Monday, 15 November 2010

Food wisdom

We've always heard that it's better to eat natural food than processed food, and that sounds perfectly logical. Processed food contains higher levels of preservatives and additives to make the food last longer or taste better, and that's probably not very good for health. Cheap sausages and nuggets made the headlines some time ago, with the revelation that they're made up of "rubbish" parts which you'd not normally consume as part of the natural food diet.

In order to maximize their profits, it made sense for the food industry to look for ways to make use of every single part of their produce, so nothing is wasted. Parts like scraps of meat, bones and veins are usually discarded in our natural diet, but they represent inventory in the food manufacture's dictionary. I came across this video by Jamie Oliver who illustrated the junk that goes into the manufacture of chicken nuggets, and I must say that it's an eye-opener.

See if for yourself, and decide if you still want to bite into another tasty morsel of nuggets...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

True talents shine through adversity

For all fans of the Rocky series, you'd doubtlessly remember how Rocky Balboa was always cast as the underdog in each of the movie. The character was usually training in some dingy and run-down training gym, while his opponent would have access to the best and most modern training facilities and methods. And as you'd have guessed it, Rocky always beat the odds and come up triumph against his rival who had superior backing.

And if you're a fan of drifting, or just an anime fan, you probably know of the popular anime  "Initial D". The anime revolves around a teenager who's extremely talented in the art of drift racing, who went on to beat various challengers armed with extremely potent rides in his humble and broken down Toyota Trueno AE86 (a mid-1980s car which is old and underpowered in today's era).

The morale of such stories revolves around how talent and determination can beat the odds, winning challenges even though the environment may be adverse to success. You can probably think of some real life examples, perhaps of how a student excels in studies in spite of poor home environment, or how a starving artist can conjure up a world of imagination armed with some cheap brushes and limited paint. Or how a photographer can create stunning works with just one camera and a single lens. The point is clear - talent and determination can never be buried by adversity, not unless you allow tough times to beat you down.

I came across this video on Youtube showing some youths performing some really slick dance moves - on a street corner. In spite of not having professional training or a place to dance, they shared the passion and zeal for dancing, turning a street corner into a dance stage in the rain. Perhaps adversity and the lack of resources do force the individuals to excel compared to being someone else taking everything for granted by being spoon-fed with the best of everything. After all, the tiger in the zoo will lose its instinct to fight for survival compared to his counterpart in the wild who has to fight for every meal.

As Steve Jobs will say, "stay hungry, stay curious."

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Back to the future!

There are cool cars, like the new Ferrari F458, which says a lot about you (well, mainly about your bank account). And then there are amazingly cool cars, like the DeLorean DMC-12, which says a lot about your age!


If you grew up in the 80s, the DeLorean DMC-12 will be no stranger, having starred in the massive blockbuster trilogy of "Back to the Future". I remember thinking that I'd definitely wanna have one of these in my garage "in the future", and I sure wanted to install a "flux capacitor" and "Mr.Fusion" - you will know what I'm saying if you're a fan of the movie! But herein lies a little problem (other than the fact that the car isn't actually really a time machine)...



You see, even though the DeLorean DMC-12 was amazingly designed in the 1980s, it ran into a host of problems. The cool stainless steel body was too heavy, and it was a literally a bitch to maintain. Remember those cleaning crew forever cleaning those stainless steel elevator doors with 3M cleaning spray? Try doing that every day with the DMC-12! The cool gull-wing doors weighed a ton, and the gas struts supporting the doors kept giving up. You simply can't look very cool when supporting a heavy door and crawling out beneath the gap to exit the car. The car looked very fast, but it wasn't. The engine could manage only 170bhp, which wilted down to 140bhp after installation of a catalytic converter. The end result was a "sports car" which gets its rear end whipped by a Toyota on the road today, with a century sprint of 10.5 seconds.


When this babe hits 88 miles an hour...

Anyway, the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) ran into a host of problems, which led to the termination of the car's production. A total of only 9200 DMC-12s were made between 1981 to 1982, and most of them were made in the left-hand drive. Only 16 right-hand drive DMC-12s were ever made, and coupled with the fact that they are nearly three decades old, it's highly unlikely that I'll ever get any one of these rare cars in Singapore, if I manage to find a working piece out of the 16 cars. And that is why the DeLorean DMC-12 can be considered cooler than a modern Ferrari.

