Armless Pianist Liu Wei Defies Odds On ‘China’s Got Talent’

By | Compassion | 2 Comments
Liu Wei playing the piano with his toes (photo from http://english.cri.cn/)

Liu Wei playing the piano with his toes (photo from http://english.cri.cn/)

Heartening tales of overcoming adversity are typical fodder on “Got Talent” and other reality shows, but the shocking saga of “China’s Got Talent” contestant Liu Wei makes this season’s batch of “America’s Got Talent” sob stories look like the pampered brats on VH1’s “You’re Cut Off.” And this is a true sob story–seriously, if you watch the video below and don’t get at least a little bit misty-eyed, you clearly have no soul.

Liu, now 23 years old, lost both of his arms in a freak accident when he was 10, after he touched an electrified wire while playing hide-and-seek. However, these tragic circumstances did not stop Liu from pursuing his dream of becoming a pianist–teaching himself how to play with his feet at age 18, after one piano teacher told him he would never succeed. And it turns out, Liu has more talent in one of his pinky toes than most four-limbed piano players have in both of their hands.

“For people like me, there were only two options. One was to abandon all dreams, which would lead to a quick, hopeless death. The other was to struggle without arms to live an outstanding life,” Liu explained to the judges on “China’s Got Talent.” Thankfully, Liu chose the latter option.

Watch Liu’s perfect performance of “Mariage D’amour” below, and make sure to have some tissues nearby:

[source: http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/385927/armless-pianist-liu-wei-defies-odds-on-chinas-got-talent/]
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I’m poor but happy, says lotto girl who blew £2million on flash cars, breast implants and drugs

By | Compassion, Wisdom | 2 Comments
cheque-out: Shopworker Callie Rogers's big win in year 2003 (photo from www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/)

cheque-out: Shopworker Callie Rogers's big win in year 2003 (photo from www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/)

When Callie Rogers won almost £2million on the lottery aged 16, she hoped it would help her put her troubles behind her.

The teenager came from a broken home, had dropped out of school and was living in local authority care.

But instead she became addicted to drugs and attempted suicide three times as her life unravelled.

She says the money brought her only misery – and now she is down to her last £100,000, she has never been happier.

Now 22, she said: ‘Just a few months ago I was taking too many drugs and hated myself.

‘I simply did not want to live any more.

‘But now I have a new man and am finally becoming the woman I want to be.

‘And it’s only after I’ve spent most of my fortune that this has finally happened.’

Miss Rogers, from Cockermouth, Cumbria, won £1.9million on the National Lottery in 2003.

She went on a massive spending spree, splashing out on four homes for her family, flash cars, designer clothes, partying and breast implants.

A fortnight after her win she met unemployed Nicky Lawson, 29.

They have a five-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter.

But during their relationship she spent £250,000 on cocaine.

She suffered depression and tried to take her life, the final time earlier this year after losing custody of her children because of her mental state.

She told Closer magazine, in which she poses nude with only banknotes to preserve her modesty, that she was determined to win them back.

‘I’ve made an appointment to see a doctor as I need help to deal with my depression,’ she said.

‘I need to get my act together and make my kids proud, and for the first time I really do think that’s possible.’

She credits her new boyfriend with giving her the stable home life she has always craved, and she now hopes to go to college and eventually become a counsellor.

‘After all I’ve endured, I think I have a lot of advice to offer,’ she said.

[source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1303665/Lotto-girl-Callie-Rogers-blew-2m-flash-cars-breast-implants-drugs.html?ito=feeds-newsxml]
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Street photography – panning shots in old town Melaka

By | Beautiful Melaka, Photography | 2 Comments
street photography outing in old town of Melaka with, from left: Iu-Lung, Timothy (blocked), and Denny

street photography outing in old town of Melaka with, from left: Iu-Lung, Timothy (blocked), and Denny

The 11th of August was Awal Ramadan, the beginning of Islamic month of fasting. Within these 29 or 30 days per lunar sighting of Ramadan month, participating Muslims all over the world refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset. It is intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility, and spirituality. Thus the significant first day of Ramadan is declared public holiday for the states of Johor, Kedah and Melaka.

a street view of Jalan Tukang Besi

a street view of Jalan Tukang Besi

On this first day of Ramadan last week, everyone in Melaka was having a day off and so to the students, Timothy, Iu-Lung, and Denny, whom I met from photonian. They then organised a street shooting around Jonker Street and were inviting others to join. Since I was having lunch at Jason’s house, which near to that area, I called up Timothy to join them and was hoping to learn from them. Timothy, Iu-Lung and Denny are no Malaccan but from Bintulu, Tampin and Kuala Lumpur relatively. They are current students of the Multimedia University in Melaka, and they are really passionate in photography.

The three of them display great skills yet diverse in their style from each other. Tim, who is active in the university’s photography event always likes to try new thing and produce outstanding masterpieces. On the other hand, I came to know Iu-Lung after seeing his name and photos in the paper and magazine, receiving good feedback from others. It also gave me a good impression on his black and white photos. Denny whom I just knew, showed a dynamic of passion in photography during the outing.

After we met and gathered at Jalan Tukang Besi, we began our shooting along the street, targeting craft-men whom hardly be seen nowadays. We were looking particularly for an elderly doing rattan at Jalan Kampung Kuli. His workplace was next to the Makam Hang Jebat (Hang Jebat’s grave). It is shame to say that I did know the grave’s existence prior to the outing till I was told and brought there by the three students from other states. And unfortunately we didn’t manage to see the rattan man as he was already off business on the day. Feeling disappointed, we continued  on our search of a craft-man.

the elderly craft-man checking on a sewing maching

the elderly craft-man checking on a sewing maching

We then headed to Jalan Kampung Pantai. I remember there is an elderly craft-man who repairs sewing machine at his shop right opposite the fabric shop I went a week ago. And yes, the craft-man was there on business that day and he was fixing a sewing machine when we reached. We were happy to meet our objective – taking photos of a craft-man. With the old craft-man’s consent, we snap some of his photos before we moved to my last stop, Lorong Jambatan.

The street leads directly to the famous bridge which known by the locals as Gui Men Guan in Chinese, meaning hell gate. It’s believed that many had been killed during the world war Japanese invasion or suicide here by jumping into Melaka River. As it is dead end, no car would drive into this street.

panning shot of the family love on a bike

panning shot of the family love on a bike

When we arrived there, a family of few members was spending some precious time together and the kids were cycling back and forth along the street. They were friendly and happily greeted us on our arrival. The kids were not camera-shy but to continue cycling. It came to my mind immediately to shoot panning photos of the kids on bikes instead of taking racing cars. So I turned down the my camera’s shutter speed and started to do panning shots of the family’s cycling moments. We enjoyed there capturing the shots of the people, building and the bridge.

It was late then I had to leave for my next appointment. Timothy and friends continued their journey to other streets and I believed they’d got really amazing shots of the old town of Melaka. I really enjoyed the walk around and snap outing. It was also a great pleasure to join these energetic and passionate young men especially having the same interest in keeping the aspects of history before they disappear altogether.

Thanks to Timothy, Iu-Lung and Denny for spending a good time together. May all beings be happy.

Hit the jump to see panning in action:

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[News] China mourns victims, toll surpasses 1,200

By | Compassion | No Comments

victim of Zhouqu lanslides: girl crying over the lost of her family member (AP photo)

victim of Zhouqu lanslides: girl crying over the lost of her family member (AP photo)

Thousands of residents and rescuers in Zhouqu, the remote mountain region in Gansu province flattened by last weekend’s landslides, stopped search efforts to take part in a ceremony to remember the victims, state television said.
Sirens wailed as mourners, wearing white paper flowers and some still clutching their shovels, observed a three-minute silence at 10:00 am.

Rescuers and medics later resumed their duties, clearing debris from the swollen Bailong River, searching for bodies buried under sludge and spraying disinfectant to prevent a disease outbreak, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Authorities said 496 people in Zhouqu were still missing after the avalanche of mud and rocks last Saturday night, which levelled an area five kilometres (three miles) long and 300 metres wide, Xinhua said.

The official death toll rose to 1,248 on Sunday from the previously reported 1,239.

Authorities are struggling to keep up with demand for coffins in the devastated region, whose population is one-third Tibetan, the China Daily said.

