Thursday 13 December 2007

Living in harmony

I mentioned before in my very first posting that I chose "For External Use Only" as a compromise anthem of really little meaning to me at the time.

On hindsight, it was indeed a serendipitous beginning, especially so now that I am dabbling into all things cutaneous. Perhaps it is not too late to declare that I am pursuing my (other) dream of practicing dermatology as a specialisation after years of general practice (gentle readers, wish me well).

Which brings us swiftly in close proximity to a particular arthropod that I found disturbing but enormously fascinating. We've all heard of scabies but spare a thought for the humble unassuming demodex, a mite of the Demodicidae family who has been hitching a ride on us probably since time immemorial.

They feed on our dead skin, live in our hair follicles, crawl around at night looking for a mate... WHAT THE %#$@?!!

Definitely puts a different spin to the phrase "Aliens live among us"!

Link here and here.

Monday 10 December 2007

Chansons (part deux)

Merci beaucoup Amaro! You've done us fans of your father a great service by uploading some great videos of your dad in action as he was then and as he is now.

For the rest of us, this is Shake!

Dalida introduces Shake in one of his earliest appearences on French TV show numero 1, 1980

Shake sings his hit song Elle s'en va in french. Circa 1970s.

Shake performs his hit song, Sorry Sandy on a pop TV show Ring Parade in France '86

Shake is introduced by Jacques Marin. He performs his hit single Avec Elle, live.

One of Shake's earliest music videos - Animal tropicale. 1970s.

Shake performs Rien n'est plus beau que l'amour, (love is a many splendid thing). 1996.

NEW music video - Démons et Merveilles - 2007. Directed by Amaro Shake in Malaysia.

Ed - All videos and accompanying text uploaded onto youtube by amaro shake.

Monday 3 December 2007

The united colours of...

Ireland. For centuries, the island of Ireland has always been a peripheral figure in European affairs. The Norsemen came and went, as did the Spanish and finally the English (the French did try themselves but failed miserably). They tried to mould it in their own image, but try as they might the Irish remained a proud nation, steadfast in their desire to remain subordinate to no one. It has suffered its fair share of hardship, discrimination, economic destitution and revolution. Its denizens became caricatured as boorish drunkards, ne'er do wells who are abhorred in polite society. There was a mushrooming of Irish ghettoes in Boston and New York. This stereotyping persisted in time for a while right up till the emergence of the EU bloc and the birth of the Celtic tiger that we know so well today.

From being a demographically homogeneous society (aside from the Catholic/Protestant schism), the island nation now sees an unprecedented influx of immigrants of all religion and races. Most recent arrivals include immigrants of African and Eastern European origin. The fact that progress has occurred over just a decade makes the change even more distinct rather than subtle. The good times are here and Ireland needed every able-bodied man or woman to quench its thirst for manpower. As more of the Irish became affluent, low-paying and unwanted jobs became the domain of the foreigner.

As we reach the end of the economic growth cycle, with the global climate of uncertainty growing, the Irish landscape could now face a different challenge, one that will certainly test the very fabric of its being. Immigration will probably be tightened and access to social services curtailed in certain cases. Whither new Ireland?

Perhaps the key ingredient in all societies is the systematic integration of its population and the complete elimination of ignorance. Ignorance which will breed fear, ensuring the rise of bigotry and hate.

Days of our lives

I'm beset by SAD again. Seasonal affective disorder to be exact, a hallmark form of acute depression in the local population come winter. Dour faced workers facing long commutes in the longer hours of darkness. Aside from the seasonal festivities of xmas and boxing day sales, there's basically nothing else to aid the sanity of the distraught, sun-starved citizens of this emerald isle.

Apart from the onset of transient neurosis, life for me at least, has settled into a fix regular pattern. This consists mainly of me shuttling between four separate institutions for which I am now responsible for. Together with the fact that I am a bona fide postgraduate university student again since last October, instantly qualifies me an invite to the next WA (Workaholics Anon) meetup. I have to stress that I'm doing all this by choice, my own volition, so don't start any candlelight vigils for me. Yet.

What I'm trying to say is I'm dedicating this post to all workaholics out there, some whom I've met and others I have yet to meet. Stay sober!

Saturday 1 December 2007

Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network

Dear sweet child, I have never known you but your smile now haunts me forever. The lost innocence that my country weeps for in your passing. The pangs of guilt still rippling through the lives of people whom you have touched. The anger and the hopelessness in the thought that the beasts are still free.

My thoughts went out to you whilst I stood there, silently by your grave. Stalks of fresh daisies wilting in the evening sun still perched on the wooden frame. Through whispered supplications, I bowed down in prayer. For my child, our child. Everyone's child.

In memoriam
Nurin Jazlin Jazimin
1999 - 2007

Blogger's bane

Every blogger has gone through this phase or will do so at some point. Especially those who are pushed for time, like your's truly.

In my case, I sort of lost interest for a while. Blogging was a seemingly worthy pursuit but I lost the passion before it barely begun. I like to appreciate works of art and I often thought I should never post anything that I myself think was not worth reading.

Hence the lengthy silence. Many a time I caught myself staring at the tumbleweeds as they drift by in the desert of my blog. The dry and parched earth longing for a steady rain of ideas and thoughts.

So perhaps it is time to begin anew. Perhaps...

Sunday 1 April 2007


The talent competition/reality show bug has not only stung the Malays (ever heard of Mawi?). Apparently the Arabs are into it in a big way as well.

Thanks to the BBC for the heads up. Enjoy!

On a side note, some great stuff from the French Academy! (What's with the wet look?).

Will write some more later.