Monday, May 30, 2016

 Amid the screams of onlookers the 400lb silverback gorilla nudged the four-year-old boy to his feet. Video footage of the drama captured the desperate shouts of the boy’s mother somewhere in the background. “Mommy’s right here,” she cried. “Mommy loves you.”

Twelve feet below her, in an enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo, her son stood nervously in front of Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla. The great ape had climbed down into the moat when the boy fell into the enclosure, but after carrying and dragging the child around for ten minutes he seemed unsure of what to do next.
The incident has prompted criticism from around the world — both of the zoo’s actions and of the apparent negligence of family members who failed to stop the boy crawling under a steel railing and through wires and bushes to reach the position from which he fell into the moat.

The dangerous animal response team at the zoo decided to take no chances: judging that the boy was in life-threatening danger, they shot Harambe dead. The boy was taken to Cincinatti Children’s Hospital, where he was said by doctors to be in a serious condition but expected to recover.
Thane Maynard, the zoo director, defended his team’s actions. “They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” he said. “It could have been very bad.”

The gorilla did not appear to be attacking the child, but he said it was an extremely strong animal and in an agitated situation. Tranquillising Harambe would not have knocked him out immediately, he said, leaving the boy in danger.
Harambe was born in captivity in Texas and was moved to Cincinnati last year. Two female gorillas were also in the enclosure when the boy fell in, but they kept their distance.

A similar incident 30 years ago had a happier outcome: Levan Merritt, aged five, fell into a gorilla enclosure at Jersey Zoo. Jambo, a “gentle giant”, stood guard, stroking the unconscious boy’s back and protecting him from the others until he was rescued. Jambo later appeared on Channel Island stamps.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I'm in love.

No, not really, but I wanted a dramatic opening for this post.
I'm currently deeply infatuated with my TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner / doctor.
No, I'm not delusional.
I'm very aware that this is a mere shameless fantasy.

I've been experiencing back pain for a very long time now.
He is the first practitioner who actually did something right for me.
I guess I started paying attention when he explained Bipolar disorder from the TCM perspective.
I thought he's really a good doctor who treats his patients wholesomely.
Many times as I sat there with my acupuncture needles, I heard him advising his patients in a friendly and comforting way.
Despite being overwhelmed with patients and having over-excited children running around the place, he never once raised his voice.
I began to admire his temperament.
He advised me, "Wo men shi wei zi ji er huo, sui ran biao mian xiang shi wei bie ren" (我们是为自己而活,虽然表面像是为别人) "We live for ourselves, though it seems that it's for others at times"

During the chiropractic part of the treatment, ooh.. the pleasure.
No wonder religion forbids close proximity.
It's so easy to be emotionally vulnerable to someone who relieves your pain.
Oh, I'm imagining him tutoring our son doing homework.
Ok, that was hilarious.
I feel I have violated his professionalism with my imaginative infatuation.

I thought I'd write this down.
It'd be so fun to reread again years later.

Child abuse leaves mysterious physical scars in adulthood: psychiatrist

Taken entirely from
The scars of child abuse linger in the bodies of victims long after they've grown up, manifesting in physical symptoms that hint at their trauma, an Australian psychiatrist says.
It could be pelvic pain and stomach aches in a woman who suffered repeated sexual abuse as a young child, or back pain in a man who was beaten by his father, or more-complex conditions such as autoimmune disease, asthma, psoriasis and type 2 diabetes.

"There's something about early childhood trauma that makes you more vulnerable to illness later in life, independent of coping mechanisms like smoking, alcohol or overeating," psychiatrist Dr Michelle Atchison told delegates at the Royal Australian College of Physicians congress in Adelaide this month.
The younger a victim is and the more frequent the abuse, the more likely they are to develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder, Dr Atchison said.

"It's not just the ongoing psychological impact victims have to deal with, there seems to be actual biological changes that occur when you've experienced repeated childhood trauma."
The pain and illness can be real or imagined, where psychological distress presents as physical symptoms, she said.
The psychiatrist spoke of one patient, a woman who had experienced terrible and persistent oral rape as a child.
"She now has major difficulties eating certain types of food, or tolerating eating at all."
Another woman, who was in her 20s, presented repeatedly to her doctor with stomach aches and headaches.

It took 18 months for the woman to reveal she had been raped.
"That was bad enough, but when you bothered to look back to what else had happened in her life, you learn her father was a violent man who spent much of her childhood in prison, and her stepfather sexually abused her from the age of 8 to 13," Dr Atchison said.
"The only sexual relationship she ever had apart from her stepfather was the man who raped her," she said.
The woman's stomach pain and headaches were eventually recognised as somatisation: physical manifestations of her psychological trauma.

