Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Here’s a little Trivia for you. However, I can't guarantee the accuracy of all the points. :-)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. 

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

Book Without Letter "e" : GADFY, written by Earnest Wright in 1939 is a 50,000+ word book

(Still trying to lick your elbow?)

Monday, 29 December 2008

Family Matters

An elderly gentleman in Australia calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce; 35 years of marriage... and that much misery is enough! ”

“Dad, what are you talking about?’ the son screams.

“We can't stand the sight of each other any longer, ” the old man says. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in UK and tell her!”

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like heck they're getting divorced,” she shouts, ‘I'll take care of this. ”

She calls her father immediately, and screams at the old man, “You are not getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back from UK, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR??” and she hangs up. 

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay”, he says, “It’s all set. They’re both coming back for a visit and paying their own airfare!!!”

Moral of the story:
No man / woman is busy in this world all 365 days. The sky is not going to fall down if you take few days LEAVE and meet your dear ones. 

Sunday, 28 December 2008

A Push

            A man is in bed with his wife when there is a rat-a-tat-tat on the door. He rolls over and looks at his clock. It is half past three in the morning. “I’m not getting out of bed at this time,” he thinks, and rolls over. Then, a louder knock follows.
            “Aren’t you going to answer that?” says his wife. So he drags himself out of bed and goes downstairs. He opens the door and there is man standing at the door. It didn’t take the homeowner long to realize the man was drunk.
            “Hi there,” slurs the stranger. “Can you give me a push?”
            “No, get lost. It’s half past three. I am in bed,” says the man and slams the door.
            He goes back up to bed and tells his wife what happened, and she says, “Dave, that wasn’t very nice of you. Remember that night we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick the kids up from the baby sitter and you had to knock on that man’s house to get us started again? What would have happened if he’d told us to get lost?”
            “But the guy was drunk,’’ says the husband.
            “It doesn’t matter,” says the wife. “He needs our help and it would be the Christian thing to help him.”
            So the husband gets out of bed again, gets dressed, and goes downstairs. He opens the door, and not being able to see the stranger anywhere he shouts, “Hey, do you still want a push?”
            And he hears a voice cry out, “Yeah, please.”
            Still unable to see the stranger he shouts, “Where are you?”
            The stranger replies, “I’m over here, on your swing.”

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Unusual Letter, Unusual Reply

              One morning, a company manager discovered an unusual letter from one of his employee. 

Dear Bo$$,

              A$ all of u$ have read from the new$paper$, the $ingapore economy ha$ come out of the rece$$ion. In thi$ life, we all need $ome thing mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company. I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon. 

Your$ $incerely, 
$teven $oh 

              The next day, the employee received this letter of reply : 

Dear Steven, 

              I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet. NOw the newspapers are saying the world's leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. After the NOvember Presidential elections things may turn bad. I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean. 

Yours truly, 
NOrman Tan

Monday, 22 December 2008


              Imagine a marital artist, after years of relentless training, finally kneeling before his master in a ceremony to receive the coveted black belt. 
              “Before I grant you the belt,” his sensei (teacher) says, “You must pass one more test.” 
              “I’m ready,” says the eager student, expecting perhaps one more test of his physical agility and skill. 
               “You must answer the essential question, ‘What is the true meaning of the black belt?’” 
              The student answers, “The end of my journey, a well-deserved reward for all my hard work.” 
              The sensei waits for more. Clearly not satisfied, he finally speaks, “You are not ready for the black belt. Return in one year.” 
              One year later, the student again kneels before his sensei and hears the question, “What is the true meaning of the black belt?” 
              This time he answers, “It is a symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art.” 
              Still not satisfied, the master once again sends the frustrated student away. 
              A year later the student kneels for a third time in front of his sensei attain. Again, the master asks the question, “What is the true meaning of the black belt?” 
              This time the student answers, “The black belt represents not the end, but the BEGINNING, the start of a never-ending journey of discipline, work and the pursuit of an ever-higher standard.” 
              “Yes,” says the sensei with great satisfaction, “You are now ready to receive the black belt and begin your work.” 

              Isn’t it true that every major change in life is more of a BEGINNING than an ending? Graduation from school is not a time to quit learning; rather it marks the BEGINNING of the next level of learning. 
              Marriage and family are BEGINNINGS of new life-styles. And even death, the ultimate change in life, can be seen to be as much of a BEGINNING as birth. Every completion, every change, every accomplishment is simply the start of something new and, quite possibly, wonderful. You may arrive at a magic-like change. Is it an end? Or is it the start of a new beginning? 

