Monday, March 21, 2011

Article Review

Young Grads Sell Bodies for Easy Money

By: Wong Pek Mei, a.raman, Allison lai  


Things always happen for a reason, that’s the idea of why some people behaving oddly due to some circumstance. In this article the case is the young graduates sell bodies for money, easy money perhaps. The article says that some people among the graduates willingly sell their body for five-digit incomes even though they have diploma certificate. Even these well educated people willing to do this kind of dirty work for money, can we tell what their problem are and what cause this social dilemma?

They might have a strong education backgrounds that is in opinion only the knowledge regarding to education. They might also be really good in it but maybe not in their life voyage. Life can sometime be so cruel that makes some people minds boggling until they do something wrong or stupid without realizing it. But this kind of issues can be curb from the beginning if the person is well prepared from the beginning.  For example, the strongholds of the individual religious belief can be the most important part to avoid them from doing things like selling bodies for money. I bet none of the religious in the world says that it’s okay to sell bodies for money. So the lack of religious belief could definitely lead these people to sell their body for easy money.

Besides than religious belief, the economy factor such as the cost of living can also be the explanation for this issue. In nowadays education may not always promise a good future because the competition is beyond our power. There are too many graduates each year but not all of them are confirm to get a work not even the best graduates. Is this clear enough? When the people can’t even support them self for living even a good certificate is in their hand. When the cost of living is high, a person will do anything to survive even if it course dignity.

 Easy influence might be another factor to this problem. Some people perhaps are easy to get influence by the environment or let say the people around them. In this case, when a person can easily get five-digit incomes for just selling their body, no offends that it can influence their friends and at the same time motivate them to do the same thing. This is the type of influence that involves money, money as we know is the most important thing in our life and no wonder why some people willing to do anything to get it easily.  

Money might be the most important thing in any person life, but we must also alert that dignity perhaps is another thing that should be listed at the same level of money. Making lots of money is everybody’s dream but how we get the money is the thing that we should dream on first. Dignity is the pride of our life so when our pride is no longer obedience, what is the point of having or making a lot of money? We may not wear the same shoes and our status may not be the same, so answer this from where you’re standing.  

Ulasan Artikel

“Kesan kebiadaban di dunia siber”,  sebuah artikel oleh Dr Rahmat Ghazali yang menyentuh tentang salahlaku pengguna internet di Malaysia. Seperti mana yang diunsurkan dalam artikel ini, para pengguna internet di Malaysia menggunakan internet untuk melemparkan idealogi-idealogi yang berunsurkan kemarahan. Kenyataan ini, jika dilihat dari aspek luaran dan dalaman, mungkin tidak ramai yang sedar bahawa perkara ini semakin berleluasa dalam kalangan rakyat.

Sesuatu yang terjadi sentiasa bersebab, para pengguna ini berani menyalahgunakan kebebasan bersuara melalui internet kerana Akta  Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998 yang telah memberi kebebasan kepada pengguna-pengguna ini.  Lalu semakin ramailah yang tampil dengan ideologi-ideologi berunsurkan kritikan yang mampu menggugat sesiapa sahaja di negara ini dan tidak terkecuali pihak kerajaan. Tetapi, sepertimana yang telah ditulis dalam artikel ini, para pengguna ini tidak terlepas daripada Akta Fitnah, Akta Hasutan, Akta Rahsia Rasmi dan Akta Keselamatan dalam negeri. Akta-akta ini mungkin akan menjadi lebih berkesan jika Akta Komunikasi dipinda supaya penngguna tidak dapat mengkritik apa-apa hal yang berkenaan dengan kerajaan. Imej kerajaan perlu dijaga dan tidak sewenang-wenangnya dikritik oleh mana-mana pihak.

Kebebasan menggunakan Internet diberikan supaya ia dapat memudahakan pengguna agar dapat berkongsi pendapat dan meningkatkan percambahan maklumat yang mampu membantu membangunkan intelek rakyat Malaysia. Ini adalah fator utama mengapa kerajaan memberi kelonggaran ini yang kemudiannya telah di salagunakan oleh segelintir pengguna yang tidak bermoral.

Perkara-perkara yang sebegini secara tidak langsung telah bercanggah dengan gagasan 1 Malaysia dimana motifnya adalah untuk merapatkan jurang perkauman diantara etnik di Malaysia. Perkara-perkara yang di maksudkan adalah artikel-artikel yang terdapat dalam internet dimana ia mencaci setiap kaum di Malaysia (berdasarkan kajian Dr Rahmat,2010).

Masalah ini semakin hari semakin meruncing dan boleh dikategorikan sebagai ‘penyakit internet’. Mungkin juga ia merupakan salah satu faktor mengapa perbalahan kaum sering berlaku di negara ini. Laman sosial yang sepatutnya digunakan untuk bersosial telah disalahgunakan untuk membuat onar. Mengapa ia berlaku? Siapakah yang perlu dipersalahkan?  Tepuklah dada tanyalah selera.     

