How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What do women really want?

A fairy tale answers that all important question bugging men:

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighbouring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question was: What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, And to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, He accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: The princess, the priests, the wise men, and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. But the price would be high as the witch was famous through out the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, The most noble of the Knights of the Round Table, And Arthur's closest friend! Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunch-backed and hideous, had only one tooth, Smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc.

He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life. He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden.

But Lancelot, having learnt of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life. And the reservation of the Round Table. Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus:

'What a woman really wants?' She said, 'Is to be in charge of her own life.'

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth. And that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was.

The neighbouring monarch granted Arthur his freedom.

And Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding. The honeymoon hour approached and, Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom.

But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, She would henceforth be her horrible and deformed self only half the time. And the beautiful maiden the other half.

'Which would you prefer? She asked him. 'Beautiful during the day .... or at night?'

Lancelot pondered the predicament.

During the day he could have a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch!


Would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day? But by night a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous, intimate moments with?

Noble Lancelot, knowing the answer the witch gave Arthur to his question, He said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time. Because, he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

The moral of the story:

1) There is a witch in every woman no matter how beautiful she is!

2) If you don't let a woman have her own way, things are going to get ugly.

So, always remember:


Beware, some old folks take speed limits literary...

or so it seems.

One Sunday, sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH.

He thinks to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies - two in the front seat and three in the back - wide eyed and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! I always go exactly the speed limit. What seems to be the problem?"

"Ma'am," the officer replies, "you weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."

"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly! Twenty-two miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.

The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that "22" was the route number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.

"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask . . . Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven't muttered a single peep this whole time," the officer asks with concern.

"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119."
At a friend's buffet party last Sunday night, I asked a fellow retiree what she thinks about newspaper reports describing someone who is 60 as 'elderly' and she replied that it is correct. For someone older, he or she should be described as 'old' rather than 'elderly'. But I am still unsure of the term 'baby boomers' which she described as those whose children have grown up, and left the nest.

I have just checked Wikipedia and its explanation was more what I had in mind, excerpts :

"A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic Post-World War II baby boom. The term "baby boomer" is sometimes used in a cultural context, and sometimes used to describe someone who was born during the post-WWII baby boom..."
"In general, baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values;..."
"One of the unique features of Boomers was that they tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the change they were bringing about.[4] This rhetoric had an important impact in the self perceptions of the boomers, as well as their tendency to define the world in terms of generations, which was a relatively new phenomenon..."

About the slow driving, just a few days ago, we were following a police patrol car in Selama, Kedah, going at 30 kmph, over a stretch of winding roads with faded double lines. My wife reminded me just in case I decided to overtake it. But I knew and we were already near the entrance of the estate.

During every festive period, those in businesses which involve commercial vehicles have an added burden because of the extra police and JPJ checks to find faults and hope for private settlement. It has been so predictable but what can they do?

How some of us might feel on National Day

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown

Bayi forwarded to me this poem, and I hope he still finds my post title not what he expected, otherwise I would have lost my individuality.

Misrepresentation in advertisements?

It is best to leave them to your imagination:

How best to deal with racists...

Example 1

Oprah Winfrey had Tommy Hilfiger on her show. She asked him if the statements about race he was accused of saying were true.

Statements like... 'If I'd known African-Americans, Hispanics, Jewish and Asians would buy my clothes, I WOULD NOT have made them so nice. I wish these people would NOT buy my clothes, as they are made for upper class white people'

His answer to Oprah was a simple 'YES'.

She immediately asked him to leave her show.

Example 2

A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air Hostess.

'Madam, what is the matter,' the hostess asked.

'You obviously do not see it then?' she responded. 'You placed me next to a black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat.

'Be calm please,' the hostess replied. 'Almost all the places on this Flight is taken. I will go to see if another place is available.'

The Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later.
'Madam, Just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the economy class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is a seat in the business class. All the same, we still have one place in the first class.'

Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued: 'It is not Usual for our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting.'

She turned to the black guy, and said, 'Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in first class.'

At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded.

In our local context: Why I like Nurul Izzah:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Against my better judgment...

but tourists, like customers, are always right.

No, actually they were agreeable to anything I suggested but my daughter was the one making the decisions... instead of my wife who could not join us because of work commitments.

Cheng had been away for 7 years (though back for holidays in between), so much so that she was at a loss as to where to go and especially which routes to take, when two former college-mates came to stay for a night, then another who came with her fiance a day later for day trip!

We met the couple at Kelly's Castle before we proceeded to Tg. Tualang for early lunch, to beat the expected crowd. We had a bad experience a few years ago, on National Day, when a lunch at 1.00 pm finished at 3.30 pm! For this, she listened to our advice, and we reached there at 11.00 am when we saw one of the partners actually in the process of opening the roller shutters.

We ordered basically the usual: one and a half kg. of fresh water prawns, a fresh water fish (pak sou koong), fried tofu with Thai chili sauce, two types of vegetable and fried rice. The verdict was 'excellent' and for KL folks, the prices were unbelievably cheap! The total bill was less than what I paid (Rm180) for a so-called kg. (I believe given only 1 kati) of medium sized prawns at Overseas Restaurant in Armada Hotel, Petaling Jaya! Cheng's friend was quick in paying, though I was there first. While waiting for the bill at what looked like cash counter, he actually went inside the room and locked the door from the inside!

