Author Archives: bokhooi

The Resistance in Life

If you try to push a very heavy object chances are that it will not move.

The push resulted in the frictional force between the heavy object and the ground to spring into action.

Friction is yet another faceless entity that comes into existence the very moment when it opposes motion.

The harder you push the greater is the intensity of friction to drive against your wishes.

The magnitude of friction increase the greater the forward force is.

The best part is the object is still stationary.

So maybe you push even harder.

Yet friction is all out against you.

However if you are able to push with an increasing force eventually the object will move.

There is indeed a maximum magnitude of frictional force.

If you can surpass that value the object will finally move.

Such a unique force called static frictional force will increase in magnitude as long as the forward force pushes with greater intensity until it reaches a maximum value.

Once that maximum value is surpassed the object suddenly moves with ease.

Once the object is in motion, dynamic friction takes over.

Yet dynamic friction is always lower than static friction in terms of magnitude.

Thats why it is always easier to move forward when an object is already in motion.

The nature of the surface will also determine the magnitude of the frictional force against the motion.

The rougher the surface the higher is the frictional force.

This is characterized primarily by a parameter called coefficient of friction.

The coefficient of friction for dynamic fricition is lesser than static friction therefore its much easier to move the object which is already in motion.

In life, we faced challenges from time to time.

Sometimes these challenges suck so much of our energy that it seems impossible to find the surplus of energy to carry us forward.

However once we are able to surmount the challenge then we are more likely to prevail.

Why Newton’s Second Law is So Important?

If we push an object and it starts to move, how fast would it move?

If its pushed harder, how much faster does it move?

How does the velocity of the object change?

Or will the change of velocity with respect to time follow a certain rule?
Before Newton nobody really knows what is the relationship between force and the change in velocity, if any.

However its important to know certain details in order to make an accurate prediction.

For instance, if a train moves at 100 km/h then we can say with a high degree of certainty that within three and half hour, the train will travel an equivalent of 350km.

At least you know when is the right time to wait for someone if you happen to have these important details.
On the other hand an object moving with constant velocity is kind of virtually impossible in the real world.

Friction opposes motion and slows down the velocity of an object moving on a rough surface.

Therefore when you roll an object on the floor it will slow down and eventually stops simply because of the existence of friction.

If friction is reduced, perhaps by mopping the floor first then the ball will travel a longer distance before stopping.
Objects move quicker too when pushed harder.

Objects slow down when they experience friction.

The variation of the velocity experienced by the object within a period of time is called acceleration.
Yet no one before Newton could formulate a mathematical equation to describe the relationship between forces and motion.

So it is strange indeed that during those times we do not know exactly how forces would affect motion in a quantitative manner.
The blurry and incomplete understanding of forces and motion was replaced by a crystal clear understanding after Newton introduced his second law of motion.

Basically it states that an object will accelerate when it experience a net external force imposed upon it.

However what makes the law more deterministic in nature is simply because now we are able to calculate the acceleration in a more precise manner since the value of the acceleration is equivalent to the ratio of the external force divided by the mass of the objective itself.
In a single stroke Newton’s laws allow all of us to determine in a more precise manner how motion is related to force. We are able to calculate and make predictions in a more confident manner as ambiguity is no longer an issue.
Then again Newton’s second law is a vector equation.

Therefore there is a need to consider the direction of the forces as well. If you add the magnitude of three and four you will get seven.

However if you add three and four yet three is in a horizontal direction while four is in the vertical direction then the answer is five.

On the other hand the direction is neither horizontal or vertical. Add three and four and you get five? That’s the weird world of vector.
Then came along the idea of momentum, a product where the mass multiply by the velocity of the object will give rise a value defined as momentum.

With mathematical manipulation, Newton’s Second Law suddenly can be described in a more subtle manner.

It is now equivalent to the rate of change of momentum. Sounds so bombastic isn’t it?
Yet as we know in life there is a limit to everything.

Newton’s Second Law has a limitation too. It somehow only works for objects that do not scream ahead at a very high speed. How high is high then?

Well, the speed we are talking about is near the speed of light.

Light is a faceless entity that moves at 300,000 metres in one second.

Can you imagine that?

Since most of the things that we observe in real life do not move at such a high speed therefore Newton’s Second Law continue to reign supreme.
What law does an object that moves nearly the speed of light adhere too?

Well, that’s another story for another day I guess.

