Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday 26 June 2009: a day of grief for the legions of Michael Jackson fans around the world, and here in Malaysia. I had heard the shocking news early this morning on radio. After lunch I was in the Plenary Hall at the KL Convention Centre, together with 1000+ participants from 42 countries. We were awaiting the last presentation of the 14th International Conference on Thinking.
When Edward de Bono came on stage, the first thing he did was to call for a 1-minute silence as a mark of respect for MJ. A small gesture, but it showed that even in death, MJ affected people everywhere. He was someone we either loved, hated, ridiculed, vilified or worshipped. Now he's gone. Forever.
The two MJ CDs I own do not qualify me as an MJ fan. But MJ had always fascinated me. Media stories about him enthralled me. His music videos and movie "Moonwalker" mesmerized me. How could it be possible for any human being to move the way he did? Or do all those bizarre things that he did?
I remember queuing up for more than two hours in the hot sun and then in the drizzle to get tickets for his concert in Kuala Lumpur. That was in October 1996. I paid RM200+ for two tickets - a princely sum in those days. Malaysians had never seen anything quite like that MJ concert at Stadium Merdeka. It was spectacular - the theatrics, the pyrotechnics and the music. We were the privileged guests at this magnificent feast for the senses. What a night to remember for the rest of our lives!
I actually had goose pimples when MJ came on stage. The crowd went into a frenzy. There was MJ in his silver space suit looking like a demi-god from some friendly planet, dropping by to bestow his blessings on the earthlings. "Hello, Malaysia! I love you!" he shouted, waving his gloved hand. For more than two spell-binding hours Stadium Merdeka became the centre of the universe for the thousands of Malaysians there.
I am glad I got to see you in person, MJ. I am glad I had the chance to see you do your moonwalk and hear you sing "We are the World" with all those children. Thank you for all the songs and the memories. May you rest in peace.
Michael Jackson at 12 (Photo: The Rolling Stone)
Friday, June 26, 2009
'Widezen' your thinking and learning
With David Perkins
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Marlow and Frances Cowan's impromptu piano duet at the Mayo clinic has been viewed 3.8 million times since it was uploaded on YouTube last September. 'The couple that plays together stays together.' - how true in this case. The Cowans have been married 62 years. Mr Cowan turned 90 in February, which officially makes him a “nonagenarian American idol.”
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
A line-up of the top bloggers in Malaysia. Can you recognize who they are?
VIP Dato Wong Sai Hao at his lap-top
Seniors learning all about blogging
Malaysia's #1 blogger - Kenny Sia
Future bloggers already signing up to get an early start
Friday, June 19, 2009
In a previous post, I wrote that many seniors I have met have little interest in learning to use the computer and the Internet. A common response from them is: “Already retired. No point in learning to use the computer and the Internet.”
While I respect their wish to stay out of the cyberworld, I can’t help wondering if they are aware of the benefits they are missing out on.
1. For retirees, especially those who have lost a spouse or close friends, loneliness and boredom often set in. If nothing is done about it, the result is depression, or worse, dementia. The mushrooming of online social networking sites for the 50+ reflects the need for this age group to make new friends and find a purpose in their golden years.
2. Seniors can keep in touch with their adult children and grandchildren through email, skpe and social networks like Facebook and MySpace. In addition, they can easily view videos or family photos that are posted on these networking sites or on Youtube.
3. They can download or listen to their favourite music, read the latest news, check out share markets, find out more about things that interest them, learn a new skill or play games - all virtually on the Internet.
5. Medical and health information is also easily accessible online.
6. They can start an online business and receive passive income without even leaving the house.
These are just a few of the many benefits of getting online. Many social networking sites have expanded their services to include classifieds, match-making, and legal advice, while Verdurez, a new networking site for older Indians, have included forums, travel, wellness and money.