On our way back, we went to visit the tin dredge. Already two cars were there and we got the impression that nobody was around during lunch break. A guy who claimed to have worked on the dredge in the '60s, was speaking to Steven and was told to get the keys to open the gates for us. The young ones actually climbed to the highest platforms in the dredge to see the different equipment on display and later, one of them actually went up the highest metal stairs. Having been there several times before, I walked out of the dredge, to sit on a swing instead!

When we reached home, it was time to decide the best way to go to Ipoh. I suggested all six of us go in the Navara but some of them were uneasy with the expected squeeze. Cheng said it is better to go in 3 cars so that later, they can go off from Ipoh instead of coming back to BG for the cars. As I have mentioned, it was against my better judgment to go along with her suggestion. I had unpleasant experience with 3 cars in a convoy, especially when the other 2 drivers did not know the way at all. I tried my best to make sure that they were following my car, like deliberately going slow and stopping at traffic lights instead of the usual attempt at beating the lights. But today's traffic as I had expected, was not normal, with the cars from KL and elsewhere back in Ipoh for the extended weekend because of the National Day celebration. For the few times when one car was left behind, it was thanks to the cell phone that we could keep in touch.

We went all the way to Tambun first, to get the pomeloes direct from the farm. Then my suggestion to have coffee elsewhere instead of going through the jam to get it at Sin Yin Loong was turned down by Cheng. Fortunately, the traffic eased much and it was quite easy getting there... but it was closed! The effect of the original white coffee shop being closed was reflected in the one opposite (Nam Heong) packed with people waiting to be seated. We opted for the third choice which is next to the original. One kind customer on his own, actually moved to join another single customer leaving one table available for us.

To me, the coffee was equally good and judging from their expression, they could not tell the difference. They ordered some snacks from the stalls in front, which they enjoyed very much.

Then I had to lead the way to buy biscuits - Yee Thye for them, Yee Hup for me to get some special 'heong paeng' (made from oats, without fillings) ordered by my friend in KL. I was caught in the jam and we were separated and said goodbye over the phone, with each of us going to different shops.

I just got a call from the friend who is going to buy his special amplifier in KL, that he could not make it on Sept. 1. I told him I have just bought the special biscuits for our trip, for this friend who will be leaving for China on Sept. 4! This trip has been postponed a few times, and each time I had to inform my other friends who are supposed to join us in checking out on this AER amp.

By the way, before we left for Ipoh, I played the drums to show Cheng's friends. I chose Reflections (by Marmalade) and Smoke on the Water (by Deep Purple). Because they didn't expect it, they were impressed, with comments like, 'You're the coolest dad I have come across'! and with thumbs up to show that I was good. I had to tell them that I am humbled by kids who were properly trained by music schools and colleges that I am too shy to play in front of them.

A few lame jokes I picked from them at the restaurant earlier, if I can still remember them:

1. Mun thau (plain buns) went to see a sad show with Char siew pau. Char siew pau cried while Mun thau didn't. Why? Because Mun thau 'has no fillings'!

2. Tai pau and Char Siew pau went to see a sad show. Tai pau cried a lot more than Char siew pau. Why? Because Tai pau 'has more fillings'!

3. Lin yoong pau and Char siew pau and their kids were walking along the road. A vehicle came by and run down the kids, spilling lin yoong. Lin yoong pau got a slap from Char siew pau instead of grief. Why? Because the kids were not Char siew pau's!
I did not quite agree on this part because in terms of appearance, kids might look like the mother instead of the father. Cheng agreed and said that the story should instead mention two Char Siew paus (male and female) and their kids, and after the accident, lin yoong was spilled.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why a person's history is important...

Man: You are great. Best of all the women I had before.

Man: Picture of your husband?
Woman: No.

Man: Your boyfriend?
Woman: No.

Man: You are mistress of this man?
Woman: You're real bad. No lah!

Woman: Do you think he is handsome? Does he look like me?
Man: Oh, your brother?

Woman: That was me... before I went to Korea for an operation!


One man's boycott happens to be spouse's must have

We buy The Star daily (including The Sunday Star) and The New Sunday Times weekly. Normally, on Sunday, I would order our roti canai and thosai, buy the papers and collect the food on my way back.

This morning, we were supposed to have breakfast with my son and friend, before we go to Selama while they leave for KL later, after visiting grandma. I forgot about the newspapers and to me, it was no big deal not reading them. Supposed to boycott but would read since my wife would insist on having the daily Star, and also The Sun if available. I was surprised at her reaction for my not buying the Sunday Star and New Sunday Times this morning.

When we reached Selama, Kedah at about 1 pm, we looked for them to no avail. Then we tried Selama, Perak. On our return using the old road to Taiping, we tried looking for them, again without success. I told her, if necessary, I would borrow from friends if they are so important to her. When we reached home past 4.00 pm, we tried the Chinese newsagent, again negative. Then I tried the Indian newsagent next, and surprise, surprise, he had both! Just yesterday, when I asked for The Star, I joking replied on his behalf, 'How many copies do you want?' He was modest enough to say he could not say that because he had only one copy left. But this afternoon, he could for NST, showing me a stack of them!

Anyway, moral of the story: don't ever assume that what is unimportant for me means the same to my wife! Lesson learnt.


Why does God allow pain and suffering?

