Archive for January, 2009

I dreamt of you last night. It felt so real; Your voice that I longed to hear again, your smell, your touch, your gazing my eyes. . . We talked random things and we laughed though I couldn’t recall what we were talking now. I know it wasn’t real. But it was nice. . .’seeing’ you again, cuddling and holding each other’s hands once more. I dreamt of you last night. And it felt so real. . .

A lover’s note.

P/S: I love you.

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Comics: Reality Check 01/22

Posted: January 22, 2009 in Comics
Tags: , ,
'Ypur condition is know as Banjofolitus Androfilus...or, in Hick terms, Banjo on my knee'

'Your condition is know as Banjofolitus Androfilus...or, in Hick terms, Banjo on my knee'

P/S: Why don’t doctors just use plain words to name a sickness or disease or any other kind that mostly related to medicals? instead Latin words are use or some other words that are completely Unpronounceable ?huhu~ anyways, Happy Holidays to medic students at VSMU. . .FINALS ARE OVER! YEAY!

Chennai: Girl ‘Married’ Off To A Frog

Posted: January 22, 2009 in Life, World
Tags: ,

Indian Marriage It was not a a fairy tale yanked out of a children’s story book but a real life ritual, where a minor girl was married off to a frog in a remote village in southern India, BERNAMA reported.

Hoping that the century-year-old ritual would ward off evil and bring good omen to Pallu Puthupattu village, located about 150 km from C hennai, eight-year-old R.Vigneshwari was chosen as the bride of the hour.

Last Friday, during the harvest festival, after much ordeal, the villagers ushered the frog, fished out of a local temple pond, to the venue where the bride, clad in bridal finery, was waiting.

All the Hindu wedding rituals were performed. Half the villager played the role of bridegroom’s relatives while the other acted as part of the bride’s entourage at the temple ceremony.

It is widely believed among villagers that the frog is a reincarnation of Lord Siva. Every year, this marriage is being organised. They believe that if they don’t do the annual ritual, girl children would die unnaturally or houses in villages would go up in flames and famine would attack.

‘We cannot deviate them from their belief. We could see that females aged 80 or 70 had performed such marriages in their childhood,’ S.Geetha, a local women’s rights activist, told Bernama.

The village priest tied the nuptial string on the bride on behalf of the groom and the villagers solemnly blessed the ‘newly married couple’ by showering rice and even offering small amounts of money as wedding gift.

After the marriage, the frog was returned to its natural habitat while the bride went home.

Geetha said it was customary for the village elders to select a girl who had yet to attain puberty for the ritual. Another 11-year old girl had been slated to marry next year.

The village legend goes that the people suffered from frequent natural calamities and sickness, like outbreaks of cholera, and this ritual was piously performed for divine blessing to help ease their hardship, she said.

P/S: There’s a Malay saying ‘Lain padang, lain belalang’ which brings the meaning that every place has its own ways of life and folk tales. In this case, tradition by cause makes this world more vibrant and colorful to be explored.

US President Barack Obama holds talks with his White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Obama is set to sign a series of executive orders to close the Guantanamo "war on terror" prison, end harsh interrogation tactics and shutter secret prisons, marking a dramatic reversal of policy from his predecessor. (AFP/White House/Pete Souza)

US President Barack Obama holds talks with his White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Obama is set to sign a series of executive orders to close the Guantanamo "war on terror" prison, end harsh interrogation tactics and shutter secret prisons, marking a dramatic reversal of policy from his predecessor. (AFP/White House/Pete Souza)

In a first-day whirlwind, President Barack Obama showcased efforts to revive the economy on Wednesday, summoned top military officials to the White House to chart a new course in Iraq and eased into the daunting thicket of Middle East diplomacy.

‘What an opportunity we have to change this country,’ said the 47-year-old chief executive, who also issued new ethics rules for his administration, hosted a reception at the presidential mansion for 200 inauguration volunteers and guests selected by an Internet lottery and even took the oath of office again after it was flubbed Tuesday.

The Associated Press(AP) reported as after dancing at inaugural balls with first lady Michelle Obama past midnight, Obama entered the Oval Office for the first time as president in early morning. He read a good luck note left behind by President George W. Bush, then began breaking cleanly with his predecessor’s policies.

Aides circulated a draft of an executive order that would close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year and halt all war crimes trials in the meantime.

Closing the site ‘would further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice,’ read the draft prepared for the new president’s signature. A copy was obtained by The Associated Press, and an aide said privately that Obama would sign a formal order on Thursday.

Some of the 245 detainees currently held at Guantanamo would be released, while others would be transferred elsewhere and later put on trial under terms to be determined.

