Saturday, December 25, 2010

It is Christmas again

Today is Christmas Day - a day to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.Those who embrace his teachings are known as Christians.

Jesus Christ teaches universal love to all of us. If we can practise loving everyone around us, then the whole world will be a better and enjoyable place to live in.

Happy Christmas to Christians all over the world.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We are one year older when Dong Zhi comes again

Today is Dong Zhi, the Winter Solstice for the Chinese. On this day, the Chinese all over the world will savour tang yuan (glutinous rice balls cooked in syrup) to usher in the arrival of winter as Dong Zhi means the arrival of Winter.

Yang yuan is round, symbolising harmony and reunion. The shape round is considered auspicious to the Chinese too. Dong Zhi can be a day of reunion for members of the family. They will come together to promote family unity. In ancient China, the daughter who was married off to someone had to spend her day in her own parents' house so that nothing unfortunate will befall her husband.

The Chinese are also considered one year older once they have tasted the tang yuan. Some people will not taste it because they want to be the same age all year round.

Happy celebrating Dong Zhi to Chinese all over the world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A natural way to improve long-sight

As we grow older, we tend to suffer from long-sight, that is we can't see near things clearly but can view distant objects very clearly. To overcome this problem, I learn of a natural way to improve our long-sight. You just need to blend a few types of fruit and vegetables and drink it daily. After three months you will see the result, that is your long sight seems to go away. A Hongkong writer tried it and it worked for her.

Here are the things you need to blend together:
1 One medium English potato (peeled)
2 Half an apple (peeled)
3 One medium tomato (peeled)
4 Half piece of carrot (peeled)

Blend the above using a blender and drink it together with the fibre.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wrong position of personal pronouns, third person

I was reading a novel 'Kembara Amira' by Amer Hamzah B. L. Kadir when I discovered a lot of mistakes in the use of third personal pronouns. These include the following:
1 Dr. Zawawi segera berlari ke khemah pelajar-pelajar kerana ada benda penting yang perlu mereka pastikan tidak terjejas. (Chapter 1, Page 10)
2 Kesemuanya terdapat dua belas tapak cari gali yang telah mereka usahakan. (Chapter, Page 11) 3 Amira bingkas lalu mengambil semua barang yang mereka bawa. (Chapter 2, Page 15)
4. Amira tahu kawannya sedang resah memikirkan tindakan yang dia ambil itu. (Chapter 3, Page 25)

As a Malay language teacher, I find that the above mistakes should not have been committed at all because the struture is meant for first and second personal pronouns only. All learners of Malay are taught passive voice involving the first, second and third personal pronouns. Let us look at their positions in passive voice.
1 a) Saya akan membaca buku itu. [Saya is personal pronoun, first person]
b) Buku itu akan saya baca. [The personal pronoun 'saya' appear in front of 'baca', a passive verb without the prefix mem]

2 a) Kamu harus menghormati ibu bapamu. [Kamu is a personal pronoun, second person]
b) Ibu bapamu harus kamu hormati. [The personal pronoun 'kamu' appear in front of hormati, a passive verb without the prefix meng but retain the suffix 'i']

3 a) Mereka sudah menyiapkan kerja itu. [Mereka is a personal pronoun, third person]
b) Kerja itu sudah disiapkan oleh mereka. [Notice that the personal pronoun 'mereka' appears after 'disiapkan oleh'.

4 a) Dia belum menjelaskan yuran kelab ini. [Dia is a personal pronoun, third person]
b) Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskan olehnya. or
Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskannya.
['Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskan oleh dia' is not a standard structure]

Hence the three sentences written in the above novel should have been:
1 Dr. Zawawi segera berlari ke khemah pelajar-pelajar kerana ada benda penting yang perlu dipastikan oleh mereka tidak terjejas.
2 Kesemuanya terdapat dua belas tapak cari gali yang telah disusahakan oleh mereka.
3 Amira bingkas lalu mengambil semua barang yang dibawa oleh mereka.
4. Amira tahu (bahawa) kawannya sedang resah (kerana) memikirkan tindakan yang diambilnya itu. (I added in the words in brackets to make it sound grammatically correct.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

For your child's safety purposes

I was in a local supermarket when I spotted this notice. It reads "For your child's safety purposes, avoid placing them on the trolley."

There are two obvious mistakes in the notice. First, the word 'purposes' need not be there. Secondly, the word 'child' is singular, but "them" after 'placing' does not agree with 'child' which is singular.

It will sound better if the notice is worded as "For your child's safety, do not place him or her on the trolley."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to drive away houseflies

Have you ever tried to wave off the flies that come near your food when you eat out especially at a not so clean eatery? In some food stalls, you will find that there are no flies around the food. Observe carefully, and you will find transparent plastic bags with water in them hanging around the stall.

Actually, these water-filled plastic bags serve a very good purpose - keeping the housflies at bay.
According to research, the water in the plastic bags act as a prism relecting light in all directions. The houseflies, upon seeing them, think that their predators are around and leave quickly.

Hence, you can always hang a plastic bag with water to drive away flies in your house this way.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Taxis can educate the masses

During my tour of Yunnan I was very impressed by taxis with LCD screen attached to the tops of them. From time to time, Chinese sentences and slogans will run across the display panel. These are mostly educational in nature. The photo below shows the sentence 'Wen ming Kun Ming wen ming ren' which means 'Civilised Kun Ming means cilivised people' to remind residents to be courteous to people all the time, especially tourists so that they can be looked upon as civilised people of the world.

Other sentences I noticed were the ones asking people to be thrifty in the use of water and keeping the environment clean. I think this is a good way of educating the public who will not miss reading them especially they are trapped in traffic congestion with the taxis in front of them.

A taxi bearing running slogans on LCD display panel

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to place the Recycle Bin on Desktop

If you are using Windows 7, you will find that you can't see the icon of the Recycle Bin on the desktop, neither can you use start to access it. This is what you do to bring the Recycle to appear on your desktop.

First, right click your mouse anywhere on the desktop.
Next, click Personalize.
After that click 'Change desktop icons' which is on your left.
Check against Recyle Bin.
Click Ok.

When you go to your desktop, you can find the icon of the Recycle Bin there. Double click to access it.

I hope this tip is useful to readers who want to undo whatever files they have deleted provided that they do not press SHIFT while clicking the 'delete' function. because by doing so you are to permanetly delete the files.