Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions and predictions.




New year resolutions and predictions are here again. For the past 2000 years, wishing for peace and happiness never fades. Each passing year, we see more problems than the year before; and yet at end of each year we harbour the same hope and wishes for a better next year.


To me everyday is the same old day. Perhaps age and financial constraints are good teachers for seeing the real world. However, 2010 is a very significant year for me; it will be my 60th year alive. In many cultures, the age 60 marks a new threshhold. It calls for celebration if one is successful in life, with loving children who have made good themselves. There is nothing for me to celebrate. Then why is it still significant to me? It is said that past 60, each day, one is alive, is a bonus day!


So from tomorrow onwards, I have to celebrate each morning when I wake up and shout to the world, "Hey! I am still alive for another day!!"


Last year today I wrote something about prediction. You can read it
HERE:


Be that as it may; YOU have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Banana Award




Today's thought of the day as shown on the top right corner of this blog:


Thought of the Day:
When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one. -Leonard Matlovich, a gay Vietnam Veteran (1943-1988)


There goes human values!
Wither human values?
This is "human values" for you!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This has got to stop!



(Picture from The Star)

The Malaysian Insider:

"Ten passengers were killed and two injured after a double-decker Sani Express bus skidded and hit the road divider at Km272.8 of the North-South Expressway as it was heading north, about 8km from the Ipoh Selatan toll plaza, early today."



This has got to stop. How to stop? The news only reported the deaths, and tomorrow we get on with our lives as if nothing has happened. Think about the lives of the loved ones of the deceased. The breadwinner, the main care-giver, the son/daughter whom the whole family has high hopes for their future, the unfortunate children who have lost their parents, and the list goes on.



Why this is happening so very often? To me it is the lack of "mental culture" of the people who are responsible for these "crimes" of humanity. Remember...this can happen to you and me. What is this "mental culture"? It calls for common sense, responsibilty, and conscience. If you are feeling sleepy while driving, then stop for a rest. Think for yourself if not for others, unless you want to commit suicide. What has happened to our people, and I am assuming that this driver is a Malaysian. Nowadays, you never know. He might be from Timbuktu!



What is the root cause for this lack of "mental culture"? It comes to politics again. The education system (if there is a system at all), the negative examples of those who claim to "rule" over us, and of course the lack of control and enforcement of the authorities concerned. It will take a generation or two to revert to our good old values if we can change the "SYSTEM' and the "EVIL POWER".


Can we do it? Or do we want to die in a bus-ride?



-------------------------------------------------------

(Postscript: A subsequent comment I made.)


Hi all,

I shall share two experiences with you.

The first was narrated by my sister who previously travelled from KL to Penang quite often. On one occasion she rang up the bus company to complain about the driver smoking and sending smses while driving. You know what the person on the line answered? He smoked so that he won't fall asleep.

And this was my personal experience. I was in a hurry to reach JB withing the same day, so I bought a ticket supposed to go straight in the morning from Penang to JB. I think I started about 10am. The driver looked sick to me, and was coughing. I was exasperated when he turned into Ipoh to have a stop-over. I was the only stupid passenger who took this bus to JB. The others had disembarked at the various destination. I then knew I was literally taken for a ride around town! He didn't bother to inform me that it was a break, and just disappeared. I was too nervous to disembark fearing he might just drive away. Then I just took a chance, and jumped down to have a bite and to ease myself. When I came back the bus was somewhere else; luckily I found it on time. Then the poor fellow drove all the way to JB. He was an Indian driver. When we reached JB it was past 10pm. This poor fellow had been driving for more than 12 hours. There was no assistant on standby.

This has got to stop.

Let's make sure the present evil and incompetent regime is changed, come next election.

January 1, 2010 9:52 PM

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Relaxing Qigong.

(Bhante Kovida and I)


Today I would like to share with you a very relaxing qigong exercise which I have been practising for the past few months. The sifu in the Youtube is Bhante Kovida who is a Jamaican Chinese monk.
There are many types of qigong ranging from the stationary/static stance to the very graceful dance form. I have practised a number of Qigong variations, including Tai Chi; from the very taxing stationary form to the gracious dance-type Qigong. All in, I have done 6 types of Qigong.

