Friday, December 19, 2008

Could your future lie in the palm of your hand?

Matheos Viktor Messakh , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 12/18/2008 11:19 AM | Potpourri

Parents and teachers sometimes have problems in noticing a child's talent. There are some cases where adults mistakenly show children the wrong direction due to their lack of sensitivity in spotting his or her abilities.

A woman shows marks on her palm before having her fingerprints scanned by a computer-connected camera. The mark is used to measure learning sensitivity, one of the variables in human learning abilities. (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)A woman shows marks on her palm before having her fingerprints scanned by a computer-connected camera. The mark is used to measure learning sensitivity, one of the variables in human learning abilities. (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)

However, a new method has evolved which may help solve the problem. The Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Assessment (DMI) will help a person to fully understand his strengths and weaknesses which in the end, can guide him toward the most suitable learning technique to improve his innate specialty.

The test combines computer scanning technology and knowledge based on the correlation between fingerprints and human intelligence.

Director of Comcare Interprise Singapore Eric Lim Choo Siang said the DMI technology used known dermatoglyphics statistics to map out a person's areas of potential.

The program's uniqueness is that it photographs one's 10 fingerprints and then feeds the data into the system, he said. The system will then automatically calculate and generate a report.

The report profiles the details of one's innate decision-making considerations, inborn intelligence potential, preferred learning styles, communication styles and work management styles.

"By knowing these potential abilities and preferences, we can tailor, guide and provide the best learning environment, suggestions and tools to nurture and develop one's strengths to the fullest and at the same time, improve on the areas that require strengthening," Lim said in his e-mail.

Lim, who bought the program from a Chinese-Taiwanese joint venture company in 2000, said dermatoglyphics research conducted over the past 200 years had not been intended for this program.

"The research was medically based to study neurologically challenged, learning-ability challenged children," he said.

However, this research and data were leveraged by business-minded individuals and developed into a tool for education and parenting.

Since it was first developed in the early 1990s, the technology has been used in more than eight countries including Australia, China and the United States.

It was introduced to Indonesia by DMI Primagama -- a subsidiary of Primagama learning center -- that bought the software copyright from Singapore's Comcare Interprise in March 2008.

Measuring human intelligence through fingerprint data is more accurate than any other method, Lim claimed.

"Fingerprints don't lie. They don't change when you are sad or happy, they are not affected by mood and environment," he said.

Other similar methods involve questionnaires and observations but while they were acceptable there is always a chance for errors, he said.

"A smart enough person interviewing to become a reporter will answer that he is very good at his linguistic ability even though he may fail his language.

"A person answering a test may be affected by moods. Thus, these tests reflect only that 'instant' assessment of the person at that moment for that test. A similar test conducted under different circumstances may reveal different results," he said.

Lim said the DMI system is believed to have more than an 85 percent accuracy.

"One person may be wrong, two persons may be wrong and three persons may still not be convincing ... but with more than three million people being tested, if this program is not accurate, the business would have collapsed long ago."

With a global shift in emphasis from teaching to learning at every level of education, a variety of active learning strategies have been advocated to optimize learning.

Understanding the way children learn, said Lim, was crucial to delivering the right educational method and its improvement.

"It is accepted that how best a person learns is influenced not only by social, psychological, emotional, environmental and physical factors but also by the individual's preferred learning style."

One of the key elements in getting children involved in learning lies in an understanding learning style preferences which can have an impact on the individual's performance and academic achievement.

"Information about learning styles can help parents and educators become more sensitive to the differences of the children."

It can also serve as a guide in thoughtfully and systematically designing learning experiences that match or mismatch students' styles, depending on the teacher's purpose.

It is not uncommon, however, to have a combination of two learning styles. There is usually a dominant learning preference followed by another less dominant style.

"Every child is unique and they use many different abilities they are endowed with or have developed to make sense of their environment and experiences," Lim said.

Dermatoglyphics is like a mind-map showing how the brain works. In the DMI, there is no child who is not great.

"There is only the child who does not know how to use his talent to maximum benefit."

However, Lim said many parents and teachers wrongly guide the child based on the most popular learning theories, knowledge and experience at the time, instead of each child's individual learning talent, preference and superiority or advantage.

The imposed or forced guidance, he said, means parents and educators spend a lot of time forcing the child to fit into some specific mold.

"Consequently, the lack of or incorrect knowledge about the child leads to many learning obstacles, such as misbehavior, psychological interference and learning deficits and might result in a frustrated child."

