Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Japan in a Crisis
If this was North America or some other parts of the world - there would be NONE of that. Looting and squabbles would top the list.
10 things to learn from Japan
1. THE CALM
Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.
2. THE DIGNITY
Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.
3. THE ABILITY
The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn't fall.
4. THE GRACE
People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.
5. THE ORDER
No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.
6. THE SACRIFICE
Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?
7. THE TENDERNESS
Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.
8. THE TRAINING
The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.
9. THE MEDIA
They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.
10. THE CONSCIENCE
When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone powered by U Mobile
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone powered by U Mobile
I am Raymond Soussa I work with Benin Mines & Industry,am the Head of Finance/contract approval department. There is a deceased contractor who has unpaid contract balance payment of (Euro 5,800,000.00) for supply and installation of Industrial Equipments to our Industry who died a month after the completion of the contract project without any registered business partner in his file. Can you receive this fund? If interested,send me your name and telephone.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
"Oh yeah? What happened?" asked the bartender politely.
"See, I met this beautiful woman who invited me back to her home. We stripped off our clothes and jumped into bed and we were just about to make love when her damned husband came in the front door. So I had to jump out of the bedroom window and hang from the ledge by my fingernails!"
"Gee, that's tough," commiserated the bartender.
"Right, but that's not what really got me," the customer went on. "When her husband came into the room he said 'Hey great! You're naked already! Let me just take a leak.' And damned if the lazy son of a bitch didn't piss out the window right onto my head?"
"Yeech!" the bartender shook his head. "No wonder you're in a lousy mood."
"Yeah, but I haven't told you what really, really got to me. Next, I had to listen to them grunting and groaning and when they finished, the husband tossed his condom out of the window. And where does it land? My damned forehead!"
"Damn, that's awful!" says the bartender.
"Oh, I'm not finished. See what really pissed me off was when the husband had to take a dump. It turns out that their toilet is broken, so he stuck his ass out of the window and let loose right on my head!"
The bartender paled. "That would sure mess up my day."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the fellow rattled on, "But do you know what REALLY, REALLY, REALLY pissed me off? When I looked down and saw that my feet were only SIX inches off the ground."
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Friday, March 25, 2011
The madam opened the brothel door and saw a rather dignified, well-dressed, good-looking man in his late forties or early fifties.
'May I help you sir?' she asked.
'I want to see Valerie,' the man replied.
'Sir, Valerie is one of our most expensive ladies. Perhaps you would prefer someone else', said the madam.
'No, I must see Valerie,' he replied.
Just then, Valerie appeared and announced to the man she charged $5000 a visit. Without hesitation, the man pulled out five thousand dollars and gave it to Valerie, and they went upstairs. After an hour, the man calmly left.
The next night, the man appeared again, once more demanding to see Valerie. Valerie explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row as she was too expensive. But there were no discounts. The price was still $5000.
Again, the man pulled out the money, gave it to Valerie, and they went upstairs. After an hour, he left.
The following night the man was there yet again. Everyone was astounded that he had come for a third consecutive night, but he paid Valerie and they went upstairs.
After their session, Valerie questioned the man, 'No one has ever been with me three nights in a row. Where are you from?' she asked.
The man replied, ' Ontario '.
'Really?', she said. 'I have family in Ontario .'
'I know.' the man said. 'Your sister died, and I am her attorney. She asked me to give you your $15,000 inheritance.'
The moral of the story is that three things in life are certain.
3. Being screwed by a lawyer
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Monday, March 21, 2011
A revelation with an Incredibly Big Message (IBM):
Well, you might have thought that you knew how the Internet started, but here's the 'TRUE' story ...
In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.
And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband: "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?"
And Abraham did look at her - as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said: "How, dear?"
And Dot replied: "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price.
And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.
To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew.
It was called Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP)
But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secrete himself inside Abraham's drum and began to siphon off some of Abraham's business. But he was soon discovered, arrested and prosecuted - for insider trading.
And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung.
They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land.
And indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drum heads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say: "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."
And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel or eBay as it came to be known. He said: "We need a name that reflects what we are."
And Dot replied: "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators." "YAHOO," said Abraham. And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE)
And that is how it all began.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Best you all read this before embracing Doug Copp as the Messiah of Earthquake safety. Please don't get me wrong, I am not disputing his 'theories'. Why I say 'theory' is because one cannot (afford to) POC (proof of concept) or UAT (user acceptance test) his 'theories'. You wanna be in a building and we simulate the building crashing down while you are inside to prove if his 'theories' are valid? Anyway, read and watch the clips then make your own mind up.
World's most Dangerous Jobs BBCTV Doug Copp - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O35xzCaoDFM
Triangle Of LIfe Disaster Preparedness Video Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TDP4P5NYng&feature=related
From: adeline tang
Sent: Tue, March 15, 2011 7:15:02 PM
Subject: FW: Where to go during an Earthquake... please read..
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 04:02:29 -0700
Subject: Fw: Where to go during an Earthquake... please read..
Sent: Tue, March 15, 2011 3:24:24 PM
Subject: Where to go during an Earthquake... please read..