But guess what? The DeLorean Motor Company has been revived, and they're now churning out BRAND NEW DeLorean DMC-12s using new old stocks made by the original factory. So you get the same great car, but with updated chassis, suspension and components. You can even specify a iPod-connector for the car audio! Check this out...



So, if you can fork out the dough for the right-hand version of the newly built DeLorean DMC-12 (about US$75,000 before the hefty import Singapore tax), you just might be able to create a movie-realistic version of the car just like this geek did...



Order your DeLorean DMC-12 at the DeLorean website, and I'll meet you at the clock tower.

C'mon Marty, we're going back to the future!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Can we eat to starve cancer?

Cancer is one of the top killer diseases in our modern society, and the exponential growth in cancer cases can be largely attributed to our sedate lifestyle and unhealthy diet of processed food. Many of us hardly exercise in our daily lives, choosing to drive and take lifts/escalators instead of walking. And our diet comprise of processed food which are cheap and easily available. The combination of a sedate lifestyle and consumption of processed food (largely meat-based to make things worse) can be disastrous for our bodies, giving cancer cells the room to grow.

I received this video link from a friend, which I found highly interesting. Basically, the theory is that the body's natural process of angiogenesis is responsible for the fast rebuilding of blood vessels in our body, and that cancer cells require blood vessels to supply them with nutrients and oxygen to grow quickly. The speaker William Li is a doctor whose work in angiogenesis discovered that anti-angiogenesis elements occur naturally in various food, vegetables and fruits, and thus we might be able to prevent cancer from growing by consuming such food groups.

You might think, "haven't we all heard about that before?", but the video is extremely interesting and enlightening, and even if you know that eating certain food groups is good for your health, the video explains exactly why they're helpful in the fight against cancer. It helps that William was speaking a TED seminar, which in the past has featured other notable speakers such as Bill Gates, Al Gore and Philippe Starck, lending credibility to this video's contents.

How good is William Li as a speaker? Well, I watched the video ONCE and I was able to write the synopsis for this blog entry, and I'm a complete medical idiot. That says a lot about the clarity of ideas in this video. Be sure to watch it!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The most effective workout program in the world!

Forget going to the gym and working out for an hour per week. This workout program really shapes you up like no other gym can! Be sure to check it out... and yes... you can localize the program by replacing it with your own prejudices!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Pick your names wisely...

For the guys in the business of making toys for kids, you'd think they'd have been more careful in the selection of names. Perhaps something was lost in translation... oh Fucket!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Our place in this universe

How insignificant are we in this universe? Find out...

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The pursuit of happiness

Are the pursuit of happiness and success mutually exclusive?




It is oft heard that one has to be contented with one’s achievement to be happy. Popular media portrays the ambitious to be unhappy and lonely people. Likewise, others who crave material wealth and status symbols are depicted to be in a rat race, doomed to run forever in a event that has no finishing line. The Native Red Indian chief noted wisely that the craving for possessions will doom the white man. Does that mean that happiness will always elude those chasing success? 

The common wisdom goes that happiness belongs to those who’re happy with what they have. Yet social conventions demand that we should always seek to upgrade ourselves and aim for loftier targets. These glaringly conflicting goals seem to indicate that the modern man will always be caught in a bind between attaining personal happiness and satisfying the social expectations, and cursed to be in a constant state of unhappiness. Damn if you’re satisfied with the status quo, and damned if you’re not. 

As such, many people believe that the modern man is caught in a conflict that cannot be resolved, but I feel otherwise. You can still pursue material success and yet be happy, but two criteria have to be fulfilled.

First, success (material or otherwise) should be defined from within and not imposed upon by social expectations. Of course it is neither easy nor even possible, but one has to attempt to analyze one’s personal goal and listen to his heart, to discover whether you truly crave what you are aiming for. Be true to yourself and seek the goals that will make you happy, rather than meeting social expectations and making everyone else happy.

