Gordon Ramsay eats shark fin soup for the first time!

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Renowned chef Gordon Ramsay (image from british-chinese.blogspot.com)

Renowned chef Gordon Ramsay (image from british-chinese.blogspot.com)

In January 2011, while in Costa Rica, renowned chef Gordon Ramsay was doused in petrol and held at gunpoint as he tried to uncover the dark world of illegal shark fin trading for a new TV show. Ramsay stated:

They told me they’d shoot me. At one, I managed to shake off the people keeping us away, ran up some stairs to a rooftop and looked down to see thousands of fins, drying on rooftops for as far as the eye could see. When I got back downstairs, they tipped a barrel of petrol over me. Back at the wharf, there were people pointing rifles at us to stop us filming. A van pulled up and these seedy characters made us stand against a wall. The police came and advised us to leave the country…..

Let’s watch this short video of Gordon Ramsay’s investigation on shark finning shared by my friend, Fred. Ramsay witnessed shark finning process and sharks having fins cut off whilst alive and being thrown back into the sea.

Shark’s fin itself is virtually tasteless and not only are the claims of its ability to boost sexual potency unverifiable, it may cause sterility in men if consumed in large quantities, due to the mercury content.

Read also the previously posted article Jaws wide open, eyes wide shut by Perry Gan.

As long as demand of shark fin exists, supply would be made to satisfy demand. So please take our pledge, promising not to eat shark fin anymore.

May all beings be happy.

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The bear who dared: polar animal descends 300ft cliff in a bid to scavenge eggs

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Watch the birdie: A hungry polar bear inching down a 300ft cliff face in a desperate search for food on in Novaya Zemlya, Russia

Watch the birdie: A hungry polar bear inching down a 300ft cliff face in a desperate search for food on in Novaya Zemlya, Russia

  • Previously undocumented scene stunned tourists as they watched bear scramble and slip down Russian precipice
  • It is believed hungry bears are being attracted to more dangerous terrain because usual icy hunting spots are melting

For birds nesting on a precarious cliff, the last visitor they might expect to see would be a hulking polar bear clambering down to join them.

Yet this bulky beast somehow managed to descend a craggy precipice in Russia’s remote Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya.

The young male risked life and limb scavenging for eggs along the 300ft-high rock face thronged with hundreds of squawking Brunnich’s Guillemots.

Stunned tourists onboard a chartered ice-breaker boat were left in awe as the watched the previously undocumented spectacle.

American photographer Dylan Coker, who captured the incredible scene, said: ‘The height that the bear was at and the sheerness of the cliff face were absolutely amazing,’ said the 40-year-old.

‘Everyone was terrified it was going to fall.

‘Every so often there would be a gasp from someone on the boat when the bear slipped.

‘It was slipping quite a bit and one point it was stretched right out to reach for eggs in a nest.’

What are you doing here?! The bear approches nesting Brunnich's Guillemots, whose eggs he hoped to scavange

What are you doing here?! The bear approches nesting Brunnich's Guillemots, whose eggs he hoped to scavange

Gone again: The birds raced down the cliff every time the polar bear ventured further down. A quizzical seagull watches from above the bulky beast

Gone again: The birds raced down the cliff every time the polar bear ventured further down. A quizzical seagull watches from above the bulky beast

Remote: The polar bear before making his daring descent on one of the rocky Ostrova Oranskie islands

Remote: The polar bear before making his daring descent on one of the rocky Ostrova Oranskie islands

Describing the moment the passengers relealised they were seeing a bear on the cliff on one of the Ostrova Oranskie islands, Californian Mr Coker, who now lives in Australia, said: ‘It was a really beautiful place; very foggy, cool, and serene with a sky full of squawking birds.

‘We rounded a corner and suddenly we could see this white blob at the top of some cliffs.

‘The cliffs were at least as high as a five-storey building. At first we thought it might be a large bird or a snow patch but as we got nearer we realised it was a polar bear.

‘Everyone on the boat was quiet, we just sat there in awe.’

Despite its bravado, the bear returned to the top of the cliff without enjoying a full meal after losing its footing several times.

Previously the group of group had encountered polar bears hunting on ice floes in Bukhta Maka, after journeying for two days without seeing land.

In awe: Tourists on a small boat capture the previously undocumented scene with their cameras

In awe: Tourists on a small boat capture the previously undocumented scene with their cameras

Precarious: The bear eventually returned to the top after losing its footing a few too many times

Precarious: The bear eventually returned to the top after losing its footing a few too many times

But it is believed that a scarcity of ice has led to bears seeking out food in more dangerous locations.