[source: http://news.malaysia.msn.com/photogallery.aspx?cp-documentid=4276623]
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莲花池。五月

By | Photography | 8 Comments

莲花池

莲花(英文名:Lotus flower)是多年生水生植物。根茎(藕)肥大多节,横生于水底泥中。叶盾状圆形,表面深绿色,被蜡质白粉覆盖,背面灰绿色,全缘并呈波状。叶柄圆柱形,密生倒刺。花单生于花梗顶端、高托水面之上,有单瓣、复瓣、重瓣及重台等花型;花色有白、粉、深红、淡紫色或间色等变化。

还是第一次那么近距离接触到莲花。

五月的某天,是突然的安排和决定要去靠近Merlimau莲花池一趟。觉说莲花盛放的时候是很漂亮的。虽然不知道莲花的花语是什么,也不知道莲花代表什么,但是那鲜粉红的花瓣,黄黄的中心,给我的感觉是活跃、满足、快乐。但愿在看着这篇文章的你们也一样。幸福,快乐。

五月的莲花照:

五月。天空

莲花池隔壁的河流

五月莲花

专注的觉

觉: 人生似如莲花般吧?

一直和我一起在马六甲摄影的觉,谢谢你让我看到很多很美好的画面

谢谢觉,谢谢那天载我们去的 Wee-Peng 和 Meng-Hong。

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布料店与妈妈

By | Beautiful Melaka, Chinese calligraphy, Photography | 8 Comments
与妈妈(穿黑衣)到Jalan Kampung Pantai的一间布料店。照片里的另外两位是老板和老板娘。除此,还可以看到怀旧的车衣机。

与妈妈(穿黑衣)到Jalan Kampung Pantai的一间布料店。照片里的另外两位是老板和老板娘。除此,还可以看到怀旧的车衣机。

好久没有打中文字了。上个星期,难得比较得空,便与妈妈到Kampung Jawa吃潮州粥。这两个月,都吃了很多的潮州粥。可以说,平均一个星期吃一次。

那天吃了之后,妈妈说想买些布料,缝件裤子给妹妹。我们便到Jalan Kampung Pantai一间历史悠久的布料店。恰好想拍些Kampung Jawa的街景,便带了相机,想想何不拍些布料店的照片?

下了车,进了布料店,发现这件布料店和里面的装潢都很旧,历史也许比我的年龄还长。最引我注目的是,店后墙上挂有一张刑福兴老师的挥春墨迹:一家欢笑春风暖,四季平安淑景新。好不温馨!

问了老板,原来老板和福兴老师研究过书法。福兴老师是孔教会的书法老师,写的字总是那么的洒脱,看了很舒服。想想:我也好久没见到福兴老师了。

布料店后面的窗外就是马六甲河了,再看看窗边挂着的福兴老师的挥春、上面古老的时钟、右边的鲤鱼图、左边春字帖、加上一个传统日历,还真有春天的气息。顿时,让我想起了以前婆婆的家,也有那么个气氛。人说:这种睹物思旧的心情是“物是人非事事休,欲语泪先流。”

妈妈和店老板与老板娘聊了一会儿,才知道老板与老板娘都认识我的婆婆。其实也不奇怪。以前婆婆的家离这间店不远,而且街坊们都认识婆婆和她亲切的笑容。最近,我也见到了认识婆婆的人,都说婆婆是个慈祥的老太太。

妈妈选了些合适的黑布料,我也要求说想有件运动裤,希望妈妈能做一件送给我。她答应了,便多买些布料,然后打道回府了。

好久没有和妈妈这么出来了。才知道,当时身为游子的我,离家那么多年都没有好好照顾妈妈。现在回到家了,更应该多陪伴身边的家人。

看见妈妈选布料时,手上的皱纹如层层的布料,多么的感叹。。。

刑福兴老师的挥春墨迹:一家欢笑春风暖,四季平安淑景新

刑福兴老师的挥春墨迹:一家欢笑春风暖,四季平安淑景新

层层的布料

层层的布料

老板正在剪着妈妈所选的布料

老板正在剪着妈妈所选的布料

老板娘在忙着车缝庙堂的布条

老板娘在忙着车缝庙堂的布条

色彩鲜艳的布料

色彩鲜艳的布料

镜中的老板娘

镜中的老板娘

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