Family: Some Basic Vocabularies

Hi folks! The post you’re about to read is about familial vocabularies. Most of words presented here is proven to be relevant to everyday use. It is therefore crucial for us to master all these words and the meanings.
  1. 아버지         father
  2. 어머니         mother
  3. 할아버지     grandfather
  4. 할머니        grandmother
  5. 형오빠        big brother
  6. 부모            parents
  7. 계모            step mother
  8. 계무            step father
  9. 남편            husband
  10. 부인; 아내   wife
  11. 누나; 언니  sister (‘nuna’ for a boy calling his sister, ‘onni’ for a girl)
  12. 동생           younger sibling
  13. 딸              daughter
  14. 아들          son
  15. 아주마      aunt (non-relative)/ ma’am
  16. 아저씨      uncle (non-relative)/ sir
  17. 부부         spouse
  18. 삼촌         uncle (relative)
  19. 사촌         cousin
  20. 손자         grandchild
  21. 숙모         aunt (relative)
  22. 애인         girlfriend/ boyfriend
  23. 시부모     parents in law
  24. 시어머니  mother in law
  25. 시아버지  father in law
  26. 아기         baby
  27. 조상         ancestor
  28. 조카         nephew
  29. 사위; 며느리   child in law
  30. 정인         parents in law
  31. 현제         brother/sister
  32. 큰아버지  big uncle
  33. 큰어머니  big aunt

Ernest Hemingway’s "Cat in the Rain"

The good-looking and young Ernest Hemingway (Milan, 1918)

A worthwhile pastime that has always been my favorite since forever is reading some great literary works or any pieces of writing that would simply teach me something and provide me more novel insights towards the universe, people living in it and how this enigmatic world works. 

As I always say, I love simplicity. With simplicity as my guidance in choosing books to read, I can never refuse to read this man’s works. Yes, as you can see up there, and down here, you now know who one of my favorite authors is. He is Ernest Hemingway.

So how does Hemingway have something to do with simplicity that I worship? Well, this is how I fell in love with his works. Long time ago, I never knew who Hemingway was, or at the very least, I knew him only by name but never in my mind did I intend to investigate who that well-known name referred to. That held true until someday my English Prose lecturer brought one of his works to class and made the students and me read a relatively short story entitled “A Cat in the Rain”.

Hemingway in his 50’s

The short story looked so down-to-earth. By ‘down-to-earth’, I mean it can happen to anybody, anywhere, anytime. What made me stunned more was the fact that “Cat in the Rain” was written in a journalist-like manner. Hemingway, as you will later read if you haven’t, used simple and everyday lexicons. He wrote each word as though he reported an event taking place in front of him. No profound personal feelings and sentiments involved, no overly dramatic scenes, no flood of tears, no exagerrated bliss, no illogical twist of fate. The story only flows calmly, almost unheard of, just like a small stream flowing in a drought.
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia EditionThe style was simple, so was the plot. There, readers won’t discover some lengthy sentences or wordy narration that makes your head spin as you try to grasp the  main point. I will not talk with great elaboration here as I strongly believe that a literary work is not to be  told. Rather, it is to be read.
And if you are a keen English learner, you will undoubtedly find Hemingway’s works as a number of the best sources to hone your skills, enrich your vocabularies, and if you plan to be a writer, learn how to write well. 
Click the link above to download the short story

How to Write a Perfect Get-Well Letter


What is a get-well letter?
A get-well letter is a letter that is written by someone to show warmth and affection. This type of letter is generally sent to someone who is sick or injured after an accident.
These are a number of steps taken to create a heartfelt and warm get-well letter :
  • Express your regret that the person is ill or injured.
  • Communicate your sincere concern and reassure the reader of your support.
  • Indicate your hope and assurance that the person will get well soon.
  • If desired, you could express your sincere appreciation to the person for being a good friend, trusted colleague, kind neighbor, positive role model, or the like.
  • If appropriate, mention that the person is missed. You might also mention specific things you miss about the person, such as his/her warm sense of humor or his/her habit of bringing office treats to weekly meetings.
  • Close your letter by reiterating your hope that the reader will have a speedy recovery.
    (source)   
Get-Well Letter Tips:
  • Be positive when writing this letter.
  • You might want to include humorous anecdotes or good news that will cheer the reader.
  • When writing to a child, be particularly upbeat and positive. Don’t include anything in your letter that might cause the child undue concern, and don’t dwell on the illness or disease.
  • If you have included a gift with your letter, briefly mention it.
  • If desired, you could mention that the person is in your thoughts and prayers.
  • Be sure to write this letter in a timely manner. Don’t procrastinate!
    (source)
Need some simple samples? Here they are.
  • SAMPLE 1  
This get-well letter is written by a parent to a teacher. Note that the parent and the teacher here apparently have close relationships with each other, which is why we find the tone of the letter very casual (marked by the use of jokes to open the letter). 

