Sunday, December 6, 2009

Does High Cholesterol REALLY Cause Heart Disease?

Posted By: Dr Mercola




An Interview with Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD




When did you begin to suspect that the cholesterol theory of atherosclerosis might be wrong? What led you to this conclusion? Before then, had you believed in the cholesterol theory? Was this part of your training?

I have never thought that it was true. I heard about it for the first time in 1962 shortly after getting my MD. My biochemical knowledge was still intact at that time and I knew that cholesterol was one of the most important molecules in your body, indispensable for the building of your cells and for producing stress and sex hormones as well as vitamin D.

The idea that cholesterol in the blood should kill us if its concentration is a little higher than normal, as they wrote in the Framingham paper, seemed to me just as silly as to claim that yellow fingers cause lung cancer.

Would you tell my readers about your training, publications, university appointments, other professional activities?

The first seven years as a doctor I worked in different medical departments in Denmark and Sweden. In 1968 I started my academic career at the Department of Nephrology, University Hospital in Lund, where I got my PhD. After a few years I organized a research team to investigate the association between hydrocarbon exposure and glomerulonephritis

Unfortunately I caught one of my coworkers in producing a fraudulent paper. It was unfortunate, because it is risky to be a whistleblower in the academic world. Instead of excluding the fraudulent researcher it was my research that was questioned. The resistance against my research from my superiors became intolerable, and I therefore decided to go into private practice.

Nevertheless I succeeded in publishing the main part of my research in major medical journals after having left the department. I have summarized my findings and conclusions on the web as well.

In the late eighties the cholesterol campaign was started in Sweden. I was very surprised because I couldn’t recall anything in the scientific literature in support of it. I started reading it systematically, and I soon realized that I was right.

Since then I have published about eighty papers and letter, and also books, translated into five languages, where I present my arguments and criticism.

How has your work been received by your colleagues; by healthcare professionals and consumers around the world?

In the beginning nobody took notice. To ignore criticism is the most effective way to maintain a false idea. My first book was published in Sweden in 1991 with a Finnish edition shortly afterwards. The Swedish one made no impact whatsoever, and the Finnish one was put on fire in a television show.

Ridicule and slander have been used as well, as a means to muffle me

After I had aired my warnings against statin treatment in Dutch television, for instance, Dutch researchers described me in a following show as a crackpot who had been kicked from the universities of Copenhagen and Lund. The directors of the show offered my critics a possibility to discuss the issue with me on television, but all of them declined. On his blog, Michael Eades has described how one of them later on belittled me in a scientific paper.

But I have also realized that I am not alone.

Seven years ago I started THINCS, The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (www.thincs.org ), which by now includes about eighty doctors, professors and other researchers from all over the world, who share my skepticism, and I have received two international awards for my contributions.

Also encouraging is the hundreds of emails that I receive every year from patients, who have regained their health after having stopped their cholesterol-lowering treatment.



Your work seems to validate what many integrative health care professionals have been saying for decades. How does the alternative community respond to you?

There is a much more open attitude from these people.

If the cholesterol hypothesis is an error, does this mean that all of its therapies – low cholesterol diet, cholesterol lowering natural therapies and medications -- are wrong?

Absolutely. This kind of treatment is meaningless, costly, and has transformed millions of healthy people into patients.

Specifically, what are your views on statins?

Their benefit is trivial, and has been seen only in male patients who already have heart disease.

Worse is that their many adverse effects are ignored or cleverly belittled by the trial directors. Independent researchers have found many more and in much higher numbers. If they are true it means that today millions of previously healthy people probably consider their weak and painful muscles, their bad memory, their sexual failure, and their cancer to be a consequence of increasing age, and so do their doctors.

The risk of cancer is most alarming. Both animal experiments, epidemiological studies and several of the statin trials have shown that low cholesterol predisposes to cancer.

The widespread use of statin treatment probably explains why the decrease of the smoking habit that has been going on in many countries hasn’t been followed by a decrease of cancer mortality. We should have seen a decrease because smoking predispose not only to bronchial cancer, but to all kinds of cancer.

Drug companies market vigorously the highest, strongest doses of statins. Lipitor is pushed at the highest dosage, 80 mg. This dosage is the most powerful for lowering cholesterol and LDL, but it also causes more adverse effects and costs more than lower doses. What are your thoughts about this?

The outcome from these trials is a further demonstration that the small benefit from statin treatment has nothing to do with cholesterol.

For instance, although cholesterol plummeted and remained at about 50 percent below the initial value during the whole SEAS trial, it did not change mortality, but it increased the number of cancer with statistical significance.

Even worse was the result of the ENHANCE trial, where atherosclerosis in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia progressed the most among those whose cholesterol was lowered the most.

If statins can be helpful in reducing the incidence of heart attacks, who should take them?

In my view, nobody.

When I was practicing, I used to describe the benefit in this way: Considering your age and your previous heart attack, your chance to be alive in five years is about 90 percent. You can increase that chance to 92 percent if you take a statin pill every day, but then you may also expose yourself to its many adverse effects.

From the data I have seen, statins have not produced a reduction in overall cardiac deaths. Do you have any idea of why this is?

You are right. Heart mortality in Sweden is going downwards, but the reduction started already in the 1960’s. The cause is most probably that treatment of acute myocardial infarction has improved, because the mortality curve has not changed after the introduction of the statins.

The reason may be that their small benefit is counteracted by an increasing frequency of heart failure.

As you know, the statins block not only the synthesis of cholesterol, but also of other vital molecules, for instance coenzyme Q10, and muscle cells, including those of the heart, can’t function properly without Q10.

