Saturday, August 26, 2006

I am proudly a Malaysian

Congratulations Phiaw, you are 13% not Malaysian.

That means you're as Malaysian as...

Abdullah Badawi !

How Un-Malaysian Are You?

Geez...does it mean I'm Prime Minister material too? Come to think of it, I share many traits with Abdullah Badawi too... I'm humble, peace loving, conservative, family loving, soft spoken, has a charming smile, patriotic, hates bribery, Mr. Clean, Mr. Nice Guy and will also love my son-in-law to death too if I have one.. what's more seems like AB and I share the same favorite number too... Thirteen...

In 20 years time, people may be doing this kinda survey and the results come up as:

Congratulations Ah Kow! you are 13% not Malaysian.
That means you're as Malaysian as...

Prime Minister Datuk Phiaw!

He is 13% not Malaysian because: he once studied overseas, he loves to eat pizza and spagetti, he does not like to drive Proton and he does not take bribe. Way to go Ah Kow! =)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


This year, the pharmacy college that I am studying in celebrated its 125th anniversary. Even though it is now part of Monash University, Victoria College of Pharmacy had been on the map since 1881. It's the oldest pharmacy school in Australia and 3rd oldest in the world. Lucky me for having such an opportunity to be part of the history of one of the most distinguished pharmacy school in the world. Haha or is it that the pharmacy school is lucky to have me?

A mural on the ground of my college's foyer.

Pharmacy itself indeed had a long history. Once upon a time a Pharmacy is not known as a Pharmacy but an Apothecary. Neither do they sell panadol tablets or vitamin supplements, rather they have in their shops tortoise, stuffed alligator, ill-shaped fishes, bladders and musty seeds, as claimed by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. The roots of pharmacy actually travel farther than Shakespeare, back into prehistoric time where herbs is used to treat injuries.

An apothecaries hall in Ballarat, Melbourne.

Throughout the years, medicines and drugs had evolved into what we have now. Now pharmacies stock medicines in nice looking svelte little bottles, or tiny blister packages that are easy to bring along. Liquid medicines even have a nice colour and a wonderful smell. Here's some pictures of medicines once upon a time: Big hideous bottles and ugly packages. If they are still around today wonder who would buy them..

Some medicines not so long ago

A close up look

Back to topic.. when I signed up for Pharmacy, I never know that I'm enrolling into one of the most ancient field of study, or that the VCP is so old. Now I feel proud to be carrying on such a long, rich tradition. Pharmacy rocks!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pharmacist Jokes

Is being a pharmacist a boring job? Well, it looks like it according to the 'huge' amount of pharmacy jokes found online. What's more, seems that all pharmacy joke centred on three main themes:

Theme 1: Condom and morning after pills: Definitely the most interesting things that can be dispensed by a pharmacist.

For example:
A man goes in for an interview for a job as a TV news broadcaster. The interview went quite well but the trouble was he kept winking and stammering.

The interviewer said, "Although you have a lot of the qualities we're looking for, the fact that you keep winking and stammering disqualifies you."

"Oh, that's no problem," said the man. "If I take a couple of aspirin I stop winking and stammering for an hour."

"Show me," said the interviewer.

So the man reached into his pocket. Embarrassingly he pulled out loads of condoms of every variety - ribbed, flavoured, colored and everything before he found the packet of aspirin. He took the aspirin and soon talked perfectly and stopped winking.

The interviewer said, "That's amazing, but I don't think we could employ someone who'd be womanizing all over the country."

"Excuse me!" exclaimed the man, "I'm a happily married man, not a womanizer!"

"Well how do you explain all the condoms, then?" asked the interviewer.

The man replied, "Have you ever gone into a pharmacy, stammering and winking, and asked for a packet of aspirin?

Another example:
Did you hear about the new "morning after" pill for men?
It changes their blood type.

The second theme is on stupid, idiotic customers. Some prefect examples:

A woman and her husband approach their pharmacist and begin to ask questions like if the pharmacy checks for medications past their expiration date and the reliability of a certain company that makes birth control pills. Finally the pharmacist asks the couple what's the matter. The wife explains, "In spite of using birth control pills I continue to get pregnant."

