Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WCG Malaysia CS champions again

The first photo showing the guys holding up the national flag of Malaysia and published by WCG Malaysia is the Sudden Attack team of FMJ. The team formed in 2009 when the quite popular FPS (first person shooter) game developed in South Korea was first introduced in Malaysia and Singapore has won a few nationwide cum Singapore championships. My son, KC better known by his in game nick, nitroN, stands on the left.

But his first love of FPS games remains that of Counter Strike. After winning the WCG Malaysia CS championship in 2008 with Team LZ, he could not form a strong competitive team in 2009 since his teammates have either gone overseas for studies or have decided to play Sudden Attack instead. Four of the guys including him in the SA team of FMJ have won several national CS championships over the years.

Earlier in the year, he was quite happy to inform me that he was able to form a CS team with some of his former teammates. After naming them to me, I mentioned that they are among the best Malaysian CS players. I never asked what the name of his team was until they had reached the finals, since my wife, daughter and I were going to provide support for him, as usual.

They chose the name ‘Old School’ for the team. I guess the names of their more famous teams which they had represented before like Teams FMJ, Hybrid and LZ, and which dominated the Malaysian CS scene for several years have been taken over by other team members.

Unlike what Confucius said, in cyber gaming, it is not the name that counts but the team members!

Their team, Old School, steamrolled or whitewashed the opponents all the way to the final. In the final, they won 2 – 0 in the best of three maps playing against Team LZ, the WCG CS national champions of 2008 and 2009. The former champions, Team LZ only managed to take 2 rounds in the first map and 5 rounds in the second off them. In CS competitions, the first team to reach sixteen (16) rounds wins the map.

The second photo published by shows the WCG Malaysia 2010 CS champions, Team Old School holding up their prizes. KC again stands on the left.

So far in Malaysian CS history, the best performance was by Team FMJ by taking the 5th to 8th placing in the WCG Grand Finals held in Singapore in 2005.

The team was a bit unlucky to have met the eventual grand champion, 3D of USA, in the quarter finals. My family and I were there to support KC playing for Team FMJ then. By comparison, I told KC, the individual skills of this team Old School of 2010 can probably match those of team FMJ of 2005.

But amateurs being amateurs; if the team can go, they may still fail to beat the best professional CS teams of Europe, Asia and the Americas playing in the WCG grand finals to be held in Los Angeles this autumn.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Privy information

Certain people like the heads of states, top religious leaders, Daoist disciples or devotees and Yi students at times have access to privy information provided by other heads of states or the divine including the ancient Book of Changes depending on the circumstances and probably on a need to know basis.

Sometimes the privy information provided is the same but no timing is given, for example:

• The Holy See urges Iran and North Korea to abide by the UN regulations to avoid a nuclear war back in 2007.

• The ancient Chinese classic, the Zhouyi informed this student about the raining of rockets in 2009 and the use of nuclear or silent weapons in 2010.

• China using the correct approach probably deferred the raining of rockets in 2009 and tries hard to defer it yet again this year.

• The US preparing for all eventualities used special radars with the ability to detect rockets or missiles armed with nuclear warheads or fakes to cover the mainland and Hawaii in June 2009 in case North Korea decided to launch them. According to a July 14 news report by of Hawaii, the country has just returned one of these special radars to the island for ‘maintenance’ until fall this year. (See comments in entry on ‘Nuclear or silent weapons’ for more information or link to the news report.)

• On July 17, 2010 former Cuban President Fidel Castro warns of an impending nuclear war at a meeting with more than 100 ambassadors to Cuba if Iran and North Korea are too hard pressed.

Have regular readers notice the similarity of messages passed by China and Cuba and in the entries written in this blog since May 2010?

Like most people in the world, I have no wish for another war to start. But if it happens, it happens.

The multitude can do nothing but watch since the drumbeats, no matter how loud, are in a relative safe distance, except for those countries involved in the war.

Regular readers may have to prepare for such an event. Think of your mountain of treasures and/or of your safety.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nuclear or silent weapons

It seems that the US has quietly been making preparations for all eventualities.

While hundreds of millions of people on Earth watch the FIFA World Cup finals, four US submarines have moved closer to the Korean peninsular according to online news last week. These submarines which usually carry rockets with nuclear warheads have instead been armed with cruise missiles. A total of four hundred plus cruise missiles which the four subs carry are currently pointed at North Korea and China according to the news report.

A torpedo counts as a silent weapon too, if regular readers missed that.

Since the drumbeats are getting louder and louder, will it rain rockets? Would nuclear or silent weapons be used?

It is too late to ask Paul the mystic octopus, it has retired! (Like others, the bookies had also made offers to buy him for whatever reasons.)

