Alternative Concept

A collection of random, spontaneous and reflective thoughts and views. A reflection of curious mind and pondering emotions, seeking an avenue to bare it all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Things that make me ummmm


There are things that I really LIKE and couldn't help but take a look or indulge at them longer than any normal being can. Are you ready? Here they go!

1. Cakes: I love cakes but not all of them. I love mud cake. I love pavlova. I love cheesecake. I love carrot cake.

2. Watching Tele: Sitting infront of the telivision set can't bore me. I can stay in a house with just a TV, and my day is complete.

3. Cooking shows: My obsession with cooking shows is out of this world. I can watch the same episode for the nth with no satisfaction.

4. Dried Flowers: I love dried flowers. It's a pity I could not find them here easily in Taiwan. They come to me as fresh as the fresh flowers.

5. Country decor: Any decors with country touch are very close to my heart. They made me feel like I'm at home.

6. Skirts: I am obsessed with skirts. I don't like the ones with so much prints. Minimal prints is okay for me but the one I really are the ones with little decorations on the hemline. I like them in pastels.

7. Hopia: I drool with just the thought of it. I have never eaten it since I left the country in 2002, and can't wait to taste some once I get home.

8. Pizza: Ofcourse!

9. Joshua Kadison's songs Beautiful in my eyes and Jessie: Songs that bring wonderful memories of my time in Gatton and Toowoomba.

10. French Fries: Though not a recommended for for healthy buff, I always try to grab one once in a while.

11. Secondhand clothes: I dunno but I find ukay-ukay clothes to be unique and fun. I have some clothes I bought from secondhand shops and they stayed alive much longer than the new ones.

12. Internet: Should I say more?

13. Forums: I love shouting my views online, to prove than I am smart , yeah right!

14. Reading: Though not much to read here in Taiwan (well in English I should say), but I remain to love this hobby. It provides me with so much information and knowledge.

15. Writing: Anything. it's like a rejuvenating experience once I put my thoughts in words.

16. Arts and Crafts: An avenue to express my creativity, if there is.

Philippines politics

With the political crisis happening in the Philippines now, it made me feel like not going home. I am tired with all the politicking surrounding the governing body of the country. Everyone wants to be a president. Everyone accused someone of being a cheat. Everyone is hungry for power and wealth. Everyone has forgotten what he/she is supposed to do. Everyone only think of oneself and forget the lowly Filipinos.

It's pathetic and nauseating. No one is good enough in the eyes of these crocodiles. No one is fit enough to govern the country except for herself/himself. No one thinks of the Filipino masses anymore.

As far as I can remember, I knew 5 presidents, except for Marcos, Estrada is the worst of all of them. Estrada is the epitome of stupidity and arrogance. He can't rule a country but he still insists up to this very second. Aquino was like a transition president, though she lacks the experience she performed better than Estrada. Ramos was good in pushing the economic reform in the country. I remember during his term, the Philippines was moving fast track and every time I read any international paper (I was out of the country then and now), foreign business sectors were praising Ramos administration. And yet, he wasn't spared from malicious accusations by his detractors (fellow politicians). And now. Arroyo was accused of cheating during the election. The tape illegally obtained during her conversation with the Comelec bloke was released to the media and GMA admitted it was her on the tape. However, the conversation did not insinuate that she asked to rig the votes. And yet, the opposition is pushing the far-fetch fact that she cheated. GMA has made the economy much better than that of Estrada's time and yet her opponents insisted that it should have been (the late) Fernando Poe Jr. who win. For pete’s sake, if he won, where must this country be right now. He had no leadership skills. He knew nothing about the economy. He knew nothing about governance. He had a good heart but you can not govern an 80+ million people with half of the population are poor, with a good heart alone. You need to have a good mind – intellect, knowledge, experience!

I can go on forever here but I am just tired of the whole situation.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Spurs is the champ!

