March 15, 2007


    It should be obvious by now that I’ve stopped posting here.
    My blog on homeschooling and alternative education
    may be found here:
    Thanks for visiting.
    Be seeing ya at my new blog!

August 15, 2006

  • I lifted this from Apple Seeds which I thought was well-said:

    Ten Rules Kids Won’t Learn In School

    1.      Life is not
    fair. Get used to it. The average teenager uses the phrase “It’s not
    fair” 86 times a day.

    The real world
    won’t care as much about your self-esteem as your school does. This may come as
    a shock.

    Sorry, but you
    won’t make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won’t be a vice
    president or have a car phone, either. You may even have to wear a uniform that
    doesn’t have a designer label.

    If you think
    your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

    burgers is not beneath dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for
    burger flipping. They called it opportunity.

    It’s not your
    parents’ fault if you mess up. You’re responsible! This is the flip side of
    “It’s my life” and “You’re not my boss.”

    Before you were
    born your parents were not boring. They got that way paying your bills and
    listening to you.

    Life is not
    divided into semesters. And you don’t get summers off. Not even spring break.
    You are expected to show up every day for eight hours; and you don’t get a new
    life every 10 weeks.

    Smoking does
    not make you look cool. Watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That’s
    what you look like to anyone over 20.

    Your school may
    be “outcome-based,” but life is not. In some schools, you’re given as
    many times as you want to get the answer right. Standards are set low enough so
    everyone can meet them. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to
    anything in real life—as you will find out.

August 10, 2006

  • Ever received one of these? Well I have, and more than once too. How do I know this is a scam? Well,  I am not and never been a Paypal account holder. Phishing schemes never let up and you should not fall prey to these vultures who are invading your mailboxes.

    Dear valued PayPal

    Identity protection matters. And PayPal
    works day and night to help keep your identity safe. That’s why it has come to
    our attention that your
    account information needs to be updated as part of our continuing commitment to
    protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website. If you
    could take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and update your personal
    records you will not run into any future problems with the online service.

     However, failure to update your
    records will result in account suspension. 

    Once you have updated your account
    records, your
    session will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

    To login to your PayPal
    account and update your records click on the following link:

    Thank You for using PayPal!

    Accounts Management will periodically
    send you information about site changes and enhancements, as outlined in our
    User Agreement.

    Please do not reply to this email. This
    mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance,
    log in to your PayPal account and click the Help link located in the top right
    corner of any PayPal page.

    PayPal Limited is authorised and
    regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United States as an electronic money

    PayPal Email ID PP359

    Accounts Management will periodically
    send you information about site changes and enhancements, as outlined in our
    User Agreement.

    This and  similar cons like the Nigerian 419 fraud and eBay ones are a real pain. More recently, we’ve had fake emails disguised as Maybank advice to ” verify your account.”  Well, that’s the power of the internet for you.

    Here’s information excerpted from Paypal’s site:

    PayPal will never ask you to enter your password or
    financial information in an email or send such information in an email.
    You should only share information about your account once you have
    logged in to directly from your browser.

     Remember: A legitimate vendor will never ask you to enter your password or financial information in an email.


August 3, 2006

  • While other kids were mugging away in arid classrooms
    homeschoolers had themselves an adventure of sorts at the Lentang Recreational
    Forest off Karak Highway. It was a nice and breezy day and we had the river all
    to ourselves. That would have been impossible if it were the weekend where day
    trippers and gawkers would have put paid our little experiment. A ranger did
    stop by to ask what we were doing seeing the amount of bamboo trunks we hauled
    up to the riverbank.

    The object of the excursion was a raft-building expedition
    that was part of the group’s
    project. Nothing fancy you know, just get the
    bamboo raft to float, and that’s it, they told me. Taking care of the
    project logistics was part of their project as well, and I thought they
    pretty much acquitted themselves. Lots of bamboo, lots of tools, lots
    of bread and dogs – marshmallow even!- way too much food too, lots of
    spunk. The kids were supposed to do
    all the work 
    but some of us couldn’t help but lend a hand, or more than just a
    hand. – You know moms and dads. Me, I put on my best imitation of the invisible man.  Nevertheless we all
    had a really good time. Now, the kids will have to figure out if they did

July 28, 2006

  • At first I didn’t know what to make of it – a
    Hasidic Jew
    rapping in a reggae-flavoured album? Well, it appears Matisyahu (aka
    Miller) is not your regular one-trick novelty, he’s for real. I mean he
    is a real Hasid and he actually appears on stage in traditional garb
    and yarmulke. It’s not so odd when you know the rastafarians sing about
    Zion (Ethiopia!)  and Jah (Yahweh!) all de time except that’s all
    twisted to orthodox Jews . His lyrics do come across as a little
    juvenile; he doesn’t stay on pitch now and then, and he tries too hard
    to put on a Bob Marley accent.  But he’s all right and there is an
    infectious beat all through, so you have to wish him well. I also thought the
    lyrics to the title song Youth was neat. Pretty thoughtful too.

