child abducted @ mont kiara: nayati shamelin.

28 Apr 2012 § 3 Comments

Dear (Malaysian) WordPress community,

Early yesterday morning, a young boy was kidnapped on his way to school at Mont Kiara. Pictures and details have gone viral across Facebook, so please do help to share the same on your blogs if you are able to. The more people we reach, the higher the chances that someone, somewhere, may spot him or have some information. I cannot begin to imagine how his parents must be feeling now, and I’m just praying hard that this boy will be found safely as soon as possible.

Here are the details:

  • Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, age 12
  • Dutch-mixed Indian-Caucasian
  • 1.50m height.
  • Wearing GREEN SHORTS, WHITE POLO SCHOOL SHIRT with SCHOOL EMBLEM at time of abduction
  • Kidnapped on the way to school on the corner of Jalan Kiara 1 & Jalan Kiara @ 7.30am on 27th April, 2012 in Mont Kiara.
  • The vehicle used was a black Proton Gen 2. The tag number is WNH 1356. (Police have just verified that this is a false number plate). There were two Indian male occupants.

If you have news of the missing boy or any news relevant to the case, please call the school @ 03.20938604, the police @ 999, or 019.2333065 and 012.3656202.


fail forward.

20 Apr 2012 § Leave a comment

I chanced upon John Maxwell’s ‘John Maxwell on Leadership’ website through a friend’s post on Facebook. This article caught my eye and I thought it would be nice to share…

The benefits of mistakes

I recently shared a few quotes on mistakes here. And based on the comments, they seemed to strike a chord for many of you. I believe you can’t have too much instruction on the value of mistakes. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite illustrations on the subject. This is quoted in my book, Failing Forward.

Working artists David Bayles and Ted Orland, in their book, Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, tell a story about an art teacher who did an experiment with his grading system for two groups of students. It is a parable on the benefits of failure. Here is what happened:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A,” forty pounds a “B,” and so on. Those being graded on “quality,” hoever, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A.” Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

 It doesn’t matter whether your objectives are in the area of art, business, ministry, sports, or relationships. The only way you can get ahead is to fail early, fail often, and fail forward.

Fail forward.

I think that’s a wonderful way of describing failure. Too often, we feel like we have to go through life being perfect – to meet the expectations that other people have set for us, be it our parents, family, peers, bosses, or even our own internal expectations.

For some of us, maybe we’ve reached a point where we dare not try for fear of failing. But what this tells us is that it’s ok to fail. It’s perfectly fine if you take longer or don’t even meet those set expectations as long as you learn something along the way – even if it’s something as simple as “I shall choose option B instead of option A in the future“. Personally, I’m thankful that I have a great support system of parents and friends who stood by me when I knowingly took a step towards ‘failure’ (sadly, in the traditional Asian sense, taking some time out from working life is seen as failure, so is having an unsuccessful marriage).

So chin up! The best part about life is that there are just as many opportunities to succeed every day as there are opportunities to fail and learn. And wouldn’t it be grand if your most spectacular success stemmed from the knowledge gained from your greatest failure?

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford

urban sketching 101.

9 Apr 2012 § 3 Comments

CultureRun, a start-up that organizes workshops and classes with the aim of “making learning a lifestyle“, recently held an ‘Urban Sketching’ workshop over the weekend, led by urban sketcher, Jun. A long-buried desire to improve my close-to-zilch drawing skills (it has regressed so far since art classes in Form 3!), compounded by the sheer horror and embarrassment of how amateurish my sketches turned out during my short-lived obsession with Draw Something was definitely the push factor that made me sign up almost immediately when the ad posted by CultureRun appeared on my Facebook wall (the boyfriend got dragged into this as collateral damage coz I wanted company, heh!).

And so, on a bright and breezy Saturday afternoon, a group of 6 people from diverse backgrounds with a common interest in drawing gathered at the outdoor area of The Bee @ Publika for a two and a half hour class on the basics of urban sketching. Following a round of introductions and casual chit-chat, Jun kicked off the class by equipping us with the tools of the trade – a sketchbook and a 0.5mm black waterproof pen. We spent the first half of the class going through the basics of sketching and water coloring – from creating a color doughnut, to shading and composition techniques, as well as recommendations on the type of paper and water colors that we can use.

