Friday, November 30, 2012

NASA quashes widespread world-ends rumour

NASA has officially stepped forward to quash a widespread 'doomsday' rumour. 'Recently, local authorities in France also banned access to a 'doomsday' refuge, which is rumoured to be able to save human lives.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

MPs to attend be-sensitive-to-women courses

Now,'our Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat have to attend courses on "gender sensitivity". It may not be a bad idea for the grandmothers, mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and'/or granddaughters of sexist MPs to be invited to share their personal experience(s) and thoughts as women who are 'physically and 'emotively close to these men in everyday life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sifting facts from imagination in classic books

So, there is a distinction between history on one hand and fictions or novels which are partially history-based on the other. The freedom to discuss, discourse and debate the distinction can contribute to socio-cultural advancement as well as the development of clearer thinkings. Longer view of history and more balanced understanding of historical figures serve to check tendencies to see the world in a bipolar divide.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cao Cao in Chinese literature & history books

In one of the four famous masterpieces of classical Chinese literature The Romance of Three Kingdoms, ruler Cao Cao is also portrayed as a tyrannical character. But, according to more factual accounts, such as Shan Guo Zhi ('Records of The Three Kingdoms'), Cao Cao was more a statesman with literary and military skills as well as 'a strategic mind. The Romance of Three Kingdoms, whose author is believed to be Luo Guanzhong, has always been classified as a historical fiction or novel.

Monday, November 26, 2012

King Richard III's image in Shakespeare's work

If it can be convincingly argued that King Richard III'was not as evil or tyrannical as William Shakespeare portrayed in his famous work,'then the inescapable questions are': (i) what were the historical sources or accounts Shakespeare used to write his script '? '(ii) 'Did Shakespeare distort the sources to make the English monarch a wicked character ? If Shakespeare distorted the sources,'the pertinent question is: why ? But, 'it isn''t clear if Shakespeare had ever claimed to be an historian, or that his writing on King Richard III was a strictly historical account.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Singaporeans react to Gallup emotion ranking

Some 'Singaporeans have reportedly' reacted to a poll 'which ranks the city-state as the "most emotionless" 'in the world. 'Is lack of time in a competitive environment the only cause for the state of emotionless'? If it isn't, 'what are the other causes ? 'Political ? Educational ? Social ?

US survey: Philippines most emotional nation

A fairly well-known pollster in the United States has reportedly ranked the Philippines "the most emotional society in the world". In the same survey, Singapore is said to be the "most emotionless". 'What are the factors which cause the extreme difference between the 2 societies '? How do make Singaporeans more passionate and expressive ? How to make Filipinos less emotional and more masterful in emotion control'?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

DNA test of car park skeleton still in progress

Archaeologists in Britain have said that whether the skeleton dug out from under a car park in Leicester belongs to King Richard III ( 1452'-1485 ) will be known in January 2013. Britain's historians have begun to rethink if he was as tyrannical as the figure in Shakespeare''s play. Certainly, the history of the making of Britain is not black-and-white.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

South Korea watching Japan's politics closely

South Korea is reportedly also watching closely Japan''s political trend. The main opposition party now led by ex-PM Shinzo Abe 'has unveiled an electoral manifesto 'pledging to strengthen Japan''s military power. Tokyo's former governor and ultra-nationalist fogey Shintaro Ishihara also called for an nuclear-armed Japan for it to be treated "seriously".

Japan facing dual crisis in politics & economy

According to an observation, the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Japan would furthur fragment political power in the country. Japan is also clearly facing economic 'uncertainty 'as well as 'financial stress But, 'it is still too eartly to write any book on Japan's coming collapse, as many people in Japan are still hardworking and socially disciplined.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Obama calls that country Myanmar and Burma

According to an AP report, Obama used the name "Myanmar" when he held talk with that country's ruling leader Thein Sein and he later used "Burma" when he met opposition figure Ang San Ssu Kyi. In India, Ssu Kyi's country is called by the English-language media as Myanmar just as another British ex-colony' "Ceylon" 'is now known only as Sri Lanka.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to name that country in Southeast Asia ?

