你好吗?

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little boy I met in Indonesia

little boy I met in Indonesia

那年,我教着安亲班的一个小男生,当时的他是一年级的学生。有一张爱笑的脸,笑起来真的好可爱!每天早晨,当他踏入安亲班室,总会给我带来一股欢喜的动力。我们称他为小可吧!小可有一个非常美丽的母亲,清秀得像电影明星。她烤的牛油蛋糕特别香,入口即化。我对他们母子是有所偏爱的。

刚开始,妈妈说着就送小可来安亲班玩玩吧!后来,小可的成绩无法达到妈妈的要求,就是为什么不是90分以上或100分呢?为什么那么容易的题目,他竟然不会做呢?我微笑地听着他母亲的怨言,却无力地看着小可一脸沮丧,沉默的站在一旁让妈妈数落。妈妈认为小可不专心,懒散又爱玩,以及也许安亲班的老师没教好。于是,小可交到我的手上来,因为妈妈说只信任我的缘故。

之后,我对小可展开一对一的教学方式。我看着他努力地学,努力地写,埋头苦读,但是他认是记不住,……他读书的时候,眼睛会不断地眨,手与嘴巴会忍不住抽搐,非常细微的一个小小的抽搐……他仍是没有学得很好,听说,他开始被妈妈打了。美丽的母亲送着小可到安亲班时,小可再也没有灿烂的微笑,母亲脸上也总是一脸的不耐烦。

观察了好几个月,终于,我对小可说:“老师认为你做得很好,真的。”他望了我一眼,那一眼对我说着谢谢,却也同时不信任我对他的赞美。他低下了头,我却看见他的眼泪滴在桌前的作业上。他擦一擦眼泪,又继续努力地写。

不是他不要读,是他不能读

那夜,我上网找了一堆“阅读障碍症”的资料,约了小可妈妈面谈。她推却了几次,终于来了,却说:“我很忙啊,我只能给你5分钟。”我只好将资料交给她,我只有5分钟,因此我只用1分钟讲重点:“小可不是不要读,他是不能读,你别逼他,我不够专业,也许你需要找专业医生评估。”她只拿了资料,给我翻阅几页解释,话未说完,10分钟后,她就走了!从原定的5分钟到10分钟,她多给了我5分钟。之后,小可再也没来我们的安亲班了。小可的妈妈仍是礼貌的来电告知决定给小可请家教到家里来教,看看成绩会好一些吗?我只说谢谢你的通知。此时,我亦无言了,然而我时常忍不住在想,小可,好吗?那么可爱的一个孩子,我却不忍回想起那张读着书时抽搐的脸庞。

一年以后,我突然接到小可母亲的来电,电话那头情绪激动的说着小可确实患了阅读障碍症,因为脑部先天发育的问题。不是他不要读,是他真的不能读……我想。他的母亲终于明白了他的无助了!我松了一口气,也同时放下心头大石勒。小可,今年应是六年级生了。你好吗?

[文:郭淑梅(北海),刊登于星洲日报副刊]
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2011 瑞士雪山~少女峰

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2011年12月1日 晴天 心情开心

属于我自己的街头漫步 - 瑞士雪山~少女峰

这天是我在欧洲旅游的第八天,也是身在瑞士中部的城镇因特拉肯(Interlaken)的第二天。

早啊,美丽的城镇。这儿的空气清新的不得了,没有喧哗的闹市,适度的温度,使我一夜好眠。早晨6.30的Morning Call与电话闹钟的优雅声在耳边响起,让我不得不离开那张依偎一夜的被窝。今天不是说好自由行吗?那为何那么早起身呢?因为在这2011年12月的第一天送自己一份最好的礼物。我呀,想要让自己在瑞士雪上有称欧洲屋脊的—少女峰留下自己的一步一脚印。套一句旅社留言本上的一句中文:“此生不到少女峰,枉做当年痴情女”。哈,真是这样吗?

