Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Four Hour Work Day

A frequent cause of deficient creative performance and innovation is mental fatigue instigated by extreme pressure, hours, or exertion. Many people wish to be seen as hard working, so they do everything with high intensity and put in long hours. Alas, such elevated levels of performance can make the brain rather blurry, which is very unfavorable to creative performance and innovation.

Tactical thinking, strategic thinking, and creative work are not brute force methods, but instead require astute and resourceful use of mental faculties to be more effective. The reasoning is that it is more important to be effective than to be busy and it is more important to be work towards results than to be filled with activity for activity’s sake, because in the realm of creative and complex problems, the most essential key to success is to not start off down the wrong path.

Few of us can work at full ability of our mental faculties, thinking clearly and profoundly, for the duration of every work day any more than we can run at top speed for the same distance that we can jog.

'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Timothy Ferriss (ISBN 0307465357) This is the falsehood of the current nature of work—that anything can be expected of employees and they must deliver. In the knowledge economy that we live in, most people fake it or do not acknowledge when they are working at less than 100%, and that they are constantly exerted and exhausted. The result is that mistaken, shallow decisions are made, product designs are conceded, and serious systematic errors are introduced by people who are fatigued.

In contrast, it is much more likely that one can work at 100% mental intelligibility for about four hours every day. If one keeps this in mind, then a distinction can be made between critical issues that need full clarity and intense effort, which become part of the four hours of work per day, and those parts of a task or assignment that are monotonous or repetitive and become part of the rest of the day.

That is to say if you expect yourself to be brilliant for only four hours per day, then you may actually live up to this standard. During the rest of the day, there are plenty of routine tasks to accomplish such as returning calls, ordering supplies, doing paperwork, proof-reading reports, etc. Consider the work habits of some luminaries in the fields of science and literature:

The significance of the four-hour work day is that particular components of creative and innovation projects are more crucial than others and thus require more intelligent thinking to do properly. For these critical steps, if one is not thinking 100% distinctly, then one is likely to initiate errors that then require significant effort to put right. In all of these cases, if the difficult parts are not done well, subsequent work on the details is a waste of time. Therefore the recognition of which components of a project require extra care and attention is a critical component of ultimate effectiveness.

Recommended Reading: ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss

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Posted in Education and Career Philosophy and Wisdom

Goldbach’s Conjecture

German mathematician Christian Goldbach, Goldbach's Conjecture German mathematician Christian Goldbach (1690–1764) was born in Konigsberg, Prussia and is remembered today for Goldbach’s conjecture.

Goldbach’s conjecture states that every even integer greater than 3 is the sum of two prime numbers; thus 6 = 5 + 1, 18 = 7 + 11, and so on.

The truth of Goldbach’s conjecture remains unproven notwithstanding considerable effort by mathematicians and number theorists.

Curiously, any proof that the conjecture is not refutable would infer that there are no counter-examples, and hence would provide evidence of the conjecture.

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Hobbies and Pursuits

Paradoxes in Innovation and Creative Achievements

Paradoxes in Innovation and Creative Achievements

Stupidity has forced human beings to develop our intelligence, but intelligence in itslef, as we shall see, is no guarantee of self-preservation. Indeed, intelligence can boost stupidity.

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Posted in Education and Career Hobbies and Pursuits Mental Models and Psychology

Definition: Stochastic Processes

Stochastic Processes

A stochastic process is a series of trials the results of which are only probabilistically determined. Examples of stochastic processes include the number of customers in a checkout line, congestion on a highway, and the price of a financial security.

In a stochastic or random process there is some indeterminacy. The term stochastic is usually applied to sequences of trials ordered in time. As an example consider a time-ordered sequence of tosses of a fair die with specified probabilities for any given face coming up in a given toss.

