Archive for September, 2009


EURO ENGLISH

The European Union (EU) commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.  As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as Euro English (Euro for short).

In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy.

Also, the hard “c” will be replased with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reash the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by “v”.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou”, and similar shanges vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plase!

(Translation: And after the fifth year, we will all be speaking German like they wanted in the first place!)

Advertisements

“BEAUTY” by Han Zaw

A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” butBeauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”

The two aforementioned lines are very famous ones in the English language.  The former is a line from a poem of the famous poet John Keats.  The latter is a common English cliché.  I have no idea what exactly Keats meant by his words or the poem which contained the words.  However, I have come to comprehend the two lines as one expression regarding what I have learnt from some experiences.  I shall give explanations here, but there will be no examples given for they are quite personal.

My mother often talks about “life” regarding as “an incredible equation which balances itself”.  She says we have no control or impact whatsoever over it, and yet we can survive and thrive by acting suitably and flexibly to the time and circumstance of any given situation according to Charles Darwin’s principle of “Survival of the Fittest”.  I quite agree with her.  And what I mean to state here is that life is full of “Give and Take”.  You always need to make a certain investment to gain something – nobody gets anything for free.

I believe (so far) that the greatest and most enduring joy one can ever experience is the satisfaction he gets by knowing and being appreciated that he has done a good deed to improve the life of another.  Such pleasure lingers in my heart and memory.  Reputedly, the greatest thing an individual can do for another is not to give but to let him discover himself and his true potentials.  I think that the phrase “a thing of beauty” in Keats’ line means precisely this – the best deed one can ever do for another or any other great good deed one does for another.  It can, thus, be implied…

“The satisfaction one gets by doing a great good deed for another can be enjoyed by both the deliverer and the receiver for a lifetime.”

A thing of beauty... lies in the eyes of the beholder.

A thing of beauty... lies in the eyes of the beholder.

However, there are certain circumstances under which there can be pain instead of joy when “beauty” is misjudged wrongly.  This judgement is what I understand by “the eyes of the beholder” relating to Keats’ words; it is how the receiver of the deed sees things.  A virtue well delivered could become in vain if it is not well received or taken incorrectly.  What if the given materiel is what the receiver wants or needs?  What if he sees the thing that comes to him negatively and does not make good use of it? Undesirable consequences could occur in the relationship between the deliverer and the receiver.  One party could be misunderstood by the other.  The one who gives could have regrets for a well intended cause.  Or worse things may be on the way.

Should the deliverer have a heart big enough to forgive and go on in life, he could still escape from the pain, sorrow and sufferings caused.  After all, there is something Alexander Pope wrote which reads,

“To err is human,

To forgive is divine.”

This is what I see beauty as.  How do you?

This article is a combination of an excerpt from Wikipedia (the free encyclopaedia) and my own knowledge.

They sound different ... but nice!

They sound different ... but nice!

In singing, there is a certain range of sounds or vocal range that singers chiefly use in their songs relating to their vocal capabilities.  The major ranges given below are approximations and are not meant to be too rigidly applied.  Some sub-divisions exist under each vocal type.  These types are basically classified by the sounds the keys of a piano can produce whereas the middle C (C4) is the scientific pitch notation.

Female Singing Voices

  1. Soprano (e.g. Céline Dion, Sarah Brightman, Christina Aguilera) – The highest female voice being able to sing roughly between C4 (middle C) and C6 (high C or two octaves above the middle C), and possibly higher.
  2. Mezzo-soprano (e.g. Madonna, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand) – A female voice in between the soprano and contralto that is able to sing roughly between A3 (A below middle C) and A5 (two octaves above A3). This is the most common female voice.  Some mezzos may be able to sing slightly lower or higher.
  3. Contralto (Chèr, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson) – The lowest female voice being able to sing roughly between F3 (F below middle C) and E5, and possibly lower. Some very rare contraltos share a similar range to the tenor.

Technically, “alto” (the voice type of Mariah Carey, Shania Twain and Gloria Estefan from D3 to F5 or G5) – approximately between D3 (D below the middle C) to A4 (A above the middle C) – is not a voice type but a designated vocal line in choral music based on vocal range. The range of the alto part in choral music is usually more similar to that of a mezzo-soprano than a contralto. However, in many compositions the alto line is split into two parts. The lower part, Alto 2, is usually more suitable to a contralto voice than a mezzo-soprano voice.

