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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jan 31, 2010

Alien might not be friendly

Do aliens exist? And would they be friendly? Photo: GETTY IMAGES


Published: 11:53AM GMT 24 Jan 2010 at

Mr Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, said:

"Part of me is with the enthusiasts and I would like us to try to make proactive contact with a wiser, more peaceful civilisation."

But he warned: "We might like to assume that if there is intelligent life out there it is wise and benevolent, but of course we have no evidence for this".

Proof of Martians 'to come this year'

Final proof that Mars has bred life will be confirmed this year, leading NASA experts believe. The historic discovery will come not on Mars itself but from chunks of the red planet here on Earth. David McKay, chief of astrobiology at NASA's Johnson Space Centre in Houston, says powerful new microscopes and other instruments will establish whether features in martian meteorites are alien fossils.

There is also an astrobiology conference in Texas in April at which new methods of detecting aliens will be discussed.

Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California, told the paper: "My personal view is that being more active is a worthy strategy. There is more serious talk of it, though not at the institute level."

Professor Simon Conway Morris, a Cambridge University evolutionary biologist, will be talking at the Royal Society on 'Predicting what extraterrestrial life will be like – and preparing for the worst."

He thought that, given that the principles of Darwinian evolution should be universal, it was "inevitable" that intelligent life would have developed elsewhere in the universe given the right environmental conditions.

"If that is correct – and it applied to manipulative skill – then that suggests there should be alien technologies," he said.

Scientist: Alien life could already be on Earth By RAPHAEL G. SATTER,Associated Press Writer - Wednesday, January 27

LONDON – For the past 50 years, scientists have scoured the skies for radio signals from beyond our planet, hoping for some sign of extraterrestrial life. But one physicist says there's no reason alien life couldn't already be lurking among us _ or maybe even in us.

Paul Davies, an award-winning Arizona State University physicist known for his popular science writing said Tuesday that life may have developed on Earth not once but several times.

Davies said the variant life forms _ most likely tiny microbes _ could still be hanging around "right under our noses _ or even in our noses."

"How do we know all life on Earth descended from a single origin?" he told a conference at London's prestigious Royal Society, which serves as Britain's academy of sciences. "We've just scratched the surface of the microbial world."

The idea that alien micro-organisms could be hiding out here on Earth has been discussed for a while, according to Jill Tarter, the director of the U.S. SETI project, which listens for signals from civilizations based around distant stars.

She said several of the scientists involved in the project were interested in pursuing the notion, which Davies earlier laid out in a 2007 article published in Scientific American in which he asked: "Are aliens among us?"


The excerpts are quoted from everywhere this week a two-day conference is being held at the Royal Society in London, titled, 'The detection of extraterrestrial life and the consequences for science and society.'

The international scientists and experts of aliens thingy are buzzy....

What makes Martians happy? .

When then will the future population on this earth be the human species with every individual character and every different individual look, or the Martians on Mar be all the intelligent aliens who are cloned non-human?

Whatever with these scientists with predictions in the some future to come, just go on to enjoy for as long as the lifetime of the scientists are here with the Louis Armstrong   "What A Wonderful World"">  .

"I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world".

No, ET not iPhone ; )


Jan 24, 2010

"New Media like Multivitamins"

This is an insight in The Straits Times interview of Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan's "Health Minister Says"  blog   to express as the Minister of Health, while the Ministry of Health is an official website.

The Straits Times Friday, January 24, 2010

When Khaw Boon Wan blogs, it's official

He announces the arrival of a new stock of vaccines, explains a policy reversal, answers unasked questions and dispenses health advice. Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan puts all these messages and more across, not at press conferences or through press statements, but in his blog. He tells Insight why he goes into cyberspace to engage the people

By Jeremy Au Yong

SOMEWHERE in Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan's home lies a precious keepsake - a bundle of 1,000 letters, each one written over three decades ago.

The letters were all written by Mr Khaw in the 1970s, when he was studying engineering and commerce at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Each night for almost four years, he would sit down and write a letter to the woman who would become his wife.

'We were separated, I studied in Australia, she studied in Singapore, so I wrote to her every night,' he says, smiling.

'It's like a reflection of the day. It's very much like diary-writing and I expressed it very personally to my girlfriend.'

He started a blog entitled 'Health Minister Says' last September and has been updating it regularly ever since.

And he says he has been able to keep it up because his writing habit inculcated by the voluminous letter-writing of those days has left him with just the skills he needs for blogging.