I really must complain about you faling off your bike!
In all seriousness though please hurry up and get well soon. A broken leg may be no fun but you should know the children really miss you and ask after you everyday. If you need any assistance until you get back on your feet, quite literally, then please let me or any other parent to know. We would be happy, after all you have helped our son out  no end with his schooling. (source)


  • SAMPLE 2
This one is written by a nephew to his uncle.

Dear Uncle Ira,

I’m glad you are home from the hospital and doing better.

An ulcer is not fun, but I know you are relieved that the doctors have ruled out anything more severe.

I suppose you will have to give up hot peppers and chili — not easy — but that’s a small price to pay for staying out of the doctor’s office.

Get well soon, so you can come and see the kids again.

Love,
Jeff


How to Write Condolence Letters (Sympathy Letters)

 
I know it looks odd to talk about condolence or sympathy amidst the buzzing holiday trends, when everyone seems to be in their best mood. Tragedies and predicaments, however, generally occur when they are least expected and naturally no one hopes their coming, particularly in this holiday season. 

This is some know-how to write a good condolence letter.
What is a condolence letter?
As the name implies, a condolence letter is written to show our condolence or sympathy to other people, which is why it can be called sometimes ‘sympathy letter’. Mostly, condolence letters are sent due to someone’s death. Our condolence letters ought to be sent to the deceased person’s family members or relatives (source).
What to consider before writing a condolence letter
In brief, we have to focus on the language used in a condolence letter so as not to hurt the recipient’s feelings more. We are to arrange the words in such a way that the recipient’s feelings lifted a bit to learn that there are many people that will miss the deceased person’s presence and his/ her good and noble deeds. Never try to remind the recipient’s of the deceased person’s bad attitude, for instance.

How many types of condolence letter are there?
There are two types we can opt for; i.e. personal and business. To decide which one suits our needs best, we had better consider how close our relationship is to the deceased and the family. If we are not really close to them and we write on behalf of a company or institution, business tone would be appropriate to apply. On the contrary, if we deem them to be our best friends or people with family-like closeness, a personal condolence letter will do better than a rigid and cold business one.

How to write a personal condolence letter
  • Use a pen, not a typing machine or computer;
  • write our address and the date (the layout depends on our writing style);
  • write a proper salutation form (use the recipient’s first name to show intimacy);
  • write the reason why we send the letter;
  • write some lines about how we started to know the deceased and what good traits s/he had;
  • explain how lucky we are to know him/ her;
  • state some ideas that may soothe the pain (consoling/ comforting that the recipient is not alone to cope with the grief or there are other people who suffer from the same loss);
  • say that we also care about the whole grieving family members;
  • write closing salutation (.e.g. ‘very sincerely’); and
  • write our complete name, without titles or professional position.
Still have questions in mind? Kindly read this example of a good personal condolence letter.

How to write a business condolence letter
  • type it using word processor application on computer;
  • write our address and the date (the layout depends on our writing style);
  • write a proper salutation form (use the recipient’s family/ last name);
  • write about how we feel about the loss and why we send the letter;
  • write about how the deceased meant for the company/ institution where s/he work and some positive contributions s/he made;
  • state some ideas that may soothe the pain (consoling/ comforting that the recipient is not alone to cope with the grief or there are other people who suffer from the same loss);
  • say that we also care about the whole grieving family members;
  • write closing salutation (.e.g. ‘very sincerely’); and
  • write our complete name, with titles or professional position.

Need a concrete model? Check this example of good business sympathy letter out. 
Also, try reading some other useful and reliable resources on this subject matter, e.g. Angela Morrow’s Writing a Condolence Letter or How to Write a Condolence Letter on squidoo. For more samples, try this link.

