Sunday, 30 December 2007

Answer for Kiaugh

Kiaugh is a scottish noun. It means anxiety or trouble. Check the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

Try next month's test!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

New Government

Hi everyone!

Since I last posted, Australia officially has a new government! Three cheers for the new Labor government headed by Kevin Rudd!

I do not necessarily support everything they support. In fact, I was hoping the Liberal party would win the election. But God has placed the Labor party in power at such a time as this, and He did so with a reason.

It makes me really grieved and mad to see so many Australians tearing our government apart by their words. I mean- hey- ruling Australia isn't exactly the easiest job around. Quite the opposite in fact. Just because the government makes mistakes doesn't mean we all should come like a ton of bricks on them. After all, it isn't as if they wanted to make the mistakes and let the Aussies 'rail' at them.

I really pray that God will guide and lead our government, that Rudd will be a God-fearing and upright leader for Australia.

God bless Australia!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Don't watch The Golden Compass!

The whole link is found in Snopes

Read it and don't watch the movie or let any of your kids or grandkids watch it!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Christie v Davey: Must read!

This is one hilarious case our study group leader came across. He read it aloud to us, and before he was done, all of us were already cracking up! Now, anytime someone mentions the area of law the case deals with, (private nuisance with malice), it's the first case that pops into our minds. It's cases like these that make studying law fun. ROFL!!!

Unfortunately, I cannot find the entire case online because it's an english case, and I can only access Australian cases. But I do have an excerpt of the case in my text book.

These are the facts of the case which occurred in 1893:

Mr and Mrs Christie and the defendant lived side by side in semi-detached houses. Mrs Christie was a music teacher, and the rest of her family were also musical. Throughout the day, sounds of music pervaded their house and were heard in the Defendant's house. The defendant did not like the music he heard, so he decided to pen a letter to his neighbours.

The letter read:
"During this week we have been much disturbed by what I at first thought were the howlings of your dog, and, knowing from experience that this sort of thing could not be helped, I put up with the annoyance. But, the noise recurring at a comparatively early hour this morning, I find I have been quite mistaken, and that it is the frantic effort of someone trying to sing with piano accompaniment, and during the day we are treated by way of variety of dreadful scrapings on the violin, with accompaniments. If the accompaniments are intended to drown the vocal shrieks or teased catgut vibrations, I can assure you it is a failure, for they do not. I am at last compelled to complain, for I cannot carry on my profession (the defendant was an engraver) with this constant thump, thump, scrap, scrap, and shriek, shriek, constantly in my ears. It may be a pleasure or source of profit to you, but to me and mine it is a confounded nuisance and pecuniary loss, and, if allowed to continue, it must most seriously affect our health and comfort. We cannot use the back part of our house without feeling great inconvenience through this constant playing, sometimes up to midnight and even beyond. Allow me to remind you of one fact, which must most surely have escaped you--that these houses are semi-detached, so that you yourself may see how annoying it must be to your unfortunate next door neighbour. If it is not discontinued, I shall be compelled to take very serious notice of it. It may be fine sport to you, but it is almost death to yours truly."

ROFLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this case! :D Well, in case you are wondering if the neighbours took his note seriously, no they did not.

So by way of retaliating, the defendant took to making noises himself. He began beating trays, rapping on the wall in malice. The Christies' grew irritated at this and began to make even more noise. In return, the defendant created even more noise. What a peaceful english village.

Finally, the Christies got fed up and took the matter to court. The court ruled in favour of the Christies.

My favourite line of the note is the last sentence. "It may be fine sport to you but it is almost death to yours truly." lol!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Be aware

I don't know how much of this is true , but if all of it is true, it is good to know. This was a forward sent to me by email.

The world is getting sicker and a more unsafe place! Don't know how accurate these stories are, but better to be aware than be ignorant.
This is a true story, it has been confirmed, and the Medical Centre phone number at the end of this story is real. This guy went out on a Saturday night a few weeks ago to a party. He was having a good time and had a couple of beers and some girl seemed to like him & invited him to go to another party.

He quickly agreed & decided to go along with her. She took him to a party in some apartment and they continued to drink & even got involved with some drug (unknown). The next thing he knew, he woke up completely naked in a bathtub filled with ice.
He looked down at his chest, which had "CALL 000 or YOU'LL DIE" written on it with lipstick. He saw a phone was on a stand next to the tub so he picked it up & dialled. He explained to the EMS operator what the situation was & that he didn't know where he was, what he took, or why he was really calling. She advised him to get out of the tub. He did, and he appeared normal, so she told him to check his back. He did, and found two 9 inch slits on his lower back.

She told him to get back into the tub immediately, and they sent a rescue team over. Apparently, after being examined, he found out more - His kidneys were stolen. They were worth $10,000 each on the black market. He is currently in the hospital on a life support, awaiting a spare kidney.

I wish to warn you about a new crime ring that is targeting business travellers. This ring is well organized and well funded, has very skilled personnel & is currently operating in most major cities around the world and recently very active in Sydney

The crime begins when a business traveller goes to a lounge for a drink at the end of the work day. A person in the bar walks up as they sit alone and offers to buy them a drink. The last thing the traveller remembers until they wake up in a hotel room bathtub, their body submerged to their neck in ice, is sipping that drink. There is a note taped to the wall instructing them not to move and to call 000. A phone is on the small table next to the bathtub for them to call. The business traveller calls 000 who have been quite familiar with this crime.
The business traveller is instructed by the 000 operator to very slowly and carefully reach behind them and feel there is a tube protruding from the back. The business traveller finds the tube and answers "YES". The 000 operator tells them to remain still, having already sent paramedics to help. The Operator knows that both of the traveller's kidneys had been harvested. This is not a scam or out of science fiction novel. It is real. It is documented and confirmable.
If you travel or someone close to you travels, please be careful. Sadly, this is very true. I REALLY WANT AS MANY PEOPLE TO SEE THIS AS POSSIBLE SO PLEASE BOUNCE THIS TO WHOEVER YOU CAN.

Michele Shafer
ML/Lab Administration
Medical Manager Research & Development
99 Missenden RD , Camperdown, Sydney 2000

I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3.30 pm in the Car parking lot by two males, asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to sample some fabulous Scent they were willing to sell me at a very reasonable rate. I probably would have agreed had I not received an email some weeks ago, warning of this scam.

The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, I pointed at them and told her about how I was sent an email at Work about someone walking up to you at the malls, in parking lots, asking you to sniff perfume that they are selling at a cheap price.


