My Oh My!

Lat hit the spot, again

The ever perceptive and subtle Lat, our famous cartoonist likes to put up editorial comic descriptive of whatever current issues that are plaguing our country at the moment.

Most of Lat’s comics usually give only a hint of what he thinks, while it is up to the readers to interpret the whole scenario.

The comic in question this time saw some children from different races in Malaysia all taking shelter under a big umbrella depicting a Malaysian flag. And these children are taking shelter not just from an ordinary storm but from the storms of racism, intolerance, racist remark and disunity.

What does the comic trying to portray actually? Lat is obviously commenting about our country’s current political situation. Racial tension is nothing new in our country. As to be expected with a country with a multi-cultural people. However much we try to ignore it, it is always in the background.

The entire fire was started long ago of course, but in recent issues, it all started with the remark that was made by the former MB, Tan Sri Khalid regarding how UiTM should be open not just for the Malays but for other races as well. Since UiTM is protected under the constitution, it is a privilege that was given to the bumiputras.

However, the whole thing was just a snowball that started from the downfall of the Barisan Nasional during the 2008 election. Then it escalated with the rise of Anwar Ibrahim as a member of parliament and with his fire up political agenda about how the second class citizen should be given unduly privileges as the Malays and bumiputras. Not to point any fingers, but some people just like to sow discord and sometimes when you look at it from a certain angle, the whole just doesn’t make sense.

Yes, maybe the current government is useless and maybe we are better off without them. God knows how much screw ups and discords and corruptions are managing the country, but as long as I don’t see that the opposition party is any better, then I don’t think the government should be displaced, unless they are really awful and worst than the opposition parties, of course.

I’m digressing. Back to the topic at hand. What Lat is trying to say, I believe is that since our country is a multi-racial country, then we should act like a multi-racial country regardless the problems. We have to bind together when facing adversities or else everything will fall apart.

Lat portrayals of children as the umbrella holder probably show that to create harmony, we have to start from the young. We have to teach our children that we are all one people and we should all support each other despite of our skin colors.

Personally, I think that the incident that has been happening shows what is missing from our leaders and their skills as leaders and how they manage the country. Our government need to be more focus and aware to what they really expect of the country. If the government wants the people to live in harmony, then they should treat everyone harmoniously.

So what Lat drew should sum it up beautifully what the people should be practicing. Maybe it takes a cartoon to make people see. I saw it, but can I practice it? Can we?


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How to Lose Your Weight with Healthy Snacks

For those who love munching on the snacks, there are actually many healthy snacks available that you can eat while you are at your office desk working for hours long. If you seriously don’t have enough time to exercise, this method might do the trick for you.

If you are starting to get extremely worried about your current unwanted baby fats on your belly or any other parts of your body and have absolutely no spare time to exercise and burn those calories off, there is another simple way of losing your bulging belly minus the rigorous workout ala The Biggest Loser. Of course, you will have to eat the snacks in moderation. According to the Los Angeles-based nutritionist, Dr. Jonny Bowden, who is also the author of the recently published health book titled ‘Living Low Carb: Controlled Carbohydrate Eating for Long Term Weight Loss’, eating sweet potato that is stuffed with tuna is great because of its balance in fat, nutrients, and proteins. He also recommends that the snack be eaten in mid-morning or afternoon. Dr. Bowden adds that “A snack should be a well-constructed mini meal and it should be built around adequate protein, several fibers, and also a little bit of fat. I suggest that you bake a batch of sweet potatoes and stowing them in the fridge to make the snack’s texture softer and tastes sweeter.”

If you have the sweet potatoes, try stuffing them with tuna. Meanwhile, in order for you to eat healthily while also losing (or maintaining) your weight at the same time, your office snacks should provide only 200 calories or less. Dr. Bowden also recommends that you consume lower-calorie foods, such as a single hard-boiled egg. One hard-boiled egg contains at least 70 calories and is jam-packed with five to six grams of protein. However, don’t expect to have every available snack to provide all of the key elements, which are fiber, protein, nutrients, and fat, as not all snacks provide balanced elements.

What you can do is to pick a snack that is nutritious and calorie-wise to fit with the rest of your dieting plan. Another snack that Dr. Bowden prefers and recommends is avocado that is cut in half, since the creamy green fruit is amazingly high in fibre with nine to eleven grams per avocado. So if you are running out of time to prepare some boiled eggs or bake the sweet potatoes, you should grab some ready-made snacks. Food such as string cheese is high in protein, has only 80 calories, and contains only a little bit of fat. Now, with this simple eating plan, you needn’t worry to overeat when hunger is bugging you, hence you will stand a greater chance in losing your weight or maintaining it.

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The fast food dillema

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Fast food has long been a sore subject with dieticians and doctors. Many of them will warn you that it is a very unhealthy eating habit if our diet consists of fast food all the time. But in this instance, the fast food they were referring to are mainly such as KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) or McDonald. What most people don’t know is that nasi lemak, the tarik, roti canai can be considered fast food too.

The problem then arises, what is fast food? How do you define fast food? Do you actually name the fast food stores? Who is going to defend the multitude of law suits that will follow if you name them and say that their food is unhealthy and prescribe how they run their business. Who is to say that the nasi lemak that you buy in the morning is a healthier meal??? Who is to say all those hawker food that we eat all the time is any healthier? All these are very hard questions to answer. I think maybe the answer is in education. To educate the young and ourselves on what makes a healthy diet. But the biggest hurdle is still in our everyday lifestyle. We leave home early in the morning and come home late in the evening and very common both parents have to work to earn a living and the fast foods stores are so very convenient. So what do we do? What can we do?

Malaysian government wants to ban fast food advertisement with the reason that the advertisement is influencing young generation eating habits making some of them chubby.

In a KFC advertisement, it shows that the company is trying to put forward a healthy meal in order to comply with Malaysian government’s call for healthy meal for young people.

However, from the look of the advertisement there is much to improve. Two pieces of chicken would be a big “No” to many as fried food are ‘fatty’ to them. What about the soft drinks offered in the outlet loaded with high sugar (calories)?

Rice and coleslaw may help to balance the meal but they don’t remove the risk-factors that come with soft drinks and fried food. Perhaps no sugar drinks should be offered and less fat chicken (kampong chicken and etc.) chosen and cooked in other ways instead of frying in oil? Kenny Rogers is good because the chickens are roasted instead of fried, but they are more expensive than KFC or McDonalds.

We have to do something because of the increasing number of Malaysians with chronic lifestyle-related diseases. Among the 26 million citizens, one in three aged 30 and above is said to suffer from high-blood pressure, while one in four is overweight or obese.

Driverless car

Have you ever imagine that you will move to another destination by a car without a driver? Does it look weird when you notice a car moving on the road but is driverless? Don’t feel surprise if you notice that. Driverless car is not a mirage.

Driverless car is a vehicle that is equipped with an auto pilot system. This means that a car can move from one destination to another without input from a human operator. The research on driverless car has been made since a few decades ago and in 2010, four driverless electric vans successfully drove from Italy to China. There are carmakers trying to make the driverless car to operate on the road by 2018.

There are numerous systems used in the driverless car. One of the systems is anti-lock brakes system. Anti-lock brakes system (ABS) is a safety system that enables the wheels on a car to interact with the road surface when braking to prevent the brakes from locking. This will prevent skidding. This system can read the wheels and know when they are about to lock. Normally, this system will react faster than a driver.

Not only ABS can be found in driverless car, a system known as traction system can be found too. Traction system is a system that can detect when a car might out of control skid and prevent it from skidding. This system can read the car’s direction as well as speed. Moreover, traction system will react faster than a driver could. But this system is very complicated compared to ABS to keep the car from losing control.

Driverless car could operate a self-parking function. This self parking system uses the sensors all around the car to guide it to park in parallel parking space. However, the driver needs to place the car nest beside the parking space. Then use the in-cabin navigation screen to tell the car where it should park. This system is a great achievement in driverless car technology.

Driverless car is an invention that brings a lot of advantages. First of all, driverless car could minimize the happening of accident. What should you do to prevent accident? The answer would be paying attention while driving. You are right. However, how much you could concentrate while driving? But with this driverless car technology, it could concentrate all the time. Automakers system will help to drive without a driver or by a simpler words, it allows the car to drive itself. In addition, there are still numerous cases of crashing and colliding when parking a car. Driverless car will solve this problem. What you need to do is operate the auto parking system or self parking system. That’s easy.

You can save money to hire a driver if you have a driverless car. You no longer need a driver to fetch you to anywhere. You can go anywhere you like with the aid of driverless car. This can reduce the cost of employing a driver. This is so convenience for you.

