Thursday, 31 August 2006

Ruby Pan on "Native English Speakers"

this is sooooooo good..... from indigNation
Chinese Fried "Chicken"

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Monday, 28 August 2006

Strongest Dad in the World [From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]

Dick Hoyt, strongest dad in the world. Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day. Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame.... , right? And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. `He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to he engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. `There's nothing going on in his brain.'' "Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words?

``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want to do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore for two weeks.'' That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!'' And that sentence changed Dick's life.

He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such rd-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon. `No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor.

For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive ld and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race physically: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year. Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?'' How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon?

Still, Dick tried. Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzz kill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think? Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together. This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'?

Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time. ``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.'' And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.''

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life. Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day. That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

another video of their story

Wednesday, 23 August 2006


my throat ulcers are causing me a considerable amount of suffering.. and what poor timing too! especially since the school hols are not here yet and there's stuff i still need to complete before that... sigh... :/ went to doc just now and he took a digital pic of the throat ulcer and it looks a little bit like this except that mine was a bit more defined.. quite yucky..

The exact cause of mouth ulcers is unknown, but factors that appear to provoke them include stress, fatigue, illness, injury from accidental biting, hormonal changes, menstruation, food allergies and deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron and folic acid.

Chinese medicine points to one's diet or emotions as potential causes of such symptoms of 'heat in the mouth'. Greasy/fried foods or 'energetically hot' food (e.g. spicy food, alcohol) may also trigger mouth ulcers. Emotions such as anger, frustration, resentment, or stress can also impede the proper flow of one's energy and create 'heat' in the body, with such manifestations as canker sores, red eyes, sore throats, insomnia or constipation.

for a lighter touch, someone made stuffed versions of bacteria.. this one is for ULCERS!

click for more "cute germs"

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

no wonder it was banned...


the lifespan of this video online is soooooooo limited.. i'm sure it will soon be removed!

someone is living "dangerously".. cos "Singapore says satire on censorship not funny"
zhng my car

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i've been assured it won't be "beng/lian"..

listen: mr brown's zhng your car show..

Saturday, 12 August 2006

Extract from Notes on Nationalism - Essay by George Orwell

As nearly as possible, no nationalist ever thinks, talks, or writes about anything except the superiority of his own power unit. It is difficult if not impossible for any nationalist to conceal his allegiance. The smallest slur upon his own unit, or any implied praise of a rival organization, fills him with uneasiness which he can relieve only by making some sharp retort. If the chosen unit is an actual country, such as Ireland or India, he will generally claim superiority for it not only in military power and political virtue, but in art, literature, sport, structure of the language, the physical beauty of the inhabitants, and perhaps even in climate, scenery and cooking.

He will show great sensitiveness about such things as the correct display of flags, relative size of headlines and the order in which different countries are named. Nomenclature plays a very important part in nationalist thought. Countries which have won their independence or gone through a nationalist revolution usually change their names, and any country or other unit round which strong feelings revolve is likely to have several names, each of them carrying a different implication. The two sides of the Spanish Civil War had between them nine or ten names expressing different degrees of love and hatred. Some of these names (e.g. "Patriots" for Franco-supporters, or "Loyalists" for Government-supporters) were frankly question-begging, and there was no single one of the which the two rival factions could have agreed to use.

whole article

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Happy Planet Index (HPI)

On the Happy Planet Index (HPI), we (Singapore) stand at a lowly 131st position...

My personal HPI is 44.9, which is similar to that of Bahamas, Papua New Guinea or Burma. This is above the UK average, slightly below the world average of 46, but well below the reasonable ideal they have set, of 83. A little above that for Singapore, which stands at 40.8..

one might want to read "The Flag" to see if it gives us a clue why.

Happy National Day to all.

Wednesday, 9 August 2006


All throughout Singapore early yesterday morning, students listened and responded to the "RECOLLECTIONS" as drafted by MOE
The purpose of doing “Recollections” is to remind us about Singapore’s past and reaffirm our identity as Sin gaporeans. As we read “Recollections”, we hope to reflect on the period of colonization, our independence and together, we look forward to the future with Singapore as our homeland. (see background on MOE site)

Students are requested to read ‘RESPONSE” aloud.

There was a time, not long ago,
When other flags flew In Singapore,
The British flag in colonial rule,
And the Japanese flag in war.

There was no freedom, no justice,
When our forefathers stepped ashore.
Life was a struggle, bitter and hard.
And families were hungry and poor.

They spoke a dozen different tongues,
Though their dreams were all the same.
But their hopes for a better life were lost
When war and invasion came.

They had no rights, they had no say,
And they longed to be free one day.

After the war, we called for change,
For the right to decide our fate.
Some of us wanted democracy;
Others, a Communist state.

Riots and killings in our streets.
Years of hate and fear.
People said we’d never survive!
As independence drew near.
When self-rule came, we took a vote
And Joined Malaysia, merged as one.
But even friends disagree sometime,
And more trouble had soon begun.

Our happiness was not to be
Until our country could be free.

August nine, nineteen sixty-five,
We were out of Malaysia...alone’
Against all odds we had to build
A nation of our own.

We’ve come this far, by ourselves,
One people from many lands.
Our forefathers paid the price for us;
Now the future is in our hands.
This is our home, where we belong,
And our flags flies high and free.
But let’s not take for granted
What we have will always be.

We pledge to keep our nation free
With justice and equality.