Thursday, July 17, 2008

Proverbs 26:4 and 26:5 Apparent Contradictions

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. (Prov 26:4) and right after that: Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. (Prov 26:5)

It seems at first glance that the Bible is contradictory in this sense. 2 verses contradicting each other, and one following the other.

One easy way to explain it is to use 2 common English sayings:

Look before you leap and He who hesitates is lost.

Both are contradictory, yet we know they are true. It's the wisdom to know the difference that is important.

The writer of Proverbs knew exactly what he was doing by putting those verses next to one another. He knew that life had paradoxes and was using these two sayings to illustrate the point. Both sayings are right. It's the circumstances that dictate how to apply it. The meta meaning is that "somehow, you'll still lose when talking to a fool". It's something like a Catch-22 situation.

Do a search for paradox in my blog, and you will find many examples that I have observed. It's because life isn't one dimensional.

So then, is the best way to "win" an argument with a fool is to try to avoid one much as possible?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Effect of Past Events on Future

If I flip a fair coin 5 times, and 5 times in a row it comes out heads, what are the odds of it coming out heads again?

The answer is 1/2. Past events do not affect the probability at all.

In the same way, what happens in our past doesn't dictate our future. If we have failed over and over again, it doesn't mean we are doomed to failure.

We have just as much opportunity to succeed each day as any other man. It's just the choice we make and what we define as success and failure.

All we have to do, is know that each day our success is to do what we have to do each day. That's all.

For an alcoholic, it's getting through the day sober. For some of us, it's just managing our time. For another, it's negotiating a business deal. For some, just living is a struggle. For a grumpy person, saying words of encouragement is an achievement.

Let's live each day working towards our own individual success each day. Let us pray that God will give us each day our daily bread.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ms. Universe 2008

Miss_Universe_logo.png
Ms Universe is on right now, and I'm watching it while blogging live.

I've been watching beauty pageants probably since I was, oh, 3 years old. It used to be a favourite program to watch on TV with my family, commenting on the contestants, especially deriding our own home contestants from Malaysia. (Why are contestants from Malaysia or Singapore not really that pretty?!)

Last year's Ms. Universe was a good one for Asian contestants. Two Asians were in the final five with my favourite Ms. Korea missing out because of her interview answer. Japan's Riyo Mori flew the flag for Asian contestants by winning it.

The program has just started with the final 15 announced. I doubt that the winner will be an Asian this year. There are two, Ms. Vietnam (most probably due to host nation favouritism), and Ms. Korea (they misannounced the country!) Ms. Japan making it. None of them are really dazzling. So my bet is that the winner will be a Latina, Ms. Colombia by first glances.

Swimsuit:

Ms. Venezuela: Looks good, very composed, right balance of confidence and femininity.
Ms. Kosovo: Her hair looks like big bun. what's this the 80's?
Ms. Mexico: Very confident, good eye contact.
Ms. Vietnam: I detect slight nervousness in front of the home crowd.
Ms. South Africa: Too aggressive.
Ms. Australia: Flirty catwalk, but a bit too thin. I can see her ribs.
Ms. Japan: Her hair style doesn't suit her. May be 1-2 pounds too heavy.
Ms. Dominican Republic: A bit too flirty.
Ms. Italy: Fine, but no X factor.
Ms. Colombia: Well composed.
Ms. Russia: Teeth are too big.
Ms. Hungary: Looks like a taller version of Hayden Panettiere.
Ms. Czech Republic: Could be in the top 10.
Ms. USA: Definitely a Top 10. I think she could be a Top 5.
Ms. Spain: Looks like a man in disguise.

9:55AM
So far, so good. Looking at the contestants, I think Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Colombia, Mexico will make it to the final five.

Top 10: Kosovo, Australia, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, USA, Dominican Republic, Russia, Italy, Venezuela.

I'm right so far, looking at it, I think Ms. Venezuela is far better. So she's my favourite right now. But everything depends on the interview question for the final 5. It's the sudden death round of beauty pageants. Ms. Mexico also seems good for the title.

10:10AM
Evening Gown.
Kosovo: Again, her humungous hair style detracts from the rest of her face or body. Her gown looks like a giant clam shell over her chest.
Australia: Pretty, but not striking. Could look like any girl you find walking on the street.
Spain: She gives a much more softer look, and less of a man this time. Better but not great.
Mexico: A very daring evening gown with a flesh coloured see through upper part. also very good.
Colombia: Very confident again, acknowledging the crowd with a a slight nod and eye contact.
USA: Oh $#!&. Not again! This year's Ms. USA slipped again! Jerry had to call her name twice and when she came out she slipped. She tried to save it by giving a clap getting up. But that's it. She's out. An 8.0xx score.
Dominican Republic: A slow walk, trying hard to look alluring but failing. And what is her dress? Looks like some floor mosaic.
Russia: Looks too airy in her gown.
Italy: Nothing much to shout about.
Venezuela: Very confident, but may be too relaxed twirling her skirt around. This a beauty pageant, not your debutante ball.

Ms USA is putting on a very brave front, I can't see a hint of her breaking down, but inside it must be oh so painful. She knows she's blown it.

And now the side prizes:
Ms. Congeniality: El Salvador. (World Peace! Comes to mind... :)
Best Costume: Thailand. (Her Muay Thai costume makes me wonder if she's a lady-boy instead, reminds me of the movie "Beautiful Boxer")

10:32
Top 5: Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Russia.

Am I right or am I right? 4 Latinas and I was correct in my picks.

Colombia: Judge 4, Jennifer Hawkins: If you could go back in time, if you could change a moment in your past what would it be? In my life... it's been a wonderful life for me, there's nothing I could ever change, ... everything perfect. (She was caught off guard with this question and her reply seemed guarded and ungenuine. Who has a perfect childhood?)

Venezuela: Judge 7: Do you have it that men or women have it easy in life? And why? Men go straight. Women go in curves. (Trying to be witty, but the joke didn't seem to be pulled off)

Dom. Republic: Donald Trump Jr. Didn't catch the question. Her answer had something to do with sacrifices and her mother. Seems to be banking on sympathy for her single parent childhood.

Mexico: When is a woman truly satisfied? A woman can be satisfied when there is a balance between work, family and community.

Russia: Judge 6: Is there still discrimination against women and what can be done about it? Women have become smarter and stronger, a woman can have a successful career and have children. In our time, women can be stronger.

Ms Russia seemed to have the best answer for the question. Sad to say, I don't seem to like her. Maybe Mexico could do it or the Dominican Republic, but I'm not sure whether the answer was relevant to the question.

ms_venezuela_universe_2008.jpg10:55AM
Finally, the winners:
4th Runner Up: Mexico (shucks!)
3rd Runner Up: Russia
2nd Runner Up: Dominican Republic.
1st Runner Up: Colombia

Congratulations to Venezuela... another winner from the land where beauty pageants are an industry.... Not really my first choice, her interview answer didn't pull it off for me... oh well.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Murder vs Unforgiveness

Today, I am reminded of this quote (paraphrased):

Murder may be be a lesser sin than unforgiveness; because the former may have been done in a moment of heated passion but the latter brewed long and intentionally in our hearts.