Movie Thoughts: Chappie

I think the best movies are the kinds that make you think. Those movies not only entertain you but also improve your humanity. You become a better human because of it. Chappie is the former though, but perhaps even the latter with some pondering.

To me, a movie with the best visual effects but no story and no moral is a wasted opportunity. Movies are one of the best mediums in the world to showcase the kind of message that other mediums can’t. But Chappie, another picture from acclaimed director Neil Blomkamp really did send a message:

The soul is beautiful.

Behind all the artificial intelligence and all the talk about life in robots, halfway through, the movie revealed to me what I think is the main message. The soul is beautiful and it is precious. Though in the movie, it presents itself as a consciousness. But without a doubt, Chappie did emphasise early on that the consciousness is the soul.

The story of Chappie, about an artificial intelligence program that starts as a child and grows over time is similar to the path that most humans undergo. The amazement and the wonder and the fear of the world is reflected through Chappie. But beyond that, it shows how easily corruptible and persuaded a young mind is, similar to how child soldiers of the world are trained. And even beyond that message, a realisation that Chappie is not just a robot, it is a soul, one that has compassion and keeps promises.

Chappie was as entertaining as it was thought-provoking. Perhaps not as much as some other movies I’ve seen but for a show that’s as fun as this, it was an accomplishment. I highly recommend it. Until next time.

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How Much Do I Need the Internet?

I’ve started my new semester three weeks ago with no home internet. I’ve recently moved and for some odd reason, getting a working internet into my new home has become complicated. The bureaucracy and several annoyances has delayed the internet for weeks and up until now, it still hasn’t been installed.

So, as a person who’s used to being on the internet 24/7 at home, how did I do without? Not so bad, it turns out.

The thing I miss most about a home internet connection is primarily news. There are several websites that I check everyday and not being able to check on them was hard, at first. After that I just didn’t care. And if I wanted to, I checked them on my phone. It wasn’t the same experience but it got the job done. Researching for homework on mobile though was not sufficient. That’s a story for another post, I think.

No home internet for the last few weeks also meant missing the Apple’s Spring Forward event on March 9. It was only several days later that I realised it and lo and behold, a new, sexy, thin, gorgeous MacBook. Damn that’s a sexy MacBook.

It wasn’t that much of a different life without internet though. I still had my slower but pretty reliable mobile internet so I wasn’t completely without internet. But still, I do miss home internet. Surfing via mobile just doesn’t seem enough. What does that say about myself, I wonder? Until next time.

It’s March Already?

Wow, it’s March 1st. Already. How time flies when you’re living life. I feel as if it was only just January yesterday. Or at least January a couple of days ago. Seriously. Time flew too fast for me this month. I started my month long semester break at the end of January and now I’m entering a new semester on the 2nd of March. That was fast.

Time amazes me. It’s something that we cannot see yet it is supposedly unchanging and is always there. How does it flow? Is it really unchanging? Are there times when it really does move faster than usual? Is that something that could happen? Are our clocks moving in sync with time’s inconsistency or consistency? How about an atomic clock? What secret rules of time that it follows?

I realise my questions are just meaningless ramblings. We may never get the answers, or perhaps we already have. But sometimes it’s good to just question things. It’s how we grow knowledge. Knowledge begins with a question and another’s attempt to answer it. Thus, knowledge. Until next time.

It’s So Hot Out

I live in Malaysia, a country in Southeast Asia with a population of 30 million people. It is also near the Equator, that imaginary midline of Earth that separates the Northern hemisphere from the Southern hemisphere. As such, Malaysia doesn’t actually have seasons like other countries. Most countries near the Equator don’t. Anytime of the season can mean anything but usually there’s either rain or sunshine. No snow though.

So right now, at the end of February, Malaysia is experiencing a weird streak of heat. The whole nation’s experiencing it. It’s so hot that I’ve heard news that a student died from the heat while doing laps in the heat. I heard that her blood vessels in her brain (or possibly to her brain) exploded due to the heat. Side effects of heat exhaustion. So yeah, pretty serious.

Usually, when I’m home, I don’t usually use the air conditioner. I like the natural flow of the wind from a fan rather than a perpetual chill from an air cond. But it’s gotten so hot that I use it all the time. And right now, at 3 pm, I can’t even use tap water without waiting like five minutes for the heat to dissipate. It’s so hot outside that water inside feels like it’s been boiled (I’m hyperbolizing. It’s not that hot but it is quite hot. Hot to the touch, rather than boiled water hot).