Mr Coker said: ‘There’s a real problem with the ice disappearing due to climate change.

Polar bear habitat: Russia's Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya

Polar bear habitat: Russia's Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya

‘Traditionally the bears sit by an air hole in the ice waiting for a seal to poke its head out so they can grab it.

‘But because there’s less and less ice, the bears are looking for alternative sources of food and have discovered the birds’ eggs.’

During the expedition the tourists also witnessed bears swimming hundreds of miles out to sea.

Mr Coker added: ‘They’re used to resting on and hunting from ice floes but now the bears swim around until they are exhausted, then they drown.’

This was the first time a civilian boat has been granted permission to sail in these waters, which also forms part of a large military zone.

Mountainous and shrouded in mystery, the Novaya Zemlya archipelago stretches 1000 km in an elongated crescent between the Barents and Kara seas.

Today it remains one of Russia’s most restricted and isolated regions.

Aurora Expeditions secured the first permit on condition that two government representatives act as chaperones.

Mr Coker, who recently won an Archbishops Award for his photography, added: ‘We were really lucky to have witnessed it.

‘We could have easily been there on a different day and who knows how often this kind of thing occurs.

‘I will never forget the day I watched a polar bear hunt for eggs on a cliff-edge.

‘I couldn’t have imagined a better or more unique adventure.’

[source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2031711/The-bear-dared-Awesome-polar-animal-scales-300ft-cliff-bid-picnic-VERY-surprised-birds.html]
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Let’s go Cambodia – sunset by the Mekong River

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sunset of Mekong River

sunset of Mekong River

I will continue and complete my Cambodia’s story, with this beautiful Mekong River cruise, by skipping the story to Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields.

The second evening when we were in Phnom Penh after shopping at Russian Market, we experienced the rich life and the magnificent sunset of Mekong River. We arrived at the central riverfront area of Phnom Penh and took some photos at the Royal Palace. Then we continued to the jetty nearby and boarded our boat. It was an old fashioned double decker boat and of course we went for the upper deck for better view.

Chams

Chams

We begin to feel the cool breeze of the river and relaxing everything around us. The boat cruised along the central riverfront area and provided picturesque views of the riverfront area including Royal Palace, Wats, significant landmarks, and also Phnom Penh skyline.

Then, the river cruise experience became rural when the boat crossed to the other side of the bank. Here, we met the Cham and visited Cham tribal village.

The Cham are a minority Muslim tribe in Cambodia and they speak Malay language. Most of them are fishermen and they spent their entire life on the boats. Everything just happens on the small boats as we saw on our tour, kids jumping into the river for bath, women cooking on boats, and men out for fishing.

They are living very poor life as they hardly have access to information, good education and training like we get back home. We gave them some goods and monetary donation and continued our tour further down the river, with dramatic river scenery, fishing villages and extensive fishing activities.

Soon the sun started to fall below the horizon, it turned fiery yet romantic. The evening sun illuminated from the rear of Royal Palace and gave us striking silhouette images. Everyone on board kept taking shots before the sun disappeared behind the clouds. 

Cham little girl

Cham little girl

The cruise took exactly 1 hour and we returned to the jetty near the central riverfront area for dinner. We enjoyed the cruise and discovered the beauty of Mekong River, the true Mother River of Southeast Asia.

On the next day, we left Phnom Penh and flew back to Malaysia. We loved the place and enjoyed so much on this trip even though it was only a short trip. It’s one of the best places for travelling, finding culture, nature and mystical wonders.

Special thanks to Kenn-Wai for lending his 17-50mm Tamron lens. May all beings be happy. Sharing more shots of the mystical river and the Cham tribe. This set of photos will be the last series of photos from my old camera.

royal gate

royal gate

Khmer kids

Khmer kids

Royal Palace of Cambodia

Royal Palace of Cambodia

lotus seeds (edible)

lotus seeds (edible)

our pilot of tour

our pilot of tour

walking to the river cruise

walking to the river cruise

opaque brown water of Mekong River contrasts with the green hue of river bank

opaque brown water of Mekong River contrasts with the green hue of river bank

central riverfront area of Phnom Penh, view from the Mekong River's cruise

central riverfront area of Phnom Penh, view from the Mekong River's cruise

Cham fishing boat on Mekong River

Cham fishing boat on Mekong River

tribe on Mekong River, boats are their homes

tribe on Mekong River, boats are their homes

naked Cham boy just love the river

naked Cham boy just love the river

Cham lady living on boat

Cham lady living on boat

Cham children

Cham children

"candy?"

