Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Malaysia takes on a new direction

I'm proud to say that Malaysia seems to be heading towards the right direction with the new parliament, consisting of a record number of opposition members. 

There's finally a balance in the government. The fact that the ruling National Front coalition had  been in power since the country's independence, just doesn't seem right to me for a "democratic" country.

With the obvious favoritism over Malays from education opportunities to job searches to social benefits throughout history, it's about time "other" Malaysians are given EQUAL opportunities.

The one thing I've observed is here in the United States, people identify themselves as Asian-American, African-American, etc. even though they were born and raised in the U.S. and even the generations before them. They were very much American just like their white counterparts. And yet, they don't see themselves as "Americans", or at least they don't expect to be treated like one.

In Malaysia however, being of Chinese descent, I have never identify myself as a Chinese more than a Malaysian. I've always been proud of the fact that even of different colors, "the Chinese", "the Indians" and "the Malays" see ourselves as Malaysians.

Or at least the regular civilians do. For some reason, those in power always found a way to emphasize on our differences by showing favor to people of a certain race. 

I hope I see a better and a more "Malaysian" Malaysia soon. 

Monday, 28 April 2008

Sin City


Thursday - I got to Las Vegas at 7 p.m. We went back to Vivien's house because I was exhausted, from not sleeping the night before and guess what? Her mum prepared a homely Malaysian dinner! It's been so0o0 long.....

Friday - We spent the day at the Las Vegas Boulevard, the famous "strip" just hanging out and interviewing random people. It was fun! We walked around with a con
tainer that looks like a bong really, and it's as tall as I am!! Pina Colada + Strawberry + Margarita = Yummy!


Saturday - I spent the first half of the day studyin and  working on my finals. =( How ironic right? Here I am in Vegas, where I slept the most in the past 2 months and did most of my assignments. LOL. At night, we watched the Blue Man Group. I got to say, they were rather disappointing. I dozed off halfway through. The best thing was, towards the end, there were massive amount of toilet paper roll flowing from the back of the room. It was awesome!!!!

Sunday - We had Dim Sum for breakfa
st. Then, we took the dogs out for a treat of frozen yoghurt. They were too cute! Then we went to do some hiking at Red Rock Canyon. The view was breathtaking. The pictures we took did no justice to it.




Monday - Here I am, in UNLV's student union, trying to work on my finals.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ridiculous!

It's 5:38 a.m. and we're still in The Independent Collegian office.

My plan now, would be head home, shower, have breakfast and pack. Come back on campus and finish whatever unfinished business I have, then off to Vegas.

I should be able to submit a story from the rally at UT for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus tomorrow.

Also, I had a story idea. I just found out that I have a lay over at Minneapolis Intl Airport. So, I think I'll just ask random people about what the weirdest/funniest thing they have ever done or have seen/heard in an airport, referencing to the infamous Senator Craig's incident. Possibly a B-roll of the infamous restroom. ;)

Hopefully I'll be able to get some sleep while I'm in Vegas.

How ironic.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Passion... a risky business?

Today's series of events was a little overwhelming for me, I have to admit. The motion for a vote of no confidence against Dean Lee, the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences for the University of Toledo was passed 42 to 7.

We don't know what's going to happen next. But according to David Davis, professor of political science and chairman of the College of Arts and Sciences Council, "Ultimately, we want [Dean Lee] to resign."

That happened in the afternoon. At night, during the Student Government meeting, the issue was mentioned again. The student senators unanimously agreed.

However, my night ended with relentless complaints, rants about how the Student Government Body is not doing their job, which is to stand up for the students of UT and communicate the problems we have to the administrators. Instead, according to this one student, a majority of the student senators are not entirely aware of the changes and stress the faculty members are under and do not understand "what the big deal was all about."

This particular student was often brushed off, probably because he goes on and on about how they (the students) should fight for what is right, to be more vocal about our needs and wants, which many thinks would ultimately "piss the administrators off", which will lead to "dire consequences."

