Sunday, August 17, 2008

Singapore claims silver medal in ladies' table tennis final

I usually do not watch table tennis, as I find soccer more attractive. However, for once, I have decided to do so. Primarily because Singapore managed to secure an Olympic medal after a barren spell that stretches over nearly half a century, and also due to my curiosity to see which color will that medal be. The matches commenced duly at approximately 7.45pm, and my, what an enthralling competition it was between Singapore and China. Here are the summary of the scores and the respective sets:

Wang Nan defeats Feng Tian Wei: 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6

Feng Tian Wei started the match-up with gusto, clinching the first match 11-9. However, as the match wore on, Wang Nan's experience began to show as she drew Feng Tian Wei into a series of mistakes, particularly a few wild, skied returns. Feng continued to fight valiantly, but the gulf in experience is too wide for a miracles to occur.

Zhang Yi Ning defeats Li Jiawei: 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7

In the past, Zhang Yi Ning have encountered Li Jiawei a total of 13 times and have lost none of them, hence it is up to Li to overturn the form books. Li started brightly to claim the first match 11-9, albeit with a bit of jitters. However, Zhang's class began to show from the second match onwards, her fast and ferocious strokes proving very tough for Li to deal with. A couple of her shots were perfectly measured, just clipping the edge of the table before bouncing out. Consequentially, Zhang's victory meant China were 2-0 ahead.

Zhang Yi Ning/Guo Yue defeated Li Jiawei/Wang Yue Gu: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6

In the final match-up, Li Jiawei and Wang Yue Gu faced up to the Chinese duo of Zhang Yi Ning and Guo Yue. The Singapore duo began well, racing into a 4-0 lead at one stage. However, their opponents were assured, clawing back point by point before clinching the first match. In the second and third matches, the China duo were visibly nippier than the Singapore duo, forcing Li and Wang to make a series of errors. It was inevitable that China would also eventually claim the set.

Hence, the final score is - China 3 Singapore 0.

The score looked overwhelming, but looking at the purely the score would be understating the effort of the Singapore team. It is always going to be difficult playing on foreign soil, especially up against some of the world's best table tennis players on their home soil. The kind of pressure these athletes were under are scarcely imaginable to us spectators.

From a personal point of view, the quality of the matches were one of the best I have ever seen. The pace of the game hardly allowed a reprieve and the techniques on display, breathtaking. Although Singapore had lost, I still applaud the athletes for the enthusiasm, fight, skill and dedication they have shown throughout the tournament to have landed the country, a long-awaited medal.

Well done, Singapore!

Monday, August 11, 2008

So what does your name mean?

I was chatting on the shoutbox with a few pingsters last night, and zhane brought up the topic of 'counting life' (算命), also known as fortune telling. And gradually, the topic shifted to 'name counting', which is a form of fortune telling whereby your name is analyzed. So, I decided to share some of my knowledge regarding the topic here. The general rules of 'name counting' are as follows:

1). Only Chinese characters are considered. Hence, Christian names are not considered

2). The name must be written in Chinese traditional form

3). There are a total of five numbers that can be derived from any Chinese name. They are the heaven (天格), human (人格), earth (地格), external (外格) and total (总格) numbers. Only the last four are meaningful as the surname is fixed.

4). Heaven number (天格) is obtained by adding 1 to your surname

5). Human number (人格) is obtained by adding the strokes of your first and second characters together. It exerts an influence over the entire stretch of your life, and is particularly influential over youth. It also symbolizes a person's personality and character

6). Earth number (地 格) is obtained by adding the strokes of your second and third characters together. It exerts an influence prior to middle age and is representative of one's offspring and spouse

7). External number (外 格) is obtained by adding 1 to the third character. It determines the nature of energy governing your life. In addition, it also governs the nature of interaction between one and the others, such as friends, family members, the public, etc

8). Total number (总 格) is the summation of all three characters in your name. It exerts an influence over the latter stages of middle age to old age

9). For surnames with more than one character (e.g. 公孙), the strokes are summed up as one character

10). For names with only one character, the 'second character' is represented by 1. For example, for Chinese athlete Liu Xiang (刘翔), his earth number (地 格) will be 13 strokes (12 strokes from + 1)

