Monday, March 28, 2011

Life is too short for us to sit and stare...

Hi all,
Been lying low a while...obvious reasons, no time, too busy to blog, too many assignments, so much housework (no maid remember), taking care of family...shucks...I just found out today my friend lost her mum a couple of weeks back and I didn't know...what kind of friend does that make me? So sorry Lu. My deepest condolences on your loss.That really made me think. once one of my sojourn is my son said, life is like a coin, once you use it, it's gone. With mum not so mobile now...what next? I still believe I should do what is right and able to as long as she is still with us. watched the video my friend Zu put up on FB. I think I read the poem sometime back but to see it depicted visually, it really hit me...yes life is fragile.

We were young once, we have grown, have families of our own...and as we age..we forget sometimes...that our parents age too. they won't be around forever...and then yesterday, I read the papers of the the reporter who succumbed to a heart attack. Then I found out, he was the father of my daughter's schoolmate...she was affected, so were her friends. To lose a love one, a father, a mother, any family member or friend, it is still a loss, felt by all in different capacities.My sympathies again at another life lost. We can say all we want but nothing, no one can be replaced at least not in the hearts of loved ones.

I want to be able to live my life as I see fit, do my work well before I retire (if they let me...) . But these days, the thought of retiring early is quite attractive, why bother with office politics, why bother with all the inequality at the work place, the unhappiness, the cronyism that is practised quite openly? As they say, if you don't like it, just leave...ya I wish I can have that option. Unless I win the lottery, can't see myself retiring anytime soon. What with two kids in university and another in her final year at school...not anytime soon. But then again, this is my own life, one can make of it as one chooses. I have already lived half a century, I consider my self lucky to have lived thus far. It has been good so far, I have no major complaints...if I did, I need only look at those less fortunate and that would stop me in my tracks. maybe that's the way we should live, just remember that we are lucky where we soon as we wake up (that's a good sign, some people don't), we should consider the day as a new and clean's how we are going to paint it. So once again, I will live my life for myself and family and not to cater to other's whims and fancies, the order of the day is still there, work is work but this life is ours and we should live it to the fullest in our own way, without being dictated by others. So friends, life is too short, we have no time to sit and stare...cheers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

11 Public Places with the Most Germs

Reader's Digest Magazine, on Mon Mar 21, 2011

Dare you go out..with germs lurking everywhere...don't be obsessed though.

Respiratory droplets—the medical community’s polite term for what comes out of a person when they sneeze or cough—are filled with the germs that made the person sick. When we cough or sneeze they disperse widely, landing here and there, where they wait patiently for someone to touch them (research shows they can remain potent for several hours). Once on someone’s hands, they stand a good chance of infecting them, since it is human nature to frequently touch our faces. This is exactly how colds and flu happen: The vast majority of cases are passed from person to person. Think of things that are touched by many people in a day, and you’ll come up with the places where germs are shared. These can include:

1. Handrails

2. Elevator buttons

3. Grocery cart handles

4. Restaurant menus

5. Money from a cash register

6. Light switches

7. Salt and pepper shakers in restaurants

8. Salad bars

9. ATM machines

10. Exercise equipment

11. Water fountain handles

Makes you nervous, doesn’t it? Relax. It takes just a little common sense and attention to protect yourself from public germs. Here are ways to keep germs at bay:

Handwashing. Always wash your hands before cooking, eating, or inserting your contact lenses. Wash your hands after cooking, using the toilet, petting an animal, handling garbage, blowing your nose, or coughing or sneezing into your hand. It doesn’t matter if you wash with regular or antibacterial soap as long as you do a thorough job.

Use hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based sanitizers that require no water are among the greatest health inventions of recent times. They’re efficient at killing germs, whenever and wherever you encounter them, without the need of water or towels.

Keep hands away from your face. No matter how many times you wash them, if you are in public, your hands will pick up germs. Germs will quickly enter your body if you rub your eyes or nose, stroke your chin, or touch your lips.

Avoid the communal candy bowl or cookie jar. Given that only 67 percent of people who say they wash their hands actually do, and that only a third of those people use soap, you can imagine what’s lurking in there. where you put your hands and where you go...

The Top 7 Sleep Killers — And How To Solve Them

All you want to do is close your eyes until morning, but instead, you're stuck in bed, wide awake, watching the minutes tick by. Here's help.

By Stephanie Booth

It's three in the morning, and once again, you're staring at the ceiling as your mind races. Not being able to nod off when you want to is agonizing. And you're not the only one with the problem: Two-thirds of women report trouble sleeping several nights each week.

So what's keeping you up? Read on for the factors, habits, and behaviors that have been killing your sleep, then the simple fixes.