I have to agree, to a certain extent, people don't want to hear all that. As the conversation went on, I can't deny the feeling of helplessness and sucked into the depressing state the university is in and how nobody cares about it.

I saw the passion in his eyes. That reminds me of how and what I was before, before getting slapped into reality and before realizing that passion just doesn't cut it. In the real world, you have to be manipulative, play the right cards, with the right people, at the right time.

Passion is what drives people. But it can also scare people away when they sensed that such passion is overwhelming, and incomprehensible to a certain extent. It can take over everything you've worked for to be who you are today, and cloud your ability to differentiate what is right and wrong, and what is generally acceptable or considered "sane" decision-makings.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that being passionate is not my role anymore, and I have to admit, it's a challenge[to be passionate, that is]. I've settled with just reporting, presenting all sides to a story and giving justice to the people who deserves it, using the channels available to me, to inform people about what's going on. Ultimately, it's up to the people whether to take action and fight for their rights, or sit back, relax , until it comes back and bite them in the arse.

** I need to get away from all these madness. I'm looking forward to the backpacking trip this weekend at the Zaleski State Forest with Eric P, and perhaps Dave H too?

Putting a face to a land of turmoil

Before April 2003, when the maze of crooked lanes that branch away from Rasheed Street downtown were crammed with hundreds of small leather goods factories, Hassan Attiya, now 43, designed fancy women’s shoes under his signature “Cowboy” label.

This article gives a different perspective on the on-going war in Iraq. It gives you a sense that there are still regular people, who're just trying to make a living and survive, and sort of make-do with the constrictions they have on their lives.

Proving the Big Bang Theory

The impending startup of the Large Hadron Collider.

Next year will see the release of the film version of “Angels and Demons,” the prequel to Dan Brown’s “DaVinci Code,” in which the bad guys use a Cern accelerator to gather antimatter for a bomb to blow up the Vatican, and it includes scenes at Cern.


"It starts smashing protons together this summer at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or Cern, outside Geneva, in hopes of grabbing a piece of the primordial fire, forces and particles that may have existed a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.
Critics have contended that the machine could produce a black hole that could eat the Earth or something equally catastrophic."

"Fears about the Brookhaven collider first centered on black holes but soon shifted to the danger posed by weird hypothetical particles, strangelets, that critics said could transform the Earth almost instantly into a dead, dense lump. Ultimately, independent studies by two groups of physicists calculated that the chances of this catastrophe were negligible, based on astronomical evidence and assumptions about the physics of the strangelets. One report put the odds of a strangelet disaster at less than one in 50 million, less than a chance of winning some lottery jackpots. Dr. Kent, in a 2003 paper, used the standard insurance company method to calculate expected losses to explore how stringent this bound on danger was. He multiplied the disaster probability times the cost, in this case the loss of the global population, six billion. A result was that, in actuarial terms, the Rhic collider could kill up to 120 people in a decade of operation. "

"Of course, thanks to those pesky quantum laws, disaster could come anytime. Or not. It could happen that the scientist’s prayer will be answered and your discovery will indeed lead to knowledge, human happiness and a new killer ap for iPhones."

“As in all explorations of uncharted domains, there may be a risk,” Dr. Rees wrote, “but there is a hidden cost of saying no.”

By DENNIS OVERBYE for NYTimes

Monday, 14 April 2008

Feeling smart...Prove God and Science compliment each other?

Thanks to Dan Brown's 'Angels and Demons' book, I now know a little more about Illuminati, Italy and CERN.

LATimes
"Europe's enormous $8-billion particle accelerator, to be activated as early as this summer, is generating both excitement and fear."

GENEVA -- Michelangelo L. Mangano, a respected particle physicist who helped discover the top quark in 1995, now spends most days trying to convince people that his new machine won't destroy the world.

"Critics think the collider could also spawn a black hole that will swallow Earth."

" Mangano who is part of the CERN group studying the safety of the collider, doesn't deny the scant possibility that the collider could yield a mini-black hole."

