19 February, 2013

"I ate all your candy" joke - best one yet!

. 19 February, 2013

ketik disini satu paragraph awal tulisanketik disini sisa tulisan

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26 May, 2009

Rahmat Wildlife Museum and Gallery

. 26 May, 2009

When you come to Medan, there is an interesting wildlife museum to visit. It is the 1st wild life museum in South East Asia. The gallery displays a stunning collection of animals and smaller creatures in different settings according to their habitat. The museum's name is Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery. The word ‘Rahmat’ is taken from the name of the founder – chairman of Indonesia Museum association. He is the first Indonesian to receive The International Conservation Award; The Big Five Grand Slam Award; Dangerous Games of Africa Award, World Hunting Award; and several other environmental awards at the national and international level.The museum was officially launched on May 1999. Mr. Rahmat Shah is very well known as animal lover, whose hobby is sport hunting - a dangerous hobby which requires endurance and a high expenditure for the travelling and game costs.

There are more than 1000 species you can see stored in rooms with very low temperature. The rooms are titled according to what animals are displayed in. In the “African Big Five” you can see the most wild, huge and dangerous animals – Elephant, White Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Cheetah- . Other rooms are the “Cats of the World” where you can see various big cats from all over the world; the “Kingdom of birds”, the “Pheasants of the world”, the “Varieties Birds of Paradise”, the “Dry Aquarium”, the “Bear Room”, the “Mountain of sheep”, the “Night Safary”, the “Nature Area”and “African World”. Nature is brought to life in the most realistic and artistic environment.

As you wander in the gallery you will be treated to an instant safari where you will discover the beauty and diversity of the animal Kingdom. This gallery is dedicated to educating and motivating the youth and general public about the world’s wildlife and how important it is to conserve them. According to the leaflet I read, some of the animals in that museum are come from legal hunting with the concept of “conservation by utilization” practices worldwide for the prevention of extinction and increasing the wildlife population and its habitat. The rests are animal which died in zoos (deceased) ; donations and gift from friends ; and legally purchased from all over the world.

It’s been many times I took visitors there. The last visitor I took there is Danielle d’Lusierre, the doctoral fellow from California who stayed at my house for 1 week during her field survey in Medan last time. Entrance fee is Rp. 25,000 – equivalent with US$2.5. For the traveler on short visits to Medan, Rahmat Wildlife Museum & Gallery is a must-visit. This museum is poised to become the pride of Medan.

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01 April, 2009

Remedy for Ageing Eyes

. 01 April, 2009

The Read Without Reading Glasses Method

There is absolutely NO scientific proof that near vision MUST deteriorate as a person ages! NONE. (Dr. Ray Gottlieb – Univ. of California-Berkeley Optometry School and a professor of optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry)

A few weeks ago I was sent for free a method for reading without reading glasses from Cambridge Institute for Better Vision. The method has been working for me. I am free from reading glasses. I would like to share the method with others. Here I quote some part of the contents. The real beauty of the method is that it produces great results in as little as six minutes a day !

Can your eyes do this?
In order to benefit from the method your brain and your eyes need work together. (Remember, the method is for improving close up vision only. If you have trouble seeing in the distance - nearsightedness or myopia - there is another program for you, follow this link)

Let's see if the method can work for you.
First, sit about 18 inches from your computer screen. Then, hold the thumb of your right hand 5-6 inches in front of your eyes, between you and the screen.
Now, as you focus directly on your thumb notice that - in the background - you see two images of the circle below.

Now, focus directly on the circle. Then you should see two images of your thumb in the foreground. Most people easily get this illusion of double images - it's perfectly normal. In fact, seeing this illusion is the only thing that is necessary for The Read Without Glasses Method to work for you. If you can't get the illusion of double images right away, just relax. Then try shifting your focus back and forth from your thumb to the circle 10 or 20 times. That may be all it takes. If you still can't get the illusion, you probably have a pre-existing visual imbalance that needs to be addressed first.

