The current best main battle tank from the USA, Russia, and China

 The USA, Russia, and China’s army are the three largest ground forces in the world, both in quantity and quality. The armed forces manpower of these three countries are 1.5, 1.0, and 2.1 millions, respectively. The USA has about 34000 armored fighting vehicles, whereas Russia and China have 18000, and 13000  vehicles (see http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/armies/default.asp). This includes main battle tanks (MBT), combat supports vechicles, infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), armored personnel carriers (APC). There are also other equipment such as artillery, surface to air missiles systems, and engineering equipment. Among all of these mentioned, the main battle tank (MBT) is the most formidable military equipment for the ground forces.

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Serial silat Jin Yong

Menonton serial silat di TV atau DVD adalah salah satu hobiku. Sudah ratusan dollar habis buat beli serial silat asli langsung dari Hong Kong. Tidak semua cerita silat itu menarik. Tapi yang menjadi favorit adalah serial silat karangan Jin Yong atau nama aslinya Louis Cha. Belasan cerita silat hasil karya Jin Yong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinyong#Novels )

  1. The Book and the Sword – T: 書劍恩仇錄 S: 书剑恩仇录 (first published on The New Evening Post in 1955)
  2. Sword Stained with Royal Blood – T: 碧血劍 S: 碧血剑 (first published on Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1956)
  3. The Legend of the Condor Heroes – T: 射鵰英雄傳 S: 射雕英雄传 (first published on Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1957)
  4. Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain – T: 雪山飛狐 S: 雪山飞狐 (first installment appeared on the first issue of Ming Pao in 1959)
  5. The Return of the Condor Heroes – T: 神鵰俠侶 S: 神雕侠侣 (1959)
  6. Other Tales of the Flying Fox – T: 飛狐外傳 S: 飞狐外传 (1960)
  7. Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse T: 白馬嘯西風 S: 白马啸西风 (first published on Ming Pao in 1961)
  8. Blade-dance of the Two Lovers T: 鴛鴦刀 S: 鸳鸯刀 (first published on Ming Pao in 1961)
  9. Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre – T: 倚天屠龍記 S: 倚天屠龙记 (first published on Ming Pao in 1961)
  10. A Deadly Secret – T: 連城訣 S: 连城诀 (first published on Southeast Asia Weekly 《東南亞周刊》in 1963)
  11. Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils – T: 天龍八部 S: 天龙八部 (1963)
  12. Ode to Gallantry – T: 俠客行 S: 侠客行 (1965)
  13. The Smiling, Proud Wanderer笑傲江湖 (first published on Ming Pao in 1967)
  14. The Deer and the Cauldron – T: 鹿鼎記 S: 鹿鼎记 (1969-1972)
  15. Sword of the Yue Maiden – T: 越女劍 S: 越女剑 (1970)
Pedang Langit & Golok Naga, versi TVB 1986

Pedang Langit & Golok Naga, versi TVB 1986

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A good customer service

We regularly go to the swimming pool for the kids swimming class during weekend. The pool is located in the University of Queensland (UQ) sport complex. As usual, we went there last weekend. But once we arrived, we were noticed that we had to wait. The kids’ pool needed to be cleaned because a toddler had just vomitted. It might took more than 15 minutes but the class was only 30 minutes. So, the instructors suggested to ask for a make up class to replace the class that day. Unfortunately, the make up class was fully booked. Alternatively, they gave me a credit worth of one session. That’s fair enough.

However, my kids, especially my daughter were disappointed. Noticing this, the instructors took them to the big Olympic standard pool for adults. Since it was very deep for kids, one instructor was responsible to guard one kid. Usually, one instructor can handle three kids in a kids’ pool.

My daughter with her instructor. It was a fun for her

My daughter with her instructor. It was a fun for her

 

My kids were happy. It was their first time in a big deep pool. They were not afraid. It was fun for them actually. Actually, I did not expect this because they returned my money anyway. This reminded me of many cases in Japan. Japanese are good in customer service. They will apologize deeply if they unintentionally perform a bad service by offering gifts or extra service. It is because they realize that they have taken the customer time and time is money.

