Friday, August 05, 2005

Disappearing Blog

I was mystified yesterday when, after creating a new blog, my page didn't display a single one of my blogs. I have already got about 6 - 7 blog entries created. I checked my account and the blogs are still there, they can be retrieved and edited, so what gives? I thought that I might be having the same type of problem I had encountered in Yahoo's 360 account - sometimes the blog displays and sometime it doesn't. By the way, 360 is still in beta testing, but its a great tool for blogging and other stuff, but I couldn't stand the instability. Anyway, to come back, I left it at that. Hopefully the next day (now), it would have sorted itself out.

But no, the blogs still were not there. I checked high and low, switched from IE6 to Firefox and was about to fire off a bug report to blogger when a lightning bolt struck! I checked the template I was using and indeed, the problem was with the template. Somehow, in editing and saving the template a couple of days ago, the CSS template got truncated right at the location where my changes to the template were made. I chose another template, applied it and republished by blogs and hey presto! the entire blogs were displayed.

One hindsight, this probably happened because I was encountering erratic wireless connection then, so the template I was editing probably got 'sliced' and the wireless connection failed. I am blogging this because it might be useful to some of you who may be having the same problem.

p.s. Whereas IE wouldn't display anything, Firefox displayed a load of garbage that looked like this:

margin:0; padding:0; font-family: Georgia, Times, Times New Roman, sans-serif; font-size: small; text-align:center; color:#29303B; line-height:1.3; background:#483521 url("") repeat; } blockquote { font-style:italic; padding:0 32px; line-height:1.6; margin:0 0 .6em 0; } p {margin:0;padding:0}; abbr, acrony

This gave me the clue that the problem most likely was with the template.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Performing in class

The Primary One registration exercise is well underway, and as usual, we have parents writing to the press to suggest changes. One person suggested that it is ironic that his/her child does not stand first in line to select the school which is just a stone's throw away from the house, whereas others (children with siblings studying in same school, old boys/girls' children) get to choose first even though they may very be living half way across the island from the school. The writer even suggested that the child could be pre-enrolled in a school the day the baby is born - as if the family will stay across that good school forever. But I am not surprised. I have known of loving parents who bought houses near good schools so that their children can have a greater assurrance of successful enrolment in their school of choice.

Granted, 'good' schools come with deserved reputations, but it is also the energy and care of the parents during those school years that are just as important. Good schools may be places where people work the hardest and have the best programmes in town, if only because there is a reputation to maintain. So if you can get your son/daughter into one, good for you, but remember, the job is not complete for the parent. It is just the beginning of a long journey with the child.

With the benefit of hindsight, however, performing well in school does not guarantee anything except, perhaps, a good job in the government (via the scholarship system). Today, having a government job is not that attractive anymore. Out in the private sector, its mostly about performance, and how you can bring the organisation forward with your industry and ingenuity. While being first in class may indicate that you are better than the rest, it still begs the question, better in what respects? Studying skills? Memory or rote learning skills? Drilling and regurgitation skills? What about the different mental and psychological development of the girl/boy at this stage in their lives, which tends to 'favour' girls? I think there are too many variables in play. Performance in Primary school is not a good indicator of future success, however one measures that.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Blogs for self-promotion

Blogging is an attractive self-publishing medium. This explains its popularity, even among people whose literary endeavours do not extend beyond sending SMS. Some blogs are interesting, thoughtful, where the blogger writes about interesting topics, the majority are more personal. Indeed the older generation (people above 40?) see blogging as not much different from keeping a diary, which they once did many many years ago when they were the same age as today's avid young bloggers.

There are, however, bloggers who use the medium for self-promotion, putting up suggestive photos of themselves and describing their daily trysts for the whole world to read and see. There is nothing wrong in this, just that when you start to appear dressed in nothing more than a piece of string around your waist, then tongues will wag, the news media will find it newsworthy and the blogger will attain instant fame. I suppose every blogger's dream will be to have their blogs featured in the press. This is ironic because their blog is already visible to the world to read. But nothing can compare to instant local fame (or notoreity), I guess.

I know because I have seen a blog (here on put up by someone I have known that is suggestive and where the print media has featured in its 'bak-gua' columns. Now this person will be better known for the time she was NOT with us.