Writing Holidays Greeting Cards


Holidays are drawing nearer and most of us must be busying ourselves with writing greeting cards or greeting emails to clients, family members, far relatives, acquaintances, old pals, etc.But if you have no idea what and how to write good lines on your greeting card, this might be of help.
This is what I excerpted from mahalo.com. Before writing a word on the card, consider these:

  • appropriate tone for recipients;
  • add some personalized nuance on the way you arrange words;
  • keep your signature informal (without titles);
  • don’t write your last name you send to pals and relatives; and
  • if the card is from more than one person, write your name last.

Still from the same source, you can decide what to write by researching the links below,who knows they may inspire you:

The following is an example of business Christmas card.

Dear (Customer Name),

As the holiday season approaches, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued partnership. It is business associates like you who make our jobs a pleasure and keep our company successful.

May your holiday season and the new year be filled with much joy, happiness and success. We look forward to working with you in the coming year and hope our business relationship continues for many years to come.

Happy holidays! (taken from: http:/www.squidoo.com/how-to-write-business-christmas-letters


Holidays mood is in the air and I’d like to wish you all merry christmas and happy new year 2010. The pictures I included are screenshots taken from Google homepage, Yahoo homepage, and Gmail frontpage. Cute picts, aren’t they?

Conditonal Sentences (Not for a Grammar-Savvy Person)

Previously on my post on subjunctive, I already touched on some conditional sentence discussion. In this post, however, I would love to focus solely on this topic.

As you can see on the chart above, there are six types of tenses that are used in conditional sentences. Like the timeline diagram I gave you before, I am using this to give an overall description of it. By knowing the general description, I hope you’ll get a brighter view of the topic.



  • Sequel One: Unreal in the past, fact in simple past
The fact happened in the past. There is no chance that the hope/ wish was fulfilled. A past perfect event should happen first  (because it is the condition or requirement for the next event to occur) and then a past future perfect event follows. The IF clause in this case is the condition so it must happen first. Here past perfect is considered more ‘past’ than the past future perfect.
For instance: If  President Kennedy had not gone to Dallas on that doomed day (event 1),  he might have still been alive for decades (event 2). The fact is ‘President Kennedy went to Dallas and got shot to death‘.

 

  • Sequel Two: Unreal in the present, fact in simple present
The fact  happens in the present. There is a very remote chance that the hope or wish is fulfilled. Here the first event to happen (as the condition/ requirement) is simple past event. After the condition took place, the past future event might occur. Remember that ‘was’ in the simple past here is NOT advisable to use in a formal context. ‘Was’ is normally found in conditional sentences used in casual communication. Never write “If I was …” or say “wish it was” in academic or scientific composition.
For example: “If I were in Luna Maya’s shoe (in her position), I would certainly ask for the journalists’ apology“. The fact is “I’m not Luna Maya so I don’t ask for apology to those journalists“.
 
  • Sequel Three: True in the present/ future, fact in simple future or in simple present
The real event may happen in the present or future. The condition event is the simple present one. After the simple present event occurs, the simple future event follows/ will follow. Speaking of the grammatical structure, the subclause is the IF clause and the main clause is the result clause.
    • Habits: use simple present in main clause
    • General truth : use either simple present or simple future in main clause, both are correct
    • A certain event : use simple future in main clause
For example:
    • Habit: If my salary isn’t paid on time, I usually will lose my temper.
    • General truth: A patient will die (OR dies) if s/he experiences major and perpetual bleeding.
    • A certain event : If Sri Mulyani and Budiono are proven to be guilty, both will face (NOT face) social and political exile by nearly the whole Indonesian citizens”
Suppose you have any questions in mind, let me know if I can be of assistance.

My Blogging Self-Evaluation: Why This Blog Should Only Focus on One Niche

This thought came up right after I read Darren Rowse’s post about the benefits of building a more focused blog. By ‘a more focused blog’, I mean a blog that has more a specific niche (a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it- Wordweb dictionary). Darren wrote that he at the first time and a lot of other newbies wrote their first blog with topics ranging from topic A to topic Z. This would be very easy to start with because we simply have endless supply of topics to talk about. We can write a post almost every day,  even  several posts a day, hoping to attract more readers, search engines and bucks!
That sounds like what we’re doing now, doesn’t it? I have been doing the same, too. For almost 4.5 months I’ve been publishing posts with various topics every day with no single focus. Like what you can see on my labels, I even wrote too many posts tagged as ‘miscellaneous’ compared to the supposedly main niche, i.e. English. Ironic? Yeah, pretty much.

