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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oratory Skills

Public speaking or oratory is the art of speaking to a large gathering or group of people in an organized manner in order to deliver a message or to entertain the audience. While some may have the talent to openly speak in a large group, many will feel nervous when asked to give a speech to a large group of listeners. This is normal, because even the most experienced speakers sometimes get nervous before an oratory. Mastering the art of public speaking can help lessen the nervousness experienced before a speech.

In order to deliver a successful speech, the speaker must first overcome the fear of speaking in public, which is also known as “glossophobia” or stage fright. It is important to control the fear, because when an audience sense that the speaker is in fear, they tend to shut the speaker out for that reason alone. The fear can be detected by the listeners in many ways, many of which are from the movements of the speakers. Some examples of of these movements include :

· Shuffling from foot to foot
· Wild or random gestures with the hands
· Stuttering and jumbling of words
· Speaking too fast
· No eye contact with the audience
· Referring to written notes too often
· Clearing throat repeatedly

To overcome these symptoms, the best way is by practice. Frequent practice will raise one’s confidence level. One must not be afraid to do a mistake, because we learn through mistakes. Try practice speaking in front of a mirror or in front of close relatives to test the pitch and volume of one’s voice. The pitch cannot be too high because it might irritate the listeners, and a slow voice will lead the audience to sleep. Practice also lets you speak more fluently when the real time comes for the speech. This is important because the listeners need to really understand what you are saying in order to get the message.

During the speech, try adding some humour or jokes to keep the audience entertained and prevent them from getting bored. Laughing can make a sleepy person stay wide awake for the whole section of a speech. Orators who use humour in their speech are more effective compared to those who give serious speeches.

Besides that, try building a relationship with the audience at the start of the speech. The bond created can keep the audience focussed on the orator and the topic he or she is talking about. These bonds can be created by asking questions at the audience such as “how are you today?”. When someone answers a question, ask for their name. Doing this can make the audience feel that the speaker is interested in them, and will therefore keep the audience paying attention.

The most important thing when giving a speech is to be yourself. The speech given does not to be perfect, just good and entertaining for the audience. One cannot deliver an information or message well if they feel awkward. However, the best way is to prepare before a speech and practice a lot.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia. It is built for King Suryavarman 2 in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. Khmer is the name of the people who lived in Angkor. Angkor Wat means city temple in Khmer language.

Information based on questions

1. What is Bayon?
Bayon is the second biggest temple after Angkor Wat.

2. What is the Bayon for?
It is famous for the depiction of daily lives which the people led on the walls of it's structures.

3. Who was Chaou Ta Kuan?
He was believed to be a spy and he recorded everything that happened in Angkor Wat while he was living there.

4. Who were the Khmer's enemy?
The ancient Vietnamese.

5. What is the main reason for the fall of the Khmer empire?
The loss of water control due to the fact that the people neglected the irrigation and drainage system because they feel insincere working for the king at the time.

6. How did Angkor Wat survive?
The monks kept visiting the temple as pilgrimage site.
7. Who built Angkor Wat?
King Suryavarman 2.

8. What does Angkor Wat mean?
Temple city.

9. What contributed to the rise of Angkor?
Mastery over water control. They have extensive and systematic irrigation system which supplies their needs like farming.

10. How did the Khmer cultivate rice?
They built barays in which they store water for the use of culticating rice.

11. What contributed to the fall of Angkor Wat?
External threats from neighbouring countries like Thailand.

12. How did the main temple survive?
The monks continued living and dedicating their lives to the city temple.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Indigenous People

Have you ever wanted to explore the world?Aren't you curious whats out there other than the things that you normally see everyday?The world is a vast place to explore and to let your senses feel the things you never did.Gaining such experience would be one of a kind and memorable.One of the things that made me well curious would be the Maori tribe in New Zealand.I think its amazing how they preseve their way of living and are able to acheive the same success as the general population of New Zealanders.You should know that are two classes of people that make New Zealand.They are:

a)Pakena are white people whose ancestors lived in Europe
b)Maori are brown people whose ancestors lived in New Zealand for many generations.

Although there are two classes,they are not separated but are all equal New Zealanders.The Maori tribe still resides at North Island.Lifestyles of the Maori people are different from then and now.This happened during the mid 1800's,when Christians and Protestants began to work in New Zealand.By 1840 almost all in the Maori population became Christians.The word maree refers to a piece of land owned in common by a subdivision of the tribe.It is usually used as a meeting place.

In this modern era of fast changes and the new up and coming technology,this mentioned tribe do their best in preserving their old culture and tradition.Maori people define themselves by their:

a)iwi (tribe)

b)hapu (sub-tribe)

c)maunga (mountain)

d)awa (river).

Whanau is the name given to a family.This term embraces immediate family, in-laws and all those that are related ny blood.

Recently,more effort was put in to preserve their culture.At kohanga reo(kindergarden),preschool children are encouraged to speak in Maori. Primary and secondary schools build on this early immersion by including Maori in the curriculum.

Furthermore,marae provides a focus for social, cultural and spiritual life. The term marae describes a communal 'plaza' area that includes a wharenui (meeting house) and wharekai (dining room).

Te Reo Maori - the Maori Language

Kia ora - Hello
Kia ora tatou - Hello everyone
Tena koe - Greetings to you (said to one person)
Tena koutou - Greeting to you all
Haere mai - Welcome
Nau mai - Welcome
Kei te pehea koe? - How's it going?
Kei te pai - Good
Tino pai - Really good
Haere ra - Farewell
Ka kite ano - Until I see you again (Bye)
Hei konei ra - See you later

The famous known tradition of the Maori tribe would be the Haka.This dance is usually seen at rugby matches.It is commonly known as a war dance but in fact it is just a dance accompanied by music.The history of the first use of the haka in the was attributed to the chief Tinirau and to his womenfolk.Tinirau desired revenge for the killing of a pet whale, so he sent a hunting party of women to find the man responsible, an old tohunga(priest) called Kae. The women didn't know what Kae looked like, but they knew he had uneven teeth that overlapped.When the women arrived at Kae's village they performed the haka to force a smile from the men in order to uncover Kae's identity.Finally,Kae was captured and taken back to Tinirau's village where he was killed.So that is how Haka came about.

Learning another's culture is never a waste of time.It is a good practice to be exposed by different culture and traditon.This helps us to adapt to changes quickly.Observing their survival through the course of time,we should respect and learn their culture.Acknowledging a different culture would make us less ignorant and selfish.In a lifetime,we should be exposed to many different things to avoid regret during old age.In the end,just remember that life is short,make it sweet =)

Islamic Art

Art is something that is created by man to express their feelings or to convey a message. In Islamic arts, the messages of Allah are conveyed through art medias such as porcelain ware, biuilding designs, metalwork, textiles, carpets and other everyday objects. The messages are condensed into one word, which is "Tauhid" meaning the oneness of Allah and is the main characteristics of Islamic arts.

One of the branches of Islamic arts is the Islamic calligraphy. The words used in Islamic calligraphy chiefly consists of Arabic words, verses in the Quran, or jawi,an adapted arabic alphabet for writing in Malay.They are generally used to decorate the walls of mosques, porcelain ware, glassware, tombstones, coins, carpets, textiles and metalworks.

There are many types of Arabic calligraphy, but the two best known are the Kufi and Naskhi. the shape of Kufi letters are mainly perpendicular because it is patterned in the way soldiers marced in Mesopotamia. Since the letters are staright and perpendicular, they are most suitable for carving on mosaic, tiles and stones in buildings such as mosques and fortresses. As time progressed, the calligraphy began to develop from it's origianl form to beautiful floral forms.

Different from the Kufi, the Nashki is cursive and linear in form. Since the 12th century, it had replaced the Kufi calligraphy in that it began to be used as a decorative repertoire in Islamic works of art. The Naskhi is more favoured because it's cursive and linear forms enabled much faster writing. The Thuluth was the most popular form in the Naskhi calligraphy. The thuluth are used for the Quran and also commonly found carved out on monuments in Iran and Turkey.

During the 13th century, another form of calligraphy was introduced known as Taliq. Later, the Nastaliq form appeared which is a combination of Naskhi and Taliq. This form is used in Shahnameh manuscripts, literary works of Iran poets. Besides that, there is also the Diwan or Diwani calligraphy. Although adopted as the official writing of Turkey, it is seldom used in works of art or manuscripts.

In Islamic architecture, the characteristics of the buildings represents the expressions of feelings, peace, tranquility and purity. The structure provides maximum entry of light, for it is believed to create a sense of harmony with the environment and also a sense of comfort. Furthermore, the buildings are equipped with beautiful interior and exterior decorative designs which can mostly be found on walls, arcades and roofs. One of the examples of beautiful Islamic architecture is the Madinah mosque.

Other than that, the ceramics of Islamic religion also possessed artistic values. The creation, designs and art of decorating these fragile items were greatly influenced by Chinese ceramics. The ceramics are mostly decorated with only two different colours, but some are multicoloured, adding to their beauty and uniqueness. The basic ceramics are glazed
porcelains and tricolour glazed porcelains. The objects created are mainly everyday objects such as teapot, incence burner, pottery, bowls and candle holder.

