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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Won't you ever learn?

In the Disney animated film, Cinderella *beam*, Cinderella says to Bruno the dog because he snarled at Lucifer the cat for scratching him. She (Cinderella) says "Bruno! Oh Bruno, won't you ever learn?"

I like Cinderella *sighh*

Mich, Lynna, Fatin, Chris and I detoured from our routines last night for *GirlzNiteOUt!* to watch 27 Dresses in Cheras Selatan Mall, Balakong (i know, i know...Balakong?!Whats that?) Its surprisingly nice there tho! Like a small One U (only 2 floors), or like LisatheEgg says like a halfUtama. hahhah.

Chris is not a girl, btw. He's a boy. But he tagged along anyway. And typical of his NotQuiteDevelopedUpThere race, he asked "Eh, what show are we watching again? 72 Skirts ah?"

My, that would be one long movie!

I liked 27 Dresses :) So romantic. I know, i know, i'm supposed to lay off the romantic comedies. But you gotta allow me an occasional indulgence la!

Anyhoos, what i did, again, was i drank Susu Berperisa Coffee at 11 pm just now. heh.
On purpose la this time. Cos i actually have a ton of work and - really shouldn't be wasting my time typing in posts that will do nothing for my degree, or for that matter, my future - but i slept from 5pm-8.30pm just now (it rained from 5pm-10pm! so, carpe diem, seize the day! Or in this case, seize the 3 and a half hours of wonderful rain *smiles show gigi*
...so, i'll have to compensate the time by pulling an all-nighter.

Okay so, my cousins Wai Min and Wai Choong have tagged me. I've not done a tag before...so here, there's a first time for everything (except doing dope, okay kids? Stay Clean, Stay Focused, Stay Strong!)

==== The Tag ====

Instructions: Remove ONE question from below, and add in your personal question, make it a total of 20 questions, then tag 8 people in your list, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged. Whoever does the tag will have blessings from all.

1. Who is your all-time inspiration(s)?
Jim and Elizabeth Elliot (i added the (s) myself, btw)

2. Have you given your first kiss away?
Depends on what your definition of 'first kiss' is, you know, just like how 'have you had sex' depends on what your definition of sex is. By conventional definition, i guess my answer would be no, but by my own definition i think its a yes :)

3. If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you? Why?
Lisa, because she has hand sanitizer.
Chris Oh, because he can cook a whole chicken with just a few blocks of wood and a candle.
Yew Leung, because he runs fast. (he can catch the chicken)

4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?
Outer-space. Definitely outer-space.

5. If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?
No more poverty.

6. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after the rain?
Figuratively speaking, i suppose? Yes. Because God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. :)

7. What are you afraid to lose the most now?
My assignments.

8. If you win $1 million, what would you do?
Buy myself a new pair of jeans. And give to the needy.

9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?
Ohh..no no no...we are the hunted, men are the hunters!

10.List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you.
Wai Min - tall, dark and handsome (ohh lala)

Wai Choong - My brilliant leng-chai cousins.

*they are the result of the combination of good genes ;)

11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?
Loves God with all His heart, loves people, loves me. In that order.

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
Ahh we must love our enemies, yes? I distaste hypocrites (but aren't we all at one point or another?)

13. What is your ambition?
To finish my assignments. To be a good journalist someday.

14. If you have faults, would you rather the people around you point out to you or would you rather they keep quiet?
Point them out.

15. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?
My relationship with Jesus.

16. Are you a shopaholic or not?
Not. :)

17. Find a word to describe the person who tagged you.
Handsome ;) *swoon*

18. If you have a chance. Which part of your character you would like to change?
My habit of procrastinating. Sleeping too much. Drinking coffee at the wrong times.

19. Whats the last shocking thing you’ve seen or heard?
Malaysians urged to boycott all Dutch products.

20. What's your all-time favourite movie?
Big Daddy :)

I am tagging :

1. Sheng Mae
2. Lordson
3. Sieh Jin
4. Lee San
5. Simon
6. Rachael Wong
7. Sue Ann
8. Nie Nie

*winkz winkz*
Here's something i read yesterday in Lifestyle (The Star) that made me think :

World struggles with soaring food costs


Food is increasingly getting beyond reach for the poorest nations as consumers worldwide grapple with the spike in prices of basic commodities.

IF YOU’RE seeing your grocery bill go up, you’re not alone. From subsistence farmers eating rice in Ecuador to gourmets feasting on escargot in France, consumers worldwide face rising food prices in what analysts call a perfect storm of conditions.

A rice seller pricing rice for sale at Phnom Penh market. Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a ban on rice exports for two months, to stabilise the cost of the country’s staple food.

Freak weather is a factor. But so are dramatic changes in the global economy, including higher oil prices, lower food reserves and growing consumer demand in China and India.

The world’s poorest nations still harbour the greatest hunger risk. Clashes over bread in Egypt killed at least two people recently, and similar food riots broke out in Burkina Faso and Cameroon earlier this month.

But food protests now crop up even in Italy. And while the price of spaghetti has doubled in Haiti, the cost of miso is packing a hit in Japan.

