Tunnels


Travel along East-West Highway just to attend half-a-day meeting. Sound ridiculous. But that is the necessity for many of us. I was travelling the day Sarawakians threw their support back to the incumbent party. Needless to say, the travel was tiring but worthwhile.

I imagine our country is like Switzerland. Switzerland’s geographical position with its transit routes over the Alps make it desirable for the construction of tunnels to preserve the beautiful scenery and environment. I was made to understand that tunnel building has a long history in Switzerland.

Tunnels have made Switzerland’s famous as a tunnel-building nation. Years of experience, both in Switzerland and abroad, enable engineers to decide what kind of tunnels are best for the specific slopes and lands.

The 57-kilometre (35.4-mile) high-speed rail link, which will open in 2017, will form a new rail network between northern and southeastern Europe and help ease congestion and pollution in the Swiss Alps. It is the third tunnel to be built through the snowbound  area but it is much the longest and three kilometres longer than a rail link between two Japanese islands, the current record holder at 53.8 kilometres. Wow…!

If Malaysia was able construct a tunnel underlying Titiwangsa range, I would imagine that time has come for this country to be called a developed country. Yo..

Look at how the Japanese build their own bridge and tunnel..

Marriage Between Different Nationalities


Marriage between different nationalities…? I wonder how after more than 20 years of marriage, all of sudden, grudges arise, troubles surface and hatred evolves.

In my experience dealing with them, different expectations from those partners are the first hurdle. Problems arise when partner who is local want her spouse to assimilate well into her culture whereas the husband culture is far greater and dominant and therefore more difficult to be assimilated into the less dominant local culture.

Second hurdle is the ego. As Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina: ‘My love keeps growing more passionate and egoistic, while his is waning and waning, and that’s why we’re drifting apart’. More specific is egocentric personality that focus on individual self-interest and in most occasion it goes beyond exaggerated self-importance esp with regard to their role and function in the relationship.

The third element is respect. I believe respect to each other is the common denominator. There is an urgent need to respect him/her as an individual first before others such as career, value, custom and tradition. Respecting each other family might mean supporting elderly parents, taking care of them when times come and moving to stay stay with them if needed. A family friend had moved to Australia when she heard her mother-in-law was sick and needed help.

Last but not least, is support. With support comes companionship and true involvement in each other life. The spirit of togetherness is cultivated through mutual sharing of interest and activity.

My last advice is, enjoy life to the fullest, while it lasts.

Jews Dilemma


‘How true that Jews are vanishing from Europe is difficult to ascertain. In 1939, there are 10 millions Jews in Europe. During WWII, more than half were murdered by Hitler. In 1994, emigration and a surplus of death over births had reduced Europe’s Jewish population by more than half, to under 2 million. In Poland and Austria, there are hardly any Jews left. In ex-Soviet Union countries, the number goes down from 2.6 million in 1937 to 650,000 in 1990.  In Eastern European lands dominated by Soviet imperialism between 1945 and 1989, the large pre-war Jewish communities have all but disappeared. In Western Europe, the emancipation of of the Jews, first achieved in France under the Revolution, seemed to provide a secure position from Jews within liberal democracies. With the establishment of Israel in 1948 a new ideological pole of attraction was created. This too, give rise to new accusation of double loyalties or disloyalty……’

Just started reading, Vanishing Diaspora: The Jews in Europe since 1945. By: Bernard Wasserstein.

I Wish I Had More Confidence


Meeting with one-time good friend really made me emotional. The mystery we call friendship. We loss and we forget, continue our life again till then we meet again and catch up the gap in time and space. As a young boy, I was pretty hopeless perhaps but as I grow up, becoming wised up and gradually learnt to appreciate friendship.

When we were boys, we used to stay in the same dorm. There were 8-10 of us in the same room.

Daud was just a thin, slender boy who was quite organize but playful. He was a skilled hockey player. However, personally, we lack self-confidence, I would say. That bound us together, perhaps.

We’d just realized this when we catch up lately and had a good laugh, looking at ourselves over the past years. I’m the first person to admit this embarrassing facts and he agreed totally.

