What my Chinese name meant in Japanese

Well nobody really explained to me why my name is chosen for me. At the later age, I have made the assumption that it probably is a good name and I just have to trust whoever gave me the name, that would be my grandfather. My Chinese name would mean something like ‘good’ and ‘great’, maybe my grandfather can’t decide between the two.

I got particularly interested how my Chinese name would be read in Japanese as a Kanji.


  • 嘉 means “applaud”, “esteem” or “praise”. When used in context, it typically means good and is pronounced as ‘ka’.
  • 偉 means “admirable”, “conceited” or “excellent”. When used in context, it typically means greatness and is pronounced as ‘i’ or ‘erai’.

(Source: Jisho.org)

Singapore productivity is at 60 – 70%

Singapore’s productivity level is 60—70% of what is possible according to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore’s productivity level is 60—70% of what is possible: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Sunday the country has a considerable way to go in its productivity drive, especially when compared with other countries which have achieved significant productivity growth.

He said Singapore’s productivity level is 60 to 70 per cent of what is possible.

Mr Lee’s remarks follow the release of the Economic Strategies Committee Report, which placed productivity as the key growth strategy for Singapore’s economy.

Well I think my productivity is 83% (my favorite random number). Now, is 60% to 70% just some arbitrary range or is it based on some metric?

Why does the poor pay more?

Saw this interesting bit from bakadesuyo. The point is that if you have cars, you can drive around and make price comparisons. Comparisons make consumers more aware of price differences, thereby increasing the price competition.

This research undertakes a carefully designed and detailed empirical study to gain insights into (1) the extent of price differentials between wealthy and poor neighborhoods; (2) what induces such differentials, especially the nature and intensity of competitive environments, including mass merchandisers like Wal‐Mart; and (3) their relative impacts. It finds a price differential of about 10%–15% for everyday items. Even after controlling for store size and competition, prices are found to be 2%–5% higher in poor areas. It also finds that it is not the poverty level per se but access to cars that acts as a key determinant of consumers’ price search patterns. (Source: bakadesuyo)

Google Buzz is gaining good traction

Google Buzz is gaining good traction, as reported by TechCrunch:

2 Days Of Buzz: 9 Million Posts And Comments. 200 Posts Per Minute From Mobile. And Security Fixes.

Just two days in and Google is already sharingsome Google Buzz stats and improvements. Notably, the company says that there are already “tens of million of people” checking out Buzz, and that 9 million posts and comments have been created in these first two days. They’re also seeing over 200 posts per minute from mobile phones. But amid the huge usage, Google is getting a lot of criticism for the way Buzz is currently implemented. The good news is that they appear to be listening and quickly responding. (Source: TechCrunch)

The “tens of million of people” are probably puzzled why is this in their email. If Gmail is email and Google Buzz is in Gmail, then Google Buzz essentially, erm, email. The distinction between email, instant messaging and microblogging has been blurred.

Have Google Buzz? Buzz me.

iTunes Store died for me, error -50

My iTunes has been pretty much screwed these days with the notification message:

One Moment Please.
Connecting to the iTunes Store.

If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or Windows Task Bar.

So iTunes does not itself know it is in iTunes. Very philosophical.

I tried logging out of my iTunes account and cannot log in back. I can log in using iTunes for Windows on my Windows machine but not iTunes for Mac. I have also reset everything in Safari.

Signing in to iTunes give me the following:

[iTunes We could not complete your iTunes Store request. An unknown error occured (-50).]

I can’t use iTunes Store any more and Apple Support doesn’t seem to have a similar problem listed.

[UPDATE: I resolved the issue.]



Okay actually, I sort of solved it accidentally a few minutes after I write this. I just randomly delete some files that says iTunes such as the cache and I chanced upon the right file to delete.

There appears to have been some problems with iTunes preferences. I don’t exactly know which particular setting is incorrect; I don’t recall editing my preferences in the past couple of months.

Anyway, I deleted the preferences file. Mine is found in:

[code lang=”bash”]/Users/kahwee/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iTunes.plist[/code]

This causes iTunes to launch the set up wizard for iTunes where you have to click through all over again, as if it is a new installation. But that’s fine for me, I hardly customized my iTunes anyway.

