How to Connect Ideas Coherently: Chronological Order

Connecting ideas correctly entails a lot of writing exercises because writing is something we can’t learn by scrutinizing theories only. Try to step to the next level after we’ve been familiar enough with constructing simple grammatical constructions like words, phrases, clauses or sentences.

In this post, I’ll provide you some expressions/ phrases which are generally used to link or connect ideas logically between two ideas. The keywords here are “clarity” and “logic”. All these expressions below are meant to link our ideas in a clear and logical manner, which prove to be useful to attract readers.
This time we’ll focus on listing ideas in a sequential order. To tell readers that a series of actions/ events occur in a certain order, apply these to our composition:
  • firstly/ first of all/ in the first place/ to begin with
  • secondly, thirdly, …etc
  • lastly/ finally/ eventually/ at (in) the end/ ultimately
  • next/ subsequently/ afterward(s)/ after this (that)

Normally, we find the phrases above used in some procedural texts that contain steps taken to complete a certain task (e.g. food recipes) and narrative texts in which sequential order is inevitably vital.

This post is the first to initiate a series on how to connect ideas. On the next posts, I’ll provide some brief explanations on other interesting topics about connecting ideas:
  • how to summarize ideas
  • how to add supportive ideas
  • how to contrast different ideas
  • how to state results
  • how to state reasons
  • how to state purposes

Make sure you won’t miss any of it.

3 Steps to Stay Wrinkle-Free

For both men and women (as there are now more men paying more attention to their appearance),  having wrinkled skin face is clearly uncool. And it is kind of easy to get some anti-wrinkle advice from experts, like stay out of the sun, moisturize, don’t smoke.

But as I read Real age , I discovered some more worthtrying tricks we have never figured before. And this does not involve some ultra expensive branded anti aging products, concoctions, etc.
So here are three more ways to a wrinkle-free face, just like a baby:
  • Eat soy : Soy is great for healing photodamage caused by sun exposure. If you are living in Indonesia, tahu and tempe are two great foods that can help you tighten back your sagging facial skin. Try some other soy-based foods like soy milk, tofu, etc. For girls and women, soy contains isoflavon that give you protection against breast or ovary cancer.
  • Have a cup of cocoa: Cocoa contains two antioxidants (epicatechin and catechin) that help protect skin from sun rays, hydrate skin, boost blood circulation.
  • Sleep on your back: More sleeplines can be found on people’s facial skin and these people tend to sleep on their face. It reminds me of why Prophet Mohammed discourages us to sleep with our face touching the bed.

And to add some more, I have my own wrinkle-free habits: sipping some cups of green tea, facing life with a decent amount of humor, and enjoy each second of this life as a huge gift God has given to me. Cheers!

On Dealing with Odds

A mother said to her kid:

Sweetie, if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that sometimes things get in your path and you have a choice. You can either smash right into them, or you can adjust and move around. But you have to do one or the other in order to move forward.

The Art of Waiting

Nothing can be more annoying than waiting. Don’t you realize even life is waiting? Life is waiting for death, basically. When your waiting for something good seems hopeless and endless and fruitless, perhaps what you can just do is waiting, and definitely praying for divine help.
Any miracle will happen. Who knows? Things are just getting worse when you get impatient. You get drained physically, emotionally, and the problem remains unsolved. What a waste! So when things just get out of hand then what you eventually can do is facing the problem with smile, and waiting again. Life doesn’t got the way we want at times, and it’s normal. As life isn’t our slave. Stay positive and hope things swim back to normalcy!
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Miyabi in Indonesia: Nay or …Aye??!

This afternoon was ultimately mundane, nothing special was happening,until my cell phone rang. It was a text, coming not from my close pals or acquintainces but from a short number (6768). I wondered what the content was. “It must be something newsworthy or a junk advertisement”, I thought. And I impatiently pressed the ‘read’ button only to find these words:

Meutia Hatta dukung MUI boikot  Kedatangan Miyabi. Anda setuju dengan pemboikotan tersebut? Ketik POLL SETUJU atau POLL TDK SETUJU sms ke 6768, Raih 1 Unit BLACKBERRY

I know how controversial she and her plan to play a movie here have been becoming these days. The news telling the escalating rejection is always buzzing, day and night, on TV, the Internet. And now, cellular world gets infected??!! Unbelievable! She is  such a news maker, indeed.