Do you think mainstream medicine will ever relinquish its view that elevated cholesterol causes heart disease, and that statins are the magic bullet?

I hope so. The failures of the most recent statin trials have been commented on by several journalists in the major U.S. newspapers. In Sweden a revolution is going on. Here, a general practitioner treated her own obesity successfully by eating a low-carbohydrate diet with a high content of animal fat. When she advised her obese and diabetic patients to do the same, she was reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare for malpractice.

After a two-year-long investigation she was acquitted, as her treatment was considered to be in accord with scientific evidence.

At the same time, the Board dismissed two experts, who had been appointed for updating the dietary recommendations for diabetics, because it came up that they were sponsored by the food industry. Instead the Board has asked independent researchers to review the scientific literature.

The subject has gained general attention due to a number of radio and television shows, where critical experts including myself have discussed the issue with representatives of the official view.

Most important, thousands of patients have experienced themselves that by doing the opposite as recommended by the current guidelines they have regained their health!

The effect has been that the sales of butter, cream, and full-fat milk are increasing in Sweden after many years of decline, and a recent poll showed that a majority of Swedish people today think that the best way of losing weight is by a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich diet.

Further progress was achieved this spring. Several times, colleagues of mine and also I, have asked the Swedish Food Administration for the scientific basis of their warnings against saturated fat. We have been met with the argument that there are thousands of such studies, or by referrals to the WHO guidelines or the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations.

As the main argument in the latter two -- that saturated fat raises cholesterol -- we were not satisfied with their answer, and finally the Food Administration published a list with 72 studies that they claimed were in support of their view on saturated fat, and twelve that were not.

We scrutinized the lists and found that only two of the 72 studies supported their standpoint; eleven studies did not concern saturated fat at all, and the unsupportive list was incomplete, to put it mildly.

We published a short report with our comments to these lists in the Swedish medical journal Dagens Medicin. A response from the Food Administration appeared seven weeks later in which they pointed out that their recommendations were directed to healthy people, not to patients. They maintained that they were based on solid scientific evidence, without mentioning anything about saturated fat, and without answering our critical comments.

But this is not all. Earlier this year Sachdeva et al reported that the mean cholesterol in 137,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction was lower than normal.

As usual, the authors didn’t understand their own findings, but concluded that cholesterol should be lowered even more. A few months later Al-Mallah et al. came up with the same result and conclusion, although they also reported that three years later, mortality was twice as high among those who had been admitted with the lowest cholesterol.

These results created a fierce debate in one of the major Swedish newspapers. It was opened by ninety-one-year old Lars Werk√∂, the ‘Grand Old Man’ in Swedish medical science, retired professor in internal medicine and former head of The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care, together with Tore Scherst√©n, retired professor in surgery and former secretary of the Swedish Medical Research Council.

“Now it is time to sack the cholesterol hypothesis and to investigate the reason of this scientific breakdown” they wrote.

They also criticized American researchers in AHA and NHLBI and their followers for sloppy and fraudulent science.

They were of course attacked by two professors and representatives of the current view, but none of them came up with any substantial evidence, only with personalities.



Are there other risk factors that should be followed? Such as: C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, homocysteine, lipoprotein A... Any other factors?

Such analyses may be helpful for doctors to put the right diagnosis in patients with a disease of unknown origin.

But to check healthy people’s blood to find deviations from normal is the freeway to unnecessary medication.

Are there other alternative therapies besides statins that people might consider?

There is no reason for healthy people to take drugs, or anything else to prevent heart disease, as long as we do not know the very cause.

Don’t forget that people who die from a myocardial infarction have on average lived just as long as other people. In my talks I used to ask people, who put the same question to me, if they know a better way of dying?

What diet do you recommend people follow?

I do not give medical advice to people I haven’t seen and examined myself, and as I am retired, it means that I give no advice at all except to my family and nearest friends. I inform people by writing and lecturing. Then they have to decide themselves what to do.

In 20 years, do you expect changes in how we view heart disease, its causes and treatments?

I am confident that we will see a change in the next few years. There is a growing skepticism among medical scientists. What is happening in Sweden these days may hopefully inspire researchers in other countries to air their skepticism openly.

Recently, experts selected by WHO and FAO published a new report . Here the authors concluded that there was no satisfactory or reliable evidence to support the idea that saturated fat causes heart disease, or diabetes or obesity.

A revolutionary change of direction, you may say. However, they did not change their recommendations!

Together with Kilmer McCully, the discoverer of the association between homocysteine and atherosclerosis, I have presented another hypothesis (You can read that paper in its entirety at this link.)

We think this hypothesis is much more likely because we are able to explain the many observations that do not fit with the present one.



Finally, I assume that much of what I have mentioned here may seem incredible, but all the facts, including references to the scientific literature, are available in my new book Fat And Cholesterol Are GOOD For You!

About Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD:

Dr. Ravnskov graduated from the University of Copenhagen with an M.D in 1961.

1961-1967: Various appointments at surgical, roentgenological, neurological, pediatric and medical departments in Denmark and Sweden.

1968-1979: Various appointments at the Department of Nephrology, and the Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

1979-2000: A private practitioner and independent researcher, specializing in internal medicine and nephrology. Honored with the Skrabanek Award 1998, and author of: The Cholesterol Myths.

Man Slept Next To Dead Wife for 5 Years



A Vietnamese man dug up his wife’s body, molded it with clay into a female figure and put it in his bed so he could hug it every night for the past five years.

The man, 55-year-old Le Van from Ha Lam in the central Quang Nam province, is seen below with his wife’s remains and his son.

According to reports, Van began by sleeping upon his wife’s grave after she died in 2003. He said that a year and a half later he decided to dig a tunnel next to his wife’s grave so he could sleep beside her away from the rain and wind.

However, neighbors and local authorities found out about the practice and persuaded Van to stop. Subsequently in November 2004 Van returned to the grave, dug up his wife’s corpse and brought it home, where it remains today.

Van’s son, photographed below with his mother’s corpse, is said to hug her body before going to bed each night.

His father told the Lao Dong newspaper that his neighbours dared not visit him for years, but have since grown more accustomed to the idea and will now pay him a visit from time to time.

“I’m a person that does things differently. I’m not like normal people,” he was quoted as saying. “My wife’s body only passed away but her spirit still accompanies us. I have no fear when it comes to sleeping with her at all.”

Local authorities are said to be planning an inspection of the case because of new sanitation laws that rule a body must be cremated or buried, and that burials cannot be carried out in residential gardens without approval.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maid charged after adding menstrual blood to employer's food


AN Indonesian maid has appeared in a Hong Kong court accused of adding menstrual blood to her employer's food in an effort to improve their stormy relationship.

Indra Ningsih, aged 26, mixed the blood in a pot of vegetables in the belief that the recipe would help ease her difficult work environment, The Standard newspaper reported.

In some southeast Asian cultures, menstrual blood is thought to have special powers, the paper added.

The maid has been charged with one count of "administering poison or other destructive or noxious substances with intent to injure'' and has not yet entered a plea.

The report cited a prosecution statement that said Ms Ningsih's ingredient had been discovered after her female employer, surnamed Mok, peered through the kitchen door and saw the helper acting suspiciously.

She entered the kitchen and found the accused throwing something into the rubbish bin.

When she checked the pot, she found a suspicious substance mixed with the vegetables and water, the English-language daily said.

Ms Mok later discovered a used sanitary napkin in the bin and called the police.

Ms Ningsih told police Ms Mok had been unhappy with her performance since she was hired last July.

Which Chocolate and Cocoa Products Have the Most Antioxidants?


A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared the detailed cocoa antioxidant contents of commercially available chocolate and cocoa-containing products sold in the United States.

The top-selling three or four brands of natural cocoa powder, unsweetened baking chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate, and chocolate syrup were purchased across the United States for the study. Each product was tested for antioxidant activity, total polyphenols, and individual flavanol monomers and oligomers.

These results were compared to the amount of nonfat cocoa solids and total polyphenols in each product, as well as to the calculated percent cacao.

The products with the highest level of flavanol antioxidants were, (1) cocoa

powders, followed by (2) unsweetened baking chocolate, (3) dark

chocolate and (4) semi-sweet chips, then (5) milk chocolate and

finally (6) chocolate syrup.


source

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Naked Mole Rats Might Hold Key To Longevity



Who would have thought that the secrets to long life might exist in the naked, wrinkled body of one of the world's ugliest animals? Probably not many, but current research may be leading seekers of the Fountain of Youth to a strange little beast — the naked mole rat.

The naked mole rat is certainly not one of nature's cuddliest species. These small rodents are hairless, wrinkled, blind and buck-toothed. Stan Braude, Ph.D., lecturer in biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, however, is attracted to these animals and has been studying them for over 25 years, with about 20 of those years being in the field in Kenya.

Braude is currently working on a new book that will serve as a synthetic review of the past 20 years of research on naked mole rats. While various research has been conducted on naked mole rats in a lab setting, Braude and his students are the only researchers out in the wild with them.

"I make the case [in my book] that if you really want to understand the lab work you also have to know what these animals are doing in the wild," said Braude.

Some of the "hottest" research on naked mole rats today concerns senescence, or aging. Naked mole rats in the lab have reached up to 28 years of age. And it's not just the controlled environments of their captivity that are doing this. Braude has observed mole rats in the wild that are 17 years and older. But these are the breeders. Lab researchers didn't realize that in the wild workers only live two or three years.

"For a rodent of this size, they are ridiculously long-lived," said Braude.

Source

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chinese Girl Will Marry for Surgery Money

In the wide, wacky world of the People’s Republic of China, it would appear, the idea that anything is for sale is getting more and more widespread. Just last month, an impoverished uncle offered his baby niece for sale online.

Now, a 22-year-old student beauty in the city of Dezhou, 200 miles south of Beijing, has vowed to marry anyone willing to part with ¥150,000 (US$22,000) to pay for surgery on her classmate.

The friend, Yue-Mei, was put in a coma by severe brain inflammation. Her parents, who are farmers, were already said to be desperately out of pocket from the ¥4-5,000 ( about US$580-730) a day cost of just keeping their girl in hospital in neighboring Jinan.

Her friend Dandan, seen above, has posted an advertisement on a message board of the popular Chinese portal Sina.com.cn offering nuptials to any man who could afford the medical costs.

In the post she describes the situation her friend his facing, before going on to describe the proposed bill of fare, i.e. herself.

“I am tender, obedient, understanding and know how to do house chores,” Dadan writes. ”Good appearance, although I am not an especially pretty girl, but I look cute, with good temperament!”

Reaction in China was mixed, with some hailing the girl’s bravery and others denouncing her willingness to sell her body.

Dandan is said to have told reporters she felt she had no other recourse to solve her dilemma. She said Yue-Mei’s family had already been forced to borrow when her brother had kidney disease a few years ago.

“In fact, in the beginning, I only wanted to call for good-hearted people to help Yue-Mei, but no one cared about it,” she said. ”Maybe everyone thought I was a liar. Therefore out of desperation, I had the idea of repaying with my body and pledge to marry.”

