Friday, January 16, 2009

Here be pirates

The piracy problems of the coast of Somalia is going to make for a lot of materials for movie producers and novelists. Just take for instance the story from the Star newspaper below:

moment for heli crew

LUMUT: Confronted by pirates off the
Somalia coast was a nerve-wrecking moment for our navy boys.

Sazalee Shoib, commander of the Super Lynx helicopter unit, was watching over
the MISC container vessel Bunga Mas Enam which had stalled due to mechanical
problems in November last year.

Below, two skiffs (speedboats) filled
with the pirates were already near the vessel with six other skiffs rushing to
the scene.

Commander Sazalee said there was a possibility that the
pirates carried rocket launchers and other weapons.

So he kept a safe
distance but close enough to show the pirates that he meant business.

“Under the rules of engagement, we are not allowed to fire unless fired
upon first,” said Commander Sazalee when met at the naval base here yesterday.

The pirates, probably considering their options, decided not to do

After an hour, they retreated upon seeing the warship KD

The KD Mahawangsa had sailed to the Gulf of Aden on Sept 7
last year to escort merchant ships plying the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.

One of its mission was to escort the Bunga Mas Enam and another merchant
ship to Djibouti, Soma­lia.

KD Mahawangsa commanding officer Kapt
Khalid Jaafar said the container vessel had fallen an hour behind due to the
mechanical failure. The vessel’s crew then radioed in to say that eight skiffs
were approaching the vessel.

“I decided to send the Super Lynx team (to
watch over the vessel) while we make our way back to the vessel,” Kapt Khalid

He said it was an anxious moment for him and his crew.

KD Mahawangsa returned to base here on Dec 17 and was replaced by the KD Sri

A filepic of the warship escorting the MISC trade vessel to its

Our navy has been escorting our ships in the dangerous waters of Somalia ever since some Malaysian ships were taken ransom. It used to be, pirates just boarded a ship, killed everyone on board and sailed away with the loot. Today, a ransom fetches a higher price.

The military commanders from the joint patrol team would have probably considered sending in commandos to rescue their ships already. The French send in commandos to take down some pirates after paying of the ransom for a french boat.

Even the Chinese are sending their warships to the African coasts to patrol. This would be their first major overseas naval mission ever since Admiral Cheng Ho sailed with his fleet to Africa almost 600 years ago.

Almost all the great nations of the world stated out as a trading maritime empire. Malacca was famous for their Orang Laut, the sea people who protected the trade routes. They were pirates by trade but the Sultan got them to 'protect' the routes for the state.

Cheng Ho sailed to south east asia and even battled pirates and attacked their bases. He even brought back the pirate commanders all the way to China to execute them. I think that's the way it should be done.

In a movie world, SAS and Delta force commandos would be swimming into the pirate's base to plan explosives around the town. Another team of commandos will be boarding all the ransomed boats to take out the kidnapppers on board. The lead commando will engage in a hand to hand fight with the pirate commander. As the alarm is alerted, the explosives go off creating a distraction for the commandos to sail away all the ransomed boat.

In the real world, the commandos black hawk helicopter will be shot down over the pirate's town and massacred. All the town's inhabitants including women and children will get blown up in an air strike; all the hostages will be executed by the kidnappers and the captured oil tankers will sink and leak oil all over the african coasts killing all sea life. Hrmm... yeah, I think this would make for a more realistic movie.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

List of Israeli companies to boycott

Before the Malaysians were actually calling for a boycott over the Israeli invasion of Gaza, I surfed the net to find out if anyone was boycotting Israeli products. I had remembered there was one called worldwide even during before the invasion of Lebanon.

My google search led me to this website They actually have an extensive list of companies that supported Israeli that they say should be boycotted here.