Related: When Stress Keeps You Up At Night

SLEEP KILLER 1: Light Seeping into Your Room

Even slivers of light — the kind that sneaks in through a crack in your blinds or the blueish glow of a computer monitor left on — can keep you awake. "Light signals your brain to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles," says Shelby Freedman Harris, PsyD, clinical psychologist at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City.

The solution: Get black-out shades, chuck your digital clock for one without an LCD display, shut off your computer before turning in — whatever it takes to make your room pitch-black, suggests clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep. If light still gets in, consider wearing an eye mask to bed.

Related: 5 Major Health Issues That Affect Woman Today

SLEEP KILLER 2: An Erratic Meal Schedule

Not having a set time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day makes it tough for your body to know when to send out sleepiness signals. "That's because your internal body clock, which tells your system when to sleep and when to wake, relies on cues from the environment, like mealtimes," explains Breus. If these cues vary greatly from day to day — say one night you have dinner at 8, then the next at 10, and then on the third day at 6 — your system has trouble keeping track of time and knowing when to start winding down, he adds.

The solution: Stick to a routine meal schedule each day, even on weekends, as much as you can. B vitamins help regulate sleep patterns, so eat foods rich in these nutrients (like whole-grain cereals, nuts, broccoli, and potatoes).

Related: 7 Ways to Fall Asleep When You Feel Wired

SLEEP KILLER 3: Your Evening Second Wind

It's a common scenario: After feeling draggy all day, you're suddenly struck with a burst of energy at night. Of course, it's hard to resist taking advantage of this jolt, so you decide to organize your closet or pop in a workout DVD, for example. Then when it's time for you to turn in, you're too wired to doze off.

Here's what's probably triggering it: What feels like a surge in energy could really be a rush of anxiety prompted by increased production of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which your system pumps out when you're sleep-deprived, says Breus. Using this hormone rush to further stay awake makes you feel wired at first then, ultimately, even more fatigued, he adds.

The solution: Try hard not to give in to that hormone-fueled anxiety surge, or use it to do something relaxing — like reading a good book — that doesn't cause you to put off going to bed at a decent hour.

SLEEP KILLER 4: Your Beauty Routine

Beware of what you put on your face and in your body before turning out the lights. Certain scents, herbs, and spices encourage your brain to wake up, not shut off. One example: peppermint. Scrubbing your face with a peppermint skin wash or brushing your teeth with a peppermint toothpaste can keep you awake, says Harris. Eucalyptus- and rosemary-scented products also amp up your alertness.

The solution: Save the energizing scents for the morning, when you need that extra help to get going. In the p.m., "use a mild toothpaste and lavender-scented face wash or body lotion, since lavender has been shown to cue your body to slow down," says Harris.

Related: 10 Weird and Wacky Beauty Facts

SLEEP KILLER 5: Your Menstrual Cycle

Ever notice that sleeplessness seems to strike just before your period? Blame a natural dip in the hormone progesterone — which helps you sleep soundly — during your preperiod week, explains Kathryn A. Lee, PhD, a nurse researcher who specializes in sleep disorders at the University of California at San Francisco.

The solution: Anticipate a monthly inability to snooze so you won't let it get you frustrated and irritated, and use the time to tackle projects you otherwise have no time for.

Related: 5 Foods That Make Your Period Happier

SLEEP KILLER 6: Drinking Late at Night

Alcohol is a depressant, and a drink before bed can relax you enough to fall asleep easily. Unfortunately, the sleepiness probably won't last. "Alcohol is metabolized quickly, and once it's out of your system, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms that can interrupt your sleep," says clinical psychologist Anne Bartolucci, PhD, president of Atlanta Insomnia and Behavioral Health Services.

The solution: Plan for last call to be about four hours before you think you'll be going to bed so your body has time to metabolize the alcohol completely and the resulting withdrawal symptoms won't disturb you.

Related: 7 Surprising Habits That Are Giving You Belly Pudge

SLEEP KILLER 7: Your Expectations

Though eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults need per night, lots of people need even more, while others can function perfectly well on six, five, or even four hours. "But if you sleep for longer than your body requires, you'll have trouble falling asleep or keep waking too early in the morning," says Bartolucci.

The solution: Figure out how much sleep you truly need by hitting the hay and waking up sans an alarm for a week. If, toward the seventh day, you find yourself waking after seven hours, then that's probably your number.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: A look back at the legend

posted by Lizbeth Scordo - Wed Mar 23 2011, 3:56 PM PDT

Elizabeth Taylor

During her 79 years, Elizabeth Taylor --classic beauty, serial monogamist, Oscar winner, AIDS activist -- captivated the world with her big-screen roles and her real-life dramas.

