Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pro-choice & Pro-life

I was watching an episode of Boston Legal the other day where a young girl seeks a judicial bypass so that she can get an abortion without parental approval since her mother refused to give her consent. I then looked up the terms pro-choice and pro-life on the web.

From the online merriam-webster dictionary, pro-choice (1975) just means "favoring the legalization of abortion" whereas pro-life (1971) means "opposed to abortion".

Then wikipedia on pro-choice and pro-life states that:
"Both "pro-choice" and "pro-life" are examples of political framing: they are terms which purposely try to define their philosophies in the best possible light, while by definition attempting to describe their opposition in the worst possible light ("Pro-choice" implies the alternative viewpoint is "anti-choice", while "pro-life" implies the alternative viewpoint is "pro-death" or "anti-life")".
The neutral terms to use are the terms “in favor of abortion rights” and “opposed to abortion rights”.

I also came across this informative webpage that summarises the abortion laws of most countries in the world. It has charts that show for what reasons and under what conditions abortion is legal in each country. The reasons it lists are:

Life: to save the life of the mother
Health: to preserve the physical health of the mother
Mental: to preserve the mental health of the mother
Rape: in cases of rape and incest
Defect: when the unborn child has medical problems or birth defects
Social: for social and/or economic reasons, (cannot afford to support a child)
Demand: available on demand, no reason need be given

From its tables, I am surprised to see that China and Singapore (1974 Termination of Pregnancy Act) have very liberal abortion law. For Malaysia, its penal code was amended in 1989 (Act A727 of 1989) to allow abortion in the first trimester if the woman's life or physical or mental health is endangered by the pregnancy.

For reference, I copied the following tables (please click on the charts for a larger image) from the webpage above as follows:

After my reading, I would not want to use the terms pro-choice and pro-life because while I am all for life, I am also very much in favour of women being given the choice to choose what they want to do with their lives and bodies. How about you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our very own tepui?

Open our eyes
and we shall see
the beauty that surrounds us

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The dumpling festival is celebrated today. Last week, my mother made around 40 dumplings (zòngzi 粽子). The fillings she used were chestnuts, Chinese black mushrooms, salted duck egg yolks, deep fried chicken breast meat, dried oysters and black-eyed beans instead of mung beans. All the above fillings except for the salted duck egg yolks have to be precooked so it really took a lot of time and effort to make the dumplings. She learned how to make these dumplings on her own from recipe books. I didn't help to wrap the dumplings because I do not have the skill to do it. So thanks to my mother, I get to eat delicious home-made dumplings for the whole of this week.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jumping for Joy?

Last month, I bought a rebounder (mini trampoline) after reading on jo's blog about how easy it is to exercise using it. For someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle, I seriously need some form of exercise and since I prefer easy exercises which can be performed at home, I thought this would be the thing for me if it is as simple as mentioned.

With some helpful information from jo, I went shopping for it. After looking at 3 different rebounders, I bought one that costs MYR288 because it looks more sturdy than the other two which costs around MYR 167 and MYR 238 and it comes with a one-year warranty for the various parts. The rebounder that I bought uses springs instead of the sophisticated high elastic bungee bands which is said to be better and of course it is much much more expensive.

For 30 minutes each day, I have been doing the basic bounce as mentioned in this online article entitled "How To Do Mini Trampoline Exercises". There are many other exercises that can be done on the rebounder but I think I will stick to the basics for the time being.

According to this website, the first rebounder was patented in the US in 1975 and by 1981 it became a fad which soon faded. I hope I can keep this up because to me, a little exercise is better than none at all - actually is this true?

*paragraph below added on 8 June 2010*

Below are two photos of the rebounder I bought. Those feet belong to my spouse. The diameter is 36 inches and the height is 8 inches. The springs can be seen in the 2nd photo when the feet landed on the rebounder.