Being fool when young isn’t just part of the deal in friendship, it is the deal. We made all kind of blunders but at the same time we grow up together, develop ties and bond which we never thought we made.

Sometimes the secret is just to share and to forget!

What Kind of Correlations?


These are conversations regarding schizophrenia and IQ that could enlighten us on the possibility of some correlations.

A: Is there a correlation between schizophrenia and high IQ? I am personally schizophrenic and my IQ is genius-level, so I am left to wonder if this coincidence.

B: Not really, schizophrenia can often be detrimental to an individuals mental faculties. Perhaps you display traits associated to schizophrenia without physiological deterioration of the brain. It is rather coincidental that mental disorders are in a relative percentile to the personality type. As for correlation however, It would definitely be more coincidence than correlation.

C: There have been cases of persons being misdiagnosed as schizophrenic on the surface because a lot of us talk about the “voices” but there is a vast difference between the voices that tell a schizophrenic person to kill someone because they are an alien (the end spectrum of schizophrenia) and the “voices” that demand a person to take something apart to see how and why it works the way it does.

D: I think many of us would be interested in what you might discover about this question. Correlation might be hard to get stats on, but I’ll bet there are some studies that estimate conditional probabilities or likelihoods.

E: This is only an assumption, because I cannot claim to have read study sheets or statistics to prove this; but I believe that your case of schizophrenia and high IQ are seperate entities to your being. The only reason that you are questioning its correlation is probably because at a single moment you were aware of both its presence and sought to bridge a connection of sorts.

A: That’s odd then, as I have read several studies (I will share them if I can find them) that correlate psychosis to high IQ; and one must first be psychotic to be schizophrenic.

E: So then the logical progression of thought would be:
Psychosis a possible influence over level of IQ; results in level above average –> psychosis a requisite for schizophrenia —> and therefore, schizophrenia a possible influence over IQ

Now, a person with psychosis is defined as such:

“People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs, and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living.”

Certain parts of the extract suggests schizophrenia. Can I then say that having schiz is a result of, or a complement of having a high IQ in accordance to what I pointed out above?

F: I was just having a conversation about this. One of my best friends had a maternal grandfather diagnosed with schizophrenia. My cousin told me she considers this friend to be VERY smart, and my friend was valedictorian, honors student, pretty sure she’s a champion, etc. I am still open to the idea that having a ‘novel way’ of looking at things may be the genetic factor in question, despite my having to admit that in seeking a coorelation, I was starting out with a faulty assumption. I was talking with a woman who’s actually a therapist & she said that with Schizophrenia, traits can be passed down.

E: Then what should come off the example of John Nash?

A: The lesson that you can’t form a theory from a single case.

G: I have an IQ of 150 or higher (tested by a professional psychologist) and I have schizophrenia.

A: Your question is very interesting but there is a problem: If you really want a statistic about genius level schizophrenics (not gifted schizophrenics) finding cases is very hard. Let’s say that about one in a thousand has a genius level IQ.
If the prevalence of schizophrenia is not higher than in the normal population every hundred of those should have schizophrenia. That means ten in a million. Furthermore some of those people might never have been tested for IQ.

I have also read that schizophrenia is more common in people with low level IQ. But maybe it is simply stronger in them and therefore more obvious?

The statistic that I really would welcome is: If you have a higher IQ does this give you better prospects for your illness to be cured?
So fare my IQ did help me to get out of many troubles. But this time I really seem stuck.

Yesterday I read a hilarious article which claimed that some of the genes which are allegedly associated with schizophrenia where over long periods positively selected by evolution. This means that they must give a sort of competitive advantage. The only problem is to figure out what kind of advantage that might be…If we want to go on hunting this rare bunch of people Mensa should be the place to start.

H: When I was 15 I had a psychotic experience no voices but severe paranoia over a period of one weekend that resulted in me being drugged up to my eye balls on anti psychotics and left practically in a state of coma for a month.

I did’nt drink or smoke and was pretty much a loner at school into reading fiction and with a passion for home computers.

Unfortunately the episode I had just happened near my final school exams and as I did not really know what happened to me or why and also had very little self confidence, I just scraped through my exams without making college.