“It’s not likely that prices will go back to as low as we’re used to,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, economist and secretary of the Intergovernmental Group for Grains for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). “Currently if you’re in Haiti, unless the government is subsidising consumers, consumers have no choice but to cut consumption. It’s a very brutal scenario, but that’s what it is.”

No one knows that better than Eugene Thermilon, 30, a Haitian day labourer who can no longer afford pasta to feed his wife and four children since the price nearly doubled to the local equivalent of US$0.57 (RM1.85) a bag. Their only meal on a recent day was two cans of corn grits.

“Their stomachs were not even full,” Thermilon said, walking toward his pink concrete house on the precipice of a garbage-filled ravine. By noon the next day, he still had nothing to feed them for dinner.

Their hunger has had a ripple effect. Haitian food vendor Fabiola Duran Estime, 31, has lost so many customers like Thermilon that she had to pull her daughter, Fyva, out of kindergarten because she can’t afford the US$20 (RM65) monthly tuition.

Cheaper substitute: In a shanty town in Manila, Gelyn Poso feeds her children with shredded cassava as a rice substitute. Philippine farmers warned of a worsening rice crisis and said prices were expected to soar about 222% amidst a lean harvest.

In the long term, prices are expected to stabilise. Farmers will grow more grain for both fuel and food and eventually bring prices down. Already this is happening with wheat, with more crops to be planted in the United States, Canada and Europe in the coming year.

However, consumers still face at least 10 years of more expensive food, according to preliminary FAO projections.

Among the driving forces are petroleum prices, which increase the cost of everything from fertilisers to transport to food processing. Rising demand for meat and dairy in rapidly developing countries such as China and India is sending up the cost of grain, used for cattle feed, as is the demand for raw materials to make biofuels.

What’s rare is that the spikes are hitting all major foods in most countries at once. Food prices rose 4% in the United States last year, the highest rise since 1990, and are expected to climb as much again this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

As of last December, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls.

For many, it’s a disaster. The United Nations’ World Food Programme says it’s facing a US$500mil (RM1.6bil) shortfall in funding this year to feed 89 million needy people.

In Egypt, where bread is up 35% and cooking oil 26%, the government recently proposed ending food subsidies and replacing them with cash payouts to the needy. But the plan was put on hold after it sparked public uproar.

“A revolution of the hungry is in the offing,” said Mohammed el-Askalani of Citizens Against the High Cost of Living, a protest group established to lobby against ending the subsidies.

In China, the price hikes are both a burden and a boon. Per capita meat consumption has increased 150% since 1980, so Zhou Jian decided six months ago to switch from selling auto parts to pork. The price of pork has jumped 58% in the past year, yet every morning housewives and domestics still crowd his Shanghai shop, and more customers order choice cuts.

At the same time, increased cost of food staples in China threatens to wreak havoc. Beijing has been selling grain from its reserves to hold down prices, said Jing Ulrich, chairwoman of China equities for JP Morgan.

“But this is not really solving the root cause of the problem,” Ulrich said. “The cause of the problem is a supply-demand imbalance. Demand is very strong. Supply is constrained. It is as simple as that.”

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says fighting inflation from shortages of key foods is a top economic priority. Inflation reached 7.1% in January, the highest in 11 years, led by an 18.2% jump in food prices.

Meanwhile, record oil prices have boosted the cost of fertiliser and freight for bulk commodities – up 80% in 2007 over 2006. The oil spike has also turned up the pressure for countries to switch to biofuels, which the FAO says will drive up the cost of corn, sugar and soybeans “for many more years to come.”

In Japan, the ethanol boom is hitting the country in mayonnaise and miso, two important culinary ingredients, as biofuel production pushes up the price of cooking oil and soybeans.

Italians are feeling the pinch in pasta, with consumer groups staging a one-day strike last September against a food deeply intertwined with national identity.

In decades past, farm subsidies and support programmes allowed major grain exporting countries to hold large surpluses, which could be tapped during food shortages to keep prices down. But new liberal trade policies have made agricultural production much more responsive to market demands – putting global food reserves at their lowest in a quarter century.

Without reserves, bad weather and poor harvests now have a bigger impact on prices.

“The market is extremely nervous. With the slightest news about bad weather, the market reacts,” said economist Abbassian.

That means that a drought in Australia and flooding in Argentina, two of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial milk and butter, sent the price of butter in France soaring 37% from 2006 to 2007.

Food costs worldwide spiked 23% from 2006 to 2007, according to the FAO. Grains went up 42%, oils 50% and dairy 80%.

Economists say that for the short term, government bailouts will have to be part of the answer to keep unrest at a minimum. In recent weeks, rising food prices sparked riots in the West African nations of Burkina Faso, where mobs torched buildings, and Cameroon, where at least four people died.

But attempts to control prices in one country often have dire effects elsewhere. China’s restrictions on wheat flour exports resulted in a price spike in Indonesia earlier this year, according to the FAO.

Ukraine and Russia imposed export restrictions on wheat, causing tight supplies and higher prices for importing countries. Partly because of the cost of imported wheat, Peru’s military has begun eating bread made from potato flour, a native crop.

Poorer countries can speed up the adjustment by investing in agriculture, experts say. If they do, farmers can turn high prices into an engine for growth. – AP


aiyo, why aren't we doing something la?

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