Two fundamentally important kinds of stochastic processes are:

  • Bernoulli Sequences, in which the trials are all probabilistically independent of one another, and Markov processes.
  • Markov Processes, where the probabilities for the outcome of a trial may depend conditionally on the outcome of the previous trial, but they are probabilistically independent of the outcomes of any trials before the one immediately preceding the trial in question.

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Mental Models and Psychology Software and Programming

Value Investment Process: Don’t Overanalyze

Value Investment Process: Don't Overanalyze

One of the most fascinating things about Warren Buffett’s investment process is his ability to quickly and efficiently filter through many investment ideas. A significant question that Buffett asks immediately before doing any work on a potential investment is, “What are the odds that this investment could fail because of catastrophe risk? In other words, what are the major things that could go wrong?” Buffett is not interested in exposing capital to risk if there was any chance of significant risk, even if there is a substantial upside if he noticed there to be a dominant reason that the business could fail. In the 31-Oct-1990 issue of Outstanding Investor Digest, Philip Carret quotes Warren Buffett:

One of the most astute investors I have ever known was a remarkable exemplar of long-term investing. He owned several hundred different securities, accumulated in small increments over many years. He liked to talk about his successes. One, in particular, was fascinating. In his twenties he invested $1,400 in a relatively obscure company. Over the ensuing 60 years the stock was split repeatedly, for a net result of 360 shares for each original share. At that point the $1,400 had become $2 million. Fred at one time checked the company by talking to the management. “They seemed to know what they were doing,” he told me. That is security analysis in a nutshell. If the figures look right and the management knows what it is doing, why does one need a 40-page report?

The essence of the value investing process is investing capital after thorough consideration of the facts with the expectation of a sensible return. This is basically poles apart from speculation where the prominence is not on what an investment is innately worth but on what the next person may pay for it. At the center of the value investing process is the ability to value an asset, and being able to do this means being able to answer two questions confidently: “How much cash will it produce and when will it be paid?” And “How confident is the company in it’s ability to produce cash?” Martin J. Whitman, Founder of Third Avenue Funds, once said,

Based on my own personal experience—both as an investor in recent years and an expert witness in years past—rarely do more than three or four variables really count. Everything else is noise.

Value investing boils down to the classic “Buy low, sell high” principle. But in reality, value investing is far from simple. When executed determinedly, value investing involves exhaustive examination of a company’s business, industry and its competitors, a valuation of its assets and cash flows, and complex quantitative analyses of its financial results and stock performance. In Berkshire Hathaway’s 1994 Chairman’s letter and annual report, Warren Buffett wrote,

Investors should remember that their scorecard is not computed using Olympic diving methods: Degree-of-difficulty doesn’t count. If you are right about a business whose value is largely dependent on a single key factor that is both easy to understand and enduring, the payoff is the same as if you had correctly analyzed an investment alternative characterized by many constantly shifting and complex variables.

Do not overanalyze. You’ll force yourself to make errors. In the 1999 annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders, Warren Buffett reminded, “The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything—you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, “Swing, you bum!””

Recommended Reading on Warren Buffett & Value Investing

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Posted in Investing and Finance

Advice to Entrepreneurs: Fedex’s Fred Smith on Having a Sustainable Business Proposition

In America, we venerate entrepreneurs: we celebrate their assertiveness and esteem the ability of entrepreneurs to take risks and aim for anything they want—an ability that most of us do not possess or cannot exercise. Here is advice from Fred Smith on having a sustainable business proposition. Fred Smith is the founder, chairman, and CEO of FedEx, the global courier delivery and logistics company.

  • Fred Smith, founder, chairman, and CEO of FedEx What to look for in the right people: first of all, you have to have technical expertise in what you’re doing. The second thing you have to do is have somebody who can be very objective. At the end of the day, if you can’t be objective about things, particularly the facts as they have been presented to you, that includes objectivity about one’s own strengths and weaknesses, it’s impossible to be an effective manager at any substantial level.
  • Make sure you have a viable and sustainable business proposition. Make sure you’re fulfilling some need that has been unmet and make sure its differentiated from everything else out there and that it is the sensible.