When you sniff it, you'll pass out and they'll take your wallet, your valuables, and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this email, I probably would have sniffed the "perfume", but thanks to the generosity of an emailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me, and wanted to do the same for you.

Secret: The movie

1st of 11:

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Saturday, 10 November 2007

Piano battle

This is AWESOME!!! You'll watch it with your mouth ajar, tongue hanging out and saliva drooling down your mouth!!

It's from the piano battle scene in the new chinese movie hit: Secret. I watched this in my cousin's house in Singapore, and this was my favourite scene. It truly is brilliant! I'm not surprised that this movie poster was hanging in every book store I went to in Singapore! :P

Observe the movement from a difficult Chopin piece, to another Chopin piece- slighty easier but with added improvisation (which ends up harder than the first) to a TOTALLY new improvised piece. And if you'll observe even closer, Jay Chou plays the third and last piece single-handedly while the "Prince of Piano" had to play it with both hands!!! I love it. :)

La Campanella by Yundi Lee

After I finish learning Volodos' Improvisation of Mozart's Turkish March, I'm going to learn to play this:

Notice how he starts thrilling on his fourth and fifth fingers in the middle of La Campanella!! :O My mouth literally dropped open watching him. But it's a very pretty piece, and I'm going to try to master it if I can... :)

Yundi Lee is an amazing pianist. I think I like all the chinese pianists I've seen so far. He certainly doesn't have as much facial movements as Lang Lang, but he has some, and that's enough. It makes it so interesting to watch him. Way to go, China! :P

Yuja Wang, Lang Lang and Yundi Lee- there's gotta be more...

My newly adopted cyber pets!

Pet, feed and play with my pets! There's a "more" button at the bottom right corner of each of their boxes. Put your mouse on that and it will come up. Use the tools/food to take care of my cyber pets! You can also scratch some of the pets by clicking anywhere on their bodies and dragging your mouse around. They'll even make noise... :D

You're welcome to play with them- but please don't abuse them! :)

Friday, 9 November 2007

Italian Gelatino in Mandurah

My cousin and I wanted to go shopping. Lisa told me that there was a Mandurah forum somewhere where they got really good bargains so I wanted to look for that shopping centre. I was pretty sure there would be like only one central shopping centre! But I couldn't even find that one! Unless it was the Woolworths our parents went to.

So anyway, Hui Wen and I decided to wander around and go look for some ice-cream. We'd just come back from eating Cicerellos and we had wanted to have Simmos, but then our parents wanted to check in and put their luggage away in the apartment, so we missed out on Simmos.

Then, they needed to buy food for dinner to cook. So we (my uncle and aunty, my dad, mum, Hui Wen and I went shopping in what looked like the main shopping centre of the area- Woolworths. Naturally, my cousin and I weren't too happy with looking at groceries, so we decided to wander off (after getting permission of course)

We literally wandered around- we wanted to go to Supre which we saw on the way to the apartment, but couldn't find it, so we opted for ice-cream. Once we decided on what we wanted to do (no small feat, I assure you), we wandered around getting lost, looking for ice-cream. Then, we bumped into an English candy store.

I couldn't resist buying 2 small packs of 'sour' strips at a rip-off price of $3 for a tiny pack. Hui Wen got chocolate coated sultanas and nuts. I must admit we were rather greedy, and tore into the sweets just as we got out of the store, and found to our disgust that the 'sour' sweets weren't really sour, and it tasted all wrong! Not only that, but my cousin's nuts were rather stale too. Ugh.

Rather bumped, we decided to treat ourselves to some decent sweeties, namely something cold, something sweet, something soft- ICE CREAM... :D Yup. Back to plan 1.

We found a Heidi's store which claimed to sell I think it was 49 different flavours of ice-cream? I'm not sure, but we went in there, and vacillated on whether we should get a huge cup ice-cream and share, or get a cone each or whether we wanted waffles in which case Heidi didn't carry that and we would have to start searching all over again. I think the salesgirl for all her amusement at our expense, must have been privately been rather impatient at us standing there tossing the decision between ourselves as to what we should have. If we were smart, we would have just bought the best and most expensive ice-cream there to share and be done with it. But we were a bunch of silly girls bent on stuffing ourselves to the full and ruining our shape and dinner. We decided to have waffles.

We seriously got SO lost looking for an ice-cream parlour that sold waffles. Then we saw it. A little gelatino cafe beside Gloria Jeans. It looked pretty good, and there were customers sitting outside drinking coffee and what not. So we instantly decided to go. Besides, we were hot and tired of walking.

After some deliberation, I ordered a waffle with one scoop of choc chip ice-cream and cream and syrup. My cousin ordered something else. My cousin's came first, and I naturally assumed that mine would be coming immediately after. However, I was told that they ran out of whipped cream, and one of the salesgirl had just gone to buy the whipped cream. I agreed to wait. After waiting for something like 15 minutes, the salesgirl came out to tell me that she felt bad making me wait for so long, and would I like an extra scoop of icecream? Of course I agreed! I picked a berry sorbet which was quite good. When my waffle and ice-cream came about 10-15 minutes later, I was already feeling PRETTY full, having had some of my cousin's waffles. The waffles were a MAJOR disappointment! It was so dense- like eating bread and scones, and it was WAY, WAY too sweet!! And my choc chip gelato ice-cream turned out to taste like banana ice-cream... I couldn't even finish it, and I felt so bad wasting especially since we'd paid quite a bit for it. ARGHHHH.

Hui Wen never felt so turned off by waffles after that incident.

And I don't think I can ever eat another waffle- except maybe at Gelare, and only when it's half-price Tuesday.

Jesus take the Wheel

This song is a good reminder to me that God can handle things a lot better than I can, so I should just sit back and let Him take the wheel of my life. Instead od fighting for the "Director's Chair" when I'm so totally incompetent for that spot, I should and must give my "Director's Chair" to Jesus.

It takes faith to do that, and I must remind myself that even if I don't agree with the way things are going, I must follow because I have faith that whatever God does, He has a reason for it, and it will work out the best for me.

Just look at my life. If I had struggled with moving to Perth, changing schools, changing friends, changing church and did my own thing and had my own way instead, I definitely would not be where I am now- studying law in university (although that's not an end in itself). If I had stuck to my own path, there was NO WAY I would be where I am now, able to meet a whole lot of other people stuck in the same problems I once had, and able to share Jesus with them, and bring whole new light and life into their lives.