早晨7.30待在酒店享用早餐。我在欧洲的这几天,第一次在酒店里享用到有炒饭的早餐,真是感恩啊。牛角面包,芝士,牛奶等不是不好吃,而是中餐突然显得可贵些。或许是因为这儿比较多的旅客是来自亚洲吧。

常言道:早起的鸟儿有虫吃,所以吃完早餐大约早上8.30我就乘坐巴士出发去乘搭欧洲最高铁路~齿轮火车登上少女峰了。瑞士旅游业大部分位于阿尔卑斯山区,所以从因特拉肯(Interlaken)的道路去劳特布龙嫩(Lauterbrunnen)是窄狭也弯曲的。因为巴士沿山而道,所以一路上,入眼的窗外风景都属绿中带黄的草地或是山脉。不过,当巴士渐渐地往劳特布龙嫩(Lauterbrunnen)前进时,看入眼的却是白茫茫的雪地,枯了了的树枝上都像染了点点的白色小球球,白色三角屋塔下的木屋很可爱,山峰都盖上了雪白色,非常漂亮。这样的景色让我觉得自己好像自身在童话故事里。叮叮叮,告诉我圣诞节快到了,快把袜子挂在门前,哈。

早晨,沿途从因特拉肯(Interlaken)去劳特布龙嫩(Lauterbrunnen)的窗外风景。

早晨,沿途从因特拉肯(Interlaken)去劳特布龙嫩(Lauterbrunnen)的窗外风景。

大约一个多小时的车程,我便抵达了劳特布龙嫩(Lauterbrunnen)火车站。我需要从这儿乘坐火车到克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg), 那样我才可以乘坐齿轮火车登上少女峰。(这才是目地)

基本上,无论你在瑞士的任何一个地方, 想登上少女峰就必须从因特拉肯(Interlaken)的东站起程,因为这里是黄金线的中转站。而且在因特拉肯(Interlaken)这儿有火车通往卢塞恩和瑞士首都波恩等城市,交通便利。在因特拉肯(Interlaken)东站出发的火车,有分为两种航线去抵达少女峰。那就是东线和西线。如果坐从西线起程的火车就会经过劳特布鲁嫩( Lauterbrunnen ),这里以其峡谷和瀑布闻名。不过,如果做从东线起程的火车,就会经过格林德沃( Grindelwald ),这儿就以其田园风光,雪山下的民居而闻名。前提是无论选哪条航线都必须换两次火车。这两边航线的火车都会到达克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)。不过所需的时间就得根据途中换乘的连贯情况而略有差别。最后去往少女峰的登山火车是同属一辆火车(齿轮火车)。因为这两条航线的风景各 花入各眼,为了不让自己留下埋怨的声音,所以我选择了从劳特布龙嫩(Lauterbrunnen)登上克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)再坐齿轮火车登上少女峰,回返的路途我就从克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)往格林德沃( Grindelwald )下山,再回到因特拉肯(Interlaken)。来回路线就这样定了。

前往乘搭火车到克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)入口处见到了可爱的温馨标志。

前往乘搭火车到克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)入口处见到了可爱的温馨标志。

火车站有很详细的指示。

火车站有很详细的指示。

买了票根前往克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg),再来就是等待火车的到来。也许太早抵达火车站,我变成乘搭火车的第一班客户。随手在火车站拿了张少女峰的地图,随意的翻阅。得知少女峰位于瑞士旅游城市因特拉肯市正南方二三十公里处。它拥有海拔4158米、纬度46°32′12.5″N,经度 7°57′45.5″E。他是阿尔卑斯山,乃至欧洲的最高峰之一。在少女峰的断层中,其余有两峰为艾格峰(Eiger,3970米)及莫希峰(Mönch,4107米)。1811年,J. Meyer及 H. Meyer这两兄弟第一次登上了少女峰。

一张地图在手,难道就不会迷路吗?

一张地图在手,难道就不会迷路吗?

瑞士是以邦(Canton)联合形成的国家,共有23邦(如没错的话)。各邦拥有主权国家的自主性。瑞士之所以能够坚持永久中立的秘诀就是“邦”的平衡。左边的国旗就是“伯恩邦”的国旗。

瑞士是以邦(Canton)联合形成的国家,共有23邦(如没错的话)。各邦拥有主权国家的自主性。瑞士之所以能够坚持永久中立的秘诀就是“邦”的平衡。左边的国旗就是“伯恩邦”的国旗。

大约等了15分钟,火车终于来了。我就登上了小黄火车,往目的地出发去。火车缓缓向上行驶,山谷、积雪、小木屋,这些电脑桌面般的美景不停地谋杀着我的相机,相机卡匝卡匝的响起声音,我不知道按了多少次的快门。沿途绿色的树木,清新的空气都使我精神奕奕。

嘟嘟嘟嘟~火车带我前往乘搭齿轮火车。

嘟嘟嘟嘟~火车带我前往乘搭齿轮火车。

沿途的风景美不胜收。这一栋栋的木屋拥有很多扇窗口。

沿途的风景美不胜收。这一栋栋的木屋拥有很多扇窗口。

像不像童话故事中描绘的那样?

