Friday, November 30, 2007
She also got a web site. http://www.pennywong.com.au/.
Malaysian-born Penny now Aussie minister
By MUGUNTAN VANAR
KOTA KINABALU: The father of Malaysian-born Penny Wong Ying Yen who has been appointed as a Cabinet minister in Australia is thrilled with his daughter’s political success.
“I am very happy. I hope her appointment will be a blessing for Australia,” said Francis Wong Yit Shing, 66, an architect here.
The 39-year-old Penny, who was born in Sabah but grew up in Australia from the age of eight with her mother, was yesterday named Climate Change and Water Minister by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd whose Labor party won the recent elections.
Penny Wong Yin YengFrancis, who described his daughter as a go-getter, said that the portfolio given to his daughter was very “current and important” not only for Australians but for everyone concerned about global warming and climate change.
“I know she is a very responsible person and she will work hard to achieve her objectives,” said Francis, who keeps in touch with his daughter through SMS.
He said he never expected her to become a politician.
“I wanted her to be a doctor and she enrolled for it. A year later she switched to law after going on a student exchange programme to Brazil where she saw the need to help people,” said Francis.
Proud as punch: Francis and Penny keep in touch via SMS and mostly talk about family matters.On completing her studies, she became involved in unions and industrial court cases in Australia.
Penny became the first Asian-born woman Senator when she won a seat in South Australia in 2002.
Last week’s Australian elections saw her winning a second term with her party toppling John Howard’s government.
Asked if he had ever given his daughter any political advice, Francis said the politics that he knew about was only that of South-East Asia.
“We mostly talk family matters.”
Francis said Penny and her mother left Sabah for Australia in 1977 for Penny’s education while he remained in the state.
Over time, he and his wife separated and Penny took up Australian citizenship.
Initially, they thought the cut off point will be 80 players. But after registeration was stop, calls kept on coming in. Register for the competition was 91. During the competition, 89 turn up. 45 players is from my club, and the rest was made up of junior golfers from Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Labuan, Brunei, KK, Sandakan and Kudat.
The best thing is, no need to pay entrance/competition fees. First day of competition was on Wednesday, after their games, each player had a goodie bag. Which made up off, 1 x shoe bag, 1x towel, 1x tube of golf balls, 1 competition t-shirt and 1 cap. Value of all the things was about RM160.
During the welcoming dinner, also got lucky draws. (Will post up the photos once i loaded it up ). One lucky kid who did not play well during the first day, won the big prize for the nite, a golf bag...junior size bag.
Final day of competition was on Thursday, during the prize giving, there were 75 prizes for the lucky draw (89 players). Major prize was a mountain bike (which was supposed to meant for hole - in - one). 50 of the lucky draw gifts is a golf marker plus pitch thingy with the US Open 2008, San Diego Torrey Pines logo.
The patron of the competition was in US this year for the junior world competition in San Diego, he bought 50 of the 'souvenirs' to be given away as lucky draw for this competition. With the aim of hoping one junior golfer will make it there in the US.
During the prize giving, every body got something to bring back. Some won two lucky draws (welcoming dinner and prize giving time). Those whose name was not called, also got umbrellas to bring back. No junior golfer went back empty handed.
A lot of parents and players commented that it was the best competition they
ever attended. Even got video shooting, at the golf course, welcoming dinner and prize presentation time. No entrance fee and yet good goodie bag and lucky draw gifts.
How did all these came about?
A lot of members in my club fully supports the patron's and club vision for the junior golf programe. Any time the club ask for sponsors, they gladly give. Either their own children are playing, grand children are playing or friend's children who play the game. They gladly give back to the junior programe. Some even pick the players and parents from the airport to hotel, from hotel to club.
Any way, it was great seeing the kids playing the game. Oh ya, my brother won group B's nett competition. His handicap was 20, final day he played 82, so 82-20 = 62. He play under for his handicap. Will see a new handicap for him by next monday. Hopefully with this win, will spur his motivation to improve himself. Who knows may be next year he will get to go to World Junior Competition in the US.
Monday, November 26, 2007
From the Star.
Mew Choo claims historic win for Malaysia in China Open
By RAJES PAUL
PETALING JAYA: Wong Mew Choo pulled off the greatest achievement for Malaysian women's badminton by claiming one of the most difficult titles on the international circuit, the China Open, in Guangzhou yesterday.
And the 24-year-old Mew Choo chalked up the historic win in superb style – beating world number one and two-time world champion Xie Xingfang of China 21-16, 8-21, 21-17 in a 62-minute final that saw the Malaysian staging a spectacular comback to win the rubber game.
It was Mew Choo's first-ever Open title since she made her debut on the international senior stage five years ago.
She now holds the honour of being the first Malaysian women and only the second non-China player to win a women's singles title on Chinese territory since the country first staged their Open tournament in 1986.
Wong Mew Choo made it into the Malaysian badminton annals by winning her first major international title in grand style at the China Open in Guangzhou yesterday. En route to the singles title she packed off the top Chinese women shuttlers.
The only other player who has beaten the seemingly invincible Chinese at their home ground was South Korean Bang Soo-hyun, who pulled off the feat in 1994 before going on to claim the Olympic gold medal in Atlanta two years later.
In fact, Mew Choo is now the first Malaysian woman in three decades to nail a major title for the country. And for the world number eight, it all seemed like a dream.
“I just cannot believe it. I have never ever won an Open title before and I have ended the drought in China. This is incredible ... I am so happy right now,” said Mew Choo in a telephone interview from Guangzhou yesterday.
“The hopes are usually on the men to win titles for the country but I am glad that I have done it for the women.”
En route to the title, Mew Choo eliminated four China players and China-born Pi Hongyan, who now plays for France.
Mew Choo knocked out reigning world champion Zhu Lin in the quarter-finals and upstaged 2004 Athens Olympic champion Zhang Ning in the semi-finals.
“I came here with a target to reach the quarter-finals. I knew I had a fighting chance against Hongyan (the world number five). But beating Zhu Lin for the first time gave me confidence,” she said.
“Then, I defeated Zhang Ning for the first time after losing seven times to her. I kept asking myself, is it all really happening?
“After reaching the final, I was bent on winning the title. I have beaten Xingfang once (at the World Championships) but many thought that I was lucky to win it. Today, I proved that the win was no fluke. She had the crowd behind her but I never gave up even though I lost terribly in the second game.”
Mew Choo put up a solid show to win the first game but a fired up Xingfang rebounded with a 21-8 win in the next game.
Xingfang appear to be cruising to victory when she surged ahead to 8-3 in the decider but Mew Choo clawed back to claim the crown.
With the win, Mew Choo is now assured of a place in the eight-player Super Series Finals. She was lying in ninth spot in the rankings going into the China Open.
Mew Choo said that the win had also boosted her challenge in the Beijing Olympics next August.
“I do not have to worry about making the cut for the Olympics if I continue playing like this. In fact, this win has given me a lot of confidence. Now, I know that I can challenge for an Olympic medal.
“However, I do not want to be overly excited. I will be competing in the Hong Kong Open next week and I hope to reach the last eight.”
Said national coach Wong Tat Meng of Mew Choo's success: “What more I can say? Mew Choo has made us all very proud today. She has given a new image to Malaysian women's badminton.”
Got his from Sting. Feel free to join the tag...:)
~ Start copy ~
It’s very simple. When you receive this tag, copy the whole list and add your own shopping tip to the bottom and pass it on.
1. Wear comfy clothing when you’re shopping. You don’t wanna fuss with too many laces and buttons when you’re trying clothes on. http://rinnah-marketplace.blogspot.com/
2. When buying pants or jeans, try to try them on with a pair of heels so you know its the right length. If you don’t and wear it with heels later, you might find that it hangs at an awkward length. http://www.all-aboutshopping.com/
3. Don’t just buy a designer brand because everyone has it or just to show it off. The best way of dressing is how to make a 50 bucks outfit looks like it worths more than 500 bucks. My Fashion World
4. Don’t wait until sales if you really like that particular piece of dress or shoes, as your size could be sold out sooner than you realized. Just buy if you really like it, cause there is nothing much we can do once it’s gone, especially when you shopping abroad. Everyday health and beauty
5. Don't care what brands they are, as long as they look good on me i will buy it, even is cheap stuff. http://annie-q.blogspot.com/
6. I’ll just buy the thing when I need, usually is late minute shopping. http://sylviahoo.blogspot.com/
7. Don't always must go for the latest fashion in the market , if it's doesn't suit you and doesn't look nice on you, don't follow. http://www.eiggna.blogspot.com/
8. Always check the expiry date of the food stuff that you buy. If it’s going to expire soon (for those with normal shelf life of a few years), it's probably not very fresh. http://mdmsaw.blogspot.com/
9. Prepare a list of what you plan to buy before you leave the house, especially when you have a young child along... http://magicalmilestone.blogspot.com/
10. Don;t buy things on impulse. Think whether there is a need for it, only if there is, then buy. Carpe Diem.
~ End copy ~
Thursday, November 22, 2007
A while back we thought we lost a great gentlement and a story teller when he decided to call it a day in the blogging world. Many of us were sad as we all love his stories and companion.
His stories can really touch people's emotion. That is how good a story teller he is. From laughter to sadness, i am sure those who read his stories will forever imprint it in their minds. Even incorporated some of the regular readers in to his stories.
But above all else, he is a true gentlement. One of a kind.
Tributes by Rita and kak Ruby plus comments made in their blogs have touched Uncle Lee's heart. Zawi, a fellow blogger also play a part in bringing Uncle Lee back. Thank you Zawi and all of you who gave your comments.
Welcome back Uncle Lee.....:)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This week Thursday, Americans will be celebrating their Thanksgiving holiday. It will be a long weekend for them. I think most Americans will go back to their home town to celebrate with families and friends.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish my fellow bloggers/readers who is living in America a Happy Thanksgiving and holidays...If driving home, please drive safe. And please most important thing to do, a happy reunion and hehe happy eating....:)
Happy holidays and God bless.
Here is a history on thanksgiving, happy reading.
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.
Historians have also recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Berkeley Plantation, Virginia. At this site near the Charles River in December of 1619, a group of British settlers led by Captain John Woodlief knelt in prayer and pledged "Thanksgiving" to God for their healthy arrival after a long voyage across the Atlantic. This event has been acknowledged by some scholars and writers as the official first Thanksgiving among European settlers on record. Whether at Plymouth, Berkeley Plantation, or throughout the Americas, celebrations of thanks have held great meaning and importance over time. The legacy of thanks, and particularly of the feast, have survived the centuries as people throughout the United States gather family, friends, and enormous amounts of food for their yearly Thanksgiving meal.
What Was Actually on the Menu?
What foods topped the table at the first harvest feast? Historians aren't completely certain about the full bounty, but it's safe to say the pilgrims weren't gobbling up pumpkin pie or playing with their mashed potatoes. Following is a list of the foods that were available to the colonists at the time of the 1621 feast. However, the only two items that historians know for sure were on the menu are venison and wild fowl, which are mentioned in primary sources. The most detailed description of the "First Thanksgiving" comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakersof our plenty.
Seventeenth Century Table Manners:
The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. They wiped their hands on large cloth napkins which they also used to pick up hot morsels of food. Salt would have been on the table at the harvest feast, and people would have sprinkled it on their food. Pepper, however, was something that they used for cooking but wasn't available on the table.
In the seventeenth century, a person's social standing determined what he or she ate. The best food was placed next to the most important people. People didn't tend to sample everything that was on the table (as we do today), they just ate what was closest to them.
Serving in the seventeenth century was very different from serving today. People weren't served their meals individually. Foods were served onto the table and then people took the food from the table and ate it. All the servers had to do was move the food from the place where it was cooked onto the table.
Pilgrims didn't eat in courses as we do today. All of the different types of foods were placed on the table at the same time and people ate in any order they chose. Sometimes there were two courses, but each of them would contain both meat dishes, puddings, and sweets.
More Meat, Less Vegetables
Our modern Thanksgiving repast is centered around the turkey, but that certainly wasn't the case at the pilgrims's feasts. Their meals included many different meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the main components of our modern celebration, didn't really play a large part in the feast mentality of the seventeenth century. Depending on the time of year, many vegetables weren't available to the colonists.
The pilgrims probably didn't have pies or anything sweet at the harvest feast. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the feast, the supply had dwindled. Also, they didn't have an oven so pies and cakes and breads were not possible at all. The food that was eaten at the harvest feast would have seemed fatty by 1990's standards, but it was probably more healthy for the pilgrims than it would be for people today. The colonists were more active and needed more protein. Heart attack was the least of their worries. They were more concerned about the plague and pox.
Surprisingly Spicy Cooking
People tend to think of English food at bland, but, in fact, the pilgrims used many spices, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit, in sauces for meats. In the seventeenth century, cooks did not use proportions or talk about teaspoons and tablespoons. Instead, they just improvised. The best way to cook things in the seventeenth century was to roast them. Among the pilgrims, someone was assigned to sit for hours at a time and turn the spit to make sure the meat was evenly done.
Since the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians had no refrigeration in the seventeenth century, they tended to dry a lot of their foods to preserve them. They dried Indian corn, hams, fish, and herbs.
Dinner for Breakfast: Pilgrim Meals:
The biggest meal of the day for the colonists was eaten at noon and it was called noonmeat or dinner. The housewives would spend part of their morning cooking that meal. Supper was a smaller meal that they had at the end of the day. Breakfast tended to be leftovers from the previous day's noonmeat.
In a pilgrim household, the adults sat down to eat and the children and servants waited on them. The foods that the colonists and Wampanoag Indians ate were very similar, but their eating patterns were different. While the colonists had set eating patterns--breakfast, dinner, and supper--the Wampanoags tended to eat when they were hungry and to have pots cooking throughout the day.
Source: Kathleen Curtin, Food Historian at Plimoth Plantation
All Photos Courtesy of Plimouth Plantation, Inc., Plymouth, Mass. USA.ca.
Crooks with portable bank-card readers are getting away with $60 million a year. Your credit or debit card could be 'skimmed' at a store, a restaurant, even an ATM.
By U.S. News & World Report
Brad Lipman's dinner out with his family turned out to be much more expensive than he expected, at least temporarily.
When he paid for the meal last summer with his debit card, someone in the restaurant -- he still doesn't know who -- swiped it through a portable card reader, which copied the account information. Within a few weeks, thousands of dollars had been stolen from his bank account.
Lipman, who lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., is one of thousands of people affected by "skimming," criminals stealing credit card information when cards are used at ATMs, restaurants or other retail locations. Skimmers siphon about $60 million a year from bank accounts, according to the Electronic Funds Transfer Association.
