Official Star Trek Posters

The following (final) Star Trek posters had been leaked via the Internet! There are 5 variants, though there is no clear indication yet on which is going to be the official official poster.

Star Trek (UK- Alternate)

Star Trek (Spanish)

Star Trek (German)

Star Trek

(click for full size)

It is quite perplexing why they had released so many different posters apart from the possibility that they are monitoring the response from die-hard fans and general population before deciding on one.

In all 4 versions, McCoy is noticeably absent, replaced by a young and sexy Uhura. Of course, this is a fan boy’s reaction but overall the posters are not bad but not terribly exciting.

This, however, hasn’t done anything to taper any of my excitement for the movie. After watching the latest cinematic and TV trailers, my expectations are already running so high that I’m afraid to be disappointed if the movie turns out to be less than spectacular.

Outliers

Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers
Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers

 

 

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell

“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”- Chinese Proverb

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers is thin in terms of pages but not short on great and entertaining bits.  It explores the phenomenon of human outliers, i.e. individuals or groups that stand out significantly from the accepted norm. Ironically, at the end of the book, Gladwell hopes to have persuaded you that there are no such things as human outliers.

His premise is simple: great success comes to those who are born at the right time, brought up in the right environment and are hardworking. Having a high IQ or an innate talent helps but one just have to be smart or talented enough to be successful.

He weaves interesting tales about Canadian hockey players, Silicon Valley technoprenuers, The Beatles, Asian math whizzes, Korean Airlines, among others, to make his point quite convincingly. And he tells a pretty personal story at the end of the book on the journey of a hardworking Jamaican girl who was born at the right time and brought up in the right environment who eventually became his mother.

Maybe I was reading Outliers through a pair of slanty Chinese eyes because I find some of his conclusions as nothing more than common sense, or at least, common sense that I grew up with. It seems painlessly simple but every Asian that I know, knows that no success can come without hard work (and a little bit of luck) and the right roots.

Exerpts:-

The 10,000 hour rule

Harlan, Kentucky

Rice Paddies and Math Tests

Shoot the Dog or the Messenger?

An office colleague of mine recently sent an e-mail soliciting signatures to stop Guillermo Vargas, a Costa Rican artist from repeating an installation that he did in 2007 of a starving dog. The event was scantly reported in the local press but it seems the installation involved tying a dog up in a corner of the art gallery and allowing it to starve to death by withholding food and water.

Starving Dog 1

 Starving Dog 2

On first reading of the e-mail, I was outraged. But I did a little digging.

Peta and other reports on the web indicated that the event could be a stunt and the dog was actually fed daily and released quietly at the end of the installation.

The the artist said that the “art” was performed to show the hypocrisy of people. We treat abandon animals no better and yet we get outraged when one of them is displayed on the stage for all to see. We see his act as an abuse of the animal but yet we are no better when it comes to the treatment of strays when we see them loitering near our houses. Neither do we shed any tears when they are carted off by the city councils and shot.

I brought this to my colleague and she was angry with the artist. She sees the artist as being inhumane, exploitative and inconsiderate. I don’t blame her and the multitudes who signed the protest petition as I believe that everyone can take out different messages from an “art”, especially those that are meant to provoke.

I do not know whether the artist truly planned it that way but it did raise my consciousness towards our hypocrisy towards issues bigger than just stray dogs. If the BBC has not highlighted the plight of the unknown war in Congo that has killed more people than World War II, will the world care about it? Or are we so fixated on the global war on terror not because it has killed more people but because it is more shocking and received more airtime coverage?

 Has art evolved to a point in our modern world that artists have to resort to shock art to get their messages across? Is this an example of the relativist nature of art?

iPhone blogging

Good things come in good packages. The maxim is definitely true when one thinks of products from Apple. Take an iMac for instance. It’s big but flat, smooth and all aluminium-ish. And it comes with a keyboard that is thinner than Michael Jackson’s nose.

Take also the iPod, for example. It is getting sexier and slenderer with every successive generation, a consistency that would make Oprah envious with jealousy.

But deep down, an iMac is nothing but a normal Intel computer. And an iPod is nothing more than an MP3 player. In the wrong company, these 2 products could go terribly wrong. Case in point: Any Windows PC and Microsoft Zune. In fact, everything that Microsoft does these days go terribly wrong.

Which brings me to the subject of my review: the iPhone.

I’ve been using an iPhone for a month now and I’m sad to say that I just wished that it has more phone in it. As ever, Apple has got the packaging right but for this product, they’ve got the phone part wrong. I can’t forward an SMS to another person, perform mass SMSing, MMS a picture or sound, send or receive vCards. Heck, I can’t even archive my SMSes! It is like living in a beautiful apartment with rooms that have windows that open up to brick walls, toilets that have non-standard sized toilet paper dispensers and a kitchen that is completely sealed shut from the dinning room.

But this is not to say that it is a bad phone. It really isn’t. The iPhone is absolutely one of the sexiest phones out there in the market. It’s sleek, slender and smooth. The interface is fast and responsive. I really like the flicking and pinching thingamagik where you can flick and pinch on the touch screen and things either go up and down or big and small. And oh, yes, it turns heads, especially if you are hanging out in the local Mac store because it isn’t officially sold here yet.

Making an iPhone work here was quite easy.

After ripping out the wrapper, I tried cracking the phone in the office. Apple’s exclusive (money grabbing) tie-ups with selected telcos (currently at&t in the US and O2 in the UK) means that these phones are SIM-locked and they won’t work with SIMs from other operators. Which means that technically, the iPhone, in its original form, is illegal here as per the regulations set by MCMC, our telecommunications industry government watchdog.

Seeing that this is the case, I’ve decided to set things in order. I’m gonna unlock my iPhone because I’m a patriot….right….

Unlocking the phone is easy. The site i used is hacktheiphone.com and instructions are very well laid out there. In fact I count myself lucky that i got the 1.1.1 version that came with a tiff bug in Safari (Hah! Cupertino, you missed one!). The latest iPhones version 1.1.2 is a little more harder to crack but it’s not impossible.

Even with all the imperfections, the iPhone is still a spectacular phone. Nokia definitely has a lot of catching up to do. Functionally, Nokia phones work beautifully. Packaging wise, the N-series is now beginning to look more and more like Microsoft Windows 1.0 as compared to the original Macintosh OS. And while like Microsoft, Nokia can take comfort in the fact that they will still sell more phones than Apple, we all know which phones the good guys will be using in the future seasons of the TV series 24.

Cleaned up the site

After adding on gunk for the past months, I’ve cleaned up the sidebar and the layout of this blog.

Gone are the GoogleAds, Bloggers Unite & Richard Dawkins Foundation buttons. New stuff include a page on Photography and also a new one page about me, myself and I.

I’m thinking of changing the theme for this site so it will look better.

James Cameron presents…”The Cruci-fiction”!

Hahaha! Just when one thought that the Atheism debate is being waged by intellectuals like Richard Dawkins and philosophers like Sam Harris, Hollywood is also stepping up to the fray via Oscar winning director James Cameron and Simcha Jacobvici’s latest documentary about the cruci-fiction of Christ!

It all started with a December 2005 press release, which innocently framed the documentary as:-

“Drawing upon archaeology and forensics, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Jacobovici reveal facts that point toward a potential discovery of historic significance concerning the New Testament”

But latest information reveals something that will have Bible waving folks shouting bloody jihad because the documentary will show Jesus’s grave (and no it’s not empty). The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith with Paul saying, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Head to the show’s website for more information.