像不像童话故事中描绘的那样?

不知不觉,火车来到了位于克莱纳谢德格(Kleine Scheidegg)的火车站,我已经迫不及待想要转坐乘搭齿轮火车登上少女峰。为何我会那么的兴奋?那是因为这次乘坐的火车和一般的有所不同,它被称作齿轨火车是因为两条铁轨中间是齿轨,齿轮和轨道的咬合给爬行的火车提供了与地面牢固的结合力,使得火车能以很大的坡度行驶。这条铁路是由瑞士铁路之父”之称的阿道夫.古耶-泽勒(ADOLF GUYER-ZELLER)倡议,于1896年至1912年兴建的,当年1912年8月1日竣工动通。

在克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)站这儿有几家售卖可爱精品的店铺及咖啡屋。也因为这儿也是转换站,所以人潮比较多。

要前往少女峰,就离不开乘坐齿轮火车,它可是瑞士旅游的卖点之一。世界上没有哪个国家可以随便把火车修在云端之上,可见的瑞士人对少女峰特别的器重。 齿轮火车百年不衰,瑞士已将齿轮火车的名气和少女峰、因特拉肯捆绑在一起了。

要前往少女峰,就离不开乘坐齿轮火车,它可是瑞士旅游的卖点之一。世界上没有哪个国家可以随便把火车修在云端之上,可见的瑞士人对少女峰特别的器重。 齿轮火车百年不衰,瑞士已将齿轮火车的名气和少女峰、因特拉肯捆绑在一起了。

克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)的周边风景。

克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)的周边风景。

不久后,我便坐在红色的齿轮火车里,沿途欣赏到每个小镇不同的景致。从克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)到峰顶的这段路程,会有一个长达7.2公里的隧道。坡度却达到25%。现在由Kleine Scheidegg 到少女峰车站,上山需时约50分钟,下山则需要35分钟。这个隧道全部是由工人们用人工凿出来的!隧道非常的狭窄,刚好只容下火车的宽度,在 黑暗的隧道中,火车以时速35公里的速度蜿蜒前进,但是乘客却感受不出爬坡与蜿蜒的感觉(不过,我建议上山时请坐面部向上山的位置,下山时则坐在背靠下山的位置。那是因为会有出现不舒服的感觉,类似耳鸣或头晕)。齿轮火车还会有播放中文解说,而且是在第四顺序(在西班牙语和日语之前)。听见中文的解说,显得特别的亲切。

隧道中间设有两个观景台,火车会各停5分钟,分别是2865米高的爱格尔(Eigergletscher)与3160米高的冰海(Eismeer),从这两个观景台都可以看见连绵的雪山与冰河流泻而下的景色。两个车站都会逗留五分钟。在短站的停车时刻,我触摸了隧道的裸岩石碧,体验与感受这段开辟工程的艰难事迹。同时,这儿里边有一片大片的玻璃景观窗,能够让我们看到艾格峰冰河的辽阔视野,令我惊叹的冰河海景观。

火车在艾格石壁(Eigerwand)停留。

火车在艾格石壁(Eigerwand)停留。

少女峰内建有大型的建筑及复杂的隧道系统,除了车站外,还有酒店、餐厅、冰宫、气象观测站、研究站、电影院等。亦有隧道通往户外,供走到外面的冰原及冰河。

登顶后,首先入眼的是邮箱。我在少女峰了望台上给家人-爸爸寄了张明信片,还兴致勃勃地编着搞笑的祝福。除此,这还有旅游爱好者光顾的纪念品店,这里的价格并不比山下的贵。在这有一台机械,只要用上Swiss Coins 20, 就能压印成一枚印有少女峰标志的硬币。我当然没放过这机会。

在Top of Europe的邮局寄出一封明信片,这可是欧洲最高的邮筒!