"We're seeing more of it," says Todd Davis, the chief executive of the security company LifeLock in Tempe, Ariz. One common technique, he says, is placing a skimming device over the card slot of an ATM. The skimmer looks like a piece of plastic to guide cards into the slot, but it picks up bank information as the card slides through.
More ATM use means more incidents
People can purchase skimming machines, which are also called portable magnetic credit card readers, through online sites such as eBay for around $200. The devices, which are about the size of a small stapler and contain a slot for card swiping, electronically read cards' magnetic strips and store the data. The data are then transferred to a computer and used to make copycat cards, which can make purchases.
The devices are also used for legal purposes, such as registering conference attendees or making sales at small retail stores. An eBay spokeswoman said that the company allows the sale of the devices because they are legal, but that sellers are prohibited from marketing the devices for fraudulent use under the company's policy against encouraging illegal activity.
Kurt Helwig, the president of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association, which promotes electronic commerce, says that though the number of skimming incidents as a percentage of overall ATM use hasn't grown, the increase in ATM use overall means that skimming is happening more often. Although it's still a rare occurrence and there's no need to avoid ATMs, he says, consumers should be wary.
"If you see something that looks funny or doesn't look right, with wires hanging out or a stupid sign (directing consumers to a different card slot), don't use that ATM, and let someone know," Helwig says.
Banks must reimburse
Many banks have added security measures, such as monitoring ATMs with physical inspections as well as electronically during off hours, when skimming is most likely to occur. Margie Green, a spokeswoman for Wachovia, says the bank's ATMs are under watch 24 hours a day. Like most banks, Wachovia reimburses customers for any losses they incur from a skimming scam. By law, banks must reimburse customers for all but $50 of their losses, as long as they report the problem in a timely fashion.
Still, falling victim to skimming is not pleasant. Even though his money was refunded, "I felt absolutely as violated as can be," says Lipman, who has since started a company, TablePay Solutions, to help prevent skimming. The company distributes a machine to retailers that allows customers to swipe their own card, never allowing it out of their sight.
This article was reported and written by Kimberly Palmer for U.S. News & World Report.
Published Aug. 7, 2007
Saudi: Why we punished rape victim
CNN) -- The Saudi Justice Ministry Tuesday issued a "clarification" of a court's handling of a rape case and the increased punishment -- including 200 lashes --meted out to the victim.
The case, which has sparked media scrutiny of the Saudi legal system, centers on a married woman. The 19-year-old and an unrelated man were abducted, and she was raped by a group of seven men more than a year ago, according to Abdulrahman al-Lahim, the attorney who represented her in court.
The woman was originally sentenced in October 2006 to 90 lashes. But that sentence was more than doubled to 200 lashes and six months in prison by the Qatif General Court, because she spoke to the media about the case, a court source told Middle Eastern daily newspaper Arab News.
Al-Lahim told CNN his law license was revoked last week by a judge because he spoke to the Saudi-controlled media about the case.
In a statement issued to CNN, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir said, "This case is working its way through the legal process. I have no doubt that justice will prevail."
The Justice Ministry acknowledged in its statement Tuesday that the attorney is no longer on the case, saying he was punished by a disciplinary committee for lawyers because he "exhibited disrespectful behavior toward the court, objected to the rule of law and showed ignorance concerning court instructions and regulations."
It added that the permanent committee of the Supreme Judicial Council recommended an increased sentence for the woman after further evidence against her came to light when she appealed her original sentence.
The judges of that committee also increased the sentences for the perpetrators based on the level of their involvement in the crime. Their sentences -- which had been two to three years in prison -- were increased to two to nine years, according to al-Lahim.
The ministry also said it welcomes constructive criticism and insisted that the parties' rights were preserved in the judicial process.
"We would like to state that the system has ensured them the right to object to the ruling and to request an appeal," the statement continued, "without resorting to sensationalism through the media that may not be fair or may not grant anyone any rights, and instead may negatively affect all the other parties involved in the case."
The statement also described the progress of the woman's case and explained that it was heard by a panel of three judges, not one judge "as mentioned in some media reports."
It said the case was treated normally through regular court procedures, and that the woman, her male companion and the perpetrators of the crime all agreed in court to the sentences handed down.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said U.S. officials had "expressed our astonishment" at the sentence, though not directly to Saudi officials. "It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it," he added.
White House homeland security adviser Frances Townsend, who announced her resignation Monday, called the case "absolutely reprehensible" but told CNN's "American Morning" the Saudis deserve credit for their assistance in battling terrorism. "This case is separate and apart from that, and I just don't think there's any explaining it or justifying it," she added.
The case has sparked outrage among human rights groups.
"This is not just about the Qatif girl, it's about every woman in Saudi Arabia," said Fawzeyah al-Oyouni, founding member of the newly formed Saudi Association for the Defense of Women's Rights.
"We're fearing for our lives and the lives of our sisters and our daughters and every Saudi woman out there. We're afraid of going out in the streets.
"Barring the lawyer from representing the victim in court is almost equivalent to the rape crime itself," she added.
Human Rights Watch said it has called on Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah "to immediately void the verdict and drop all charges against the rape victim and to order the court to end its harassment of her lawyer."
The man and woman were attacked after they met in Qatif on the kingdom's Persian Gulf coast, so she could retrieve an old photograph of herself from him, according to al-Lahim. Citing phone records from the police investigation, al-Lahim said the man was trying to blackmail his client. He noted the photo she was trying to retrieve was harmless and did not show his client in any compromising position.
Al-Lahim said the man tried to blame his client for insisting on meeting him that day. It is illegal for a woman to meet with an unrelated male under Saudi's Islamic law.
Al-Lahim has been ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Justice next month, where he faces a possible three-year suspension and disbarment, according to Human Rights Watch.
He told CNN he has appealed to the Ministry of Justice to reinstate his law license and plans to meet with Justice Minister Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh.
"Currently she doesn't have a lawyer, and I feel they're doing this to isolate her and deprive her from her basic rights," he said. "We will not accept this judgment and I'll do my best to continue representing her because justice needs to take place."
He said the handling of the case is a direct contradiction of judicial reforms announced by the Saudi king earlier this month.
"The Ministry of Justice needs to have a very clear standing regarding this case because I consider this decision to be judiciary mutiny against the reform that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz started and against Saudi women who are being victimized because of such decisions," he said.
Under law in Saudi Arabia, women are subject to numerous restrictions, including a strict dress code, a prohibition against driving and a requirement that they get a man's permission to travel or have surgery. Women are also not allowed to testify in court unless it is about a private matter that was not observed by a man, and they are not allowed to vote.
The Saudi government recently has taken some steps toward bettering the situation of women in the kingdom, including the establishment earlier this year of special courts to handle domestic abuse cases, adoption of a new labor law that addresses working women's rights and creation of a human rights commission.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This book is written by Mr Khoo Kheng Hor. He is a Malaysian author. It is his third Novel.
Mr Khoo tells an absorbing saga of Nanyang, literally meaning the Southern Ocean, a name given by the early Chinese migrants for the part of the world known today as Malaysia and Singapore.
It is an engaging tale linking the multi-racial peoples such as the orang asli, the people from various parts of Southeast Asia collectively known as the Malays, the Chinese (migrants and Straits-born Peranakan), the Indians, and of course, the Eurasians, descendants of inter-marriages of the natives and the Europeans, such as the early Portuguese who came to colonize the wealthy Malacca Sultanate, before being chased out by the Dutch, who in turn were outmaneuvered by the British, who thereafter systematically colonized the land to be known as British Malaya, and Singapore until Japan came along.
