Saturday, March 27, 2010

Say No to Open Burning

I'm not a hardcore environmental activist but the problem of open burning is really getting on my nerves sometimes; Whenever I drive pass houses, I see people smoke clouding the air as people set up fires to burn dry leaves and twigs. What never fails to amaze me is that the people burning stand right in front of the fire the whole time! I really can't imagine how they can withstand all the smoke blowing into their lungs. I have always been wondering why open burning is still prevalent even in urban housing areas. In addition, there is no problem of disposing off the garden waste-simply tie them up in a garbage bag and they'll be collected alongside with normal trash. Now I finally know why-people burn twigs and leaves to get fertilizers and the smoke also chases away insects and mosquitoes. Well, I think that its effect on the environment must be considered too, as well as for other people. The smoke blows into other people's houses and if you forget to shut your windows, your house will be filled with smoke smell too :( The adverse effects on the environment has yet to be seen, but the air is slowly building up with all the pollutants from the smoke. I think many are still unaware how harmful open burning can be for their own health as well as the  environment. There are other alternatives of fertilizers and they don't really cost a fortune too. Short-term gain may bring about long-term losses and destruction.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Work overload!!

Things are heating up and everything is getting really stressful, deadlines are coming all so close to each other. Hardly any breathing space in between until the end of the semester.
Honestly, that's the feeling now. But I find it of not much use to get upset and stressed out-really makes situations worse. Thinking of some ways and decided to jot them down on this blog.

1. Work slowly-There's always the concern of not having enough time, but I believe when one gives full concentration a few hours can really be a lot.
2. Don't spread yourself too thin-Trying to finish everything in a few days is probably really tough. Allocate time for each one at a time.
3. Relax- Concentration span is usually for the most, a few hours. Our mind gets really tired after that and forcing it to work may be extremely tiring. Chill out for a while, go for sports and you're feel much better after that.
4. Stay connected-with people around you. This can help you improve, gain new ideas as all of us have different perspectives.

Hopefully, the ending will be this

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hey, do you remember me??

Okay, so the economy and businesses are not doing fantastically well, or rather we'll still recovering from the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. Unemployment rates have gone up and currently graduates all around the world aged below 25 are facing really serious unemployment problems. Coming back to the title of the post, I was really enlightened when I got this news first hand from someone. I never knew how creative people could be, well in this case it's not so nice. But I really admire their courage. Let's call the victim  A and the 'smart' guy C.

A has just done a dental checkup and proceeds towards his car in the carpark. Just before he can open the door, someone calls from behind, "Hey! do you remember me?"
A hesitates, takes a good look at the person but really can't seem to recognize or recall who the person (C) claims to know him.

C quickly whips up a conversation,

C: Hey, I've been working in KL, now back in Kuching...and talks a whole load of other things. He gives his name too.
A: *tries to recall if it was maybe someone he met at a conference* Oh, were you the one working at MBKS office?
C: Yea, Yea!
A: *suddenly remembers if that was the same person he met before it should be at Petra Jaya instead*. Wait, you've worked in Petra Jaya right?
C: Yea Yea!
A: *Gets suspicious, the guy isn't even sure of himself*

C: I'm going to the airport soon, catching a flight back to Bintulu as my mom passed away. Can you give me some condolence money??
A: *Gets a shock* shakes head and says, "I don't know you"

C gets a fright of his life and fled immediately out of embarrassment.

You might be wondering how someone can just pretend to know you and ask for money outright. According to A, this is probably not the first time C is doing this as a first timer would not be so season and so professional in talking. He's probably tried his luck many times and managed to get a few victims. Observe the two tactics here:

1. He pretends to know you to get you to talk. Obviously, no reasonable person would be rude to walk away when someone calls you like a friend. It might just be your long lost classmate or a person you briefly met before on other occasions.
2. He asks for condolence money, using someone's death as a pretext. Playing on the fact, that you'll be sympathetic and give money.