在Top of Europe的邮局寄出一封明信片,这可是欧洲最高的邮筒!

就是这台机械能将硬币压印为少女峰的标志。

就是这台机械能将硬币压印为少女峰的标志。

我的成果:硬币与名明信片

我的成果:硬币与名明信片

在山顶还有个餐厅,我的午餐就在这享用-观餐厅Crystal Restaurant。这儿的面包很好吃,外表看是不怎么样,不过口感是好吃的。这餐厅的食物口味都还不错,第二推荐就是这儿自己制作的雪糕。在这餐厅一边吃饭一边看外边的奇景,是别有一番滋味。

少女峰景观餐厅Crystal Restaurant。这家餐厅的雪糕与法式面包很好吃。

少女峰景观餐厅Crystal Restaurant。这家餐厅的雪糕与法式面包很好吃。

喂饱了肚子,争取时间,出发参观万年冰宫。在万年冰宫里面,我双脚可直打滑,走起路来也轻松了许多。这儿让我仿佛在溜冰场溜冰一样,不过冰宫里很冷,温度十分底。或许是因为怕游客的体温融化的冰雕,所以一直有冷气打进来。

参观万年冰宫完毕后,我们继续向前出发。沿途还见到了一些展示角落。报道了在2001年11月13号,世界遗产委员会在赫尔辛基会议上正式确认并宣布了少女峰阿雷奇冰川为联合国教科文组织的世界保护遗产之一。该地区是阿尔卑斯山 脉 中有史以来第一个取得该称号成为世界自然遗产的地区。少女峰被称为欧洲之颠,是著名的旅游圣地加滑雪圣地,还是中国黄山的姐妹山。(少女峰已经和中国的黄山联盟)

少女峰景观餐厅Crystal Restaurant。这家餐厅的雪糕与法式面包很好吃。

在2001年11月13号,世界遗产委员会在赫尔辛基会议上正式确认并宣布了少女峰阿雷奇冰川为联合国教科文组织的世界保护遗产之一。(少女峰已经和中国的黄山联盟)

遠眺歐洲最長的阿萊奇冰川(Great Aletsch Glacier)

遠眺歐洲最長的阿萊奇冰川(Great Aletsch Glacier)

告别展示厅,入眼的就是期待已久的少女峰顶端。根据简单的解说,少女峰主要山峰有三座,呈东西向排列。由东至西分别为老人峰、僧侣峰和少女峰,三峰的高度分别为3970米、4099米、4158米,渐次升高。围绕这三座峰名字的由来有许多美丽的传说,少女峰也因此成为许多艺术家创作的素材。“老人峰”出自德语,其意为“我在这里”(瑞士通用语言主要是德语和法语,而少女峰属于德语地区)。“僧侣峰”则出自奥地利的一种马的名字,“少女”的原意是修女。僧侣峰横在老人峰和少女峰之间,使他们无法接触,也因此产生了种种的解释和传说。

在瑞士,有一则古老的传说:传说天使来到凡间,在一座美丽的山谷里居住下来,并且还为它铺上了无尽的鲜花和森林,镶嵌了银光闪烁珠链,还为它许愿说:“从现在气,人们都会来亲近你、赞美你,并爱上你”,这座使天使都心醉的山说的也是瑞士少女峰。

天使的愿望已经实现。所以,少女峰(Jungfrau)现在已经成为了每一个来瑞士旅行的人几乎都不会错过的地方。

山下云海遮日, 山顶万里晴空, 雄奇雪山, 万年冰川, 看的眼睛生痛(日光太强烈了, 变色眼镜不够用, XDJM们下次去要准备好强力太阳眼镜)。

山下云海遮日, 山顶万里晴空, 雄奇雪山, 万年冰川, 看的眼睛生痛(日光太强烈了, 变色眼镜不够用, XDJM们下次去要准备好强力太阳眼镜)。

到达山顶的达斯芬克司观景台可以俯览边上的EGIER峰和MONCH峰,雪白雪白的山,蓝蓝的天空,远处却又是绿色的一片。壮丽的景色真的让我难以忘怀,去那边的亚洲人很多。 日本人和韩国人特多,还有中国的旅行团。

