Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Caffeine fix

How do you like your coffee?

Ask any coffee drinker that and you're bound to get very different answers. For me it's simple. I like mine thick and with enough condensed milk to just provide that lift to the flavour of the coffee. If I don't get what I want, I'd just have a few sips of the coffee and call the waiter for them to add whatever it is that was lacking. Of course, the coffee I'm talking about here is your kopitiam variety, not one of those fancy-schmansy designer places you pay top dollars for. While your local coffee shop may not have the extensive menu of places like Starbucks or Coffee Bean, you're not exactly short of choices. Just think of the ways you can order your coffee:

The base:
  • Kopi O - Your locally brewed black coffee served with either sugar or no sugar.
Then, you have the add-ons to the basic drink:

  • Kopi - The same coffee as above but with the addition of condensed milk. My kind of drink: smooth, and sweetish with just a hint of bitterness to it.
  • Kopi/Kopi O Kaw - The same as either one of the drinks above, just with a bit more oomph. The 'kaw' literally means 'tall', which indicates you want your coffee to be stronger, thicker.
  • Kopi/Kopi O Pok - Again the same drinks, but this time the opposite of 'kaw'. 'Pok' means 'thin', and so you want your coffee to be thin or weak, almost watery. (I can't understand how some people can actually drink this! You might as well be drinking water!)
  • Kopi Susu - The same local brew served with milk instead.
All those choices are for the local brew alone. Now, if you're more the Nescafe kind of drinker, well the same choices are open to you! And let's not forget that highly original Malaysian concoction called Neslo: Nescafe and Milo.

Oh, if you're interested and you're in Kota Kinabalu, a Gloria Jean's Coffee outlet has just opened at Jesselton Point and is currently running a buy-one-free-one offer. The flyer says the promotion's on for a month.

Cup of hot java. I like.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One day past

Yesterday, May 16, was the Thomas Cup Finals, and as expected the Chinese were unbeatable, and so China get to hold on to the trophy for another two more years. But, yesterday was also another special day of sorts because it was a day to celebrate teachers - it was Teacher's Day. Unlike Mother's Day or Father's Day, there's no great fanfare when this day comes around. For most, the day almost seems...normal.

I did a search on Wikipedia and apparently there's no standard date for this day - every different country celebrates Teacher's Day on different dates. Also, some countries mark this day as a holiday (now, THAT would really be my kind of Teacher's Day). But, since it's just about exam season right now in many schools I suspect most will only hold some kind of celebration at before term breaks.

Adelle made a Teacher's Day card for all her teachers at her playschool and I'm quite proud that she managed to draw and colour it all by herself. It's her first real piece of artwork and I must say she's rather proud of her achievement as well.

Adelle showing off her masterpiece

So, here's to all teachers - God bless you as you continue your struggle in educating the minds of the nation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Thomas and Uber Cup - whither are we to go?

Well, that's it. Malaysia's out - again. Three games to nil. What a whitewash considering all the talk during the build-up to the competition. So, it'll be another two-year wait before the chance comes again for Malaysia to attempt to win the Thomas Cup. And when that time arrives, it'll be more jittery nerves and tension, and maybe even a few more finger gestures directed towards the crowd.

I have not been able to watch a single game of the on-going Thomas and Uber Cup matches until today. All this while, my only updates came from friends and the daily news reports in the papers which, while they allow myself to broaden my imagination by picturing the games when they happened, is hardly heart-stopping and exciting stuff. So, when I finally managed to find a web-link that offered live streaming of the games, that just made my day. If you're interested you can find the live-streaming of the games here. It's actually linked to TV1, so it comes with all the ads (and news) that come with the channel.

I wonder if this link will continue to work right up till the time of the World Cup...imagine all those games.

*rubbing hands in glee*

Oh, just in case you're wondering why I don't just watch the games on television, well it's like this. The idiot-box I have isn't connected to the aerial. Thank God for the internet.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cause for worry?

I was talking to my dad over the phone just now and he mentioned something which I found to be quite disturbing - disturbing because this is the first I've heard about it, and also because many people in this country, including myself occasionally, use it. The worrying news has to do with mouthwash.

Do you use it?

If you use Listerine, Plax, or any other mouthwash that contains alcohol there is a potentially higher risk of you developing oral cancer. Yes, you read that right - using those brightly-coloured, minty (or citrusy, take your pick) flavoured liquids may lead to cancer. I was rather skeptical when my Dad talked about it, so I looked it up and true enough, there have been reports about such a claim. The Australian Dental Association had apparently published a paper concerning the use of mouthwashes and this was what was said:

"There is now sufficient evidence to accept the proposition that developing oral cancer is increased or contributed to by the use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes."

You can read more about it in this article from the Daily Telegraph, an Australian newspaper, which was published way back in January 2009. The actual paper may be read here if you're interested.

Having said that however, a supposedly comprehensive study along the same lines published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (ADA) in 2003 claims that there is no link between alcohol-based mouthwashes and oral cancer. The ADA even recommends that such mouthwashes be used as part of your oral hygiene regimen.

Conflicting conclusions means nothing is conclusive yet. So, the ball's in our park - do we err on the side of caution, or not?