Below is a duplication of the list of companies with the brands next to them:

AOL Time Warner Time Life
magazine, CNN, ICQ
Jonny Rockets, Sunglass Hut.
Arsenal Football Club
Coca-Cola Fruitopia, Fanta, Kia Orange, Lilt, Sprite, Sunkist..
Danone HP foods, Evian,
Volvic, Jacob
Hema, Barbie, Carrefour, Auchan, Tchibo, Victoria's Secret, GAP,
Banana Republic, Structure, J-Crew, JC Penny, Pryca, Lindex, DIM, DKNY, Ralph
Lauren, Playtex, cK, Hugo Boss, M&S
Estée Lauder Aramis,
Clinique, DKNY, Prescriptives, Origins, MAC, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Tommy
Hilfiger, Jane, Donna Karan, Aveda, Stila, Jo Malone, Bumble & Bumble, Kate
Home Depot Villager's Hardware, Georgia Lighting, Apex Supply, EXPO Design
Johnson &

Kimberly-Clark Kleenex, Kotex, Huggies, Andrex
Lewis Trust Group
River Island, Isrotel hotels, Britannia Pacific
The Limited Inc Express
stores, Lerner New York, Structure, New York & Company, Mast Industries,
Intimate Brands, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, White Barn Candle
Company, Henri Bendel
L'Oreal Giorgio Armani,
Redken 5th Avenue, Lancome Paris, Vichy, Cacharel, La Roche-Posay, Garnier,
Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, Maybelline, Ralph Lauren, Carson
Marks & Spencer M&S, St.Michaels
Nestle Nescafé, Perrier,
Vittel, Pure Life, Carnation, Libby's, Milkmaid, Nesquik, Maggi, Buitoni, Cross
& Blackwell, KitKat, Milkybar, Quality Street, Smarties, After Eight, Aero,
Polo, Lion, Felix cat food, L'Oréal
News Corporation TV: Fox, Sky, Star, Phoenix, Granada, CNBC. UK newspapers: Standard
Newspaper, News of the World, The Sun, The Times. Australian Newspapers: The
Telegraph , Gold Coast Bulletin, Herald Sun, Independent, Sunday Mail. US
newspapers: New York Post. Publishers: Harper Collins Ragan, Zondervan, National
Geographical. Nursery World, Rawkus, NDS, Mushroom Records,,
Festival Records
Revlon New
World Entertainment, Forbes
Sara Lee Hanes, Playtex,
Champion, Leggs, Douwe Egberts, Bryan, DIM, Ambi Pur, Bali, Superior Coffee,
Just My Size, Kiwi, Maison Cafe, Nur die, Pilao, Lovable, Outer Banks,
Wonderbra, Sanex, Pickwick, Gossard, Body Mist, Brylcreem, Aqua Velva,
Starbucks Seattle
Coffee, Pasqua, Hear Music, Tazo

Just roughly going through the list, I don't think I purchase many things from those companies anyway. I didn't drink any of Coca-cola's product (including their juicest) in a few months already, same goes for any fast food chains like McDonalds.

I think the only thing on the list I've bought lately was Maggi Mee and Milo from Nestle.

Hrmmm, I guess the Intel Core 2 Duo processor in my notebook I bought recently counts as a purchase from a company that supports Israel. The way I see it, there are only two choices, Intel or AMD. My processor is most likely made in Malaysia. Anyway, Intel rocks and AMD isn't as great as they used to be. I can't help it. The Israeli's probably know that too.

I used to use a Nokia and a Motorola phone, now it's an Iphone. Good think I don't see Apple on the list. Even the Israeli's are smart enough to run on a PC hehehe.

Under Sara Lee, there's Ambi Pur. Okay, I admit I just bought a car freshener for my car. I'll try not to buy anymore Ambi Pur.

I looked up the reason why they're calling for a boycott of Carrefour. Turns out an Israeli company Delta Galil supplies women undies and socks to them. Damn, I thought all of Carrefour's textile product in Malaysia comes from asian third world country like China or India. I just might have to take a peek at Carrefour's socks one day and see where it's made at. Taking a peek at their women's undies section is too wierd, even if it's academic interest.

I do wear a Timberland watch but it was a birthday gift long ago so I didn't actually purchase it.

Actually, now that I think about it, most of the brands in this list I don't think I'm planning to buy anything from them in the immediate future anyway. At least they're not calling for a boycott of Burger King. Burger King beats McD anytime with their juicy burgers... mmm.