到达山顶的达斯芬克司观景台可以俯览边上的EGIER峰和MONCH峰,雪白雪白的山,蓝蓝的天空,远处却又是绿色的一片。壮丽的景色真的让我难以忘怀,去那边的亚洲人很多。 日本人和韩国人特多,还有中国的旅行团。

我们参观少女峰两处地带,低一点的地方插着瑞士国旗,代表着瑞士之殿。 最高处是欧洲国旗,代表着欧洲屋脊。

我们参观少女峰两处地带,低一点的地方插着瑞士国旗,代表着瑞士之殿。 最高处是欧洲国旗,代表着欧洲屋脊。

温馨的提醒,可别太靠近。

温馨的提醒,可别太靠近。

最高峰就显示在眼前,我难以置信?

最高峰就显示在眼前,我难以置信?

很活泼的狗儿。

很活泼的狗儿。

峰顶最著名的景点是斯芬克斯观景台(Sphinx Observatory),它也是登顶旅程的终点,海拔3571米,可以观赏到阿尔卑斯山全景。游人可乘搭升降机直上海拔3571米的史芬克斯(Sphinx observation)观景大厅与平台,那是全歐洲最高的天文台,但氣象站是不對外開放。

1996年,瑞士人又在此大胆启用了欧洲最高的观景台及瑞士最快速的升降机(110米垂直高度,25秒钟抵达)。以便到最高的天文台上喂鸟,所谓的鸟,莫过于就是乌鸦,它们是那常见的动物。

1996年,瑞士人又在此大胆启用了欧洲最高的观景台及瑞士最快速的升降机(110米垂直高度,25秒钟抵达)。以便到最高的天文台上喂鸟,所谓的鸟,莫过于就是乌鸦,它们是那常见的动物。

「Top of Europe」的立牌,吸引許多人在此地拍照。

「Top of Europe」的立牌,吸引許多人在此地拍照。

大约下午12点,我们告别少女峰。沿途的少女峰无论是上山或下山的风景都充满了活力和变幻。从山下到山顶,一山之内景观却截然不同。山顶白雪飘飞,雪雾弥空,一派冰雪世界的奇观。而山腰以下,却有着一眼望不到头的青草的翠绿,山花的明黄;和缓的山坡上牛群散布,牛铃声回荡山谷;山谷里村落安详恬淡,人们生活简单、质朴而闲适。难道这就是少女峰的魅力吗?

这一切风景正构成了阿尔卑斯山区独有的迷人氛围,让每一个来到这里的人都会留连忘返,如坠入天境。而我,就是其中一位被这风景吸引这的傻婆。也许是因为家乡还没看见这样两极的景色。

云越来越浓,突然远处一束阳光冲出重云,洒在一个不知名的村庄上。 当时有种神灵降临的感觉。

云越来越浓,突然远处一束阳光冲出重云,洒在一个不知名的村庄上。 当时有种神灵降临的感觉。

云越来越浓,突然远处一束阳光冲出重云,洒在一个不知名的村庄上。 当时有种神灵降临的感觉。

我深深体会,他的美。

依依不舍,克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)

依依不舍,克来雪德(Kleine Scheidegg)

据当地人说,少女峰其实更适合徒步。因为雪道面积小,对滑雪高手来说不够过瘾。而即使是冬天徒步,也有专门的雪鞋、雪杖,不会滑雪的人都能轻易学会。对雪上 项 目不感兴趣的话,就赶紧换趟车,晃晃悠悠上山顶吧。“欧洲之巅”是少女峰顶端的观光项目,费用已经含在火车票里了。

格林德沃( Grindelwald )的小屋,雪儿飘飘。

格林德沃( Grindelwald )的小屋,雪儿飘飘。

格林德沃的风景

格林德沃的风景

美吗?看到它,让我心情大好。

美吗?看到它,让我心情大好。

http://www.jungfrau.ch 这就是票根

http://www.jungfrau.ch 这就是票根

行程结束,告别于见到雪花。如果非要用一句形容瑞士少女峰,只能说那无处不是明信片。那四处如茵的草原、幽静的森林、宏伟的雪山、澄澈的湖泊、风景如画的村庄……

希望它的美能够被保护,四处的环境能被珍惜。瑞士,让我一见就爱上。

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无腿铁臂汉七小时征服海拔1491米高嵩山

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7月12日,陈州在嵩山峻极峰顶庆祝。当日,来自山东苍山的“无腿铁臂汉”陈州历经7小时艰苦攀登,仅凭两个方形小木箱和双臂登上了海拔1491.73米的中岳嵩山峻极峰,完成了攀登“五岳”计划中的第二座著名山峰。

