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Tuesday, February 28, 2006


JAJAH in another kind of web call back technology. Apparently it doesn't use VoIP technology. No program download and installation needed, no headset, just use normal phone (but internet connection is still needed to insert phone numbers).

The application is very simple to use, visit their website, enter our phone number on their webpage, enter our destination number and press the call button. A few seconds later our home phone and our friend's phone will be ringing, pick it up, and then wait until our friend answers our call. It is terribly simple.

Now, one thing I don't really know is how low their rates are. Obviously it looks very low but I think my international calling card costs me even less. Err...may be not, because I have to pay $0.40 for a call to a local number everytime I want to use the card.

Nevertheless, it looks really simple.

Monday, February 27, 2006

VoIP + Broadband = TALAYW

VoIP + Broadband = Talk As Long As You Want

It's true, a couple years ago you had to spend a fortune when you spoke to someone who lived in different city from where you lived in, let alone talking to someone living in a different country or hemisphere. But now, you can talk for free, well at least you don't have to scream when you look at your phone bill at the end of the month, assuming you have broadband internet connection though.

All you need is download a messenger software or even better use an internet phone programme. Yahoo Messenger can now be used for voice talk, and Skype even better, you can use it for calling mobile and landline phones. Isn't that cool? That's really cool!

Thanks to Voice Internet Protocol, which allows voice being transfered through internet connection to another part of this world. VoIP also allows us to have lower international calling rates, because we can find the cheapest and best deal for international calling cards. Sweet!

IndoExpats in Oil & Gas Industry

This is a right time for mid-career petroleum geologists to change something in their work-life, by joining another oil company. Petroleum geology skills are being sought by many companies especially in South East Asia, where there are few only universities offering geology-/petroleum geology-related education.

Indonesia, in which there are at least 10 universities providing proper geology course, get an advantage from the high demand on young geologist/geophysicist in the SE Asia region. Many young Indonesian geoscientists are now working for companies in Siingapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam. Some even work in the Middle East and Australia.

The only problem is, all these "expatriates" are actually highly qualified people who can contribute something to Indonesia. However, the good thing is, these people create employment for other Indonesian to work in the company where they used to work for. In away, it helps other Indonesian to get a job in oil and gas industry. Not only that, but they also earn nice US Dollar which they can send back to their families in Indonesia.

Talking about the salary of these Indonesia expatriates, it is probably not as high as those paid to Caucasian expatriates. The difference is very likely due to several reasons incluing the standard of living in Indonesia is not as high as it is in, for example, England, Australia, Canada or United States, and also due to the difference in skills and experiences.

Nevertheless, Indonesia are able to export highly inlectual workers in oil and gas industry now, apart from providing domestic assistant (who often get beaten by their employers and come back home paralysed).

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Free Industrial Standard Software?

Everyone wants free software, especially those which can be used for helping their works, but developing an industrial standard software takes time, money and a lot of effort, not only from individual software developer but also from a group of programmer.

It will be very difficult for students who want to do research in petroleum geology to use free industrial standard software because companies or people who develop softwares for petroleum industry will want to get their investment back. The petroleum industry can afford to buy expensive software anyway because what they want is maintaining productivity and be practical. If ever there someone who can develop a fairly good piece of software for oil and gas exploration, major software-developer companies will quickly hire this person to work for them, developing the same piece of program for business reason.

I was in touch with somebody who created two dimensional (2D) and 3D seismic interpretation program recently to ask for some information on how I can get his software for research purpose. Apparently he is under contract to develop the same program for a major, well-known, international oilfield services company which also have many kind of seismic interpretation software from PC/Windows-based to Linux and Unix-based.

It is possible that the man approached the company first to request help for developing his software, however it is also likely that the company approached him first because I think once he got supports from a consortium of oil companies providing him funding for developing the software, the service company can lose many contracts from their clients, which can be worth some millions dollars.

It will be better for the company to hire this man, pay him some amounts of dollar, do not allow him to distribute his software and develop the program for the company instead. By employing the man, the company can keep selling their previous seismic interpretation softwares, collect contracts from clients and get the copyright for next version of the software. Smart!

Back to free industrial standard software, it is almost unlikely to have completely free industrial standard software without sufficiently rewarding people who spend their precious life to develop it. So, free industrial standard software is perhaps a dream only.

Communicate with Ourselves

Living in a city with fast pace of lifestyles, where we work hard to be wealthier, with modern communication, computers, and information bombarded by television, radio or printed medias, can make us forget to communicate with ourselves. We forget to think about what we really need the most in life.

Is it materialism what we need the most? Like good car, nice house, being rich, beautiful/handsome partner (I actually don't like to use partner, because this is not my value, to me it is either girl friend, fiancee or wife; not a partner in term of sexual partner). Is being recognised as "someone" in our community important? Is partying, having sex and drugs more enjoyable and should we become hedonists?

Do we have respect for others? Do we have compassion? How do we manage our sexual desire? Should we shag anyone anytime including our boy friend's/girl friend's Mum/Dad or our teacher/student, neighbours, friend's wife/husband, or anyone as long as we like each other?

How do we want to achieve our goals in term of wealth? Should we accept insiders' tips about buying the shares of the company where he/she works for? Should we exploit a loophole in the Taxation Law?

All the questions above then bring us to what kind of personal value we have in our hearts. The value which makes us different from just another animal on earth. It is a pity we may not know about what our personal values are because we don't have time to really think about it. If we don't have it, then we cannot teach it to the young ones. Therefore cultural values for the young ones are being taught by television, video games, printed medias and friends. So, spare some time to really think about your values, tell yourself about it, communicate with yourself.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Scale and Uncertainty

There are at least two words which sometimes cause many never-ending debates among geologists. The first is scale and the second is uncertainty. A third word namely egoism can also be included if necessary. However, egoism does not relate to the so called geological science, it is more to the attitude of each individual therefore it can be discounted as scientific reasons.

Scale in geology is about size in the sense is a geological process part of a bigger and more regional or even crustal process or it is a completely independent process. Take an example from evolution of a rift basin. From a crustal scale point of view, the second rifting in a basin which was originally formed as the last in a series of rift basin, can be assumed as the late-rifting or even post-rift becaue the rifting process is considered only once and involved all basins along the crustal margin.

Another example of how different scale of thinking gives two different interpretations occurs when one tries to interpret sequence stratigraphy from wireline logs and starts talking about how relative sea-level rise and fall so many times in a sediment succession, whereas another person can only talk about one relative sea-level rise and fall for the same succession because this person sees things in seismic scale, which is not as detail as the log scale.

Although all undertand the right scale of a geological process, there is still uncertainties accompanying all natural processes. One never will be 100% confident to assume depositional processes in a river in humid conditions are similar to a river in arid condition, because the climate influences rainfall and eventually the rate of erosion and deposition. There are other things which influence the depositional process which in the end result in different products. Various elements affecting depositional processes create variation in depositional products.

Failure to understand the right scale of a geological process and the uncertainty of natural processes usually result in different opinions in geology. This difference can be worse if egoism of human being get involved because most geologists are weird and proud of themselves...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More Misunderstandings

I actually have several names, depending on whose tounge saying it.

For example, for the English, my name sometimes is Minarwen or in other occassions Minarwin.

For the Arabic tounge, my name is Marwan.

For the Chinese, my name is either Mirnawan, or Minawan, frequently Minawan.

For the North American, German, Malay and Indonesian, no worries...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bond...James Bond

A group of James Bond's fans reject Daneil Craig as the new 007 secret agent because "he looks odd". They have liked Pierce Brosnan, who took over from Sean Connery, as the new Bond and they think replacing Brosnan as James Bond on peak of his popularity is a big mistake. They even set up a website called craignotbond and of course threaten to boycott the new Bond movie, "Casino Royale".

I must admit, Carig doesn't look like he has the charisma to be Bond. He is just different from Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery with that little nice smile on their face, which make you like them the first time you see their photograph. I can understand if the fans disgruntled because the image of Bond in their mind was ruined by the latest Bond. Poor Craig...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

SuSe 10.0 Gnome Desktop

Free edition of the SuSe 10.0 is installed into my PC now, after I changed the CDRom because it kept the installation frozen everytime I tried in the past.

The Gnome Desktop is kuwl...

I like it!

Shit Happens!

Sometimes even BIG shit (if this is ever an English term)...like...

A footballer broke his leg...


6 teenagers hit and killed by a car accidently after a party...

Terrible news :(

Monday, February 20, 2006

K, T & Q

K, T and Q stand for Cretaceous, Tertiary and Quaternary, respectively.

The terms are among those used in geology to name a "system period" in "geological time". The Cretaceous period lasted for 70 million years in term of absolute dating, from 135 million years ago (135 Ma) to 65 Ma. The Tertiary period commenced at 65 Ma and ended at 1.75 Ma, whereas the Quaternary period is from 1.75 Ma until Present.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bachelor of $80,000 pa

New graduates of Honours degree in Geology from Australian universities are paid as much as AU$80,000 up to $90,000 pa by Australian mining companies. This is due to the geologist shortage as a result of increasing mining exploration and exploitation activities on the continent. The high demand on Honours graduates mean academic institutions are having difficulties in attracting top Australian graduates to pursue research jobs, such as doing a PhD, because they prefer to get $80 grand a year. What an easy choice, $80,000/year instead of suffering as a research student for 3 years :)...

Lucky Number

Some people have their own lucky number(s). It could be only one number out of 10 available, or perhaps a combination of several numbers. These numbers are considered "lucky" because are usually related to a series of someone's happy occasions. It is indeed superstitious and unreliable, but strangely, people still want to believe it.

In our local community, many believe 8 and 6 are good numbers. 8 sounds like "wealth", whereas 6 sounds like "lucky". People don't like 4, because it sounds like "dead", therefore nobody want their 44th birthday celebrated, because that means "double dead".

Anyway, this is not about 8 or 6, but lucky number 5, and this is related to football.

Liverpool beat Manchester United last night...
- in the 5th round of the FA Cup
- at the 5th attempt under Rafael Benitez
- which means breaking the 85 year old "record" of never winning againts Manchester United in the FA Cup
- the only goal was scored by Peter Crouch who wear jersey number 15

And of course, Liverpool won their 5th Champions League title last year on the 25-05-2005.

Err...are they all coincident only or it is for real?

Well, at least, all the numbers mentioned above actually can be divided by 5. So, 5 is definitely the lucky number for Liverpool.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Three Words

No, not that one...not about expressing love to someone else.

This is about a Chinese name, well at least according to our "local Chinese' tribe".
Our local Chinese' names are always comprised of 3 words for everyone. First name at front is the family name (as opposed to European family name at the back), the middle name is the generation and the given name at back.

For example, a girl whose name is Ho Tan Yin means her given name is Yin, her family name is Ho and her generation is Tan. Generation name is useful to find out how she wants to call someone from the same family name, in the sense does she call this person auntie/uncle, brother/sister or grandpa/grannie. For instance, there is another person called Ho Sen Kuan. Sen is considered 2 generations older than Tan, therefore Yin has to call Kuan as grandpa.

According to the oldies in my family, the generation name is taken from a poem, which is usually written on the tomb of our ancestors. Presumably this is in China, therefore for those who want to get a complete poem for all generations in their big family trees, they have to look around the villages of their old ancestors. Not an easy thing to do to complete those three words.

Baby Bok Choy

"Baby" from English...
"Bok Choy" from Cantonese...

It's a kind of vegetable, the small or baby version of Bok Choy. Bok Choy is also called as Pak Choi or Peking cabbage, which have plump to chalk white stalks and green leaves, not like a round European cabbage.

Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy apparently are good sources of vitamin C, folic acid, beta carotene and significant amounts of nitrogen compounds which can lower the risk of various forms of cancer. They can be cooked as stir-fries or steamed and are suitable for healthy diet.


You're Beautiful - Jamie Blunt

Until now, I still don't fully understand what Jamie Blunt did at the end of his "You're Beautiful" Video Clip. He jumped to the sea, but did he do it for a swim? Or did he commit suicide?

In the early part of his song, he did say he "would never see the girl again" because he "has got a plan". Is this a plan to commit suicide or a plan to marry someone else or...what?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Sunny Melbourne

Friday, Feb 17, 2006; 1.15 PM local time

It's hot...

Very bright...

And windy...

Only thin and very few white cloud seen on the sky...

Sunny and lovely Melbourne at the moment...

RU486 Pill

That's it!

It has been approved by the Federal Parliament of Australia.
You only need to take a pill to murder your own baby embrio... and by the way, it's legal...as long as you can prove that your health will deteriorate if you don't murder your baby.

Perhaps, you don't need to prove anything to anyone at all if you can buy the pill easily and have it without a guidance of an appointed doctor. If drugs dealers can sell heroine easily to their customers, why can't irresponsible doctors sell this RU486 pill to anyone he/she wants?

Killing is now legalised.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wisdoms of the Great

Great football managers always have their own famous quotes. These quotes are like their philosophies in life which they apply to football. For others, these things may not make sense at all, because life is not all about football and it is "only" football anyway.

Bill Shankly, one of the greatest managers Liverpool FC ever had, is also famous for his quotes. Among others is this one:

"If you are first you are first. If you are second you are nothing"

This quote means nothing but number one is accepted by his standard in football, a philosophy which he tried to instill into his players.

Shankly is loved by the red half of Liverpool because he could make them proud of following The Reds. As he said once, "I was only in the game for the love of football - and I wanted to bring happiness to the people of Liverpool". He was worshipped because he talked with his heart to his people. Another quote from him is this one:

"I know this is a sad occasion but I think that Dixie would be amazed to know that even in death he could draw a bigger crowd than Everton can on a Saturday Afternoon." (At Dixie Dean's funeral)

Some of his quotes actually sound a bit arrogant, but then this arrogance was meant to instill confidence into his players' and the fans' minds. For example, in regard of "This-Is-Anfield" plaque, he said, "This is to remind our lads who they're playing for, and to remind the opposition who they're playing against".

Perhaps, the reasons for Shankly successes in the past are as follows:

"A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure you are"

"Aim for the sky and you will reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you'll stay on the floor"

"I was the best manager in Britain because I was never devious or cheated anyone. I'd break my wife's legs if I played against her, but I'd never cheat her."

Bill Shankly (1914-1981) - Rest In Peace...

Think Exist
Liverpool History

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


This is another site for web-blogging. WordPress is actually a blogging software which you can download and put into your website. However they also offer free subdomain for your blog hosted with them.

I am not endorsing you, but if you are still curious, have a look at http://www.wordpress.org

Did I say everything is free of charge?

Wasted Life

"Life is short, make a fools of yourselves while you can!" - The Dormitory Boys

It is a funny quote indeed, which is shown as their slogan on the top of their blog page (see link at the right-hand column).

Life is short indeed, it will be shorter if you have to spend it as a prisoner. Your freedom is taken away from you and you cannot go anywhere but inside the prison only. Your life can get even much much shorter if you have to face a firing squad or be hung due to your crime, for instance smuggling heroine.

Some people are consciously committing a crime like drugs dealing, due to the good money they can earn, however they do not realise if they are wasting their lives. Once they get into this chain of drugs dealers, they can hardly get out safely. It is either they get caught, get killed by their rivals or be addicted to drugs. Whichever it is, it's a wasted life.

Hail King Luis!

Dominating a match in football is one thing and finishing the host of chances you create is another thing. You can keep the ball forever and create chance after chance, as long as you don't put it on the back of the net, you end up with getting a point only. Your opponent will be a happy bunny if a point is what they are after, considering their inferiority to your team and they are playing on your backyard.

It was a relief when Luis Garcia finally broke the dead-lock only 3 minutes from the end normal time for Liverpool FC after seeing Jans Lehmann, the Arsenal's goalkeeper, has single-handedly blocked every kitchen sink, frying pan and bathtube thrown at him. Little Luis managed to react faster than Jans to smash home the ball after Didi Hamann's powerful shots was not completely tipped off the goalpost.

Luis Garcia's goal gave a merely 1-0 win for Liverpool last night, but the game was totally dominated by The Reds. It was a much needed goal because Liverpool are trying to overtake Manchester United on the second spot. Automatic Champions League qualification is at stake.

Liverpool created heaps of chances from dominating midfield, even had a penalty saved and a couple more shots blocked by Lehmann who gave Man of The Match performance. All these good works nearly didn't pay off due to the inability to finish off the moves. Luckily, King Luis' the natural finisher had the last say to give a nice Valentine's Day gift to Liverpool Fans.

For now, it is a celebration, but a bigger game is coming up this Saturday....

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Major Week

Less than 12 hours to a major week for Liverpool FC this season. It will kick-off with Arsenal at Anfield on Tuesday evening UK time, and then Manchester United on Saturday, again at home and finally Benfica Portugal away next week.

Waiting for Liverpool FC's results this week perhaps is enough to run away from the research workstation problem. Finger crossed!

Links to YOUR Blogs

I can put links to your blogs/website from this blog, all you need to do is send me your blog address to decartenz_@don't_spam_my_email_please_@hotmail.com

Please take out _@don't_spam_my_email_please_ for the real email address.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had few hours of sleep only last night, woke up early this morning and wondered what's going on with my body and mind. It didn't feel alright at all while I was preparing to leave for the university, perhaps due to insufficient sleep and feeling tired.

Later in my lab, I discovered this bad news in my emali's Inbox. The server of a workstation I usually use for doing my research in another university has broke-down again yesterday afternoon, due to suddent power-cut. It was done accidently by the electricians.

All my data are stored in this workstation and all my works done using this workstation now cannot be retrieved while the server is dead. This is the second time I got the same problem. We spent about $500 to repair the server in the first occassion and now we probably need to spend the same amount again, or even more, depending on the extent of the problem. Nobody look after this server and workstation , and also the maintenance cost is to high because it is a Unix-based machine. I am the only student using it at the moment.

Bad luck!

And to think of the bad news arrives on Valentine's Day...*sigh*

Monday, February 13, 2006

Melbourne Weather

I was fooled by my own "weather forecast" once again this morning. Having confidence on your own logical thinking doesn't mean you can beat Melbourne weather, for sure.

It was cloudy above my suburb when I was having my breakfast this morning. The clouds were actually fairly dark and it was not windy at all. Yesterday was warm all day and logically I thought there must have been enough precipitation to form rain-clouds. So I put on my jacket, and then my rain-coat, just in case if it rained while I was walking to the university.

Ten minutes later, all the suddent the dark clouds moved southwest and the morning sun started to shine bright. I was approaching a busy junction without taking off my rain coat. Apparently it started to be a bit windier, therefore clearing the sky and the dark clouds were only local.

Five minutes later, I started to feel a bit too warm due to walking under bright sun with jacket and rain coat. So, I finally took off my raincoat, the sun kept shining bright until sunset and there were no rain at all today.

It was not too bad though because once I was wet due to similar mistake. I was confident it would have been a bright shiny day, apparently it rained in the afternoon untill evening, non-stop, giving me no option. How wrong I was.

So, the lesson to learn is: never trust yourself when dealing with Melbourne weather.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Expressing a Friendship

It was 12.05 mid-day, 15 minutes after the last service on Sunday ended, when I saw two old ladies walking out the church slowly side by side, talking to each other while moving along the pathway to a junction. The sun was shining bright, temperature was fairly warm and the sky was blue, with very few cloud.

Our parish is located 20 m off the northwest corner of the junction between North-South Huntingdale Road and East-West Ferntree Gully Road. I was sitting in a bus stop in front of the church, waiting for my friend who wanted to pick me up for our lunch, when the two old ladies passed by. The first lady is quite big, definitely bigger than Mum, she is an Italian and I think she is 50 something. The second one is smaller, but has similar height as the first one, and I guess she is also in her 50s.

At first, I thought they were walking together because they coincidently wanted to go to the same direction. Perhaps they are neighbours to each other. So, I continued looking at nice cars passing in front of me, there were one SAAB, some Mazda, one Mercedes, a lot of Toyota, one Nissan, many Ford, one Suzuki and many more brands I cannot remember.

Five minutes later, I still saw the ladies talking to each other, this time they were on the east side of the road, at the northeast corner of the junction. That means, they had been talking for at least 4 minutes at the corner before I saw them again for the second time.

It seemed they wanted to part way, the bigger lady going east and the other one going south. I saw them hugging each other for about 30 seconds, and then kissing each other's face and kept talking for another 2 minutes, hugging each other again and then they moved to different direction.

Thinking of the way they embraced each other, it was as if they are not going to see each other again next week. Perhaps one of them will be going away for holiday or long trip abroad. However, it could also be due to the deep relationship between them that possibly started many years ago. Whichever it is, one thing is definitely true, words alone are not enough to express their care of each other. Their friendship needs to be expressed with hug, touch and, of course, words.

I am sure we all have our own best friends in every periods of our lives. Perhaps we have met these nice and good mates when we're in our high school, university, at work or probably she/he is one of our neighbours. I am also sure that we have our own ways of expressing our friendships. Good friends do not come up often, so if you have even only one best friend, make sure you maintain this friendship forever.

There is a saying told to me by someone, "You don't need to have many friends, but you definitely need some best friends."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Drunken Ferguson

Sometimes, a footballer can be a comedian, when he does something silly and makes us laugh at him. I am still gigling since this morning after reading Duncan "Drunken" Ferguson, the mighty Everton FC "super-sub", was given another 4 matches ban by the England FA, after his 3-match ban expire.

He is a little bit mad, shall we say. In his last match against Wigan Athletic in the English Premier League, he got a red card only a couple minutes after he substituted another Blue's player, for hitting one of Wigan's player. For this violent conduct, he was given 3-match ban, after shown a straight red card.

Following the red card, he shoved another Wigan's player on the face, before he stepped out the pitch. The referee said this second violent conduct justified another red card. So Drunken basically got two red cards in one game, not even a game of 90 minutes, but merely less than 10 minutes. Is this not funny? ;p....

Behind a Movie

Imagine you are sitting in a cinema and watching a movie at the moment. This movie is given 3 stars up by critics, starring handsome and beautiful and probably famous actors, too. You are enjoying the movie, impressed with the performance of the actors and also the scene setting. When you finish watching this movie and you think you want to recommend this movie to your friend, how would you tell your friend about this movie?

I believe you will say, "Hey dude, Al Pacino performed very well in this movie, he is such a great actor, and blah...blah...blah."

There is one thing we tend to forget when we're praising a movie, that is the crew behind the scene who work together to produce a successful movie. Among this crew, it is reasonable to say, a director, who is the first person to watch the movie scene by scene is one of the key people, if not the most important one, in creating an excellent movie.

A director sees a movie through the spectators' eyes and minds. It is useless to have a good movie script, good actors and a good cinematographer without an excellent director who can blend all elements into a great movie to watch. This doesn't mean good actors are not necessary as long as an excellent director is available to direct unexperienced performers.

In the eve of the 78th Oscar Annual Academy Awards, 5 names have been included in the "Best Director" nominations. Two out of these 5 nominees are among the best people in movie directing: Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee.

Steven Spielberg has been nominated in the Academy Awards for the 11th time, with two wins for Best Directing category; whereas Ang Lee is only his 3rd time, no win so far. For Ang Lee, this year becomes quite a hopeful year because his latest movie "Brokeback Mountain" has also been nominated for 7 other categories.

The Brokeback Mountain movie, which is based on a novel written by Annie Proulx, has surprised its own original author as she previously thought it would be impossible for a Taiwanese born bloke to direct a movie taken from 1960s sheepherding-cowboy era of the American society. But Ang eventually delivered it, even it surpassed Annie's expectation, as she put into her own words, the movie is even better than her imagination was when she wrote the novel.

Now, I have never watched the movie myself nor have I read the novel, but I think this is one of the evidences that people behind a movie can make imaginations become "realities"...at least in the movie.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


People are paying too much for diamond...

That is the opening sentence of a radio advertisement which is played nearly twice in one hour, everyday.

Diamond is still among the most wanted jewelries in the world. Girls like it, and men like to buy it for girls, eventhough it is very expensive.

Diamond is found in a very old continent, such as Africa and North America. It is comprised of Carbon which has been burn by high temperature and pressurised in high pressure. Diamond occurs in the form of a vein or pipe, the "diamond pipe".

There are not many Diamond producing countries in the world. South Africa is one of them which produce high quality diamond. Due to its rarity and beauty, we will have to spend a fortune to own even a small piece of it. Unless...you are a geologist who knows where to find it.

So, girls do you want Diamond? I am a geologist, you know :)...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Be aware of your colleagues who are jealous of you! This is a serious warning. You never know what they will do to you when they hate you.

It will be worse if they think you're their rival, the person they have to kick out from their environment because they don't want to you to be more successful than they are nor they want you to get the promotion you deserve.

Jealousy can occur in all kinds of organisation, be it a small or multinational company, or even in an academic institution. Talking about jealousy in an academic institution, its effect can be much much worse than in a business company, although you would think academics tend not to think about gaining money for their own profit.

As we know, there are many smart people in an academic institution, but unfortunately some smart asses are also egoistic. They are those who tend to think "I am the best or I should be the best". These kind of human can be dangerous when they think they lose out on something. They will try to find your mistakes, blow them up and become the whitleblowers to your boss.

Eventhough you have many ideas to do something for the university you are working for and to your students, including setting up industrial standard research facilities in a university and trying to be proactive in recruiting new students, those all are still not enough. You eventually still lose your position, which means the research you want to do in the university will not continue, which is a pity. To make it worse, those people who are jealous of you are celebrating for your departure.

They are happy to see you go. You lose, they win...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Eye for eye

A former lawyer was murdered last night in Melbourne. The police think the murder is related to Melbourne underworld gangland war which has been going for 8 years with over 20 victims killed. The police were concerned that the murder last night will reignite the tit-for-tat shooting between the battling gangs.

Nobody really know how it all started. It was once mentioned that the war involves two families and their respective cronies. Perhaps one member of a family/gang was gun down by a member of another family/gang and then all the suddent the war started. You kill my Dad, I kill you or your brother. Your brother was killed and then you kill my brother and so on.

It is a madness...

Monday, February 06, 2006



This is probably much worse than slavery. I am not sure if I can find a word to describe it.

