Thursday, June 26, 2008

You are what you Eat

The old adage never sounded this omnimous. Today, I was presented with lab results of my blood sample from two weeks before. The doctor's comments were all too familiar sounding: "Look fit and healthy... must watch what you eat..." "Can consider starting on medication... Have time on your side..." "Avoid anything finger-licking good". Yes, the fats.. er, facts are in: My cholesterol level remains High. For comparison, here are some figures from Singapore Heart Foundation:

My recent(June'08) blood lipid profile read:
HDL: 1.27 (49)
Total: 7.21 (278)
My LDL from Nov'05: 5.14 (199)

Generally speaking, LDL is "bad" cholesterol that can cause heart disease by clogging arteries. HDL is "good" cholesterol that "cleanses" arteries by transporting fat and LDL deposits back to the liver for breakdown. Read this for more insight on cholesterol.

My total cholesterol hasn't got any better since I first got it checked back in Aug'03 when the reading was 6.45 (249). I am genetically predisposed to having high cholesterol as my father and a number of my paternal relatives are. I recently learnt that cholesterol is actually produced within our bodies; and that high cholesterol levels are actually influenced more through the consumption of "bad" fats rather than by dietary cholesterol(foods such as eye yolks, seafood) alone. (Both Sat-fat and Trans-fat raise LDL levels, but Trans-fat apparently packs a second punch by reducing HDL!) My problem is possibly due to a diet containing too much saturated/trans fat; and perhaps a genetically overactive liver producing more LDL than average as well.

Though I've been generally conscious about my food choices all along, I guess it's about time to really start monitoring what, when and how much I eat. (O_o)*Knowing-look from the girlfriend comes to mind* Fish/bean/soy protein over lean meats when I can help it. Fruits, eaten whole for added fibre. High-fibre carbo alternatives wholemeal bread, oats, brown rice, beans, sweet potato. Fat-reduced dairy products. Avoid food high in saturated fat(deep-fried, milky, creamy, buttery stuff) and trans fat(hydrogenated oils, shortening). Scrutinise "Nutrition Facts" on the packaging before purchasing/consuming processed foods. Exercise regularly. (Research suggests regular aerobic activity increases HDL levels!)

Must remain motivated to this cholesterol-lowering cause; lest I leave my loved-ones prematurely.
Accept the fact. Fight the fats.

Friday, June 20, 2008

paper chase (ii)

things coming up on the horizon

I'm applying for DigiPen Singapore's BFA(Production Animation) programme. Founded in the US, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Singapore is beginning its pioneer batch this September at its campus located in One-North(Buona Vista area). When I heard of their arrival, I wasn't the most excited person around until I learnt more about their curriculum offerings.

At the same time, I'm looking at Lucasfilm Animation Singapore's Jedi Masters Program. It's not a Master's degree as the name suggests.(Some have been mistaken!) LAS' Jedi Masters Program is an apprenticeship-stint that offers mentorship and production experience in various disciplines related to film, tv animation, visual effects, games development and production. "Trainees who complete the program and demonstrate an appropriate skill level will be eligible for positions at LAS." -

Will apply to both DigiPen and LAS and (hopefully get to) consider their offers.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

paper chase (i)

To update the previous post on the Australian Uni applications
2 more offers received:
UNSW (Digital Media) - March '09 intake, ~2yrs 9mths(w/credit exemption)
, 54-57k tuition
RMIT (Digital Art) - March '09 intake, 3yrs,
59k tuition

Also, complete-offer now updated
with credit exemption:
Newcastle (Viz Comm, illo-major) - Jul '08 intake, 2.5yrs, 43k tuition

This probably isn't news anymore to the people I see regularly, but to the other friends whom I haven't met in some time: I'll not be going to Australia after all as my ideal-choice, Newcastle, turns out to be outside the vicinity of my intended states of residence(Uncle's place in Sydney/Melbourne). It's at least 100km away from Uncle's apartment in New South Wales. If I go to Newcastle, the accomodation would add an additional 30-50% on top of tuition fees for my entire cost of study there. Not quite within budget I guess. Sad to have to turn down that place since it has mid-year intake somemore. The other Uni-offers were not the best-fit in terms of course content and so... why put myself into educational exile far away to "test new ground and chase a paper"? The wait goes on.

-------------------------------------- previously: -----------------------------------------------

Aussie Uni Application Outcomes:
USYD (BA of Visual Arts) - no July-intake; next intake/commencement date in Feb '09
UNSW (BA of Digital Media) - on-hold; July-intake; pending processing of recently-submitted documentation
Newcastle (BA of Visual Communication Design [Illustration Design Major]) - full 3yr prog. offer, processing credit-exemption
RMIT (BA of Arts [Digital Art]) - no July-intake; next intake/commencement date in Feb '09

It's too bad Newcastle's way too far from 2nd Uncle's Sydney apartment where my cousin and brother is staying in also. The Viz-Comm Illo-Design major and the other (fanciful)
BA of Natural History Illustration course seem to be calling out to me. There are on-campus accomodation options too; of which only a handful of rooms remain available. Will review my options as I continue chasing UNSW about my application.

I pondered over the further study options at home too; where it would be easier(in terms of communication and resources) to freelance while studying.
LaSalle's BA of Arts [Graphic Novel] seems interesting but I'll be finding out more about it first.