Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Xmas everyone!

It's Christmas Eve, and it's snowing outside. A white Christmas for a family reunion and friends and relatives to gather.
I'm not a christian but how much anticipation towards this festive season is as much as everyone. Pap used to bring us for caroling, which was truly my favorite moment when i was a kid. Pap loves the warmth showered and how the people rejoice us. He embraces joy, harmony, care, merrymaking... We would be following the caroling choirs visiting hotels by hotels and we at the back tracing their tail along the tourist belt from Batu Ferringhi to Tanjung Bungah; Hotel Shangri-La, Golden Sand, Holiday Inn, Park Royal...till the very last Mutiara. My favorite Xmas song would be Feliz Navidad, Here comes Santa Claus, frosty the snowman, Rudolph the red nose reindeer,etc...

Now many memories swift to my mind,the caroling, the cartoons, the films especially home alone!! And i like every of them.

The snow queen

This would be my very last white Xmas in Russia. I can't feel any festive air here because mostly Russians are Orthodox and they celebrate on 7th of Jan. I can't see any lights, deco on the streets...sad isn't it? Anyhow i tend to delight myself by listening to Xmas songs..

Merry Jolly Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas songs by Frank Sinatra & Bing Cosby.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

冬至,Winter Solstice Festival

冬至,Dong Zhi literally translated as the "arrival of the Winter". It's a festival when family members gather and celebrate the good year they had gone through. Usually it falls on the 21st - 23rd December. This is the beginning of the winter, the day when the people who stays at the northern hemisphere will experience the longest night fal of the yearl. Whereas the southern hemisphere will meet it within June 20-23rd. The origin of this festival comes from various cultures and places. For us chinese, it has a phylosophycal trace on the yin and yang, which Yin symbolizes feminine, negative and dark qualities of the universe, and yang masculine, positive and fiery qualities, and when something goes to one extreme it then goes to the opposite. Winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the shortest day and longest night. After it, days become longer, which ancient Chinese thought meant yang qualities would become stronger, so should be celebrated.

The festival can be traced back during the Han dynasty, it was a day to make offerings to heaven and people’s ancestors, something both emperors and common people did.

And, when i did some readings on this warm festival, i realised that medicine plays a great rolte on this special day.

In other parts of northern China, such as Henan, people eat dumplings in honor of a famous doctor named Zhang Zhongjing (150-219). Zhang is remembered not only as a brilliant physician but as being very kind to the poor.

According to local custom, one year the winter was so cold that many people in Zhang's hometown of Nanyang suffered from painful chilblains. Seeing that his small clinic was no longer able to accommodate an ever increasing number of patients, Zhang asked his brother to put up a tent in the village square. A large cauldron was placed inside the tent to prepare medicine, in which Zhang had dumplings stuffed with mutton boiled. Every patient got a bowl of the soup with two dumplings, and their chilblains disappeared in a day or two. Zhang's mixture soon became a popular recipe, and when he died, people began to eat dumplings on the day of the winter solstice in his memory.

But in parts of South China, the whole family will get together to have a meal made of red-bean and glutinous rice to drive away ghosts and other evil things. In other places, people also eat tangyuan, a kind of stuffed small dumpling ball made of glutinous rice flour. Since most of the Malaysian chinese has southern root, we eat tang yuan with sweet brothand thus the mutton stuff dumplings are stil not our commons. Eating Tang Yuan is symbolic of family unity and family prosperity. For good luck, families prefer to have some pink tang yuan to mix with the white ones.

Since we don't have the coloring here, we just made white ones..:) with the brownish罗汉果 sweet broth, a chinese gourd 。

Friday, December 19, 2008

Play for YouTube

I come across this youtube group and here's how you might find your true talent, by youself!! Whether you are a professional or amateur musician, old or young, regardless the locations and instruments of your specialty, you can upload the scores composed by renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) for this occasion. Upload the scores, learn hard and practice, record your performance and send your talent video. Share your passion in music right at your comfy home without stepping out from your doorstep.

Contestants will be judged by the board panel and the YouTube users and the finalists will travel to New York in April 2009, to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit, and play at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.

