Thursday, August 28, 2014

Say No Ad Ridicules Scottish Women

An advert aimed at persuading undecided women voters to reject Scottish independence has met with ridicule from across the political spectrum, with critics describing it as "sexist" and "patronizing" and some even saying it has convinced them to vote yes.
The advert, broadcast by the pro-union Better Together campaign, was first launched on Tuesday. Called The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind, the short film depicts a working mother talking in her kitchen about the referendum. She says that her husband, Paul, "will not leave off about it", while there are "only so many hours in the day" to make a decision. She refers to Alex Salmond as "that guy off the telly", whose promises about currency and oil wealth seem to her to be "too good to be true", before concluding that she will vote “no” to independence on September 18, 2014.
If you do care to listen to it – you will come to the discomforting conclusion that Scottish women are daft. That Scottish women find thinking hard to do – so they just vote No!
Scottish women are far from being simple-minded and they know how to think. For Scotland.
The image below best illustrates my sentiment on this particular advertisement. I know others feel the same too!

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On Wednesday, I was at the Carigali Hess Operating Company premise in the Petronas Twin Towers to attend the CHOC Toastmasters meeting. I was the General Evaluator. It was a good meeting because I think the members were really gung-ho about Toastmasters but I recognized that they need nurturing. I liked the speeches and given that we had experienced Toastmasters to give evaluations, I do believe there was a lot of learning. I would rate this meeting a 7 over 10.


Najib Razak Finally Denounces Islamic State

Finally, Prime Minister Najib Razak came out to denounce the Islamic State. A flip-flop that was long overdue!
Yesterday, in a press statement, he had declared, “The actions of the Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq are counter to our faith, our culture and our common humanity”. He also reiterated it on his 1Malaysia website.
The disclosure came after Muslim leaders elsewhere had castigated and condemned IS, including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who said ISIS was “embarrassing” to Islam. Najib wouldn’t dare be different. He's not the type to go against the flow. And so he meekly followed the others. Ball-less! 
At Sunway University and with a new semester starting, the Club and Societies Week saw the Sunway University Toastmasters Club again taking up a booth to promote the club to new students:

On Tuesday, I was at the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters Club’s Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contests and which I participated.
I broke into a cold sweat a couple of times because as I reached the venue, I didn’t have a humorous speech. Really, I was clueless. By 6:30 PM, I managed to come up with a speech title. It was not even a proper word because I created it. “Un-handsome”! By 7:23 PM, I had a speech idea and by the time, the Organizing Chair took the floor, some ten minutes later I had become anxious because all I had was just an idea. It wasn't even complete.

When I finally did go up to the front as my name was announced, I began my speech based on that small idea. But as words emerged from my lips, my speech took on a life of its own. And soon after, I delivered a speech that even now as I think back, I marvel at myself. Believe me, extemporaneous speaking is a challenge! Nonetheless, I am grateful it was a winning speech and I have the opportunity to progress to the Area-level contests next. In the Evaluation contest, I was placed second.

On that day too, Celtic again proved they are not up to the European challenge when Maribor edged them 1-0 to allow the Slovenians to advance to the Champions League group stage.

The defeat is a big blow to Celtic, who will miss out on the £14 million they earned in the competition last season as well as the glamor and excitement that accompanies Champions League nights.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Like" Israel and it's Sedition


An unidentified seventeen-year old boy at a secondary school in Taman Tasek Mutiara, Simpang Ampat in Seberang Prai Selatan, Penang had clicked “Like” on a pro-Israel Facebook page. His teacher was kind enough to post a screenshot of what he did and that precipitated a storm of protests and even threats – one Facebook user remarked that the student should be torched.
The state education department promptly intervened and last week, it hosted a closed door meeting where the issue was settled amicably. Both the teacher and student were “advised, counseled and warned” for their role in the episode and the former had apologized to the student’s parents.
Department director Osman Hussain revealed yesterday the female teacher could be transferred to another school as a safety precaution, The idea is to protect her from any harassment. I find this both incredulous and incredible. Hello! – She is not the victim!
The schoolboy is! And yet he was hauled up and chastised. Here’s where the logic disappears into thin air. Osman said the boy had to understand that he cannot do certain things. Meaning, he had “liked” Israel – and that was unacceptable because it would stir the sentiments of a certain community in the country.
Is he suggesting that the Malays are so dumb as to have their sentiments to be easily stirred? I don’t believe Malays are stupid – only some of them. Like Osman.
What’s wrong with liking a country – any country for that matter? Even if the government is despicable – and somebody likes it – that’s his or her business. BTW, Israel and Zionism are two different things. If we worry about some people’s sentiments then, die lah! We shouldn’t even “like” pork chops, pork ribs, pork burgers, pork everything!
Although the issue was settled within the school, the police is adamant about investigating him for sedition. An overreaction of epic proportions!
I was in Petaling Jaya – CP Tower, No 11, Section 16/11, Jalan Damansara, to be precise – to attend the Siemens Malaysia Toastmasters meeting. I was a last-minute replacement for Anna Chin and I evaluated an Ice-Breaker speech. And I considered it the best of the four speeches I heard yesterday evening.
This is a new club – it was only their fourth meeting – but I didn’t think they really know how to conduct meetings properly. I wish their club mentors will be more meticulous and thorough and teach them the correct Toastmasters way. Please.