Male Singing Voices

  1. Tenor (e.g. Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban)– The highest male voice being able to sing roughly between B2 (2nd B below middle C) and A4 (A above Middle C), and possibly higher.
  2. Baritone (e.g. Elton Johnpreviously tenor, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé) – A male voice in between the tenor and bass that is able to sing between G2 (two Gs below middle C) and F4 (F above middle C). This is the most common male voice.  Some baritones may be able to sing slightly lower or higher.
  3. Bass (Don Bigras, Bobby Farrell) – The lowest male voice being able to sing roughly between E2 (Two Es below middle C) and E4 (The E above middle C), and possibly lower.

Some men can sing in the same range as women using their falsetto voices or as a result of some rare physiological conditions. These men do not fall into the three female categories. These men, like contemporary singers of popular music nowadays, are known as “countertenors” or “male altos”. The approximate range of countertenors is from G3 (G below the middle C) to E5 or F5 (E or F above the middle C).  Within contemporary music, however, the use of the term “tenor” for these male voices would be more appropriate.

NOTE: Elton John used to have a rich tenor voice in his youthful days, and his voice made the transition to baritone due to the aging process.  Michael Jackson, when he was in childhood and was playing with the Jackson 5, he had a boy soprano which eventually descended to a characteristic androgynous tenor.

For further information, check out the following on the Wikipedia (free encyclopaedia) website.

–        Singing

–        Voice type

–        Vocal classification

–        Vocal range

–        Fach

A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918 – )


Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.

John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873)


Do anything, but let it produce joy.

Henry Miller (1891 – 1980)


Happiness is a mystery like religion, and should never be rationalized.

G. K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)


Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly often attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.

Thomas Szasz (1920 – )


Happiness is not best achieved by those who seek it directly.

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)


Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)


He is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)


I can sympathize with people’s pains, but not with their pleasures. There is something curiously boring about somebody else’s happiness.

Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


I can’t quite explain it, but I don’t believe one can ever be unhappy for long provided one does just exactly what one wants to and when one wants to.

Evelyn Waugh (1903 – 1966)


I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.

Henry Miller (1891 – 1980)


If you haven’t been happy very young, you can still be happy later on, but it’s much harder. You need more luck.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986)


Not to admire, is all the art I know
To make men happy, and to keep them so.

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)


Off with you! You’re a happy fellow, for you’ll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)


Often you don’t know how truly happy you were then until you look back and realize how much worse things could have been.

Nina Simone (1933 – 2003)


One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world’s end somewhere.

Willa Cather (1873 – 1947)


That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers.

Francis Hutcheson (1694 – 1746)


That all who are happy, are equally happy, is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy.

Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)


The happiness of the wicked runs away like a raging stream.

Jean Baptiste Racine (1639 – 1699)


The most widely accepted philosophy of life at present is that what matters most to a man’s happiness is his income. This philosophy, apart from other demerits, is harmful because it leads men to aim at a result rather than an activity.

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)


The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring. And that is not happiness.

F. H. Bradley (1846 – 1924)


The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885)


There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 – 1946)


There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

George Sand (1804 – 1876)


To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)


We are never so happy nor so unhappy as we imagine.

François La Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)


What concerns me is not the happiness of all men, but that of each.

Boris Vian (1920 – 1959)


When a small child…  I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong. Happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.

Anna Pavlova (1882 – 1931)


When intention, ability, success, and correctness come together, there happiness is perfected.

Husayn (626 – 680)

The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.  Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, “Kemosabe, look towards sky, what you see?”

The Lone Ranger replies, “I see millions of stars.”

“What that tell you?” asked Tonto.

The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, “Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.  Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.  Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.  Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.  Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.  What’s it tell you, Tonto?”

“You dumber than buffalo chip.   Someone stole the tent.”

I sought for what would suit me best; I thought long and hard about things.  And finally, I believe I have found a solution to my novel wants and needs.