Before joining the team, you would need to read about their rules and regulations here first.

How to enter this competition:
Registered Users who wish to enter the Competition (each, an “Entrant”) must create and submit two (2) original and distinct videos, each no longer than five (5) minutes in length and which follow the technical, creative, and legal entry requirements set out in Rules 5 and 6 ( which is too lengthy for me to copy and paste here), and elsewhere in these Official Competition Rules (an “Entry”). An Entry may be submitted anytime at the YouTube Symphony Orchestra site located at (the “Competition Site”) during the Open Call for Entries which begins December 1, 2008 at 12:00:01 AM Eastern Standard Time U.S. (“EST”), and ends on or about March 2, 2009 at 11:59:59 PM ET (“Competition Period”).

Here is a brief workshop by Tan Dun

Lang Lang, the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra Ambassador, talks about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and plays a piece of the Internet Symphony by Tan Du.

The Hong Kong chinese orchestra played the re-arranged piece, Eroica beutifully!

Music is life, they are the harmony of life essence, reflecting the every image of us. The notes dance their way and rhythm embeds the air..

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Forensic Medic

Forensic Med is interesting. It sounds sci-fi to me, yet it's a medical sub-field dealing with judiciary,law, crime to civil action.
The 1st step to our classroom was disturbing.. especially when we're 'welcomed' by a hanging corpse right at the door step.

The classroom brings us to several crime scene, which may be obtrusive for viewers!!

scroll down if you dare...


This lady must have been raped and strangled to death

A suicidal attempt?and drown himself with the warm water in the tub fastening the blood lost..

Probably must have been run over by a rail

Tomorrow will be our autopsy day..stinks stinks!!!!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a member of lentivirus, which belongs to the retrovirus family, that can lead to AIDS ( Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome). It's the time when the patient's immune system becomes weak and easily infected with opportunistic infections, leading to various lethal complication. In all cases, without effective treatment the immune system will eventually become very weak and no longer be able to fight off illnesses.

Are HIV and AIDS the same?
No. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

How does HIV transmitted?
By bodily fluid. There are blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk.
Major routes for the transmission trough unprotected sexual intercourse (oral,vaginal, anal), needles sharing, blood transfusion, breastfeeding, and mother to baby at birth ( vertical route).

Can you get HIV from kissing?
No. HIV cannot be passed on through:

  • Kissing or touching
  • Spitting, coughing or sneezing
  • Toilet seats, swimming pools, or shared facilities or utensils
Can women living with HIV still have children?
Yes. HIV can be passed from mother to child, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the possibility of the child contracting HIV to less than one per cent, including giving the mother and child antiretroviral HIV drugs, delivering the child by Caesarean and not breastfeeding the baby.

Global Trends
The number of HIV infected people is still growing.

Regional statistics for HIV & AIDS, end of 2007

How does the patient suffers?
HIV affects almost every organs. The immune system becomes poor and tend to get opportunistic infection ( bacterial, viral, fungal, parasital), and also have a higher risk of developing cancer such as Kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer and lymphoma. Patients will have flu-like symptoms such as, fever, chills, sweats(usually at night), weakness, swollen glands, weight loss

Is there a cure for HIV?
No, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment(diarrhea, fatigue, malaise nausea). If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective in preventing AIDS.
Currently used treatment is HAART (highly acvtivated anti-retroviral therapy). HAART allows the stabilization of the patient’s symptoms and viremia, but it neither cures the patient of HIV, nor alleviates the symptoms, and high levels of HIV-1, often HAART resistant, return once treatment is stopped.
Anti-retroviral drugs are expensive, and the majority of the world's infected individuals do not have access to medications and treatments for HIV and AIDS.

If you were wondering, this picture was produced by the French Government. Some time ago they released an advertising campaign highlighting the plight of AIDS and unsafe sex with this hard-hitting, provoking and memorable graphic.

Prevention of HIV
abstain - avoiding any sexual activities that could cause transmission of HIV.
Be faithful - The risk could also be reduced, through avoiding sexual intercourse other than with a mutually faithful uninfected partner.
Condom - or through the correct and consistent use of condoms.

Visit the World AIDS day org site.

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