Wednesday 30 December 2009

Speaking: Learning an Accent?

House, anybody?

If you have watched the TV drama "House", you will definitely know Hugh Laurie. I got to know him first through watching this drama, but then I quickly realised that his reputation has long been established in Britain, through one of the most successful sitcom of all time, "The Black Adder" series with Rowan Atkinson (commonly known as Mr Bean).

I came across his interview videos on Youtube while I was doing my research and found a nice one for you guys to watch and practise your listening skills. At the same time, I would like you to realise that it is never easy to learn a new accent in a short time, not even for westerners.

That doesn't mean you cannot learn an accent at all. If you really want to learn, you have to put in some hard work. I have already discussed the method of acquiring a foreign accent, so you may want to refresh your memory if you have forgotten how.

Here's a little bit more extra for you:

FYI, Hugh Laurie graduated from Selwyn College[1], a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England, and achieved a Third-Class Honours degree in archaeology and anthropology[2].


Monday 28 December 2009

Movie: Sherlock Holmes for the holiday!

Oh! My long-waited Christmas blockbuster!! Sherlock Holmes is ON!!! With the handsome Jude Law, who has the exact surname as mine, and the manly Robert Downey Junior, whom has become one of my favourite actors since I watched (an wrote about) Tropic Thunder.

I shouldn't talk too much about this movie because you shouldn't know any more than it is an action-packed, mysterious, extraordinarily witty, multi-climaxed, "bullet-train"-paced thrilling film!

Don't even watch the movie trailer!!! (I don't post it here either!) You will lose some of the fun when you watch the movie! Trust me! You won't regret it!

Here's the movie script if you want to learn the words from the movie.

manly -- (adj.) having the qualities which people think a man should have
action-packed -- (adj.) full of exciting events
mysterious -- (adj.) strange, not known or not understood
witty -- (adj.) using words in a clever and funny way
multi-climaxed -- (adj.) having many important or exciting parts
"bullet-train"-paced -- (adj.) Bullet Train refers to high speed trains around the world which can travel at least 200km/h[1], hereby using it in the metaphorical sense, meaning "very very fast".


Picture resources:


Friday 25 December 2009

News Article & Video: Koalas in Australia dying from AIDS, habitat loss

Australian Wildlife Hospital, Australia (CNN) -- On the operating table lies a sick koala. He's just been brought in by a driver who found the animal sitting in the middle of a busy road. Veterinarian Claude Lacasse determines the koala has not been hit by a car but she immediately detects one serious problem facing many of the marsupials: Chlamydia, a disease which can lead to a very slow and painful death for koalas living in the wild.

Koalas generate almost US$1 billion for the Australian economy, thanks to tourists who come to see this national icon. But these cuddly creatures are under serious threat from infectious disease and habitat loss and some scientists believe they are facing extinction.

"Extinction is inevitable in some areas," according to Dr Jon Hanger, a veterinary scientist at Australia Zoo's Wildlife Hospital. "I certainly hope we don't see it across Australia. But if we don't take the decline seriously and pick up on the warning signs now it's certainly a risk."

A recent report by the Australian Koala Foundation backs up those beliefs. It claims the national population has dropped from 100,000 to fewer than 43,000 in the past six years and if nothing is done to stop the decline, koalas could be extinct within 30 years.

"I can promise you after being on Government committees for years and lobbying minister after minister, I see nothing in our country being done to protect koalas," said Australia Koala Foundation president Deborah Tabart.

"If the Government had grasped this problem 10 years ago, things would be so different. Instead they're on the brink of extinction -- I can promise you that."

Back at the hospital, at least a dozen koalas are in intensive care. Outside, in open-air enclosures, many more are recuperating from disease, dog attacks and encounters with cars. At least 700 koalas are brought here every year for treatment. The majority have Chlamydia, a disease which attacks their eyes and bladder. Most would die in the wild but here at the Wildlife Hospital they receive a two month course of antibiotics and are then returned to their natural habitat -- generally within a kilometer of where they were found.

