Saturday, December 01, 2012

Road Trip Magic

Road trip magic by Justin Flom. Awesome to watch.

Travel. Perform. Travel. Perform.

How I wish I could have a magical journey like that!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Card Members

Some new cards joining the collection before 2012 ends. Archangels, Infinity, Artifice, Titanium Bee, Silver version of Monarch and Steampunk; and last but not least, I'm lucky to have grabbed Players by Daniel Madison before it was sold out in no time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cardistry Style?

No, I'm not a die-hard fans of Gangnam-style but, this is too good and I have to share it. Cardistry style by Patrick Kun, Michael James, Zach Mueller and Chris Mitchell! Hilarious and with some awesome flourishes! ;)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Magic Dream Came True

 At last, I have completed the Magic Academy studies and passed the multi-step exams (Trust me, magic exams can be equally tough too!) - and was conferred Doctor of Magic degree certificate. I'm truly glad that my many months of effort did come to a fruitful conclusion, and the completion of this course has been one of the things that I always wanted to do.

Just some background about IMS (International Magicians Society), it is the world's largest magic society as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Based in New York, the IMS began in 1968 and now has over 37,000 members worldwide. It was created to help promote and preserve the art of magic.

The renowned Magic Academy of IMS offers four major courses starting from Pro Magician, Bachelor of Magic, Master of Magic and finally Doctor of Magic degree. The courses cover many aspects of the art of magic, making sure that candidates will have an excellent exposure to a wide variety of magic skills.

I must say that the joy of receiving this recognition is just as great as my MBBS moment. My dream has finally come true - being a doc of Medicine & Magic! ;)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Christine Ha won MasterChef

MasterChef US Season 3 has recently concluded with Christine Ha, who calls herself "The blind Chef", winning the MasterChef title. Reading about a chef who is visually impaired has certainly intrigued my curiosity. Having spent some time watching the whole season 3 on youtube, all I could say is she has undergone such an amazing journey and it is truly inspiring. Some of the good episodes:

In the first episode, how she introduced herself and qualified the audition.

I especially like this part, how Gordon Ramsay encourages her.

And of course, the finale that she finally won the title that she well deserves.

"Midway through of this year's competition, my money would not have been on Christine for the win – and not just because of her disability – because she just didn't come across as the typical frontrunner. With Christine, slow and steady won the race. She subtlety climbed her way to the top by performing consistently well, triumphing over her own self-doubt, all the while maintaining her signature grace and integrity. It was thrilling to watch. And I can say with absolute confidence there was no one more deserving." - Joe Bastianich, judge of MasterChef. Well said!

Friday, September 07, 2012

聽她說話 - Yasmin Ahmad

"Yasmin Ahmad,這位在馬來西亞已故女導演,從她觸碰過的人們身上依然能感受得到她那揮散不去的影子。她的作品和理念總是出奇的簡單,卻能一次又一次的喚醒人們心底那最純樸的­愛的表現。" - SinChew.

Some posts that I shared about her stories before:
"You made us proud"
"Keep my fingers crossed"
"Beautifully imperfect"

We miss you, Yasmin.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

One Direction by ThePianoGuys

Beautiful music from The Piano Guys. Amazing work. Put on your earphones and enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

To all my Muslim friends and readers, wish you all Selamat Hari Raya and a wonderful celebration.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Awesome Magic Show!

Went for "Dazzle" magic show by Lu Chen. Singapore stop is the 105th show in his world tour.

His award of "Magician of the Year 2011" was being displayed in the convention center.

Inside view - it's full house!

Overall I must say that this is absolutely an awesome show. His unique showmanship and audience control skill are excellent, and not to mention the mesmerizing magic - we truly enjoyed each and every part of the show. Thanks to Lu Chen, we had a night having witnessed the impossible!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dazzle - Lu Chen 2012

Lu Chen's World Magic tour 2012 - is stopping at Singapore in August. He's probably the best known Chinese magician in the region, and was also recently awarded the "Magician of the Year" by Academy of Magical Arts at Magic Castle.

The show is absolutely a highly anticipated one..and it's happening in a week time. Quoting his favourite sentence, "It's time to witness the miracle!"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Will be Away

(Pic from Buzz Voyage)

Destination: Berlin, Germany

For: 24th International Congress of the Transplantation Society (TTS)

A whole week of comprehensive programs..daily starts at 7am!

