1ST:Paradise island caretaker

Ben Southall, 34, of Petersfield, beat out nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world for the dream assignment to swim, explore and relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, while writing a blog to promote the area. He was selected for the $111,000 gig - a six-month contract to serve as caretaker of a tropical Australian island. He now has to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

Before getting the job he had to spend four days on the island for an extended interview process, which required applicants to snorkel through crystalline waters, gorge themselves at a beachside barbecue and relax at a spa. He also had to demonstrate his blogging abilities, take swimming tests and sit through in-person interviews.

2ND:Luxury bed tester

A student from Birmingham City University has landed her dream job...literally! Sleeping on the job and having a lie-in will no longer be a problem for a girl, who has been selected to test out luxury beds for a month and get paid for it.

Roisin Madigan, 22, is earning £1,000 to sleep in designer beds every day for a month. The student is helping with a "sleep survey" carried out by luxury bed specialists Simon Horn Ltd. The company sells luxury Savoir Beds, originally made for the Savoy Hotel. General manager Craig Roylance said Roisin will not only provide an objective view of the beds on sale, but will also be part of a look into what brings a good night's sleep. She will spend 10am to 6pm in beds in the company's showroom in Edgbaston, and then will blog about her experiences.

3RD:Resort waterslide tester

Surely the envy of any desk-bound office worker, Tommy Lynch has travelled over 27,000 miles this year for his job, testing holiday resort waterslides. Mr Lynch, 29, works for holiday giant First Choice, checking the height, speed, water quantity and landing of the flumes, as well as all safety aspects. In 2008 Mr Lynch tested waterslides at holiday villages in Lanzarote, Majorca, Egypt, Turkey, Costa Del Sol, Cyprus, Algarve, Dominican Republic and Mexico. This year he will quality control First Choice's new splash resorts in Greece, Turkey, Florida, Jamaica and Ibiza.

Liverpool-born Mr Lynch, whose job title is lifestyle product development manager, was recruited to identify the very best pools to be featured in First Choice's new Splash Resort collection. He also ensures potential new resorts are up to the company's standard.

4TH:Candy taster

Another one of the world's best job has gone to schoolboy Harry Willsher, 12, chief taster in a sweet factory. Harry's job is to test top secret recipes. He got the job after winning a contest at Swizzell's Matlow to find a recruit. According to him, after his first tour at his new job, he felt like having tepped into the book Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. He wowed judges by describing the flavor and smell of his favourite sweet, the Drumstick lolly. The Derby firm, which also makes Love Hearts, Rainbow Drops and Parma Violets, has now given the youngster chief taster overalls and business cards. As well as sampling the sweets, he will also monitor their development at the company's factory in New Mills, Derbyshire. I don't know if it's the best job, but it's definitely the sweetest.

5TH:World of Warcraft Tester

Do you Play World of Warcraft? And if so, do you play well? Can you farm 200 gold an hour and hit level 80 in under 2 weeks? If the answer is yes, you can apply for the job that about 12 million players only dream about, as a Wow game tester! There are in fact several Blizzard jobs posted on their website. The Blizzard employment database has dozens of mmorpg jobs available, mostly WoW employment opportunities. They are currently hiring for several game tester positions for World of Warcraft, under the QA department. They are in particular looking for foreign language testers, so if you speak any other language besides English, don't hesitate to apply to start your Blizzard career. And, yeah, you will be required to play at least four hours a day.

6TH:Director of Fun at a museum (age 6)

A six-year-old boy who wanted to become the director of York's National Railway Museum landed himself a job - as the director of fun. The ambitious youngster got a plum role at the National Railway Museum after applying to replace retiring boss Andrew Scott. Sam Pointon sent a handwritten letter headed "Application for director" asking for an interview at the centre, in York. The letter listed his credentials for the role, including his expertise on his train set. "I am only six but I think I can do this job," wrote Sam. "I have an electrick (sic) train track. I am good on my train track. I can control two trains at once." Staff was so impressed they appointed Sam an honorary "Director of Fun" and his job will be to bosses how he thinks they can ensure the museum is the most fun place for kids to spend a day out.Ok, maybe this isn't the best job in the world for an adult, but it certainly rocks the world of a 6 year old.

