Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Born To Live, Left To Die

Baby dumping is the act of abandoning new-born babies, an offense popularly conducted by young, single mothers. This inhumane act is no stranger in our own country. Every day, we would hear news about babies being abandoned in mosques, being found by a stray dog or the latest one being a baby with its umbilical cord still attached being thrown away into a trash can.

The sad truth is, many innocent babies have been dumped or even buried alive, at certain extreme measures. What’s even sadder is that the number of these cases is increasing.

There should be regulations for dealing with the infant bodies and dead fetus that comply with both laws and folk customs. First and foremost, abandoning a baby is strongly against The Child Act 2001, a Malaysian law in which serves as a consolidation for the Child Protection Act 1991.

The offense-doer whose act of conduct goes against this act should be punished, depends on how extreme the offense-doer’s case is. Abandoning a helpless baby may lead to two possibilities; leaving the baby to die, or hoping for a miracle that someone will find the baby and save it.

However, most babies are simply left to die. Corpses of babies have been found regularly recently, and that is enough proof that most mothers abandon their babies without thinking or even considering the fatal consequences. Therefore, abandoning babies should be considered as equivalent to an attempt at murder.

Apart from that, baby dumping acts are also most notable as the effects of side-tracking from religious beliefs and teachings. It has been found out that most mothers who abandon their infant are single mothers, still in their teenage years.

Thinking that they are too young to support the baby, they simply give the baby up to whatever fate the baby may meet after the abandonment. Before realizing this fact, way before these girls are aware of their lack of capability in raising a child, they willingly proceed in sexual activities. These sexual engagements in turn cause unwanted pregnancies, and from unwanted pregnancies, unwanted babies are born.

With the constant rise of the rates of baby dumping in Malaysia, it indirectly gives our nation a bad image. Baby dumping shows how uncivilized Malaysians are. With this sort of news being printed on newspapers, informing the rest of the world about how inhumane the people in our country are might scare off potential international investments into our country.

This, in turn, will not only give a bad impression towards our country as a nation and the people living in it, it might ruin Malaysia’s economic development as well.

With all these negativities surrounding the act of baby dumping, there is no reason why punishment towards people who practice baby dumping should be heavily punished. Toleration towards people who are involved in inhumane misconduct towards other humans should be considered carefully, but when it comes to dumping babies cruelly, the answer to whether the level of toleration should be high or low is obvious.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hachiko The Waiting Dog

Perhaps if you have ever watched Futurama, you might remember Lyla, the one-eyed captain with the purple hair. What about Phillip J. Fry, the pizza delivery boy who was frozen for a thousand years before joining the Planet Express Intergalactic Mail Delivery Team? However, you might not remember Phillip’s loyal and loving dog that waited for his master until the end of his life.

If you think a cartoon character (from a comedic show, for that matter) isn’t able to make you pour out your tears, you might have no idea how Phillip’s dog is actually based on a true story.
The actual dog is named Hachiko, and although he did not kill murderous Killbots, he is one legendary canine who exercised extreme loyalty towards his master in the 1920’s.

Pamela Turner, a family friend of Hachiko’s owner has written a book on Hachiko’s loyalty and from an excerpt of her book, she has stated;

“It was spring, and the day was clear and cold. There were tiny carts all around the station, selling snacks, newspapers, and hundreds of other things to the crowds of people rushing by. Ladies in kimonos walked carefully, trying to keep their white tabi socks away from the grime of the streets. Businessmen strode about, hurrying home or to catch another train. Mama and I had stopped near the station entrance when I noticed the dog.

He was sitting quietly, all alone, by a newspaper stand. He had thick, cream-colored fur, small pointed ears, and a broad, bushy tail that curved up over his back. I wondered if the dog was a stray, but he was wearing a nice leather harness and looked healthy and strong. His brown eyes were fixed on the station entrance.

Just then, Papa appeared. He was chatting with an older man. The dog bounded over to the man, his entire body wiggling and quivering with delight. His eyes shone, and his mouth curled up into something that looked, to me, just like a smile.”

Hachiko’s real origins were never exactly found out. Hachiko was an Akita, brought to Tokyo in 1924 by his owner, a college professor named Hidesamuro Ueno. He was lost at the train station one night and was found when Ueno got off the train from work. No one seemed to be looking for the lost dog, so Ueno took him home, however, to his wife’s disapproval.
Every single day, when Ueno left for work, Hachiko would stand by the door to watch him go. When the professor came home at 4 o’clock, Hachiko would go to the Shibuya Station to meet and greet him. This routine goes the same way every single day, and is highly parallel to the phrase that says dog is ‘man’s best friend’.
Though this act alone shows the tremendous amount of loyalty Hachiko had for his master, it did not just simply end there. On a very tragic day in May 1925, Ueno suffered and died of stroke while still at work. Sadly, his dog didn’t realize his master’s passing on and continued to wait at the train station at precisely 4 o’clock for his master and best friend to come home.

