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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Swine Flu

Oops, did I say swine flu? I meant H1N1.

The people of Malaysia can be forgiven for confusing the name of the influenza. There was a disrupt of what to call it among two ministries a few weeks back.

But lets call it H1N1 for simplicity, and plus, that's what WHO calls it.

H1N1 is seriously an annoying influenza. Not because how it effects people, but because of the stigma and paranoid that comes with it. Initially called swine flu because of the belief that it originated from pigs, the flu has caused shock waves and horror throughout the world.

Reason of fear: Death.

As of to date, WHO reported a death count of over 800 people. Astonishing as it may sound since it's outbreak in mid April, there's no reason to go horror crazy. Because, there's another virus out there on the loose, one much, much deadlier that H1N1, which has killed people of to the hundred thousands annually.

Dangerous? Enter the regular flu. CNN reports an annual death toll of 250 000- 500 000 people. So why aren't there much reports/ tallies on death caused by regular flu? Because it's REGULAR!

9 out of 10 deaths of regular flu are among those over 65 years of age and have preexisting conditions that worsens with that catch of the flu. Regular flu can be extraordinarily deadly if caught by babies. That's been the very case with H1N1. Death are reported on babies and people with preconditions that worsens with H1N1.

H1N1 is as uncontrollable as regular flu is. WHO even came to an extent of ending it's tally on people effected by the virus because of the impossible nature of the task. They now estimate of up to a million people are effected worldwide. The organization also recommended that governments stop tallying too. And with the northern hemisphere to approach winter in a few months time, the tally of effected can only multiply.

But the main reason I'm bitter towards H1N1? Because it canceled the midwest games, of course!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Malaysia XI vs Manchester United

First I'd like to congratulate the young Malaysian team for their double header against Manchester United. I admit that after the 2-3 lost on Saturday, I was really keen on going to KL to watch the rematch yesterday night. It would take a real brave heart to go against one of the mightiest teams in world soccer. Kudos to the team of youngsters.

But rest on their laurels they must not! For if they do, it would be at their own peril. They have still along way to go to be seriously considered again in soccer. The two fixtures were barely a friendly match, and was only Man U's first preseason friendly. Man U was just trying to get their match fitness back after a few months off. Playing against a team which is on preseason friendly, even with all the glamor that comes with it, shouldn't be a way to bench mark your performance. Liverpool drew and lost it's first two preseason friendlies against much weaker opponents. That's not to say Liverpool is weaker or the opponents are much stronger. And the humid weather in Malaysiaw asn't much of a help either, not that the Malaysians are complaining though.

I decided to watch the sports news on Buletin Utama to watch highlights of yesterday's match. In an interview, the Malaysian goalkeeper, Mohd. Farizal Marlias, as proud as ever, declared, "After the match, Van der Sar came to me and said,'nice game'. I was really proud." I hope the lad doesn't really take that as much of a complement, as westerners are known to utter that phrase after a game, regardless the result. I've had countless games in volleyball and soccer which I lost (and some resoundingly), but the opposition still came up to me and said 'nice game'. It's the same as 'nice to meet you,' when you know, of course, that they didn't really mean it. It's just a way of them being polite. But don't get on the down, for Farizal did have a game to remember for the rest of his life, with a few decent saves that prevented Malaysia from suffering a mauling.

But the thing that really caught me surprised was the fact that TV3 covered the story of which a guy by the name of David Roles, supposedly from Sheffield, wrote this in a soccer transfer rumour website,

Who? - Amri Yahya
Where is he? - Malaysia
Who is he linked with? - Manchester United

Amri Yahya scored two goals against Man Utd, when Malaysia XI vs Manchester United on the 18th July.. He have a good mental and skills. He think fast knows what to do next..He will make a goo midfield with MAn utd squad.. Hope Sir Alex Ferguson can buy him..

David Roles from Sheffield

TV3 should've really done their homework. The post meant nothing. It was a random transfer rumour that really came out of nowhere, from a random person. Why put that in the news? Anyone, anywhere, can put a rumour at that website. You just need to fill out a short form as you can see on the website. And for all we know, the guy might not even be English as TV3 claimed, judging from his bad English.

Watch highlights of the first game below. Amri Yahya scored a marvelous goal indeed!

When News Coverage is ****ing Bias!

Pardon my French.

Muslim father murdered daughter for having secret boyfriend - BBC.
Muslim father strangled daughter to death for disgracing family - FOXNews.
Muslim husband beheads wife- CNN.
Muslim father slains daughter for falling in love with wrong man- FOXNews.
Russian neighbor stabs Muslim woman 18 times to death for wearing headscarf- what news?

