Thursday, November 29, 2007

Awesome Talent

I saw this video clip on the Ellen show today & was blown away by this 14 year old girl's talent...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Aaaawwww....

This is an amazing video of a grateful lion - a modern day version of David in the lion's den. This lion remembers & hugs his rescuer...how sweet is that???


video

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tree Man

This is the worst case of warts I've ever seen!!!

A real-life Ent - poor guy...I hope he finds a cure. Or at least some way of keeping it under control.

Oldies but Goodies

"There is no age limit for applications."

I was pleasantly surprised to see this in a recent mass mailing I received from a certain medical association calling for applicants for specialist traineeship.

2 years ago, in a similar letter (I guess they send one out every year), I noticed an age limit in place for applicants. When asked by a director in the public health institution I was working in at the time whether or not I was going to apply for traineeship, I gave him a wry smile & said that I was too old. Admittedly, I was flattered by the look of surprise on his face when he realized that this lowly M.O. was already the mother of a teen & a pre-teen (at the time) & already over-aged for such lofty ambitions (sarcasm intended).

So why the change in policy now? If I had to make an educated guess, I would say it is to try to make up for the perceived lack of doctors in the public sector. Whether or not this will make more senior doctors step up to the plate...we can only wait & see.

I am glad the age limit has been abolished (for now, anyway). After all, in this day & age, 40 is hardly considered over-the-hill. Yes, the eyes may be starting to go a bit, & some of us need reading glasses to read the small print; and the reflexes may not be as good as, say, a decade ago. But the brain power is still there. Plus the added years of experience of practising general family medicine I think is a huge advantage.

But I wonder how this will affect the teacher-trainee relationship, especially if the trainee is one who was already practising medicine when his teacher was still struggling with the PSLE! It will be interesting, to say the least!

So does this mean that I am considering applying? Nah...not right now. But who knows? Five years from now, when I am an empty-nester, I may reconsider it. But by then, the policy may have changed again...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Impressions from China - Trash talk

There seems to be a lot of China-bashing going on these days. The recent rumor that China is banning Bibles from the Olympic village next year is another instance of black-mouthing. Although the official religion is atheism here, Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques & Christian churches DO exist; and as far as I know, believers of these mainstream religions are allowed to practise their faith freely.

I personally have not seen any persecution of people who worship in churches here. There is a church service held every Sunday in the clubhouse here that is very well-attended by the expat population. I have yet to see any police raids on the place. Worshippers walk around freely carrying their bibles to & from service.

So I really don't know where the rumor started from.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Impressions from China - An Olympic Celebration

Last week, my sons' school celebrated International Day with a special focus on the upcoming Beijing Olympics. I was there, & it was pretty cool to be part of the festivities as well as a part of the Olympic flag which was made up of students, teachers & parents.

We also made it into the China Daily news...


video

Friday, November 02, 2007

Zagat for Docs?

Hmmm....what next? Michelin stars to rate doctors?

I have no issue with rating doctors...as long as it is done fairly. But when this is driven by an insurance company, it becomes quite suspect, really. After all, the bottomline (i.e. $$$) counts A LOT for these companies.

Impressions from China - Autumn in Beijing

You know, if you take away the gray haze, Beijing really is quite beautiful...




This was taken from the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall on a clear blue sunny day in mid-October.

















Here is another view, this time, of mountain ranges adjacent to the Great Wall.
Awesome.











My attempt at an artistic shot - taken from one of the ramparts on the Great Wall.









In contrast, here are some pictures taken on a typical hazy day. These were taken in the Fragrance Hill & Summer Palace environs*.





View from Fragrance Hill.

















This was taken on the grounds of the Summer Palace.








*for non-Mandarin speakers or those who are not terribly fluent (like yours truly), Fragrance Hills & Summer Palace are not user friendly at all. First of all, these places cover acres of ground with directions mainly in Chinese (& not very well placed either!) So if you go, make sure you hire an English-speaking guide.

The picture below was also taken at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, but at the end of October. As you see, the leaves have started turning red & yellow. What a difference two weeks make.


















And to top it all off, a beautiful Autumn sunset by Roma Lake, near where we live. (This picture was taken by my fledgling photographer 13 year-old, showing off his recently acquired skills learnt during his Digital Photography module in school).