Thursday, January 31, 2008

So Little Time (Get Real) (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1

“Don’t you just love Fridays?” Chloe Clarkson asked, taking three cartons of frozen yogurt from the fridge to the kitchen table. “They’re totally the best day of the week!”

“Fridays are definitely good. But the best?” Tara Jordan, one of Chloe’s closest friends, thought aloud as she plucked three spoons from the drawer. “I’d have to say the best days are Saturdays-no school.”

“Absolutely,” said Quinn Reyes, Chloe’s other best friend, agreed. She plopped some napkins onto the table. “No getting up at the uncivilized hour of six on Saturdays.”

“Good point,” Chloe said. “But once you hit Saturday, you can’t look forward to it anymore. That’s one of the best things about Friday-anticipation.”

“Speaking of anticipation…yum!” Tara pried the lid off the banana yogurt. Chloe and Quinn opened their own cartons, strawberry for Chloe, raspberry for Quinn.

Chloe slipped off her beaded flip-flops, propped up her feet, and sighed happily. She really did love Fridays. And what a great week it had been-no bad hair days, an A on her English essay, and a sweet goodbye kiss from her boyfriend, Lennon Porter.

[Chloe: Not goodbye forever, just for one week. Which is way too long, in my opinion, but what can I do? Lennon and the rest of the debate team are at a statewide competition in Sacramento. I’ll really, really miss him. In the meantime, though, there’s a weekend to plan!]

Planning the weekend was another thing Chloe loved about Fridays. Sitting round with Tara and Quinn, deciding what to do-it was practically a ritual. If one of them was sick or busy and couldn’t be in on the plans, it just didn’t feel the same.

We’re like the three musketeers, Chloe decided, smiling happily. All for one and one for all.

“Okay, down to business.” Chloe pushed her long blonde hair back from her face. “What’s up for tonight? How about the mall? We can check out the new Glam and Glitter store. They have great nail polish and makeup.”

Quinn nodded eagerly, her dark hair swinging against her cheeks. “We can check out guys, too,” she said with a grin. “Or at least Tara and I can. Maybe Rick Northrup will be there. Or Doug Weyman. He and Sherry Givens broke up, you know.”

“Get out! When?” Tara asked.

“Yesterday,” Quinn reported, scooping up the last spoonful of her yogurt. “I heard Sherry talking about it today in P.E.”

“They weren’t together very long,” Chloe noted. “What happened?”

Quinn shrugged. “No details. But Sherry said it was mutual, so I guess nobody’s heart got broken.”

“So Doug Weyman is free,” Tara said thoughtfully. “He’s pretty cute. Ooh, and so is Brian O’Keefe,” she added, her gray eyes sparkling.

Chloe tried to picture Brian O’Keefe. “Oh, right. That dark-haired guy in your math class.”

“Mmm.” Tara sighed dreamily. “He’s a real hottie. And he’s totally my type-smart, funny, and adorable, in that Nick Lachey kind of way.”

Chloe laughed. “And that makes you who, Jessica Simpson?”

“I wish!” Tara quipped.

Chloe scraped the bottom of her yogurt carton, too. “Okay, so it’s settled then. We’re going to the mall. You two look for guys, and I’ll look for nail polish.”

“Hey, everybody.” Riley, Chloe’s twin sister, came into the kitchen and made a beeline for the refrigerator. “What’s happening?”

“We are figuring out the weekend,” Chloe told her. “Tonight’s a mall-crawl. Want to come with us?”

“I can’t,” Riley said. She pulled out a bottle of Lime Sparkle and took a sip. “I’m meeting Charlie at the Newsstand later, but first I have to work on the time capsule project.”

“Oh, right!” Chloe said. In just a few weeks the students at West Malibu High, where she and Riley were freshmen, were going to bury a time capsule in the quad. Riley had volunteered to be on the capsule committee.

“Have you decided what you’re going to put in?” Chloe asked.

“Not yet,” Riley admitted. “That’s what I need to work on. I mean, pretend you’re opening the time capsule a hundred years from now. Then picture what you find inside. What really special thing would tell you what we’re all about?”

“Cool clothes,” Chloe said instantly.

[Chloe: I know, that’s not all we’re all about. But I can’t help it. When somebody says special, I think clothes.]

“Music, too,” Tara suggested. “Hey, how about an MP3 player?”

“And a cell phone,” Quinn added.

“Right! We’re the wireless generation,” Chloe said. “In cool clothes, of course.”

“Those are good ideas, but there’s one tiny problem,” Riley said. “I don’t have an MP3 player. And if I did, no way would I bury it and my cell phone in a time capsule.” She frowned. “I guess I could put in photographs of those things. Oh, I don’t know. Listen, while you are at the mall, look for some inspiration, would you? Cool jewelry, movie posters-whatever.”

As Riley hurried out of the kitchen, Chloe turned to her friends. “Okay, tonight’s set,” she said. “What about tomorrow night?”

“Ellie Farber’s party,” Quinn reminded her.

“Boring,” Tara declared.

Chloe had to agree. She liked Ellie Farber, but an Ellie Farber party was one big yawn. She always played outdated music. And she tried to organize everybody into teams so they could play lame games.

“You know, there hasn’t been a really great party in ages.” Chloe said, licking the back of her spoon. “I think we all deserve one, don’t you?”

“Definitely,” Quinn agreed. “Like a beach party. Dancing, playing in water, lots of yummy food and great music!”

“Lots of boys, too,” Tara chimed in.

“This place is perfect for a party like that,” Chloe said. The Carlsons’ home in Malibu, California, was only steps from the beach. “We could set up tables and grills on the deck. And get some really cool decorations, too.”

“And we can invite tons of kids, because it’ll be mostly outside,” Tara added. “Oh, we should definitely invite Brian O’Keefe! He’s probably an excellent dancer.”

“And Rick Northrup and Doug Weyman,” Quinn said.

“Let’s do it!” Chloe exclaimed. “I’ll have to ask Mom, but I’m sure she’ll say yes. We can pool our money for decorations and food and everything.”

“I’m in,” Quinn said. “When?”

“How about next Saturday?” Tara suggested. “Nobody’s having a party then.”

“Well, now we are!” Chloe grinned. “a super, fanstastic, talk-about-it-for-weeks blast!”

“Okay, Pepper, what do you think?” Riley asked. She glanced at the family cocker spaniel, who had followed her into the bedroom she shared with Chloe. “What should I put into the time capsule?”

Riley tossed an armful of tees, short~shorts, and capris onto her bed. They landed next to a plastic box filled with blush, brushes, and eye shadow, which was next to a stack of CD’s, a set of Tolkien books, a school calendar, and dozen of snapshots from Riley’s bulletin board.

“Doesn’t any of this grab you, Pepper?” Riley asked. “Like, does something just scream West Malibu High freshman?”

And am I actually talking to my dog? She wondered.

Pepper yawned and curled up on her red doggie cushion in the corner.

Riley ran her fingers through her straight blonde hair and stared at the mess piled high on her bed. After leaving Chloe, Tara and Quinn in the kitchen, she’d come upstairs determined to figure out her personal contribution to the time capsule.

The problem was nothing seemed right.

“Riley, tell me my eyes aren’t deceiving me!” a Spanish-accented voice suddenly called out. Maneolo Del Valle, the Carlsons’ full time housekeeper/cook, stood in the doorway. He stared at the pile of stuff on Riley’s bed with a gleam of delight in his brown eyes. “Are you truly excavating your closet?”

“I hate to disappoint you, Maneolo, but no. maybe for your birthday,” she offered with a grin.

“What a lovely gift that would be!” Maneolo gave an exaggerated sigh of regret. Then he held up the family’s new digital camcorder and aimed it at Riley. “Say cheese, please.”

“Cheese, please,” Riley said with a grin. “What are you doing?”

“I’ve decided to go into filmmaking,” Maneolo declared. “This one will be called Messy Rooms: A Housekeeper’s Descent into Madness.”

Riley rolled her eyes. “Seriously.”

“Seriously, your mother found herself with time to think, and she had a brainstorm,” Maneolo explained, aiming the camera at the girls’ computer. “She decided it was time to update the insurance policy on the house. She asked me to videotape everything in it.”

[Riley: Mom is always superbusy. When she and dad separated, she took over their fashion design business. Dad wanted a simpler life, and he now lives in a trailer on the beach. Between you nad me, the ‘simple life’ mostly means long walks and lots of meditation. Don’t get me wrong, Dad’s really happy, and Mom’s really happy, and they’re still friends, so that makes Chloe and me happy. Anyway, Mom is always in a fast-forward mode, so when she has even five seconds of downtime, she looks for something to do-like updating the insurance policy on the house.]

“What are you doing, if not cleaning?” Maneolo asked, videotaping her bookshelves. “Having a garage sales? Looking for your other periwinkle leather flip-flop?”

