2008年8月21日 星期四

物價高漲的時代到了!

上星期五,我們到附近的傳統市場買青菜水果。市場裏外都十分冷清。有好幾個攤子都沒開,附近的幾家咖啡茶店也比平時人少。市場裏的一位小販說,現在生意難做,貨源貴,顧客裹足不前。我們也把顧客的苦衷:“東西太貴,買不下手,只有固定收入的人,必須量入爲出”告訴她。她繼續訴苦說,除了星期六及星期天有人潮外,其他日子根本就門可羅雀。在市場進口處擺個小攤買糕點的老太婆也說,她平日這時早就把整盤的糕點賣光了,現在還剩大半盤!

上星期六下午,參加一個在教堂的舉行的婚禮。和一些賓客的閒談中,聽到的皆是市場淡靜,生意不好做的負面消息。與喜氣洋洋的結婚典禮有點格格不入。

股票市場節節敗退,交易量大不如前,缺少了利多消息,欲振乏力。全世界像進入了經濟蕭條的時代。若果真如此,縱有很多天然資源的我國也難逃其劫。

自從油價從RM 1.90調高至RM2.70之後,百物應聲上漲。其他還未漲價的商品或服務,也正蠢蠢欲動,要把漲幅轉嫁給消費人。對小市民來說,真的是噩夢連連。
年初,食油,麵粉等已經漲了一輪。又進口原物料本已經在國際油價攀升而上漲,糧食如稻米在主要產米囯越南遭天災蹂躪後產量驟減,加上其兩位數的通貨膨脹引起該國人民囤積米糧,稻米的出口量就更萎縮,以至國際米價猛漲。玉米也因其可能成爲能源的替代原料而身價暴漲。正值這漲聲不斷中,政府卻選擇這時宣佈國内燃油上漲,確實令人費解,而其40%漲幅卻是空前的。難道沒有較緩和的措施可用?七月一日電費也開始調漲,正好雪上加霜。人民示威抗議所展現的極度不滿,似乎也讓政府始料不及。政府亡羊補牢,宣佈給于擁有2000cc以下的車主RM600的現金回扣,以及計程車及其他商用車輛的一些津貼,以減輕 油價暴漲所帶來的衝擊。幾天前又宣佈,政府希望在九月降低油價,並每月一或兩次的檢討油價。從這種種事後應急措施看來,政府在宣佈油價大漲之前,似乎並沒有周詳的考慮過油價上漲可能會給人民帶來的衝擊,就貿然實行。如果這個推測是正確的話,那施政者對人民的疾苦是不知,不管或根本不當一回事?

最令人擔憂的,是油、電價格漲價後的連鎖反應。運輸費已經調漲,製造商品在電費漲價後也會水漲船高跟進。消費者對付高物價的最自然反應就是節流、少用少買,少出門少花錢。惡性循環的開始是零售業、餐飲業、服務及娛樂消費等的營業額衰退,結果是國家稅收減少,預算不足,發展計劃受限。

影響最大的莫過於中低收入戶,這些人能寄望月底的燃油新定價,和2009年度的財政預算案帶來好消息嗎?不然,難道真的要他們“捨四輪,用兩輪,甚至捨兩輪,用兩腳”,或者“汽車越坐越大(巴士),房子越住越小”來應對高物價的到來?

2008年8月15日 星期五

美國人看世界


這是一幅美國人看世界的“地圖”,滿有意思的。從圖中可以看出美國人的自大、自信,目空一切的心態。美國德州人也是經常被認爲愛吹噓,一切以德州為首的一群。筆者曾看過一幅“德州人看美國的地圖”,和這一幅“美國人看世界的地圖”有異曲同工之妙。在這幅圖上,德州的面積有半個美國之大,大大的誇張了德州的重要性。可惜身邊沒有這幅地圖,未能讓大家一睹為快。

其實,每一個人心中都有一幅和別人不太一樣的地圖。你有所牽挂的,或是最嚮往的地方必在這地圖上佔上重要的位置。每一個國家也有其“看世界的地圖”,表示其與其他國家在政治、經濟、貿易等層面的互動關係,影響力的比較。在歐洲,就有不少小國(面積不大),但其國力不弱。

2008年8月12日 星期二

The concept train of the future (未來的概念火車)

The concept train of the future: It is a non-stop train but passengers are still able to embark and disembark at their respective destinations/stations. The narration of the video clip is in Mandarin but the presentation is not difficult to visualize. Cool eh?!