Born in Britain, Taylor and her American parents moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven, and became a bona fide star by age 12, with her starring role in the classic 1944 film "National Velvet," one of a whopping 50 movies she'd appear in over the next four decades.

Though the actress was praised for her beauty and acting prowess, and landed two Academy Awards over the course of her career, as well as an honorary Oscar in 1993, in later years she was better known for her tumultuous personal life thanks to her string of fiery romances and mostly failed marriages. Her first one to Conrad Hilton at age 18 seemed to set the stage for the rest. It ended after just one year, in 1951, well before divorce was casually accepted. Just one year later, Taylor wed English actor Mike Wilding, with whom she would have two sons.

Taylor would have eight marriages over her lifetime, but none as controversial as her fourth to singer Eddie Fisher in 1959. Her third husband, producer Mike Todd -- who was 25 years her senior -- had died in a plane crash just a year prior. Not only had Fisher and Todd been close friends, but Fisher was married to fellow actress -- and Elizabeth's own pal -- Debbie Reynolds, and the couple had two young children together (one of which was "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher) at the time he started up his affair with Taylor.

Said Taylor of the romance: "[Eddie] and Mike had been good friends and it seemed natural we should try to comfort each other for our loss ... In hindsight, I know I wasn't thinking straight. At the time I thought he needed me and I needed him. The press made much of Eddie's leaving his wife, Debbie Reynolds, but Eddie and Debbie's marriage was in trouble long before I hit the scene."

Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher.Courtesy Everett CollectionElizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.Mirrorpix/Courtesy Everett Collection

Taylor and Fisher's marriage set off a media firestorm ... and so did their divorce. Four years later, she met the man she'd eventually call her "second great love" (with Todd being the first), legendary actor Richard Burton. The two met on the set of "Cleopatra" in 1963 and, by the next year, both had divorced their respective spouses to marry each other. Once again, the public was infatuated, especially after the two divorced a decade later, married each other again in 1975, and then divorced yet again after just a year. Over the course of their marriages, Burton and Taylor shared the screen 11 times, including the 1966 film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," for which Taylor won her second Oscar. In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Taylor revealed that "Woolf" is the film she was most proud of.

As she stepped back from acting in the 1980s, Taylor jumped into other endeavors. It was the AIDS-related death of good friend and one-time co-star, actor Rock Hudson, that prompted Taylor to get involved in something that would become hugely important to her for the rest of her life, HIV/AIDS charity work. Long before it became the politically correct thing to do, Taylor became involved with the AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1984. She later joined the board of directors of the National AIDS Research Foundation in Los Angeles, and the two charities eventually merged to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), a group that has invested more than $300 million in AIDS research globally since 1985. "I will not be silenced and I will not give up and I will not be ignored," Taylor said of her AIDS advocacy.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor leaves Buckingham Palace after receiving the honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II, May 16, 2000.Anwar Hussein/Getty ImagesThe screen legend speaks out for her favorite cause at amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS benefit during the 56th International Cannes Film Festival in France on May 22, 2003.Scott Gries/Getty Images

Taylor also founded her own AIDS Foundation to help other organizations provide direct care to those suffering from the disease, and remained one of amfAR's most public faces, even speaking on World AIDS Day at the United Nations. It was, however, a simple handshake that may have made the biggest difference of all.

In 1989, Taylor was photographed shaking hands with an HIV/AIDS patient in a Bangkok hospital. The photograph made headlines throughout Southeast Asia. According to amfAR, "At least in that region, [that photo] probably did more than any other single event to quell fears about touching people with AIDS."

Dame Elizabeth Taylor with director David Lynch, Sharon Stone, and Sir Elton John at amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS Gala in Cannes, 2002.J. Vespa/WireImage

Though Taylor ultimately died of congestive heart failure, she experienced brushes with death multiple times throughout her life -- she nearly lost an eye and a leg, and had two serious bouts of pneumonia which required a tracheotomy and a ventilator. She was plagued with health problems her entire life and suffered from back pain dating back to when she fell of a horse during the production of "National Velvet." Her 20 surgeries over the years included two hip replacements and a hysterectomy.

The star also battled alcoholism, which landed her at the Betty Ford Clinic twice during the 1980s. During her second stint there she met the man who would become her last husband, construction worker Larry Fortensky (quite a switch from the husband who preceded him, U.S. Senator John Warner). The couple married in 1991, when Taylor was 59, at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Taylor and Fortensky, who was 20 years Taylor's junior, split five years later.