'World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It' by John A. Byrne (ISBN 1591844509) Source: “World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It” by John A. Byrne. John A. Byrne is the former executive editor of BusinessWeek, former editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and former associate editor at Forbes, and co-author with Jack Welch of Jack: Straight from the Gut In “World Changers,” John Byrne presents potent advice on entrepreneurism and fascinating insights into what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs from successful business luminaries such as Apple’s Steve Jobs to HARPO’s Oprah, from India’s Ratan Tata to Brazil’s Eike Batista. John Byrne argues that the greatest common denominators amongst great world changers are the centrality of purpose in their organizations, their willingness to seek advice through mentorship and peer counseling, and the ability to maintain focus and direction over long periods.

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Business and Strategy Leaders and Innovators Management and Leadership

150 Exciting Things To Do in the San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area. The area’s rich history and scenic location make it a popular tourist destination.

  1. Musee Mecanique (entry free) in Pier 45 and marvel at its private collection of hundreds of mechanically-operated musical instruments, arcade games, voyeurism slot machines.
  2. Have lunch in the quaint Saratoga Village near Big Basin Way or Congress Springs Road.
  3. Ride your bike in affluent Woodside, Atherton, or Hillsborough.
  4. Go to the Castro Theater in San Francisco and see a movie and an organ performance (Wurlitzer) during intermission.
  5. Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum.
  6. Shop at San Francisco’s Goodwill or Sak’s Fifth Avenue stores.
  7. See the giant redwoods in Big Basin Park near San Jose.
  8. See the Forty-niners play football in San Francisco.
  9. Go horseback riding near Uvas Meadows in San Jose.
  10. Enjoy the children and pets playng at Noe Children’s Playgound, courts and dog park. It is very near the shopping district of Noe Valley near 24th and Douglass Street. Walk downhill on 24th to Church Street.
  11. Take photos in secluded Bodega Bay.
  12. You can always buy a camera at Keeble and Shuchat in Palo Alto.
  13. Picturesque Highway One from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.
  14. Shop in the Castro, Haight Ashbury, Mission, Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, Marina or any of the unique districts of San Francisco.
  15. Red and White boat tour of the San Francisco Bay.
  16. Take a dip and enjoy a massage at one of the many hot tubs in Santa Cruz. My favorite spot is the Well Within.
  17. Kick back (really kick back) and enjoy some coffee in Santa Cruz … one of my favorite spots is Cafe Pergolesi.
  18. Have a sandwich or coffee at Robert’s of Woodside. Woodside is just off of Highway 280 on Woodside Road. This is an affluent suburb nestled in the cool forest. Maybe Joan Baez or a retired athlete will say hi.
  19. Stop by the tranquil Hakone Japanese Gardens near Saratoga.
  20. Frida’s Pizza in San Francisco’s Mission District.
  21. Enjoy a sunset at any beach.
  22. Go boating in the San Francisco Bay.
  23. San Jose flea markets. One of the world’s biggest.
  24. Visit California’s most beautiful Mission in Carmel.
  25. Get some start up money on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park.
  26. Have some of the best pizza on earth at North Beach Pizza of San Francisco.
  27. You can’t go wrong having a picnic along the secluded San Mateo Coast. Just when you thought the Bay Area was too busy, you find solitude at San Gregorio Beach.
  28. Enjoy the cool ocean breeze at any of the bay area beach during the summer.
  29. See Teatro Campesino perform La Posada in San Juan Bautista.
  30. Shop at Bloomingdale’s near Stanford University.
  31. Listen to music or dance in a club in San Francisco. Straight or Gay… this place is party central.
  32. San Jose Cinco de Mayo.
  33. Visit the new Mexican-American Cultural Arts Center in San Jose and see a Chicano performance or art exhibit.
  34. Shop and play in Capitola.
  35. Enjoy a beautiful summer day’s stroll. There is very little humidity around the Bay Area.
  36. Camp, hike, bike ride, fish or whatever you like in Lake Tahoe.
  37. Go to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose.
  38. Have coffee at Mr. Toot’s (by the beach) in Capitola.
  39. Grab a cup of coffee at Java Beach and stroll the beach in San Francisco.
  40. Mill Valley located 14 miles north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge is a world away from the fog and high-rise buildings of San Francisco. Visit the abundant coffee shops, stores, and even the library.