Secondly, rediscover the statement that “one should be contented to be happy”. If contentment runs counter to your personal agenda of upgrading and aiming higher, perhaps that knot could be easily resolved by thinking “one should always be happy with what you have”. You should always be happy with what you already have, be it material wealth, health or relationships. But that doesn’t stop you from seeking higher levels of your own targets. What is important here is that while you seek bigger goals, you should always be happy with what you have around you.

The problem most individuals have is binding happiness with contentment – they are not contented with what they already own and thus seek higher targets, and thus they are unhappy with the status quo. But think about it – if your entire life is spent chasing higher goals (and that is a good thing), wouldn’t you be eternally plagued by unhappiness if you are miserable with what you already have? Is there truly an end point to this race? Wouldn’t life be much better if you can separate happiness from contentment, so you can reach out to greater goals (by not being contented) and yet remain happy while reaching higher?

Think about it – the commonsense approach to happiness and contentment intertwines both irrevocably. But it should never have been so. The pursuit of contentment and improvement is a never-ending process, but the pursuit of happiness is a state of mind. And it is one that you can achieve right now.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Taiwan's answer to Susan Boyle

Remember Susan Boyle? The unattractive and frumpy lady who got sneered and giggled up when she strode up the stage in Britain Has Talent, and then blew the pants off everyone when she sang an incredible rendition of "I dreamed a dream".

Well, Taiwan has talent too! A tubby boy with a odd bowl-shaped haircut stunned the crowd and judges of a talent show "Super Star Avenue" with his rendition of Whitney Houston's "I'll Always Love You". Now most of us are familiar with that song, or rather how difficult it is to sing that song well (if at all). So here... go ahead and see for yourself how talent transcends prejudices...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Launch of new photo website and photo forum!

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of two major projects I've been working on - my revamped photography website and a new photography forum!


Nelson's Photography Website
(www.nelsontan.com)

My photography website at www.nelsontan.com has been around for quite a while now, but this revamp gives it a brand new look to bring it up to date. In addition, you will also find new articles online as well as some reviews I've done lately. If you know someone who wants to learn photography, be sure to visit the website because I've a great new syllabus to help anyone pick up photography online!


Photomiki photography forum
(http://www.photomiki.com/forum.php)

My buddy David Ng (of GoDigital fame) and I decided to do something for the photo community, and what better ways are there to build knowledge than to build on the immense experience of the photo community? So after much huffing and puffing, we managed to set up the Photomiki photography forum! Remember to visit the photo forum to share your knowledge or ask some questions, or just to buy and sell your camera gear!

Leave some comments on you like my new projects!

Video of new Alfa Romeo Giulietta!


I've said this before, and I'll say it again. The new Alfa Romeo Giulietta (pronounced Juliet-ta) looks absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, especially in white. If you are looking for a compact car, I implore you to check it out when it arrives. Forget about cars without soul and passion - this Alfa Romeo is the real deal!

Still uncertain about it? Well.. check out this gorgeous video of the Alfa Romeo Guilietta!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Instant gratification – Fuji Instax Mini 7s!

Inspired by the relaunch of the Polaroid film, but put off by the exorbitant pricing, I got inspired instead to purchase a Fuji Instax!


The Fuji Instax has been around for a while now, and the movement has been picking up steam since the demise of Polaroid. Maybe the market for instant film is too small for two players, or the end of Polaroid made people treasure the last player in the market more. Anyway, I always felt that the Fuji cameras gave much sharper and more vibrant prints.

About the size of a pair of small binoculars...

So on to my latest purchase – the Fuji Instax Mini 7s. There are other models available in the Instax range, but the most popular model is the definitely the Mini 7s. The camera is the most compact in the range (the others are just too large!) and the film is the most affordable and fits nicely in your wallet.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Tweet... tweet... I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

Ah... yes... Twitter...

Follow "nelsontheone" on Twitter if you're interested. Yes, I apologize for the obnoxious nick... it wasn't easy finding a user name when you enter the game so late.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Make the most of today

Carpe diem - seize the day, my friends! This is the beginning of a brand new week, so what will you accomplish? Your attitude determines everything!

Today

I woke up early today,
excited over all I get to do
before the clock strikes midnight.