Taylor with her great friend Michael Jackson at his 30th Anniversary Celebration at Madison Square Garden in NYC on September 7, 2001.Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comThe multi-talented star debuts just one of her many fragrances from her Jewel Perfume Collection at the Metropolitan Club in New York on September 20, 1993.Kevin Mazur/

Though the public spotlight might not have shone quite as brightly on Taylor during her later years -- her weight gain, diet books, and marriage to Fortensky became late-night fodder -- she continued to lead an active and varied life. She launched a series of super successful perfumes, continued her AIDS work, was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth, and became close friends with Bel-Air neighborMichael Jackson, saying the two first forged a connection over having child stardom in common. Taylor was devastated after his death. "My heart... my mind... are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can't imagine life without him. We had so much in common we had such loving fun together," she said in a statement.

The classic star also had no trouble moving right along with the times. In 1994 she played Fred Flintstone's mother-in-law in the big-screen version of "The Flintstones," later made a few sitcom appearances, and, in 2001, joined Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins, and one-time nemesis Debbie Reynolds in the tongue-in-cheek TV movie "These Old Broads," which was co-written by Reynolds' daughter Carrie Fisher.

Taylor poses for a cast shot with her "These Old Broads" co-stars, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine, and Joan Collins. The 2001 TV movie was her final onscreen role.Everett Collection

Last year the self-confessed "Law & Order" fanatic even held a vote via Twitter to name her latest perfume. Her fans named it Violet Eyes, after the vivid-hued eyes that helped make Taylor famous in the first place.

May she Rest in Peace.

Eizabeth Taylor dies at 79...

Hollywood Legend Elizabeth Taylor Dies

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March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor, the English-American actress who became a star at age 10 and an icon by the time she was 30, died Wednesday.

A publicist told The Associated Press that Taylor died of congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital. She was 79.

Taylor hadn't made a movie in years — and she had spent decades raising millions of dollars for causes including HIV and AIDS — but to most anyone born before 1975, she was always the woman who was Cleopatra, the legendary beauty with a famous weakness for jewelry.

The world first got a glimpse of that oval face, those dark arched eyebrows and those deep blue-violet eyes when she made her movie debut in There's One Born Every Minute — a 10-year-old with shoulder-length hair and lashes so long a makeup man thought they were false.

Lassie Come Home was next, with Roddy McDowall and that collie whose name was in the title. But it was the role of a young English girl with a passion for horses — in the 1944 film National Velvet— that won Taylor the hearts of moviegoers.

From there on out Taylor was an integral part of MGM's stable of young stars, working alongside other child actors including Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien. It was glamorous, yes, but as she suggested in the 1974 film That's Entertainment, it made for a bittersweet childhood:

"I was 10 years old when I first came to MGM, and I spent the next 18 years of my life behind the walls of that studio," she said. "[I was] a young girl growing up in that strange place, where it's hard to recall what was real and what wasn't."

Taylor's teen years are recorded in films like Father of the Bride, with Spencer Tracy, and Little Women, opposite Peter Lawford — not to mention Cynthia, in which the 15-year-old Taylor, playing a sheltered teen, received her first screen kiss.

She grew into womanhood opposite some of Hollywood's biggest leading men. Director George Stevens cast the 17-year-old Taylor opposite Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun, and five years after that film's release she appeared with James Dean and Rock Hudson in Giant, the sprawling, three-hour adaptation of Edna Ferber's Texas epic. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof paired the 25-year-old Taylor with Paul Newman — and earned her a second Academy Award nomination.

Her first had come the year before, for Raintree County, and her first Oscar win would come for 1960's Butterfield 8, in which Taylor starred as a loose-living New Yorker who thinks she's found love at last — with a lawyer who married for money. Her second statue would come six years later, for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Edward Albee's lacerating portrait of domestic warfare among the academic set.

'Bigger Than The Movies'

In the years that would follow, Taylor seemed to embody the phrase "movie star." Her life, full of success, personal tragedies and multiple marriages, played out in the headlines and on the covers of magazines.

"Elizabeth Taylor was launched by the movies but became bigger than the movies," says Peter Rainer, past president of the National Society of Film Critics. "What she had was this kind of star presence that was part and parcel of her private life, and there was just no way to separate out the two."

Indeed, the public watched bemused as the woman who loved diamonds went to the altar eight times — with a Hilton hotels heir, with an actor and a producer and a singer and a construction worker, with a man who'd soon become a U.S. senator and twice with Richard Burton, the Welsh actor with whom she co-starred in Virginia Woolf, and with whom she first became romantically involved in 1963 on the set of Cleopatra, when both were still married to others. She had made a million dollars for signing on to play the Egyptian queen — the first star ever to earn a 7-digit paycheck — and before the legendarily troubled film shoot was over, she and Burton had became the couple the Hollywood press couldn't get enough of.