I was lucky enough to get up close and personal with one of the koalas, recuperating at the Australian Wildlife Hospital. The zoo keepers had named him Tullie, a seven-year-old who was recovering after being hit by a car. He sat in the fork of a tree, surrounded by eucalyptus leaves in one of the outdoor enclosures. The keeper described him as a real "softie" while she gave Tullie his medication.

I stood next to Tullie and patted him. He reached out his paw and touched my hand. The pads of his paw were soft and despite his sharp claws used to climb trees, he was so gentle. He held my hand for a few seconds and did this repeatedly while my piece was filmed for the news story we were shooting.

His nose had deep scratches from the accident and he was also nursing some internal injuries. I was amazed at how peaceful and docile this animal was, even though he was from the wild.

Besides Chlamydia, there is another disease plaguing these marsupials -- and there is no vaccine or cure and it's spreading rapidly.

Koala AIDS or KIDS (Koala Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is similar to AIDS in humans. The immune system of the animals is weakened and they are made susceptible to cancer and other deadly infections.

The hospital's head veterinary scientist, Dr. Jon Hanger, discovered the retro virus causing the condition and says it's just as severe as AIDS in humans but affects koalas more quickly. "It's knocking off a large proportion of koalas that come into this hospital and that means a large number in the bush are dying from it too."

The disease is spread by koalas coming into contact with each other. Hanger believes most of the animals carry the virus, but only some are predisposed to it becoming full-blown KIDS.

"There is no vaccine available now and may never be, but what it's saying to us is that we need to be very careful about the way we manage the population. We have to stop destroying habitat and fragmenting it and we've got to address all the causes of death".

Tabart agrees and says the key factor in the decline of the koala population is loss of habitat.

Land clearing, urbanization and the removal of eucalyptus forests are causing koalas to lose their homes and making them more prone to encounters with cars and dog attacks.

Her slogan "No Tree, No Me," is something she is telling world leaders at the climate change conference in Copenhagen, where she is highlighting this problem as well as talking about how koalas can be part of the solution to lower carbon emissions in Australia through the preservation of their forests.

Her research shows it would take trillions of saplings planted across a land mass three times the size of Australia to replace the carbon stored in the koala forests on the east coast of Australia if they were destroyed by fire or deforestation.

"Without these trees, there will be no koalas. So once again, the beloved koala has the answer to Australia's future," she said.

Veterinarian -- n. vet
marsupials -- n. a type of mammal from Australasia or South or Central America which is not completely developed when it is born and is carried around in a pocket on the mother's body where it is fed and protected until it is completely developed
cuddly -- adj. liking to cuddle, or making you want to cuddle
infectious -- adj. able to pass a disease from one person, animal or plant to another
extinct -- adj. not now existing
lobby -- vb. to try to persuade a politician, the government or an official group that a particular thing should or should not happen, or that a law should be changed
grasp -- vb. to understand something, especially something difficult
on the brink of sth -- the point where a new or different situation is about to begin
enclosures -- n. [C] an area surrounded by fences or walls
recuperate -- vb. to become well again after an illness; to get back your strength, health, etc
bladder -- n. an organ like a bag inside the body of a person or animal, where urine is stored before it leaves the body
pat -- vb. to touch someone or something gently and usually repeatedly with the hand flat
docile -- adj. quiet and easy to influence, persuade or control
Immune -- adj. protected against a particular disease by particular substances in the blood
Deficiency -- n. [C or U] (a) state of not having, or not having enough, of something that is needed
susceptible (to) -- adj. easily influenced or harmed by something
be predisposed to/towards sth -- to be more likely than other people to have a medical condition or to behave in a particular way
urbanization -- n. the process by which more and more people leave the countryside to live in cities
saplings -- n. young trees


It is not easy to save every animal on this planet. Like the koala in this case, you do not consume them like sharks and tuna, but at least what we can do, is to minimize the amount of pollution we produce each day -- light, noise, water, air, land. Every small step you make, make a huge difference in the world.