這是未來的概念火車造型。它可以過站不停,但旅客依舊能上下車,縮短了不少時間。不過,何時才能使用,就不得而知了。

video

2008年8月9日 星期六

健康信息(一)----- Health news

專作放射線之醫師,認為『微波爐』會利用電波少一個正價電子,運用水分子之震盪使食物變熱,所以食物易變成自由基,就會容易致癌。所以偶而方便用一下,最好還是少用『微波爐』最好!
以下文章值得參考
人體內的有毒物質主要來源於兩個途徑:一是大氣與水源中的污染物、通過呼吸及進餐而侵入人體內,鉛、鋁、汞等重金屬就是其代表;
另一個是食物在體內代謝後的廢物,如自由基、硫化氫等。時下,清除體內垃圾已成健康時尚。
下列方法可幫您及時清除體內毒素。
1. 主動咳嗽法:
自然界中的粉塵、金屬微粒及廢氣中的毒性物質,通過呼吸進入肺臟,既損害肺臟,又通過血液迴圈而 ' 株連' 全身。借助主動咳嗽可以' 清掃 ' 肺臟。每天 到室外空氣清新處做深呼吸運動,深吸氣時緩緩抬起雙臂,然後主動咳嗽,使氣流從口、鼻中噴出,咳出痰液。
2. 飲水沖洗法:
定時排便,縮短糞便在腸道內的停留時間,及時排出糞便中的毒素。每天清晨空腹喝一杯溫開水,有利於大便通暢以及毒素從尿液中排出。
3. 運動出汗法:
皮膚也是排泄毒素的途徑,主要通過出汗的方式,讓毒素隨汗液排出體外。

4. 巧用食物法:
●常飲鮮果、鮮菜汁 ( 不經炒煮 ) ,鮮果、鮮菜汁是體內 ' 清潔劑 ' ,牠們能排除體內堆積的毒素和廢物。
●常吃海帶,海帶對放射性物質有特別的親和力,海帶膠質能促使體內的放射性物質隨著大號排出體外,從而減少放射性物質在人體內的積聚,也減少了放射性疾病的發生率。
●常喝綠豆湯,綠豆湯能輔助排泄體內的毒素,促進機體的正常代謝。

2008年8月8日 星期五

Three Jokes---三則笑話

A speeding driver was pulled over by a policeman. He asked,
"Why was I pulled over when I wasn't the only one speeding."
The policeman replied, "Have you ever been fishing?"
The man responded, "Yes."
"Have you ever caught all the fish?" asked the policeman.

A family was having dinner and the little boy said, "Dad, I don't like the holes in the cheese!"
"Well son, eat the cheese and leave the holes on the side of the plate."

A man awoke one evening to discover prowlers in his storage shed. He immediately called the police, giving his address, to report a possible burglary. The operator at the other end asked "Are they in your house?" He replied they were not, only in his storage shed in back of the house. The operator said there were no cars available at that time. The man thanked the operator, rang off and waited 30 seconds before calling again.
"I just called you about prowlers in my storage shed. Well, you don't have to worry, as I just shot them all dead!" Within seconds there were 3 police cars, an ambulance and fire engine at the scene. After capturing the prowlers red-handed, the policeman asked the caller, "I thought you said you had shot them all?" The man answered, "And I thought you said there were no police available."


警察把超速開車的司機攔了下來。
司機問:“那麽多人開快車,爲什麽只有我被攔下來?”
警察回答說:“你曾經釣過魚嗎?”
“有”
警察問:“你有本事把所有的魚都釣上來嗎?”


一家人在吃晚飯,小孩說:“爸爸,我不喜歡乳酪裏的洞洞。”
“乖兒子,你把乳酪吃掉,把洞洞留在盤邊。”


主人晚上醒來,發現有小偷在儲物室裏。他馬上打電話報警,說可能有偷竊事件,也把地址報上。接綫生在另一端問:“他們在你家中嗎?”他回答說不在,是在屋子後面的儲物室裏。接綫生說現在沒有警力可用,主人就謝過,把電話掛斷。過了三十秒他又再打:“我是剛才打電話說有小偷在儲物室裏的那個人,好了,你們不必擔心了,我把他們全槍斃了。”才一下子,馬上就有三部警車,一輛救護車,一輛救火車到達現場。在捉到那幾個小偷後,一名警員就問主人說:“我以爲你說你把他們全斃了?”那人回答說:“我也以爲你們說警員都沒空。”

2008年8月5日 星期二

公益捐款

最近引起大家興趣的話題之一,莫過于臺灣首富郭台銘先生將90%的個人財富約合160億零吉捐給公益團體。在華人社會裏,這可能是頭一次有人認捐如此龐大的數目,作爲公益用途。對郭先生的慷慨解囊,十分敬佩。

世界首富比爾蓋玆(Bill Gate)2000年就已經成立了一個以他及其夫人名下的基金會(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation),把RM1740億的資產全數捐入基金會,為不幸的群體提供扶貧,醫療等多元贊助,貢獻良多。(股神華倫巴菲特(Warren Buffet)也是此基金會的主要捐贈者之一)。希爾頓酒店的創始人巴倫希爾頓(Barren Hilton)也將其RM68億的財產捐給慈善機構。不久前,看到一則報道,以演007 聲名大噪的史恩康納萊(Sean Conery)將其兒子從遺囑中除名,但未報道錢的用途。