'She's Out There ... And She Never Stopped'

In the 1980s, though beset with her own illnesses and addictions to painkillers and alcohol, the Hollywood icon took up the battle against an emerging disease called AIDS. Taylor went on to raise more than $100 million as co-founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and to launch her own AIDS foundation focused on patient care. Author, playwright and activist Larry Kramer credits Taylor with exhibiting a kind of courage that few others showed during that time.

"What's so remarkable about it is, so few people use their gift, their intelligence, their celebrity for the sake of humanity like this," Kramer says. "She's out there, this beautiful woman, and she never stopped."

For her philanthropic efforts, Taylor received a humanitarian award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1992. A Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute soon followed.

"You made me realize how much I do miss it," the largely retired star told that AFI audience in 1993. "But my life is full and good; it has taken so many twists and turns, and I have grown into what I do now wholeheartedly."

Plagued by health problems for much of her life, Taylor continued to extend a sense of humor and strength to others, never hesitating to share her own fears and vulnerabilities with the world.

Asked why she appeared in public with her head shaved after a brain-tumor surgery, she told an interviewer that maybe others would see the picture — and say, "Hey, if she can get through it, so can I."

In October 2009, after a Twitter posting announced her trip to the hospital for a heart-valve procedure, she followed up with another tweet: "Any prayers you happen to have lying around I would dearly appreciate."

NPR's Trey Graham contributed to this story.

12 things about tea your local dim sum restaurateur won't tell you

A tea master gives us some advice on how to make sure we're getting the best brew for our buck

Ying Kee Tea House
Master Leung Ka-Dong has been working at Ying Kee Tea House for almost 40 years.

"What type of tea do you usually order when you eat dim sum?" asks
Ying Kee Tea House Master Leung Ka-Dong
"I usually order white hair peony because my family always orders it," I reply.
"Did you know that almost all restaurants mix their white teas with black to add flavour and colour?" he says.
No, I did not know that. I did not know that it's only in the recent 50 to 60 years that white, green and pu-erh have become Hong Kong 's most popular teas either.
With a richer economy, Hong Kong people stirred away from simple black teas from India and Sri Lanka and began to enjoy tea for various health reasons or collect pu-erh tea like wine
Thanks to Master Leung, who has worked at Ying Kee Tea House since the early 1970s, I now know a little more about how to appreciate Chinese tea.

Here are 12 things he told me about tea that no restaurateur would have:

1. Never drink tea on an empty stomach

Always drink tea during or after a meal. Our stomachs are acidic and tea is alkalizing.
Acid and alkaline combined have a bloating effect.


2. Drink white tea if you are a smoker

White tea is really good for the lungs and throat, so it is especially beneficial for smokers.
A cup of white peony tea helps clear all the phlegm in our throats and cures coughs.

white peony tea

3. You won't be able to tell the quality of white tea by its colour

Most restaurants mix white peony tea with black tea to add colour and flavour because customers generally prefer tea that tastes richer and looks darker in colour.
Pure white tea itself has hardly any flavour or colour compared to other teas.

screw shaped green tea

4. Only fine dining Chinese restaurants serve screw shaped green tea

Genuine screw shaped green tea is the highest grade of green tea and the most expensive. At Ying Kee Tea House, it sells at HK$5,067 per kilogram (HK$380 per 75 gram bag). Produced only in Jiangsu Province Dong Ting Mountain , it's also the rarest green tea in China , producing only about 1,000 kilograms a year.
It must be consumed fresh, within a year after picking the tea leaves. Screw shaped green tea of higher quality is best consumed within six months even. If it is tasteless, solvent or extremely bitter, that means it has already gone bad.
But while it is certainly expensive, screw shaped green tea has a very particular taste that not everyone may like. Even when it is fresh, it tastes more bitter than other teas.
For all those reasons, screw shaped green tea is only served at fine dining Chinese restaurants, usually at hotels.

pu-erh tea

5. Treat pu-erh tea like a digestible detergent to flush all the grease away

Always pair oily food with pu-erh tea. Dim sum, no matter steamed or fried, contains lard. When you eat shrimp dumplings, there is always a piece of fatty pork in there to add flavour and fragrance.
Pu-erh tea helps you rinse all the grease from the food out of your system. It aids digestion, blood circulation and lowers cholesterol levels.
If you don't have detergent at home, boil some pu-erh tea and use it to wash your dishes. It's like a digestible detergent.

tong baat lut

6. Sweets go best with green tea

Sweet food is best paired with tea that is more bitter. Loong cheng green tea helps moderate the sweetness of desserts.
Like pu-erh tea, drinking green tea helps lower cholesterol levels and break down fat.
But while most teas are best brewed in boiling hot water, green teas like screw shaped green tea and loong cheng only need to be brewed in water that is about 75 to 85 degrees. If the water is too hot, it will be difficult to maintain the same fragrance in the second brew.

teh kuan yin

7. Teh kuan yin goes best with spicy food

Spicy foods are best paired with teh kuan yin because it has a bitter sweet effect. If you ever visit a Chiu Chow restaurant, they always serve teh kuan yin tea with their spicy dishes.