Treat this as a Sunday sermon...

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.

As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children?

If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop.

Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber:
"You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber.

"I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"

"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me."

"Exactly!" affirmed the customer.

"That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."


World's Richest Governments...

after the 2008-2009 financial crisis...

If you are expecting North American and European nations, you might be disappointed.

While the countries look rich, wealthy European nations can't withstand a prolonged major financial crisis, just like Greece.

The USA might have the biggest economy, but the American government is not at all rich; in fact, it can't even take out $150bn if asked to now without resorting to borrowing. To date the US government has borrowed $14 trillion!

The UK, likewise, while the country/people are rich, the government isn't. The UK government’s debt stands at $9 trillion now.

1. Peoples Republic of China - National reserves: $2,454,300,000,000
2. Japan - National reserves: $1,019,000,000,000
3. Russia - National reserves: $458,020,000,000
4. Saudi Arabia - National reserves: $395,467,000,000
5. Taiwan - National reserves: $362,380,000,000
6. India - National reserves: $279,422,000,000
7. South Korea - National reserves: $274,220,000,000
8. Switzerland - National reserves: $262,000,000,000
9. Hong Kong, China - National reserves: $256,000,000,000
10. Brazil - National reserves: $255,000,000,000

Others in million US$:
11 Singapore / 203,436
12 Germany / 189,100
13 Thailand / 150,000
14 Algeria / 149,000
15 France / 140,848
16 Italy / 133,104
17 United States / 124,176
18 Mexico / 100,096
19 Iran / 96,560
20 Malaysia / 96,100
and so on.

Big national reserves doesn't guarantee prosperity however, for instance, the yearly expenses for China's government is $1.11 trillion, their government must always think of economic growth and making more money.

China’s gov't overspent $110bn last year, much on it towards modernizing their military, if it goes on like this their reserves can only last for 22 yrs.

The Malaysian gov't overspent $13bn last year, if it goes on like this their reserves can only last for 7 yrs.

The Singaporean government overspent $3bn last year, much of it rescuing their banks from financial crisis, if it goes on like this their reserves can last 68 yrs.

The Swiss gov't overspent $1bn last year, if it goes on like this their reserves can last 262 yrs.

A country normally can borrow up to 100% its GDP, a very strong industrial country or very financial stable nation can borrow up to perhaps 200% its GDP, debts over 250% GDP the country is bankrupted.

Greece's Debts Is 113.40% GDP, In Danger As It Is Not Considered A Strong Industrial Or Financial Country.

Iceland Is 107.60%, Also In Crisis As It Is Not So Strong Industrial Or Financially.

Singapore Debts Is 113.10%, Not In Hot Water Due To Its Global Financial Hub Status, And Also Its Financial Strength. It's Only Dangerous For Singapore When It Reaches 200%

Japan Debts Is 189.30%, Still Under Radar As A Powerful Industrial Nation. It Needs To Panic Only At Around 200%

US Has The World Largest Debts, But It Is Only 62% Its GDP, It Is Not In Any Immediate Danger Of Bankruptcy.

Zimbabwe Debts Is 282.60% GDP, It Is A Bankrupted Nation.

Malaysia Debts Is Currently At 53.70% GDP.

Hong Kong And Taiwan Is Doing Pretty Good With Debts At 32-37% GDP

South Korea Is Even Better With Debts At 23.5% GDP

China Is Very Stable With Debts At 16.90% GDP

Russia Is Like A Big Mountain With Debts Only At 6.30% GDP

There Are Only 5 Countries With No Debt (ie. 0%) – Brunei, Liechtenstein, Palau, Nieu, And Macau Of China.

(highlights from an email forwarded by Bayi, source not stated)

I woke up this Sunday morning and decided to play around with the figures.

If Malaysia and Singapore were to be counted as one, the total national reserves would amount to US$299,536, and we would have overtaken India and taken its place at No.6!

Yet, this would not have been possible, not only because of political incompatibility but because as part of a merged country, Singapore would not have been able to achieve what it achieved! It is similar to Hong Kong being separate from China, and able to achieve more. We have to think in terms of the merged nation under either Dr. Mahathir or Lee Kuan Yew. So it could have been more squander or more reserves respectively.

On a per capita basis, Singapore fared even better when compared with Malaysia. Assuming a population of 5 million and 27 million respectively, it works out US$40,687 and US$3,559!
Singapore was more than 11 times better on a per capita basis, instead of just 2 times on a national reserves basis (US$203,436 and US$96,100).

On a more plausible yet politically sensitive note, if only Penang is allowed to be administered with more autonomy, especially in terms of less deliberate financial restrictions and less federal control on matters such as transportation, it would be interesting to see the difference in growth.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another most embarrassing moment...


Never wear jeans when sunbathing...


Marketing disaster...

like bringing coal to Newcastle... unless he is using it as a pretext... d.o.m.!

A poem for the golden years...

A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won't stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won't shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I'm happy when I'm not.

The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze.

The red ones, smallest of them all
Go to my blood so I won't fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.

Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I'd really like to know...
Is what tells each one where to go!