Here is their fascinating stories as seen through the lives of a few families.
Its a perfect book for a nation celebrating 50th independence from the British.
Three boys, 8 and 9, charged with raping 11-year-old girl
MARIETTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Three boys, ages 8 and 9, were charged Monday with raping an 11-year-old girl last week, court officials and police said.
"Never in my 20-plus years of law enforcement have I conceived of something like this," Police Chief Michael Wilkie of Acworth, Georgia, told CNN.
Clad in blue jumpsuits, the boys appeared in court in Cobb County, north of Atlanta, on Monday afternoon and were ordered to remain in custody until a further hearing. Family members were in court for their appearance, which was closed to reporters.
Wilkie said the girl told investigators she was raped Thursday evening. She was examined by doctors after her family reported the allegation late Saturday, and investigators questioned her extensively on Sunday, he said.
The father of one of the boys told The Associated Press that no force was used against the girl, and said the allegations have been leveled because the accuser "didn't want to get in trouble with her parents."
But Wilkie said children that young cannot legally consent to sex, "so we have to go with the charges we have."
He told the AP one of the boys was accused of threatening to hit the girl with a rock before the alleged assault.
He also said the investigation is "far from over," and investigators are looking into claims that after the alleged attack, the girl talked about it with her friends at a slumber party, the AP reported.
"The investigators who are following up on this have had a lot specialized training of forensic interviews with children," Wilkie told CNN. "We've sent them to a number of courses for this, and so we're confident that we've done that part of the investigation as best as we can. We think her story at this point is credible and that's why we went forward with the warrants."
He said investigators have lined up counseling for the girl, "and we'll follow up on this and hope that it comes to as best a resolution at the end as we can."
The girl's mother told WGCL-TV in Atlanta, "They do need to be taught a lesson because if they do it to her, they could do it to somebody else. And who knows when they become teenagers what they can do to other girls."
Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head told reporters the current rape charges against the boys would be replaced with juvenile charges, since they are too young to be prosecuted on felony charges. Under Georgia law, juvenile defendants must be at least 13 before a case can be transferred to the adult system.
The juvenile charges could bring up to five years probation and time in a state youth home if the boys are ruled delinquent.
Juvenile Court Judge A. Gregory Poole imposed a gag order on participants in the case, limiting further explanation, Head said.
Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Something for us to ponder. God bless.
Go through the story below and think about yourself. How do you react?
This something we have to think about seriously.
Remember, don't let their 'Garbage' fall on us 'cos we are not the 'Dustbin' .
Beware of Garbage Trucks
by David J. Pollay
How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood?
Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive
employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're
probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is
how quickly he/she can get back her focus on what's important.
Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a
New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened.
I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station.
We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car
jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver
slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by
The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident,
whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was
friendly. So, I said, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined
your car and sent us to the hospital!'
And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, 'The Law of
the Garbage Truck.'
Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage,
full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their
garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll
dump it on you.
When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally.
You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.
You'll be happy you did.
So this was it: The 'Law of the Garbage Truck.'
I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me?
And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people:
at work, at home, on the streets?
It was that day I said, 'I'm not going to do it anymore.'
I began to see garbage trucks.
I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off.
And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just
smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.
One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did
this every day on the football field.
He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled.
He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.
1. Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting.
2. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from
school with hugs and kisses.
3. Teachers and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at
their best for the people they care about.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks
take over their day.
What about you?
What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more
garbage trucks pass you by?
You'll be happier Here's my bet. So......
1. Love the people who treat you right.
2. Forget about the ones who don't.
3. Believe that everything happens for a reason.
4. If you get a chance , TAKE IT!
5. If it changes your life , LET IT!
Nobody said it would be easy...
They just promised it would be worth it!
Went to the clinic the next day and had a day rest.
Friday morning, lost my voice and flew down to kuching to meet some people.
Came back on Sat evening..had an early rest...and rested too on Sunday. Dad was worried, keep on checking up on me and reminded me to take Vitamin C.
Any way, feeling a bit better now...oh ya...while rested on Sunday...finished a novel. Nanyang by Mr Khoo Kheng Hor...his third novel....lovely book.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
This is what i like. Give without any fan fare or any photo-op. This person gets my respect. I hope other donors, when give, give with sincere heart and with out letting the whole world know about it.
Now hopefully the organisation who gets the money, will spend it wisely and be transparent.
ERIE, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Mike Batchelor invited the heads of 46 charities into his downtown office for one-on-one meetings to personally deliver the news. Nearby, on a small table, sat a box of tissues.
Mike Batchelor accepted a $100 million donation from an "Anonymous Friend" to benefit Erie charities.
And then he proceeded: A donor had given a staggering $100 million to the Erie Community Foundation, and all of the charities would receive a share.
That was when the tears began to flow -- and the mystery began -- in this struggling old industrial city of 102,000 on Lake Erie, where the donor is known only as "Anonymous Friend."
Batchelor, president of the Erie Community Foundation, has been sworn to secrecy and will allow only that the donor worked with the organization for years to identify deserving recipients before the announcement over the summer.
Is the donor dead or alive? No comment, Batchelor says. What is the donor's connection to Erie? No comment.
The talk about the gift has taken an interesting turn in recent weeks. As much as everyone here would like to know their benefactor's identity, many are also reluctant to pry.
"My feeling is that we're not honoring the donor if we spend time speculating about it," says Rebecca Brumagin, executive director at the Achievement Center, which provides physical therapy and other services to children. The center, which serves 3,200 children a year, will get $2 million.
"The needs are really great. So we will be able to help more children because of this," Brumagin says.
Kitty Cancilla cried when she learned the homeless shelter where she is executive director will get $2 million. Its previous largest donation was $25,000. Even now, Cancilla clutches a balled-up tissue and fights back tears as she talks about the gift.
Cancilla says she is unable even to speculate who the donor could be.
"We don't really travel in a community that knows the wealth of people," she says. And she prefers not to even try.
"It's disrespectful to the friend. To me, that's a spiritual thing."
Each of the charities will get about $1 million to $2 million. The recipients include a food bank, a women's center, a group for the blind and three universities.
The city -- and the entire county of 280,000 -- could clearly use the money.
Erie was once a bustling iron and steel town, and later also made machinery, plastics, paper and furniture. But many factories eventually closed or moved overseas. The paper mill, which employed more than 2,000 people in the 1950s, shut down in 2002 after more than 100 years in business.
The city has a growing service industry and has tried to remake itself as a tourist destination with a new slots casino. But its poverty rate is about 19 percent, or twice the national average, median household income is $31,196, versus $48,451 nationally, and as of 2006, it had an estimated 400 homeless people.
"What a godsend for some of these agencies, because I know a lot of them struggle," says Pam VanHorn, as her 5-year-old autistic daughter, Abigail, rides a scooter-like contraption at a playroom at the Achievement Center.
Some charity officials fear that other people will see the large donation and decide their small contributions aren't needed.
But Batchelor says that's not what Anonymous Friend intended at all.
"I know that the donor hopes this will inspire others to give within their means," he said.
Not sure if it is true or not but no warm in knowing.
(CNN) -- With cold and flu season comes time-honored traditions for relief and prevention: Feed a fever, starve a cold. Wear warm clothes. Eat chicken soup.
To curb the spread of germs, health experts recommend people sneeze into their elbows or sleeves, not directly into their hands without a tissue.