Obama’s Cabinet was moving closer to completion.

At the Capitol, the Senate confirmed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state after a one-day delay forced by Republicans. The vote was 94-2, and spectators seated in the galleries erupted in applause when it was announced.

Treasury-designate Timothy Geithner emerged unscathed from his confirmation hearing, apologizing for having failed to pay $34,000 in taxes earlier in the decade.

To the evident anger of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans on the panel invoked long-standing rules to postpone a vote on Eric Holder’s appointment as attorney general.

Counting Clinton, seven Cabinet members have been confirmed so far, as have the two top officials at the Office of Management and Budget.

Obama’s schedule for the day included separate sessions on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new president has pledged to take bold steps to revive the economy, which is struggling through the worst recession since the Great Depression. Last week, he won approval to use $350 billion in leftover financial industry bailout funds.

He presided over the White House meeting on the economy as the House Appropriations Committee moved toward approval of $358 billion in new spending, part of the economic stimulus package making its way to his desk.

The new commander in chief held his first meeting in the Situation Room, where he, Vice President Joe Biden and senior military and foreign policy officials discussed war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama campaigned on a pledge to withdraw U.S. combat forces from Iraq within 16 months, and to beef up the commitment in Afghanistan. Obama asked the Pentagon to do whatever additional planning necessary to “execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq.”

The new White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said Obama’s phone calls to leaders in the Middle East were meant to convey his ‘commitment to active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term.’

Gibbs also that in conversations with Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, the president emphasized he would work to consolidate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Obama intends to name former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell as a special envoy to the region.

Not everything was new at the White House.

In the Oval Office, Obama worked at a desk built from the timbers of a British naval vessel, the HMS Resolute, and used off-and-on by presidents since the 1870s, including Bush. It also appeared that the carpet that Bush used in his second term, a yellow sunbeam design, was still in place.

If some of the furnishings remained in place, there was no doubt that the new president meant to fulfill his campaign promise of change.

‘As of today, lobbyists will be subject to stricter limits than under any … other administration in history,’ Obama told reporters as he signed the new rules. The restrictions included a ban on gifts by lobbyists to anyone serving in the administration.

He also imposed a pay freeze for about 100 White House aides who earn $100,000 or more. Its implementation was unclear, since none of them was on the payroll before Tuesday’s noontime inauguration.

On Tuesday, within hours of Obama’s inauguration, his administration froze last-minute Bush administration regulations before they could take effect.

Among them was an Interior Department proposal to remove gray wolves from Endangered Species protections in much of the northern Rocky Mountains, and a Labor Department recommendation that would allow companies that manage employee retirement plans to market investment products to plan participants.

On Wednesday night, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Obama at the White House -a rare do-over. The surprise moment came in response to Tuesday’s stumble, when Roberts got the words of the oath a little off, which prompted Obama to do so, too.

The White House reassured that Obama has still been president since noon on Inauguration Day. But Obama and Roberts went through the drill again out of what White House counsel Greg Craig called ‘an abundance of caution.’

Obama also dropped by a party for his staff at a packed DC Armory, telling his supporters that they deserve credit for his historic election victory, in part because they didn’t know any better. He said they simply didn’t know that a guy like him shouldn’t win, that their fundraising model wasn’t typical and that the odds were stacked against them.

Obama and his wife began their day at a prayer service that is traditional for the first business day of a new administration. They were joined in front-pew seats by Biden and his wife, Jill, as well as former President Bill Clinton and his wife, hours away from confirmation as the nation’s top diplomat.

‘Grant to Barack Obama, president of the United States, and to all in authority your grace and good will. Bless them with your heavenly gifts, give them wisdom and strength to know and to do your will,’ prayed the Rev. Andy Stanley, one of numerous clerics from several religions to speak.

Obama and his wife also played host and hostess for a select 200 at an open house.

‘Enjoy yourself, roam around,’ a smiling Obama told one guest.

‘Don’t break anything.’

P/S: Can’t wait of what Obama wants to do to bring the toppled administration back to ‘normal’ after it was led by George W. Bush last time.

The police should arrange for an independent body to probe the death of a youth while in police custody at the USJ 8 police station in Subang Jaya yesterday, said Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam to Berita Nasional Malaysia(BERNAMA).

He said the death of A. Kuhan, 23, while at the police station had raised many questions which demanded an independent probe be conducted.

He told this to reporters after lodging a police report on the youth’s death at the Subang Jaya police headquarters at 4pm today.

The victim’s father, who only wanted to be known as Ananthan and had accompanied Manikavasagam in making the report, said his son’s seven-day remand into a luxury car theft investigation was supposed to have ended today.

‘We believe there was foul play in my son’s death as there were signs of torture on his body. It has been reported he died of asthma but he never suffered from it,’ he said.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said police were conducting a thorough probe into Kuhan’s death.

‘A post-mortem is due to be done today. It will be able to tell us the exact cause of his death,’ he said.

Khalid also said he received reports that some youths had barged into the Serdang Hospital mortuary where his body was kept to take photographs.

‘I cannot understand how the hospital could have allowed this before a post-mortem was done,’ he said.

He said the victim was nabbed by police in front of a condominium in Puchong on Jan 15 and a scuffle had taken place between him and policemen when the arrest was made,

‘Following his arrest police recovered 15 luxury cars that had been stolen, two at the condominium and the rest at a warehouse in Puchong,’ he said, adding that police investigations, however, revealed that Kuhan did not have a past criminal record.

He added that police were tracking down an accomplice of Kuhan who managed to escape when Kuhan was being arrested.

Palestinian men, reflected in a broken mirror, look at the damage in a bedroom of their house, which was occupied by Israeli soldiers during the conflict, in Mughraka, central Gaza strip, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. Israel withdrew the last of its troops from the Gaza Strip before dawn Wednesday, the military said, and pursued diplomatic efforts to stanch the flow of arms into the Hamas-ruled territory. Some 1,300 Palestinians were killed, more than half of them civilians, Gaza health officials and the U.N. have reported. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Palestinian men, reflected in a broken mirror, look at the damage in a bedroom of their house, which was occupied by Israeli soldiers during the conflict, in Mughraka, central Gaza strip, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. Israel withdrew the last of its troops from the Gaza Strip before dawn Wednesday, the military said, and pursued diplomatic efforts to stanch the flow of arms into the Hamas-ruled territory. Some 1,300 Palestinians were killed, more than half of them civilians, Gaza health officials and the U.N. have reported. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

The last Israeli troops left the Gaza Strip before dawn Wednesday, the military said, as Israel dispatched its foreign minister to Europe in a bid to rally international support to end arms smuggling into the Hamas-ruled territory.

The AP reported that the timing of the pullout reflected Israeli hopes to defuse the crisis in Gaza before President Barack Obama entered the White House. The military said troops remain massed on the Israeli side of the border and are poised to take action if militants violate a fragile three-day cease-fire.

The troops’ exit marked the end of an Israeli offensive that ravaged Gaza and left a total of 1,284 Palestinians dead and 4,336 wounded, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The rights group, which has dispatched researchers to collect the names of the dead, said 894 of those killed were civilians.

The Israeli military says 500 Palestinian militants were killed in the fighting. Gaza’s militant groups claim only some 150 of the dead were armed fighters.

Israel launched the offensive to permanently halt years of militant rocket fire on growing numbers of Israelis and to halt the smuggling of arms that turned Hamas into a potent threat to much of southern Israel. But by Wednesday, some of the tunnels on the Egyptian border appeared to be back in business, with workers clearing blocked passageways, bulldozers carrying out other repairs, and fuel already being brought from Egypt into Gaza, according to AP Television News footage.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was heading to Brussels on Wednesday, hoping to clinch a deal committing the European Union to contribute forces, ships and technology to anti-smuggling operations, Israeli officials said.

Last week, the U.S. signed an anti-smuggling deal with Israel calling for expanded intelligence cooperation between the two countries and other U.S. allies in the Middle East and Europe.

Gaza remained tense Wednesday. Israeli navy ships fired rounds of machine-gun fire at the beaches of northern Gaza, and the military said a Gazan fishing vessel had strayed into an area declared off-limits by the Israeli navy.

The death toll in Gaza has provoked international outrage. In Israel, however, the war has strong backing, because it is seen as a legitimate response to militants who now have one-eighth of the population within rocket range.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon left the region early Wednesday after touring Gaza and southern Israel. Ban called for an investigation into the Israeli shelling of U.N. compounds in Gaza during the fighting, which he termed ‘outrageous.’ He also called militant rocket attacks against Israel ‘appalling and unacceptable.’

The Israeli military said it has launched an internal investigation into allegations about its use of white phosphorus munitions. U.N. officials and human rights groups have alleged Israel used such weapons, typically employed to illuminate targets or create smoke screens. Amnesty International has said Israel’s firing of white phosphorus shells in densely populated residential areas of Gaza is a war crime.

Both sides declared cease-fires that went into effect Sunday, but the arrangements remain shaky. Israel reported mortar shelling from Gaza on Tuesday, and the Palestinians say Israeli troops shot and killed two Gaza farmers along the border after the truce took hold.