So let Jesus take the Wheel, Abbie- it's a daily dying to self but it's worth it when I let JESUS direct my life.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Home Education vs Public Schooling

Education is one of the most important priorities today, so much so that most countries have their own institutions and ministries whose sole purpose is to develop better education systems to further their citizens’ education—yet among all the ambitious school mongering going on around in the world, who will go to what school and which school is the better one to attend, there are families who have chosen to not let their children go to school at all.

These families keep their kids at home to study.

Home schooling goes way back in time, up to the time when humans first existed—in fact, if you think about it, “school” as we know it is very much a modern concept.

In those days, parents home-schooled because it was the norm of educating a child—teach them to speak, read, write at home, and later apprentice them to a trade.

However, parents today each have their individual reasons for choosing the narrow path of educating their child at home.

Mr Bruce Coombe shares his reason for home educating his four kids in Victoria.

“During our first child's first year at school we became increasingly concerned about how he was being negatively influenced by his peers. We found it very difficult to counteract that influence, no matter how hard we tried. We watched his character deteriorate from a responsible caring little boy to an irresponsible, angry, hurt, brat, despite that fact that he was attending a Christian school and had a wonderful prep teacher whom we loved. We realized that the influence of thirty 'stupid/silly' six year olds, for six hours a day five days a week was only going to be destructive to our child's character,” said Mr Coombe.

Do you remember those days when you were ignored because you were not “cool” enough for your “friends”, and the only way to earn “redemption” was for you to fit in with the rest—but you have a niggling doubt in the pit of your stomach that fitting in with the rest would mean doing something you would be later ashamed of?

That is precisely what these parents are trying to defend their children from.

Ms Kathryn Harrison, a home schooled student realized this when she said, “Home schooling is a great way to teach young people to not be peer dependant, and therefore abstaining from destructive activities and applying your mind to the betterment of the world instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing and keeping up.”

However, the desire to protect their young charges from destructive influences in school is not the only reason these parents home educate—what most of the home schooling parents gave as their first reason for home educating their children was their belief that God specifically gave them the responsibility of teaching their children from the Bible.

Mr Yong Huat Lo and Mrs Clare Lo of Telok Blangah in Singapore chose to home educate their five children because “…God has specific instruction that the responsibility in educating our children lies in the hands of the parents. Education of our children is not the state's responsibility.”

Mr Bruce Coombe said, “Our highest motivation for deciding to home school our children was to disciple them in our Christian faith… We had no doubt that they would do well academically… this wasn't a high priority for us.”

For those cheering on the implementation of the outcome-based education in Australia, let me tell you that home schooling is entirely an outcome-based education, and if the government can see the merits of having an outcome-based education implemented in schools, you will be able to realize just how powerful a teaching lifestyle it is.

With 25 or more students in a class, it is quite impossible to let each student in school study at their own pace, but this is where home-educated students have the better of their peers.

Home-schooled students study at their own pace—they are not forced to study faster or slower, according to the speed of 20 other students in class.

They can also study topics that actually interest them without going into those that do not, thus saving them a lot of time otherwise wasted on plodding through material that they probably will not use again.

20-year-old Charmagne Smith from Palmerston, New Zealand said, “I enjoyed having my studies made to fit me, to reflect the most important things in my life, and the things I needed to learn most.”

“My favourite part of home-schooling is probably the flexibility available with study hours. This flexibility allows me to work as long as I need to on one subject or project. Home also provides an ideal study environment, helping me to develop the self-discipline that is needed not only in tertiary education, but also in life,” said 16-year-old Amelia Boissevain from Melbourne.

Statistically, home-education has its merits.

Dr Brian Ray, an internationally known researcher, educator, speaker, expert witness and president of the National Home Education Research Institute, wrote, “The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.”
“The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.”

Dr Ray also went on to say that research showed home-educated adults to be more active participants of local communities and public meetings than the general populous and that they are also equally if not more successful at college than the general population.

Perhaps the two drawbacks of home-education was the lack of accreditation and the lack of social mingling—and I say was because it is not so much the case anymore.

Certain home-education institutions are authorized to give accreditation to home-schooled students, and if they need a college degree in the career they wish to pursue, they can prepare and sit such tertiary entrance exams as the internationally recognized Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Also, many home-education institutions have been created to support the home schooling community, particularly in organizing social activities where the students may come together to learn and participate in team building activities.

“I think that the benefits of home-schooling greatly outweigh the drawbacks,” said Ms Grace Wong, a home-schooled student in Cootamundra, NSW.

Have I said enough to set you pining for me to reveal the magical ingredient of home schooling so that you can churn out great geniuses of your own?

Well, if it is a magic ingredient you are after, I am sorry to disappoint you for there is no such ingredient—rather, successful students are the result of the patience, diligence, perseverance, and commitment of both parents and children in developing character.

I have it on good authority—because I studied using this curriculum for six years—that the biblically based Advanced Training Institute curriculum covers no less than Greek, English, History, Math, Science, Law and Medicine!

But one can have all knowledge and yet be a spoiled, undisciplined—how did Mr Coombe put it—brat whom no one wants to be associated with, much less work with!

It is not enough to the home-educating parents that their children grow up learning to withstand peer pressure and be academically learned—they want their children to have character qualities that will set them apart from others, and stand them in good stead through life.

Parents drive at developing character qualities such as one would not find in school—mind you, not necessarily because the teachers are poor role models, or the curriculum bad, but because of the incessant bombarding of conflicting influences.

It is like bending a piece of paper one way, bending it the other way, and then bending it back in the opposite direction 20 times—once you are done, the paper is not going to be able to remain straight, but rather be blown about by every wind of manipulation that comes around.

Mr Craig Smith, the founder and editor of the Home Education Foundation in New Zealand said, “If one has sterling character qualities, including a great work ethic, the kind a parent can easily train into a child, but which are impossible to develop in a school setting, the child will never lack a job and will be sought after at all times.”

The Jews have a history of home educating their children until they reach an appropriate age to be apprenticed to a trade of their choosing, and one cannot say that they have not done well for themselves—why look at the Jews, reputed to be richer than Queen Elizabeth herself!

That and the fact that most home-schoolers want to home-school their own children because of the advantages they themselves received from being home-schooled speak volumes on the effectiveness of home education.

Perhaps there is something to home education after all.

Madeline McCann and the Battle of Kruger

I have just read an account of Madeline McCann’s disappearance from the hotel room in Portugal in a public forum that seemed so analogous with the Youtube video of ‘Battle at Krugar’.

