Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amazing Peacock - A gorgeous appearance

A peacock in full plumage is surely among the most beautiful and spectacular pheasants in the world. This gorgeous peacock is a larger, higher standing, and brighter bird with a long, straight crest.

Because of their gorgeous appearance, the peacock has long been famous outside of its native countries of Southern Asia and Malaysia, and was kept for centuries by people first in China and then in Europe. The Phoenicians brought the peacock to Egypt more than three thousand years ago. Peacock feathers are popularly used in unique crafts and decorations.

Fashion - Ultra low hip-hugging jeans

In the long and varied history of fashion, this may be the worst. But these ultra low-rise, crotch-clutching jeans are virtually guaranteed to provoke a stampede from the usual shameless Z-listers best known for flashing their derrieres in public and is worryingly reminiscent of the late-lamented g-string hitched above trousers fad, beloved of the style-free worldwide.

Frock horror: The low-rise jeans complete with bikini bottom are only for the very svelte. Most frightening of all, the ensemble is only held up by an elasticated thong or ribbon. It should come as no surprise that the clothing company behind the bikini jeans is based in Brazil, famed for its hordes of svelte, cellulite-free glamazons.

Unforgiving: The bikini bottoms are held up with ribbon ties at the sides and designers decided to introduce the designs as customers wanted very low trousers - but had difficulty keeping them up.

Travel & Places - The Salt Mines Of WIELICZKA

Dig beneath the town of Krakow in Poland and you’ll find an incredible treasure.

The Wieliczka Mine is 135m underground and is decorated with hundreds of religious statues carved from the salt. There’s even a cathedral and, if you time it right, you can catch a concert in the Blessed Kinga chapel.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fashion - Four-legged fashionist

A fashion show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase his or her upcoming line of clothing. In a typical fashion show, models walk the catwalk dressed in the clothing created by the designer and occasionally, fashion shows take the form of installations, where the models are static, standing or sitting in a constructed environment
The catwalk becomes a dogwalk for shamelessly pampered pooches with fashion and jewellery designers creating a diamond dog-collar worth half a million pounds. The mind boggles.

Life – A time to pay respect

The Chinese seem pretty convinced that what comes to us after life is more life, just like this life, only ghostlier.

They are keen both on ancestor worship, and on the Confucian idea of filial piety, roughly the parent-friendly notion that children owe unquestioning gratitude to their parents. These two ideas, ancestor worship and filial piety, falls on the day known as Qing Ming. It's got such a pretty name because it falls in spring, 107 days after the winter solstice, and 15 days after the spring solstice, usually around April 5th by the western calendar on which the Chinese visit the tombs of their ancestors to remember the dead; a time for the living to pay their respects to those family members who have preceded them into whatever it is, if anything at all, that comes to us after life.

On Qing Ming, they weed and sweep the tombs of their ancestors, pray to the dead, make graveside offerings of food, drink, flowers, and incense for the ancestors' ghostly pleasure, burn representations of bank notes, and paper images of houses, cars, servants, treasure chests to ensure the dead have all they need in the Other World.

The ancestors are given time to "eat" the food offerings, then the living family members gets a chance to tuck in. Qing Ming is also an occasion of having a picnic with the dead and it's just the right time for people to go outside and relax, indulge themselves in the blue sky, green trees, breezy grass and beautiful flowers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

People - Marilyn Monroe

The most seductive woman of the past was named as Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe ( June 1, 1926 – August 5,1962 ), was a Golden Globe award winning American actress, singer, model, Hollywood icon, cultural icon, fashion icon, pop icon and sex symbol. She is known for her comedic acting roles and screen presence. Monroe became one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s and early 1960s. During the later stages of her career, she worked towards serious roles and her fame surpassed that of many entertainers of her time.

Quotes by Monroe

I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated and talent is developed in privacy.

Hollywood is a place where they pay u a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul.

Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer. You're gay, you're sick, you're nervous or whatever.

I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they go right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart, so that better things can fall together.

I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it.

Quotes about Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was late for everything – but much too early for death.

Everything Marilyn does is different from any other woman, strange and exciting, from the way she talks to the way she uses that magnificent torso.

She wasn't disciplined, and she was often late but there was a sort of magic about her which we all recognized at once.

Nobody discovered her, she earned her own way to stardom.

If it hadn't been for her friends she might still be alive.

I usually go to bed thinking about something I've learned in my day. Today I learned to never give up, and to always be confident, it helps you to grow stronger and with more and more beauty. But most of all, never sell yourself out because all it shows is a lack in confidence, strength and dignity.