Plus, Chiu Chow city borders Shantou city and Fujian province, which is known for harvesting teh kuan yin leaves.

8. Fried food goes best with white tea

Basically, any type of fried or deep fried food goes well with white tea. In Chinese medicinal terms, fried food is considered dry hot.
White teas like white hair peony help release body heat.

chinese tea

9. Smell quality

Aside from pu-erh tea which is almost odourless, quality tea should always give off a fragrant smell.
If you can't smell the tea or see that it is very solvent, then it has probably expired.

pu-erh tea

10. You won't be able to find good pu-erh tea at dim sum restaurants

It is simply not cost-efficient. Pu-erh tea is like wine. The longer you store it, the richer it becomes. Storage for at least three to six years is optimal.
Regular pu-erh teas served at restaurants have generally been modified during the fermentation process to reduce storage time. By doing this, they lose whatever fragrance and flavour they originally had.
Good pu-erh tea should look very smooth and deep red in colour, not black like regular pu-erh tea.
You can also test the quality of your pu-erh tea by the stain it leaves on your cup after drinking it. If you see a stain surrounding the rim of your cup, that means you are drinking regular or low quality pu-erh tea. If your cup is left with no stain after consumption, you are drinking pu-erh tea of high quality.

daffodil tea

11. Teh kuan yin, daffodil and oolong are all the same at dim sum restaurants

No matter which of the three you order, dim sum restaurants will serve you low grade daffodil tea. All three teas come under the same oolong tea category, yet they are very different in flavour.
Teh kuan yin tastes more clear and fragrant. Oolong is stronger and more solvent. And daffodil is the purest of them all.

Lin Heung  Restaurant

12. The best moments of tea enjoyment are when you have time

Drinking tea is a matter of mood. And when I talk about mood, it mainly has to do with the condition of time.
You've probably heard many rules about tea, from water temperature to colour. But at the end of the day, drinking tea is a very personal experience.
Some people like their tea boiling hot while others like theirs lukewarm. Some may like theirs stronger than others. So it's all about time. We need time to brew that perfect cup of tea.

The most Expensive Things For People Who Have $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ To Spend !!

Most Expensive Cigar
Gurkha Black Dragon

: $1,150 each
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

Gurkha Cigars’ Black Dragon cigars were introduced in 2006, according to The cigars are hand-crafted in Honduras and come in a box made of carved camel bone and brass. Gurkha Cigars produced only five chests of 100 cigars, each chest priced at $115,000, and only one chest remains. A new and less expensive version of the Black Dragon was released in 2007.

Most Expensive Champagne

Heidsieck Monopole Champagne 1907

: $35,000*
The  World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

In 1997, a search team uncovered a ship that sank in the Baltic Sea containing valuable cargo, including 2,000 bottles of Heidsieck Monopole Champagne. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow claimed 10 of the bottles and made them available for sale in 2008. According to the hotel’s spokesperson, Sergey Logvinov, the first bottle sold within the first month to a Russian collector. A few bottles are still available for purchase.

*Converted from 880,000 rubles

Most Expensive Hotel Room

Royal Penthouse Suite, Hotel President Wilson in Geneva

: $65,000 per night
The World's Most Expensive  Stuffs   (25  Photos)

This palatial suite, which occupies an entire floor of the hotel and measures 18,083 square feet, has 10 rooms and seven bathrooms. It was renovated in January 2009 to add a new private fitness area, according to a spokesperson.

Most Expensive Bicycle

Aurumania Gold Bike Crystal Edition

: $114,464*
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

Scandinavian design company Aurumania made only 10 of these hand-crafted, 24-carat gold-plated bicycles. Each is decorated with 600 Swarovski crystals. According to Chief Executive Bo Franch-Mærkedahl, this bike was originally conceived as a show piece but quickly attracted interest from buyers. The firm, founded in September 2008, has sold five units to buyers in the U.K., Dubai, Russia, Italy, and most recently, Australia. He adds that four of the clients also bought a matching gold-plated wall rack.

*Price converted from €80,000

Most Expensive Golf Club

Long-Nose Putter Stamped “A.D.,” attributed to Andrew Dickson

: $181,000
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

An “A.D.” stamp on this circa 18th century, long-nose putter is attributed to Andrew Dickson, the oldest known clubmaker to mark his clubs. He is said to have served as a caddy to the Duke of York as a young boy, according to Sotheby’s. This item was estimated to sell for $200,000 to $300,000 but fetched $181,000 in a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 2007.