For his part, the head doctor at the hospital did not dispute Dandan’s methods, but said Yue-Mei had shown significant improvement and far less money would be needed. He said Yue-Mei had already awoken from her coma and could manage simple movement and dialogue.

Dandan, however, remains unrepentant. She told reporters she was aware that she was facing strong criticism from some people for her decision. “But I will stick to my plan, ” she said, “because there is really no other alternative.”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Unromantic Truth About Why We Kiss - To Spread Germs!


The kiss may have evolved for reasons that are far more practical - and less alluring - than previously thought.

British scientists believe it was developed to spread germs.

They say that the uniquely human habit allows a bug that is dangerous in pregnancy to be passed from man to woman to give her time to build up immunity.

Cytomegalovirus, which lurks in saliva, normally causes no problems. But it can be extremely dangerous if caught while pregnant and can kill unborn babies or cause birth defects. These can include problems ranging from deafness to cerebral palsy.

Writing in the journal Medical Hypotheses, researcher Dr Colin Hendrie from the University of Leeds said: “Female inoculation with a specific male's cytomegalovirus is most efficiently achieved through mouth-to-mouth contact and saliva exchange, particularly where the flow of saliva is from the male to the typically shorter female.”

Kissing the same person for about six months provides optimum protection, he added. As the relationships progresses and the kisses become more passionate, her immunity builds up.

Previously scientists have claimed that kissing acts as a form of evolutionary quality control, with saliva holding clues to fertility, health and genes.

Further Readings / Source

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What the Inventor of the Flu Shot NOW Thinks of the Vaccine...

President Obama and his top health officials are engaging in a major public relations effort to divert attention away from whether its swine flu vaccine is effective and safe by focusing attention on whether there is enough of it to go around. And the media is cooperating fully.

Increasing numbers of scientists and doctors are issuing harsh criticisms of the government’s plan to vaccinate virtually the entire U.S. population with a poorly tested vaccine that is not only ineffective against swine flu, but could cripple and even kill many more people than it helps.

The CDC’s public relations campaign has been running “scare” ads that portray swine flu as a full-blown “pandemic” responsible for snuffing out countless lives. But scientists and health officials throughout the world have called the governments claims unjustified and deliberately misleading.

Source/Further Reading

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hidden Dangers Of Waterfall

Three UTAR undergraduates drowned after they were swept away by sudden gush of water while swimming at the Batu Berangkai Waterfalls, Kampar, on Nov 1st, 2009.

The dead were James Khor, aged 20, Shy Gin, aged 19 and Ghim Chnieh, also aged 20.

The sudden gush of water phenomenon at waterfalls are fairly common and the main cause victims drowned. Therefore, this video exposes the 'sudden gush of water' phenomenon. It is hope that the more people are aware of this hidden danger, more lifes could be saved.

Special thanks to Bobby Henderson, (http://blog.venganza.org/17.php), who were holidaying in Mag-Aso Waterfalls in Bohol, Philippines when he witnessed the sudden gush of water after a downpour and managed to take some invaluable photos along the way.

Please help to spread this video. You may just save some lifes.

Read the news as reported by The Star here

Being a video enthusiasist, I've made a video meant to educate the general public on the hidden dangers of waterfalls, the sudden gush of water phenomenon ever so common to waterfalls. So that if ever they decide to pay waterfalls a visit, and swim in the river, they'll be more aware. But try not to swim. The sudden gush of water lived up to its name, the wild water suddenly gushes from the fall, the only warning sign being the sudden loud roar of water. By then, it may be a little too late.

OK, enough ramblings from me, lets watch the video and learn something from it. BTW, please share the video with your friends. Email the video link to your friends...Thanks a million.





Update:

I've done a little research on this 'sudden gush of water' phenomenon at waterfalls and here are some news items with sad/tragic endings.

1. Waterfall outing turns tragic

2009/10/18

SETIU: What was supposed to be a fun trip to a waterfall here by a group of teenagers, took a tragic twist when two of them drowned after they were swept away by strong currents on Friday evening.

The victims, Zulfikar Azam, 12, and Amirul Alif Musa, 13, both from Felda Chalok Barat , were with nine friends at the Lata Payong Forest Reserve waterfall, when a sudden gush of water washed them away.

The others managed to cling on to the rocks but Zulfikar and Amirul were swept
away.
News Link

2. 'Mini tsunami' at Terengganu waterfall kills 3, injures 7
Wed, May 07, 2008
The New Paper




IT was supposed to be a relaxing outing for the swimmers at Sekayu Waterfalls, but disaster struck when a strong gush of water swept them away.

Three people, including a woman, drowned in the freak accident which the police had called a 'mini tsunami'.

Seven others suffered light injuries, the New Straits Times reported.

Assistant Superintendent Shamsudin Yaacob, the acting district police chief, said the victims were swimming at the popular recreational spot in Terengganu when the accident happened on Thursday afternoon.

It is believed that the sudden gush of water was caused by rain further uphill a few days ago.

One of the survivors, Mr Azil Hizal, said he was in the water for barely five minutes when a huge wave struck him.

'I panicked, but managed to recite a quick prayer. I grabbed my son, Eizzedin, and placed him on my shoulder and held the hand of my wife, Nor Azliana and brought them to safety.

'I saw my brother-in-law (Mokhtaza) try to rescue his two siblings (Sakina and Noraina Najmi), but he failed to hold onto Sakina, who was swept away by the strong currents.'

Besides Ms Sakina Mustaffa, 25, the two who died were Tuan Basri Tuan Yusof, 23, and Mr Mohd Shukri Mamat, 27.

