Passengers - A Journey Beyond Space

It has been more than 8 years since I last felt compelled to write a movie review - and this time, it is on a most unlikely choice: Passengers (2016).

I downloaded it recently on Netflix for my budget flight to Osaka to watch with my beloved wife. I had low expectations because it seemed like a standard Hollywood movie which cashes in on two of the brightest stars in the entertainment industry: The ever-lovely Jennifer Lawrence and brawny Chris Pratt.

The story sounded intriguing right from the onset: The Avalon, a sophisticated spaceship transporting 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members in hibernation pods, is en route to the Utopian planet Homestead II, a journey which takes 120 years. However, due to an unexpected asteroid collision, one pod malfunctioned which caused its inhabitant, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), to wake up 90 years too early. Hence, Jim finds himself in certain doom and gloom: spending the rest of his life in solitude and knowing he can never reach Homestead II aliv…

Time to Sleep!

If you're still thinking of your New Year resolution, consider making this one which costs you nothing but will totally change your life for the better: Sleep more!

Ever since I made this resolution on 1 January 2020, I find myself more alert, productive, innovative and slimmer too! It is amazing how a little sleep will transform your life!

But don't just take my word for it and read everything on sleep here!

To track my sleep patterns, I use the Sleep++ app on my iPhone and for Android users, you can choose a similar app here.

P.S. As 2020 is the lunar year of the Rat, it is interesting to note that rats sleep a lot - about 9 hours a day and that is why they are so energetic!

The Ultimate Inception - Persuasive Technology

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Inception and I recently encountered something eerily similar to it but oblivious to many: the use of persuasive technology by social media and online games to influence human behaviour.

It is by no chance that hordes of youths and even adults are spending more and more time on mobile games and social media to the extent of becoming unknowingly addicted. This is the engineered result of the unprecedented marriage of psychology and technology which gave birth to apps with drug-like power - so now you know why you can't resist crushing candies or checking Instagram/Facebook for the number of Likes!

I personally witnessed its destructive power in youths, causing them to neglect their studies, family and even their own health. And the saddest thing is that there is little we can do. I have tried to help one teenager through professional counselling but not one counsellor has succeeded. I only discovered the reason recently through this insightful articl…

Quotes to unleash the Hero in YOU!

I love Superheroes... but I love more the unsung heroes among us as well as the hero that is in YOU - because there is nothing more inspirational than to meet a real hero in the flesh!

So hope my quotes below will unleash the hero in YOU (regularly updated - my personal reflections on them can be found here):

"Never postpone doing good because you never know if the opportunity would be postponed for good."

"If all the time & effort spent complaining are dedicated to solving problems, there will be less problems to complain about."

"Character is doing what one thinks is right, not doing what one thinks is wrong and constantly learning what is right and wrong."

"Be on the lookout for small opportunities to help someone so that when the big one comes along, you’re ready."

"Speak words of Kindness as they give Hope, Strength & Motivation to the weary."

"Mobile addiction is silently destroying lives, so learn about its symptoms and sp…

A Mother's Prayer

When I was in university, I almost failed an exam on Analog Electronics. It was the first time in my life that I was so ill-prepared for an exam (I was already too digital then!)! But I somehow survived...

On the night before the exam, my Mom noticed that I was visibly stressed. She had never seen me so helpless because I was usually confident before an exam and would go to bed early. But that night, I was trying to revise and understand how to solve possible exam questions. I just couldn't grasp the concepts and tried to call friends for help but they were all busy with their preparations too.

My Mom sensed my predicament and knew that she shouldn't interrupt me especially when she could not be of any help with my studies. So she did what she knew best in such hopeless moments: she took out her rosary and prayed. Somehow when I realized she started praying, I felt peaceful and my mind started to clear up a bit. And I felt the sudden urge to call a friend, someone whom I would n…

Seeding Racial Harmony

Last Friday, my wife and I volunteered at the "Racial Harmony Day" annual event at Montfort Junior School. It was a real fun and memorable event with yummy traditional and multicultural food and interesting activities like rickshaw rides and whacky photo booths.

Many other parent volunteers put in their heart and soul to make the event a most meaningful one for their children by recreating a "kampung" environment where Singaporeans from the four main ethnic groups used to live together and interact freely; nobody locked their doors in those days because everyone viewed one another as part of the same big family!

The following photo touched me deeply and conjured up feelings of pride, security and peace because it represented Singapore's dedication to continued racial harmony in the generations to come:

Theme song of the ultimate Superhero

If you had listened to the main themes of "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Man of Steel", you would agree with me that Hans Zimmer is one of the most talented composers of cinematic music of all time. 

Music is the universal language of humanity - it connects our hearts and reaches the innermost and unchartered depths of our very being. And in a movie, it is the key unseen actor who is always in the background, tugging at our hearts, spurring our spirits, courting our emotions and transporting us into another reality.

For me, this is the crown jewel of Hans Zimmer's work to date - a theme song for the Superhero of all time - put on your best headphones (mine is the awesome ATH-M50) and be wowed: