Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deeper than skin deep

This award winning movie was made by 16 years old Kiri Davis, to explore the standards of beauty of young black girls. She recreated the Clarks' Doll experiment by presented a bunch of 4 or 5 years old children with two dolls - a white one & a black one. After asking them which one they liked to play with, she then asked them which they thought was "nice" and which was "bad."

As in the original study back in 1940's, most of the black children preferred the white dolls and identified the black dolls as "bad." According to the Clarks, the experiment was proof of internalized racism, the tendency of a person to identify with the racist stereotype of one's race. The children are "subjected to an obviously inferior status in the society in which they live" and "it is the kind of injury which would be as enduring or lasting as the situation endured, changing only in its form and in the way it manifests itself."

I suppose if one conducted the same study with Indonesian children the result would've been the same. Children in Indonesia is affected by media and marketing that promote light skinned. Look at pages of promotion for beauty product that will lighten your skin color. Look at the movies and tv that mostly depicted light skinned as the attractive, rich, intelligence, good guys, while the dark skinned as the ugly, poor, bad guys. All of it does not help boosting the children's self-esteem.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What I learnt today

Indonesian cant queue, there's nothing new about it. But Dutch that cant queue is new, at least for me.

I was at my GP this afternoon for check up when it happened. My appointment was at 13:50, I got there 5 minutes late. I know, it's terrible. To my defense, it never happened before that I got there and got help straight away.

Anyway, there were 2 guys waiting before me, (I think)a Moroccan and a Chinese. Then came this dark skinned girl after me, followed by this posh Dutch lady. This Dutchy asked who was the last patient, and acquired what time did she have her appointment. This girl answered, 'At 14:10, but it doesnt matter, it's always first come first serve.' But this posh lady wont take that answer, saying her appointment is at 14:05 so she must go first. Then she went to the receptionist/GP-assistant to get earlier face-time with the GP and to our surprised she got it!

So I asked the Chinese guy when his appointment was, it was at 14:00. Then I told the girl when my appointment was. That girl went protesting to the receptionist and was told that that lady was in a hurry or something. We found it ludicrous how they handled the matter.

At situation like this I cant help to wonder, what if all of us were Dutchies, would she still have done that?

Well, I wasn't in a hurry & in a good mood, so I let it slide. I only said to that girl, ' So, you learn something every day, huh?'.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Europe v. Italy

Funny animation about Italy made by an Italian guy. Apart from the thing with coffee, it's like watching Europe v. Indonesia.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The power of blog

About two years ago, RM Suryo said that "blog is just a temporary trend and only functions as an exhaust for personal catharsis." He's just so wrong.

Yesterday, Apple lost US$4billion in 6 minutes after a blog,, posted an email at 11:49 AM EST claiming that iPhone & Leopard OS would be seriously delayed.

Turned out it was a hoax, according to Apple both iPhone & Leopard is on track, but the damage has been done.

Do not underestimate the power of blog.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Walk the World, Fight Hunger

To raise awareness about the 400 million hungry children all over the world, World Food Programme organized a 5 km walking event all over the world annually. Why the 5 km walk, why not shorter? It reminds us that a child dies every 5 seconds due to hunger or related causes. It also aims to raise funds to finance projects that assist hungry children for example with their School feeding programme. By giving food at school, not only it attracts hungry children to school, but education also broadens their options, helping to lift them of poverty.

This year, on Mother's day, there are two events in NL, in Amstelveen and in Rotterdam. I went to Rotterdam event with Rob & Sita.

It was gezellig. We met up around 11:30 at Willemsplein under the Erasmus bridge when it started to rain a bit. After registering, picking up our t-shirt, cap and balloon, buying mother's day gift for Rob's mom, we had small lunch. One needs energy to walk;)

After some music & speeches, we released the balloons at 13:00. A great sight to see. Then Erica Terpstra, the chairperson of NOC*NSF, gave the start signal. Boy, you could tell she's a pro :) Set 'em op, jongens! Go get 'em! That's what she said from the podium while 3000 of us were starting the walk.