"When you put it all together there's no wonder that her abuse resulted in such persistent physical symptoms."
Between 7 and 36 per cent of females have been the victims of serious child abuse, and 3 to 29 per cent of males, international epidemiological studies suggest.
But only 38 per cent of victims report the abuse – either because they're too young, they want to protect the offender or they worry they won't be believed.

Patients whose child abuse manifests as physical symptoms could be suffering from complex PTSD, Dr Atchison said, a contentious diagnosis that is being considered for inclusion in the psychiatrist's bible, the DSM-5.
Like PTSD, patients who are subjected to frightening, often life-threatening events re-experience it through nightmares, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks.
But C-PTSD, often misdiagnosed as borderline personality disorder, is more specific to experiences of serious and repeated trauma when a child is going through emotional and physical development, she said.
Another patient, a 45 year-old man with terrible back pain, found opiates gave him little relief. His doctors had focused on his physical symptoms.

"But when you bothered to talk to him [we discovered] he had a father who would beat him and not his two siblings, for absolutely no reason. He couldn't understand why that was happening all the way through his childhood," Dr Atchison said.
Once the man could talk through his trauma, his treatment team focused on stepping down his drug use and trying to reframe his body as a healthy tool rather than a damaged object, she said.
Although the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, researchers have suggested that trauma whittles away the body during the critical stage of hormonal, neurological and immune system development.
Repeated trauma is thought to affect the central nervous system, endocrine system, and the body's stress response.

Prolonged cortisol elevation triggered by repeated traumatic events can cause withdrawal and dysphoria that protects a victim during the abuse. But sustained and repeated trauma can lead to hypocortisolism, damaging the immune system, Dr Atchison said.
Another patient, a man in his 60s, had spent a traumatic period of isolation in a full body cast at a hospital in the UK separated from his family and with little human contact when he was six years old.

"He remembers purposefully soiling his cast so he could get his cast changed and actually talk to someone.
"Over the years, he had struggled with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, hypertension and chronic headaches, that didn't respond to treatment," Dr Atchison said.
The unresponsiveness was a red flag for C-PTSD, she said.
"If doctors suspect a patient has somatisation, they should take a developmental history, and ask with they had experienced abuse and trauma growing up.
"The load of childhood trauma may help explain the chronic pain they find so difficult to manage."

Taken from
Distraught after being berated by animal activists for euthanising too many dogs, a veterinary doctor and director of an animal shelter in Taiwan has reportedly committed suicide.
The threats started coming in after Jian Zhicheng, the director of the Xinwu Animal Protection and Education Centre, revealed that she was forced to euthanise 700 dogs in just two years due to overcrowding issues at the animal shelter.
Her death on May 12 was confirmed by a staff member from the Taoyuan Office of Animal Care and Control to MailOnline, although they declined to reveal the exact cause of her death.

"Public animal shelters are allowed to carry out mercy killings when they are running out of space, according to Taiwanese law," the staff member told MailOnline.
"Since this is an animal shelter, it cannot refuse to take in stray animals, when there are more coming in than leaving, and in order to maintain the standard of the living quality of animals here, this is allowed," said the article.
410 dogs and 94 cats are currently housed in the Xinwu animal shelter, which has a capacity for 500 dogs and 100 cats.

Colleagues described Jian as a kind-hearted and dedicated person. Reported to be 31-years-old, Jian had been working at the state-run shelter for a couple of years.
She had revealed the euthanisation figures in a news report, leading animal rights activists to brand her as a 'female butcher' and 'butcher with beauty'.

Upset by the name-calling and the woes faced by the animal shelter due to the increasing number of animal abandonment cases, Jian was under immense pressure to solve the problem.
According to People's Daily Online, her husband lodged a police report after she failed to return home on May 5. She was later found unconscious on the same day by the police after injecting euthanasia drugs meant for the animals. She died in the hospital a week later.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Taken from

Jolie was awarded with an honorary Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, given to those for their outstanding efforts in humanitarian causes. 
She ended the speech by making us all reflect on how we can make change. "We are all, everyone in this room, so fortunate," she said. 

"I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had—with this path in life. And why across the world, there's a woman just like me with the same abilities and the same desires, the same work ethic and love for her family who would most likely make better films and better speeches. 

Only she sits in a refuge camp, and she has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they'll ever return home. I don't know why this is my life and that's hers…But I will do as my mother asked, and I will do the best I can with this life to be of use. And to stand here today means that I did as she asked. If she were alive, she would be very proud, so thank you [gets choked up]."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

South Korean author Han Kang has won the Man Booker International Prize, sharing the £50,000 ($72,000) award with her translator - who had only taught herself Korean three years before.