Most Expensive Wine

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992

: $500,000
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

This sale is left off many lists because the proceeds went to charity, but Screaming Eagle’s $500,000, six-liter bottle of cab holds the top spot for the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. It was purchased at the Napa Valley Wine Auction in 2000 by Chase Bailey, a former Cisco Systems executive, reported Time magazine.

Most Expensive Chess Set

Chess Set by Charles Hollander*

: $600,000
The World's Most  Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

Jeweler Charles Hollander’s Royal Diamond Chess (shown in photo), priced at half a million dollars, is often cited as the world’s most expensive, but Hollander tells Bloomberg Businessweek that the first of his seven chess sets, which made their debut about 10 years ago, quietly sold for $600,000 just after launching. The set was studded with 320 carats of black and white diamonds and two kilograms of 14 carat white gold. Hollander says he presented the unnamed piece at the Basel Jewelry Show and sold it within the first hour to a Russian collector. Hollander has made seven luxury chess sets, all designed by Bernard Maquin, and has moved all but one. Another set, called the Jewel Royale chess set, by U.K. jeweler Boodles, was valued at $9.8 million but has not yet sold.

*No images of the set were taken before sale, according to Charles Hollander. The image shown is of the Royal Diamond Chess.

Most Expensive Motorcycle

Dodge Tomahawk V10 Superbike

: $700,000
The World's Most   Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

The Dodge Tomahawk, a 1,500-lb. motorcycle with four wheels, has a Dodge Viper’s V10 engine and can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, according The top speed is estimated to be more than 300 mph. The vehicle, which made its debut at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, was reportedly priced at $550,000, but a Dodge spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg Businessweek that two units were sold at an even higher $700,000.

Most Expensive Camera

Susse Freres daguerreotype camera

: $775,000
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

A daguerreotype camera designed by Frenchman Susse Freres that dates back to 1839 sold at the WestLicht Auction in 2007 for €576,000 ($775,000). It was believed to be the oldest commercially manufactured camera in the world, reported the Most Expensive Journal. Another daguerreotype camera will be auctioned in May and is expected to fetch up to $950,000.

Most Expensive Speakers

Transmission Audio Ultimate System

: $2 million per pair
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25  Photos)

With a total of 12 units—four dipole subwoofers, two dipole mid-woofers, four dipole medium-frequency and high-frequency ribbon panels, and two dipole high-fidelity super ribbon panels—Transmission Audio’s Ultimate speaker system is a hefty piece of equipment, spanning 37 feet and weighing 5 metric tons. All units are made from aircraft aluminum and have stands in polished red or black granite. The set was introduced in late 2009, and so far two pairs have been preordered, says Bo Bengtsson, president of Transmission Audio. None has yet been delivered, as the assembly time is about six months.

Most Expensive Television

PrestigeHD Supreme Rose Edition by Stuart Hughes

: $2.3 million*
The World's Most Expensive  Stuffs  (25  Photos)

Swiss luxury television maker PrestigeHD asked Stuart Hughes of Goldstriker International to design a spectacular piece for the company, says Hughes. So he took a 55-inch PrestigeHD television and covered it in 28 kilograms of 18-carat rose gold and 72 diamonds. Alligator skin was hand sewn into the bezel. This limited edition TV, introduced just this year, surpasses Hughes’ £1 million television for PrestigeHD, which uses 22-carat yellow gold and 48 diamonds. PrestigeHD CEO Simon M. Troxler says the company is close to closing its first contract for the Supreme Rose Edition and “we are very confident that the limited edition of only three TVs will be sold out soon.”

*Price converted from £1.5 million

Most Expensive Guitar

Fender Stratocaster guitar

: $2.7 million
The World's  Most   Expensive  Stuffs (25 Photos)

A group of the world’s renowned musicians signed this guitar, auctioned in Qatar in 2005, to raise funds for tsunami victims, according to a press release. Signatures include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams. It was bought by Qatar’s royal family earlier that year, donated back to the charity, and sold again for $2.7 million.

Most Expensive Cell Phone

iPhone 3GS Supreme Rose by Stuart Hughes

: $2.97 million*
The World's Most  Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

Stuart Hughes—who also designed the most expensive television—made headlines in 2009 when he crafted a 22-carat gold iPhone studded with 53 diamonds for an unnamed Australian businessman for £1.92 million. More recently, he says, he was commissioned to make an even pricier version of the phone in 18-carat rose gold with hundreds of diamonds, including a single-cut, 7.1-carat diamond for the main navigation button.

*Price converted from £1.93 million

Most Expensive Piano

Heintzman Crystal Piano

: $3.22 millio
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

A nine-foot piano made by Heintzman Piano in Beijing was recently purchased at auction by a private bidder for a record $3.22 million, according to a company release.

