LOS TEROPONG

Los Teropong (Teropong means binoculars) comments on current issues in Malaysia, and sometimes the world, and put forth another opinion and perspective. BY THE WAY - THEY HUNG THE WRONG GUY ...

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Sunday, July 24, 2005
Typoglycemia
A friend e-mailed this to me:

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uderstnand waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn 't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia :)-
posted by Rozhan @ 7/24/2005 08:08:00 PM   1 comments
Friday, July 22, 2005
The WORLD of Mawi ...
MAWI - or Asmawi Ani, 24 was a kampung boy before an opportunity landed him in the third edition Akademi Fantasia. I watched the elimination round when 20 prospective candidates vied for 12 places in the academy. From my own judgement, MAWI was among the better ones - of the boys. Of course, I, like the majority of Malaysians have only my ear to be the judge, my only training and experience in judging of the tempo, pitching, diction, voice colour, stage performance as well as interaction with the audience came from Akademi Fantasia I & II.

And like MOST Malaysians who by CDs and cassettes of their favourite artists are NOT experts in music or voice control or chord control or vibrato, falsetto, soprano, rammification and the like. They see what they like, they hear what they like , they buy the CD or cassette. Simple as that.

I am not writing about Mawi specifically, but what has emerged out of the TsuMawi phemenomenon - as observed by me, of course. These phenomenon may have existed in the previous AFs but was less trasparent as compared to AF3. Here goes ....

A ROLE MODEL - Mawi somehow emerged as a role model. Even during the elimination show, my kids were WAITING for Mawi. I have not seen or heard him before this. I liked what I saw and thought he deserved a spot, contrary to the judgement of the juries. Why were they waiting for him? I found out later that he has a somewhat strong religious background (not to say that the rest did not ..), specifically that he was a former quran reciting champ ( or something like that ..). I even read in a Malay Daily that a five-year old boy was upset that he missed his Quran lesson that afternoon (reason not cited..) - for fear of not being able to be like Mawi. Has any Ustaz, teacher or parent been an inspiration like Mawi? Hmmm, Mawi works ... let it be. He conforms to the need of the young, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, we should have more Mawis...

THE JUDGING - We keep hearing the jury and the trainers in the academy urging people to judge the AF3 candidates based on their talents. We are!! This talent is based the opinion of the untrained PUBLIC, from 5-year olds to as old as you can get (I don't know, do I ..?). So there you are, stop asking silly questions since you gave the power of vote and decision to the PUBLIC.

HUMAN NATURE - This edition also revealed the human nature of both public and experts. One jury came with the initial intention of 'bashing' Mawi, and that was said in public. Talk about biasness, when they should be impartial. A few openly admitted supporting certain students, citing that he or she is the best, when the power to decide who is the best is in the hands of the voters. The public too revealed the nature of humans, the nature of being judgemental and saying nasty and hurtful things.

So, just have fun, and enjoy the good things that come out of it. Aiyaa, tak tau lah ...

posted by Rozhan @ 7/22/2005 03:32:00 PM   0 comments
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Halal and not halal ..


posted by Rozhan @ 7/21/2005 05:33:00 PM   1 comments
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Which one are YOU?
Ok, which kind are you? When something happens, which category of people would best fit you.

Did you do something to help? Were you just a bystander or an observer? Did you not care at all?

Always reverse the situation. ALWAYS. What if you were the one lying on the road or the subject of the 'happening', so to speak.

What would you like the people around you to do? Help? Observe? or Make don't know? Such is life, aiyaa, tak tau lah ...
posted by Rozhan @ 7/19/2005 05:10:00 PM   0 comments
Monday, July 18, 2005
Fish Head Curry Super ...
Read in The Star (14 July, Pg. 8 - Bernamapic) that fishermen near Semporna caught a giant Grouper (Kerapu) weighing 250 kg.

