Thursday, January 29, 2009

Business Trip to Myanmar & My First Trip back Home for 2009

Yes, I am happy that I will will be going back home to Myanmar.
It will be the first trip of 2009, and as everyone has been telling I am looking forward to see my wee little daughter and wife, also to see my mom and bro and sis and their families too.
Something that I don't have in Singapore - family.
But the staff at the school I work at are really great, throwing me a surprise birthday party, that was truely, a pleasent surprise.
It is also the first business trip to Myanmar
And I have a chock full schedule of appointments and follow-ups, and events to hold and attend.
The Year of the Ox states that we have to really work hard for progress, and though the stars shine favourably on my sign, earth monkey, they serves as only a motivation for me to push harder, knowing that I have some celestial help on my side.
Yes, I intend to make things happen, working in the smarter manner.

2008 was a year of change for me. In the early months, I could not have envisioned or dreamed that it would end like this, in a new job, in a overseas country, in a direction wenching career change. (At least the culture chock has been minimal! And friends that have been in Singapore for a while, ensure that I navigate myself around with minimal mishaps, they have been totally great, school friendships do last a lifetime)

I will be off the blogshere for approxiamtely 2 weeks.
And will promise to come back with a rainbow of stories, of my travels to Yangon and Mandalay.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some Photos of Mandalay

Somewhere along the way to Sagaing (I suppose, I got to guess by looking at the photo)
Sunset from the Ayerrawaddy (from the Manadalay side of the river)
January 2009 morning in Manadalay (around 7:00am?)
The pagoda beside the Maha Muni Pagoda.

On top of the staircase on the Yankin Hill

The U Min Thonze Pagodas at dusk, on the Sagaing Hills (a real magical place to visit, make sure you hve time to sit there and let the place take you in!)

Ever since my brother has gotten his camera he has been popping away.
A few more of his work.












Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mr. Barack Obama, President of The United States

Mr. Barack Obama with become the 44th President of the United States.
The first african-american to become President.
The change is extremely significant, the change with become more so as history is further recorded.
Together with the americans, the world waits with great anticipation.
How much of a grace period, a teething period will grant?
What will be the defining moment of his presidency?
Will the world become a better place?
What technology will his adminstration oversee?
How will others preceive him? Naive? Weak? Strong? Wise?
Will there be ups and downs in his care?
Will there be first contact?
Would fate give him opportunites for him to prove himself?
How and who will test him? And tested he will be!

But as he becomes the president at noon, at this point, together with the world, we wish him well!

Top Ten Fonts of 2008


MyFonts has observed a continued increase in font quality. Our foundries haven’t disappointed: old friends have continued to deliver excellent stuff; and several well-respected foundries, as well as many promising new ones, have joined MyFonts to enlarge our choice of excellent typefaces.
  1. Metroscript
  2. Museo & Museo Sans
  3. Floralissimo
  4. Breuer Text
  5. Corinthia
  6. Bree
  7. Darling Monograms
  8. Marat
  9. HandMade
  10. Aviano Serif

http://www.myfonts.com/newsletters/sp/200901.html

My personal favorites are

  • Marat
  • Corinthia
  • Breuer Text

try them they are real cool



Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beijing welcomes you - Great Video

I know that I am probably a million years late. But when the world saw these videos I was in Myanmar, and missed all the good stuff.

And must say the sub-titles are very very well done.



Enjoy! I surely did.
China did amaze me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia (6)