Metalwork are not left out in the Islamic art. Compared to other forms of art, metalwork has attained a high standard of technical development and representation in Islamic arts. The metalworks are historically influenced by Sassanian and East Asian arts. Gold and silver were rarely used because the prohibition on it's use for men in Islamic faith. The products of metalwork are usually weapons and armor. The blades are carved with intricate desi
gns and calligraphy or are sometimes inlaid with jewels like ruby or emerald.

Conclusively, Islamic artists create their works of art out of observation, perception and intimate experience of the environment. Muslim artists are constrained by certain religious imperatives. For instance, they must accept that space (the environment) is created by Allah and they themselves are also Allah's creation. They must accept Allah's oneness. Therefore, their creation should not be too extreme because such an act can affect their faith and consequently drove them to be proud or arrogant. Hence, Muslim artists are prohibited from creating human figurines or use human forms in their creations, lest they be tempted into idolatory or polytheism.

Musical Instrument,the ukulele which is usually played at Maori Ceremonies and even for Leisure

Maori Culture,Traditions and history

Maori Culture in New Zealand

Kapa Haka Maori Festival

Maori Culture-Ritual/Ceremony Part 1

Maori Culture-Ritual/Ceremony Part 2

Maori-Haka Dane

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Politics - The Iraq War

The war in Iraq has been going on for a very long time. The war began on the 20th of March 2003 and is still in operation till today. Iraq was invaded by a multinasional force led by the troupes from United States and also United Kingdom without any declaration of war. The US military referred to it as Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The reason for their invasion is the thought that Iraq is in possession of WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction). Although the United Nations weapon's inspector found no evidence of WMD in Iraq, the US government stated that " diplomacy has failed " and decided to go to war.

Besides that, some US officials accused Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting Al-Qaeda, the Islamist terrorist group. However, there is also no evidence on this statement. Other reasons for the invasion as stated by US officials include Iraq's financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, Iraqi government human rights abuses and an effort on part of the coalition forces to spread democracy in the country and region. Some also admitted that Iraq's oil reserves were also the factors of invasion, but they later denied the statement.

The invasion led to the capture of President Hussein, who was later executed by the new Iraq government. Violence against coalition forces and among sectarian groups led to Iraq insurgency, strife between Sunni and Shia groups and al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. The number of citizens killed during the 2007 war is estimated to be 85000 civillians minimum to 1000000 people. UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) eatimated that 4.7 million Iraqis were found, 2 million of whom fled to neighbouring countries. In June 2008, US Department of Defense officials claimed security and economic indicators began to show signs of signs of improvement in what they hailed as significant and fragile gains. Iraq was fifth on the Failed States Index in August 2008.

The war brought many sadness and disadvantages to the country. There has been many deaths,
children, adult and the elderly all included. Those that survived lived a sufferable life, everyday they need to protect themselves and also their families from the terrible attacks. They are deprived from their homes and most of the time suffer great famine. Furthermore, the education of children have to be halted and many of their buildings are destroyed. A lot of money are spent in trying to provide for the citizens needs, but it is not enough. Truly, their sufferings cannot be understood by those who led perfect lives to this day.

However, the coalition start
ed to decrease beginning 2004 when 9 countries, including Spain, pulled out their forces, and later withdrawals have continued leaving US as the sole country with troops on the ground by mid-2009. In the late 2008, the US and Iraq governments have approved a Status of Forces Agreement which is effective until 1st January 2012. Besides that, the Iraq parliament also ratified a Strategic Framework Agreement with US to ensure cooperation in constitutional rights, threat deterrance, education, energy development and other areas of concern.

In late February 2009, the new US president Barrack Obama, announced an 18 month withdrawal window for "combat forces", leaving behind 30000 to 50000 troops to "advise and train Iraqi Security Forces" and to provide intelligence and surveillance. General Ray Odierno believes that all of US troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, although the combat operations ended on April 30,2009. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, supported the accelerated pullout of US army. In this situation, it is hoped that the people of Iraq will finally achieved a state of peace after being in war for so long.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vocaloid,the new generation of the music industry.

Vocaloid is a musical synthesizer application software developed by Yamaha Corporation this enables users to generate sounding singing by just having to put in lyrics and melody.

The history of Vocaloid is just a recent one.It was developed by the ever so famous Yamaha Corporation.The development of Vocaloid was announced in the year 2003.On the 15th January,the first Vocaloid products were launched.The products were given the name of Leon and Lola.Years later on January 2007,Vocaloid2 was launched.Vocaloid2 is a better and improved version of Vocaloid1.Following their successful launch,Yamaha introduced the English version and it goes by the name of Sweet Ann.
These are some examples of the characters developed by Yamaha for the Vocaloid product.

