Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cupid Columbia...

So what in the world is cupid columbia? Nothing in particular, just two separate quiries I have which I conveniently mixed them together to attain an alliteration.

Alliteration: the commencement of 2 or more words of a word group either starting with the same letter or with a similar consonant sound...

My english standards ain't vast, but my curiosity is. So today, let us briefly venture into uncovering the rationale between two "hidden beauties" in life... 1) Why are cupids depicted as babies? 2) Who is the lady featured at the front of Columbia pictures production?

After reading much material online, I found this website: to provide the most comprehensive and condensed info about cupids. For those of you too lazy to read through the whole thing, then instead of clicking, just scroll down.

Essentially, to answer it simply, cupids are depicted as babies because of their representations by artists. They are supposed to be called "Cherubs" in the bible, which describes them to be a tetrad o living creatures; having 4 faces, an ox, a lion, an eagle and a man. Well, no mention of babies... and their "birth" came about by artists representations. They depicted cupids as "putti" (singular, putto) which have the figure of a human baby and are naked with wings. Putti are innocent winged-like children who sing praises to God daily.

So, to divert away from the main question asked, Cupids are Cherubs, but the cupids we see as babies are in fact Putti. Ain't it complicated? There's no mention of their "evolution" anywhere, so I can only assume that they are depicted as soul because of they are innocent looking and they are more "sellable". Imagine a cupid with 4 different faces hovering around you, carrying a bow and arrow and aiming at you... Just like the Black Eyed Peas groundbreaking single... Where is the love?

I shan't put the history of Cupid down, if you want, you can google it or try the link above, how it's the son of Mars and Venus... blah blah blah. But it's interesting to read that there are different "versions" of cupids... like how some are wearing diapers!! The reason? One word answer. Censorship!! Some conservative countries cannot accept dangling modesties... so... ahem* how do one cover a baby's modesty? If you're wondering why not females... I am clueless either. It says traditionally cupids are depicted as male babies generally... I guess there's some sexism carried over in the history books...

1 down, 1 more to go! Me being an avid movie goer, has always wondered who in the world is the lady who looks like the statue of liberty shown during the beginning of Columbia Pictures. Simple answer... She's no one. She's a computer generated figure, an arbituary and generic figure created. But you might ask, there must be some "foundation" from which her features are derived from. You're right! Here's the slightly more elaborate answer. From the beginning, Columbia Pictures needed a mascot, so they asked a female model to model as the lady. The "real" model by whom the lady was depicted is still a controversy. Well, I can live without knowing... unlike who S. W. Erdnase really is....

So over the years, Columbia Pictures "modified" her outlook and her features and the most recent one we see on the screens nowdays are generated using computer graphics... thus, just a generic face. So... she's not the mother of the founder of Columbia Pictures, nor the mistress, nor the daughter... just some random female model...

If by now you haven't bothered to ask who S. W. Erdnase is... then it's time to stop reading because this post is only meant to answer those 2 burning quiries I have. But if you're wondering who in the world is he, since I've already mentioned him... in a nutshell, he's a "ghost" magician, or more appropriately, a cardshark who wrote a revolutionary "magic" book which inspired many of the world's legendary magicians... problem is... he's a "fictional" character.

No one knows who he really is because he never came forward to claim the book as his. Spectulations have named him E, S Andrews (spelt backwards) and that he was in huge debt at that time, and being a "cheat" or more politely put, a "cardshark" back in those days, he didn't dare to make public his identity... because all he wanted was the extra cash for him to repay his debts. Unfortunately just like how Elvis Presley faked his own death, we'll never be able to uncover the truth. One of the greatest mysteries in life indeed...

That's about it for now. I shall never stop looking.... and never stop asking... Why some things are the way they are. Because just as much as I would love to live my life through blind faith, a part of me craves to discover more, to uncover the "hidden beauties of life".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Overcoming the lost of "sight" (01/09/10)

Went for a lasik operation recently, and during the first week, my vision for my right eye wasn't even close to 6/6 quality. Alas, there was an inflammation in my right eye, as quoted from my doctor, he saw a tear, which was the main cause of the inflammation. I was the 1 out of the 100 patients who were unfortunate enough to suffer such a consequence from an almost "bao jiak" operation.