這些大慈善家取自社會,還于社會的德行,希望能成爲其他富人的借鏡,幫助那些弱勢的群體。

2008年8月2日 星期六

What Is Intelligence, Anyway? Isaac Asimov

這是一篇有趣又有意義的文章,作者是鼎鼎大名的科幻小説家說寫的。現在翻譯成中文與訪客們分享:

What is intelligence, anyway? When I was in the army, I received the kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that, and for two hours they made a big fuss over me. (It didn't mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP - kitchen police - as my highest duty.)
到底何謂智慧?我在軍中服務時,參加一種所有軍人都要參與的能力測驗。正常的分數是100而我卻得了160。这般成績在這個軍事基地裏是前所未有的。以後的兩個小時裏,他們驚我為天人。(這根本改變不了什麽。第二天,我依舊是在廚房執行任務的廚警—這是我的最高軍職。)
All my life I've been registering scores like that, so that I have the complacent feeling that I'm highly intelligent, and I expect other people to think so too. Actually, though, don't such scores simply mean that I am very good at answering the type of academic questions that are considered worthy of answers by people who make up the intelligence tests - people with intellectual bents similar to mine?
我一輩子都得出這種成績,使我感到自滿而認爲自己非常有智慧,也希望別人如此認同。事實上,這樣的成績只不過表示我回答這類學術性問題有一套,我的答案對了出題人的胃口,因爲他們的思維傾向與我相似。
For instance, I had an auto-repair man once, who, on these intelligence tests, could not possibly have scored more than 80, by my estimate. I always took it for granted that I was far more intelligent than he was. Yet, when anything went wrong with my car I hastened to him with it, watched him anxiously as he explored its vitals, and listened to his pronouncements as though they were divine oracles - and he always fixed my car.
擧一個例子,我有過这麽一個修車工,以我的估計,他若參加這些智商測驗,不可能得到80分以上。我一直認爲我比他聰明太多了。然而,當我的車子有什麽毛病時,我馬上找他去,心急地看他東摸西摸的找出問題所在,又細心聆聽他那如聖旨般的宣告—他縂會把我的車修好。
Well, then, suppose my auto-repair man devised questions for an intelligence test. Or suppose a carpenter did, or a farmer, or, indeed, almost anyone but an academician. By every one of those tests, I'd prove myself a moron, and I'd be a moron, too. In a world where I could not use my academic training and my verbal talents but had to do something intricate or hard, working with my hands, I would do poorly. My intelligence, then, is not absolute but is a function of the society I live in and of the fact that a small subsection of that society has managed to foist itself on the rest as an arbiter of such matters.
這麽一來,如果這位修車匠,或一名木匠或農夫,或除了學者外的任何其他人,也各設計一套智能測驗。我會在每一個測驗中,一再證明自己是個笨蛋,那我也就成了一個笨蛋了。在一個要用手幹活,搞複雜的東西的領域裏,我一籌莫展,我所有的學術訓練以及文字天賦派不上用場。如此,我的聰明才智並不是絕對的,它只是我所處的社會中的一種功能而已。而事實卻是這個社會的一個小群體竟能成了這些事物的裁決者,強逼別人接受他不想要的事物。
Consider my auto-repair man, again. He had a habit of telling me jokes whenever he saw me. One time he raised his head from under the automobile hood to say: "Doc, a deaf-and-mute guy went into a hardware store to ask for some nails. He put two fingers together on the counter and made hammering motions with the other hand. The clerk brought him a hammer. He shook his head and pointed to the two fingers he was hammering. The clerk brought him nails. He picked out the sizes he wanted, and left. Well, doc, the next guy who came in was a blind man. He wanted scissors. How do you suppose he asked for them?"
再回頭談這名修車匠,他每見到我都喜歡給我講笑話。有一次他從引擎蓋下擡頭對我說:“博士,一個又聾又啞的人到五金店裏要買釘子,他在櫃檯上把兩指合起來,另一只手作揮動鐵錘狀示意。店員拿了鐵錘給他,他一面搖頭一面指著鐵錘敲向的兩指,店員就把釘子給他,他選了所要的尺寸就離開了。下一個進來的客人是一位瞎子,他想買剪刀,你想他要怎樣示意?”
Indulgently, I lifted by right hand and made scissoring motions with my first two fingers. Whereupon my auto-repair man laughed raucously and said, "Why, you dumb jerk, He used his voice and asked for them." Then he said smugly, "I've been trying that on all my customers today." "Did you catch many?" I asked. "Quite a few," he said, "but I knew for sure I'd catch you." "Why is that?" I asked. "Because you're so goddamned educated, doc, I knew you couldn't be very smart."
毫不遲疑的,我舉起右手,用食中兩指作剪物狀。修車匠見狀尖聲大笑, 說:“哈!你這個呆子,他可以説話告訴他們啊”他有點幸災樂禍的繼續說:“我今天作弄了所有的客人”“有幾個上釣的?”我問。“有好幾個”,他說:“但我就知道你必定上鈎”“怎麽說?”我問。“因爲你書讀得太多了,博士,我就知道你不太滑頭”
And I have an uneasy feeling he had something there.
他話中有所指,令我有點不安。