Riley glanced up. “How do you know I’m missing a flip-flop?” she asked.

“Because it’s been out of the back deck all week,” he replied. He reached into his back pocket and tossed the blue flip-flop in question onto the bed. “And judging by the teeth marks,” he said, “I believed a certain cocker spaniel is to be blame.”

Riley ruffled Pepper’s ears. “That’s pair number three,” she said to the dog. “Anyway, thanks, Maneolo. But actually I wasn’t looking for the flip-flop. I’m trying to decide what to put into the time capsule.”

As Maneolo continued to videotape the room, Riley told him about the West Malibu High project. “Everyone on the committee gets to put something in. Got any ideas for me?”

“Hmm…” Maneolo shuffled through the photos on the bed. “Ah! This is a possibility.”

“Really?” Riley asked, peering over his shoulder at the picture of some of her friends. “I took that at the Spring Fling last month. Why that one?”

Maneolo pointed to her friend Rebecca’s high heeled sneakers. “Because future generations need to know what styles should never be repeated!” he said, making a face.

Riley laughed.

“Or, how about a printout of all your email correspondence?” Maneolo suggested.

Riley gave him a look. He had to be kidding.

“On the other hand,” Maneolo went on, his eyes twinkling, “being longer than War and Peace, that would probably go unread.”

Riley rolled her eyes again. “Very funny.”

“Sorry, Riley, I couldn’t resist.” Maneolo patted her on the shoulder. “I promise you, I will give your project some serious thought.”

Riley knew he would. Maneolo was also the family’s fulltime friend/problem solver. But she didn’t have a lot of time to wait right now. She had to decide on her capsule contribution fast. The committee wanted to know by Monday what everybody was putting in.

Maneolo continued panning the room with the camera. “This little gadget is fabulous!” he declared.

“Uh-huh,” Riley murmured, staring at all the stuff on her bed. Last summer’s tankini? The lightning bolt nail appliqu├ęs? Nah. They only said something about her. She picked up the school calendar and started flipping through it. Each page had a college of candid photos of West Malibu High students. That might work, she thought. But it’s still not… exciting.

“It’s so easy to use,” Maneolo went on, raving about the new camera. “Even for a technically challenged person such as myself. Years from now we will still have a true record of the Carlsons household. Including the stupendous mess in this room-which, hopefully will not still be here one hundred years from now!”

“Huh? Wait. A true record!” Riley tossed the calendar back onto the bed and pointed at the camera. “That’s it, Maneolo! That’s what I’ll put into the time capsule!”

maneolo clutched the camera to his heart. “Riley, your mother purchased this only a week ago. And, forgive me for being crass, but it cost a bundle!”

“I didn’t mean the camera itself,” Riley explained. “But I can use it to videotape kids from my class. That way I’ll get everything about us-what we wear, how we talk, what we like and don’t like. I can do interviews and film kids skateboarding or shopping or whatever, and it’ll be on tape-a true record, like you said!”

“It’s an excellent idea!” Maneolo agreed. “Truly inspired… by yours truly!”

“Yeah! I owe you one, Maneolo!” Riley was psyched. Her video was going to be the hit of the project. “And just for giving me that brilliant idea, I’m going to clean up this mess-and organize my shoe trees!”

Maneolo sighed happily. “Caramba! And it isn’t even my birthday!”
to be continued...

History in BM version (Bab 1 ~ Kemunculan Tamadun Awal Manusia)

Zaman Paleolitik dan Zaman Mesolitik
Hidup secara nomad, iaitu berpindah randah (tepi tasik, tepi sungai, dalam gua)
Hidup dalam kelompok keluarga/ secara berkumpulan
Memungut hasil hutan, memburu binatang, menangkap ikan
Alat-alat batu ciptaan mereka lebih mengutamakanfungsi daripada nilai estetik/ seni. Cth: Lenggong, Kota Tampan (Perak), Tingkayu (Sabah), Gua Niah (Sarawak)

Zaman Neolitik
Hidup menetap dalam kelompok yg besar (masyarakat)
Bercucuk tanam, menternak binatang
Penciptaan alatan batu dilicinkan & mempunyai plg fungsi
Bahan tembikar
Mewujudkan pembahagian tugas/ pengkhususan kerja
Sistem barter

Zaman Logam (Zaman Besi & Zaman Gangsa)
Penggunaan alat drpd logam
Cipta perahu dan rumah
Meneroka lautan & meningkatkan kegiatan perdagangan maritime
Muncul petempatan besar & kota pertahanan – berkembang menjadi bandar & kota. Cth: Jericho di Jordan (8000SM) & Catal Huyuk di Turki (6500SM)

Makna Tamadun
Mudun, madain
Madana (tinggi budi bahasa, pembinaan bandar)
Civitas- bandar
Gordon Childe- pencapaian lahiriah merupakan kayu ukur kemajuan tamadun dalam sesebuah masyarakat
Darcy Riberio & R A Buchanan- menekankan kepentingan & pembangunan lahiriah dalam perkembangan tamadun
Syed Naquib al-Attas- pencapaian tahap tatasusila yg tinggi & kebudayaan yg luhur oleh sesebuah masyarakat- disokong oleh Richard Sullivan

Ciri-ciri tamadun
Pertempatan kekal
Kehidupan organisasi
System pemerintahan
Pengkhususan pekerjaan
Agama dan kepercayaan
Bahasa dan system tulisan

Tujuan memilih lembah sungai sbg petempatan
Tujuan pertanian
Kemudahan mendpt bekalan air
Kemudahan mendapat bekalan makanan
Kemudahan pengangkutan & perhubungan

Tamadun Mesopotamia (tanah di antara 2 sg iaitu Sg Tigris & Sg Euphrates)

selepas kejatuhan chaldea, parsi menguasai wilayah Mesopotamia
Kerajaan yg memberi sumbangan kpd Mesopotamia (sumeria, akkad, ur, Babylon lama, Assyria)
Timur laut Mesopotamia ialah Pergunungan Zagros, Barat daya Mesopotamia ialah Dataran Tanah Arab, Selatan Mesopotamia ialah Teluk Parsi.
Mesopotamia dibhgikan kpd bhg utara & selatan bandar Baghdad.
Bhg utara bandar Baghdad ialah Assyria
Bhg selatan bandar Baghdad ialah Babylon
Babylon dibahagi kpd utara &selatan (utara-Akkad) (selatan-Sumeria)
Pertumbuhan tamadun di Mesopotamia bermula di wilayah selatan, iaitu summer.
Org sumeria bukanlah peneroka awal krn sebelumnya kebudayaan Neolitk telah lama wujud dan berkembang di wilayah ini
Negara kota- Kish, Nippur, Lagash, Uruk, Ur, Eridu, Assur, Mari

Negara kota
Kawasan utama (pusat kota, luar kota, tembok kota, pelabuhan)
Kubu pertahanan
Istana, rumah kediaman, rumah ibadat, rumah kedai, pasar, jalan

Rumah ibadat- tumpuan anggota masyarakat

Kubu pertahanan- pintu gerbang (lambang kekayaan)

Setiap Negara kota
Merupakan sebuah kerajaan yg berdaulat
Mempunyai unit politik yg tersendiri
Bersatu tenaga utk berperang & menentang musuh
Mempunyai agama tersendiri

Jalan penghubung yg utama- jln yg menghubungkan Sumeria & Kota Mari

Golongan pemerintah
Ketua pendeta
Ketua tentera
Orang bangsawan

Golongan rakyat
rakyat bebas (petani, artisan, pedagang)
hamba (tawanan perang)

system pemerintahan- teokrasi
raja dianggap sbg tuhan/ wakil tuhan & pemilik Negara kota
raja Naramsin (Akkad)- 1. memaksa pddk Akkad menyembahnya sbg tuhan. 2. menggangap dirinya terlalu agung krn berjaya menguasai wilayah yg luas. 3. digelar “Raja Empat Penjuru Alam”
Raja- ketua pentadbir, ketua tentera, ketua pendeta, ketua agama, melantik ahli keluarga diraja memegang jawatan di ziggurat, menentukan bentuk pentadbirannya, berkuasa dlm soal tanah, cukai, hasil pertanian & perniagaan

Pusat ibadat
Pusat perdagangan
Pusat penyimpanan khazanah Negara

Tulisan- gambar~ symbol (pd tanah liat)~ berbentuk pepaku~ cuneiform

Sumbangan Tamadun Mesopotamia
Kod Undang-undand Hammurabi
berteraskan hak rakyat terhadap keadilan
hukuman & denda mestilah setimpal dgn kesalahan tetapi berbeza mengikut susun lapis rakyat
282 undang-undang
dipahat pd tembok& tiang besar utk tatapan rakyat
- mewujudkan perpaduan
- mengukuhkan system organisasi dlm kehidupan masyarakat
- membantu peradaban Mesopotamia bertahan utk jangka masa yg panjang