The Science Behind The Method . . .
The focusing lens of the eye and the fine muscles that surround the eye stiffen with age and lose their natural, youthful flexibility to focus easily and clearly at near. That's how doctors explain the loss of near vision as we age. But there is also another visual function that stimulates focusing at near. It's called Accommodative Convergence/Accommodation. In order to see up close, first we have to turn - or converge - both eyes inward so that together they aim - or point - at what we want to see.

"Turning our eyes inward stimulates the eyes' ability to focus clearly at near," says Dr. Gottlieb,
who, for the last 20 years, has been Dean of the College of Syntonic Optometry. The fact that converging the eyes stimulates near focusing has been known for over 100 years. What was never before examined was whether this visual mechanism could successfully be applied to presbyopia. Dr. Gottlieb found that it can. "I've seen my patients improve their near vision, avoid reading glasses, get free of reading glasses or need weaker ones," he says.

Just about every other eye doctor will tell you that there is no remedy for presbyopia (the loss of near vision as we age) except surgery or corrective lenses. According to Dr. Gottlieb, there is absolutely NO scientific proof that near vision MUST deteriorate as a person ages! NONE.
Scientists studying aging eyes can report in great detail what those old eyes can't do anymore. But Dr. Gottlieb was one of the first to ask what aging eyes could do. He created and designed a special kind of eye chart - not an eye chart to measure clarity of vision - but one that trains and stimulates the Accommodative Convergence/ Accommodation function.

When you relieve the tension, stiffness and rigidity in and around your eyes an incredible thing happens: All the parts of your visual system work together and function in harmony, bringing the world into focus naturally. No more hassles of getting - or forgetting - your glasses . . . No need to chain them around your neck or fish for them in your purse . . . or break them in your pocket . . Keep your eyes healthy, keep them young and keep them seeing as sharply as they possibly can.

Hope everyone will enjoy it - The Read Without Glasses Method is really fun and easy to do. I thank Dr. Martin Sussman, founder and president Cambridge Institute for Better Vision for his wonderful tips for healthy eye vision.

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26 March, 2009

Severity of The Loss

. 26 March, 2009

I was impressed when one of my colleagues whose beloved wife passed away last week, took no breaks from working. The next day after the funeral, he worked normally at his office. The way he talked and his face expression was just as he used to be. He seems to make an effort to live each day fully and enjoy it, despite the loss. I suppose that although he bears to go on with his life as if nothing had happened,the grief is still present in his feelings, dreams and physiological changes. This approach to grief may be designed to maintain a good social front and not be a burden to friends and family - especially the children.

Feelings of loss, especially with regard to a loved one, can never completely go away. There will always be moments when we will miss them. The process of recovery for everyone is different. Some can recover quickly, while others can take a full year or more. This will also depend on the severity of the loss. That is why people usually take at least three days breaks from works after the funeral of his/her beloved one. Some even took longer. I recall how my late mother in law – after the death of my father in law- required more than one month of mourning in order to integrate the loss into her life. The loss had influenced her well-being and her daily activities some time. It was the presence of family members and friends around her that healed her out from the grief more rapidly.

I put salute to my colleague who has been facing the loss of his beloved one without having to put him into deep grievance for long time. He really is so tough and seemed to be realistic that every person will experience the loss of a beloved one through death and dying in time. Friends are always there for him. I wish him and his children well with this.

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21 March, 2009

Parasailing at Batu Ferringghi

. 21 March, 2009

Parasailing is an activity whereby you ascend through the sky while hanging from a parachute and being towed by a speedboat or other vehicle. It is a recreational activity where a person is towed behind a boat or other vehicle while attached to a specially designed parachute, known as a parasail.
The boat then drives off, carrying the parascender into the air. If the boat is powerful enough, two or three people can parasail behind it at the same time. The parascender actually has little or no control over the parachute. Anyone can parasail and no skill or training is necessary.

When I with my husband and son visited Penang recently, we had a chance to visit Batu Ferringhi beach. There are many recreational activities can be done there such as water jet skiing, horse riding, parasailing etc. My grown up son wanted to parasail. The fee for parasailing is 80RM/person per session of about 10-15 minutes. The weather was fine and the wind blew moderately, which is ideal condition for parasailing. The beach guard put the life vest and tied the parachute rope on my son. There is a short red fabric tied at the lower part of the parachute rope within a reachable distance from the shoulder of the paracender. The red stuff is to be pulled by paracender to control the direction when he or she is approaching the ground.