The car from the hotel was there to pick us up at the airport and on the way there we saw hotels of all sorts. Most of them looking very similar. Big blocks of pale brown all with signs with the word, "Angkor" in them. Angkor Central Hotel, Angkor Millennium Hotel, Royal Angkor this, Royal Angkor that. There were LOTS of hotels, the whole town seemed to be full of hotels. Our hotel was not on the main road but on a quieter side street.
After checking in, arranging a guide and transportation for the next day, we went off on foot to see the town. The guide offered to take us around and show us the sights of Siem Reap, but we declined. We wanted to see, explore and feel out the place ourselves. The back streets of the town seemed pretty much like Myanmar in many ways except for the numerous phone card and handset selling shops. I noticed that the motorcycles and tuks tuks went SLOWLY! Can you believe that ? Slowly, gently, not a lot of honking at all. This must be what the traffic is like in heaven . LOL. We strolled along the main boulevard, dropping into replica antique shops, handicrafts shops. But why were there so many "foot massage" places? I was to know on the morrow.
The Cambodian currency is the "Riel" but dollars are accepted too. The problem is if you pay with dollars there no change. A Coke is "a dollar" whether it is really 50 cents in Riel or at a supermarket. So change some money into Riel (the rate was 4000 Riel to a dollar then) if you ever happen to be there. Yes, you can use the US dollar everywhere but it is good to have some riel on you too. Much cheaper!
On the main road to the main "Old Market" area we stumbled into a comparatively dimly lit market with tourist knick knacks and lots of stuff. I wanted a T-shirt with the word "Angkor" on it and got what I wanted: an "Angkor Beer" T-shirt and another one saying, "Danger! Landmines ". But that was after some hard haggling. Those XXL size ones for me cost 2 bucks apiece, that whittled down from an initial 5 dollar asking price.
My mum got 3 small T- shirts for 4 dollars, a good price but only after checking out the quality of them. They come in so many types and qualities that you must be careful.
After a so-so meal of noodles and a warm "Angkor Beer", we went back to the hotel with our plunder. Around 9 my mum said she was a bit hungry again and out I went for some bread. I took a tuk tuk to look for a bakery with some fresh bread and found a marvelous French bakery called the "Purple Pumpkin". They had great ice-creams too. But the tuk tuk driver was a bit of a nuisance offering to take me to night clubs and asking if I wanted companionship of the female or boy-female kind.
I politely declined.
Anyway the next day at dawn, we were to be at the famed Angkor Wat and after some late grub we dropped off to sleep.

Mr. Soe Lwin is the principle and teacher of the most respected English Language School in Mandalay.
He took our mother, on a trip of her dreams (her latest dreams) in the last week of 2008.
Please read previous posts for a full account of the trip.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia (5)

By Soe Lwin, Yangon


Please accept my apologies for not posting in the last 2 weeks. Since returning from Cambodia, tons of work was awaiting me. A backlog of truly epic proportions that dragged me down and ate all of my time, like a monster from the deep.
But yesterday I managed to get that beast of work under control and now happily will continue my posts of our travels. The trip to Mrauk U, I will fill you in on later.
We jump to the Angkor episode first.
Well we were ready to go and frankly speaking, a bit apprehensive.
What if…. this or that happened… would we … could we … be able to …..?
All that stuff goin through our minds. At the same time we had an "OK, we'll get there when get kinda acceptance". So away we were at 8 am on the 26th of December to the Yangon airport which is about 10 minutes from my mum's house on my brother's car, a small Suzuki 4 wheeler, me at the back with the bags when I heard a shrieking scraping noise from under me, from the rear suspension.
Here we go again. Another obstacle! But one of course that could be surmounted with ease. “Taxi!", I shouted and that was that. The flight to Bangkok was good. Thai Airways is pricier than a lot of other airlines but sure does serve good grub in card board boxes. I loved the touch where they offer you wine in the morning although I didn't have any. My mum remarked male cabin attendants had a thin layer of makeup on their faces and looked a bit girlish.
Suvarnabhumi airport, to me at least looked like a flat cake with big triangles painted in tidy patterns on it. So modernistic and futuristic it was that it looked "un-Thai” to me. If you don't use the moving walk-ways, getting about the place is hard on the feet too.
No need to visit the gym after going around that place. It looked half-finished and cold. Must have been a jollier place during the demos of last month, I thought.
We identified some Burmese military attaches and their families and introduced ourselves to them. They were going to their first postings in Hanoi and Phnom Penh and my mum proceeded to give them some advice about living abroad and to save and not spend on frivolous things etc.
I guess she was nostalgic when seeing them as our family had been like them 40 years ago. A bit out of our element she said as she was then and they must have been like that too.
The restaurants at the airport were all a bit pricey but a friend had told me there was a small cheap shop on which floor I had forgotten that was quite alright.
Then after a few hours we caught the Bangkok Airways plane to Siem Reap. The airline calls itself a "Boutique Airline". I am still scratching my head about what that means and how it is different from other airlines. The turkey sandwich in the paper lunch box was good. Out the window we could see the Cambodian lakes and marshes and after about 40 minutes we landed at Siem Reap Airport.
Mr. Soe Lwin is the principle and teacher of the most respected English Language School in Mandalay.
He took our mother, on a trip of her dreams (her latest dreams) in the last week of 2008.
Please read previous posts for a full account of the trip.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seth Godin's Blog Post -"Don't get sued"

I have subscribed to Seth Godin's Blog for some while now.
And received posts by email.
It is something that that caught me.
Short and straight to the point. A style that I find myself admiring.
And the posts do keep coming.