Well, I have been different from most of my peers all my life.  While the others were in the playground during recess at school, I was sitting in class sketching pictures.  When my friends started to enjoy doing sports and play games, I picked up writing stuff – true stories based on experience and fictional ones imagined.  At the age when guys started writing love letters, I composing songs about their stories – the music on the keys of the piano and the words on scraps of paper.  I have found myself to be different from everyone around whom my world revolves – I took keen interest in things which most people found difficult to do or understand.  And as a career in life, I wanted to be something special.

After the Matriculation, I began to take into consideration the factors concerning my tertiary education – which school I should attend, what major I should specialize in, what career or profession I am pursuing after graduation.  My score in the exam is 513 in total, including 81 marks in English and 98 in Physic; I was eligible for any kind of education in Myanmar.  Both my parents are doctors and a lot of people would want me to be a doctor as well.  It has been a bit of a disappointment to them that I took no interest whatsoever in medicine.  The medical university in Myanmar is reputed as the best school in the Nation, and many students take great pride in being able to attend the school.

I have a good mind to have a job, a career or a profession which would involve my interests and in which I could apply my talents.  I went through the list of institutes, universities and colleges I could attend in the country.  Disappointingly, none was able to make an impression on me.  All I had in mind was to sing, dance and perform my musical and artistic creations.  But then, I realized that none of my hobbies have been really passionate or stable.  I don’t have anything as specific or definite interest, and I haven’t found yet where my true talents lie.  I needed to think long and hard about drawing detailed plans for my further education.

In retrospect of the pastimes and leisure activities I have done in my life, I could draw some conclusions.  I don’t have anything as specific or definite interest, and I haven’t found yet where my true talents lie.  Everything I have enjoyed doing has been on the basis of creation and presentation.  Then, I had a thought that I could study subjects related to media and arts.  However, since the value more than anything else in life is “appreciation”, I came to take keener interest in visual and performing arts.  My other interests include things like multimedia studies, broadcasting, design and architecture, English literature, etc.  I later found out that I would have to go overseas in order to study properly what I had intentions to study.

Thus, I picked up preparatory classes for the TOEFL and the IELTS.  Afterwards, I started to expand my knowledge on the higher education systems of foreign countries.  I was having much difficulty deciding where to go for the studies.  One day, I unexpectedly ran into an article mentioning the “liberal arts education system” available only in the United States.  This system offers undergraduate courses of study that reflect a complex mixture of educational objectives – a wide range of arts and science programmes that does not require specialization till the beginning of the 3rd year of college .  The term “liberal arts” refers broadly to all undergraduate studies in the arts and sciences – which include such subjects as arts, literature, history, and different forms of science. Liberal arts studies generally are distinguished from pre-vocational or pre-professional studies.

An almost immediate thought came to my mind that if I became part of this education system, I could discover myself and my genuine potential via the general studies before I turn 18 or 19, the time by which I am bound to be more mature and stable.  After I had had a series of discussions with my parents, a decision was made that I will be studying at a liberal arts college in the States.

However, the decision made cannot be immediately transited into action as I was not yet ready for it and it would be possible after a certain length of time.  There are preparations to be made, trainings to be taken, schedules to be drawn and so on.  So, first of all, I figured out what steps I am supposed to take and drew schedules and deadlines for myself.  I will be taking the TOEFL, the SAT and a pre-collegiate programme while continuing my musical lessons on the piano and going swimming to get physical exercise.

I have drawn plans and made arrangements according to which I will be in a liberal arts school of America by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.

WHO AM I?

First of all, I would like to make one thing very clear – you might find me cryptic.  I am different from anyone you will have ever known.  You will find many things in me some things you won’t find in others.

Most of you visiting this site will already know me very well.  I am Han Zaw.  My English name is Déline ZcEigch (pronounced: D–lean Zak–H).  I took it from Céline Dion (my favourite woman on earth besides my mother) and the spelling of the initial letters of my Myanmar name inverted.  You can address me in whatever way you like, e.g. Han, Hanz, HZ, Déline, D-Zé, Bro as long as it is a gentle and civilized expression.  Please do regard me as a teenager because I am one.