In fact, he says it takes no more than 15 minutes to knock out a blog post.

'Formulating the thoughts will take a little bit longer but it's part and parcel of my life,' he adds.

The writing typically takes place at lunchtime, just after his daily gym session. His time on the treadmill is often spent thinking about what he wants to put down.

What started as a blog though has now expanded to encompass nearly all the main tools known as Web 2.0. There are the Health Ministry Facebook page, a YouTube channel for its videos, a Flickr photo stream for its pictures and even a Twitter feed for SMS-length updates.

This immersion in new media, the blog in particular, has led to a flurry of headline-making news. In the four months since the first blog post went up at, various newspapers have been running stories on his statements, comments and thoughts.

Politicians using new media are no longer rare - more than 20 MPs here, including Foreign Minister George Yeo, have active Facebook accounts. But Mr Khaw is the first here to put it to official use.

Many announcements that might have been made through press conferences or press statements from the ministry are now entering the public domain via the blog.

For instance, his first online post was written to explain why pneumococcal vaccination was included in the National Child Immunisation Programme.

Only recently, he concluded a five-week public consultation on the upcoming Health budget. Some 200 responses were gathered through Facebook and the website of Reach, the feedback unit of the Government.

In four months, the blog has drawn more than 20,000 visitors. The Facebook page, in turn, picked up 1,900 fans. A Facebook user becomes a fan by clicking on a button on the page.

Yet when talking about his hit count, Mr Khaw is careful to note that statistics form but a small part of what he is trying to do.

'It's not a numbers game,' he says. 'I'm more interested in having meaningful interaction. There's no point having half a million followers and have it very frivolous, like I'm eating char kway teow tonight or I'm watching Avatar tomorrow.

'I think Jackie Chan's followers would be interested, I don't think Khaw Boon Wan's followers would be interested in whether I've watched Avatar or not,' he says, laughing.

It's not about me

LISTENING to Mr Khaw lay out his thinking on new media, it is clear he has given the question of how to engage in cyberspace considerable thought.

Indeed, he says he spent months thinking about how to use it optimally. He discussed it at length with his staff and read popular blogs like those belonging to US President Barack Obama and Microsoft founder Bill Gates before finally jumping into the Internet.

He says: 'If you just plunge in mindlessly, then it could be a very unproductive journey. For us, the biggest fear is time commitment, and ending up spending a lot of time to very little effect.'

The first one, of course, is that it should not be about him.

The online persona must be the Health Minister, who happens to be Mr Khaw - and not vice versa.

'I could easily set up a Khaw Boon Wan Facebook page and deal with it that way as most people do,' he says. 'But I decided that I will do a Health Minister blog, a Health Minister Facebook. Then I can focus on health issues and health issues only.'

There are two clear advantages to this approach: First, visitors to the site are less likely to treat his online engagement as simply a round-the-clock, queue-free Meet The People Session.

The second advantage is that the entire Health Ministry online presence can be easily passed on to whoever takes over the office of Health Minister.

Explains Mr Khaw: 'It becomes part of the Ministry of Health's infrastructure and if we build it up to a significant constituency, hopefully it becomes an important platform.'

Another ground rule: Everything put up - whether a deep discussion of official policy or a call to people to eat healthily - must have a clear purpose.

'I shouldn't tweet for the sake of tweeting, that would be stupid. I shouldn't blog for the sake of blogging, I would seem out of date and that would also be stupid.'

New media like vitamins

HOW does Mr Khaw strike a balance between the formal nature of officialdom and the casual nature of the blog?

As he sees it, the new media are like multivitamins.

While the core formal announcements must still go out via traditional channels, those which are less important and less newsworthy might be better made online. In other words, it is good to have, but if you are someone with limited access to the Web, you can get by fine without it.

When he was clear about how his blog should work, he recalls, all he needed was an opportunity to get it going.

That came during a Parliament session in September, when he disclosed that pneumococcal vaccination would be included in the National Child Immunisation Programme. It was a reversal of the decision he made two years earlier.

Although he made the announcement, he did not get the chance to explain why he changed his mind because no one asked him about it. Apparently the MPs who had posed the original question to him were too shocked to ask any follow-up questions.

So he took to the blog.

He explains: 'I was the one, a few years back in Parliament, who said we would not be including pneumococcal, so why did I change my mind? What are the circumstances which have changed to cause this change in policy? I think I need to explain that to Singaporeans. To put all those things in an official press statement is kind of odd.'