One of his posts "Don't get sued" has really caught me.
Follow the link below to read it. Its something that bloggers like us really read!

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/01/dont-get-sued.html
(I am not really sure on how to do the trackback thing. Hope someone will help me.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vicks VapoRub can harm children under 2


I saw this in the news this morning.

It kind of shook me, because I have used the product for years.

But it almost sounds like common sense not to use it products designed for adults on kids that young.


"Vicks VapoRub, a common cold remedy, can cause respiratory distress in children under 2 when inappropriately applied directly under the nose, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
They said using the Procter & Gamble Co product in this way can cause a young child's tiny airways to swell and fill with mucus, triggering severe breathing problems."


Monday, January 12, 2009

Samsung U600 : user friendly or not?

Samsung U600 : user friendly or not?

Posted using ShareThis

Make a mistake sometimes - its good for you


The other day, on my way to meet a couple of friends, I took the No. 14 bus the wrong way. So instead of going about six stops to the bedok interchange (where I would switch to the MRT and get to the place I was going in 45 minutes) I went on a 2 hours cross Singapore bus ride that was very pleasant.

Oh what a small place Singapore is! Everything seemed to be just next to the other place.

I realized that I was not that far away from the Suntec City, and I little distance away from Orchard Road. I lot of places that I thought were isolated turned out to be almost right next to each other.

That was a few weeks ago.

I was asked if I knew the way to Bedok interchange and the bus station the other day. As I answered all their questions, I was surprised at myself for seeming to know the way, the right and the wrong to get there. I even knew how long (14 minutes) it would take the bus to drive.

So all this this information was there in me.

So you just don't know what events may transpire just to help you tremendously in the future.

So take the risk, make a mistake sometimes.

Maybe you'll enjoy it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Law of Over-Compensation

This has been one of the guiding principles of my mindset at work.
Most people think that they do way more than they are expected.
Their bosses think and presume that the work put in is far less than the work amount needed to justify the remuneration that they are receiving.

For me, I try to work to a level that exceeds the requirement that the contribution of my part is expected in the organization.
That is making sure that my contributions result in expectations that exceed the normal benchmarks. Not just working extra hours, getting extra results is what that really matters!
That is the reason why some people are promoted so quickly. Not because of the hours but because of the results.
It the reason that that I work so hard to get results.
And I believe that life will reimburse me, even if this organization does not.
In the form of a better paying job, better benefits and so on.
But I believe and have seen that life does pay you back.
But you have to give first, that's the catch.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, Photos



Yes, YES, My Mom and Brother have reached and returned from Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

The stories will be posted, but here are some pictures (as proof) of their visit.

More to come!






Sunday, January 4, 2009

Darth Vader’s “Management” Secrets


Today we offer you a special treat by a very special guest contributor. Darth Vader is a modern-day success story, having risen from humble orphan roots to the second-highest position in the largest corporate body this galaxy has ever seen. Although better-known for his visionary work in the realm of law enforcement, he is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of many of his organization’s most crucial assets. Here, he shares with us some of the lessons he’s picked up along the way as he rose to Galactic prominence. Join us as we welcome Lord Darth Vader to our humble website.

Also, feel free to leave any positive responses in our comment section. Negative views are also welcome, of course, and will be individually… responded to.
Operating a truly effective organization can be daunting. It requires skill, dedication, a willingness and ability to rebound from failure, bloodlust, and a notable absence of mercy. Mastery of the Dark Side of the Force is also useful. You’re probably asking “how did the empire become The Galactic Empire?”

