Wednesday 16 November 2011

News & Opinions: New Digest (16th,17th & 18th Nov)

Drinking McDonald's original coffee after finishing a Big Mac meal, extremely unhealthy and I find no explanation to my action, except that I feel like one, the Big Mac was all right, but the coffee, yucks!!! I'm going back to Starbucks next time even though it asks for triple the price.

Two-days' news digest.
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Twenty-odd whales were stranded on the beach of Macquarie Harbour, near Strahan, Tasmania. From 12 rescuers increased to 30, a rescue crew made up of marine biologists, Parks and Wildlife Service staff and professional fishermen managed to refloat 4 whales and two of them have returned to open waters while the other 24 sperm whales and 2 minke whales have died, adding to the 65 pilot whales deaths (91 in total) in a week in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.

Some Whale Types
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In order to understand why whales often beach in groups, we have to read an extract of the news article by NPR,

Paradoxically, mass-strandings in most cases appear to be triggered by the survival strategy of a single whale, said Anton van Helden, a marine mammal expert at New Zealand's Te Papa museum. When a whale is sick or injured, it will often seek shallower water to recover, he said, so it doesn't have to swim so far to reach the surface and breathe.
Unfortunately, he said, a sick whale will often become beached as it tries to recover. It will then send a distress signal to other whales in its pod and they will join it as part of the group's strong social cohesion.
"The key thing about life in the ocean is that whales are highly dependent on one another to deal with any ailment," van Helden said.
He said Farewell Spit provides a "classic whale trap" because it has long, shallow beaches that can confuse whales into thinking they are in open ocean, as well as large tidal variations which can strand whales. The peak time for strandings in the South Pacific is between October and February, van Helden said, as conditions change and whales move closer inshore.
He said that one of the worst mass-strandings in New Zealand occurred in 1918 when about 1,000 pilot whales were beached on the Chatham Islands.
In general, worldwide whale populations have been slowly recovering since major nations agreed to a ban on commercial whaling in 1986. However, some species of whale remain endangered and Japan's practice of hunting whales for what it says are scientific purposes continues to cause controversy.

It turns out that what kills them is the basic instinct that is trying to protect them. All my life, I have loved sharks, dolphins and whales, and having heard this, there is a rush of blood to my chest that I wanted to go and save some whales right now! One day, I will definitely go and save some whales and communicate with them up close, for now, I still need to work hard to earn a living first, and so here is a nice blog by Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDSC) with lots of beautiful pictures of whales in the wild.

And there is more you can do to care for other animals really. 

See Mario like never before?
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The new Nintendo Super Mario 3D Land is making many animal lovers, in particular PETA, unhappy as it once again, designed Mario wearing the skin of a Tanooki Dog. As we all know, in reality, the skin of Tanooki Dogs are used as fur in coat and PETA says the new Mario game is trying to promote fur coat, thus the killing of Tanooki Dogs. As many of you should know, the slaying of Tanooki Dogs is extremely inhumane as the dogs are often beaten and skinned alive while the animal is still conscious, leaving the dogs to die in great pain. So, in order to promote FUR-FREE, stop wearing anything that has the fur or leather of an animal, will you?
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If you want to play the anti-Tanooki Dogs killing game, you can go to this PETA website.

Moving onto business news, in these very choppy years, especially in recent months, investors are manipulated badly by the swings of the markets. Finding a good investment is really hard, could gold be the solution? Many authors try to support their arguments and data, which is logical, how else can one make a point? But how many reasons are true? Only the performance is true and author Steve Schaefer has it in this article. Read it if you are interested. 

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Still on business news, title "Temasek Said to Buy China Construction Bank Shares From BofA" of the next news article speaks for itself as Temasek bought 1/3 of the shares from Bank of America Corp. at HK$4.93. The stock reacted positively on the same day as the news was released with the share closing even higher. Today's market price at 12:51pm is HK$5.41. Good choice made by Temasek? Sure! Because they are earning now, good choice for you to buy in now? Unsure.

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Moving onto my recent favourite topic, even though that iPhone 4S is truly disappointing for most non-Apple fan but iPhone 5 "anticipators",  the speculators are still taking big bites out of Apple's (logo?) latest phone. Then on the other hand, statistics are statistics,  Apple's "sales of smartphones decreased to a 7 percent growth rate between Q2 and Q3 of 2011, while still growing 42 percent from the previous year." Don't tell me that there is nothing to do with the disappointment!

Although the article said, "While Samsung became the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer during this time period, shipping 24 million units to Apple’s 17, its sales were down 3 million from the previous quarter,"
let's not forget that the Samsung Galaxy SII was only available in the big market of North America on the 12th October, so there is still a lot of time to show it's power! And FYI, "Samsung overtook Apple in smartphone sales during Q3 2011, with a total market share of 23.8%, compared to Apple's 14.6%."