That was the literal lost of "sight" which I experienced. And to cut the long story short, everything's much clearer now (about 1.5 months later)... still a little fuzzy though. But after my checkup this afternoon, both eyes were supposedly 6/6 vision... doc assured me that everything was fine and that I was overly paranoid or sumthing. I quiried about the red blood vessels I saw (vaguely) surrounding my pupils, and he said it was actually normal... just that after lasik operations, most people tend to be more "sensitive" to our eyes. Come to think of it, he made an excellent pt there... Never really did checked out my eyes cos of my shortsightedness but now that everything's clear w/o specs, I tend to scrutinize my eyes so much more, learn to appreciate them so much more...

But the main reason of my entry after such a long long time, is probably evoked not by my literal temporary blurring of vision, but because I could no longer see the "finer things in life"... the "beauty that surrounds us, or surrounds me". I have been too blinded by the terrible things occurring around me that somehow, either the finer things eluded me or that I just stopped looking for them. That's the irony about the purpose of my blog. Because contrary to popular belief, beauty isn't quite like love. It's not a matter of, "when it comes, it comes..." or "when you stop looking for it, then it will come to you". Beauty is more of being able to really see it when it comes... it's more like an opportunity. No, it doesn't come knocking at your door, but it's one that you have to grasp it when it actually does come.

The best thing which happened to me during the past few months, was definitely my trip to Taiwan with my girlfriend, of which I blogged it down so as to relive the memories and make it available for those who needs advice during their trip over. But ever since then, I was thrown with the tons and tons of the ugliness of human nature. I've been trapped in snail-like human traffic whenever I'm in a rush, and inconsiderate people just seem to be attracted to me like a magnet... for some weird reason. They push, bump, knock, and even fail to acknowledge my existence (some guy flinged his bag to "chop" a seat I was obviously waiting for)... People like that are simply too oblivious to what's happening around them. The one sight I'm disgusted by is how people assume the reserved seats to be fitting for them when some kind-hearted person lets his/her seat for them, w/o even recieving a "thank you". Not just for those reserved seats, even those which are not "reserved", all it takes is one inconsiderate person to take away the goodness of another's kind-heartedness.

And so I failed... I failed to stop, and look, because I no longer believed there exists any goodness in the world. For which I believed humans are evil by nature, and that everyone is self-centered and would never inconvenience themselves at the expense of others. For which I believed that as the number of citizens grow, the vicious cycle of "inconsiderate-ness" will only grow stronger. Like I've read in my financial advisor's book, it's simply a law of large numbers. The larger number of humans you have, the more "inconsiderate-ness" you'll experience... and the "lost" or in this context, the "goodness" is somehow diminished in comparison.

There was one fine day, while I was waiting for my train to come at Jurong East Station, and I was "bioing" a bird standing tall on top of one of the horizontal red railings which made up the elaborate infrastructure of the ceiling. And in a blink of an eye, down came... from the bird... his dropping. It struck like a chord in my locked up mind... that that was... one of the beauties in life. I had finally overcame the lost of "sight" and had finally been able to relive what it was like to experience true beauty. Gross to most, but how in the world is a bird's dropping "beautiful"?

It isn't the act of it, nor the product of it... but the consequence of the action which awed me. Back in my younger days, there's always talk about "kana-ing" bird droppings on your shoes or if you kana one on your head, it's almost like striking lottery. Now no one talks about that anymore... (either there's much lesser birds or there's just too much commercialisation) they only complain when their cars had experience an air-strike of bird or leaf droppings when they parked their cars out in the open.