For the record, Mr Khaw changed the policy because there had been developments in the vaccine making it more suitable for children, and an expert committee had recommended its inclusion.

The minister would soon find many other instances that were blog-worthy - events that were of interest to some, but did not warrant a full- blown official statement.

One such situation was to do with the arrival of the H1N1 vaccines. He had announced officially that the Government had ordered 1 million doses of the vaccine, and that they would arrive in batches before Christmas.

Having done that, he thought it no longer necessary to put out a new statement every time a batch arrived.

'Every week, or every other day to put out a press statement saying another 200,000 have arrived, I think is very boring.'

Instead, he suggested that Mr Chua Soy Tee, deputy director of the ministry's resource management division, write the blog, complete with pictures of the doses in the store.

'It's more informal, more casual, a more human angle,' he says.

Not for every ministry

ALTHOUGH Mr Khaw is pleased with the response to his blog, he does not for a moment assume that he is somehow leading the way in government e-engagement.

He stresses that what he does works for him and his ministry, but it may not work for somebody else.

The health portfolio, he notes, lends itself very much to the kind of engagement seen in the new media.

It might not work as well in a ministry which demands a certain level of secrecy, like the Ministry of Defence.

The bottom line is that politicians seeking to leverage on new media need to do it at their own pace and in their own way. There is no right or wrong.

Says Mr Khaw: 'It's a very personal thing, just as keeping a diary is a very personal thing. I don't think one should prescribe it to someone else.

'At the end of the day, you must be yourself. Never do things because everybody else is doing it. I think that would most certainly fail.'


Jan 17, 2010

"If We Dream Too Long" Book Revisited

In my previous blog on "In Memory of Dr. Goh Poh Seng", I was impulsive to do a revisit today to the book "If We Dream Too Long" 12 years ago. The book is not even available online from or some local bookshops.

Thus I resort to loan only from the nearest home from Geylang East Public Library today.

To revisit can actually provide us to look back at media format of old photos, old audio tape (if video for modern technology devices), books, movies. In person, its revist to places in old homes, kampong days or travel overseas places for a decade ago...time and space! But then most of them have been changed or gone. Some people are gone passed by.

How then would I feel to myself to revisit "If We Dream Too Long"? The dreams have been gone too long and the story book is been there and done that. Mostly are imaginative, fiction but when the book was written in 1972, the life of the story characters may appear to be unchanged because of human social conditions, rich and poor, the "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" (Italian translation to "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles), strength and weak, love and hatred, human tranformation to and fro, blah...blah...blah.

Until the end of the world in human species whether whatever people or whatever countries of first world or third world in whichever universe.

Amusing revisiting the somehow felt like learning me over the decade to mature and mellow with the growth of thoughts...from young and innocence to an education over the years which we can learn and teach from everyone within our affinity and whoever of human nature.

All the characters in this book are fictitious.

Be it books, stages, movies or TV serial, nothing is real life in human culture than directors or scriptwriters. Similar to The Book of Five Rings - The Classic Masterpiece by Miyamoto Musashi.

That is the digress though.

My discovery of revisit is a walk down memory lane, from the reality walk of the olden days of Singapore lifestyle as resurrected from "If We Dream Too Long". When you read on to the excerpt of Dr Goh Poh Seng as his writer in virtual graphic description at a long time ago.

Here goes:

"It was a bright and hot afternoon only a few hours ago when Kwang Meng too the long bus ride up the East Coast Road to the Tanah Merah beach at Changi.

"Now following the direction of the wind in the evening, he went towards the sea-front, the Esplanade."

"He walked in the direction of Collyer Quay for the bus-stop, the sea to his left. To his right, across the street, the Singaore Cricket Club stood patronizingly at the corner of the Padang."

"Walking on, Kwang Meng felt that it was not such a relic after all, inspite of Independence. The English are durable, he thought, passing the Victoria Memorial Hall and Theatre on his right, then crossing Connaught Bridge towards the grey imperial Fullerton Building nearby. All these colonial names, idelibly stamped everywhere."

"Meng, have you seen that film at the Odeon?"

"Kwang Meng enjoyed a nice sense of guilt, of illicitness, as they entered the air-conditioned darkness of the Paradise Bar and seated themselves at one of the booths at the back. The imitation leather seat felt cold. "

"Two large Tigers, Mary." said Hock Lai, without asking them. Be a Tiger man, drink Tiger beer, as the ad. goes."