See ya;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ECFMG Certification

Finally, I'm glad to share that I've passed my USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), and met the requirements to be ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates)-certified. Many people/ readers have asked me before why I did not complete this earlier. If you do remember, I sat for my first Step almost 6 years ago, during my 4th year in med school. I then took the Step 2 CK in '06 just before starting housemanship. My very initial plan is to go for US Residency upon completing my internship in M'sia.

The plan was kind of deferred as I then decided to complete my compulsory service first, and in the meantime to study for MRCP (UK). I consider myself lucky that I passed my Part I & IIa smoothly, and I think I have to partly attribute this to my previous preparation for USMLE. To me, it is a very well-designed exam and I learned so much by just preparing for it.

Upon completing MRCP, after much consideration I've decided to pursue further training in Nephrology and came to where I am now. Knowing that if I do not sit for the USMLE 3rd part within 7 years (which is 2012 - this year!), my previous efforts will be wasted and this will remain an incomplete dream. But the timing of exam, mid May, is challenging as it means that I would only have about 6 weeks to prepare, after my SCE Nephro exam in March. Frankly, I did encounter difficulty as it was quite a painful process to revise from the very beginning. But of course, PACES experience did help substantially, but my memory of orthopedic examination was kind of vague already. ;)

Step 2 CS consists of 12 clinical encounters, each with 15 minutes for seeing the patients, and 10 minutes for patient's note writing. The whole session lasts approximately EIGHT hours (enough time to cause brain injury). It tests the candidate on 3 major components: Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE), Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS), and Spoken English Proficiency (SEP). It is necessary to pass all components in order to obtain an overall pass. I took the exam in Los Angeles, and continued my trip travelling around Western US.

Now I'm glad that it's over - a huge relief indeed. An exam spanning over almost 7 years - it's done! Time for just another celebration! ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Berglas Effect

In EMC (Essential Magic Conference) 2011, Lu Chen performed the world-renowned "Berglas Effect" - an effect of ACAAN (Any card at any number) which was created by David Berglas.

The effect is a perfect combination of card and mentalism, to the highest level, and Lu Chen has executed it flawlessly.

"How is it possible?" - This is going to be the question in every magician's mind.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

International Magic Festival 2012

Coming soon - International Magic Festival in Genting. So tempting - but seriously doubt that I'll be able to take any leave for it.

Would love to watch Nesto's Live performance!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Guideline for Glomerulonephritis

Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) has just published the guideline for Glomerulonephritis. This is definitely a long-awaited one in the field of Nephrology. Have a read if you're interested! You can download the guideline here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shin Lim's Tribute to Monarchs Cards

This is a tribute vid to Monarchs playing cards by Shin Lim, champion of card magic in FISM 2011. For those who are not familiar, FISM is one of the most respected organizations in magic community, hosting magic championship once every 3 years which magicians compete for the highest honour.

You can see his extraordinary sleight of hand in the vid - and has definitely brought colour change to a new higher level. Eight consecutive changes - you've got to witness it!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

David Copperfield's Live Performance

Back from my US trip a week ago. One of the biggest highlights is of course, to have watched David Copperfield's live performance, in Hollywood theatre in MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

Happy to purchase his book and autographed picture.

Being the biggest fan, I was deeply thrilled by the show. Masterful performance, his captivating charms, mind-blowing illusions - the whole experience is literally, Magical. I was like back to a small kid again. I still remember that how I felt when I watched him on TV in those days, and how I wished to see him in person, I'm glad that my dream has come true.

If you like magic, do not miss the chance to see him performing while he still does. DC, the magician of the century.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Soulful Music

Another masterpiece from The Piano Guys. Close your eyes, and listen.

Just to share this before I leave! ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Will be Away

(Pics were simply googled)

Destinations: San Francisco, Las Vegas & Los Angeles.

For: Approximately 3 weeks

We just can't wait..see ya! ^^

Monday, April 09, 2012

SCE in Nephrology

Sat for Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Nephrology of RCP (UK), or unofficially regarded as "MRCP Part 4 exam" last month - to be honest it was a tough one, as expected. Exam was very clinical based, and lots of renal biopsy images which are testing the histology knowledge. The details of the exam can be found on RCP website - it's essentially an exam for UK trainees during their penultimate year of subspecialty training, but it's open for oversea candidates as well.

I had an unusual experience I must say. During the day of exam, to my biggest surprise - the test center has encountered technical problem - which it never happened before, and the test has to be delayed to 7.30pm. The test took total of 7 hours - which means, yes, it finished after 2am! That was really my first time ever sitting for an exam across the midnight! And what's more, I had to be on-call the next day!