The fighting ended before Israel achieved its aims, though world leaders have pledged to assist in efforts to keep militants from restocking war-depleted arsenals.

The U.S. has promised to supply detection and surveillance equipment, as well as logistical help and training to Israel, Egypt and other nations in the region. The equipment and training would be used to monitor Gaza’s land and sea borders.

The Israeli-American agreement also calls for the U.S. to expand work with its NATO partners, particularly in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and eastern Africa.

At the signing ceremony in Washington, Livni described the deal as ‘a vital complement for a cessation of hostility’ in the troubled region. Shortly after, she said she hoped European countries, notably Britain, France and Germany, would work out similar agreements with the Israelis.

Although signed by the Bush administration on its last working day, the agreement is binding on the Obama administration.

Most of the smuggling was carried out through tunnels underneath the eight-mile (15-kilometer) border between Egypt and Gaza border. Egypt has proved unable or unwilling to halt the flow of weapons and medium-range rockets coming through the tunnels, alongside fuel and consumer goods.

Israel bombed most of the tunnels during the offensive.
Iran, one of Hamas’ main backers, rejected the international attempt to deny the militant group weapons. In statements reported Wednesday on the Web site of Iranian state TV, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that as Israel is well-armed, it would be wrong to question the Palestinians about obtaining weapons.

Israel says Iran provides the group with cash, weapons and training. Tehran denies giving any weapons to Hamas.

P/S: FINALLY~

President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama, left, have their first dance of the evening during the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama, left, have their first dance of the evening during the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle capped their historic day with a speedy tour through 10 inaugural balls before retiring, at last, for their first night in the White House.

The Etta James classic ‘At Last’ was the Obamas’ song of the evening, crooned by Beyonce at the Neighborhood Ball, the first of 10 inaugural celebrations they attended into the early hours of Wednesday, The Associated Press(AP) reported.

The president wore white tie, while Michelle shimmered in a white, one-shouldered, floor-length gown. It was embellished from top to bottom with white floral details and made by 26-year-old New York designer Jason Wu.

‘First of all, how good looking is my wife?’ Obama asked the crowd of celebrities and supporters.
The president pulled his wife close for a slow, dignified two-step to the song that marked the end of a long day of formal inaugural events and the two-year campaign that put them in the White House.

Obama cut loose in a faster groove a few minutes later, as Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill and Mariah Carey sang along with Stevie Wonder to his “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The song was played at nearly all of Obama’s rallies throughout the campaign.

‘You could tell that’s a black president from the way he was moving,’ comedian Jamie Foxx joked following the dance.

At most of the balls that followed, the Obamas spent little more than the length of the song greeting supporters and whirling for the crowd. But the two seemed to share intimate moments nonetheless, smiling and laughing as Michelle pulled her dress out of the way.

Director Ron Howard said he sympathized with the long day Obama was having.
‘I feel bad for him,” Howard said in an interview with The Associated Press at the Western Ball. ‘He’s had a long day and now he has to do seven dances. This has got to be the grueling part for the first family.”
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden each saluted the nation’s military men and women at the Commander in Chief Ball via satellite. Biden said he wasn’t looking forward to his moment on the dance floor —a familiar refrain throughout the night.

‘The thing that frightens me the most (is) I’m going to have to stand in that circle and dance in a minute.’ At that, he laughed and did a quick sign of the cross.

The Obamas were more enthusiastic, splitting up to dance with Marine Sgt. Elidio Guillen of Madera, Calif. —who was shorter than dance partner Michelle— and Army Sgt. Margaret H. Herrera of San Antonio, Texas, who cried in the president’s arms.

Despite the formal attire and celebrity entertainment, the balls weren’t overly fancy affairs. Lines were long to get in, and the food was heavy on vegetables with dip and cheese cubes.

In a sign, perhaps, of the tough economic times, guests who already paid anywhere from $75 for a ticket to thousands more for a package deal had to buy their own drinks served in small plastic cups. Beer went for $6, cocktails for $9 and champagne for $12.

People were standing in line outside Union Station to get into the Eastern States Ball an hour and a half after it started. Because of very limited seating at the Western ball, a number of attendees in long gowns and fancy dress plopped cross-legged on the floor.

‘This is what happens in a down economy. No chairs, no highboys —it’s the floor and plastic cups,’ commented ballgoer Brig Lawson, 38, of Las Vegas.

At the Obama Home States ball, the dance floor was dominated by two little girls who skipped and twirled in matching red dresses while the grown-ups stood still, crowded around the stage waiting for Obama to appear.