"When he reached the Cold Storage Milk Bar, Portia was already waiting for him."

"All those daily-rated labourers, working in the Port Authority or the Public Health's Cleansing Department, nightly drunk or toddy after an abstemious three years away from their wives in India, to whem they monthly remit their wages."

"So, after holding on for years, during which time they lived any old how, thinking of their family, their will begins to break down and then they seek, nightly, everything from toddy, the sweet coconut wine. At the Government regulated toddy shops, they queue up in the evenings, and later in the night tumble out drunkenly, their eyes containing wild stars."

"At the corner sarabat stall, he ordered a black coffee."

"They walked until they sighted a pirate taxi which stopped for them. A cheap form of transport, these unlicensed taxis."

"Hock Lai took him to the G.H. Cafe at nearby Battery Road. There were no hints anywhere what the G.H. stood, abbreviated, for. The hawker stalls, the Singapore River, were a world away."

"The sky darkened, making brighter the distant stars. A plane droned above in the one small sky, heading for the Paya Lebar International Airport."

"He had to change buses in order to get to Orchard Road, to the fashionable Mont D'or Milk Bar in the Ngee Ann Building, where Hock Lai had prearranged to meet him."

That's all to keep us in suspense....

The blog topics by "Blogs Of The Same Feather" links for younger reader would discover the stories more memorable and interesting.

To conclude, the blurb from the book below:

"...The first serious attempt to represent critically, contemporary Singaporean experience."

- Singapore Book World

A literary landmark in the development of the Singapore novel.

[ If We Dream Too Long is a Singaporean's search for personal fulfilment and happiness within the social realm and set of values shaped by a young nation. Although Goh Poh Seng's canvass is that of old Singapore (when sixty cents adequately buys you a lunch consisting of a bowl of laksa and a glass of sugar cane water), the psychological landscape of his protagonist, reflecting aspects of the contemporary Singaporean experience, is one that many of us can still relate very closely to today. ]


Jan 13, 2010

In Memory of Dr Goh Poh Seng


Dr Goh Poh Seng passed away peacefully in Vancouver on Sunday, January 10, 2010 at age of 73.

The newspaper reading this gloomy morning makes me sad and somewhat emotional.

I have stopped watching the obituary section since many years. For sure I will no longer be around to read the obituary of myself...when, where and how will never be able to know.  Not depressed though, life is mortal. Its all life impermanence anyway.

It was saddened to hear the loss and bereavement of Dr Goh, who is a special person to remember his books, thoughts in poetry, prose and plays. I have never met Dr Goh Poh Seng in person but I will include a memory in this blog to express for myself.

I do not know Dr Goh in person or related to him in anyway; neither did he know who I was during the published of "If We Dream Too Long" in 1972. Reading the first book in my youth generations; we were somehow influenced by the young Singaporeans who appear the young life story like real, like personal perception at our young stages...

As touched by Dr Goh and every reader who remember the books and published articles in public. Mark Twain says "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense."

"Artsy and gutsy, the late Dr Goh Poh Seng pushed hard for what he believed in" an excerpt reports by Akshita Nanda in The Straits Times, Wednesday, January 13, 2010. In the "Life!" Section, Dr Goh was captioned as "a man for all seasons".

"He was passionate, a dreamer. He loved life in all its aspects," says Robert Yeo, 69, who had some of his first poems published in the now defunct Tumasek. "He was a person of immense talent and generosity."

"His interests were wide," says fellow literary pioneer Edwin Thumboo, 76, describing his colleague as a "poet, novelist, dramatist and cultural activist".

It was a welcome reunion with friends such as Prof Thumboo.

He said: 'Goh Poh Seng and I used to meet and talk about our writing and the various issues involved in the making of a Singapore-Malaysia literature in English.

'I'm glad we spent time together when he visited in December 2007. We revisited old haunts and continued talking about literature.'

Activist and entrepreneur Ms Lena Lim says: "Poh Seng is somebody who as a Singaporean we should be very proud of. He was head and shoulders above the rest, and quite a few miles ahead."

She remembers him as a man deeply involved in all forms of the arts - from writing to music to fine cuisine.

But his love for expanding boundaries met many obstacles. Feeling thwarted and misunderstood, he and his wife and their four sons emigrated to Canada.

There he devoted his time to writing and his medical practice, though he had to give up the latter in 1995 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which affects nerve and muscle coordination.

