Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Free Gendun!

Gendun Cheokyi Nyima turns 18 today, but he's been missing for about 12 years now. When he was six years old, the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second most important figure in Tibetan religion after the Dalai Lama.

The Chinese authorities rejected his appointment, and soon afterwards, he and his parents w
ere missing. The Chinese then appointed their own version of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu. This move is very important, as traditionally the Panchen Lama is the key to recognizing the reincarnation and the education of Dalai Lamas.

As the 14th Dalai Lama ages, a bigger crisis awaits the Tibetan community.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


According to Hammurabi's Code of laws:

218. If a physician make a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off.

219. If a physician make a large incision in the slave of a freed man, and kill him, he shall replace the slave with another slave.

If back in 1700s BC, a physician's malpractice got punished, how come in the 21st century Indonesia it is so difficult to punish those who did malpractice?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Logika bahasa Indonesia di media

Saya bingung. Bingung, apakah bahasa Indonesia saya sudah sedemikian jelek, atau bahasa Indonesia di media Indonesia sudah menurun kualitasnya?

Hari ini di saya membaca kalimat berikut:

Mora merupakan salah seorang mahasiswa Indonesia yang menjadi korban dari penembakan yang terjadi di Virginia tech University, Amerika Serikat, Senin (16/4) waktu setempat.
Sepanjang yang saya tahu, hanya ada satu korban dari Indonesia dalam insiden tersebut. Kalimat di atas menurut saya dapat diartikan bahwa ada mahasiswa Indonesia lainnya yang menjadi korban. Lain halnya bila kalimatnya sebagai berikut:
Mora merupakan seorang mahasiswa Indonesia yang menjadi salah satu korban dari penembakan yang terjadi di Virginia tech University, Amerika Serikat, Senin (16/4) waktu setempat.
Atau logika saya yang aneh?

Di Gatra edisi 9 April dalam rubrik kesehatan saya juga menemukan kejanggalan berikut:
Si anak cerdas ini tak bisa duduk diam selama pelajaran berlangsung. Ia sering mondar-mandir dan berputar-putar di dalam kelas tanpa sebab. Ironisnya, ketika ditanya gurunya mengenai materi yang diajarkan, dengan enteng Amanda dapat menjawab dengan benar.
Apakah pemakaian 'ironisnya' di penggalan tersebut tepat? Menurut saya tidak, karena biarpun isinya bertentangan tapi tidak dalam arti yang negatif. Mungkin penggunaan kata 'tapi' lebih tepat dalam kalimat terakhir.

Di website saya juga menemukan penggunaan kata yang janggal pada tajuknya ketika mereka membahas tentang sindroma Marfan atau dalam bahasa Inggrisnya Marfan syndrome.
Diserang Marfan's Syndrom, Tinggi Badan Ajeng Terus Menjulang
Penggunaan kata 'diserang' tidak tepat, mengingat sindroma ini disebabkan masalah genetik (baik yang karena turunan maupun yang mutasi) yang mempengaruhi kolagen atau jaringan pengikat dalam tubuh. Lain halnya bila membahas mereka yang menderita malaria misalnya, maka penggunaan kata 'diserang' tepat digunakan karena penyebabnya bukan genetik. Selain itu penterjemahan Marfan syndrome ke bahasa Indonesia seperti yang mereka lakukan adalah salah, yang benar adalah Sindroma Marfan.

Saya jadi pesimis, bila dalam satu generasi penggunaan bahasa Indonesia sudah semakin buruk, bagaimana dengan generasi yang lebih banyak menggunakan bahasa asing di sekolah (yang bilingual) nanti?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mozart won't make you smart

You heard me, despite what the media told you, Mozart does not and will not make you smart. Not by listening to it anyway. A recent study in Germany, lead by Ralph Schumacher, dispelled the myth.

All of these years I've seen people taking advantage from the controversial study of UC-Irvine's psychologist Frances Rauscher. In 1993, he claimed that after listening to Mozart's Sonata for two pianos in D major (K448) for 10 minutes, his subjects performed better on spatial tasks — such as recognizing patterns, or folding paper. This Mozart Effect, a term coined by A.A. Tomatis, is becoming a marketing tools for a whole new industry (music, therapies, books, websites) worth billions of dollars.

However, other researchers have trouble reproducing the same result. In fact, one of the studies claimed that Mozart makes some people dumber. Definitely not a something you are after.

On the other hand, according to the study of
Glenn Schellenberg, playing music for some period of time can actually increases your IQ slightly. Remember: slight increase, so it won't make your kid a genius by playing music.

On being sick

Why is it when a guy is coming down with cold, he is almost die; but when a girl is under antibiotic medication for the second round in a month, she's just sick?

Monday, April 16, 2007

I am falling for...

somewhere i have never travelled
by E.E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands

Sunday, April 15, 2007

On being colored and driving a nice car

I was in Amsterdam's crowded tram with my father when I listened to this Dutch guy talking to his lady companion behind us. Upon seeing this allochtoon, a Dutch word for foreigner, who happened to be a colored guy driving a nice convertible car, this Dutch guy asked how could that colored guy drives such a nice car, that he must have been doing something illegaly to be able to afford such a thing because he and his friends can't afford to own one. That it's only in the last decade that such phenomen appears in this calvinist country.

I was going to ask him to shut up, but he stopped his rant soon after I gave him a dirty look. If I were his friend, I would have talked him some senses right there and then. Oh wait, I wont be friend with someone like him.

Now, that was not the first time I heard a Dutch guy commenting a colored guy with a nice car, but it is the first time I heard it in public. I bet they won't give such comment upon seeing a white guy driving a nice car. G_d forbid, only those black/turkish/morrocan/colored guys who do illegal stuffs and drive nice cars.

Sure, there are allochtoon who are in criminal circuits, and they probably drive nice cars. Just as there are white caucasian criminals driving nice cars. But I've never once heard anyone commenting a white guy is doing some criminal activity to afford having a nice car.

From what I've seen so far, my European friends spend their money on their vacations or houses, while my non-European friends spend their money on their cars, bling-bling, or to help their family back home. Different priority in different cultural background.