7TH:Bike rider-photographer for Google Maps

Google Earth has hired two lucky young men to ride around France on dopey looking tricycles snapping up photos of historical sites that are inaccessible by car. This three-wheeler is a sight with its long pole holding nine cameras, a GPS, a computer and a generator. But the contraption tooling around the French capital needs all that gear to do its job – adding three-dimensional images to Google's Street View Maps.The riders, wearing Google tee-shirts and white helmets, are visiting well-known sites such as the Chateau de Versailles, west of Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg on the city's Left Bank or Les Halles, in the busy centre of the French capital.


"OUCH IT HURTS"...the perfect phrase to describe these images...or may be they don't even have the time to say so...

Malaysia's 20 Richest Tycoons

1)Robert Kuok
$9 billion diversified
85. Married, 8 children

Onetime rice, sugar trader heads multinational Kuok Group. Biggest source of wealth is stake in Wilmar International, palm oil outfit run by his nephew. Other big holdings are Hong Kong real estate group Kerry Properties, hotel operator Shangri-La Asia. Has an interest in South China Morning Post ( SCHPY.PK - news - people ) publisher. With Filipino tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.'s San Miguel, plans to spend up to $1 billion to develop public land for farming to boost agricultural sector.

2)Ananda Krishnan
$7 billion telecom
71. Married, 3 children

Runs Maxis Communications, Malaysia's largest cell phone service provider, with more than 10 million subscribers; took it private in June 2007 in $12 billion deal, then sold 25% to Saudi Telecom the same month. Last year sold Excel, the exhibition venue in London's Docklands, for reported $230 million and bought 20% stake in British regional newspaper chain Johnston Press, luckily a small holding, as stock has dropped more than 80% since as it struggles with debt. Modern art collector, has homes in Kuala Lumpur, London and south of France; has a son who is a monk living in the forest.

3)Lee Shin Cheng
$3.2 billion palm oil
70. Married, 6 children

Former plantation field supervisor heads ioi Group, one of world's leading operators of palm oil plantations, refineries. Took its IOI Properties private in April. IOI's stock has doubled since November but still down a third since last year amid falling commodity prices.

4)Lee Kim Hua
$2.5 billion gaming
80. Widowed, 6 children

Widow of Lim Goh Tong, who transformed a jungle on outskirts of Kuala Lumpur into one of world's most successful casino resorts. Genting Group now run by her son Lim Kok Thay (No. 14) but inheritance held in trust to benefit Lee, her children and grandchildren.

5)Teh Hong Piow
$2.4 billion banking
79. Married, 4 children

Former bank clerk opened first bank in 1966. Now his Public Bank has 14,000 employees; branches throughout Malaysia, also in Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China. Set up Public Islamic Bank as a subsidiary in November 2008. Donates to medical institutions and to the Malaysian Nature Society to fund planting of trees.

6)Quek Leng Chan
$2.3 billion diversified
68. Married, 3 children

Heads conglomerate Hong Leong Group Malaysia, with interests in finance, entertainment, real estate. Bought 5% stake in Mokhzani Mahathir's (No. 16) Kencana Petroleum and 3% in Intercontinental Hotels Group last year. Family's GuocoLand is planning retail, residential, office projects in China. Inherited business from his father, one of 3 brothers to start a banking group in 1920s.

7)Yeoh Tiong Lay
$1.8 billion diversified
79. Married, 7 children

Founded YTL Corp., one of Malaysia's largest conglomerates, run by son Francis.

8)Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary
$1.1 billion diversified
57. Married, 5 children

Former rice trader controls Malaysia Mining Corp. (MMC); has stakes in Malaysia's Johor Port, independent power producer Malakoff, natural gas distributor Gas Malaysia. Inking projects in Saudi Arabia, Jordan. Lost billionaire status earlier this year but back up top thanks to rebound of MMC stock. His Albukhary Foundation offers scholarships to students from poor countries to pursue college education in Malaysia.

