Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Qian Hongyan had to have her legs removed after a car accident On October 21 of 2000. Her family in China are poor and couldn't afford false legs, so she uses a basketball to help her move and two wooden props to drag herself , Docotors from China Rehabilitation Research Center in Beijing noticed Hongyan and vowed to have her up by fitting with a set of prosthetic legs. Eventually They made it in May 2005
If this doesn't touch you and move you, I don't know what will. The power of the human spirit is shown at its mightiest by this one little girl. I salute her.
Qian HongYan lost her legs in an accident
Her family in
She attends her class- She always smiles
Be gratefull with what you have
The smiling crippled girl
Bad to the Bone????? ................
CHECK THIS OUT!!! MADE BY AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON.
LOOK AT HIS HANDS AND FEET. THIS IS AMAZING!
I STILL CAN'T FIND THE GAS TANK THOUGH.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Easdale Island, Argyll, for the 2008 annual World Stone Skimming Championships.
Success is just a stone's throw away
Published Date: 28 September 2009
By SHÂN ROSS
HUNDREDS of competitors from around the globe set sail for a tiny Scottish island with one common goal – to be a world champion.
But unlike other sports, the key to success is not peak physical condition but stance, technique and a smooth thick stone.
The World Stone Skimming Championships on Easdale Island, near Oban, took place yesterday, with young and old alike relying on expertise acquired on quiet strolls beside the sea.
The 14th annual championships attracted a record 316 competitors – including entries from New Zealand and Canada – with the winner declared the person whose stone travels the greatest distance after "leaping" three times across the island's old flooded slate quarry.
Iain MacFarlane, 35, from Spean Bridge, near Fort William, previously acted as a judge in the championships but was competing for the first time yesterday.
He said: "I'll be relying on brute force and ignorance and some laws of physics to win."
John Forteith, who runs a wholesale distribution business in Oban and is the championship's main sponsor, was also taking part.
Speaking before the competition, Mr Forteith said: "I wouldn't say I was exactly champion material. I don't practise very much but it is all good fun and anyone who is up for it and enters can win. But having said that, the weather is bad – very wet and windy."
Final results showed that Mr MacFarlane skimmed a distance of 22 metres but finished at the "tail end". Mr Forteith failed to make any of his stones leap three times and was unable to register for the final.
This year's winner, Englishman David Gee, skimmed a distance of 54 metres and was presented with the silver championship cup, which stays on the island. The women's champion was Tessa Pirie with a throw of 34 metres.
The championship was started in 1983 by Bert Baker, who lived on the island, but after a gap it was revived in 1997 by Donald Melville, who is now the main organiser. Mr Melville, a community development worker, who also failed to reach the final yesterday, said: "This has been the best year yet with a record turnout.
"We were up against pretty dreich weather conditions. But we are on a high with the success of it."
The championship is run by the island's community trust and income generated from the event has been used for a range of projects, including buying the harbour and a pontoon, and helping to pay for the upkeep of the village hall.
The privately owned Inner Hebridean island is known as the "roof of the world" because of its history as one of the "slate islands" supplying tiles to roof many of Scotland's cities and towns, as well as further afield. It has a permanent population of just over 70 people, including 18 school-age children.
* Last Updated: 27 September 2009 11:00 PM
* Source: The Scotsman
* Location: Edinburgh
The Honourable Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, visited Carnegie Mellon University's Pittsburgh campus Sept. 24 to give a special keynote address. He was welcomed by university president Jared Cohon and Australian students Patrick Bourke and Matthew Craig. The Prime Minister made a special effort to include a visit to Carnegie Mellon before attending the G-20 Summit with President Obama and the other heads of state. Speaking on the eve of the summit, Rudd credited Andrew Carnegie's steel industry with first putting Pittsburgh in the world spotlight and credited Carnegie's university — Carnegie Mellon — with helping transform Pittsburgh into the powerhouse it is today.
In May 2006, Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College began operations in Adelaide, Australia, which serves as the college's Asia Pacific education base.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The original...David Blaine Street Magic Part Two! See David Blaine terrorize the same two idiots from the first video.
Starring Mitch Silpa, Mikey Day, and Michael Naughton.
Directed by David Morgasen.
There's been some confusion about where this one is posted. It's finally here along with the first one.
And Part Three is coming soon!
ECGMA says: This is hilarious! What is with gays?!?! ha!ha!
David Blaine brings his famous street magic to YouTube. Watch as the famous magician blows the minds of two Los Angeles idiots. WARNING: This magic is amazing.
Friday September 25, 2009
By Dr Lim Chin Lam
PICTURE this scene in a kitchen: a little boy has broken a bowl of porridge and made a mess on the floor; his mother bursts out: "Ah Boy, look what you have done." A common scene, a common outburst. What if the mother had said, "Oh God! Look what you have done." Again a common outburst but only if interpreted in context. We can be sure that the mother was not speaking directly to God! She was making an exclamation.
The above scenario brings my rambling mind to the topic of expletives. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2004) gives two succinct definitions for the word expletive: (1) "an oath or swear word"; and (2) "a word or phrase used to fill out a sentence or a line of verse without adding to the sense."