Octopus Paul gets his reward...

for his 100% accuracy...
This seems to reinforce Chinese description of a 'humsup' man who seems to have octopus hands or basically giving the impression he has more than 2 hands.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kids these days take instructions... literally

Last night, my kids and I were sitting in the living room and I said to them, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

They got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

That wasn't my story, fortunately. But it reminds me of a time when a sister-in-law gave instruction to her older boy that the younger one could not join them at grandma's unless he had finished his homework or something. Imagine her shock when she asked him on his arrival at grandma's about his brother, and he replied, 'but you told me he cannot come unless...'!

That reminds me of another incident. My father told my second sister (who was a really 'straight' and honest person) that he wanted two spoonfuls of rice... and he got exactly that! He could not help commenting about her being too 'straight' in Hokien!

Book gift: 'The UnDutchables' finally touched...

after 9 days! The authors are Colin White and Laurie Boucke.

When Cheng gave me the book on her return, I actually told her, 'I'm actually not a bibliophile'! Then she assured me that it is very readable and some of the stuff might be suitable for posting in my blog. Still, after thanking her, I left it aside until early this morning. The verdict after just reading its Preface and A Word of Warning by Johannes van Dam: 'I'm going to like it!' and 'there are lots that I could borrow and share in this blogsite!'

Briefly, in its Preface: 'This is the sixth edition and 21st year in the publication of The UnDutchables: an observation of the Netherlands, its culture and its inhabitants.'

'...the book is biased towards the urban environment, especially Amsterdam. However, in travelling through the countryside, one finds many of the same things, perhaps in a more peaceful setting and at a slower pace, but fundamentally the same traits: commercial cunning; cosy homes; coffee rituals; money worshipping; moralizing; criticizing; obsession with weather; humanitarianism; compromise and consensus; straightforwardness; and so forth.'

In its 'A word of warning':

... 'Holland remains a cultural (and guttural) ghetto, but a pragmatic one at that. We are pragmatic about controversial things like drugs, euthanasia, homosexuality and abortion. If a more liberal attitude paired with good counseling and education can diminish a bad thing, we do it; so with our liberal abortion law, we perform less abortions than any other country, even relative to our size; our liberal drugs policy results in less junkies, drug deaths and other damage than any of the more pious, protesting countries (and boy, do they cheat with the statistics) and so on.'

... 'I will let you in on a little secret. The pivot of the mind of the Dutch is this little word, maar, even smaller in English: "but". Any statement we make, we counter ourselves with "but", to show the other side, even if there is none.'

Just discovered the official site at the end of the book (not that I have finished reading it):


Throwing a mug ... because of a lizard!

I was in a shop chatting with a few young ladies, or more like listening in to some gossips and other girls' talk... and actually, feeling out of place.

Suddenly, one of them screamed and stood up (behind the counter), pointing to her mug! They were on the subject of ghosts, but surely not in broad daylight! Her reaction, to me, was like either having seen a ghost or a snake. But it was only a mid-sized lizard, attracted by an unwashed mug left overnight. Compared to my encounter with a giant monitor lizard in our living room, it was nothing. In my case, I actually stood up and my chair fell off balance!

She said, "Someone please take it away." Even the young man said he was squirmish over lizards. Me too, with any kind of reptiles. None of the other ladies was the odd type, to like lizards. Then she said, "I'm not going to drink from that mug... no, I am going to throw away the mug." One of them suggested, "Why not put the mug in the display cabinet and use one of those?"

Taking the black plastic from the waste basket, she proceeded to take the mug (with the lizard still inside) and threw it in the bag and took it to the public bin.

The question which ran through my mind, 'Can we actually avoid not using any mug, bowl or plate visited by a lizard?' It is virtually impossible to prevent lizards from getting at our washed items, especially if left overnight on the draining rack, even if kept in a kitchen cabinet. The right thing to do is to rinse it again before use. But then again, when eating out, we are left at the mercy of hawkers and restaurant workers, when it comes to hygiene.

Some Chinese restaurants and coffee shops have a bowl of hot water for us to rinse our bowls, cups, chopsticks and spoons. It was only recently that I came across one mamak shop along Anderson Road, Ipoh where the forks and spoons were kept in hot water at every table! This is a good sign and I am sure it is not the only mamak shop doing that, and I hope more will do the same.


Parents' anxiety...

remains regardless of age or experience.

Cheng and best friend (since kindy days) were in Bali, Indonesia for a few days. Just days after arrival and she was off. Being a seasoned traveller in Europe, I could not worry too much, not that it would make any difference by worrying.

Anyway, when I realized that it costs 50 sen per minute, calling Digi to Digi numbers (unless registered under Friends and Family), I decided to do something with her newly registered pre-paid number. I realized while doing so that the 4-digit password would be sent to her while she was in Bali. I texted her to let me know but she did not respond, probably because of roaming problem with the Digi prepaid. With communications, either you don't contact somebody or if you do, you will not give up until you get a response. This reminds me of my comments in Malaysia Chronicle without any response nor correction of an error which I have pointed out.

The news on television about the protests by Bendera at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, and threats of shaving Malaysians and sending them back, did worry us a bit. We know, on the one hand, things are not what they seem, yet on the other hand, events could get out of control, especially not as intended.

So it was, without communication link, AND the fact that we were not given details of the tour, there was no way we could check on anything! Vaguely, I remembered they are coming back on Thursday. Tried at 7.00 pm and the phone seemed switched off or could not be reached. Nee called and said the same thing and hoped it was because they were on the way. Tried at 11.12 pm and the ringing tone was a great relief. Cheng answered to say my timing was good as they have just arrived and waiting for the luggage. Brother told her he could fetch them from KL Sentral, but try Nee first! It did not matter who, now that they are back!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lessons in Life...