Singer Sheryl Crow was greeted by a cheering crowd later for her appropriate hit, ‘A Change Would Do You Good.’ When hip-hop star Wyclef Jean asked the men at the Mid-Atlantic Ball to pull off their tuxedo jackets and swing them in the air to show their support for Barack Obama, thousands did.

At the Youth Ball, Kid Rock belted out songs as well-dressed 20-somethings mingled about. One of them walked up to a bartender, gave him a high five and said, ‘Barack Obama is president!’

The Obamas, following Kid Rock and Kanye West, got the real rock-star reception and launched into something of an awkward dance, laughing as they swayed. When they were done, the president grabbed a mic and said, ‘That’s what’s called old school.’

At the Midwestern Ball, he joked that it was time to ‘dance with the one who brung me, who does everything that I do except backwards and in heels.’

And though the mood was celebratory, the reality that the country remains at war hung over the festivities at the Commander in Chief ball and a separate Heroes Red White & Blue Ball.

‘Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers today, every day, forever,’ Obama told troops at the Commander in Chief ball. ‘Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, the work begins. … Together, I am confident we will write the next great chapter in America’s story.’

P/S: WOW~

Comics: Ziggy

Posted: January 21, 2009 in Comics
 "DVDs for people who can't understand 'BOOKS FOR DUMMIES'"

"DVDs for people who can't understand 'BOOKS FOR DUMMIES'"

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures while delivering his speech after taking the Oath of Office to become the 44th President of the United States, during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures while delivering his speech after taking the Oath of Office to become the 44th President of the United States, during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

President Barack Obama promised to improve U.S. ties with the Muslim world in his inauguration address on Tuesday, after tensions that followed the September 11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,’ said Obama, who became the first black president of the United States.

According to Reuters, Obama, a practicing Christian, spent several years of his childhood in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation. His American mother, Ann Dunham, married Muslim Indonesian Lolo Soetoro after the end of her marriage to Obama’s Kenyan father.

‘To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist,’ Obama said.

Under President George W. Bush, U.S. relations with Muslim nations have often been fractious, particularly after the September 11 attacks.

Many Muslims were angered by the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the opening of a prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, widely seen as a symbol of human rights abuses of mostly Muslim prisoners carried out in the name of the ‘war on terrorism.’

The Council on American Islamic Relations welcomed Obama’s promise on seeking better relations with Muslim nations.

‘We hope this encouraging statement, coupled with a change in America’s previous policies toward the Muslim world, will help improve our nation’s image and promote a safe and prosperous future for all of humanity,’ said Nihad Awad, executive director of the council.

The first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, said Obama’s words were an important signal of goodwill to Muslims in the United States as well as the rest of the world.

‘I do believe it could undermine recruiting for al Qaeda,’ he told Reuters, because “their message depends on trying to demonize the United States as a country that is somehow hostile to Islam and the Muslim world.”

Ellison said Obama’s outreach would make it hard for al Qaeda to sustain its anti-American message.

Many Muslims are already excited about Obama, he said.

‘If you were to go to Damascus, or Cairo, or Jerusalem today, you could find an Obama tee shirt. People are excited about the possibilities for what this means around the globe.’

The population of Ellison’s district is three or four percent Muslim, he said. Since his election to Congress in 2006, another Muslim has also been voted in: Democrat Andre Carson of Indiana.

About 300 young Muslims from 76 countries signed a letter published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, urging the new president to make policy changes that could improve relations between the Muslim world and the West.

P/S: I hope Barack Hussein Obama WILL NOT let the muslims down by giving false hope. . .We can hope, right? Or It’ll be the same as George Bush’s and we have the chance of seeing another U.S President being thrown sandals at then.

Malaysia's Flag -'Jalur Gemilang' The Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry today called on the film industry to venture into films which showcase more on national cultures.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Afdal said the making of such films would inadvertently help introduce and lure the world’s attention on Malaysia’s multi-cultural society.

As reported by BERNAMA, ‘Countries like Japan, South Korea and Iran have been showing off their cultures to the world through their films.

‘We too must increase our effort to introduce our various cultures to the world via our films and plays,’ he said after officiating the pre-launch of epic film entitled ‘Bunian Mahkota Seri Helang’, here, today.

Meanhile, Shafie said the ministry anticipated over 35 films to be produced by the local film makers in the next three years.

The ‘Bunian Mahkota Seri Helang’ film will be produced by composer Adnan Abu Hassan using the Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) techniques to create realistic visual effects.

The shooting for the RM3.5 million film, featuring actor Rusdi Ramli and actress Nasha Aziz, is set to begin next month.

P/S: LOVE Nasha Aziz. Career-minded she somehow sets her life on just working -is she a robot?- and boy she looks good even at the age of around 40!