We trust news channels like ones mentioned above to bring coverage of news all around the world. When a pregnant Muslim woman is killed by her neighbor in a courtroom in German, after being continuously verbally an physically harassed and called a terrorist, stabbing her 18 times in front of her son, you'd expect the news to make the headlines. But did it? I'm afraid not!

Marwa Al-Sherbini, a pregnant mother of one, was stabbed to death in a German courtroom, after giving testimonial to the court about insults thrown at her by her neighbor. It took 18 stabs to finally stop the violence.

When security personnel finally made it to the courtroom, they shot Marwa's husband in the leg, initially thinking he was the attacker. The husband was actually trying to protect his wife, and is now in critical conditions after 3 stabs and a gunshot. Adding insult, German tried to bury the story.

Cruel? Unfair? Biased? Hypocrites? That's the reality of the world we live in today.

Read more here. TIME magazine also published an article here. Show your support for Marwa Al-Sherbini, and all the Muslim women out there by joining this Facebook group.

May you rest in peace, Marwa Al-Sherbini. May Allah put you in those that are granted jannah for your shaheed. And may this death inspire others to withhold their rights, as a women, and as a Muslim.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Basically, the people of this world can be categorized into 3. The Fat. The Skinny. Or The Fit. Which one are you?

The Fat

Everyone knows that being fat isn't the healthy way to be. It's doesn't look right, it doesn't feel right, coz it ain't just right! I would guess that fat people are those that have a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than that recommended. You can check your BMI by some simple calculation or if you're too lazy (I know) you can just calculate online at this website. (You can calculate a lot more than just your BMI here). There are of course other ways to determine whether you're fat or not, and if you're not happy with the 'accuracy' of the BMI method, feel free to try others.

There are many negative effects of being fat (and PRAY you're not obese) that I shall not name all. But to name a few, there's diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, etc.

The Skinny

You're still not safe by merely being skinny. You might look a bit right-er than the fat, but you're still not quite there. I would say skinny people are those that fall short of the recommended BMI. I understand that people are just happy to be skinny, especially Malay girls (yes, I'm sorry) but as I mentioned above, that doesn't categorize you as being healthy, yet. I also notice this popular saying (among girls especially), "Buat ape ko nak exercise, ko kan dah kurus," (Why exercise, you're skinny already). That is surely not the right attitude.

The Fit

…and healthy. This is where you wanna be categorized in. Normally, the fit would have a BMI within the recommended range.

So how do you become fit? By exercising and dieting of course. But let me tell you this; it's easier said than done. This is because to be consistent in both is difficult indeed. You'd need discipline, courage, enthusiasm and a strong mind to succeed. And let me tell you something else; like anything else, the fruit is sweet and worth it.

But don't get me wrong here. I'm not asking you to hit the gym, although that is surely a very good option. By exercising, I mean (besides hitting the gym) by playing sports, swimming, running, jogging, or heck, even walking. You need to burn calories. Burn the fat. Ah, and one thing about burning fat is that, unlike muscles, you can't target specific areas where you'd like to burn. You can't say I want to get rid of my buncit and start doing sit ups. It doesn't work that way. You have to indulge in cardio exercises (swimming, running, etc) to burn your fat gradually from your body. So there are tons of ways to exercise (did I mention yoga and Tai Chi?). It's only a matter of pick and choose.

Alas, don't forget the diet. Because, contrary to popular belief, without the right diet, you can't quite reach it. You need to eat the right things, things that are healthy, which would give you the right amount of energy to drive you in your daily routines. And by healthy, it's not only about eating vegetables. It's about eating a complete and balanced all round diet, one that corresponds with the food pyramid. Rule of thumb is simple: To lose weight, eat less calories than you burn, and vice versa. Even in Al-Baqarah , "Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome (healthy) in the earth..." By simply eating chips and drinking Coca-Cola won't do you good.

This brings me to another point. People of the past, i.e. during the time of the Prophet, must have had really healthy lifestyles. Else, at 60, they won't be able to go to war, walk the burning desert, or go dakwah so successfully. Their secret: eating right and exercise. Sure back then there weren't the push ups or jumping jacks that we have come so fond of now, these guys just had less of doing nothing. They don't sit around as much as we do, they don't sleep a lot, and yes, they pray. A lot! Which, for obvious reasons, is a way of exercising.

And now, for why is it important to be fit and healthy? The reasons are obvious. Exercising and eating right decreases your chances of falling sick. Your cholesterol level decreases, your body fat percentage decreases, and you become stronger both physically and mentally. You become more confident and satisfied of yourself. And if health benefits isn't enough to convince you to exercise, then what about the attraction of the opposite gender? Exercising will tone your muscle, giving your body the shape that everyone desires, both for male and female. No more beer bellies, flabby arms and legs or out of proportion body parts, and heck, no more plywood figures. If these two still won't encourage you, then I say no more.

I rest my case.