Yet this did not hold back the "quiet and dignified gentleman", according to his brother-in-law, retired architect Alfred Wong.

Dr Goh continued to invest his passion in poetry, reading and prose and his third novel, Dance With White Clouds: A Fable For Grown-Ups was published in 2001.

"He was always adventurous, a very active person," says Mr Wong, 79, who designed the National Theatre.

Find out Wikipedia here .

The book follows the life of Kwang Meng, a young, 18-year-old working adult who has just graduated from secondary school. He currently works as a clerk, a job which he finds drab and monotonous. Two of his secondary school friends, Hock Lai and Nadarajah (nicknamed Portia), follow different career paths in their diverging lives. Hock Lai becomes a white-collared worker, determined to climb the corporate ladder, while Portia intends to further his studies in the UK. Kwang Meng meets and strikes up a relationship with a local bar girl, Lucy, at Paradise Bar. Unfortunately, owing to their very different social backgrounds, the couple has to break up (initiated by Lucy).

Hock Lai tries to matchmake Kwang Meng with one of his female acquaintances Anne. Kwang Meng meets Boon Teik and Mei-I, neighbours who are both teachers, and whom Kwang Meng finds an ideal couple. Hock Lai himself gets married with Cecilia, whose father is one of the rich tycoons of Singapore. Throughout all this, Kwang Meng comes across as a rather passive figure, preferring merely to observe and seek solace through activities like sea swimming, smoking and drinking in bars. At the novel's end, Kwang Meng's father suffers a stroke, which destined him to take up the burden of supporting his family.

Dr Goh was best known in "If We Dream Too Long" which won the inaugural National Book Development Council of Singapore Award for Fiction.

My contemporaries, my younger friends and classmates used to discuss this book. I used to take many quiet Tanah Merah beach at Changi, under the coconut trees over two weekends to read the book. Are the young people believe the stories, or are they just fictions. Nobody have the same characteristic in all the same stages in a lifetime. Life has changed, but the drama is moved on for every reader. Dr Goh had done a worthwhile to share his experience through life of work.

 NORA   (National Online Repository of the Arts) previously known as the "NLB Online Repository of Artistic Works" by National Library Singapore.

In my young days, it was like Mary Hopkin's "Those Were the Days":

"Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way".

Dr Goh's stories of the young people was like the "intoxication of youth" when we may have thoughtlessness, "boh chap" and full of energetic, whatever think that we will forever be young ones...

By the way, Dr Goh was the first playwright who dared to use Singlish and local scenarios on stage and he also started a club where the hip crowd hung out in the 1980s". Bold guy, he was.

We were wondering to ourselves and we dream too long...its no longer to us for dreamy days during our young days. Perhaps we should do a revisit to the "If We Dream Too Long" book.   Like during the NS days...heh..don't dream too long, "wake up your ideas" !

Self-penned epitaph

O My beloved ones
Watch how
I spring into
The sunlit day.
Swim into
The moon drowned night
So full of joy.
There's no cause for grief.

Goh Poh Seng
April 8, 2002

This epitaph was published on Dr Goh Poh Seng .


"Thimbuktu is a Singaporean man in the street, ordinary guy to convey my condolence and respect to Dr Goh Poh Seng.

Just say an individual to A Son of Singapore to be remembered always".

Goodbye Dr Goh Poh Seng, in longer memories of you!   Your fellow book readers and yours truly of "If We Dream Too Long" thank you and wish you rest in peace.

God Bless.


Jan 8, 2010

Elderly and mobile phones

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 1/7/2010

Mobile phone use may stave off, reverse Alzheimer's: study

Long suspected of causing brain tumors, mobile phones are now being eyed as key allies in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, US researchers said in a study.

Mobile phone use may stave off, reverse Alzheimer's: study
Long suspected of causing brain tumors, mobile phones are now being eyed as key allies in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, US researchers said in a study.

Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) found, to their surprise, that 96 mice they zapped twice daily for an hour each time with electromagnetic waves similar to those generated by US mobile (cellular) phones benefited from the exposure.

Older mice saw deposits of beta-amyloid -- a protein fragment that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer's sufferers to form the disease's signature plaques -- wiped out and their memories improved after long-term exposure to mobile phones, the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease showed.

Young adult mice with no apparent signs of memory impairment were protected against Alzheimer's disease after several months' exposure to the phone waves, and the memories of normal mice with no genetic predisposition for Alzheimer's disease were boosted after exposure to the electromagnetic waves.

