Friday, May 25, 2007

Have a hearty weekend!

I don't know whether it is writer's block or blog fatigue or whatever, but my mind has gone blank. Not necessarily depressed or anything, just that the desire to "talk" is right at the bottom of my list of things to do.

So, instead of letting this blog go stale on my last posting while I hibernate for a while, I'm recyling some jokes that's been sitting in the draft box for the longest time.

Hope you find it funny enough to put a smile on your face. Cheers!


Two beggars found a motorcycle on the street - somebody had forgotten to take the key with him.

The motorcycle was there with a sidecar, so one tramp jumped on the motorcycle, the other in the sidecar, and they sped away bound for the next town.

After 15 minutes, the man who was driving looked at his friend.

The friend's face was absolutely red, as if he had gone mad, or as if he were dying. He asked, "What is the matter?"

The other said, "Slow down a little, because this thing has no bottom, and I have been running all the way!"


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Taking a step back

"Words are the dress of thoughts

which should no more be presented in rags, tatters and dirt
than your person should."

Once four intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence in quiet meditation.

On the first day all were silent, and the meditation went on as scheduled. But when night came, the oil-lamp they were using ran out of oil and started to flicker. A servant was dozing off nearby. One of them could not help but say to the servant: 'Fix the lamp'.

The second friend was horrified to hear the first one speaking. 'Hush,' he said, 'We are not supposed to say a word, remember?'

'Both of you are stupid. Why did you talk?' said the third.

Very softly, the fourth muttered, 'I was the only one who didn't say anything.'


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Celebrating 50 years of shallowness

From the SUN, page 10 (Wed, 16 May 2007):-

Chinese are patriotic and loyal: Najib
Press Digest by Kong See Hoh

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak says he believes the Chinese in the country are patriotic but are not good at showing it.

He said there was no doubting the Chinese's loyalty for the country, but stressed that they must know how to express it, such as by taking part in various government-sponsored activities and celebrations.

... Asked for his comments on the criticisms every now and then by certain politicians, and even ministers, that Chinese are not patriotic, Najib said Barisan Nasional leaders no longer harbour such thinking.

He said he has many Chinese friends and gets along well with the Chinese.

On unity, the deputy prime minister said Malaysians now are more united than they were 50 years ago. There is also more interaction among the races now than before, he said.

He said nowadays, the emphasis is not on the differences among the races because when Malaysians make friends with fellow Malaysians they do not see whether the other party is Malay, Chinese or Indian; rather they look at their character and personalities.

"We look at (other people's) personal qualities, more than (their) skin colour or religious beliefs."

... (Blogger's emphasis in bold.)


107 days to go before our country celebrates 50 years of Merdeka.

Timely reminder to take the Jalur Gemilang out from the back of the closet, give it a good wash and prepare to wave it before another round of "threats" start coming your way to do your patriotic duty.

It happens every year, and this year is not going to be the exception, more so because some people feel so emotional about the half-century mark.

Frankly, how much does it cost to get the elephant off your backs, huh? I mean, they don't really care if you mean it, just DO it!

And, Najib is trying hard to be politically correct in his speech targetted at the Chinese community.

But he is really telling the truth about how unity is so shallowly defined in the Malaysian context, especially what is demanded of you from the Barisan Nasional government.

When you take the economics and politics out of it, Malaysians are great with each other, just as they are warm and friendly to a non-Malaysian who seeks their hand in friendship.

It only gets ugly when the economic pie is up for grabs.

When elections are round the corner and votes need to be secured by hook or by crook.

When economic and politicial survival of a dominant group necessitates the trumpeting of communal cries for individual agendas not necessarily conducive to national unity in the long run. Heck, some of those demands are even suicidal to the long term survival and competitiveness of their people.

But who cares, right?

Being shallow is not a sin.

Being stupid and incorrigible is nothing to be ashamed of. Being mediocre can get you far in this country that rely on dubious standards to measure achievements and success.

Despite coming close to 50 years of Merdeka, we have not achieved much progress in demanding higher standards for ourselves and our country.

Maybe it is time to activate a National Agenda for all Malaysians to take a good hard look at ourselves and start preparing for something that is truly worth celebrating 50 years from now.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Xenon headlights danger alert

I bet you have read about the dangers posed by drivers of cars with HID or "xenon" headlights not properly adjusted to the correct beam level.

Some of you might even have experienced the "blinding" glare of such lights coming to you head-on.

I almost became a "road accident statistic" due to one such incident recently along the dark winding road of Seremban-Jelebu, but luckily, I survived to tell the tale, or in this case, to blog about it here now.

It was a harrowing experience, to say the least.

According to the Wikipedia, these xenon headlights are actually automotive HID lamps using xenon gas in the lamps. HID stands for high-intensity discharge, the technical term for the electric arc that produces the light.

Despite marketing claims to the contrary, HID headlamps' light output is not similar to daylight. The spectral power distribution (SPD) of an automotive HID headlamp is discontinuous, while the SPD of a filament lamp, like that of the sun, is a continuous curve.

European vehicles equipped with HID headlamps are required by ECE regulation 48 also to be equipped with headlamp lens cleaning systems and automatic beam levelling control. Both of these measures are intended to reduce the tendency for high-output headlamps to cause high levels of glare to other road users.