But just because those instructions have been around for decades doesn't necessarily mean they're effective.
CNN.com looked to health experts for the latest advice on your best bets in fighting colds and the flu.
Don't: Sneeze into your hands
Generations of parents and teachers have told children to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough. The rule still applies, but now kids are being taught to aim into their elbows or sleeves.
"With little kids especially, when they sneeze or cough into their hands, they don't always wash their hands, and then they use their hands to touch surfaces or other people," explains Dr. Priya Sampathkumar, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
It's hoped that sneezing into the elbow will prevent the further spread of germs, for young kids and adults alike.
Do: Keep your hands clean
Keeping your hands clean is crucial to avoid getting sick, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, colds and flu are viral, not bacterial, so antibacterial soap doesn't help fight the illnesses, says Sampathkumar. "In some ways, they can actually be harmful, because environmental bacteria could become resistant," she says.
Washing your hands successfully may take longer than you're used to; the CDC recommends rubbing your hands for 20 seconds -- about the length of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
One recent study found, however, that American adults -- especially men -- don't wash their hands enough after using the bathroom. Researchers for the American Society for Microbiology found that one-third of men didn't bother to wash at all after using the bathroom, while 12 percent of women didn't.
No access to soap and water? Experts say hand sanitizers also help kill germs. And an added bonus: "During winter when you wash your hands frequently, the alcohol gels can be a lot gentler on your hands," Sampathkumar says.
Don't: Overload on vitamins once you're sick
Scientific research on the effectiveness of herbal remedies and vitamin supplements has drawn conflicting conclusions.
The therapeutic value of zinc lozenges has yet to be proved, but zinc nasal gel may have a positive effect, according to a comprehensive review of zinc studies by the Stanford University School of Medicine published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in September 2007.
And, after previous studies had concluded that echinacea was an ineffective cold remedy, new research has come along to muddy the waters. A study from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases in September 2007 found that the herb decreased the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and reduced the duration by about a day and a half.
Nevertheless, once your nose is already stuffed, taking vitamin supplements is probably a waste of money, Sampathkumar says.
If you do want to take a supplement to fight colds and flu before they start, Sampathkumar warns not to overdo it: "If you wanted to take a supplement, at most you need one multivitamin a day." Mega-doses of vitamins really have not been shown to help, and they can be harmful, she says.
Do: Take it easy on the treadmill
Contrary to rumors, you cannot sweat out a cold, experts say.
In fact, too much sweating can dehydrate you at a time when you need extra fluids anyway, warns Dr. Richard Deichmann, an internist at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Still, you don't need to eliminate all physical activity. "Pay attention to what your body is telling you," Sampathkumar says. "You don't want to run the 10 miles you do every day if you're not feeling up to it, but you don't necessarily have to stay in bed if you feel up to taking a walk or doing some moderate exercise."
Phenylephrine is the ingredient in nasal decongestant, which some people take to clear up a stuffy nose. But the medication won't cut short your bout with a cold or the flu, Deichmann says. Taking it orally can cause jitteriness, rapid heartbeat or sleeplessness, he adds.
On the other hand, nasal sprays can also dry up a runny nose and will probably cause fewer side effects, but Deichmann doesn't recommend using them for more than three or four days. "You get a tolerance to it, such that if you don't keep using it, you get a whole lot of secretions," he says. "It's a big problem."
As for kids, a Food and Drug Administration panel recently recommended against giving children under age 6 over-the-counter cold medicines. FDA: We can't recommend cold meds for those under 6
Do: Eat what feels good, hot or cold
Foods' enticing smells make you want to eat them. So it's no wonder you might lose your appetite when you have a cold and your nose is stuffy.
Sampathkumar recommends the old standby -- hot soup -- to open up your nasal passages and therefore improve your appetite. But she says you don't have to stop at soup; eat other things that feel good, too.
"There's really nothing that says if you're cold you're going to get a cold. Colds are definitely caused by viruses." To that end, "if you have a child who has a cold and the only thing they feel up to eating is Popsicles ... that's perfectly fine," she says.
Here's another reason to quit smoking: Research shows a higher incidence of flu cases in smokers compared with nonsmokers, and, worse, a higher mortality rate for smokers than nonsmokers from the flu, according to the CDC.
Smokers are predisposed to get more upper respiratory infections, Sampathkumar says. "Their nasal passages, their upper airways, are somewhat inflamed just from the smoke," she says, adding that smoking can delay healing once you're sick.
Monday, November 12, 2007
If one who does not know how to drink and control the temper, better do not drink otherwise will regret.
Four warded after brawl
IPOH: A few rounds of drinks, some “what are you looking at?” stares and an ensuing drunken brawl landed four men in the Ipoh Hospital with severe head and body injuries.
The brawl occurred at about 1am yesterday at the Kinta Valley settlement in Batu Gajah, about 15km from here.
“We believe it started when the groups, who were having a few drinks at a shop near Chendrong, began staring at one another,” said Batu Gajah deputy OCPD Supt S. Suresh Kumar.
One group managed to run away, only to return later. They had earlier gone to the settlement to attend a funeral.
“The second group also returned to the same neighbourhood a short distance away where they were attending a birthday party earlier,” said Supt Suresh.
Then, they started fighting.
“They were joined by their friends and used sharp objects during the fight,” he said.
Supt Suresh said that as of noon yesterday, police arrested four suspects while four others were warded in the hospital.
Police had ruled out gangsterism.
I was the driver for my cousin. Reach his place around 7am. Left for the bride's place around 7.40am...reached her place at 8.00am on the dot. The bride's friends prevented him to see the bride and had him do some tasks before entering. So my cousin and his friend (guys) tried to solved the problems. If he can;t solve it have to give red packet (either way he had to give).
1) Get newspaper cutting to create words to indicate his love to the wife. Have to find word by word (Chinese Newspaper), to create "i love (bride's name)..for ever and ever." That took about 10-15 mins.
2) Play sudoku game. Another 10 mins.
3) Solving that..they passed him a bunch of keys to open the padlock of the door (grilled).
4) Onced enter, he had to guess which room the bride is in. He made the lucky guess in first try.
5) Then had to find the bride's shoes (1 side)...clue: its in the house. Again he was lucky he noticed it.
After that, pay respect to the grandparents of the bride.
Eat traditional noodle (foo chow mee sua).
Left the bride's place at around 9am....we have to reach the groom's place by 10am. Reached the place at 9:30am..traffic jam.
Once reached there...tea ceremony was performed...from the eldest aunties and uncles to eldest of the cousins. hehe...i was the last cousin that they need to toast the tea to. Of course we the older ones have to give red packet to them. After my turn, it was the young nephew and nieces to give toast to the newly weds...and the kids get red packet in return...:)
After the whole thing, went back to the bride's place for lunch. After that sent them home for a rest, then sent them to the hotel to check in (complimentary stay cause the wedding reception was held at the same hotel), send the groom to do his hair. I only reached home and rest around 3pm. But my driving work was done.
Picked my GF at 5:30pm, reached the hotel around 5:50pm. Reached the dinning hall, the bride's family already there, waiting to received guests. About 600 guests attended.
By 7.30pm, dinner starts. There were karaoke session and a recital by Chinese group playing traditional chinese music instruments. The MC for the night was from KL, a guy who has done commercials with Milo, Tiger, Carlsberg and etc. He was good. Have attended many wedding dinners (sometimes represent my dad), he is the best MC by far.