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Tired Workers

Ever wonder why office staff are dead tired by the end of the day and companies require no further physical fitness programmes for their employees? Reasons being everyone gets enough exercise by:
Jumping - to conclusion 
Beating - around the bush
Running - to the boss
Going - around in circles
Dragging - their feet
Passing - the buck
Climbing - the walls
Wading - through paperwork
Pulling - strings
Throwing - their weight around
Stretching - the truth
Bending - the rules, and
Pushing - their luck too far

No wonder they are all tired at the end of a working day! 

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest, if you must - but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with it’s twists and turns
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
it seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt ,
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Choice Is Ours

              Life is all about choices and the world revolves around choices made by people.

             However, while we are free to choose, once we have made those choices, we are tied to the consequences of those choices. Choice is the cause; and the results we obtain are the effects of those choices made earlier. Our choice determines the consequences. 

              Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices. We are what we are because of the conscious and subconscious choices we have made.

              We may not be able to choose our lot in life, but we can choose how to handle our lot. Although we cannot choose our external circumstances, we can always choose how we respond to them and we can choose how we live our life. 

              We can live a full and happy life, or we can just exist in life, drifting on life’s shores. The choice is ours.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Coffee Is No Cure For Post-epidural Headaches

The claim: Coffee eases headaches from epidural injections.

The facts: Headaches can be an excruciating side effect of routine procedures that involve puncturing the middle and lower back, including spinal taps and anaesthetic injections like epidurals.
              Doctors and medical texts have long advocated a simple antidote: a cup of Java. One theory is that the caffeine narrows the cerebral blood vessels, which helps reverse the dilation of a blood vessel that occurs when a puncture causes cerebrospinal fluid to leak. Research, however, suggests it does not help.
              In 2007, researches at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona reviewed several randomised studies that looked at caffeine as a treatment for the condition, known as postdural puncture headache, and found no evidence that it worked.
              That echoed the findings of a separate study at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, which found slim evidence supporting caffeine or another popular antidote – more fluid intake.
              Other studies suggest that the most effective treatment is one called epidural blood patching. It can invasive but it relieves headaches in 85 to 98 per cent of patients. It also helps when smaller needles are used.

The bottom line: Studies suggest caffeine is not an effective treatment for headaches caused by lumbar-puncture procedures like epidurals.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 15 December 2008

The Turtles

A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took several hours to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second hour of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last! 

They cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. However, they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left. 

Three hours passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five hours...six hours… later, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. 

At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, 'See! I knew you wouldn't wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.' 

Moral of the story:
Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we don't do anything ourselves. 

Sunday, 14 December 2008

An Effective Lesson

              According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington recently was faced with a unique problem. A number of twelve-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. 
              Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back. Finally, the principal decided that something had to be done. 
              She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. 
              He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. 
              There are teachers, and then there are educators.

Saturday, 13 December 2008


If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You have got to think high to rise
You have got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!

Thursday, 11 December 2008


            Curiosity appears to be an innate drive that causes the human to follow a certain course of action. Formal psychology prefers to avoid labelling curiosity an instinct. Humans and less evolved beings are drawn to that which is not only unusual, but particularly impelling in the attention it arouses. However, if it were not for curiosity, we would never solve the mysterious, nor would we ever fathom the unknown. Curiosity also provides a safety factor in that it usually is accompanied by caution. The stranger is commonly approached with a readiness to flee or to ward off possible danger.

            But curiosity is not always accompanied by rationality. The exotic, the different, may attract, and, if there appears to be no cause for alarm, it is often accepted for what it appears to be. In this regard, many persons are drawn to the fanciful and become enmeshed in it, to their detriment.

- Source Unknown

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Thomas Kindade Painting

Some friends forwarded a couple of Thomas Kindade paintings to me. Brilliant works.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Garlic – Your Body’s White Knight

              Garlic has been hailed for its health-boosting properties for centuries.
              Not only does its pungent flavour add taste to dishes but garlic cloves are also believed to be effective against the common cold, be an effective aphrodisiac and, oh yes, what’s that legend about its ability to ward off vampires?
              The good news about garlic just keeps getting better. It has a mere 4 calories per clove, contains 45mg of calcium, 12mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds, said a report on website WebMD.
              That makes it powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection, which could explain why it was used to prevent gangrene in both world wars.
              Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is the most beneficial for health.
              In clinical trials, the toxin-fighting staple seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kill parasites in the body.
              Other immunity boosters include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chives, kale, leeks, onions and shallots, all of which contain sulfuric compounds.

- Article taken from 'Mind Your Body' – a Straits Times supplement on Health 

Monday, 8 December 2008


              Imagine taking a very small glass of water and putting into it a teaspoon of salt. Because of the small size of the container, the teaspoon of salt is going to have a big impact upon the water. However, if you approach a much larger body of water, such as a lake, and put into it that same teaspoonful of salt, it will not have the same intensity of impact, because of the vastness and openness of the vessel receiving it. Even when the salt remains the same, the spaciousness of the vessel receiving it changes everything. 