At this point of time, the White House still uses "Burma" as the name for the Southeast Asian country whose name was officially changed to Myanmar.'The United Nations and ASEAN accept and also use the new name 'Myanmar. 'Which name should the media use for that country ?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Election in Japan expected to be fairly messy

Japan's forthcoming Lower House election is expected to be "'a messy battle'" and the US is reportedly watching it closely 'as there are some issues, 'like TPP and Okinawa, which could affect  US-Japan relations.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

France bans access to end-of-world refuge ...

Local officials in France have banned access to a 'doomsday' or end-of-the-word refuge. 'Last year, a preacher in California twice 'predicted' the end of the world,'but his widely publicised 'prophecy' clearly failed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

CPC's new chief admits party facing problems

CPC's 18th National Congress concluded two days ago in Beijing. As it was expected, Xi Jinping has succeeded Hu Jintao. In his first speech as the new party chief, Xi Jinping 'honestly admitted that the 91-year old party does face the problems of corruption, 'power abuse, elitism, formalism and bureaucratism among its members and leading cadres. How to narrow the rich'-poor as well as urban-rural gaps will also be a big challenge for the new leadership of the party in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, it is also undeniable that, in the past 10 years, China has progressed by leaps and bounds not only in economy, but also science and technology, cultures and arts, sports, healthcare and other fields.

Victor Hugo's novel condensed & made movie

Certainly, abridging or 'shortening' Victor Hugo''s novel Les Miserables was not an easy job. Now, there are not only abridged editions of Les Miserables in writings but also musical concerts as well as a movie.'It first appeared'in French and was then translated into other languages of the world, such as English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and German. 2012 marks the 150'th anniversary of the release of this masterpiece.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Japan to go for parliamentary polls on 16 Dec

Economically troubled Japan is going to hold its general election on 16 December. In recent years, politics in Japan has also been plagued by scandals of several types and it is under watch for strategic concerns.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Abridgement of Edward Gibbon's masterpiece

Edward Gibbon''s masterpiece History of The Deciline And Fall Of The Roman Empire'has quite a number of abridged or 'shortened' editions, including the'91-page booklet issued in'2004 as Penguin's Great Ideas. As Thomas Paine's Common Sense shows, truly impactful works could also be short or concise and do not need to be abridged or''shortened'.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

James & family share festive joy of Deepavali

James and family share the festive joy of all our relatives in Perak as well as 'neighbours and friends everywhere 'in Malaysia and Singapore who celebrate 'Deepavali or Divali, which means the Festival of Light.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

English writer & teacher Han Suyin dies at 95

Legendary English-language author' Han Suyin 'passed away at 95 last Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland. 'Many elderly people in Malaysia and Singapore still remember Han Suyin as a progressive and enlightened teacher in an era when class bias and ideological intolerance was rife and when language barriers were still obstacles to cultural exchanges. Once served as a medical doctor at the Johore Baru 'General Hospital and also a professor of English Literature at the now defunct Chinese-language Nanyang University in Singapore,'she penned And The Rain My Drink,'a novel with Malaya's anti-colonial upheavals as a backdrop.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Fund for tsunami-hit zones in Japan misspent

According to news reports, public fund allocated for reconstruction of the tsunami-ravaged areas in Japan was "'misspent'" on projects 'like building roads in Okinawa and aircraft and fighter jet pilots 'training'.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Australia to boost learning of Asia's languages

In a newly released White Paper, the Federal Government in Australia has renewed the emphasis on providing education in major languages in Asia to youngsters. In the United Kingdom, mathematics education is being examined to enhance the country's national competitiveness.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Britain aims to better mathematics education

In an effort to enhance its national competitiveness, Britain is now re-examining not only the mathematics syllabus for its schools, but also numeracy skills of its workers. Mathematics is indeed a foundation of science and technology which are,'in turn,'a great force of production.