I personally find this particular Qigong to be very suitable for me. It is very relaxing and yet exhilarating, very suitable for elderly people like me.

The whole exercise takes about an hour.  You can go to my other website to view the youtube videos and practise from there.  Just CLICK HERE:


You can view Bhante Kovida's website HERE:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Avaaz : Save our planet !


(Click on picture to enlarge)

Received this in my email:

Dear friends,

The polluting industry lobby stopped a real deal at Copenhagen, and now they're trying to silence the rising climate movement by suing youth activists. They've raised $750,000 for their intimidation effort -- if 20,000 of us give just a small amount each, we'll show them their tactics backfired, and show politicians that people-power can defeat polluters.



Leaders disappointed the entire world in Copenhagen last weekend. But one group was cracking open the champagne - the polluting industry lobbyists who pushed our politicians to failure. The polluters have only one worry now: us.

Recently a few youth climate activists (funded by Avaaz online donations!) dared to challenge the most powerful polluter lobbyist group, the US Chamber of Commerce, by helping to stage a humorous satirical press conference announcing the Chamber had decided to help fight climate change.

The polluter lobby’s response? A huge lawsuit suing these young activists for potentially enormous amounts of money. Experts say a response like this is extremely rare. It appears designed to send a chilling message to our movement and silence all who would speak out.

Let's send a message back. The Chamber has raised $750,000 from US corporations to help launch this attack – If 20,000 of us give just a small amount each to our effort to stand up for climate activists and stop the polluter lobby, we’ll raise more than them - showing their intimidation backfired! Let’s show the polluter lobby that we can’t be silenced, and show politicians that the future belongs to people, not polluters:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/people_vs_polluters

Copenhagen failed primarily because big polluters US and China wanted a weak agreement. President Obama was heavily constrained by a US Congress that has been captured by lobbyists. The Chamber is a front group for the largest corporations in the polluting lobby, including oil and coal companies like Exxon Mobil. They were major backers of President George W Bush, and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars blocking Obama's attempts at change. The Chamber claims to represent US businesses, but even many large corporations (like Apple, Nike and Microsoft) have opposed its pro-polluter positions on climate change.

While people were out in force in Copenhagen, polluter lobbyists worked in the shadows, their voices loud only in our politicians' ears. To get the climate deal we need, we have to expose their influence, stand up to their intimidation tactics, and send a signal to others that the time has come, once and for all, to stand up to the villains holding our planet hostage:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/people_vs_polluters

In our journey together as the Avaaz community, we've taken on dictators in Burma and Zimbabwe, promise-breaking politicians in Europe and North America, and the forces of extremism in the Middle East. But the Chamber is in some ways the most powerful and dangerous opponent we've faced. Some have advised Avaaz to stay quiet about this, to protect our own organization. But with danger comes opportunity, and if people power can defeat even the most powerful corporate lobby in the world, we'll send a much broader message, that a new world, the one we all seek, is on its way.

With hope,

Ricken, Ben, Iain, Alice, Graziela, Luis, Paul, Taren, Sam, Pascal, Benjamin, Paula, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

PS - here are some links for more information:

New York Times -- "Way behind the curve" - the NYT savages the Chamber's position on climate change:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/opinion/30wed3.html

Washington Post -- "The U.S. chamber vs honesty" - the Post is scathing about the Chamber's tactics:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR2009102602714.html

Huffington Post -- "PGE Quits US Chamber of Commerce" - about large corporations leaving the Chamber because of its climate stance:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brendan-demelle/pge-quits-us-chamber-of-c_b_295424.html

Common Dreams - covering the satirical press conference about the Chamber:
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/10/19-9

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Missing everything!


(Latest jet from the Malaysian Airforce)

The Malaysian Insider reports:


"Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said action will be taken against the high-ranking officials in charge during the time the RMAF jet engines went missing."


"Action will be taken"? Why no action taken since it was detected?


Malayisa Boleh. Missing everything.


We Malaysians are sick and tired of all these charades.


Maybe tomorrow we will wake up with news that the Twin Towers are missing.


Good Heavens!!
Go to Hell!!
I am sick and tired; now please go read the details HERE:

RPK : My wish for Malaysians



My Hero RPK speaks to all fair-minded Malaysians. Malaysians with clear conscience.