7月12日,陈州在嵩山峻极峰顶庆祝。当日,来自山东苍山的“无腿铁臂汉”陈州历经7小时艰苦攀登,仅凭两个方形小木箱和双臂登上了海拔1491.73米的中岳嵩山峻极峰,完成了攀登“五岳”计划中的第二座著名山峰。

山东「无腿铁臂汉」陈州(29岁)只花了七个小时,终征服中岳嵩山。被称为流浪歌手的陈州,于13岁时因从火车上摔下来,因而失去双腿,之后只能用双手代步。出事后,他仍保持乐观心态,更计划攀登内地「五岳」名山,以激励其他残疾人士自强。去年,他靠两个方形小木箱,花了12小时,终登上泰山之巅。前日,他再凭双臂成功登上海拔1,491.73米的嵩山峻极峯。

因为失去双腿,陈州前日的登山工具,仍是一直沿用的两个方形小木箱。在攀登过程中,他的双手分别握住木箱的提手,两手交替前进,屁股左右坐在木箱上,完全靠双臂的力量支撑起整个身体。由于天气炎热,故旅程亦十分艰辛,他的9岁女儿更沿途给他喂水,以鼓励父亲挑战顶峯。

「不得不佩服!」整整七小时后,他终成功征服嵩山,完成了攀登「五岳」计划中的第二座山峯。登山后,他兴奋得立即亲吻地面,并与一直伴随他攀登的妻子喻磊和儿女在峯顶拥抱庆祝。不少网友都大赞他「意志力真强」、「毅力惊人」,是一名「铁血真汉子」。有人更将他比作国际着名的无腿励志大师,称他为「中国的约翰.康提斯( John Coutis)」。

陈州自小被父母抛弃,13岁时从火车上摔下来后,失去双腿需截肢。乐观及坚强的他一年后开始学唱歌,变成街头歌手。及后,他凭歌声走过内地600多个城市,参加公益演出近百场,其间更找到一生最爱。

陈州在攀登嵩山。

陈州在攀登嵩山。

9岁的女儿在给陈州喂水,鼓励父亲向顶峰冲击。

9岁的女儿在给陈州喂水,鼓励父亲向顶峰冲击。

今年29岁的陈州13岁时从火车上摔下失去双腿,只能用双手拄着一对木盒前行。但他乐观坚强,靠歌声走过国内600多个城市,并参加公益演出近百场,用自强不息的精神激励他人回报社会。

今年29岁的陈州13岁时从火车上摔下失去双腿,只能用双手拄着一对木盒前行。但他乐观坚强,靠歌声走过国内600多个城市,并参加公益演出近百场,用自强不息的精神激励他人回报社会。

陈州在嵩山峻极峰顶亲吻地面,庆祝成功登顶。

陈州在嵩山峻极峰顶亲吻地面,庆祝成功登顶。

一直伴随陈州攀登的家人在峰顶拥抱庆祝。

一直伴随陈州攀登的家人在峰顶拥抱庆祝。

[source : http://news.hotpot.hk/fruit/art_main.php?a=1&b=international/art/20120714/16513384&c=%E5%85%A9%E5%B2%B8%E5%9C%8B%E9%9A%9B&d=20120714&i=&m=&s=1]
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Asia’s ‘Coral Triangle’ threatened by human activities

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Coral bleaching caused by higher sea temperatures wreaked havoc across the Coral Triangle (photo by AFP/Getty Images/Reuters)

Coral bleaching caused by higher sea temperatures wreaked havoc across the Coral Triangle (photo by AFP/Getty Images/Reuters)

CAIRNS, Australia – About 85% of the reefs in the Coral Triangle, which covers the Philippines, is under threat from human activities, putting the food security and livelihood of millions of people in peril.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) released the report Reefs at Risk on Monday at the International Coral Research Conference in Cairns, Australia, which put a spotlight on the status of corals in the Coral Triangle, a biodiversity hot spot.