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sleep Paralysis: Awake But Still Asleep

A person may wake up and find himself unable to move or speak as if he is frozen. He also may hear footsteps, see a ghost-like creature, or feel someone sitting on his chest. Throughout the history, people considered this phenomenon as work done by evil spirits. However, the modern science can explain the terrifying event as a Sleep Paralysis.

which one do you believe in? Science or Folklore?
A Sleep Paralysis is possibly a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis with little respiration and eye movements. A victim in this state feels awake, but he cannot move or speak. In addition to the immobility, the common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows, and feeling an existance of someone in the room. Although these symptoms often direct the victims to believe in ghosts, mistransmission of neural signals in the brain causes Sleep Paralysis. When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction . If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body, and consequently, become "paralyzed".
In order to understand how a body becomes paralyzed while the person is awake, it is necessary to understand sleep cycles. In a mammalian sleep, the brain activity undergoes two different states called non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM sleep, which differ very much from wakefulness. NREM and REM sleep alternate cyclically through the night; in human, about 80 minutes of NREM sleep starts a night of sleep, about 10 minutes of REM sleep follows, and this 90 minute cycle is repeated about 3 to 6 times during the night. During NREM sleep, a body produces few movement, but the body has capability of tossing about in bed and producing some other motor events, such as sleepwalking and sleeptalking. The cardiac-muscle contraction and breathing occur at a uniform rate, and the eyes move slowly. During REM sleep, on the other hand, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure vary. The eyes move rapidly because most dreaming takes place in this period, and the sleeper probably "look" at the moving objects in a dream.
The brain's control over muscles during REM sleep points out that in this period, a body is normally in the state of total paralysis, called a "nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis". Probably to prevent a person from "acting out" a dream, the brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contractions. Although some peripheral muscles, such as the muscles of the fingers and face, still twitch, the large skeletal muscles become relaxed, or "paralyzed" as a result. Some evidence supports that the motor paralysis of REM sleep protect against the acting out of one's dreams. A patient who suffers from rare syndrome called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder lacks the normal nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis, and he acts out violent dreams during REM sleep, often with injurious consequences. For example, a 60-year-old surgeon dreamt that he was attacked "by criminals, terrorists, and monsters who always tried to kill [him]" and fighting against them in the nightmare, he was actually punching and kicking his wife who slept in the same bed.
A nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis during REM sleep is accomplished actively by postsynaptic inhibition of motorneurons. Although the exact process of motor inhibition is not clear, some neurotransmitters and hormones are known to generate the many components of REM sleep. Aministering physostigmine, an inhibitor of the catabolic enzyme, increases the concentration of acetylcholine within the neurons in the pons, making it possible to artificially generate and start REM sleep in the middle of NREM sleep . Carbachol, the cholinergic agonist, produces a period of REM sleep in cat when directly injected into the pontine tegmentum. The hormone melatonin, a "master hormone"  that mainly controls circadian rhythms, also seems to play an important role in enhancing the REM state; the level of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland reaches its lowest during REM sleep . Such neurotransmitters and hormones probably activate or inhibit the activity of second messengers, which then activate or inhibit the third messengers, and so on till the last messenger inhibit the synaptic transmission or cause hyperpolarization of the motorneurons. And if, for some reason, the nervous or endocrine system continues to release the neural inhibitors, a person may experience Sleep Paralysis as he enters awakefully into or awakens directly from REM period.

While the modern neuroscience can describe the state of Sleep Paralysis as some errors of the neural transmission in the brain during REM sleep, a person who has seen or heard ghost-like figures/voices may easily believe that eveil spirits fully controlled his entire body. However, the images or noises, which the victim believes that he has seen or heard, are most likely hallucinations; and hallucinations, too, can result from the brain activity. In the 1960's, the Canadian neurologist W. Penfield introduced that electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe can cause the auditory hallucinations in the wake state. The buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears and other auditory hallucinations are closely associated with the activity of the auditory cortex and involves the temporal lobe . During the early period of sleep paralysis, the activity of the temporal lobe increases significantly, sometimes inducing hallucinatory sense. Similarly, the visual cortex generates internal visual stimuli, causing the victim to "see" terrifying figures during the paralysis.
How an episode of Sleep Paralysis induces visual or auditory hallucinations is still not clear, but it seems to have a significant relationship with anxiety. For anxiety is a neurocognitive event closely related to both psychological and physical processes, the extreme anxiety or panic may cause the release of several different signal molecules that trigger all kinds of physical events . A person experiencing Sleep Paralysis feels mortal fear or extreme panic, and hence, the brain generates and releases internal visual or auditory stimuli, producing hallucinations.
Also, hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis may happen, for one keeps dreaming even after some parts of his brain wakes up directly from REM sleep. Since the nervous and endocrine systems continue to release the neural inhibitors which sustain the paralysis, it may be possible that those systems keep releasing the neural activators that stimulate dreaming. Thus, a person continues to "see" the images and "hear" the noises produced in the dream that he has just had in REM sleep from which he has awaken.
Understanding more neural concepts of Sleep Paralysis, some researchers now hypothesize that a very rare condition called Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) may closely relate to Sleep Paralysis. Upon the death, a SUNDS victim produces no body movement even though he experiences a myocardial infarction and strong breathing difficulties and should straggle in agony. The death may be caused by the extreme muscle atonia during Sleep Paralysis, which is so severe that even the cardiac muscles and the diaghragm paralyze.
Until I started researching on this subject, I have believed that the total paralysis of a body is due to an evil taking absolute control over the body. However, the interactions between neurons in the brain can explain this seemingly mysterious phenomenon in a scientific way. Although the explanation is not complete yet, for there are many unclear processes about Sleep Paralysis, the current hypothesis appears to reject the possibility of ghosts on this matter. Of course, it is impossible to completely disprove the existence of "spirits", "minds", or "God" affecting one's behavior. Nevertheless, like Sleep Paralysis and SUNDS, many or the mysterious conditions and behaviors which are only explained in supernatural terms probably result from brain.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Biography