Amazing Bird - It quacks like a duck

Are you a duck or a drake? Some people use "duck" specifically for adult females and "drake" for adult males.

Duck is the common name for a number of species in the family of birds, are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than their relatives the swans and geese and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.

Most ducks have a wide flat beak adapted for dredging. They exploit a variety of food sources such as grasses, aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians and worms.

The expression "quacks like a duck" is sometimes a short form for "It looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it swims like a duck, so it's a duck." The truth is that a duck's quack does, in fact, echo; however, it may be difficult to hear.

Travel & Places - The wooden churches of Karielia

The Church of the Transfiguration was built by the deeply spiritual residents of Karelia 300 years ago, built of wood without using nails.

The pogost of Kizhi is located on one of the many islands in Lake Onega, in Karelia. Two 18th-century wooden churches, and an octagonal clock tower, also in wood and built in 1862, can be seen there.

These unusual constructions, in which carpenters created a bold visionary architecture, perpetuate an ancient model of parish space and are in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Earlier it was called “subcapital Siberia”, a reference to this region of peaceful birds, blue lakes, bubbling rivers and innumerable islands overgrown with woods.

And it’s well worth taking a sleeper train from St Petersburg to get to see it, if it is winter, you can cross the frozen lake by snowmobile. Let's go.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Money - 6 Ways to Eat Better for Less

Times are bad and food prices are rising. How can we cook for less? People are moving away from steak and using ground beef. They're moving away from salmon and looking to tilapia, a cheaper fish. Recipes for less-expensive dishes, such as casseroles and chili, have also surged in popularity.

Those cooking trends reflect the fact that food prices are rising faster than a cheese soufflé. But cooking experts say that with the right ingredients and recipes, affordable and tasty meals are just a grocery list away. They offer these six tips:

Plan ahead - Shopping with specific meals in mind for the week ahead makes it easier to buy in bulk and repurpose ingredients, turning Sunday night's roast chicken into Monday night's enchiladas. A lot of folks get in trouble when they don't plan ahead. The day takes longer than expected, and they're ordering out or reaching for ready-made meals, and those are very expensive, The more you can cook from scratch, the further your dollar can stretch.

Do it yourself - Instead of buying a package of grated cheese, buy a chunk and grate it yourself, We pay for the convenience of all these things. Same goes for other ingredients.

Rediscover eggs and beans - Even though the price of eggs has gone up, they're still cheap compared with meat, On the same note, a simple dinner of black beans and rice—plus chopped onion, olive oil, seasonings, and shredded cheese can make dinner for two for under $5.

Go meatless - Cooking vegetarian meals often is a good way to save money. Spaghetti and Indian-style chickpeas recipe are packed with flavour without relying on meat.

Reinvent leftovers - Extra rice can go into a fried rice dish the following night, "That's one of my favorite cheap and good meals, just add celery, bell peppers, shallots.
Certain dishes, such as lasagna, chili, and soups, also are easily made in large quantities that can be frozen or eaten throughout the week.

Use what's in the fridge - Home cooks stuck with extra eggplant or flounder can avoid wasting food by using websites to search for dishes based on the ingredients they have at home. Favourite inexpensive recipe, spaghetti carbonara uses eggs, pasta, garlic, bacon, and other ingredients that are often on hand. "It has lots of flavour, and it's easy to make.

Travel & Places - The Lost Temple of BOROBUDUR

Amazing, this is one of the place to visit, Borobudur is a ninth century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha sutras A main dome is located at the center of the top platform, and is surrounded by seventy-two Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.

For a truly undiscovered temple you need to skip the well-trodden Inca Trail or Angkor Wat and head into the rainforests of Java in Indonesia.
Borobudur lay buried under volcanic ash until the early 1800s but now the huge pyramid-shaped temple rises high above the jungle canopy in a series of stepped layers.
Each is alive with intricately carved stone panels. Upper layers boast beehive domes and kneeling statues of Buddha inside. Climb it at sunrise for spectacular views.

Amazing Beauty - Flower power

Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock. Flowers are words which even a babe may understand, so pathetic in their beauty, frail as the clouds, and in their colouring as gorgeous as the heavens, had through thousands of years been the heritage of children honoured as the jewellery of God only by them. Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character.
Alina Kabaeva, a 24 year old beautiful Russian gymnast then moved into modelling, appeared in an action movie, become an MP and soon preparing to marry Putin, the President of Russia posing with a variety of beautiful flowers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Health - Should we change our diet?