Most Expensive Domain Name
: $16 million
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

In 2009, California-based Internet marketing firm QuinStreet bought
insure.comfor $16 million, setting a new record for the most expensive domain name. It was previously held by, which sold in 2006 for more than $12 million, reported the Guardian.

Most Expensive Ring

Chopard Blue Diamond Ring

: $16.26 million
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

The centerpiece of Chopard Blue Diamond Ring is a 9-carat blue diamond (in photo) with diamond shoulders. The 18-carat white gold band is paved with diamonds. It sold overseas in 2007 to a fancy color diamond collector, reportedly for $16,260,000, but a Chopard spokesperson says the estimated value of the ring today is $18,561,310.

Most Expensive Car

1954-55 Mercedes-Benz W196

: $24 million
The World's Most   Expensive  Stuffs (25 Photos)

Think a brand-new $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron is expensive? Try the Mercedes-Benz W196, which won the Grand Prix in 1954 and 1955, and sold at auction in 1990 for a staggering $24 million. According to the U.K.’s Times Online Times Online, Mercedes donated the car to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the 1980s, which later sold it for £1.5million to finance a museum renovation. It was again sold in 1990 to a French industrialist for $24 million but changed hands once more to a German industrialist for less than half that sum.

*The image shows a model of the W196.

Most Expensive Watch

Haute Joaillerie Watch from Chopard

: $25 million
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

Chopard’s colorful, glittery timepiece sold in early 2000 for a reported $25 million. The watch has 201 carats of pink, blue, and white diamonds, including a 15-carat, heart-shaped pink diamond, a 12-carat, heart-shaped blue diamond, and an 11-carat, heart-shaped white diamond. The hearts spring open to expose the yellow diamond-studded watch face. The bracelet has 163 carats of white and yellow pear-shaped diamonds.

Most Expensive Drawing

Raphael’s Head of a Muse

: $47.9 million
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

The most expensive work on paper was sold at auction in December 2009 by Christie’s London. Raphael’s Head of a Muse, a black chalk drawing on paper, sold for $47,941,095, handily beating the estimate, which ranged from $19.7 million to $26.3 million.

Most Expensive Sculpture

L’Homme qui marche I (Walking Man I), Alberto Giacometti (1961)

: $104.3 million
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

After only eight minutes of bidding at a Sotheby’s auction in London in February, this life-size bronze sculpture sold for three times its asking price to an anonymous telephone bidder, reported the Daily Telegraph. The work not only set a record price for a Giacometti; it is also the most expensive piece of art ever to sell at auction. The previous record was held by Picasso’s Boy with a Pipe, a painting that sold for $104 million.

Most Expensive Painting

Number 5, 1948, Jackson Pollock (1948)

: $140 million
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25 Photos)

Billionaire record and film producer David Geffen reportedly sold the 4-ft. by 8-ft. painting to financier David Martínez in 2006, although neither commented on the deal, according to an article in The New York Times.

Most Expensive Private Jet

Boeing 747-8 VIP

: $295 million*
The World's Most Expensive Stuffs (25  Photos)

This jet, which has 4,786 square feet of cabin space, is the newest member of the 747 family and replaces the 747-400. Boeing has sold seven 747-8 VIPs since May 2006 and will start delivering them next year. While the interior is intended to look less like a plane and more like home, Boeing does not furnish the jets—customers must hire interior designers, which can easily add millions of dollars in additional cost, says Boeing spokesman Bernard Choi. He says the jet probably will not enter service until after 2012, because the interior has to be put in.

*Price does not include the interior.

Most Expensive House


: $1 billion
The  World's Most  Expensive  Stuffs (25 Photos)

According to a February report by Property Magazine Property Magazine , the most expensive house in the world, named Antilla (in picture above at left), is in downtown Mumbai, India, and will be the residence of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. The 27-story, 570-foot-tall tower has a helipad, a health club, and a six-floor garage that can hold 168 cars. Each level has gardens. It will be serviced by a staff of 600 people. Some reports list the price of the house at $2 billion. The architecture and design firms working on this project, Perkins+Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates, declined comment.

Most Expensive Yacht


: $1.2 billion
The World's Most  Expensive Stuffs (25  Photos)

This 560-foot-long yacht has two helipads, 11 guest cabins, two swimming pools, three launch boats, an aquarium, and a minisubmarine that can dive to 50 meters below the ocean surface, according to London’s Daily Mail. The master bedroom and bridge have bulletproof glass, and the security system includes missile detection systems that warn of incoming rockets. The owner Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire who also owns Britain’s Chelsea Football Club, reportedly fitted the yacht with a laser system that prevents paparazzi from taking photos. It was built by Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, Germany