Wednesday, March 31, 2010
1 The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645. It was brought to England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic qahwa became the Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee.
2 The ancient Greeks thought our eyes emitted rays, like a laser, which enabled us to see. The first person to realise that light enters the eye, rather than leaving it, was the 10th-century Muslim mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al-Haitham. He invented the first pin-hole camera after noticing the way light came through a hole in window shutters. The smaller the hole, the better the picture, he worked out, and set up the first Camera Obscura (from the Arab word qamara for a dark or private room). He is also credited with being the first man to shift physics from a philosophical activity to an experimental one.
3 A form of chess was played in ancient India but the game was developed into the form we know it today in Persia. From there it spread westward to Europe - where it was introduced by the Moors in Spain in the 10th century - and eastward as far as Japan. The word rook comes from the Persian rukh, which means chariot.
4 A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim poet, astronomer, musician and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to construct a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts. He hoped to glide like a bird. He didn't. But the cloak slowed his fall, creating what is thought to be the first parachute, and leaving him with only minor injuries. In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles' feathers he tried again, jumping from a mountain. He flew to a significant height and stayed aloft for ten minutes but crashed on landing - concluding, correctly, that it was because he had not given his device a tail so it would stall on landing. Baghdad international airport and a crater on the Moon are named after him.
5 Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders' most striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed's Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV.
6 Distillation, the means of separating liquids through differences in their boiling points, was invented around the year 800 by Islam's foremost scientist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and apparatus still in use today - liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation and filtration. As well as discovering sulphuric and nitric acid, he invented the alembic still, giving the world intense rosewater and other perfumes and alcoholic spirits (although drinking them is haram, or forbidden, in Islam). Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic experimentation and was the founder of modern chemistry.
7 The crank-shaft is a device which translates rotary into linear motion and is central to much of the machinery in the modern world, not least the internal combustion engine. One of the most important mechanical inventions in the history of humankind, it was created by an ingenious Muslim engineer called al-Jazari to raise water for irrigation. His 1206 Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices shows he also invented or refined the use of valves and pistons, devised some of the first mechanical clocks driven by water and weights, and was the father of robotics. Among his 50 other inventions was the combination lock.
8 Quilting is a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating material in between. It is not clear whether it was invented in the Muslim world or whether it was imported there from India or China. But it certainly came to the West via the Crusaders. They saw it used by Saracen warriors, who wore straw-filled quilted canvas shirts instead of armour. As well as a form of protection, it proved an effective guard against the chafing of the Crusaders' metal armour and was an effective form of insulation - so much so that it became a cottage industry back home in colder climates such as Britain and Holland.
9 The pointed arch so characteristic of Europe's Gothic cathedrals was an invention borrowed from Islamic architecture. It was much stronger than the rounded arch used by the Romans and Normans, thus allowing the building of bigger, higher, more complex and grander buildings. Other borrowings from Muslim genius included ribbed vaulting, rose windows and dome-building techniques. Europe's castles were also adapted to copy the Islamic world's - with arrow slits, battlements, a barbican and parapets. Square towers and keeps gave way to more easily defended round ones. Henry V's castle architect was a Muslim.
10 Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the 200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away naturally (a discovery he made when his monkey ate his lute strings) and that it can be also used to make medicine capsules. In the 13th century, another Muslim medic named Ibn Nafis described the circulation of the blood, 300 years before William Harvey discovered it. Muslims doctors also invented anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes and developed hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes in a technique still used today.
11 The windmill was invented in 634 for a Persian caliph and was used to grind corn and draw up water for irrigation. In the vast deserts of Arabia, when the seasonal streams ran dry, the only source of power was the wind which blew steadily from one direction for months. Mills had six or 12 sails covered in fabric or palm leaves. It was 500 years before the first windmill was seen in Europe.
12 The technique of inoculation was not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but was devised in the Muslim world and brought to Europe from Turkey by the wife of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 1724. Children in Turkey were vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before the West discovered it.
13 The fountain pen was invented for the Sultan of Egypt in 953 after he demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes. It held ink in a reservoir and, as with modern pens, fed ink to the nib by a combination of gravity and capillary action.
