Latest News!

teman first idea poster copy.jpg
this is an unfinished version of my movie poster

Coming 2008! - TEMAN - A Ross Ariffin Movie

I'm in the midst of writing the full screenplay before approaching the relevant people and finding my Director and Production Manager.

I have been nominated for "Best Song Of The Year" award
and I will find out for sure this coming 28th April at the Anugerah Industri Muzik Awards final night!
You can also find out more about this at BlueHyppo

Results at the 14th A.I.M : I didnt win. I lost to M.Nasir. Ah goes on. This only spurs me on to keep working hard and getting more of my songs out there!.


amber in licking scene.jpg

Hopefully Amber_Mae will enjoy continued success and this may be the start of better things as far as shoots for adverts being shown overseas.This shoot was ( see a couple of photos from FRIM where the shoot was taking place on the 22nd & 23rd of March )for Johnson & Johnson to be shown in India.

Hopefully I will be within a month be displaying an embedded video of the finished advert for you all to view and enjoy. Believe me when I say that this was one tiring adventure!. Lets hope and pray that Amber_Mae will get more offers to be a star in more adverts for the International market!!.

If you are in need for a people-friendly, highly intelligent, well trained and disciplined dog with a big heart to grace your TV advert or Print ad then why dont you give us a call at the following handphone numbers:

Helena: 012 914 7868 Ross : 012 914 8224

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Amber_Mae Wins Top Prize Again!!

amber_mae clinches top prize as "most intelligent dog" and "miss k9" at's recently held carnival. amber_mae was also featured in the NST and Berita Harian. this is her second award at events. how many more can she win?. keep a lookout for her in the near future!

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog congratulations to melissa and amber_mae and hearfelt thanks to Puppy.Com

amber_mae in the NST!
Amber in papers 2.jpg

amber_mae looks so proud!
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this photo speaks for itself!
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conspiracy theories galore. one of my favourite pastimes.

now I know from where Handel got his inspiration!!

PetyurPet Home Boarding

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog
more fotos of our dogs and others!
This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog
fotos of our Chloe!
This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

Escort Services ( Canine Division )

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Faith Escort.jpg
Chloe Escort.jpg

CALL Toll Free: 011-8899-DOG-ESCORT-MY

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Thanks for dropping by Ross's blogpage.
Youre most welcome to drop by anytime. This blog updates regularly mind you.

New Vids Of Our Furbabies At Play!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Britain is Taking Right Approach with Iran

This weekend, Britain will mark the 25th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, when Argentine forces invaded the small group of British islands in the South Atlantic, 1,500 miles off the coast of Argentina.

It was inevitable, given the coincidence of timing and the circumstances, that comparisons would be drawn between that conflict, which ended in a triumphant recovery of the islands by UK forces two months later, and the humiliation heaped on Britain in the last week by the seizure of 15 British sailors in the waters near the Persian Gulf.

Then, as now, the incident involved an obvious breach of international law by an odious regime, a serial offender against human rights. Then, as now, a large section of the British media chose to remain essentially neutral in the struggle (or even exhibited sympathy with the enemy), questioning the validity of the British claims, and seeming to give equal weight to the words of the prime minister in Downing Street and the autocratic government on the other side. Then , as now, even gung-ho hardliners in Britain expressed grave doubts about the idea that there might be a military solution to the crisis.

In the current interpretation of history that is where the similarities end. The key difference, according to
Tony Blair's critics in the UK, is that, whereas he wrings his hands and does nothing to halt this flagrant abuse of British rights and of the country's citizens, Margaret Thatcher, prime minister in 1982, boldly declared the outrage would not stand, assembled a massive naval task force to confront it and pulled off a magnificent military victory that restored international law and healed Britain's wounded pride.

Let me state, for the record, that I am an inveterate fan of Mrs Thatcher's and regard her as one of the giants of the 20th century for her contribution to the advancement of political and economic freedom around the world. But it is important to record that this version of events that occurred 25 years ago and the sorry contrast it seems to represent with what is happening today is simply hooey.

The first point to make is that it was the ineptitude and weakness of Mrs Thatcher's government in the face of mounting indications of aggression from Argentina that allowed the Falklands to be captured in the first place. Her ministers had spent a good deal of time and effort over the previous three years (by their own admission) hinting to an increasingly hostile Argentine government that they would essentially like to get rid of the Falklands, which were regarded by Whitehall as an expensive nuisance.

