Quotes for June #18

Wee-Hian-THUMBBy Chua Wee Hian

Quotes: read, review, reflect and release



Did You Know?  

When the Moors invaded and conquered Spain, the crowds used to shout “Allah! Allah! Allah!” to express their admiration for exceptionally talented dancers. Later when the Moors were driven out by the Christians, they changed their chants to “Ole! Ole! Ole!

Indonesia classifies itself as a Muslim nation. Yet the following Christian festivals – Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday, Ascension Day are designated public holidays.

TED – Ideas worth spreading

My grandson Ben, introduced me to TED in mid-February and since then I have been googling this fascinating channel weekly. Each talk average 18 minutes and gets millions of hits. Why not spend 36 to 40 minutes a week listening to a vast array of contemporary topics and themes. I made notes on an excellent talk Connected but Alone by Sherry Turkle.

In 1996, she wrote a bestseller Sex, Lies and Avatars in which she propounded that the world of virtual reality will help us to lives better lives. 16 years later, she vehemently disagreed.  She warned,

We have let technology lead us to places we don’t want to go….our lives are plugged into little devices that powerfully change us to who we are than what we do.

When we text, there is no eye contact with people; we do not give full attention to others around us.

We may think we are connected by the Net but in reality we are customising or lives. We are only interested only in the bits of a meeting or conversation that interest us. We keep people at a distance and all the time we want to take full control of what we are going to say. Conversation takes place in real time and we can’t control what we are going to say. In digital communication, we can edit, delete and re-touch airbrushing our faces and bodies. Human relations, however, are rich and messy. We try to clean them up by technology.

Tweets and texts cannot teach us to know each other; we compromise reality of self-reflection. We rather text than talk.

 Many believe that no one listens to us except through Face Book entries and Twitter tweets. We spend time with machines and transform them into sociable robots. Today lonely elderly have robots that would listen to their complaints. A widow would communicate to the “robot baby seal” in her lap top and pour out her grief to it. The robot simply puts on a show as it knows nothing about life, death or grief. Technology appeals to us when we are most vulnerable. So we turn to technology to feel more comfortable. Turkle concludes that we should not allow wire connections to shape us and our values. We should return to “I share, therefore I am.” She strongly advocates solitude because when we are alone we can reflect; we don’t have to hanker after constant connections.


Matthew Syed, a distinguished English journalist and former Olympic Table tennis player offered rich insights in an article published recently by the Daily Mail.

Dissatisfaction and failure, far from being a psychological distortion is the fruit that leads to change and renewal.

 ATM was a response to the problem of getting hold of cash outside opening hours. It was invented by a South African businessman who was lying in his bath one night worrying because he had forgotten going to his bank that day.

 The collapsible buggy was a response to the impracticality of unwieldy prams. Owen Maclaren saw his daughter struggling with a pram while out with his grand-daughter.

 Masking tape was a response to the failure of existing adhesive tape which would rip paint off when it was removed from cars and walls.


During your life-time you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. Saliva is very important. If your saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

The strongest muscle in your body is your tongue and the hardest bone is the jawbone.

It is estimated that the human body has 60,000 miles of blood vessels.

Your feet have 52 bones accounting for one quarter of all the bones in your body.

It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown.


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