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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya - Keep hard feelings at bay!

This message goes out to all Malaysians (includes family, friends, sports officials, athletes and politicians). Let's keep this nation in one piece and sort out our differences. Let love, peace and goodwill set aside all the stubborn hurts, mistakes and misconceptions of the past. I still believe that there's a God who will sort out the problems if we let Him do the work.

Mommy, it's time to make things work for our family without any interference from anyone else. Just make sure that we don't have too much to do this festive season and we can visit some of our friends and family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Contaminated milk and milk products?

The 2008 Sanlu Chinese milk outrage has highlighted the introduction of a industrial chemical called melamine into our children's foodchain. Milk and milk products from China are now deemed as potentially hazardous until further clarification from the health authorities. We start wondering what are the side effects of consuming our favourite White rabbit milk candy. Oral intake of melamine may lead to reproductive damage, or bladder or kidney stones, which can lead to bladder cancer.

Melamine is used combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a very durable thermosetting plastic, and melamine foam, a polymeric cleaning product. The end products include countertops, dry erase boards, fabrics, glues, housewares and flame retardants. Melamine is one of the major components in Pigment Yellow 150, a colorant in inks and plastics.

Melamine is also used to make fertilizers.

Melamine derivatives of arsenical drugs are potentially important in the treatment of African trypanosomiasis.

Melamine use as non-protein nitrogen (NPN) for cattle was described in a 1958 patent. In 1978, however, a study concluded that melamine "may not be an acceptable nonprotein N source for ruminants" because its hydrolysis in cattle is slower and less complete than other nitrogen sources such as cottonseed meal and urea.

Melamine is sometimes unethically added to food products in order to increase the apparent protein content. Standard tests such as the Kjeldahl and Dumas tests estimate protein levels by measuring the nitrogen content, so they can be misled by adding nitrogen-rich compounds such as melamine.
(taken from Wikipedia)

Now that we know all this, we start to wonder what else is present in the milk and milk products. How did the melamine end up in the milk? Was it added into the animal feed? Was it ingested by the animals through the plant fertilisers? Was it absorbed by the plants via contaminated water from melamine waste?

Let's hope that milk products from other countries are safe (or safer) to consume. The list of milk and milk product brands that are safe for consumption from Ministry of Health is given here.

Time to go green!!!

Other suggested readings:
Contaminated protein exports in China
Contaminated pet food

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What matters most?

The past few weeks has been a trying time for both Mommy and I. I suppose the situation worsened since I took time off to cover hockey training. I was not terribly disturbed by the political situation in the country but the concern was more for the potential trouble as the result of racial sentiments raised by politicians and the utter nonsense we read in the media. With all the confusion, I decided to quit my job and start looking for another which allows a more flexible timing with less stringent business requirements.

Despite all that our children didn't notice much and continued with their daily routine, playing, screaming, laughing hysterically and crying to get some attention. Even Benedict (almost 1 year old) has learnt to campaign for attention. He refuses to let go once you have carried him in your arms.

I suppose everyone feels insecure sometimes and may end up doing things which make them look foolish. We are lucky as the children are a great source of strength and courage. It makes us look beyond the challenges and press on with greater wisdom and perseverance. After all the arguments, I feel as foolish as some politicians. I hope our relationship will come out stronger after brushing off the dirt from our shoulders.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What do children do when parents quarrel?

Every loving couple would have diferences in opinion and occasionally this could lead to heated arguments and quarrels. This is something that you never tell anyone else except close friends. What I've learnt over the past few days is that adults never seem to bother much about what happens to their children when they are busy feeling hurt and hurting your spouse. Sometimes, we 'quarrel' in a nice way where it is done away from the children but Clarissa reads body language very well and would often ask, "Why, Daddy?".

What do children do?

1. They feel fearful at the next thing which could happen.
2. They wonder how come adults also behave like kids
3. They are confused as adults are supposed to be composed
4. They make sure their mischief doesn't cause further trouble
5. They occasionally get involved with the person whom they emphatise with (through their gut feeling)

What do adults do?

1. They feel the hurt longer and insist on protecting their 'rights'
2. They wonder what happened to the person whom they married
3. They start to believe what was advised by their friends and parents against the marriage previously (if any). Their worst fears have unfolded and become true?
4. They forget that their spouse was never perfect in the first place
5. They compare the good that they have done and the bad that they had received
6. They forget that the children are around and start to behave like kids too

Parenting is not easy but staying together as parents may also pose as a challenge.