"What the critics are in such a lather about is the $8-billion Large Hadron Collider, a massive assemblage of iron, steel and superconducting wire 300 feet underground in a 17-mile-long circular tunnel on the Franco-Swiss border."

"The most complex piece of scientific equipment ever built, the collider will send particles crashing into each other at just a wink shy of the speed of light, generating energies more powerful than the sun."

"These discoveries enabled physicists to devise a compelling picture of the universe at the subatomic level. Known as the Standard Model, it is considered the most successful scientific theory in history."

This means that it's possible to study the universe in an extra, extra, extra miniscule size.

From what I've read from Dan Brown's work, the collider will actually prove that science and God exist and work together hand-in-hand.

The energy from the collider is so great that it can create matter out of nothing, thus, the book of Genesis.

In the book, it also mentioned antimatter, which is the opposite of a matter, which many before this thought never existed.

"With this re-creation of the early moments of the universe, scientists may also be able to delve into the unexplained imbalance between matter and antimatter. So far, experiments have not been able to explain why there's so much matter in the universe and no antimatter, beyond what is created in colliders."

"But there are problems. First, the Standard Model can't explain why the universe is composed of matter. According to theory, equal amounts of matter and antimatter would have been created in the Big Bang, which created the universe. As soon as they met, they should have annihilated each other, releasing photons of light."

"In our macro-world, crashing things together, like cars, makes big things into smaller things, like broken headlights and fenders. But it's different in the subatomic world, where crashing two Priuses together can produce a 10-wheeler."

"Look," Mangano said, leaning forward in his chair at CERN's sprawling complex, "what if I told you tomorrow when you shave you will blow up the world? You laugh. You say that can't happen. But how do you know?"

"The only thing we know is that there have been about a million billion shaves since people started shaving and the world is still here," he said. "So all we can say is the probability of you blowing up the world when you shave tomorrow is less than one in 1015."

**I'm not a science buff but this is really interesting. Testifying the impossible is now possible and being alive and conscious to witness this great discovery.

john.johnson@latimes.com

Friday, 11 April 2008

Life is too short!!

As I'm doing research for my Europe trip, I'm starting to get really stressed out; about my financial situation, the security during my entire trip, or just worrying if it will all work out.

Then, I stumble across this article about how this person decided to just quit his job to travel the world. Click here to read the article.

When he came back, people would ask him what his favorite place was, he couldn't think of one. To him the places are all the same, but it's the people he met, the experiences he had and the high from just living life.

It's true what he said, that travelling can be a dangerous drug.
"At first it made us feel high in a new and fabulous way, and eventually we came to need it just to feel normal. So for all of us coming home was like coming down."

That I can relate to.
Whether it's coming home (to Malaysia) from the States, or coming back to Toledo after an amazing semester in Washington D.C., often times, I felt myself withdrawing from the state of mind captured on all those hours of videotape and hundreds and hundreds of pictures I took.

Quote of MY day

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, voiced his party’s criticism of the president’s strategy on Wednesday, saying in a statement that

“based on everything we have heard, we can reach only one conclusion: With 160,000 courageous American troops serving in Iraq, President Bush has an exit strategy for just one man — himself — on Jan. 20, 2009.”

The end of Saddam Hussein's regime

I found this article on LA Times and it has a pretty interesting breakdown on the different perspectives during the time of the fall of Saddam Hussein.

There's the:
THE OPTIMIST
'The Americans will fix everything' By Caesar Ahmed

THE OBSERVER
The view from the Shiite south By Raheem Salman

THE JOURNALIST
As the statue falls, a rising urge for action By Mohammed Rasheed

THE CONSCRIPT
Iraqi soldiers selling boots for bus tickets By an Iraqi employee of The Times

THE BAATHIST
Some tea, a smoke, a look down a gun barrel An Iraqi employee of a Western company

The other side of the story

The lack of coverage [of the war in Iraq] lately doesn't bring justice to the fact that there are still people fighting, hoping to live a normal life in their own country.

I found a couple interesting stories today. Chect them out.


LATimes
Iraqi Soldiers selling boots to go home

So, the President's finally listening.

