Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two is better than one

A paragraph from a NYT article that speaks so true of my relationship with my husband.

"But from the very start, the Obama marriage was a kind of professional symbiosis, a partnership between two passionately ambitious people who found they could rise higher in the world together than alone."

Separately, Michelle Obama gave a splendid speech in favour of her husband Barack Obama at the opening of the Democratic National Convention 2008 in Denver on Monday 25 August. Please click here to view a complete transcript of Michelle Obama's speech.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beijing Olympics - In a Nutshell

To sum up the grand Beijing Olympic Games 2008, here's a nutshell taken from a TIME article:

To a large extent, China, an emergent superpower, got what it had craved from these long-sought games: a dominant effort by its athletes to top the gold-medal standings for the first time and almost glitch-free organizing that showcased world-class venues and cheerful volunteers to the largest-ever peaceful influx of foreign visitors.

A significant moment in the Games – where sports overshadow politics and brought the world together in unity:

Led by Phelps and Bolt, athletes broke 43 world records and 132 Olympic records during the games. Yet (IOC President Jacques) Rogge, who visited every venue, said the most touching moment for him came after the 10-meter air pistol event, when gold medalist Nino Salukvadze of Georgia embraced runner-up Natalia Paderina of Russia even as their two countries' armies fought back in Georgia.

"That kind of sportsmanship is really remarkable," Rogge said.

Source: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1835682,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

Farewell, the Games. Hello, China superpower!


Critics are present everywhere and in all situations. When the Singapore table tennis team players Wang Yeugu, Feng Tianwei and Li Jiawei won Singapore a much anticipated silver medal since Tan Howe Liang's bronze medal in 1960, Singaporeans were torn between gratitude and patriotism. Their gripe? The paddlers aren't true-breed Singaporeans, but foreign talents. What makes it even more ironic is that they are Chinese, and they lost the gold to top Chinese players.

When Usain Bolt won the men's 100m and 200m sprint event, he celebrated as a true-blooded Jamaican would – he exclaimed in exhilaration to the cameras that he is Number 1, he danced around the tracks, wiggling and jiggling his tall, broad and muscular stature, and posed the victorious archer's pose of one hand pointing towards the sky and another placed at his chest. IOC President Jacque Rogge criticised Bolt's antics and suggested Bolt should have shook hands and congratulated the other competitors instead of basking in his own glory. A number of divided views have emerged following Bolt's victorious but controversial antics.

Michelle Obama was questioned on her patriotism following her infamous speech earlier this year: “For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.” It is unfortunate that a statement as harmless as that could give rise to contentious views on what could possible by America's first black First Lady. At that point, Michelle Obama's two Ivy League Universities education, her devotion to her husband, family and country were discounted.

When we consider the malicious and injuring spirit of criticism, may we be reminded to hold the reins of our mouth and ponder on the positive before we leash on the negative. If we are capable of building and edifying rather than tearing down and crushing, why not choose the former?

Beginning of Greatness

BOG: Beijing Olympic Games / Beginning of Greatness

It is hard to understand how something so remote as an international sports event could leave such a deep impact in the hearts of many around the world, particularly a Malaysian girl living and working in Singapore for the past 10 years.

From day 1 of the Games, she had her heart lost to the swimming event, barely missing a swimming event which ran for 10 consecutive days. For 10 days she could hardly concentrate on more pressing issues like work and school, with water and flying men and women filling her heart, mind and soul. When she closed her eyes she saw Michael Phelps, Kosuke Kitajima, Darra Tores and Libby Trickett. When she swims in the pool, she sees not her body limited by amateurism, but an expounded spirit able to contain international feats as her new-found water-agile heroes and heroines.

When the swimming events gave way to other sporting events, she found a replacement in water-related sports like the diving events. She found humility and outstanding consistency in a young Chinese diver, He Chong. He was sent to sports school by his construction worker father, simply because it was cheaper than a normal academic school. At fourteen he started diving internationally, but was soon sidelined from the national team due to poor performance. He worked hard in proving himself and within a short time, made his way back into the national team. At 21 this year, he did China and his dad proud by diving his way to gold.

What has the Games done to her? It has made it impossible for her to return to a mediocre life – to go back to what she used to do before the Games. To go back to History Channel, National Geographic or Discovery Travel and Living. To go back to a life of non-tv until the Games hit her world these past 2 weeks.

She is left lost not without a reason. She is left lost that she may find her way to unprecedented passion. A passion for the unachievable, made possible by the human will of perseverance and the tenacity of discipline. Sounds like hard work? It sure is. The road up is never easy.