So, we walked (and took some pictures too). During the walk, some stopped at cafe's, some went to shop, some was trying to work out the quiz they gave us. (There are 38 buttons on Peter the Great's statue, Euromas is 185m high)

That day, we collected €125000, enough to feed 5000 kids for a year.

I know that the walk won't do much against poverty in the world, but knowing that some kids out there can get meal & education gave me good feeling inside.

For more information about hunger in the world:
Hunger map
Hunger facts

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Body World v. Bodies: the exhibition

The first time I heard about the work of Dr. von Hagen on plastination in 1997 I wanted to go and see them. However, it wasn't until in 2000 I went to Körperwelten (Body Worlds) exhibition in Oberhausen, Germany. We had to queue for hours in the cold winter day but all was worth it. It was simply amazing. Coming out of the exhibition made me thing about my own body and the possibility to donate it one day. Maybe you've seen a glimpse of Body Worlds exhibition while watching the new James Bond's Casino Royale.

Last year I found out that Bodies: the Exhibition is coming to Amsterdam. From what I heard Premier Exhibitions Incorporated, the American company behind it, works together with former partner of von Hagen and rumor has it they use bodies from political prisoners/unclaimed bodies in China. If it is true it might be a violation of human rights & Chinese law. Of course the PR people maintained that they acquired those bodies legally from Dalian University.

Anyway, since my father was here last March, we went to see Bodies: the Exhibition in Amsterdam. Yes, it seems morbid & weird bringing your father to see dead people. Its something that my father and I shared, those dead people are our teachers. He told me to respect those cadavers, and not to be afraid of them before I had my share of experience with them at school. My father found it amazing and especially liked how they show the blood circulation without the body itself. He even put comment on their guestbook & still talked about it several days later.

But I can't help comparing both exhibitions.

Aside from ethical issues, Bodies: the Exhibition exhibits fewer whole bodies & organs than Body Worlds. Their fetuses' exhibition is limited to embryos & normal fetuses in various stages of development. They don't have congenital disorders fetuses. If you've taken into account the number of specimens you can see and the price you pay for a visit, Bodies: the Exhibition is more pricy. For €20 plus fee a ticket, they didn't even give you any booklet as a guide; you have to rent an audio tour. I remember I paid DM 16 (about €7) to Body Worlds and got a 100 pages booklet about their exhibition. I know, it was 7 years ago, but I've checked their site and it costs about US$20 (about €16) for a visit at this moment.

I found the specimens in Body Worlds were done in more esthetic manner, and in more care. Their poses are more artistic, some specimens will remind you of certain famous art works like Dali's Woman with Drawers. I noticed while observing the nerves on the whole body specimen, the nerve endings sometimes stray in Bodies: the Exhibition. I also noticed, that the color of the muscles is more bland, than the one of von Hagen's. That being said, it is still much better looking than on bodies drench with formalin, the ones we use at medical school. Not to mention the lack of the smell of formalin in both exhibitions.

At Body Worlds you learn more about various medical conditions, you'll see how your liver looks like if you had cirrhosis which makes you think about heavy drinkers and hepatitis B & C patients, how pollution & smoking affecting your lung, the look of tumor in various places in your body, how congenital disorders looks like, and pregnancy.

Last but not least, observing both exhibitions I learnt that the myth about European v. Chinese is true. I am not being racist here, just stating the fact. You might have noticed it yourself from the picture. ;)

All and all, I prefer von Hagen's exhibition above Bodies: the Exhibition.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Proof of 25:5=14

All these years people keeps saying that 25 divided by 5 is 5. WRONG!

Shame on you! You should've known better, where did you go to school? The right answer is 14. Don't believe me? Just sit back and watch this video, and you'll understand.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


  • Apparently there are not one, but two Buddha's day this year: 2nd and 31st of May. It's the most holy time in Buddhist calendar, significance the birth, enlightment and passing away of Buddha. It is strange that Indonesian celebrate it on June 1st. I thought Vesak supposed to be on full moon in May.
  • Another prove that cannabis distrupts the inferior frontal cortex, it's the area that keeps inapproriate thoughts (such as paranoia) in check. I think I've seen it happens to a friend of mine.
  • We need to hear good stories every now and then. People at shares their stories of kindness in their communities.