Category: Other Posts

The #QUTCurlew: A Personal Reflection

The #QUTCurlew: A Personal Reflection

Who knew a bird staring at its own reflection would generate so much buzz? It was the craziest weekend of my life. My phone couldn’t stop alerting me to curlew-related stuff, and I had friends congratulating me on my cameo on a BBC News article about this. However, lessons can be learned from this experience.

It made me realise that I don’t like it when I’m in the spotlight. The great thing about being a journalist is while you’re always in the public eye, you relatively live a normal life. I recognise that this boosted my media profile, and would be a foot in the door for any media career. However, I love to write about the news, but hate being the news. I was overwhelmed with what was happening, and I got caught up in the emotion. I’ve never been in this situation before. It was surreal. My anxiety rose. I didn’t know what was happening. Yes, it wasn’t a totally global viral sensation like other things, but the scale was something I didn’t imagine it would be. It’s only around now that things have finally settled down and I can move on with my life.

This page wasn’t actually my idea. My friend Naveen actually had the idea of creating the page, but because I’m page administrator, I took all the credit. Do I feel bad for that? Yes, I do. This was a team effort. Naveen had the idea, and Jorja came up with the name. I just ran the page. But yet, I take all the credit? It doesn’t seem fair? Even with my interview with the BBC, I emphasised that this was not my idea. However, I still got the credit. In addition, it wasn’t the Facebook page that popularised the curlew. It was a Twitter post that ABC journalist Nick Wiggins posted, that was re-tweeted thousands of times.

On a side note, partially in response to the media buzz, it’s key that people do take mental health breaks. It’s what I’m trying to do every Friday now – where I relax and not worry about my media commitments, work and uni. Someone also pointed out to me that I overshare on social media. It’s true. I never considered myself to be a narcissist but clearly I am. The bird is a metaphor for who I was on social media. The curlew craze pushed my oversharing habit to the max. I was making memes a lot, cross posting it on my personal page, and for a few days all my Twitter feed was about, was the curlew. That’s on top of my typical oversharing statuses of every single bit of my life. That’s not a good habit to have. I’ve fallen into the trap of putting on a facade for social media, only to be a completely different person offline. I’m now striving to not share as much on Facebook about every minute aspect of my life. You guys really don’t care about most of it anyway, so why should I post it?

I’ve learned several lessons from this experience. Anything to make me a better person is great.

Revisiting Blog Posts Five Years Later: The iPad

Revisiting Blog Posts Five Years Later: The iPad

I was reading my old blog posts on the iPad, and my opinion on this device has changed since then. That is because after holding out for so long, I finally got myself an iPad! Yeah alright, technically it’s a hand-me-down iPad 3 from my mother when she upgraded to an iPad Air, but it still counts, right?! This is a retrospective post, comparing what I said then to my stance now.

When Steve Jobs revealed it would be based on the iPhone OS, maybe disappointed would be an understatement on how I felt. Sure, the iPhone OS and platform would be great for providing a smooth user experience, but for me being a computer nerd at heart I actually want to do other things than what Apple want me to do with the iPad. This is kinda the problem I have with the iPhone too, how lock down it is. (From The iPad – yay or nay?)

Steve nailed this again. With a portable device like the iPad, the now-called iOS is a perfect fit. Having one app binary shared between iPhone and iPad made things a lot easier. An operating system like OS X/macOS would have made the device cumbersome, and drain a lot of battery. If I stuck to doing light things, I can get away with charging the iPad once a week.

As for the iPad, I’ll give this one a pass… (From The iPad – yay or nay?)

That was 2010, and I held out till 2015. I have to give myself some credit for that! It was prejudicial for me to make a verdict on the iPad based on what I hear, without trying it first, which is what the next quotes address.

Before touching an iPad, I dismissed it as an oversized iPod Touch/iPhone. After having a try, my view is different. Yes, the iPad does use the iPhone OS, but when I used it I didn’t think of it as an oversized iPod touch. Everything felt natural. (From The iPad: What do I think of it?)

I have to admit, with the iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus out now, this distinction is blurring. But yes, I see my iPad as a compliment to my MacBook Air, rather than as an extension to my iPhone.

The first program I tried immediately was Pages. The keyboard is well sized, and you can do touch typing with it out of the box. It wasn’t hard to readapt to an iPhone keyboard – in fact I enjoyed it. As for the Pages app, it is adequate as a word processor but obviously it is missing powerful features like on it’s Mac counterparts – Pages OSX and Word for Mac. Everything was smooth an intuitive. I was liking what I was seeing and touching. (From The iPad: What do I think of it?)