After making sure the parasailing equipment is in good condition the ground assistants take position at each side of the parasail to hold it open. When things are ready, the parasailing assistants signal the boat driver to accellerate slowly until the tow line is pulled tout. My son then took a few quick strides and are pulled aloft. In seconds he liftoff, rose up in the air. Watching him rising uphill far away in the sky took my breath away, though I was not nervous, but was astonished and proud of my son’s being brave. He likes to play with challenging activities since he was a young child.

After about 10 minutes aloft, the boat driver accelerate slowly, re-engages the winch to pull my son back down to sea level. At the end of the trip he should turn the motion toward the beach, but he almost forget to pull the red stuff. Perhaps he was too amazed, nervous and excited. My husband and the beach guards yelled him to pull the red stuff above his left shoulder. It was not too late when he eventually saw us shouting at him. He pulled the stuff right away and the parachute turned to the left approaching the beach. He landed safely, a bit wet splashed by the sea water because he landed near sea side. Walking down toward the beach he grinned with an overwhelming desire to do it again!

I actually wanted to parasail as well because it looks challenging and wonderful experience. But I had to put off my desire because I did not wear proper outfits comfortable for parasailing. On my next visit to Penang I hope I could go parasailing at Batu Ferringhi beach.

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02 March, 2009

I've been up to ....

. 02 March, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Well, it’s the break session of the class for my doctoral program, but that doesn’t mean I could take a break from reading and writing research proposal. I plan to complete this in (hopefully) 6 months. I have spent long time before choosing the topic, since the topic chosen should be one that interests me, and represents an area of study that I can use to identify me as one with special expertise in a particular area.
The doctoral dissertation should demonstrate breadth of learning, and ability to investigate problems independently and efficiently, must be a significant contribution to scholarship; should reveal one’s ability to analyze, interpret, and synthesize, and demonstrate thorough knowledge of the literature relating the project. Therefore it is very important to proceed with forethought into the dissertation process, because it is important part of doctoral program that the dissertation is uniquely to me.

More specifically, some criteria indicating the doctoral research are the research should present the relevance of existing theories of the problem ; include an original and unique dimension which builds on cited research, enable the candidate to enter the national or regional debate, be sufficiently broad from which to generalize to a larger audience, acculturate the candidate to differing academic communities, encourage the continuation of scholarly activity and, reflect the methodology appropriate to the type of research commonly found in dissertations. Environmental management is so broad, it includes multi disciplines. I am on a bit further from choosing the topic for my dissertation. Overloaded!! This might be the only suitable word to figure out what I’ve been up to at the moment. Yet, I enjoy it because I have reached the final selection of my topic which is the starting point to enter the next phase of the program.

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19 February, 2009

Systems Thinking

. 19 February, 2009

Systems Thinking : One of the better ways to deal with our most difficult problems.

So many important problems that stalk us today are complex, involve multiple actors. These are at least partly the result of past actions that were taken to alleviate them. Dealing with such problems is notoriously difficult and the result conventional solutions are often poor enough to create discouragement about the prospects of ever effectively addressing them.
Systems thinking are one of the major tools of system analysis. The approach of systems thinking is fundamentally different from that of traditional forms of analysis. Traditional analysis focuses on individual pieces of what is being studied, whilst system thinking in contrast, focuses on how the thing being studied interacts with the other constituents of the system – a set of elements that interact to produce behavior – of which it is a part. It is a way of helping a person to view systems from a broad perspective that includes seeing overall structures, patterns and cycles in systems, rather than seeing only specific events in the system. This broad view can help a person to quickly identify the real causes of issues in organizations and know just where to work to address them.