Thursday 24 December 2009

Message: Merry Christmas!!!

Dear students and friends,

Merry Christmas to you all and wish you all the best in all aspects of live!! Here are my e-cards for you. If you want to do some charity and get yourself a Christmas gift, here's my recommendation:

May mankind and all living things on this planet live in harmony ever after!

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Travelling and Living: Millenium Hilton Bangkok Hotel

Image from Hilton hotels and resorts
Millenium Hilton Bangkok Hotel

Well, I have never imagined I will be writing travelling guide, and I still don't, but since I am going to Bangkok once again (I visit Bangkok more than I visit any other cities in the world), I think it is appropriate for me to recommend one of my favourite hotels in Bangkok (I only have 2 on my list, one of which I will have stayed by the time you read this article, but at this time of writing, I know nothing about it, yet I can foresee that it will be my other favourite).

When I choose a hotel, I first ask myself, "How much will I have to pay to stay in a 5-star hotel in Hong Kong or in USA?" After knowing roughly the amount, I will be genuinely happy to choose one in Thailand.

Already I have no chance to stay in one in Hong Kong, why should I still have to hold back when I go to Bangkok?

Twice I went to Bangkok, twice I stayed in this hotel and twice I stayed in the same type of room. Although I really wanted to try some even better rooms, my budget didn't agree. Oh well, another time then.

What I really like about this hotel is the fusion of simple and plain yet modern design. Sounds contradicting? Well, not really. The entire hotel has a major wall colour -- white, but combining with a range of woody brown colours and the abundant use of large glass windows, everything seems to turn luxurious and hip!

Quoting from the official website description of the King Hilton Deluxe room,

Image from  Hilton hotels and resorts

"Feel at home in this contemporary 34m²/366sq.ft room with sweeping river and city views, separate seating area and high-speed internet access. The spacious room has 1 king bed and bathroom with separate walk-in shower. Catch up on work at the large desk or stretch out on the sofa to watch the flat screen TV. Special touches include daily newspapers, fluffy bathrobe, flowers and fruit. Maximum occupancy 2 adults."

The official description has spoken my mind, but what I should add is how much I like about the homely scent of Crabtree & Evelyn La Source series of shampoo, shower gel and body lotion, the high quality and also fluffy slippers, furry and bouncy carpet, the huge one-piece picture window embedding the beauty of the city and the river without any blocking by glazing bars.

The Beach
Hilton hotels and resorts
The infinity swimming pool, the Beach, has not much to be complained about. As you can see in the picture, people can simply lie down and enjoy the sunshine while water flows underneath your outdoor chair. What you can't see from this picture, is that there is also a sandy beach (REAL sand) near the far end of this picture for people who likes beaches. There is also free towel service and paid drink service. The only thing that could make me feel even better is to have a bigger pool because the actual pool for swimming is actually quite small -- just enough width for two people to swim for about 10 metres in length, and the water is really cold in the winter morning because the sun has not yet warmed the pool, but in the afternoon, it is fine.

The Flow
Image from Hilton hotels and resorts
I like the main restaurant, the Flow, very very much. The design is simple yet it is very artistic, especially the ceiling patterns -- the combination of wood and golden colour is grand and not arrogant. I like that all-canteen + open kitchen + spongy sofa set + restaurant-in-one feeling. Oh, and I got one free buffet dinner every time I stayed, and they serve foie gras in their buffet! Not my favourite, but totally knocked my girlfriend out. Cigarette free is definitely a blessing for me! One thing I wasn't quite happy about in my second visit, was that the jackets of the seats were seriously worn and torn, yet they have not made any repair. I can't believe the difference between my first two visits can be so great -- brand new and broken old, being just 2 years apart. Some people must have been really selfish when using them.