Remember that stuff about hiding under a table or standing in a doorway? Well, forget it! This is a real eye opener. It could save your life someday.
EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON 'THE TRIANGLE OF LIFE'
My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI ), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.
I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years, and have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.
The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene -- unnecessary.
Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them - NOT under them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the 'triangles' you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.
TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY
1) Most everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' when building collapse are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a bed, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.
4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.
5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.
6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!
7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency' (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.
8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible - It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.
9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.
10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
Spread the word and save someone's life...
The entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!
'We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly'
In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did 'duck and cover,' and ten mannequins I used in my 'triangle of life' survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions , relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.
There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the 'triangle of life.' This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.
Subject: Save your life with "The Triangle of Life"
"Triangle of Life":
Without listening or reading, simply by looking at the following self-explanatory photos, you can learn more than in a thousand words about how to protect yourself during a major earthquake...
If you are inside a vehicle, come out and sit or lie down next to it. If something falls on the vehicle, it will leave an empty space along the sides. See below:
American Rescue Team International（ARTI）is said to be the World's most experienced rescue team and disaster management-mitigation organization.
|(1) A young Arab asks his father: |
What is this weird hat that we are wearing?
Why, it's a "chechia" because in the desert it protects our heads from the sun!
And what is this type of clothing that we are wearing?
It's a "djbellah" because in the desert it is very hot and it protects your body!
And what are these ugly shoes that we have on our feet?
These are "babouches", which keep us from burning our feet when in the desert!
Tell me Abba?
Yes my son?
Why are we living in Melbourne and still wearing all this shit?
(2) Is the investment in education really worth it??
BRILLIANT STATEMENTS ABOUT THE WAY THINGS REALLY ARE!!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
*If you received this via email, click on the link at "Posted by ECGMA to ECGeneral Blog" to view the blogpost"*
Created by Ogilvy Taiwan
Creative Director: Jennifer Hu
Copywriter: Jennifer Hu, Justin Chia
Art director: Leah Chen
Producer: Abby Ku
Monday, March 14, 2011
To LOL, or not LOL? That is the question
March 11, 2011: 12:00 AM
LINGUISTS today are studying the big issues, such as the evolution of LOL and whether it's still valid and brevity at its finest or whether it's meaningless and overused. Whatever the many LOL-bashers say, LOL is here to stay. Martha Irvine : - )
There was a time when LOL - "laughing out loud" - was so simple. If I thought something in a casual online conversation was funny, I typed it. If I wanted to let someone know I was kidding in an e-mail or an instant message, same.
I might even have felt a little cool, using inside lingo that, at one time, was exclusive to the online world. (You know I am not the only one who thought so.)
Today, though, I am sensing a shift, even in my own thoughts, about LOL. Certainly, it is as ubiquitous as ever. Just search for it on Twitter or Facebook to see how often people use it. Not exactly deep and meaningful stuff, mind you, but there sure is a lot of it.
Perhaps that is why, at least in some circles, LOL has lost its cachet. And at its worst, it is making people a little cranky.
It is overused and meaningless, they say. It "epitomizes lazy, and makes people a liar," says Seth Ginsburg, a 29-year-old New Yorker. "Are they really laughing out loud?"
Comedian Demetri Martin has joked that he uses "LTMQ - laughing to myself quietly."
"It's more honest," he says.
I laugh every time I hear that joke - out loud, no less - because I too have this internal debate: I tell myself that I will type LOL only if I'm really "LOL-ing."
But I fail, regularly. It is just too easy to type (two keys, one finger or a thumb, if it is a cell phone), too convenient a response.
Sure, there are LOL haters out there, seemingly more all the time. But for better or worse, this modern-day acronym has become ingrained in our lexicon and, for some, has evolved in meaning.
"It's brevity at its finest, and it gets a point across," says 25-year-old Arzi Rachman, another New Yorker.
Try as some might, LOL will not be easily shaken.
The origins of this three-letter acronym, in its current form, are not easy to pin down. Most likely, it was a gamer or hacker who first used LOL (or "lol") on an electronic message board, probably sometime in the 1980s. Its use became more common on early Internet services such as CompuServe and Netcom. By the mid-1990s, when even more people joined America Online, the term LOL hit the mainstream in chat rooms and in instant messaging.
It morphed, as well. If you thought something was really, really funny, for instance, you might type ROFL - "rolling on the floor laughing" - or LMAO - "laughing my (you know what) off."
By 2004, fatigue was setting in. LOL was added to the "List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness," updated each year at Lake Superior State University in Michigan.
Regardless, LOL went forth and multiplied and has since seeped into spoken language.
"At times, I do say LOL," says Rachman, a college student, "usually to accentuate sarcasm, or something along those lines."
Of course, when speaking of text conversations, one cannot forget the sideways smiley - :-) - which you might call LOL's older cousin.
Scott Fahlman, a research professor in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University, often gets credit for first suggesting that emoticon nearly 30 years ago. His fellow academics quickly embraced it and ushered in its everyday online use.
The sideways smiley has gotten bashed too - it's been called the equivalent of "i's" dotted with hearts.
