Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Halt Stressful Driving, Keep Yourself Entertained

For those who spend lots of time driving in your car, especially those who lives in a city that could never be free from traffic jam, I bet you would feel the same that I feel everyday. The frustration feeling if the traffic do not move or move very slowly. Irritated when the motorbikes slip through your left and right, and sometimes hit your rear view mirror. It is very stressful to drive in a highly jammed traffic. Especially if you are already bored with the radio channels playing songs that you are unfamiliar with, or you dislike at, or probably just not the right genre. And also you get bored with the same old song collections played by your ordinary, factory default CD player.

This situation would have me feeling tensed upon arrival on my destination. Worse case scenario? I would attend the meetings or appointments feeling irritable and cranky, and might not achieve maximum results I would have if I were to attend the meetings / appointments in a good mood.

Indeed, good mood is one of key factors in determining success of a meeting or appointments, especially if you are to lobby your clients !!! Imagine if you have to deal with difficult clients in a bad mood, pheww.. I think I might need to meditate for an hour to get myself composed. Hahaha.. it’s true!!! Driving in a high traffic jam could be unfavorable towards your daily activities.

Those are all the reasons I need to finally come up with a solution. Enough is enough! I decided to get myself a nice car multimedia entertainment. Heard from my friends that they are using this highly demand multimedia entertainment, ViDiQ. The complete features, yet easy-to-operate features just fit our needs these days, to make driving easier.

Bought myself a TOUCH-SCREEN in-dash double-din head unit, 848VDQ. Contrary to some beliefs that touch screen is sometimes unstable and some brands even responds to the touch very slowly, this brand is amazing! The responding time is extremely good I cant even believe it’s actually a touch-screen!!
Here is the image of the head unit. Cool yeah? (^-^)

To top it more, this head unit, is equipped with wireless BLUETOOTH phone!!! I can now make phone calls using this head unit!!! Isn’t this great or what? Well, it is definitely a whole lot safer to call using Bluetooth and built-in mic, instead of one hand holding your cell phone and only using one hand to drive. Some countries actually prohibit calling using mobile phones while driving.

Here are some of great specifications of this head unit, 848VDQ :

  • DVD Video/CD-DA/MP3/Video CD
    Now I can watch my DVDs if I am stuck in a traffic jam. Or simply playing the Pussycat Dolls concert DVD. Loosen up otherwise tensed nerves from driving!!

  • DVD/Radio (AM/FM)/TV Modes
    Will not miss my favorite TV shows like how I used to hate it.

  • In-dash 6.5” TFT LCD Monitor
    The screen is actually double-din, so it is huge enough to see my fave movies on screen.

  • True Multi Zone support Audio/Video
    My friends do install head-rest head unit, so their kids could watch cartoon shows from their seats behind. Definitely keep them entertained, and most importantly quiet. Nice!!!

  • Automatic Dimmer Control
    Very easy to operate and adjust, it feels like having my miniature TV, inside my car. Never again feel bored!!

  • JPEG Picture Viewer
    If I don’t have enough time to view pictures or images in my office or home, this could be done easily inside my car !! Unbelievable !!

  • White Color Buttons Display
    Very nice and cool display overall !!!

The company actually have a website to browse lines of multimedia entertainment they have. You can visit : http://www.vidiq.net/ for further information. Really, driving is fun now!! Of course, you have to get an easy-to-operate head unit.

And yeah, if you like to have better quality sound effects, you could buy STEELMATE amplifier. I love this one!! The size is small, and yet the power is equivalent to those huge sized amplifier. It is actually one of the best seller amplifier in the market.

Keep myself entertained while driving, and I could easily get the lobbying clients easily done!! With great success!!!

Just like how ViDiQ says it, “Drive Happier” !!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Buddhism, Emotions and Happiness

Yesterday, Sunday, like usual I went to temple. It is one of the biggest temples here in Jakarta. And yesterday unlike any other Sundays, there was this guest Reverend from England, visiting Jakarta and therefore he gave a sermon on Emotions.

As was said, developing positive emotions is developing positive states of mind. In the words of Buddha himself, "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world."

This is in fact, an idea that's in line with current thinking in psychology. This simple philosophy, that changing the way we think can change the way we feel.

For Buddhists, the key method of achieving this is meditation – which usually involves fixing our attention on a body part, the breath, a mantra or an inspirational picture – to arrive at a state where we are not distracted by our thoughts. And psychologists do agree that quite aside from any spiritual connotations, meditation is a powerful tool.

Research has shown that practising meditation regularly – and being more 'mindful', that is, focused on the present moment – has beneficial effects for a range of conditions. These include stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep and coping with chronic pain. It also has other health benefits like reduced inflammation, improved immunity and lower blood pressure.

Most methods suggest meditating for about 20 minutes twice a day, although many people will find it useful to start with five to 10 minutes twice a day and to build from there.