Okay, I won't buy Milo and Maggi products for the mean time. Those guys at Nestle must be really feeling the pinch. Well, serves them right for raising the prices of the their product when the government raised the fuel price last year. Now it's payback time.

Last night I was watching the news and Vincent Tan from Berjaya said that most of the companies that are on the boycott list in Malaysia are also owned by Malaysians. He said, for instance, the Starbucks brand in Malaysia is owned by him. What he meant was, the Starbucks franchise in Malaysia was brought in my Berjaya.

Originally I was on the fence about boycotting Starbucks just because they're American but after Vincent Tan said he owned the brand in Malaysia, now I positively think I won't want to buy anything from Starbucks. Not that I bought anything from them in a year or so.

Talking about all these boycott, I wonder if there are a list of companies we can actually support. I wonder if there are any companies that are actually sending aid to Palestine or actually calling for an end of the Gaza occupation. So far there are only NGO's we can support. I wonder if the Palestinians actually export anything at all to Malaysia besides us hosting their students here.

Their economy must be so bad they don't have anything to speak of to export. The Malaysian government should consider strongly sending a trade mission over there to see how we can help their economy grow. Once there is economic growth, more jobs will be created.


I just noticed that there was 3 Israeli visitors to this blog since August. Now I wonder who they were. Hrmmm... now would they be interested to visit this blog?

Alam Melayu

I was reading a colleague's blog about the boycott of American products that some NGO's are calling a boycott for. As the blog was in Malay, I wrote the below comments:

Senarai barangan wajib di boikot ini tidak seimbang dan hanya menyenaraikan
jenama-jenama terbesar. Kenapa jenama seperti Coca-Cola di boikot dan bukan
Pepsi? Kenapa McDonalds dan bukan Burger King?

Adakah kejayaan
'branding' jenama-jenama ini terlalu 'american' sehingga selintas pandang, terus
disenaraikan untuk diboikot?

Tidakkah kita terfikir mengenai 1700
pekerja di Coca-Cola F&N Malaysia Sdn Bhd? 60% daripada pekerja mereka are
pekerja Islam.

Bagaimana dengan pelabur-pelabur dalam dalam syarikat
ini? KWSP juga melaburkan duit simpanan kita di dalam syarikat ini.

Kebanyakkan daripada jenama ini dibawa ke Malaysia oleh seorang rakan
kongsi rakyat Malaysia.

Akhirnya, rakyat Malaysia yang akan lebih 'sakit' daripada semua boikot ini. Saya tidak menulis ini untuk protes boikot ini, hanya untuk menyeru pembaca untuk fikir semula senarai barangan yang ingin di boikot.

Tun Dr. Mahathir sudah pun berkata, kita harus boikot mata wang Amerika. Dengan tindakan ini, mata wang mereka akan turun nilai.

Bagaimana ini boleh dicapai? Kalau satu dunia boleh berhenti menggunakan
mata wang ini sebagai mata wang perdanganan antarabangsa, ini boleh dicapai.

Yes, I do write in and speak Bahasa Malaysia. I would admit, my spoken Bahasa Malaysia is much better than my writing.

Today, I had the most interesting conversation with another colleague. She asked my comment what is the different between gaya dan style. I said, gaya was the malay translation for style. She said she was planning to do some slides and they had words like kontemporari and tips. I told her she should use terkini and petua instead as those would be a better word as the ones she used although was correct, it was borrowed English words.

Another Malay colleague walked up and he gave the exact same comments. I laughed and said to her, "don't just take it from me because I'm Chinese, even a Malay just told you the same thing!". Right after that, she immediately walked of to refer to our boss if she could change the slides.

Anyway, back to the issue of the boycott. I think Tun had something good going on there about boycotting the US dollar. Currently, crude oil and even palm oil is traded internationally in dollars. If Malaysia actually made it a law that anyone who wanted to buy our palm oil or crude oil has to pay us in european currencies, that will create a ripple effect.

As it is, we buy more American things than the Americans buy our Malaysian product. Just look at our exchange rate. What isn't stopping some redneck American from starting a boycott Malaysian product campaign? Think about it.

Rent someone

I like reading the BBC website, they just have really wierd feature stories. I love their stories from Japan. The Japanese just do the darnest things and they actually have a working economy around all these wierd stuff such as this article below:

Rent-a-friend in Japan
In Japan, now back in recession, the economic
situation has taken a sharp turn for the worse in recent months. But the
Japanese still like to use their money to have fun, as Duncan Bartlett has been
finding out.
Lola - or Rora - to give her a slightly more Japanese
pronounciation - is a beauty and she knows it.
Customers pay by the hour for
her company. Usually they just want to stroke her, but as a special treat for
favoured clients, she will lie back in a chair, close her eyes and pose for
Lola is a Persian cat who works at the Ja La La Cafe in Tokyo's
bustling Akihabara district. It is one of a growing number of Cat Cafes in the
city which provide visitors with short but intimate encounters with professional
When I called, there were 12 felines and seven customers, mostly
single men.
One man, in his early 30s, was attempting to bond with an
Oriental Longhair by means of a rubber mouse.
Yutsuke, who speaks with a
lisp, is normally rather shy with people. He longs for a cat of his own but
frequent business trips make that difficult. Besides, he lives alone, so the Ja
La La is his solution to the problem.
The right pet
It costs about £8
($10) an hour to spend time in a Cat Cafe.
If felines do not appeal, other
establishments will rent you a rabbit, a ferret or even a beetle.
There are
more than 150 companies in Tokyo which are licensed to hire out animals of
various kinds and although beetles may be cheap, dogs much more popular.
First you pay a deposit and a hire fee. Then you are issued with a leash,
some tissues and a plastic bag and given some advice on how to handle your new
Kaori is a pretty waitress who regularly spends her Sunday
afternoons with a Labrador. They go for a walk in the park if the weather is
fine, or if it is wet they just snuggle up in front of the TV in her apartment.
"When I look into his eyes, I think he's my dog," Kaori told me. "But when I
take him back to the shop, he runs away from me and starts wagging his tail when
he sees the next customer. That's when I know he's only a rental dog."
need considered
Of course, it is not only animals whose loyalties can be
decided by money, as people who work in Japan's vast entertainment business will
The industry offers an enormous variety of opportunities to
exchange money for company.
Very popular at the moment is the Campus Cafe,
where men go to socialise with female university students. It is cheaper than
the upscale hostess clubs in which businessmen and politicians drink whisky with
women in kimonos, although that is a business which is in crisis because of the
Only a small proportion of the trade involves sex. Most hostesses
are flatterers not prostitutes and customers come to find comfort in their
words, not in their arms.
One specialist agency is known as Hagemashi Tai,
which translates as I Want To Cheer Up Limited. It rents relatives.
are despatched to play the part of distant relations at weddings and funerals.
For an extra fee, they will even give a speech.
But the firm's services do
not stop there. It can also provide temporary husbands to single mothers who
want them.
The website says the "dad" will help the children with their
homework. He will sort out problems with the neighbours.
He will take the
kids to a barbeque or to a park. He could also appear at the daunting interview
with a nursery school head teacher which parents are required to endure in order
to persuade the principal to give their child a good start in life.
Cry for
There is a service for women who are about to wed too. Apparently, they
can practice for married life with a hired husband, although whether this
involves seduction or sock washing is not exactly clear.
And if things are
not working out with a real husband, a woman considering a divorce may choose to
hire a "mother" in order to discuss her marital anxieties.
Mr M.O. from
Shizuoka near Mount Fuji called upon the services of I Want To Cheer Up Ltd
because he needed a father.
Mr M.O. has been blind since birth and had a
number of concerns that he felt he could not speak to others about.
"I kept
it all inside and couldn't deal with the criticisms that had been directed at me
by my parents and teachers," he testified.
After some discussion, the
company sent an older man to have dinner with him. "Usually I can't open up when
I meet someone for the first time but on that occasion, I felt I was really
talking with a normal father. I'll use the service again," he said.
Loneliness is a problem faced by many people on these crowded islands. But
the Japanese are prone to believe that, in the right circumstances, money can
turn a stranger into a friend... at least for a couple of hours.

Now I wonder if they have a rent an enemy so I can practice hating someone. I need practice confronting people I don't like.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chillies and evolution

Just the other day I was watching my wife eat. As usual, she always has a lot of cili padi mixed in with her food. Saying that she can eat spicy food is an under statement. She even eats maggi mee with cili padi.

As I was watching her eat all that chillies I was wondering about evolution. Plants have fruits to distribute their seeds. Animals eat it then shit it out. Normally, fruits will be sweet or something an animal would want to eat. Chillies however are different, they're spicy and repel animals. The only animal that eats them are birds.

So I started to search around the internet for answer and I found it on the BBC website in this article below:

Chillies: The Burning Question Scientists in the United States have
discovered the reason why chillies are so hot. They say that the chilli plant
repels animals, which will not spread the seeds, whilst birds, which ensure
effective dispersal, are not put off.

But if birds eat chillies and mammals don’t - why do we like them? Science
In Action investigates.

Plant Manipulation

Many plants have ripe, fleshy, coloured fruit in order to attract animals that will eat them and then disperse their seeds in droppings. However, the chilli plant has developed another way of ensuring its
seeds are spread far and wide.

What raises the roof of your mouth when you eat a chilli is a substance
called capsaicin. This stimulates the areas of the skin and tongue that normally
sense intense heat and pain, falsely telling the brain that the area affected is
burning. New research carried out by scientists in Arizona, has discovered that
this characteristic peppery taste repels certain animals – which are no good at
dispersing the seeds.

Digestion And Dispersal

To find out what happens in the wild the scientists observed the eating
habits of the local animals living around a group of wild-growing chillies in
Arizona. They found that desert mice and rats avoided spicy chillies, but birds
fed almost exclusively on the plants.

The researchers also noted that when birds ate the chillies, many seeds
germinated, but there was no germination after mice had eaten the chilli seeds.
This is thought to be because seeds pass through a birds’ digestive systems very
quickly and come out unharmed, whereas in mice, rats and other mammals, the
seeds don’t make it out in one piece as they are broken down by the acidic
juices during digestion.

The researchers suggest that chilli plants have evolved to produce
capsaicin as a repellent for animals, which will ensure their future survival,
whilst still allowing birds to eat their seeds.Human TasteSkilful play by the
chilli, but if birds eat chillies and mammals don’t - why do humans like the hot
stuff? According to Paul Sherman from Cornell University in New York, people may have initially eaten spices because they tasted good, but they also recognised
their health giving properties. He explains:

‘There is tremendous evidence that spices are anti-microbial. Of 30
commonly used spices, at least half of them kill or inhibit 75% of the bacteria
they have been tested on.’

‘Certain ones, garlic, onion, allspice and oregano kill or inhibit
everything that they have been tested on in the laboratory.’Sherman reached his
conclusion after he had studied a range of recipes from different parts of the
world. In particular he wanted to see whether different amount of chillies and
other spices are used in meat as opposed to vegetable dishes. The idea being
that if humans use spices to inhibit or kill food born pathogens, more would be
needed to perform the same job in a meat product than a vegetable product.
Sherman details his findings:

‘We went back to all our cook books and looked at the 2,900 vegetable
recipes and found that in 36 out of 36 countries worldwide, spices are used less
frequently in vegetable recipes. This was across the board in every single

Luckily for those of us with delicate palates, the decision to add a pinch
or spoonful of chilli powder to our dishes is also determined by another product
of evolution - free will.

So there you have it, Chillies is good for their anti-bacterial properties. I however have a different theory. I think people who like to eat chillies like pain... either that, or they have the same tastebuds as birds. Anyway, if I ever do eat chillies now I always end up shitting it out as soon as possible. It goes into the toilet bowl and straight into the sewers. No chance of the seeds surviving there.

I can just imagine the first humans who tried eating chilli sitting around a camp fire in the evening cooking their dinner having this conversation:

caveman 1: this sabertooth tiger you're roasting over the fire taste kind of dull.
caveman 2: (reaches over and plucks a few chillies from a nearby tree) here, try rubbing some of this berries and rub it into the meat.
caveman 1: what kind of red berries are these? Smells funny (rubs in the 'berries' into the meat).
caveman 2: Give it a bite and try it.
caveman 1: No way, why I always have to try the new food? It was my turn the last time we had to eat those strange mushrooms. I had strange dreams for a week!
caveman 2: Okay, okay... past it over (takes a bite) oh shit!
caveman 1: what, it taste like shit? reminds me of the time you made me try that lump we found
caveman 2: No! My mouth's burning... this berry it's... it's hot!
caveman 1: That good eh? (takes a bite and chokes)
caveman 2: (shakes unconscious caveman 1) Dude? Dude, you okay? I meant hot as in my mouth's burning, not hot as in great

Well, I didn't say the first attempt when well. I assume a few of our early ancestors probably died trying dangerous food like poisonous toads and eating skunk ass.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I saw this in The Star Online today:

Malaysian Muslim eateries plan boycott of American goods
More than 2,000 Muslim restaurants in Malaysia will remove Coca-Cola from their
menus as part of a boycott of American products in protest against Israel's
bombardment of Gaza, officials said Wednesday.
American companies are being
targeted because of the US Government's support of Israel, which is carrying out
a military offensive on Gaza that is says is aimed at stopping rocket attacks
from the Hamas-controlled territory.
The nationwide boycott will be launched
Friday by several Muslim groups after they seek God's blessings at Friday
prayers, said Ma'mor Osman, secretary-general of the Malaysian Muslim Consumers
Association which is leading the campaign.
In addition to Coca-Cola, he said
they have identified some 100 other products ranging from food to beauty and
clothing such as Starbucks, Colgate, McDonald's and Maybelline.
Since the
Israeli offensive began, nearly 600 Palestinians, about half of them civilians,
have been killed and at least 2,500 people injured, according to UN and
Palestinian officials. Eleven Israelis have also been killed.
Muslims in
Malaysia and worldwide have held demonstrations against the Israeli action but
Ma'mor said such protests are futile.
"A boycott is the best way for us to
protest Zionist cruelty against the Palestinian people as consumers can weaken
the economy of countries like Israel and its ally, the United States," he
"We urge everybody who loves peace and is against war to support our
campaign. We must send a clear signal to Israel to stop the assaults in Gaza,"
he said.
Some 2,600 restaurants under the Association of Muslim Restaurant
Operators will stop selling Coca-Cola from Friday, he added.
The move came
after former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a strident critic of Israel, last
week urged consumers and governments to boycott American products and the US
Israel sent troops and tanks into Hamas-controlled Gaza on Saturday
after a weeklong aerial bombardment, sparking outrage among Muslims
Malaysia's government, which has no diplomatic ties with Israel,
has denounced Israel's ground offensive as "an act of total war" which cannot be
The United States has also been criticized for blocking approval
of a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire between
Israel and Hamas. -- AP

Now, this is not the first time a Malay organization has called for a boycott such as this. I still remember them calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola. After all that, I remember talking to a branding expert and he said that was a demonstration of the power of one's brand. Coca-Cola has always been identified as an all American brand, one of the essence of USA. Now, how come no one ever boycotts Pepsi or even Burger King instead of McDonalds only?

Today, I walked into my office and on the wall, someone has pasted a list of brands they should boycott. Among the list was Intel and I scanned the list, there was no AMD on it. A group of my colleagues were also crowded around saying how we should all boycott American products. I then said very loudly to all of them maybe you should all throw away your HP and Compaq notebooks, me I bought a Taiwanese brand.

The truth is, most of the brands (especially the fast moving consumer goods) are intertwined with our economy. Take for example Coca-Cola. In Malaysia it's produced by F&N Coca-Cola Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Most of their employees here are Malaysians. As for their minority shareholders, the last time I checked it was our own Employees Provident Fund (EPF). If their sales take a huge dive, there will be major layoffs and in this bad economic times we don't need anymore layoffs. EPF will also post lower returns and in the end, this boycott will probably hurt us more than it will hurt Coca-Cola.

I remember when there was a call to boycott Dutch products and Dutch Lady held a press conference begging consumers not to boycott their products saying exactly almost the same thing. The majority shareholders are Malaysians and so are their employees.

My take on this is, if I really want to boycott American products there are a few criterias the product has to meet first:

1. Is the product solely manufactured in USA? My Iphone is made in China. I love China, and I don't want those poor Chinese factory workers to loose their jobs. If it's products that are solely manufactured in USA then okay, I won't buy their products anymore. As for Intel and AMD, their processors are made in Penang and China now. I'll still buy it (Intel, not AMD because Intel Core 2 Duo rocks!)

2. Is the company opposed to the war. For all I know, Bill Gates is opposing the war and is actively campaigning to end the bombings. Anyway, a lot of people use pirated Microsoft products so it doesn't matter.

3. Does the company have direct relations with Israel? I remember a news report saying that our police has contracted Israeli nationals to provide their computer systems. Boycott the police then? I know ICQ used to be an Israeli company. Now that they're with AOL I'm not sure if they still have ties with them.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad had the best idea, boycott the US Dollar. It's a simple idea, stop using the US dollar as an international currency. We buy and sell crude oil; palm oil all in dollar. I wonder if its possible for Petronas to say from now on, you want to buy our oil, we would quote you in Ringgit. Don't follow the international market price in dollars anymore.

China has one of the largest foreign reserves in the world and most of the foreign currency held is the Dollar. Now what would happen if China just started selling their Dollar? Think about it. The value of the dollar will drop, Americans will have a hard time buying things. Their defence contractor would jack up their price and the American congress would seriously have to consider if they want to raise their defence budget or save their economy.

While we're on their topic, I also think the media is biased. How come no one protested when Hamas was launching home made rockets into Israel? Was that okay to randomly shoot rockets at them? If Hamas didn't provoke the Israeli's I don't think they would want to risk their lives going into Gaza too.

There won't be any easy resolution to this conflict. This conflict will go on and on if both sides decides that the only resolution is to destroy each other. Palestinian children who are being bombed today will grow up holding a grudge against Israeli's. Israeli children who grow up in fear of having to join their army and marching into Gaza would hate the Palestinians and think its best to kill all the Palestinians before they cause future problems.

If only we could take away all their childen from them and form an utopia. Palestinian and Israeli children would be brought up as brothers and sister not known the resentment for each other that their parents have. This new generation once they reach adulthood, can then be brought back to their homeland. From then on the new generation won't have anymore hate in them. Of course, all these is just wishful thinking.

Today, I asked my colleague why these Palestinians want to die for a job who has forgotten about them? He told me a story about the guy who was stuck on his roof during a flood.

There was a man sitting on his roof as there was a huge flood. The water was rising slowly. A small motorboat came by to rescue him and he told the boatman "thats okay, God will save me!". Awhile later, another boat came to rescue him and he said the same thing "Don't worry about me, God will save me!". A third boat came and he still chased away the boat. Finally the water when all the way up and the man drowned. When he reached heaven, he was quite pissed and he asked God why didn't God rescue him. God replied "I tried! I send 3 boats to rescue you but you kept chasing them away!".

I smiled as I have heard this one before. So I told my colleague, maybe God is trying to tell the Palestinian something. Maybe they shouldn't stay there anymore or they shouldn't launch rockets at Israel. They should probably move out of the place and scatter. If they don't want to do that, then they should find a non-violent way to live harmoniously with the Israelis. Stop smuggling weapons in Gaza through Egypt and making home made rockets. The Israelis should also encourage economic ties with the Palestinians. People with jobs won't have time to make home made rockets. Those who have something to loose won't want to treaten their jobs.