In that video, some inexperienced lions caught a baby buffalo and managed to drag it down to the edge of the water where they grabbed the throat of the calf and tried their best to suffocate the young life out of it.

A crocodile saw easy food, and started gate crashing for its lunch—it was later joined by another crocodile.

The lions ‘won’ the fight and managed to drag the young calf to dry land without being disturbed by the crocodiles.

However, unbeknownst to the young lions, the calf’s parents went back and regrouped the whole herd of buffalos to come and save the calf.

Those taking the footage murmured “It is too late, it is dead by now.”

But no—the young life was resilient enough to struggle to its feet by the time the buffalo herd rushed back to chase the lions away, and was received back into the herd safely (despite being mauled by the lions and fought over by crocodiles).

Madeline is the calf, and her parents the lions.

They may have tried to cap the young life, and outside commentators may think that they’ve succeeded in doing so, but young life is resilient, and I’ve no doubt that Madeline may still be resurrected from her grave of dark secrets.

The parents may have won the battle against the police, cleaning away and disguising any evidence that may incriminate them, but they have quite forgotten the public ‘herd’.

That they think such a story can escape public attention shows how inexperienced they are—child abductions and murders never escape public notice, and the wrongdoer/s will find public retribution very difficult to escape from.

If the parents had a hand in killing young Madeline, they can be sure that they will be in as much trouble as the young and inexperienced lions videoed in the ‘Battle of Kruger’.

Character Kids at Hilton

Attending Character Kids at Hilton Progress Hall every Sunday afternoon is probably the closest the deprived children of Hilton get to a complete makeover.

The neighbourhood kids, mostly Aboriginals, are being taught about God every Sunday in Hilton Progress Hall by a faithful team from Evangel Christian Fellowship based in Murdoch.

This Sunday class evolved from “Ark in the Park,” a children’s Bible program which still runs every alternate Thursday in the small park between Joslin Street and Griffiths Place.

“I felt that having fortnightly Bible lessons were inadequate, so I began an evening service on Monday night which was later changed to the Sunday afternoon “Character Kids at Hilton,” said Mrs Curran, the founder of “Ark in the Park” and “Character Kids at Hilton”

Ms Simrath Bhullar oversees Character Kids at Hilton.

“At 2:45pm, we set up while the bus and the van goes out for pickup, and as the kids come in, we play pre-games up to 3:20pm, when we officially start,” said Ms Bhullar.

After games, they sing songs, learn about God—through a skit or activity—and then split up into small craft groups.

The craft, usually something simple to make but pretty, is split into segments to last for the whole month.

After craft, the kids are seated on the carpets again, and are given pizzas and cordial to snack on before the bus and van drops them back home again.

When asked what he liked about Character Kids, nine-year-old Jesse Maselli said, “Soccer, games and eating.”

“My favourite is the art, ‘cos we get to do cool things,” said Kirsty Pellington, a 10-year-old attendee.

But not only do the kids have fun, more importantly, they learn something that will help them through life—good character.

“It was hard going at first, but now they’ve changed because there is a consistency in their lives. Character Kids has become a consistent happening in their lives, and they need that,” said Ms Bhullar.

“They actually sit down and listen and have become polite and responsible—they also demonstrate gratefulness and respect for authority.”

“Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the three things man seek—once these kids find Jesus, He will change their whole outlook on life,” Ms Bhullar said.

The Hilton kids are getting a makeover—not the fashion makeovers you see on TV, but a character makeover that will affect their lives for the better.

Luck according to Professor Richard Wiseman

Are you among the 90% unlucky enough to overlook an A4 notice in size 40 font detailing a golden opportunity to win $1,000,000 for something as simple as spotting that notice?

If so, then perhaps you should enrol in The Luck School founded by Professor Wiseman to help unlucky people find luck by changing the way they think.

According to Prof Wiseman in a public lecture he gave at UWA, being lucky is all in the mind because there is a silver lining under every cloud—finding it depends on the amount of effort and creativity you spend searching for it.

When faced with the same set of ‘bad’ circumstances, lucky people believe that it is the best thing in the long run that could happen to them, and unlucky people believe that they were fated to bad luck.

“The difference between lucky and unlucky people is the way they look at the world,” Prof Wiseman said.

It was because Prof Wiseman discovered that unlucky people stuck to their views of being unlucky that he founded The Luck School.

The school cultivates two main qualities: flexibility and gratitude.

Those are two important attributes to have because a flexible person will not be stressed or anxious about changes, and a grateful person will be content with their circumstances, no matter how ‘unlucky’ it is.

After much research, Prof Wiseman compiled four principles that compose a lucky person.

A lucky person creates opportunities for himself, believes in having lucky hunches, expects good fortune, and turns ‘bad luck’ into good by changing his perspective.

It is because of these principles that all students in The Luck School have to keep a luck diary for recording all the circumstances in ‘bad’ situations, as well as the perspective they had of it—and later, any changes of that perspective.

This encourages them to be more alert and creative in making opportunities for themselves, be more hopeful in expecting good fortune, and becomes a means of catharsis for them to express their feelings.

After attending The Luck School, ‘unlucky’ students have changed their view of the following for the better: family life, financial life, health, life in general, etc—in other words, they turned ‘lucky’.

Don’t hesitate—get in the queue to join this one-of-a-kind school and turn your tide of bad luck into good luck by changing your perspective!

Broadcast Journalism

Radio is fun!!! I just came back from a tutorial on radio journalism. It was a hands on tute, so my tutor brought us to the Murdoch Radio studios and got us to read aloud from a news script. It was really, really fun, well maybe not the reading aloud into the microphone with a earphone on my head, but making up stuff to interview others and fiddling around with the recording (putting background music) was awesome. :D

Jodie and I put together an interview... it isn't very good, but it was really fun doing it. Welcome to Murdoch Radio News! :P

You could try it yourself with a mic and a recording software. :)

Thursday, 1 November 2007

AJA Code of Ethics

Okay... I didn't mean for this post to be so boring. I wanted to upload a video of Australia that I created before going to Europe. I made that so that the other people in my group could learn a little bit of Australia and see what it is like here. However, the file couldn't upload- for some reason. Maybe it's too big. :(

So I've decided to just post the Australian Journalists Association's Code of Ethics that I'm trying to memorise at the moment for the test coming up on monday. It's amazing, the kind of boring stuff they make you memorise at uni!! Memorising the geneologies in the Bible have to be more interesting!