Westlake Book Day

Recently I was invited to share my experience as an author in Westlake International School Kampar.

I conducted four talks in total to students from different age group including one large group on  international students from China.image image image image

The challenge with different are group is how to keep the talk interesting and energizing.

So it was indeed a memorable event.

To be able to share your thoughts as an author and hopefully inspire some of them to achieve greater heights is something really worthwhile.

Time is precious yet if you spend it well you will indeed be one happy individual.

In The News

There s nothing more exciting that being interviewed by the Press on what you do.

It makes you believe that you are doing something meaningful in life. Something that s worthwhile to consider.

Therefore the interview by New Straits Times is something to cherish for a Long Long time.

I kept looking forward to the day when I go to the outlets to buy the newspapers.

The feeling is truly magical that stays until this very day

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what is important in life?

I was with a Friend of mine who is a medical practitioner for a number of years and probably in his sixties.
We were chatting about everything under the sun when he shared with me his philosophies of life.image
He knew exactly what he wanted when he was young hence his involvement in the medical fraternity.
Apart from his career he believe in having a family and at a certain age hopefully have grandchildren.
With the wealth that he has accumulated all these years he is able to Ensure that his children are well taken care of financially which includes a property for each of them and insurance coverage.
He also ensures that his grandchildren are looked after in that sense.
He makes sure that they go for holidays from time to time.
To him how much money does he really need?
What’s important is that he has a family with Wife and his children and grandchildren to look forward to.
At his age his priorities have evolved.
When he was younger making lots of money is important as he needs the financial capability to provide to his family.
When they are reaching adulthood and have the ability to work and make some money on their own that’s the part that he let go a little bit more.
With his grandchildren he ensures that they are looked after financially as well.
He is financially strong yet is a humble person who is very much close to his family.
His source of happiness is when he is able to provide love and happiness to his family while ensuring that they are financially independent in the Long run.
At his age that is contentment.

What then do we look for?

I was nearby the immigration counter at an airport and in front of me was an elderly couple with their son. The son as telling his dad on how should he approach the immigration officer with the relevant information. His father looked kind of lost yet did not utter a single word. When it was his turn to show the documents to the officer, it was found that a lot of information was not furnished.

He was told to fill it up. His son was asked to assist him, In the process, his dad left his bag at the immigration counter.      image

At the same time, it was his mum ‘s turn at another immigration counter. Same thing happened and his son was called up. An immigration officer spoke in a loud voice and told his son that they are holding up everything and told him to sort out the details nearby.

I wondered why the son was never the first one in the queue.

I tried to understand why the information was not filled up.

I couldn’t comprehend why the immigration officer needed to speak in a loud voice to them especially when it has to do with the elderly couple.

I was having tea with an old friend of mine and she shared with me her philosophy of life.

She has been travelling quite extensively for holidays. Especially now that she has retired from work. She just came back from Australia and already she had plans to go to Europe for about three weeks. Her philosophy hinged on the principle that travelling opened up her mind full of possibilities and allowed her to appreciate the different cultures of the various countries that she went to. The experience is more valuable to her than other materialistic thing in life. She knew that once the age sets in, travelling will be harder and mobility and stamina will be lesser by the day. Therefore she wanted to spend time travelling while she would still be in a condition to do so. She has a collection of expensive watches yet she found that she hardly used them and after a while the cost of maintaining the watches could be pretty expensive. As people aged, reasoned her, the expenses spent is primarily for health and food as travelling would be so much minimal by then. Even if an aged person would have all the money in the world, travelling abroad can be quite a challenge.

So why not travel now when she has the capacity to do so?

Appreciate the beauty of the world as time is never patient with anyone.

Live life to the fullest and embrace everything beautiful about the world that lies within our eyes.

She has seen many beautiful things in the world yet its never enough.

And while time ultimately moves ahead, she found herself travelling even a lot more.

Materialistic stuff might carry lesser value as we progressed with time.

We yearned for self enriching experience.

The ones that would continuously shape our thoughts in a better way as time surged ahead.

While waiting to catch a train when I was overseas recently, I bumped into a young lady from Europe who worked in an elderly nursing site back in her home country. She told about the places she had visited. Each time she travelled it would be more than a month or so. However she felt that this would be her last leg of tour in South East Asia. She would be reaching twenty seven soon and she planned to focus on South America next. She gave me the impression that she would not be doing this all her life as other priorities come into play.

I guessed that she knew exactly what she would be embarking on.