OneNote on the iPad is almost as good as on macOS.  Touch typing on it, like I said above, is just natural. I substitute my MacBook Air for my iPad on some days at uni when having a laptop is not necessary. It does its job really well. Granted, multitasking is a bit cumbersome when using the iPad, but I guess it wasn’t designed to be like that.

Overall, I have found the iPad to be a great companion device. Instead of carrying my MacBook around to watch video, I use the iPad because of its small profile. When I want to watch MLB.tv, the iPad is the primary device to watch baseball games. I have the Kindle app to read books on it. It’s also great on flights if the aircraft does not have in-flight entertainment.

Eurovision Song Contest 2015: Congrats Guy Sebastian & Sweden!

I wasn’t expecting Australia to win or to score highly but I’m extremely proud of how we placed in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.  It was even more impressive that Sweden, the country that lately has been producing the top Eurovision acts, gave Australia 12 points!

I’m very happy Sweden won the competition overall. That performance by Måns Zelmerlöw was extremely creative.

Congratulations again Guy Sebastian! You did Australia proud.

Congratulations as well to Måns Zelmerlöw and Sweden. See you next year!

Farewell Mr. Letterman

Letterman Screencap

Most of you outside of Australia would be surprised that David Letterman was quite well known here. A late night staple on the Nine Network, and in the final years on Network Ten, David Letterman had kept Aussie insomniacs awake. For me, his irreverent and random humour brightened up my days.  How did I come across The Late Show with David Letterman? By accident! I had taped something one weekend in 2003 and at the end of the tape there was Dave. I loved what I saw! From then on, I’d set the VCR to record Dave’s show at whatever time Nine had him on – it was never the same time slot. As my life got busier, sadly I stopped watching full shows. However I kept up with his clips on the web – first on CBS’ website then on YouTube.

When David announced his retirement last year, a part of my heart sunk. Yesterday was his final show and I made sure I didn’t miss it. To my surprise, Network Ten moved his show to primetime yesterday and showed it hours after the US airing.

The opening monologue, the flashback sequences, the All-Star Top Ten – that’s how you end your career on TV! Not with sadness, but in celebration and laughter.

Thanks for the memories Dave from your fans in Australia!

Early Morning Lorikeet

Early Morning Lorikeet

These species of the lorikeet are native to Australia and are very common in Queensland. Taking photographs of them is a little difficult since they get scared away very easily. This particular lorikeet though, was so distracted by the flower it didn’t even notice me no matter how many times I walk past!

The Costco Experience

The Costco Experience

Costco Warehouse

I must admit it. It has been nearly a year since Costco first opened its doors in Brisbane but today was the first time I had visited it. For those not familiar with the Costco concept, it is an American warehouse supermarket chain that you can only gain access and purchase from via a membership. First thing to do when I arrived at the store was to get a membership. You can bring along two guests with you on one membership card, but the assigned member must be the one to pay. This is unique from normal supermarkets, and the membership cost is one form of revenue for Costco. So far, there is only one Costco in the state.

Be prepared to walk around a lot. None of the aisles is labelled so there’s a bit of exploring to do. Though the items are sold in bulk, there is a small range to choose from. This is the Costco model, and it shows it has been a success because customers are saving money in the long term by buying in bulk. The initial cost of purchase might frighten some consumers but in the end you might save money because you’re not frequently revisiting the supermarket to restock supplies. Another surprising thing is the quality of quality of the grocery items. The ready-to-bake pizzas were delicious!

However, Costco North Lakes is often packed with people, which to me dampened the experience a little bit. Personally, I’d probably visit Costco on a non-regular basis…say bi-monthly. It’s not like a normal supermarket where you have to visit regularly. Once the crowd settles down as well, I think the shopping experience would be more pleasant. I believe Costco will be opening one near my neck of the woods so that would help as well with crowd numbers.

Downtime Apologies

Well, that took much longer than expected! I wanted to change the WordPress.com URL from the old name ‘trlat.wordpress.com’ to the new name ‘markzita.wordpress.com’. During the transition, the website went down momentarily and all media embedded in posts broke. That is all fixed now and we’re back in business.

Netflix has arrived in Australia!

Well the long wait is over. Australia finally has Netflix! Sure, it’s a fraction of what they offer in North America but they had to contend with exclusivity agreements with the incumbents – Foxtel, Nine, Seven and Ten. I’ve signed up for a one-month trial and I’m currently going through a binge watching session. I’ll give you a full review once I’ve used Netflix for a week. Stay tuned!