9)Tiong Hiew King
$1 billion timber
74. Married, 4 children

Dubbed by some as Asia's Rupert Murdoch--his Chinese Media International has 5 newspapers, 30 magazines in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, North America. His Rimbunan Hijua, which means "forever green," has palm oil, timber assets. Big player in New Zealand, where he owns timber, property and fish farming companies; also in Papua New Guinea, where he has an English-language newspaper, hypermarkets and controversial logging operations.

10)Vincent Tan
$750 million diversified
57. Married, 11 children

Has run Berjaya, which means "success" in Malay, since 1984; interests in hotels, lotteries, real estate, finance. Operates 7-Eleven, Wendy's ( WEN - news - people ), Starbucks ( SBUX - news - people ), Borders in Malaysia. Opened first Krispy Kreme ( KKD - news - people ) store there in April. Also operates water and sewage treatment and sanitary landfills in Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Selling stake in moneylosing U.S. eatery Roadhouse Grill; setting up a school in China.

11)Azman Hashim
$470 million finance
69. Married, 5 children

Longtime banking executive has been executive chairman of Amcorp since 1993. Malaysian financial services group. Opened Brunei operations in May. Chairman of the Malaysian Investment Banking Association. Loves scuba diving, painting and fast cars. A singer, has also recorded numerous albums.

12)William H.J. Cheng
$390 million retail
66. Married, 3 children

Runs the Lion Group, which has interests in plantations, steel, property. Though nicknamed "Steel King," biggest source of wealth is his indirect stake in Chinese retailer Parkson Retail, which he chairs. Also known as Cheng Heng Jem.

13)G. Gnanalingam
$260 million ports
64. Married, 3 children

Former tobacco and advertising executive cofounded, heads Westports Malaysia, one of nation's biggest ports. Private company valuation up because of better information from outside analysts; expects volume to contract for first time since it started as a container business in 1996. Has stake in transit hub KL Sentral.

14)Lim Kok Thay
$225 million gaming
57. Married, 3 children

Son of late Lim Goh Tong, has run Genting since 2003. Building gaming resort on Singapore's Sentosa Island, slated to open in 2010. His Star Cruises is working with Filipino tycoon Andrew Tan's Alliance Global to develop resort complex in Manila Bay.

15)Anthony Fernandes
$220 million airlines
45. Married, 2 children

Perennially optimistic travel tycoon on move during recession. His AirAsia,region's largest budget airline, adding flights to Bali, Taipei; secured debt financing for 15 new planes. Stock down just 2% in past year. Its 2-year-old long-haul discount airline AirAsia X began flying from Kuala Lumpur to London in March; Richard Branson is an investor.

16)Mokhzani Mahathir
$215 million oil services
48. Married, 5 children

Son of former pm Mahathir Mohamad runs petroleum company Kencana; former chairman switched roles and was redesignated chief executive in September. Investors include Quek Leng Chan (No. 6). Recently became chairman of fiber optic cable outfit Opcom Holdings, replacing his brother, its founder, who was named deputy international trade and industry minister. Also Malaysian Grand Prix chief, authorized Porsche ( PSEPF.PK - news - people ) dealer.

17)Lee Oi Hian
$210 million diversified
58. Married, 4 children

Chief executive of Kuala Lumpur Kepong, involved in plantation, property, retail. Bought palm oil business, Ladang Perbadanan-Fima last year; disposed of stake in Barry Callebaut Malaysia. Its Crabtree & Evelyn brand being hit by economic downturn. Also chairs Malaysia Palm Oil Council, chemicals company Batu Kawan; serves as director of U.K. chemicals maker Yule Catto & Co. Plc.

18)Chan Fong Ann
$209 million palm oil
78. Married

Joined board of Lee Shin Cheng's palm oil group, IOI 1985; remains a nonexecutive director and one of its biggest individual shareholders with a nearly 3% stake.