While she had the energy and the luxury of time, why not make full use of what would be available.

She might not be making tons of money however she might be richer in terms of experience due to her constancy in travelling.

How much money can we make and how much money will be enough?

Can we substitute experience with money?

And even if we made a lot of money, can we find time to spend some of it?

Or will we be so busy making money until we forgot to embark on a journey of self discovery by travelling?

Will money ever substitute the experience that might be derived from our travelling?

Perhaps by the time we call it quits, we might not have the agility and stamina to venture on a self searching journey of discovery.

What then do we look for?

In the oyster of our dreams.

The Magical Six

imageWhen I was young, I had this habit of exploring the realms of my creativity when most people are a sleep.

Nocturnal as you might say.

Yet it is  when almost everybody is sleeping, then the creative juices start to blossom.

Equipped only with an old fashioned typewriter, I searched my mind for the kind of thoughts that I feel would be appropriate to be translated on paper.

The tranquility of the night is the best remedy for action within the realm of my mind.

Where imagination runs wild unimpeded without any constraint.

Searched the most elusive part of our own universe for ounces of creative sparks that would ignite a myriad of possibilities.

Many nights were spent in the living hall with only the sound of the typewriter breaking the silence of the night.

It was a joy to be able to explore our own creativity.

To search the route yet travelled.

And the fruits are found in the six compilation with other authors under the auspices of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

My creative escapade, enhanced further by my participation of the Fourth  Minggu Remaja 1988 organized by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, is a continuous journey of self exploration.



Perhitungan Terakhir

I walked into the bookshop searching for a particular type of magazine.

I found it after a while.

In an impatient manner, I flipped over the pages quickly.    image

I didn’t know what I would find.

When I found it, I remembered my heart leapt for joy.

I was laughing. Probably not hysterically.

As I did not wish to attract too much attention.

With the magazine tightly within my grasp, I walked to the counter and paid for it.

My mind was cluttered with so many things yet I could not find a coherent element in all those that surged into my mind.

My first short story in Bahasa Malaysia has finally been published in Dewan Siswa.

I jumped onto my motorcycle and left quickly.

I was smiling from ear to ear.

My imagination was taking control of me.

I felt a strong gush of wind slapping my face.

My hair was like being blown away.

A sensation that I never experienced before.

It dawned upon me.

I have completely forgotten about my helmet.

Two decades and seven years later, it still feels like yesterday.





The rebirth of Topeng

It took me three weeks to complete the manuscript.

Exploring the world of my own and extending the boundaries of my creativity furthest possible.

I wrote.

And I wrote.                             image

The only break was for meals and other necessities in life.

It was a semester break.

A perfect time to find solace and tranquility from within.

Seeking none other than to channel my thoughts in the most productive manner.

Topeng is pure fiction.

Yet the inspiration comes from everywhere around us.

Topeng is about an individual who lost himself while pursuing his dreams.

I remembered when the manuscript was accepted by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka for publication I did jumped for joy.

At that very moment in time, I wanted it more than a lot of other things in life.

I forgot about everything else.

All my energy is channeled for none other than Topeng.

After a quarter of a century, Topeng will be published again.

A rebirth.

A nostalgic moment in time.

For some of the most beautiful memories in life, sometimes we do tend to hope to experience it all over again.

This is the time.

I now wait impatiently.

For the historic moment to recapture the past glorious moment.

The moment that changed my world completely.




A Man and His Wallet & other stories in Kosmo

I couldn’t sleep well the night before.

Every since I received the phone call out from the blue I was already one cloud nine.

Maybe ten if there is such a scale.

I was really excited.                                                                         image

Yet I knew that I had to keep my eyes shut so as to catch a few hours of sleep.

I have never done this before.

Yet I knew it was a day to remember for many moons to come.

The very next day I drove to the intended location.

I found the person who greeted me and we sat down for a chat.

It was one and a half hour.

Yet it felt like fifteen minutes.

Time flies when you are having a good time.

There were some photo sessions.

After that it was all over.

You spent so many days thinking about it.

Before the actual day.

After waiting patiently for one week the day of reckoning is just around the corner.

When the day finally arrived, I went out early in the morning to purchase the newspaper.

Flipping through the pages in lightning speed, I finally found what I was looking for.

A page that would forever be etched in my memory.

As I never did that before.

The first time is always the most significant.

As every single journey begins with a step into the unknown.