Wow, can you imagine the Fish Head Curry (Kari Kepala Ikan ..) one can get with this one ....
posted by Rozhan @ 7/18/2005 10:48:00 AM   0 comments
Lecturers can retire at 65 too ..
Hmmmm .. read in The Star (14 July 2005, pg. 2) regarding the new incentives for public health service personnel, including among them, an extension of employment up to 65 years and tax-exempt out-of-office allowance. Hey, sound good to me, but I am not a doctor ... just a lecturer ..

MMA President Dr Teoh said that extending the service of dostors would enrich the public service (and en'rich' the doctors too, plus tax exemption somewhere along the line..). Don't mean to be picky but this problem of 'teachers' (in a broader context, includes teachers at all level including universities, although they carry a different tag) in certain areas such as English, Physics and Mathematics are also in demand. Do they have to retire at 55? They are so experienced as it is and they have the ability to handle students and they are retired in their prime, and then we grumble about the lack of them.

Lecturing is an ideal job to grant extension, until they die (as long as the brain still function ..) so to speak. Going the extreme here, even if they cannot move physically, or are paralysed from the neck down, they can still 'teach'. Just look at Stephen Hawkings and the Iman who reads the Sermon (Khutbah) at Arafah during the Haji season is BLIND.

Teaching also has a high premium in Islam. Knowledge is highly regarded. The first command to the Prophet (saw) was, "READ" and our contribution to knowledge building will be rewarded till the end of time.

Now there are more schools and colleges and universities coming up. As much as it takes time to train a doctor, it takes time too to get a Ph.D. Now, just to play devil's advocate,
  • can a blind doctor function like the blind Khatib or teacher?
  • can a paralysed doctor function (maybe just lecture or observe and comment)?
  • can one whose hands are shaking perform competent operations? (although patient will get free vibrations ..)
  • can one whose vision is not so good (wear spectacles ..) be a reliable surgeon?
  • can one whose finger senses have gone, 'feel' the patient?
  • can one still remember the parts of the anatomy?
  • one must be up to date with practices and medicines .. or when was one's last 'education'?
  • is one sense of colour still functioning as this is also very important in diagnosis ...
  • I shall stop here ....
All I am saying is that there must be careful considerations in making decision, not just 'new incentives' and giving the thumbs 'up'. Maybe I have been trained to analyse question the rationale of things. I don't care what is 'up' but other profession can also justify their extension, will they be given equal hearing and the thumbs 'up' ? Aiyaa ... tak tau lah ...

posted by Rozhan @ 7/18/2005 08:31:00 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Mokhtar Dahari .. mAbhs
The late Mokhtar Dahari passed away 14 years ago (11 July 1991), and was one of the most feared strikers in Asian football. I remember watching him in games such as the Merdeka Cup and the Malaysian Soccer Team comprising of names such as Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh, Arumugam, Namat Abdullah, Saharudin Abdullah, Isa Bakar, Mohamad Bakar and M. Chandran. That's all I could remember. It was nice of the newspaper to say a few words about him. He was one of a kind. May Allah bless his soul.

posted by Rozhan @ 7/13/2005 04:24:00 PM   1 comments
One for the Bull ..
The Star, Tuesday, 12 July 2005, pg 38 - Pamplona (Spain) at the San Fermin Festival. Four runners (people) were reported injured by bull's horns. Hmmmm ... guess the BULL was just doing its' job, huh ...
posted by Rozhan @ 7/13/2005 04:23:00 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Clickers - I'm in shock ...
Read in Computimes (NST, Monday, 11 July 2005, pg. 22) - Students clicking through classes. Here's the deal - IN THE SAME CLASS, students use handheld remote controls to answer questions in class. The device also known as clickers enable students to give instant feedback without woryying about giving the wrong answer. Honestly, I pray that none of the people in the Malaysian MOE are sucked into this.

Now people, let's try it without the clickers. In a class 0f 40 children, the teacher ask a question from a piece of paper that contains 10 questions. First question, teacher ask question, students put their hands up, teacher count those who said TRUE, and those who said FALSE. Can this be done, as we have been doing it ALL the while. We have to lose our hands and our voice and the human interaction and use the clickers?? Whoa ... what a load of ...