There will come a time when older seniors are housebound. That is the time when the Internet may become their only point of contact and communication with the outside world. But why wait till then? For those of us ‘younger’ seniors, the time is now to discover how the Internet can enrich our lives. We should encourage other retirees to learn how to go online. Learning a new skill keeps the mind active and healthy. It adds years to our lives, and adds life to our years as well. Isn’t that reason enough?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
With some of my students at a WOU tutorial
Alternatively, you can set up your own consultancy, or training company. But be prepared to slog the first few years to build up your company. If you can find the time, write a book and share your expertise with others.
Finally, if all you want is to have an opportunity to offer your skills and services gratis to the many charities and non-government organizations (NGOs) in your community, take your pick from the list in the side bar under "Donations and Volunteers Needed".
At the opening of the new centre for children with Down Syndrome (Photo: The Star)
A recent study on volunteerism among older people revealed these benefits:~ volunteering leads to better health, and older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities
~ volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that protect individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust.
~ even when controlling for other factors such as age, health, and gender, research has found that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.
However, to receive the positive health benefits, volunteers need to commit at least one to two hours a week to volunteer activities.
To quote Gen Tan Sri Datuk Zain Hashim (Rtd), MIM chairman, "It is never more rewarding than seeing that a lifetime’s accumulated wisdom and experience are put to good use at one’s golden age."
Saturday, June 13, 2009
"My body and feelings tell me I'm well, that I'm truly in good health," says Dr Wu.
His secret lies in the power of natural healing. Dr Wu always says that no wonder drug can cure diseases. But our own internal healing power, our immune system, can. And what can strengthen our immune system are simple foods from Mother Nature, and a healthy lifestyle. In his view, diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease can be overcome by changing the diet.
Dr Wu says people get sick because they eat the wrong foods. Fried food, for example, causes blockage in the arteries, bad circulation, cholesterol, and heart disease. "Instead of taking a cholesterol lowering drug, I would urge them to stop eating greasy food. My suggestion is to eat clean food, which is high in phytochemicals," he says.
Phytochemicals are natural cleansing agents that will help rid plaque from your arteries. They come from natural foods such as vegetables, fruits with their seeds, and common garden herbs. Phytochemicals will nourish the body's cells so they can fight against any foreign substances that invade your body.
The secrets of how he won the fight against lung cancer and maintains a healthy body are revealed in his first book, Dr Wu's Principle of Natural Cures, which has recently been translated from its original Chinese version into a Thai edition, Thammachart Chuay Chewit, published by Nanmeebooks Publications. It was launched in Thailand in March this year.
Dr Wu had first studied Western medicine in France, and then furthered his education in alternative therapy, earning a doctorate degree.
The turning point arrived when he was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 30. Modern medicine gave him no hope; it was too late to remove the damaged parts of the lung. The cancer had already spread to other organs, and the doctor told him he had only a few months left.
In his despair, Dr Wu picked up the Bible and prayed to God. Then the Bible fell to the floor, and he read the page it opened to carefully. The chapter talked about the days God created the Earth and everything needed for human beings. Then he created Adam and Eve, and told both of them that plants, vegetables and seeded fruits growing on Earth have been provided for them to eat.
"I thought about what I had eaten in the past - meat, fish, fried and grilled food, sweet cake, but God simply wanted us to eat vegetables and sour fruits. I was confused and doubted whether I would become weak if I ate too many vegetables and less meat," says Dr Wu.
Yet he decided to follow the Bible's guidance. He ate a lot of vegetables and fruits, drank clean water, and completely adjusted his lifestyle - his sleeping, breathing and exercise habits.
Nine months later, he went for a check-up, and surprisingly no cancer cells were detected.
He advised people in his family and in the neighbourhood about his discovery, and studied natural medicine until he received a doctorate degree in naturopathy and nutrition from the US.
Dr Wu has been a frequent speaker at worldwide forums, spreading his knowledge on natural cures and the use of organic food. He advises people to use the most simple foods in the most natural way in order to fight illnesses and maintain good health.