 A. Samad Said

Abdul Samad bin Muhammad Said atau nama penanya A. Samad Said, Hilmy Isa, Isa Dahmuri, Jamil Kelana, Manja, Mesra, dan Shamsir dilahirkan pada 9 April 1935 di Kampung Belimbing Dalam, Durian Tunggal, Melaka. Semasa berumur enam bulan, A. Samad Said dibawa oleh keluarganya ke Singapura. A. Samad Said memperoleh pendidikan formal di Sekolah Melayu Kota Raja hingga lulus darjah IV (1940-1946). Kemudian A. Samad meneruskan pengajiannya dalam kelas petang di Victoria Institution hingga memperolehi sijil Senior Cambridge (1956).

Pengalaman kerjaya A. Samad Said bermula sebagai kerani, pengarang di Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian, Kumpulan The Straits Times, dan ketua pengarang akhbar Warta Teberau. Jawatan terakhir A. Samad Said ialah sebagai ketua pengembangan sastera dalam Kumpulan Akhbar The New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur. Kini A. Samad Said menjadi penulis sepenuh masa yang aktif berkarya.

Sejak di bangku sekolah lagi minatnya terhadap sastera mula berputik apabila beliau berjinak membaca karya sastera dalam dan luar negera seperti karya Ajip Rosidi, Rendra, Pramoedya, Achdiat, Hamzah dan Wijaya Mala. Beliau juga membaca novel Oliver Twist, Wuthering Height, dan Almayer’s Folly. Beliau juga menggunting dan menyimpan cerpen daripada akhbar tempatan dan mengkajinya sebelum menghasilkan cerpennya sendiri. Kegiatan menterjemah beberapa karya asing juga secaran tidak langsung memperkuatkan minatnya terhadap kesuasteraan


Bermula detik alam persekolahan hingga kini A. Samad Said tida jemu menghasilkan puluhan karya dalam genre novel, puisi, drama, cerpen, dan esei untuk mewarnakan dunia sastera di persada tanah air dan antarabangsa. Antara karya besar yang dihasilkan ialah Salina, Bulan Tak Bermadu di Fatehpur Sikri, Sungai Mengalir Lesu, Di Hadapan Pulau, Langit Petang, Daerah Zeni, Hujan Pagi, Lantai T Pinkie, Wira Bukit, Benih Harapan, Benih Semalu, Daun Semalu Pucuk Paku dan Warkah Eropah, AL-AMIN , Riwayat Hidup Rasululiah s.a.w dalam Puisi (1999) dan kumpulah puisi Suara Dari Dinding Dewan (2003) terbitan Utusan Publication & Distributors Sdn Bhd. Sentuhan karyanya yang terbaharu ialah novel Adik Datang, kumpulan puisi Dirgahayu Dr Mahathir dan kumpulan puisi kanak-kanak Rindu Ibu yang diterbitkan oleh Wira Bukit Sdn Bhd.Beberapa karyanya diadaptasi menjadi teater/drama pentas seperti Salina, Sungai Mengalir Lesu, Lantai T. Pinkie, dan Memori Di Hadapan Pulau

Pencapaian dan sumbangan A. Samad Said dalam memperkayakan dan memertabatkan kesusasteraan Melayu telah mendapat penghargaan kerajaan apabila beliau menerima pelbagai anugerah. Antaranya termasuklah Pejuang Sastera (1976), SEA Write Award (1979), Anugerah Sasterawan Negara (1985), dan Anugerah Sasterawan Nusantara (1999).

Selain pengiktirafan dalam bidang sastera, A.Samad Said juga telah dianugerahkan darjah kebesaran Negeri Melaka yang membawa gelaran Datuk dalam tahun 1997 oleh Yang Dipertua Negeri Melaka. (Dewan Sastera Ogos 2003)

Kerajinannya menghasilkan karya dan ketekunannya membaca karya-karya orang lain menjadi titik penentu A. Samad Said ditabalkan sebagai Sasterawan Negara yang versatil di ujana kesusasteraan tanah air. Dalam karya A. Samad Said, khalayak akan melihat ketelitian dan kecermatannya sebagai pengarang pengarang yang menuangkan nurani seninya. A. Samad Said berpendapat bahawa untuk melahirkan karya, karyawan tidak hanya bergantung pada bahan dan bakat serta kekuatan fikiran sahaja tetapi yang penting ialah pembacaan dan pengalaman yang luas.