Way to go, Galaxy SII!!!
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Next, news from heaven, after defeating Adobe in the war of Flash versus HTML 5, Steve Jobs wanted more! He wanted to have his very own network and need not rely on AT&T's network. Will this become true one day? Maybe, since Apple has so much cash on hand. How long will that take? Years maybe, if Steve Jobs were here, things will be done much faster. Now, it is a lot of waiting and waiting...
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Waiting for what? Waiting for iOS 5.0.2. Why? Because iOS 5 drains the battery so much and iOS 5.0.1 which was meant to fix this problem DOESN'T fix it!! Some upgraders even reported that the battery drain problem has got "significantly worst" and author Adrian Kingsley-Hugh of ZDNet argues that iOS 5.0.1 is in fact THE problem! Now that is disappointing! If you haven't upgraded to iOS 5.0.1, here's my advise:


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-odd -- (suffix) informal used after a number, especially a number that can be divided by ten, to show that the exact number is not known
stranded -- (adj) unable to leave somewhere because of a problem such as not having any transport or money
paradoxically -- (adv) paradox (n) [C or Ua situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics
trigger -- (vb) [T] to cause something bad to start
distress -- (n)[U] when you are suffering or are in great danger and therefore in urgent need of help
tidal -- (adj) relating to the tide (water waves)
variation -- (n) [C or U] a change in amount or level
controversy -- (n) [C or U] a lot of disagreement or argument about something, usually because it affects or is important to many people
inhumane -- (adj) cruel and not finding the suffering of people or animals important
choppy -- (adj) (of sea, lakes or rivers) with a lot of small, rough waves caused by the wind
manipulate -- (vb) [T] mainly disapproving to control something or someone to your advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly
swing -- (n) [C] a change
"anticipator" -- (n) [C] Locky's created word, people who antipcate
significantly -- (adv) in a way that is easy to see or by a large amount


Joy as rescuers free stranded whales in Tasmania @

Stranded whale succumbs @ The Sydney Morning Herald

Rescue continues in Tasmania whale tragedy @ YouTube

Final stranded whale dies in Tasmania @ The Age

Last Of 91 Whales Stranded In Australia, NZ Dies @ NPR

WDCS Fieldwork Blog

PETA continues web campaign with Super Mario send-up @ Times Live

Mario Kills Tanooki @

The Gold Debate: Miners Vs. Metal @ Forbes

Temasek Said to Buy China Construction Bank Shares From BofA @ Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Say What? iPhone 4S anticipation slowed global smartphone growth in Q3 @ VentureBeat

Samsung Galaxy SII @ Wikipedia

News & Opinions: News Digest (10th & 11th Nov) @ Locky's English Playground

Steve Jobs Wanted iPhone on Its Own Network, Carrier-Free @  Wired

News & Technology: iPhone 4S Battery Problem? @ Locky's English Playground

Apple's iOS5.0.1 Does *Not* Fix Battery Problems @ Forbes

Another iOS 5 update to address battery issues?

Test suggests iPhone battery issue not a hardware problem @ ZDNet

Song: Colours -- Amos Lee

Image from Wikipedia

Haven't recommended songs for awhile, so it is time for one.
Interesting to know that English speakers have Chinese names? Actually, "Lee" is not a rare surname in English, and "Lee" is not his real surname anyway [1].

Anyway, another nice song I heard from House M.D. Season 2 Episode 7 Hunting, quite a nice little downtempo song, relatively sad, talks about the missing feeling after the girl is gone. The exact case has not been thoroughly described, and the song is a little too short to add more details, but there are a few words to pick up from the song, and the most important of all? It is a song with romantic guitar as melody with some pump-and-release vocal near the end of the song, quite soothing, like the high-key falsetto by Amos, then the second version also features Norah Jones, should be quite some jazz?

Norah Jones
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A special note: Norah Jones is half American and half Indian [2].


Yesterday I got lost in the circus,
feeling like such a mess.
And now I'm down,
I'm just hanging on the corner.
I can't help but reminisce.

Cuz when you're gone,
all the colours fade.
When you're gone,
no New Years day parade.
You're gone,
colours seem to fade.

Your mama called, she said,
that you're downstairs crying.
Feeling like such a mess.
Ya, I hear ya,
in the background bawling.
What happened to your sweet summertime dress.

I know we all,
we all got our faults.
We get locked in our vaults,
and we stay..

When you're gone,
all the colours fade.
When you're gone,
no New Years day parade.
You're gone,
colours seem to fade,
colours seem to fade.

falsetto -- (n)  [C] (plural falsettosa form of singing or speaking by men using an extremely high voice
reminisce -- [I] formal to talk or write about past experiences which you remember with pleasure
parade -- (n)[C] a large number of people walking or in vehicles, all going in the same direction, usually as part of a public celebration of something
bawling -- (vb) [I or T] to shout in a very loud voice
fault -- (n) [U] a mistake, especially something for which you are to blame
vault -- (n)[C] (UK also vaultsa room, especially in a bank, with thick walls and a strong door, which is used to store money or valuable things in safe conditions


Colours - Amos Lee @ YouTube

Amos Lee - Colors (feat. Norah Jones) @ YouTube

AMOS LEE LYRICS @ azlyrics

[1] Amos Lee @ Wikipedia

[2] Norah Jones @ Wikipedia