  41. Nightlife … going downtown to the many clubs for dancing, socializing and maybe a couple of drinks.
  42. Have a steak at Original Joes in downtown San Jose.
  43. Go shopping in downtown San Francisco. There are too many shops to list. Buy everything from fly-fishing gear to high-end fashions.
  44. Go to the world famous Watsonville Fly In. See vintage planes and the old guys and gals who love them.
  45. Hike in the hills near Alum Rock Park in San Jose. Watch out for snakes.
  46. Take in Japanese Culture at the San Jose Obon festival. Bring a fan and kimono and join the dance and procession.
  47. Have an ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco.
  48. Go to the DeSassait Photography Gallery at Santa Clara University.
  49. Go to a performance or exhibit at MACLA in downtown San Jose.
  50. Go to the traditional Thanksgiving Big Bone Game between Lincoln High and San Jose High.
  51. Hang out at one of the many Silicon Valley watering holes in San Mateo to San Jose.
  52. Enjoy a performance or an exhibition at the Mission Cultural Arts Center in San Francisco.
  53. San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.
  54. Enjoy a California or Stanford basketball game.
  55. Go water skiing at Calero reservoir or at other great area reservoirs or lakes.
  56. Buy a book at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco’s North Beach.
  57. Dance to Salsa music in the Mission District of San Francisco.
  58. The lovely campus and the impressive redwoods of University of California at Santa Cruz.
  59. See a Stanford or California football game.
  60. Have Sunday brunch in downtown Carmel.
  61. Carnaval in San Francisco, the annual street parade and festival held during the last weekend in May.
  62. Hike in the magnificent Muir Woods.
  63. Go dancing at the Top of the Mark in San Francisco.
  64. Enjoy camping on a beach south of Carmel. Camping is available on beaches all the way to the Mexican border.
  65. Attend a performance at Zellerbach Hall at the University of California in Berkeley
  66. Enjoy the Santa Clara County Fair in San Jose.
  67. Drive to the top of Mount Hamilton and see the Lick Observatory in San Jose.
  68. See motorcycle or auto races at Laguna Seca.
  69. Shop at Santana Row Shopping Center in San Jose for expensive gifts.
  70. Have some Japanese food in San Jose’s Japantown.
  71. While in San Francisco, get to the corner of Cole and Carl by taking the “N” Judah trolley from downtown. From there it is only a short walk North to the Haight Ashbury District near Golden Gate Park.
  72. Stroll along a secluded beach in Bolinas.
  73. Pick a quiet spot in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and have a picnic or toss the Frisbee.
  74. Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk.
  75. Take a charter boat-fishing trip out of Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Monterey, Half Moon Bay or Berkeley.
  76. See the San Jose Sharks (NHL).
  77. Shop and eat your way down University Avenue in Palo Alto near Stanford University.
  78. Have a BBQ at San Jose’s Alum Rock Park. This is one of many parks to choose from in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  79. Go to Nordstrom’s in downtown San Francisco and get your shoes shined for $2.00.
  80. Open studios in San Jose or San Francisco.
  81. Tour the wine country and have some beer.
  82. Go to the Century theaters and see a movie in San Jose.
  83. Explore the San Jose Museum of Art.
  84. See the giant redwoods and camp at Big Basin State Park.
  85. Ferrari of Los Gatos.
  86. Watch out for firecrackers at San Francisco’s Chinese New Years Parade.
  87. See the Cleveland and San Jose Ballet perform. Take in a symphony, opera or ballet in San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland.
  88. Visit the dramatic shoreline of Carmel.
  89. Relive history by visiting the prison cells of notorious criminals like Al Capone at Alcatraz Island.
  90. Go to the Stanford University Chapel for a performance of classical music.
  91. See the fish at San Francisco’s Steinhart Aquarium.
  92. On Holohan and East Lake Avenue in Watsonville is the best produce stand in the USA. Yes, they have chips and soda too.
  93. See the sea otters and sea lions play at Cannery Row in Monterey.
  94. Go to downtown Los Gatos (Los Altos, Palo Alto, Burlingame, Sausalito, etc.) and observe YUPPIES down $7 cappuccinos.
  95. Have a tasty hamburger or a crepe at the Crepevine in San Francisco’s Sunset District. They have other locations too.
  96. Go to annual Greek festival in San Jose.
  97. Go bike riding or just enjoy the flowers at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
  98. Take a cable car ride in San Francisco.
  99. Have a Taco at Taco Bell (on the beach) in Pacifica.
