Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

There’s something about structure and organization that soothes me. I like to know there’s a process, a way acknowledged by others about the way things are done. I like things to “arranged”.

Bowling is a sport (arguable but let’s not go there) that I play from time to time. The bowling pins are arranged automatically and the rules of the game are pretty clear. My kind of thing!

A couple of months ago, I started Choi Kwang Do with my 6-year old son. It’s fantastic to discover the strength of my body and mind. I’ve felt “weak” for years and the thought that I can defend myself and my children if needed really motivates me. It’s one sport that requires precision and structure. Posture is crucial as well as flow of movement. Love it!

What occupies me most days are my books unfortunately. I try to sneak in a fiction novel once in a while but with my dissertation looming, it’s pretty much out of the question. It’s business and management books for the next few months. There are some perks though like a neatly arranged bookshelf!

Easter Egg Hunt – Not the Weekly Photo Challenge!

So I was in London earlier in the week. Faberge is doing an Easter egg hunt with 209 giant eggs placed all over London. You can check it out on the big egg hunt website. The eggs are on auction here.

I roamed around and took some photos in Covent Gardens. I have to say: the eggs are cool.


And a close up.

This dinosaur one was a hit with my son! And this one was a hit with my daughter:


I took them with my iPad and a shaky hand. I had been up since 4am (to catch a red-eye flight). Needless to say, I had no strength to go looking for ALL 209 eggs. It would have been fun though. Maybe next Easter.

Happy Easter in advance everyone! I’ve got studying to do in the meantime… See ya!

Surveillance, profiling and terrorism: a Reblog

Ana Canhoto is a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. Last week on her bog, she discussed the ongoing investigations into the French-Algerian man, Mohammed Merah who killed 7 people in Toulouse this past week. She touches on whether surveillance and profiling actually detect terrorism. This is an excerpt from her post:

As I write this post, details are starting to emerge about the man suspected of killing 7 people in 3 separate attacks in the area of Toulouse, south of France (for instance, see BBC article here).  The details echo a familiar theme. This is someone who had come to the attention of law enforcement and placed under surveillance.  With surveillance and compulsory data collection taking over more and more areas of our life, the question needs to be asked: If profiling can detect when a credit card has been stolen, or a customer is pregnant, why does it fail to stop terrorism?

In this post, I describe what is doable vs. what is acceptable, when it comes to using profiling to stop terrorism.

She asks whether behavioural profiling can indeed detect terrorism and how the stereotype of Islam extremism failed in the 2011 attacks in Norway. You can read the rest of her thought-provoking post here.

She poses this question to her readers:

Does it upset you knowing that governments monitor your movements for security purposes? How is that different from knowing that commercial organisations monitor your purchases to shape their offer?

To which I answered:

Great entry, Ana. And I’ve never really thought about how I feel about being monitored by the government. I suppose if it is for the greater good – to protect society (and I’m passionate about freedom from terrorism), I can live with being monitored.
On the flip side, I think being monitored by organizations is a different matter. I don’t feel strongly about it either way. For instance, stores like Tesco get my money because I like earning points so I don’t mind being monitored on my habits and purchases. I see that this is ultimately for profit. But there is a clear difference between this and monitoring for terrorism.

What would be your answer to Ana’s question?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

This was too easy…

There’s a lot to get through. When I think of “through”, I think doorways, doorways to dreams – in some cases, too many dreams. Sometimes, having many options is a bad thing.

Photo courtesy of http://culture24.org.uk

I think it’s not knowing what’s at the end of the tunnel or doorway or path that is the real issue. I tend to think the worst, that is, I will find myself falling off the edge of the universe into nothing…

Photo courtesy of http://moxywomen.com

But I’m learning that it’s better for my character to go through tough times, different stages in life. Character building, I believe it’s called. I have to say it does seem over-rated at times. Sometimes, at the end of the doorway lies a dead-end. Still, character is built from practically any experience, whether it’s a doorway of dreams or a not-so-happy ending.

Photo courtesy of http://kromephrog.com

I’d Rather Be Stupid

Sometimes, I have to be confrontational. I really hate doing it. Believe me, I avoid it. But there are times when not confronting someone or some thing would be injustice to yourself. You can get continuously taken for granted or the elephant in the room will live on and on and on.

I usually prefer to live with elephants while being taken for granted. I realise that others may think I’m stupid as a result. There’s just something about causing discomfort in others that bothers me. Sometimes, I even make it seem as if I’m to blame to take the edge off someone else’s shame.

Well, I’ve needed to step up and defend myself a little in recent weeks. It has been awkward for me and I’m sure those involved feel the same. The aftermath is respect even if it’s not restitution. Some people are better at this stuff, telling things as they are and feeling no guilt. Not me. I just want harmony, elephants and all.

How do you feel about confrontation? Is it a cultural thing or personality or upbringing? I sense it may be all of the above. When does no confrontation become damaging?

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