Behind the science of fingerprints

Thu, 12/18/2008 11:17 AM | Potpourri
Thousands of scientific studies on fingerprints have been done over the years, but they have received little media attention, probably due to the public's association with palmistry and fortune telling rather than as an object of scientific interest.
Harold Cummins (1893-1976) coined the term "dermatoglyphics" for the scientific study of fingerprints and is derived from an ancient Greek term which means "skin carving".
Cummins achieved world recognition as the "Father of Dermatoglyphics".
The findings of a lifetime of study and technique development, known as the Cummins Methodology, are accepted as important tools in tracing genetic and evolutionary relationships.
The methodology is commonly used to diagnose some types of mental retardation, schizophrenia, cleft palate and even heart disease.
A more recent trend is to look for the genetic basis of certain psychological disorders or characteristics by studying the dermatoglyphics of the hand, and even more recently, finger digit ratios.
In the early 1990s, a Singaporean couple and their Chinese partner saw the opportunity to use known dermatoglyphics data to statistically study and generate a pattern in the area of learning styles and intelligence potential.
A team of programmers was commissioned to study the known results of dermatoglyphics studies, and in collaboration with Chinese and Taiwan education entities, the first version of the software -- Multiple Intelligence System (MIS) -- was developed.
It was marketed in different versions to suit respective local markets -- mainly the Chinese and Taiwanese markets -- and was a big success.
In the late 1990s, the program was marketed in Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia, but was canceled after about six months.
"The owners decided to call it quits as they expected quick profits similar to the Chinese and Taiwanese markets," director of Comcare Interprise Singapore Eric Lim Choo Siang told The Jakarta Post.
Lim, who has been involved in the project since its inception, bought the software and engaged programmers to study it, eventually revamping it to what it is today.
Since 2000, the program has been developed under the Singaporean Comcare Group of Companies, owned by Lim and his partners.
The group lists education consultancy as one of its core businesses and has interests in software development in education areas as well as in promoting a revamped Singaporean curriculum.
Dermatoglyphics’ multi-intelligence measurement is displayed via computer grahics at DMI Primagana’s office in Mayestik, South Jakarta. (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)Dermatoglyphics’ multi-intelligence measurement is displayed via computer grahics at DMI Primagana’s office in Mayestik, South Jakarta. (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)
Under Comcare, the program was renamed Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence (DMI) System and since 2004, has been marketed and represented by companies or individuals in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives, Australia, the United States and the Philippines. Botswana, Burma and Vietnam are in the negotiations stage.
Indonesia's Primagama learning center, which has been involved in learning consultation for 26 years, saw the future of the technology so they bought the license from Comcare.
"Many people have wasted millions of rupiah only to find out that what they received from the university was not what they needed in real life," DMI Primagama's marketing manager W. Afifatiningsih told the Post recently.
When it comes to education, she said, parents usually imposed their own will or followed their children's liking.
In fact, "liking" is a social construction. Children might like certain activities or study certain subjects due to the influence of the media, parents, idols or role models, although they might not have a talent in that area.
"Too many parents force their own will on their child because they don't really understand the child's potential," Afifatiningsih said.
The DMI Primagama assessment package includes fingerprint sampling of all 10 fingers and a detailed report elaborating the following: Left or right brain dominance, multiple intelligence potential, psychological dominance, preferred learning styles and methods, learning communication character and work management style.
As soon as the test reveals the child's intrinsic qualities, a psychologist will help the parents and teachers to understand the details of the computer report.
"The assessment tells us what we need and how we learn. We can then transform our lives through a greater holistic educational approach and lifestyle."
Since its May launching, the DMI test has been available in Primagama's 667 branches throughout the country. Primagama has over 120 agents who are available to take fingerprint samples which are later assessed and analyzed at Primagama's branch office.
Beside adopting the test for its own kindergarten link, Primagama is also facing an increasing number of clients from pre-schools and kindergartens. Some prominent schools such as Jakarta Al Azhar kindergarten and Yogyakarta's Budi Mulia schools have become their clients because parents wanted to know their child's potential earlier.
By November, more than 4,100 individual and institutional clients had taken the test.
It has also been used by senior high schools and parents to determine the field of study for their children.
"We hope that after students take the test, our curriculum will be based around the student's talent."
Some companies, especially financial companies, have also used the test for their recruitment process while Yogyakarta, Central Java and East Java regional administrations will soon use the test for their staff replacement, Afifatiningsih said.
-- JP/Matheos Viktor Messakh

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yang berbahaya di sekitar kita

1. Bekas botol air mineral (AQUA, VIT, Ades, cs)
Anda punya kebias
aan memakai ulang botol plastik bekas kemasan air mineral seperti Aqua, VIT, Ades dll? Segera tinggalkan kebiasaan itu, karena bahan plastic botol (disebut juga sebagai Polyethylene terephthalate or PET) yang dipakai di botol-botol ini mengandung zat-zat karsinogen (atau DEHA).

