Friday, 17 December 2010

Lawak Arab

Conversation between a young Arab and his father:

YA: What is this weird hat that we are wearing ?

Father: It's a "chechia" because in the desert it protects our heads from the sun !

YA: And what is this type of clothing that we are wearing ?

Father: It's a "djbellah" because in the desert it is very hot and it
protects your body !

YA: And what are these ugly shoes that we have on our feet ?

Father: These are "babouches", which keep us from burning our feet when in the desert !

YA: Tell me, papa...

Father: Yes, my son ?

YA: Why are we living in Kuala Lumpur and still wearing all this shit, with the Malays following us in doing so?


Courtesy of St Bull

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lepak pun OK?

Are the French a bunch of lazy slackers?
Youths clash with police during protests in Lyon, 19 October
Reuters/Robert Pratta
By Tony Cross

The French - if they’re not on strike, they’re taking long holidays or having extra days off thanks to the 35-hour week. That’s a widespread view, as can be seen from comments on RFI’s reports of the strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reforms. But do the statistics bear it out?

No-one could deny that France has a combative labour movement, especially when right-wing parties are in power and, as the unions see it, trying to take back gains won by years of struggle.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis
And international media headlines often give the impression of a country wracked by industrial conflict, which must surely be bringing the economy to its knees.

So is France heading for ruin – a world champion in strikes and lazing around and a world loser in wealth production?

Here’s what the figures show:

Strikes: The world leader in days lost in strikes in 2009 was … Canada. Its score was 2.2 million, according to the UK journal The Economist. Next came South Africa with 1.5 million. France came third with 1.4 million. France comes top of the European league table for the period 2005-2009, according to the European Foundation for the improvement of Living and Working Conditions. But in 2008 its efforts were dwarfed by Denmark, thanks to a strike wave, one of whose demands was a 35-hour working week. The damage to the economy is not as high as might be expected, judging by statistics from 2005 when a three-week strike cut 0.05 of a point from the growth rate, according to the Finance Ministry.

Hours worked: French workers work an average of 1,453 hours a year, well below the OECD group of developed nations' average of just over 1,700 hours a year but above Germany and Norway (1,337), Sweden (1316) and the Netherlands (1309). South Koreans work the longest hours in the OECD at 2,390 per year.

Retirement: French women retire at the same age as women in Italy, South Korea, Hungary, the UK, Greece and Poland but earlier than Turks and Czechs. Men have the lowest retirement age in the OECD. The government's proposals will bring them in line with Czechs and Hungarians and raise the age that retirees can claim the full pension to 67, provided they have paid over 40 years of contributions.

GDP: France’s Gross Domestic Product has doubled in the last 20 years. It was over 2000 billion euros in 2009, according to the IMF and the World Bank. That puts it fifth in the world league table, behind the US, Japan, China and Germany and just ahead of the UK. Over the same period, there has been a 10 per cent shift of the share of GDP from salaries to profits.

Productivity: French workers’ productivity has risen five times since 1960. Although it has fallen slightly over the last two years thanks to the recession, it is expected to double again over the next 20 years. GDP per hour worked is lower than in the US and Ireland but higher than in many countries, including the UK, Germany and Japan.

Debt: France has the sixth highest public deficit in Europe in percentage terms, at 8.2 per cent. The US’s deficit reached 12.5 per cent in 2009. The debt of French households was 89.1 per cent of income in 2006, according to the OECD. In Britain and the United States that ratio stood at 168.5 percent and 139.7 percent respectively.

Unemployment: French unemployment stands at 10 per cent, the average for the eurozone. As in other industrialised countries, the figure has been pushed up by the recession but was already relatively high at 8.2 per cent in 2001. US unemployment stood at 9.6 per cent in June 2010.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Cari Kat London

The late 80's were the Rock years. It was huge, globally as well as in our dear own Malaysia. For a very realistic feel of what I'm talking about, check out the local movie "Rock". Depicting exactly as it was in the 80's. Weekend nights were usually spent at the Red Rooster (Medan Tuanku), Kathy's Lounge (TTDI), Hard Rock Cafe (TTDI - before Concorde) and Beer Keller (SS 14). The dress code was, well .. rock. Acid washed jeans, with rock bands patches sewn on them, some torn, t-shirts were mainly of British or American rock bands - almost inevitably black, bandanas were usually an option. I used to have stud bracelets, even once I bought a "rantai motor" belt (confiscated by one of the warden at section 18 Shah Alam .. tiu..) I suppose about 90% of the pub frequenters drank. Me, proud to announce that I'm a teetotaler. The motto was always "there's so many other stuff to drink".

The up & coming bands playing around that time were the likes of Search, Bloodshed, Wings, May, Rahim Maarof & the White Steel, Ella & the Boys, Lefthanded & Rusty Blade. Live gigs were a mark of a true rock band. Most played Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Ozzy, Van Halen, Whitesnake .. among others. Those bands eventually came up with their own songs & albums. Personally, during those years, I practically memorised all their lyrics.

Alas, study comes 1st. Due to the years I was in Australia, I never had the chance to enjoy their concerts. But I went to a lot of international bands' though .. Anthrax, Stryper, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Poison, Guns & Roses .. among others, which I enjoyed immensely. The best was probably Metallica's. For us students, Friday nights were jamming nights .. we played English as well as Malay numbers. New malay albums were mostly mailed from Malaysia .. in the form of cassette. CDs were only taking off during that time. So, we were never out of touch.

Last night was sublime. After 30 years .. Search came to London. Played at Scala, next to Kings Cross Station. They rocked & they rocked hard. Well worth my £25. Heck, even got myself their Eire & UK Tour t-shirt. Hujan, the starting band was quite fantastic in their own way as well. Brilliant!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chelsea Chelsea

Walau pun aku menyampah dgn Chelsea, pasal asyik potong Man U je, baju diorang sangat cun (belum beli lagi .. hari tu beli untuk Abang Y .. diri sendiri tak de). Drogba pun tak stop2 score.

So aku pun nak gi tengok lah hari Sabtu ni .. jangan maree. Emm .. Valentine's lunch .. aaa .. next week lah.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Niqab Ban

Came across this article today:

Egypt cleric 'to ban full veils'

Egyptian women in full veil, or niqab
The niqab has become increasingly popular among Egypt's Muslim radicals

Egypt's highest Muslim authority has said he will issue a religious edict against the growing trend for full women's veils, known as the niqab.

Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, dean of al-Azhar university, called full-face veiling a custom that has nothing to do with the Islamic faith.

Although most Muslim women in Egypt wear the Islamic headscarf, increasing numbers are adopting the niqab as well.

The practice is widely associated with more radical trends of Islam.

The niqab question reportedly arose when Sheikh Tantawi was visiting a girls' school in Cairo at the weekend and asked one of the students to remove her niqab.

The Egyptian newspaper al-Masri al-Yom quoted him expressing surprise at the girl's attire and telling her it was merely a tradition, with no connection to religion or the Koran.

After reading the Sheikh's point, I can't help from recalling this photo called "What's the point"

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

You've Got Mail

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a
particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where
they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic
schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So,
the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his
wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel.
There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his
wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email
address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from
her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory
following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting
messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message,
she gasped and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his
mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: October 16, 2005

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here
now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just
arrived and have been checked in. I've seen that everything has been
prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you
then!!!! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P. S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!!