are not living in a farm with a lot of fowl.

Nonetheless, precautions should be taken like eating well-cooked poultry and eggs. Personal hygiene should also be taken seriously.

November 16, 2005

School Mottos

I have been reading the blogs of some friends. They wrote nostalgically about their old schools and school days. I learnt that the motto of Braddell Rise School was B.R.S – Be Ready to Serve. The motto seems more apt for a service or sales personnel training school. The school is no more in existence.

I was prompted to look up the mottos of my old schools. The primary schools I studied in are not around anymore. Anyway I don’t think they have any mottos and I don’t remember wearing any school badges.

I looked up the crests and mottos of some well-established secondary schools. My two favourite mottos are in Latin. I think these two fit nicely into our Nation’s philosophies.

1. Nil Sine Labore meaning Nothing without Labour

Whether you want to increase your income, see your investments grow, do well in your studies or get rid of mosquitoes in your compound you have to work for it or put in the effort.

The government will help you if you help yourself; don’t just sit down and expect handouts.

MM Lee Kuan Yew said the world does not owe us a living. We have to work hard for our survival.

2. Facta Non Verba meaning Deeds (or Actions) not Words

Employers look for results and track records not at what you say.

You cannot achieve your dreams by just talking, do something.

Our country is also remembered internationally by our deeds and actions:- We caned Michael Fay, we banned chewing gum, we hang drug traffickers, we sent aids to countries hit by natural disasters, PM Lee Hsien Loong visited Taiwan.

My favourite crest is the green round one in the above picture. It has a picture of Leonardo da Vinci – scientist, inventor and artist. The motto is again in Latin - Diligentia, Ingenium, Dexteritas (Diligence, Ingenuity, Dexterity).

November 02, 2005

What is done cannot be undone

Bought a box of persimmons at Fairprice for $5.80 and the next day Fairprice had it on offer at $4.80. This type of thing happened before and each time I used to scold myself for buying the thing too early. But then who knows. So, I find this proverb ‘What is done cannot be undone’ very appropriate and consoling.

Earlier in the year someone I know bought a return air-ticket to Hong Kong from a budget Airline at the normal price. Then soon after, the airline had a promotional offer to Hong Kong – the price was several tens of dollars less and it covered the travel period of this person. He was sore at the Airline.

‘What is done cannot be undone’. There is no point brooding over it; otherwise you make yourself unhappy.

Similarly, if you had said or done something that offended your friend, see what you can do to repair the damage rather than brood over it.

This proverb also reminds us to think before we act.