But this isn't too bad, so don't worry. :P

AJA Code of Ethics

Preamble: Respect for truth and the public's right to information are fundamental principles of journalism. Journalists describe society to itself. They convey information, ideas and opinions, a privileged role. They search, disclose, record, question, entertain, suggest and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They give a practical form to freedom of expression. Many jounalists work in private enterprise, but all have these public responsiblities. They sctutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be accountable. Accountability engenders trust. Without trust, journalists do not fulfil their public responsibilites. MEAA members engaged in journalism commit themselves to




Respect for the rights of others

1. Report and interpret honesty, striving for accuracy, fairness, and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply.

2. Do not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.

3. Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.

4. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.

5. Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism. Do not improperly use a journalistic position for personal gain.
6. Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.

7. Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.

8. Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice.

9. Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.

10. Do not plagiarise.

11. Respect private grief and personal privacy. Journalists have the right to resist compulsion to intrude.

12. Do your utmost to achieve fair correction of errors.

Guidance Clause: Basic values often need interpretation and sometimes come into conflict. Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision-making in context. Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden.

Boring, huh? Told you so... Oh yeah. In order not to breach code 10, here's the link:

Sunday, 28 October 2007

What did I get myself into?!

Woah... I'm still rather dizzy at how I got myself into this mess!

I can't imagine myself playing like this! And I've just agreed to perform it for a friend after my exams!! Oh woe...

I was very impressed with Yuja, and with the improvisation of the Alla Turka so I tried to find it on the net. I couldn't, so I made a deal with my friend saying that I would learn it if she could find me the score!

Silly... never do that again. The minute you promise something a hidden thing always gets "unhidden"... not because people find it but because it chooses to "unhide" itself!! Truly! :O

Anyway, no big guess, she came back with the score on the same day, and now I'm stuck trying to get myself out of the mess, and it seems that the only way I can get out of it is to actually learn the piece!!! *groan*

I've started already, and I'm promising myself a BIG, OOZY, MUDDY, RICH, UNHEALTHY, DELECTABLE slice of chocolate cake...

But then on second thoughts maybe I shouldn't promise anything just yet--not until I get myself out of this scrape at least!!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Chiro- my foot! more like stripperpractic

I am so horrified at what I heard a two days ago that it's taken me this long to finally get it down onto something visible.

During one of my chiropractic friend's laboratory classes, the tutor in charge of instructing that class addressed the class and told them to take their shirts off. The girls initially thought it was directed to the guys in the class and made no move to do so.

The tutor added, "and girls." Some of the girls were really embarrased about this, and just lifted the back of their shirts so that their partner could touch them and feel the bones-or whatever they needed to do.

But no. That wouldn't do for the tutor. He said, "All of it. Either you strip, or you get out of this class."

The worst of it is it was a mixed class.Guys and girls!! I mean- where is the morality going to these days? Not only is it okay to wear that sort of thing at the beach, but now it even seems to be okay to wear underwear in front of your peers and teacher! What on earth?!

I am so revolted... There wasn't any or anything of that sort. At least if there were, it wouldn't be so bad because one could have brought a swimming costume or something to cover the front and leave the back bare. But still....

Or at least even having a screen or something to separate the guys from the girls. Eww...

And then my friend tells me they have to wear shorts too so that they pair up and probe one another. ?!!!?!?! It is entirely possible to have an uneven number of guys or girls and then what then? Get the tutor or one of the other gender to do the probing?!

*Gag* I just can't swallow this. It is outrageous.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

General impressions on Europe

I'm so sorry if I've been rather slow trying to tell you all about Europe. I've been so busy trying to catch up on everything (not to mention my tons of reading to do for uni) that I've kinda pushed this way to the back of my to-do list.

Even now at this moment, I'm actually trying to finish skimming my reading for tomorrow's journalism tutorial, cram this week's current affairs as there will be a quiz tomorrow, and trying to ease a bit of my guilt by typing apologies... :D

I suppose I may as well tell you a little bit of Europe while I'm at it, instead of typing apologies, huh? :)

I don't know where to start... Okay. Some general impressions on Europe.


2. A little disappointing actually.

3. It's still antique and all, (like they still use horses to get around, although that is mainly more for tourists than for the locals. Most use bicycles. Some use cars.)

4. I was absolutely apalled by the number of people smoking and drinking and not just that, but the regularity too!! (and the amount!) Couldn't help gagging... Not many restaurants have separate places for smokers and non-smokers. And even if there is, the restaurants are so small that it doesn't make much difference where you sit! Ugh. I hate the cigarette smoke. It kills just by smell.

5. There were too many statues of naked men, women and children around Europe, and I did not anticipate that. There are obviously a lot of Greek influences that penetrated into Austria at some point of time, bringing together with it all the immorality and spiritual deadness... :(

6. The cathedrals were magnificent and awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, it doesn't really make an average person feel closer to God, or more awe-filled by God. On the contrary. It brought out the power and intelligence of man rather than his Creator. Definitely a sight to see though. Especially the stained glass of all Jesus' disciples.

Funny how Jesus' disciples take centre stage, and not the Master. There are at LEAST twice the amount of disciple pictures and figurines than that of the Saviour Himself. Not that He can be contained in a statue, but still!!!

7. The 'road' is made of cobble stones. It made me wonder if I alighted in Austria and not in London.

8. There are some modern buildings and places that strike a jarring chord that is rather hilarious, actually... for example, You have this wonderful antique, ornate building... that has the sign :SAMSUNG at the top! Or if you're walking down this so time-perfect stretch of stalls and cafes, you suddenly come to a sign saying: McDonalds. (!)

9. I think Hungary is prettier than Austria. Because of the green grass, and the vastness of land. And because of the horses and shopping too. The Forint is very weak, and so anything you buy in Budapest/Hungary is very much cheaper than anywhere else. I did quite a bit of shopping there. :D A NZ friend I met bought a whole watermelon for $3AUD!! And the watermelon was huge! She later opened the watermelon with a teaspoon because the hotel rooms didn't facilitate a knife! lol. Drinking watermelon, huh? ;)

10. My last point as I really have to get going. Europe is good for it's history connotations, and definitely worth having a visit. But if you're looking for a place to relax and enjoy the scenery, I'd recommend you to try the south island of New Zealand. It's so much prettier, healthful and relaxed there. Not to mention HEAPS cooler! It was 40 degrees celcius in europe when I was there! (Except for a couple of days.) I packed for spring weather too!! (long sleeves and all.. ugh.)