According to the WRI, the coral reefs in the waters of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands, are being threatened by overfishing, watershed-based pollution, and coastal development.

The rate of coral degradation in the region is greater than the global rate of 60%, the report said. If factors such as climate change and ocean acidification are included in the threat equation, the affected coral cover rises to 90%, the WRI said.

“Across the Coral Triangle region, coastal communities depend on coral reefs for food, livelihoods, and protection from waves during storms, but the threats to reefs in this region are incredibly high,” said Lauretta Burke, senior associate at WRI and lead author of the report.

“Reefs are resilient—they can recover from coral bleaching and other impacts—particularly if other threats are low. The benefits reefs provide are at risk, which is why concerted action to mitigate threats to reefs across the Coral Triangle region is so important,” she added.

The Coral Triangle is one of the major focuses of the conference because of the threats it faces and its biodiversity. The region is home to nearly 30 percent of the world’s coral reefs and more than 3,000 species of fish—twice the number found anywhere else in the world.

More than 130 million people living in the region rely on reef ecosystems for food, employment, and revenue from tourism.

“The influence of coral reefs on the most important aspects of people’s lives cannot be overstated. The influence extends far beyond the Coral Triangle to people around the world who benefit from the fisheries, tourism, medicines, and numerous other services that reefs provide,” explained Katie Reytar, research associate at WRI and also lead author.

Only 1% of PH reefs pristine

Dr. Mundita Lim, director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, said the coral reefs in the country are progressively declining. As of 2010, only 1% of reefs are in pristine state, down from 3% in 2000. About 40% of the country’s reef cover is in poor condition.

Lim cited overfishing, destructive fishing practices, oil spills and hazardous waste from agriculture and industry as the major causes of the decline of the condition of local reef systems.

These are aggravated by the growth in population in the Philippine coastal areas, which put pressure on natural resources.

Climate change is another culprit. The Philippines saw a widespread coral bleaching event in 2010, which was triggered by warmer seas.

Lim warned that failure to protect the country’s coral cover will impact the Philippines’ economy. She noted that Filipinos depend on the seas for food and livelihood. Marine products such as tuna and seaweed are major sources of dollar revenues. Healthy reefs also help mitigate severe weather effects such as storm surges.

Consensus

The report from the WRI comes as leading coral reef scientists and researchers issued a consensus statement calling for urgent action to save the world’s coral reefs.

The statement, which was signed by 2,600 scientists at the start of the conference on Monday, said about 25%-30% of the world’s reef systems are severely degraded and this is expected to increase if local and global leaders fail to act.

“Coral reefs are important ecosystems of ecological, economic and cultural value yet they are in decline worldwide due to human activities. Land-based sources of pollution, sedimentation, overfishing and climate change are the major threats, and all of them are expected to increase in severity,” the ICRS consensus statement read.

Jane Lubchenko, administrator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said “coral reefs have been the grocery and pharmacy of people for millenia, their protection against tsunamis and tropical storms, the foundation of cultures, a seemingly infinite source of inspiration, an invaluable library of life’s mysteries, and a rich source of resilience against environmental changes. “

“In far too many places around the world these benefits are gone or are disappearing. Over the past decade alone, threats to reefs have gone from worrisome to dire. Reef ecosystems are changing rapidly and radically, with profound consequences for people,” she said.

Call to action

Leading coral scientists said the consensus statement should guide policy makers to action. Coral reefs all over the world are also facing degradation, said Jeremy Jackson, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian Institution and the 2012 recipient of the Darwin Medal.

In the Caribbean, for example, 75-85 percent of the coral cover has been lost in the last 35 years.

The Great Barrier Reef, the best-protected reef ecosystem on the planet, has not been spared. It has seen a 50 percent decline in coral cover in the last 50 years.

Jackson said climate change is exacerbating the problems that coral reefs are facing from local stressors such as pollution and overfishing. Climate change is also causing increased droughts, agricultural failure and sea level rise at increasingly faster rates that implies huge problems for societies.

“That means what’s good for reefs is also critically important for people and we should wake up to that fact,” Jackson said. “The future of coral reefs isn’t a marine version of tree-hugging but a central problem for humanity.”