But asked if he has ever used LOL, Fahlman will tell you, "Nope." He draws the line. "It sort of strikes me as kind of - this is going to sound sexist - a teenage girl thing," he says, "a high school thing."
But is that really true? Does the use of LOL really fall along generational lines? Was the implication that some of us are too old to use LOL?
"One of the things that's pretty clear - whether LOL is in or passe - it depends on your social circle," says Naomi Baron, a linguist at American University who wrote the book "Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World."
As more people of all ages forge online lives, those social circles may be less divided by generation, though not completely.
In surveying college students about their use of online or texted terms, for example, Baron has noticed a difference in the way they use LOL. For them, it is often used as a simple acknowledgment that may have nothing to do with laughter. Instead, LOL might mean "oh," "got it," "heard you" or "really?"
That use might bother some people; Baron also has colleagues who scold her when she does not correct students who greet her with a "hey!"
But she says that kind of evolution in language happens all the time. Sometimes, it's for practical reasons or convenience. Other times, it simply is a style or trend.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries in England, Baron notes, it was commonplace to sign a letter using "Yr Hum Serv," an abbreviation for "Your Humble Servant."
"Everybody knew what that meant," she says. "It was just convention."
Today, it is happening on Twitter with "hash tags" - the number symbol. Originally meant to mark terms or events that users may search for, people have started using hash tags to highlight the equivalent of a funny or snarky side comment. That use has since transferred to Facebook, where hash tags do not even apply.
"It's all part of marking your territory," Baron says. "People mark it linguistically. They mark it by dress. They mark it by how many earrings they have in their ears - you name it."
Lake Superior State University 2011 List of Banished Words
It refers to the spreading of items on the Internet.
More than one nominator says the use of 'epic' has become an epic annoyance.
Whether it is someone tripping, a car accident, a costumed character scaring the living daylights out a kid, or just a poor choice in fashion, it drives people thinking anything that is a mistake is a "fail."
This buzzword is served up with a heaping of clichĂŠ factor and a side order of irritation. The lemmings from cable-TV cooking, whatever design and fashion shows keep dishing it out.
A point at which you understand something or something becomes clearer.
Simply "history," or, "story."
Best Friends Forever.
A phrase directed at men deemed overused, bullying and sexist.
Right-wing female politicians.
Adding this word to the English language simply because a part-time politician lacks a spell checker on her cell phone is an action that needs to be repudiated.
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Every political speech refers to the "American" people as if simply saying "Americans" (or "people") is not enough.
I'M JUST SAYIN'
A watered-down version of "what I just said" or "intended to say."
FACEBOOK / GOOGLE as verbs
The use of the websites as verbs causes some deep problems. The trend can only get worse, like 'I'm going to Twitter a few people, then Yahoo the movie listings and maybe Amazon a book or two."
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
It's an absurdity followed by a redundancy.
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Creativity, tiger moms and Dibidogs
March 12, 2011: 12:00 AM
FINLAND is known for relaxed parenting and education, yet its students are famous for academic superiority and are known for creativity. Liang Yiwen talks to a Finnish expert.
Finland and Shanghai are poles apart when it comes to education and parenting, yet students from both places top the academic charts - and in the latest international ranking Shanghai was No. 1 in math, reading and science.
Finland, after being No. 1 for a decade, is now No. 3 behind South Korea, though all scores are close on the testing by PISA, the Program of International Student Assessment.
The high scores are achieved in countries with very different parenting and education systems. Finland is known for relaxed education that emphasizes individuality, informality and love of learning; China and much of East Asia are known for rigorous, test-oriented education, the importance of high scores and strict, "tiger mother" parenting. Children bear a heavy burden and high expectations.
At the same time, Finnish students rank especially high in reading and creativity. And a Finnish creative education expert Jim Solatie was in Shanghai this week running a creativity workshop and talking to parents about encouraging creativity in their children.
Solatie is the creator and writer of the animation "Dibidogs" TV episodes - created by children and coproduced with Chinese animation workers. It was honored at the 26th Cannes TV Festival and has been shown in China. The characters are little dogs on a magical planet.
The first Shanghai "Dibidogs" workshop is to be held in April, together with Dinosaur Creativity, a pre-school education institute.
In the Shanghai activity this week children were telling stories by writing sentences on a balloon, one writing and then passing it along so another child could carry on with the tale. Their stories are expected to become a "Dibidogs" episode.
"I'm confident that the child-created 'Dibidogs' will become as famous as Snoopy," says Solatie, who came up with the series based on his own children's doodling of goofy dogs during a family trip.
He has been collecting ideas from children around the world in similar ways.
Contrary to the widespread notion that Chinese children lack creative spirit, they are extremely creative, as Solatie found in workshops in Guangzhou, Guandong Province, and Hangzhou and Xiangshan in Zhejiang Province.
He says that at a Hangzhou workshop in 2008, a 9-year-old girl came up with the idea of the Dibidogs "bone city." She drew a dog's house made of bones and then other children created an entire bone city where dogs even used bone cell phones. The series was titled "Dibidogs in Bonecity." The girl didn't get high marks in Chinese painting classes, but her creativity has been very influential.