GENERAL OR SPECIFIC?
So what should I do about it now? I sometimes get an itch to write interesting stuffs other than English learning and because what I have and take care of most is this blog, no wonder I spill everything here, from politics to personal complaints. This, to Darren Rowse, is normally happening to novice bloggers with of course little or no experience. But as time goes by, experience accumulates and knowledge piles up, I now realize how crucial it is for a blogger to focus on one thing, one major topic that simply mirrors all the contents of a blog. Suddenly, I feel so foolish. I used to think that focusing myself and my blog upon one niche would only result in fewer posting frequency, which may lead to a more remote chance to get indexed by search engine. But I was wrong! The solution to tackle this fear is simple: have various blogs covering various specific topics. Darren, who was asked if having a blog with lots of topics or running lots of blog with specific topic for each, said that a blog with lots of topics would not just serve you right especially in terms of business and money making. This might be a good point to ponder for those who are still blogging on various topics on one blog and think that such a way is OK for your blog in the long run. For our information, in the long term, a blog filled with diverse topics will only cause its readers to get disillusioned, a.k.a. confused, and what makes it worse is that the confusion would drive them away from our blog. So guys, stop digging your grave by posting bulk of articles having no relevant theme with each other.

As what Darren has pointed out, blogging with a specific niche will result in:
  • Loyal Readers – Niche blogs develop a loyal readership who bookmark or follow the blog via RSS because they know what they will get there.
  • Specialist Authors – Authors of these blogs have the freedom to really focus upon a topic and don’t feel guilty about doing so. This can lead to increased quality and depth of articles.
  • Build Credibility and Profile – Blogging on one topic alone can build your profile and perceived expertise on a topic or in an industry.
  • Good for contextual Advertising – Ad programs like Adsense seem to work better on sites that are tightly focused. You’ll get better targeted ads and many believe will attract higher click values.
  • Good for Search Engine Optimization – Search Engines like sites that are focused on one topic, that have multiple pages on the one theme and that are integrated sites.
  • More posts – I find that I post more if I have 10 blogs on 10 topics rather than 1 blog on 10 topics. There is only so much you can write on a blog each day without overwhelming your readership. On my old general blog I tended to post a maximum of 7 or 8 times per day – if I did any more than this readers couldn’t keep up even though I had plenty more to say. Now I have 20 blogs – I post less on each one (most get one or two posts per day) but overall am adding more content/pages than I used to. The more posts you are able to add the bigger your sites are and the more potential entry points you have for readers from Search Engines.
  • Attract Advertisers – Niche blogs are usually more attractive to private advertisers or sponsors who are looking for content to place their ads on that is relevant to their product or service.
CHOOSING A NICHE TOPIC FOR MY DEAR BLOG
Darren Rowse asked himself several questions that later could lead him to picking the best niche for his blogs. The questions are as follows:
  • Are you interested in the topic? Yes, of course. I love to learn English and almost everything related to it. It’s my passion.
  • Is the topic popular? As far as I’m concerned, yes. Everyone perhaps now know English and gets familar with it but there are always things to learn, errors to fix, misunderstanding to get straight. Thus I am optimistic about the future of this blog.
  • Is the topic one that is growing or shrinking? This part is similar to forecasting the future; i.e. observing the trends and what content is going to gain more popularity months from today. What i can do is have a regular contact with mass media, social media and any thing that can tell me what things are people are into.
  • What competition is there? Picking a less popular theme for a blog is even better than choosing a popular one.
  • What is the competition neglecting? Well, I think should work harder on it. More research on this issue!
  • Will you have enough content? With such a thick topic to have, producing fresh content is not really hard.
  • Are there income streams on the topic? Not every topic is suitable for income stream.