S.A. spurs won and that's all that matters! Way to go Tim and Manu.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Laziness

The lazy bug bit me again. I am just too lazy to think and type. My mind is not intact lol. It is everywhere. I am not inspired to criticize, ponder or even just to think useless throughts. Now, I am thinking why I am not thinking (confusing, grrrrrr). I have to gather my so-called intellectual sense and maybe come up with a very inspiring piece.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Just yesterday, I playfully took the online psychology test (how well do you know about psychology). I got 7 right answers out of the 10 questions. So I am kind of psyched. My fascination of psychology started when I was doing my education degree way back home. A semester was spent studying the basics of psychology, so for 5 months I was feeding on B.F. Skinner and E. Thorndike, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Ivan Pavlov, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Joseph Breuer, etc. The most intriguing and controversial of them all is Freud, while I supposed the most popular social psychology is Maslow.

Freud is most popular with his theory on Psychosexual Development or Stages of Development. While still at school, I am so into this discussion not because of its controversy, rather because of its complexity.

Skinner is the stimulus guy, his S-R theory (Stimulus-Response) can be easily understood as most people are more familiar with it. While Skinner is into operant conditioning( changes in behavior are the result of an individual's response to events that occur in the environment), Thorndike is connectionism ( the association between stimuli and response).

Piaget is more focused on cognitive structure, that accordingly are patterns of physical or mental action that underlie specific acts of intelligence and correspond to stages of child development. As a teacher, Piaget theory opne up a new perspective into understanding the children that sorrounds you most of the day. It will left you unclueless.

Pavlov is the most popular among us students. His theory (classical/operant conditioning) is using tangible objects to explain it in its simplest way - dog, bell. Well, with the food =salivation, and bell=salivation, it was much easier to discuss Pavlov on the paper during exams.

Why Africa is home of the world's ultra-poor

According to the statistics, of the 20 poorest countries in the world, fourteen (14) are from the African region. The poorest of them all is Somalia ($ 500 GDP-per capita). The African continent is composed of 54 countries and covered 20.3% of total land area on earth (bigger than Europe and South America combined). The natural resources form the basis of the economies, which agricultural products and mineral resources are of primary importance- both for local consumptions and export.

So, I am wondering why Africa is a haven for the poorest countries in the world? According to the study, Africa is home of the world's ultra-poor, which 46 percent of the continent's inhabitants survive on less than $1 a day and 21 percent eke out an existence on less than $0.50 -- the ultra-poor. About 6 percent live on less than $0.25 (source: University of Cape Town's Development Policy Research Unit) . And the number is swelling.

Africa has a very intriguing history. Most of the countries were colonized, the indigenous people suffered so much on slavery. Why they remain to be more is not just a colonial agenda rather a combination of natural calamities, civil war, despotism, and shrinking economy. These factors combined together gave birth to poverty, debt, and displacement.

According to New Internationalist (http://www.newint.org/), what is making Africa even poorer is this:

Africa must buy what it does not produce - anything from railway engines to transistor radios - and that means earning hard currency, or foreign exchange’. Most African economies depend for their foreign exchange on the export of just one or two raw materials: either cash crops or minerals. And here they are at the mercy of world markets: prices are fixed in New York and London and with nothing else to sell, a slump in cocoa or copper, tea or tobacco, spells immediate crisis.

The manufactured goods that Africa buys with its foreign exchange rise steadily in price. A large proportion are luxuries for the wealthy or expensive weapons for the military. The basic needs of the majority of Africans are frequently ignored.


The gap between what is earned and what is spent is covered by borrowing. Paying back interest on these debts becomes yet another drain on scarce foreign exchange. Pressure grows to increase exports in order to meet debt repayments. When this fails more borrowing follows, and so the debt spiral takes another upward turn.

The basic indicators of human well-being - health, life expectancy and literacy - reveal that Africa is very badly off indeed. Worse off not only than industrialised countries but the rest of the Third World as well.

Sub-Saharan Africa's population of 362 million is expected to double in the next 25 years. Meanwhile agricultural production is in decline and expensive food imports are on the increase. The result, predicted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAQ), is that Africa will provide for only half its food needs by the year 2020.

Many rich countries have extended the much needed help to rescue Africa but the story remains the same. Only God's mercy can save this beautiful continent.