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Chinese New Year duo – Song Zuying and Celine Dion. February 11, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, China, Chinese New Year, creativity.
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Happy new year of the black water snake! Saw this over on Facebook and thought I should share it. It may sound very controversial, but I think this is a very good attempt to blend in two vastly different cultures together while retaining each individual differences. An excellent blend of the east and west, Song Zuying brings in the passive yet strong singing style of the east to go along with Celin Dion’s vibrant resonance in a special style. The future will bring along many more western counterparts to cooperate with the mainland Chinese. The force is undeniably a fine change and hopefully will be one that speaks of a peaceful and creative symbiosis.- Karen Fu

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Sleepless in Singapore – voting in our nation’s progress (Singapore’s Presidential Election 2011) August 26, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Singapore.
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Image linked to New Asia Republic.com

[Image Source: NewAsiaRepublic.com]

Long time no post…and here I am, back at my own blog doing some thinking as I write.  Have been digging it all through and decided to return to facebook to see the latest developments of the 4 candidates. It’s pretty much a difficult vote tomorrow, and I ask myself how I should vote. The president, or indeed any other political figure, has to instill a strong social-ethical mandate for the people and be a service to all deserving citizens of the country.  We are living in an economic turbulent time when the world’s economy is in an unstable form with all kinds of ethical issues needed to be requestioned. I am not against modern technology. Nor do I oppose commerce and capitalism itself. But I do worry about the way things work. And we appear to be following the negative trends that will lead to an unsustainable life. We have created a lot more waste than we realise and I often think its the shades of grey and the lack of voice for the commoners alike that marks some of these problems.

I had thought this election would be easy. And why not? For the past 46 years of independence, we citizens of this tiny dot had found voting the president a walk-over. Not  until the first elected president was voted in some 18 years ago that we started to see some contest. But the real heat is only on today, when the political environment has changed.Ever since the recent General Election that was done just 3 months ago, the entire political climate has altered. And I think it’s healthy for many more have stood up and question about the way things have been done.  For some, its a call for new grounds. For a few, it can be a pain that is hard to swallow. But I feel it may well be a healthy lesson to be learnt for all. Whatever it is, the coming president will be one that will genuinely start a new era; and I get the feeling that people will more likely to rule over money and cents if I have not mistaken the results from polls, comments and rounds of rallies. Since Friday is a cooling day before polling day, I have been sitting before the internet studying whom to pick. I have easily eliminated 2 without much thought. But the final 2, its a struggle. Which ‘Tan’ should I pick ?

Clearly, many people are flared up with some policies. Many more people are far more aware of what this world is getting to be like — over materialistic & in some cases getting pretty callous on human issues. The world over, for that very matter, appears to suffer from this rising phenomenon. On this tiny dot, where people could be extremely docile, many are beginning to figure out that we need modifications to our existing system to make it better by removing certain flaws — one of which pertains to the existing changing societal trends that may not be good for all. We are one of the safest countries in the world to live in; but we cannot risk the comfort and the peace to pending problems that may arise from complacency. Neither can we ignore the minority of Singapore citizens (or even to a large percentage of the general population), who are marginalised by the pragmatic culture of material advancement without a true sense of understanding how they feel. Everyone has a heart and a mind. Everyone wants to progress and definitely does not like the idea of being left behind or being unheard. It’s just a perfect sense of thought that people would think this way when certain ideas just run over without much consensus from all the peoples in the country. Our basis for peace and prosperity has always been based on equality and tolerance and a respect for cultures and things alike. When this social equilibrium is disturbed by unforseen circumstances, we should have someone of top authority to speak up for us in our light.

The President of Singapore may not be able to execute the exact same powers like that of the President in the United States. Perhaps that should change. Tentatively, this prospective president must have the integrity to go against the tide if necessary, and must understand the different social problems experienced by all people from all walks of life; not merely monetary matters. Money does make the world spin. But money cannot buy everything. At least, we need a soul power to keep the peace, happiness and these will generate prosperity. Our national aim should be to create a unwavering first class, first world nation that everyone anywhere will come to respect and envy. I wouldn’t want a nation to be rich to only some groups of people; & yet laden with latent problems of any kind of unrest or social distaste that stems out from the have’s and have not’s.  Hopefully tomorrow will be an excellent day where a new president will send a signal of positive change where the hearts will fill and the minds refreshed. We need a social mindset change. That kind of  change which will invigorate creativity, innovation that will spur this tiny dot into greater space. And I am sincerely looking forward to that moment of victory.  As I write to this point, I know whom to pencil in my ‘X’ in the polls tomorrow. — Karen Fu

Squared Earth…a can of squirms… & our way of thinking. April 17, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, creativity, design, environment.
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It’s past midnight.