American, British, Australian English: the Differences

Are you now learning English as a second or foreign language? Along the course of learning process, we might find English relatively tricky especially after we find out there are more than one variety to distinguish and learn. For the record, there are so many English variants spoken in different parts of the globe. There are American English, British English, Australian English, Singaporean English, Indian English, etc. Some English learners regard this as their  learning hindrance. This diversity obviously leads to a number of arising questions that actually reflect how confused English learners. Students often ask, “Which variety to learn best of all?” or “Which English is better?” or “Which one is more internationally acceptable?”. I’ll leave the questions unanswered because each of the answers depends on varied factors.
Apart from the bewilderment, I’d like to show you how different the three English variants are based on  some criteria. The criteria I’m using here to distinguish one from another are spelling, pronunciation, and vocabulary. 

SPELLING
This is the easiest way to distinguish and determine whether the English we’re reading/ dealing with is inclined to be in American, British, or Aussie tone. As we read word by word, we may  notice this different way of spelling a word.
  • criticise (British-Australian) criticize (American)
  • theatre (Br- Au) – theater (Am)
  • gaol (Br) – jail (Am)
  • amoeba (Br) – ameba (Am)
  • aeroplane (Br) – airplane (Am)
  • odour (Br) – odor (Am)
  • aluminium (Br) – aluminum (Am)
  • enroll (Br) – enrol (Am)
  • draught (Br) – draft (Am)
Australian English in some ways are just like British English.
 

PRONUNCIATION
There are several diferences we can find in terms of how a word is pronounced:
  • Australian and British English speakers usually never pronounce final -r (e.g ‘bar’ is pronounced /ba:/). However, American English speakers normally pronounce the final -r (e.g. ‘bar’ /bar/).
  • different stressed syllable, e.g. adult can be pronounced /’aedalt/ (Br) or /e’dalt/ (Am)
  • different vowels, e.g. “can’t” can be pronounced /ka:nt/ (Br) or /kaent/ (Am), “enchant” /In’cha:nt/ (Br) or /In’chaent/.
  • Australian English speakers tend to shorten phrases, e.g. good dayg’day

VOCABULARY

There are different words that are used  to refer to the same thing. For example, to call the metal covering over the engine on a car, British people say ‘bonnet‘ but American say ‘hood’.
  • bonnet (Br-Au) – hood (Am)
  • sidewalk (Br-Au) – pavement (Am)
  • windscreen (Br)- windshield (Am)
  • gear stick (Br) – gear shift (Am)
  • bloke (Aus) – man
  • arvo (Aus) – afternoon
  • porridge (Br) – oatmeal (Am)

Back to the questions above, if you ask me, I’d say that we’d better learn all of the varieties, which later enables us to know and select which is the best when dealing with people coming from the three regions. Learning all provides us more flexibility. Speaking of which is better, I never think one variety is better than the others. Knowledge on each variety enriches our English in general. So why bother choosing one or avoiding learning the others? When it comes to which English can meet the international writing or pronunciation standards, I’d suggest you not to think of it too much. As a matter of fact, it is relatively acceptable for  an American  person to write an email to his British pal with his own American style, or the other way around. As long as the message is well understood, no linguistic discrepancy can stop us communicating and interacting with another part of the world.

Writing Basic Principle: Utilizing Old and New Information

All people can write but only few can write very well. That is the nature law. But writing well is not only about talent but also about how to hone (if your talent has already advanced) or create (if your talent scarcely exists) or revitalize (if your talent has been buried for a long time).

Apart from that, however, writing well involves giving information to your readers. That is the main purpose of writing as an intellectual activity; i.e. telling your readers about the propositions and ideas in your mind that you think they deserve to know. 

If you are writing to make information clear to your readers (that is to say: to clarify), you need to know the following fundamental principle.
The principle is quite simple. We simply have to make use of old and new information in a logical and orderly sequence:

  1. Place old information (information that a writer and reader have understood/known) at the beginning of the sentence, and
  2. Place new information (information that a writer and reader have not understood/known) after the old information, or at the end of the sentence.
The rule to decide which one is old or new information is when you first introduce a term/ idea in a sentence, paragraph or any writing composition, that term/ idea is called new information. However, a term/ idea that you’ve mentioned before (in an earlier sentence or paragraph) is called old information. Although it is not forbidden to rewrite the old information as it was mentioned earlier, old information is usually replaced with subject and object pronouns (it, they, s/he, etc) to avoid too frequently mentioned phrases, which may trigger readers’ boredom. For a better understanding, why don’t we take a look at the example:
“Antibiotic resistant microorganisms have significantly compromised antibiotic treatment.  A large proportion of resistance in Gram-negative bacteria can be attributed to resistance gene cassettes contained within a site-specific recombination system, termed the integron.  Mobile cassettes contain genes that confer resistance to nearly every major class of antibiotic, and some disinfectants.  New gene cassettes continue to be identified and the sequences of over 60 cassettes are deposited in the GenBank/EMBL databases, as of January 2001. This rapid increase in the identification of gene cassettes has led to the same name being given to two different gene cassettes, or the incorrect naming of gene cassettes.  This letter aims to clarify the current nomenclature for the aadA and dfr families of genes.”  (http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/thesis/old_new.html)

 
Now let’s distinguish the old and new information in this paragraph.
OLD INFORMATION NEW INFORMATION
Antibiotic resistant microorganisms antibiotic treatment
A large proportion of resistance in Gram-negative bacteria resistance gene cassettes contained within a site-specific recombination system, termed the integron.
Mobile cassettes genes
that resistance to nearly every major class of antibiotic, and some disinfectants
New gene cassettes   
the sequences of over 60 cassettes the GenBank/EMBL databases
This rapid increase in the identification of gene cassettes the same name being given to two different gene cassettes, or the incorrect naming of gene cassettes
This letter the current nomenclature for the aadA and dfr families of genes

Presents

Some presents might end up getting returned. 
Have we ever wondered why we somehow get what we give to other people? We give them a bundle of roses and we the following day discover a box of edelweisses on our door steps. We gifted them a sack of pythons yesterday and we today have our house swarmed by dozens of anacondas.



But some gifts are for keeps.
Often times people are tempted by “what if…” questions. “What if I were that billionaire?”, “What if I were a well-known celebrity?”, “What if I had a skinnier figure?”, “What if I could’ve built a bigger house and could’ve married a prettier, sexier, and hotter wife?”. Nothing can stop us imagining how geat our dull life will be if we can manifest those ‘what-if’ dreams into reality. We, nevertheless, most of the time forget how precious what we already have in hand. We forget how troubled a billionaire can be when he finds out he suffered from a huge loss in stock market or how anxious he always feels everyday to know his kids could get hurt by kidnappers. We forget how stressful a life as public figure could turn. We never know how pricey, miserable and painful it is for those skinny models to stay slim even though they know their well-being is at high stake. There  are points where we should stop wishing and say by heart “This is who I am and it’s all that I’ve got from God”. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “This world is enough for everyone’s need, not greed“. No one knows better what we need than God does.

Other presents come when you least expect them.
When we found out a friend stabbed us from the back, we must’ve thanked God for giving us a chance to learn the truth. When we lost someone we loved, we must’ve thanked the Almighty for the opportunity to fortify ourselves and let our immature souls grow without our beloved one since being together doesn’t last forever and doesn’t always mean better.



And everyone knows the biggest present comes in the smallest box
That’s why we always have a reason to be grateful for every single predicament we undergo. Getting F in writing class may make us the best writer in the world. Being poverty-stricken might lead us to becoming a persevere and affluent entrepreneur. Being bullied and called ‘chicken’ by our classmates can make us the most fearless general at battlefields. Napoleon was said to be short but he once ruled almost the entire Europe.


Then there are those boxes you wish you had never opened. 
Curious Pandora opened the forbidden box and she regretted that badly. Like Pandora, everyone has his own forbidden box. But now that the box is already opened, we must face it and get rid of it for good or leave it and get haunted by it for the rest of our life.

Green Blogging: How to Stay Green While Blogging

Hi, people! I bet everyone has heard of the climate change international conference buzz in Copenhagen. We can easily find the news related to the summit anywhere in the web, on TV, newspapers. No doubt that going green is becoming increasingly massive a trend.
Green is sexy!
 
Green lifestyle shouldn’t be a sheer short-term trend though. In fact that is just what we need to save ourselves from being destroyed by our own foolishness. Unless  we could migrate to another pristine livable planet or celestial bodies (Though Mars and the moon save a certain amount of water but living on earth is far much better), we nowadays are demanded to alter our environmentally unfriendly lifestyles and habits for the sake of mother Earth and the human civilization’s future. Regardless of the dispute whether global warming is a pure myth that Al Gore has always been blurting, I witness with my own eyes many proofs indicating how far mankinds have interfered the natural processes taking place on earth, which eventually proves to be disastrous.

There is a thin line between being a selfish person and a fool. In this case, I’d say that being selfish isn’t always bad. When it comes to environment, we are to be selfish. Why? Because everything on earth is connected to each other, something bad that other people do always gives bad impacts on the surrounding, including YOU. By thinking of your own interest and rights to live healthily, your concern of green living is increasing. For example, you should be mad at seeing people throwing away garbage into rivers because the garbage (esp. plastic and chemical substances) would flow into our rivers and poison all living creatures in rivers and seas (you should see how many seagulls choke themselves by swallowing plastic bags), including fish and sea food that we chew!  Sea food is nutritious but when it contains heavy metals I don’t think it’ll do good for your health. Only fools think that they are OK with the polluting actions and assume they won’t be affected in any ways by the effects.

Bloggers can go green too!
 
We (bloggers) are part of the earth inhabitants. We therefore are required to get actively involved in this colossal earth-rescuing enterprise. Anyone can contribute to saving the future of earth and the entire humanity, including us, bloggers!

These are a number of steps we as bloggers can take to contribute to this noble enterprise:
  • Buy a green laptop/ PC
  • Minimize power consumption
  • Pick green accessories
  • Dispose of unused stuff properly
How can I buy a green laptop/ PC?
If we still think that becoming green is costly, it’s now the right time to change our mind. Most of green electronic products are expensive by their pricetag but in the long run they can save you lots of money. Green products normally use up less power (electricity) while non-green products more. 

Laptop are indispensable gadget for bloggers. Some bloggers use desktops but I believe there’re more bloggers using portable notebooks/ netbooks as their intimate blogging companion. And we ought to know that last year alone 148 million notebooks were sold worldwide and the number is growing! You can imagine how big the contribution will be if those 148 million notebooks’ users use green products. That’s why even every little action counts, people!
Painting your laptop green doesn’t make it ‘green’!
 
Basically a green laptop or PC should use less power than others. This bases on the assumption that the less power it consumes, the less fossil fuels is needed (which means less greenhouse gas is generated).

There are the points extracted from laptopmag.com containing some technical guidelines to determine how green a notebook is:
  • buy notebook with less plastic and styrofoam packaging: Styrofoam and plastic are
    considered bad for environment.
  • battery charge time and power : the less energy amount (wattage) is used, the better our laptop is.
  • battery life : the longer our battery can survive, the more it saves electricity and eventually, saves environment.
  • surf test : Using Wi-Fi connection, a green notebook must spend less amount of energy to explore the Internet.
  • PC mark vantage/ PC mark 05 : This test simulates various computing activities to find out how much power is used.
  • idle :The average amount of wattage used when the computer is idle, with the screen at maximum brightness.
  • electronic product environmental assessment tool (EPEAT) rating: Check out the detailed EPEAT criteria.
  • Greenpeace rating: If your laptop manufacturer is listed on Greenpeace’s Green Electronics List, that means you make a great choice.

What can I do to minimize power consumption? 
Regardless of the fact that you might have ever read or heard of the tips below, I guess I still need to show them:
  • reduce display brightness (bright display uses more energy and strains your eyes more than dim display)
  • apply screensaver when the computer is left unused for a while (making your laptop screen lasts longer too, preventing dead pixels)
  • shorten the length of time before the system turns off display (when the display gets blank, it uses less power)
  • turn off or remove any external devices you no longer need
  • always turn off your bluetooth and wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) device after using
  • if left unused, set the laptop system to hibernate/ sleep/ shut down after a certain period of time (the shorter the time period is, the better)

How can I pick green accessories/peripherals? 
Make sure you find the word ‘renewable’ on your package. Some products have package made with 100% renewable plastic and paper. It means they can be recycled and thus harms the environment less than others do.

Most of computer accessories and peripherals are made of plastics. It is therefore crucial for us to arm ourselves with some basic knowledge on plastic.
Give extra attention to these symbols and what they mean 
 

On some accessories, you’re likely to spot the symbols above. They mean the products you’re using are recyclable.