For years people have asked about the secret of Finland's success in academic excellence, creativity and economic competitiveness. It's very complicated and began around 40 years ago. Basically, the system is egalitarian, tuition free, flexible in allowing for considerable independence in learning, and not test-oriented. There's lots of recreation and free time. The emphasis is on life-long learning. Students are not compared with each other.
"People are not born creative or less creative. Creativity can be learned," says Solatie, who addressed local parents about how to inspire children's creativity.
"Creativity requires time," he says. "When there's a constant rush there's no time to think and a too-tight school and activity schedule is also not good for children."
Creativity flourishes in an environment where learning is valued, not grades, he says. "Good grades are just a measurement - learning and the joy it brings are what is most important."
The Chinese education model, which seems diametrically different from Finland's, is demanding and competitive, requiring large amounts of academic work and homework; high scores and getting into good schools are all important.
Parenting is also strict and parents demand children get good grades.
Solatie said he disagreed with the strict and inflexible parenting advocated by Chinese American Amy Chua in her book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Parents know best, Chua says, and children must obey and be forced to do things they don't like for their own good.
"You really can't make decisions on behalf of your child as a parent," Solatie says. "The child will of course follow your decisions for a while, but they have to have their own passion in everything to succeed eventually."
He encouraged parents to talk to and understand their children, to realize where their passion lies and support that passion. He advocated parenting that respects children's individuality and provides a supportive, nurturing environment.
His words generated a lot of comment and reflection among Chinese parents, who nonetheless generally believe that their stricter methods represent the right way to guide their children.
Amanda Liu, a mother in the audience, would like to try some of the Finnish approaches to creativity with her 6-year-old son who will enter school in September. But she has mixed feelings.
She expresses concern that more freedom and flexibility may not be possible in the larger, high-stress environment that emphasizes academic success.
Her concern is shared by Chen Bing, mother of a 3-year-old boy and another listener to Solatie's talk. "I doubt whether Western patterns are workable in Chinese society with its huge population and fierce competition," she says.
"Creativity will be the most important subject in the school of the future," Solatie says. "We adults don't know what is important after 30 years, so we cannot teach our children what is important, but we can teach them how to think, how to learn and how to be creative in learning and life in general."
Inspiring children's creativity
Parents can encourage their children's activity and creative education expert Jim Solatie from Finland makes a couple of suggestions:
Together with a child, parents choose a Saturday or Sunday when they spend the entire day together. They do everything together, but in a reverse order. For example, a meal starts with dessert, then comes the main course, then soup or salad.
The same goes for chores and the usual order of the day. Dessert could be for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner.
This helps children break out of routines and helps them question the routine and how and why things are done the way they are. This gives a child a little space to think differently.
Letter from the future
Parents can ask a child to write a letter to himself or herself, but from the future, say three or five years in the future. The child then writes about where they are, what they are doing and how they got there. The idea is to help children plan, set goals for themselves and imagine future possibilities.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011
I don't know if this is funny or painful but I hope it will be motivational. The message is stay sober because
If you are drunk, you could expose yourself on the streets
If you are drunk, you could sleep half naked anywhere
You could also be the laughing stock of your friends and the object of their pranks
If you are drunk, your friends could shove a tampon in your mouth
If you are drunk, your friends could set your ass on fire while you are asleep
If you are drunk, your friends could pile smelly shoes on you
If you are drunk, your friends could pile furniture on you
If you are drunk, your friends could pile stuff on you
If you are drunk, your friends could shove tens of toothpicks in your hair
If you are drunk you could also vomit excessively or crap or pee in your pants
If you are drunk, you could soil yourself
If you are drunk, you could vomit excessively
If you are drunk, you could pee in your pants while you are asleep
If you are drunk, you could pee in your pants while you are awake
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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The court heard how she laid out the bodies of her twin boys Austin and Luke, eight, and their sister, Cecilia, five, on the floor, leaving a space between them for herself. Cecilia was placed in between her brothers, with Luke's arm laid across her.
Riggi, 47, cut her own neck, wrists and abdomen and jumped from the first-floor balcony of the townhouse in Slateford Road, Edinburgh, to which she had fled from their home in Aberdeen, in fear of losing her children.
On the eve of a custody hearing, she spoke to her estranged husband, Pasquale, on the phone.She asked if he was going to take the children away from her. He replied that she had left him "no choice".
"Say goodbye then," she said, and hung up. Two days later, on 4 August, the children's bodies were found by a caretaker after neighbours smelt gas coming from the property.
Donald Findlay, QC, representing Riggi, said: "She is not evil. She is not wicked. She is not a monster.
"If it is possible to love one's children too much, she loved them too much. She believed the children and she were safer together in death than they ever could be in life."
As he spoke, Riggi sobbed. She will be sentenced next month.
After the hearing, Mr Riggi said in a statement read on his behalf that the three children "will live in our minds and hearts forever".
The court heard the story of a mother who was both loving and doting, but also protective and obsessive. She suffered from narcissistic and paranoia personality disorders, as well as histrionic, obsessive and antisocial character traits.