Suddenly, the MC announced that the groom's Cousin will sing a song. Every one wondering who..hehe including me..then baru mention my name. And the song chosen was Tragedy by Bee Gees....hehe.
The MC asked can u sing this song? I said i give it a try...If someone asked me to go up the stage to perform to about 600 people including some YB's...i will probably have said no. But this one is for my aunty and cousin..Thank God i pull it off...although my hand was cold...:) (Lucky also got support from couple of friends from same table, including my GF...:)
After singing it, the MC said..after u sing, no one will dare come already....should have let u sing the last...:)
After that some drinking and etc..reached home about 12am. Once i have pictures...will post it up.
Friday, November 9, 2007
This pilot really held on to his nerve and saved the passengers. Great stuff.
Terror in the sky: Engine falls off plane, pilot flies to safety
(CNN) -- Brendon Pelser said he saw pure terror in the faces of his fellow passengers after an engine fell from a wing as it took off from Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday.
Men were sweating profusely, women were crying.
"There was fear on their faces," Pelser said. "Everyone started panicking."
But the pilot of Nationwide Airlines' Boeing 737 Flight CE723 was able to fly long enough to dump fuel and make an emergency landing at Cape Town International Airport.
Including crew, 100 hundred people were on the plane that departed at 3:50 p.m. on an hourlong flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. No one was injured.
The jet had only been in the air about 10 minutes before the engine fell.
"We heard something crash and bang, the plane veering left and right. A person on the right side said the engine was missing -- had broken clean off," said Pelser. Watch Pelser describe how the flight crew told passengers to "prepare for the worst" »
"They flew us in very slowly. We were all prepared for the worst. We went into the fetal position, head between the legs," he said. "Then we hit the runway."
"I did kind of pray. I didn't want to die. I'm not really ready to die," the 33-year-old said.
An object had been sucked into the engine as the nose wheel lifted from the ground and officials are trying to identify it.
The engine-to-wing supporting structure is designed to release an engine "when extreme forces are applied," to prevent structural damage to the wing, Nationwide said on its Web site.
The airline described the incident as a "catastrophic engine failure."
As the nose wheel lifted from the ground, "the captain heard a loud noise immediately followed by a yaw of the aircraft (sideways slippage) to the right," the airline said in a news release.
The flight instruments showed the No. 2 engine on the right side had failed, it said.
Pelser said he spent the night in Cape Town, then flew back to Johannesburg where he lives, on the same airline.
Nationwide said the engine had undergone a major overhaul in March 2005 at "an approved Federal Aviation Authority facility in the U.S.A." and had flown only 3,806 hours since then.
"These engines typically achieve 10,000 hours between major overhauls," Nationwide Airlines' press release stated.
FBI warns of uncorroborated threat to malls
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In what one FBI spokesman described as "almost an annual ritual," the bureau has obtained uncorroborated intelligence indicating al Qaeda would like to strike shopping malls during the holiday shopping season, two law enforcement sources said Thursday.
Holiday threats against shopping malls have become "almost an annual ritual," one FBI spokesman says.
Those sources confirmed there is intelligence dating back to August that al Qaeda would like to attack malls in Los Angeles, California, and Chicago, Illinois.
The FBI's information is contained in an intelligence report and is intended for law enforcement and intelligence partners.
"There is no information to state this is a credible threat," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said in a statement.
The information is being shared "for situational awareness," he said, and the FBI is reminding people to "remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to authorities."
A spokesman for the FBI's Chicago field office, Ross Rice, stressed the intelligence came "from an uncorroborated source and it's non-specific."
Rice said there was no mention of particular malls in Chicago and Los Angeles that might be the focus of a threat. And he added that "it's almost an annual ritual" for information to come to light about mall threats at holiday shopping time.
A senior counterterrorism official told CNN that the credibility of the information is very low but is being passed along out of an abundance of caution. And a senior government official described the intelligence as very raw and meant to help law enforcement partners to build on if they have other relevant information.
The intelligence information about the threat to shopping malls in Chicago and Los Angeles was first reported by ABC News on its Web site.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The latest one was last week. Sunway hotel thingy. Called me (1st time, Johor number), and said i have got a 'free' voucher to stay at any hotel in KL, Johor, Kuching...etc. All have to do is say yes and i will received the name of the telemarketer's name and present it at one of their road show in Miri last weekend.
I said no thank you..she asked why..its free..only have to listen to my people talking to you for about 45 minutes...Again i said no thank you. Mana ada free lunch in this world.
That was on Friday morning...on Saturday morning...another call came..this time from KL...same company..i told him, no thank you, your collegue called already and i have decline. Again he said...its free...why you don;t want? Told him not interested.
Have you ever received this kind of calls?
Shame on them. They should know better and even got the nerve to say 'its been blown out of propotion...'. They better don't come to my city.
"We got robbed, so we'll give you $5!"
"$10?! Out of your ***ing head!"
"2 mph? I can walk faster than this!"
"Get it in gear!"
Brits in Singapore mock aged rickshaw driver and spark anger over YouTube clip
Three British tourists who mocked a 76-year-old rickshaw driver because he couldn't pedal fast enough for them - then posted a video of the struggling and panting old man on YouTube - have caused uproar in Singapore.
The trio also ran off without paying the £5 fare he requested and escaped in a taxi yelling expletives which were heard on YouTube as they filmed themselves leaving the scene at Clarke Quay, popular nightspot.
“Ten dollars my f***ing arse,” yelled one as the video camera showed a close-up of his face.
The video titled “the Slowest Taxi In SE Asia” was posted on the popular site by one of the three, who called himself Bo Davis.
Angered by the way they treated the rickshaw driver dozens of Singaporean bombarded the website and local papers, expressing their feelings and what they would like to do to them.
“Don't come back to Singapore,” wrote one. “We will be waiting for you.”
Another attacked them for behaving like Singapore was still a British colony. And a local tabloid The New Paper splashed the story on the front page with two pages inside, showing the laughing faces of the mocking Brits goading the rickshaw rider.
The video also showed close-ups of the three Brits and the agonised look on the face of the driver, Mr Lee Shee Lam, as he pedalled as fast as he could under the weight of the three men, all in their mid to late twenties.
They were also heard laughing and mocking him. “God, he's in fifth gear,” said one.
They had squeezed into the rickshaw at Clarke Quay for the ten minute ride along the river.
But soon it was clear they were out to poke fun at Mr. Lam along the way.
Liew Hanqing, a reporter at Singapore tabloid, The New Paper, said she managed to communicate with Bo Davis via YouTube which gives his age as 26. She said: “He seemed surprised at the reaction he got from viewers after he posted the video.
“This was not bullying,” he told her. “I do not like bullies or bullying.”
Davis told her he posted the video to display his personal account which he had just opened - and didn't think anyone would look at it.
He told Hanqing: “I couldn't believe the comments - I was shocked by the threats. People's reactions were shocking but interesting.”
But later Davis said he was sorry that he had caused so much offence to Singaporeans and posted an apology online. Then he removed the video.
“I am sorry for the offence caused, and for being disrespectful to the elderly. But I think it's been blown out of proportion. Yes, I think we were insensitive but not being bullies.”
But the video was put back on YouTube by an another angry Singaporean under the heading UK BASTARDS.
And the anger continued to grow.
Mr. Lam was working again last night in the Clarke Quay area where he is licensed.