The pharmacist is astounded and asks the woman if she takes them every day.
The woman replies, "My husband takes them every day."
"What ?" the pharmacist croaks.
"Yep. After we read all those potential side-effects, my husband said ' Ah honey.. I don't what you taking that stuff.. it's too dangerous,.....let ME take them.' "

Customer gets a topical cream. Direction: apply locally two times a day.
Customer says to the pharmacist: "I can't apply locally, I'm going overseas."

A pharmacist is going over the directions on a prescription bottle with an elderly patient. "Be sure not to take this more often than every 4 hours," the pharmacist says. "Don't worry," replies the patient. "It takes me 4 hours to get the lid off".

Theme 3: of course it's about one of a pharmacist main job nowadays: deciphering kindergarten children's handwriting:

A doctor is to give a speech at the local AMA dinner. He jots down notes for his speech. Unfortunately, when he stands in front of his colleagues later that night, he finds that he can't read his notes. So he asks, "Is there a pharmacist in the house?"

Well, so much for pharmacist being a fun job.. anyway looking forward to dispense condoms to you guys later when I graduated... gurantee big discounts...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Doddles Smorgasbord

Uni life is in full swing now, with me entering week 5 of studies this week. I simply do not have enough time to find some interesting things to write about, so let me entertain you with some of my musings over the past week when I had been absent from blogsphere.

Eight things I learnt during the week:

1. Remembering names

I found it hard to remember people's name when I was introduce to them for the first time. This should not be a problem because I know the theory behind remembering names: (1) make an association; (2) sincerely get to know them. Hmm..Is it that I'm not paying enough attention? Or is it as I suspected all along, that I don't have any interest in really getting to know people?

2. Trying too hard

Is there something such as over-trying? Like you really wanted to learn something but ended up not learning anything because you try too hard wanting to learn something? Like me learning Hip-Hop... Food for thought..

3. Wonders of the human mind

Been to a public lecture on stem cells today and was deeply impressed with the level of knowledge and ingenuity of the presenters. Their minds are simply brilliant. Got me thinking.. been studying in uni for nearly 2 years.. that's nearly half of my undergrad degree, but why am I still not feeling that I'm knowledgable and know in depth about the field that I'm specialising in? Why I still have no answers to all the questions that's ringing in my head?

4. Wikipedia is a wizard

Been addicted to the medical drama House for the entire weekend, watching 8 episodes. It may be a cardinal sin for a pharmacist to enjoy a medical movie but..hey there's still no drama about pharmacist.. The terminologies of the diseases in House is sometimes so foreign that an encyclopedia is needed to define all of the terms. This is when I started to appreciate Wikipedia. Makes learning new things so easy.

5. Dan Brown is a genius

Spend the bulk of the week reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. This guy is definitely a genius in writing. I cannot put the novel down at all. The urge to start another chapter or turn another page is just so irresistable. Much much better than Rowling's Harry Potter series. Uh-huh if you don't know who is Dan Brown.. he wrote da Vinci Code.

6. A long weekend makes the rest of the week feel short

A three day weekend can do wonders. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday seems to fly off at the speed of light if I have Monday off. Usual 5-day week is such a drag.

7. Animals can fall in love too (and be heartbroken)

Never really believe that animals do have feelings until Freda relate the 'love' story of her German Shephard. Seems that he fell in love with a visiting "she-hound" and did not eat for 2 days afterwards due to lovesickness. Wow.. pity the lab mices.. wonder how do they feel being manipulated for medical purposes?

8. Being busy makes me feel that life is purposeful

Having things to do all week long and the feeling that you simply do not have enough time to do everything seems to make me happier. A week filled to the brim with assignments, lectures, meetings, social gatherings and such make me feel that there is a reason to life on, a purpose. Better than having nothing to do and regret wasting my time doing nothing later..

Monday, August 07, 2006


It seems that we are living in a fairly troubled world now. There's war in the Lebanon, and perhaps soon another in Iraq. War War War. It never ceased to amaze me how in such a civilised era there's still so called animals out there using medieval brute force to maim each other. And I still can't understand why those instigating the war can get off unscathed and it is those innocents that suffer. This may sound like stale whining but seriously there's absolutely no fairness in the world. And why does the soldiers felt so compelled to 'follow their leader?' Doesn't they realised that they are mere pawns being cleverly manipuated just to achieve their leader's ideology? It all boils down to faith. Blind faith for an idea or belief. A single person's belief. Thousands of life gone for a leader's belief. Come to think of it, that's immense, staggering power...

