The European Parliament
International Relations, Model United Nations

Model UN: Using the Qualified Majority Voting

So, you are joining a Model United Nations conference, and you are assigned to the Council of the European Union. Well done! An exciting conference is certainly in order. You start doing some research, you take a look at the rules of procedure.

As you flip through the pages, you read about the voting procedure.

Then, you read the words, “Qualified majority voting.”

Continue reading “Model UN: Using the Qualified Majority Voting”

Business and Economics

A banknote—with an all-new design


I just received one of the new Indonesian Rupiah banknotes—here the IDR 100,000 banknote—with an all new design. The design is actually quite lovely, and queer at the same time. After having a money design that lasted for almost a decade, this new design is a radical overhaul of the design we all used to.

I will discuss in greater detail later about the new design.

Books, Personal Notes

Completed the reading challenge!

I thought starting a full-time job should have been a significant hurdle to my hobby: reading books. Little did I know, I actually managed to surpass my 2016 reading challenge by two books. 

To add to that, I also read two non-fiction books, written in gripping fashion by the one and only, Ms. Agatha Christie. And Then There Were None was especially exceptional—the story was too captivating, and it was a non-stopper. 

Here are the books that I’ve managed to read this year:

  1. Dale Carnegie, Public Speaking for Success
  2. Ed Mickolus and Joseph Brannan, Coaching Winning Model United Nations Teams
  3. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  4. Roger Dawson, Secrets of Power Negotiating
  5. Peter Navarro, Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World
  6. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs—This was actually my second reading; I read the wonderful biography first in 2011, starting on the day it was published
  7. Michael D. Barr, The Ruling Elite of Singapore: Networks of Power and Influence
  8. Davis Shambaugh, China’s Future
  9. Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall—Definitely one of my most favorite readings for 2016, the book was quite thick (almost 900 pages I think), and it opened a whole new horizon in understanding the Israel-Palestinian conflict
  10. Scott Berkun, Confessions of a Public Speaker
  11. Dale Carnegie Training, Stand Up and Deliver
  12. Raj Raghunathan, If You’re So Smaer, Why Aren’t You Happy?
  13. Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Think Like a Freak
  14. Kurt M. Campbell, The Pivot: The Future of American Statecraft in Asia
  15. Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None—One of the best ever fiction works I’ve ever read in my lifetime
  16. Agatha Christie, The ABC Murders
  17. John McBeth, The Loner: President Yudhoyono’s Decade of Trial and Indecision—Also one of the best books I’ve read under the politics/biographies genre, and it was eye-opening

If you are reading this post, I do encourage you to read more. Reading books helps me to balance my sanity with the business of work. You may think reading non-fiction works burdening—sometimes it is. However, the new insights and understanding that you earn afterwards do make the activity worthwhile. 


A Legoland of disappointments

I have been playing with Lego since my childhood. The tiny bricks that are hard to step on (and painful to your feet), it is the toy of dreams.

I still remember one of the earliest video games that I have played was Legoland. Similar to other theme park tycoon games, this was where I had to build a Legoland theme park from scratch, adding attractions and shops to attract visitors. The game also displayed the real life Legolands, including that in Billund, Denmark and Windsor, UK.

It has been my childhood dream to visit a Legoland, especially to see famous buildings recreated using these plastic bricks. So, when I had an opportunity to visit one such Legoland, in Johor, Malaysia, I was excited. This Legoland was the real deal—fully licensed, and my expectation was high.

I was wrong, though. Continue reading “A Legoland of disappointments”