Make sure your ONE vote adds to the MILLIONS of votes.


When I was working in KL many years ago, I used to return to Penang to vote.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat Convention




"The next convention will be at Putrajaya!" declared Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

The Pakatan Rakyat Convention was held in Shah Alam on Saturday 19 December 2009, and the most important declaration was that the "target for the next general election is nothing less than the takeover of Putrajaya," as reported in LKS blog
.



Did you read about it in the mainstream media? Of course NO. The bankrupt and corrupt regime will make sure that none is reported.

But with able bloggers all around we are not short of information. My blogger friend, Romerz, has posted a very well-layout article on the salient points of the Pakatan Rakyat Declaration. This is a "copy & paste" from his blog "The Middle Ground":



The Policies of Pakatan Rakyat

1.Transparent and Genuine Democracy
A.Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law
B.Separation of Powers
C.A Clean, Free and Fair Electoral System

2.Driving a High Performance, Sustainable and Equitable Economy
A.High-Performance Economy
B.Democratic and Transparent Economy
C.Decentralisation and the Empowerment of the State Economic Management
D.Affirmative Action Policies based on Need
E.Labour
F.Social Safety Net
G.Housing
H.Infrastructure and Public Facilities
I.Environment
J.Sustainable Growth and Green Development

3.Social Justice and Human Development
A.Unity and Social Justice
B.Religion
C.Education
D.Women and the Family
E.Youth
F.Security
G.Healthcare
H.Culture

4.Federal-State Relationship and Foreign Policy
A.The Federal System
B.Sabah and Sarawak
C.Foreign Policy

Tea, coffee or little me!


Tea, coffee, or little me!

Obituary




This is a "copy & paste" article from another blog:


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.
From the London Times

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Don't just believe what you read.




Another interesting but unbelievable story arrived through the email today. In today's internet world, never believe stories that are too good to be true, or in this case too coincidental. First read the story below, then read my comment at the end.



[An intricate Mystery of fate


At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, (AAFS)President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death.

Here is the story:


On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus, and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency.


As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window,which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.


The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun! The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus. When one intends to kill subject 'A' but kills subject 'B' in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject 'B.'


When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant, and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded. The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore, the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.


The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the s on, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.


Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.


Now for the exquisite twist... Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt

to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son, Ronald Opus, had actually murdered himself. So the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

_____________________________

A true story from Associated Press ]

---------------------------------------------------------

Well? If the person can just think first before starting to forward the email, then we will not have bogus emails floating around. When you are in doubt you can easily check on-line. The two popular sites to check hoaxes are www.snopes.com and http://purportal.com.



Remember my earlier post about Lim Goh Tong being a muslim? It is dangerous that we just simply forward emails that we received without first checking the truth of the stories. We must make an effort to check the authenticity of such emails.


So now you know the truth. If you are still in dream mode, then click HERE:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time has changed.


"Cheques will be phased out by October 31 2018, the UK's Payments Council has announced."

This was reported in Yahoo News.


Time has changed. Nothing in this world can withstand the tide of time. If 20 years ago, someone were to say you could hold a small pack shaped like a chocolate bar and talk to your friend without even putting it close to your ear, you would be considered mad.


What about opening up a flat compact box and talk to the world with instant images, view videos, and buy and sell things, find anything you need to know, without any wire connecting to it?


In the history of mankind, the two most fascinating developments are the mobile phone and the wireless internet! Things change for better or worse. If we don't flow with this tide of change, we will be left behind.


Right at this moment the world is demanding that the three biggest polluters of the earth, China, Japan and the USA to start earnestly and honestly to reduce pollution and halt the negative climate change. If they are not going to start now, all of us will be in serious trouble, including them. Greed and so-called development have made them foolish enough to continue digging their (our) own graves. To read more on the United Nations Climate Change Conference, please click HERE.


Please do your little part to get your voice heard. A million people like you and me will make a loud sound and a great impact on the world leaders. Not a million, we are now talking about millions of world citizens lobbying for positive actions through the internet. Please visit Avaaz to send in your message of concern.