• 'My beautiful children will live in our minds and hearts forever'
• Analysis: A personality trait or medical disorder? Sometimes, it's hard to tell
Dr Brenda Robson, a child psychologist, said the children "appeared to have been conditioned to fear him (Mr Riggi] and the outside world by their mother, who home-schooled them, and who was rarely out of their sight".
Advocate-depute Alex Prentice, QC, told the court: "She was very possessive about the children and felt she was the only person capable of looking after them and protecting them.
"On any occasion when the children were outside … they always wore locators - tags - which were controlled by her."
They were also given mobile phones, pre-programmed to call her number, and encouraged to do so any time "their father did or said something that they did not like".
The couple, both originally from the US, married in 1989 but separated in 2006. They were already locked in a custody battle when her fears of losing the children were exacerbated by them meeting his partner, Michelle Ross, who was introduced as "Daddy's friend". Dr Robson said Riggi "remained infatuated with Mr Riggi and her notion of the perfect family reconciled".
The court heard Riggi accused Mr Riggi of "trying to replace her with his girlfriend" and made several calls to both.
She fled to Edinburgh on 7 July last year and stayed at a house owned by Andrew Bain, whom she had met on the dating website Urban Social.
She was visited three times by Lothian and Borders Police officers, initially following up a missing persons inquiry launched by Grampian Police, and once by a Messenger at Arms dispatched by the Court of Session in Edinburgh, who took away the children's passports on 21 July to ensure Riggi could not take them out of the country.
When Cecilia asked when she would get hers back, Riggi replied: "You'll not get them back until Mummy's dead."
But it was Cecilia and her brothers who were stabbed to death less than two weeks later. All three of the children suffered eight knife wounds, mainly to the chest.
At 3pm on 4 August, neighbours told caretaker Derek Knight they could smell gas coming from the house in Slate-ford Road. As he went to investigate he heard a small explosion.
Inside the house, Mr Knight saw Riggi standing on a second-floor balcony, blood-stained and screaming.
He went upstairs and found the children's bodies lying on the bedroom floor.
Mr Prentice said: "He did not touch them and, while he does not remember seeing any injuries to them, commented that he did not want to look."
At the same time, Riggi threw herself off the balcony.
Jordan Cochrane, one of the witnesses who had gathered at the scene, tried to break her fall and deflect her on to the bonnet of a car.
She suffered fractures to a leg and an elbow, as well as the multiple stab wounds she had inflicted to her wrists, neck and chest, and singed hair from the explosion.
Paramedics who were first to examine the children said they had been dead for hours. But pathologists were later unable to conclusively determine the children's time of death.
Mr Prentice said: "Austin was nearest to the door with his head turned towards Cecilia, who was in the middle and facing Luke, who was lying nearest to the balcony and who was looking at Cecilia. Luke had his arm lying over Cecilia.
"Music was playing from a laptop which sounded similar to that heard at church services.
"This was found to be on an iTunes account which held the title of the song playing as Angel and the artist as Tess Riggi."
When she was younger, Riggi had hoped to become a professional violinist and vocalist.
A hob in the kitchen had been tampered with, allowing gas to fill the apartment.
While in hospital after the deaths, Riggi told a chaplain: "I'm not meant to be here, I'm meant to be with my babies."
Another person who interviewed her said she had stated, before the children's deaths, that "she had felt that God was perhaps calling them home". At one point during her stay at the hospital, she asked that the Pope visit her.
Mr Prentice said: "The chaplain's perception of the conversation was that the only way to protect them all from her husband was for them all to die."
Mr Findlay said: "This is without doubt the most tragic and difficult case I have ever had to deal with in over 35 years in these courts.
"She suffers from three separate disorders … at the time she was in the midst of an acute stress reaction … she could no longer resist or withstand the pressure … that led her to take the lives of three children whom she loved more dearly than one can say.
"It was all four of them that were to die that day. She came to the point where she believed the only thing she could do was to allow the children peace, safety and security in the afterlife, in an afterlife where she intended to be with them to guard them and to protect them."
He referred to a photograph of the children's bodies lying on the floor that was "as poignant" as any he had ever seen.
There was a space in the middle of them, which was not there by accident. "It was deliberately put there by Theresa Riggi because that was the place where, in death, she wanted to be with her children," he said.
- Last Updated: 08 March 2011 12:36 PM
- Source: The Scotsman
- Location: Edinburgh
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Guangxi 6-year-old AIDS orphan lives alone, eats rice and vegetables without oil or salt yet still eats with relish
In your childhood, what were you doing? Begging daddy to buy a toy, being pressed by mommy to learn a foreign language, taking the pocket change that grandma secretly gave you, sharing the bubblegum you just bought with your friends… When you couldn't get what you wanted, did you sigh like a little adult: "It sucks being a child!" However, A-Long wouldn't. By himself, he washes his laundry and makes his meals. Alone, he feeds the chickens and raises the dog. Alone, he studies and learns to read. Alone, he goes to sleep. A-Long never feels it sucks being himself, even though he is only 6-years-old this year.