"President Bush is scheduled to announce today that Army units heading to war after Aug. 1 will serve 12-month tours rather than the current 15-month deployments, senior defense officials said."

In the article, "There are 160,000 troops in Iraq, including about 18 combat brigades, and that number is expected to go down to 140,000, including 15 brigades, by the end of July. Military leaders have consistently said that 15-month tours put too much stress on soldiers and their families."

Good news, for now.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Rupert Murdoch taking over the world!??

I know I've been idolizing Rupert Murdoch and thinks he's the God of the media... and I wanna be him one day.
But still!!
I think this is a lil too much.

NYTimes
"Microsoft Said to Be Talking With News Corporation About Joint Yahoo Bid"
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is in talks with Microsoftabout joining in its contested bid for Yahoo, according to people involved in the discussions. The combination, which would join Yahoo, Microsoft's MSN and News Corporation'sMySpace, would create a behemoth that would upend theInternet landscape.
The talks are a surprising twist in the two-month-longtakeover story that began when Microsoft made a $44.6 billionbid for Yahoo."

I knew something crazy will happen, especially when Yahoo didn't think Microsoft is offering enough.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Great News!!!

So, as you know, or may not, I am the assistant news editor for the Independent Collegian this semester, and I've been named the "heir to the throne", Melinda's that is, lol to be the News Editor for the next school year.

Also, Dawn, the producer from The Palestra said I've been hired!! So, I'll be their reporter and cover events here at the University of Toledo, and also around the world (Vegas, and my Euro Trip). They will be broadcasted in www.thepalestra.com and most of the videos will probably be uploaded here as well.

Also, also, I'll be getting a new lap top and a video camera soon!! As some of you may know, I spilt water over my lap top, and can I say the poor thing drowned?

So, more great news to come!!!!! =รพ

Thursday, 3 April 2008

About time!!

About time the world tells the Chinese Government they can't do whatever the hell they want, and get away with it.

I know it has always been "we can't anger the Chinese! the labor is dirt cheap! whereelse can we go and pay someone less than $5 a day and earn a 300% profit? China, it' s big market, we need them for this, and that, etc."

Well, thanks to the Olympics, for once, the rest of the world is not inferior to the Chinese, they finally need us for something (well, at least the rich and powerful)

I have attached part of an article from the LATimes. Click on the title-About Time for the complete article.

So when the Chinese government -- at the center of all three controversies -- came calling on the U.S. entertainment industry for advice on how to stage the biggest and best opening ceremony ever held on Earth (or at least in a communist country), they got more that they bargained for.

The response:

1. Quit doing business with the Sudanese government while it's waging war against its own people in Darfur, and go to work at the U.N. to bring about peace.

2. Lay off the monks in Burma and cut out the beatings in Tibet. A little religious freedom, please.

3. And what's that you're saying about the Dalai Lama? You should know he's more popular here than Tom Hanks.

The Chinese, not exactly keen on being given orders, surprisingly have responded in recent weeks with some positive action. After Spielberg announced that he was dropping all plans to assist the Chinese with their big show because of the killings in Darfur, the government began pushing the Sudanese government to accept a peacekeeping force into the troubled region.

As I said, about damn time.

But out of curiosity, what do we have, that the Chinese will need, after the Olympic Games are over??

Think about it. Is the United States still "the greatest country in the world"?

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

video

This would have been a more interesting story had I participated as one of the dancers. Little did I know that the registeration fee cost $15 and each dancer had to raise at least $50. As you know, I am kind of spread thin financially, I've decided not to fork out $65 and sacrifice precious hours of sleep... again.

My editor in chief packed me lunch because he thought I'll be staying the whole 16 hours. Which was sweet of him. But I was debating... to get a couple hours of sleep, the least I can do let my body heal... after overworking myself in the past week, or hang around and watch 430 students dance? Hmm.... I made the decision. Sleep was more important.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the story I wrote for The Independent Collegian but I wish I could have done better on this news package. I'm still trying to get used to video editing.

Enjoy!