Anyways, I’m just venting here. The heat is getting to me. I know there’s probably other countries that are hotter than Malaysia this time of year. But people are dying from the heat here. How insane is that!? Make sure any people living in hot countries stay hydrated. And don’t go running around in the heat. That’s a death wish. Until next time.

Currently Reading: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

This is a challenge, truly. It’ been such a long time since I’ve read such a thick book. My paperback version finishes at 941 pages. And this is only the first part of a trilogy involving three generations of families living history in the 20th century. The whole trilogy will probably reach 3000 pages. *sigh*

But I do have the comfort in knowing that the reading will always be fluid due to Follett’s impeccable style. His writing flows so naturally, so precise and to the point that we don’t need to slow down and just get on with it.

Being a fan of history definitely helps reading this too. I think most of the people reading this will be history buffs, if I’m honest. There’s just so much history and so much historical detail in this book that it’ll kinda be overwhelming to the average reader. You could read it but knowing about the period history helps big time. It’s like watching for easter eggs. Historical easter eggs. It’s more fun that way.

Despite the length, I am really going to enjoy this. I’m about 100+ pages into it and have enjoyed it so far. Now I have about 800 pages more to go. Wish me luck. Until next time.

Changing Perspectives

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most of us become more mature as we grow up. We start to look at the world differently and we develop thoughts and critical thinking that was impossible for us to comprehend merely five years ago. The world seems different and for the most part, that’s true. But our maturity forces us to see it differently, even if it’s not that different than it was years ago.

The best example of this that I can think of is movies. Movies can often be a reflection of our maturity. I could even say that movies are a test of our maturity, over time. A movie you watched a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago will not seem the same now. Watch it again, you’ll probably notice something new about it. Or you develop new feelings about it. This is especially true when you watch movies that deal with adult themes or comedy in a superficial manner.

Recently I re-watched season one of what is often called one of the best meta-comedy ever, Community. I last watched it in 2010 and a few times in 2011 but after that, I went on a hiatus of Community when season 4 sucked. Upon re-watching season 1, it felt… different. I realised that the writing was smart. It was precise, to the point and the jokes were on a whole other level. These were things that sixteen year old me didn’t notice. That bastard was not mature enough to appreciate the complexity and themes of the first season of Community.

But I did.

In fact, I guffawed so hard, I broke into tears and spilled some of the cereal I was eating at the time. And it got me thinking about perspectives and maturity that I now write about now. The more you age, the more mature you become, the more mature your perspective are in tandem. I think that is a given and something that shouldn’t have come as a surprise but I think not a lot of people appreciate and realise that. People think that their life is linear, from point A to point B, from birth to death but it’s not. It’s a journey from A, to B, to G, to K to Z. It is ever evolving, never static, always challenging.

In a nutshell, human life and the human psyche especially is beautiful. It is never simple nor is it overly complex. But sometimes, we have to slow down and appreciate us, human being in all of its greatness. Succeed in that, and you’ll find your life a little more meaningful than it was before. Until next time.

The Curse of Holidays

I love holidays. Don’t ever think otherwise. But if there’s one thing I don’t like about holidays – especially long ones – is that they tend to drag on and leave you with nothing to do. Which is exactly what I am experiencing right now.

I’m currently four weeks into my five week holiday and I’ve reached a point of attrition. I’ve watched lots of movies and series. I’ve read books. I’ve learned tons of world history. It’s all become a bit repetitive, to be honest. Which is why I’m writing a blog now. Whether it sticks or not is another matter. I just need something to do. I DON’T WANT TO LOSE MY MIND!

I’ve tried writing blogs before. I had a sizeable follower in my previous blog but upon entering medical school, I just didn’t have the time. Since then, lots of things have changed. And I mean lots. I’ll probably write about it if I have the time and interest but definitely not now. Now, I just want to write a post and perhaps continue reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follett afterwards. That’s a 900+ page book. I’ve yet to make a noticeable dent in it. Damn you Follett for writing interestingly thick books.

So now, I bid myself goodbye. I’ll write later, perhaps about something or something. I don’t want to get too indulgent in my writing though. Indulgence was one of the reasons I stopped writing. That and the aforementioned time constraints. Until next time.