"candy?"

asking for

asking for

Cham

Cham

kayaking on Mekong River

kayaking on Mekong River

sunset of Mekong River

sunset of Mekong River

fishermen's life

fishermen's life

Khmer ladies

Khmer ladies

tuk-tuk

tuk-tuk

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Cindy + Argen = 7th year

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7th year, Cindy and Argen

7th year, Cindy and Argen

True love is an awesome thing to witness.

Few months back, Cindy and Argen had got themselves a night stay in A’Farmosa Resort of Malacca. They also celebrated their 7th anniversary they both got together.

Cindy and Argen always wanted to have a couples photo album, recording their sweet memories. They invited Kenn-Wai and I to photograph and produce a special album for them during their stay in the resort.

We arrived in the afternoon and spent an hour in the villa and the next hour at the golf course just before sunset. The whole session was very pleasant filled with of frivolity and laughter.

Thank you so much, Cindy and Argen. Please do not forget your first dates, cherish each other and the happiness will always be with you! Happy seventh anniversary to the both of you!

May all beings be happy. Sharing the lovely moments,

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一颗露珠

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米

让我们假想,如果你我是生活在粮荒肆虐的衣索比亚;如果你我生活在地震频发的太平洋环带;如果你我生活在子弹乱飞的战火之都,你是否会随着灾难的漩涡沉沦,深埋于黑暗的山谷之间?你是否会从此放弃对晴天的期待?

在医院的门诊室里,电视正播放着国家地理频道,名为《地球危机》的专题节目,画面中喷发的火山熔岩、扑面而来的海啸、茉莉花革命浪潮……让渺小的人类在灾难前显得惊慌、无助、恐惧、茫然,甚至绝望。

“这叫以后的人类要怎样活啊?”一位大腹便便的准妈妈感叹道,前来做产检的她或许已开始担心即将诞生的孩子,如何在水深火热的乱世中,学得精明的生存之道。

“既然2012快到了,从今天起我们就尽情欢乐吧!”坐在身旁的准爸爸打趣地说。

“那我们按月缴交一堆账单,房贷、车贷、保险……这都为了什么?”语毕,两人面面相觑,苦笑着。

我要留住草尖的那颗露珠

“天无绝人之路,一根小草,一点露!”忽然,一把淡泊而笃定的声音打破了静寂,为冰冷的候诊室添了些暖意,而静坐在一旁的我也瞬间愣住了,因为这也是爷爷和奶奶生前常说的一句话啊!

猛地回头,发现说话的正是一位老先生,年迈的他因糖尿病引发肾病变,每周需到医院洗肾3次。逐渐衰老的他虽知此病能完全痊愈的几率很低,但仍然积极接受治疗,让洗肾的痛楚延长有限的生命长度,因为他相信生命的宽度是由内心缔造的,坚强的他能微笑面对活着的每一天。

正如爷爷生前常说,就算人儿为小草灌溉,晨曦的露珠也会沾上草尖,滋润这株小生命。无论是生老病死或严峻的灾难,都在考验着生命力的强韧,惶惶之音迷漫在家园的上空,我们带着逃亡的勇气冲向防空洞,心里虽明白劫数难逃,但血肉之躯依然带着绝望跑下去,唯有这样,才有一线生机。

随着时间将日子往前推,爷爷奶奶遗留给我的人生道理,就像米袋里掉落的米粒,背着米袋快步往前冲的我却丝毫未察觉。庆幸这天,老先生似乎看见了一颗颗被我弄丢在岁月里的白米粒,于是走过来,挥手对我说:“孩子,你的米袋破洞咯,米正一粒一粒地往下掉呢!”

是的,亡羊补牢,未为晚也!

在米袋变得轻飘飘之前,我得赶紧找一根绳子扎好破洞的米袋,然后循着时间的河流回到岁月深处去找那一颗颗遗落的白米粒,留住能喂饱心灵的养分,留住草尖的那棵露珠。

[文:谢敏洁(安邦),刊登于星洲日报副刊]
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Help for Horn of Africa food crisis

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juesatta awakening foundation (draft logo)

juesatta awakening foundation (draft logo)

The Horn of Africa is facing what has been called the worst drought in 60 years, wiped out livestock and  with an left left millions in need of food and water in the country which is already suffering from civil unrest. Tens of thousands have fled their homes, walked for weeks in search of food. Many young children have died along the way.

Please donate whatever you can afford and save lives. And you will give protection and offer hope to people who are in an extremely desperate situation. Here, at juesatta, we’ve made a USD $150.00 to aid the the emergency relief operation and will continue to seek supports. If you wish to donate, kindly contact us or make your donation to unicef.

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