I didn’t stay until the end because I had to rush off to another Toastmasters event – Taman Indrahana Toastmasters Club’s Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests in another part of town.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lingerie Label Adopts ISIS

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Lingerie label Ann Summers has been forced to apologize after it named its latest range of frilly knickers after the Egyptian goddess of fertility (above pic) who happens to share a name with Islamic terror group ISIS (and which are now known simply as IS or Islamic State). The line also uncomfortably shares the same black-and-white colors as the ISIS flag.
According to the company, it had chosen the name Isis for their latest brand of underwear – before the terrorist organization came into public odium. It was just bad timing and an unfortunate coincidence.

The range of underwear costs between £14 for the Isis thong to £50 for the Isis Cami Suspender. These items are on sale in more than one hundred stores across the UK and on the company’s website.
The company has no intention of pulling its garments from sale though. I don’t see anything wrong actually! And if you must know, I prefer this ISIS anytime! But of course, the company’s PR team will have to work hard.
Last evening, I was in Subang Jaya to attend the Sime Darby Healthcare Toastmasters meeting. Unlike previous meetings, this one was well-attended – 13 Toastmasters and a non-Toastmaster – and even better, there were altogether four speakers. I was one of them and I delivered CC speech #5 titled “Silence is Golden”. My evaluator was Meyyappa and I in turn evaluated his Advanced speech – Emil Anthony couldn’t make it at the very last minute – plus I took on the role of an Ah Counter. Still, a good meeting and it deserves a 7 over 10 score.

Of course, I was hopeful but I wasn’t surprised to have Manchester City clobbering Liverpool 3-1 in an EPL game. Phil McNulty wrote that “for City, without needing to be at their best, this was very much business as usual for the reigning champions”.
It says a lot about Liverpool. Despite nine new signings, the fact remains that we are obviously missing a player of Suarez's class. And Brendan Rodgers let him go! Idiot!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Left Breast of Kate Moss Immortalized

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Legend has it that the original champagne coupe, the ‘Bol Sein’ was modeled after the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette’s left breast – before she lost her head – in the 18th century.
That is of course not true because it was actually created in England. But now, the ‘Queen of Fashion’ Kate Moss’s left breast has been immortalized in a champagne coupe.
To fete the stunning supermodel’s 25 years in the fashion industry, London restaurant 34 commissioned British artist Jane McAdam Freud to create a mold of her left breast that would serve as the shape of champagne coupes. [Freud is the daughter of Lucien Freud, who likewise used Moss as a muse and painted a portrait of her nude during her pregnancy].
The coupe features an elongated stem, while the well of the bowl is etched with an Art Deco-inspired pattern, meant to evoke the curve of Moss’s breast when held at angle. And the base of the glass is engraved with Moss’s signature.
Moss will officially launch the glassware October 08 at the restaurant’s Emin Room and fill the coupes with Dom Perignon’s latest vintage, P2-1998.
The coupe will also be used at 34′s sister restaurants in London The Ivy, Daphne’s, Scott’s and The Club at the Ivy – for guests who order a glass of bubbly as of October 9.
[Moss is a fan of the Mayfair restaurant, and she celebrated her 40th birthday at the luxury dining destination in January].
If only somebody in the UK can be so kind as to get me that champagne glass!
On Thursday evening, the Sunway University Toastmasters' fifty-third meeting was in session. As expected, a good round of speeches and evaluations. We even started and ended on time. But we failed in a couple of areas – one glaring oversight was that we didn't produce an Agenda. Sigh, we must learn to be meticulous in our meeting preparation. And we could kick up the energy level too.
Let's remember that we take pride in organizing and conducting quality meetings. I would give this meeting a 3.5 score over 10.