The Pier
Image from Hilton hotels and resorts
The terrace outside Flow has a really nice river view too! Opposite the river, you can see other hotels like Royal Orchid Sheraton, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Centre Point Silom Hotel, whose visitors stare towards Hilton with total jealousy (just my feeling, I didn't actually see their faces), and Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok. Right next door, you have the Peninsula Bangkok Hotel which you can pop in for a visit.

Health Club
Image from Hilton hotels and resorts
I have tried out the equipments in the Health Club, and the equipment was professional, there are sauna rooms and Jacuzzis, but I didn't quite enjoy being in it with some stranger. I like it all by myself.

As for Three Sixty, it is absolutely a must-go! You can just go up there without buying any drink or food and you can still take a good walk around and enjoy the 360 degree night scenery of the river and the city. There is a female singer singing Jazz every night and she does have a magnetic vocal of a black lady, and I really like that vocal. However, I could never stay there for long because I hate cigarette smell and it is full of it! If I want to enjoy the scenery in a smoke chamber, I guess it would be the time when I have totally lost my mind! I wonder when Thailand will ban smoking indoor?

Three Sixty
Image from Hilton hotels and resorts
There are many other spots, such as Prime Steak House, conference hall, the Spa, etc. Nonetheless, since I do not have the money to spend there, I do not have any particular comments on them.

The staff are extremely attentive and have a huge grin on their faces 24 hours a day, and they always show their 200% politeness such that they made me feel sorry most of the time for bothering them getting me cabs and telling the driver where I wanted to go.

If you might also visit Bangkok one day, you can take my suggestion and have a stay in this marvellous hotel!

PS: When I have time, I will write about the one I am staying in this time, Centara Grand @CentralWorld.

homely scent -- n. a pleasant smell like home
fluffy -- adj. soft and woolly or like fur
furry -- adj. describes things that are made from a soft material that looks like fur
bouncy -- adj. able to bounce
picture window -- n. A very large fixed window in a wall, typically without glazing bars, or glazed with only perfunctory glazing bars near the edge of the window. Picture windows are intended to provide an unimpeded view, as if framing a picture.
glazing bars (muntin) -- n. a strip of wood or metal separating and holding panels of glass in a window.
knock sb out -- phrasal verb. to hit someone so that they become unconscious, hereby refers to the fact that the foie gras tasted so good that my girlfriend became unconscious.

Bangkok Hotels | Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel | Bangkok

Millenium Hilton @ Agoda

Monday 21 December 2009

TV Drama: The Black Adder (for English lovers)

At the time I am writing this, I am still in Hong Kong, but my the time you are reading this, I should be on my way to do my final shopping in Bangkok (by early afternoon) or I've already returned to Hong Kong (by night). I hope you have not felt bored during my absence, because you shouldn't have, since I have pre-written so many entries.

Question: Have you got your Christmas presents yet? Still haven't bought any? Do not know what to buy? Well, if you ask me, you still have a chance to grab something absolutely amazing and definitely worth collecting!! Unlike the Mr Bean DVD box-set which I have recommended last time, which I considered to be terribly good already, this time you can learn some solid, jolly funny English!!!

Get ready for the Ultimate Edition of ...

"The Black Adder"

Image from

(Available at HMV, selling at around $659, not cheap, but there are many hours of fun. You may want o search around for cheaper ones. I found it from BBC Shop, but I don't know the cost of the taxation and shipping and I don't want to wait for 30 days, so I bought it from HMV).

The widely-accepted, the one-and-only-one TV comedy that can beat Rowan Atkinson in Mr Bean, has to be Rowan Atkinson in the Black Adder series.
Image from BBC

It comes in 4 seasons, from (1485 - 1917):
The Black Adder (Set in 1485 at the end of the British Middle Ages),
Blackadder II (set in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603)),
Blackadder the Third (set in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a period known as the Regency), and
Blackadder Goes Forth (set in 1917, on the Western Front in the trenches of World War I)

Together with the 4 main seasons, the DVD box set also comes with:

Blackadder's Christmas Carol (Remastered)
Blackadder: Back and Forth (Remastered)
Blackadder: The Cavalier Years (Remastered)
Blackadder Rides Again
+Audio Commentary

With four seasons and you fly through four periods of time. The Black Adder series is not just another usual TV comedy. It is a series of which even school students have to know in their English history classes[6]. Heavy researches, tonnes of cash on costumes and character designs, uncountable numbers of sharp-tongued and catchy words, and juicy yet "stomach-crampingly" hilarious sarcasm in every line. I must say I have never seen so much good stuff compressed in just 6 DVDs. I definitely haven't had enough of it and will not have enough of it for many years to come!!!! Surely something that everyone will watch and rewatch over and over!!!

Subtitles must be on and it is quite dictionary-intensive (online dictionary is a must) if you want to enjoy it fully but every word is worth learning! Of course, some of you might be tempted to put on the Chinese subtitle, but I believe that you can only enjoy it fully when you are understanding it completely in English, what's more, I don't think they have Chinese subtitles for this DVD set (Mine doesn't have).

Here I let you preview the intros and endings of the Black Adder:

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a copy now!!!

PS: If you really want to preview parts of the drama before spending your money, you could go to and search.

"Learn with what you love, and you learn best." -- Locky

Merry Christmas to you all!

jolly -- adj. [old-fashioned] enjoyable, energetic and entertaining
sharp-tongued -- adj. criticizing and speaking in a severe way
catchy -- adj. (especially of a tune or song) pleasing and easy to remember
stomach-crampingly -- adv. [derived word] in a state when there is a sudden painful tightening in the stomach, hereby refers to the stomach pain caused by serious laughing.
sarcasm-- n. the use of remarks which clearly mean the opposite of what they say, and which are made in order to hurt someone's feelings or to criticize something in a humorous way
compress -- vb. to press something into a smaller space
dictionary-intensive -- involving a lot of effort or activity in a short period of time, hereby refers to looking up from the dictionary in a very frequent way.

Picture resources:

[6] From the DVD of Blackadder Rides Again

The Black Adder Intro Season 1 @ YouTube

Blackadder season 2 intro @ YouTube

Friday 18 December 2009

Usage: Lack? Lacking?

I am sure by now you should know that even native English speakers make mistakes when they speak. Long ago when you were still watching Nottinghill, you heard "She take your grandmother's flowers", and of course there are many many more. You can take it as the movie wants to show you the originality and the reality of people's speech, so you need not be too serious about it.

If you ask me one word that I often make mistakes and have to check over again and again, that will be the word "lack", and since the way to make yourself memorise better is to write it down, I shall share this cunning word with you now.

First of all, "lack" is a transitive verb (see earlier post for more details), it is used with an object (either a single-word noun or a multi-word noun phrase):

Lack(vb) + (n)
eg. He lacks money to get marry.
eg. He is lacking confidence to propose to his beloved.

Next, "lack" can be a noun, thus we use "of" together.

Lack of sth
eg. His lack of confidence will lower his chance of getting a job.
eg. Lack of sleep had made him fuzzy.

However, "lacking" is an adjective, and like all other -ed/-ing adjectives, they tend to confuse the user a lot.

eg. I can't get myself to revise for my test. Interest is lacking, I believe.

eg. He is lacking in stamina, and that is why he couldn't continue anymore after running just 2 kilometres.


If you are clever enough, you might be asking the following question:

Is the following sentence correct?

1. "He is lacking in money."

Or should it be,

2. "He lacks money."

Then how about this one?

3. "He is lacking money."

Homework: what do you think?


Thursday 17 December 2009

Message: Greeting from Bangkok

Hi guys!

This is a greeting from me, hanging out in a great internet cafe inside Siam Paragon right now. My hotel is a really cool one! And I was lucky enough to get a free-upgrade to the executive room!!!! Sweet!!! I will definitely write about that when I am back. Haven't got the chance to use the swimming pool yet, probably tomorrow.

The weather is great here! Around 33 degree Celsius.

The air is not so great though, filled with some kind of smell of burning woods. I experienced the same when I was in Singapore because Indonesia's forests were burning hot!

Just had one oil massage and it was great! Now every inch of my muscles got the relaxation that it deserves long ago.

How is everyone doing?

Have you been keeping yourself busy reading my articles?

I hope you have.

I know you are all in a holiday mood right now, so just bear a few more days and Christmas will be just round the corner!

Do miss me!


Wednesday 16 December 2009

Usage: Transitive & Intransitive Verb

When working with the verbs (especially when looking up the dictionary), one must be attention to the words transitive and intransitive.

A transitive verb is a verb which needs an object.
An intransitive verb is a verb which doesn't need an object.

For example:
Verb "lack" is a transitive verb because it must follow directly by an object. (In Cambridge Dictionary Online, you will see [T].)

eg. He lacks judgement. (for 'judgement' is a noun in the object position)
eg. He lacks the will to live. (for 'the will to live' is a noun-phrase in the object position)


Verb "come" is an intransitive verb because it must NOT follow by an object. (In Cambridge Dictionary Online, you will see [I].)

eg. Whenever you call him, he comes. (no object, just a full-stop)
eg. Come in! (no object, just a preposition)


In case you want to go further, there is another word called 'ditransitive', 'di-' means '2', thus a ditransitive verb will need 2 objects (one direct object and one indirect object). (In Cambridge Dictionary Online, you will see [+ 2 objects].)

eg. I sent you a present. (Direct object = a present; Indirect object = you)


Don't forget these!!!! They are very important to your English usage foundation!


Monday 14 December 2009

Vocabulary: Christmas Stuff

Early Merry Christmas to you all!

Okay, Christmas is just round the corner, have you completed your Christmas shopping? Well, I hope not, because if you have done so before reading this entry, you would have missed your chance of learning some vocab in the process, which I always believe, is a much better and interesting way than reading these words from my entry (do you think so?), but even if you haven't done the shopping, I hope you can keep these words in your pocket and remind you of them every time you see them. That should help you remember a lot easier!

Right, let's begin our list of vocabulary:

-- the red and green leave plant for Christmas

-- There are many types of trees used but the most common type is Fir (other than plastic).

Christmas ornaments -- things you put on the Christmas tree
-- Bauble is a small ball-shape decoration you put on the tree.
Image from
-- Tree-topper is the object you put on the top of the tree.
Image from
Christmas Cracker(UK), bonbon(US)-- Garland / Wreath, usually tinsel, is the long pieces of thin shiny material used as decoration on trees. Tinsel also has a negative metaphorical meaning, click here to see.
Garland / Wreath
Image from
Image from

-- a tube of brightly coloured paper given at Christmas parties, which makes a noise when pulled apart by two people and contains a small present, a paper hat and a joke.

See how Mr Bean uses his modified Christmas crackers:

-- song or hymn which is sung in the period before Christmas.
Image from
Watch the ingenious Mr Bean and his incredible Christmas Carol:

-- Obvious from the names, but you can read their history by clicking onto the names above.
Image from

-- You wear the stocking and wear the turkey??? The mashed up substance that Mr Bean was stuffing into the turkey's bottom is called Turkey stuffing.

Christmas cake of Yule log
-- a Christmas cake of the shape of a wooden block, appear mostly in European countries.

-- a basket made of wicker , with food and gift inside. A great way to earn money in the commercial world.
Image from

Do "like" this article and our English Playground!


Friday 11 December 2009

Animal: Save the Bluefin Tuna (Amended)

Animal: Save the Bluefin Tuna

This Christmas, when you are happily enjoying your meals on a romantic candlelit table, do not forget to think about what you are eating, it may just be one of those endangered species. Since the first time I wrote about saving the humpback whales, then the clever sharks, followed by the leatherback turtle, I suppose you know many of the animals on this planets need our attention and need us to learn more about them so that we can appreciate their living. I have always been an environmentalist and I love this planet, and so I hope you do too! This time, I would like you to care for the poor bluefin tuna.