Kewujudan system tulisan
system pendidikan- melahirkan jurutulis
epik Gilgamesh- hasil kesusasteraan yg tertua di dunia, mengandungi falsafah & cara hidup orang Mesopotamia

Perkembangan ilmu astronomi
perkembangan ilmu matematik &geometri
menggunakan jalan laut
mencipta kalender berasaskan system solar yg mengandungi 12 bulan dlm satu thn

Perkembangan ilmu perubatan
Krjn Assyria mementingkan kesihatan anggota tenteranya
500 jenis ubat-ubatan termasuk herba & ramuan perubatan, cara mengubat

Penciptaan roda
kereta kuda
mencipta kincir air~ mengalirkan airke kawasan tandus & meningkatkan hasil pertanian, mengawal banjir

Alat pengankutan yg terawal
menggunakan kapal layer & pengangkutan beroda

Cara membuat batu bata drpd tanah liat

Mencipta arca & tiang batu = Raja Gudea

- Raja Sargon mewujudkan kerajaan Akkad (empayar pertama di dunia)
- Ashurbanipal~ menubuhkan sebuah perpustakaan diraja di bandar Niveneh

Tamadun Mesir Purba
- Zaman awal, pertengahan, empayar, keruntuhan
- Zaman kejatuhannya dikuasai oleh Libya, Kush, Assyria, Parsi, Yunani, & Rom
- Petempatan kekal, kampong, bandar, daerah/nome
- Cth: Thinis, Memphis, Thebes

Ciri-ciri Mesir Purba
Firaun Menes- mengaturkan kesemua nome menjadi sebuah pentadbiran

Pusat pentadbiran: Thinis, Memphis, Thebes

Bandar- tempat kediaman firaun, pusat pemerintahan &pentadbiran, pelabuhan penting, pusat keagamaan, pusat tumpuan penduduk

Firaun- ketua pendeta, pemilik tanah, ketua hakim, ketua pahlawan, berkuasa mutlak, dianggap suci, jelmaan Tuhan Horus, diwarisi secara turun temurun, Raja Matahari (anak Tuhan Matahari~ Amon-Re)

Rahib- mentadbir hal keagamaan

Orang awam dilantik (jurutulis)- menulis segala rekod kerajaan

Firaun Hatshepsut (wanita)- pembinaan terusan & penukaran padang pasir kpd tanah pertanian yg subur

Pengkhususan pekerjaan
- Penenunan & pembuatan barang tembikar & peralatan
- Eksport utama ~ tekstil & kertas
- Perlombongan emas do Nubia
- Pelabuhan-pelabuhan ~ Thebes, Memphis, Fayoum, Heliopolis

Agama (politeisme)
- Re (tuhan matahari)
- Amun (tuhan angin)
- Ra-Atum (tuhan langit)
- Percaya kpd kehidupan selepas mati

System tulisan (hieroglif)
- Berasaskan kombinasi gambar &symbol yg berdasarkan bunyi
- Mencatatkan rekod aktiviti pertanian
- Pengutipan cukai
- Tujuan keagamaan & amalan ritual kepercayaan

Sumbangan Tamadun Mesir Purba
Ilham Imhotep- penasihat kpd Firaun Djoser, membina pyramid Sakkara utk Firaun Djoser, memperkenalkan teknik pembinaan bangunan dgn menggunakan batu-bata

kemajuan pendidikan & penggunaan kertas

tulisan- hieroglif, hieratic, demotic (mencipta kertas drpd pokok papyrus)

system pendidikan (rumah ibadat)
- utk kanak-kanak drpd keluarga atasan
- utk melahirkan para pegawai krjn terutamanya jurutulis

Kemajuan bidang perubatan – proses memumiakan mayat

Perkembangan ilmu matematik

mencipta system tulisan – Firaun Senuuskret 3, membina sebuah tembok pengairan sepanjang 123km bagi menebus guna kawasan padang pasir

memperkenalkan system kalender 365 hari berdasarkan 12 bulan dln sethn

Tamadun Indus
Faktor kehancuran tamadun Indus
serangan orang Aryan
bencana alam spt banjir, kemarau, gempa bumi

dua bandar utama ialah Mohenjo Baro & Harappa

bandar pelabuhan- Lothal & Sutkagen Dor

Bandar dibahagi kpd 2 bhg & dikeliling oleh tembok

Bahagian utama
pusat pentadbiran & keagamaan
tempat mandi awam (upacara ritual, pembersihan)
tempat penyimpanan hasil pertanian

Bahagian kedua (kawasan perumahan)

Susun atur bandar
- Berasaskan blok-blok berbentuk segi empat
- Setiap blok dipisahkan oleh 1 rangkaian jalan raya yg lurus & bersambung antara satu sama lain
- Mempunyai system kumbahan yg terancang
- Dihubung dgn sg~ jln perhubungan

golongan atasan
- pendeta (bilangan kecil tetapi berkuasa)
- pedagang

golongan bawahan
- petani
- buruh

pengkhususan pekerjaan
- perdagangan, pembuatan, pertanian, pertukangan

Proto Siva
- seorang duduk bersila dgn stail yoga
- terdapat 3 tanduk di kepalanya (Dewa Brahma, Vishnu, Siva)

Tuhan ibu- melambangkan kesuburan

tulisan- piktograf

Sumbangan Tamadun Indus
perancangan bandarnya
batu batadihasilkan melalui pembakaran dgn suhu yg tinggi
sifat keterbukaan

Tamadun Hwang Ho
bukti kemunculan~ jumpaan tengkorak homo sapien (Peking Man)- adanya kehiduapan Zaman Paleolitik

Tapak Banpo- petempatan awal penduduk Hwang Ho

Negara Kota (Anyang)- istana, kuil, pusat pentadbiran, tembok (menghalang pencerobohan musuh) (dikelilingi oleh perkampungan [petani])

- menghasilkan senjata, perisai
- hiasan pd kereta kuda yg digunakan oleh tentera
- peralatan utk upacara keagamaan

Perhambaan – cirri utama dalam dinasti Shang

Dua kumpulan tentera (tentera yg menggunakan kereta kuda) (tentera berjalan kaki)

kuasa raja merupakan mandate drpd tuhan

raja Shang tdk perlu mendapatkan pengesahan politik (mereka adalah drpd keturunan perintah agama)

Raja Chou mengikat pembesar tempatan
- ikat taat seyia kpd pemerintahan Chou
- memberikan hadiah spt kereta kuda, senjata gangsa

Pembesar diminta
- melindungi raja
- memberikan bantuan ketenteraan pd masa perang
- sbg ketua agama utk menjlnkan upacara pengorbanan

Agama dan kepercayaan
- animisme & politeisme (penyembahan roh nenek moyang, tuhan syurga, tuhan bumi)

jumpaan tulang binatang & kulit kura-kura di Anyang ~ oracle ~ meramal sesuatu keadaan

system tulisan- ideogram

Sumbangan Tamadun Hwang Ho
gelaran raja ~ maharaja
pembinaan system pengairan
teknologi pembajakan & penciptaan cangkul
menggunakan batas utk tujuan pencucukan
system tulisan
konsep yin dan yang serta Feng Shui
Sistem kalender
perang Sun Tzu – selok-belok perang & bagaimana menangani musuh ~ taktik dlm urusan perniagaan

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

lyrics (You Are The Music In Me)

Na na na na
Na na na na
You are the music in me
You know the words once upon a time
Made you listen
There's a reason
Kelsi and Gabriella
When you dream, there's a chance you'll find
A little laughter or happy ever after
Troy and Gabriella
Your harmony to melody
Is echoing inside my head
A single voice (single voice)
Above the noise
And like a common thread
Oooh... you're pulling me
When I hear my favourite song
I know that we belong
Oh, you are the music un me
Yeah, it's living in all of us
And it brought us here because
Because you are the music in me
Na na na na oh
na na na na na
Yeah yeah yeah (na na na na)
You are the music in me
It's like i knew you before we met (before we met)
Can't explain
There's no name for it (no name for it)
I'm saying words that i never said
And it was easy (so easy)
cause you see the real me (i see you)
As i am
You understand
And that's more than i've ever known
To hear your voice (hear your voice)
Above the noise (ooh ooh)
I know that i am not alone
Oh you are singing to me (oh yeah)
When i hear my favourite song
I know that we belong (oh yeah)
You are the music in me
(yeah) it's living in all of us
And it brought us here because
You are the music in me
Together we are gonna sing (yeah)
We got the power to sing what we feel (what we feel)
Connected and real
Can't keep it all in side (Ohh)
Na na na na (ohh yeah)
Na na na na na (ohh yeah)
Yeah yeah yeah (na na na na)
You are the music in me (in me)
Na na na na (ohh yeah)
Na na na na na (ohh yeah)
Na na na na
You are the music in me
When i hear my favourite song (favourite song)
I know that we belong (we belong)
You are the music in me
It's living in all of us
It brought us here because (here because)
You are the music in me
Na na na na (ohh yeah)
Na na na na (ohh yeah)
Na na na na
You are the music in me


In mid October, I got a real surprise. A lorry pulled up in front of my house and the driver announced that he had a ‘sokomutu’ for sale cheap. In the Swahili language that means ‘man of the market place’, the name the chimpanzee has earned because of his shrewd, sociable nature. In the back of the lorry was a full-grown male chimp, trussed up inside a heavy hunting net. He was too powerful an animal to turn loose in my garden, and I was about to refuse the offer when I noticed that he had an open, weeping wound on his right wrist.