People are dying because of the global food shortages, which has sparked a sudden surge in food prices. World Food Programme officials say 33 countries in Asia and Africa face political instability as the urban poor struggle to feed their families. The world food situation is very serious due to the global food price increase and shortages.

Are we growing too little food to feed the world? World food supplies are further damaged by climate change, a large amount is being diverted to make biofuels to make car greener which is a crime against humanity, grains used to feed animals for the world's passion for meat which is a very inefficient way of producing food. It takes 8kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef, and large tracts of forest have been cleared for grazing land that might have been used to grow crops. Chicken is more efficient to produce, it takes 2kg of feed to produce 1kg of meat. To maximise food production, it is best to be vegetarian.
Soceities in the developing world are getting wealthier are behind the soaring food demands. Food export controls are imposed by Russia, China, India, Vietnam, Argentina and Serbia in response to the crisis and demand are growing not only over energy, but now over food.
In many countries meat is regarded as a relish, with the bulk of the meal coming from carbohydrates such as corn, rice, pasta or potatoes and vegetables and get used to thinking of meat as a treat to save the world's poor from starvation.

Should we be trying to cut out meat to help save the world's poor from starvation?
Some say yes because...
- Producing meat is less efficient than growing grain, it takes 8kg of corn to produce 1kg of beef
- Growing crops to feed animals means there is less land on which to grow crops for humans
- Shortage of grain for human consumption, and global food prices have leapt by 57% in a year

Some say no because....
- It is not realistic to expect people to switch to a vegan diet of vegetables, pulses, fruit and nuts
- Developing countries should not be denied a better diet as they grow wealthier
- An alternative way is to reverse the policy of diverting grain to make biofuels

So, what say you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fashion - Brief Encounters


Help yourself get in the mood for those warm, balmy nights, and the luxury lingerie will leave you thinking it’s way too good to cover up.
Wearing gorgeous and sexy set of undies is also a way to turn on your partner in bed. Have fun.

Health - Hello...Hello

Mobile phones are more dangerous than smoking. Young people are at particular risk from exposure to radiation.

Expert warns of huge rise in tumours and calls on industry to take immediate steps to reduce radiation. Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

The use of mobile handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop. Mobiles can save lives in emergencies, but concludes that "there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours".

It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than smoking, with more than three billion people now use the phones worldwide, three times as many as smokers which smoking alone kills some five million worldwide each year.

Amazing shots - You can catch the sun

It's April, it's Spring and the days are getting longer, the weather should be getting milder ... there isn't going to be much sun around. However, here's a chance to cheer yourself up , a new internet fad involves thousands of people from around the world posting pictures of themselves "holding" the sun.
I love the one with the cactus holding the sun.

Amazing Bettle - Volkswagen on a plate

The Volkswagen more commonly known as the Beetle or Bug, is a car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen in 1938. Although the names "Beetle" and "Bug" were quickly adopted by the public, it was not until August of 1967 that VW itself began using the name Beetle in marketing materials in the US. In Britain VW never used the name Beetle officially.

The Beetle outlasted most other automobiles which had copied the classic rear air-cooled engine layout. The Beetle is also one of the most commonly reproduced cars as a toy or model of all sizes. Even the sighting of a Volkswagen Beetle is cause for violent fun in the car-sighting game known as "Slug-Bug" or Punch Buggy.

Amazing Insect - Mad about a bee

Everybody knows that bees have stings in their tails, are meticulous in constructing their homes, dance to communicate with each other and do all they need to do in life in about six weeks. Do you know that bees have an acute sense of smell. are good navigators and can remember where they last had a meal.

Bees are the Rolls Royce of the insect world due to their amazing brain which is the size of a sesame seed but is 20 times the size of a fruit fly. The bees' brains rely on a small range of compounds to sort floral scents and their odour receptors can detect even the smallest scent molecule in the air. They can distinguish between hundreds of different aromas and also tell whether a flower is carrying pollen or nectar by sniffing its scent from metres away. They navigate by smell, colour and distance.
The scent triggers navigational memories of where to go and what the colour of the flower will be.... a bit like a whiff of cologne might remind you of someone you knew a long time ago.
Yes..... I know the smell of my you?

Amazing Worshipper - A dog's prayer

Buddhists clasped their palms to pray for enlightenment, but Conan, a chihuahua appears to have more worldly motivations. Conan....started to pose in prayer like us whenever he wanted treats. The dog, a two year old male with long black hair and a brown collar become a popular attraction at a Japanese temple after learning to imitate the worshippers around him. He sits in front of the altar and looks right up at the statue of the Buddhist deity and when the priest starts chanting and raises his clasped hand, Conan also raises his paws and joins them at the tip of his nose. He become a star when visitors flock to take pictures with him while praying at the temple.