No one was more surprised by the results than the researchers themselves, who had embarked on the tests several years ago, convinced they would show "that the electromagnetic fields from a cell phone would be deleterious to Alzheimer's mice," lead author Gary Arendash, a USF professor, told AFP.

"When we got our initial results showing a beneficial effect, I thought, 'Give it a few more months and it will get bad for them.'

"It never got bad. We just kept getting these beneficial effects in both the Alzheimer's and normal mice," Arendash said.

It took several months of exposure before the benefits were seen in mice, and that would be the equivalent of many years in humans, Arendash said.

The mice in the study didn't wear tiny headsets or have scientists holding mobile phones up to their ears. Instead, their cages were arranged around an antenna that generated a mobile phone signal.

Each animal was housed the same distance from the antenna and exposed to electromagnetic waves equivalent to what is typically emitted by a mobile phone pressed up against a human head.

"Since we selected electromagnetic parameters that were identical to human cell phone use and tested mice in a task closely analogous to a human memory test, we believe our findings could have considerable relevance to humans," Arendash said.

But William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association, said the study was "very preliminary" and warned against self-medicating by over-using a cell phone.

"No one should feel they are being protected from Alzheimer's, dementia, cognitive decline by using their cell phones based on this study," Thies said in a statement.

The study "needs to be replicated in animals before we begin to even consider trying it in people, as animal models of Alzheimer's and people with the disease are very different," he said.

Arenbach called the Alzheimers Association reaction disappointing and "so negative about a new research area of neuroscience that could offer real benefits against the disease in the future -- especially since a new therapeutic approach is desperately needed and long overdue."

The researchers concurred that more research is needed to find out, among other things, what the optimal "dosage" of electromagnetic waves would be -- the 918 megaHerz in US mobile phones, 800 megaHerz in European phones, or another frequency -- and how long effective "treatment" would have to be.

"If we can determine the best set of electromagnetic parameters to effectively prevent beta-amyloid aggregation and remove pre-existing beta amyloid deposits from the brain, this technology could be quickly translated to human benefit against Alzheimer's disease," said USF professor Chuanhai Cao.

The new therapy could also be used to treat one of the invisible injuries suffered by soldiers in war, Cao said.

"Since production and aggregation of beta-amyloid occurs in traumatic brain injury, particularly in soldiers during war, the therapeutic impact of our findings may extend beyond Alzheimer's disease," he said.

Around 36 million people will be living with dementia this year, according to international umbrella group Alzheimer's Disease International.

Pentagon officials have said that up to 360,000 US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may have suffered brain injuries.

To the latest development in The Straits Times, Friday, January 8, 2010, “Cellphone exposure found to help Alzheimer’s”

WASHINGTON: Talking on a mobile phone – long suspected of causing brain tumours – may protect against and even reverse Azheimer’s disease, a study on mice by US researchers showed this week.

After long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves such as those generated by mobile phones, mice genetically altered to develop Alzheimer’s performed as well on memory and thinking skill tests as healthy mice, the researchers wrote in the Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The results were a major surprise and open the possibility of developing a non-invasive, drug-free treatment for Alzheimer’s, said lead author Gary Arendash of athe University of South Florida.

He said he had expected cellphone exposure to increase the effects of dementia.

“Quite to the contrary, those mice were protected if the cellphone exposure was started in early adulthoods, Or if the cellphone exposure was started after they were already memory impaired, it reversed that impairment,” Professor Arendash said in a telephone interview.

His team exposed the mice to electromagnetic waves equivalent to those emitted by a cell-phone pressed against a human head for two hours daily over seven to nine months.

Older mice saw deposits of beta-amyloid – a protein fragment that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers – wiped out and their memories improved.

But Dr William thies, chief medical and scientific officers of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the study was “very preliminary” and warned against self-medicating by over-using a mobile phone.

The study “needs to be replicated in animals before we begin to even consider trying it in people”, he said.

The researchers agreed that more research is needed to find out, among other things, what the optimal “dosage” of electromagnetic waves would be and how long effective “treatment” would have to be.

Despite decades of research, there are few effective treatments and no cure for Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. More than 35 million people globally will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia this year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.



Jan 7, 2010

What makes the Martians happy

We need to start the year smiling in 2010, lets try out other blogs to express on happy fictions, satire, humor, comedies and out of this alien life-form world stuff?

No, not Alfred Hitchcock movies pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres....that is too scary about the birds.