The survivors - five from Ms Sakina's family and two men - were given outpatient treatment at the hospital here.

Ms Sakina's body was the first to be found, an hour after the 1.40pm incident. It was recovered from the banks of Sungai Sekayu about 2km from the scene of the incident.

The other two bodies were recovered in the evening.

Mr Shamsudin has asked visitors to the waterfalls to be careful during the rainy season as such phenomenon tends to occur.
News Link

Update 2.

Here, I've found two videos. One video is the waterfall at its usual state, serene and beautiful, and the other, after a heavy downpour, when the fall were at its most dangerous state. And you will be surprised. Especially when the onslaught of water came suddenly. Allow me to clarify that this phenomenon is not limited to Mag-Aso falls only but literally all waterfalls. It so happen that there are ready made videos out there exposing the 'sudden gush of water' phenomenon, and I'm simply putting two and two together so that the general public is aware of the hidden dangers and take the necessary precautions.

Video 1. Waterfall at its usual state.



Video 2. When the sudden gush of water appeared. Notice how fierce the water became...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Scam...

This is what I received through e-mail.

From: Google Online Promotion To: undisclosed-recipients:,
Subject: Success Alert...(Thanks for using Google)

Dear G-mail user,
Your e-mail has emerged as a winner of £500,000.00 GBP (Five hundred
thousand British Pounds) in our on-going Google Promotion. Your Winning
details are as follows: Computer Generated Profile Numbers
(CGPN):7-22-71-00-66-12, Ticket number: 00869575733664, Serial
numbers:/BTD/8070447706/06, Lucky numbers: 12-12-23-35-40-41(12). Contact
Mr Graham Benfield, for more details through the contact below:
Mr Graham Benfield,
Sincerely,
Mr. Kasper Simpson.

Note that the 'to' column stated 'undisclosed recipients' meaning there are many recipients beside me. And all the people beside me received the same mail. And we all share the same winning number???




Friday, August 7, 2009

Save The Best For Last?

Hi guys, got this message from an email send by my cousin brother. The message conveyed is quite true therefore as usual, I would like to share this with all of you.

A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package:

'This, - he said - isn't any ordinary package.'

He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.

'She got this the first time we went to New York , 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on , was saving it for a special occasion.

Well, I guess this is it.

He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died.

He turned to me and said:

'Never save something for a special occasion.

Every day in your life is a special occasion'.

I still think those words changed my life.

Now I read more and clean less.


I sit on the porch without worrying about anything.


I spend more time with my family, and less at work.

I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through.

I no longer keep anything.

I use crystal glasses every day...

I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it.


I don't save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.

The words 'Someday...' and ' One Day...' are fading away from my dictionary.

;

If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now....

I don't know what my friend's wife would have done if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning, this nobody can tell.

I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends.
She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels.


I'd like to think she would go ou t for Chinese, her favourite food.


It's these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come..


Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.

Live for today, for tomorrow is promised to no-one..

If you got this, it's because someone cares for you and because, probably, there's someone you care about.


If you're too busy to send this out to other people and you say to yourself that you will send it
'One of these days' , remember that 'One day' is far away... or might never come.....

No matter if you're superstitious or not, spend some time reading it.
It holds useful messages for the soul.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Amazing Dance

Received this video as an email attachment from a friend. It brought out strong emotions, yes, someone hand out some tissues for me, please? This is another fine example of what pure determination and strong will could do. Despite being handicapped. After watching this video, I don't see them as being handicapped at all. They have come far, and they will continue to go far in life.

Here's their story ...

In a Chinese
modern dance competition on TV, one very
unique couple won one of the top prizes. The lady, in her 30's, was a dancer
who had trained since she was a little girl. Later in life, she lost her entire
left arm in an accident and fell into a state of depression for a few
years. Someone then asked her to coach a Children's dancing group. From
that point on, she realized that she could not forget dancing. She still loved
to dance and wanted to dance again. So, she started to do some of her
old routines, but having lost her arm, she had also lost her balance. It took
a while before she could even make simple turns and spins without falling.


Then she heard of a man in his 20s who had lost a leg in an
accident. He had also fallen into the usual denial, depression, and anger
type of emotional roller coaster. But she determined to find him and persuade
him to dance with her. He had never danced, and to "dance with one
leg .... are you joking with me? No way!" But, she didn't give up,
and he reluctantly agreed thinking, "I have nothing else to do anyway."

She started to teach him dancing 101. The two broke up a
few times because he had no concept of using muscle, how to control his body,
and knew none of the basic things about dancing. When she became frustrated
and lost patience with him, he would walk out. Eventually, they came back
together and started training seriously. They hired a choreographer to design
routines for them. She would fly high (held by him) with both arms (a sleeve
for an arm) flying in the air. He could bend horizontally supported by one leg
with her leaning on him, etc. In the competition, as you will see, they
dance beautifully and they legitimately won the competition."




video

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aspiration Words

I stumbled upon this poster and found the words printed on it very inspirational. I quickly took out a pen and scribed it onto my mini notebook. Here they are:-

If you want something you never had,
Do something you have never done,

Don't go the way life takes you,
Take the life the way you go,

And remember, you are born to live and not living because you are born.



A friend said this poster is quite popular and has madde its rounds as e-mail attachments. Anyhow, I've never seen it nor have anyone e-mailed this to me, therefore, I've decided to share it with those who are like me, who has not seen it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Dancing Walrus

This video made it to my e-mail box today. Its not my norm to post videos I received from emails. But this one is just too cute. A walrus dancing to the beat of Michael Jackson's song. Please enjoy!



video

Monday, July 13, 2009

Snakes Anyone?