Coming back to the local scene, can the present government change its stance? I believe NO. It has been in power for too long. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It has been in power for too long that it no longer has the ability to change even if it wanted to. The one race that the government is supposed to help is being led to "Timbuktu" or to some dark ages. The government is misleading this one race to think that they are being favoured. In the end if this is not stopped, this one race will not progress with time, and will be left behind, just like the bank cheques. If this one race is smart enough to realize this, then they should wake up and seek true justice and progress for their own well-being.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

After erection, go for a breast!





After erection, go for a breast!




Not exactly, silly. It's Japanese way of politely saying:

"After election, please go for a rest!"




I cannot believe it!




If you haven't read this news, here it is from Yahoo News:

[An Olympic weightlifter experienced a huge shock while practising for an event when she unexpectedly gave birth to a baby boy.

Chilean Elizabeth Poblete, who competed at the Beijing Olympics, was training in Sao Paulo, Brazil ahead of a meet when the baby boy was born.

Poblete said she had no idea she was pregnant although she did admit to feeling unwell at practice a week before the birth.

The child was born at six months gestation and remains in critical condition. It weighed just 2.25 pounds and measured only 15 inches at birth. The boy is currently on a respirator.]


I simply cannot believe it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Male man can buy used tissue!?

In Japan, you have "male man" and "female man";
or is it "male man" and "male woman"?

It's kind of confusing!




And watch out; you got to decide which category you belong before you get to buy used tissue!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Worldwide vigil on Climate Change


Below is a "copy & paste" from http://www.350.org/node/13414
Date and time:12 December 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Theme: One Green World, One Green Malaysia
Organised by: Waterfall Survivors supported by Malaysian Youth Climate Justice Network (MYCJN), Eco Warriors Malaysia, E=MC2, Help Our Penyu (HOPE), Green Drinks Kuala Lumpur
Venue: Kompleks Sukan Astaka (behind Armada Hotel, Across Federal Highway Amcorp Mall)
Time: 8pm - 10pm (Local Time)
Dress Code: GREEN

It is time to act NOW! Next week world leaders gather in Copenhagen to thrash out a global climate agreement. The outcome will only be so bold as we demand- and it could be as dismal as we allow.

The biggest threat? That among the politicking and bureaucracy, the world forgets what's at stake.

So here's the plan: in the middle of the negotiation, candlelight vigils in every corner of the world to put real human faces on the need for a real climate deal. It will be the world's largest ever global day of climate action.

Be part of our international effort to save the world.

We in Malaysia will be a part of it. One Green World, One Green Malaysia..

Join our action now!

For more information please contact:

1) C.C. Tang - 012-6150973
2) Sean Lim - 014-3381477
3) Joe Yap - 019-6787460

Your support in the good cause is highly appreciated.
Event Website: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=217123230878




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aiyoh!! No word to describe this person!!




From The Malaysian Insider:
{Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said today that Umno’s decision to lift its suspension of controversial Penang Umno warlord Datuk Ahmad Ismail was insignificant.

“Is it such an important issue?” the Gerakan president asked today when pressed by reporters in Parliament.}




Aiyoh. I really cannot tahan. I was not going to waste time talking about this KaTaK, but what utter rubbish he had uttered again. His photo is not worthy to appear in this blog. The substitute is as above.




AIYOH.YOH!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH!




I am going to the toilet to shit!!!!!


And below is the message for KaTaK in Japanese with English translation KaTaK style!!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News that won't attract attention:Yong Vui Kong.


(Yong Vui Kong)

I came across this post from blogger "Charles Hector", the extract is as follows:

[Yong Vui Kong was arrested in June 2007, when he was 19, by officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau. He was charged with trafficking 42.27 grams of heroin, and then sentenced to death in January 2009. Yong Vui Kong received a stay of execution on 3 December, but is now scheduled for execution on 11 December. His appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeals on 8 December.
Is it a matter of gender discrimination? Both men and women get duped ....and unjustly end up with the death penalty... not just the 'lasses' or the 'girls' .]

This is the first time I heard of Yong and the news is not good. He is to be executed by the Singapore Authority. And I don't like it. So I googled search "yong vui kong" and found more information from across the causeway.

This is not "news worthy" as far as the main stream media is concerned. Shame on them. A young man's life is at stake.