Not for horrors about the Gunther von Hagens' "Body Worlds" (The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies) or ghost stories too. We prefer to look at a beautiful world of Nature.

Duncan Jones' new film raises profound questions about the nature of our identities, as well as our relationships to our institutions describing how, in the near future and humanity. Stressful and tough for too much thinking. Prefer something more relaxing than heavy academic theory too cramming for the brain, I guess.

Director Stanley Kramer had a movie title "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" in 1963 only as a cheek in tongue of chatty type.

Perhaps looking for "The Gods Must Be Crazy" movie about Bushman to the end of the earth. Xi prepared to throw the Coke bottle off the end of the earth, leading a simple, fairly utopian life in contrast with Western culture. Maybe.

How about sci-fi fantasy which are my best favorites.

Carl Sagan's great appeal as a popular-science writer, beyond his prodigious knowledge, is his optimism and sense of wonder. A visualizer and a visionary, he fires our imagination and turns science into high drama. In a our solar system, galaxy and beyond, Cornell astronomer Sagan meshes a history of astronomical discovery, a cogent brief for space exploration and an overview of life-from its origins in the oceans to humanity's first emergence to a projected future where humans "terraform" and settle other planets and asteroids, Earth having long been swallowed by the sun.

"Cosmos" by Carl Sagan is a cannot stop-down title at any time.

"Batteries not included" is a 1987 family-science fiction film directed by Matthew Robbins about small extraterrestrial living machines that save an apartment block under threat from property development.

"E.T." the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg.

During the weekend for a "kopitalk" with my elderly buddies (the 5 of us are combined about 350 years old together), we spent hours just doing something for fun. Just talk nothing for anything in seriousness. Time for coffee and then forgotten especially for retirement.

Since the most difficult to talk about the human species because we ourselves are people, we should not criticize us. People cannot judge themselves as people, not to be disrespective and unfairness to everyone.

This poem was written by Mother Teresa and is engraved on the wall of her home for the children of Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa is one of the greatest, humble and humankind in good faith to our deepest respect:



People are often unreasonable,
illogical, and self-centered;

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
people may accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
you will win some false friends
and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;

Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;

Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough,

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.


How about Barbara Streisand's "People" song on YouTube.

There was no fixed agenda for our buddy "kopitalk", so rambling about everything under the sun...lots of noises and confusing, but no rancor or quarrelling though.

Eventually, my talkative buddies focus on the following newspaper excerpt article:


The Straits Times, Thursday, January 7, 2010

The media gives some insight into what makes Singaporeans happy or upset.

Singaporeans are happy when the Government rolls out a family-friendly Budget. Singaporeans are annoyed by service staff who are not passionate about their work or cannot speak English well. Depending on the performance of their invests, Singaporeans may love or loathe coffee shop talk about the stock and property markets.

These snapshots motivated us to study three things of Singaporeans consider when they evaluate their quality of life: happiness, enjoyment and achivement. In a recently published book that we wrote, The Wellbeing of Singaporeans, we reported that more than one in four Singaporeans (27.5 per cent) are very happy with their life and about half (51.1 per cent) are quite happy while less than 1 in 100 (0.9 per cent) are very unhappy. Singles are happiest lot while the middle-income group is the least happy.
What do these findings tell us about Singaporeans? While they are generally a happy lot, more can be done to help them appreciate their own achievements and to find more enjoyment in life. Perhaps they have forgotten how to savour simple pleasures.

They may also be setting themselves up for disappointment by imposing unrealistically high expectations on themselves. A balance must be stuck between setting and striving towards standards of achievement and ensuring personal well-being in other areas of one's life.
The writers are professors in the Department of Marketing at the National University of Singapore Business School. They specialise in quality of life and lifestyle studies.


Lets speak some topics about the Martians?

Once long ago, there was an article in the newspaper what Martians will look from the terrestial species who are not people.

Imagainative uncommon topic from the view of people in the world...they have a kind of "Culture Shock" ; )

The Martians are different from the characteristics, feelings, thoughts, behaviors and their communication manners to human species are total different.

Since we compare the Martians, they will not criticize and judge people.

How can we make the Martians happy?

It may be an imagination far away into the future. But who knows?

In the first, appearance of people do not look like else would really know about Martians? Would they be always happy or always sad, upset or miserable?

If the facial (unfaced) cloned appearance of all Martians are unhomogenized, how do we know they smile or laugh to know that they are actually happy. They are confused for humankind to smile only in their hearts but not necessary in their faces. Who cares!