A one person "home"
Niuchepin Village at the foot of Liuzhou City's Malu Mountain is a village built on the mountain, the cement road beginning at the foot of the mountain and spreading upward, both sides lined with buildings. The further up the mountain you go, the narrower the road becomes, and the scale of the buildings too become smaller. Halfway up the mountain, all that is left is a dusty mud road, with weeds all around. At the end of the road are 3 casually built single story cement block cottages that don't even have windows. November 2, accompanied by a staff worker of the village committee, this reporter saw the scene at the top [end of this road].
This here is 6-year-old A-Long's home, a one person "home".
Amongst them, one stand-alone small building, owing to having a "stove" made of several piled up cement block blocks and a ceramic bed pan installed as a "toilet" and thus its "facilities" were relatively complete, was A-long's "bedroom". For the other two connected buildings, dilapidated wooden doors symbolically them away, though there were no locks. As it is understood, A-Long once lived in one of those [two] buildings, but because his father passed away there, no one has gone near those two buildings since. A-Long himself has not entered them again, only often walking back and forth in front of the door. "Is it because you feel your dad is still inside sleeping?" A-Long did not reply, hesitating for a moment before running away.
In front of the small building is a very large open area. It is the main area A-Long spends most of his time normally, and the one thing that he does the most is embracing the dog he calls "Lao Hei" ["Old Black", maybe like "Blackie"], staring blankly at the road that leads to the outside world. After his father passed away, A-Long has yet to go down the mountain again.
Seeing an uncle and auntie [not related, often simply means an older man and woman] he recognizes from far away, A-Long appears very happy. The village committee's staff worker takes out a box of cookies/crackers and bananas, very naturally places them in the room, and warns A-Long not to eat the cookies as a meal, this obviously not being the first time giving A-Long something. Hearing what uncle said, A-Long adorably nodded his head, and grinned.
A one person future
The staff worker told this reporter that A-Long's situation is really worrisome, but all the village committee can do is guarantee that he doesn't have to worry about food and clothing at the moment. Although they have already helped him apply for social security/welfare benefits, 70 yuan a month plus the support of some kind-hearted people alone is far from enough for A-long to grow up on. "No food to eat or clothes to wear, that we can buy. But A-Long's medical care, education, and upbringing, what we can do is not much."
So what are other government departments doing?
A relevant representative of Liuzhou City's disease control center HIV prevention department told this reporter that with regards to A-Long's medical condition, as long as it involves anti-HIV medication it is free, but they cannot do anything for any medication outside of this.
The city's civil affairs bureau's staff delivered to A-Long two quilts, as well as a social security/welfare benefits account passbook. The staff said, what A-Long applied for is rural social security, which is 70 yuan every month right now, but will increase to 100 yuan a month next year. Other than that, they will also often send A-Long some living supplies, guaranteeing that he will not starve or suffer the cold. However, owning to A-Long's family situation being relatively complicated, the social welfare organization is unable to adopt him, only able to continue communicating with A-Long's relatives, fighting for A-Long's rights and interests.
On the education side, though A-Long is of school age, for him to sit in a classroom attending lessons like his peers is beset with difficulties.
As it is understood, A-Long has previously attended one term at the Malu Mountain primary school's preschool class, but then stopped. The school principal Chen Xiyou says the management of the preschool class is different from the elementary classes, that the preschool class at the time just happened to have a space, and thus had allowed him to attend.
Principal Chen says that after A-Long's father passed away, the information that A-Long's parents had died because of AIDS began circulating in the village, and A-Long's medical examination showed that he was HIV-positive, so if A-Long were to really come to school, then the school would face a lot of pressure [problems] too. "The school's preschool class plus the first and second grades have one to two hundred people. With this many little children of the same age, it is difficult to avoid the common arguments and fights, so what would the parents of other students think?"
According to disclosures by someone familiar with the situation, after school started in September, A-Long's grandmother had wanted to send A-Long to attend first grade, but when parents learned of it, they sent a group letter in protest, the school succumbed to the pressure and did not agree to admit A-Long to the school.
"Considering his real life situation, our school immediately submitted a report to the education department concerning this matter. The education department, the civil administration bureau, and the village committee have all already held collective meetings to discuss A-Long's matter, but a decision/conclusion has not yet been made." As the school principal was saying this, a nearby parent interrupted to say: "If he really comes to school to attend class, then I can only transfer my own child to another school. I would be too worried."
After much effort, this reporter was able to get in touch with a non-governmental organization in Nanning that take care of AIDS orphans. A member of this organization expressed that they can indeed accept AIDS orphans, but they have to see if A-Long's circumstances are suitable. The staff member said it is because their method is to arrange foster care, but it isn't the best way of raising a child for the child. If A-Long has relatives, they still hope that the relatives can be persuaded to adopt A-Long. "A family's warmth and the care of relatives is something that foster care cannot give." At the same time, the staff member also expressed that they will go a step further in understanding A-Long's family situation, and if it is necessary, they can provide A-Long help.
Only one person to rely on
As it is understood, A-Long's father was a villager of Niuchepin Village and his mother married into the village. Six years ago, A-Long's parents built the house where they lived until they passed away, leaving A-Long to live there alone until this day.
At the time, why did A-Long's parents suddenly move onto the mountain so far away from the village? The villagers all refuse to say why.
