Showing posts from March, 2010

Tunku Halim's New Book

Some days ago, I chanced on a new book by Tunku Halim at MPH. The book title is "History of Malaysia: A Children's Encyclopedia". As a check on the factual accuracy of the book, I turned to the Parameswara section to see what Tunku has to say about him. To my horror, I read: Parameswara was married to Hang Li Po.

Tunku's statement is incorrect for the following reasons.

1. According to Sejarah Melayu, Hang Li Po was a Chinese princess married to Sultan Mansur Shah, not Parameswara.

2. Reputable historians in general doubt the historical existence of Hang Li Po, because the name of the princess cannot be found in the Chinese or Portuguese sources. It is only mentioned in Sejarah Melayu. And Sejarah Melayu is full of historical inaccuracies.

Concerning the origin of the name of the Chinese princess, I offer the following explanation.

The name "Hang" is easy, it is simply a transliteration of the word "汉", meaning Chinese, or the word could possibly deriv…

Concerning Mycophobia

A friend of mine is mycophobic. She is afraid of seeing living mushrooms and couldn't handle them as cooking ingredients, but she can eat them when they are cooked.

I am curious about the exact etiology of mycophobia, but it is not well-documented in the literature. I rarely find any scholarly discussion on mycophobia.

Many suggests maybe mycophobia has a cultural basis. My guess is that mycophobia should not be memetic. It should have a genetic basis. It should be hardwired in the DNA program and is transferrable to the next generation. Although this function is no longer very useful in the modern world.

In the long history of human evolution, some groups of human, possibly living in a region surrounded by many poisonous species of fungi, must have evolved the defense mechanism to avert fungi species, for the fear of consumption of deadly mushroom species. This DNA trait is important for the survival of that particular human groups.

I offer two hypotheses on the mechanism of mycopho…

The Sang Kancil Story of Malacca

The official emblem of the state of Malacca depicts two normal brown-colored chevrotains (kancil in Malay) on each side of the tree of Malacca. However, if the emblem meant to show the chevrotain as encountered by Parameswara in the Sejarah Melayu, then the color of the animal is probably not correct. (The emblem is explained official portal of the state government.)

If you were to follow the Malay classic carefully, the chevrotain mentioned is white in color. The relatively new logo of the City Council of Malacca (the logo was unveiled when Malacca was declared Historical City on April 13, 2003), however, correctly show the two chevrotains in white.

On the other hand, the familiar kancil story purported to explain the founding of Malacca could be a story modified from a folk-tale from Sri Lanka. This fact was first noted by R. O. Winstedt in 1922. Dr. Winstedt was the pioneer in the systematic study of Malay history. He served one term as the general advisor to the Sultan Ibrahim of …

Wuxing and Compatibility Coefficient: Part IV

In Chinese fate calculation, there exists a mapping between the wuxing (五行) and sexagenary components (celestial stem, γ = tiangan 天干 and terrestrial branches, ζ = dizhi 地支). When the birthdate of a person is stated in sexagesimal form, one is able to deduce the xing associated with the eight sexagenary components or bazi (八字).

Normally this mapping is in table form:

A useful set of numerical formulas to handle the mapping is to use

The basic principle to compute the mutual compatibility of two sets of sexagenary birth data is to pair the corresponding sexagenary components of the two individuals and compute their compatibility coefficients.

We can then construct a normalized rank based on the eight compatibility coefficients computed, and "foretell" whether the two individuals can live in harmony.