“That wound is infected. It may kill him,” I said to the driver.

“Why else do you think I’d sell a chimp for twenty dollars? If he dies, you won’t lose much, but if he gets better you’ll have made a smart deal.”

It was clear that unless I intervened the chimp will die a slow, agonizing death while his owner was trying to sell him. I paid, and the driver and I unloaded the heavy bundle of netting and carried it into the garage. I picked up a sharp knife from the kitchen, went back to the garage and locked the door from the inside.

The chimp was smaller than I am, but much stronger. Even with a disabled hand, he was quite capable of breaking most of my bones. Yet he was certainly intelligent, taking in every move with his weary-looking brown eyes. I decided to put my trust in that intelligence and so I squatted down next to him, trying to explain by my gestures and tone of voice that my intentions were friendly. I talked to him for about 10 minutes, calling him Joseph.

Joseph listened attentively, looked at me with pleading eyes, and hooted with astonishment when I gave him a little pat on the head and a big kiss on the nose. I gently cut his right hand free. Joseph winced with pain as I accidentally touched his swollen fingers, but showed neither anger nor alarm. I then slowly freed his legs, watching him carefully. He didn’t make a move, even when I finally released him from the last folds of netting round his arms. That was where the real danger lay: like most animals, chimpanzees will rarely bite before they catch hold of their prey.

Now he was completely free, but he remained motionless. Finally, pushing his big lips forward, he saluted me with a rising crescendo of hoots, climaxed by a broad, winning smile. I hooted back at him, with a matching smile. Still squatting, he moved towards me slowly. He raised his hand and peered at the wound with a melancholy expression. I extended my own hand and he rested his swollen fingers in my palm.

I must have held the hand for five minutes, while I tried to determine the extent of the infection. Joseph hooted a running commentary until I tried to leave the garage to get medical aid. As soon as I unlocked the door, he shrieked and shot out of the garage past me. When he was about 60 metres away, he sat down, screaming hysterically. I walked towards him slowly. To my surprise, he let me close the gap and take him by the left hand. I squeezed it tightly in my own, trying to reassure him and yet also trying to give him the illusion of my superior strength and authority. Gently, I persuaded him back into the garage. I sat down and waited quietly. After some moments, he sat down himself.

“Stay here!” I said, holding a finger in front of his nose; but as soon as I got up he tried to follow. We did this again… and again… and again for more than an hour. Finally he gave in and decided to stay there. I left in a hurry, locking the door from the outside.

I went to the District Veterinary Surgeon. He was away until the next day, so I left an urgent message and returned to my house to gather some elementary medical supplies.

I opened the garage door and found Joseph sitting just inside. This time he made no attempt to escape, but remained entirely submissive, even when I washed the wound. Only when I probed at the deepest parts did he pull away his hand away in pain. He inspected the wrist slowly and then put his hand back in mine. I covered the wrist with sulphur powder and wrapped it in about 6 metres of bandage, hoping that some of it would remain in place.

When I brought him some food later, the bandage was still on his wrist. I changed the dressing. Then Joseph tried new tactics. He seized my hand, and pulled me into his corner. Curious, I sat down. He sat next to me, leaning heavily against my side, and grunted with satisfaction. He became sleepy and his head nodded towards my shoulders. Then he put his big left hand in my lap and held it there, open and expectant, until I clasped it in my own. We slept in that position until morning.

The next day the vet showed up. I asked him urgently to treat Joseph.

“A full grown chimp?” he said. “He’d try to kill me the moment I touched him!”

I argued with him until he finally agreed to examine Joseph. Then he got a good look through the window of the garage.

“That monster is as big as gorilla,” he cried.

“You’ll see how gentle he is,” I said. I went inside, made Joseph sit and stand, and put my hand between his teeth. After that the vet came in, but he insisted that I keep my own body between himself and his patient.

“Moist gragrene,” he said at last. “To save the animal, that hand will have to be amputated above his wrist.”

I was appalled.

“It’s intolerable,” I said finally. “What kind of life would he have?”

“Why don’t you give him to the Central African Scientific Research Institute? They will operate and take good care of him afterwards- if you can get him there: it’s 300 hundred kilometers from here.”

It was the only solution, but still I didn’t like it.

I injected Joseph with a massive dose of penicillin, and then we were on our way. He was very quiet as he sat beside me in the cab of my new pick-up truck. When we reached the Research Institute, several hours later, the men loithering nearby suddenly saw Joseph, and screamed in panic and fled. I eased the big chimp out of the cab and walked him into the building, holding his hand. As I said goodbye to him, I held out my left hand’ he stretched out his own, and the two of us- ape and man- shook hands like brothers.

How The Frog Lost its Voice

Many hundred years ago in the forest, the animals lived together happily. There were no jealousy, no quarrels and no fights. They would often gather to hear stories, sing and dance. Each animal was talented in his own way. Among them was a frog. He was named Freddy.

Freddy was a young and handsome frog. He was also kind hearted. Everyone loved him. Freddy was good in everything. He was witty and perceptive. He could tell exciting stories. Make the sad laugh with his clownish ways. Make the weak be strong and lively again. Make the day full of sunshine and hope. But he was best with his voice.

Whenever Freddy sang, all the other animals were held entranced. The whole forest seemed to be spellbound by him. Those who were doing their work would stop and listen. Those who were talking and playing will stop too. Little babies would stop crying and smile with their eyes twinkling happily. The forest would be quiet, so quiet with peace and harmony in each heart. The only sound that whispered through the air would be the gentle breeze that accompanied Freddy’s singing.

(Freddy sings)
Song: I love to sing to you, my friends
As dawn breaks into day
And as I sing
Let there be peace in all the animals’ heart
Valderi, valdera, valderi
Valda ha ha ha ha ha ha
Valderi, valdera
Let peace be in our hearts
Let peace be in our hearts

As time went by, Freddy became very proud. He began to sneer at others’ talents and laughed loudly at the youngs’ efforts.

“Ha! Ha! You all are so stupid. Fools! Fools! Look at me, I can sing better than all of you. I am the most talented animal. I am the greatest one here.”

All the animals began to dislike Freddy. But still there would be charmed by his melodious voice and beautiful songs.

One day, while Freddy was asleep, the other animals gathered under the old owl’s home.

The pig snorted and said, “Something must be done”.

“Yes”, bayed the ass.

“What can we do?” squeaked the mouse.

“What do you suggest, old wise owl?” asked the dog.

The owl just shook his head in sadness. All the animals bowed their head in silence and despair. As night fell, each went home with sunken spirit.

The next day, the rabbit suggested that they have a party.

“What for?” hissed the snake.

“It could liven our spirit”, chirped the bird.

“Yes, yes, we will have a party and we will not invite Freddy!” all the animals cried in loud response.

Quickly the time and date were set. All the animals rushed home in excitement and full of plans for the coming party. The cat mewed to have his coat brushed. The lion roared to have his claws sharpened. The duck waddled in the pond all day to have his feathers cleaned. Each wanted to look his best.

Freddy was surprised at the rush and excitement. He went round asking everyone but no one told him anything.

Freddy shouted in anger, “You just wait. Whatever you are doing, it would be a failure.”
At last he got news of the party and that he was not invited!

The party was drawing soon but still Freddy was not given any invitation. Freddy hopped in mad anger.

“Wait, wait, you mean animals. You will pay for this. How could you all leave me out. Me! The most important animal”.

The animals ignored him. Poor Freddy! No one bothered about him. When the party started, Freddy stood hiding behind the bushes. He was ashamed and angry. He eyed at the food hungrily but no one seemed to remember him.

Suddenly, there was a fire.

A mother bird came shouting, “Help me! Oh, please come quickly, my nest is on fire and my little ones are in the nest”.

All the animals rushed to help the bird except Freddy.

“I will not help them, they deserve it. I shall eat all their food,” said Freddy.

Freddy gobbled up their food. He ate and ate and ate. He ate so fast and greedily that he did not realize that he had swallowed a bone.