14 The system of numbering in use all round the world is probably Indian in origin but the style of the numerals is Arabic and first appears in print in the work of the Muslim mathematicians al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi around 825. Algebra was named after al-Khwarizmi's book, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah, much of whose contents are still in use. The work of Muslim maths scholars was imported into Europe 300 years later by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. Algorithms and much of the theory of trigonometry came from the Muslim world. And Al-Kindi's discovery of frequency analysis rendered all the codes of the ancient world soluble and created the basis of modern cryptology.
15 Ali ibn Nafi, known by his nickname of Ziryab (Blackbird) came from Iraq to Cordoba in the 9th century and brought with him the concept of the three-course meal - soup, followed by fish or meat, then fruit and nuts. He also introduced crystal glasses (which had been invented after experiments with rock crystal by Abbas ibn Firnas - see No 4).
16 Carpets were regarded as part of Paradise by medieval Muslims, thanks to their advanced weaving techniques, new tinctures from Islamic chemistry and highly developed sense of pattern and arabesque which were the basis of Islam's non-representational art. In contrast, Europe's floors were distinctly earthly, not to say earthy, until Arabian and Persian carpets were introduced. In England, as Erasmus recorded, floors were "covered in rushes, occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, sometimes for 20 years, harbouring expectoration, vomiting, the leakage of dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned". Carpets, unsurprisingly, caught on quickly.
17 The modern cheque comes from the Arabic saqq, a written vow to pay for goods when they were delivered, to avoid money having to be transported across dangerous terrain. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash a cheque in China drawn on his bank in Baghdad.
18 By the 9th century, many Muslim scholars took it for granted that the Earth was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer Ibn Hazm, "is that the Sun is always vertical to a particular spot on Earth". It was 500 years before that realisation dawned on Galileo. The calculations of Muslim astronomers were so accurate that in the 9th century they reckoned the Earth's circumference to be 40,253.4km - less than 200km out. The scholar al-Idrisi took a globe depicting the world to the court of King Roger of Sicily in 1139.
19 Though the Chinese invented saltpetre gunpowder, and used it in their fireworks, it was the Arabs who worked out that it could be purified using potassium nitrate for military use. Muslim incendiary devices terrified the Crusaders. By the 15th century they had invented both a rocket, which they called a "self-moving and combusting egg", and a torpedo - a self-propelled pear-shaped bomb with a spear at the front which impaled itself in enemy ships and then blew up.
20 Medieval Europe had kitchen and herb gardens, but it was the Arabs who developed the idea of the garden as a place of beauty and meditation. The first royal pleasure gardens in Europe were opened in 11th-century Muslim Spain. Flowers which originated in Muslim gardens include the carnation and the tulip.
(The Independent, 2006)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Many of us are not aware that the petrol kiosk pump has a return pipe-line (in Pink ).. When the petrol tank (in the car) reaches full level, there is a mechanism to trigger off the pump latch and at the same time a return-valve is opened (at the top of the pump station) to allow excess petrol to flow back into the sump. But the returned petrol has already passed through the meter, meaning you are donating the petrol back to SHELL/CALTEX/MOBIL/ PETRONAS
Not sure whether this is true or not...just got it from other's blog..but it could be possible...
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Valuable lessons from preternatural wealth builders.
American philosopher Eric Hoffer said, "If a society is to preserve stability and a degree of continuity, it must know how to keep its adolescents from imposing their tastes, attitudes, values and fantasies on everyday life." Too bad Hoffer never met Jamie Murray Wells.
In 2004 while studying for final exams at University of the West of England, Wells, then age 21, went shopping for a pair of prescription glasses. Nonplussed by the $150 pound ($300) price tag, Wells decided to funnel his $2,000 student loan into what would become Glasses Direct, a London-based online retailer that now generates $5 million in annual revenue.
Wells is part of an elite club of preternatural wealth builders who managed to cobble million-dollar enterprises before they graduated from college. The "million-dollar" measure refers to either total revenue generated or the value of the enterprise built (as opposed to the size of the total profit pile). That's no mean feat for any entrepreneur, let alone one who can barely buy a drink legally in the States.
The nine entrepreneurs featured in our slideshow -- six from the U.S. and three from the U.K. -- started launching businesses by the tender age of 15, and one before he broke double-digits. Some of these wunderkinds, like Wells, identified problems and created companies to solve them; others turned their hobbies into money-making ventures. Some teamed up with friends, siblings and mentors; others plowed ahead on their own. Their common thread: singular focus, preternatural financial savvy and the optimism and confidence to wrest financing from seasoned investors.
Here's a look at how a few of them pulled it off.
Smelling Opportunity: Jamie Murray Wells
When Wells was bemoaning the price of his lenses, four retailers dominated the U.K. prescription glasses market; all relied on pricey retail stores to move their merchandise.
Wells figured he could move the entire purchasing process online. All he needed was a factory to make the lenses, assemble them with frames and package them. He would then ship them to shoppers, who would simply e-mail or mail in their prescriptions and pay for their glasses online. Without the costly infrastructure, Wells could sell glasses for about one-tenth the price of the established brick-and-mortar players.
A nifty new business model isn't nearly enough to launch a thriving company, let alone when you're 21 and have no track record. "I was knocking on the door of an industry, saying, 'The way that you're selling glasses is wrong, and I've got a better idea,'" says Wells.
Luckily he had friends and family members who agreed to put up a few thousand pounds to help him get started. Wells didn't disappoint: In the first year, Glasses Direct's revenue topped $2 million. And unlike many zealous entrepreneurs, Wells figured out how to manage his cash flow to bootstrap the business. The company took credit card payments upfront but didn't pay suppliers for another month. Wells used part of the float to hire a public relations firm to hype his low-cost strategy.
The next year Wells turned to professional angel investors. "With some investors, I simply walked in to a meeting with a sales graph and let that speak for itself," says Wells. As demand grew, Wells raised $34 million in venture capital from the likes of Highland Capital, Index Ventures, and Munich-based Acton Capital Partners. That should tide Wells over until he turns his first profit.
Asking for Help
Wells believes his age and inexperience helped him. "Having a young founder helps to add a lot of personality to a business," he says. Still, you can't cover payroll with personality.
Recognizing his limitations (yet another challenge for many entrepreneurs), Wells sought out mentors, including ophthalmologist Dr. David Spalton, and David Magliana, a marketing guru who helped bag the 2012 summer Olympic games for London. While Spalton lent credibility with the eye-care community, Magliana worked with Wells on getting the word out about Glasses Direct.
"As an entrepreneur, it's a lot easier than you'd think to reach out to people," says Wells. On the flipside, "entrepreneurs love to be written to and asked for their advice," he adds. "If your question is appropriate for them and they're emotionally interested in you, you will get a letter back, and you will get to meet them for coffee."
Running on Empty: Michael Furdyk
In 1996, as the dot-com boom started to simmer, Michael Furdyk started a Web site, called MyDesktop.com, an online computer magazine, in the basement of his parents' home in suburban Toronto. Furdyk was 16 and a bona fide computer geek. His site was filled with tips and advice Furdyk gleaned in online chat rooms, where he also came across fellow teenager Michael Hayman in Australia. The twosome figured they could turn their passion for technology into a paying business. Hayman was so convinced that he moved to Toronto to get things started.
Just one problem: Their only source of income was Furdyk's paper route. Solution: barter. In exchange for Web site storage space, they ran their host's ads on MyDesktop.com. They negotiated cheap rent on their modest office by designing their landlord's Web site.
Soon MyDesktop.com was bringing in $60,000 a month in advertising revenue from blue-chip clients like Microsoft and IBM. Furdyk and Hayman used some of their excess cash to scoop up smaller technology sites for $5,000 to $10,000 apiece. By 1999 the company was attracting 1 million unique visitors a month (serious numbers back then). Furdyk, Hayman and a third partner sold the company to Internet.com for "over $1 million," says Furdyk.
Absorbing the Blows
As part of the MyDesktop sale, Furdyk and company received a small amount of venture capital funding for their next project, a product review site called Buybuddy.com. They raised an additional $5 million and brought on an outside management team. But the good times were short-lived. In 2001 the tech bubble burst; Buybuddy suffered and shut down within three years.