Teacher can SEE who said TRUE and who said FALSE. Teacher then interact with students who got it wrong and EXPLAIN the correct answer and what was wrong with their answer. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CLASSROOM.

If clicking is the way to go, students can stay at home and use a CAI and click all they want. They don't have to go to school. The reason there is a school and a TEACHER is for teaching and learning can take place, meaningful learning.

I don't believe a single word when teachers (in the US) say that they have used clickers and believe (this is such a convincing word!!) students learn more when using the remotes. Learn moree by clicking?? Goodness gracious me, come on Malaysians, surely we are NOT that stupid. They may know US students, BUT I know Malaysian students!! I know Malaysian characteristics, mentality, responses and attitude.

It will never be about the technology. The TEACHER must introduce the creativity, not technology. Technology can't do anything!! WE use technology and make it perform the task that we have planned, designed and created ...

Technology is used to only enhance ... but what is there to enhance?? You got that right, you must introduce the activity first !!! Like I said before, you wanna a workshop, you know where to find me, and I won't charge exorbitant fees like foreign consultants .. aiyaa, tak tau lah ...

posted by Rozhan @ 7/12/2005 01:15:00 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Possibility Thinking
The following excerpts are from Robert H. Schuller's book, Winning Starts with Beginning:

First Commandment ...
Never reject a possibility because you see something wrong with it.
Second Commandment ...
Never reject a possibility because you won't get credit.
Third Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because it is impossible.

Fourth Commandment ...
Never reject a possibility because your mind is made up!
Fifth Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because it is illegal.
Sixth Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because you don't have the money, manpower or months to achieve it.
Seventh Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because it will create conflict.
Eighth Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because it is not YOUR way of doing things!
Ninth Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because it might fail.
Tenth Commandment ...
Never reject an idea because it's sure to succeed!

Have we been guilty of depriving an idea from hatching and growing because of our violation of the Commandments. There is a very fine line (as I always say ....) between Genius and Crazy. If you do something that is new and different, and it does not work or was a disaster; you are called a moron or crazy!! On the other hand if you do something that is new and different; and it WORKS, you are called a Genius. So don't worry, just go ahead and do it !! That's what makes the world go round ... aiyaa, tak tau lah ...

posted by Rozhan @ 7/05/2005 09:41:00 PM   0 comments
In Cape Town, South Africa
Havent't seen the Malaysian newspaper for a few days. The online version is ok, but the hardcopy is always better. Currently in Cape Town, South Africa (3-8 July) attending the International Conference on Open and Online Learning (ICOOL2005) and will be back in Town on the 9th July.
posted by Rozhan @ 7/05/2005 08:14:00 PM   2 comments
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Have PASSION will survive ..
I honestly cannot remember where I picked this up, but it been a kinda eye-opener for me and a good guide to apply in life .. it is called PASSION ...

PASSION is the fuel that drives you toward the finish line ...

It is the reason why you do anything. Without PASSION you are destined to a life of being 'average' ... to a life of mediocrity.

PASSION can make up for a lack of education, skill, opportunity and it can help you overcome adversity, failure and problems with ease.

Yes, ease because your attitude is, 'I can handle it, so bring on the challenge, problems and stuff. I will overcome. I will surmount. I will find a way around, under or over it. I will not be defeated. I will not be deterred. I will never quit.'

PASSION is one of the critical keys to success ...

It assures that no matter what you know or don't know, do or don't do doesn't matter. With passion you will do 'whatever it takes, learn whatever you need to learn and use what you have to the fullest.'

PASSION gives no excuses ...

PASSION is not what you have only when things are going well. It is a part of your cellular make-up. If you haven't got it, get it. IF YOU HAVE, NEVER LET IT GO.

posted by Rozhan @ 7/02/2005 12:54:00 AM   2 comments
Friday, July 01, 2005
The Proboscis Monkey
Aint't it CUTE .... ? (1, 2, 3, 4)
(NST, Travel Times, June 28- July 4,
pic by Chan Ah Lak & Sharon K.K. Ng
)
posted by Rozhan @ 7/01/2005 02:37:00 AM   2 comments
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Name: Rozhan
Home: Penang, Malaysia
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