Water Tasting Festival

More than 100 waters around the world competed for the titles of: Best Municipal Water, Best Purified Drinking Water, etc. in the recent Water Tasting Festival organized in Berkeley Springs.

Amazing isn’t it? Having drank water from at least 16 different places, I realize that there essentially is very minor differences in the taste of the 16 different waters I have tried. I can taste the subtle difference, but it is really very difficult to put those differences of taste into words. 

The only word I can find to describe the taste of water is – tasteless. This really makes me wonder what are the judging criteria for the water. Anyway, the result of this year’s Water Tasting Festival is not out yet. But this is their website for more information.

Also, I browse through a blog which the blogger were at the Festival. And she describes this festival as “super fun and also super wierd”, whom at the end manage to collect many bottles of water too.

Seems like a possible great weekend outing!

Saving your “Eternal Enemy”?

*this picture is obtained from http://pizdaus.com/single.php?id=27240*

Singapore Drumline @ Orchard Road

I stumbled upon a group of Youths performing “Drumline” at Orchard Road today. (I have not been to Orchard for a long long time.)

I really loved their performance a lot. Seeing a group of Youth performing with such enthusiasm and joy, the performance really make Orchard Road alive! It sought of brigten up the mood , and like the ministers say, “making Singapore a Vibrant City!” 

And suddenly I had the urge to clap & “samba” dance too. I guess its the joy of watching a group of happy and lively young people who enjoys performing, and at the same time bringing joy to the people around them! If anyone of you guys are reading this, and are on a recruitment drive, please drop me a message! =)

I asked one of the lovely ladies who played the “lots of high hat-like instrument” standing on the far left of the video about the band name. She said something like “Siambiesta”, but unfortunately I cannot find you guys on the internet. Maybe I heard the name of the band wrongly?

Autism & Carly

This is a story of discovery & love.

Carly is currently a 13 year old, diagnosed with autism at a very young age. Through lots of patience & love from her parents & doctors, Carly has developed the ability to communicate through typing her thoughts onto the computer.

Her ability to communicate reveals to her parents (and the world) the beautiful mind within this young lady.

She describes what is it like to have autism and why she keeps making wierd noises and keep hitting herself.  She said: “It feels like my legs are on fire and a million ants are crawling up my arms,” 

*WoW* This really puts things into perspective for me, and to recognise the pain that Autistic people are going through. I can imagine how unbearable that can be and it certainly reminds me all the things that I take for granted everyday.

Carly also has expressed her frustration about her condition and about how the world misunderstands her.

“It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk, or I act differently than them… I think people get scared with things that look or seem different than them. It feels hard. It feels like being in a room with the stereo on full blast.”

At the age of 13 with authism, she is able to express herself with such understanding of herself and the people around her, *salute* To me, it is a discovery of a beautiful mind, and her parents should be very proud. Story Behind the Scenery sincerely wishes Carly & Family a great life ahead, and hope this story inspire others (family affected by autism or not) to live a great life.

*Note* According to wiki, 1 out of 1000 children are diagnosed with Autism. That is certainly a shockingly high percentage. 

Valentines Day Special

Valentines Day is a highly commercialized day where people tend to spend a lot of $$$ blindly. I came across 2 stories of people spending A LOT of $$$ during Valentines day this year – for a marriage proposal:

First one: An advertising executive spent RM54,000 (USD16,756) on a marriage proposal which included a billboard (RM40,000) and a diamond ring (RM14,000). My personal comments (I might be wrong) are: this man is either financially illiterate and/or stupidly wealthy. 

 

Second one: A man proposed during NBA half time game (Rockets vs. Kings) in the MIDDLE of the court one day before Valentines Day. Watch the video here.

I wonder how much that would cost him. But it certainly takes a lot bravery to do that and probably cost him quite some ego too. Obviously, it didn’t end very well.  

One important lesson I learn from this: If you plan on an elaborate proposal, please make sure you know the answer! 

14 million dollar Car License Plate

Yes it is a true story. It is just an Aluminium plate (no diamond, no gold) with the number 1 on it.

UAE held an auction for “vanity car plates” to raise funds for a hospital. Saeed Khouri, a member of a wealthy Abu Dhabi family (Obviously), won the bid for this exclusive number ‘1’ plate for 14 million dollars.

He said: “I bought it because it’s the best number,” said Khouri, whose family made its fortune in real estate. “I bought it because I want to be the best in the world.” Source

So I guess the value of this plate goes way beyond the sheet of metal. 14 million dollar for an identity – the rich guy with the Number 1 plate, etc. Seriously, this really throw my sense of proportion out of balance. Maybe 14 million dollars really does not mean much in UAE?

Rarely you will have your licence plate costing more than most, if not all, cars in the world. I wonder how does it feel when a car bump you from behind? Or receive a call:”Your car plate is being kidnapped! Pay me millions of $$$”

Interesting plate! Interesting people!

Abdullah Badawi: “I work very hard. I really mean it and you know it.”

The Malaysian Cabinet is just been dissolved, and let the Election Frenzy Begin.

With reference to the title of this post, it was taken from a newspaper report. Please refer to the video below for a different perspective.

Personally, as a voter, I have a few concerns.

1. Crime Rate – now at the highest Crime Rate in Malaysia’s History: Crime Rate Index 2007 – >200K barrier. This affects the economy, and most importantly ordinary Malaysian citizens. A few months back, a robber had a ‘parang’ swinging at my uncles neck. Luckily, he threw his wallet and ran away. Yes, this is my top concern.

2. Education – What is the government doing for the next generation of Malaysians? Teachers in Malaysia are not paid competitive salary and I hear stories of many teachers chosing this profession for the wrong reasons (cannot qualify for other jobs etc). The government is pumping $$$ to upgrade schools (computers etc.), but these are the hardware. How about training Inspirational Teachers? With poor education quality, how will the next generation of Malaysians be able to face the challenges of globalization, etc.? Will this lead to more drop outs, which in turn encourage crime rate?

3. Leadership – Racist MPs & Incapable MPs making senseless remarks & arguments(like this, this, this) during parliament meetings drive me crazy. I cannot picture a nation ran by these un-educated and un-refined people. By then again, looking at the nation, we are not in very good shape. This article compares the education received by Malaysian Ministers and Singapore Ministers. Are there better people who can(or want to) run this country?

4. Brain Drain – There are a significant number of talented Malaysians working outside Malaysia, and they are not intending to return (No Pull factor). If the nation aspires to move forward, we need to recognise Brain Drain & it being a serious problem to the nation’s future. Singapore, which has been pulling in talents from China, India, (ironically) Malaysia, etc, recognise they have this problem (to my surprise).

It is my hope that these issues will be central point of this elections, and hopefully the elected leaders will take on responsibility to address the above issues. All in all, I believe an interesting elections is coming ahead. So, let the elections begin!