Crazy Genius or Geniusly Crazy? 6 Real-Life Mad Scientists with Peculiar Habits — Aisles of Life

Scientists are a strange bunch of people, and their ideologies have led to the most incredible discoveries of all time. Unfortunately, some famous scientists were dismissed as morons during their time as many suffered from mental disorders that were not well-understood at the time. In recent times, however, we recognize them as geniuses. But were […]

Crazy Genius or Geniusly Crazy? 6 Real-Life Mad Scientists with Peculiar Habits — Aisles of Life

A Smile To Open A Hurting Heart

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A Smile To Open A Hurting Heart

I used to meet him around the corner, 
walking alone, deep in his thoughts,
I have never seen him smile.
His feature frown leaves many wondering,
setting permanent, a crease between his brows.

... is life knocking hard on him? 

Many poor children born with defective hearts,
had theirs repaired complimentarily
by this one without a smile;
a saviour hand lent by God.

'...but who will heal my child of his ailing mind?'

Yet he is entrusted 
to care for many other sheep because 
he is the chosen one, capable of doing so.

Lina, Anna and Rosnah sat waiting 
for their child at the mental rehabilitation centre.
These single mothers, too, have forsaken their smiles,

...for 'who will mend their broken hearts?'
“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.”Dalai Lama  
An honest smile is an icebreaker.    -  Toba Beta

The HR angels, Supported Employment, and the Mentally Disabled.

The HR angels, Supported Employment, and the Mentally Disabled.

Anna brought three young men 
from a mental rehabilitation center
for supported employment.
It was to be part of
their rehabilitation journey.

Tom went in with his mum.
He has finished O-level education.
"Tom, would you like to work in the kitchen here?"
"No! I don't think so!"
The HR manager, Lisa, glanced at Anna and
remembered their prior conversations.
"Er... Tom, we are very busy here!
We need help to clear the tables and wash the dishes.
Can you help us?"

"OK, can!"
Lisa, Anna and Tom's mum sighed with relief!

"We have six job coaches here
to supervise people with disabilities.

If he is not well, he can inform us.
His salary can be hourly-based for a start."

Tom started with four hours a day work
and gradually increased when he was ready.

The other two were the next to be interviewed.
They had a degree and a master degree.

Since the 1980s, the Supported Employment approach encourages open employment for people with disabilities (PWDs). Some countries require compulsory corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employers. That is to fulfil 1 – 2 % allocation of employment opportunities for PWDs, or face a monetary fine to help with the country’s PWDs.

There will be a support plan at the workplace which includes selected tasks, flexible working hours (and correspondingly the salary), a buddy system or mentoring system.


  1. Ogawa H.,(2012). Introduction to Job Coach– Promoting Sustainable Employment of Persons with Disabilities. MPH Publishing: Petaling Jaya.
  2. [Eds] Kenji Kuno, Yeo,S.L., Ogawa, H., Sakai, D. (2012). JOB COACH HANDBOOK– A Practical Guide to Job Coaching. MPH Publishing: Petaling Jaya.

How the differently-abled bake buns.

How the differently-abled bake buns.

baked baking chef dough
How these differently-abled bake hot-dog buns. (Photo by Malidate Van on


Anna watched from a near distance to the kitchen. There were two groups. May, Lionel, Tom and Kenneth were in team one.

How they make and bake buns.

“Alright, now weigh 500 grams of flour!” came the instruction. May stepped forward. She was scooping into the container of flour. “No, I do first. I am the team leader!” Lionel intercepted.

Smack! Lionel was stunned; the right side of his face was whitened with flour. Tom grasped Lionel’s right hand towards May’s face. Both Tom and May are non-verbal. Lionel held back his hand and his tears, “no, mummy said, ‘boy cannot hit a girl!'”

May threw the scoop angrily on the table. Lionel took over.

“One… two… three…four hundred,” Lionel looked at his teammates, hesitatingly. “Should I take away some?” He was returning the scooped flour to the container. (Lionel’s mum later told Anna about Lionel’s difficulties and mixing-ups with numbers).

Kenneth stopped his hand midway. He guided Lionel to return the flour into the bowl on the scale. They added another spoon, “… there! 500 gram!” He clapped away the flour on his hands. Then he stood behind them again; seemingly unfocused.

His teammates looked up at him now with new admiration!

After mixing all the ingredients in the electric mixing bowl, the dough was divided into four.
“You are going to do your own hot-dog buns. Divide your dough into smaller balls like this…” the chef teacher showed them. He shoved the smoothened ball under a big enamel bowl. All of them were attentive, except Kenneth.

“Kenneth, Kenneth, your turn!” Lionel went to call him. He was in the garden in front of the kitchen. Lionel showed and guided Kenneth on how to divide and roll the dough.

Later, while waiting for the baked hot-dog buns to cool down, it was washing-up time!
“Kenneth, your trays are not clean! Wash again, see, here?” Lionel put the trays back into the huge sink. He was a good team leader. His mum told Anna that Lionel wanted to work in a bakery shop one day.

While waiting for their children, Anna met up with the other mothers. She admired their patience and persistence in driving their autistic children for the classes the last three years.


Baking lessons were part of Kenneth’s rehabilitation and socializing activities for one and a half years. But, Anna knew that Kenneth would make a better food connoisseur than a bakery chef!

Chen Song Ping, 12 January 2021

Mental disorders: Applying the safety net

Mental disorders: Applying the safety net


Li Na passed by a house in a rural village.
An unkempt, half-naked man was squatting
over a drain outside a half-burned house.

The driver said, “he is a mentally-ill person.
He was probably trying to cook some food.”
A lady sitting next to Anna chuckled,
“… and burning down his own house, crazy fella.”

Li Na was disappointed with the elderly lady.
“But, but, this house is so near the hospital!
He needs treatment!” Li Na exclaimed.
“The police would not come and take him to the hospital because no one reported it,” the driver explained.

… Society has failed him.
… Our mental health safety net has failed,
…His family members have failed him and not gotten him treated.
Li Na felt guilty too for not picking up the phone,
as the team moved on.


The above anecdote is an example and illustration of some neglected persons.

Covid-19 causes stress and potential mental disorders risks in society and work places as well. Safety net policies need to be enforced for these people at risk