Oh yeah... you can see my pictures here:

Or on facebook if you have it.

God bless!

Friday, 27 July 2007

A picture of the Austrian Parliament.

This is a ticket seller trying to sell the opera concerts

This brand apparently used to provide the King's bread.
Posted by Picasa


In Vienna, they use horses like Singapore use cars/taxis...

My friends and I were walking past a store on saturday (the day we arrived), and there was this humongous dog that barked at us!! We took a picture of it. It was guarding the store, I think. It is a St. Bernard?

Haha. messy hotel room in Vienna. The left bed with the bear is mine. ;)

This is the Stephen's Cathedral.
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My first day in Wien

This is the view of Vienna taken from the plane. Pretty landscape, huh? I still think NZ is prettier though. ;) WA looks like this too, actually. Blotched colours of green.

Another picture of Vienna.

This is a picture of the Hofsburg Palace, which I went to in the last day of teh conference for the Global Summit.

Hofsburg Palace again.
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Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Is it real?

I can't believe I'm going tonight! I'm actually travelling by MYSELF, through the night, to visit my cousins for a day or two, and then join a tour with who knows who!!

I'm nervous, I'll admit
Fidgety like a horse without a bit
I seem to keep going into rhyme
I can't help it, not a bit!

Maybe cos' I'm excited
Maybe cos I'm scared
Maybe cos I'm a gadabout
But mostly it's cos I'm glad.

Sigh... gotta go clean my room before I leave. I hate to come back to a dirty and dusty room. ;) Then I gotta shower, dress and pack my hairbrush, toothbrush, etc.

And then I'm off to the airport.

What a horrid post this is. It's aimless. Nevermind. When I'm back, I'll regale you with lots more interesting posts. I promise. XD With pictures to boot. ;)


Tonight, don't come. Not yet.

Tonight, don't come
Bid your time and let it be
Afternoon for as long as can be
If I could wish upon a star,
My wish would be for noon to stay
Long enough for me to say:

It's been noon long enough
I think I'd like my bit of fun now
So night please come, but put it off
For as long as you can...

Tonight, don't come
Bid your time and let it be
Afternoon for as long as can be
If I could wish upon a star,
My wish would be for noon to stay
Long enough for me to say:

It's been noon long enough
I think I'd like my bit of fun now
So night please come, but put it off
For as long as you can...

Tonight, don't come
Bid your time and let it be
Afternoon for as long as can be
If I could wish upon a star,
My wish would be for noon to stay
Long enough for me to say:

It's been noon long enough
I think I'd like my bit of fun now
So night please come, but put it off
For as long as you can...

Tonight, don't come
Bid your time and let it be
Afternoon for as long as can be
If I could wish upon a star,
My wish would be for noon to stay
Long enough for me to say:

It's been noon long enough
I think I'd like my bit of fun now
So night please come, but put it off
For as long as you can...

Tonight, don't come
Bid your time and let it be
Afternoon for as long as can be
If I could wish upon a star,
My wish would be for noon to stay
Long enough for me to say:

It's been noon long enough
I think I'd like my bit of fun now
So night please come, but put it off
For as long as you can...


Tuesday, 26 June 2007

My travel map in July

Here's a travel map for the month of July. ;)

"Purity Ring" Schoolgirl goes to High Court

This article can be found at Reuters.

LONDON (Reuters) - A teenage schoolgirl will appeal to the High Court on Friday to overturn a ban on her wearing a "purity ring" at school to symbolize her decision to abstain from sex before marriage.

Lydia Playfoot, 16, from West Sussex, says the silver ring is an expression of her faith and should be exempt from the school's rules on wearing jewellery.

"It is really important to me because in the Bible it says we should do this," she told BBC radio. "Muslims are allowed to wear headscarves and other faiths can wear bangles and other types of jewellery. It feels like Christians are being discriminated against."

Playfoot's lawyers will argue that her right to express religious belief is upheld by the Human Rights Act.

There have been a series of rows in schools in recent years over the right of pupils to wear religious symbols or clothing, such as crucifixes and veils.

Last year, the Law Lords rejected Shabina Begum's appeal for permission to wear a Muslim gown at her school in Luton. That case echoed a debate in France over the banning of Muslim headscarves in state schools.

Lydia Playfoot's parents help run the British arm of the American campaign group the Silver Ring Thing, which promotes abstinence among young people.

Members wear a ring on the third finger of the left hand. It is inscribed with "Thess. 4:3-4," a reference to a Biblical passage from Thessalonians which reads: "God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin."

Lydia's father, Phil Playfoot, said his daughter's case was part of a wider cultural trend towards Christians being "silenced."

"What I would describe as a secular fundamentalism is coming to the fore, which really wants to silence certain beliefs, and Christian views in particular," he said.

Leon Nettley, head teacher of Millais School in Horsham, denies discrimination, saying the ring contravenes the school's rules on wearing jewellery.

"The school is not convinced pupils' rights have been interfered with by the application of the uniform policy," he told the Brighton-based Argus newspaper. "The school has a clearly published uniform policy and sets high standards."

Sometimes I wonder whether it really is good to do this sort of thing. It is right to stand up for what you believe, but the ring only symbolises what you already believe in. It is not a charm that will prevent sexual immorality. I think that if Lydia believes in remaining pure before marriage, she does not need the ring. Her inner conviction is enough. And if she wants to share her conviction with her friends, why then, she only has to tell them so! The Bible also says that we are to obey our authorities. By placing Lydia in Millais School, the parents are giving authority to the teachers and the Principal. Lydia has to obey them UNLESS their commands/rules contravenes God's higher commands.

Man set for execution wants to die laughing

By Jim Forsyth from Reuters

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man scheduled to be executed on Tuesday wants to die laughing.

Patrick Knight, 39, has been soliciting jokes on the Internet and plans to tell one of them before receiving a lethal injection, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said on Monday.

"He says he wants to keep his execution light," she said.

Knight was sentenced to die for the August 1991 murder of his two elderly neighbors in Amarillo, Texas.

Lyons said a friend of Knight's set up a page on the social networking Web site to solicit jokes, and "hundreds" of suggestions have arrived in the mail.

"I'll be enjoying my last days on Earth," Knight wrote on the Web site. "I'm not asking for pen pals, but I'm asking you to spread the word that I am holding a contest. I want people to send me their best jokes, and to keep me and others with (execution) dates laughing."

