Tuesday, June 19, 2007

i not botak (purple)

i have this bad habit. when i meet someone for the first time (as experienced by some of you), i like to ask: "how old do you think i am?". not wanting to be rude, most people tend give a generous estimate, "30?". i would then tell them my real age (when i meet bloggers, i sometimes also add that i'm the same age as aaron), and then get a kick out of seeing their reactions. i've been told this isn't a nice thing to do. =P


i suffer from androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness. my case is quite severe, and i believe i have never met another 25 year old male with as much hair loss as i have. nevertheless, it has never been of much concern to me. it's genetic (both sides of my family suffer from hair loss), and it doesn't affect me or my life in anyway. certainly, its not something worth hundreds of dollars of treatment over (should i go to Beijing 101 or Yun Nam).

my mother however, believes differently. perhaps anxious (like all mothers) that i am yet unattached at the age of 25 (and hence nowhere close to getting married and giving her a grandchild), she thinks that my lack of hair is seriously affecting my eligibility. [a survey onced found out that 60% of females would not agree to date a balding man] therefore she wants me to get it treated. after a few years of nagging, i finally relented and found myself in the National Skin Centre this morning.

the doctor who saw me was a young, relatively attractive, korean female doctor. the name plate outside the office said she was a "visiting fellow". she said to me, in a thick korean accent, "there are two kinds of treatment, one is a topical hair spray, the other is an oral medication, taken to suppress the effect of androgen on your hair. both treatments are long term. if you stop the treatment, your hair loss will continue. for the oral medication, you will eat a pill a day, until you are about 40 years old."

"wait a minute. does the oral medication suppress androgen, or just the effect of androgen on the hair?"

"well, to put this more academically, there are two different kind of androgen receptors in the body. the ones in your scalp are different from the ones used for sexual functions. there has been studies done on the effects of the oral medication. there were two different groups of people, one group took the medication, and the other group was on a placebo. after the studies we found no significant side-effects of the oral medication, so it SHOULD be safe..." [paraphrased]


the risks some men take for the sake of vanity.

[important: pregnant women should stay away from such androgen suppressants. they risk miscarriage if consumed.]

[a blue version of this post is currently being planned. it may, or may not, be published sometime in the near future]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

unfinished projects

at the behest of my good friend aaron, i dropped by the blogosphere today to take a look at the current commotion going on about university admissions, where KTM and Bart, two of my favourite bloggers, had made significant contributions. aaron also notified me of the (rather nice) eulogy that Ned Stark had written for me. as a result, i had been sufficiently motivated to un-retire (not that i was officially retired in the first place), if only just to blog some "final" posts, for purposes of closure, as well as just sharing what kind of personal journey it was for me to be FO.

but first, i would like to share some unfinished projects which i had been formulating with some individuals a few months back, and even though i probably won't be able to complete them now, maybe some other bloggers might be interested to see the ideas through:

1) summary of Tochi case
it occurred to me when i was reading many blogs that talked about Tochi and the death penalty (especially these two articles at SA), that although there has been alot of substance espoused on both sides of the argument, but due to the lack of structure of blog comments, it was hard to see a big picture view of what are the various points of what each side was saying.

it occurred to me that if i could summarize all the various views for and against death penalty, give credit to original sources, and present it in a very clean cut catalogue form, that could be a very useful resource. not just for GP students who want to do research on death penalty, but also as an indicator of the kind of productivity and interaction the singapore blogosphere is capable of.

it was a really massive project to do by myself, so i enlisted the help of aaron. but we both got too caught up by the then new issues of the plogosphere, and soon abandoned this project. Similar projects, not necessarily on the same subject matter, may be potentially useful resources, if anybody would be interested to carry out such an activity.

2) new group blog
this idea wasn't mine, and i'm not sure if it is a good idea to make it public. nevertheless, several months ago, kitana, ben, aaron and myself were talking together with inspir3d of intelligent singaporean to set up a new group blog, sort of like a younger and less academic Singapore Angle (we were also thinking of getting Gayle Goh on board). we felt this was a good idea, not as to compete with SA, but to cater to a slightly different audience who finds some of the material presented in SA too academic for their tastes.

what happened was that we KIV-ed this project as Kitana, Ben and Aaron were busy preparing for final year exams, and as we all know, Kitana and Ben both stopped blogging after (or rather, stopped blogging as Kitana and Ben). i have always believed in co-operation between different inidivdual bloggers, especially those who have different points of view. why we thought Aaron, Ben, Kitana and myself would be a good mix was that the 4 of us vary quite widely, not just in style, but also across the conservative-liberal spectrum. i suspect Inspir3d and Aaron would still be interested in resurrecting this project if other bloggers are willing to come forward and talk to them about it.

3) dining with FO
this was the project which i was most enthusiastic about, but was also abandoned in the most infant stage of planning. through blogging as FO, i had got the chance to meet (and drink coffee with) many bloggers face to face, and many of them (KTM, Huichieh, BL, Aaron, Ian, Kitana, Heavenly Sword, to name a few) have become people whom I can call friends. when PJ, an NUS student, was interviewing me for her honors thesis on the new media and i was chatting with her about the different bloggers she had interviewed, i realized how it would be interesting, entertaining, and actually useful to the blogosphere, if we each knew more about each other as bloggers (i.e. humans) rather than just monikers with attached views.

that was when i formulated a project idea, similar to some of the mediacorp dining shows, where i will go around interviewing various prominent bloggers of the plogosphere (i already know like half of them personally anyway), over dinner (their choice of dinner location), with the intention of publishing the transcript of the interview online (on my blog or a new blog). the interview will have blogosphere related questions (e.g. "KTM, what will you say to Mr Wang if you meet him in real life?") as well as non-blogosphere related, personal questions ("Are you single/attached/married? What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time doing when you're not working or blogging?"). Finally, we will talk slightly about the food and the choice of the location for the interview (related to the personal preferences/tastes of the blogger interviewee).

Of course, i will discuss with the interviewee how much of him/herself she would like to reveal, as well as the questions i will ask. i originally wanted to pay for the dinner for the interviewee (as thanks for the interview), but i wondered if i'll go broke doing that (dunno what kind of ex places they choose to eat in mah). when i was talking about this project to Kitana, she even volunteered to be the photographer (of the food at least, if the interviewee does not want to be photographed. definitely the interviewer, me, does NOT want to be photographed).

Ben said that if this project was done really well, it could even be compiled to be a coffee-table book of sorts. unfortunately, this project never got further than the conception stage. it would still really be cool if i (or someone else) could find the time or resources to do something similar.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

tv irony

i just saw something on tv so amusing i just had to blog about it. i'm currently watching "i not stupid", one of my favorite movies, currently showing on the 10pm-midnight slot on channel 8. in the movie, there was this scene where Jack Neo and his colleagues, who work in the advertising industry, complain about how their proposals get rejected for "inappropriate language" such as "don't play play". in a subsequent scene they complain about the government's attempt to promote "proper english" over singlish.

what i found so amusing was that they had edited the movie to omit the phrase "lim pei", which i guess the media authorities found too crude for tv (or maybe they were trying to discourage the speaking of hokkien and promote speaking mandarin instead? =P). nevertheless, i just found the irony of the edit very amusing. =P

oh fyi, for those wondering about my long absence, yes i am contemplating quitting. in brief, i think i'm bored of the political blogosphere. i may set up a new blog somewhere else, or i may stop blogging altogether. or i may resume this blog again in a few months when i feel so inspired. regardless, don't expect any updates from me soon. for those who have been checking me regularly, thanks for reading =).