As a typical mid nite owl staring at her news for the day,I’d like to think we have a spherical earth. Well physically it is. But in reality, I really think it’s squared —cuboid in form with eight sharp corners, cutting others while it cuts itself.

We are so rigid and dogmatic in many ways more than we are supposed to be round and flexible, adaptable to different needs and social economic climates. That is, when we look at the the macroeconomical side of things. I often stand squished on train rides thinking about why we have these problems. And if we care to think a little longer, the similar problems we find here appears to be found in  many other cities too.Yet our human intelligence in skills and knowlegde fail to solve them.

Elfinically, there are a couple of problems worth tinkering:

1. Why do we have energy problems in cities? Could a lap pool of water quench our thirst?

We are short of natural fuels. So we are looking at alternative fuels. Nothing wrong with alternative energies, but the actual nip of the energy crisis is that we, the smartest of all living beings alive on this planet, are utilising energy in very irresponsible ways unimaginable by even ourselves. It doesn’t really solve that much of a problem even if energy could be generated for the world could just come  from a lap pool of water. Prof Daniel Nocera, Professor of Energy at MIT developed personalized energy that could help us to sustain in the long term. Regardless that I feel that we have not actually hit the base core of the problem, I love his ideas from an product innovation standpoint. Very creative ! And he delivers the hard core science in a simple and fun way that everyone enjoys it. I often feel that if we have more people like him, we’d solve plenty of other problems too. (We are way too silly in being complex creatures.)

Nocera also liked the idea of Solar energy and he plans to make it a very feasible alternative energy

I don’t usually like Chemistry more than Physics. But I honestly want to take his classes if I get the chance to. It’s often at such situations, that I often feel that hard core sciences are vital. Then again, when I often feel that the root problem is very much on the humanities perspective — that we are the genuine problem factor to solve. However, if we could sort our living habits together with Nocera’s energy innovation, our world would be in nirvana. When would that happen? I don’t know. But I would like to think its soon. We need it.

2. Why are we jam packed with people or cars ? Sometimes its a sardine packed sort of jam that consists of both people and vehicles.

Do we need cars in the first place? In many big cities in the world, it is so damn easy to get terrified by the stream of vehicles stuck in limbo. So stagnent that our roller blades may take us further than what our cars could take us. Yet we still want cars. Cars that drink both our money and energy; drive us not to our physical destination but drive us up the wall. Yet we give great business to car manufacturers. Strange isn’t it?

3. Social life trends. Relationships between people have changed. More complex in cities where different attractions are available. People tend to wonder between status and money most of the time. Even in marriages, it is common in the west to have pre-nups. Asia is catching up and I hope we will not surpass the divorce numbers in the west. It has a serious negative impact on the society as a whole. The west has a falling marriage rate because of the high divorce rates. As a result, more people choose to have partners and cohabit instead. I think it is a sad case. People may not realised it as such a culture has sunk in naturally as a whole, but if we start to compare cultures, it is easy to see how the high divorce rates link to a change in culture.

Also, in most urban areas, the genuine friendship at work, school or other general public areas; people have become to be more superficial in their manners and ethics. Often such leads to stress problems and many develop psychological problems that require professional help.

Why do you think new professions like psycholigsts, stress trainers etc come from? They emerge as we fail to simplify our thoughts about what life is and how our goals should be achieved. Health pays in the process. What goes around, comes around. Even if it needs to travel around all eight pointed corners.

We live in a strange world alright……but we can choose not to. Appropriate idiosyncracies is fine. Overdo it, and we’ll get a huge can of crazy worns which will make anyone squirm. Cheers for now…- Karen Fu