How should I dispose of unused stuff properly? 
When your mouse or laptop battery start to fail to function normally, you may think it’s time to get the new one. But consider the warning sign. Never throw away your battery to a landfill waste treatment. Some types of batteries contain heavy metals (like mercury, cadmium, nickel, etc) that can seep through ground and pollute underground water supply.


One more thing bloggers can do is publishing posts related to climate change issue in order to spread and boost more public awareness of how badly our earth is needing our help at the moment. Although today isn’t April 22 (Earth Day), I strongly believe that every day must be our Earth Day. 


So are you ready to go green from today on?

"Gossip Girl" Study Case: Why Blonde always Outdoes Brunet

Watching American TV shows, there are some noticable patterns that brunets are disfavored especially compared to their blond counterparts. I have seen some American TVshows and I thouht that it was just a concidence that the blond chicks. However, recently when I watched some TV show that is much hyped (overly hyped at times), I arrived to one conclusion that this is not a sheer coincidence. It happens repeatedly, to be honest. In this TV show called Gossip Girl that CW, there are several central characters
Girls with light brown hair color seem to have all what a girl wants (or at the very least, depicted in such a way that we think that way). Let’s take a look at Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) and Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively).These Upper East Side (UES) girls are bestfriends but how each is described in the show is totally different.  Blair is a brunet and Serena is a blond. On one hand, Miss van der Woodsen happens to be one of the ‘it’ girls (that’s how Cecily von Ziegesar – the book author – calls her). She’s a living Aphrodite. She’s a girl that every girl wants to become and every boy wants to date with. She’s described as having a dark past but trying to lead a brandnew more clean-cut life. Serena isn’t a good student as she missed many classes where she should’ve attended. The worst, she did drugs too.

Blair Waldorf, on the other hand, is described as a girl who is too much status-conscious. What she thinks of is always about how to maintain her being immorally flawless and academically exceptional at single-sex private school, Constance Billard. Waldorf is acknowledged as the ‘Queen Bee’. That’s after Serena left the school. Things went differently once Serena reshowed up. Blair seems to have no choice other than relinquishing her throne to her closest pal and at the same time, her biggest foe.

On the episode “Bad News Blair”, it’s told that my previously mentioned axiom is  eventually proven. Blair is confronted with some situations that aggravate her already-crumbling self-esteem. Blair might be a queen. When Serena comes along with her, Blair may be still a queen. She, however, is a second-rate queen. It starts when Eleanor Waldorf (Blair’s mom) arrives home. Blair feels as surprised as she can be as she sees Serena and Eleanor sitting together and having brunch without waking her up. The confidence crisis escalates as Eleanor chooses Serena over Blair as her new model since Blair is as rigid as a twig (says the photographer). Lucky for Serena, she naturally enjoys the photo shoots more than Blair does, which is why the photographer Eleanor employs insists on picking the blond lass. The tension gets higher as Blair rubs the old wound by rehashing Serena’s past sin (having sex with Nate, Blair’s boyfriend).

What strikes me most is that the same thing happened to boys. Let’s take a look at Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) and Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford). These typically classist difference showed as the two boys (who love Serena at the same time) happen to lead different lives from one another. Dan, who is a brunet, is a boy coming from low social strata. He managed to attend Saint Jude’s private school (where Nate and the other UES boys go) because he worked hard to win a scholarship. 

Nate seems to live an easier and more luxurious life, which he never enjoys though. This lad is a legacy and inherits a billion dollar asset from his mother, Anne. (who is a lso a blond). The feudalistic system of the school (and society) continues to put a strain on Dan’s life when Nate is appointed the usher for the Dartmouth rep (=representative) at a mixer attended by Ivy Leagues universities’ representatives.The thing is Nate isn’t as smart as Dan and he also failed to show his enthusiasm in attending Dartmouth (Seeing Nate attending Dartmouth is Nate’s dad’s ultimate obsession). Dan, on the contrary, succeeded to make his best efforts to gain the usher position even though his obsession was turned down.

So what do you think, guys? Is it right that being blond is better than brunet in some way? I remember Reese Witherspoon’s “Legally Blond”. Perhaps is there going to be some producer wants to fund “Legally Brunet”?
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