Its been a while since my last post.

There's a friend who has a shop that I would hang out once a while. And in one of those hangouts, I met a supplier. A guy from a village famous for the wrong reason. Restaurants over there are purported to serve wild animals.

Ranging from turtles to crocodiles to wild monitor lizards and even tigers and elephants, that's why I say this village is famous for the wrong reason. This supplier could be pulling my leg, but among the many wild animals that he alleged was available, nothing interests me more than snakes.

Yeah, the creepy thing that gives me the shiver. That's why it interests me. Its assuring to know that stuff that can kill in a jiffy safely in a cooking pot, away from harms way. Nah, I'm not interested to get those in my tummy at the moment. Animal lovers will surely send me hate mails for this. I'm not promoting eating snakes. Just amazed that animals that give shivers down the spine of many could be conquered and eaten!

If you love snakes, please do not watch the following videos. Thanks.




If the first video did not make you cringe, then you may, for the following video. Already I'm feeling goose bumps all over.




He's gonna puke, he's gonna puke, after this video, you'll wonder if snake eating has become the in thing.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Talent!

I love Britain's Got Talent more than any other similar shows because its unbelievable the quality of the talented people there are in the show.

First, it was Susan Boyle. Then came Hollie Steel, a little girl of 10 with a great voice, and now Jamie Pugh, a van driver by day and a pizza delivery man by night.

Lets have a quick view on the video:-


The song he sang was 'Bring Him Home by Les Miserables. Coincidentally, the song chosen by Susan Boyle, another sensational participant whom made waves around the world, and featured in many blogs, including this one, sang a song by Les Miserables too called ' I dreamed a dream'.

Hmm...will future participants chose songs by Les Miserables for good luck?

The original song for your comparison:-



and lastly, the lyrics:-


God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He is young
He's afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

He's like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.

Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy

You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Was That ???

A friend send me this video and reminded me to watch it. Obediently, I click on the link, hoping its not one of those dumb prank videos where a horror picture suddenly appear at the end of the video.

What greeted me was something unexpected. Its a sea creature. And never in my life did I see such creature before. Does anybody know what this creature is? I wonder if this creature is in wikipedia. How do I refer to wiki if I don't know the name of this creature?

Here is the video. This creature looks weird and 'vulgar' when flipped over. And it was bigger than I though. At the end of the video...something unexpected happened and I couldn't help but to...LAUGH!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seven Wonders of The World

No, this topic is not really about the Seven Wonders Of The World, whether the old seven wonders, or the new seven wonders.

Its about another new video I created yesterday, and uploaded to Metacafe. It took me one whole day, from morning till late at night.

This is the story of the Seven Wonders:-

Junior high school students in Chicago were
studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At
the end of the lesson, the students were asked
to list what they considered to be the Seven
Wonders of the World. Though there was some
disagreement, the following received the
most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to touch...
2. to taste...
3. to see...
4. to hear... (She hesitated a little, and then added...)
5. to feel...
6. to laugh...
7. and to love.

The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop.

May this story serve as a gentle reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful - and we don't have to travel anywhere special to experience them.

Enjoy your gifts!


The first thing I did was to source for pictures. A picture tell a thousand words. So, I need 3 pictures for each illustration, because I wanted to tell 3 thousand words :)

There were pictures of the seven wonders I needed to download, 3 pictures for each wonder, and that copmes up to 21 pictures. Then there are the junior high girl's seven wonder. And another 3 pictures for each 'wonder' and that's another 21 picturesbringing it to 42 pictures altogether that I needed to source.

Luckily, with Google Image, I managed to get my pictures downloaded before dinner.

Using a great software to create this video, if you are curious, here is a link to download this software. But you have to buy it to have the watermark removed.

And the end product...Hope you guys will love it!


The Seven Wonders of the World ("You Are So Blessed") - The best free videos are right here

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dreams Do Come True..

Dreams do come true after all. We only need to have faith in our ability. A person without dreams is as good as dead, that's what I read from time to time.

This bring me to Ms Susan Boyle. Since I'm from another part of the world where access to my favorite TV show, 'Britains Got Talent' is limited to Youtube, I've only 'discovered' her NOW. Better late than never at all.

If you're like me, and have not heard of Ms Susan Boyle, you are strongly recommended to view the below video, from Youtube, where else, and be pleasantly surprised too. May your dreams come true too!

Ms Susan is 47 fast going to 48 years of age. Claimed that she has not been kissed, and lived alone with her pet cat.

Gosh, Youtube is at it again, the embed feature is disabled on this video, so I'll go to Metacafe and embed the video from there.


Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009 - The most popular videos are here

Lyrics:
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high,
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
When dreams were made and used,
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung,
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he'll come to me
And we will live our lives together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seems
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

To end this post, I'm tempted to include this song sang by Ms Susan Boyle way back in 1999. A song called "Cry Me A River", for a charity, in which only 1000 copies were ever printed and sold.



This song is a bit slow for my liking. Nevertheles, her voice is great!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Inspirational Video

Want to be inspired? Watch this video then...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Corn-based food is unhealthy


Pundit George Will has joined the ranks of those who have noticed that the U.S. government’s treatment of corn is wrecking the health of Americans.

Ever since Nixon, government policy has been to sell large quantities of calories as cheaply as possible -- especially calories coming from corn. Now, a quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain processed corn, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

The result? Rates of chronic diseases like cancer and Type 2 diabetes are much higher today than they were in 1900. Type 2 diabetes is an $100 billion a year consequence of, among other things, obesity related to a corn-based diet. Four of the top 10 causes of American deaths -- coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – have well-established links to diet as well.

source

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lightning bolt makes healer of Indonesian village boy

Once a while, I welcome news such as this. In this harsh world, its welcoming to know that miracles do happen. Read the following news and judge for yourself. You may or may not believe in what you read. But it is hope that you believe in miracles too.