I am now preparing for the embarking of studies in my tertiary education.  I have officially finished high school with stellar grades (I don’t mean to brag … really, but it is true.) although I had expected higher.  You can take me as somebody special, peculiar or even weird because I’m not joining the medical university in my town; that school is what the majority of students crave for.  I’ll tell you more about my reasons and perspectives.

You might want to know as well about my interests.  All my life, all the pastimes and leisure activities I have relished are simply based on creation and presentation – I have done drawing and painting; then writing short stories and articles; and now, singing and musical composition.  I have not found my true interests and talents in life.  Nonetheless, I find myself suitable with and gifted for all kinds of creative works.  The thing I treasure most in life is “appreciation” of others for my works – my creations and presentations.  I have great interest in entertainment and the media, and I am keener on the former one.

I believe in genuine Theravada Buddhism, and therefore worship the Buddha as a great teacher.  I have an intension to share my knowledge on Buddhism, have discussions, learn more and receive comments.  Concerning my personal life, I believe in several principles and precepts of which the following are the chief ones.

  1. “There can be miracles when you believe.”
  2. “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
  3. “What we want is always around the corner if we work hard, smart and take one step at a time.”
  4. “Every cloud has a silver lining.”
  5. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” but “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
  6. “Love is the thing that holds everything life form together and spins the world around.”
  7. “Learn from the past, face the present, and be prepared for the future.”

Those who already know me as well as who don’t will learn more about me on this site.  Thus, you might come to like me or the other way round!  Who knows?

‘7’ (Seven) is generally regarded as a lucky number by people from many corners of the world.  And I was no exception until I experienced something paradoxical concerning ‘7’.

The results of the Matriculation Examination were due on the 7th of June – on a Sunday.  I had been expecting the best results on that day, i.e. to get distinctions in all 6 subjects.  In fact, I had been working for it for the whole year and I have made certain sacrifices for it.  Whenever people asked me what kind of a result I expected, I swiftly replied with a two-word answer – “The best”.  And I would add on, “I’m ready for the good times!”

Just a fortnight before the results came out, I fell sick with viral hepatitis-A.  What’s worse was that the physician whom I was seeing like once two days forbade me to go and see the results due to my health condition, the night before the 7th.  (He hospitalized me afterwards and I came to have an allergy to him.)    I had to cry to plead my parents to take me to see the results on the next day – I had been greatly determined to see the results as I instinctively knew that I was going to experience something wonderful and special.   Fortunately, I was successful.

Unfortunately, however, on the next day – which is the 7th of June – I turned out to have missed the distinction in Myanmar.  I had made an enthusiastic effort in studying in order to get distinction marks in that subject but I happened to be disqualified for the distinction.  I don’t know what went wrong with it.  As the results hit me with a blow, I felt terrible discomfort.  Now the misery of a distinction slipping through my fingers added on to the pain I had been feeling in my liver.  I went to see the teacher who taught me Myanmar to telling him that I had failed him.  He said he was sorry for the misfortune and held me in his arms.  Well, he didn’t ease the pain.  Instead, he gave me a hard time breathing being tied to his chest by his strong arms.

Afterward, I went to the hospital for several medical checkups – I underwent CT scan, ultrasound imaging, had blood tests and injections.  All of these cut me deeper because I was sick and was at the hospital having diagnosis and treatments at the time when every other newly graduated high school students enjoy themselves.  And I had just failed to live up to my own expectations.  So, how did I react?

I wept all afternoon listening to Céline Dion’s “Then You Look at Me” and Whitney Houston’s “All at Once” when my parents and my sister were out.  The songs made me more emotional.  It’s like Whitney Houston sang,

“I started counting teardrops

And at least a million fell

My eyes began to swell”

I was in bed all that time because every time I moved, my liver hurt.  Then, suddenly, a certain light shined on me … A thought unexpectedly came to my mind after thinking about several things.

It came to my mind that for the final year of high school education my parents and I have had great investment in time, effort, money and dedication.  Despite the fact that I am in despair, I at least got 5 distinctions, which is above mediocre.  This is an accomplished achievement which I should not be sad about.  Did I, after making large investments, still feel bad about the outcome which is not so bad, I’d become a loser.  I made up my mind to simply stop moping.