Midway through the class, we made a very short ‘field trip’ to Restore where we were given 15 minutes to sketch anything that caught our eye at the store. I gather this was supposed to be an easy simulation of actual urban sketching where more often than not, we would be sketching in the midst of a bustling crowd without the privilege of time. I wandered around and found myself drawn to a couple of vintage boxes and decided to focus on those – unfortunately, one part of my subject was literally sold off to a customer while I was in the midst of sketching so I had to draw half of it from memory! When our allocated time was up, we headed back to The Bee to complete our sketches with watercolors, followed by a quick post-mortem on what we had drawn. It was definitely interesting to see what objects the other participants had chosen – my personal favourite was a really detailed sketch of a motorcycle drawn in strong, confident lines by one of the guys, Shawn.

Boxes. Perspective = #fail.

The class concluded with Jun giving us tips and answering our numerous questions as well as showing us some of his beautiful sketches. As someone who still draws a person’s face with a ‘L’ representing the nose (yes, go ahead and laugh!), I’ve always envied people who could put pen – or brush – to paper and produce masterpieces, and his obvious flair for drawing had me questioning myself silently – why oh why did I not draw (pun unintended!) the artist card in the talent pool?!?

Quick sketches by the boyfriend.

Doodling and making quick notes.

Seeing as I was still feeling rather pumped-up and excited post-class, the boyfriend swung by Cziplee on the way home so that I could pick up some watercolors, brushes and one spanking new Moleskine. I figured…a blank Moleskine with fresh crisp pages sitting upon my desk should be enough to guilt-trip me into not letting this class go to waste. With some patience, perseverance and practice, may there be some marked improvements in my drawing skills in the coming weeks…hopefully before this goes the same way as my other short-lived pursuits…

music in the wild.

2 Mar 2012 § Leave a comment

An amazing ad by NTT DoCoMo to promote a new phone (aptly named Touchwood).

I can’t imagine the amount of time and work that went into building this giant xylophone in the forest – imagine trying to getting the tilt and sound of the xylophone just right! The minimalist ad was beautifully filmed (to the lovely tune of Bach’s Cantata 147) and for want of a better word, peaceful.

So. Awesome.

(This ad was just named as one of the winners for TED’s 2012 ‘Ads Worth Spreading’ contest. For more information on how the ad was developed and filmed, click here.)

half life.

12 Jan 2012 § Leave a comment

I love ads that have a ‘now-this-is-out-of-the-box’ quality, and this one is no exception.

It’s an extremely creative use of Facebook’s new Timeline feature by McCann Digital for an Anti-Drugs campaign for the Israeli Anti-Drug Authority, depicting the (short) story of fictional character Adam Barak’s two lives: one getting addicted to drugs (shown on the left of the Timeline), one staying clean (shown on the right of the Timeline).

The FB profile page has since been removed apparently due to some violations to Facebook’s T&Cs, but here’s the YouTube video:

The stark contrast between Adam Barak’s two lives if he’d stayed on the straight and narrow is hard-hitting. Show his life under addiction just by itself and the impact would’ve been totally lost. It screams “this is the life you should’ve been/should be living”…I personally think it’s brilliant!

perfectly formed.

3 Jan 2012 § Leave a comment

While attempting to delay the inevitable post-lunchtime coma today, I stumbled across the dieline, a blog dedicated to the package design industry.

Its purpose is to define and promote the world’s best packaging design, and provide a place where the package design community can review, critique and stay informed of the latest industry trends and design projects being created in the field

They have just announced the top 100 package designs of 2011, and if you love gorgeous packaging as much as I do (I sometimes keep really nice paper bags and boxes, and I used to buy and keep wrapping paper when I had no need for it!), check out the entries here. Vintage packaging, retro fonts, it’s all there.

The design that caught my eye, however, was the Flashkus – a conceptual cardboard flash drive by Art. Lebedev. Nothing terribly new, but I love the idea of using cardboard and being able to scribble, draw and personalize my thumbdrive! Check out the pics below:

[Photos are all from the dieline]

Do take a look at the products at Art. Lebedev too. Don’t you just love the Optimus Popularis customizable keyboard?

Available for pre-order now, it’s shipping for a cool USD$1,086…I guess the closest I can get would be to stick similar looking stickers on my keyboard, heh!


29 Dec 2011 § Leave a comment

Here’s a pretty good guide to Pinterest from Mashable. It’s being touted as one of the upcoming social sites and while I signed up for it awhile back, I never really started exploring it until recently.

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network.

I’ve yet to create any boards…following the ones that some of my friends have created is more than enough to hold my attention for now!

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