Unable to bear the death of her husband, Ueno’s widow leaves Tokyo to live elsewhere. Never being very fond of Hachiko from the beginning, she gives Hachiko away to her relatives who live nearby to the train station. Even so, Hachiko never shifted loyalties - every day at 4 o’clock, he would make his way to the same spot on where he would wait for Ueno, and continued doing so for the next 10 years.

Within these 10 years, he still remained hopeful and waited by the tracks as the train pulled in, searching for his best friend’s face among the people getting off.

Japan went into mourning when Hachiko died in 1935, under the care of five leading doctors. His body was then stuffed and put in the National Museum, a bit like a Japanese version of Lenin.

As a remembrance for Hachiko’s hope and loyalty, a statue of Hachiko was erected on the exact spot where he would wait for Ueno to come back home from work. Although already reunited with his master in the afterlife today, up to this very day Hachiko’s statue remains in Shibuya Train Station, reminding us about his remarkable story and the great value of hope, loyalty and most importantly, love.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

As Dramatic As It Gets

Imagine this; you are flipping through a fashion magazine and a picture of the ever-gorgeous Adriana Lima catches your attention. You religiously study her eye make-up and bravely enough, head over to your vanity table to try it out.

This ought to be simple, you thought.

You visualize yourself looking like this after the whole make-up process is done.

However, much to your dismay, you ended up looking like this.

Your eyeliner smudges all over your eyelids and instead of sporting the Lima-look, you look like Amy Winehouse after a gruesome night out escaping from a rehabilitation centre.

The truth is, putting on eye-liner has never been an easy task, especially for beginners. It takes a lot of practice to get the perfect lining and to make sure that it doesn’t smudge.

The easiest eyeliner to apply is of course the basic pencil eyeliner. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long and fades away much too quickly. Ordinary liquid eyeliner works better, but it may be hard to apply for some people. The brush is either too thick or the liquid doesn’t dry up very well.

Let’s say I have experienced the Winehouse problem before. I searched high and low to get myself out of this annoying and embarrassing situation, and thankfully enough, fate introduced to me the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner.

At the price of RM39.90, it’s almost as if you get the quality of a Bobbi Brown gel liner without having to lose a huge fraction of your monthly allowance!

I fell in love with the product instantly. It comes in a small frosty jar and a nice brush which makes the application process very easy.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the color. This gel liner comes in three colors; black, dark brown and blue.

I bought the black one and being me, I like my eyeliner to be as black as possible. Maybelline didn’t disappoint me at all with how pigmented their black is. Upon applying, it takes only about 2 seconds to dry off; unlike most of the liquid eyeliners I’ve tested before.

Secondly, the name of the product itself is Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, so is it really long-lasting? If long-lasting consists of the time consumed to get to UiTM, attending class, having roti kosong susu at Section 7, heading over to Bukit Jelutong to pick the little sister up from school, reaching home, blogging about said product and yet, the eyeliner still looks like how it was the moment it was applied, then by all means, I can truly say that it is long-lasting.

Thirdly, is it water-proof? I can walk under the rain without having to worry about looking like a raccoon. Last, but definitely not least is the brush. The brush is just the perfect length and the perfect thickness/thinness to apply the eyeliner with. Thick lines or thin lines, this brush is perfect for precision.

However, there are a few things that Maybelline might want to improve about this dandy little product. The jar is kind of ugly to my liking. Why can’t the lid be black instead? I’m pretty sure it will look more presentable. And are you sure there are 3 grams worth of eyeliner in there? I do hope Maybelline isn’t lying to us about the actual amount of this product.

Overall, I have to say that I’d give Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner a 4.8/5 stars. I am definitely going to buy it again once I’ve used up mine, so ladies, what are you waiting for? Say goodbye to smudges and stains and get your own jar of Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner today!

Remember, smudgy eyeliner only looks good on aging rock stars.

So unless you want to look like a 30-something man singing about Guns and American Idiots, why not drop over to the nearest drugstore and invest your RM39.90 on this product? Satisfaction guaranteed!

Pictures from: