Just when will Singapore Go Solar?

Solar energy promises green energy that is as unlimited as the sun goes.  Is the technology sound enough for use in equatorial Singapore?

Germany broke world solar power generation record in July
with 5.1 TWh, leaving U.S. in dust

http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/germany-breaks-world-solar-power-generation-record-july-2013-51-twh-leaves-us-dust.html
Germany’s not a very sunny place, yet yet it leads the world in solar power, showing that you don’t have to be in the middle of the Sahara desert to generate lots of clean power from the sun.

Treehugger reports that Germany has broken world records by producing 5.1 terawatt-hours in July 2013.

If Singapore start funding solar research or initiate solar deployments in new towns, how much of our energy consumption can go green in sunny Singapore?

Solar energy, anyone?

 

http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/germany-breaks-world-solar-power-generation-record-july-2013-51-twh-leaves-us-dust.html

Going, Going, … … Gone?

shutterstock_4202293

A fellow Buddhist posted a comment on my facebook page about the decline of Buddhism in Singapore.
I wrote some comments and it grew so long, I decided to share it here.  haha 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/wakeupnow/posts/10152484859734008

Again, thanks for sharing about the decline of Buddhism in Singapore and your thoughts on it.

Many people echo your concerns and observations.  I myself grew up with many Christian friends and had many wonderful friends and colleagues who were Christians.  Even back then, it seems Christians are everywhere!  The funny thing is that I was quite often mistaken for being a Christian!! haha … I believe it could partly be because of my group of friends but also due to my more outspoken nature and my slightly “gan-dang” (potato), which was back then quite atypical of Buddhists in general.

Much like society is not something other than us, Buddhism is not something out there apart from us Buddhists.  Buddhism is us.  If Buddhism is declining, it is because we are declining.  If there is a perception that there are few Buddhists around, maybe it is because, for better or worse, we Buddhists do not stand up to be seen.

There has always been a stigma that if one let others know that we are Buddhists, then we would be sidelined at work.  ha!  There is nothing further to the truth than this!  When I finished my studies and started work, I was pretty forthcoming about myself being a Buddhist.  And interestingly, many of my colleagues came forward to ask about Buddhism and share with me that they are Buddhists too! 🙂

Buddhist parents also tell me that they let their children have the freedom to choose their own religion and so they don’t bring them to the temple to learn about Buddhism.  That is like going to the voting booth and not know anything about who we are voting for!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with having the freedom of choice.  For that matter, one cannot be forced into Buddhism, for being a Buddhist is really about the conscious choice of choosing to living in a wholesome manner, filled with love and compassion, grounded in wisdom!

Buddhist parents have the responsibility to educate their children in the Dharma so that when they come of age to choose their religion for themselves, they can choose wisely!!

Today, many can be a Buddhist all their life and not know a thing about Buddhism.  Buddhists need to know about the teachings of the Buddha and apply it in their life to benefit from being a Buddhist!  If we experience the liberating joy of the Dharma, we will know it in our heart that the Truth that the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Arahants experienced and taught, is indeed the Truth!  And no matter how many others give up the religion “Buddhism”, no one can take away or change the unshakable Truth.

Then all is ok. 🙂

Vote “BRIGHT HILL” for the New MRT Station near Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

Dear friends,

This is a landmark moment.  A new MRT station will be located near Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery 光明山普觉禅寺 in the near future and it can be named “BRIGHT HILL“, the namesake of the monastery, after which this area and some roads are named.

Presently, LTA is conducting a public polling exercise to select the names for each station and it close on 17 June 2013.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

1. Vote for “BRIGHT HILL”
If you want to The  “BRIGHT HILL” to be the official name of this new MRT station, login to the following link to cast your vote!

http://talk2lta.lta.gov.sg/Surveys?action=Public.Survey.SurveyDetails&surveyId=861

2. Spread the word!

Share this page or the links with your friends who support this idea.

Please do not spam your friends.

3. Learn Dharma and Cultivate

Personally, whether or not the station is named “Bright Hill” is inconsequential if nobody learn the Dharma, practises and benefit from it.  So pick up a Dharma book today and read it, attend a talk, meditate, recite a mantra, express your love, care and compassion to people around you, smile, say hello to someone.  Wherever you are, whichever centre you are with, learn Dharma, practise it, and be Happy! 🙂

As we know that a new MRT station will be located near Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in the near future.

Presently, LTA is conducting a public polling exercise to select the names for each station. The exercise will close on 17 June 2013.

It will be great if the station can be named as BRIGHT HILL. In order for this name to be selected as the official name, we require as many staff, volunteers,
devotees and public to participate in this polling exercise. Kindly login to the following link http://talk2lta.lta.gov.sg/Surveys?action=Public.Survey.SurveyDetails&surveyId=861 to cast your votes.

Let’s us do our part by voting.

Creativity … in Singapore!

Below is an interesting article by a Swedish writer, an author on creativity, about how Singapore is the best place in the world to be creative.

http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC120514-0000008/The-best-place-in-the-world-to-be-creative

But the main reason I live in Singapore is because this city-state, to me, is the one place on earth where it is the easiest to have a globally-creative mindset.

Some people say Singapore is “Asia for beginners”. I do not agree. I think Singapore is “globalisation for beginners”, or rather, “globalisation for early adopters”.

With a diverse mix of races, religions and nationalities, Singapore not only represents the cross-section of the world, it is also a time capsule of what the world will look like in the future.

And I love that. 

Personally, I agree with most of the points he has made.  I’ve met many friends and seen many Singaporeans who are very creative.  Singaporeans are very creative when it comes to circumventing the rules. ^.^

In this respect, I find that in many cases, Singaporean’s creativity is borne more out of need than simply a desire to create, to build, to explore.

The downside of the former type of creativity is that when the environment is too comfortable or too protective, then the fuel for creativity may also dies off.  In contrast, the latter has a curiosity about the world, the desire to explore and create, and so may not be so easily affected by the environment.


Lightning strikes during the eruption of the huge Galunggung volcano, West Java, in 1982. [1]

Another aspect is culture.  Is our culture conducive for and encouraging creativity?

  • Openness to change
  • Non-aversion to failure
  • Curiosity of the world

Openness to change – If an organisation or a society becomes complacent with status quo and becomes too vested in existing ways, then it may not be open to changes.  Stability in a group or society is often seen in contrast to change.  But if we look at nature, the natural world goes through cycles of changes to maintain balance and stability.

There is no unchanging stability, only stability in changes.

“Sabbe sankara aniccati – All formations are impermanent” ~ Buddha.

Non-aversion to failure – No one wants pain or harm, but if the fear of it is disproportionately high, then one lives safely in fear of danger.  Extreme aversion to failure can immobilise us to adopt a “多做多錯” “The more one does, the more errors one (may) make”, leading us to have a “少做少錯” “The less one does, the less errors one (may) make” attitude, concluding in refusal to move altogether “不做不錯” “If one does nothing, then he makes no errors”.

Our attitude and response towards “failure” shapes how we and others may attempt to try things that we have never tried before.  How we define “failure” and deal with it affects our willingness to try.

Humans did not evolve and survive as a species simply by not doing anything or sticking to eating ‘safe’ food.  We explore and tried out unsafe and sometimes potentially dangerous and fatal endeavours to reach where we are.

The Buddha left the safety net of the royal palace and kingdom to find the Truth, so that a Cessation of Suffering may be found.  And he did … not from the confines and shelter of the palace walls, but by venturing out and TRY!

Curiosity for the World – In a way, this should be the primary driving force of creativity, but without the earlier two, one’s curiosity for the world may either be hampered or dulled down.  I once read or heard someone comment that

“The role of a teacher is not simply to teach,
but to inspire the students to learn.”

Teaching is hardest when there is no interest to learn.  And this interest must come from within.  Inspiring students to learn is to spark that interest within the students, and then to give the students the space and tools to explore the world.

With this curiosity for the world, creative can spring forth.


Bachalpsee in the Swiss Alps [1]

Footnote

I sometimes wonder if the brightest minds such as Issac Newton and Einstein will still be as creative if they had to study through all their own discoveries before they are allowed to explore the world and discover. :p

 

References

Buddhist Centres and Monasteries Around Singapore!

A 30,000 feet view of Singapore with Buddhist centres and monasteries listed!

This map was created under Singapore Buddhist Federation by the Web team in KMSPKS

The inSync project will link up our friends and family with Dharma activities nearest to them, keeping them inSync with the Dharma! 🙂

Keep a look out for it!

 

View BUDDHIST CENTRES, SINGAPORE in a larger map