Same place, but different pictures taken in different seasons:

You should not judge a tree or a person by only one season.

The essence of who they are, and the pleasure, joy and love that come from them can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it is winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and fulfillment of your fall.

Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season.


Memory tests...

This will drive you nuts. The site instructions are in Japanese, so read below!

1. Touch 'start'

2. Wait for 3, 2, 1.

3. Memorize the numbers' positions on the screen, and then click the circles in order, from the smallest number to the biggest number.

4. At the end of game, the computer will tell you the age of your brain.

5. Forward the message and type your calculated age in the subject line.

Forward it to your friends.

Good luck!

And now a Test for retirees.

The object is to see how fast you can guess the words.

How fast can you guess these words?

1. B o o _ s

2. _ _ n d o m

3. F _ _ k

4. P _ n _ s

5. P u _ s _

Answers will be shown in comment section.


Not what he had in mind...

what she thought was a wonderful deal!

Richness is when you need no more!

In Chinese, it is to be 'chi chook' or 'be contented with what you have'. But this man's picture looks more convincing to give such familiar advice...

8 clues to Happiness by Khushwant Singh

Having lived a reasonably contented life, I was musing over what a person should strive for to achieve happiness. I drew up a list of a few essentials which I put forward for readers' appraisal.

1. First and foremost is Good Health. If you do not enjoy good health you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct from your happiness.

2. A Healthy Bank Balance. It should be enough to provide for creature comforts and something to spare for recreation, like eating out, going to the pictures, travelling or going on holidays on the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be only demoralizing. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in one's own eyes.

3. A Home of Your Own. Rented premises can never give you the snug feeling of a nest which is yours for keeps that a home provides: if it has a garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

4. An Understanding Companion, be it your spouse or a friend. If there are too many misunderstandings, they will rob you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to bicker all the time.

5. Lack of Envy towards those who have done better than you in life; risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be very corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others.

6. Do not allow other people to descend on you for gossips. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.

7. Cultivate some hobbies which can bring you a sense of fulfillment, such as gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks or to meet celebrities is a criminal waste of time.

8. Every morning and evening, devote 15 minutes to Introspection. In the morning, 10 minutes should be spent on stilling the mind and 5 in listing things you have to do that day. In the evening, 5 minutes to still the mind again, and 10 to go over what you had undertaken to do.

Richness is not earning more, spending more or saving more, but... Richness is when you need no more!

Tell that to Jho Low and you would sound like a sour grape!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Most trusted individual in Thailand...

yet called a liar by a Malaysian Minister... but who is more credible?

How we wish Readers' Digest would do a similar survey to see who in Malaysia is the most trusted individual!

Conducted in October 2009, the survey found Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunan to be the most trusted individual in all of Thailand while Doctors were the most trusted group.

Most Trusted Individuals: This survey found that out of 80 individuals Thailand's renowned forensic pathologist and director of the Forensic Science Institute, Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunan was ranked as the most trusted individual of the year. She was followed by Phra Ajarn Alongkot Dikkapanyo, the head monk at the famous Buddhist AIDS temple, Wat Phra Baht Nam Phu, Dr. Sumet Tantivechakul, secretary general of the Chaipattana Foundation, Phra Promkunaporn (Prayut Payutto) acclaimed spiritual leader and winner of an UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, and Phanya Nirunkul media tycoon who was the fifth most trusted individual.

The rest of the top ten were film director Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol (6), leading banker Banthoon Lamsam (7), social workers Nuannoi Timkul (8) and Suthasinee Noiin (9), and renowned marine environmentalist Dr. Torn Thamrongnawasawat (10).

People trust those who do good deeds for society: The majority of this survey's top 10 most trusted individuals were people who worked in non-profit organizations and dedicated themselves to helping others. Some of the respondents pointed out that, Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan has worked “dedicatedly and fearlessly to bring justice to our society”.

Other individuals within the top ranks were also highly rated in terms of their dedication to the greater good. For instance, Phra Ajarn Alongkot Dikkapanyo's work of helping those who suffer from AIDS is selfless and admirable, while Dr Sumet has been admired for his service to the King and his commitment to accelerate awareness of His Majesty the King's philosophy of sufficiency economy among general public.

When it comes to trust, politicians are the lowest: According to the survey, politics was seen as the least trusted occupation, followed by Psychic or Astrologer and Insurance Agent. The survey also found that Thai respondents trusted security guards more than they trusted law enforcers. In the most trusted profession ranking, security guards were rated one spot higher than police officers.

The Full Lists & Analysis – “Thailand's Trust Survey 2010” is published in the March 2010 issue of Reader's Digest Thailand magazine.


A totally different take...

A minister (religious one, not the political one) decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate cans.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol - Dead.

The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead

Third worm in chocolate syrup - Dead

Fourth worm in good clean soil – Alive.

So the Minister asked the congregation - What can you learn from this demonstration?

Maxine, who was sitting in the front pew, quickly raised her hand and said,

"As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"

That pretty much ended the service.

How to judge a Minister...

perhaps our current Ministers and prospective Ministers should assess themselves if they are up to the mark...

