Sunday, July 31, 2005

Don't believe 100% in what you see...


Its caption reads: PROUD MOMENT: Onwuka looking at his scroll at the UPM Saturday while friend Eucharia Igbo, 30, looks on.

Read here for more context.

An interesting excerpt:
KAJANG: It was Universiti Putra Malaysia’s low fees that prompted Nigerian Kevin Odulukwe Onwuka to fly halfway across the globe to pursue his Phd in Economics here.


Ah...those good times...convocations...which I actually missed my undergraduate's one (even though I had a mock one). I wonder I would get that sort of coverage in The Independent or The Times for my convo then. I wonder what the photo caption or article would read. Could it be: 'An ex-colonial Malaysian student was attracted by the x 7 RM-UK exchange rate to fly halfway across the globe to pursue his PhD here.'?

But hey! With all due respect to Onwuka, his scroll huh! Scroll your head!!! That is not a real scroll!!!(Prove me wrong, The Star). Every local public university undergraduate student will know that the 'scroll' is actually a 'threatening letter' stating that you have to return your cloak in a specific time or if not, you will not get your actual scroll. I'm not sure about postgraduate studies, but as an undergraduate before, I had the experience of only getting every 'real things' i.e. the degree scroll in both Malay and English languages, your transcript and every other certs only AFTER the actual convocation. Tips for future local public university graduate: You will be left EMPTY HANDED on your graduation/convocation day. Give yourselves up to 2-3 weeks of cert-hunting. Turn up at right times, i.e. not 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (tea-time and lunch time) and please pray for your lucky stars that the person-in-charge of your certs is not on holiday/pergi seminar/attending workshop.

Not to say that I disagree on having the policy of returning the cloaks after the actual graduation. I know there will be someone out there who has the fetish for graduation cloaks or just want to squeeze every sen's worth out of the high rental fee for the cloak by posing and taking pictures in them around the country or overseas. But I mean, why can't it be returned on the same day itself and get everything you need and get your ass out of there once and for all?

So the next time you see a photo in a newspaper (especially those with smiling faces ones), don't believe 100% of what you see. It might be a directed-posed picture for the serenity of it. I am not an expert in journalism and I do not whether it is permisible to have that going on. I myself experienced some press taking my photos, asked to be posed to be interested/engrossed in something, which I finally did not appear in the final picture because I was squeezed away somehow.

OK, if posing's fine, but choose another caption! Something like 'So and so is happy at his graduation' or something else. Just don't mention the word 'scroll' because it just simply does't exist there.

Welcome to Malaysia, The Best of Both Worlds

Nope, this is not another slogan to promote our tourism. Check out these two contrast pictures:

Picture from NSTOnline.


Pictures from Screenshots and somewhere circulating around the internet.

Both pictures were from the land of Malaysia. Both houses were owned by Bumiputras; one by an Orang Asli and the others by a Malay, allegedly an AP king.

Something for you all to ponder upon. For more context, read here and here.Period.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner...From Repliee Q1

The sentence sounds familiar? Stan, the suicidal and fanatic character in Eminem's colloboration with Dido, is now reincarnated as a perfect manikin patient for medical studies. But who is Repliee Q1?

From BBC news:


Japanese develop 'female' android

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a "female" android called Repliee Q1.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University says one day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

Repliee Q1 is not like any robot you will have seen before, at least outside of science-fiction movies.

She is designed to look human and although she can only sit at present, she has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor, programmed to allow her to move like a human.


and

Learning from the perfect patient


Stan D. Ardman is a model patient. Even the newest medical student can practise on him and study his array of symptoms and illnesses.

Unfortunately, Stan isn't human but he is the next best thing - a hi-tech manikin known as a human patient simulator.

He is so versatile he can be programmed to be any age and have a whole range of symptoms.

One day he can be healthy and fit, the next day he can be dying. He is so cleverly designed that his whole body is tuned to replicate the patterns of the disease and that makes him an ideal model for students to study.


So, could Stan and Repliee Q1 be the next big love story? Or could they have children? What would their child's name be? Could it be Stanee or Q Stanlee?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

LeeMan Snickersamy's A Series of (Same) Unfortunate Events 2

In my previous post about the repeating of unfortunate events in Malaysia, I mentioned about two food poisoning events in a month, happening side by side. And guess what? There was another food poisoning case again yesterday.

70 trainee nurses down with suspected food poisoning

KUANTAN: About 70 trainee nurses here are down with suspected food poisoning after taking dinner at their college canteen.

Twenty-five of them have been warded while the rest were released after getting outpatient treatment.

The trainees were believed to have eaten sambal tumis with rice at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital canteen on Tuesday.

They suffered stomach pains while others vomited early yesterday morning.

State health, social welfare and orang asli affairs committee chairman Datuk Ishak Muhammad, who visited them at the hospital, said the state health department had begun investigations on the cause of the incident.

“The condition of the 25 trainee nurses are stable. They will be released after observation,” Ishak said.

“This is the first case of food poisoning involving trainee nurses at the college, and we want to ensure that such incidents do not occur.”

One of the affected trainee nurses Nurhafizah Razali, 20, said she had stomach pains at night and vomited yesterday morning.

“At first, I thought nothing of it. However, I began suffering intense pain after midnight and I decided to tell the others at the college hostel,” she added.


Wow! I'm really really flabbergasted! 3 times in a row? With all due respect to all Third World Countries and underdeveloped countries, it is very understandable if food poisoning happens every second there. But we're talking about Malaysia here. Are we still a Third World Country or what? Or maybe not. Remember-we have the second world's tallest building, our own national car pride, climbing mountains, sailing, blah..blah...But 3 times of food poisoning in a row in just merely a month, involving up to 100 people are just simply unexceptable!!!

Damn! Should have make myself a bet at the local bookmakers here (betting companies; not book publishers, you idiot!) for the number of food poisoning cases in a month in Malaysia, which the odds will be very high. Not that I'm an avid gambler like Osu Sukam, though.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What's behind the mysterious SMS?

From NST

RAFIDAH: ‘Oh, my God...!’
DATUK Seri Rafidah Aziz was a picture of serenity until she received a text message.
She was heard saying "Oh, my God!" several times before showing the message to Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Leo Michael Toyad, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

While the content of the text message was unknown, she was ruffled.

When reporters approached her for a response to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s allegations that she did not tell Umno delegates the truth about the award of Approved Permits, she said, "I am in South Africa. I don’t want to talk about anything else".

When asked if the list of APs she had compiled for release by the Prime Minister’s Office was complete, she walked away, waving her hands, muttering, "No, no, no."


Wow! She's a popstar now, combining lyrics from Kaiser Chiefs' Oh, My God! and Black Eyed Peas Don't Phunk With My Heart


Oh, My God! I can't believe, I've never been this far away from home. No, no, no, no, don't phunk with my heart!
Picture from Screenshots.

And what's behind the SMS (or could it be MMS) anyway? Could it be this:
you're fired

Action Man, Ride My Pokemon Like A Pony!!! Ahh...

Innocent cartoon character's name turned out to be a porn star? Read more here and here.
Interesting excerpts:
Laporan pada tahun 2000 itu menunjukkan kebanyakan laman web terbabit berselindung di sebalik penggunaan nama yang `bersih' daripada unsur kelucahan.

Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Datuk Seri Dr. Jamaludin Jarjis ketika mendedahkan perkara itu berkata, berdasarkan laporan Barisan Bertindak Pencegahan Penderaan Seks Kanak-Kanak (MCPCSA), terdapat kira-kira 1.5 juta laman web lucah dan 74 peratus daripadanya adalah berselindung di sebalik nama `bersih' daripada unsur kelucahan.

Beliau memberi contoh nama-nama seperti Pokemon, My Little Pony atau Action Man adalah contoh 26 laman web yang mengandungi ratusan sambungan kepada web lucah.


and

Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis cited a case in 2000 when a search on these characters turned up 26 websites containing hundreds of links to indecent material, of which 30% were hardcore pornography.


I'm not sure what sort of search engines the schools used, but when I tried to search for 'Pokemon' with Google and Yahoo, even with the filter for search being turned off, the search results turned out pretty clean and decent.

Anyway, the so-called 'case' was like 5 years ago-too-old to conclude that major search engines now are not safe for children. Moreover, any simple search engine now would have filter settings to enable explicit phrases or pictures to be filtered out.

Just curious, isn't that My Little Pony is like so outdated already? Although I do not follow children's trend, isn't that the more recent cartoon characters are like SpongeBob SquarePants? Or maybe the children just typed in 'Pokemon sex' or '*Insert your favourite cartoon character here* sex' at search engines. Or they may be too smart to type in phrases like 'Pukiman' instead of 'Pokemon' or 'Ride me like a pony' instead of 'My little pony' or 'Man in action' instead of 'Action Man.'

Personally, my favourite cartoon character would be Tweety.

"I tawt I saw me nekid on a pown site. Yes, I did! I did!"

and BTW, the Crazy Frog is indeed naked with its ding dong being out all the time, even though amphibians shoot their loads in the water and swim to the eggs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Top 10 Spokepersons for Advertising Campaigns in Malaysia

Lame ass! Can't think of anything new isit? Well, scold me, beat me or even boycott me, I ain't gonna stop this Top 10 thingy...so the latest top 10 list that I could think of based on latest current affairs, which is Spokepersons for Advertising Campaigns in Malaysia...drumrolls...

Disclaimer: All the brand names of the individuals and the products are copyrighted to their rightful owners.

10. Rafidah for J&J's Shampoo
(I know this is a lame one already)

9. Khir T. for OK Sauce (Ditanggung halal oleh JAIS)



8. Osu S. for 888.com



7. P.Daddy a.k.a. Ayah P. for Teapot (TM) brand sweetened condensed milk


(sorry for the picture-the best I could find over in the internet)

6. SL Chua for Terumo (TM) and Ansel (TM)




5. Hishammuddin for Tamin Sari(TM) Soya Sauce
(Sorry again for the inavailability of picture-the brand is a contraction of Tamin Sari nevertheless)

4. Khairy J. for NEPReviveIt!
Probably upcoming neprilysin-upregulating drug which could degrades ABeta of the Amyloid Precursor Protein, which its accumulation causes Alzheimer's Disease.

3. MahaLil' for the next host of Malaysian Idol (TM).
As the American Idol's host Ryan Seacrest famous catchphrase is 'Seacrest Out!', now we could have CEOOut! or CEOBye! (not to be confused with CheeBye)

The other two can't really think of them...gotta hit the bed now...really!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Of 'half-baked' and 'playing it safe' mainstream media

A few days after the sandiwara at the UMNO assembly with the waving of keris, coining of 'creative terms' such as Melayu Glokal (Glocal Malays) and Lembu Suci(Sacred Cow), our English mainstream media seems to play safe by having 'safe' or rather 'neutral' headlines like:
She can't stop eating and She can't even eat

and
Sanctuary at risk:Kinabatangan forest in danger

But how many of us knows about the hidden or unknown facts behind the keris waving and Prader-Willie Syndrome? Here I would like to point out some facts and some thoughts of my own.

1. Keris Panca Warisan a.k.a. 'We-are-not-afraid weapon'

a. According to here, the name for the keris was supposedly names after 'suggestions through sms, e-mails and faxes.
Ketika mengumumkan nama keris tersebut, Penolong Setiausahanya, Abdul Rahman Dahlan berkata pihaknya telah menerima pelbagai cadangan nama yang dikirimkan menerusi sms, email dan talian fax.

b. The unique kris is made of seven types of steel (which includesbesi, baja dan pamor-steel, fertiliser? and ???) acquired from its owner, a kris maker in Kuala Kangsar about two months ago. And let me tell you that it is not cheap. I couldn't find the piece of news in Bernama but if I'm not mistaken, it costs up to five or six figures Malaysian Ringgit.
c.
Ikrar itu disambut tepukan gemuruh perwakilan dan sejurus kemudian, Hishammuddin melaungkan slogan ‘Hidup Umno, Hidup Melayu dan Allahu Akbar’ and Big aye for education ‘jihad’

With the aggresive roaring and waving of the sharp weapon and some headlines featuring the word 'jihad,' (only with better-dressed and minus any cloth coverings on the head), I really wouldn't be sure how some foreign (Western) media would be too fast to misinterpret that.

Picture from Screenshots.

2. The Prader-Willi Syndrome
Quotes:
PWS occurs due to lack of several genes on an individual’s chromosomes normally contributed by the father.
PRADER-WILLIE Syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that causes, among other things, a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.
Most cases of PWS are blamed on a spontaneous genetic error that occurs at or near the time of conception.

I'm not sure about the print version, but the online version (as always half-baked as it is) failed to mention even the word 'chromosome 15.' With all the hype of the Human Genome Sequence (which scientists have moved on further than that now with all the -omes that you can think of, e.g. proteome, metabolome, degradagome etc.)and the National Biotechnology Policy, isn't it supposed to be the media's job to educate the public a little bit about the genes and the chromosomes of our body? I'll bet some could even think that a gene is a 'hantu' or something.And sometimes we do hear in our news that there were some 'mysterious disease' happening in some rural areas. Let me tell you here: There is no such thing as 'mysterious' in the causation of disease. With the boom of scientific researches, virtually all diseases, except maybe trauma, have a genetic component.
Here is some further information that I have sourced over the internet about PWS, particularly pertaining to Chromosome 15:
An individual without Prader-Willi syndrome receives a chromosome 15 from the mother and another from the father. In Prader-Willi syndrome there are three genetic subtypes: deletion, maternal disomy and imprinting defect. Anomalies at Chromosome 15 include:

a. Deletion - 70%
A deletion including the q12 band (arrow) of chromosome 15 is contributed by the father and observed in about 70 percent of the subjects with Prader-Willi syndrome. The imprinted 15q11-q13 chromosome region includes genetic material (DNA) that is normally active (paternally expressed) on the father's chromosome 15 and inactive on the chromosome 15 inherited from the mother. Therefore, the paternally expressed genes from this region of chromosome 15 are missing in the deleted region of chromosome 15 and Prader-Willi syndrome occurs.


b. Maternal Disomy or UPD - 25%
In approximately 25 percent of subjects with Prader-Willi syndrome, both chromosome 15s are inherited from the mother (maternal disomy or UPD) and no chromosome 15 is present from the father. The missing chromosome 15 from the father which contains the active or paternally expressed genes required for normal development causes Prader-Willi syndrome in individuals in which both chromosome 15s are inherited from the mother.


c. Imprinting Defect - 5%
A few individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (up to 5 percent) may have an imprinting defect inherited from the father of the chromosome 15 involving the q11-q13 region. This imprinting defect will not allow the normal expression of genes that are active on the chromosome 15 from the father and needed for normal development. Prader-Willi syndrome then occurs. Rarely these imprinting defects on the father's chromosome 15 may be inherited with a potential 50 percent risk for having additional children with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Malaysia Faces Weapons of Mass Destruction

Mass destruction of our jungles and forests, by weapons of illegal (or 'under the table') logging, that is. We don't need no UN Inspection Teams to confirm that. Just do a GoogleEarth in our major cities and even so-called forest sanctuaries and you will know what I mean.
(Will try to insert the Google Earth's aerial view of Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah if available)
Updated: When I tried to search 'Kinabatangan', it returned with no results. And then when I tried 'Sabah, Malaysia,' it is somewhere in the Peninsula???!!!WTF?

This environmental issue was brought to my concern when Malaysia was mentioned in the international-acclaimed scientific journal, Nature, on its 21st July issue, for wrong reasons.
Malaysia plans 'red book' in its attempts to go green
Biodiversity catalogue marks shift in attitude.
by David Cyranoski

Malaysia, criticized in the past for being a poor steward of its biodiversity, seems to be turning over a new leaf.

Biodiversity experts from across the country met in Kuala Lumpur last month to hammer out a plan that would catalogue the country's thousands of plant and animal species.

Malaysia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. It is thought to host around 15,000 different plant species, although only about half that number have been found and listed. But the country has become infamous in recent decades for clearing rainforests and draining peat swamps to grow palm trees — it now produces around half of the world's supply of palm oil. The effect of this on the country's biodiversity is not known.

The international Convention on Biological Diversity has been pressuring Malaysia to come up with conservation strategies since it came into force in 1993, with little result. But Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who became prime minister in 2003, is said to be more sympathetic than his predecessor to ecological issues. In particular, he is keen to use the country's biodiversity to drive drug development.

That momentum, and associated funding, has led to a project to create a national 'red book'. This would catalogue which species are present and where, as well as listing any threats they face. The project will be overseen by Saw Leng Guan of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia near Kuala Lumpur.

But Peter Ng, a conservation biologist at the National University of Singapore, says Malaysia will be a tough nut to crack because knowledge is so fragmented. Drastic funding cuts in the 1990s also left the country with few taxonomists. "We have money, but we need people to do the work," he says.


And today, on the front page of StarOnlinethe rape of our forests was again brought to our concerns:

Outraged over rape of Kinabatangan rainforest
and
Villagers in Kinabatangan plead for PM's help

Some of the amazing excerpts of the articles:
The sanctuary, which is said to be older than the Amazon forest in South America, was pledged as the country’s “Gift to Earth” by former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Osu Sukam in 1999.

Many tourists come to specifically catch a glimpse of the pygmy elephants, which have been listed as the smallest elephants in the world in the 2005 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.



UNDER THREAT: A photo taken recently showing wood from a keruing tree which had been cut into planks and were found along Sungai Menanggul within the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Picture from The Star.

Environmental issues like this are not new and will not be stopped mentioning in our press. But what action has been taken so far? Enlighten me if there are any praise in our country's environmental management system. The last time I know was that the country was praised for preserving (?) our mangrove system which could withstand some tsunami effect or something.

With the insatiable gambling habits the above mentioned former Chief Minister, who knows that he might be gambling away some of the logging contracts in overseas casinos? A certain Chief Minister sometime ago even encouraged people to kill these wild animals to prevent them from attacking their crops and lifes.

And who gives a damn about the 'one of the oldest forests in the world' and 'the smallest elephant in the world' being mentioned in the Guiness Book of World Records. We have our own Malaysian version to care more of by making the longest lemang, biggest hamper, biggest this and longest that; who gives a damn about the smallest smelly muddy beast with wrinkly skin, a long trunk and two horns? In fact we are more concerned of natural products (plants) which could make certain anatomical organs larger, bigger and harder or whiter and less allergic.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I'mr Backr Finarlyr, frrom Glasgowr...

The spelling errors in the title were indeed intended. Well, I had been to a city in Scotland actually, where they have a whole new level of Scottish English accent indeed. The 'r' in every word was given very much emphasis on its pronunciation. Especially when it comes to 'Edinburgh', it will be pronounced as 'Ayredinburrryh' and not 'Edinburke' as normally people would pronounce (or is it just me?).

Well, in this post, I'm not going to blog about the places I had visited. I am not really a fan of travel blogs or travels blogphotos. You know why? People say 'A picture tells a thousand words' but I would say 'Being there, done that' would be more appropriate. You see, most travel blogs will tell you about the place they had visited, i.e. the history of the town, places of interest and then accompanied by photos with them smiling from ear to ear enjoying the place they were visiting with explanation of places the pictures were taken. For me travel blogs are more of self-praise, self-glorification and self-gratification, to make other people not there being jealous, especially when the place was exotic/sacred/you-need-to-pay-lots-of-money-to-get-in or on special occasions such as Christmas,New Year's eve etc. Moreover, if other people reading those blogs aren't familiar with those places as they haven't been there or never heard of before, what's the use of posting up exotic names and elaborating how great fun you have had there?

Nevertheless, I will blog something about the fully-sponsored, all-by-myself, breakfast-provided hotel room (which was a luxury indeed as I had been staying at youth hostels for other trips all this while) which something happened quite in coincidence indeed. I would call it 'Glasgowr: Aye Serries ofr Unforrrtunatre Events':

1. The hotel room was nicely facing the cemetery


Ah...what a nice scenery from my hotel room's window.

Yes, that is a famous cemetery behind a church here nicely discovered by me as I opened the window. It seems that there was a 'David Beckham of the 18th Century' being buried here. He was a handsome labourer-class young bloke who had a scandal with a rich merchant daughter, who according to the tour guide, wrote many juicy steamy highly explicit love letters to his lover but his lover had to poison him with arsenic as the affair was highly opposed.

2. My bed was direcly facing the mirror; oppositte me and the right of me.


Mirror, mirror in front and the right of me, who's the most handsome sensitive+introvert blogger in the world...?
According to Lillian Too, mirrors are bad feng shui for bedrooms for reasons which I haven't researched into yet, but you wouldn't want your reflection in the mirror to have an extra large/long important organ, would you? Even though someone would be very proud of that.

3. You have to dial 666 for emergency.


Hello, this is the Netherworld, how can we help you? Calm down, calm down , we'll send someone with horns to help you out there ASAP.

For those unfamiliar with what 666 universally stands for, check it out here. Of all the numbers, why on earth would they choose such a number. Why couldn't it be 888 instead? Or 333? Or even slightly better version of 666, 444?

4. It was showing Scream on T.V. the first night I was staying there.

Do I look like Jim Carrey to you, huh?
"One of the scariest slasher movies ever made--one of the years best films," quotes one reviewer at its IMDB website. I DON'T THINK SOOOOO.....Well, as a continuation of this series, it was meant to be a scary movie to aggravate the above-mentioned eerie atmosphere already, supposedly turning me into a sweaty and panting beast. But on the other hand, it turned out to be funny! I'm not sure whether it's just me but all scary movies seem funny to me; to the extent that they should be categorised as comedies instead. The acts were just stupid and funny and I'll bet the anyone putting the mask above would be an instant Jim Carrey to me!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

On the move...

I'll be on the move up North till Thursday...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Harry Porter dan Putera Separuh Darah

I'm going to blog this in Malay, inspired by Michael Ooi.

Bukan, ia bukan ejaan yang senjaga disalahkan bagi Porter. Menurut laman web Utusan Online, Harry Porter putar belit Kristian - Pope, begitulah ia dieja.

BERLIN 14 Julai - Ketua Gereja Roman Katholik, Pope Benedict XVI menyifatkan kandungan novel Harry Porter sebagai memutarbelitkan ajaran Kristian, demikian komen yang dibuat oleh beliau kepada seorang penulis Jerman.

Gabriele Kuby yang pernah menulis sebuah buku berjudul Harry Porter- Good or Evil menerbitkan petikan-petikan daripada dua pucuk surat yang ditulis oleh Benedict XVI ketika beliau masih seorang kardinal pada 2003.

Dalam petikan berkenaan, Benedict XVI memuji tindakan Kuby kerana cuba menyedarkan orang ramai terhadap unsur-unsur tertentu dalam buku itu yang memutarbelitkan ajaran Kristian.

Katanya, ajaran Kristian hanya akan dapat berkembang jika elemen-elemen negatif seperti yang wujud dalam novel itu dapat dikawal.

Pemimpin Gereja Roman Katholik itu kini sedang bercuti di Alps.

Sebelum ini, Vatican pernah memberikan pandangan positif terhadap Harry Porter sambil menjelaskan, ia membantu kanak-kanak membezakan unsur baik dan jahat.

Siri keenam novel Harry Porter yang berjudul Harry Porter and the Half-Blood Prince dijangka diterbitkan pada 16 Julai ini dengan jutaan naskhah buku tersebut dipasarkan ke seluruh dunia. - Reuters


dan sumber asli berita tersebut, Reuters : Pope disapproves of Harry Potter, letters suggest

Apakah jenis kewartawanan ini? Macammana mereka boleh membuat kesilapan yang amat mudah untuk salah satu novel yang paling laris di dunia? Bagi sebuah akhbar yang dikatakan sebagai pejuang bangsa dan negara, kesilapan ini tidak patut berlaku sama sekali. Saya tidak tahu bagaimana keadaan dengan versi cetaknya. Kalau mereka fikir - 'Alah, takpe punya, ejaan salah satu je takpe kan...lagipun bukannya kita paham sangat ejaan nama omputeh. Semuanya OK!', maka ini amatlah dikesali. Kalau kita lihat satu contoh, seperti perkataan 'perkasa' yang amat diheboh-hebohkan mereka, kalau dieja 'perkosa' adakah ia diterima? Sebagai contoh yang mudah, 'Kita perlu perkasakan wanita' disalah eja menjadi 'Kita perlu perkosakan wanita' pada halaman pertama, saya tidak pasti apakah reaksi pembaca nanti. Sure heboh, kan?


Harry Porter and Putera Separuh Darah (versi Utusan Malaysia-Sureeee....Heboh!!!)

Saya bukanlah pakar bahasa atau pakar sastera, malah tidak terlibat dalam bidang kewartawanan. Tetapi kalau kesilapan yang mudah ini berlaku dalam satu akhbar bahasa kebangsaan yang dibaca berjuta-juta pembaca, keadaan ini amatlah memalukan sama sekali.

Critism aside, there are really people by the name of Harry Porter, for example Dr. Harry Porter, a director of the Administration of Justice program at Mississippi College, another academician Dr. Harry Porter III and an obscure actor.

To request for a translation in English, kindly drop me an e-mail*. * Subjected to time and availability of the e-mail's addressee. Thank you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cingradella...

Found this link about the life of Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD) students portrayed in the form of comic strips. All images are copyrighted to jorgecham.






Wednesday, July 13, 2005

LeeMan Snickersamy's A Series of (Same) Unfortunate Events

Wed, July 6th: 194 students of a school in Manjoi, Ipoh suffered from URTI-fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose.

Fri, July 8th: 88 pupils of SK Methodist Tanjung Rambutan suffered from nausea and stomachache after eating food at their school canteen.

Tues, July 12th : Lebih 100 pelajar tingkatan empat dan lima Sekolah Menengah Teknik Seberang Perai dikejarkan ke Hospital Bukit Mertajam (HBM) hari ini setelah disyaki mengalami keracunan makanan or according to Xinhua : About 70 students from a middle school in Malaysia's northwestern state of Penang fell ill with food poisoning and were rushed to hospital, local TV reported Tuesday evening.


Food poisoning occurs when food contaminated with organisms is ingested. The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus can commonly as a normal flora in our gut, but when allowed to grow in food this bacteria can produce a toxin that causes illness such as vomiting and diarrhea.

****

Feb 2005: Five-year-old’s Norlili Mohd Yusof drowned after falling through a wooden bridge at Kampung Kok Pasir.

Thurs, 30th June: Khatijah Rahmatullah, 65, died after part of a wooden bridge in Kampung Dendang, Ketereh gave way on Monday. The widow’s body was found floating in the canal.

Tues, 12th July : Tiga pelajar adik-beradik cedera selepas terjatuh ketika menyeberangi jambatan yang sebahagiannya roboh akibat banjir tahun lepas di Kampung Seligi Tok Harun di Pasir Puteh semalam. (3 student-siblings were hurt after they fell from a partially destroyed bridge in Seligi Tok Harun Village in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.)

We don't really learn from our mistakes, do we?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Malaysia's Funniest Candid Photo

Found an interesting picture in Berita Harian's website

WTFOMGBBQ!!! I'm not sure whether it is a discipline thing or are the other cadets blind or what? If this happens in a real Police Academy, what kind of police would they turned out to be? People fainting in the streets and they will still stand still? And the most ironic thing is that article was about keruntuhan akhlak or something, which one of the main factors is the apathy and lackadaisical attitude of people like them in the society.

Science Update: "You f**king sleazy sl*t, cheating on me!"

Continuing my responsibility of educating people on science (don't choke on your vomit OK), here is the latest update on science (i.e. sex)
Ovulating women favour dominant men's smell

Sniff test suggests when, and with whom, women are most likely to cheat.

Women are most likely to cheat on their long-term partner when they are at their most fertile, and they tend to choose genetically superior men for their fling. That's the claim of a study by Czech researchers, which found that the smell of a socially dominant male is most exciting to women in stable relationships, especially on days when they are ovulating.

Jan Havlícek, of Charles University in Prague, and his colleagues asked 48 men to complete a questionnaire, rating statements such as "I am the life of the party", in order to score the volunteers' social dominance. The researchers also asked them to wear cotton pads under their arms to collect sweat.

A group of 65 women then smelled the pads and rated the sexiness and masculinity of the scent. Women in the middle week of their menstrual cycle, the point at which fertility is at its peak, tended to prefer the smell of the men who scored highest on the dominance quiz. This preference was not shown by women at other points in their cycle.

What's more, the effect was only significant for women in long-term relationships, the researchers report in the journal Biology Letters1. This shows that both menstrual phase and relationship status can have an effect on which men women tend to prefer, says Havlícek.

Mix it up

The results support a theory of mixed mating strategies, which argues that women should want different things from different men at different times. Females are expected to pair up with the males most likely to invest in parental care, but any affair is likely to be conducted with successful males who, although they may not be good dads, provide good genes.

"Other studies have shown that women are more likely to get involved in extra-pair affairs during their fertile period," Havlícek says. "We suppose that in such cases more socially dominant males would be preferred."

The idea is difficult to assess, because male quality is difficult to judge. Other researchers have used measures such as the 'ruggedness' of a man's face, or the symmetry of his features.

Havlícek and his team argue that a high dominance score is a reflection of high mating quality. "Such individuals are more likely to reach high social status," he says. "And this may reflect high genetic quality."

Perhaps the most controversial part of the study is the claim that women find the smell of sweaty cotton pads enticing. "Some raters found particular body odours sexy; others simply found them 'not repellent'," Havlícek admits. "But laboratory conditions are rather unnatural, and the smells would be judged more positively in more relevant, that is, intimate, conditions."



I lurve the smell of your armpit baby, mine or yours tonight?

This Journal of Biological Letters really like to merit all these saucy news for publication, don't they. Check out my other update on science here. I always wonder where do they get all the fundings from for their studies. Perhaps from Trojan and Ann Summers (Not Safe for Work)maybe?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Guinea pigging for easy quids...

You might wonder how do people like me survive the neck-strangling exchange rate of GBP £ here, which is almost 7 fold compared to RM 1. Seriously, even if you are a millionaire's son, you may not be considered a millionaire here yet and you have to work seven fold harder for that GREAT one pound, no thanks to our Ringgit peg and other economic factors. International students are allowed to work 20 hours per week here. I have read about news and articles about how our born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-their-mouths students are willing to get their hands dirty here to earn some extra cash. It is quite straight forward that the money is just too good! So, it is not uncommon to see students sweeping the floor or cleaning the toilets here or some better-off working at fastfood restaurants. Nope, I'm not doing all that previously and currently-what do you think? PhD student very senang-goyang kaki one har! all the time and got that much of time to work hah! There is a misconception that there is a long summer holiday for PhD students and doing a PhD is quite free as in that you don't need to come in everyday to work on your project. Not in the case for me. Or else I am enjoying Bak Kut Teh in Klang now loh!

To earn extra pocket money not to the extent of supporting my daily expenses, I have been experimenting myself lately and previously as paid subjects for research studies. Nope-I'm not talking about donating my broth of taddies to the taddy bank, which is very good-paying indeed and you get to do the 'guy's hobby' with free 'artsy films' in a booth all by yourself. It is not that easy actually where they have to screen for your background and do all necessary counts first and I doubt those parents would want to see any 'Cina-beng sepet' sensintrovert features on their future child(ren) later.

Here is a list of 'guinea-piggings' that I have done so far, which was quite interesting actually (don't worry I'm still safe and sound here or else I won't be blogging this already!):
1. A hand-wash study
All I had to do was to wash my hand with an alcohol gel and do some bacterial culture repeatedly for 4 weeks and £££ kept coming in! HA! HA!

2. A MRI-study of the heart
This was the most interesting so far. I stripped to my boxers and then strapped to a machine, while they operate on my brain while being scanned by the MRI! Nah-just joking! I was only injected with a fast-metabolised harmless chemical which upregulated blood flow to the heart and they did a MRI scan of my heart. I got to listen to Shania Twain's songs (one was with the dialogue-"So you're Brad Pitt-that doesn't impress me much") when the scan was done!


Are you enjoying Shania Twain's songs, boy?

3. Beer and chocolate psychological test
Hmmm...beer and chocolate for free-NOT! It was actually some packaging evaluation study of beer and chocolate products.

4. A website portal survey.
Pretty straight forward of a study by asking you to do a task on the website and then they video-taped you for what you were doing at the website. It was not a porn website; sorry to disappoint you all.

5. A spy.
I am not suppossed to disclose much information about this but generally, I had to complete a given task and complete a questionnaire. Sounds like James Bond- without the better pay, gadgets and blonde bombshells on my right and left of course!

Top 10 Favourite Malaysian MP Phrases.

It's getting into me now. Label me as a David Letterman wannabe, unpatriotic or an blog whore, here's the latest top 10 list which I could think of at the moment...drumrolls...

10."Tell me the truth"
9. "We'll catch big fish"
8. "Every Malaysian is equal"
7. "Work with me, not for me"

The above 4 has been brought to you by X company, 'Changing is good!'.

and the remaining 6:
6. "We are custodians of quality"
5. "It's an act of God"
4. "Racist! Perkauman! Malaysia has no place for racist like you!"
3. "Duduk! Duduk!" ("Sit! Sit!")
2. "We'll discuss it in cabinet/parliment/We'll set up a committee to study it.../Kita akan kaji"
and finally, the most popular,
1. "Semuanya OK"

Feel free to add on more in the comments if you could think of more.

Ooohhhh...I'm so scared to go out...

Just woke up this morning and found this news in NST:
Malaysians in UK advised to go out only when necessary

MALAYSIANS studying or vacationing abroad were today cautioned from moving about freely in their daily affairs for their own safety.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said they should go out in groups only when necessary.

There are about 11,000 Malaysians studying in the UK.

More than 50 people were confirmed dead and over 700 injured when three bombs tore through trains on the London underground and a fourth ripped apart a double-decker bus.

Malaysians were also reminded to keep themselves abreast with the current situation. "Do not go out alone or to dangerous spots," said Syed Hamid after presenting excellence service awards to ministry staff here today.


and quite the contrary, Londoners were urged to get back to work and move on with their daily lifes.

My dear beloved Syed Hamid, if everyone heeds your advice, the terrorists win. It was their aim in seeding the sense of fear and psychological trauma to their targets after all and govern our daily lifes. I know that you are concerned that the Muslims will be the target of the locals as claimed by this news: UK Muslims 'feel more vulnerable but the UK authorities had given their reassurance that the community relations are 'reassuringly calm' and encouraged people to report any abuse.

Just went to town last weekend and it was quieter than normal I guess. There was a fire reported in a mosque and a Sikh Temple here earlier. Also noticed a few Muslims (and even one has her body covered from head to toe with black cloth), but there was no tension arising because the citizens here are civilised people. People are leading and moving on with their own life. Moreover, terrorists are coward bastards. They would target crowded and enclosed area and then run and hide for their lifes. I wouldn't expect to see them blowing themselves up in a normal high street.

Frankly speaking, the advice should be directed to our local Malaysians instead. Any general Malaysian public would be more feared and traumatised of our own 'terrorist attacks' such as falling flyover and snatch thieves , any female would be feared of being raped, and any parent would be feared of his/her child(ren) being snatched from a hospital or being bullied and murdered in school.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Oh, for f**ck's sake...get him a psychologist already!!!

Found an interesting (or rather not later) in The Star's Education section, 'When the system fails'. It is about a 14-year old remove class student who even can't memorise the alphabets.

REMOVE CLASS student Lee Kok Yee, 14, does not respond to instructions, never does his work and shrugs or shakes his head when asked anything.

After a few months of trying to teach Kok Yee, his class teacher S. Kamala came to the conclusion that he was not gaining anything by coming to school.

Another of his teachers, Ahmad Tajudin, says that even after six months Kok Yee has not been able to memorise the alphabet.

“Teaching him is an uphill task. One day he knows his ABCs, the next time you ask him, he gets confused. It’s a tragedy that this has happened after six years in primary school,” says Ahmad Tajudin.

“They need to stress the basics of reading, writing and mathematics in primary school more,” he adds.


No thanks to our half-baked media, Simrit didn't even mention the word 'dyslexia.'Based only on Kok Yee's teacher's opinion, the writer didn't even attempt to get an analysis of a trained counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist to diagnose whether his problem was due to dyslexia.

Thanks to my synaptic plasticity, this piece of news brought me back to when I was a temporary English teacher in a rural primary school when waiting my university's entry results . (Haiya...my England vely powderful one hah!) Those Standard Four pupils couldn't even pronounce 'cat' or 'dog', moreover spelling them! On my first day of teaching, unprepared for any materials to teach, I just asked them what their father's occupation was. One said PAS. I was puzzled what the heck was that and finally figured out that her father was a politician or involved as a member or something. In a semester examination, I would say almost 90% couldn't even say or write a decent simple sentence like 'My brother walks to school.' The worst case scenario was a few really couldn't memorise the alphabets, like Kok Yee's case. Teaching them was like administering a dose of epinephrine every time . I kept asking questions to myself, what the hell was wrong with them??? The only possible reason I could think of now is that they could be dyslexic.

It is unfair to put the full blame on the teachers for his failure to master even the alphabets. His parents were to blame also as the article quoted
"His mother readily agrees that the school is playing a “babysitting role” at the moment."

which clearly shows that his parents were just getting rid of him and chucking him in school to lessen their burden in educating him.

I sincerely hope that Kok Yee (and many others in the same situation as him) would get proper evaluation from a qualified counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist on whether he is actually dyslexic. Further on, he should be given some professional therapy and training. But it looks like even now the basic amenities for disabled people are lacking, the dyslexic (which is classified as another form of disability too) seemed to be impossible of getting better attention.

And yar, let's not hope that Kok Yee is not studying in one of the schools in the soon-to-be-declared developed state, eh.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Potong rambut and rumput...

Rambut and rumput seem to rhyme and sound alike. The former is hair and the latter is grass; which both of them were done some cutting by me. Yes, I always do my own hair-cutting as the service here costs an arm and a leg. Well, I might exaggerate a little bit, but if you could safe money-why not? I have a hair clipper with 4 comb sizes-1 to 4. I normally use no.4 and go round my head for a few times to give a good crew cut. Not that I don't want any fashion-mashion here...but like I have a choice like Beckham who gets hairdressers lining up for him to have any possible fashion on earth that he wants. Sometimes it turned out to be eroded in one side and thick on the other. But after almost 2 years, I am rather skillful now, first the thick comb and then the thinner combs at both sides of my hair and the 'tail'. You may ask-what the hell-just keep your damn hair long, tie it and have a nice cut when you come back once a year. Nope-that's not me. I just can't stand long hair and I think long hairs and for pussies and chicks. No offence intended.

And what about the rumput? Well, there was initially some controversy between my landlady and my housemates. The problem was that my current housemates before I moved in NEVER ever took care of the garden. So after 4 seasons throughout the year and in summer where the grass grows and the flowers bloom, the garden was like a jungle with all the long growing grass and the rose bush is like a tree. The landlady was of course was very unhappy with that and requested her previous tenants (read:not including me of course) to tidy up but no action was taken. She then opted to quote for a gardener to tidy up the garden but you know what? It cost more than £100 to trim a 4 metre square garden!!! Gardeners, plumbers, electrician (and hairdressers of course) can earn a lot here. So, one of the tenants (who was moving out-I'm replacing him) who was still around, did some trimming of the grass and the bushes, but it was still 60% perfect for the landlady. One housemate was shocked of the price and wrote a cheeky e-mail to the landlady saying that she has no right to penalise them for the garden as it is not really part of the rent contract. And the landlady replied back saying that the e-mail was outrageous and therefore creating a lot of tension there. So, as a diplomat (as I always am), I took the initiative to further trim and tidy up the garden to almost perfect now.

Is the grass any greener in this side of the world?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Safe and sound (fingers-crossed) in the middle...

And I guess 'they' learnt the nursery rhyme by heart and do it literally.
--***--
New York 11/9
Bali 12/10
Madrid 11/3
London 7/7

'They' really know how to select the dates, don't 'they'? A mathematical formulae could also be worked on this. Been to the last two places and the fear was real even some claim that 'the lightning never strikes twice' (WOTW would disagree on this). I prefer to opt to walk if I could if I go backpacking at 'hotspots of the world'(minus the heavy backpack of course); moreover to save money. I remembered when I was in the 'Olympic 2012 loser' city's Metro on New Year's eve, there were 'men in uniforms' guarding the terminals. And in London, the unpleasant breeze of grease in the Underground wasn't very helpful either everytime I commute there.

--***--
I noticed many pings in PPS mentioning about the London blast. I was actually staying at a backpacker's hostel during 2003's Christmas Vacation near the place where the bus blast happened (Tavistock Square). Well, that is the South. What about the North, i.e. Scotland? The G8 summit is in its peak now and there are more unrest of protests reported there. I'm lucky to be well...quite in the middle of two hotspots....

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Jottings of my lab notebook...

Yeah..yeah..I will brag a bit about my work and colleagues in my lab this time:

1. OM was born in the late 1940's.
Well, OM is a student from Country X. Apparently, he looks like he is in his 30s. Then at a party sometime ago, he posed a question to everyone (I think he was drunk then)of how old is he. One estimated him to be around 30 as what his physical age looked like. The he shrugs of saying that it was an insult instead of a compliment to him. Hmm....
And then today, my roving eyes accidentally saw his birth date in one of his form that he needs to fill. He was born in the late 1940's!!! That will be almost the same age as my father!!! Wow...er...he is somekind of a lecturer in his home country and getting a PhD is to some sort enhance his promotion or something.

2. SC will be going on a diet
First, I accidentally came across a book 'South Beach Diet' on her table. Then when I went to get my printed stuff at the printer, I oversaw her printings of 'Online Diet Programme.' Then in the coffee room during lunch time, she confessed that she will be going on a diet and vowed to lose 20 over pounds. Frankly, she is not overweight like Lydia Shum now. I was like 'Wow! So you want to be Calista Flockhart or Lindsay Lohan The Second now?'

3. NW is scared of screaming kids
Apparently she saw the lame 'War of the Worlds' last weekend (What a loser!). And she was flipping through some gossip magazines brought in by SC (Isn't she supposed to be working instead, lazy bump??? Yeah, yeah I know I'm a hypocrite-I'm at work and I'm still blogging about these-but hey-I have a reason-it's the incubation period for some ongoing experiments-I'm STILL doing something). Then she saw Dakota Fanning in the mag and said that she was a 'nasty little screaming girl' in the film and is she would to have kids she would not want someone like that. Then I added that she was even nastier in 'Uptown Girls' but she looked blur of which film was that (she might have been thinking that it was the song). Yeah...yeah...I'm a movie expert.

The evil screaming kid in WOTW

4. The hot French Girl Scenario

In my previous post where the French girl who brought the ananas to lunch (OMFG!!! She is really hot and she wears thick make up and she dresses very well to the lab and she wears striking colours blouses and she has curly hairs!!!) was seen teaching others French as the proud English people now seemed to be interested to learn French [I was thinking-Why not Malay or Chinese?:(]. It was a harmonic atmosphere though where there is no hair and shirt-pulling after London won the bid.

