In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Data, and other things.

The first thing I look at every time I log into my blogging sites (Blogger for this, and Wordpress for my Nature blog) is to check the stats. Primarily because it's one of the first things that I see on the dashboard, and also because I just like to see what the viewership has been like.

The data that the blogging sites collect and provide to me is pretty interesting, and I guess useful. I'm not a big data person, as in I don't really know how to process and make use of data, but I'm very intrigued by it, because it can tell so much about people. Facebook recently released a bunch of Facebook notes about information they retrieved from data people provided, and there have been some pretty interesting stuff. Of course, the stats on my blogs can't be considered big data on their own, but still, I see interesting things. Like the fact that there is a spike in people checking this blog out on 15 Feb.

I can't imagine why - do people think I'm gonna be updating this blog after 14 Feb because it's the 15th day of the Lunar New Year (元宵节) or Valentine's Day (aka the Feast of St Valentine) or because 15 Feb is the day Singapore fell to the Japanese or ??? Whatever it is guys, sorry to disappoint.

I also like checking out the Search Keywords that bring people to my blog. The most common search people make that leads them to my blog within the past month is something about rg/rj being stressful. I guess cos O level results came out and people were wondering if they should apply to Raffles (well duh yes apply! :P It may be stressful but it prepares you for uni/working life.) No idea why they would read my blog though, considering I graduated some 4/6 years ago, and my blog posts then were horribly immature and mildly embarrassing.

The all-time search keywords though, reveal something different altogether.
For some reason or other, people are Googling about flatworms and coming across my blog. Do I talk about flatworms that often??? Surely there are lots of other useful websites about flatworms out there, such as Ria Tan's WildSingapore page?

The pageviews by countries (all-time) always interests me too.
I can definitely see why Singapore would top the list, and I could understand if there are a lot of views from the United Kingdom as well, but I really can't imagine why people anywhere else would be that interested in my blog. No matter though, I welcome anyone and everyone to read my blog. Thanks for the support, haha.

My stats for my Nature blog aren't half as interesting, mainly because I guess I don't update it often enough to keep up the viewership and perhaps people prefer reading about people's everyday life than interest-specific sites? The latter is useful when it comes to helping with homework or trying to find more info on stuff, but I guess people wouldn't regularly keep checking it out. Also this blog has been running for way longer than the other one.


Moving on to other things, I think I might finally mention something that I have never brought up in my years of blogging here – relationships. In particular, non-platonic, non-familial relationships, i.e. romantic relationships. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, you'll realise I have never mentioned anything about anyone really. So I thought perhaps now might be the time to say it out loud. I am not in a relationship. I don't have a boyfriend (nor am I gay/lesbian). (Ha, got you, my aunt/uncle/cousin/mom/dad/brother/relative of mine whom I know read my blog)

Seriously though, I have never been in one despite my age (some people think you should be married with kids by the time you're in your 20s, others think you should at least have had a few boyfriends by this time etc.) and while people may think it strange/weird (especially in the Western world), I don't really see why. Back when I was still in school, the friends whom I hanged out with (and still keep in contact with) were/are more or less like me (if I may make such claims on their behalf). Coming here, that same sentiment is perhaps a little harder to find. Some I know, do feel the same. But perhaps because of the skewed sex ratio here (there are more guys than girls, especially among Singaporeans), I think guys don't generally feel that way – in fact a few just seem to want to get married and settle down as soon as they can after graduation. Maybe a shift in gender perspective, or just the weird crowd I tend to hang out with (anomalies from the trend), but there is definitely too small a sample size to jump to any conclusions so don't quote me on any of this apart from anecdotally.

I am definitely not looking to settle down anytime soon, and I don't really think anyone expects me too. And I don't see why I should go out with someone if I don't like him in any way apart from a purely platonic relationship, it wouldn't be fair to him. It's not about giving people chances. Maybe my standards are too high, or maybe I'm looking for a divine sign when there never is one, or maybe, just leave me be. I have faith in God's plan for me.


Meanwhile, while I know He looks out for me in all ways, He's not gonna write my essay for me. I shared about Singapore's wildlife to a small group of mostly Singaporeans last Sat (15 Feb), because I felt like every Singaporean should at least know what we have back home, especially if they're in Cambridge because they're most probably going to be making important decisions in the future. And so I will leave you with this pretty awesome music video and hope that you will be sufficiently convinced to find out more and sign the petition.




Thursday, February 06, 2014

A fallen race.

Why is this world so full of hatred, fear and disagreements. Perhaps full is an exaggeration - there is much beauty and joy in the world for sure (see viralnova, upworthy etc to get your feel-good-fix for the day).

It's just today, I realised while we're all fundamentally the same, we're all so different.

The creationism vs evolution debate (some of my opinions on Facebook here); the sexuality FAQ site of the Health Promotion Board (some people are petitioning to restore it to the original - basically while some people are lauding the HPB for becoming more progressive, others feel it's maybe, too progressive. I'm not too clear on the details myself.); pro-life vs the right to end life (went for a talk on this earlier in the day by Lord David Alton).

So much conflict and rife in the world, because of misunderstandings, because of pride/ego (a refusal to think one might be wrong), because of beliefs.

All that I mentioned as examples are very real to me, especially as a practising Catholic. The Church has a stance on abortion/euthanasia, homosexuality and (to a certain extent) evolution. The topic I'm most comfortable talking about is the creationism vs evolution one, naturally, being a natural scientist and a nature-lover who sees the beauty of the natural world from an evolutionary and spiritual point of view. And I see how one can believe in both a divine creator and the theory of evolution at the same time (theistic evolution, which is not a scientific theory). On homosexuality, I am sitting on the fence about whether it's natural/unnatural/right/wrong etc, but I definitely feel that people should not be discriminated/made to fear/be punished etc based on their sexuality. Homophobia is not right, just as racial discrimination or gender discrimination is not right. And there is definitely something very wrong about taking lives away. Especially if it's because of gender. At the same time, there are, I think, fairly legit reasons for abortion, such as less well-to-do families, especially in countries such as the Philippines, where couples already have way too many kids to feed and it's not possible to raise one more. Though of course then they should have abstained, if they really care for human lives. But like seriously, it's hard to get people to do that when abortion is an option.

My religion provides me with a moral compass, an idea of what is right or wrong. Some people disagree; we can be moral without religion. I wouldn't disagree with them – there are certainly many good people who are not religious. Some might think that people with religion can get lazy and just accept the faith blindly, and whatever they say. I don't know about others, but I certainly don't, it gives me a headache just thinking about all these issues. One of the reasons why I didn't like philosophy in RG. I have just been avoiding all these controversial issues (especially on social media) because it's so easy to be misunderstood. And I'm still slowly trying to understand them, from my religion's point of view. And until I can understand and accept everything, I wouldn't want to really engage in conversation.


I've been rambling on and it's late, and I probably don't make much sense. But the upshot is, I find it really sad how we're so divided as a human race, and differing opinions and views give rise to conflict and violence and lots of unhappiness. I was going to say that surely there are more pressing problems facing us all no matter our beliefs that we need to work together to solve (such as climate change, food security, human trafficking etc) but I guess if our fundamental ideologies are different then it's difficult to create meaningful rational dialogue? :/