Instead try asking the Yi and/or your favorite Shen Xian (Daoist deity and celestial immortal) for the answers.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A bit of luck

The semi finals of the FIFA World Cup 2010 have just finished with the final and the third fourth placing to be played over the weekend.

A day before the Spain – Germany semi final match, my son thought Germany was going to win since the team played so well against both England and Argentina in the round of sixteen and the quarter finals respectively. I said, ‘Let’s wait for the psychic octopus’ input before determining which team will win.’

Of course Paul the now famous octopus housed in a German Aquarium predicted Spain to win that match vindicating why it is still the best psychic for predicting FIFA football tournaments – despite the wishy-washy interpretations of its trainer and/or spokesperson in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches played by Germany. However it does not mean you can wager your shirt or house on its predictions. Since it is also known that Paul the psychic octopus has been wrong once so far, way back in 2008 where it predicted Germany to beat Spain in the European championship final - Spain won instead.

If you need a bit of luck too like my son, wait for the psychic octopus to choose whether Germany will take third placing over Uruguay this Saturday. But remember not to put your shirt or your house on the line. A small wager will do, if you really have to punt.

Meanwhile if you have watched all the Holland matches in this World Cup, you may agree with me the team has a bit of luck going their way. My son did not notice that.

In all tournaments at the world stage, the qualified teams are skillful enough to represent their respective countries and would have a chance to win the championship. Holland played ‘total football’ back in the 1970s led by the legendary Johan Cruyff of Ajax Amsterdam FC fame and who had coined that phrase. The Dutch team played real skillful and beautiful football then. But they did not have the luck to win the World Cup final both in 1974 and 1978. Like always, winning a championship requires much skill and a bit of luck, and Holland has both this time round, I had told my son.


In the opening match in the group stage against Denmark, the play opened up when Danish Daniel Agger headed the ball away from the D line only to hit the back of his own team mate to score an own goal much to his amusement. Holland scored a goal to win the game 2 – 0. Holland went on to win the remaining two Group E matches.

After beating Slovakia in the group of sixteen, it met Brazil the favorite to win this World Cup and the team to avoid in the quarter finals. As expected, Brazil opened the score with a beautiful goal from Robinho. When Holland counterattacked with a lob into the D, Felipe Melo of Brazil, under pressure, headed in an own goal making it all square at 1 – 1. Similar to the match with Denmark, Holland scored a goal and a 2 – 1 score line was enough against ten men (Melo was red carded later for a foul) to put it through to the semifinals.

In the semifinal match with Uruguay, Dutch Wesley Sneijder scored with a deflected shot by a Uruguay defender. Holland won the closely fought and exciting match 3 – 2.

With all the luck they are getting in this World Cup, and with a bit more luck in the final, Holland would win it this time round. However, Dutch fans should keep their fingers crossed since I am neither a psychic nor an octopus like Paul!


Self taught cultivators of Tao also need a bit of luck to get the right books and texts for study and confirmation of their correct neidan practice since Bodhidharma had said that only one in a million of the self taught can become Buddhas.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Learning non attachment

It is human nature to attach ourselves to someone (parents / spouse / children / relatives / friends) and/or something (house / pets / car / clubs etc). However attachment to someone or something invariably affects our emotions. And emotions can at times make us lose control of ourselves.

Take for example, the fans supporting their favorite football team in the ongoing World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Whether they watch their team play in the football stadium or live on TV, their hopes and emotions are governed by its performance during and even after football matches. Fans can turn boisterous, rowdy, or angry after each match result. No one can blame them, if no laws have been broken. They are just enjoying living their lives the way they want to.

If we study what the great masters – Laozi, Confucius and Buddha – taught, the heart can be stilled by moderating our own emotions. And emotions can be easily aroused arising from our attachments to kin, friends, and favorites not unlike the football fans if anything good or untoward happened to them.

Therefore non attachment or detachment, the opposite of attachment, is part and parcel of Tao cultivation. Non attachment helps in stilling the heart.

While it is easier for Daoist priests, Buddhist monks, and nuns to learn or practise non attachment since they are supposed to cut off family ties on entering vows of their choice, a lay person cultivating Tao only need to do so at the later stages of neidan practice.

Leaving the family and home behind to progress through the stages of neidan is nothing new to those familiar with Tao studies and the lives of Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha. More examples can be found if we study the early history of Quanzhen.

If fellow lay travelers of the Way really think about it, learning and practising non attachment at the later stages could be better. At the time, our parents could be long gone with our children fully grown up having their own families and friends; leaving less broken hearts and dependants. And unless you are so inclined, you do not have to be a Daoist priest or a Buddhist monk or nun to learn and practise non attachment.

Meanwhile just watch your emotions and moderate them. It is easier for older folks since we are less hot blooded. This is another reason why you should not practise neidan if you are still young. Try cultivating virtues for a start.