Perhaps the best way to stop war is for the leader to be on the battlefield himself. Then he can see how the soldiers who fight for his ideology agonise in pain when being shot. He will also experiece the feeling of hearing every rustling leaves as the advancing footsteps of enemy soldiers. Then he will think twice about war. If I remember correctly, soldiers are worst affected in war. And worst of all, the effects are only seen after a few years. These sentiments were captured by me in words 2 years ago right after watching a particular poignant movie called We Were Soldiers.

"War. A three letters word that signifies terror, sorrow and evil. Millions had died for it, in it and after it. No one will be the same again after undergoing a war. The experience for blood and gore, and of seeing comrades and adversities slaughtered mercilessly right in front of your eyes is too harrowing to forget. It will haunt you for the rest of your life, and one that has gone through war lost their lives forever, physically and mentally. Puppets of two dueling people were made to sacrifice their one and only priceless and unredeemable possession for the sake of pride, ambition and other abstract form of unjustified stake and claim for power. Insatiable thirst of a few results in something that can never be erased – a holocaust that can lead to a lost generation. Able young men, with newly born children, recently married wives were forced by their peers to battle for the sake of a country they are unfortunately born in. As a result, the number of widows doubled, children orphaned tripled; wealth dropped, country devastated. But what is not seen is the wound inside a person that will forever occupy him like a silent shadow to the grave."

There is clearly no winners in war. However it is also not in our power to stop it. The only way is for the instigators of war to come to their senses and realise the furtility of it all. Till then, all we can do is pray for the safety of all the innocent people unfortunately caught in the eye of the war.

Perhaps this is a fitting picture to summed up the post, since coincidentally today is the 15th day of the Lunar Ghost Month. Hope it doesn't scare the daylights out of you. The cemetery here is not scary anyway. Passed this particular one to uni every single day. It can even be described as serene. May those who deserve to rest in peace rest in peace.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Borders on Lygon

In an attempt to improve my marks in the oncoming final exams, I sought to find out the most condusive place to study in Melbourne. Hence from this week, there will be a review of all the nearby places that I visited to gauge it's suitability to act as a favoured place for me to revise my notes and drill the lecture materials into my ever leaking memory cells.

The place will be given a mark out of 50 acccording to the following criteria:
Ambience (25%): The general background environmentof the place, with an emphasis on general feel of the place, the noise level, the availability of music, temperature, artifacts/decor, furniture.
Chick factor (10%): The availability of eye candies to generate enough adrenaline to keep the body and mind going.
Concentration (10 %): Focuses on the availability of services or activity/item that can potentially cause distraction but can also be used to ward off boredom after two hours of study.
Cost Effectiveness (5%): The amount of price needed to pay to enjoy the facility.

The location given the honour to be my maiden review is Borders on Lygon.

Borders is a bookshop similar to MPH in Malaysia. Inside the bookshop there's Gloria Jean's Coffee which seems quite a condusive place to study.

The place is relatively quiet, have nice soothing backgroud music and would be perfect if not of the constant irritating paging for the shop assistants over the speaker. Since it is in a bookshop, the feel of the place is great for study, but the ergonomics of the chair needs improving. It's too high relative to the table and cause me having a stiff back after 30 minutes. Hint: Sit near a wall so you can lean on it and reduce the discomfort.
Verdict: 19/25

Chick factor

For a bookshop, there were surprisingly few chicks in the place. Most of the customers are of the older generation. For the whole three hours I was there, less than 10 pass-able gals of the correct age group were spotted. Downright disappointing.
Verdict: 3/10


For today, I spent a total of 3 and a half hour in the bookshop, with the bulk of them studying. This is quite good. There's no computers nearby to tempt me away and there are a wide array of books to read if I got tired of the materials at hand.
Verdict: 8/10

Cost Effectiveness

To 'pay' for my tenure of the table and chair, I forked out $3.95 for a Cappucino Chiller. It's a superb drink, and when calculated, it means I spent roughly 3 cents for every minute on the table. Very cheap. (Well, this does not take into account the $9.95 I paid for a book that just happened to catch my attention during one of my aimless meandering along the aisles. Put it down to occupational hazard).
Verdict: 4/5

Grand Total: 34/50
Not a bad score. Just missed out a distinction there. Will definitely go back there to study once in a while. In summary:
The main pull (+): Delicious and affordable coffee.
Major minus (-): A distinctive lack of girls to marvel at.