A villager who knows said that A-Long's father had spent over ten years out of the village when he was young, and it is said that it was because he had gone to jail. When it comes to just released inmates, everyone will have some prejudices, "so maybe it was because of this that they did not have very good relations with everyone else."
The only person who is close with A-Long is his 84-year-old grandmother. His grandmother often comes to see him, but it is not everyday that she comes. That afternoon, his grandmother happened to come by, and so A-Long did not have to feed the chickens, nor did he have to pick the vegetables himself, and could play a little more. His grandmother had planted two plots of vegetables in the open area beside the house, one plot of cabbage, one plot of leeks/chives. She says this is normally enough for A-Long to eat.
His grandmother lives in another of her son's home, and it takes her about 15 minutes to walk here where A-Long lives. She normally comes in the afternoons, and cooks for A-Long before leaving. As for things like bathing and the laundry, A-Long says he knows how to do them himself, that he can wash [the laundry] clean, and as long as he stands on a stool when drying the laundry, he can reach the clothes drying line.
This reporter asked the grandmother if she was able to live here and raise A-Long until he is big? She hesitantly said that she herself is a little afraid of living here. Could she take A-Long to his uncle's place to live? The grandmother did not answer, lowered her head, and sorted the cabbage she had just picked.
The village [committee's] staff workers are also people whom A-Long has had relatively more contact with, and he knows that these uncles and aunties really care about him. Every time they come to see him, they will bring good things to eat and new clothes. A while ago, the temperature had suddenly dropped very sharply, and one auntie came on consecutive nights to deliver quilts/blankets and winter clothing. Apart from this, there are many kind-hearted anonymous city residents who will also come visit A-Long, but almost no one has brought up the problem of raising A-Long. A-Long says often there are people who will give him money, but he doesn't want to use [that money], saving it up instead. "What he needs is not only material help," says one of the staff workers.
One person's sadness
The "problem" that Ms. Liang refers to is not only because A-Long lacks the upbringing from two parents, but rather the more important reason that A-Long is an HIV carrier.
According to those in the know, before A-Long's mother passed away last year, she was severely sick, her entire person becoming very gaunt and at the time everyone though she had contracted tuberculosis. Then not long after, A-Long's father also had the same symptoms, a robust man very quickly becoming nothing more than a layer of skin. At this time, the rumors began in the village, that the two of them had contracted AIDS. This rumor was confirmed when A-Long's father entered the hospital, and everyone also began to suspect A-Long. Despite all this, young A-Long did not understand, and he only knew that daddy had gotten the same sickness as mommy, and was soon going to die.
According to the village committee staff worker, before A-Long's father passed away, he had become so weak that he could not get out of bed, much less take care of A-Long. At that time, A-Long did not yet know how to cook by himself, and could only depend on his neighbors to give him some food to eat. A-Long's father passed away at noon one day in July, and at the time, apart from A-Long watching over him by his side, no one else knew. Only until dinner-time when neighbor Miss Liang did not see A-Long did she discover that her old friend had already been dead for a long time.
Based on the recollection of the staff worker on the scene at the time, after receiving the news, they immediately rushed here [to A-Long's home]. A-Long, who had been by his father's side the entire time, came out upon hearing movement, and then calmly told him [the staff worker]: "Uncle, my daddy died, just like my mommy…" Little A-Long did not cry, his silence breaking everyone's hearts.
Later, owning to some coordination issues, A-Long's father's remains were not sent to the funeral parlor until the second day. IN this time, A-Long continued to quietly stay by his father's side, watching the remains the entire night. From that moment on, A-Long has never again talked about "daddy".
As it is understood, there were people who wanted to adopt A-Long at the time, but then when everything was finally prepared, A-Long was examined and determined to be HIV-positive, which is to say that A-Long is an HIV carrier.
The kind-hearted people backed out, and the villagers became fearful.
A-Long doesn't know what "AIDS" is, he only knows that his playmates now will not come near him; that he was about to enter first grade but has now been told to "stay home and await notice"; that when his hand was burned by hot water, the doctor did not dare treat the wound; even that his grandmother, the only person he could count on, also isn't willing to live with him. The only one to be with him as always was Old Black.
Almost overnight, A-Long grew up a lot. Even though his family has met misfortune after misfortune, A-Long has not shed any tears. Only 6-years-old, he has learned how to cook and do the laundry, has learned how to do things according to the time of day, has learned how to read and write by himself, and has learned how to live on alone.
One person's happiness
When facing strangers coming to visit, at first A-Long was a little shy, but as a child, he very quickly became excited, striking poses for this reporter's camera. Excitedly, he even performed some "Chinese kungfu". It is hard to believe that A-Long, so innocent and lively, is someone who has lost both parents, and an orphan that lives alone.
A-Long doesn't actually believe that there is anything bad about living alone, because he has "Old Black".
"Old Black" is a black-colored female mutt that A-Long has raised for many years. Ever since A-Long became aware, "Old Black" has been at his side, and remains to this day as A-Long's closest companion. At night when A-Long goes to sleep, he never closes the door because "Old Black" sometimes will sleep with him in the house and sometimes sleeps at the door, guarding him. "Old Black" doesn't like to bark and when facing strangers that suddenly appear she even somewhat shyly hides in the house. However, as long as A-Long calls "Old Black", she will immediately run to his side, and affectionately run circles around him. A-Long holds up "Old Black's two front legs, his head near her's, and smiles and laughs happily. A human and a dog cannot talk with each other, but they also need not talk with each other.