Beware of all these scams, these are people just out to make some quick money. If it was genuinely your long lost friend, the first thing to notice is they'll shout out your name, instead of just 'Hey'. Second thing, no one asks for condolence money straight in your face. This is the first time I've heard of this kind of tactic, the face of scam is changing. Even people who are old or look decent make use of this to appear harmless and attack their victims.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How evil the world can be

Jennifer Daugherty was a 30 year old mentally disabled woman with a mind of a 12 years old. She obviously simply trusted anyone and believed people who were nice to be her friends. 

And what did these people below do?
Photo: Top L-R, Robert Masters, Melvin Knight, Ricky Ven Smyrnes; Bottom L-R, Amber Meidinger, Angela Marinucci and Peggy Miller.
Image source:  CBS

First, they pretended to be a bunch of nice people and to become her friend. Then they asked her to come over one night, and that was when all the brutal torture began.

They fed her vegetable oil, spices, detergent, urine and medications, then forced her to write a suicide note, before they stabbed her to death, wrapped her in plastic, put her in a garbage can and dumped her in a school parking lot, police and relatives said Friday. Her body was found in 

Greensburg Salem Middle School, USA.

According to an affidavit (written oath), Daugherty's head was shaved, she was bound by christmas decorations, hit with a crutch, towel rack, and a vacuum cleaner hose.

Six people were charged with criminal homicide, kidnapping and related charges in the death of Daugherty, who was missing since Monday and whose body was found Thursday at Greensburg Salem Middle School, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Most of the culprits are young adults, a future ahead is completely ruined.

Charged were Robert Loren Masters Jr., 36, Ricky Smyrnes, 23, Melvin Knight, 20, Amber Meidinger, 20, all of Greensburg; a 17-year-old girl from Greensburg; and Peggy Darlene Miller, 27, of Mount Pleasant Township. All were being held without bond in the Westmoreland County prison. It was not clear whether they had attorneys.

Sometimes, it's really hard to understand what is going on in these people's minds. She had never offended anyone, lest ridicule or be of any form of competition to those criminals. She did not even know them well. Their torture is worse than one of an animal. Be prepared, the world is cruel and unthinkable.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Interesting facts about customers

Any business depends on customers, without them there would not be any business at all. Definitely, customer is king and businesses will have to meet the needs and wants in order to build a strong customer base. Especially in industries offering both products and services all in one, employees will come across unreasonable customers who may be rude and demanding. Nevertheless, we'll still have to smile because:

A customer is the most important person in any business
A customer is not dependent upon us.  We are dependent upon him.
A customer is not an interruption of our work.  He is the sole purpose of it.
A customer does us a favor when he comes in.  We aren't doing him a favor by waiting  on him.
A customer is an essential part of our business--not an outsider.  
A customer is not just money in the cash register.  He is a human being with
feelings and deserves to be treated with respect.
A customer is a person who comes to us with his needs and his wants.  It
is our job to fill them.
A customer deserves the most courteous attention we can give him.  He is
the lifeblood of this and every business.  He pays your salary.  Without
him we would have to close our doors. 

It is really difficult initially, but times makes anyone better and stronger at facing any challenges. Never take it personal, stay objective and you'll be fine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Looks are deceiving

Real story, real place, REAL people.

*Real names will not be disclosed to protect privacy.

* Pete is a successful businessman in his late 40s and was on a trip to Kuala Lumpur for a short trip. One morning, he's having his usual buffet breakfast at the hotel. All is well, food is great, atmosphere is great and service is great.

He makes some toast and suddenly someone bumps into him from the back so hard that his toast falls on to the floor. Being a gentleman, he does not get angry but turns around to have a look and is greeted by an apology. That's fine, he says but only to find out he is caught when the person starts talking to him. Let's call her Sally.

Sally: Oh, I"m so sorry.
Pete: That's fine, no biggie.
Sally: Owh owh hi, I'm Sally from overseas and I'm a member of *insert a church name*. Where are you from?
Pete: I'm a local here.

Just to cut things short, here is the main part of the conversation.

Sally: Oh, we're here to set up some business and do networking. You can earn some extra income, you know?
Pete: Owh, its ok. I got to go
Sally (refuses to give up): Wait wait! How bout your friends???

Pete walks away eventually.

After sitting back at his table, Pete realises the person bumping into him was not an accident but was on purpose. It is so obvious she is using it as a pretext to start a conversation. Seriously, would any stranger be so nice to give you such an opportunity? Some say it might be God sent, but be wise. The world is not as simple and nice. The lady was well dressed, well groomed and looked so professional that anyone would fall for it if they were not on their guard. All these scams work in a similar manner: they'll ask you to place a certain amount for initial investment and promise super high returns. To make it genuine, you might actually receive it for the first few times but like a pyramid scheme, you will lose everything when it collapses.

Every business person says high return, high risks. That's true. But scams give no return, high risk! Not only no return, probably negative return.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Captivating Canada

Canada is big! It has a thumping 10 million square km, making it the world’s second largest country. What I want to emphasize here is, its behemothic terrain is also filled with high-reaching mountains, husky glaciers, immense varicoloured skies and even the creatures that wander over the terrain are huge such as grizzly bear, moose, humpback whales and others. Why not consider holidays to Canada?

It is impossible for you to dislike Canada because it is so versatile in the sense that it has places of different characteristics. Toronto and Montreal are festival-packed cities that offer 5 stars life. St John, the Canada’s weather champion which is the cloudiest city of all the cities in Canada is able to give you a dose of history. Banff & Jasper National Parks brings you a cloud poking adventure of hiking, skiing as well as snowboarding. If you prefer a slow ride, Saskatchewan is your place. Oh, not to forget to pick up some ripe juicy peaches and saliva tempting cheese from the Kelowna’s local farmers’ markets.

Have you watch Avatar? The Queen Charlotte Islands or more popularly known as Haida Gwaii is able to provide you such magical trip as shown in Avatar. There are uncountable unique flora and fauna that it Canada’s Galapagos is a popular moniker. You too, can take the opportunity to view the real soul of the islands, the Haida culture. Nowadays, their culture is reviving and can be found across the islands in many ways beyond their iconic totem polls. Haida feels honoured to protect the last stands of superbly old growth rainforests where some of the largest spruce and cedars can be found. Why not invest some time to pay a visit to the islands, get caught up in their allure, their culture, and their people as well as take a look at those sea lion and orcas relaxing offshore. The effort and time are definitely paid off.

According to Wikipedia, the Niagara Falls is voluminous waterfall on Niagara River. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America. It is like more than a million bathtubs of water cascade over the edge every single second. How can you not to visit such a wonderful god creation? During winter, the flow is partially hidden and the edges freeze solid. The watery extravaganza is never disappeared no matter day or night and regardless season. You will know the meaning of WOW when you see the Niagara Falls with your own eyes.

Ontario may not be as big as Quebec, may not have as many mountains as British Columbia but it aces in culture, cuisine and sophistication. Do not ever think that Ontario is merely about Niagara Falls. Wrong. Ontario is more than that. Ontario celebrates its diversity with a cavalcade of festivals all year round such as Stratford’s Shakespeare Festival, Shaw Festival, Kitchener’s Oktoberfest, London Beer Festival and etcetera. Be an Ontarian by immersing yourself in these festivals. Besides, arctic Hudson Bay and the temperate Great Lakes are certainly enough to keep you feeling green.

Is there any mall in Canada? Edmonton will be your place then since it has a big mall. There is only one mall? Oh, one is definitely enough to satisfy your shopaholic desire because it is large. When I say large, I really mean it. It is the largest shopping mall in North America and fifth largest in the world. The urbanites love to gather to shop for cool threads and have a rib breaking meal. Other than that, the local history has never been dead. There are great museums and galleries to embark you on a journey back to the past.

What are you still considering of? Come over to Canada! Your money and time are not going to be wasted.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Taking a taxi

Whenever you’re out on traveling, you would probably need to take a taxi somewhere along the way. Of course, there are various other transportation means such as train, bus and so forth. In KL, it is very easy to get around using the LRT train as it is very efficient and follows the time schedule strictly-obviously because many people actually use it to go to work and back home!