And the iTunes Store is working again. Damn.

Pastor badmouths Buddhism, regrets

Rony Tan, the founder of Lighthouse Evangelism, badmouthed Buddhism and was called up by the Internal Security Department, Singapore (ISD) regarding remarks that he has made which has lacked sensitivity.

Rony Tan made the following comments:

  • When we talk about religion, false religion [in context of Buddhism], we are not talking about a set of teaching, we are talking about a spiritual war, we are talking about satan and his demons.
  • A demonic power has supernaturally put some ideas into her mind [refers to the interviewee]. And the same demonic power you cannot see put the same kind of thoughts into the Tibetan monk. So when they check out the facts, it dazzles us. But if you have to look behind the scene, it is a cheap David Copperfield trick. Nothing more; nothing more. So conclusion, there is no truth in reincarnation.
  • [Referring to Buddhism] When you do good, then you will go higher. Then the definition of ‘higher’ is always a man; higher than a lady. Of course a lady is higher than a cow. That’s their scale of things.
  • The theory of reincarnation is rubbish.
  • When Buddha is dying, he says “I am still searching for the way.” But when Jesus comes, he says “I am the way.” [audience laughs]
  • [In the context of reincarnation] I tell you, ladies should be very offended — they tell me, one of the Buddhist — if you want to argue and you are such an unbeliever he said, next life, next life, Pastor Rony, you will be born as a woman. Ladies are of a lower stature to God. You ladies should say a good “Amen” to the God. We are equal.
  • If the men is the high of the home, it is not because of his higher status, it is because of a greater responsibility for the household.
  • According to Buddhism, if you are a lady and you behave yourself, you become a man. But some of you ladies you don’t want to be man. Right? You just don’t want to be a man. I see lots of ladies shaking their heads. You don’t want to be a man. I don’t want to be a woman too.

Actually the interviewees are quite funny if you watch it with an open mind. One of the interviewees revealed that he had some bowel problems causing blood during defecation. In a moment of fear, he prayed to Jesus and was totally healed.

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 1

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 2

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 3

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 4


Here’s the news report:

Pastor apologises personally to Buddhist & Taoist federations

SINGAPORE: The pastor who was called up by the Internal Security Department (ISD) for making insensitive remarks against the Buddhist and Taoist faiths has apologised personally to the leaders of the two religions.

The leaders of the two faiths accepted Pastor Rony Tan’s apology, and wish to let the matter rest.

Pastor Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism made the comments at his church sessions. These sessions were video—recorded and made available on Lighthouse Evangelism’s website.

In response to MediaCorp’s query, the Singapore Bible College said it trains would—be pastors to be mindful of what they say, especially in a multi—religious society.

Dr Albert Ting, principal of Singapore Bible College, said: “You can talk about your uniqueness, you can talk about your values, you can talk about your doctrines, you can talk about what constitutes the basis of your faith.

“That is all within the allowable discussion. That is your faith, you can’t change it. But whenever you’re engaged with others, then you want to show your respect.”

In a statement, the National Council of Churches said an advisory was issued to Christians in 2008 “not to denounce other religions” even as they evangelise. (Source: Yahoo News)

I should point out that religion is a sensitive issue, especially in Singapore, where the risks of tensions are high. We will not want to jeopardize peace in the process. Singapore has been strict on religious harmony.

In the church I frequented, there is a strong belief that Christianity is the only true religion and all other religions are Satan attempting to bring away people from the Christian God.

Religion is a highly personal position, evangelize with care. Most of the things brought up by Rony Tan are badly delivered. Christians indeed do not believe in the concept of reincarnation. Regarding men and women having similar stature, the Christian Bible has preached otherwise. It has, however, been explained that many of these Bible teachings were applicable to the society in the past and is not meant for literal practice today. The general consensus is that man and woman are of equal level although more progress is required in reforming the church leadership selection process which has barred women from key positions.

[Disclaimer: I come from a Christian background, however, I currently show no interest in any theological positions.]