Meditation in the lab

Dr Richard Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the US, and his team, have examined the brain activity of eight longtime expert Buddhist practitioners, including monks, while they meditated on unconditional compassion, generating loving empathic thoughts toward all beings.

As a control, 10 student volunteers with no previous meditation experience were also tested after one week of training.

"Our research is related to what Buddhists call neuroplasticity," explains Dr Antoine Lutz, the project's principal investigator.

"We wanted to test whether the training of the mind as cultivated using Buddhist meditative techniques can alter brain functions such as attention and emotions. Comparing these two groups was a way to see whether there's a relationship between mind training and brain activity."

As both groups meditated on compassion, the scientists recorded gamma waves in the subjects' brains using an electroencephalogram. Gamma waves are some of the highest-frequency and most important electrical brain impulses, due to their association with perception and consciousness.

Intriguingly, the electrodes detected much greater gamma wave activity in the experienced meditators, and found that this was much better organised and coordinated than in the brains of the novice meditators.

The novice meditators showed only a slight increase in gamma wave activity while meditating, but some of the experienced meditators produced gamma wave activity more powerful than has ever been reported. And those who had spent the most years meditating had the highest level of all.

Significantly, previous studies have associated mental activities such as attention, memory and learning with the kind of augmented neural coordination found in the experienced meditators.

The extreme gamma wave activity detected in this group has also been associated with weaving together far-flung brain circuits, suggesting higher mental activity and heightened awareness of those mental states most likely to bring happiness.

"The spectacular difference between the two groups suggests that mental training as cultivated in this contemplative tradition can radically alter brain functions," confirms Lutz.

"This is further supported by the group difference in the initial electrical baseline," he continues, "which also suggests these changes persist in a way that infuses daily life with certain qualities cultivated by meditation.

"So certainly this collaborating research with the Buddhist tradition informs our understanding on the possible mechanisms involved in mind training, and possibly wellbeing."

All in all, we have to control our emotions, so we can develop positive states of mind, which would bring happiness to us and people around us.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Coffee: Good or Bad?

Some of us, including myself, need coffee to start a day. And even worse, we need caffeine to kick-in to get our brain start 'working'. This is actually quite a common situation for us, working people.

Well, some findings do show coffee contains higher anti-oxidants than found in fruits. And also that coffee consumption is beneficial for men. It is said that this would increase the swimming speed of sperms.

However, you should also know the side effects of coffee consumptions. Besides heart beating faster and insomnia, coffee actually have greater side effects that these common knowledge.

Coffee is indeed doing no good for women as it may cause infertility if it is consumed in excess amount.

In fact, there is a new US study shows that pregnant women who drink two or more cups of coffee a day can double their risk of having a miscarriage.

US researchers say they have conclusive proof to show that women who drink a lot of caffeine on a daily basis in the early months of pregnancy have an elevated risk of miscarriage.

The researchers say in a paper published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology to be absolutely safe, expectant mothers should avoid caffeinated beverages of any kind during the first five months of pregnancy.

Expectant mothers should avoid daily caffeine consumption, be it from coffee, tea, hot chocolate, caffeinated beverages, or a combination of all of these.

So, do watch out your caffeine intake, especially for working expectant mothers.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Wedding is such a big deal here in Jakarta. I remembered few years back then when I got back to Jakarta after my graduation in Australia. I accompanied my friend to a wedding, it was the first wedding I attended after my arrival in Jakarta. Of course I was feeling all dressed up with my knee-length simple black dress and well combed long black hair.

Arriving in the wedding venue, held in one of the fancy hotels here in Jakarta, I was shocked. All the girls I saw around me wearing very fancy evening gowns!!!! You can actually tell how expensive those dresses are simply by looking at the details of the gowns, they were all beautifully beaded, delicately laced, elegantly looking. Not to mention, their hair were all so stylish! Of course you would know that they all went to salon beforehand. And their makeup were all so perfect and they were all looking so pretty.

I was stunned by all those beautiful girls, then I took a look at myself. Wearing simple black dress and definitely not fresh from salon hair. I felt like a laid-back rookie in a very perfect fashion show with all the pretty models in it. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I was quite sure people were looking at me. Gosh!! I was so downhearted that I even told my friend to go inside the ballroom, congratulate his friends, and I’d just wait in the lobby.

I was experiencing so-called culture shock. After years abroad, getting used to the simple, western style wedding, I was thinking to myself that I should really be more careful the next time I should attend wedding or any formal occasions in certain countries. Jakarta is my hometown. Imagine if I were attending wedding in some countries, looking all like a foreigner and yet dressing up so wrongly or maybe could be weird to some people. Gosh!!! Culture shock in my own hometown. Great!!! Well, at least I learn something here. Do ask around beforehand if you don’t really know the culture in certain town or countries. And definitely, if you are visiting a wedding in Jakarta, DO really dress up!!! Big time!!! (^-^)