A young Indonesian girl was tortured and made disabled by her "master" in one of the Middle East countries. Her disabilities include blindness and dead right arm, and for all her suffers, she was only paid 6 Real, as the wages of her 10 months service as a domestic assistant in that house. That's what I read in Kompas Newspaper on Monday morning.

She is only 19 years old, the same age as many young girls in the first/second year of their university in western countries. She was born in a village in West Java, which is actually not too far from Jakarta. Poverty has made her left her school and in order to earn some money for living, she had to find a job.

Being a domestic assistant is the easiest way to earn few Rupiahs for many girls from villages. They get used to washing dishes, clothes, cleaning their houses and their rooms anyway. Those are the basic skills taught by many parents to their girls in Indonesia. Even my sister was taught those skills when we were still kids. If you are a girl and living in a village, your parent (especially your Mom) will ask you to help her doing domestic works.

Back to this 19 year old girl, she was promised that she would get paid 600 Real per month for 2 year contract. However, instead of getting her wages, she was tortured by her boss and her boss' sons. Her back and arm were ironed and she was punched on her eyes which eventually made her blind.

It is just unbelievable!

How can people do this kind of things to their domestic assistant? This girl is not the first victim of these kind of brutal acts. There have been many-many stories printed on many newspaper in Indonesia about similar cases. From all those sad stories, I have never heard of any culprits being punished or jailed for their brutalities. They always escape punishment because those barbarian's government seem not able to do anything.

Having made the victims disabled, the barbarian just send those victims back to their homecountry, as it happened on this young girl. They were successful in getting rid of "their problem" and now they create a very very big problem for the girl and her family.

Her live has been ruined.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Endless Love

Endless Love is, I think, the title of one of Korean or Hongkong TV series which was shown on Indonesian TV station a couple years ago. I can't remember exactly when and what TV station showed it on their weekly programme, because I never followed this movie at all. But this is not about TV series, I just saw this "Endless Love" in real life. Perhaps I should not say "endless" because the love among this couple has been going for "only" 50 years.

Our Parish in Oakleigh East was visited by the Bishop of Melbourne today. He led our Eucarist together with our Parish Priest, Father Paul, and Father Maloney, the vice-rector of the Catholic University of Melbourne. After finishing his homily, the Bishop was asked to bless and renew the marriage sacrament of an old couple. It was the couple's "50 years of marriage" aniversary. That means, this grandpa and grannie got marriage in 1956, not long after the 2nd world war ceased.

For a couple to get through 50 years of marriage together is nothing short of a great achievement nowdays. It is very difficult to have a relationship which lasts as long as 20 years in this "you-can-do-what-you-want" country, let alone 50 years. Infidelity leading divorce is common thing in many places at the moment. There are more and more couples prefering "partnership" to "marriage". Even there are more man or woman who wants sex only but not relationship, let alone marriage. "Sex is for fun!" they say, and this is the way to live in the future. Just like pigs or dogs which can have sex anywhere and whenever they want. If you condemn this act, then you are called a "saddo", "no life", "ugly" or "nobody like you".

I am sure during the 50 year marriage not all is happy days, there must be days when the relationship nearly break-down, perhaps there were some quarels or even some fightings (you never know this kind of thing happens). Howeverm it is the dedication and committment of either the husband or wife to have a family which should be praised. I know of people who already have 30 years of marriage in which sometime was like hell in their house. Shouting to each other and fighting, which eventually led to domestic abuse.

Sometimes you wonder if you can have this long and successful relationship yourself, forming a happy family, doing things together, supporting each other and taking care of each other. You wonder if you can get a wife or a husband, who wants to committ her/himself to be part of the family you want to build, having children, raising them up so that they can do good things for this world and trully love you.

Back to the Endless Love and 50 years of marriage, I can only say "W.O.W..."! That's long time, very very long. I am sure that relationship is built upon their faith in God. I am impressed, and long may it continue....to the end of life....

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sack the Coach! Err...Should We?

The last game of the season has been played by Melbourne Victory FC in Melbourne this evening. A 2-1 win in the last game at home looks perfect to Melbourne. But not to Melbourne's supporters who have had high expectations before the season started. The disappointment cannot be hide from their faces. They did sing during the game, and they did give their support to the team, but they also wanted the coach sacked.

I never thought the banner will be displayed in the game. Things were going alright in the first half. Melbourne got their first goal in the 2nd minute, courtesy of a header from Mark Byrnes, a central defender, when he jumped high to connect with Kristian Sarkies' corner. New Zealand Knights FC, Melbourne's opponent, are a poor side. So the Melbourne's fans were happy and jumping and singing to celebrate the goal.