    Some of them come
    Some of the running
    Some of them looking for fun
    Some of them looking for away out of confusion
    Some of them don’t know where to be
    Some of them don’t know where to go
    Some of them trust their instincts
    That somethings missing from the show
    Some don’t fit society
    Their insides are crying low
    Some of them teachers squashed the flame
    ‘fore it had a chance to grow
    Some of them embers still glow
    Them charcoal hushed and low
    Some of them come with hunger supressed
    Not fed them feel the death blow, yo

    Young man control in your hand
    Slam your fist on the table
    And make your demand
    Take a stand
    Fan a fire for the flame of the youth
    Got the freedom to choose
    You better make the right move
    Young man, the power’s in your hand
    Slam your fist on the table and make your demand
    You better make the right move
    “youth is the engine of the world”

    Storm the halls of
    Focus your energy
    Into a laser beam
    Streaming shattered light
    Unites to pierce between the seams
    And it seems
    The world open peering
    The children see
    Rapid fire for your mind
    Half a truth is just a lie
    They rub me the wrong way
    They say their way or fall behind
    Seventeen disconnect left out
    The concept as to why
    There’s a spiritual emptiness
    So the youth them get vexed
    Skip class and get wrecked
    Feel with beer and cigarettes
    To fill the hole in their chest!

July 19, 2006

  • Oh no, not again! This time it’s Pangandaran off Java’s southern coast.What happened to the early-warning system that was hyped up after the last tragedy?

    But despite a push after
    that disaster to establish a tsunami early warning system, there was not one
    working in Indonesia when
    Monday’s quake struck, according to an official at the geophysics agency in Jakarta.

    “We still don’t have a tsunami early warning system in place,” said
    the official.

    Both the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii
    and the Japan Meteorological Agency issued tsunami alerts for parts of Indonesia and Australia after the quake hit.

    It seems so ridiculous to read that Japan and Hawaii read the signs and
    sent out an alert, yet Indonesia found no way to do the same for her own people?!Something can’t be right here.

    Latest report 530 dead.
    Initial stories reported a handful dead and I thought at first it was one of those things.

    54,000 displaced! Indonesian media voice frustration and Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the
    government would build an early warning system in Java and
    other areas in Indonesia in three years. In the meantime…?

    God have mercy.

July 17, 2006

  • We’re helping out a friend by giving him temporary lodging. What’s
    interesting is we’ve got a dissenting view in our home now. Here’s a
    guy who says (a) why can’t Iran and North Korea have their own nuclear
    warheads? and (b) the Jews deserve to be wiped out.
    Howzat for friendly stimulating conversation?
    Not that we only seek out people who agree entirely with us (the very
    thought is ridiculous and myopic) – but it challenges anyone to account
    for their position or point of view. You know what they say about
    religion and politics….

    PS: caught South Park’s take on the Muhammed cartoon hoohah, and another episode on Scientology. Funny!

July 14, 2006

  • North
    Korean dictator offered to abandon his nuclear weapons program in exchange for
    the role of the villain in the new James Bond film.

    In a press conference in
    Pyongyang, Mr. Kim said he was prepared to dismantle his entire nuclear program
    for the chance to play a Bond villain, calling the part “the role of a

    “I have been preparing for this role every day of my life,” Mr. Kim said.

    In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza
    Rice reacted to the news that Mr. Kim’s bizarre tenure as president of North Korea has
    been nothing but a Method actor’s preparation for a coveted role.

    “The strange pronouncements, the weird haircut, the crazy glasses – it all
    starts to make sense,” she said.

    In times like this, a bit of humour helps.

July 5, 2006

  • This isn’t exactly news – it’s something most of us know for years -
    but now we get to see some figures. Plus, now you know what kind of
    courses to keep away from………..

    70% of grads from public institutions

    B.Suresh Ram
    The Sun

    Some 70% of public universities and institutes of higher learning graduates in
    the country are unemployed.

    This is in contrast with 26% for private institutions of higher learning and
    34% for foreign graduates.

    Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar revealed the figures
    today (July 3, 2006) in reply to a question from Opposition Leader Lim Kit
    Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor).

    He said the ministry had taken several steps, including the establishment of
    the graduates’ retraining training scheme as well as providing feedback to the
    Higher Education and the Education Ministries, to ensure courses are in line
    with those required by the job market.

    To the original question by Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh (BN-Gopeng), Abdul Rahman
    said 20,217 graduates registered with the ministry’s Job Clearing System were
    still unemployed as at June 12.

    The breakdown showed UiTM as having the highest number of unemployed graduates
    with 3,278 (16.2%) followed by UUM 1,532 (7.6%), private institutions of higher
    learning 1,217 (6%), UTM 1,147(5.7%), UKM 971 (4.8%), UPM 919 (4.5%), other
    public institutions of higher learning 840 (4.2%), UM 531 (2.6%), USM 505
    (2.5%), UMS 371 (1.8%), UIA 358 (1.8%), foreign graduates 342 (1.7%), Unimas
    174 (0.9%), UPSI 39 (0.2%) and others 7,993 (39.5%).

    Abdul Rahman said the breakdown according to job sector showed ICT with the
    highest number of unemployed graduates with 3,942 (19.5%) yet to find jobs.

    This is followed by Business Administration with 2,714 (13.4%), Accountancy
    1,923 (9.5%), Electric/Electronic and Telecommunication engineers 1,229 (6.1%),
    Human Resources Management 1,022 (5.1%), Civil Engineers 983 (4.9%),
    Mechanical/Mechatronic Engineers 884 (4.4%), Literature Social Science 843
    (4.2%), Pure Science 770 (3.8%),
    Financial/banking/insurance/investment/property 613 (3%), Office technology
    Management/Information management/Library Management 552 (2.7%),
    Architecture/Building/Quantity Surveying/ land surveying 540 (2.7%), Applied
    Science 533 (2.6%), Economy 440 (2.2%), Agriculture/Forestry,
    Fisheries/Environment 401 (2%) and others 2,828 (13.9%).

    Abdul Rahman said apart from the job clearing system, other measures had also
    been taken by the government to reduce the number of unemployed graduates in
    the country.

July 3, 2006

  • Two vicious cases of school bullying have got everyone
    talking. Both cases -one involving boys (Kota Tinggi), and the other girls
    (Miri) – were recorded on phone videos and widely circulated on the internet (on YouTube too, until it was removed!)The
    Malaysian Psychological Association wants to propose the implementation of a
    bullying intervention programme developed by Dr D. Olweus. “The programme attempts
    to restructure the existing school environment to reduce opportunities for
    bullying. We have submitted our proposal to the ministry (of education),”
    said Malaysian
    Psychological Association council member Datin Dr Noran Fauziah Yaakub

    The programme has met with success in schools where it is
    used in Scandinavian countries as well as the US. Basically it’s all about
    increased supervision, more parent-teacher interaction, a curriculum of
    courtesy and respect, and sanctions for aggressive behaviour (which I imagine
    are all a given in the first place). Schools are also expected to do the

    • Place
      primary responsibility for solving the problem with the adults at school
      rather than with parents or students.
    • Project
      a clear moral stand against bullying.
    • Include
      both systems-oriented and individual-oriented components.
    • Set
      long-term and short-term goals.
    • Target
      the entire school population, not just a few problem students.
    • Make
      the program a permanent component of the school environment, not a
      temporary remedial program.
    • Implement
      strategies that have a positive effect on students and on the school
      climate that go beyond the problem of bullying.

    Anyway, I say go ahead and give it a shot. What piqued my
    interest however was the first point – we’re to expect adult teachers at school
    to deal with bullying. The programme assumes that if bullying occurs, very
    likely the parents of victim and aggressor are not informed, or do not
    recognize the signs. That’s when schools step in to talk to all parties
    involved. There’s some merit in having an outside party to take charge, but it
    won’t amount to anything if the student and his/her family do not also take as
    firm a stand as schools.

    I think it all boils down to character, which in the final
    analysis, is best inculcated at home. 
    Why then are parents failing in their job to instruct their kids in
    basic decency and respect?  Why do we
    keep hearing about the importance of ‘socialising’ when the only social skill kids are picking up
    at home and school is to ‘look out for number 1’? When a cynical media in an
    indifferent society displaces the basis for values and virtues, we should not
    be surprised when our kids turn violent. We make the world what it is today.

    I can almost hear
    you ask: what if the parents are unable or will not do their job?