Excerpts from a Malaysiakini letter by Dr. Daphne Loke:

"...Ministerial Functions Act 1969 - The functions of ministers are governed by the Ministerial Functions Act 1969. As a convention, the candidate for a ministerial appointment is proposed by the leader of the party to the prime minister. Much as the prime minister has a prerogative over the selection of the candidate, by convention again, he takes the recommendations from the head of the party.

The actual appointment is only complete upon the candidate taking his oath of office before the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. S.2(1) a of the Act states: '...that a minister has been conferred with any functions or has been charged with any responsibility in respect of a particular department or subject or that any transfer, ...of any of the functions or responsibility referred to has been made'.

The above laid down the extent of responsibility of the minister-in-charge. In view of this procedure, when should a reluctant candidate turn down an offer for a ministerial appointment? In order not to insult the King nor embarrass the prime minster, he should have, at the time of selection, made it known to his party chief that he would not accept such-and-such an appointment as he wished to stay out of such-and-such a limelight.

Doctrine of Individual Ministerial Responsibility - a UK House of Commons research paper (2004) pointed out three main areas of ministerial responsibility:

a. The minister's private conduct

b. The general conduct of his department (or ministry), and

c. Acts done (or left undone) by officials in his department (or ministry)..."

More where that came from:

Ministers, new or old, always must be accountable
Dr Daphne Loke
Aug 20, 10


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A comparison between Indian and American family problems

Two men, one American and an Indian were sitting in a bar drinking shot after shot.

The Indian said to the American, 'You know my parents are forcing me to get married to this so called homely girl, from a village, whom I haven't even met once.' We call this arranged marriage. I don't want to marry a woman whom I don't love... I told them that openly and now have a hell lot of family problems.'

The American said, talking about love marriages... I'll tell you my story.

I married a widow whom I deeply loved and dated for 3 years. After a couple of years, my father fell in love with my step-daughter and married her, so my father became my son-in-law and I became my father's father-in-law.

Legally now my step-daughter is my mother and my wife my grandmother. More problems occurred when I had a son. My son is my father's brother-in-law and so he is my uncle. Situations turned worse when my father had a son. Now my father's son, my brother is my grandson. Ultimately, I have become my own grand father and I am my own grandson.. And you say you have family problems...

Indian family system & concept of marriage is quite simple compared to the western concept of marriage. One has to only follow the tradition which leads to happiness.

After hearing the complications the Indian called his parents and agreed to marry the girl the parents have selected.


Some superfluous designs...

in my humble opinion...

I mean... what's the hurry?

the can too cold to hold?

my friend can break it with one hand... like a professional chef!

this gadget might be nice for a boy with a destructive inclination...

John can do it without the frail froglike contraption!

Gazing into the Western future, 100 years from now...

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Sarkozy were shown a time-machine which can see 100 years into the future.

They both decide to test it by asking a question each.

President Obama goes first: "What will the USA be like in 100 years time?"

The machine whirrs and beeps and goes into action and gives him a printout, he reads it out:

"The country is in good hands under the new Republican president, crime is non-existent, there is no conflict, the Taliban are beaten, North Korea is a democracy, the economy is healthy. There are no worries"

President Sarkozy thinks, 'This time-machine is not bad... I'll give it a try'.

He asks: "What will France be like in 100 years time?"

The machine whirs and beeps and goes into action, and he gets a printout. But he just stares at it.

"Come on Nicolas," says Obama, "Tell us what it says."

"I can't! It's all in Arabic."

Some useful tools for Italian foods...


Of Frogs: One of three best stories...

the other two relate to turtles and a pretty lady... but this I can relate to our political scenario:

A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, 'There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them. They all croak all night long and they are about to make me crazy!' So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant, five hundred at a time for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, 'Well.... where are all the frogs?' The farmer said, 'I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!'

While on the subject of real frogs, we used to find one or two in our containers of water meant for the dogs (not for breeding mosquitoes) in the garden. One day, I noticed a clump of something that looked like bubbles. I wondered why it stayed on the side of the container. Our part-time cleaner asked me why and I could not answer. Then one day, I looked closely to see if there were any larvae but instead found some tadpoles swimming around! That explained the clump of bubbles - frogs ejaculate and fertilize externally, according to what I had learned in school!

Actually frogs eat mosquitoes, so we should be friendly to them, but they attract snakes, some of which we have found in our garden a number of times. I have even posted about this huge monitor lizard in our living room! I have always regretted not taking a picture of it because people would not believe its size - could fend off our 3 dogs then, with its strong tail!

Just added: this frog happens to be named one of 11 most poisonous animals in the world!

If you ever happen to be running through the rain forests somewhere in Central or South America , do not ever pick up beautiful and colorful frogs - it can be the Poison Dart Frog. This frog is probably the most poisonous animal on earth. The 2 inch long (5cm) golden poison dart frog has enough venom to kill 10 adult humans or 20,000 mice. Only 2 micrograms of this lethal toxin (the amount that fits on the head of a pin) is capable of killing a human or other large mammal. They are called dart frogs because indigenous Amerindians use of their toxic secretions to poison the tips of their blow-darts. Poison dart frogs keep their poison in their skins and will sicken or kill anybody who touches or eats it.