The bone got stuck in his throat. But as he was so angry, he just continues gobbling up all the food. When he had finished eating, he sighed with deep satisfaction. Slowly he hopped back to his home. The bone in his throat starting to hurt him but he was so sleepy that he fell asleep.

When the animals came back, they were so surprised because there was no food left on the table. They knew that the greedy frog had eaten all their food. But they could not do anything because it was already too late.

The next day, the forest was very quiet. Freddy’s melodious voice was not heard that morning. Everyone was surprised.

“What happened to Freddy?” asked all the animals.

The owl and the badger decided to look for Freddy. They searched everywhere for him. His home? No Freddy. The pond? No Freddy. His favourite spots and still no sign of him. At last, after a fruitful search, they found him. Where do you think he was? In a rubbish dump! Freddy was looking sick, haggard, and worst of all his throat was swollen badly. He could not talk to them. He could not sing anymore. He just croaked when he wanted to sing or talk.

The animals felt pity for Freddy. One by one they brought him remedies but none could recover him. Freddy felt so ashamed that he jumped into the river. He would only appear when he thought he could sing again. But at last, till this day, he could only croaked. This is the reason why frogs croaked.

The simple message from this story is be humble and do not be hasty.

lyrics - Together in Electric Dreams

I only knew you for a while
I never saw your smile
Till it was time to go
A time to go away (time to go away)
Sometimes it's hard to recognise
Love comes as a surprise
And it's too late
It's just to late to stay (to late to stay)
We'll always be together
However far it seems (love never ends)
We'll always be together
Together in electric dreams
Because the friendship that you gave
Has taught me to be brave
No matter where I go
I'll never find a better prize (find a better prize)
Though you are miles and miles away
I see you everyday
I don't have to try
I just close my eyes
I close my eyes
CHORUS till fade

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mulu Caves of Sarawak

If you ask anyone to name one of the natural wonders of the world, the odds are a thousand to one against them naming anywhere in Malaysia. Yet here, in the state of Sarawak, is to be found one of the strangest and greatest wonders of all. For deep below the limestone hills of Gunung Mulu National Park are the most stupendous caverns ever visited by man, thousands of metres below some of the best preserved rain forests in the world.
One cave-Gua Rusa (Deer Cave in English) - has been known to local forest dwellers for centuries. Its huge openings, at each end of the mountain it penetrates, allow daylight to illuminate 200 metres waterfalls that pour from the roof after the frequent rainstorms. They are alos witness to the great exodus of bats every dusk as they fly off in search of insects and fruit, looking like clouds of black smoke as they twist and turn, disperse and gather in the dying rays of the sun. Down below, thousands of footprints on the clay floor show how the cave got its name.
Many more caves have guarded their secrets more carefully. In fact, they remained undiscovered until the past eight years. To delve into their total darkness has called on the special talents of speleologits-cave explorers-equipped with the skills and gear to tackle the unconventional mountaineering which the caves demand. Its draw is so great that several expeditions have come from Britain to join officers of the Sarawak National Forest Department in the work of finding, mapping, photographing the caves. Working with clinometers, instruments which measure angles; tape measures and compasses they have discovered 150 kilometres of caves, and this under a stretch of hills measuring only 50 kilometres in length and never more than 16 kilometres in width! They probably remains much more to be discovered, for in Europe new caves are still being found after a hundred years of exploration in already well explored caving regions. The most spectacular cave yet entered is undoubtedly the Sarawak Chamber, twice as large as any previously known cave. It is so vast that 40 jumbo jets could be parked inside with room to spare.
Deep inside the caves the speleologists found that they were not alone. Signs of life were everywhere, even more than 6 kilometres from the nearest daylight! Far beyond the range of the bats, cave swiftlets make their nests. These amazing birds find their way in the dark by making clicking noises and listening to the echoes. It may seem crude compared to the electronic navigation system of a modern airliner, but it works. The little birds thread their way through passages large and small with perfect accuracy. Sometimes, as in Tiger Cave, they fly in at dusk in such large numbers that thay sound like the roar of a waterfall as they pass by. Not only do the swiftlets navigate in inky blackness, but they also run the risk of snakes waiting to catch them from the air as they whirr round corners. These snakes, known as cave racers can be up to 3 metres long. Fortunately for speleologists they tend to cause alarm rather than harm!
Not all animals who enter these caves are able to find their way out again. Benarat Caverns provides morbid evidence of this. The floor of this very deep cave, running 1000 metres below the surface, is littered with the bones of countless bats, swifts and the occasional larger creature which found its way into the labyrinth but not out again.

History in BM version (Kerajaan Abbasiyah)

Kerajaan Bani Abbasiyah

-penentangan berpunca krn
* org islam yg bukan keturunan Arab (glg mawali) seperti bangsa parsi dan Barbar menganggap mrk telah dikrisminasikan.
+ tdk senang hati krn tdk mendpt jawatan yg dianggap layak oleh mrk.
+ mrk juga dikenakan kadar cukai yg lebih tinggi drpd kadar yg dikenakan kpd org Arab Islam
+ akibatnya, glg mawali menyokong & menyertai gerakan Abbasiyah menentang pemerintahan Bani Umaiyah
* para khalifahnya telah mengabaikan tanggungjawab mrk terhadap rakyat di samping mengabaikan ajaran islam
+ membangkitkan kemarahan rakyat
* pemilihan khalifah mengikut sistem warisan yg diamalkan oleh Bani Umaiyah ditentang oleh sebilangan org islam, khasnya glg Syiah & Khawarij
= menyumbang kpd kejatuhan kerajaan Bani Umaiyah

Pembentukan krjn Bani Abbasiyah
diasaskan pd thn 750 M selepas gerakan/ revolusi Abbasiyah berjaya menumbangkan krjn Bani Umaiyah
pd mulanya, gerakan ini ditajakan oleh Ali bin Abdullah (bergerak secara sulit)
Khalifah Umar Abdul Aziz (bergerak secara terbuka)
Meneruskan kempen atas nama Ahlul Bait (keluarga Nabi Muhammad saw) utk mendptkan sokongan
Menjadikan Khurasan, Kufah, dan Humaimah sbg pusat operasi
Diperkukuh dgn kedua-dua pahlawan besar, Abu Salamah al-Khallal yg mengetuai gerakan di Kufah dan Abu Muslim al-Khurasani yg menjadi ketua di Khurasan
Krjn Abbasiyah mengambil sempena nama al-Abbas, iaitu nama bapa saudara Nabi Muhammad saw
Mengamalkan pemerintahan bercorak sistem warisan
Ktk Abu Jaafar al-Mansur memerintah, pusat pemerintahan telah diubah dari Damsyik ke Baghdad.
Kerajaan ini berakhir pd thn 1258M apabila ibu kotanya ditawan oleh tentera Mongol di bawah pimpinan Hulagu Khan

Sumbangan Kerajaan Bani Abbasiyah
- kota Baghdad memainkan peranan sbg pusat intelektual & penyebaran ilmu
perkembangan keilmuan ini berlaku melalui penulisan & penterjemahan karya asing ke dlm bhs Arab
di Baghdad, telah dibina baitulhikmah, iaitu sebuah institusi keilmuan yg diasaskan oleh Khalifah Harun al-Rasyid
institusi ini hanya berkembang luas pd zaman pemerintahan Khalifah al-Makmun
penterjemahan karya falsafah dan sains terutamanya drpd bhs Yunani

- kegiatan penulisan dilakukan mengikut 3 tahap
mencatat segala idea atau percakapan
mengumpulkan idea yg serupa atau mengumpulkan hadis Nabi Muhammad saw ke dlm sebuah buku

- penglibatan glg ulama dlm penulisan
ramai ulama menyusun hadis & menghasilkan tulisan dlm bidang fikah, tafsir, sejarah dan sebagainya
Imam Malik (penyusunan buku al-Muwatta)
Ibn Ishaq (penyusunan sejarah hidup Nabi Muhammad saw)
Abu Hanifah (penyusunan fikah & pendpt ijtihad)
Juga terdpt pemisahan ant ilmu tafsir, ilmu sirah (sejarah hidup Nabi Muhammad saw) & ilmu hadis

- terjemahan yg dibuat drpd bhs Sanskrit, Suriani dan Yunani
- org islam bukan shj menterjemah malah mencipta dan membuat pembaharuan dlm karya yg diterjemahkan ke dlm bhs Arab. Mereka menghuraikan dan membuat penambahbaikan terhadap karya tersebutdgn memuatkan keterangan & ulasan yg sangat bernilai & besar ertinya.
- Org islam memainkan peranan besar dlm berbakti kpd kebudayaan dunia
Memelihara warisan ilmu drpd lenyap krn mrk telah menerima hasil penulisan itu pd masa eropah dilanda oleh Zaman Gelap
Mempertingkatkan kegiatan penyelidikan hingga kedapatan hasil kajian sarjana islam yg telah sampai ke eropah
Membawa kpd kebangkitan eropah

