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Archive for the ‘Not-So-Regular Life’ Category

Yes, this is a hot topic right now because of the very recent “internet blackout” or strike or whatever you want to call it. It did indeed (finally) draw people’s attention. When I first heard about SOPA sometime last semester, I didn’t think much about it. Honestly, when I found out it stood for “Stop Online Piracy Act”, I actually thought the government was doing something against piracy (if you are interested on my views about piracy, you can find the post here). I thought it was a good thing. Then I decided to do more research on it last night and realized it is just people being greedy. First of all, let me say that it is very hard to find any articles that actually support SOPA or PIPA. And when I do research, I like to look at both sides of the issue. However, since online media is being attacked by this bill, I would have to say online media would be quite biased.

My understanding is that corporations, like the MPAA, are tired of their intellectual property (e.g. songs and movies) being stolen and made available for free. And since these websites that provide pirated content are based outside of the US, the US government cannot stop this from happening. So, since they cannot directly attack the people outside of the US, the SOPA and PIPA will stop US websites from making pirated content available from the sites outside of the US. Let me try to explain with an example. If SOPA or PIPA is made into a law, Google will be punished if they provide search results to websites with pirated content. Social media will be punished if its users post links to pirated content. In this age of information explosion, what kind of social media does not have links to pirated content? Based on what I’ve read, this is my understanding of the bill.

But if you think about it, the law will not directly punish those who are actually breaking US law, the users who knowingly upload illegal content. It will punish websites hosting the content, who may actually have users posting quality legal content. Take YouTube for instance. Personally, I do not view pirated music or videos on YouTube. But I know there are many artists who use YouTube as a medium to express themselves.

On the other hand, I can see the artists point of view, though I don’t necessarily agree with it. Songs and movies are intellectual property. I think we would all be offended if someone stole our car and there was nothing the law could do about it. But what if we had, let’s say, ten million cars. A hundred, or even a thousand, stolen cars wouldn’t mean much to you right? Yes, they are your cars, but if these people couldn’t afford cars and were huge fans of your cars? Would you enforce a new law to try to get those cars back or just let them have it? I think it depends on what your treasures are. Since my treasures are not my wordly possessions, I disagree with the artists and the corporations in trying to get their money back (though I’m not saying I’d let you steal my car…). I already have millions, why do I need that extra million? However, since obviously these people treasure wealth, I can understand that they want it back.

So what is my view? I think the idea of stopping piracy is good. If only it was achievable. However, I think it’s just a problem that we will have to live with because society is not going to give up its freedom to other people’s property. I don’t know if SOPA or PIPA is the best way to stop piracy as it doesn’t attack the source directly, just the social media that hosts it. Maybe there is a better way. But if you think about it, if we, as consumers, were never greedy and didn’t try to get free access to property that didn’t belong to us, we may not be in this situation. Nothing is ever free. It was for a while, but now the corporations are fighting back. So we are dealing with greedy corporations and greedy consumers. What a wonderful world we live in.

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December Dreams

My last week of december in pictures! Got a new camera on boxing day (hence the image quality improvement) and a new stand mixer (hence the baking improvement?). Went out for brunch at Cora’s with Gen, Serena, and Vivian before Serena left us for a coop at Newfoundland. I’ve been to Cora’s quite a few times but I still really like the atmosphere (very bright and yellow inside). Though the menu isn’t quite a novelty to me anymore, I still found something that I wanted to try. The oatmeal. Either it’s new or I’ve never thought of ordering oatmeal before. Nevertheless, it was pretty tasty.

Then, on the same day, I went to a Christmas potluck at a friend’s place. Oh, the cake you see up there is an italian apple cake =D. I’ve made it before when I was in Leeds and wanted to try it again since the first one was almost burnt. Made it the night before (the same day I made sugar cookies and nutella brownies). Normally, I don’t praise my own baking. But this was seriously awesome. It takes a lot of work to peel and cut 5 apples though, but it’s so worth it! I’m going to make it again if I get another chance. Christmas party was fun, got to meet new people and sing praise songs :). And ate my third turkey this Christmas…

Oh, I also went to whistler, but too bad I only got camera phone pictures. Those pictures can be found on my Google+.

p.s. in case you’re wondering, my goal is to post pictures every month. There might be less pictures once school starts, but that works out since I’ll be more busy.

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2011 in review

This is pretty cool!! Xanga never had something like this. Click on the link to view my most popular posts and more fun stuff to reminisce on 2011 with me :).