Texas leads the nation with 396 executions. None of those put to death have ever joked about it, Lyons said.

"We've certainly had some people who have recited a poem or a Bible verse, some people who have asked forgiveness or who pray," she said. "This is, to my knowledge, the first time anybody has told a joke as their last words."

While she says Knight will be allowed to tell his joke, none of his executioners in the state death chamber at the Walls prison unit in Huntsville, Texas will be laughing, Lyons said.

"Everybody who is there takes it very seriously and will not be participating in the joke," she said. "So knock-knock jokes are out."

Your laugh won't last very long, Knight.... I wish I could advise you to put your search to something of far greater worth.


Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Time to celebrate

I made it safe and sound through the very 1st semester of University! That's cause enough for celebration. :D

Yesterday, after my last exam, I got permission to go Garden City with 2 of my uni friends! hehe we had lunch there, and went shopping for souvenirs for one of them to bring back to Singapore... I had such a great time wandering around the mall aimlessly. lol. It was good to relax again. :D We found this pair of cute pig slippers in Granny May, my friend got that for his sisters. It was so cute. Then we visited Darrell Lea and bought some chocolate.

I was looking at the display window from INSIDE the shop, and the chocolates looked so real and so yummy at first glance, so I said aloud, "Are they real?" It was directed at my friend beside me, but the lady at the counter overheard and said yeah, but their old. lol. It was said a split second after my friend pointed out the layer of dust covering the chocolates. haha... A thief will think twice about stealing anymore display chocolates after he/she ate the first!

I'm gonna go on a book reading spree... I love them. book after book after book till I get groggy. :D I love it. That's how I'm going to celebrate: a pile of books, and a box of chocolates. :D (Otherwise a 1 kg jar of Nutella and a spoon will do.) lol.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

You have got to try this!

At the end of this message, you are asked a question.

Answer it immediately. Don't stop and think about it.

Just say the first thing that pops into your mind.

This is a fun "test"... AND kind of spooky at the same time! Give it a try, then e-mail it around (including back to me) and you'll see how many people you know fall into the same percentage as you. Be sure to put in the subject line if you are among the 98% or the 2%. You'll understand what that means after you finish taking the test".

Now... just follow the instructions as quickly as possible.

Do not go to the next calculation before you have finished the previous one.

You do not ever need to write or remember the answers, just do it using your mind.

You'll be surprised.


How much is:

15 + 6

3 + 56

89 + 2

12 + 53

75 + 26

25 + 52

63 + 32

I know! Calculations are hard work, but it's nearly over..

Come on, one more!

123 + 5


Scroll further to the bottom....

A bit more...

You just thought about a
red hammer ! , didn't you?

If this is not your answer, you are among 2% of people who have a different, if not abnormal, mind.

98% of the folks would answer a red hammer while doing this exercise.

If you do not believe this, pass it around and you'll see.

Be sure to put in the subject line if you are among the 98% or the 2% and send to everyone, including the person that sent it to you.

P.S. I can't believe it!! I actually thought of a red hammer! Guess I'm not so unique anymore... ;)

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Should Parochial schools be given School Vouchers?

Yes, school vouchers should be allowed for parochial schools if the schools deserve it.

I don't see why parochial schools should be excluded from being 'publicised' if teh schools really do deserve it. Just because the school is taught differently from the traditional schools doesn't mean that it is all the worse for it, and should be excluded from benefits.

Not only that, but from the students and parent's perspective, parochial school vouchers should also be allowed. This enlarges the student's choice of schools, and hey, why not? If the parents are so adverse to their children learning in a parochial school, then don't enroll them there! But for the parents who would like their children to be educated in a parochial school (maybe for religious reasons), issuing a school voucher to a parochial schools would save them a lot of time in having to appeal for their child to be allowed to attend a parochial school.

Also, one of the purposes behind the school vouchers were to encourage free market competition between the schools. This competition would force 'bad' schools to review their education system and improve themselves. Parochial schools should also be given that opportunity.

School vouchers should definitely be allowed for Parochial schools.

Should public school teachers get merit pay?

Yes, public school teachers should get merit pay to encourage them.

Firstly, there are many different kinds of teachers. Some teach for the money. Some for the experience. Some for the prestige, and some because they enjoy teaching. Teachers who work harder because they sincerely care for the education of their pupils should be rewarded more than the others who just go through the motion daily, teaching, but not understanding.

A good teacher must not only teach, but respond to the individual needs of his/her students. It is getting very difficult to find teachers like this in public schools these days. The sincere teachers who you find in public school are there not so much for the meagre pay but out of duty and care. These teachers should be rewarded. Otherwise, why should any good teacher want to teach in the public school? No incentives, no motivation or encouragement whatsoever. Even the most caring teacher will quit from the lack of encouragement; public school students can be very difficult to teach. Most good teachers will be employed by the better private schools.

But of course, private schools cost more to run, because the teachers fees are higher! So only the well-off students have the benefit of private school education. The poorer students are at a disadvantage. Are they not to get the benefit of having a good education from a caring and sensitive teacher because they are poor, and cannot afford private school education? Of course, one may argue that that's what scholarships are for: for the promising by economically disadvantaged students. But I put to you: how can these poorer students show any promise if they have no one to assist and encourage them? To a teacher who teaches for money, investing their time for these students is not worth it. They are busy! Why should they give away their valuable time for students who may not even prove to become anyone special?

Merit pay then, encourages teachers to invest their time in students, not just the quality ones, but even those who are struggling in their study. Don't forget: students are our future leaders. What we put into their education is what will come back to us.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Story of Lang Lang

Lang Lang, a 22-year-old musical prodigy, has been called one of the greatest classical pianists of his generation. (CBS)


"I love the audience. ...It seems like a lot of people watching...the creation of this wonderful work. And then you are at the same time the interpreter. It's like building a bridge to their heart."
Lang Lang

(CBS) On a recent night in Hong Kong, Lang Lang captivated the sold-out house as he always does. All eyes were on center stage.

He's more than a mere virtuoso with elastic hands and dazzling dexterity. And he's more than just a supremely talented musician. Lang Lang is also a showman.

As Correspondent Bob Simon reports, Lang Lang is a spellbinding performer with a flair for drama –- strutting, swooning, and wrapping the crowd around his 10 nimble fingers.

"I love the audience, because I love the tension there. Because it seems like a lot of people watching, I mean, the creation of this wonderful work," says Lang Lang. "And then you are at the same time the interpreter. It's like building a bridge to their heart."

