Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Smell your banana regularly!

Below is an extract of an interesting article in


Poor sense of smell may signal Alzheimer's

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Difficulty identifying common smells such as lemon, banana and cinnamon may be the first sign of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study that could lead to scratch-and-sniff tests to determine a person's risk for the progressive brain disorder. Study subjects were asked to identify a dozen familiar smells including onion, lemon, banana and rose.

Such tests could be important if scientists find ways to slow or stop Alzheimer's and the severe memory loss associated with it. For now, there's no cure for the more than 5 million Americans with the disease.

Researchers have long known that microscopic lesions considered the hallmarks of Alzheimer's first appear in a brain region important to the sense of smell.

"Strictly on the basis of anatomy, yeah, this makes sense," said Robert Franks, an expert on odor perception and the brain at the University of Cincinnati. Franks was not involved in the new study, appearing in Monday's Archives of General Psychiatry.

Other studies have linked loss of smell to Alzheimer's disease, Franks said, but this is the first to measure healthy people's olfactory powers and follow them for five years, testing along the way for signs of mental decline.


I guess smelling bananas will soon be part of your medical check-up routine.
So the question then would be... do you hv to bring your own banana?!!!

Hunky customer triggers catfight

The following was the most viewed article in The Star Online today... I was laughing in stitches after reading it:
Hunky customer triggers catfight

KUALA TERENGGANU: A man, who reportedly looked like a Bollywood actor, walked into a food court for a teh tarik and triggered a brawl among three women that left one woman scalded and another woman's T-shirt ripped open.

Several chairs and tables were damaged during the fight among the women at the outlet in Merega Beris in Kijal, Kemaman on Saturday.

The shocked man fled the scene.

It all began when the man walked in alone. Two women at two separate stalls immediately tried to get his attention and lure him over to their stalls.

When he stopped to speak with one of the women, her competitor, 21, became so incensed that she marched over to the woman, tore her T-shirt and accused her of being gatal and dressing seductively.

The other woman, 22, immediately grabbed a pan and splashed her attacker with hot water, scalding her.

The scalded woman's mother, 46, rushed to her daughter's aid, hurling chairs at her assailant, damaging tables and alarming the other customers, said state Deputy CID Chief Supt Khairi Ahrasa yesterday.

He said the scalded woman was now warded at the Kemaman Hospital.


This would have been a sight to see!!! Too bad no pictures of the scalded woman and the one whose T-Shirt was torn, were shown.

How come i never encounter this at my favourite Kayu Nasi Kandar restaurant? I guess the most obvious reason is my nose is not tall enough to pass off as a Bollywood star, right???

Parking attendant strikes back!

Went for another durian session last friday. This time, with Kean Leong (an old colleague of mine). We went to the durian seller that had set up his stall right outside the sunshine market. My fren had called him up earlier to book two 'bitter' durians, just the way i like them.
We ended up having one D15 and another D18. Both were bitter alright. But the D15 is much tastier (coming from me, means it is more bitter), than the D18. But the D15 was quite soggy, while a few pieces of the D18 were quite dry. If only we could combine the two durians, it would hv been perfect! But i hv to be careful with my statements nowdays, lest i be call 'si yeh' again! ;)

Anyway, after we were done with the durians and chit chatting, catching up with what we had been up to, we cleared up and went to the car. We had paid the parking attendant 60cents earlier for an hour of parking. But we ended up staying quite late, and I fully expected that we will have to pay for another 1/2 hr more. But to my surprise the attendant demanded that we pay for 1hr more! I argued that we had not stayed that long, but he showed me the ticket that stated that we had been parking there since 6pm. My god!!! I was still in the office at 6pm. We only left at 6:15, and due to the jam at the Motorola junction and Kampung Jawa traffic lights, we couldn't hv reached there any earlier than 6:45pm.

I could undertand it if the deviation was about 5 or ten minutes, but by 45mins??? This is daylight robbery ( or since it was in the evening, twilight robbery!!!). When I disputed it, he asked me to look at the serial number of the ticket and said the timing for tickets around that serial number was indeed 6pm. Well, that make perfect sense considering he was the one who has back-timed all the tickets. Just imagine how much extra he has conned just over that 1 hour plus.

Christ... ppl nowdays. But i guess it was payback time for the few sins that we hv committed, of not paying the attendant when it was raining or when i could not find them around. But still, i was pretty annoyed of being 'robbed' this way.

So ladies and gentlemen, the moral of this experience is, take note of the time you parked your car (especially near the sunshine market). If possible wait for the attendant to write the ticket and check the time. The amount may be small, but we shouldn't be condoning such actions. Okay, everyone???

Btw, i still hv not tried the 301 which is highly recommended by Soo Sean.
Soo Sean, bila nak bawak i makan???

Discrimination on the ground, and a loud bang in the air

My recent trip to Taiwan was pretty uneventful, until my flight back to Penang, on Malaysia Airlines via KL. MAS operates at Terminal 1 at Taipei (TaoYuan) International airport.

MAS operates a row of check in counters opposite or facing a local Taiwanese airlines. Unfortunately for me, there was such a huge crowd waiting to check-in at the Taiwanese airline (must had been a tour group or something), that the crowd spilled over and totally blocked the access to the economy class check-in counters for MAS. A other passengers other than myself tried to squeeze our way to the check-in counter, but was unable to. There was a Caucasian male and a Caucasian female in front of me. The Caucasian male as quite resourceful and asked the lady at the First Class check-in counter for MAS which was unaffected by the crowd, if he could check in there even though he is holding economy class tickets. The lady at the check-in counter gave a big smile and willingly obliged. Great! I could avoid the crowd, or so i thought.

And so the caucasian male got his boarding pass, and so did the caucasian female who approached the first class check-in counter after him. When it came to my turn, the lady gave a 'fake' sympathetic look and asked me to push my way to the economy class check-in counters as the counter she was manning is exclusively for First Class and Golden Club members only. What the hell was that!!! I asked her to take a look at the crowded economy class check-in counters and said i couldn't even get into line there. Furthermore, there weren't any first class passengers waiting behind me. She can only managed a mumbled 'sorry, i can't help'. I then questioned her why she help the earlier two Caucasian passengers with their boarding pass but can't do the same for me. She pretended she could not understand me and gave me a puzzled look.... Furious, i went into a patronizing tone and said in a very slow manner "Jussst nowww youuu allowwed the earlierrr twoo passengggers tooooo check-innnn why can'tttt youuuu doooo theeee sammme forrrr meeeee?" Thinking back, i must hv sounded like the fish in 'Finding Nemo' speaking in whale language. :)

Sensing that i was getting annoyed, she tried to safe face and mentioned that she could get me my boarding pass but i had to wait a while because she was busy with something... A few seconds of fumbling around the counter doing actually nothing, she got me my boarding pass.

Talk about double standards and discrimination!!! Malaysia Airlines? I am not so sure what is so 'Malaysia' about this airline.

So that was that, and i had a quick breakfast and bought some stuff to be brought back home before boarding the plane. Shortly after take-off, we heard a loud bang in the plane. Actually, i wouldn't have given in any further thoughts until the pilot made an announcement a few minutes later explaining that the loud bang was due to a lighting striking the plane just as we were taking off.

Ooopss.... But that was not the worrisome part, the part that scared we was when he mentioned that they were running systems diagnostic checks of the plane to make sure that everything was fine. But we were already thousands of feet up in the air!!!What if the lightning did do some damage???? Thankfully everything was fine, and the plane landed safely in KLIA some 4 hours later.

My first long distance flight with MAS, and it turned out to be quite an adventure.