Driverless car is a new invention. This could bring a great achievement to the car and technology industry. Use it wisely. Sit in a car without a driver. I think it is cool.

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ASUS Eee Slate Review

Each time I log on to the Internet and type the word ‘tablet’ I seem to find a new tablet being launched by a company somewhere in the world. Yes, ‘tablet’ is the buzz word for consumer electronics these days. And taking the pole position in terms of speed and performance is the ASUS Eee Slate.

Boasting an Intel i5 chip, a 64 Gb solid-state drive (SSD), the standard connections you would find in a notebook (Wifi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, USB 2.0 and HDMI) and a 12.1 inch screen, the ASUS Eee Slate is by far the most loaded in terms of hardware. While the iPad still reigns as the King of Tablets in terms of units sold, this ASUS tablet trumps in the speed department and handles multitasking and most programs with ease.

One of the ways the ASUS Eee Slate is different from the many tablets out there is in the area of OS because it runs Windows 7 instead of Android or iOS. The benefits of running Windows 7 is that the interface is one that is familiar for PC users and at the same time, you won’t have to buy new programmes or applications to run on the tablet – you would just need to install what you already have on your PC (assuming you are an existing PC user).

The downside of running Windows 7 though is that it requires a lot more resources and applications are not quite as quick to open or close as with iOS or Android. This is probably why the ASUS Eee Slate requires an Intel i5 chip. This also means that if you multi-task and push the chip, it will heat up which in turn is the major reason for the heft and thickness of the ASUS Eee Slate since more cooling is required.

Moving from the hardware and software, the ASUS Eee Slate does one thing that many of its peers don’t – accommodate multiple input devices. Many tablets require fingers to do the ‘work’ but this slate allows for multi-touch input as well as a digitizer stylus from Wacom. This is great news for the designers who require a lot more control and accuracy when interacting with design software. While Steve Jobs would vehemently disagree, I believe that this is a fantastic design move.

So if you are a fan of Windows 7, do a lot of graphics or detailed work on the go, need a great machine for presentations or just want a tablet you can show off, the ASUS Eee Slate is probably the best choice for you.

Dell Streak 7 Review

When Dell first announced that it was also producing a tablet, the 5 inch Streak, honestly, I was sceptical. Dell has been great in the desktop and laptop arena and they’re also known for monitors that are really good value for money. However, they haven’t been great in the mobile/PDA arena of late. So it was with much hesitancy that I picked the new Dell Streak 7.

From the outset, the Dell Streak 7 doesn’t look very different from the many other tablets plunging into the market. It does bear resemblance (though bigger) to the original Streak but beneath the ‘hood’ lies a very different machine.

Powered by a dual core 1Ghz Tegra T20 chip, the Streak 7 does make things go fast and shows no apparent lag even when multitasking. Running Android 2.2, also known as Froyo (with over the air-updates promised by Dell once Honeycomb is available), the Streak 7 is speedy and works well.

The Dell Streak 7 does come with two cameras. The front facing camera is only 1.3 megapixels and does decently well in video chats. The rear facing camera is good at 5 megapixels and allows you to not just take crisp pictures but also capture video at 720p. Dell does need to work on its camera software but otherwise the images and video were decent. For those who need to take serious pictures, please do not get rid of your DSLR in exchange for the Streak 7.

In terms of video playback, this version of the Streak is able to playback full HD videos smoothly with no apparent lag. I put this down to the performance of the Tegra T20 chip and it sure does deliver. The other nice thing about the Streak 7 is that it is Flash enabled right out of the box!

At just under 1lbs in weight, and less than half an inch in width, the Streak 7 makes for a very mobile device and it was easy to hold for long periods of time for a tablet making web browsing and ebook reading a joy.

The biggest plus factor for the Dell Streak 7 is its price. At only $199 with a T-Mobile contract, this is a great deal for those who want a tablet and 4G connectivity. The form factor is great due to its size but the one hiccup in an otherwise impressive design has to be the screen’s resolution. At only 800 X 480, the Streak 7 lacks the clarity of its more illustrious peers the iPad, Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom (though both the iPad and the Xoom are larger).

All things considered, I feel the Dell Streak 7 hits a nice sweet spot for those wanting a tablet experience but have budgetary constraints. And once Honeycomb is available, it’ll be that much sweeter.

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