October 21, 2015 — Back to the Future Day

When I was still living at home, my parents subscribed to the Reader’s Digest, which I devoured every month. I remember reading an article about a teacher in 1960 who asked his sixth-grade students to write their predictions about what life would be like 25 years in the future. He collected their compositions, placed them into an envelope, and promised not to open it until 1985. A quarter of a century later, he kept his promise. As he looked at the juvenile handwriting, he was also amazed at how eerily accurate some of the predictions were.

In 1985, the first of the Back to the Future movies came out. I went with my sister and a friend and —  inside a packed cinema — we watched Marty McFly travel back to 1955, interfere with his parents’ meeting, fix things up, and travel back to a better 1985.

Four years later, we saw Marty McFly travelling to October 21, 2015 (TODAY!!) and fix his kids’ problems. In Back to the Future II, we saw the movie writers’ predictions about what life in 2015 would be like. Some of the things they predicted are too weird and totally wrong, eg the fashion (Phew!) Some of the things are in the making, eg, flying cars and self-lace shoes, proving that life imitates art. Some of the things are amazingly accurate, even though they looked improbable at the time, eg, video phone calls.

My father once predicted that we would one day be able to have long-distance phone conversations and be able to see the person we are speaking with on screens. I thought such an idea was completely possible — after all, we saw such things on sci-fi movies and TV — but I never thought I would see it in my lifetime. And now, here we are. The smartphones we have today are more powerful than the computers they used to send man to the moon. When I heard this, my mind was blown.

What things are in store for us in the future? What would you like to see happen?

I would love to see a change in education. I predict the schools of the future will be a place where people take more responsibility for their own learning. This is, in fact, happening now. But, I foresee more of it happening.

I would love to see an end to Young-Earth Creationism. This movement that is causing a lot of people to become (or remain) atheists has got to go. I’m predicting a can-no-longer-be-ignored piece of evidence to finally, finally, put this ideology to rest. And then, the rest of us Christians had better be there to help with the fallout.

I would love to see computers get smarter and get better at spellcheck and grammar check. Please.

I would love to see a viable treatment, or better yet, a cure for Neurofibromatosis. The gene responsible for this disorder has been identified. Doctors are working on a treatment. So there is hope.

Dear YEC Friend – #13 A Matter of Interpretation

A continuation of a series of letters I have written to a fictitious young-Earth Creationist friend. While the ‘Friend’ is fictitious, it is based on observations of, and interactions with, people who hold young-Earth ideas.

You can click on the Category Letters to My Young Earth Creationist Friend or go to the Page to find more.


Dear Friend,

I think the main reason why YECs find the idea of an old earth — and its cousin, evolution — to be illogical is that it is incongruous with their interpretation of the Bible. So committed are they to their particular interpretation of the Bible, that it is difficult for them to see things any other way.

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Book Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

My sister sometimes posts on Facebook about the latest book she’s reading. Apparently, she is a fan of Haruki Murakami. So, I decided to see if I could get my hands on a Murakami and try reading one of his books.

My library had one copy of one title available (the rest were on loan), his latest, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

The author is Japanese (in case you couldn’t tell) and the original was written in Japanese. I cannot read Japanese, so the copy I read was translated by Philip Gabriel. :)

There is something very fascinating whenever one experiences translated works. I consider English to be my first language. I can read, speak and understand Malay; and read (a bit), speak and understand Mandarin Chinese (conversational level). I like watching foreign films — subtitled, not dubbed — and if it is in a language I understand, I like seeing how the translators have rendered the spoken words into English. Most times, I applaud their efforts: “That is a great translation! Yup! Spot on!” Sometimes, I think, “Hmmm….There’s a bit more to it than that. I would have used different words.”

I think translating a written piece from one language into another is fraught with challenges. When does one translate word-for-word? When does one translate thought-for-thought? How does one capture puns and play on words? What about cultural nuances?

So many things to consider!

All these thoughts were rattling around in my brain as I read Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

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Dear YEC Friend – #12 The Bible Tells Me So

A continuation of a series of letters I have written to a fictitious young-Earth Creationist friend. While the ‘Friend’ is fictitious, it is based on observations of and interactions with people who hold young-Earth ideas.

You can click on the Category Letters to My Young Earth Creationist Friend or go to the Page to find more.


Dear Friend,

“Compromising Christians”

In response to my last letter,  you said that there is no room for “maybe”.  God told us how he created life, the universe and everything in it very clearly in His Word. If you opened the door to allow for even the idea that the earth could be more than 6000 years old, you could no longer be a consistent Christian.

I see that Ken Ham (and his cronies) have done their job well in convincing their followers of the Dogma of Young-Earth Creationism™ . He calls people like me “compromisers”. I guess that means people who have no integrity, who aren’t intellectually honest. The “official” stance is that it isn’t a salvation issue, but I don’t think anyone is fooled. Oh, yeah, you told me once it is a salvation issue. I’m glad you are able to be honest enough to say it.

To you, not interpreting Genesis (and passages that allude or refer to it) literally is “fracturing” God’s Word. I have already addressed this issue, so I won’t rehash it here. Many YECs have been taught that if Genesis 1-11 isn’t straight history, then Christianity isn’t true. Unfortunately, this kind of teaching is not winning any souls to Christ. In fact, it is turning people away. It is turning a lot of Christians into atheists. YECism is doing the opposite of what it intends to do!

And that is why I think YECism is a dangerous doctrine. It requires believers to accept something as an integral part of the faith which is provably false!

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Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 109 – Isle of No Return, Part I

I listened to this episode here.