If Lang Lang sounds a little dreamy, he often plays that way too, with his eyes closed, head back, cast in a musical trance.

"Every time I play, I try to see the images. For example, I see something. I can see beautiful forest and everything's green," he says.

Lang Lang’s not the only one who sees green. So does his record company, which has hyped him like a rock star. Part Mozart, part MTV, they’re counting on Lang Lang to bring in a new generation of fans.

He embraces the limelight as he embraces everything – eagerly, and with a boyish enthusiasm, as Simon found out when they sifted through the delicacies at a Beijing street market.

"I think this animal can play really good piano," says Lang Lang, looking at an octopus.

Lang Lang’s mind is never very far from his music, which helps when you’re working with the best in the business -- as he did on a remarkable recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and maestro Daniel Barenboim.

"I can't describe him as a pianist, because you will only hear in my sentence the jealousy that I and all his colleagues feel," says Barenboim. "I'm sure he didn't show you, but you know, he has 11 fingers. He plays the piano like a cat with 11 fingers."

Lang Lang’s acrobatic mastery of the keyboard is undisputed. But some critics find his showy style indulgent, and say those dreamy swoons get in the way of the music.

"There's something about Lang Lang's playing now where he calls attention to himself, to his own feelings. He’s like a hammy actor," says Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic for The New York Times.

He skewered Lang Lang in a ruthless review, calling his playing "slam bang crass."

Tommasini says, "I don't think it does Lang Lang any good to have his very powerful record company promoting him the way it is right now: 'The future of classical music has arrived, Deutsche Gramophone says. His name is Lang Lang.'

"That's a lot of pressure. People come to his concerts now expecting a catharsis, an epiphany, rather than a musical performance."

If it’s a catharsis they want, Lang Lang is more than happy to provide it.

Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto, with one of the most haunting themes in all of classical music, has become his signature piece.

"This piece has driven at least one pianist mad. You know about that," asks Simon.

"Yeah, it drives me crazy," says Lang Lang, laughing.

"Rachmaninoff was this tortured Russian. And here you are...this very young Chinese man, who seems to be full of life and full of optimism, and full of happiness," says Simon. "How can you relate to this music?"

"I think when you play any piece, you are not you anymore," Lang Lang responded. "You are totally into the world of the composer's mind."

Prodigies have a way of silencing the skeptics, and wowing the crowds. Barely out of his teens, Lang Lang has arrived as an overnight sensation -- 22 years in the making.

What distinguishes him from the large number of very talented pianists? "I started early," he says.

Lang Lang began formal lessons when he was 3. At 5, barely able to reach the pedals, he was making Mozart look like child’s play. And if you’re wondering who raised such a boy, you’ve got to follow Lang Lang to the northern Chinese city of Shenyang.

Shenyang is Lang Lang’s hometown, an old, overcrowded industrial city. But for China, not unprosperous. Like so much of the country, it’s poised somewhere between its past, and its future. It’s where 60 Minutes found Lang Lang’s parents.

His father says he decided that Lang Lang was going to be an international star at the age of 2. "We planned to train him. When he was about 1 year old, I took him out on walks," recalls his father. "I would draw on the ground and teach him the musical scale. So it was like, today, he would learn 'Doh.' Tomorrow, he would learn 'Re' -– 'Doh, Re, Mi.'"

Lang Lang’s father spent half his yearly salary – $300 – and bought his son a piano when he was a toddler. In fact, Lang Lang’s destiny was conceived not long after he was. His mother played classical music to him while he was still in her womb.

She said she wanted to become a performer herself: "When I was young, that was my dream."

Lang Lang's mother wanted to be a professional dancer; his father hoped to travel the world as a musician. But their ambitions died an untimely death when they became victims of China’s cultural revolution. Jobs weren’t chosen; they were assigned. And so, like a generation of mothers and fathers living under China’s one-child policy, they sacrificed everything and placed their dreams into the hands of their only hope.

It's a lot of responsibility, but Lang Lang says he "didn't feel the pressure at that time."

"I really didn't," he says. "Because I thought, I mean, I always played really good. And always got the first prize."

Lang Lang may have been the prodigy in his hometown of Shenyang, but if you want to play on the world stage, you’ve got to get out of town first.

When he was just 8, Lang Lang’s parents, who were very happily married, decided to split up just for their son. His mother stayed home in Shenyang, and his father quit his job and took his boy to Beijing so Lang Lang could study in the finest music academy in China.

Their sacrifice paid off. Lang Lang was a standout at the Beijing Conservatory and, at 13, he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. But a child doesn’t leave his mother without leaving a few scars, too.

She remembers saying goodbye to her son. "At the time, Lang Lang was very small. It was very hard to say goodbye to him. I can never forget. His mouth was quivering, and then he and I both started up," she recalls. "He cried and I cried. But for his work, for the piano that he loves so much, I let him go."

Lang Lang said goodbye not just to his mother, but also to the comfortable life he lead in Shenyang. In Beijing, he and his father lived for six years in a dingy, unheated apartment, sharing a bathroom with three other families. Was it a painful move? Obviously. But his parents knew that an even bigger move was inevitable.

"You know since you play piano and classical music, this is the road," says Lang Lang, who, at 15, followed that road to America.

He moved with his father to Philadelphia, where he’d won a music scholarship. Then, he received his big break. He was tapped as a last-minute replacement at Chicago’s summer music festival. At 17, Lang Lang found himself being introduced by the legendary violinist Isaac Stern.

"I thought play the best in my life at that time. Absolutely the best," recalls Lang Lang. "They all jumped right after the last note. And I had some good reaction before, but never this kind of [reaction]."

It changed his life forever. International engagements came pouring in, and Lang Lang hasn’t looked back. He plays in 150 concerts a year. But the rewards are beyond measure. At 21, Lang Lang performed a rite of passage into the upper reaches of classical music – a solo debut at Carnegie Hall.

Not bad for a boy from Shenyang.

But our story doesn’t end there. Before the night was over, Lang Lang brought to the stage a special guest, someone who dreamed long ago of playing abroad. His father.

With his traditional Chinese fiddle, Lang Lang’s father accompanied his son in a finale, the likes of which Carnegie Hall had never heard before.

"I think a Chinese folk player, play with his son in Carnegie Hall. I think it's probably the most exciting thing in both of our lives," says Lang Lang

Article from CBS News 28th May, at 3:32pm