This is a "copy and paste" from a Singaporean source,
The Online Citizen:

[Yong Vui Kong’s story will now be familiar with regular readers of The Online Citizen and the activist community, but alien to many Singaporeans who will go about their daily lives without batting an eyelid.

This is largely the fault of the mainstream media, which have completely failed in their duty to explain what Vui Kong’s case means for individual Singaporeans. This needs to change.

The justice system distinguishes between civil law and criminal law. Civil law is enforceable between individuals, whereas criminal law is enforced by the State. In the latter case, the State moves to punish acts deemed injurious to society. It acts on society’s behalf, through statutes passed by our elected representatives.

When the State brings its criminal jurisdiction to bear, it acts on behalf of you and me. If Vui Kong is hanged, he will be hanged in your name and mine.

Singapore’s head in the sand

The national media has given minimal attention to Vui Kong’s case and the obvious issues it raises about the fairness of the mandatory death penalty.

While the mainstream media is sometimes unfairly criticized for its conservative reporting and commentary, its’ see-no-evil attitude to glaring defects in our criminal justice system crosses the negligent into the realm of the unconscionable.

Forums and activities conducted by local anti-death penalty campaigners have gone unmentioned, and there is no national dialogue about the whether the mandatory death penalty is defensible.

Why has the national media not initiated a debate into a practice which the UN Special Rapporteur on arbitrary executions says is prohibited by “almost every judicial or quasi-judicial human rights body in the world”?

Our national media has blatantly failed to highlight countries across the Commonwealth that have invalidated the mandatory death penalty. A strange silence for a press that delights in comparing Singapore to other countries when it comes to economic indicators.]

Where is human compassion, justice and fairplay??

SICK SICK SICK!!!!!!


Please read this post from
TOC : "President rejects clemency petition for Yong Vui Kong"

---------------------------------------------------------------
Latest with HOPE:

I just came across this posting in another blog, bearing some hope for Yong Vui Kong:

[For the first time ever in Singapore the High Court has granted a prisoner on death row a stay of execution. The prisoner, Yong Vui Kong, 21, was found guilty of drug trafficking. At a High Court hearing just days before the execution was due to be carried out Justice Woo Bih Li allowed the stay pending a hearing before the Court of Appeal to be held this coming Tuesday. Yong’s petition for clemency was rejected by the President on November 20th.Representing Yong, Mr. M. Ravi, argued that executing Yong before his appeal was heard violated his constitutional rights. The Court of Appeal have yet to hear Yong’s case, as it was withdrawn by his previous counsel, who had been assigned by the State. As the Court of Appeal is currently on vacation and unable to convene Mr Ravi asked the High Court to grant a stay of execution for Yong, until his application for an extension of time and a full appeal can be heard. After hearing arguments presented by both the defense and the prosecution, Justice Woo accepted Mr. Ravi’s request.
This case has drawn attention to executions in Singapore which, together with Japan and the US, is the only fully developed country to retain the death penalty. It has created some interest within the Buddhist community also because Yong has converted to Buddhism during his time in prison. That his conversion is genuine is suggested by statements of contrition and his willingness to take his punishment.]

You can read the full article @ Dhamma Musings.
As the name suggests, this blog is a Buddhist blog and maintained by one of my teachers in Buddhism.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

The photo that struck your conscience!





The above picture returned to haunt me again via another email chain letter today.

I think most of you would have seen the above photo by now. But did you take the trouble to search for more information? This time I took the trouble to dig deeper, and the first place I went was Wikipedia. This is the story you can read below.

The next place I went was to Hoax Slayer which commented on this email chain letter. The relevant comment follows after the wikipedia article. Please read to the end.

The links to Wikipedia and Hoax Slayer are provided at the end of this post.




This is from Wikipedia:

Kevin Carter (September 13, 1960 in Johannesburg – July 27, 1994) was an award-winning South African photojournalist and member of the Bang-Bang Club.

Carter had started to work as weekend sports photographer in 1983. In 1984 he moved on to work for the Johannesburg Star, bent on exposing the brutality of apartheid.

Carter was the first to photograph a public execution by "necklacing" in South Africa in the mid-1980s. He later spoke of the images; "I was appalled at what they were doing. I was appalled at what I was doing. But then people started talking about those pictures... then I felt that maybe my actions hadn't been at all bad. Being a witness to something this horrible wasn't necessarily such a bad thing to do."

