22 September 2008

melamine contaminated products

tests carried out by hk's centre for food safety found melamine in the following milk products:

Natural Choice Yogurt Flavoured Ice Bar with Real Fruit

Nestle Dairy Farm UHT Pure Milk

Mengniu Pure Milk

Yili Pure Milk

Yili High calcium low fat milk beverage

Yili Super Bean Red Bean Chestnut Ice Bar

Yili Bean Club- Matcha red bean ice bar

Yili High Calcium Milk Beverage

Yili Bean Club- Red bean milk bar

Yili Prestige Chocliz - Dark Chocolate Bar

Yili Pure Milk

the centre for food safety also recommends consumers stay away from all Nissin Retort Pouch Cha Cha Desserts, which use yili milk as raw material.

meanwhile, both wellcome and parknshop have reportedly removed all Nestle milk powder products, Dutch Lady milk and Mr Brown coffee from their shelves, due to melamine being found in some of the products.

an email list in circulation includes even more contaminated products:

KLIM Instant Full Cream Milk Powder ( 1.8 kg )

Nestle Carnation Calcium Plus Non Fat Milk Powder ( 1.6 kg )


Monmilk Breakfast Milk Walnut Milk Beverage

Monmilk Suan Suan Ru Sour Milk Beverage (Mango Flavour)

Vita Fresh Milk

Nestle Vanilla Flavour Ice Cream Cone

Nestle Chocolate Flavour Ice Cream Cone

Meiji Ujikintoki (red bean and green tea frozen confection)

Meiji Hokkaido Azuki (red bean ice cream)

Trappist Dairy Low Fat Yogurt Drink

19 September 2008

irreverent beards

i came across the 'how to snag a bearded mozlem in 10 days' blog last night, and had a very good laugh. particularly enjoyable were the how to catch attention post and the manifesto. there was also a chart of various beard styles for those who might need some style tips. ahhh, it is nice to find such irreverent writing on regular (and somewhat serious) concerns :)

(z, in light of our conversation last night, the blog was even more amusing..)

13 September 2008

yeh hum naheen

the world's largest petition at present is in the form of a song titled 'yeh hum naheen' (this is not us). with over 60 million signatures, the song is attempting to redefine islam (and pakistan) as anti-terrorist.

the lyrics are beautiful, and self explanatory. (i suggest you read/listen to the urdu however..)

Hamarey Naam Say Pheli Howi Jhooti Kahani Hai
This story that is being spread in our names is a lie

Yeah Mohrein Mout Ki….. Mathay Pay Gheroun Ki Nishani Hain
These stamps of death on our foreheads are the signs of others

Hamein Jis Naam Say Tum Jantay Ho…. Woh Hum Naheen
The name by which you know us - we are not that

Humein Jis Aankh Say Tum Dehktay Ho…. Woh Hum Naheen
The eyes with which you look at us - we are not that

Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen,
This is not us - this is not us...

Jaisay Sham Aatay hi Koi Rasta Hum Bola Baithay
As with the coming of night one loses one's way

Andhairo Say Daray Itna Kay Hum Ghar Hi Jala Baithay
We are scared of the dark so much that we are burning our own home

Yeah Kya Charo Taraf Urti Howi Rayegani Hai
What is this rising all around us...

Hamarey Naam Say Phali Howi Jhoti Kahani Hey
The stories that are being spread in our names are lies

Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen,
This is not us...

Gira Bathay Hain Rastay Mein Sabak Hum Sath Rehnay Ka
We have lost on the way the lesson of living together

Humain Ek Doosray Say Isliye Bhi Lag Raha Ha Darr
We are now even scared of each other.

Woh Koi Aur Hain Jin Kay Teray Hathon Main Chehray Hain
They are others whose faces are on your hands

Tumhara Dukh Samandar, Hamaray Zakham Ghehray Hain
Your hurts are a deep sea - our wounds are deep.

Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen,
This is not us...

you can learn more about the song and campaign here.

12 September 2008

lost girl power

this article, 'girl power at school but not at the office', by hannah seligson resonated powerfully with me, particularly the parts about the workplace not being a meritocracy and the necessity of having to ask for what you want, without being sensitive to people saying 'no'.
When I was in college, the female students excelled academically, sometimes running laps around their male counterparts. Women easily ascended to school leadership positions and prestigious internships. In my graduating class (more than half of which was female) there was a feeling of camaraderie, a sense that we were helping each other succeed.

indeed. succeeding at university was easy, and largely, girls did better than boys. and yet, even there, i remember having a conversation with one professor about how even though his best students were girls, they were the ones who found it the hardest in the workforce.

as for myself, i totally expected the environment at work to be similar to that of university: the same equality, opportunity and fairness.
...a larger issue that women, coming directly out of the colleges that nurtured and rewarded them and gave them every advantage, may have trouble grasping. For me, it was crystallized in a comment made to me by Myra Hart, a retired senior faculty member at Harvard Business School who studies women as entrepreneurs: “By and large women believe that the workplace is a meritocracy, and it isn’t.”

the other thing is the issue of pay. even after working for five years, i still find asking for a pay rise difficult and distasteful. as seligson says, "Coming into the work force, I thought that, just as my professor had given me the grade I deserved on my political science midterm, my company would pay me what I 'deserved'." this is not of course the case. instead, 'the central tenet of a bigger paycheck is ask and you shall receive'.

and this requires some other qualities seligson mentions: a thick skin, the ability to promote yourself, to stop being a perfectionist, and creating a professional network, all of which are "abilities that men are just more likely to have already".

well, now i know what to work on..

10 September 2008

measly health care vouchers

the hk government is introducing a new scheme of health care vouchers for the elderly, so they may access private health care. sounds good so far. except, the vouchers will amount to a measly $250 per year. how did they come up with that amount, considering $250 is the consultation fee for many private practitioners? (depending on the type of health care, fees can range from $150-600). as one practitioner noted, it would make more sense to have each voucher worth $200 (at least).

why does the government continue with these half-baked schemes that do not actually benefit the recipients? this is like the 'fruit money' of social assistance. how insulting.

09 September 2008

what a wonderful word

charming: 'pleasing the mind or senses in a high degree; delighting; fascinating; attractive.'

its synonyms include: enchanting, alluring, captivating, graceful, lovely.

oh my. after all the recent put downs, to be described as charming (and by more than one person too!) is a marvelous balm.