There are many definitions of system thinking written by many authors such as Richmond (1993), Ward (1999), Senge (2000), Bellinger (2004), and Wikipedia (2005) which essentially means the same. I would quote that of Senge since this is the most relevant to what I am viewing over the nature’s system. Here in Senge’s definition of systems thinking :
"Systems thinking is the ability to understand (and sometimes to predict) interactions and relationships in complex, dynamatic systems: the kind of systems we are surrounded by and embedded in." (Senge, 2000)
One of the key benefit of system thinking is its ability to deal effectively with just these types of problems and to raise our thinking to the level at which we can create the results we want as individuals and organizations even in those difficult situations marked by complexity, great numbers of interactions, and the absence or ineffectiveness of immediately apparent solutions.
By seeing the whole system, one is able to think new possibilities that he/she had not come up with previously. The broader perspective of systems thinking creates the understanding necessary for better long-term solutions.

Site includes definitions, contextualization of the issue, issues to consider for future applications, and a bibliography of the research so far :
A well-developed approach to understanding systems thinking from a business model, this is an excellent place to start one's research. http://www.systems-thinking.org

To non systemic situations such as problems situations in which there is a high social, political and human activity component, there is the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). One of the links to SSM is http://www.12manage.com/methods_checkland_soft_systems_methodology.html

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10 February, 2009

Manners in Releasing Judgment

. 10 February, 2009

It has been years - particularly after political reform in my country - I saw people, adult, young adults and children perform anarchism in almost all aspects of life. Young adults and teenagers easily adopt what their peer leader, teachers or their idols do ; and they easily accept – sometimes blindly – what their peer leader states, judges or comments about something.
False doctrine and statements will damage their way of thinking, ruin their bright future and exploratory life that they deserve as youth. I can’t imagine what this country will turn out to be in the next few years when these kind of youth who used to be anarchy lead the country. As an educator, it is of our responsibility to educate pupils to not be tense and anarchist in judging or commenting on something which they do not comprehend very well.

There are 4 kinds of people in this world,
- Those who know that they know
- Those who know that they do not know
- Those who do not know that they know
- Those who do not know that they do not know

For teachers, it is of their moral responsibility to awaken up those who do not know by letting them know what they do not now. In the context of teacher or educator, it is the responsibility of the teachers to either transfer and share their knowledge to their pupils. However, teachers should only transfer knowledge of what he/she knows very well, the knowledge in which he/she is an expert or specialist in, within the area of his/her field.

We, as teachers should not release statements or judge on things outside our field, mainly when our statement is to be published and spread out widely. Except, of course we do this within our peers or community, for internal discussion or sharing opinion and the like. Spreading information which is not based on the deep relevant knowledge ("deep" here means deep understanding about things, comprehend the things from many different points of view), will led people to a worse understanding. We should only comment on the things which we really are expert in.

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19 January, 2009

The World of Perception

. 19 January, 2009

After I finished reading the massive volume of Phenomenology of Perception, I became more interested in reading other books on similar topics written by the same author. The World of Perception is another book I chose to read presuming this topic closely related to the Phenomenology of Perception. This book cannot be found at any bookstore in Medan, neither in Bandung. I could order the book from online book store like amazon.com, but the shipment cost is much more expensive than the book itself, so I asked my younger sister Erna who lives abroad to buy one for me.

Unlike Phenomenology of Perception which is of 539 pages, The World of Perception is much briefer – only 125 pages including index. This is a collection of seven lectures for a series of radio broadcast which were delivered by him in 1948. Those seven lectures are: 1. The World of Perception and the World of Science, 2. Exploring the World of Perception: Space 3. Exploring the World of Perception: Sensory Objects, 4. Exploring the World of Perception: Animal Life, 5. Man Seen from the Outside, 6. Art and the World of Perception, 7. Classical Modern World.

In this book, Merleau Ponti suggests us to ‘rediscover’ the perceived world with the help of modern art and philosophy. In relation to Science, he seeks to reverse application of the reality distinction to the relationship between the perceived world and the world of science. He views the world of science as just an ‘approximation expressions’ of physical events i.e. an appearance, unlike realists views that the perceived world is the real world. In the second part about the perceived world and discussion of space, a basic concept is a contrast between the classical conception of space and that which actually informs the world as we perceive it. The classical conception of space is that of Newtonian physics which relies on a conception of ‘absolute’ space within physical objects have an absolute time and can move without any alteration of their physical properties. Merleau Ponti associates this conception of space with that found in classical art, the kind of painting whereby objects are depicted in accordance with the perspective they would present when viewed under a gaze directed at a point of the horizon, which remain at a distance and do not involve the viewer. His general point is the space of the perceived world is not the unique space of a ‘disembodied intellect’, but, like physical space, has different regions which are structured by our expectations concerning the things which we find in them.