The human body has the power to heal itself. The immune system has a self-defence mechanism to block and destroy bacteria or viruses that invade our bodies, while the self-healing mechanism will get us back on the road to recovery. When you have a cold and take medicine, the medication may kill the virus but your immune system will not fully function, and its efficiency will decrease. As a result, your body will be more vulnerable to germs.
Dr Wu's principle is to strengthen the immune system, and avoid medication as much as possible. In his book, he offers the following guidelines to good health:
1. Have at least three bowel movements a day.
Other health experts may advise one bowel movement a day, but Dr Wu says that's not enough. You need three to four bowel movements a day in order to excrete all the accumulated faeces from your intestine. Your liver will not be overburdened and it also helps reduce cholesterol in your body.
2. Drink at least three glasses of fruit or vegetable smoothies each day.
This is a way to ingest enough phytochemicals to strengthen the body's cells and immune system. Use not only the flesh, but also the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables to make smoothies, as they are rich in phytochemicals. Most of the fruit seeds have small amounts of cyanide which kill bacteria and viruses without damaging the body.
Actually the recommended smoothie diet is six glasses a day, two in the morning, one before lunch, two more in the afternoon, and one more before dinner. However, if that's too much, you may start with three glasses a day. Use a high powered blender (at least three horsepower) as it can release phytochemicals from the fibre. It's best to choose sour fruits like green or red apples, grapes, pineapples, kiwi and lime.
3. Sunbathe 30 minutes daily.
We often hear that the Sun's UV rays will damage our skin, and many people apply sunblock before going out. But Dr Wu says the opposite. He says the UV rays will help convert cholesterol underneath the skin into vitamin A which helps moisten the skin and
prevent skin cancer, and also vitamin D that helps prevent colds, osteoporosis, and certain kinds of cancer.
"Therefore, use the Sun. Expose yourself to sunlight about one-half hour a day, at noon or another appropriate time based on your local climate. The Sun will make you healthier," says Dr Wu.
4. Exercise 30 minutes a day.
Don't exercise for more than 30 minutes. If you go beyond that, your body will be overworked. "If you do it more than half an hour, that will become labour, not exercise. Your heart and your body will be working too hard," he says.
5. Shower with hot, then cold water.
Try an alternating cold and hot water shower: Three minutes of hot water followed by 30 seconds of cold water, then repeat twice more. This process will bring a rush of blood and energy to your body. It helps increase your immune system, blood circulation, and metabolism.
6. Drink a lot of water, in the correct way.
How much water you need to drink each day depends on your specific situation. If your office is air-conditioned, drinking six glasses of water a day is enough. If your work involves lots of walking, you have to drink 8-10 glasses a day. If you work under the hot sun, then 10-12 glasses of water are required.
The way you drink is also important. The correct way is to sip it little by little, to give your body cells time to absorb the water. If you drink the whole glass down at once, your cells can't absorb it all, and the water will be excreted as urine.
7. Eat according to your blood type.
Your blood type determines what you should eat. Eating the wrong foods will make you sick.
People with blood type O have to eat a certain amount of meat. If they eat only vegetables for a long time, their body won't absorb all the substances they need to strengthen their immune system. The recommended diet for this group is 75% vegetables, 10% fruits, 10% meat, seafood and goat's milk (avoid cow's milk), and 5% grains.
People with blood type A, however should avoid milk and meat, while increasing grains and fruits. People with blood type B should also avoid meat, while those with blood type AB should avoid chicken and beef.
8. Eat according to your biological clock.
Every human being has a biological clock that tells us when to eat, sleep, and wake up. If you don't follow your biological clock, the organs will lose their balance. Toxins and wastes won't be excreted from your body, and soon you'll get sick.
According to Dr Wu, the biological clock is divided into three phases.
From 4am to noon is the time for bowel movements, so in the morning you should eat foods with lots of fibre. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are recommended.