11). Characters with special sides may be counted specially, for example, the surname Guo (郭) has 15 strokes in 'name counting' as the 'ear' part (耳) is counted as 7 strokes when it's placed on the right

12). Each strokes have an element attached to it. These elements are wood (X1, X2), fire (X3, X4), earth (X5, X6), metal (X7, X8) and water (X9, X0), where X is an positive integer inclusive of 0

13). The compatibility of elements affect the name positively or negatively. They are summarized as follows:

- Compatible: wood and fire, fire and earth, earth and metal, metal and water, water and wood

- Opposes: wood and earth, fire and metal, earth and water, metal and wood, water and fire

Here's an example:

Chairman Mao (毛泽东) is the founder of Chinese Communist Party in 1921. According to 'name counting' rules, his name to be used is the Chinese traditional style, 毛澤東. By applying the rules, his numbers are as follow -

Heaven number (天格) - 5 strokes (element: earth)

Human number (人格) - 21 strokes (element: wood)

Earth number (地 格) - 25 strokes (element: earth)

External number (外 格) - 9 strokes (element: water)

Total number (总 格) - 29 strokes (element: water)

From his name, it can be seen that he has leadership qualities (21 strokes) but his life is generally laden with a lot of hardships (9 strokes).

Each and every stroke have its unique meaning. Due to its length, they are not described in this post. However, the auspicious nature of the numbers are listed below:

Auspicious strokes

1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 45, 47, 48, 52, 57, 61, 63, 65, 67, 68, 81

Semi-auspicious strokes

12, 14, 26, 27, 29, 38, 51, 58, 71, 73, 75, 77, 78

Inauspicious strokes

2, 4, 19, 20, 22, 28, 30, 34, 36, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, 64, 66, 69, 70, 72, 74, 76, 79, 80

For total number exceeding 80 strokes, the counter is reset (e.g. For a total of 87 strokes, the explanation is identical to that for 7 strokes).

Disclaimer: This post is made out of fun and to answer some of the question posted last night in the shoutbox. 'Name counting' is by no means a 'be all end all' thing, it just serves as a form of reference. Life is a very complicated thing, and the 'auspiciousness' of one's name is only partially influential.

After all, some do say that '30% of your life is pre-determined, 70% of your life is determined by you'.

Peace out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A response to 'send all princesses to army'

In relation to this post 'send all princesses to army' and some of the things I have learned these couple of years, I find that it is getting harder and harder to be a guy, especially in the romantic aspect. The so-called 'dating rules' just keep changing all the time, so much so that sometimes I feel rather tired of catching up.

A few years back, during my JC days, I came across this term 'SNAG' or 'Sensitive New Age Guy', where the guy is supposed to adopt certain originally considered feminine qualities such as being sensitive, caring, compassionate, blah blah blah. This is quite different from the traditional qualities that guys should have, such as being daring, able to shoulder responsibilities. chivalrous, etc.

Then, in these couple of years, I came across a new set of 'doctrine' on how guys should behave in the romantic aspect. The mastermind of this 'doctrine' is none other than David DeAngelo. In his 'doctrine', he argued that guys should possess, fundamentally, the following qualities in order to be successful in the romantic aspect:

1). Maintaining a 'tension' in the courtship and relationship
2). Be cocky and funny
3). Do not be a wussy (take: SNAG)

Follow these rules, or otherwise remain as a chronic failure, he claims.

Quite a lot of qualities to have, isn't it? (I summarized the things he preach, hence it's down to three points) This is especially hard for guys who do not have them in the first place, me included (although I am trying to pick up some of them).

Lately, I have also came across a forum whereby some female forummers left their ex, despite being treated very well, as they 'did not find the guy to be a challenge' or 'is confused'. Confused by what? Only God knows.

Seriously, I think the reasons they gave are rubbish. You have someone who tends to all your needs, what more do you want?

I guess I do not need to repeat that guys need to have a stable career, thick purse loadings, own a car, plus a house, etc etc...on top of all these, we need to know how 'the game' works. Strangely enough, I do not seem to come across a similar set of 'doctrine' for the girls.

Perhaps it's time for someone to come up with that.