Looking at just Jurong East station itself, there was a hot spot for birds to poop there... those large screen monitors. Where one could literally see loads of dried up droppings on the monitor... but strangely... none on the floor. Did the passers-by suffer the aftermath? Or did the monitor absorb all the collateral? I believe it to be the latter. Somehow, the birds subconsciously wouldn't drop his stool on anything in motion. We humans don't do that, we find it hard to even dump our waste on insects, or tiny animals sitting below our target spot... And I believe all animals are born that way in nature. No animal will consiously fly, or move around to look for other animals to poop on... if they were to see them moving under them, they will probably (crudely put) suck it in and have them pass by before letting there stool out again.

For those who know me, and my obssession with toilets, I'm not going to veer away from this "disgusting" topic just yet. I was bathing in my bathroom when I saw a heart-shaped foam pattern forming in my toilet bowl. Don't ask what the pattern was made up of, but how in the most awkward of places, familiar shapes and patterns could actually form. I recalled I was working at some hotel, and the walls were made of graphite-like stone. I started seeing patterns on them, started to take photos and everyone was looking at me as if I was crazy. Well, one wouldn't be able to see them if you're not looking for it... that's why optical illusions exist. And that's why patterns are able to form in the clouds above us. Be it a dog, a dragon, a face or even a familiar object... I'm sure if you were to take a video of the sky an entire day, you'll be able to see at least 10 different familiar shapes or patterns.

How about those rain droplets on your window when it rains, or even the condensate in air-conditioned rooms and how the water droplets miraculously seemingly know to form a "beautiful shape"? My sister-in-law mentioned about this "talking to water experiement" which involved the experimenter saying good things to a glass of water and how when it crystallizes, it forms better shapes compared to those you say bad things to.

When I first heard of it, it seemed too far-fetched, as a science student I find it impossible. But should the experiment be real, I relished at the thought of its authenticity, for if it was indeed true, it would bring "truth" to a whole new level. It could even prove the existence of deities and apparitions. For if the experiment was indeed true, there are indeed some things beyond our comprehension, understanding and knowledge. So... I decided to check out the authenticity once and for all...

Alas, it was disappointing. In a world of internet hoaxes, well, the good news is that the experiement did exist, and was indeed conducted. However, there was little evidence to support the experimenter's claims. Note that I term him as an experimenter because he claims he's not a scientist, which gives him a reason (or an excuse) for his failure to reinforce or lay out evidence that the experiment did indeed work. He wanted to prove the point of spiritual healing.. and apparently has been selling those "miracle" waters online for an unaccountably high price. Personally, I think he's just in it for the money... feeding on the ignorance and belief of others. It's quite a bum, for faith is an invisible and unmeasurable feeling. It's good on the sense that it gives you hope, bad on the sense that if it really is untrue, it gives you "false hope"... it deceives you and at the end of the day, your so called faith makes you the "ultimate sucker".

Why... just why.. can't people be honest, good, kind-hearted, giving, considerate and even for just 10 days in a year, sacrificing for others? I haven't been living in this world for that long, and I'm already so disgusted by the evils surrounding us... yet... ironically, I still want to make that difference. So many have complained about our government system, which I was somehow initially psychoed into believing as well... but objectively, they are indeed doing a good job with our country. So many people would rather want to overthrow them, but what needs changing, isn't that. Why can't we change the undesirable parts of the system from the inside? Why are people so one track-minded on insisting that the only way to get rid of something, is to "obliterate" it. That's how terrorism works.

If only everyone can come together and make peace... the world would be a better place for all of us. If only everyone cared for one another... then it would all be different. If only.. if only.. all the if onlys... but I'm no longer fixated on the if onlys. Because when it comes to humans, people... they are what they are, we are what we are. I'm starting to overcome the lost of "sight" once again, because the beauty of life surrounding us... I can see once again. And will continue to do so till the day the world ends...

Politics isn't for me, neither are all the vices in life, or is violence. I wouldn't be so pretentious to say the same for sex, which I will only keep mumm about. No 2 persons are the same, but as long as there are those who are able to open their eyes to not just the eye candies passing by you each day but to the hidden beauties of life... and consolidate all of that, perhaps.. just perhaps... finally one day a book on the hidden beauties of life can be just as well-protected as the bible.