Han Kang, 45, an author and creative writing teacher who is already successful in South Korea, is likely to enjoy a spike in international sales following the win for her book, The Vegetarian.
"I'm so honoured" she told AFP news agency. "The work features a protagonist who wants to become a plant, and to leave the human race to save herself from the dark side human nature.

"Through this extreme narrative I felt I could question ... the difficult question of being human."
Described as "lyrical and lacerating" by chairman of the judges Boyd Tonkin, the tale traces the story of an ordinary woman's rejection of convention from three different perspectives.

It was picked unanimously by the panel of five judges, beating six other novels including The Story of the Lost Child, by Italian sensation Elena Ferrante, and A Strangeness in My Mind, by Turkey's Orhan Pamuk.
"This is a book of tenderness and terror," Boyd told guests at the award ceremony dinner at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

For the first time this year, the award went jointly to the translator, Deborah Smith, 28, who only started learning Korean three years before she embarked on the translation.
"This was the first book that I ever translated, and the best possible thing that can happen to a translator has just happened to me," she said. 

"When I was 22, I decided to teach myself Korean ... I felt that I was limited by only being able to speak English. I'd always read a lot of translations, and you get the sense of this whole world being out there, very different perspectives, different stories," she said.
"It felt as though I looked up almost every other word in the dictionary. It felt a bit like climbing a mountain. But at the same time just falling into this world that was so atmospheric and disturbing and moving - it was a wonderful experience."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

We're all demons

Taken from
BEIJING (AFP) - His father killed himself in prison after being branded a counter-revolutionary, but during the Cultural Revolution Huang Nubo became a Red Guard himself, humiliating and beating others. It was the making of him and his generation, says the billionaire - yet he dreads a repetition.

One of China's richest men, who climbs mountains to relax and has summitted Everest three times, Huang is best known overseas for a controversial and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to buy a swathe of Iceland.
But under the pseudonym Luo Ying, he has written two volumes of poetry describing his experiences during Mao Zedong's decade of social upheaval known as the Cultural Revolution that began 50 years ago on Monday.

His father Huang Junfu - a colonel who fought for Communist forces in China's civil war - fell victim to one of Mao's earlier purges, and was jailed and abused. He saved up medicine to take a fatal overdose when his son was only three.
"When they buried him in the dunes, his eyes were still staring," Huang describes in verse.
"An enemy got no gravestone, so he rotted like a nameless dog."

Despite enduring years of stigma from villagers in the northern region of Ningxia, during the Cultural Revolution Huang became an enthusiastic Red Guard. One poem describes him punching a landowner - who later died - with his "steel fists".
Later he was one of some 20 million youngsters "sent down" by Mao to toil alongside farmers in the countryside and correct their elitist ways.
With neighbour pitted against neighbour, individuals condemned by their colleagues at "struggle sessions", and children denouncing parents, the era was a complex web of victimhood and complicity.

"I am a victim, a participant and a perpetrator; I denounced others and was denounced," Huang told AFP.
The last line of his second book - banned on the mainland - reads: "For people who lived through the Cultural Revolution, it's no use trying to figure out who's a human and who's a ghoul."

"We're all demons. Myself included," he said at Peking University, where he has funded a poetry research centre.
China's rise in recent decades - triggered by the Communist party's repudiation of Mao's ideas and the introduction of market forces - was built on the foundations of the period's most destructive legacy, Huang believes.
"The Cultural Revolution taught this generation of mine that you must act like a wolf in order to survive," he explained.
It destroyed old value systems and replaced them with the belief "that winner takes all, that if you can beat someone, then you're a hero, that if you're rich, you're in the right."
Huang's own life followed a similar trajectory to the ruling party: he left a job in its propaganda department to set out on the capitalist road to riches with his Zhongkun real estate and tourism conglomerate.

Now 59, his fortune is estimated at US$1.3 billion (S$1.78 billion) by Chinese wealth publisher Hurun.
But he has never found the bones of his father, settling instead for carving his name in the mountainside tomb he built for his mother once he became rich.
In 1981 the Communist Party officially pronounced the Cultural Revolution a grave error that "led to domestic turmoil and brought catastrophe to the Party, the state and the whole people".
It ascribed chief responsibility to Mao, avoiding the question of the party's own culpability, and now it limits discussion of the period to prevent undermining the legitimacy of its rule.
Huang's first book, "Diary of a Sent-Down Youth", is also less directly critical and is freely available on the mainland.

But censors barred "Memories of the Cultural Revolution", which is filled with visceral recollections: corpses torn open, female bodies floating downriver with sticks in their genitals as testament to their rape, and the execution of an elderly woman for singing the wrong lyrics to a patriotic song.
As many of the era's horrors are slowly forgotten, nostalgia for some aspects persists in certain quarters: television shows romanticise the lives of sent-down youths, and there are more than 50 museums about them around the country.