Some useful ideas for the kitchen...

no more tears, not from the spring onions, but from cutting your finger:

no more laborious cutting away the 'eyes' of the pineapple:

especially useful for those with dental gaps:

no worries over children getting choked or where to place the darn stones:

no more having to avoid the core of the apple because it is now a void for your convenience:

Singapore: A jewel in the jungle of Asia?

Reflections of a Foreign Student on Religious Harmony in Singapore .
by Rev. Fr. Athanasius Atta Barkindo.
Priest-Student of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies
89, Viale Trastevere , 00153 , Rome – Italy

Dear Editor,

I refer to your news item “Breaking the Fast Together” in the Strait Times of 13th August 2010 which clearly portrayed the invitation extended by the Muslim Kidney Action Association to all other religious faiths to join them and participate in the Muslim breaking of the fast. I have attended so many conferences on religious harmony, visited different institutes for peace studies, attended seminars and participated in workshops for community and religious leaders to help rebuild the lives of families shattered by religious bigots in Nigeria , Egypt , Italy , UK , etc. While attending all these programmes, reference was always made to Singapore as the “Jewel in the Jungle of Asia ”; evidently a gift from God to the entire Asian region. I made up my mind to visit Singapore ; to see for myself the gift God has given to Asia . From my seat on the Singapore airlines flight, to the warm reception of the air hostesses, the beauty of the Changi Airport, the skyscrapers, the well fed trees to the sea of humanity eating away in different locations. The orderliness is amazing. I whispered to myself, this is called political stability, economic success. No question was directed to me about my religion, my faith and my creed. No one seems to care if I worshipped the mountain or the emperor. All that matter was I am human and I was treated as such, with dignity and courtesy. My amazement was complete when I was invited on the 13th August 2010, by the Muslim Kidney Action Association of Singapore to participate in the breaking of the fast at the premises of the association in Telok Kurau Road . It was absolutely magnificent to see all the representatives of different religious faiths including government officials, seated together in harmony and sharing together with our Muslim brothers and sisters in this most important month of Ramadan. There was no distinction based on religion, creed or race. There was no prejudice, sentiments or fear. Religious arrogance and superiority was completely absent. The most important thing was being a Singaporean.

Singapore has indeed understood the advantage of pluralism whose core value is “humanity and meritocracy”!! I watched the President of the Muslim Kidney association as he passed the dates from the Catholic Archbishop to the Taoist Master, the Buddhist Venerable etc. The sincerity of the atmosphere made a tear tickle down my smiling cheeks (cheeks shining and smiling from the two weeks of hospitality rolled around the mixture of the satay, chicken rice and roti prata all tasted in Singapore ). I told myself, this is the real Singapore . This is the real Jewel in the jungle of Asia . For once I thanked God for giving us such a beautiful gift as Singapore . I thanked the Singapore government for its cooperation with religious leaders to educate Singaporeans on the importance of religious harmony and pluralism in the world today. I even stole a thought of envy at Singaporeans yet proud that I am a Singaporean by association. I wondered how many Singaporeans appreciate what their government is doing in promoting religious harmony. It is a hardworking government, a sincere government, a government committed to the physical and spiritual welfare of its citizens; it is indeed Majulah Singapura and not Malulah Singapura!!! I hope some African governments and Africa at large is learning from Singapore; a country tolerant in nature, progressive and religious in outlook, where all peoples, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist, Atheists, Secularists, and Traditionalists coexist in mutual respect and harmony, and contribute selflessly to the development of their country. Africa, the Middle East, Europe, America and indeed the entire world has no choice than to learn from Singaporeans and their government. Singapore is indeed a gift from the God not only to Asia but to the entire world. Congratulations to the Muslims Kidney Action Association, Congratulations to the Inter-Religious Dialogue council of Singapore , Congratulations to the Government of Singapore, Congratulations to Singaporeans. Long live Singapore the Jewel in the Jungle of Asia .


Monday, August 23, 2010

Let a foreign tourist complain about Pangkor's development

... let Dr. Zambry know this, it being his constituency where more money is required from Perak budget proposal.

From The Star: 'Stop ruining Pangkor Island':

"...Teluk Nipah was worst. I was shocked as the taxi approached the southend of the bay to find it filled with ugly shanties of all shapes and sizes that block the beach from the road.

It has lost a lot of trees and fragile beach grass and contains too many outlets selling ikan bakar and shops offering trashy T-shirts.

The rest of the beachfront was closed off for the construction of a huge concrete seawall and commercial establishments.

I saw trees along the beach being ripped out, poles being driven into the sand and the beach being reduced to that of an industrial landscape.

Why has the local council allowed this?

Why have all these traders been allowed to set up shop on the existing and untouched section of the beach?

Has there been no impact study done into sand movements along concrete sea walls?

And why are they allowing more commercial establishments, all selling the same stuff and cooking the same food on the beach?

A better place for these shanties would be opposite the beach on the vacant lots of some old chalets.

People don’t want chalets squeezed side by side with no greenery or trees.

Instead of the ugly concrete retaining wall along a beautiful stretch of beach, the council should have moved the traders out and planted many native trees and beach grass to preserve the seafront and manage the wet season washout of sand in a more environmental-friendly way.

The other interesting thing I noticed, was that all the tourists in Teluk Nipah had moved to the other beach around the headland as it was green, had no concrete structures and is left as nature intended.