Prize-winning photograph in Sudan
In March 1993 Carter made a trip to southern Sudan. The sound of soft, high-pitched whimpering near the village of Ayod attracted Carter to an emaciated Sudanese toddler. The girl had stopped to rest while struggling to a feeding center, whereupon a vulture had landed nearby. He said that he waited about 20 minutes, hoping that the vulture would spread its wings. It didn't. Carter snapped the haunting photograph and chased the vulture away [2]. However, he also came under heavy criticism for just photographing — and not helping — the little girl:

The St. Petersburg Times in Florida said this of Carter: "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."[3]
The photograph was sold to The New York Times where it appeared for the first time on March 26, 1993. Practically overnight hundreds of people contacted the newspaper to ask whether the child had survived, leading the newspaper to run a special editor's note saying the girl had enough strength to walk away from the vulture, but that her ultimate fate was unknown.

On April 2, 1994 Nancy Buirski, a foreign New York Times picture editor, phoned Carter to inform him he had won the most coveted prize for photojournalism. Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography on May 23, 1994 at Columbia University's Low Memorial Library.


Alternative account of the photograph
South African photojournalist Joao Silva, who accompanied Carter to Sudan, gave a different version of events in an interview with Japanese journalist and writer Akio Fujiwara that was published in Fujiwara's book The Boy who Became a Postcard (絵葉書にされた少年 - Ehagaki ni sareta shōnen).

According to Silva, they (Carter and Silva) went to Sudan with the United Nations aboard Operation Lifeline Sudan and landed in Southern Sudan on March 11, 1993. The UN told them that they would take off again in 30 minutes (the time necessary to distribute food), so they ran around looking to take shots. The UN started to distribute corn and the women of the village came out of their wooden huts to meet the plane. Silva went looking for guerrilla fighters, while Carter strayed no more than a few dozen feet from the plane.

Again according to Silva, Carter was quite shocked as it was the first time that he had seen a famine situation and so he took many shots of the children suffering from famine. Silva also started to take photos of children on the ground as if crying, which were not published. The parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter. A vulture landed behind the girl. To get the two in focus, Carter approached the scene very slowly so as not to scare the vulture away and took a photo from approximately 10 metres. He took a few more photos and then the vulture flew off.

[edit] Death
On 27 July 1994 Carter drove to the Braamfonteinspruit river, near the Field and Study Centre, an area where he used to play as a child, and took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the passenger-side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 33. Portions of Carter's suicide note read:

"I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners...I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky."

---------------------------------------------------------------

And this is from Hoax Slayer:





The chain email content:
Subject: How lucky are we reminder

As sad as this is it makes you grateful and appreciative of the way we live and the things we have. It just proves no matter how bad things seem there is always someone suffering more than we will ever know.

Have a close look at both of the photographs & read the messages below them. Forwarding this message to as many people as you can won't fulfil a wish; nor deleting it will cause any misfortune; but its our moral duty to be concerned...towards humanity

Commentary:(by Hoax Slayer)
This email chain letter contains a very disturbing photograph of a starving child being stalked by a vulture. As the message states, the photograph won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1994 for the photographer, Kevin Carter. Carter took the photograph during a trip to the Sudan in 1993.

The incredibly powerful image graphically illustrates the terrible plight of those inflicted by desperate poverty. Even the most hard-hearted individual is likely to be affected by the photograph. For most people, there is an instinctive desire to somehow reach out and rescue the child from her terrible situation. Thus, it is not surprising that the photograph won such a prestigious award.

After the photograph was published in the New York Times, it became world famous and helped to raise awareness of global poverty. However, Carter was roundly condemned for taking the photograph and leaving the scene rather than actually helping the child. What happened to the child after Carter left is unknown. An entry about Carter's life on BBC – h2g2 explains the circumstances in which the photograph was taken.

A soft whimpering sound caught his attention. It was a pitiful, animal-like sound. He moved towards it until he found the source. A young African girl was crawling weakly towards the centre of a clearing. She didn't have the energy to stand and, emaciated, stood little chance of survival. If the plight of this little girl couldn't stir the world into action nothing would, as Carter knew instinctively and immediately. He crouched with his camera, ready to frame an eye-level shot. As he did so, a vulture landed behind her, obviously awaiting the moment of death. He carefully framed the photograph, being careful not to disturb the bird, and clicked. He waited about 20 minutes, waiting for the bird to fly off, and when it didn't, he chased it away.