This article gives you a few of my favorite management secrets, some of which I have passed on to my brother, Chad, who manages the Day Shift at Empire Market. In the spirit of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, here are what we might call “Nine Habits of Highly Sith-cessful People.”

Use Fear. Yoda once said that “fear is the path to the Dark Side.” He couldn’t have been more right; however, his conclusions were wildly off base. Fear can be a great motivator, both for you and for those around you. Fear can help you overcome moral ambiguities by clouding them with the need for action, now. Also, fear is the way to motivate people. You may find their lack of faith disturbing, so you may need to demonstrate your superiority. If someone disagrees with you, Force-choke them until they see things your way.
Don’t Tolerate Dissent. Destroy it. Make sure everyone knows that your word is the last word. Demand unwavering faith in your abilities from your inferiors, and if they display a disturbing lack of faith, choke them.
Punish Incompetence. Many of your subordinates will be as clumsy as they are stupid. If someone has failed you for the last time, Force-choke them to death and promote someone who knows what they are doing. Keep Force-choking people until someone finally learns his or her lesson.
Deal Exclusively On Your Terms. Periodically, you will have to make deals. Alter them at your discretion, and don’t worry about any consequences. I recently had to do this with a mining entrepreneur in the Cloud City of Bespin, who expected to be treated with equanimity. Needless to say, I got what I wanted.
Use Loyalty Judiciously. Only submit to a stronger hand, and then try to destroy it once you are powerful enough. Stop at nothing to get to the top.
Always Look for Talent. Periodically, you will come across a real gem like my wayward son, Luke. Realize that they can be your key to double-crossing your superiors. If they don’t play along, kill them.
Know that Power is what matters. Your ability to assert yourself in a difficult situation depends on your power. If you have power, you can have anything you want. Stop at nothing to get it.
Get Out There and Lead. While Grand Moff Tarkin was prematurely celebrating victory over the Rebel Alliance, I was out there shooting at X-wings. Which one of us survived the Death Star attack? That’s right, me.
Finally, always remember that an elaborate, far-reaching plan, which relies on people reacting exactly how you plan for them to react, is always better than a simple plan. Nothing illustrates your genius quite like a meticulous, detailed, super-plan which will go horribly awry if people don’t react exactly the way you think they will. Just know who to blame when things don’t go the way you expect them to.
Those are a few brief pointers that I have used to make my climb, from defeated Jedi pulling his mangled corpse out of a volcano to Dark Lord of the Sith overseeing the construction of the ultimate power in the universe. With the right effort, you can, too.
Darth Vader is a Dark Lord of the Sith and second-in-command in the Galactic Empire, where he is the pupil of Emperor Palpatine. He studied the Jedi arts under Obi-Wan Kenobi and serves a Sith apprenticeship with Darth Sidious. Darth’s brother, Chad, is the Day-Shift Manager at Empire Market. This article was co-authored with Mike Hammock.
I got this story from this link and i loved it so much;

I really need someone to buy me a book

The new year has come.
And then there are the resolutions that I will make to improve myself for this year.

2009 will be a year of major change for me.
It will be the year, that my family starts our life in Singapore.
And that is as major as it can get.

I will excel at my job - another resolution that benefits all.
but then 2009 is expected to be a tough year in which to accomplish this.
But then as I always told others - smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
I will apply what I preach.
And things will come out alright.
And this blog will record that story and all the insights along the way.
As an observer of the human experience.

And by the way, couldn't anyone scroll down and buy me a book for this year? 12.50$ Sing only!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Valuation of your blog or website

I was surfing the net and came upon this application.
It suppose to tell you how much your site is worth. You can see how much this blog is worth. Truly amazing isn't it, 78 million dollars! I'll sell it for a mite cheaper.
the site is the;
"Interesting metrics about your website - measure your websites progress and potential value.."
follow the link below and then put your URL into the line and click the button.

Try it out, it is fun. and somewhat satisfying.


http://www.professionallinkbuilding.com/(X(1)S(pjkjxz45rtuojh45muqm0l45))/websitevaluation.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Some Feng Shui Prediction for 2009

General Prediction for 2009, the year of Ox.

1. It should be a turbulence year with difficulties in terms of the economy, diseases and terrorism.
2. We can only see a slight better outlook after Sept 2009.
3. It is a bad year particularly for those who were born in the year of Ox and Goat. Those who are born on those years should rather stay cool and avoid all unnecessary investment, purchases, job transfer and argument. They should look for stability in life instead. Keep their money in their pocket.
4. It is an excellent year for those who were born in the year of monkey. Take whatever opportunity you have to shine. For those who were born in the year of pig, this is your ‘run-about’ year whereby you have to travel a lot.
5. Romance year for horse.
6. Study year for rooster.

In order to stay good luck, we have to:-

1. Be a kind-hearted man always. Willingness to help others is most crucial to enhance ones luck. Do more charity and you will feel that your luck will become better.
2. Always say something nice to others and your luck will be better than before.
3. Put water features at the right locations i.e. the southwest and east of your house or office for period 8 (2004 – 2023). The water should flow to the direction of your house as water symbolizes wealth.
4. Circulate the auspicious qi at South-East by putting an aquarium, water feature, fan or clock there. South-East is the best location for 2009. If the main door of your house is located at the South-East, open the door wide enough to welcome the auspicious qi. Nevertheless, do not put any rubbish bin at the South-East. Always keep the South-East sector clean.
5. Cleanliness is a must. Do an entire clear-up in your house and you will enjoy better luck right away.
6. The worst sector is the North. Place a metal wind chime there.
7. Avoid any renovation at the North and East sectors of your house.

8. Keep money in your pocket.


And there will be more to come!

Some Feng Shui Prediction for 2009

General Prediction for 2009, the year of Ox.

1. It should be a turbulence year with difficulties in terms of the economy, diseases and terrorism.
2. We can only see a slight better outlook after Sept 2009.
3. It is a bad year particularly for those who were born in the year of Ox and Goat. Those who are born on those years should rather stay cool and avoid all unnecessary investment, purchases, job transfer and argument. They should look for stability in life instead. Keep their money in their pocket.
4. It is an excellent year for those who were born in the year of monkey. Take whatever opportunity you have to shine. For those who were born in the year of pig, this is your ‘run-about’ year whereby you have to travel a lot.
5. Romance year for horse.
6. Study year for rooster.

In order to stay good luck, we have to:-

1. Be a kind-hearted man always. Willingness to help others is most crucial to enhance ones luck. Do more charity and you will feel that your luck will become better.
2. Always say something nice to others and your luck will be better than before.
3. Put water features at the right locations i.e. the southwest and east of your house or office for period 8 (2004 – 2023). The water should flow to the direction of your house as water symbolizes wealth.
4. Circulate the auspicious qi at South-East by putting an aquarium, water feature, fan or clock there. South-East is the best location for 2009. If the main door of your house is located at the South-East, open the door wide enough to welcome the auspicious qi. Nevertheless, do not put any rubbish bin at the South-East. Always keep the South-East sector clean.
5. Cleanliness is a must. Do an entire clear-up in your house and you will enjoy better luck right away.
6. The worst sector is the North. Place a metal wind chime there.
7. Avoid any renovation at the North and East sectors of your house.
8. Keep money in your pocket.


Here is what a feng shui "master"from Hong Kong got to say:
-Build-up of international tensions, natural and air disasters, and a more turbulent stock market.
-Changes of leadership in the United States and Russia.
-A clash between water and fire which could mean heavy flooding or a tsunami.-China may suffer a water shortage in the next 12 months.
-He predicts a better economy for China after the 2008 Olympics. "2009 will be its most prosperous year in history," he added.
-But he said high inflation -- he predicted 5.1 percent in Hong Kong and 6.5 percent in the Chinese mainland -- would provide a threat to economic growth and turbulent times were ahead.
What Lilian Too and Joey Yap got to say about 2009? Well, you have to pay to attend their seminars to know.

There will be more detailed predictions to come!!

Frozen Grand Central

Something they did and did really well.

Got over 200 people to freeze, at the same moment, like they were caught in some kind of time warp. Would be freaky to see I suppose.

Beautifully executed.

Check out the site for more amazing videos, it will make your day!



2009, A Year of Hope! & Year of the Blog

Happy New Year!

Moe Lwin Stuff wishes all who visit all the best Stuff for 2009.
2008 was a year of great change for me, uprooted from Myanmar and working in Singapore.
Experiencing the Nargis cyclone.
The recession on all economies.