  100. Visit Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
  101. Go fishing off the Pacifica Wharf.
  102. Fish, drink a soda and eat calamari at the Santa Cruz Pier.
  103. The Kings Mountain Art Fair takes place on Labor Day Weekend in a redwood forest setting near the Kings Mountain Fire House and Community Center (13889 Skyline Blvd.) in the hills above Woodside. The event still has some of that great, original San Francisco hippy feel.
  104. Be cool and eat at the Spork Restaurant in San Francisco on Valencia Street near 21st.
  105. Sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco.
  106. Go sailing on the San Francisco Bay.
  107. Jog at the San Jose State University track. The same track where Olympians John Carlos, Tommie Smith and Lee Evans worked out.
  108. Just look in the newspaper… your bound to find a festival, performance or exhibit that is just right for you in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.
  109. Inspect the archives at the Chicano Center at San Jose State.
  110. Have a doughnut at Rollo’s on 13th Street in San Jose.
  111. Visit the Green Gulch Zen Center near Mill Valley. Walk from there to the gardens to the beach where Alan Watts lived.
  112. Go water skiing in the San Joaquin Delta. An hour East of the Bay Area.
  113. Have lunch in downtown Mendocino. Watch out for the brownies!
  114. Buy a pumpkin for Halloween in Half Moon Bay. This is a great location to find the perfect orange globe.
  115. See art or picnic at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. The Sony Center is nearby.
  116. Go to Japan town in San Francisco.
  117. San Jose Rose Garden
  118. Rent a houseboat on Shasta Lake. If you prefer a more natural and serene lake, I would recommend driving a few miles west to Whiskeytown Lake.
  119. Ride your bike up Mount Hamilton Road in San Jose.
  120. Drive the spectacular coastline from Pacific Grove to Carmel through Del Monte. Don’t miss the charming homes facing the coast.
  121. Visit the KPFA (lefty) studios in Berkeley.
  122. Chicano Art at Galeria de La Raza in the San Francisco Mission District.
  123. Enjoy international food and listen to music all weekend long during Tapestry and Talent in downtown San Jose.
  124. Listen to Los Lobos or other performers at Santa Cruz’s Catalyst.
  125. Hang out with the tourists at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.
  126. Picnic and even play basketball at the San Francisco Art Institute. You will enjoy a great view of Fisherman’s Wharf from the roof top basketball court and cafe. Crooked Lombard Street is but a couple blocks away.
  127. Watch the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco.
  128. Have a picnic at Stinson Beach. What a great place to visit an even better place to live.
  129. Have some corn on the cob or sushi at the San Jose Nihonmachi festival in Japan Town in San Jose.
  130. Watch the Giants play baseball at the new Pac Bell Park in San Francisco.
  131. Enjoy the San Jose Jazz Festival at Cesar Chavez Plaza.
  132. Go fishing at the Capitola Pier and appreciate the jazz music performances on many weekends.
  133. Take an extension class at one of the many colleges in the Bay Area.
  134. Have some of the best Vietnamese food in San Francisco at Tu Lan on (sleazy) 6th Street near Market. Park yourself next to the cooks (my favorite spot) and watch them perform and once in a while… fight.
  135. Keep an eye out for whales near Davenport.
  136. Driving along beautiful Highway 9 between San Jose and Santa Cruz is a great experience. See beautiful mountains, homes, redwoods and much more.
  137. Walk on Valencia Street between 16th and 24th Streets.
  138. Take time for a leisurely coffee or lunch in Santa Cruz’s Pacific Garden Mall.
  139. Visit upscale galleries in downtown Carmel or San Francisco.
  140. Have breakfast at the Pork Store in the Haight Ashbury in San Francisco.
  141. Say hi to ex-Mayors Ron Gonzales of San Jose, Willie Brown of San Francisco or Jerry Brown of Oakland. What are they up to this year?
  142. Contemporary art at Villa Montalvo, an Italian Mediterranean style mansion, in Monte Sereno.
  143. Take CalTrain from San Jose to San Francisco and back.
  144. Get a massage in San Francisco.
  145. Go to San Juan Bautista and visit the Mission and shop for antiques in a rural setting.
  146. Shop or eat in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
  147. Go water or snow skiing (gambling too) in Lake Tahoe.
  148. Have fun at the annual Italian Carnaval at San Jose’s Holy Cross Church.
  149. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on 4th and San Fernando Streets in San Jose.
  150. See a painting by Frida Kahlo at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
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Posted in Travels and Journeys