He recalled the incident with a grimace and said: “I'd almost forgotten about it, but I was very angry when they ran off without paying." He had no idea they were making fun of him because he does not understand English too well and had no idea they were filming him. “They agreed to pay for the ride but then refused and ran away. I couldn't understand why because I did my best to give them a safe ride.
"I am a bit slow when so many people are in the rickshaw, but I am not a youngster any more, like they are. Perhaps when they get old they will know what it's like!”
“I'm not going to worry about them any more,” he said. “I am sure they are now sorry they did this to me.”
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
What do you think?
Russia has offered to sell Malaysia the Soyuz craft that carried the first Malaysian astronaut into space, state media reported.
Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor blasted off on the Russian spacecraft on October 10 and spent nine days at the International Space Station (ISS), in an odyssey linked to the billion-dollar purchase of fighter jets from Russia.
Malaysia's Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Jamaluddin Jarjis said he will submit Russia's offer to the cabinet, the official Bernama news agency reported late Monday.
"I received the offer while waiting for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's return in Russia. We are discussing the matter and if the price is right we can bring it back to Malaysia," he said.
Jamaluddin said it was "a good idea" but the government would have to be sure the public supported the move. He did not say how much the craft would cost.
Muszaphar, a 35-year-old doctor and part-time model, was chosen from thousands of hopefuls in a nationwide competition that generated tremendous excitement in Malaysia.
The Malaysian astronaut trained for over a year before taking part on the mission with American Peggy Whitson, the new commander on the ISS, and Russia's Yury Malenchenko.
The government is now considering Russia's offer to send a second Malaysian into space in the next two years.
The areas of the brain that process memories may determine why someone can be certain of a past event that never occurred, according to a new study published Tuesday.
The discovery could help doctors better assess the changes in memory that accompany aging and possibly lead to breakthroughs in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, said the study's lead author, neuroscientist Robert Cabeza of Duke University Medical Center.
Trying to understand why some people can be so confident about false memories, Cabeza and his colleagues carried out MRI scans of the brains of healthy volunteers as they took memory tests.
The brain scans showed that volunteers who had accurate memories of an event showed increased activity in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) at the base of the brain, which focuses on facts about a past event.
"This would make sense, because the MTL, with its wealth of specific details, would make the memory seem more vivid," said Cabeza, whose article appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience.
"For example, thinking about your breakfast this morning, you remember what you had, the taste of the food, the people you were with. The added richness of these details makes one more confident about the memory's truth."
Volunteers who were confident in memories that turned out to be false showed increased activity in the impressionistic front parietal network (FPN) at the base of the brain, which tends to process the general meaning of an event without the details.
"Human memory is not like computer memory -- it isn't completely right all the time," said Cabeza. "There are many occasions when people feel strongly about past events, even though they might not have occurred."
The researchers used functional MRI in the study, an imaging technique that shows what areas of the brain are used during specific mental tasks. Cabeza worked with Hongkeun Kim at Daegu University in South Korea on the study, which was supported by the US National Institutes of Health and Daegu University.
The study results along with other research shows that as humans age their brains lose the ability to recall facts faster than the capacity to recall more general impressions, Cabeza said.
"Specific memories don't last forever, but what ends up lasting are not specific details, but more general or global impressions," Cabeza said.
"However, patients with Alzheimer's disease tend to lose both types of memories equally, which may prove to be a tool for early diagnosis," he said.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
React with caution
IT was disturbing to read about how a man hijacked a vehicle with a 5-year-old girl in it when the mother was checking the damage to her Toyota Unser after it was knocked from behind by another vehicle ("Girl hijacked with vehicle reunited with parents" -- NST, Nov 3).
Fortunately, the hijackers left her at a KTM Komuter station and she was found unharmed by a passer-by.
What should a motorist do if his car is knocked? In normal circumstances, both drivers would alight to check the damage.
With such incidents, motorists, especially women, would have to ask whether "kissing the rear end" was intentional or not.
Whatever the reason, we should be extra careful when driving.
MOHD FAIZAL ABDULLAHKuala Lumpur
Monday, November 5, 2007
Even at home, also not safe. Who ever did this, i hope will get balasan or karma.
Tragic news for housewife who went to work
BY ANDREW SAGAYAM
GOMBAK: The mother had only started working about a month ago after years as a housewife. They had been looking for someone to look after their older daughter.
Their only son was away at a boarding school and their younger daughter was at the baby-sitter's place. Nine-year-old Preeshena Varshiny was home alone.
On Thursday, the family paid a heavy price for leaving her alone without a minder.
The little girl was raped, sodomised and murdered before being pushed off the balcony at the posh Casa Mila Tower condominium in Selayang.
Police believe someone with access to the condominium could have been responsible for the vicious crime.
The condominium is a gated community and anyone who wants to access the premise must first report to the guardhouse.
“We are investigating this,” Gombak OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Abdullah said, adding that police also believed somebody at the condominium could have seen the girl being lured out from her unit.
Those with information can call Gombak district police headquarters at 03-6138 5222 or the Rakan COP hotline at 03-2115 9999 or send an SMS to 32728, or log on to www.rakancop.net.
He said initial police investigation has ruled out robbery or break-in as a motive.
The source also said police have found a piece of paper with Preeshena’s home telephone number in a vacant unit on the second floor of the same block where she lived.
Police believe Preeshena put up a struggle before she was pushed off the balcony. A window of the unit was found ajar when police inspected it.
Initially, police had thought Preeshena had slipped and fallen to her death.
However, when post mortem results revealed that the SRK St Mary’s pupil, who suffered a broken right arm and multiple bruises on her chest, back and private parts, was raped and sodomised, police reclassified the case as murder.
The victim’s father, who declined to be named, said he believed the person responsible for the killing had monitored the family’s movement.
The father, a marketing and technical manager, said they rarely heard any crime committed at their condominium since they moved in there two-and-a-half years ago.
The 40-year-old said that Preeshena had called him on Wednesday and informed him that someone had knocked on their front door loudly. The father told her not to open the door.
On Thursday, Preeshena was found sprawled on the ground floor by a security guard. She was clad in a blue T-shirt and shorts. The keys to her condominium unit were found nearby her body.
Friday, November 2, 2007
A carrot, an egg, and a cup of Oolong tea…You will never look at a cup of Oolong the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed Oolong tea. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the Oolong out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see." "Carrots, eggs, and Oolong tea," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the Oolong. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The Oolong tea was unique, however. After they were in the boiling water , they had changed the water color and taste.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?
Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the Oolong tea? The tea actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.
If you are like the tea, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you; to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.
If you don't send it, you will just miss out on the opportunity to
brighten someone's day with this message!
May we all be OOLONG TEA !!
Marriage (Part I )
Typical macho man married typical good-looking lady, and
after the wedding, he laid down the following rules:
"I'll be home when I want, if I want and at what time
I want -- and I don't expect any hassle from you.
I expect a great dinner to be on the table unless
I tell you that I won't be home for dinner.
I'll go hunting, fishing, boozing, and card-playing
when I want with my old buddies, and don't you
give me a hard time about it.
Those are my rules. Any comments?"
His new bride said:
"No, that's fine with me. Just understand that there will be sex
here at seven o'clock every night...whether you're here or not."
(DARN SHE'S GOOD!)
Marriage (Part II)
Husband and wife had a bitter quarrel on the day of their 40th wedding anniversary!
The husband yells, "When you die, I'm getting you a headstone
that reads, 'Here Lies My Wife -- Cold As Ever'!"
"Yeah?" she replies. "When you die, I'm getting you a headstone
that reads, 'Here Lies My Husband -- Stiff At Last'!"
