Thursday, September 21, 2006


Hutterites is a minority ethnic group in America. They are Anabaptist farmers and ranchers - close cousins of the Amish (another Anabaptist Christian group in the United States) - who, after centuries of persecution in Europe, found religious freedom in North America in the 1870s.

Hutterites are a communal people, where the colony owns all assets. So there’s no private property, no personal bank accounts, few personal belonging – and little privacy. They live rigidly structured lives that leave little room for individual expression. They do use computers and high-tech machinery; however, they speak an old Austrian German dialect, sew their own clothes, and shun television, radio, or anything else that might let in the temptations of worldly materialism.

This ethnic group is found in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Washington, and Montana. Its population in America is 9 000 people approximately. People are sustained through agriculture and manufacturing. They are mostly crop producers and have fair-sized farms. They also raise a large amount of livestock. These people embody the pioneer spirit but live entirely removed from the modern world. They practice their living principle: Live simply, share everything, and trust in God.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
~Leonardo DaVinci~

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


This morning after hubby left home at about 8:30, I was getting worried and my heart was beating faster. Time passed so slow; I didn't know what to do. Took the cellphone out of the room, turned the sound louder, and put it on the table near to me. Then, I decided to do laundry. Collecting all the clothes and without forgetting to bring along the cellphone, I went down to the laundry room, which located at the basement of the building. When I came back to my apartment, I put the cellphone back on the table again. I sat at the table and started reading a book, although I knew that my mind was a millon miles away. "Ring! Ring!" My phone rang at 11:30a.m and the words "Hubby Office" appeared on the screen.

"Hello, hubby, how's everything?"
"I passed."

His answer allayed my worried and anxiety immediately. I am so happy. My husband passed his candidacy exam. He is a PhD candidate now.

At home, hubby shared with me his experience when answering the questions that asking by four professors from Geography Department. I found two questions asking by a Physical Geography professor were rather interested. Following are that two questions and answers:-
  1. Which mammal exists only in one place in the world?
  2. Why there are same species of plants exist in Chile, South Africa, and Australia?
Answer 1 is marsupial mammals in Australia -- Kangaroo.
Answer 2
is few millions years ago, these three places were connected at one point, and because of the tectonic plate movement that caused the lithosphere of the earth was divided into a small number of plates which float and travel independently over the mantle.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts.

~ Winston Churchill ~

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 11, 2006 -- The 5th Anniversary

Back to Sept. 11, 2001, my husband (he was my boyfriend at that time) and I were listening to BBC broadcast after came back from dinner. Breaking news came over the radio a couple minutes before 9:00p.m (Malaysia Time) announced that a flight crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. Both of us were shocked by the terrific news. At first, we looked at each other suspiciously because we were not confident with what we had listened. And then, in no time, we moved closer to the radio and paid full attention to the news. Short after we were sure with what we had heard, the reporter announced a second flight crashed into second building of WTC, this time, both of us were too astonished to speak.

A year ago, my husband and I came to this immigrant country -- The United States to pursuit our dream. Coincidentally, we are living in Pennsylvania State, which is a neighbor state of New Jersey. It takes approximately 5 hours from State College to New York City. Recently, we went to New York City for vacation. In the hot summer day, at the ground zero, we were not alone, there were plenty of tourists just like us... looked at the huge empty space, surveyed the buildings that still erect in the air, read the heroes rolls on the wall, and imagined the tragedy happened five years ago....

About a month ago, we went to cinema to see the movie that we had long waiting -- World Trade Center. To our surprised, some of our American friends refused to see and discuss about this movie. Perhaps they just do not want to revive the sad memories that have been kept at the innermost of their hearts. I can understand their feeling; however, I think it is important for American young generation and also people in the world to see this movie. 9/11 is a tragedy that should not be forgotten but needs to be remembered and passed on to our future generations. We should learn from this expensive experience, and understand the role of change in our lives.

Life can only be understood backward,
but it must be lived forward.

~Soren Kierkegaard~

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An Aussie, A Briton, and A Yankee -- Three Fatal Tragedies!

A couple days ago, I was taken aback by the fatal news of "Crocodile Hunter" who was killed by venomous tail barb of stingray at Batt Reef, Cairns, Australia. Steve Irwin, a committed conservationist, was shooting a series called "Ocean's Deadliest" while the mishap happened.

This freak accident made me recalled other two heroes who encountered the similar fate as Irwin. They were James Miller, a film producer & director, and Timothy Treadwell, an environmentalist and bear enthusiast. Miller was shot dead by Israel
soldiers while making a documentary in Palestinian area, and Treadwell was killed and partially eaten by bear during his visit in Alaska. What the coincidence among these three men was their fatal deaths were recorded in the cameras. Miller and Treadwell's tragedies have been filmed into documentaries with the titles Death in Gaza, and Grizzly Man respectively. I strongly recommend these two documentaries. WORTH WATCHING!!!

All after all, these three men died doing what they loved best. They died young, but thier lives were much much meaningful than 6.5 billions people in the world.

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
~ William Wallace, Braveheart~

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Recently, I read a book entitled The Great Gatsby. This is a book that highly recommended by many people, including my teacher in Short Story Class. The Great Gatsby is generally conceded to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's finest novel and one of the key books of the twentieth century. I like the story and enjoy the plot of the book. Yet, I can not grasp the gist of the story after finishing the whole book. Sigh! Why? What are the important points in this book that made it so famous? The only way to find out the answer is read another book entitled Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Great Gatsby which I am currently reading.

What I want to say in today's blog is that in the Interpretations book, there is a letter writen by Fitzgerald to his daughter two years before his death. In that letter, Fitzgerald judged his early life and marriage. As a wife of a man who is impassioned in doing research, I have a deeper thought after reading the letter. Here, I quote the paragraph from the book:
"When I was your age I lived with a great dream. The dream grew and I learned how to speak of it and make people listen. Then the dream divided one day when I decided to marry you mother after all, even though I knew she was spoiled and meant no good to me. I was sorry immediately I had married her, but being patient in those days, made the best of it and got to love her in another way. You came along and for a long time we made quite a long of happiness out of our lives. But I was a man divided -- she wanted me to work too much for her and not enough for my dream. She realized too late that work was dignity, and the only dignity, and tried to atone for it by working herself, but it was too late and she broke and is broken forever."

I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing.
~Oliver Goldsmith~

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

I have been thinking about creating a blog long long time ago, but a thought that never put into action is still a thought. Finally, I make up my mind this morning that I want to start my blog with the title -- Labor Day!

Today, September 04, 2006, the beginning of new schooling semester of Penn State University is also the workers' holiday in the United States. Workers' Day, or Labor Day (also used interchangeably as May Day) is celebrated internationally as a commemoration of the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, and a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the internationa labor movement.

Reminiscing the history of Labor Day, a series of riots and battles for social justice had finally earned an eight-hour work day around the world. In the 1880s, millions of Europe immigrants were glad to take jobs in the factories and mines in America "where the streets were paved with gold." However, the immigrants soon learned that they were exploited to work twelve or fourteen or even sixteen hours a day. In order to ask for an eight-hour work day from employers, workers formed unions so they could be stronger. Some owners agreed. But most of the large companies did not agree. The unions planned to strike on May 1, 1886, and named the plan as "the May Day Movement." On May 1 and the following three days, clashed between workers and polices were carried out and caused a number of workers and polices died.

In other counties, the May Day movement continued. May Day became the workers' holiday all around the world. In the United States, a more peaceful time in September became the workers' holiday. The eight-hour work day for workers did not become law until 1935 .

Justice without force is powerless;
force without justice is tyrannical.

~Blaise Pascal~