Aww....London won the bid for Olympics 2012

12.46 pm. London finally won the bid after a tight competition with Paris. Tried to check the BBC website and the official London's bid website but they were all jammed. And you know what? The 'Live 24/7 TV station' ntv7 was reporting 'Kempen Bersihkan Sungai di Kelantan' and 'Citrawarna Malaysia'. So they are supposed to carry out news on catastrophic disasters only? Anything on the winning? Nothing. Nil. Zero.
My other colleagues seemed unfazed by it which could be due to they are not Londoners. One even said that 'oh! It's only going to be in 2012, right?' So would expect beach volleyball to be played in the ground of Buckingham Palace and jumping over hurdles at the London Eye?

The United States of Malaysia...review of Americophilic Malaysian TV stations

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Malaysian TV stations and the Americans.I am also not a TV critic expert nor involved in the broadcasting industry. This post is just purely my observation and my humble opinion. If you feel offended by this post, please kindly press the red cross button at the right topmost of your screen. Thank you.

I must admit that I'm not actually qualified to comment on Malaysian TV stations as I have been missing them for almost a year now. But I DO get to see some sneak peak of TV programmes and promos from ntv7's so-called broadband 'Live 24 hours news' which is actually repeats after repeats of recording and recording of studio programmes such as MySiasat and MyTimeOut.

Yes, I know after independence we should stand on our own feet and have our own identity but the UK would be indeed very embarassed that its former colony does not even have any British influence in, for example the TV stations. Yeah...yeah..the British Council teaching British English-so what? IMHO, ntv7's is the most Americophilic Malaysia TV station.Yeah..yeah..I know-USA is the No.1 superpower in the world, so everything also has to follow them lar? It is like ntv7 is the official franchisee of CBS or NBC.

Here are some tell-tale signs:
1. Cloneism of its logo and TV jingle
First, changing after changing their logo, they finally came out with a clone of abc7.com's logo. TV Smith has done this comparison before. I wonder how much do they pay the American TV station to clone their logo or do they do it illegally. And then their jingle. I feel good..na ne ne ne neh! With so many music composers and prominent advertising companies in Malaysia, not even one can come out with an original jingle? And don't get me started on TM's jingle which is Keane's Everbody's Changing. I'm not saying to not take what is good (meritocracy)and music has no borders, but can't we come out with our OWN jingles?

Looks familiar too you? Image is copyrighted to its original owners.

2. The TV station portrays Malaysians as reality TV freaks,scarily all from US of A.
Pioneering from Survivor, then to Fear Factor , then not enough, we produced our own reality series borrowed from American's concept. The only 'Britishness' of reality TV shows is Malaysian Idol so far and I heard that they are bringing Big Brother to here. I wonder how our concept of Big Brother would be as the British's one is all about nakedness, sex and more sex 24/7 non-stop. The British themselves here seemed unfazed by it and think Gareth Gates are so 'out' and Will Young is just surviving literally on desperate housewives and his gay fans as he is gay himself.
P.S. Can you imagine that I have a friend who still uses Gareth Gates It Could Happen to Anyone of Us (is that the correct name?) as his dialtone? Urghh....

3. The way the presenters talk like Americans.
Just feel so irked by the way they speak. You know, Yankee style. Just try listening to its TV promos.And remember how the pronunciation changed from 'a' from 'er' to 'aer'? Or did they specially employ someone from US just to read that out? Any Americans listening to them will feel just like home. Can we not have a world English accent if not Queen E's English accent?

and last but not least,
4. MNN,MNN,MNN-your head lar!
My (which is the domain and short form for Malaysia)is easily the most frequently abused word in Malaysia.It all started with a Chinese radio station having it as its name, and then followed by MyKad, MyKid etc... Wah...so keng chau (great)ar...trying to be a CNN wannabe covering 'live' catastrophic disasters, rubbles falling from churches, heavy storms etc. It is like they are HOPING for all that to happen in Malaysia. And you know what is the most amusing thing? Their so-called 'live' coverage was actually a standing newscaster who seems to be a fresh graduate from university just elaborating from what the anchor has said. And other outdoor coverages seemed to be always the launching of something, which of course was only due to the TV station having exclusive coverage for that ($$$). The overall broadband news content is hopeless for overseas people to know what is happening in Malaysia. I remembered there was one day, the whole news was for self-praise, promoting their exclusive rights to screen the Confederations Cup on terrestrial TV.
P.S.It seems that the Chinese newscasters seldom pronounce it as MNN but say it out in its full name as 'My News Netwhorl.'

If you have to outsource English TV programmes because the lack of local production, America is not the single source. There are other English speaking countries in the world that you could source TV programmes from.

Verdict: All things foreign are not necessarily good and all things local are not necessarily bad.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fun and interesting facts about Papa's semen

No, this is not about your papa's broth of taddies where you came from, you dirty-minded! It is a pharmacological name for the ever-famous seed now, the kas kas. Here are some fun and interesting facts (read: FACTS), based on scientific, published evidence.

To start off, here are some names for the Poppy seed in other languages:
pharm Semen Papaveris
Albanian Lulëkuqe
Arabic خشخاش, أبو النوم
خَشْخاش, أَبُو النُوم
Chinese
(Cantonese)
櫻粟殼 [yìng suhk hohk]
Croatian Mak
English Opium poppy, Garden poppy
French Pavot somnifère, Pavot à opium, Pavot des jardins
German Mohn, Schlafmohn, Gartenmohn, Ölmohn, Opiummohn,
Gujarati Khaskhas
Malay Kas Kas
Malayalam Kashakasha
Maltese Peprina
Punjabi Post
Russian Мак снотворный, Опийный мак
Tamil கசகசா, போஸ்தக்காய்
Casacasa, Kasakasa, Postakkai
Urdu Khas-khas
BTW, why no Hokkien one hah?

And from poppiesinternational.com

Seed is reported to contain moisture, 4.3–5.2; protein, 22.3–24.4; ether extract 46.5–49.1; nitrogen-free extract, 11.7–14.3; crude fibre, 4.8–5.8; ash, 5.6–6.0; calcium, 1.03–1.45; phosphorous, 0.79–0.89%; iron, 8.5–11.1 mg/100 g; thiamine, 740–1,181; riboflavin, 765–1,203; and nicotinic acid, 800–1,280 mg/100 g; carotene is absent. Minor minerals in the seeds include: iodine, 6 mg/kg; manganese, 29 mg/kg; copper, 22.9 mg/kg; magnesium, 15.6 g/kg; sodium, 0.3 g/kg; potassium, 5.25 g/kg; and zinc, 130 mg/kg; the seeds also contain lecithin, 2.80%; oxalic acid, 1.62%; pentosans, 3.0–3.6%; traces of narcotine and an amorphous alkaloid; and the enzymes diastase, emulsin, lipase, and nuclease. Poppyseed oil cakes were estimated to have 88 feed units per 100 kg, 27.5% digestible crude protein and 25.6% digestible true protein. Per 100 g the seed is reported to contain 533 calories, 6.8 g H2O, 18.0 g protein, 44.7 g fat, 23.7 g total carbohydrate, 6.3 g fiber, 6.8 g ash, 1448 mg Ca, 848 mg P, 9.4 mg Fe, 21 mg Na, 700 mg K, a trace of b-carotene equivalent, 0.95 mg thiamine, 0.17 mg riboflavin, and 0.98 mg niacin.


Those tiny seeds are pretty nutritious aren't they?