MALAYSIA: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

Malaysia is a popular honeymoon and holiday destination

A melting pot of thriving culture, gorgeous landscapes, filled with everything from islands to beaches to major metropolises, Malaysia is the throbbing force in the heart of South East Asia. A popular honeymoon and holiday destination, there’s lots to do and discover here, for both the laid-back traveler and the adventurous explorer

Malaysia: At a Glance

Experience the Best Attractions of Malaysia

  1. UNESCO GeoPark in Langkawi, Malaysia Luxury in Langkawi: If you are looking for a lazy, luxuriant vacation with lots of sun, sea and sand, head to Langkawi for a holiday amid beautiful surroundings, lush rainforests, mysterious mangroves and an abundance of wildlife and marine creatures in this archipelago of 99 islands, which is also a designated UNESCO GeoPark.
  2. Snorkel in Perhentian, Malaysia Hippie Hideaway: Lying off the northeast coast of peninsular Malaysia, Perhentian is a veritable haunt for backpackers and wandering artists. The waters here are clear, so much so that you can snorkel straight off the beach and still see a wide array of marine creatures. If you are feeling a little more active, you can hire a boat and spend a day swimming with sharks and turtles, then hit the beach bars in the evening.
  3. Rich Marine Life in Tioman, Malaysia Picture-perfect Tioman: Used as a backdrop in the musical South Pacific, Tioman is known as one of the exquisite islands in the world on account of its tear-topography, rich marine if and blue waters. Its natural beauty, countless kinds of and sea creatures are only a few of Tioman’s many charms.
  4. Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia Place to Indulge: A little indulgence is in order on every holiday and you cannot get better than Pangkor for just that. The Pangkor Laut Resort is set amid a rainforest and you will be surrounded by lapping water, white sand, and stunning Emerald Bay during all your pampering.
  5. Sipadan Turtle Tomb, Malaysia Underwater Art: Rising 600 meters from the seabed and formed by living corals growing on an extinct volcano over thousands of years, Sipadan hosts all manner of beautiful marine life. Home to 3,000 species of fish, including sharks, rays and parrotfish, the pearl of this region is the famous Turtle Tomb, located in an underwater labyrinth.
  6. Penang, Malaysia Food & Fusion in Penang: A unique mixture of east and west and deliciously flavorful cuisine makes Penang a great spot for visitors. It is known for sandy beaches, monuments, historical and cultural discoveries, and oodles of old-world charm.
  7. Redang Archipelago, Malaysia White Sands: Forming a marine park of nine islands off the eastern peninsular Malaysian state of Terengganu, the Redang archipelago is the perfect summer destination, with pristine beaches and inviting waters. For a change from the perfectly preserved coral and smooth sands, Redang has plenty of interesting wildlife, including deer and monitor lizards.
  8. Sibu Island, Malaysia Island Getaway: If you are looking for a few days away from the cities, Sibu Island beckons. An idyllic holidaymakers’ paradise, Sibu offers quiet beaches, resorts, and lessons in diving and snorkeling for the amateur water-baby.
  9. Legoland in Johor, Malaysia No Kidding About: Give your little ones (and yourself) a special treat and pencil in some time for the very cool Legoland that is opened in Johor. Your day will go by before you know it! The resort opened on 15-Sep-2012 with over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions.
  10. Asam Laksa, Malaysia's Favorite Dish Going Sour: A sour fish soup, asam laksa is one of Malaysia’s favorite dishes. Asam (or asam jawa) is the Malay word for tamarind. The main ingredients are shredded fish, cucumber, onions, red chilies, pineapple, lettuce, and pink bunga kantan (torch ginger). Asam laksa is normally served with rice noodles or vermicelli, and topped with a sweet shrimp paste.
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Posted in Music, Arts, and Culture Travels and Journeys