-membuka mata ilmuwan eropah (Renaissance)
-mempertingkatkan pengetahuan manusia sezaman dgn mrk
-meninggalkan warisan yg sangat ternilai kpd generasi kemudian
-glg cendekiawan islam membaiki & meningkatkan lagi mutu karya asalnya
percambahan & perkembangan ilmu pengetahuan

History in BM version (Kerajaan Umaiyah)

Sumbangan Kerajaan Bani Umaiyah

Terdapat emapat aspek utama di dalam sistem pentadbiran Bani Umaiyah.

sistem khalifah – pelantikan khalifah sbg ketua pemerintah bagi menggantikan Nabi Muhammad saw
sistem wazarah – pelantikan wazir utk mengetuai sistem pentadbiran Negara di bhg krjn pusat, sementara gabenor dilantik utk mengetuai pentadbiran wilayah.
sistem urus setia – beberapa org pegawai utama dilantik bagi mengumpulkan rekod, mengurus surat menyurat. Sistem ini membahagikan urusan pentadbiran kpd beberapa bhg, iaitu bhg surat menyurat, bhg cukai, bhg ketenteraan, bhg polis, dan bhg kehakiman.
sistem hijabah – seseorg pegawai ditugaskan memeriksa org yg mahu menemui khalifah, mengawal keselamatan khalifah, dan pemegang amanah.

- diperkemas lagi dengan penubuhan 4 buah jabatan
jabatan cukai
jabatan surat menyurat
jabatan urusan am
jabatan urusan cap mohor pemerintah (diasaskan oleh Muawiyah)

- sistem ketenteraan diperkemas.
Diwanul Jundi (jabatan ketenteraan), angkatan tentera darat & tentera laut ditubuhkan untuk pertahanan Negara.

- ilmu pengetahuan semakin maju, kota Basrah dikenali sbg pusat pengajaran dan penyebaran ilmu.
lahirlah ilmuwan seperti Khalil ibn Ahmad (pakar bhs & fisiologi Arab)
Sibawahyi (ahli nahu Arab)
al-Farazdaq, Jarir, Umar ibn Abi Rabia’h, Jamir al- Uzri (sasterawan)

- bhs Arab dijadikan bhs rasmi Negara
org bukan islam mendpt faedah drpd perkembangan ilmu ini apabila tanda bunyi atau baris telah diperkenalkan pd tulisan al-Quran.

- ilmu agama
pd era Khalifah Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, melahirkan sebilangan tokoh terkenal dlm bidang tertentu
Urwah bin al-Zubayr & Ibn Zilat al-Zuhri (hadis)
Ibn Jarih (tafsir al-Quran)
Hasan al-Basri & Wasil ibn Ata (usuluddin)

- taraf kesihatan
pembinaan hospital pertama di Damsyik oleh Khalifah al-Walid bin Abdul Malik
hospital penyakit kusta dibina oleh Khalifah Umar ibn Abdul Aziz

- buku rujukan pelbagai bidang ilmu diterjemahkan ke bhs Arab.
Ibn al-Nafis, pakar bedah termashyur di Damsyik menghasilkan buku al-Shamil fis Sina’ah al Tabibiyah (kajian umum profesion kedoktoran) membicarakan teknik pembedahan & rawatan selepas pembedahan

- perkembangan ilmu dlm kimia & astronomi

- dlm sistem perundangan, hakim mengenakan hukuman berdasarkan ijtihad dgn berpandukan al-Quran, sunah atau ijmak.
hakim tdk boleh mempengaruhi mana-mana pihak
tdk cenderung ke mana-mana aliran pihak pemerintah
mestilah adil dlm penghakimannya tanpa mengira pengaruhatau latar belakang org ygg diadili itu

Sumbangan krjn Bani Umaiyah tahap kedua (Andalusia)
- pendidikan
pusat pengajian tinggi di Cordova diasaskan oleh Abdul Rahman 3, kemudiannya berkembang menjadi ilmu pengetahuan di Eropah
dibina sebuah perpustakaan yg diasaskan oleh al-Hakam 2.
Sms pemerintahan kedua-dua org tokoh ini, wujud 17 buah pusat pengajian &70 buah perpustakaan do Andalusia
Selain Cordova, pusat keilmuan turut berkembang di Seville, Toledo dan Granada.

- pembinaan sebuah pusat penterjemahan utk menterjemahkan karya tokoh Yunani ked lm bhs Arab di Toledo
memberikan peluang kpd masyarakat krjn Bani Umaiyah & Arab mempelajari pelbagai ilmu drpd buku terjemahan & juga drpd sarjana Islam yg terkenal di Andalusia
Cordova dianggap sbg pusat kegemilangan ilmu
Menjadi jambatan pengetahuan ant dunia islam dengan eropah
Keilmuan islam memberikan faedah kpd masyarakat eropah
Org islam dpt menimba ilmu drpd karya eropah melalui terjemahan yg dihasilkan

- kegemilangan seni nina islam begitu terserlah pd zaman ini seperti yg dpt dilihat pd binaan Masjid Cordova
mempunyai menara yg tingginya sekitar 36m
kubah masjid Cordova ini beralaskan kayu berukir
mempunyai 1293 tiang yg diperbuat drpd marmar
pada waktu malam, diterangi dgn 4700 buah lampu & memerlukan 11 tan minyak sethn

- penubuhan baitulmal
mewujudkan sistem kewangan utk mengimbangkan pendapatan &perbelanjaan Negara
sumber pendapatan krjn termasuklah khazraj(cukai tanah), jizyah(cukai perlindungan), zakat, usyur(cukai sebanyak 1/10 drpd hasil pertanian yd didapati oleh tuan rumah), dan ghanimah(harta yg dirampas oleh tentera melalui peperangan)

- Cordova, selain menjadi pusat ilmu, juga menjadi pusat kegiatan ekonomi dan perdagangan antarabangsa
mengembangkan kemahiran perbuatan barangan tembikar serta perhiasan drpd perak & emas
perusahaan pembuatan barangan ini ditambah dgn kegiatan lain seperti memproses kulit dan membuat senjata

- sektor pertanian juga mencapai kemajuan
sistem saliran dibina utk menyuburkan dan memajukan tanah pertanian
penyelidikan juga dilakukan utk mendptkan benih yg berkualiti spy hasil pertanian dpt dipertingkatkan.

lyrics Why Not (Hilary Duff)

You think you're going nowhere
When you're walking down the street
Acting like you just don't care
When life could be so sweet
Why you wanna be like that
As if there's nothing new
You're not fooling no one
You're not even fooling you
So I walk a little slower
And open up your eyes
Sometimes it's so hard to see
The good things passing by
There may never be a sign
No flashing neon light
Telling you to make your move
Or when the time is right
(So) Why Not
Take a crazy chance
Why Not
Do a crazy dance
If you lose a moment
You might lose a lot
So...why not
Why Not
Why Not take a crazy chance [*2]
You always dress in yellow
When you want to dress in gold
Instead of listening to your heart
You do just what you're told
You keeping waiting where you are
For what, you'll never know
Lets just get into your car
And go, baby go
I could be the one for you
Maybe yes
Maybe no
It could be the thing to do
What I am saying is
You gotta let me know
You'll never get to heaven or even to LA
If you don't believe me there's a way
Why Not
Take a star from the sky
Why Not
Spread your wings and fly
It might take a little
It might take a lot
But...why not
Why Not

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I , the third speaker of the opposing team , strongly agree with my team-mates that “ computers do more good than harm ’’.

Computers have also play an important role in education . We no longer have to go to the library to do research . A lot of information that we obtain from the library , we can also get from the internet .We can also download lots of useful informations from the internet in just a matter of minutes .

Distance-learning is made possible with the inventions of computers . Students and lecturers can communicate with one another even though they are far apart . When we need to let our lecturers know that we are not going to be able to make it to class , e-mail is very efficient and fast . Work with computers particularly using the internet brings students valuable connections with teachers , other schools of students and a wide network of professionals around the globe .

Self-learning is possible with computers . One can study at the comfort of one’s home .Each child learns what he or she wants to . CD-Roms contains video , animination and music . Most home computers now come with a CD-Rom drive . Popular software includes magazines , encyclopedias , atlases , books and games . Just get some of these software and you can learn it all by yourself . You can learn at your own pace .

Computers have proven to be faster and more accurate than manual labour . This enables us to produce work at a faster rate and with less possibility of mistake . Computers have helped us to do a lot of household chores . For example , our washing machine . It helps us to wash our clothes . This saves us a lot of time and cost in employing maids .