I enjoy reading this book because the way he discuss each theme is much more simply and systematically so it is much easier for me to get the points, compared to the Phenomenology of Perception in which his discussion comprise a lot psychological and philosophical argumentation. I was just a bit confused in reading part three which is about sensory objects. It is not quite easy for me to figure out the idea behind how he relates the sensory object with this perceived world. In the two lasts chapter of the book it is deeply discussed that the world of perception consists not just of all natural objects but also paintings, pieces of music, books and all the ‘world of culture’. He brings readers to rediscover a way of looking at works of arts, language and culture, with respect to their autonomy and their original richness.
For the one like me, with limited philosophical background knowledge (which is merely about philosophy of science), this phenomenological philosophy is interesting. It is a matter of seeing the world from another point of view, which includes art, painting and psychology. For those with no philosophical background but interested to read this book, I would recommend to read the book about French Philosophy and German Philosophy beforehand. It is better to know the author’s biography and background knowledge prior to reading his/her articles so we could follow the authors’ way of thinking. This is helpful to easily get what points the author wants the readers to get.

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15 January, 2009

Phenomenology of Perception

. 15 January, 2009

The word “perception” has simply been known as something related to someone’s view, judgment and assessment on something. The view may be influenced by one’s experience, culture, belief or knowledge. It is clear that ‘perception’ may change due to age, since the longer we live the more experience and wisdom we get. However, perception is not simply the above matter. It can also be viewed from many different angles. I have been interested in knowing more about perception and how this world is perceived from the spectacle of phenomenologist. To get that, I read the book titled Phenomenology of Perception written by French philosopher, Maurice Merleau Ponti who introduced phenomenological thought to France.

In this book, Merleau-Ponty shows how basic features of human experience, such as the perception of objects as independent of us, space and time, and rationality are all inseparable from the structure of the human body. Beginning with things as they show themselves in perception, he discovers that things do not simply impose themselves on consciousness as atomistic sense impressions, nor do we construct things in our minds. Rather, things as we experience them are discovered through a subject-object dialogue. He combined a new way of thinking about the basic structure of human life with reflections on art, literature and politics. In order to understand how Merleau-Ponty understands this subject-object dialogue, we first need to understand a new idea, something which Merleau-Ponty brought to phenomenology: the idea of the lived body. This is a central theme of Phenomenology of Perception.

His discussion of the intentionality of consciousness - especially of the ways in which things are presented in perception – and of the role of the body in perception are recognized as important contribution to the understanding of this topics.
“…. one of the great achievements of modern art and philosophy … has been to allow us to rediscover the world in which we live, yet which we are always prone to forget “.
This world which we are to rediscover is ‘the world of perception’, which is the world as we perceive it, ‘the perceived world’ as it is often called. This book is to explore this perceived world, in order to enable readers to ‘rediscover’ it for themselves.

I have been slowly re-reading every chapter of this book over the past 2 months, even though on some subchapter I just picked up part that I like. It took ages for me to finish reading this massive volume book because I often had to re-read many part carefully to get the points. The language is not quite simple as I found some single words which I could not find in the common dictionary neither in thesaurus, though I eventually found the words in ‘Illustrated Dictionary of Psychology’ compiled and edited by Louis Smith, that I fortunately own. A tough book to get through but one of the most important in philosophy. Even if you just read the preface and introduction, the massive volume of this book will blow your mind. I got many new knowledge about other philosophers of various ‘ism’ i.e. positivism, rationalism, existentialism, idealism, skepticism etc. since he always discuss comparison between his view and other philosophers’ view on the same objects, followed by dense analysis from his sight. At least I got the better idea of the basic different conceptual philosophy between German philosophers and French philosophers in general. I may re read this book some other time. To me this book is a brain food that is worthwhile.

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