Carter sat under a tree, watched her struggle for a while, smoked a cigarette and 'talked to God'. He did not help the girl. Utterly depressed, he went back to Silva and explained what had happened, wiping his eyes and saying 'I see all this, and all I can think of is Megan. I can't wait to hug her when I get home.
At the time that Carter took the photograph, he was a deeply troubled man, haunted by the things he had seen during his career, plagued by personal problems, and battling a drug habit. Only months after receiving the Pulitzer, Kevin Carter took his own life.

Although the core claims in the email are factual, there are also some inaccuracies. Firstly, the photograph was taken in 1993, not 1994 as stated in the email. The Pulitzer Prize itself was awarded in 1994. Secondly, the supposed diary entry recorded in the message is not genuine. The words were not written by Kevin Carter and were apparently added to the message to create extra impact – an entirely unnecessary lie given the power of the photograph itself. The fact that the "diary entry" refers to a "little boy" when the child in the photograph is female exposes the quote as bogus.

A detailed article about the life of Kevin Carter is available on BBC – h2g2. An award winning documentary by filmmaker Dan Krauss, The Death of Kevin Carter also examines the photojournalist's troubled life and career.

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Link to Wikipedia click HERE:




Link to Hoax Slayer click HERE:





Incidentally, I have posted a video a long time ago with a clip of this same picture. If you are interested click: "Counting our blessings" .


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The price you pay for being rich and famous.


(Picture from Yahoo News)

[This morning, Tiger Woods has said he is sorry, not just for crashing his car early in the morning the Friday after Thanksgiving, but for all of the "intimate details of [their] personal lives." Since he's asking for "the right to some simple, human measure of privacy", the 33-year-old golfer with the wholesome image did not reveal details of several rumored affairs.]



The above is a "copy and paste" from
Yahoo News . Whatever it is, the world media love it. The public loves it. This sounds too familiar. After all we are all humans, easily succumb to temptaion, especially when one is hyper rich and hyper famous. All it needs is for a trivial incident, (or is it accident?) to ignite the timebomb. And BOOM! "history repeats itself".

Haven't we read a million and one times about celebrities having a whale of a time and on perpetual "cloud nine" and suddenly BOOM!..... dark clouds and torrential thunderstorms!?



Wouldn't it be better to be just a healthy person, with sufficient income, to enjoy the simple joys of life?


SOUR GRAPES!!! Click HERE for the sweet ones.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lim Guan Eng doing a good job!


(Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister)
(Photo from The Star)

What is a better advertisement other than by "word of mouth"?

My blogger friend, Romerz (The Middle Ground) has put up an interesting post today, which he wrote:



[I would like to share a story which I heard today from a friend who is from one of Penang's chambers of commerce. I won't reveal which chamber so as not to give away the identity of my friend.

He told me that he was recently approached by a Class-F Bumiputera contractor who had nothing but praises for the PR state government of Penang led by YAB Lim Guan Eng.

According to this bumi contractor, previously when under the Gerakan led BN state government, most of whatever contracts given out by the state went to contractors not from Penang. Most of them went to contractors with connections to Putrajaya. Whatever is then left, went to contractors connected to UMNO Penang. By which time, there is nothing left for ordinary Class-F Bumiputera contractors like him.

This bumi contractor told my friend that today the situation is a lot different from then. At least now most if not all state contracts are given to Penang contractors without favoritism either by race, religion or political connections. The only "favoritism" shown is to able Penang based contractors first then source from outside Penang if none are available locally!]


For the full text, click HERE to read his blog article.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Man or Beast?










I am again tempted to "copy and paste" the quote for today which you can read on the top right of this blog.



Just in case you did not read it, here it is:





"Man can be the most affectionate and altruistic of creatures, yet he's potentially more vicious than any other. He is the only one who can be persuaded to hate millions of his own kind whom he has never seen and to kill as many as he can lay his hands on in the name of his tribe or his God. -Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author (1903-1998)"

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