I got into computer sales and ended up being very successful and ended up setting up my own business when I was 20.

To cut a long story short I have still have no degree but it never hindered my career as I have worked for a couple of multinational tech firms and have always rose to the top with my “Outside the Box” thinking and dedication.

Unfortunately the monkey on my back decided to come back to haunt me, about 7 years ago I was on business abroad and was returning home sitting waiting to take off on a airpalne and my thoughts started getting erratic, the paranoia returned for some strange reason I thought the Devil himself was after me and ended up getting off the flight and had to get my Mother fly over to bring me back, which was scary for her as I was in a very bad state with all my senses being affected, sight, smell, the works. Stephen Spielberg could not beat the special effects your mind can create.

I was signed into an Psychiatric unit for my own good and ended up being there for 3 weeks (I was fine after a couple of days after meds but they keep you in anyway).

It was strange waking up with someone in the bed beside me with a Pet Rock….

Well currently I am married with 2 kids and a lovely wife, and have done pretty well for myself between property endeavors and online ventures, the odd time I get the compliment of being a genius from friends but I think sometimes I really am not far off just being plain mad.

Anyone other person out there with a similar affliction?
Could’nt tell you, but when your in that zone 2+2 could = 60 and did you ever see a square circle?

Well the consultant psychologist was pretty impressed at the time with the score considering I was on pretty heavy medication at the time, personally I think theres angles to intelligence, like the way some people are street wise and some are not, like the way some people don’t pick up on body language and some people can read you like an open book.

To be honest I still do not know what caused my affliction or why it occurred or will it happen again.

Smelled Sulfur (Which I thought was Brimstone) hence the Devil etc.
Going through Airport People’s facial features looked disfigured.
Sitting on plane I could see 666 burned into the back of the seat in front of me.
Pulled out a magazine from the pouch in the chair in front of me and “Fat Bastard” was written on it.
Was absolutely convinced the plane was going to explode on take off.
Amazingly enough I kept my composure, by reciting in my head that passage from the bible “Though I walk through the valley of Darkness, No Evil Shall I fear”.

When I got home the following day I was checked into the local Psych unit at this stage I thought I was the second coming and was brought into some poor doctors office who had to check me out, I demanded to meet a “political leader” come 12pm no sign of my demand being met so I slapped her computer monitor (CRT) which hopped off the wall about 6 feet behind her. (seemed to possess amazing strength in this state which the 5 male nurses who came in the door two seconds later discovered).

At this stage about 5 Male nurses entered and they had a job and a half trying to hold me down, once I got the injection of (accuphase I think it was called) that really brought me back down to earth.

I: Well there are problably two things going on here:

1.) Smart people see the world differently than normal people, and over historical time some “sane” smart people were probably labled crazy by normal people. An atheist in Medival Christian Europe would be one example.

2.) The genious brain is physically more complex, and thus has more that can go wrong with it. Any system that has a lot of complexity also has many points of failure.

A: Very interesting about how a more physically complex brain can go wrong in more ways. That is the most straightforward way I have seen it expressed anywhere.

As for the the “type” of schizophrenic that I am, I don’t hear voices, I don’t see things, but, A. I don’t often feel emotions (and I am told that my spectrum of emotions is different from the “normal spectrum of emotions”, this is the opinion of a professional psychologist), and B. I have been known to just snap. Like those people that just pick up a gun all of a sudden and start shooting at anything. Of course, I try to stay away from weapons as much as possible for this reason. This may not seem like schizophrenia, but I have had two psychologists say on separate occasions that I am schizophrenic.

J: Conclusion

Human intelligence is a trait that is known to be significantly influenced by genetic factors, and recent linkage data provide positional evidence to suggest that a region on chromosome 6p, previously associated with schizophrenia, may be linked to variation in intelligence. The gene for dysbindin-1 (DTNBP1) is located at 6p and has also been implicated in schizophrenia, a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by cognitive dysfunction. We report an association between DTNBP1 genotype and general cognitive ability (g) in two independent cohorts, including 213 patients with schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder and 126 healthy volunteers. These data suggest that DTNBP1 genetic variation influences human intelligence.

Would You Marry the Same Person?


