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Walmart – World’s Largest Retail Chain

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You don’t have to be from the U.S. to know of Walmart, the largest retail chain in the world. It is owned by the Walton family (possibly the richest family in the world). It has been around since 1962 and has since grown to unbelievable proportions.

Over the years they have opened stores all over the US, Canada and Mexico. And it doesn’t stop there. The Walton family and the Walmart Corporation own many other retail chains in 28 different countries, including: China, Germany, India, Brazil, and the UK. So even if you don’t live in the United States, you are probably still buying at Walmart, you just don’t know that.

So what makes this such a big deal?

Well the fact of the matter is that Walmart is so big, it’s disturbing. When you hear about the size and the numbers that are attributed to Walmart, it’s hard not to think about things like “monopoly” and “exploitation”. Here is some food for thought, I’m willing to bet that neither you nor your loved ones who shop there know all of this:

* Globally, Walmart says it employs 2.2 million people and it’s very likely it employs even more then that. That huge number of people is more than America’s active military personnel (1.43 million) and almost the size of the Chinese army (2.29 million.)

* There are around 4,540 Walmart stores in the United States, more than double the number of stores in other food retail chains. There are even more Walmart International locations, over 6,301 as of March 31th 2015. More than 90% of its international stores operate under names other than Walmart, such as Asda, Bodega Aurrera, Seyiu, Best Price, Trust-Mart Hypermarket, and Todo Dia.

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* The net profit of Walmart, after taxes and paying preferred dividends, was around $15.88 billion in 2014. And that’s only profit, not sales!

* Out of the 10 richest Americans, four are members of the Walton family. They’re worth more than $30 billion each, just six members of the family combined would hold more wealth than the bottom 40% of the American people.

* Walmart’s CEO, Douglas McMillon, is presumed to be paid 1,034 times more than the average Walmart worker. That is by far one of the biggest top-to-bottom differences I have ever heard about.

* Walmart says it’s visited by almost 140 million shoppers a week in their U.S. stores. That’s the equivalent of about 44% of the American population.

* If you take the size of all the Walmart’s stores and combine it, it will exceed the size of Manhattan.

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* Since Walmart is one of the biggest US gun retailers, it’s no shock that it’s a frequent scene for shooting incidents. It is estimated that there were 92 shooting incidents last year, and 83 in 2013.

* The Walmart Corporation and Foundation have donated $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world last year, which makes it one of the most charitable companies in absolute terms. And yet this is less than 0.1% of the net worth of the Walton Family Foundation and rumored to actually be a legal loophole to avoid taxing.

Source: John K./BabaMail

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Happen Only in India . . .

Source: Fabian B./Bing

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Taj Mahal – A Picture of Grandeur

India is a large & beautiful country, filled with warm, wonderful people. It is without doubt a land of great contrast. It has the second highest population next to China. Will probably overtake China by way of its high birth rate. From the Indian Ocean to the south to the Himalaya Mountains in the north, it is a land of variety and culture. That being said, it is also a country where some of the most amusingly odd things occur on a daily basis. Some of these pictures you may have seen in circulation before.

Here are 24 things you’ll only get to see in India…

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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Some Things Never Change . . . As With Life’s Principles

 Illustration images: Bingth

The title is a verified truism. The way we feel & think about ourselves, our children, the smile we get

when we first smell the earthly aroma after the rain. These feelings rarely change, nor do

some core principles of what it means to be human and what it feels to be alive.

Action or reaction results from our inner emotion.

Lessons from Life’s University of Hard-knocks
supersede those from the Academic University.
There is no substitute for experiences.

Below are some life’s principles for your learning as you step out into the real world:

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Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Natural Remedies for Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

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Dark circles around our eyes & puffiness are due generally to genetics. They are also attributed to age, dry skin, crying, spending long hours facing the computer screen, stress, lack of sleep and unhealthy diet. It’s a problem that affects both men and women. Though not a health risk, they create the look of being exhausted and tired.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural & handy home remedies without having to resort to drugs.

1. Turmeric 
Turmeric has both antioxidants and anti-inflammation properties and so can be used to freshen your skin and fix that tired look. Take the powder and mix it with pineapple water to create a thick mix. Smear the mix under your eyes, leave for 10 minutes and then wipe with a moist, soft cloth. Aside from removing the circles, it will soften your skin. Use daily until you see the desired effects.

2. Raw Potato
Potatoes have natural bleaching agents that can help you brighten up those circles. Take 1-2 cool potatoes and smash them until you can get the juice out. Now, dip a cotton ball in the potato juice and put on your (closed) eyes. Make sure the juice covers the black circles as well as the lids. Leave for 10-15 minutes and then rinse your eyelids well with cold water. If you don’t want to use the juice, you can also just slice it like the cucumber with the same process, but the juice will be more potent.

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3. Tomatoes
Yes, tomatoes too can help lighten the skin under your eyes. Take a spoon of tomato juice and mix with one spoon of lemon juice. Put the mix (using cotton balls again) gently on the eyes and leave for 10 minutes. Then, rinse with clean water. Do this twice a day to get rid of puffiness and dark skin.

4. Rose Water
A quick fix for those circles makes use of the great skin care benefits of rose water. Take cotton bandages and soak them in rose water for a few minutes. Then, place them on your closed eyelids for about 15 minutes. The rose water has a calming effect on the eyes and the skin around it. This solution can remove the dark circles completely if used twice a day for several weeks.
5. Almond Oil
Almond oil is another natural ingredient that benefits the delicate skin around our eyes. Regular use of almond oil can brighten the skin as well as nourish it. Take a little almond oil, place on the dark circles and gently massage it into the skin. Leave it overnight and wash with cold water in the morning.

Do this every day until the circles are completely gone. If you don’t have almond oil, you can also use a Vitamin E enriched oil.

6. Lemon Juice
The high vitamin C content in lemon juice can serve to remove the circles. Dip a cotton ball in fresh lemon juice and apply to the skin around your eyes for 10 minutes before washing it off.

Another option is to make a thick mix by mixing one table spoon of lemon juice with 2 table spoons of tomato paste, a smidgen of humus flour and turmeric powder. Smear the mix gently around the eyes and leave on for 10-15 minutes, then wash with clean water. Repeat this 2-3 times a week and the skin will soon become much lighter.
7. Cold Water
Cold water can narrow the blood vessels underneath the eyes and help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Dip a clean, soft cloth in cold water or milk and put directly on the eyelids for several minutes. Another option is to wrap a few ice cubes in a soft cloth and hold them under the eyes. A bag of frozen peas, of cold tea or even a cold spoon can also help. Repeat this 3-4 times a week for several weeks.

8. Apple
An apple too can provide a natural solution for removing those stubborn circles. Slice them up thickly and put under your eyes for 30 minutes before washing with cold water. Put some relaxing cream after this is done.Another course of action is to make a mash of green, cooked apples and put under the eyes for half an hour, then wash with lukewarm water.

9. Mint
Mint has a cooling effect on the skin that naturally removes the dark skin. Take a few fresh mint leaves and mash them gently. Smear the mix on your eyes and leave for 10-15 minutes. Gently rub away with a clean cloth. Another option is adding mint leaves to tomato juice and smear under the eyes, leaving it for several minutes and then washing with cold water.

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10. Cucumber
The cucumber is an age old solution for black circles. It is good at making your skin look lighter. For a quick fix for those circles, take a fresh cucumber and slice it into thick slices. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes, then put the slices on the area of your eye for 10 minutes and rinse with water. This solution has a calming and refreshing effect. Another option is to mix cucumber juice with lemon juice in equal amounts, and use a cotton ball to apply to the skin underneath the eyes. Leave the cotton on for about 15 minutes and then rinse with water. Do this every day for a week and the puffiness, as well as the dark areas, will shy away.

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The effectiveness of each remedy may differ from individual to individual. Try them out in turn to see which remedy works best for you. No harm will be done, no side effects to worry about as they are all natural.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Understand the Real China – President Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping - Fearless but not dangerous

President Xi Jinping – Fearless but not dangerous

There is no hype, verbal rhetoric or eloquence when Xi Jinping, President of China, speaks, but lots of facts & substance.

The excerpts below will help the West to understand China better . . . its aspirations, dreams, role & endeavour. It’s crucial for global stability to get their perspectives right.
China suffered helplessly one hundred & fifty years of shame & humiliation in the hands of multiple foreigners . . . and the Chinese are now only beginning restoring, reviving & reinstating their thousands of years of past greatness, glory & pride.
 China does not seek to impose its communist system upon others, nor would it go around changing global regimes. There can be no fear of China descending upon other sovereignties.
The world would certainly be a better place than the present, as China with its win-win formula system reaches out to the world – economic & peaceful co-existence have always been the focal points of China.

Xi Jinping when addressing UNESCO in 2014 said: “History tells us that only through exchanges and mutual learning can a civilization be filled with vitality.
If all civilizations can uphold inclusiveness, the so-called ‘clash of civilizations’ will be out of the question, and the harmony of civilizations will become a reality.”

Folllowing are the excerpts of Xi Jinping’s address:
First, China has a time-honoured civilization. Of the world’s ancient civilizations, the Chinese civilization has continued uninterrupted to this day. In fact, it has spanned over 5,000 years. The Chinese characters, invented by our ancestors several millennia ago, are still used today. Over 2,000 years ago, there was an era of great intellectual accomplishments in China, which is referred to as “the period of one hundred masters and schools of thought”.
 
Great thinkers such as Laozi, Confucius and Mozi, to name just a few, explored a wide range of topics from the universe to the Earth, and from man’s relations with nature to relations amongst human beings and to that between the individual and society. The extensive and profound schools of thought they established covered many important ideas, such as the moral injunction of fidelity to one’s parents and brothers and to the monarch and friends, the sense of propriety, justice, integrity and honour, the emphasis on benevolence and kindness towards fellow human beings and the belief that man should be in harmony with nature, follow nature’s course and unremittingly pursue self-renewal. These values and teachings still carry a profound impact on Chinese people’s way of life today, underpinning the unique value system in the Chinese outlook of the world, of society and of life itself. And this unique and time-honoured intellectual legacy has instilled a strong sense of national confidence in the Chinese people and nurtured a national spirit with patriotism at the very core.
 
Industrial revolution
Second, China has gone through many vicissitudes. For several thousand years before the industrial revolution, China had been leading the world in economic, technological and cultural development. However, feudal rulers of the 18th and 19th centuries closed the door of China in boastful ignorance and China was since left behind in the trend of development.
 
The country was subdued to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. As a result of incessant foreign invasions thereafter, China experienced great social turmoil and its people had to lead a life of extreme destitution. Poverty prompted the call for change and people experiencing turmoil aspired for stability. After a hundred years of persistent and unyielding struggle, the Chinese people, sacrificing tens of millions of lives, ultimately took their destiny back into their own hands. Nevertheless, the memory of foreign invasion and bullying has never been erased from the minds of the Chinese people, and that explains why we cherish so dearly the life we lead today.
 
The Chinese people want peace; we do not want war. This is the reason why China follows an independent foreign policy of peace. China is committed to non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and China will not allow others to interfere in its own affairs. This is the position we have upheld in the past. It is what we will continue to uphold in the future.
 
Third, China is a socialist country with Chinese characteristics. In 1911, the revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the autocratic monarchy that had ruled China for several thousand years. But once the old system was gone, where China would go became the question. The Chinese people then started exploring long and hard for a path that would suit China’s national conditions. They experimented with constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentarism, multi-party system and presidential government, yet nothing really worked. Finally, China took on the path of socialism. Admittedly, in the process of building socialism, we have had successful experience and also made mistakes. We have even suffered serious setbacks.
 
After the “reform and opening-up” was launched under the leadership of Mr. Deng Xiaoping, we have, acting in line with China’s national conditions and the trend of the times, explored and blazed a trail of development and established socialism with Chinese characteristics. Our aim is to build a socialist market economy, democracy, an advanced culture, a harmonious society and a sound eco-system, uphold social equity and justice, promote all-round development of the people, pursue peaceful development, complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eventually achieve modernization and ensure prosperity for all. The uniqueness of China’s cultural tradition, history and circumstances determines that China needs to follow a development path that suits its own reality. In fact, we have found such a path and achieved success along this path.
 
Developed countries
Fourth, China is the world’s biggest developing country. China has made historic progress in development. It is now the second largest economy in the world. It has achieved in several decades what took developed countries several centuries to achieve. This is, without doubt, a proud achievement for a country whose population exceeds 1.3 billion. In the meantime, we are clearly aware that the large size of the Chinese economy, when divided by 1.3 billion, sends China to around the 80th place in terms of per capita GDP.
 
In China, over 74 million people rely on basic living allowances; each year, more than 10 million urban people would join the job market and several hundred million rural people need to be transferred to non-agricultural jobs and settle down in urban areas; more than 85 million people are with disabilities; and more than 200 million people are still living under the poverty line set by the World Bank, and that is roughly the population of France, Germany and the UK combined. In the 40-day-long season of the last Chinese New Year, China’s airlines, railroads and highways transported 3.6 billion passengers, which means 90 million people were on the move each day. Therefore, to make the lives of the 1.3 billion Chinese people more comfortable requires still arduous efforts for years to come.
Economic development remains the top priority for China, and we still need to work on that basis to achieve social progress in all areas.
 
Fifth, China is a country undergoing profound changes. Our ancestors taught us that “as heaven maintains vigour through movement, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-perfection”, and that “if one can make things better for one day, he should make them better every day”. Being faced with fierce international competition is like sailing against the current. One either forges ahead or falls behind. Reform, which was first forced upon us by problems, goes deeper in addressing the problems. We know keenly that reform and opening-up is an ongoing process that will never stop. China’s reform has entered a deep water zone, where problems crying to be resolved are all difficult ones. What we need is the courage to move the reform forward. 
 
To use a Chinese saying, we must “get ready to go into the mountain, being fully aware that there may be tigers to encounter”. The principle we have laid down for reform is to act with courage while moving forward with steady steps. As we say in China, he who wants to accomplish a big and difficult undertaking should start with easier things first and make sure that all details are attended to. With the deepening of reform, China will continue to undergo profound changes. I believe that our efforts of deepening reform comprehensively will not only provide strong momentum for China’s modernization drive, but also bring new development opportunities to the world.
To observe and understand China properly, one needs to bear in mind both China’s past and present and draw reference from both China’s accomplishments and the Chinese way of thinking. The 5,000-year-long Chinese civilization, the 170-year struggle by the Chinese people since modern times, the 90-year-plus journey of the Communist Party of China, the 60-year-plus development of the People’s Republic and the 30-year-plus reform and opening-up should all be taken into account. They each make an integral part of China’s history, and none should be taken out of the historical context. One can hardly understand China well without a proper understanding of China’s history, culture, the Chinese people’s way of thinking and the profound changes taking place in China today.
 
The world’s development is multi-dimensional, and its history is never a linear movement. China cannot copy the political system or development model of other countries, because it would not fit us and it might even lead to catastrophic consequences.
 
The Chinese people, over 2,000 year ago, had come to understand this from a simple fact that the tasty orange, grown in southern China, would turn sour once it is grown in the north. The leaves may look the same, but the fruits taste quite different, because the north means different location and different climate. 

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The documentary titled “Truth Diaoyu Islands”, produced by Monotype Rex Hollywood film company, is the director of Christie – libido (Chris D.NeBe) works on March 11, 2014 afternoon, the first held in Beverly Hills Ying. He said in an interview, because of the Chinese do not understand that Westerners have a bias against China. Libido produced a “mysterious China” series of documentaries, hoping to uncover the truth, said: Above map from the presentation video.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

A Luxurious Home . . . Wherever You Want To Be

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This trailer (or Class A motor home) is so amazing, it beats most houses!

This luxurious vehicle comes with TWO bed rooms, a living room, a tv room and a kitchen, not to mention a bathroom, shower and the most amazing thing of all, an automatic garage for your ‘normal sized’ car! This amazing trailer home is valued at about 1.5 Million, and after seeing these photos, we really can’t argue the price tag.

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Now, would you say that it would be a sensible style of living? Living in a new environment anytime of your choice & convenience! If only money grow on trees . . .

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Taiping Lake Gardens Revisited

By Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent An Australian by Consent

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Jalan Samanea Saman, Taiping Lake Gardens

Jalan Samanea Saman, Taiping Lake Gardens

In the words of George L. Peet ( in his A Journal in the Federal Capital), when he visited Taiping in 1933: “I know of no more lovely sight in this country than the Taiping gardens when the rays of the early morning sun are shining obliquely through their clumps of bamboo, palms and isolated trees scattered on islands among the expanse of water. One receives in that glorious half hour an experience of light in foliage that is quite unobtainable in England”.

The truth lies in the eyes of the beholder & the beauty is manifested in so many aspects beyond words of description. More pictures:

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It’s even grander & more spectacular with the century year-old rain trees lining the roads with their branches & foliages sweeping or more appropriately “raining” down over the roads onto the shimmering surface of the lake. Here’s a paradise for both amateur or professional photographers.

I guess those rain trees will forever endure & keep on attracting both local & foreign visitors. Other attractions include the Zoo, Monkey Forest, swimming & picnic spots where our carefree young days were spent, not to mention abundant fresh air sunshine. There was even a golf course in the days gone by.

Tin was first discovered & mined largely by the Chinese in the Matang & Larut District (where Taiping is sited) and when tin was depleted, the abandoned tin mine ground was donated by Chung Thye Phin as a recreation park for public use. In 1884 the gardens were planted with grasses, flowers and trees; a part of the gardens was fenced, to keep bulls out.

“The 64 hectares (160 acres) site was the first public garden (1880) in Malaya, and was cherished for its beauty; it has been well-maintained since its opening. There are ten scenic lakes and ponds, which highlight the gardens. Along Residency Road, near the gardens, were golden rain trees (Malay: angsana) (pterocarpus indicus) planted along the pathway.” – Wikipedia.

Taiping Lake Gardens was conceived as the brainchild of Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walke r, developed by Charles Compton Reade (1880–1933), who was also responsible for planning the Kuala Lumpur garden town, together with Lady Swettenham.

Fortunately indeed, I still find the manicured green beneath my feet when I revisited there in late December 2014. Those days lawns were maintained by Indian labour using the scythe not the luxury of present day lawn mowers or tractor mowers or brush cutters. The fragrant smell of newly-cut lawns still taunt my age-old nostrils & after the abundant rainfall of Taiping (for which it’s famous), the scent filled the air even more.

Flamington Hotel

Flamington Hotel

Lots of improvement have come about in the Lake Gardens, visitors can now stay in 4.5 star Flamington Hotel (1 Jalan Samanea Saman, Taiping, Malaysia 34000) with 116 rooms. Lake View Hotel in the vicinity used to be grand in the days I got married. It’s now incomparable.

If you are an early riser, you can join the throngs of health conscious people having their morning jog or practising their “Taiji”. Others are out to catch the flight of morning birds & the glorious glow of morning sun rise over Maxwell’s Hills – a spectacular sight often missed & forgotten, as we tend to watch sunsets more than we ever get the chance to watch the rising sun.

As usual, after expending their energy, breakfast is most welcoming. The former durian ground has been converted to a food galore centre. Everybody’s favourite is the “chi-cheong-fun” & it’s not surprising for tourists to eat there & bundle home for their loved ones as well.

Taiping is no longer a “sleeping hollow”, even though it’s off the route of the North-South Highway link. Parking is a premium fight for space & traffic jam is something unheard of. With new roads & flyovers, new railway station, new shopping malls, hotels & multi-storey buildings, Taiping is well keeping in its growth & progress. True to its name, it has remained peaceful till the present day.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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