Nevertheless, taking a taxi can sometimes be more convenient and faster. But it’s all a business and you need to be wise even in choosing a taxi before hopping on.

  1. Ask for the price first
In Malaysia, taxis are supposed to charge customers based on the meters, but sadly this is rarely followed. The danger here is not simply the extra few bucks but you could really get ripped off being asked to pay double! Before taking a cab, be sure to ask the cab driver if he charges a flat rate or if by meter-confirm it before agreeing to use the cab. When they know you’re aware, they won’t simply overcharge you.

  1. Check condition of taxi
This step applies if you are taking a rather long trip of say an hour or more. It would be really uncomfortable and a waste of money if the taxi is bumpy and hot all the way. Even limousines like Mercedes may have dysfunctional air cons and they’ll keep silent about it unless customers ask before hand. What’s more you have to pay the full price even the car was not in a good condition! It is also important to check that all the safety belts are working (if you’re traveling in a group or family). Many people disregard the importance of a safety belt but wearing it could actually save your life.

  1. Don’t talk to much
It is okay to strike up a conversation with the cab driver-but never reveal too much of your background, how long you’re be staying etc. Yeah, everything seems okay and absolutely harmless but remember: the world is harsh-never trust anyone. Answer to questions you are comfortable with and when you feel your privacy is intruded-change topic or just keep silent :).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Highlights in Orlando, Florida

Orlando has warm spring, hot summer, balmy autumn and temperate winter. If you are planning for a vacation trip, holidays to Orlando is certainly a right choice as there are plenty of attractions which have mesmerized thousands of tourists.
Image source: staybydisney

You have seen The Simpsons on television, played The Simpsons game, watched The Simpsons on screen and now you can even ride it! The Simpsons Ride is now available at Universal Studios Florida. This brand new Simpsons adventure has taken years to be brought to us. You are able to see everything the highly popular television series has made famous and the great story, great humour. Be prepared to be hand picked by Krusty to be the first to ride his newest attraction, you will be thrust into the middle of the action. The cinematic experience is so thrilling especially when you soar through Krustyland and Springfield. For your information, Universal Studios is only one of the two amazing theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort. There are another three magnificently themed on site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort namely the voluptuous Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the stimulating Hard Rock Hotel and the exotic Loews Royal Pacific Resort. With the existence of such fascinating hotels, you will never find accommodation in Orlando a problem. 

Image source: Britannica

Orlando is the perfect vacation spot for the family, as it has everything suitable for both adults and kids.This is your chance to return to the past, a second chance for you to be a kid again. Let’s have a delicate breakfast with Mickey and his friend at Walt Disney World to recall the feeling of watching Disney cartoon while having breakfast in front of the television when you are still a kid. If you are fond of exploration, journey to Atlantis at Sea World Orlando is definitely worth the vacation to Orlando. You can explore the mysterious lost city of Atlantis aboard the thrilling water coaster ride. It is a fantasy, a waterslide, a roller coaster and the best part is it has a sixty foot drop. You will get drenched for sure! The Wild Arctic complex is complete with artificial snow and ice as well as displaying beluga whales, walruses and a few polar bears. One of the top experiences will be the exhilarating helicopter flight through an Arctic blizzard. If you are given a second chance to back to the youth, why not?  

 Parents, you can race your kids from adrenaline pumping ride to breathtaking show on the first day and lurk away guilt-free to let all your cares melt away while getting a massage at the Mandara Spa located at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel without any worries. Then, have a sumptuous and romantic dinner for two at Hemingway’s with authentic Key West setting. Both of you can dance the night away to your favourite song to re-experience the feeling of being young at Blue Martini. For gold lovers, why not spend some time to play 18 holes at Eagle Creek Gold Club to reward yourself for your hard work all year round. Do not worry about your kids; there are Kids’ Clubs and private in room childcare providers in Orlando resort.

 Orlando is a magical place for you to reconnect with your family as well as your childhood. Do not forget to find the perfect item at an area outlet mall for loved one or family to preserve the memory in Orlando forever.  

Do check these out too :)

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