It is an interesting question if I were to ask my client to see if they have made a correct choice in life.

People with stable marriages would often answer ‘yes’ simply because all they know in their life, are their wives. Good or bad, is taken as part of married life. Life is seen as mutual sharing of love and respect.

On the other hand, those with restless heart, would often think of the ‘better’ one to suite his/her expectation. Some are willing to untie the knot, if given a chance. Worst still, the new parameter is very much material.

I believe the basic assumption here is whether a. have you made a correct choice and b. are you satisfied with the choice you made. It is about your personality and your spouse’s personality.

Matching is not almost always the keyword. Compliment to each other, mutual respect and accommodative are practical elements than just matching in term of hobby during leisure time. Those are dynamic elements and stand the standard test in life.

I rest my case.

Malacca Portuguese


Watching Norman Abdul Halim documentary on Malacca Portuguese fascinated me on how multi-talented minority with diverse mixture of European and Eastern culture can live in harmony in multi-culture, multi-ethnic Malaysia. Near downtown Bandar Melaka, the Portuguese descendent’s started their own village called Perkampungan Portugis in Ujung Pasir, Bandar Hilir. Each year they will celebrate Pesta San Pedro. The most popular dances are Beranyo and Frapeirra.

What’s Behind The Name?


It’s interesting to ask what’s behind the name?

Perhaps Tun Razak was influenced by the great Gen Najib of Egypt when he gave the same name to his eldest son.

When I gave the name Zulhiqmi to my son, there was a great fight in Afghanistan and the tribe admiral that I admired most named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal. He was the Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1993 to 1994.

This is the man.

Polisi Goes Hindustani


One hot, balmy day, Norman Kamaru, while on the job, records himself groovin’ while doing a lip-sync to a hit Hindi song. Somehow or the other, the video found its way to YouTube and somewhat unwittingly, he became an instant star.

The video went viral not just because Norman Kamaru is a member of Indonesian police’s paramilitary wing, the Mobile Brigade, but also because his style is somewhat cool in a ‘I-am-just-chillin’ kind of way.

Norman holds the rank of a first police brigadier in his Mobile Brigade in Gorontalo which is a province in Indonesia’s northern part of Sulawesi.

Fame on YouTube would have been a nice ending of it but a Gorontalo police spokesperson said Monday they were questioning Norman and investigating how the video went online.

Norman, claimed the spokesperson, had allegedly violated ethical codes because his ‘action’ was done while wearing a police uniform and while on the job.

This, plus other comments from senior Indonesian police officers, has stirred a heated debate with more than 7,000 comments on Yahoo! Indonesia’s site following fears that Norman could be punished.

The Hindi song which Norman sings is entitled Chaiyya Chaiyya and was originally sung by Bollywood singers Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi.

The song was introduced in the box-office hit movie Dil Se (1998) starring a young Shahrukh Khan and Malaika Arora.

[http://my.news.yahoo.com/-bollywood-cop–rocks-youtube.html]

I trust we should honour talent. So, for whatever reason, this man shouldn’t be punished. He is so talented..

Doctor Can Become Depress Too


Prof Hamid Ghodse wrote many years back recognizing considerable evidence that doctors are suffering from high levels of stress. According to some researches, burnout was experienced as a combination of a high level of stress and a low level of job satisfaction. Studies in the US have shown some specialties carry a higher risk than others.

Why concern?

Its potential effect on the level of care provided to patients based on clinical incompetence, unethical behavior and psychiatric impairment.

Many doctors are hiding that they are in distress. What more to suggest they are depress, anxious or abuse substances? The colleagues may suspect that his friend was depress but keep mum not to do anything about it. This conspiracy of silence and denial often aggravate the problem.

How to deal about it?

Doctors have to develop a good deal of friendship, have a circle of friends who are caring and provide feedback on his competencies, judgement as well as personal advise from beloved wife and family members.

He must admit if he has psychological or psychiatric issues so that help could be given as early as possible. I feel that all professionals should have their own trusted psychiatrist as practiced in the Western world.

What if psychiatrists are distress? Go to your trusted colleagues. If you have no one to trust, you really have a big problem….