Botol ini aman untuk dipakai sekali dua kali saja. Kebiasaan mencuci ulang dapat membuat lapisan plastik rusak Dan zat karsinogen itu bisa masuk ke air yang kita minum. Lebih baik membeli botol air yang memang untuk dipakai berulang-ulang daripada memakai botol plastik.

2. Bahaya sate

Kalau anda penggemar sate, jangan lupa makan timun setelah makan sate. Karena ketika kita makan sate sebetulnya ikut juga karbon dari hasil pembakaran arang yang dapat menyebabkan kanker.

Timun disarankan untuk dimakan setelah makan sate, karena sate mempunyai zat Karsinogen (penyebab kanker) tetapi timun ternyata punya anti Karsinogen. Jadi jangan lupa makan timun setelah makan sate ya.

3. Udang vs Vitamin C

Jangan makan
udang setelah Anda makan Vitamin C. Karena ini akan menyebabkan Keracunan dari racun Arsenik (As) yang merupakan proses reaksi dari Udang dan Vitamin C di dalam tubuh dan berakibat keracunan yang fatal dalam hitungan jam.

4. Mie Instan (Supermi, Indomie cs)

Untuk para penggemar mie instan, pastikan anda punya selang waktu paling tidak 3 (tiga) hari setelah anda mengkonsumsi mie instan, sebelum anda akan mengkonsumsinya lagi. Dari informasi kedokteran, ternyata terdapat lilin yang melapisi mie instan. Itu sebabnya mengapa mie instan tidak lengket satu sama lainnya saat dimasak. Konsumsi mie instan setiap hari akan meningkatkan kemungkinan seseorang terjangkiti kanker. Seseorang, karena begitu sibuk tidak punya waktu lagi untuk memasak, sehingga diputuskannya untuk mengkonsumsi mie instan setiap hari. Akhirnya kanker yang didapat. Para dokter mengatakan bahwa tubuh kita memerlukan waktu lebih dari 2 (dua) hari untuk membersihkan lilin tersebut.

5. Kemasan makanan

Sebaiknya mulai sekarang Anda cermat memilik kemasan
makanan. Kemasan pada makanan mempunyai fungsi kesehatan, pengawetan, kemudahan, penyeragaman, promosi, dan informasi. Ada Begitu banyak bahan yang digunakan sebagai pengemas primer pada makanan, yaitu kemasan yang bersentuhan langsung dengan makanan.Tetapi tidak semua bahan ini aman bagi makanan yang dikemasnya. Inilah ranking teratas bahan Kemasan makanan yang perlu Anda waspadai.

  • Kertas: Beberapa kertas kemasan dan non-kemasan (kertas koran dan majalah) yang sering digunakan untuk membungkus makanan, terdeteksi mengandung timbal (Pb) melebihi batas yang ditentukan. Di dalam tubuh manusia, timbal masuk melalui saluran pernapasan atau pencernaan menuju sistem peredaran darah dan Kemudian menyebar ke berbagai jaringan lain, seperti: ginjal, hati, otak, Saraf dan tulang. Keracunan timbal pada orang dewasa ditandai dengan gejala 3 P, yaitu pallor (pucat), pain (sakit) & paralysis (kelumpuhan) . Keracunan yang terjadipun bisa bersifat kronis dan akut. Untuk terhindar dari makanan Yang terkontaminasi logam berat timbal, memang susah-susah gampang. Banyak Makanan jajanan seperti pisang goreng, tahu goreng dan tempe goreng yang dibungkus dengan koran karena pengetahuan yang kurang dari penjual. Padahal bahan yang panas dan berlemak mempermudah berpindahnya timbale ke makanan. Untuk pencegahan, taruhlah makanan jajanan tersebut di atas piring.
  • Styrofoam: Bahan pengemas styrofoam atau polystyrene telah menjadi salah satu pilihan yang paling populer dalam bisnis pangan. Tetapi, riset terkini membuktikan bahwa styrofoam diragukan keamanannya. Styrofoam yang dibuat dari kopolimer styren ini menjadi pilihan bisnis pangan karena mampu mencegah kebocoran dan tetap mempertahankan bentuknya saat dipegang. Selain itu, bahan tersebut Juga mampu mempertahankan panas dan dingin tetapi tetap nyaman dipegang, mempertahankan kesegaran dan keutuhan bahan yang dikemas, biaya murah, lebih aman, serta ringan. Pada Juli 2001, Divisi Keamanan Pangan Pemerintah Jepang Mengungkapkan bahwa residu styrofoam dalam makanan sangat berbahaya. Residu Itu dapat menyebabkan endocrine disrupter (EDC), yaitu suatu penyakit yang terjadi akibat adanya gangguan pada system endokrinologi dan reproduksi Manusia akibat bahan kimia karsinogen dalam makanan.
(disarikan dari seorang teman)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Two Signs' shows artists' magnificent struggle