For my purpose, I shall refer to the two types as the colourful expletives and the grammatical expletives.
The colourful expletives
The colourful expletives comprise swear or curse (cuss) or obscene words – but they also include words which are less offensive or which are even meaningless – said in anger, exasperation, annoyance, pain, desperation, resignation, etc. They are commonly uttered in exclamation.
I have a friend who is so sensitive that she cannot even bring herself to say the word hell. Even so, I suppose the word is commonplace. It is used even in religious circles so that it should be acceptable to the great majority, including this Mind Our English page.
I now submit examples of usage of two common but offensive expletives which we meet in speech and in print (but which are not meant for my friend's eyes or ears), as follows: (1) "Sh**! I have misplaced my handphone." (2) "F***s! Where did you hide my notebook?" No doubt the annoyance or the anger is real, but the manner of conveying either sentiment may be refined – no doubt with loss of nuance!
In movies and on television, such expletives are commonly blanked by a beep or a buzz. In print, they are either removed ("expletives deleted") or are hinted at by a combination of letters and asterisks (such as I have done above).
Expletives are used as exclamations, as illustrated above. It must be noted that they may also form part of a sentence. Examples: (1) "Who the hell does he think he is?" – or, to disguise the contentious word, "He kicked up a helluva fuss in the office." (2) "Where is the f***ing notebook?"
The violent and unsavoury expletives may be called by other terms: invectives, pejoratives, vituperations, obscenities, profanities, vulgarities. By the way, just because a former US president unwittingly uttered them – to be heard over the public address system – does not make such expletives any more acceptable in polite society!
For those given to colourful language, do not despair. There are other expletives that are not so damning. Incidentally, damn is also used as an expletive. In the musical, My Fair Lady, the word is used not once but four times: "Damn!! Damn!! Damn!! Damn!! I've grown accustomed to her face!" – and that coming from Henry Higgins, a member of the upper class. Anyway, genteel considerations have changed exclamations such as "Damn!" or "Damn it!" to "Darn!" or "Darn it!"
To appease those with religious sensitivities, exclamations such as "God!" or "Oh God!" or "Oh my God!", which may be deemed blasphemous, are changed to "Gosh!". Similarly, "Jesus Christ!" or "Jesus!" becomes "Gee!" or "Gee whiz!"; and "For God's sake!" becomes "For goodness' sake!"
Here is a list of the milder expletives: "Alas!", "Crikey!", "Eek!", "Oh!", "Ouch!", "Ow!", "Wow!", "Yikes!", "Yuks!", "for goodness' sake!", "for Heaven's sake!", "thank goodness!", "Well, well, well!". That, by golly, is a pretty impressive list.
What of the local scene? What about our local expletives? There are numerous choice expletives in the Chinese dialects, including the vulgar five-word expression loaded with six or more insults – depending on one's interpretation or translation! (I shall not elaborate.) Our national language has the far-milder expletives such as "Aduhi!", "Aiyah!", "Alamak!", "Ambuhi!", "Ayuh!", "Wah!", "Oh pucuk!". Our unique Manglish has the famous "die-lah!".
Then there is that unique condition, latah (to say or do something unconsciously when surprised, shocked, etc) – which affects certain people. They may exclaim with unusual expletives (for example, "Oh tulang ikan!", as when shocked by the sudden appearance of a centipede), but more commonly they may burst out and blabber away with dissociated or meaningless words – but all, thankfully, anodyne. [The condition must have something to do with language, age, and sex – it seems to "afflict" elderly nyonyas and Malay women!]
The grammatical expletives
The word expletive comes from the Latin expletivus, which itself is derived from expletus, the past participle of explere "to fill out" + suffix -ivus. It is, in essence, a filler, specifically "a word or phrase filling the syntactic position of another word or phrase in a sentence or line of verse without adding to the sense." Consider the following two examples.
(1) "To err is human." Here, the infinitive "to err" is a substantive, which is the subject of the verb "is". The sentence may be inverted to read thus: "It is human to err." In the latter construction, the pronoun "it" is an expletive, a filler to complete the sentence.
(2) The word "there" can be an expletive in the grammatical sense. In the sentence "The book is on the table there", the word "there" is an adverb of place – it is not an expletive. Note, however, the same words in a differently constructed sentence: "There is a book on the table." In the second sentence, "there" is not an adverb of place. It introduces the sentence – it may be parsed as an introductory adverb, it is an expletive.
The points to note about grammatical expletives, as distinct from colourful expletives, are that: (1) they are not offensive in any way; (2) they are not stand-alone words used in exclamation; and (3) they are integral to the construction of sentences.
Now that we know, like, what expletives are, we can, for goodness' sake, take the trouble, you see, to speak, you know, without peppering our conversation, you see, with so many expletives, you see.
And now it's time to answer my own question: "Are expletives out of place?" Expletives do add spice to conversation, but then, you see, too many in one go can, you see, be rather annoying. The racy ones are, of course, offensive and certainly have no place in genteel society. On the other hand, the grammatical expletives are a sine qua non in specific constructions – to fill out an otherwise incomplete sentence.
Yabba-dabba-do! I'm glad I've got some expletives out of my system.