Now all members of my family are safely back to their homes in Myanmar. Tired and but content.
It will be interesting to see how history evaluates 2008.
And 2009 wil be the year that all things are better.
Really don't have much to say.
This blog will record the year (along with millions of fellow bloggers)
2009 Year of the Blog (sounds like a sci-fi movie)

And thank you google for the beautiful pic, (I was waiting for it to come up)


2008 In Review: Top 10 News Stories Of The Year

10. Radovan Karadzic Extradited To The Hague
He was barely recognizable when the world first glimpsed Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic after more than a decade on the run. Ten days later, on July 31, a clean-shaven Karadzic appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he faces charges of crimes against humanity and genocide.Eventually, the man known as the "Butcher of Bosnia" chose to defend himself, refused to enter pleas, and a tribunal judge entered pleas of not guilty to all charges on his behalf.

9. China Hosts Summer OlympicsAthletes and spectators loved the spectacular opening ceremonies and the memorable architecture of many of its sporting venues, while criticizing Beijing's air pollution.U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals, while Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt set world records in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4-by-100-meter relay -- the first man to do so in one Olympics.The Games marked the first time that China had hosted an Olympics. Nevertheless, the Beijing Games are going to be a tough act to follow for 2012 host London.

8. Food Prices Rise, Pushing Millions Into HungerAccording to the UN, rising food prices around the world have plunged an additional 75 million people below the hunger threshold, bringing the estimated number of undernourished people worldwide to almost 1 billion.The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization says high food prices reversed what had been positive trends toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people suffering from hunger worldwide by 2015. The organization says that goal "is now even more remoteEconomist Jeffrey Sachs called it "the worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years."In Haiti, people were reduced to eating patties made of mud, oil, and sugar. “It’s salty and it has butter and you don’t know you’re eating dirt,” 24-year-old Olwich Louis Jeune told "The New York Times."

7. Growing Violence, Resurgence Of Taliban In AfghanistanThere are already about 65,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, with more than 30,000 of those coming from the United States. So it says a lot that the United States is pledging to send even more soldiers to the war-torn country, which has witnessed a surge in violence to levels not seen since a U.S.-led toppling of the former Taliban regime.

6. Terrorist Attacks In Mumbai, IndiaOn November 26, 10 terrorists staged coordinated attacks across India's largest city, Mumbai. Arriving by speed boat, and armed with automatic weapons and grenades, the men took over a number of Mumbai landmarks, including two luxury hotels.Indian security forces battled the terrorists for three days. In the end, more than 160 people were killed, including some 30 foreign nationals.Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a Pakistani-based militant group called Lashkar-e-Taiba.

5. Russia's Change In LeadershipOn March 2, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's first deputy prime minister and outgoing President Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor, was elected in a landslide to become Russia's next leader.As for Putin, he was shortly appointed as the country's prime minister and is believed to still wield considerable influence over most aspects of Russian life.In November, Russia's parliament began the process of passing constitutional amendments that extend the presidential term from four to six years.

4. Kosovo Declares IndependenceOn February 17, Kosovo became the world's newest state, as it unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. Kosovo's independence has so far been recognized by more than 50 UN member states, including the United States, much of Europe, and Japan.On December 9, the European Union launched its EULEX mission, aimed at bringing order and stability to the fledgling state.

3. Russia-Georgia WarWho started it, and when?Those questions about the brief but bloody August war between Russia and Georgia over the self-declared republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are still being debated in the international community.Russia says Georgia began an unprovoked assault on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on the evening of August 7. Russia responded by sending troops and tanks into South Ossetia and far into Georgia proper. Georgia says it was only responding to frequent attacks on ethnic Georgian villages by pro-Moscow separatists.What's not in dispute is the impact of the fighting.

2. Barack Obama Elected 44th U.S. PresidentAs "Time" magazine said in awarding Obama its "Person of the Year" honors, "He has come to dominate the public sphere so completely that it beggars belief to recall that half the people in America had never heard of him two years ago."Much of the rest of the world was even less familiar with the politician with the "funny name," although he was drawing considerably more attention by July 2008.On November 4, voters in the United States convincingly backed the first-term senator from Illinois in his bid for the White House, making him the country's first African-American to be elected president.Now comes the hard part -- ending the war in Iraq, as he has promised to do; ramping up the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan; and confronting the financial crisis that has devastated large sections of the U.S. -- and global -- economy.