I have responsibilities to fulfill today.
I am important.
My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy
or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money
or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health
or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was
growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns
or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends
or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new friendships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work
or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework
or I can feel honored because God has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.
And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me.
I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Have a great day...unless you have other plans.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Are you afraid to take risks?

A lot of people have been asking me why I have chosen to step out of my comfort zone and taking such a big risk in setting up my own creative agency. Those who know the story will understand that it wasn't entirely my decision to leave my comfort zone, but since I've to move on, I needed to make a choice for the future.

Starting out on my own is as big a risk as working somewhere else. I get more nervous sitting in a plane miles high up in the air, much more than driving around in my car. And I bet you feel the same. Statistics show that air-travel is much safer than driving on the road, but yet most people feel more jittery sitting in a plane than driving their cars. Why?

Control - that's why. In a automobile, you're (presumably) in control of the vehicle and thus in charge of the outcome. You know you have the controls and you steer your own fate. In a plane, you've elected to put your life in the hands of a total stranger sitting in a cockpit behind closed doors. You assume he has the right skills and the engineers did a good job servicing the plane. However, you do not feel that you have control over whatever will happen once the plane leaves the ground. Your fate has been taken out of your hands, and you perceive that to be risky.

Most people shun risks in life, because they loath the unknown. However, only two things are certain in life - death and taxes. For every decision we make, there's an element of risk whether you realize or not. More important than fearing risk, is to take calculated risks and learn along the way. The more risks you take, the better you will be able to manage risks somewhere down the road in life.

Someone once said, "to risk nothing is to take the biggest risk of all". Here're two great short videos about risks taking in life, and you should definitely watch it.



Monday, 8 March 2010

This blog has moved


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Turning negatives into positives



Just two days ago, American actress Sandra Bullock turned up at the Razzies Award to accept the "Worst Actress" prize for her role in All About Steve. In case you haven't heard, the Razzies Award is the spoof counterpart of the Oscars, and they're given to the worst performance in the movies. As an actress who's hotly tipped to win an Oscar for her role in The Blind Side the following day, winning the Razzies for being the worst actress is probably one of the worst things that can ever happen.

What would you do in her situation? Most publicists and managers would have told her to pan the critics for being stupid and blind to her talent, and simply focus on the Oscars instead. Not Sandra Bullock. The spunky actress turned up at the Razzies (something big-name artists seldom do) and accepted the award to a standing ovation. Amazingly, Sandra Bullock came with a a trailer full of "All About Steve" DVDs so that everyone at the event can have a free copy of the movie!

"Something tells me you all didn't watch the film because I wouldn't be here if you really, really watched it and understood what I was trying to say," she said in her acceptance speech. "Everyone gets a copy and this is the deal I'm going to make," she told the cheering crowd. I will show up next year if you promise to watch the movie and really consider if it was truly the worst performance. If you're willing to watch, I'll come back next year and give back the Razzie." Needless to say, she was a huge hit with the crowd.

Being nominated for worst performance is something that will go down very badly with most artists, and yet Sandra Bullock is able to charm the pants off the crowd with an amazing twist of PR genius and lots of spunk and guts. The next time you find things going very badly your way, perhaps you will dig deeper and find a way to changes things around radically - to your favour!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Enlightening approach to go green!

I won't say much to give away the surprise, but this is one enlightening approach to go green!



I'm so inspired that I'm gonna order 2 dozen 2-litre bottles of Coke right away!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Lyre Lyre

Check out this amazing video of a Lyre bird in Australia... the ability of the bird to mimic sounds it hears is AMAZING! Who's calling who a liar now?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Art

It's the beginning of a great new year for 2010, and there's nothing better to start the year than with some inspiring stuff! For me, it is this talented speed-painter who can effortlessly transform a blank canvas in Photoshop to a photo-realistic painting of Indiana Jones. Damn... I've Photoshop too, but I can't draw for nuts! So my friends, work on cultivating your talents this year. We all know it's not the tools that make the artist. 

Cheers and have a great 2010 ahead!



P.S: You'd notice that it's a 5-min video, but you're so enticed and so enchanted by the transformation that the entire video looks like it's over in a minute! That's what Einstein meant by the theory of relativity!