I happened to watch TV, and found our fellow Indonesian blogger, Raditya Dika,  elaborating on the controversy, which has dragged him because he is the scriptwriter  of the movie entitled “Menculik Miyabi”, if I’m not mistaken. Considering Miyabi’s reputation, it does make sense why some militant Islamic organizations and lots of moslem scholars despise the idea for EVER!

It is so true she is an irressistible hottie but can’t she figure out finding another job? Swimsuit model, maybe? (Ah, not even better, but at the very least she wears ‘something’)
About the text I received above, I simply do not know how to answer. Should I say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Anyone, help me ? Who knows I’ll win the Blackberry promised.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s "Eat Pray Love"

After three days, it is itchy enough for me to post something on my blog. Until now, my  blog’s longest record of staying un-updated is 3 days. I decided to grab my laptop back and write something, though I was just recently diagnosed for a ‘minor’ eye strain. Ohhh, my poor eyes were screaming for help. That is why I cut off my online hours considerably. I take a break as many times as I could, instead of having my eyeballs glued to the screen 8 straight hours like before (sorry for the bad opening paragraph,just in case you wonder why I staye d hibernated for three days).

Straight to the point, my post title above is an outstanding book title authored by Elizabeth Gilbert, an American woman trying to seek a balanced life. Frankly speaking, I knew this book last year when Gilbert was invited to be the guest of The Oprah Show. She  gave up her glamorous world and life and  spent her time in Italy, India, and Indonesia just to redefine who she was and what she actually wanted because she thought in her previous phase of life, she had become someone she did not even know. You can find some attention-grabbing spiritual experiences here. In a nutshell, it is mainly concerned with identity search, the essence of life. It sounds too philosophical but it is something worthreading or , if I prefer to say, a must-read. And what makes this book special is the fact that it speaks about Bali and Indonesia. And what makes it more happening is it is about to be filmed and starred by Julia Roberts. So you can guess this movie is just going to be a blast! 


Like Father, (Un)Like Son

I was just home minutes ago with my mouth agape and red. Not because of  awe, shock, dismay or disbelief but because I had a bowl of hot soup as my dinner. I love hot food but that soup was absolutely beyond my definition of ‘hot’.

So here I am not going to talk about the soup but instead, I am about to  elaborate  something about the food seller. As usual, I went to my favorite food stall. It was not a luxurious food stall where everyone going there is a savvy executive or wealthy men riding his limousine. It was modest, if I cannot say ‘plain’. 

I took a seat on the floor (no chair is provided, so it is like Japanese restaurant in some way) after having ordered some meals. The food seller named Muh (I have no idea about his full name, who cares anyway? That’s all that matters)  was cooking in front of me and having some small chat with a middle-aged lady curious about his previous years of his life. To cut a long story short, I eavesdropped  heard some pieces of what they both were grumbling about. Muh told her his late dad passed away in 1999, and ever since he has tried to continue what his dad was doing, i.e. running a food stall, just like what he does now. What really made me touched was when this seemingly poor guy quipped “I am just trying to continue what dad had done and after all, none of my  younger siblings wants to do this, ma’am.” Oh, poor him, he spoke like he never had a choice.

The point is, must we become someone like our father (or in general, our parents)? We already share his whole DNAs and now should we be his copycat, too?

This is also a problem I am perpetually facing, setting my own career as an education practitioner and a government civil servant seems so unlikely to happen for me. I don’t know why I hate being the follower of my parents (both of them are teachers and govt civil servants). There is an urge inside pushing me to set the trend instead of following the trend. But again, I don’t know why it looks like the harder I want to stay away from that world, the farther I get swept away by the sucking power of that world. 


Faith Commercialization (part2)

The last time we were talking about faith commercialization, Yusuf Mansyur told us how sinful it is to have the primary ambition to be a sermonizer merely to enjoy earthly financial benefits. 

Being a sermonizer then was questioned by one of the audience as something closer to profession or contract. Mansyur again emphasized on how he manages his own sermonizing activities as charity or social service without involving any written contract. He admitted he never asks for a given sum of money to anybody after giving sermon. Soetrisno Bachir, however, stated that this might leave more room for TV stations to take advantage of the legal certainty absence.The last question from one of the audience was how we ought to view some  female celebrities who happened to be wearing veils/  jilbab only during Ramadhan. Komarudin Hidayat thought that people in Indonesia tend to practice their faith in a more relaxed fashion. Indonesian moslems are practicing Islamic teachings with less binding, restrictive, rigid type of interpretation. When women in Arab must wear burqa or hijab, Indonesian moslem women have more options to choose from.

Bachir afterwards warned us that the people as TV viewers should be smart enough before idolizing female celebs only because they wear veil during fasting month. 

To wrap up the discussion, Norhaidi Hasan the analyst uttered,” All these things provide the society with lots more choices, which in turn can be beneficial to  eradicate the seeds of radicalism just before they are about to grow. Having more options channels the potential of radicalism. And always bear in mind that sermonizers take a  key role in changing the society towards a better nation.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a Jew: Fact or Lie?

It was quite a shock to read an article stating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of anti-Jews world leaders and a denier of Hollocaust tragedy, possesses a Jewish root in his family. I figured how illogical it is for someone born Jew like him to hate people sharing the same root with him.

The blast started from this:
The picture is a print edition of The Telegraph and the zoom is on the president’s personal document. Inside it, Ahmadinejad was known to have a Jewish name “Sabourjian” (which means ‘weaver of the Sabour’). 

Regardless of the validity of the news, can it be a way to discrediting this vocal moslem leader? Seriously, Ahmadinejad’s allegedly Jewish origin could be troublesome for him a very long time ago, but why did it just arise? It is of course possible  for anybody in Middle East to have  Jewish  root as they derived from the genetically identical ancestors. Ahmadinejad might be of Jewish origin but I still smell something fishy about it. There is a feeling telling that this is just not right or at least, doubtful?

Rehashing Past Details

It is always fun to reminisce the sweet old times. Each of us has at least one past moment to recall when we are growing older someday. And thank God, I have got many moments to recall. Regardless of the fact that the memory can reprovoke positive or negative emotions, I still love any of the memories I have up to now.

I graduated in the end of November, 4 years ago, from a state university in Semarang(I cannot see the necessity to mention the whole details right now ^_^ ). Though I had left the campus (which is located just right on top of a hill, if that can be called a hill) for almost 4 years, I go there occasionally just to find out if things are like they were when I was still there, studying there, having fun there, (oftentimes) going nuts and cutting the ‘cords’ as though nothing was ever problem.

And yes, some things do stay the same. These green painted benches are still the same benches I saw and sat on 4 years ago. The trees are the same but definitely much taller and bushier than before. The trees do not really provide much shade actually. At noon though the air is relatively cooler but the sunlight just falls down straight to the paved yard. I would prefer sitting around the B3 building rather than sunbathing in the yard. It was more convenient to have a chat with classmates while sitting along the hallway. Though the floor was sometimes dirty, it was fine as I used my thick Oxford dictionary as my sitting mat (sadly I lost it).

This is the hallway of my  former campus. One noticable change is the paint. So miserable to see the paint surface of the building is now falling through. Blame on the weather and the people sticking the announcement sheets.

Lesson that Indonesia never Tries to Learn after Earthquake: Earthquakeproofing our Houses and Buildings

After Aceh, Yogyakarta, West Java, it is now the turn of West Sumatra to suffer from the  sudden quake. It is an accidental post I dedicate to the West Sumatra earthquake casualties. Actually I learned the news of the 7.6 earth quake hitting the city of Padang yesterday evening. I signed in for my twitter but what I found to read was Najwa Shihab’s most recent tweet telling a major earthquake hitting the west part of Sumatra and a tsunami hitting the Pacific islands. I retweeted her tweet and went downstairs to find some TV stations airing news about the quake. I thought this must have been really massive, though it was not as massive as 2004 Aceh earthquake and tsunami disaster.

When the quake hit West Java, I just recalled my friends who are now teaching at Undip. They are Sundanese and I simply asked to one of them whether they and their family were OK or not. And a couple of seconds ago I just texted another friend of mine who happens to be a native of Padang. He works in Pontianak, Borneo but I am still waiting for his reply  just in case something bad happens to his family.
So far, according to what I heard from the SCTV news anchor few minutes ago, the dead casualties number has reached 529, which covers the capital of West Sumatra and the surrounding area like Padang Pariaman which is told to be the nearest spot to the earthquake epicentrum.

And what makes me deeply concerned with the whole earthquake series is that as far as I am concerned there has been NO research or efforts conducted by Indonesian scientists or researchers to lessen the impact of earthquake. I think all Indonesian citizens know better than anyone else that they are living just near the Fire Ring where a series of great volcanoes exist and eternally moving plates of earth. There must be lots more earthquake like this or worse than this but why does the government seem to be ignorant of this? Living in a high-risk area does not mean we have to simply pray day and night so that the quake will not strike. We have got to do something about it. And waiting for the goverment’s initiative is absolutely not an option. Either Indonesia is too large or our government is not quite responsive to deal with the aftermath consequences or even to give some tips to people on how to protect better their lives and properties from quake.

One of the doable efforts is socializing how to build a house that is relatively more earthquake-proof. So we at least contribute positively to our own safety. Never think that the government should take full responsibility of our own safety. It is now our turn to be a smart society that is more aware of the potential risks around us and equip ourselves with knowledge to prevent bigger loss in the future. 

There are some great articles on ehow about making our house more earthquake-proof you may find useful if you think prevention is better than cure. 

If earthquake is much too powerful enemy, then we have to be at least dead with our hardest fight. And our hardest fight is securing our lives.

(image taken from

LG KF510: My Dream Mobile Phone

Don’t know why while there are so many newer and far more sophisticated mobile phones launched and landed on the market, I still get fascinated by this LG phone. It used to cost IDR 2,900,000 at the first time it was thrown to the Indonesian market but now it costs less than IDR 1,500,000, which is certainly tempting to me. My motorola V3i has gotten some scratches and they are getting more and more visible, making it look less shiny than before. And what I complain about most is the battery lifetime. It sucks, to be frank. I initiated buying an extra battery just in case I need more power to resume my dropped call due to sudden loss of energy supply. The slim battery seems to hold only a ‘slim’ amount of energy for the phone. The one and only thing that succeeds to make me keep my motorola is its design.

I know judging the book by its cover is contrary to popular belief proverb. But in the 21st century mobile devices world, design is one of the key factors contributing to the vendors’ profits. 

When most people get infatuated with 3G or HSDPA or any other advanced technology innovations, I love this phone even though it is designed to operate in triband  GSM network only. Good bye 3G and video call! I can afford to buy 3G enabled phones but the problem is..can they function properly ? 

Unlike other slim sliding phones we may find in stores, LG KF510 is born to be strong. Fragility is not its middle name. Anti-scratch fine tempered glass covers the whole phone surface. And the metal frame is claimed to be strong enough to protect the inner  delicate components.

The  user interface is also said to be one of its contributing factors in attracting more buyers. The touch user interface which functions as direction pad just like in conventional phones is activated after the sliding is drawn downward. 

There is nothing special with this phone apart from the two points explained above.  This however does not underrate some of the features embedded in it. The camera is 3 MP in resolution. Armed with flash light, autofocus, various camera modes, and shake reduction, LG KF510 is ready to capture tons of cool pictures and videos.

The screen is standard, 240×320 pixels (QVGA resolution) with agreeable brightness level. Radio FM can be activated as we plug the handsfree into the specified port.

I cannot complain more about the memory capacity. Though it is small (only 16MB shared internal memory), I can purchase a transflash/ micro SD to save more files.

As for the battery lifetime, it is moderate. It is powered by 800 mAh li-ion battery that may survive from 2 up to 3 days (for standby mode).
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