A 6-year-old little boy should have many playmates with whom to get into trouble with, but A-Long doesn't. This reporter asked A-Long what friends he normally plays with? He was quiet for a long time before quietly saying that there was a little kid surnamed Liang that occasionally will come and play with him, but that none of his previous schoolmates will play with him anymore. A-Long also doesn't want to go out and play with the village children, because he is not familiar with them. Even though he says this, A-Long still stares at the road outside [his home], his expression sad.
The child surnamed Liang is Miss Liang's relative. She told this reporter that it was her family who does not allow her to come play with A-Long, because they are afraid of "an accident happening". "Other little children probably also are afraid of this".
A one person dinner
When the sky turned dark, A-Long started to prepare dinner.
"You know how to cook by yourself?" A-Long nodded his head, and even raised his left hand to show this reporter. On his left hand between the thumb and index finger was a very large scab, shocking on such a small little hand. A-Long however was nonchalant, saying that he had accidentally burned himself a few days ago when cooking, but now it is almost healed.
"Did you go to the hospital to have it looked at?" A-Long did not respond. The staff worker that had accompanied this reporter helplessly related: "When he was injured, no one knew. It was only the day after that someone took him to the clinic after finding out, but they weren't willing to tend to it, so all we could do was dab some Merbromin…"
At this time, A-Long was busy in the "kitchen", putting rice in the aluminum pot, pouring in water. This reporter reminded him: "That's too much water, right? You'll be making rice porridge this way!" He didn't make a sound, and placed the pot on the "stove". The speed at which A-Long started a fire was amazing, snapping a few dry twigs and stuffing them under the pot, then lighting some waste paper and stuffing it in, and within a few seconds, the dry twigs were alight.
After over 10 minutes, the rice was almost done. A-Long opened the lid and threw in several cabbage hearts. The extra water earlier was just enough to cook the cabbage hearts. Very quickly, dinner was ready. Plain rice mixed with some cabbage hearts, no oil nor salt, much less any other condiments, yet A-Long bite after bite still ate with relish. He said that it was too much for one person to finish, that the leftovers are for "Old Black" to eat.
Even though there is no oil nor salt, for A-Long, being able to have dinner is already a very blessed thing. Recently, A-Long had just received 20kg of rice and 5kg of noodles from a kind-hearted person, which is enough for him to eat for some time. However, when he is out of food, he can only rely on neighbor Miss Liang's family for support. Liang was A-Long's father's old friend, three years ago opening a cement brick site nearby, and the people A-Long sees the most are Miss Liang's family.
"Ever since his daddy passed away, A-Long himself has not left this yard. There have been kind-hearted people who have come and given money, and we tell him to go out and buy some thing to eat, but he isn't willing to go. Sometimes he will look around at our door/entrance, and we guess that he is out of food, so we will have him bring a bowl over, and fill a bowl of rice and vegetables, as well as give him a few apples that we normally buy," Liang said.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Tampa Bay, FL – Jaded was gonna post this earlier this morning, but she passed out with an empty bottle in her hand and a cigarette dangling from her mouth. I'll get pics up soon. I just got back from seeing THE MECHANIC and in a fairly good mood, so I guess I'll post this depressing bit of news out of Florida where a neighborhood is in shock after learning two popular teens were murdered Thursday evening and their mother is the one charged with shooting them to death.
After recieving a phone call from a concerned relative police went to the home of 50-year-old Julie Schenecker on Friday morning. After no one answered the front door, they went around back and found Schenecker on the back porch in her slippers and a bloody robe.
She explained to them that on the day before she was on her way home from picking up her son, 13-year-old Powers "Beau" Schenecker, from soccer practice when she shot him twice in the head with a .38-caliber pistol. Police would find his body still sitting in the passenger seat of the SUV parked in the garage.
After killing Powers, Schenecker said she went inside, walked upstairs and shot her daughter, 16-year-old Calyx Schenecker, in the back of the head while she was doing her homework. She then shot her in the face. Police would find her body still in her bedroom by the computer.
They would also find a detailed note written by Schenecker explaining how she planned to kill them, then herself. But as is sometimes the case with these stories, they always seem to change their mind when it comes to putting a bullet in their own head.
Police say she has shown no signs of remorse and the only reason she has given for murdering her children was that they were "mouthy" and she was tired of them talking back to her.
She was taken to jail and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
She was later transported to the medical unit because she wouldn't quit shaking. She would miss her Saturday court date because she was taken to the hospital early this morning where she is in intensive care being treated for a condition she had before she murdered her children.
Her husband, Army Col. Parker Schenecker, 48, is currently stationed in the Middle East. He was informed of the death of his children on Friday.
Beau was an eighth-grader at Liberty Middle School and loved playing soccer. Calyx was a sophomore at King High School in the International Baccalaureate program as well as a member of the cross country team. Her principal described her as an excellent, popular student who never missed a day of school.