Furdyk hasn't soured on entrepreneurship; indeed, he is promoting it via TakingITglobal.com, a nonprofit social networking site he launched for youngsters and educators interested in using technology to solve global problems. "Never be afraid of failure," says Furdyk. "Just learn from it. When you're young you have even less to lose."
Going With the Flow: Fraser Doherty
While his fellow mini-moguls were making a mint on the Internet, Fraser Doherty was doing things the old-fashioned way. In 2002 at the age of 14, Doherty started making jams from his grandmother's recipes in his parents' kitchen in Edinburgh, Scotland. Neighbors and church friends loved them. As word spread Doherty received orders faster than he could fill them, so he leased space at a 200-person food processing factory several days a month.
By age 16 Doherty left school to work on his jams full time. In early 2007 Waitrose, a high-end supermarket in the U.K., came knocking, and within months there were SuperJam jars on the shelves of 184 Waitrose stores. Doherty borrowed $10,000 from a bank to cover general expenses and more factory time to produce three flavors: Blueberry & Black Currant, Rhubarb & Ginger and Cranberry & Raspberry.
Spreading the Word
Last year Doherty ramped up the company's marketing efforts, printing 50 million coupons in newspapers across the U.K. He also ran a promotion in the Sun newspaper offering readers a free jar of jam. Good moves: SuperJam's revenue hit $1.2 million in 2009, flat from the prior year. Doherty's retailers now include U.K. chains Asda Wal-Mart, Morrisons and Tesco. This year he plans to introduce three new flavors.
Doherty remains the company's only full-time employee, although he hired three part-time staffers to hand out samples in grocery stores. Within the next four months, he hopes to produce mini jars for airlines, hotels and gift boxes. Based on a reasonable valuation multiple of one time revenue (jelly maker J.M. Smucker generally trades between 1 and 1.5 times revenue), Doherty's debt-free stake is worth between $1 million and $2 million.
As for taking SuperJam up a notch, Doherty asserts that his supply chain and operations can safely scale to meet heavier demand. "We're sticking with what works," says the entrepreneur, now a seasoned 21 years old.
MyYearbook.com: Catherine Cook
In 2005 Catherine Cook, 15, and her brother Dave, 17, were flipping through their high school yearbook and came up with the idea to develop a free interactive version online. The Cooks soon merged their social networking site with Zenhex.com, an ad-supported site where users post homemade quizzes, more than doubling traffic to their site. By 2006 MyYearbook had raised $4.1 million from the likes of U.S. Venture Partners and First Round Capital. The business attracted advertisers such as Neutrogena, Disney and ABC, grew to 3 million members worldwide and raked in annual sales in the "seven figures," says Catherine.
Whateverlife.com: Ashley Qualls
Conceived by 14-year-old Detroit native Ashley Qualls as a personal portfolio with pictures and graphics, the ad-supported site evolved to offer free MySpace layouts and tutorials for teens who wanted to learn how to do their own graphic designs and coding. Whateverlife.com, which Qualls owns outright, claims to nab 7 million unique visitors a month and counts Verizon Communications as an advertiser. In March 2006 Qualls reportedly received an offer (from an undisclosed buyer) for $1.5 million, but turned it down.
Click here to see the full list of How To Make $1 Million Before Graduation.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I remembered last 2 years when I was so upset …I feel like I can’t stand anymore with all of things that I’m doing…sort of I lost my strength to continue with it…without doing what I’m supposed to do at that moment, I started ‘youtubing’ and…and I found this video which make me smile again…so now I feel like to share it…it wasn’t a new clips but it’s good to here again and again…cause its remind you that you’ll never be alone =)
I love to share the lyrics here as well cause I found it meaningful for all of us…
I am not afraid to stand alone....