(HE ASKED FOR IT!)
Marriage (Part III)
Husband (a doctor) and his wife are having a fight at the breakfast table.
Husband gets up in a rage and says, "And you are no
good in bed either," and storms out of the house.
After some time he realizes he was nasty and
decides to make amends and rings her up.
She comes to the phone after many rings, and the irritated husband says, "What took you so long to answer to the phone?"
She says, "I was in bed."
"In bed this early, doing what?"
"Getting a second opinion!"
(YEP, HE HAD THAT COMING, TOO!)
Marriage (Part IV)
A man has six children and is very proud of his achievement.
He is so proud of himself, that he starts calling his
wife," Mother of Six" in spite of her objections.
One night, they go to a party. The man decides that it IS time to go home and wants to find out if his wife is ready to leave as well. He shouts at the top of his voice, "Shall we go home Mother of Six?"
His wife, irritated by her husband's lack of discretion,
shouts right back, "Any time you're ready, Father of Four."
(RIGHT ON, LADY!)
THE SILENT TREATMENT
A man and his wife were having some problems at home
and were giving each other the silent treatment.
Suddenly the man realized that the next day he would need his wife
to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece
of paper,"Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning the man woke up, only to discover it
was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight.
Furious, he was about to go to see why his wife hadn't wakened him when he
noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."
Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.
God may have created man before woman, but there
is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.
Send this to smart women who need a laugh
and to men you think can handle it
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Lovely story of not giving up on life and its beauty.
Widowed at 25, cancer at 31, woman looks for love
(CNN) -- Cathy Bueti was widowed at the age of 25 when her husband was killed in a car accident. Seven years later, she says, "I finally started to feel like my life was coming back together, then I found the lump."
Cathy Bueti met her second husband, Lou, while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Her doctor thought she was too young to have cancer, but an operation found a lump bigger than anyone expected. Bueti got a breast cancer diagnosis at 31 and immediately underwent treatment.
Bueti had begun dating again after her husband's death. She decided that an important part of her struggle against cancer at such a young age would be to continue her pursuit of romance.
Her experiences looking for love while undergoing a mastectomy and chemotherapy were often heart-wrenching but ultimately rewarding. "Even though I would think, 'Oh, who will want me like this?' I look back on it now and I was just living, I just wanted to keep living."
Bueti read a couple of books by breast cancer survivors while she was undergoing treatment, but found that they were all written by married women. "Women who had already found that wonderful guy to help them through those hard times," she said.
"I wanted to write about this incredibly isolating experience as a single woman."
So Bueti wrote a book about the challenge of facing cancer as a young, single woman. "Breastless in the City" is based on her battle. Hear Bueti describe her battle with cancer »
No one is prepared to deal with cancer, but the challenge can be especially daunting for young, single women who must face the battle and the bills essentially alone. "You can't go back to your parents' house," Bueti said, "and your posse likely has no idea what you are going through."
As for dating, Bueti admits that she hit more than a few rough patches, But, she said, "I just stayed so hopeful, I wanted to find someone else. I wanted to go out with friends, to live life, to really figure out how to do this."
Bueti met her husband Lou at the end of her chemotherapy treatment. Her cancer is in remission, and she and Lou have been married for four years.
Maintaining a social and romantic life throughout her treatment helped Bueti uphold the mental strength that it takes to beat cancer. "Survival is all about living; focusing on the things that you love to do," she said. "It's the things that keep you grounded that are important."
Tammy Nattras also faced a breast cancer diagnosis as a single woman. She had just turned 40 when she learned that she had breast cancer, which doctors had not been able to spot on her mammograms. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.
Nattras faced stage four cancer that was wrapped around her chest wall. The prognosis was not good.
She opted for a high-risk treatment with very strong chemotherapy and radiation that Nattras said "was liable to have killed me."
Through powerful radiation and persistent treatment, Nattras was able to eliminate her aggressive cancer, results she says few women in her condition are lucky enough to achieve.
While she is happy to have survived, Nattras explains that cancer recovery is much more than a relief and a joyful experience.
"It took me months to adjust to the cancer and the probability that I was dying. It also took me months to readjust to the idea that I was going to live."
Nattras explains that cancer survivors face the daunting challenge of returning to a life that they have put on hold for months. "I threw out three trash bags full of magazines that had piled up in my house during treatment. The tires on my car hadn't been rotated the whole time. I had to come back to relationships."
"People say 'you're fine,' but you're not fine. You're better, but you have no energy, and you have so much to take care of."
Lisa Rice also knows how difficult it can be to balance cancer and life. In 2005, at the age of 38, Rice learned she had breast cancer. At the same time, she was got another diagnosis. Rice was pregnant.
"It was hell, it was pure hell," says Rice, of balancing the simultaneous specter of death and the joy of nurturing new life. "And then it only got worse," as Rice searched for literature and insight into her situation and found nothing.
Rice eventually ended up at the Mayo Clinic, where she found a doctor who assured her she could undergo chemotherapy during her pregnancy with little risk to her baby.
Rice alternated between rounds of chemotherapy and ultrasound examinations of her baby. Rice finished chemotherapy and her daughter, Alexis, was born via C-section six weeks early so Rice could start radiation treatment.
Alexis was 4 pounds, 11 ounces when she was removed from the womb. "She was so very tiny," Rice says, "but she had 10 fingers and 10 toes. She was perfect."
Rice's cancer is now in remission and Alexis is a healthy 2-year-old. "She's my miracle baby," Rice said. "The fact that she survived all those toxins. Sometimes she will just look at me and I will break down and cry."
Rice, like Bueti and Nattras, hopes to be a source of strength and guidance for other women who undergo breast cancer treatment under rare circumstances. Like all survivors, Rice said, "It can be done. We are living proof."
Pages : 300 over.
A Memoir of China's past through it's Proverbs.
This book was written by Adeline Yen Mah. I have written a review on her first book Falling Leave.
When she was young, her Ye Ye (grand father) taught her and told her stories of China's history through proverbs. This book i think is her dedication to her Ye Ye.
With each proverb (for each chapter), tells us the stories of the rise of First Emperor (Qin) of China till the fall of his empire, in between she also wrote about her life and China during Chairman Mao's reign.
I have heard of the cultural revolution but did not truly understood it until i read this book.
She compared chairman Mao's rule with the rule of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi (Qin dynasty). Towards the middle part of his rule, he had books, history of China destroyed, about 400 over scholars was killed during his purged. Chairman Mao did the same thing during the 1960's revolution. He had his political 'ememies' destroyed...killed 40,000 over scholars, books destroyed..he wanted to be better than the first Emperor.
The book also covered the rise of the Han dynasty, which lasted for about 400 years because the rulers were more just then the previous one.
The stories of her life was covered in Falling Leaves, in this book, sort of continuation... Such as how they reacted when she wrote her book...she was disowned by her relatives because of 'face' issue. One of her brother even mocked her...'no one will publish your book, no one will read your book, why give up being a doctor....and if you did write, i will sue you'...
Lucky some lady had faith in her and willing to publish it provided she cut off one hundred thousand words (for her first book) and she also warned her that once it is published some family members may not like it. Adeline went for it and never look back.
She still missed her brother, the one she was closed too. She was sad that he was a pawn set up by her older sister and step mom.
Men/leaders = Lust, betrayer, greed, ego, hunger for power..all covered in this book, from ancient time till modern day. Somethings just never change.