Muhammad Ponari (L), who locals believe possesses healing powers, dips his "magic stone" into a bottle of water. Photo: Reuters

MOHAMMAD Ponari was, until last month, a typical kid in the impoverished East Java village of Balongsari. Then, quite literally, lightning struck.

The nine-year-old, who had been playing in the rain in his front yard, was hit by the thunderbolt but, to the astonishment of his young friends, he was unharmed.

All the more bizarre, according to an account by his village chief and his family, when he came to, he found a stone the size of an egg on his head, and was convinced he possessed healing powers.

A boy next door with a fever was his first patient. The stone was placed in a glass of water and the boy drank deeply. His fever vanished.

Then another neighbour approached him, a woman in her 30s who had suffered from a depressive condition for 15 years. She, too, was healed.

The miracles, large and small, kept coming, said Nila Retno, the local village chief.

"My arm was sprained. The water touched by stone was given to me and I applied the water to my sprained arm. Suddenly, I was OK again," she said.

The district police commissioner, Sutikno, a devout Muslim who will be making the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca this year, told of his experience.

"I was inside the house talking to the boy and his family. Together with me in the house was a boy of his age who had not spoken for five years," he said.

"Ponari shook him. The boy reacted and they started fighting, like wrestling and pulling each other's hair. Then, a few moments after the fighting, the boy started to talk."

What did he say? "He said 'I'm scared' in Javanese — but he talked."

The tales of miraculous healings spread. Within a week of the lightning strike, hundreds of villagers were lining up outside Ponari's modest home.

A week later, the ailing, the lame and the curious were coming from as far afield as Malaysia. Thousands queued each day in lines stretching for kilometres, carrying plastic bags of water ready to be transformed into an elixir by the magical stone.

Stampedes erupted on at least three occasions, resulting in the deaths of three people and injuries to dozens more.

The extraordinary scenes in Balongsari highlight the strong grip that mysticism retains over many Indonesians, and Javanese in particular.

While Islam is the most popular religion in Indonesia, it is infused with supernatural beliefs that have been part of Indonesian culture since prehistory, incorporating elements of animism, Buddhism and Hinduism, religions that have at one time or another dominated Java.

Commonly known as dukuns, these shamans and healers can be found in most villages and city shantytowns. Many double as Islamic clerics, and offer services ranging from alternative medical treatments, to guidance in romantic affairs and fortune-telling.

Dukun santet are the exponents of black magic, sorcerers who cast spells. In 1998, 200 supposed dukun santet were massacred in East Java in a mysterious series of killings that have never been solved.

Politicians frequently seek the guidance of dukuns, most famously the former dictator Suharto. Magazines proliferate tracking the latest development in the paranormal world, packed with ads from dukuns spruiking their other-worldy abilities.

As for Ponari, he stopped administering his miracle cures this week after tending to tens of thousands of patients. The public disorder forced police to remove the boy to an undisclosed location.

Even so, as much as 1 billion rupiah ($A120,000) has been raised through a charity box outside his home. This, many adherents to mysticism believe, was poor form indeed. Dukuns are not supposed to profit from their activities.

According to village chief Retno, Ponari himself said he had been "scolded" by the stone for accepting cash. "He said he felt that his whole body was whipped," she said.

Ponari himself has now fallen ill, gripped by fever and nausea. Exhaustion perhaps. Or a sign of displeasure from the spirit world?


Source

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Study Finds Sunny Side of Eggs


Despite decades of advice that the cholesterol in eggs is bad for you, researchers now report evidence that eggs might actually reduce high blood pressure.

The scientists found egg proteins that, in laboratory simulations of the human digestive process, seem to be as good as common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure.

However, it should be noted that funding for the research came from livestock and poultry industry groups. And the researchers emphasized that further study is needed to determine if the proteins actually work in humans.

Further Readings (Source)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Video Of My Cousin, Maggie.

During Chinese New Year this year, my cousin bro Michael produced some studio photos of our cousin sister, Maggie which was taken to celebrate her birthday. Something else caught my eye. A CD. Great! The CD must be where her digital photos were stored.

I've a soft spot for digital photos. Especially portraits. Because I've a deep interest in producing slide shows out of them. My skills are still not up to par, that's why I love to get hold of photos to practise with, so that someday, I'd be able to create masterpiece slide shows out of digital photos.

Below is the video I create. Hope you like it!

My Cousin Maggie - Click here for funny video clips

Simply titled "My cousin Maggie". Well, she's gentle, charming, and most of all, beautiful and sexy. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Overlooked Again and Again

For the past few months, I think I am under a curse. People keep forgetting my food orders!

There was a blog that intro a place, a foodcourt in Kampar, where the food was reported to be very popular with the locals. In the mood for some light traveling (Kampar town is about 38KM from my home) one Sunday morning, a few months back, I decided to pay this place a visit.

Arriving with a few friends, we were still early enough to catch a crowd at the morning market nearby. There were more foodstalls than what I have imagined, more people than what I've anticipated. I hate crowdy places, but you don't travel 40 KM just to make an U turn because of some crowds. So, I found myself not so comfortably seated with the noisy crowds.

Looking around, hey, to my delight, there was a stall that sell my favourite food, the wanton mee (Picture, courtesy of google image search).