The reasons behind the Indonesian Pornography Bill (with comments)

Often people wonder why many political parties in Indonesia try to force the pornography bill. Also, do Indonesians need such a law?

There are several reasons why the proponents believe this bill. I add my comment on each of them.

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The negative impacts of Indonesian Pornography Act

In the coming weeks, Indonesian House of Representative (DPR) will pass the long debated Pornography Bill. The detail can be read in:

Bahasa Indonesia: http://www.indonesiamatters.com/2465/pornography-laws/

or http://www.detiknews.com/read/2008/09/16/080110/1006768/10/inilah-isi-ruu-pornografi

English: http://rimafauzi.com/blogs/?p=791

The most dangerous part of this bill is the definition of the pornography. According to wikipedia, the common definition is the explicit depiction of sexual subject matter with the sole intention of sexually exciting the viewer. So, the keyword is explicit depiction.

However, the definition in the Indonesian bill:

Bahasa Indonesia:

Pornografi adalah materi seksualitas yang dibuat oleh manusia dalam bentuk gambar, sketsa, ilustrasi, foto, tulisan, suara, bunyi, gambar bergerak, animasi, kartun, syair, percakapan, gerak tubuh, atau bentuk pesan komunikasi lain melalui berbagai bentuk media komunikasi dan/atau pertunjukan di muka umum, yang dapat membangkitkan hasrat seksual dan/atau melanggar nilai-nilai kesusilaan dalam masyarakat.

English:

Pornography is a material of sexuality made by humans  in the form of pictures, sketch, illustration, photo, writing, noise , moving picture, animation, cartoon, poetry, conversation, body language or another form of communication through many kinds of media and/or public showing of something that will result in a sexual desire and/or breaking acceptable moral norms in the society.

Hence, it is both explicit and implicit. With this, each person could have very different interpretation.

Several negatif impacts expected:

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Uniknya sistem kepangkatan yang menentukan gaji dosen di Indonesia

Gaji dosen di Indonesia, seperti umumnya di dunia ditentukan oleh kepangkatannya. Indonesia sudah mengadopsi sistem 4 golongan (guru besar, lektor kepala, lektor, asisten ahli) yang kira-kira setara dengan professor, associate/assistant professor, senior lecturer, lecturer. Nah, yang unik adalah bagaimana menentukan seorang dosen memiliki pangkat apa. Di negara-negara yang pendidikannya maju seperti USA, Japan, China, EU, Australia, seseorang dinilai layak atau tidak menjadi professor atau senior lecturer misalnya dengan cara melihat track record yang bersangkutan ditambah informasi melalui interview. Misalnya jika ada universitas yang butuh associate professor dia akan buka lowongan untuk cari calon dari luar. Selain itu lecturer yang ada dievaluasi apa ada yang potensial untuk naik pangkat. Jadi mirip perusahaan industri mau cari wakil direktur. Setelah dapat, biasanya akan dikontrak dengan kondisi hak dan kewajiban yang jelas. Hal ini supaya si professor sadar dia harus kerja keras supaya bisa mempertahankan posisinya. Mirip seperti seorang manajer di kantor/pabrik yang terus dievaluasi oleh atasan dan mungkin bawahan. Professor harus bisa menghasilkan publikasi yang banyak, mendatangkan dana riset yang besar, dll. Kalau gagal ya out. Ini sebabnya professor di negara maju umumnya berkualitas tinggi. Maka layak dapat gaji besar.

Nah, bagaimana Indonesia?

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Brugge (Bruges)

I have been to several cities and towns in Asia, Western Europe, and Australia. There is one town that I always remember, named Brugge or Bruges in English, located in Belgium. It is also my wife’s favorite. Brugge is one of medieval age towns still standing today, survived the WW II. The town is very beautiful. It is a masterpiece of Renaissance era in Europe, which makes it enlisted in the World Heritage Site of UNESCO.

Madonna and Child by Michelangelo

Madonna and Child by Michelangelo

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