From noon to 8pm, your body will absorb food so lunch is the most important meal. A vegetable salad with grains is recommended. Fish or boiled eggs can be added to your lunch. Avoid meat at dinner as the amino acids in the meat will disturb your sleep. Try to finish dinner by 6pm.
From 8pm to 4am, the nutrients and energy from food will be distributed throughout your body organs. The golden time for your sleep is between 10pm and 2am, as your immune and self-healing system will function at its best.
Footnote: Dr Wu was in Malaysia in November 2008 to give a series of talks. His book "Smoothie Formula" is available at Popular Bookstores.
Read the original article "How Dr Wu rid himself of cancer with a vegetarian diet" by ANJIRA ASSAVANONDA.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Last year 3.2 million baby boomers in the US became the first batch of retirees eligible for social security (retirement) benefits. This figure will rise when 77 million baby-boomers are expected to retire within the next five to seven years. Not only will there be 77 million fewer workers to contribute taxes, but there will be 77 million new retirees expecting monthly checks from the government. The numbers boggle the mind, and this is only the beginning. More and more countries will be facing the same predicament as their population ages.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
QUESTION 5: Is there anything I'm hoping to change about this person after we're married?
HOW TO GIVE PLEASURE
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
These con men never give up. One of my email inboxes is 90% stuffed with spam, mostly scam letters. I’ve long given up using this email account except to keep abreast of the latest scams going around. Here are some recent samples I’ve had the displeasure to receive.
We are delighted to inform you of your grant award release on the 22th May 2009 from the Barclays Premier League Grant programme. You hereby have been approved a sum of £1,000,000,00.GBP in cash credit….
I wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of $11,000,000.00 (Eleven Million United states Dollars) in the codicil and last testament Of the deceased (Name now withheld since this is my second letter to you).Please get back to me ASAP so as to get this done immediately….
Dear Gmail Account User,
We encountered a problem with our database and a lot of records were lost, we are restoring our database to enable us serve you better. Your Gmail Team Account details are required so as to store in our database to keep your account active. Failure to do this will lose his or her account permanently….
Scammers at work in an internet cafe in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo: ABC News)
I am Lady Ruth Latsis suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Sir Silas Latsis, a shipping tycoon notable for his great wealth, influential extended family, and charitable activities all his life before his death. Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died after a protracted illness in April 17, 2005.
When my late husband was alive he had a lot of investments in the capital market (stocks and bonds valued at over $5 Million). Consequent upon his demise this stocks were transferred solely to me.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer.
With this hard reality that has befallen me, I have decided to distribute this stocks to persons in need, orphanages and motherless babies homes. I have chosen you as one of the beneficiaries hence, I have decided to give you $5 Million worth of my stocks and I want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to better your lot, fund the upkeep of widows, orphans, destitute, the down- trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially around you. It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my husbands relatives around me as I am currently bedridden in the Family house and do not receive any visitors unless approved by the immediate younger brother to my late husband. I do not want them to know about this development in order to safeguard this bequest.
I have authorized my Private Attorney Gavan Connolly in the UK whom I communicate with via emails everyday, to issue a Letter of Authority in your favor to the Security Company handling this stocks and this will empower you as the beneficiary of this fund, he would also endorse my WILL
where I will include your name as one of my beneficiaries. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be kind hearted all through your life.
I want you to immediately contact my Attorney through his email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide for him all that he may require to finalize this arrangement, please make sure to maintain a confidential and Cordial relationship with him even in my absence because he is a very Trust worthy and caring person. Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.
Hope to hear from you soon, it is well with you and members of your family. Ensure to keep this very confidential for security reasons until the funds are safe in your possession.
Lady Ruth Latsis
Be alert to such online scams. Be suspicious of anyone promising easy money or promoting get-rich schemes. Think twice before you purchase any product that guarantees 100% results. There’s no such thing as a free lunch unless you truly deserve it. Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed always is.