SWEET ANN is the first virtual singer based on Vocaloid2. She has as if cross sitches on her neck but it is actually her choker.This programme was released on June 29,2007.Her voice is inspired by a female pop singer.
MEIKO's voice is completely computer synthesised.Thus causing the programme to sound less smooth and a bit rough.She was first introduced into the market on November 5,2004.She is able to sing any type of genre which expands from hip-hop to rock.Her voice is based Japan's pop songstress Meiko Haigo.Her trademark is her red dress and she holds a microphone stand. PRIMA is apart of the newly improved programme Vocaloid2.This programme was relaesed on January 14,2008.MIKU HATSUNE is the most popular among her vocaloid members.She was released on August 31,2007.Due to her popularity,these character had been immortalised into comic books which she stares as the main character.The sampling of her voice comes from a Japanese singer called Saki Fujita.Moreover,high demands for this character had made producers create several songs under this character.She is able to sing from all sorts of genre but she sings mainly J-pop. LUKA MEGURINE is the third release apart of the Vocaloid2.Her released date was on January 30,2009.She is able to sing in Japanese and English.The main reason for her creation was to break all language and cultural barrier.She has a moody but husky female voice.Shortly after her release,she was a bigger hit and still is compared to Miku.MEGPOID is a cute character known for her famous character item which is a carrot.She was released on June 25th,2009.She is voiced by Megumi Nakajima.Due to being only recently released,not much feedback is known about her.

GACKPOID was released on Julu 31,2008.For this creation,actor and musician Gackt lent his voice and stage name.The other name for this character is Kamui Gakupo. REN AND LEN KAGAMINE is the second installment of the Vocaloid series.Although they share the same family name but they are not brothers and sisters but reflections of a mirror.For this programme ,there are two voice banks that can be used.The programme is sold at the same price as Miku eventhough there are two voice banks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Communication Skills In The Workplace

Communication based on wikipedia online is a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication is commonly defined as "the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs". Communication can be perceived as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and progression of thought, feeling or ideas towards a mutually accepted goal or direction.

Communication is very important in the average people's lives. People communicate with each other every day,from little things like asking the time to big things like discussions. Communication began from when we are children, and develops as we grow up. While basic communication skills are easy to obtain, not many know how to communicate professionally with others, especially with those whom they first met. These type of situations are often seen in the workplace. Good communication skills can help create a happy atmosphere in the workplace besides making a task easier to complete.

Here are some tips to good communication skills in the workplace :

1. Personal Contact
People relate to one another better when they can meet in person and read each other's body language. What's more, people can feel the energy the connection creates. A powerful connection can be created by just smiling or shaking someone's hand when you meet them.

2. Develop A Network
No one achieves success alone. Success in any company requires team effort. Therefore, make an effort to know your manager and employees in different departments within the company. Try to meet new people in professional organizations. Furthermore, be active in your company and join in their events like family day to strengthen the bonds with co-workers.

3. Always Be Courteous
Courtesy lets people know that you care. Words like 'thank you' lets people know that you appreciate them. This is important because if people know you are grateful, they will be more eager to help you another time.

4.Be Clear
Since people often hear things differently, it is important to speak fluently and with the correct pronounciations of words. People may hesitate to ask you to repeat what you said if they didn't hear your words properly. Therefore, you should ask, "did i explain this clearly?" after you end your talk or speech to confirm that people understood you.

5. Compromise
You can decrease the tension associated with conflicts if you always ask, "what is best for the company?". This gives people a different perspective on your requests, and they will be less likely to take any conflicts personally.

6. Be Interesting And Interested
Even though most of the work place communications will be about business topics, it is also important to share your personal side. Talk about your interests and your family to other co-workers and ask them about theirs. Telling a few short personal stories about your interesting experiences will make your team members feel more connected to you as a person. Read the newspaper or watch the news on television daily to know what's going on with the world and what personal concerns your members may have about them.

7. Listen
Listening attentively to what others say demonstrates respect. Listening properly is not as people's mind tend to wander to other topics. To help concentrate on your talker's words, keep a good eye contact, without staring and ask questions about the topic being discussed.

Improving communication skills is a process that increases gradually over time. However, there is a way to speed up the learning process. At the end of each day, take some time to review your communications during the day. Take note of what was effective and what wasn't. Learn from mistakes and continue to learn and also improve your communication skills.

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