Anyhow, the crazy experience and weeks of anxiety were over. I have just got the result few days back and I'm glad that I made it. Besides the family support, I'm deeply grateful for the daily registrar teaching by the department - it really helps substantially in my preparation.

So it's time to have a bit of rest now, and perhaps a little celebration. ;)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Magical Tale - by Marco Tempest

Marco Tempest, "The Virtual Magician" of the 21st century. Blending cutting-edge technology with his magic, he creates very original and highly entertaining performances - his signature "Tech Magic".

His famous quote, "Art is a deception that creates real emotions - a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic."

This is his latest act in TED - a Magical Tale. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seeking a Rich Husband?

Came across this interesting piece of article online:

A young and pretty lady posted this on a popular forum:
Title: What should I do to marry a rich guy?
... I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here.
I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above.
You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York.
My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married?
I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you?
Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit.
I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:
1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)
2) Which age group should I target?
3) Why most wives of the riches are only average-looking? I've met a few girls who don't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys.
4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)
Ms. Pretty

A philosophical reply from CEO of J.P. Morgan:

Dear Ms. Pretty,

I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyse your situation as a professional investor.
My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here.
From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain.
Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of "beauty" and "money" : Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square.
However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year.
Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worse 10 years later.
By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a "trading position". If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term - same goes with the marriage that you wanted. It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or "leased".
Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income.This has better chance than finding a rich fool.
Hope this reply helps.
J.P. Morgan CEO

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Great Employee Notice

Saw this extremely funny "employee notice" being circulated quite sometimes ago. If you have not read it, make sure you do! ;) The source is credited below.

Employee Notice

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown in the economy, Congress has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early, mandatory retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).
Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to Congress to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Congress deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Congress.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. Congress has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give our citizens.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to the attention of your Congressman, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.

The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (E.V.I.L.)
PS - Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off."

- Pladizow (ZeroHedge comments on the BOA derivatives transfer article)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

iPad 3 Magic?

A cool routine using iPad by Simon Pierro. Watch the beer trick! ;)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Confrontation Act by ZDoggMD

Another brilliant piece of work by ZDoggMD. Exceedingly hilarious, but truly tells about the conflicts usually happen between ED docs and ward on-call docs. Must see!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

David Blaine's Magic Compilation

David Blaine, referred by some as modern day Houdini, is undeniably one of the most prominent magicians in the modern magic history. I've mentioned that how I was inspired to learn this art after watching his performance, and I'm sure there are many more magicians of my generation are inspired by him too. This is a clip with compilation of his work over decade, including his major stunts namely Buried Alive, Frozen in Time, Vertigo, Above the Below and Drown Alive etc.
Enter his magic world and, be amazed!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CNY Magic

Here comes the annual highlight - CCTV Spring Festival Gala (春节联欢晚会)'s magic performance is always the center attention among magicians. Lu Chen is the performing magician for 2012 - and he did an excellent illusion using just a mirror. Very creative!
But I personally think that the last year performance is still better - in fact much more entertaining. Check it out & tell what you think! ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy CNY 2012!

(Image from Tech Quest)
Happy Chinese New Year!
May the Year of Dragon brings you good fortune, health, success & prosperity!
For this year, I think the link below is my fav CNY song - Enjoy! ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bye to Some Medical Schools (Going to)

The news is out. The move that was long suspected to be taken "one day", is likely to happen soon. News from The Straits Times:
"The Malaysian government is looking to slash its list of approved overseas medical schools in an effort to address complaints that too many under-qualified doctors are joining its hospitals.
How many of the 375 recognised overseas medical schools will be dropped is not clear but Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman, the Health Ministry's director-general, has said the list will be "substantially shortened". Some Malaysian doctors say as many as half the number of schools may be dropped.
The cuts will affect thousands of aspiring medical students who flock to cheap universities that made it to the approved list in the past decade such as some in South Asia and eastern Europe."
"...About 4,000 to 5,000 Malaysians now become doctors every year.
This has given rise to a whole new set of problems. Hospitals complain they cannot cope with the deluge of trainee doctors, or housemen, while standards have reportedly dropped.
"There are so many people wanting to do medicine for the wrong reasons and attitudes," said Dr Mary Cardosa, head of the Malaysian Medical Association which groups the country's doctors. "Lots of young doctors may not know what they're getting into."
The 39 training hospitals nationwide have struggled to cope with the numbers, leaving many of these new graduates without adequate supervision or opportunity to learn.
The number of house officers soared 272 per cent from 2,297 in 2008 to more than 6,200 in 2010, according to the Health Ministry."
From "KL to drop some medical schools" from The Straits Times.
Read full article HERE.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Housemen: Experiential Learning

