Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Going blind and getting your brain frozen

I went for a medical test at the hospital last week that really freaked me out.
It's called a fluorescein angioplasty

Basically, it was taking photos of my eyeballs! Yes, eyeballs.
The inside and the back where the retina is.
That's what it looks like above.

The whole experience was truly surreal.

It was exactly like those sci-fi movies of aliens doing medical operations on abductees. The whole scene is blurry, lots of wires, tubes, weird sounds and flashes of coloured lights.

It starts with the nurse giving you eye drops which dilates the pupil in your eye. This makes everything you see not only blurry but very very bright. Its like looking at the world through frosted glass. When your eyes are fully dilated, you are led into a darkened room. omg! It's full of machinery, wires, tables of syringes, medical equipment and what not.

The doctor then comes in and injects a yellow dye (sodium fluorescein) into your blood vessel. He keeps peering into your eyeballs with his scope and then after an eternity says "OK." This is when the technician leads you to humongus machine and straps you in! (just kidding ha ha). You are seated at a machine called a Fundus Camera. Your eye is pressed against a viewing scope and the technician shoots a laser light into your eye to take measurements.

Once he's ready he says "ok look at the red light and don't blink".
What happens next can only be described as having a 7-11 Slurpee brain freeze x 100! Flash! flash! flash! flash! flash!
Bursts of bright flashes rips through your eye, and while there is no physical pain, the torture is like having your brain frozen in an instance! The pain is pure and mental!
Then, the whole process is repeated with the other eye, at the end of which you are totally blinded, literally. Your eyes, as well as your mind, are completely blacked out.
The guy who invented the fundus camera must have worked for the Inqusition or gestapo previously.

A funny side effect is that the dye in the blood takes a while to be discharged from the body.
Your urine is bright fluorescent yellow for the next few days!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Uncle will scold you !

This is the most irritating, most irresponsible statement I always hear, especially on the shop floor where I work. Mind you it happens also at places like supermarkets, foodcourts and where children run amuck.

Uncle will scold you ! What a bloody cop out by stupid parents and child minders. What I hate about this is the irresponsible parent or grandparent who make me out to be the boogeyman. Uncle will scold you!

Instead of trying to make their child understand what is right or wrong, they instill fear into the child and push the blame to others who happened to be nearby! No wonder so many children grow up so misguided nowadays. I am not the boogey man, I do not scold children, nor have I scolded them for being children.

Children are naturally curious. They touch things, they feel stuff, they make a mess of displays but they are learning, they are growing in their curiosity and intellect. Instead of teaching proper values like "you shouldn't take what is not yours.." they say "Uncle will scold you!"

This is so typical of singaporean parents today. I have heard this once too many times, and yes, there was once when I really told off the mother. "I do not scold children but I think you should teach them the proper things instead of telling them that I will scold them!" I said.

So parents please. Uncle does not scold children but Uncle will scold the parents instead.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Farmville fan

I am a fan of Farmville.
Yes, like 74 million others out there, I too, have been swept up by the current rage on the social networking site Facebook.
Of my current 149 listed friends I have on Facebook, 76 of them have indulged in, or still playing the same silly game. Farmville is a phenomenon given it's simplicity.

I play Farmville as a means of de-stressing after a day's work. It's a totally mindless activity. All you want is to move up to the next level. And to do this you simply plow your fields, plant your crops and later harvest it.
That's it, it's a no brainer.
Along the way, you can add farm animals and trees. And neighbours help too, by giving you gifts.

Yet it's addictive, even entertaining, and you do get some sense of achievement when you see your farm increasing and you are rewarded with more experience points, known as XPs in the game.

While I was starting this blog, I realised that the mechanics of Farmville had long been available.
Remember Tamagotchi?
That was the rage back in the mid 90s and almost every child and young person had at least one.

Basically, Farmville's game is based on the same simple principle. Grow your crop and continually maintain it or else it'll die.

As of now, I am at Level 61 with 352,301 XP. I swear I will stop when I reach Level 70.