Hot News

I found a voice today. Here's what it says to me:

I love news because it's fresh – it's like fresh bread in the morning. Best still, fresh bread in the bakery – right where the hot action is. I'd like to work in the news room, right where the hot action of news production happens.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beijing Olympics - U.S. 400m relay team

An incredible highlight last night in the swimming department. The U.S. 400-meter relay team set an Olympic record with a pool-shattering timing of 3:08:24.


Garrett Weber-Gale, left, and Michael Phelps of the U.S. react as 400-meter relay teammate Jason Lezak of Irvine ran down then world-record holder Alain Bernard of France in the final few meters and out-touched him at the wall for the gold medal.

Michael Phelps celebrating with teammate Garrett Weber-Gale after Jason Lezak's stunning anchor-leg swim and letting loose a deep and forceful primal scream.

"My and Garrett's reaction, yeah, I let out a pretty fierce yell. It just shows how emotional it was and how excited we were. It was just an amazing race."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shape up

See the last paragraph in bold & italics – my question is: Oh, and the corrupted and accusatory Malaysian government politics are ‘suitable’ to be watched and replayed to thousands of the young generation? Think about the legacy the country’s current leadership is leaving for its future leaders, the young generation today growing up in a politically tumultuous country divided by its own leaders. A leader appoints another, sings the latter’s praises to the sky, then leashes at the latter’s ability and integrity, and pulls him deep into the pit of alleged corruption and moral wrongdoings. We see this apparent foul-play repeated twice in this one decade alone. Will Malaysia see the brighter light of day where its citizens can truly embrace its Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) under the leadership of wise, committed and honest men and women?

Straits Times - Aug 10, 2008
PAS wants Avril Lavigne concert banned

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian opposition Islamic party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) has demanded that the government ban pop superstar Avril Lavigne from performing in the country.
It said her concert would be an insult to the Merdeka freedom fighters.

Kuala Lumpur PAS Youth chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad said the government should instead hold patriotic and civilised concerts as well as organise history-writing contests and historical exhibitions in conjunction with the 51st anniversary of the country's independence, reported The Malaysian Insider.

The Canadian pop singer was scheduled to perform at the Stadium Merdeka on Aug 29, just two days ahead of Malaysia's Independence Day, as part of her world tour.

Mr Kamaruzaman led his exco members in handing over a protest note to Kuala Lumpur Mayor Abdul Hakim Borhan and a Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry official here on Friday.

The protest note also demanded that the Central Committee for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists (Puspal) not issue the permit for the concert.

Last month, the same PAS group had also protested against Indonesian dangdut sensation Inul Daratista performing in Kuala Lumpur, saying her concert would have been too erotic and almost pornographic, as well as capable of corrupting the minds of young Malaysians. Inul's concert was subsequently cancelled.

The group's objection to Lavigne's concert is that 'the rock and punk elements portrayed by this artiste are not suitable to be shown to the young generation', Mr Kamaruzaman was quoted as saying by PAS-owned Harakah Daily.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The shape of love

The shape of love comes in the form of a man. A man who loves, gives and believes. A man patient in hope. A man who sees good in people. A man not easily wavered by negative remarks or situations.

A man who gives me room to learn, grow and be better. A man who doesn't force me into becoming what I'm not, but who constantly, ever so graciously and gently, helps me become the woman I am meant to be.

A man who gives me a bundle of tools to reach my dreams - a MSI Wind Notebook (so I may write on the go; anytime, anywhere, anyhow), loads of encouragement and unwavering believe in my ability.

The shape of love comes in the form of my man – the love which God gave – my husband and amazing leader, teacher and friend, JO.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Piece of Kenya

He left home with the only currency of exchange he could afford: a bag of dreams. At 25, the vision of a better future throbbed his heart so he refused the “can’t do” attitude and seemingly kind advice of fellow Kenyans to deter him from embarking on this journey of a lifetime. A year down the road he thought himself na├»ve; silly even to do something so rash as to leave home without a dime to his name.

Now on hindsight he is glad his youthful courage served him well to run his course and do what no other Kenyans before him has done before – to step out in ra
w faith into uncertainty – to pursue a year of postgraduate studies in a foreign land, without the certainty of sufficient financial resources to pay his course fees and living expenses.

Now he’s gained knowledge, earned his Masters, made new friends, and returned home.
A Kenyan friend come and gone.

A man of persistent dreams. A man of potential, no doubt, because in his soul lies a restless, fighting spirit that refuses to bow to the dark circumstances around him – instead he stands tall and proud, towering above obstacles, to reach for what he knows belongs to him.

To Abraham - may you reach high, stretch your tents far and take possession of your dreams.