Then, I realized the good things I had done to help others get thoroughly through the lessons and achieve miracles.  During the 2 and half months, I cooperated with two of my friends to study the lessons.  We were a study group in which I was the leader.  I would draw study schedules, have discussions with them on the phone, and share study materials.  I really was of great help to them.  One of them was (maybe he still is) a slacker – he never had regular attendance at the classes and did not study with effort.  But he had a good brain.  I had been giving him a hand with all the lessons he missed and urged him to study throughout the year.  The other was a student who had come to Mandalay from a small town in the North-western part of the country for high school education.  He had great ambitions, strong enthusiasm and brave confidence.  He was weak in some subjects and did not have doting parents or a supportive family – he ran around the town by himself.  He got close to me and got all the encouragement and study strategies he needed from me.

The two turned out to have performed very well in the exam.  The former got 4 distinctions and the latter 5.  But the 5-distinction winner was upset because he had missed the Myanmar distinction like me.  I had not heard from the other friend then.  I started to think,

“We three worked as a group, and we were a great team.  And it is said that success unshared is failure.  Maybe we are moping because we can’t see the forest for the trees.  We have been looking at our results individually.  I was the leader in the study group so … my 5 distinctions plus another 5 and another 4 gives me 14 distinctions in total.  Yeah, I am a 14-distinction winner!  After all, they have acknowledged that they couldn’t have made it without me.  I have served a good cause.  Even considering individually, I don’t need to be sad about anything for I have a distinction in my favourite subject – English.  Losing a distinction in Myanmar is not the end of the world.  I still have a bright future ahead of me and I have more things in life to dream of and realize.”

This thought cleared up my thoughts and made all the dark clouds in my sky fade away.  Even with the liver pain due to the viral hepatitis did not hurt as much as it did before.

A certain thought became the salvation to my grief and sorrow.

A certain thought became the salvation to my grief and sorrow.

I switched the song in the music player to Natasha Bedingfield’s “Happy”.  It felt so good to hear her sing the chorus which included the words,

“Got my dreams, got my life, got my love,

Got my friends, got the sunshine above.

Why am I making things hard for myself

When there are so many beautiful reasons I have to be happy?”

All of this happened on the 7th of June, 2009.  From that day on till now, I have considered myself to be one of the happiest people on earth.  So, is the number ‘7’ a lucky number or not?

There is a phrase the words of which – I believe – if one follows can bring him great joy and happiness in life. It consists of three simple words – “Caring and Sharing”. That is exactly what I want to do on this blog. I would like the good things I have in my own little world to be shared and experienced by those near and dear to me and those whose lives can be related to mine one way or another.

Caring & Sharing

Caring & Sharing

I have so much to feature on this site for the spectators. In this website, I would like to have, in links and categories…
1. Latest remarkable events in my life;
2. Reviews and opinions I have on the recent international news and events;
3. News, information and knowledge the viewers can make good use of;
4. Articles, stories, quotations and jokes by me and other authors to read and think long and hard about;
5. Book reviews and recommendations by me
6. Music and movie reviews and recommendations by me;
7. Pictures, photographs for collection and wallpaper setting;
8. Etc.
However, due to certain circumstances, I would be unable to display all that I want to, and I would not be able to post new items very frequently. I will try my best to have as many things on the blog as I can. I will also make sure the majority of the items here are downloadable from the.
Visit my blog often and enjoy the feature presentations. You can give me suggestions regarding my website by mailing to blogger.hanz@gmail.com.

CATEGORIES

The following categories will be included in this site and you will be able to see the items affiliated with the respective topics.

  1. My life – Learn to know me by reading what I am up to and what is happening to me.
  2. This & That’s – Let’s have discussions on the latest local and international news.
  3. To Ponder – Find out some special things and enjoy them by simply thinking about them and compounding your general knowledge.
  4. Laugh out – Be amused by the jokes here.
  5. Quotätouille – Reflect upon the quotations posted.
  6. Leîsurîa Glimpse at the materials I use to entertain myself in my free time – music, videos, pictures, books and others – read my remarks on them and get recommendations.
  7. Archives – Look at the old posts.