The arc light source in an HID headlamp is fundamentally different from the filament light source used in tungsten/halogen headlamps. For that reason, HID-specific optics are used to collect and distribute the light. Installing HID bulbs in headlamps designed to take filament bulbs results in improperly-focused beam patterns and excessive glare, and is therefore illegal in almost all countries.

Do we have similar regulations in our country governing the use of HID headlights?

If not, why not?

Can you imagine if more than 50% of the vehicles on Malaysian roads are installed with poorly adjusted xenon lights, and half of them are on MPVs and other such similar big cars, how pleasant can it be for the driver in a poorly lit road?

These are just accidents waiting to happen.

Can something be done to address this issue?


Friday, May 11, 2007

Celebrating MPs who degrade women, because YOU put THEM there!

Only in chauvinistic Bodohland.

This must be a sign of the times. Women are fair game for all kinds of jokes, especially those that go below the belt.

There is clear and present evidence that BN parliamentarians have lost their sense of decency in the august house. Dirty jokes are no longer a dirty word, and women in BN don't count, do they?

With nary a whimper of protest from any female BN representatives in attendance (see, they even silently agree that their opinions don't matter in the chauvinistic world of Barisan Nasional) ... well, I just don't know anymore. Do you?

Have a look at the following piece of news.

On Wednesday morning, the debate turned into a ruckus when the Parliament House roof sprang leaks in several parts during a downpour.

In the heat of the debate and shouts over the "leaky" Parliament House, which had undergone an RM80 million renovation about two years ago, one phrase went unnoticed.

Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) then reviewed the video recording of the proceedings and felt humiliated. She then filed a motion this morning to refer the two BN MPs (one for making the sexist remarks and the other for supporting the remarks) - Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin) - to the committee.

The recording exposed Bung as saying: "Mana bocor, Batu Gajah pun tiap-tiap bulan pun bocor juga." ("Where is the leak? Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month.")

- The SUN, 11 May 2007

Do you think Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin is witty and funny?

What about his friend "close one eye" MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof from Jasin, who echoed his support? Are these wonderful examples of our Yang Berhormats from Barisan Nasional?

And look. There's more!

When a motion to refer the 2 MPs to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib, BN MPs see it fit to celebrate with a round of table-thumping and cheers.

Unbelievable, you say? You better believe it! This is the new era of Wawasan 2020 under the leadership of Pak Lah.

Expect more to come your way, after the next general election, going by the kind of people Barisan Nasional sees fit to represent your interests.

These BN wakil rakyats will continue to SHOCK and AWE you with amazing stuff coming from their uncouth tongues and minds.

That's right. Do like the female BN representatives do in such situations.

Take whatever is dished out to you by the chauvinistic guys lying down because you people VOTED them in, didn't you?

Hahaha - NOT!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New school hours for secondary students?

My nephew who is studying in Form 2 came back from school on Monday and duly informed his mom that effective from next month, classes will end at 4:00pm Mondays through Fridays.

A quick check with other moms confirmed that they have heard similar "rumours" about extended school hours for secondary school students in single session schools.

I wonder, if indeed our education ministry is going to re-schedule school hours for secondary students, what will the situation be for those schools that currently run two sessions? How are they going to fit in the "extra" hours without having to drag the students and teachers back to school on Saturdays?

Anyway, my sister-in-law is absolutely delighted with the new developments. And that goes for her friends too. Apparently, it is a very "convenient" arrangement for busy parents.

As for me, I hope that the school principals will work closely with the canteen operators so that a good choice of nutritious meals for lunch will be made available to the schoolkids.

It will really be the health ministry's nightmare if extended school hours resulted in kids feasting on a daily diet of high fat, sugary and nutritionally deficient foods.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Charmed by Angkor

This is definitely not a place to hurry along, snap a few photographs and whizz through the ruins in the comfort of an air-conditioned van.

It is difficult to describe the spiritual charm that pervades the atmosphere within the immense Angkor Archaeological Park. Given the opportunity, this is one place I can return to, again and again.


The area of present-day Cambodia was already inhabited in the 3rd millennium B.C., but it was not documented historically until the beginning of the Christian era, when there rose up along the Gulf of Siam a kingdom that the Chinese chronicles describe as Funan, from the Khmer word bnam, or "mountain".

The 9th century witnessed the rise of Angkor art, that is, the art produced almost entirely in the vast zone of Angkor, the only exception being Koh Ker, a locality 53 miles (85 km) away.

The history of the "capital" - nagara in Sanskrit, from which the Khmer word angkor derived - began wih the grandiose consecration ritual of Jayavarman II (790-850) in 802 on Mt. Kulen to celebrate the independence of Kambuja from Javanese dominion.

That year marked the inauguration of the cult of Devaraja, the "God King" who was the celestial counterpart of the terrestrial ruler with universal power, and the name of Phnom Kulen style (802-875) derived from that of the mountain.

The Angkor Archaeological Park was founded in 1925. Angkor was made part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.

At present many restoration works are being carried out with the aid of foreign countries and under the control of the Cambodian government body Autorite pour la protectione du Site et l'Amenagement de la Region d'Angkor, generally referred to as APSARA.

(Source: Cultural Travel Guides, The Treasures of Angkor, Marilia Albanese, 2006, White Star Publishers.)

(Photo credits: Blogger's own ^-^)


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