Bluefin Tuna Interesting Facts
  1. They are listed as "Critically Endangered".[1]
  2. All tunas are warm-blooded, like human.[3]
  3. The Pacific bluefin tuna is are some of the biggest and fastest fish in the Pacific Ocean.[3]
  4. Three species of this oceanic giant: southern bluefin tuna (global Southern Ocean), Pacific bluefin tuna (Indo-Pacific Ocean), northern bluefin tuna (Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea) have been largely fished out to satisfy our insatiable taste buds.[1]
  5. It takes about 8 to 14 years for northern and southern bluefin tuna to mature and about 3 to 5 years for Pacific tuna[1] , with a maximum lifespan believed to be about 25 years [3].
  6. Since the 1970s, populations of the northern bluefin tuna have declined by almost 90% while southern bluefin tuna have declined by about 85%.[1]
  7. There is currently no quota system and no way of controlling Pacific bluefin tuna fishing in international waters. A large number of immature Pacific bluefin tuna juveniles are caught by small, local fisheries in Japan, pushing this population close to the endangered category.[1]
  8. The northern bluefin breeding population will disappear by 2012 unless the current fishing frenzy stops.[1]
What can you do?
You can come here to pledge to be a "Bluefin Saver" by visiting this website by WWF and choose the restaurant(s) from whose menu you want the bluefin tuna to be removed. I have already done so.


insatiable -- adj. (especially of a desire or need) too great to be satisfied
immature -- adj. not yet completely grown
juveniles -- n. young people, hereby refers to fish
fisheries -- n. areas of water where fish are caught so they can be sold
breeding -- vb. [I] (of animals) to have sex and reproduce
frenzy -- adj. uncontrolled and excited behaviour or emotion, which is sometimes violent
pledge -- vb. to make a serious or formal promise to give or do something

Picture resources:


Wednesday 9 December 2009

Economics: Double dip warning

Some of you who have followed my blog right from the very first few entries should know that my favourite economist is no other than the winner of the 2008 nobel memorial prize in economics, Paul Krugman. In the past, I have recommended his book, the Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, as well as his blog on the New York Times website, and surely you must have benefited a lot from his brilliant insight (and his humorous English).

I like this line he made the best, "When life hands you Lehman, make Lehman aid."

Well, recently, I read something really horrifying! Titled"Double dip warning", the article goes as follows (highlighting the crucial information):


December 1, 2009, 11:30 AM

Double dip warning

I’ve never been fully committed to the notion that we’re going to have a “double dip” — that the economy will slide back into recession. But it has been clear for a while that it’s a serious possibility, for two reasons. First, a large part of the growth we’ve had has been driven by the stimulus — but the stimulus has already had its maximum impact on the growth of GDP, will hit its maximum impact on the level of GDP in the middle of next year, and then will begin to fade out. Second, the rise in manufacturing production is to a large extent an inventory bounce — and this, too, will fade out in the quarters ahead.

Two stories this morning highlight the risks. The WSJ has a report on highway construction titled Job Cuts Loom as Stimulus Fades:

Highway-construction companies around the country, having completed the mostly small projects paid for by the federal economic-stimulus package, are starting to see their business run aground, an ominous sign for the nation’s weak employment picture.

Meanwhile, the ISM for manufacturing suggests that industrial growth is already slowing down.

I’d be more sanguine about all of this if there were any indications that private, final demand is taking off — consumers, business investment, whatever. But I haven’t seen anything suggesting that sort of thing.

The chances of a relapse into recession seem to be rising.

Then he wrote a few more articles, "Good news is bad news", "Bernake does a bad, bad thing" showing evidence that this is not going to be good.

For those of you who cares about the world of money, be vigilant.

Sanguine -- (of someone or their character) positive and hopeful
Vigilant -- always being careful to notice things, especially possible danger