Do you know that nowadays we can have freshly baked breads every morning .We can set our bread-making machine when to start making and baking the bread for the entire family . Just wake up in the morning and a loaf of warm , freshly baked bread awaits you . Isn’t this good ? Yes ,this is possible with computers .

With this , I strongly oppose what the proposing team have mentioned , that is “ computers do more harm than good ’’ . Thank you .

The advantages of Sports

In my opinion, I strongly agree that sports should be made a compulsory subject in school. Students of today lead sedentary lifestyles. They spend most of their time in claustrophobic classrooms and homes. With loads of homework, assignments and exams, exercise seems to be a monotorous chore. The increasing demands made upon them by their studies, exams and high expectations of their parents and teachers leave them with little time for pleasure and leisure and the need to exercise becomes a bitter pill to swallow. Therefore, the Ministry of Education should make sports as a compulsory subject in school so that the students could at least spend some time out in the green fields, with the sun blazing above them, doing exercise to keep them fit, strong and fresh.

Regular exercise is essential for good health. It tones the muscles, strengthens the bones, and makes the heart and lungs work better. Exercise improves blood circulation which, in turn, provides constant nourishment to the millions of cells in our body. When physical exertion takes place, the rate of breathing increases. Thus, the capacity of blood to carry oxygen is increased. At the same time, it helps the body to get rid of harmful carbon dioxide. Further more, taking part in sports can prevent us from all sorts of diseases such as SARS, mad cow disease and bird flu.

Besides that, doing more exercise will help students to eliminate modern-day stress. Nowadays, the number of people suffering from insomnia is on the rise. The increasing pressure and nagging worries of work and study often keep the students awake at night. For many students, the dawn of a new day brings no cheer but a heavy heart. Exercise can be instrumental in helping a person to obtain a more relaxed sleep. A tired person will be refreshed and high-spirited after a good night’s sleep. A few hours of exercise will help in getting a sound sleep and is a perfect, soothing balm for a tired body and a restless mind.

Moreover, if students exercise regularly or involve in sports, they will make full use of their leisure time doing something beneficial. They will not spend hours and hours gluing on TV programs, playing ratty computer games and wasting time gossiping over the phone with their friends. Instead, they will spend more quality time doing exercise in the park or gym with their loved ones. As the saying goes “A healthy body makes a healthy mind”. Exercise can also prevent teenagers from loitering aimlessly at shopping complexes or being drawn into crime.

On top of that, some students do have remarkable talents in sports such as swimming, gymnastics, badminton and soccer. These students will represent their school, state or country to take part in sports. Many have brought glory to the school, state and country. Recently, our country’s squash player, Nicole David had made all the Malaysians proud by becoming a World Women’s Open Champion in squash.

In conclusion, I agree that sports is good for students and should be made a compulsory subject in school. The benefits of exercise are sky limit. A person who exercises regularly has good health and more vitality than a person who does not. So, what are you waiting for? Buck up and start exercising right away.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Movie - Sinbad ~ Legend of the Seven Seas

Sinbad (Brad Pitt), the most daring and notorious rogue ever to sail the seven seas, has spent his life asking for trouble, and trouble has finally answered... in a big way. Framed for stealing one of the world's most priceless and powerful treasures - The Book of Peace - Sinbad has one chance to find and return the precious book in three days, or his best friend, Proteus (Joseph Fiennes) will die. Sinbad decide not to take that chance and instead sets a course for the sun and fun of the Fiji Islands. Without Sinbad knowing it, Maria (Catherine Zeta-Jones) Proteus's fiancee is inside his ship. Maria managed to persuade Sinbad to find The Book of Peace. But, they faced a lot of difficulties as Eris, the Goddess of Chaos constantly make their journey more unbearable. Will Sinbad be able to save Proteus in time? Will Sinbad fall in love with strong-willed Maria?

Movie - The Road to El Dorado

Tulio (Kevin Kline) and Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) find themselves captive in a Spanish explorer Cortes's (Jim Cummings) ship on its way to the new world. They escape with the bumbling help of Cortes's clumsy but friendly white horse named Altivo. They stumble down into El Dorado, an ancient city of gold which is entered through one of those old fashion monstrous waterfalls with a secret passageway behind.
The High Priest, Tzekel Kan (Armand Assante) proclaims them gods, because they look like the carving on the entry wall. Tzekel Kan plans to use the two to take power from the chief (Edward James Olmos). With the aid of a beautiful native Chel (Rosie Perez) who knows the way of a con, they plot to build a ship and take tons of gold back to Spain and be richer than the King.
With an award winning cast, a delightful story of bumbling pals, a dumb but powerful horse, a strong armadilo, sexy girls who are drawn to look genuine rather than perfect, a frightening Cortes, a stunning gold entrusted ancient city, an archaic game ensembles basketball and every imaginary semblance of hidden cities from Classic movies, El Dorado is a joyful work of film art.
The characters evolve slowly, but both Tulio and Miguel find new destinations, and in the end the secret of El Dorado is saved and the horse gets the last laugh.
It is a colourful and imaginary movie. I learnt that money is not everything in the world. Everyday is a brand new adventure, face it, solve it and you will be happiest person in the world. True friends are rare, we must treasure them always for a true friend is someone who will always support you whenever you go.

Movie - Ice Princess

A high school bookworm transforms into a swan in Walt Disney Pictures' "Ice Princess". Brainy Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg) has never quite fit in. Caught between her fanstasy of becoming a championship figure skater and her strong-willed mother (Joan Cusack), who has her on the fast track to Harvard, she can only hope to be like Nikki, Tiffany and Gen (Hayden Panettiere) - three elite skating prodigies who are ruthlessly competing on the US Figure Skating Circuit (and have attitudes to match). But when Casey gets the chance to train with Gen and the coach, a disgraced former skating who also happens to be Gen's mother (Kim Cattrall), she mush dash her own mother's hopes in order to pursue her dream. Now with only the support of Gen's teenage brother, a hunky Zamboni driver (Trevor Blumas), Casey takes on the challenge against the best to make it into the championship circuit and become a real "ice princess".
This is really a good movie. It is very inspiring. After watching the movie, I learnt a few things from Casey. We must acheive our dreams by doing it. We should not give up hipe easily when we faced obstacles in life. Remembering our family and friends are always there to support us no matter what happens.
So what are you waiting for, go to the nearest store and purchase this DVD today!

Books that I reckoned that is good!

Enis Blyton is one of the most famous writer in the world. Her books are sold worldwide. She is an imaginative writer and make the character in the story real and nice! Here are one series of Enid Blyton's books which I found that it is nice to read.

The Children at Green Meadows
Synopsis: The three children at Green Meadows love animals but they haven't any of their own - until they are given a dog to look after in secret. Then other problem pets begin to arrive and soon Green Meadows turns into an animal home. In rescuing them all - cats, dogs, pigeons, a pony and a rabbit - Francis, Clare and Sam find adventures they never dreamed of!

The Family at Red Roofs
Synopsis: Molly, Peter, Michael, and Shirley are excited when they move to a lovely new house on the hill. It's just perfect, and it's supposed to be a lucky house too! But the luck doesn't last long. Disaster strikes the family and the children's lives change completely...

House at The Corner
Synopsis: When Aunt Grace goes to stay with the Farrells, only Lizzie meets her at the station. And this is not surprising, for Pam is spoilt and stuck up, Tony is silly and mean and the twins only care about each other. But when disaster strikes the House at the Corner the family begins to change... and soon even Aunt Grace hardly recognises them!

The Put-Em-Rights
Synopsis: The Put-Em-Rights are a secret band of do-gooders. Sally, Amanda, Micky, Podge, Yolande and Bobby are all eager to solve everyone's problems. But it's not always easy trying to help without getting into lots of trouble... They also find there are some things about themselves which need putting right too!

Those Dreadful Children
Synopsis: John, Marian and Annette are horrified when the Taggerty family move in next door. The children are rough and badly behaved and so they decide to have nothing to do with them. But when their father discovers that he was at school with Mr Taggerty, the two families are thrown together - with surprising and entertaining results!

The Six Bad Boys
Synopsis: Three young boys from different family backgrounds live next door to each other and go to the same school. Then things begin to happen - two of the boys get into bad company and join the Four Terrors Gang that meets in a little cellar under a ruined house, and the gang becomes the Six Terrors. They soon get into trouble and have to face the consequences.

lyrics Madonna-Crazy For You

Swaying room as the music starts
Strangers making the most of the dark
Two by two their bodies become one
I see you through the smokey air
Can't you feel the weight of my stare
You're so close but still a world away
What i'm dying to say, is that

I'm crazy for you
Touch me once and you know it's true
I never wanted anyone like this
It's all brand new, you'll feel it in my kiss
I'm crazy for you, crazy for you
Trying hard to control my heart
I walk over to where you are
Eye to eye we need no words at all

Slowly now we begin to move
Every breath i'm deeper into you
Soon we two are standing still in time
If you read my mind, you'll see

It's all brand new, i'm crazy for you
And you know it's true
I'm crazy, crazy for you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Sound of Music

This is a story dedicated to my most favourite teacher...Madam Chew Cheng Gaik

Here goes...