Personal Growth is an Unseen Mystery

Growth is an Unseen Mystery

The other day I watched my eight-year-old nephew swing a bat at the approaching ball. He looked quite grown up in the midst of his team of playmates. When did this miracle of growth occur? As I look back I can see him at various stages, but I can see no more than the results of a change. The act of changing can never be seen with the naked eye. Today we are one thing; tomorrow, another. The transformation is an unseen, hidden mystery.

Consider the words of Italian Catholic philosopher and theologian, Alphonsus Liguori:

“Let us not lament if we suffer from some natural defect of body or mind: from poor memory, slowness of understanding, little ability, lameness or general bad health. Who knows? Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearance, we might have lost our souls!”

Growth is generally slow. No one sees the flowers blossoming. No one sees the development of a new ring in the trunk of a tree, denoting the passage of another year. We can only see what is. However, in the womb of the present the unseen mystery of growth is acting itself out—unhurriedly and indiscernibly. Moreover, when the transformation is complete, the future transpires.

'Discover the Power Within You: A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within' by Eric Butterworth (ISBN 0062501151) The fact that growth is an unseen mystery is one of our great sources of hope in the world. We look at ourselves and at our worlds, and we are often discouraged by what we see, and by what appears to be our hopes and prospects. We can distinguish no turn in life’s direction towards the dreams we have treasured and worked for.

The most challenging element of changing our lives involves exploring our inner worlds. True change cannot come about on the surface or outside of you.

However, we could never determine life’s transforming directions with the naked eye. These turns are often the unseen mystery of growth. Likewise, while we lament some imperfection lurking in the present, a brighter dawn may, unnoticed, be upon the horizon. One day we will wake up and, astonished by the change, wonder when and how it all happened. Then, we will become cognizant of one of the many wonders in the baffling mystery of our journey called life.

Recommended Books

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Muhammad Ali’s Disapproval of the Vietnam War

Muhammad Ali's Disapproval of the Vietnam War

In 1966, Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxing heavyweight, became of the most prominent Americans who opposed being drafted into service during the Vietnam War. Ali proclaimed to be a “conscientious objector.” He lost his heavyweight champion title, got a three-year ban from boxing, and earned a prison sentence, a ruling that was eventually overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Posted in Global Business