Matheos Viktor Messakh , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 12/16/2008 11:08 AM | Potpourri

The "Two Signs" exhibition reminds us that the word "art" foremost implies skill. Two artists -- painter Joko Sulistiono and sculptor Putu Adi Gunawan -- produced much of the art at the exhibition, which runs until Dec. 24 at Andy's Gallery -- one of the oldest galleries in the city.

The artists' work conveys a magnificent journey of struggle.
Joko's paintings incorporate mixed media on canvas. He mixes the elements of his painting with collating; a medium that he has prefered since his student days.
He began collating when he was a poor student unable to afford canvas.
He was instead compelled to search for pictures in newspapers and magazines, which he would then select for his collations. In the beginning, he worked with paper, and then moved to boards before finally settling on canvas once he was able to afford it.
The collating techniques incorporated in his current works represent his own development of those he observed over the past two decades.
Joko's technique is unique. His trick is to turn the graphics on the canvas upside down.
"I used to work using conventional collate techniques but I was afraid it would create bubbles," he says.
While many painters are not interested in collating by hand, preferring instead advanced computer software to achieve the same ends, Joko swears by the hard way.
He works manually because he believes there is a magnetic field of emotion that spreads from the canvas.
"Digital print is too technological for me," he says.
In this exhibition, Joko displays unusual fish fossils.
Joko says depicting the true forms of the fish species is not his aim, but rather that the true nature of the art work is produced by mixing the images with sweeps of brush strokes.
Although all of Joko's fossil images give the impression of ancientness and decay, they also seem to come alive as they are wrought and ornamented with other new realities of life.
Joko's fossil images seems to affirm Jacques Lipchitz's famous quote: "Art is an action against death. It is a denial of death".
Joko's work Sub Marine mimics a fossil of some living thing from the past as a veiled form between that of a submarine and another fish. Two other fossils, a larger and a smaller, appear to being moving through the water in a particular direction.
"Even the technology is obsolete, the only thing that is not obsolete is the change itself," says Joko.
"A fossil," he says, "has its own life. Even death has its own life."
By bringing fossils alive, Joko seems to echo Aristotle's saying that "Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. The artist gives us knowledge of nature's unrealized ends".
Adi displays at the exhibition eight bronze sculptures that he created this year and last.
Adi's sculptures of fat figures are reminiscent of the works of Colombian painter Fernando Bottero.
"It's usual for artists to influence each other, but one will soon know that these figures are Adi's as they have specific characters, such as funny, fat and with afro hair styles," says gallery owner Andi Yustana.
The fact that all of his sculptures are of fat people suggests that Adi is trying to convince us that humor is more important than beauty and that beauty is not only skin deep.
A bronze statue titled Pada Suatu Hari (One Day), for example, depicts a fat pig being ridden by two fat boxers with afros.
In the sculpture, Adi appears to be playing with plasticity, which is not just to obtain humorous impressionism but also to induce us to become aware of the fleshiness of our own bodies.
Just as with Joko's work, Adi's also reflects his own experiences.
Unlike many artists who prefer to leave creativity in the hands of their laborers, Adi casts his own bronze sculptures.
His years of experience working as an apprenticeship in concrete iron casting jobs in Mojokerto, East Java, and the knowledge he acquired in Yogyakarta, compelled him to create his own style of iron casting.
The road to discovering a perfect casting technique was one of trial and error.
Adi says he used to submit statues that he created from resin to experts in reinforced casting.
However, he had a number of bad experiences at the casters, including enduring horrendous waiting lists as well as misshaped casts.
"They often easily missed some details because they didn't understand the artistic forms," Adi says.
In finding his own techniques, Adi was able to save more on materials, time and fuel costs.
The spirit of exploration is the theme behind the works of Joko and Adi, where through innovation and the beauty of humor and parody they were able to overcome the barriers of their early careers.
The real art in their works is not artwork but, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "the path of the creator to his work."
The exhibition curator Asikin Hassan said the uniqueness of the two artists reflected the spirit of exploration.
"Many artist now have too many ideas but they forgot to develop their skills."
"Two Signs"
Andi's Gallery
Jl. Tanah Abang IV/14, Central Jakarta
Open everyday until Dec. 24
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.