              We spend a lot of our lives looking for a feeling of safety or protection; we try to alter the amount of salt that comes our way. Ironically, the salt is the very thing that we cannot do anything about, as life changes and offers us repeated ups and downs. Our true work is to create a container so immense that any amount of salt, even a truckload, can come into it without affecting our capacity to receive it. 

Sunday, 7 December 2008


              A local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town’s most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute. 
              “Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least five hundred thousand dollars, you give not a penny to charity. Would you not like to give back to the community in some way?’’
              The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, “First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?’’ 
              Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, “Um...no.” 
              “…or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?’’ 
              The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology but was interrupted, “…or that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident,’’ the lawyer’s voice rising in indignation, “leaving her penniless with three children!?’’
              The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea...”
              On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again: “… so if I don’t give any money to them, why should I give any to you!?”

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Meet Molly

She's a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled.

While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case. You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

'This was the right horse and the right owner,' Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain.

She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb A human prosthesis 
designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off, too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. 'It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse,' she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centres. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

'It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life, Moore said. 'She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.'

Barca concluded, 'She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.'

This is Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Even This Will Pass Away

Once in Persia reigned a king
Who upon a signet ring
Carved a maxim strange and wise
When held before his eyes
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance
Solemn words, and these were they

Trains of camel through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarkand
Fleets of galleys over the seas
Brought him pearls to rival these
But he counted little gain
Treasures of the mine or main
“What is wealth?” the king would say

Mid the pleasures of his court
At the zenith of their sport
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests
Seated midst the figs and wine
Said the king, “Ah, friends of mine
Pleasure comes but not to stay,

Woman, fairest ever seen
Was the bride he crowned as queen
Pillowed on the marriage-bed
Whispering to his soul, he said
“Though no monarch ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast
Mortal flesh is only clay

Fighting on the furious field
Once a javelin pierced his shield
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tortured side
“Pain is hard to bear;” he cried
“But with patience, day by day

Towering in a public square
Forty cubits in this air
And the king disguised, unknown
Gazed upon his sculptured name
And he pondered, “What is fame?”
“Fame is but a slow decay!

Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold
Said he with his dying breath
“Life is done, but what is Death?”
Then as answer to the king
Fell a sunbeam on his ring
Showing by a heavenly ray

- Theodore Tilton

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Transparent Butterfly

The Transparent Butterfly comes from Central America and is found from Mexico to Panama. It is quite common in its zone, but it not easy to find because of its transparent wings, which is a natural camouflage mechanism.

A butterfly with transparent wings is rare and beautiful. As delicate, as finely blown glass, the presence of this rare tropical gem is used by rain forest ecologists as an indication of high habitat quality and its demise alerts them of ecological change.

Rivalling the refined beauty of a stained glass window, the translucent wings of the Glasswing butterfly shimmer in the sunlight like polished panes of turquoise, orange, green, and red.

All things beautiful do not have to be full of colour to be noticed. In life that which is unnoticed often has the most power.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Tongue Map Is Inaccurate

The claim: Tongue is mapped into four areas of taste.

The facts: High school textbooks call it the tongue map – that colourful illustration that neatly divides the human tongue into sections according to taste receptors. There is the tip of the tongue for sweet, the sides for sour and salty and the back of the tongue for bitter. But recent studies show that while scientists still have much to learn about receptors, the map, at least, is wrong.
              What is known is that there are at least five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and the most recently discovered, umanmi.
              This last flavour, which means “savoury” in Japanese, can be detected in miso, soy sauce and other Asian foods, particularly those that contain monosodium glutamate. And scientists suspect that there are receptors for other flavours as well.
              In a study published in the Journal Nature in 2006, a team of scientist reported that receptors for the basic tastes are found in distinct cells and that these cells are not localized but spread throughout the tongue.
              Other studies suggest that some parts may be more sensitive to certain flavours, and that there may be differences in the way men and women detect sour, salty and bitter flavours.

The bottom line: Receptors for different tastes are not confined to certain parts of the tongue.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 1 December 2008

The Pretty Lady

Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were travelling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river. The big monk offered to carry her across the river on his back... The lady accepted. 

The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. 'How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?' thought the little monk. But he kept quiet. The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. 

All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the act of the big monk.. He was making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation. 

Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. 'How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite '

The big monk looked surprised and said, 'I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?' 

This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the 'pretty lady' with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. 

We should ‘let go of the pretty lady’ immediately after crossing the river, that is after the unpleasant event is over. This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over.