Has anyone from the council noticed this?

I hope the uncontrolled development will not turn Teluk Nipah and Pangkor into a small and ugly version of Port Dickson.

Move with the times but work with the environment.

Preserve it but balance commercial interests with that of the land.

Don’t ruin Pangkor but remember what makes it great."


Kuala Lumpur.

After air powered car, we have airless tyres!

... in case we run out of air?


Radical new tyre design by Michelin.
The next generation of tyres.
They had a pair at the Philadelphia car show.

Yes, those are 'spoke' like connections to the inner part of the tire from the outside tread 'wrap!' The next picture shows how odd it looks in motion....

These tires are airless and are scheduled to be out on the market very soon.
The bad news for law enforcement is that spike strips will not work on these.
Just think of the impact on existing technology:

A. no more air valves...
B. no more air compressors at gas stations...
C. no more repair kits...
D. no more flats...

These are actual pictures taken in the South Carolina plant of Michelin.

My next car will be air powered...

this is too good to be true! I would even go for the design even if using conventional engine.

Tata Motors is ready to introduce Air Car - Will it be the next big thing? Tata Motors is taking giant strides and making history for itself. First the Landrover/Jaguar deal, then the world's cheapest car, and now it is also set to introduce the car that runs on air, compressed air.

India's largest automaker, Tata Motors, is set to start producing the world's first commercial air-powered vehicle.

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine's pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets by August 2010.

The Air Car, called the "MiniCAT" could cost around Rs. 3,475,225 ($8,177.00) in India and would have a range of around 300 km between refuels.

The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($2.00)

The MiniCAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued, not welded, and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed air. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators, etc.

There are no keys - just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100 Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where 80% of motorists drive at less than 60 Km. The car has a top speed of 105 Kmph.

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 100 rupees, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometers.

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours.

Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km).

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.


Why I am giving up...

I have checked the additions and they all add up... (this has nothing to do with the latest Census, ok?)...

Why MALAYSIA is in trouble?

Population: 27 MILLION
13.5 MILLION retired
2.7 MILLION in state Govt;
2.3 MILLION in central Govt.
(Both categories don't work)
1 MILLION IT professional (work for India )
2.5MILLION in school
3 MILLION are under 5 years
1 MILLION unemployed
0.7 MILLION you can find anytime in hospitals
Statistics say you find 299,998 people anytime in jail
The Balance two are U & Me.
U are busy "checking Mails /sending fwds."...

I am probably affected by the latest craze in believing in incredible stories (created by others)... like Jimmy Chua's posters with Johore Sultan's picture (after he was stripped off his Datukship); Lim Guan Eng's name replacing Agong's in Muslim prayers; and so on.

Dentistry can be this interesting?

A friend forwarded to me a couple of jokes relating to dentists:

Joke 1

The dentist pulls out a numbing needle to give the man a shot.
'No way! No needles. I hate needles' the patient said.

The dentist starts to hook up the nitrous oxide and the man objects.

"I can't do the gas thing.. The thought of having the gas mask on is suffocating me!"

The dentist then asks the patient if he has any objection to taking a pill.

"No objection," the patient says. "'I'm fine with pills."

The dentist then returns and says, "Here's a Viagra."

The patient says, "Wow! I didn't know Viagra worked as a pain killer!"

"It doesn't" said the dentist, "but it's going to give you something to hold on to when I pull your tooth."

Joke 2

A beautiful young lady comes to see the dentist.

He puts her in his chair in horizontal position, takes his instrument and starts probing her teeth.

Suddenly, he freezes and asks her: "Young lady, you know it's my balls you're holding in your hand?"

She answers: "Sure, doctor, and we two don't want to hurt each other, do we?"

But I am more interested in this house, apparently belonging to a dentist... no, seriously, even with the smaller house next to it, I would be ever so grateful. So when I grow up... no, in my next life if there be one, I should wish to be a dentist.


Cabbage can be sexy too!

Just one of many wonderful creations by Ju Duoqi...

Ju Duoqi – The Queen of Vegetable Art

Born in 1973 in Chongqing , Ju Duoqi graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts College. She currently lives and works in Beijing .

Ju Duoqi's kitchen is her studio, and vegetables are her paint.
Using vegetables of all shapes and sizes, she recreates famous masterpieces.

Her art breathes new life into ordinary vegetables, taking "green art" to the extreme using everyday vegetables such as tofu, cabbage, ginger, lotus roots, coriander, and sweet potatoes.

Tip on how to deal with problems at work... hang them!

Pressure at work

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tyre made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one-ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked towards the front door, he paused briefly at a tree, touching the tips of the tree. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation.

His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again. "Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

A town, a boundary and a city...

Whenever I join my wife on her trip to Selama, it amazes me because of the route we take: exit from North-South Expressway to go to Serdang, then Selama, Kedah before we arrive at Selama, Perak! I am so used to the idea that Kedah is north of Perak!

Anyway, Selama town straddles part of Perak and Kedah, under different state administrations, depending on where your house or shop is. Some differences include Sunday holiday for Perak but not for Kedah. You can see schoolchildren on a Sunday in Kedah! Licences for certain businesses are very different in the 'same town'.

The following picture is supposed to be a boundary separating Canada from USA - two very large countries in the continent of North America.

Imagine a city with the influence of two very different continents:

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.