The Israelis should also realize you have to use a carrot and stick approach. If you march into Gaza and kick the shit out of the Palestinians, that won't stop the next wave of rocket attacks. If you drop bombs on children and kill civilians, that will just make them more angry. This isn't the first time they marched into Gaza to flatten them. Look at what good that did. They just made more Palestians pissed at them.

Stop dropping bombs on them!
Give them hope, not bombs.
Give them jobs, not death!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Age of Aquarius

I've been reading about the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Reading about wars some how or another always makes me think of this song, Aquarius/Let The Sunshine in by The Fifth Dimension. I know it's wierd. I think it's because the first time I heard the song was in the movie Forrest Gump. It was partly a war movie and also a movie about changes going on in the 70's.

When ever I think of strive, I think of the Age of Aquarius. According to Wikipedia, "The Age of Aquarius is one of the twelve astrological ages. Each astrological age is approximately 2,150 years long, on average, but there are various methods that can make ages much longer and shorter depending upon the technique used."

So one of those ages last a very long time! So what's so special about the Age of Aquarius?

"Ages are believed by some astrologers to affect mankind while other astrologers believe the ages correlate to the rise and fall of mighty civilizations and cultural tendencies. Aquarius traditionally "rules" electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealists, modernization, rebels and rebellions, mental diseases, nervous disorders, and astrology. Other keywords and ideas believed associated with Aquarius are nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverence, mankind and irresolution. The appearance or elevation in status of many of these Aquarian developments over the last few centuries is considered by many astrologers to indicate the proximity of the Aquarian age. There is no uniform agreement about the relationship of these recent Aquarian developments and the Age of Aquarius."

Most astrologers couldn't agree if we are actually in the Age of Aquarius but some say we've already in it. So look around us and you decide if we're already in it.

As for the song itself, it's a medley of two songs from the musical Hair put together. It was released in 1969 and was one of Fifth Dimension's biggest hits.

I just love music from the 70's. Music then was just full of touchy-feely emotions. Anyway, here's another video of Fifth Dimension performing all their hits.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fake Thundercats trailer

Oh man, when I saw this I laughed so hard. It's basically a fake trailer for Thundercats. it's a mashup of various movies put together with some CGI added to it. It stars Brad Pitt as Lionel and it has Garfield in it too. Hillarious!

Friday, January 02, 2009

People still use Friendster?

I was surfing the news and I came across this article:

Newscaster and actress among 26 busted at sex partyBy RASHITHA A. HAMID and M. KUMAR
KUALA LUMPUR: A noted female newscaster and an actress were among 26 people caught in a sex party at a hotel in Jalan P. Ramlee here early yesterday morning.
The women also tested positive for drugs, sources said.
As of 10pm yesterday, they were still being detained at the police headquarters along with the others. Their ages range from 18 to 31.
Apparently, the 22-year-old newscaster is engaged and is due to be married next week. She has been reading news for a private television station for about a year.
The 25-year-old actress has apparently played a role in a movie made by a famous director.
Sources said the duo had earlier partied away at a 2009 countdown celebration in Mont Kiara.
Later, along with some other acquaintances, they proceeded to the four-star hotel to attend the sexual escapade.
Sources said a team of police from the city headquarters busted the private sex party some 30 minutes after it began at about 3am.
“When police arrived, many of the party goers were already high on drugs.
“There were also three couples lying on beds, but they were clothed,” added the sources.
Police found various types of drugs including ketamine, cocaine and syabu in the 11th floor room.
Beer and other liquor bottles were also lying everywhere.
Police believe the drug supplier was a 20-year-old male student from a private college.
Sources said police believe the party-goers knew one another via Friendster.
It was also through the online social network that the alleged sex party was organised.
City CID chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Ku Chin Wah confirmed the arrests.

I think what was most surprising about the article was that they got together through Friendster. I still maintain my Friendster account but I hardly used it. The only few times I log in to delete spam messages. Everyone uses facebook these days. I didn't know Friendster was still active in Malaysia.

Anyway, the news just broke out today so in a few days time people will probably know who the 'newscaster' and 'actress' are. I hope they have a good excuse. Personally, I think if you want to do party go ahead, just don't get caught. Ultimate embarassment.