What an excellent article. Words of wisdom from someone experienced and qualified enough to comment on current HO training. Good read!
"..There is a common misconception, even among housemen, that because housemen are being paid, they are working. This is not true.
Firstly, they are in training and have limited privileges and responsibilities.
Only after satisfactorily completing their training are they allowed to work as a doctor.
Secondly, the training of housemen, including duration of duty, should be decided by technocrats and professionals and not by the public or politicians.
This is because, as with other professions, fellow professionals will know best the requirements to develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to enter the realm of unsupervised practice of medicine.
Let me give a background information about housemanship training, which involves not just cognitive and psychomotor skills development, but also requires exposure to situations and extremes. The American Graduate Medical Education's statement reinforces this point: "Residency is an essential dimension of the transformation of the medical student to the independent practitioner along the continuum of medical education. It is physically, emotionally and intellectually demanding, and requires longitudinally-concentrated effort on the part of the resident."
This form of training is best summed up as "experiential learning".
It means that learning and development are achieved through experience and involvement, by observation, listening, study of theory, or some other transfer of skills or knowledge.
In short, the training of doctors from students to housemen to doctors is a complicated process and should not be discussed publicly.
An analogy would be the training of airline pilots: the training hours or training conditions are debated by the public because it is considered a complex subject.
If I may boldly say, the training of doctors is far more complicated with more complex variables.
Thirdly, the negative implication of such comments is that it encourages housemen to work according to a fixed schedule, which is against the spirit of experiential learning.
..The guidelines from the Health Ministry on housemen training serve only as an assist, which is what guidelines are supposed to do, but this is poorly understood by many people. This reinforces the fact that training is best decided by professionals, especially those working at that particular place..."

You can read the full article HERE.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Card Collection (4)

Please join me in welcoming the new card members:
Upper row (From left): Aristocrat (Red & Blue), Guardians v2, Sentinels;
Lower row (From left): Charity:water, Monarch, Steampunk, DeckONE.

(Pic from Theory11)

This deck worths special mentioning. If you read my previous posts, I wrote about charity:water and how it brings clean and safe water to millions of people. I'm glad that now it's in collaboration with Theory11 and produces high-quality playing cards - to raise fund for charity and I think it's a great idea!

I love the cards a lot. The handling is as good as other fine playing cards, and somehow I feel it's environmentally friendly too;)

The Steampunk is one of the latest products. It looks great and you should see the trailer - it's gorgeous! (on the eyes of cardicians - ha!)


Isn't it just cool?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interesting Imaging (5)

A 50 year-old lady with unremarkable past medical history, presented with increasing abdominal distension for 3 weeks, associated with lower limbs swelling.

CT of abdomen showed..hmm..where are all the abdominal organs? Diagnosis?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Good Read - Top 10 Reason Why You Should Not Go to Medical School

Came across this article on FB, which was originally from UncommonStudentMD blog. Gosh I must say I really enjoy reading it. The bitter true facts are well-described, and it's just very funny and entertaining throughout. Look at the top 10 Reasons:

1. You will lose all the friends you had before medicine;
2. You will have difficulty sustaining a relationship during training;
3. You will spend the best years of your life as a sleep-deprived, underpaid slave;
4. You will get yourself a job of dubious remuneration;
5. You will have a job of exceptionally high liability exposure;
6. You will endanger your health and long-term well-being;
7. You will not have time to care for patients as well as you want to;
8. You will start to dislike patients - and by extension, people in general;
9. People who do not even know you will start to dislike you;
10. You're not helping people nearly as much as you think.

Well to be fair, of course this is not applicable to every single person but most will experience it at some point of time along the long journey.

Read the full article THERE now! (Trust me, it's stress-relieving!)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Interesting Imaging (4)

A 60 year-old man with diabetes and hyertension, presented with painless obstructive jaundice. He also has occasional dyspepsia in the past 1 month, and noted weight loss. A MRCP was done, and Radiologist called up and told that there was "interesting finding" (circled).

What is the diagnosis?

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