I am not afraid to stand alone.... If Allah is by my side
I am not afraid to stand alone.... Everything will be alright
I am not afraid to stand alone.... Gonna keep my head up high
Single mother raising her children
Now she's a Muslim
Started praying and wearing a headscarf
Was a healing for her heart
Struggling with no one to lean on
But with prayer she would be strong
Got a job but then she was laid off
Got a better education and it paid off
Got a call for a job that she dreamed of
Close by, great pay -she was in love - they said...
They brought her in, said she's the number one pick
You got the job, but you gotta lose the outfit"
It's a tough position that they put me in
Cause Ive been struggling with my two children
But I'll continue looking for a job again
My faith in my religion now will never bend
Peer pressure, they were insisting
And I was resisting
Some days I felt I would give in
Just wanted to fit in
I know when I'm praying and fasting'
They be teasing and laughing
So I called to my Lord for the power
For the strength every day, every hour...
Then one day there's a new Muslim teacher
Single mom and the people respect her
Just seeing her strength I get stronger
They can break my will no longer
You don't see me sweating when they're jokes're cracking
Never see me cussing' with my pants saggin'
I aint never running yo I'm still standing
I ride with Allah to the very end
I am not afraid to stand alone...
Now, I'm a tough one, who can bear their blows
The rest play dumb, they don't dare say no
Scared of being shunned, but its clear they know
I aint never gonna run, I aint scared no more....
Man, these sisters be resolute
Never stressed when the rest say they wasn't cute
And the get the respect of the other youth
Come best with the dress yo and that's the truth
These sisters are strong gonna hand it down
So me I'm a brotha gotta stand my ground
I aint gonna shudder, when the gangs around
Peer pressure whatever, its my planet now
Others may fall, I'mma hold my own
With Allah's help I'll be strong as stone
And I'mma be brave and let Al Islam be shown
Cause you I know I not afraid to stand alone
Thursday, March 11, 2010
sejak dua menjak ni,aku dok sibuk pasal akuakultur. al maklum lah, benda hidup nie kalau tak sibuk dgn dia mampoih atau terbantut la jawabnya.ikan kelisa aku dah tak bernyawa sbb tu la kot...tak jaga betoi2. sibuk jugak aku dok cari potensi spesis terbaik kot2 nanti ke depan nk set up aqua farm sendiri.
kalau kira beberapa faktor yg ada skrg nie aku dok nampak ikan keli(Clarias sp.) antara yang berpotensi..sbb senang ternak n pasaran. kalu kat Malaysia nie antara spesis yg byk di ternak keli kayu(Clarias batrachus), keli bunga (Clarias gariepinus) dan kacukan leli eksotika dgn keli kayu.
ikan keli punya kadar hidup tinggi iaitu 80%. Makanan pulak pelbagai mcm ikan baja dgn dedak padi dan makanan rumusan. kalau betoi2 jaga 3-4 bulan dah cukup utk keli tu mencapai saiz 25cm - 30 cm panjang atau berat 150g-200g seekor.
ikan keli punya senang nak ternak, dalam kanvas pon boleh. belakang rumah la biasa org dok buat sebagai hobi. kaedah mcm nie mesra alam dan menghasilkan ikan yang berkhasiat tanpa masalah bau lumpur( off flavour).
banyak benda yang nak cerita,sbb esok aku nak pi seminar kat primula resort jadinya tak leh nak mengadap lama2. last sekali aku ada beberapa tips utk menyiang dan membersihkan ikan air tawar.
1.taburkan garam kasar ke dalam bekas ikan yang hendak disiang. dengan cara ini ikan keli senang di siang.
2.lumurkan campuran asam jawa/gelugor dengan sedikit garam pada ikan yang telah disiang dan dibiarkan beberapa minit sebelum dicuci dengan air bersih untuk menghilangkan bau hanyir.
3.sapukan garam pada ikan yang telah disiang dan cuci dengan limau kasturi atau limau nipis. biarkan selama 10 minit dan bersihkan dengan air biasa.
4. cuka dan campuran air beras bersama ramasan daun limau purut atau daun kesum juga boleh digunakan untuk menghilangkan hanyir ikan dengan menggunakan kaedah yang sama.
5. ikan yang bersesungut tidak elok dibuang bahagian mulut dan sesungutnya kerana ia akan mengeluarkan lendir yang banyak!