Can kas kas cause addiction?
While nearly all parts of the poppy plant contain a white milky juice or latex, the unripe capsules, containing the juice in abundance, are used for extraction of morphine and other alkaloids. Minor alkaloids are extracted from the straw also. The capsule wall is traversed by a network of branching and anastomosing lactiferous vessels which contain the latex. In the green unripe capsule, the latex is richest in morphine; but as they turn yellow and ripen, the morphine content diminishes and the codeine and narcotine contents increase.


What about failing the drug test?
I remembered watching a series from Seinfeld where the tall eccentric guy with the curly hair (dunno his name)failing a drug test after taking poppy seed biscuits ( I think Julie's makes them too). Yes, you could be falsely tested positive for morphine and codeine in your urine or your saliva.

Also, from here,
The universally accepted 300 ng/ml cut-off limit for opiate assays stated to be mandatory for all drug screening laboratories by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has been questioned recently due to positive results being obtained following the ingestion of poppy seed containing food products.


To overcome the false positives and to prevent arguments in medico-legal and employment medical cases, some agencies have raised the positive limit to a few thousands ng/ml.Also, researchers have discovered other markers to differentiate between true opiate users and poppy seed consumers, such as reticuline, and thebaine, unique to poppy seed consumers or 6-MAM, unique to heroin users.

So, dear beloved Mr. Said, please kindly do your literature review first before coming up with a hypothesis. The rakyatwould like to see your comprehensive thesis on our tables soon.Thank you.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Malaysia's Dope Food (2)

Continuing from my previous post, Malaysia's 'Dope Food',the use of kas kas or poppy seeds in Nasi Kandar is highly still a controversial and highly debatable. Some wanted it banned and likened them as those hard-core drugs like heroine and cocaine. Others oppossed the ban and some even claimed that "India's maharajahs had been taking kaskas for centuries to promote blood circulation and we are adding it in our curries for our customers' health.”


A poppy seed grinder.

Hmmm...poppy seed bagels. Can we get them from Deli France?

National Space Agency (NSA) director-general Prof Dr Mazlan Othman, please could you put studying the stars and the planets aside for a while. As you are the expert in local food and cuisines technology, moreover in space, we, the food lovers of Nasi Kandar and 'Mamak' restaurant operators would badly need your kind advice and expertise on which is the best ingredient to use to thicken and tasten our curries and rice. We need you badly to upbring our reputation in the space. We would not want our future astronauts to be doped and addicted in space. Or better still conduct this scientific mission in the space too. Feed our beloved astronauts (if they are willing and subjecting to ethics clearing) or experimental animals to see if they get high and addicted by the consumption of these Nasi Kandar. If you have miraculous findings, you don't have to thank me. Thank the kind Said Yusof.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Top 10 Reasons Why You (and I) Should Be Proud to Be A Malaysian/Patriotic.

Updated and refurbished(Sorry for the half-baked truncated post previously as I was just going to finish typing this, my housemate (who is suppossedly to move out now-his contract has ended!!!) suddenly pulled out my internet cable and the router is faulty!!!!arggggggggghhhhhhh!!!!)

Oh no!...not another top 10!!! In my previous post, Top 10 Hollywood Movie Ideas Inspired by Malaysian Affairs, I was labelled as 'unpatriotic' and 'only telling the negative side.' So, in order to give a positive image and bright side of our beloved Tanah tumpahnya darahku, here are the top 10 reason why you and I should be proud to be a Malaysian...wait a minute, before that the reasons are not that we have our own 'power-window-not-functioning' national car, the tallest (not anymore, should have built a taller one, damn Taiwan!!!) building in the world and conquerers of the English Channel, Antartic, Mount Everest and sea around the world.

10. We are a caring and thrifty society
We keep in touch with each other with the latest news by sending SMS and e-mails about any price increase in petrol. Then, we could queue up and wait for hours at petrol stations to save a few sens of our hard-earned money.

9. We have our ID cards long before a developed nation has
We are very proud of our ID card that we line up as early as 6am to secure a place for the renewal of it. We are also proud to have all sorts of ID cards embedded with biometric chips-for adults, kids, immigrants, students, and all sorts of category to think of.

MyKad and MyKid

8. We are a nation of pure and decent minds
We will not be exposed to any form of sex, violence and horror as our government cared for us very much by eliminating 'poisons of our mind.'

7. We have an all-in-one super natural drug-Ali's Cane
Give way Pfizer and their Viagra! Never mind No. 8, and the increase in rape and incest, we have our own super all-in-one sex drug which has been proven to boost men's libido, penis size, testosterone, semen volume etc etc (whatever you could think of everything's related to men's nether regions).

6. We are a nation of brainy doctors
Never mind the claim that there is a shortage of doctors; we highly regard and give a high social status for the profession of a medical doctor and gave a lot of media coverage on them. And fear no more! We have perfect 4.00 brainy doctors whom we will look up to have zero records of malpractice, late or misdiagnosis. In fact, we will be declared one of the healthiest nation in the world, ala 'Selangor-developed state status.'

5. Malaysia is a good place to invest for the health sector, particularly in the genitourinary (GUM) field.
Our official number one ranking in the world for diabetes-complicated kidney failure by the US Renal Data Registry and related to reason no.6, Malaysia will be attractive for drug companies to set up clinical trials and to manafacture and market GUM-related drugs.

4. We will soon be one of the pioneers in ethnic space food and cuisine technology.
Malaysia's space programme. Enough said.

3. We have our own wide coverage of 'criminal celebrities.'
Move over Michael Jackson, Robert Blake, OJ Simpson, Martha Stewart and Robert Downey Jr. We have our own celebrities to cover involved in e-mail defamation, drugs, divorce and wife battery etc.

2. We support the originals.
Never mind that our latest national car models looked like replicas of foreign cars and still using foreign engines and still the fluorishing of bootlegs, we have Ori holograms for optical discs and Meditag for medicine. And the next could be holograms for original Datuks.

and finally,

1. We will always be safe of alien or monstrous creature attacks or extraordinary natural disasters.
Our country will somehow be missing or already vanished from any alien or disaster attacks, leaving US, particularly New York to be attacked by aliens (hence War of the Worlds) or covered by snow due to global warming (hence The Day After Tomorrow). We will also never see superheroes (Spiderman, Batman, The Incredibles)rescuing us from snatch thiefs as we are a safe country.

The Da Vinci Code Really Exists (well, sort of)


From BBC News,

A new picture by Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered, the National Gallery in London has said.
It said experts using infra-red techniques found a drawing under the surface of the Virgin of the Rocks painting which hangs at the gallery.
It believes the drawing shows a woman kneeling with one arm stretched out.
Experts believe the Italian Renaissance painter was planning a picture of an adoration of the child Christ but abandoned the idea.
Leonardo was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks to decorate an altarpiece in a chapel in Milan in 1483.
The artist appears to have painted two versions.
One, which now hangs in the Louvre, was probably sold to a private client, says BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones.
The other, which hangs in the National Gallery, was placed in the chapel in 1508.
It is under this painting that experts believe they have found a drawing of a kneeling woman.
She is pictured with her eyes downcast and one of her hands stretched out.
Experts think Leonardo da Vinci was probably planning a picture of an adoration of the Christ child, but abandoned the idea before drawing Jesus as a baby, our correspondent says.
However, why he painted over the work may never be known, she adds.