Melbourne played well in the first half, they moved the ball around very well, kept creating chances, keeping possesion, but they could not score the second goal for long time. And then somehow NZ Knights' player gave a foul in the penalty box. The crowd shouted for penalty immediately and it was given by the ref. So, Kev took the penalty and made it 2-0 to Melbourne. The score didn't change until half time.

Following 15 minutes break, the play resumed again and then a couple minute later, a long white banner was displayed by some fans in the home end.

The banner said, "Enough is Enough Merrick Out" or something like this. I was quite surprissed with this protest from some fans. Patience is now non-existent in football. Fans want instant success, failure is not acceptable, even for an unexperienced coach in a new club and a very new team.

One thing though, the coach's history in Victorian football doesn't help him at all. He, unfortunately, has got more "failure" than successes. The Melbourne Victory team which he's coaching now has not been able to help him either. The fans have lost their patiences in him. Finishing at 7th place out of 8 is indeed not good enough.

The problems with his current team are, at least in my eyes, lack of team understanding, wasting too many chances and making mistake at the back. If you can't socre a goal and not taking up the chances you created, then you're in big trouble, that is the rule in football. If you don't score goals, you put more pressure to your defenders not to make mistakes. If you can't rely on your defence, then you know you're gonna lose points.

So, is this the coach's mistake or the players' mistake? Hard to tell...both did mistakes and there are a lot to learn from....sacking the coach doesn't mean all problems will be sorted out once and for all.

Patience is really non-existent in football...

Friday, February 03, 2006

My Friend is in Doha

I sent an email to my friend last night and I got one automatic reply in the morning. Apparently she is in Qatar at the moment. I thought, "Wow! That's cool!"

I had known she would not be in her office before I sent her that email, but I didn't know if she was in Qatar. I thought she were in Libya or somewhere in South America.

She is, should we say, "an international worker". She is based in Germany, however her jobs include looking after many exploration areas operated by the company she works for.

The great things about her is, she is smart, very very smart, because she was the first graduate of her class when she finished her first degree in approximately 4 years (in Indonesia it is very difficult to finish your first degree in 4 years time, normally it takes you 5 years) on one of the best educational institution in Indonesia, even in Southeast Asia. She got a job with Total in Indonesia and they promised to give her a scholarship to study in a Master course in IFP France, however before she started her job in Balikpapan, she was offered a completely free scholarship by the French Government. Off she went to Paris then, to study in IFP.

Upon her graduation from the Master school, she was offered a job by a German oil company. She got another option to wait for an offer from Shell, in which she was reserve of employment candidates. Of course she chose the company who have offered her a real job.

She is still young, at least 3-4 years younger than me (I'm 31 this year), still a single (well, as far as I know). I hope she will be more successful with her career in the future. I am happy to see her and I hope she feels happy with her jobs. All the best Arum! God Bless You...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Internet Addicted

I know it's not good, and I know it makes me un-productive, but Jesus, please help me! I can't resist to check my email every 3 minutes, and then visit a forum in every 5 minutes, or check the latest news on the BBC or The Age or The Guardian and also check my webmail or my Friendster. It is terrible!

I am not happy with myself, you know, in the psychological term: I'm depressed! I don't know how to fight this internet thingy, I just can't resist to get connected. Perhaps the best thing is to disconnect my PC from the internet. But then I need internet connection to download papers and find information related to my research. And more importantly I need it for sending and receiving emails. Oopsstt!

Ah well, I will let it happens then. I am sure I can strive through this challenge. I better stop writing now, otherwise I will be un-productive today.

Back to work...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Stupid Database System

Some people in this world have only one name as their official names. I am actually one of them. My official name is "Minarwan" not "Minarwan Yap". My family name indeed "Yap", however it has never been used "officialy" since I was born in 1975. It is not on my certificate of birth, not on my certificate of graduation and not even in my passport. So I have never used "Yap" as my family name officialy, ever.

But now this stupid database system in my university forces me to have a family name, and since I don't use "Yap" officialy, I am forced to use "Minarwan" as my family name as well. So my name in the database is "Minarwan Minarwan". Now how stupid that is? It gave a new name, something which is not even stated on my official documents. So, I can't use "Yap" as my surname but I have to use "Minarwan" as my surname.

I think actually the person who created this system who is stupid, not the system itself.

Rant over....