Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jobless Models Protest

Taiwanese dancers introduce a new car from Luxgen, a joint venture between state-owned Dongfeng Motor Co. and Yukon, a Taiwanese partner in Shanghai, Monday, April 20, 2015. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
China's biggest auto show opened in Shanghai on April 22–29, 2015 and the only models on display were the ones with four wheels.
Gone were the scantily-clad “car babes" that in previous years have posed provocatively on car hoods and sashayed through the aisles to draw crowds to the 9-day event – part of a morality crackdown by China’s President Xi Jinping.
Automakers replaced them with dancers and fresh-faced young women holding tablet computers.
And the now-out-of-work beauties staged a protest. The unemployed models dressed up in their most fashionable rags and pretended to beg on the curbside outside of Metro City at the Xujiahui Station (part of the Shanghai Metro).
They carried signs declaring "We want to survive!" and lamenting that their starving themselves had all been for nothing!

Auto manufacturers pulled out all the stops to compete for Chinese customers in what since 2009 has been the world's largest car market. Vehicle sales in China totalled 23.5 million units last year, almost a third more than in the United States of America.
I was the Table Topics Evaluator at the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting on Tuesday evening. All I can say is that the Table Topics session drew out the senior Toastmasters and that was the highlight of the evening. Otherwise, the speeches were just so-so. I didn't stay on for the evaluations though. Maybe a case of an overdose of Toastmastering? After all, I was at three Toastmasters meetings in one day, i.e. April 28, 2015!


The World Has Officially Gone Mobile

The world has officially gone mobile.
Global Web Index, the world’s largest ongoing global study into digital consumer trends, shows that the smartphone is the go-to device for accessing the web.
GWI polls over 200,000 internet users across 33 countries throughout the course of each year in order to gain the best understanding of the global digital landscape, and its latest quarterly findings show that while the PC is still the most commonly owned Internet-enabled device globally, 80% of consumers now have a smartphone – and almost half of consumers own or have access to a tablet, too.

Three quarters of consumers now turn to a smartphone for online access and over one third to a tablet. Also the proliferation of smartphones means that the mobile web is coming to dominate consumers’ time – an average of just under two hours a day is taken up by accessing the internet via a handset.

And those aged between 16 and 24 spend the largest amount of their time online via a mobile device – 43% or 3.21 hours a day – accessing the web via their phone or tablet – a steady increase over the past three years of the study.
Sigh! I am painfully aware that I belong to a diminishing group of people labelled “laggards”. I have yet to adopt the smartphone and I am still both unenthusiastic and unwilling. (My trustworthy Nokia is featured on the left).
On Tuesday, Hull City carved a 1-0 win over hapless Liverpool, leaving the latter almost certain to miss out on Champions League qualification. The Reds are now seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the EPL table. Nothing more to be said about the team.
At the Taylor’s College Toastmasters meeting also on Tuesday  I know I will have the opportunity to listen to generally good speeches that possess strong content and for a few of them, even their deliveries can bedazzle me. I can tell you that I am not the type to be easily bowled over. But that Tuesday meeting did. Eight speeches packed into one power meeting. Wow!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

No Surrender, Declares Najib Razak

Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday found his balls that he had misplaced. He then summoned his courage and declared he will never back down or surrender – these were the words he disgorged against a backdrop of mounting criticisms and continuing calls for his resignation.
In his speech during the launch of the Performance and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) Annual Report at KL’s Angkasapuri, Najib said he has "noble goals". He said he will remain steadfast and continue to fight, and carve a million new pathways for the sake of the rakyat and the country!
I have just three words for him! Bollocks, fiddlesticks, horsefeathers!
I wish Najib will drop dead. Instantly. I have not met anybody who is blardy thick-skinned, standoffish and shameless. God help Malaysia!
On Tuesday, I was in KL’s Jalan Tun Razak – at Suite 8-01, Level 8 in GTower to be exact – and this marked my return to the Exact ADC Toastmasters Club. I delivered my CC speech #4 titled ‘Ugly People’ – thanks to Teo Soo Loon for accommodating me.

Do you know that this club  have their own signature clap that gives everybody a positive energy boost whenever anybody goes to the front to speak? Nice. This meeting earned a 7.5 over 10 score.

Looking Sexy in Pantyhose

Hong Kong site Sharp Daily reported that users on the Chinese social network Weibo “are uploading gag photos of their dogs wearing pantyhose, joking how “sexy” the mutts look.”
Chinese site Sina explained that “bored” people on Weibo started the popular meme. Apparently, one user Ulatang, who noted that the pets rolled their eyes after getting dressed in pantyhose, uploaded the first “dogs wearing pantyhose” pic. That image has been commented on over 16,000 times in China.
I think pantyhose look really hot on a woman – but I shall reserve my judgment when a dog wears one!
On Monday, I was at the Kompleks Perdana Siswa on the University of Malaya campus where I was the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening to a joint meeting between Universiti Malaya and PJ Bilingual Toastmasters Clubs. And I did a fairly good job 'emceeing' the meeting. It was very well-attended and twenty-nine people turned up – all because I was there. I lied – they didn't come because of me!
We not only had Toastmasters from the two said clubs but also those from Sai Masters, Friendship, AFC, OUM and others. I would score this meeting a 7 over 10.