"Miss Lim, you are so successful in your career as a musician! May we know who had inspired you to become a famous musician?" asked one of the reporters.

"Thanks for the nice introduction. I have been so successful in my life thanks to my teacher who has always been there to give me her fullest support and guidance," I answered.

When the interview was over, I sat down on my armchair, exhausted. I looked around my room, full of certificates and trophies for my fabulous music. I had today partly because of my hardwork and passion, but mostly because of my teacher, my beloved teacher, Madam Chew Cheng Gaik. As I thought of my teacher, my mind flew back to yesterdays, remembering every sweet memory that we had shared together.

I was a little girl at that time, very young and innocent as well. Everyday I woke up, I could see the sun shining above my little head, flowers of every colour blossoming in the garden, the birds tweeting in their melodious voice, bees buzzing here and there, greeting me good morning "princess'. I came from a rich family, a family that was highly respected by Her Majesty. I had my own private tutor and everything that I fancied. Since I was the only child, my parents always showered me with gifts and presents. Madam Chew, or rather Miss Chew at that time, was my music teacher. She was only 21, freshly graduated from Cambridge University. I took a fancy of her because she was very beautiful and taught her subject very well. She was like an angel, always smiling and never once angry when i made mistakes during our lessons. Under her guidance, my music improved tremendously. I was able to learn Grade Six at the age of 9 years old. I was considered the luckiest child on earth. I had everything I wanted, surrounded by loving parents and warm friends. You couldn't possibly asked more than that. I was like a princess living in a fairy tale castle.

But, everthing changed when the Japanese conquered Malaya. My castle of dreams collapsed to pieces. I lost everything in the war. My beautiful house was destroyed, my beautiful things were nowhere to be seen, and sadly both my loving parents were dead. Those merciless Japanese army slaughtered and burned the innocent people as they went from one place to another. I would have been one of them if Miss Chew did not protect me from these cruel men. Miss Chew and I moved to live in the forests. We built a small, yet comfortable and sweet little wooden house of our own. At last, we were far away from harm. We were safe and sound at last. War had brought about a great impact in my life. I learnt that life was not always a bed of roses, we humans were built to face obstacles and challenges and overcome our fears and problems. War had driven me to become a matured child, one who was not easily defeated by present troubles and challenges. I had finally grown up.

Though, I had almost lost everything during the war, I was blessed that I still had my favourite person in the world, Miss Chew. She was a teacher and a mother to me. Without her, my life would be a misery. Living with her was great fun. I learned how to keep house, bake and gardening. Although we did not live like kings and queens in their sparkling and shining castles, our little house was a great comfort to us. I like to see the fire dancing merrily in the fireplace, smelling the sweet aroma of the flowers and singing the songs that we both loves. We even had our own garden. It was a beautiful one, full of vegetables and fruits. We even reared some hens and cows. I used to be afraid going near the cows because they seemed so big and tall to me. I always ran away when they bellowed. Food is essential to ensure one's survival. Our country was greatly deprived of medicine and food under the Japanese military rule. Many died of starvation and diseases such as malaria and diarrheoa which were widespread during those times. Those were the bitter times of our country. Under the Japanese military rule, life was bitter. No one dared to disobey their orders, because if you did, you get yourself slaughtered in no time. Although times were bad, I still managed to sing a few songs when i went to the green and breezy hills that I loved.

"The hills are alive with the sound of music,

with songs that have sung for a thousand years.

The hills filled my heart with the sound of music.

My heart wants to sing every song it hears.

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that fly from the lake to the trees..."

Miss Chew always like to hear me sing. She said that my sweet voice could lift her burdens and sorrows, Sadness and death filled the atmostphere. This atmostphere lasted for 3 years. The Japanese finally retreated from our country when 2 atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The British had come back to rule. I was able to go back to school again and learned to play the piano again. Miss Chew married that year to a young and handsome chemistry teacher, Mr. Ling. From that day onwards, I was their adopted child. My new parents worked hard to earn some money to buy me a piano. I couldn't help swelling up with tears when they gave me a piano as my 13th birthday. I was so happy that I hugged and kissed my parents for their lovely and thoughtful gift. I promised them that I would become a famous musician of the century one day. My parents nodded with satisfaction when I said that.

From that day onwards, I was able to practice my music lessons as long as I like. Music was my soul. We could never be parted. As long as I had my piano, I was as happy as a free bird, soaring up to the skies. At the age of 14, I was able to compose songs with the gift of my beautiful voice. I was a great success in small concerts. People used to call me the "The Angel of Music". With that, I was able to earn some money to lift my parents burdens. My family and I lived happily together. We shared pleasant moments together. Every evening after dinner, my parents would listen to the songs that I played with my cleverand talented fingers. My mother would kindly corrected my mistakes and encouraged me that I can do better than that. There was always love, laughter and joy. We lived in perfect harmony, always caring for each other.

When I was 17, i decide to apply for the scolarship to study music in Cambridge University. I was so disappointed when I was rejected. It was as if darkness had swallowed sunshine away. I shut myself in my room most of the time and only went out during mealtimes. I pitied myself that I was always unlucky and good things never happened to me. One day, when I sat down on the green fiels looking over the hills that I loved so much. my mother came up and sat down beside me.

"Isn't the view breath-taking? See the young tree over there? It is swaying here and there as the wind blew. But I am sure that one day it will stand firm on the ground and be as strong as any other trees," she said.

Not quite knowing her meaning, she went on "Life is just like the little tree. The little tree faces challenges and obstacles just like us. It never give up hope, and continue to believe that it will grow up one day and be as strong as any other trees. Liz, this is just only the beginning of your life. One failure doesn't mean that you will always fail. It is God's will to see how well you can handle your situation and face the challenge once again. Failure and success are nothing but imposters, you must learn to treat them equally. Be confident and you can do it. Mummy and Daddy will always support you no matter what happens".

At that instant, I knew that I was wrong. I had worried my parents unneccessarily and hurt their feelings as well. I hugged and kissed her, vowing that i would not gave up hope easily no matter what happened.

"Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens.

Bright copper kettle and warm woolen mittens.

Brown paper packages tied up with strings.

These are a few of my favourite things.

When the dog bites,

when the bee stings,

when I am feeling sad,

I still remember my favourite things

and then I don't feel so bad."

I worked extremely hard after my failure. I would take one step at a time, never settle for less but settle for the best to acheive my goals. After 2 years of hardwork, I applied for the scolarshop once again. My heart thumped wildly when I received my letter. When I knew that I was accepter to study in Cambridge University, I jumped here and there like a joyful andplayful monkey. I finally acheived my goal. I could finally taste the life of overseas. I was going to Cambridge! At the same time, I felt sad too. I had to leave my family behind. I cried when I bid my family farewell. My mother encouraged and advised me to do my very best. I would do anything to make her feel proud of me.

Cambridge, here I came! Cambridge was a very big university. When I entered the building, I fely extraordinary small. The world was so huge and I was surrounded by brilliant students of various fields. I settled myself and continued my studies in music. My professor is Monsieur De La Vega. I heard from my seniours that he was one of the greatest musician in the world and what they said was true. He was simply amazing in music. Simply amazing! You could listen to his music forever and ever. While in England, I missed my family in Malaya very much. I used to write them long letters, telling them my experience and friends in England. Time went swiftly and sooner that I expected, I had been studying music for 3 years in England. It was time for me to sit for my examinations. I remembered that I was so nervous when I was sitting in the exam hall. To my surprise, I passed my examinations with first class honours and won 'The Most Excellent Student of the Year' award. My family was so proud of me. I was very happy as I felt that my life was completed because I had already acheived my dreams. I was offered to become a composer for a vert well known company. I composed a song entitled 'You Are The Music in Me' to my loving parents. My song was one of the greatest hits for a year. The company was very happy and they paid me well for that.

I returned to Malaya once more. I cried with joy when I saw my family in the airport. We hugged and kissed each other. It was such a long time since I was in my parents arms again. We shed happy tears. With my fortune, I was able to buy a stately mansion for my parents and we lived happily ever after. I hugged and kissed my mother. I could never thank her enough. I would not have today if it was not because of her. She had completed me. Thank you for everything. I was totally blessed to have her in my life.

"And you are always free to begin again

And you are always free to believe

When you find the place

That your heart belongs

You'll never leave

You and I will always be

Celebrating life together

I know I have found a friend forever more

Love is like a melody

One that I will always treasured

Courage is the key that opens every door

Though you may not know

Where your gifts may lead

And it may not show at the start

When you live your dreams

You'll find destiny

Is written in your heart."