Six of the seven members of the party's Politburo Standing Committee, the most powerful organ in China, were sent to the countryside during the period, including President Xi Jinping.
An anniversary concert earlier this month at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing stirred controversy for an uncritical presentation of the period's anthems and propaganda imagery.

Huang decries the whitewashing of history.
"If we continue on like this and don't reflect on this past, there will be another Cultural Revolution," he said.
"If the impression left behind is that the Cultural Revolution was so romantic... people won't be afraid to turn once again to brutality."
As a poet he feels a responsibility to record what he witnessed.

"When at the end you look at your current position in society, you'll think back and wonder whether the nightmare you lived through was in fact right or not," he said.
"But the harm it's brought to your heart can never be got rid of in a lifetime."

Monday, May 16, 2016

I'm always amazed with people who take big pride in their occupation. Taken from
Yong Chee Seng in a light moment when he was awarded the ‘Tokoh Guru Kebangsaan’ at the 2014 MBSKL Alumni Association annual dinner. — Picture from MBSKL Alumni’s Facebook page
PETALING JAYA, May 16 — A former headmaster of Methodist Boys School Kuala Lumpur (MBSKL) has died from old age, weeks after his car plunged into a 13m-deep manhole.
Yong Chee Seng, who was 85, made headlines after surviving the May 3 accident in Jalan Universiti here.
Described as the “best in the country” by his former students, Yong has been suffering minor illnesses associated with old age. A close relative of Yong, who declined to be named, said Yong died at midnight on Saturday.

“He passed away peacefully at home and funeral arrangements are being made,” the relative said.
Yong, who had been a principal since 1979, had a wing in the school named after him in 2009.
He started teaching at the Methodist English School in Tanjung Malim, Perak, in 1950. He retired as the Methodist Board of Education secretary in 1995.

Former students and fellow teachers shared their memories of Yong, who they described as an idol of the school, on MBSKL Alumni’s Facebook page.
“He taught me Economics in Sixth Form and made a boring subject come alive. He is stern, but a very kind man, a real gentleman. Still remember how he pulls up his trousers before he begins his lessons,” Albert Y.M. Lee said on the page.

One of his former students posted on Facebook saying Yong had touched the lives of many students, colleagues and staff.
“Mr Yong will be well-remembered for his no-nonsense approach in administering discipline. Unruly students had felt the sting of his canes which he used with fairness and justice,” the student said

Another student, Ron Leong, posted: “He was a caring, committed and dedicated principal who has transformed the school to a greater height. We will definitely miss him very much”.

Former student Harold Huang mentioned how Yong had given him financial assistance.
“My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the bereaved family,” he posted on Facebook.
The wake will be held tomorrow and on Tuesday at 8.30pm at his residence, and the funeral will take place at 10am on Wednesday at Trinity Methodist Church here, where he was a member.

Friday, May 13, 2016

I remember this news very well.
I had read and reread the news.
The young man had such promising future.
I had recognized this place the moment I saw it when I came out of the building, after the job interview early last month.
It was eerily and distinctively familiar.
I never fail to think about him each time I see the building.
It's like I'm staring at a friend's grave.
It was that exact dark spot.
Taken from
A big-hearted Georgia veterinarian has found Internet fame after eating breakfast alongside a dog he rescued.

Dr. Andy Mathis has been treating Graycie, who was abandoned on a dirt road two weeks ago starving and dehydrated.
The dog was unable to eat around people due to the trauma she had suffered, so Mathis sat by her until she felt brave enough.
“She's been eating for the past two days, but not so comfortably, unless I leave the room, so today I decided to sit in the cage with her,” Mathis, who works at Granite Hills Animal Care in Elberton,

Now, his video has been watched more than 7 million times and shared more than 95,000 times.
In the video, Mathis feeds Graycie with his hand, until she slowly crawls forward and begins eating alongside him.

Mathis said he originally believed he would have to euthanize Graycie after she was discovered in “bad shape” on Jan. 29.

His friends advised him to try to save the dog while she still had a will to live — and Graycie soon responded to his care and kindness.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

My good friend Mn is facing some breakdown.

"I've been crying in the car to work for the past few days."

This whatsapp message was scary to read because Moon is one of the most positive people I've known. Work has taken a huge toll of her emotions.

Her boss attempted to lighten the mood with this joke, "Don't ever cry for work, cry only when you dropped your new phone and the screen broke."

I hope my friend is coping well.

Monday, May 02, 2016

My friend Yw whatsapp message-ed a prayer for me.

Lord Jesus, I want to commit H unto You. I pray that You will bless her with love, peace and joy. Embrace her and let her find comfort and love in You. I pray that she may find joy in her new job and in her every day life. Bless her beautiful soul so that others may be blessed by her too. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

So sweet.