19)Kamarudin Meranun
$205 million airlines
48. Married, 5 children

Deputy chief executive of AirAsia, which he cofounded with Anthony Fernandes (No. 15). Also close partner with Tony in several other businesses including AirAsia x, in which he owns a bigger stake; Tune Hotels, which has 5 locations and is opening 7 more; and Tune Money.

20)Chong Chook Yew
$200 million real estate
87. Widowed, 4 children

Columbia University grad has run family's Selangor Properties since 2000. Stock down just 5% in past year, buoyed by successful housing project in Claremont, Australia.

Think twice before celebrating it

Nowadays, whenever a person visits some of the Muslim countries, they'll find out that the circumstances within them are quite different to what they would have expected. One only needs to set foot in these countries and begin to wander their streets to witness the tragic behaviour of its inhabitants.When one observes the level of joy and ecstasy as the different classes of people within the Muslim communities prepare to receive Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it seems impossible to believe what one previously heard about the Muslim countries and how its people were adhering to Islam.The entrances of hotels, cafés and stores are festooned with Christmas decorations; Photographers dress up as Santa Claus and go around taking souvenir photos of people; Florists compete in selling their products for people who rush to buy it for this occasion regardless of the price; Muslims of all persuasions prepare to hold parties in their houses and hotels and these hotels have tempting special offers for people to hold their parties in their halls and party rooms during that period.

Alcohol sales rocket in many stores to the extent that there are no youth or elderly or rich or poor except that they have their share of it; Confectionary stores completely sell out of all candies and sweets, old or new - indeed it seems as if as if this period is the first time that people see such items in the stores.The media plays a huge part in propagating these celebrations; it prepares various television programmes and series in anticipation of these events. When New Years Eve arrives, people stay up all night committing sinful acts such as adultery, fornication, drinking alcohol and other things which Satan himself would be ashamed of mentioning; witnessing all this, one would think that he is in the capital city of a western country. The fact of the matter is that all of these actions represent a comprehensive imitation of western culture and can only be the result of very low levels of faith or indeed a total lack of it; to exhibit this type of behaviour is to strip oneself from the distinction and superiority of Islaam and it is also an evil which makes Muslims who partake in such celebrations be included in the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam “He who imitates a people will be from among them (on the Day of Judgement).”

When Muslims imitate the disbelievers their rank in the sight of Allah decreases. This is because a Muslim is superior to a disbeliever, so if he were to imitate a disbeliever then he would descend from his lofty rank to that which is inferior and this is a form of being ungrateful for the bounties of Allaah and an insult to the religion of Islam because Islam is superior to everything else and nothing should be given priority over it.Islam has established a path to guidance which differs from the culture and customs of the disbelievers regardless of whether they are from the people of the book or otherwise. Islam abrogates all previous religions and legislations and our Muslim nation is the one to be followed and not one which should blindly imitate others.Muslim merchants and traders must not participate in any aspect of celebrating this day; they should not imitate the Christian merchants in the types of merchandise they sell during this period and they should refrain from decorating their shops with special lights and other kinds of decorations to commemorate this occasion.It is our religious duty to boycott these celebrations; are we unable to prevent our children and other members of our household from participating in these immoral celebrations? How can a Muslim father watch his children prepare for these parties on New Years Eve and remain silent? Some parents even participate in this by purchasing items for the parties and by making their own plans for that night with their friends and relatives so that the way is paved for their children to spend the night with their girlfriend or boyfriend by listening to music, dancing, intermixing with the opposite sex and many other acts that Allah has prohibited and which would make morality shed tears and chastity protest.

Such parents seem to consider these actions as normal, despite the fact that they will certainly be held to account for the cultivation and upbringing of their children; Allaah says that which means: “O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…” (At-Tahreem: 6); did such fathers, who did not prevent their children from celebrating the New Year protect themselves and their children from the Hellfire?Fear Allaah in your behaviour and actions; remain firm on His obedience and refrain from disobeying Him; encourage your family to adhere to Islamic rulings and assist them in this; rebuke them and restrain them from committing sins. so that you may protect yourselves from the Hellfire....amin....


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England ..
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?


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