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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My life has been either school or studying for my upcoming exam. It’s really stressful and I can’t wait for November to come and go. Now I have more to say about how my life has been, but I want to dedicate this post to a more happier topic :].

I don’t know why, but it is so much easier to get frustrated at people than to thank them. Or am I just an outlier…o.O. If people don’t do things our way, we get angry. If our day isn’t perfect, we start to complain. Is that just human nature? Yet we never to stop to give thanks. I guess we say it a lot. But out of the many times we say “thank you”, do we really mean it? Maybe it depends on how much of a favour someone did for you?

What are my thoughts on this topic you say? Cause you know I always have deep deep knowledge to share =p.

Well, I think when we say “thank you”, it implies we are in someone’s debt. Because of someone’s kindness and love, our lives are made easier. When we don’t say “thank you”, it implies that we aren’t in debt because that person was expected to show a certain level of kindness. Wouldn’t we all want to be in the latter case? Where everyone else is expected to be nice to us? =] I don’t like being in debt. I don’t like acknowledging that I need help. Except there are times that I do. Many many times actually. I have to learn that I can’t do everything myself and let other people help me. I have to learn how to say “thank you” more often.

Thank you for reading my post (if anyone still does…). Due to my current situation (as mentioned at the beginning of this post), this post is uncharacteristically short. Yet I wanted to tell you guys I’m alive and celebrate, albeit a bit late, a happy thanksgiving :).

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Another semester, another school year. Back at home. It was strange at first, but I’m getting back into the swing of things. Strange how the grass is always greener on the other side right? I wonder what it would be like to have studied my whole degree in the UK. Or what if I grew up there. But I guess I’m here on this side of the world for a reason.

Exam stress is here x.x. Well, I was kinda stressed before school started. Let’s just say the pressure to pass is greater this time…Then school came with all it’s group projects and midterms and finals :). Everytime I’m not studying/having fun I feel guilty. Even now as I type this. Enough of my self pity. Though you’ll hear about it until it’s over in early November. Then you’ll listen to me worry about my results until mid January :).

After taking an intro to marketing class last year, I was very surprised at how much I liked it. So I decided to take a class on Decision Analysis and a class on Marketing Research. Since my first year, I’ve always wanted to take a class on Latin, but it’s never been offered as far as I know. I finally found it this semester as a distance ed class and decided to take it! So just three classes…Still, I’m sorry if I reject you for my studies due to what I’ve mentioned previously. I don’t think I will have much of a social life (assuming I had one to begin with :)). I decided to drop Latin though. As interested as I was to learn it, I just don’t have the time and it being distance ed didn’t seem like a good idea.

It’s weird to not be an exchange student. In a way, I want to be an exchange student again, learning to cope in a different environment, making new friends, going to new places, etc. But novelty runs out sooner or later I guess. It’s funny though, how hearing Malaysian and Singapore accents remind me of Leeds =]. I volunteered with SFU international again for their Global Partnership System (GPS) and had two exchange partners, one from Quebec and one from India. We had a GPS event at SFU and I met my partner from Quebec! Couldn’t find my partner from India though. Then started mingling with others and met people from Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, France, and Japan! Pretty fun, except I didn’t get a chance to get to know them :(. As I was about to leave early for class, I found the England bunch and met a girl from Leeds!! I talked to her for a bit and she mentioned how the drinking culture is totally different…lol. Not sure if she’ll have as much free time since I thought studying in Leeds was more relaxed than SFU. There are actually a lot of exchange students studying a variety of things. So get to know them! Show them how friendly us Vancouverites are =p.

I still don’t think too highly of SFU international. If you compare it with the coop program, there are probably an equal amount of students to deal with. The difference is that the students pay a fee to the coop program and that there seems to be more staff for coop. I guess coop is more important than international/exchange students? Less funding for SFU international? That’s the impression I get at least. So…I guess I can’t blame SFU international if that’s the case. One thing I think they can improve on is their events for the international/exchange students. They have a few at the beginning of the semester, then it just dies down. Even the event I went to was kinda disorganized. They put food and people together and had them mingle. Nothing really planned. Going to help out at another one this Friday night with alcoholic beverages =o (not allowed to drink since I’m volunteering, not saying that I would…plus I get to wear a huge black vest…). Let’s see how that goes!

Now that I got my laptop “fixed”, finally reinstalled windows 7 and got my documents from my external hard drive onto my laptop! Now I can continue uploading pictures….I think I”m past halfway…

Next post is about my convictions from camp (I know I said that a few weeks ago…but I wrote it already! Just have to edit it!).

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