The critical decision that historians are agreed probably emboldened the Argentines to invade was the announcement by the Thatcher government a few months earlier of Britain's intention to scrap HMS Endurance, the only naval vessel on patrol in the area and the only military materiel even vaguely capable of defending the Falklands. This is particularly worth noting given the criticism now being leveled against Mr Blair for his programme of cuts in the Royal Navy's surface fleet. What's more, the criticism of the British naval commander in the Gulf incident echoes the criticism of the commander of Royal Marines on the Falklands when the Argentines invade in early April 1982. The Marines offered only token resistance and in fact surrendered shortly after the invasion after incurring only minimal casualties.

Second, while it is indeed true that the Thatcher government, under great political pressure from its own Conservative MPs and the Labor opposition, launched an enormous task force from Britain days after the invasion, it was far from clear that it would actually fight to retake the islands. For weeks as the task force sailed, Britain was involved in frantic diplomatic efforts to seek a settlement that would have averted war, but at considerable cost to international law and to Britain's honor.

A few weeks after the invasion Mrs Thatcher came perilously close to accepting a compromise on the future of the Falklands - brokered, by the way, by the US administration of
Ronald Reagan (of which more in a moment) - that would have provided for a kind of joint administration of the Falklands. In other words, Argentina would have been rewarded for its aggression by achieving something it had never managed before - a powerful say over the political control of the islands.

It was only thanks to the sheer idiocy of the Argentine government, led by the oafish General Leopoldo Galtieri, that the deal was not accepted. It is highly questionable whether Mrs Thatcher could possibly have survived the humiliation such a "compromise" would have represented. She would have been forced out, either by her own party, or by the electorate, after just one term.

In a further instructive twist to the debate about what Britain should do about its Iranian-held hostages today, it is worth noting that Mrs Thatcher and her government faced considerable opposition to a successful military recovery of the Falklands from an unlikely source - that administration of President Reagan.

The military junta in Argentina was Washington's valuable ally in the global struggle against communism. America had lingering historical objections to colonial British intervention in the western hemisphere. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, the US ambassador to the
United Nations at the time, and an early champion of a neoconservative foreign policy, was firmly on the Argentine side, a useful reminder that in those days some of the most influential neocons actually rather liked and supported fascist dictatorships.

It was only the steely and determined efforts of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger (later, pointedly, knighted by the Queen), the sheer bovine implacability of the Argentine leadership and the good judgment of Ronald Reagan himself that ensured the US eventually jumped the right way and provided diplomatic and military logistical support to the UK. So when you hear American conservatives bemoaning the fact that there is no-one of Mrs Thatcher's stature in Britain these days, remind yourself that the main reason she survived was no thanks whatsoever to their contributions.

Where does all this leave Mr Blair and his government as it seeks to recover Britain's sailors and restore its pride? This time, thank goodness, the US is firmly on our side. But it is not clear what difference that will make. The military options open to the British government look rather limited. It lacks the intelligence and the military capacity to mount a rescue mission from its meager task force in the Gulf. Though the US has much more firepower and presumably better intelligence, I'm guessing the US navy does not plan to start a war with
Iran in an effort to rescue 15 British sailors.

The right approach, as frustratingly dilatory as it seems, is the one the UK is currently taking. The Iranian attack is an outrage, but it presents an important opportunity to demonstrate to the world (which shouldn't need reminding, but does) just how vile a regime Teheran is. Let no-one be in any doubt as to who is the aggressor is. Produce the evidence that this was no hostile action by the British but simply an operation rooted in international law. Steadily ratchet up the diplomatic pressure on Iran, isolating the country in international opinion. All of that will lay a much better groundwork in global public opinion as the US and its allies prepare for the long difficult struggle to stop Iran from achieving regional hegemony under the shelter of its own nuclear umbrella.

It is frustrating work, but all of the alternatives are worse. What is certain is that bewailing British weakness through false analogies to a very different crisis a quarter of a century ago won't bring anyone home anytime soon.

Humiliated and shaking,..was she forced to confess?

WEARING a black headscarf, her voice trembled as she spoke to her unseen interviewer.

Leading Seaman Faye Turney appeared on Iranian television in civilian dress to tell the world she and her colleagues had "trespassed" into Iranian waters.

Her eyes downcast and forehead furrowed, in a monotone voice the mother said she had been treated well and that her captors were "nice people".

The brief series of clips also showed some of the 14 other British service personnel eating, still in uniform.

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The broadcast triggered fears that the woman sailor had been coerced by Iran's Revolutionary Guards into speaking.

The British government immediately condemned the Iranian move, with Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, saying she had deep concerns.

Ldg Smn Turney, who was shown looking tense and at times smoking, said: "Obviously we trespassed into their waters. They were very friendly, very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we had been arrested, there was no aggression on their part."

Unlike a similar crisis in 2004, the sailors were not wearing blindfolds, but this may suggest Tehran plans to treat them as suspects rather than prisoners, with a view to putting them on trial.

Unusually, the images were broadcast on Iran's Arab- language channel, rather than state TV, which broadcasts in Farsi, the main language of Iran. Broadcasting in Arabic ensures that the film will be shown across the Middle East, portraying Iran as the victors over America's closest allies in homes from Baghdad to Beirut.

Fuelling fears there had been coercion of the hostages, the Iranian embassy released a letter, which it said was from Ldg Smn Turney to her parents. She wrote that the British crew had "apparently" strayed into Iranian territory, a less emphatic statement than her TV interview, in which she had said the crew had "obviously" transgressed the boundary in the Persian Gulf.

Mrs Beckett said: "I am very concerned about these pictures and any indication of pressure on or coercion of our personnel. I am particularly disappointed a private letter has been used in a way which can only add to the distress of the families."

Earlier, the Iranian foreign minister appeared to make assurances that Ldg Smn Turney, 26, would be released.

However, Manouchehr Mottaki last night claimed he had been "probably misquoted" over that promise but said Tehran had agreed to allow British officials to meet the 15 sailors and marines in Iranian custody.

"Measures are underway (to arrange meeting). They can meet them," he said.

Mr Mottaki did not specify when, adding: "First they have to admit that they have made a mistake."

British ministers ordered a suspension of all bilateral government business with Tehran.

The pressure on Iran intensified after Emyr Jones-Parry, the British ambassador to the United Nations, pledged to seek Security Council action. The timing is crucial as the UK will take over the presidency of the UN Security Council next week, a point emphasised yesterday by Tony Blair.

The Prime Minister threw down the gauntlet by disclosing that Iran changed its evidence to try to prove the British crew had been in Iranian waters during the sailors' seizure at gunpoint. It provided one set of co-ordinates but, when the British pointed out these were in Iraqi waters, another set was given.

Mr Blair said there was "no justification" for the sailors' detention. He added: "It was completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal.

It is time to ratchet up the diplomatic and international pressure to make sure the Iranian government understands their total isolation on this issue."

Defence chiefs also produced evidence showing the 15 sailors were captured in Iraqi waters. Both acts would be seen as embarrassing for Iran, leaving the regime increasingly isolated. However, Iran was emphatic the sailors had entered its territory.

Speaking before the interview with Ldg Smn Turney was aired, Mr Mottaki suggested for the first time that the Royal Navy party may have entered Iranian waters by mistake.

Downing Street last night made clear its disapproval of the broadcast and said such actions were against the Geneva and Vienna conventions on the treatment of prisoners.

Earlier, Vice-Admiral Charles Style, deputy chief of the defence staff, gave detailed co-ordinates which he said showed the party had been seized 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters. "It is hard to understand this change. We unambiguously contest both the positions provided by the Iranians," he said.

The boarding party from HMS Cornwall was seized after completing a routine search of an Indian-flagged cargo ship.

Vice-Admiral Style said the ship's master had confirmed his position was 29 degrees 50.36 minutes North, 048 degrees 43.08 minutes East, placing the vessel well within Iraqi waters, where it remained at anchor.

The Ministry of Defence also released a picture of a global positioning satellite device in HMS Cornwall's Lynx helicopter as it overflew the ship, confirming its position. Vice-Admiral Style said that coalition forces backed by the Iraqi navy had carried out 66 such boardings in the northern Gulf since March - four of them in the same area as the Royal Navy party were seized - without incident.

He said interviews with the Lynx crew, which was in the air at the time, and the master of the cargo ship indicated they had been "ambushed" by Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boats.

A senior officer said it had taken the two Iranian patrol boats - equipped with machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades - three minutes to reach them from the coast. In contrast, the boarding party had only SA80 assault rifles and sidearms.

Robert Phipps, a body language expert , last night said Lng Smn Turney's expressions in the broadcast revealed her true state of mind. Despite her insistence that she was being treated well, her mannerisms and words indicated a woman feeling pressurised and nervous, he said.

"The smile she gave was a fixed smile; it vanished as quickly as it appeared showing it wasn't genuine," he added.

"Her forehead was furrowed and it was like she had been told what to say."

PARADING hostages on television is a clear breach of the Geneva Convention - but it is questionable if the 15 sailors are covered by the law as Iran and Britain are not technically at war.

Paul Beaver, a defence analyst, said: "[The sailors] are being held without trial, have not been allowed consular access. We presume they have had access to medical provision.

"However, this is not an act of war, as we are not in the middle of a conflict with Iran. It doesn't really come under the convention."

He added that Iran had, in effect, carried out a criminal act by "kidnapping" the sailors.
Britain recoils - but 'gentle' images may offer hope of quick end to impasse

WATCHING a nervous young Faye Turney facing the cameras and the world, the overall impression I obtained was that the Iranians - or at least an element - were trying to find a way out of the impasse, writes CLIVE FAIRWEATHER.

Last night's TV depicting a demure, cigarette-smoking individual sporting a headscarf was a far cry from the brutal images we have often seen of captives in the Middle East, starting with the US diplomats held for 444 days in Tehran in 1980. Similarly, the battered faces of navigator John Nichol and pilot John Peters, shot down by Iraq in the first Gulf war, became an iconic image.

Last night's "gentle" images are an attempt by the Iranians to show they are more sophisticated and could mean that the affair need not be as long drawn-out as many have feared.

It seemed focusing on a young woman, complete with a heartfelt letter written by her to family at home, that the Iranians were studiously avoiding controversy. Faye herself was, I thought, making the best of a tricky situation. By co-operating in the way she has, she may have done as much, if not more, than Margaret Beckett to help ease tensions.

Even the admission in her letter that her party had "apparently" strayed into Iranian waters contains a get-out clause, which could be crucial.

That we are seeing such undemonstrative and "gentle" images augurs well, at this stage.

• Clive Fairweather, ex- second in command of the SAS, served as an adviser to Iranian forces in 1970


syntax, Edinburgh / 1:48am 29 Mar 2007

Tony Blair is weak and every country knows it.... There should have been a quick military response ! Get them out of there !!!

Maggie Thatcher wouldn't have wasted any time... Labour are crap. All spin and no substance !!

Angus Lindsay, Hong Kong / 1:52am 29 Mar 2007

We've seen it all before. It's the Islamic way. Human shields, hostages, "confessions". Achmadinnerjacket is a mischief-making, twisted, little creep whose downfall is as assured as that of all the tinpot dictators that preceded him.

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Privateman, Anywhere but here / 11:02am 29 Mar 2007

If all the deskchair generals who inhabit this message board with their ludicrously over the top solutions were actually in charge of the military then God help us all.

#118 Who started this? Do you have any evidence whatsoever that that had anything to do with Iran?

The fact is Iran is well aware from its history that Britain has been poking its nose in the region since the 19th century (much longer ago than 9/11), first to prevent Tsarist Russia from having a sphere of influence in Persia and threatening Imperial India then, from the First World War onwards, to shore up our interests in the Suez canal and oil in the Middle East and their country. Remember we drew the borders of Iraq based on some ridiculous antiquarian view of Mesopotamia and a promise to give a kingdom to an Arab Sheikh? Recipe for future trouble. Remember Anglo-Persian Oil and its blatant exploitation of their resources? Remember we overthrew a government in Iran and installed the Shah because they sought to end that? Remember Suez (not supported by the USA)? Why doesn't it surprise you that they distrust us and our motives when we have a history of adventurism in the region? It was bad leadership by whoever allowed our servicemen to be so close to a water border inadequately defined which put them in such danger on an otherwise routine mission. May they come home safely and not be used by the blinkered, anti-Muslim lynch mob you all represent.

CindyUSA, USA / 3:43pm 29 Mar 2007

This business with Iran and the UK soldiers is so politics! I really think Iran is pushing their luck and wants war. Personally, I would appologize, kiss and makeup and get my kids home. The minute they are home is another matter. At that point I would make it clear the next time Iran moves in like that, we consider it an act of clear aggression and go from there.

I don't want another war with anyone, but Pulllleeeezzzzzzeeeee quit antagonizing the powers that be.

Iran is spitting in everyone's face and we are getting aggita over it. Get the kids out, say ur r sorry and then make it clear that we will not tolerate this type of behavior again.

Where is the NATO people?? Why isn't Russia, China, and Japan backing the UK. Why is it the US always has to be the ones to stand up for someone else's rights. I think the US and UK are the only ones with a "set" anymore. We are both always helping everyone else out and we get spit on, kicked and told GET OUT! These people are set on destroying themselves and I honestly don't get it.

Dougie Welsh, Canada / 4:14pm 29 Mar 2007

The Iran-Iraq region has been the "Cradle of Civilisation" for over 6000 years, and for over 6000 years, the peoples of the region have been fighting each other. They are not going to stop because WE think their system of life is wrong. It isn't wrong for them.

Our error lies in trying to make them into phony Brits and Yanks. They are not, and will never be! What they have done is follow ancient tradition to embarrass the leaders of their present enemies, as they have done for thousands of years. They have said "You can't teach us anything, you can't even protect your own soldiers!"

We need to do one of two things:

1. Pound them into the dust until they are no more than a distant memory and resettle the region with people who have a tradition of democracy.


2. Get the hell out NOW, and let them find their own solutions to post-Saddam life in the region. Even if that means standing by and watching as they kill each other by the millions.

Sooner or later, the survivors will stop shooting at each other and ask for our help. THEN, we might be able to save the remaining children.

Your comments?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chloe is ONE Year old!

Date: March 26th!

Our beloved funny face Chloe turned one year!. Here are a couple of photos of Chloe enjoying the heartfelt attention!

Chloe cant wait to get at her birthday cake!

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Look at her new rugby ball!

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I in particular do find Chloe such a cutie whenever she holds in her mouth or balances on her nose any object!.

*a million hugs for our dearest Chloe*

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Amber_Mae Does It Again!!

The greatest news came to my ears earlier this afternoon, when my wife told me that some people approached her with regards to Amber_Mae being selected and later confirmed to be part of an advertisement for a Johnsons & Johnsons advert (on screen!) for India!. Apparently Amber should be earning about RM1K per day and it will entail two days of shooting!.

Later that afternoon, fast approaching early evening, my wife got the confirmation mobile call that she (Amber) was definitely chosen. Whoa...I thought!. This is the next step towards true stardom for our golden retriever who already has won two significant awards at events.

Could this be Amber's entry into the world of TV stardom and celebrity status internationally?. Sure looks like it!

Anyway,here are some more recent photos of our furbabies and the family minus yours truly. Becoz I was not around. Sundays are my day off work and I tend to stay at home and just laze about!.

Wouldnt you?.

Mama & Chloe 1.jpg

Melissa & Chloe 2.jpg

Melissa kiss Amber.jpg

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Adam, Mama & dogs in the park.jpg

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Answer 8 months ago chosen as Best Answer!

Hey, msianmania, look what you got!
Congratulations, you've got a best answer and 10 extra points!

Your answer to the following question really hit the spot and has been chosen as the best answer:

Are u getting tried of hearing bout zidane? I AM!! r u?

Go ahead, do your victory dance. Celebrate a little. Brag a little. Then come back and answer a few more questions!

Take me to Yahoo! Answers

Thanks for sharing what you know and making someone's day.

The Yahoo! Answers Team

msianmania.jpg that's me!

yahoo answers.gif Best Answer - Chosen By Voters ( Yahoo Answers )

Yeah. Im getting fed up of all this crap too!. Enuff is enuff. Zizou has won the Golden Ball award. He can retire in peace - I hope?. As for Materazzi - whatever he said to Zizou was uncalled for but Zizou should have shown that he is ABOVE all criticisms, racial condemnation - that he is truly a model of greatness not only as a football legend but as a MAN too!

He failed miserably in that sense!

He is not going to forget this very easily for a long, long time.

Its an added stain to his image and reputation from that day onwards.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

GM says "There's No Issue"!

One of our regulars....a very kind and supportive guest who also resides at the hotel where I am currently performing saw the GM. Looks like things have been resolved amicably?.Lucky for us..that this took place. Or else..things might have got out of hand.Now,I can look foward and do my job without being branded a "crimminal" out to "deface" a hotel's good image.

I wish musicians in this country werent so rampantly abused and defiled!!.

So sad! have it.

Welcome to Malaysia! Truly Asia! ( Urghh! )

Gestapo Country...??

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The Poor Old Man

The man says:
I don't care what people say about me.
I don't care how I will be remembered
I don't care if people will remember me
I don't care if they will forget me
I really don't care.

Yet, he gets angry over just a photo :
I think it was deliberately done
I was made to look like an idiot
I was taken in by Asiaweek magazine
I ...well...maybe I was tired...
I work almost 24 hours a day....!

Who cares, really?


The man begins by defining Putrajaya:
"Putrajaya is the adminstrative capital...
"It will be the adminstrative seat for the leaders
of the future
"I hope they will never change the (adminstrative)
capital again."

Then suddenly (and desperately) Putrajaya
becomes a "township"(!):
"Why have critics not complained when the
Government developed other townships such
as Petaling jaya, Subang Jaya, Bandar Baru Nilai,
Shah Alam, Serang and Puchong (Star, 2.2.01)
"Development of townships is profitable and has
contributed a great deal to the country's economic
"Putrajaya is also a development project and
eventually, would generate profits like any other
housing project..(!)

State of mind...

From: Martin Stephen Jalleh

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Song For Fauziah Latiff by Ross Ariffin

harian metro.gif

Cari kepuasan di dasar laut
Oleh Ramlah Zainal

Fauziah Latiff seronok sertai aktiviti selam skuba atas kesedaran memulihara hidupan laut

TIDAK semua wanita berani menceburi dunia sukan lasak. Apatah lagi sukan yang membabitkan kekuatan mental dan fizikal. Namun, ia sebaliknya bagi penyanyi popular Fauziah Latiff.

Bagi Fauziah, 36, atau lebih mesra dengan panggilan Jee, selain bidang nyanyian, cintanya adalah pada sukan lasak seperti menunggang kuda, kick-boxing dan selam skuba.

Bercerita lanjut mengenai selam skuba, Fauziah yang memiliki lesen menyelam skuba tahap ‘rescue’ berkata, dia mendapat pendedahan dalam aktiviti sukan air itu sejak kecil lagi.

“Aktiviti ini membabitkan semua anggota keluarga dan kami juga selalu menyelam skuba bersama-sama,” katanya.

Fauziah berkata, dia sangat menghargai aktiviti selam skuba kerana banyak perkara yang dipelajarinya menerusi sukan itu.

“Kepuasan akan datang dalam diri bila kita berada di dasar lautan dan pada masa sama sukan ini dapat merehatkan minda kita yang kusut.

“Saya sangat menghargai selam skuba kerana banyak perkara yang saya belajar menerusi sukan ini. Ia bukan sekadar dijadikan hobi semata-mata.

“Pada masa sama, kita boleh meningkatkan kesedaran mengenai pentingnya kita sama-sama memulihara hidupan laut seperti terumbu karang.

“Selam skuba sebahagian daripada pendidikan dan saya tidak bersetuju jika orang kata aktiviti ini khusus untuk golongan tertentu saja. Bagi saya, semua orang boleh menyertai sukan ini,” katanya.

Apa yang penting, Fauziah berkata, dia mendapat kepuasan setiap kali melakukan aktiviti yang diminatinya itu.

“Cabarannya ada apabila kita berada di bawah sana (dasar laut). Selalunya saya menyelam bersama rakan dan kami juga berkongsi nota mengenai hidupan laut yang kami temui ketika menyelam itu.

“Kita juga akan mengagumi keindahan di dasar laut, contohnya ketika berada pada paras 10 hingga 15 meter di dasar laut. Sebelum menyelam, aspek keselamatan paling dititikberatkan,” katanya.

Bagi Fauziah yang mendapat lesen selam skuba di Kalimantan, aktiviti selam skuba seperti satu percutian menarik baginya.

Antara lokasi selam skuba yang sering menjadi pilihannya ialah Pulau Sipadan (Sabah), Pulau Kapas, Pulau Perhentian (Terengganu), Pulau Tioman (Johor) dan Kalimantan Timur.

Fauziah ditemui ketika sidang media pelancaran program Fiesta Laut 2007 dan pelantikannya sebagai Duyung CoRal di Pusat Akuatik, Shah Alam, Selangor, baru-baru ini.

Majlis pada pagi itu disempurnakan Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai dan Presiden Persatuan Pemuliharaan Terumbu Karang Malaysia (CoRal Malaysia), Jamhariah Jaafar.

Justeru, pelantikan Fauziah sebagai Duyung CoRal seumur hidup dan ahli jawatankuasa CoRal Malaysia memang tepat pada masanya. Duta CoRal Malaysia pertama ialah penyanyi terkenal Zainalabidin dan disusuli pelukis dasar laut Malaysia pertama, Ajis Mohamad.

Fauziah mula mengenali CoRal Malaysia sewaktu menyertai program mewarna Jalur Gemilang di dasar laut ketika pembukaan tirai Bulan Kemerdekaan 2006 di Pulau Kapas, Terengganu.

Projek yang turut menerima pengiktirafan Malaysia Book Of Record (MBOR) sebagai Jalur Gemilang pertama diwarnakan di dasar laut menjadi tarikan Fauziah untuk terus menyumbang tenaga bersama CoRal Malaysia dalam usaha memulihara khazanah laut negara.

Dua lagi rekod yang dilakar CoRal Malaysia sejak ditubuhkan empat tahun lalu dan diiktiraf MBOR ialah Lukisan Dasar Laut Terpanjang Malaysia/Dunia 2004 dan kumpulan pertama mengibarkan Jalur Gemilang di dasar laut sempena bulan kemerdekaan tahun lalu.

Secara peribadi, Fauziah mengakui menerusi CoRal Malaysia, dia dapat berkongsi minat dan idea bernas dengan persatuan yang dianggotai 150 ahli.

“Menerusi program dianjurkan CoRal Malaysia, saya dapat membantu meningkatkan kesedaran kepada masyarakat mengenai pentingnya memulihara terumbu karang.

“Sebagai Duyung CoRal, saya berharap dapat menyedarkan masyarakat supaya menghargai khazanah alam dan tidak memusnahkannya,” katanya yang memastikan memakai krim pelindung matahari bila melakukan aktiviti sukan air.

Mengenai kerjaya nyanyian, Fauziah merancang membuat pembungkusan semula albumnya, Pesona dan dijangka siap pertengahan tahun ini. Pesona adalah album baru Fauziah yang diterbitkan Firmzz Sdn Bhd. Ia menampilkan lagu saduran karya komposer dan pemuzik Amerika Syarikat, Jim Brickman.

Lagu berkenaan ialah Berjanjilah, Seindah Cinta, Dilema Mimpi dan Kekasihku. Selain itu, ia memuatkan empat lagu lamanya yang diberi nafas baru iaitu Digamit Memori, Segalanya Berakhir Di Sini, Hari Yang Istimewa dan Sahabat.

“Ada satu atau dua lagu baru dalam album Pesona yang akan saya buat pembungkusan semula. Satu lagu akan mendapat sentuhan komposer Ross Ariffin. Alhamdulillah, album Pesona juga mendapat sambutan menggalakkan.

“Saya juga terbabit siri promosi bergerak Superstazz On Tour 06/07 bersama artis terkenal di Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Singapura dan di Johor pada awal bulan depan.

“Album penuh pula dalam perancangan dan mungkin selepas album pembungkusan semula ini siap nanti,” katanya.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Jennifer Hudson's Oscar Performance

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Chicago's own Jennifer Hudson Sunday night took home Oscar gold, winning the Academy Award for best supporting actress. This rising star grew up on the South Side.

It was the combination of her unforgettable voice and a role that seemed to be made for the South Side girl that won Hudson an Oscar.

Shari Nichols-Sweat is Hudson’s cousin and former voice coach at Dunbar High School where Hudson graduated in 1999. Even back then there was no doubt she had an exceptional talent.

Hudson was just 17 when she belted out “Inseparable” at a high school performance, but Hudson had been singing since she was a young girl. In a recording of that performance, it is clear she had talent early on.

She grew up in a Chicago church and joined the choir when she was only 7 years old. And it was there that Hudson found her biggest inspiration: her grandmother. Hudson made sure to give her credit on Oscar night.

Her grandmother's name was Julia Kate Hudson. Hudson’s middle name is Kate. Like her grandmother, she too was a soloist in the church. But unlike her grandmother, who didn't pursue a professional career to stay home with her family, Hudson has achieved the ultimate.

“And my theory is that I have her voice and so it is my duty and my goal and my dream to be able to do this for her,” Hudson said Sunday night.

No doubt grandma would be proud.

It doesn't quite rival an Oscar, but Gov. Rod Blagojevich gave his own honor to Hudson.

He named Monday 'Jennifer Hudson Day'' in Illinois, saying that she made the whole state proud.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Is Taylor Hicks the first 'Idol' fluke?

taylor hicks.jpg

NEW YORK (AP) — "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks needs his Soul Patrol to step up. They were certainly there for him around this time last year, when he was building up a feverish fan base, named the "Soul Patrol." The things about him that irked Simon Cowell — that mop of gray hair and the herky-jerky dance moves that conjured up images of dorky dads loose at a wedding reception — were instead embraced by millions, who later handed him the "Idol" title over the likes of talented hotties Katharine McPhee and Chris Daughtry.

It was like a made-for-primetime fairy tale, starring the soulful-voiced Hicks. But as the all that hoopla died down, Hicks faced a tougher task: making the transition from reality TV star to established soul singer.

So far, not so good — well, not Carrie Underwood "good."

His self-titled, post-"Idol" album, released in December, debuted at No. 2 on the charts. While it has sold a respectable 640,000 copies, it has slid significantly to a dismal rank: 136 this week. Discs by previous winners Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia and Ruben Studdard performed a lot better in the weeks after they were issued. And finalist Chris Daughtry is near the top of the charts with the self-titled debut of his band Daughtry — they have sold over 1 million records.

Geoff Mayfield, a senior analyst at Billboard, said he's got "a strong suspicion that (Hicks) might be the first winner who falls shy of a million units."

There's a reason for that, said Tom Corson, executive vice president of J Records, a label within Sony-BMG, which signs the show's singers. Hicks took a little longer than some of the other Idols to complete the album, he said, and his first single, "Just To Feel That Way," debuted on radio's airwaves only three weeks ago.

"It's a work in progress, and, would we have liked to sell a little bit more? Yeah. But (the album is) still gold and on its way to platinum," Corson told The Associated Press this week. "And, if the single performs, we'll turn it around, so we're quite — we're quite optimistic about things as it stands right now."

The power ballad "Just To Feel That Way," in which he urges a lover to try to make the relationship work, sits at No. 26 on the adult contemporary radio charts, Mayfield said.

"With Taylor, you're going into an adult format," Corson said. "We hope it translates younger, but the music right now is much more adult. It's a longer burn, a longer process."

Hicks' target audience is a bit more passive, said Corson, who noted that "it just takes a little longer to get those people to buy."

And Hicks, who is out on a nationwide tour in support of the album, has a plan to boost sales.

"It's slow and steady wins the race," he said Tuesday in a phone conversation with the AP. "You know, to have overnight record success, you know, it's tough to do. You have to massage the record buying audience as much as you have to massage the live performing audience, you know?"

So he's going to take a grassroots approach.

"I think the best thing for me as an artist is to get out and be with the people and tour the record," he said. "And go to the radio stations and be personable."

Is the Soul Patrol, whose members proudly brandished "Pick Hicks" signs on "Idol" last year, still going strong?

"I mean, it's been a packed house every night," said Hicks. "It's a very musical show and it's very real and very raw. And that's who I am as an artist."

Hicks, who has studied the stage moves of passionate, soulful performers like James Brown and Sly Stone, could have a better shot at success in front of a live audience than on the radio, said Mayfield.

"I think he could have at least some legs as a live performer," he said. "The one thing I can tell you is I'm sure that a lot of thought was given to this album, and it just doesn't appear to be a particularly friendly radio climate for whatever niche you would assign to what he does. And I'm not even really sure how to classify him."

That could be the problem, said Barry James, a program director at the Chicago-based radio station 100.3, which plays a boomer-friendly mix of classic dance and R&B hits.

"Taylor is a terrific club, local band singer," James said in an e-mail to the AP. "He is, however, so narrowly imaged that he'll never break out of it. He's Michael McDonald's little brother (for lack of a better term)."

James said he HAS an image, "but it's not one with broad appeal. Is he sweet? The bad boy? The sexy chick magnet? The whacked out artist? The `dark' one? The answer is none of the above."

One thing, though, is certain: The guy needs a radio hit if he wants to make on impact on major markets, said Sharon Dastur, a program director at the New York-based radio station Z100, which plays Top 40 songs. His chances for that are hampered by the album's classic rock feel, she said.

"I think that if he just made it more of a current pop sound, but still he could showcase his soulful vocals in a more current way, that it would still be true to the way he writes and the way he performs," Dastur said.

It's too early to tell how things might end up, said Hicks, but, in the meantime, he's happy to be onstage. And he's very thankful for that moment on "American Idol," an undeniably successful launching pad.

And he knows his "Idol" win was no fluke.

"I think you have to set yourself apart," Hicks said. "And, you know, you really can't pull the wool over 34 million people live. That's just tough to do, you know?"

On the Net:

Taylor Hicks Official Site

American Idol