Can people with a perpetual and everlasting smile throughout the day has anything to prove to be happiness? On the contradiction, the National Service serious training, the instuctor's retort "cut off the stupid smile face on your look".

The Martians make happy, but it doesn't matter to show it on the Martian face!

At the end of a long, long talkchat...we don't need any conclusions. No prizes for the win or lose. Both our humankind and Martians are happy and each our personal individual choice!

Happiness is the design of the omnipotent, providence and our Creator, and whatever within the heart and joy to all mankind.

Martians and all humans are happy, not upset!


Jan 1, 2010

New Year Wishes Around the World

Something to start your New Year fresh and happier than ever...what the point of having everything but you can enjoy it so that I have the first blog for Happy New Year 2010!

Wish your friend living in a non-English speaking country! Or just include these for fun!

Afgani Saale Nao Mubbarak
Afrikaans Gelukkige nuwe jaar
Albanian Gezuar Vitin e Ri
Armenian Snorhavor Nor Tari
Arabic Kul 'am wa antum bikhair
Assyrian Sheta Brikhta
Azeri Yeni Iliniz Mubarek!
Bengali Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Breton [Celtic Brythonic language] Bloavezh Mat
Bulgarian ×åñòèòà Íîâà Ãîäèíà(pronounced "Chestita Nova Godina")
Cambodian Soursdey Chhnam Tmei
Chinese Xin Nian Kuai Le
Corsican Language Pace e Salute
Croatian Sretna Nova godina!
Cymraeg (Welsh) Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Czech Šťastný Nový rok (or Stastny Novy rok)
Denish Godt Nytår
Dhivehi Ufaaveri Aa Aharakah Edhen
Eskimo Kiortame pivdluaritlo
Esperanto Felican Novan Jaron
Estonians Head uut aastat!
Ethiopian/Eritrean Tigrigna RUHUS HADUSH AMET
Finnish Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French Bonne Annee
Gaelic Bliadhna mhath ur
Galician [NorthWestern Spain] Bo Nadal e Feliz Aninovo
German Prosit Neujahr
Greek Kenourios Chronos
Gujarati Nutan Varshbhinandan
Hawaiian Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew L'Shannah Tovah
Hindi Naye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen
Hong kong (Cantonese) Sun Leen Fai Lok
Hungarian Boldog Új Évet Kivánok
Indonesian Selamat Tahun Baru
Iranian Sal -e- no mobarak
Iraqi Sanah Jadidah
Irish Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian: Felice anno nuovo
Japan: Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu
Kabyle: Asegwas Amegaz
Kannada: Hosa Varushadha Shubhashayagalu
Khasi Snem Thymmai Basuk Iaphi
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Korea: Saehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo!
Latvian Laimīgo Jauno Gadu!
Lithuanian: Laimingu Naujuju Metu
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Macedonian Srekjna Nova Godina
Madagascar Tratry ny taona
Malay Selamat Tahun Baru
Marathi : Nveen Varshachy Shubhechcha
Malayalam : Puthuvatsara Aashamsakal
Mizo Kum Thar Chibai
Maltese Is-Sena t- Tajba
Nepal Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana
Norwegian Godt Nyttår
Oriya Nua Barshara Subhechha
Papua New Guinea Nupela yia i go long yu
Pampango (Philippines) Masaganang Bayung Banua
Pashto Nawai Kall Mo Mubarak Shah
Persian Sal -e- no mobarak
Philippines Manigong Bagong Taon!
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese Feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi Nave sal di mubarak
Russian S Novim Godom
Samoa Manuia le Tausaga Fou
Serbo-Croatian Sretna nova godina
Sindhi Nayou Saal Mubbarak Hoje
Singhalese Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Siraiki Nawan Saal Shala Mubarak Theevay
Slovak Stastny Novy rok
Slovenian sreèno novo leto
Somali Iyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican!
Spanish Feliz Ano ~Nuevo
Swahili Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish GOTT NYTT ÅR! /Gott nytt år!
Sudanese Warsa Enggal
Tamil Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal
Tibetian Losar Tashi Delek
Telegu Noothana samvatsara shubhakankshalu
Thai Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku
Urdu Naya Saal Mubbarak Ho
Uzbek Yangi Yil Bilan
Vietnamese Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Welsh : Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

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This is a ready-made blog to express first day of the year for  launch 1 January, 2010. Cheers to all your blogging active and participations. Thanks to all.