Professor Terry Hughes, convener of the Symposium and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said, “There is a window of opportunity for the world to act on climate change – but it is closing rapidly.”

[source : http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/07/09/12/coral-triangle-ph-reefs-under-threat]
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30-Hour Famine 2012 in Malaysia 马来西亚饥饿30

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30-Hour Famine (google image)

30-Hour Famine (google image)

About hunger crisis

Now the world’s population has reached 7 billion, the demand for food is even more pressing. The question we need to ask now is: will there be enough food to feed 7 billion people?

Technically, there is, but still…

Hard Facts:

Why do 925 million people go to bed hungry every night?

Our agricultural system is inefficient

The effects of severe climate changes

Escalating global food prices.

Do you know that, each year, 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition?

About 30-Hour Famine

The 30-Hour Famine is a global movement against hunger and poverty. Over the years, the 30-Hour Famine has gained a reputation as one of the biggest and most fun fundraising event in the world particularly among youths and young adults.

By going without solid food for 30 hours, you can bring change to the lives of those impacted by hunger and poverty. You can give them access to improved health care, a better quality of life and most importantly, HOPE for a brighter tomorrow.

Participants will have an opportunity to get a first-hand simulated experience of living life in dire conditions through various Famine Challenges and educational movies. At the end of the fasting period, participants will break-fast together at their respective DIY Camp venues or to participate in the the 30-Hour Famine centralised Countdown event.

In Malaysia, how did it start?

The first 30-Hour Famine in Malaysia started back in 1997 and it was a joint effort between World Vision Malaysia and Sin Chew Daily in response to the famine in North Korea. Funds poured in and a record of RM2.6 million was raised.

What happened next?

The 30-Hour Famine slowly gained its popularity. Major corporates joined the movement by offering their support in terms of sponsorship. In the year 2002, HELP University College came on board and played host for both the English and Chinese camps. Thanks to the strong media support, the 30-Hour Famine movement in Malaysia continues to attract more of the public to participate in this movement.

30-Hour Famine Do-It-Yourself Camps

In the year 2008, 30-Hour Famine was introduced in a new format, the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) format. This enabled people from other states in Malaysia to take part in the Famine movement. 50 DIY camps were held across Peninsular Malaysia in, after which campers attended a star-studded countdown event.

Still up and moving!

The 30-Hour Famine movement continues to gain support from both old and new participants. New elements such as the 8-Hour Kidz Famine for children aged 12 and below was introduced to educate the younger generation on social concerns and Famine Youth Leaders who were given an opportunity to learn more about World Vision’s work and to share with their peers and the public.

What can you do

1. Join The Famine!
Go hungry so others don’t have to. Together, we can overcome hunger.

2. Spread The Word
Speak out and advocate for change! Share the Famine page with your friends through Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or blog!

3. Champion The Cause
There is enough food in the world but food is not equally distributed. Why not get your school club or company to provide for the hungry by joining the 30-Hour Famine or giving to the Famine Fund?

4. Sponsor a child!
Give a child a shot at life by transforming his community. This is a long-term commitment to ensure he and his community will be fed and be self-subsistent in the long run!

5. Eat right and Stay Healthy
You owe it to yourself to eat right to stay as fit as a fiddle every day. Given the access to nutritious natural foods in Malaysia, there are no excuses to practice unhealthy diets or skip your meals unnecessarily!

6. Make the Change
Change your own lifestyle and live prudently. Let’s not be wasteful with food and learn to be grateful for what we have.

[source : http://www.worldvision.com.my/famine/]
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Behind the scene – M Nicole Make Up at Haha Studio July 2012

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M Nicole Make Up studio shooting at Haha Studio

M Nicole Make Up studio shooting at Haha Studio

It had been a while since I stepped into studio for shooting. Yesterday was the exam for the students of M Nicole Make Up and I was invited to join the event at Haha Studio (in Kota Laksamana, Melaka). It was rather a gathering with the photography friends where getting everyone together.

I didn’t do any studio shooting while I was there, however I took some behind the scene shots, chit chat with friends, and watched how professional the photographers, make up artists and models performed their work.

After the studio shooting, we went for an outdoor shooting which I had the chance to really get into action with the friends.

Thanks for inviting and it was a really great session. May all beings bEE happy. Sharing some of the photos.

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