I love my wanton mee with some curry soup, which not many stalls have, but this one did! Perfect!!! So, I was back at my table with my friends, patiently waited for the food to arrive. And waited I did. Nah...after a good half an hour of waiting, it did not arrive. My friends urged me to remind the hawker, which I did not in the mood wanted to pass the crowd again. So, I decided to randomly order my breakfast from another stall nearby, which looked less crowded. Again, my second order was 'conveniently' forgotten'.

How's that for my visit to the 'popular with locals' foodcourt? Nah, don't think I'd be visiting this crowded place again.

A few weeks later, on a rainy night, a friend and I was around town trying to find a decent place to dine. Since it was a public holiday, two days straight, a lot of people from outstation came back and that explains the unusual crowd at most popular dining places.

At long last, we manage to locate a modest place which were not too crowded, easy to find parking (Raining, we have to find somewhere easy for us to get down without getting ourselves wet).

The owner of the restaurant were busy waiting at the next table, so we sat patiently waiting for our turn to place our order. Waited we did (Again...) Nah, the owner of the place went straight to the kitchen after taking down our next table's order and did not seem interested to come out to take our order. After 15 mins of waiting, we decided enough was enough, we made a dash for the exit...

Did the jinx happen after that? You bet! Just a few days ago, I was lamenting my luck of always being forgotten when it strike again as recently as today!

I was in Ampang and decided to nip to a nearby restaurant for a chicken rice lunch. The jinx strikes again. My order was forgotten. I reminded the wife. The hubby looked up at me and remarked "Oh! You waited long..." Glad that I broke the jinx this time round, I sat down and...waited. What happen to my chicken rice order???? Despite reminders, I was forgotten again! Should I throw a tantrum? Nah...not my style to create a scene. So, I stood up, and walked out the door...sad that life must treat me like this.

I walked to nearby Sun Yeong Wai Restaurant. It was closed. Due to CNY celebration? Oh, never mind. Further down, Oldtown Kopitiam is open so I walked in, placed my order and to my relieve, my lunch was served within 5 mins. By this time, my tummy was groaning with hunger (Did not have breakfast, you see...).

Oldtown Kopitiam (One of the outlets, photo courtesy of Google Image Search)


Will this jinx/curse end?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Felt Life A Little Too Much To Bear? Watch This Video And Be Inspired!

No matter who you are, there are moments when you will feel the world is too much -- days when you want to pull up the covers and half-sleep in bed until nightfall.

This is normal. It’s an integral part of building anything remarkable, whether a business, a relationship, or a life. Expanding your sphere of comfort and abilities comes with a cost: repeated self-doubt.

The below video may put things in perspective. In your moments of self-doubt, watch it and meditate on all of the things you’ve done that you once considering impossible.

Get back up. Bigger and better things are waiting for you.



source

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One injured, another trapped in temple limestone outcrop collapse

IPOH, Sun:

One person was badly injured and another is believed to be trapped after part of a limestone outcrop collapsed at the Perak Cave Temple along Jalan Kuala Kangsar here today.

Fifteen people were rescued by Fire & Rescue personnel following the incident about 3.30pm, said a spokesman of the Ipoh Fire & Rescue Department. He said the injured person had been sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital while 20 Fire & Rescue personnel were looking for the trapped person. The spokesman said all the visitors to the temple at the time of the incident were Malaysians except for one tourist from Vietnam. The Ipoh police headquarters is scheduled to hold a news conference to provide details of the incident. — BERNAMA

That's the news I read with shock just now. Part of Perak Tong temple collapsed? How could this be, I've just paid this temple a short visit a few days back.

You see, I've consulted a 'sifu' (Feng Shui master) on recommendations from a friend and he told me to get hold of a 'Thousand Hands Goddess Of Mercy' as the deity was said to be my guardian angel and would protect me from harm. Nowadays, I need all the protection I could get, not because I'm living life on the fast lane, but because with rising crimes everywhere, you'll need all the precautionary actions you can take. And that includes getting yourself an amulet. OK, OK, the amulet was suppose to also help me in my career...Hmm...this could be the MAIN reason I'm determined to get that amulet, even if that means the cave temple the amulet was supposed to be available for sale would give way and collapsed on you....


The Entrance...


Inside View...Noticed the giant murals?


Buddha, Sitting Tall And Mighty...


Painting of Goddess Of Mercy...At least 8 storey high

And here I've been exaggerating a bit. I didn't know the cave will collapse or else I wouldn't been there in the first place. Who will? But to read that one person was badly injured troubles me. Who is the unlucky one? Could it be one of the temple helpers? I visit this temple from time to time (Because there's not much place to visit, sigh.....) Therefore, I befriended a few people at the temple. Just crossed my finger whoever the victim is will have a speedy recovery. Why must tragedies happen?

Back to the amulet, no I did not manage to buy my amulet because there were no stock. So I had to toot elsewhere and luckily managed to get hold of one. And I was told, 'specially flown' in from Hong Kong, China.

Back to the cave temple, one may wonder, if there are really a deity, a guardian angel, the unseen power to be would have prevented the incident from happening in the first place. Yes that's true. So sad. That means there are no guardian angels? All wishful thinking? Fantasy?

Hmm....the incident occurred at 3.30pm, that means, near the evening, when tourists number are low. Just imagined if the incident happened in the morning, during peak time for tourists arrival. The news may read differently. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN CATASTROPIC!

Happened at night and the poor security guard would have crushed to death on the spot. Caves are not meant for temples to be built. Especially limestone caves. Water will dilute limestone easily, thats why you will find stalacmites and stalactites in limestone caves. So, for tragedies such as this, please don't blame the deities...


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