Which bring us to the No. 1 story of 2008, as voted by RFE/RL editors, correspondents, and broadcasters.

1. Global Financial CrisisIt's being called the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And like the Great Depression, the 2008 version began in the United States, but soon spread around the world.Beginning with the subprime mortgage crisis of September, the situation soon escalated with the bankruptcy of the large investment bank Lehman Brothers. More banks failed. World stock markets plunged. Panic selling ensued. Companies collapsed or laid off workers -- more than 500,000 jobs were lost in the United States in November alone.The former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, put the unfolding drama into perspective in September when he called it a "once-in-a-century type of financial crisis."Iceland's banking system collapsed in October, forcing it to ask for help from the International Monetary Fund. Other countries, such as Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Pakistan, also sought assistance from the IMF.Leaders from 20 of the world's rich and developing economies met in Washington in mid-November to discuss a unified response. Calls were made for a dramatic overhaul of the world's financial architecture.There are now fears for the collapse of the U.S. auto industry, one of the backbones of American industry.The Fed's key interest rate stands practically at zero, effectively eliminating it as a tool of monetary policy.In the United States alone, it's estimated that the government's bailout effort has cost $8.5 trillion...and counting, as President Obama plans to enact his own rescue plan once he takes office on January 20.

And the author of this blog would like to put in the
Nargis Cyclone disaster to Myanmar
Earthquake in China

The world's 50 most powerful blogs- 2008

The world's 50 most powerful blogs some of them are self explanatory, others -you have to click and find out.
Few things in common - very influential , and receive millions of hit per month at the least.
1. The Huffington Post - huffingtonpost.com
2. Boing Boing - boingboing.net
3. Techcrunch - techcrunch.com
4. Kottke - kottke.org
5. Dooce - dooce.com
6. Perezhilton - perezhilton.com
7. Talking points memo - talkingpointsmemo.com
8. Icanhascheezburger - icanhascheezburger.com
9. Beppe Grillo - beppegrillo.it
10. Gawker - gawker.com
11. The Drudge Report - drudgereport.com
12. Xu Jinglei - blog.sina.com.cn/xujinglei
13. Treehugger - treehugger.com
14. Microsiervos - microsiervos.com
15. TMZ - TMZ.com
16. Engadget - engadget.com
17. Marbury - marbury.typepad.com
18. Chez Pim - chezpim.typepad.com
19. Basic thinking - basicthinking.de/blog
20. The Sartorialist - thesartorialist.blogspot.com
21. Students for a free Tibet - studentsforafreetibet.org
22. Jezebel - jezebel.com
23. Gigazine - gigazine.net
24. Girl with a one-track mind - girlwithaonetrackmind.blogspot.com
25. Mashable - mashable.com
26. Greek tragedy - stephanieklein.blogs.com
27. Holy Moly - holymoly.co.uk
28. Michelle Malkin - www.michellemalkin.com
29. Cranky flier - crankyflier.com
30. Go fug yourself - gofugyourself.typepad.com
31. Gaping void - gapingvoid.com
32. Dirtydirty dancing - dirtydirtydancing.com
33. Crooked timber - crookedtimber.org
34. Beansprouts - bean-sprouts.blogspot.com
35. The offside - theoffside.com
36. Peteite Anglaise - petiteanglaise.com
37. Crooks and liars - crooksandliars.com
38. Chocolate and Zucchini - chocolateandzucchini.com
39. Samizdata - samizdata.net
40. The daily dish - andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com
41. The F word - thefword.org.uk
42. Jonny B's private secret diary - privatesecretdiary.com
43. Popjustice - popjustice.com
44. Waiter rant - waiterrant.net
45. Hecklerspray - hecklerspray.com
46. WoWinsider - WoWinsider.com
47. Angry black bitch - angryblackbitch.blogspot.com
48. Stylebubble - stylebubble.typepad.com
49. AfterEllen - afterellen.com
50. Copyblogger - copyblogger.com

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