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Background Information

The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Creation Works. Through these CDs,  they hope to ‘provide children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God’.  [Which raises the questions, ‘What does “in harmony” mean?’ and ‘What do they do with scientific evidence that is not in harmony with the Word of God?’]

Tagline: This is our Father’s world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!

NOTE: The producers of this series neglect to reference their information in any form.  No references is ever given either on the CD or in the Study Guide for ANY information presented in the series.  Even the voice actors of the series are not given any credit anywhere.

Plot Summary:

The Creation Response Team accepts a challenge to a competition with the Explorer’s Society, which pits their creation worldview against this evolutionary team at an undisclosed location. But will the CRT’s snap decision lead them to victory, or defeat, as they fight to stay alive on Snake Island? (Taken from here.)


Overall, the story is somewhat engaging. I think it really depends on one’s tolerance for such stories AND one’s predisposition to like/dislike anything produced by a YEC organisation. Yes, I freely admit prejudice comes into play here.

Kendall Park, Jim Brenan, and Jonathan Park are on Ilha da Queimada Grande, a snake-infested island off the coast of Brazil. They are competing against a “Evolution” team. The team that makes its case — and survives — wins. How and why these people agree to go on such life-threatening adventures again and again — and bring children along — is a matter of suspending belief. The women and girls do not go along this time (phew!… I think).

As always, it is good to remember the basic premise of the creators/producers of this series. There are two — and only TWO — worldviews: Creation and Evolution.

Creation: The universe and everything in it was created by God over a six-day period about 6000 years ago. Genesis 1-11 is to be interpreted literally. Science must be done with the Bible in mind. We know scientific findings are correct when they agree with the Bible. If they do not agree with the Bible, it means we are not interpreting the evidence correctly. Creationists are godly and GOOD.

Evolution: A man-made theory about how life, the universe, and everything came about through random, chance processes over millions of years in an attempt to disprove God. Anything and everything that does not agree with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is lumped as “Evolution”. People who believe in evolution are called “Evolutionists” and are, at best, misguided, and at worst, EVIL.

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Book Review: The Happy Prince and Other Tales

oscar wilde I bought this book from ALDI a number of years ago and am slowly, but surely, going through it. I started with the stories for children, ie, easier to read and quicker to finish, if only for a sense of accomplishment as I undertake this task.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales is collection of five stories: “The Happy Prince”, “The Nightingale and the Rose”, “The Selfish Giant”, “The Devoted Friend”, and “The Remarkable Rocket”.

Oscar Wilde may have written these specifically for children, but they can be enjoyed by everyone.

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Book Review: The Importance of Being Earnest

The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde I bought this book, along with several others, at ALDI a number of years ago. I thought it was a GREAT deal — I mean, the COMPLETE collection of Oscar Wilde’s work in one volume for an incredibly low price? What a bargain!

So I brought it home and put it on my shelf where it sat for all these years pretty much untouched. Yeah, I’m like that.

I picked up this book recently and am slowly going through it.

The Importance of Being Earnest is one of Wilde’s best known plays and one that I can finally check off my very, very long and ever-growing list of “Works I Should Have Read By Now But Haven’t”.

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Doctor Who Scarf

One of the reasons I have not been blogging as much lately is because I have been busy knitting a scarf. A very, very, very, long scarf.

Doctor Who Season 12 Scarf

Doctor Who Season 12 Scarf

I’ve placed a one-metre ruler next to the scarf for comparison. Yes, the scarf is about four metres, or a bit over 12 feet, long. This is the Season 12 scarf.

I got the pattern from here. I decided to go with the “inches” pattern rather than the “number of rows” pattern because I used 8-ply yarn (which is most typically found here) rather than worsted yarn.

The colours were a bit of a challenge to find and match as closely as possible. Ah, well! It is recognisable as a Doctor Who scarf and that is all that matters.

Lizzie with Dr Who Scarf

Ben with Dr Who Scarf

Susannah with Dr Who scarf


August 2015

I see that I have not been blogging much lately. My last post was a few days after my birthday, which was over a month ago.


Assuntarians in Melbourne Get Together

       Assuntarians in Melbourne Get Together


A bunch of us Assunta Secondary School girls got together for dinner. ALL of us in the photo are from the same year and all but one live in Melbourne now. These are the ones who could make it. It is a big school — our batch had about 400 students — and we have ended up all over the world.

The theme for the night was — in case you missed it — yellow. This was to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Bersih 4.0 rally.

There were Bersih rallies all over the world.

It’s kind of sad to think that we need a rally for  ‘free, clean and fair elections’. In a democratic country, shouldn’t that be a given?

Not sure how much news coverage this event raised globally.

Today, Malaysia celebrates 58 years of independence. She is not in good shape.

She is classified as a “Newly Developed Country” unlike her southern neighbour Singapore which has been a developed country for long time now.

The economy is in the gutter. Right now, the exchange rate is about RM4.00 to US$1.00.

There is damning evidence which shows the Prime Minister’s corruption, but instead of stepping down, he reshuffles his Cabinet.


Happy Merdeka Day, Malaysia!

Wordful Wednesday: Go Set a Watchman (2015)

Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman

I must say this is the first time I have ever read a book within a year week of its release. My children know me well — I have often mentioned how I love To Kill a Mockingbird — and they got me Go Set a Watchman for my birthday.

For the uninitiated, To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of one Atticus Finch, a lawyer in Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930s. It is told from his now-grown daughter, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch’s point of view and she tells the reader of her childhood, her town, and the time her daddy defended a black man accused of rape even though he knew the man was as good as dead as soon as the charges were laid.

Go Set a Watchman is Harper Lee’s second book and is a sequel (of sorts) to Mockingbird.

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