Journey in Life - Are you Happy?

Through the power of truth there is wealth, and through the power of peace there is health. Together they give happiness. Happiness is earned by those whose actions, attitude, and attributes are pure and selfless.

Paradise, Heaven, the Garden of Eden and the Golden Age are names by which a world of peace, purity, and prosperity has been remembered. In such a place, each human being is like a flower, a country like a bouquet of flowers, and the world like a garden of flowers. The sun, the sustainer, shines upon the garden with golden rays, flooding it with newness and nobility. The Gate of Happiness stands open, welcoming the human family to the Golden Garden. In the past, the world was such a garden. It will become that again. Simply to have that faith is cause for celebration.

At present, many question the purpose of life. Some are tired of living, others have lost hope. Some make effort to earn wealth, believing that will bring happiness. Some who have wealth may not have health, and that causes unhappiness. Some choose certain professions, believing that will give happiness. Others seek happiness through relationships. Yet, however much happiness such measures may bring, they are temporary and limited sources of the material world, and in many instances, they bring equal amounts of sorrow and unhappiness. Such inability to hold onto pure and lasting happiness results from bankruptcy of spiritual values and powers. Awareness and application of spiritual truths provide the true source of happiness.

Through the power of truth there is wealth, and through the power of peace there is health. Together they give happiness. Like a tonic, spiritual knowledge makes the hopeless ones hopeful. Pure happiness returns to anyone who seeks such new and hopeful horizons. Important things forgotten are remembered. The feeling can be compared to returning home - as you see the trees and smell the breeze, you know you are nearing something close to your heart! The warmth and comfort of happiness is hidden within the self. When individuals turn within and take strength from the internal powers of peace and silence, they revive their virtues and allow the mercury of happiness to rise. The soul becomes open to the secrets of how to live in an interdependent way without becoming a victim of the material world which by its very nature robs people of their happiness. The vault of spiritual knowledge holds treasures on how to live and act with truth. True actions are pure, and purity is the mother of happiness and comfort. True actions bring strength and happiness to the self and pleasure to others. Spiritual treasures include guidelines on how to reform character and activity. For many, self-progress and personal transformation are keys that unlock the Gate of Happiness.

People speak of peace of mind. Happiness of mind is a state of peace in which there is no upheaval or violence. Peace within the self creates faith in the intellect. The flute of happiness plays softly and constantly in the minds of those who have such faith. No matter how adverse or challenging a situation may be, there is fearlessness, for the power of faith gives the guarantee of ultimate victory. As the intellect becomes enlightened by spiritual wisdom, there are less mood swings and doubts in the heart. An individual becomes better able to pay off debts of pain and sorrow while maintaining a healthy account of happiness. In a world where all relationships have accounts of happiness and sorrow, the greatest lesson to be learned about being happy is: " Give happiness and take happiness, don't give sorrow and take sorrow. " Happiness is prosperity which comes from self-sovereignty. Self- sovereignty means being master over the mind, intellect, personality traits, and physical senses of the body; being complete with all powers and virtues; and attaining a perfect balance between masculine and feminine characteristics. There is that state of perfection within each human soul. On the spiritual quest in search of such perfection, the intellect goes through a process of discovering its divine nature.

Happiness does not carry a price tag. It cannot be bought, sold, or bargained for. Happiness is earned by those whose actions, attitude, and attributes are pure and selfless. In other words, the quality of the consciousness and activities of individuals determines the richness of life. The road to happiness is paved with golden opportunities. Each footstep taken on this journey is guaranteed a return of multimillions. The actions performed along the way become the pen to draw the lines of fortune. There is a greater share of happiness when individuals walk the path together, and through collective actions, draw the lines of fortune on the living landscape of the world. Be happy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Change - Everything change except change won't change?

Do you want to change?

Before and after the Malaysian 12th GE, everywhere we go, we hear citizens rallying for change. Change for the better or change for the worst. All the while my opinion is everything change except change won't change. But I was wrong......... watch the video to witness that change does change.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Journey in Life - 10 year old left alone

Boy dumped by mum lives alone in trash-filled flat

GEORGE TOWN: Most 10-year-olds are showered with love and care, happily playing with friends without a care in the world. But not J.H. Yeap.
He cuts a forlorn figure as he sits in his Feringghi Mutiara Apartment, surrounded by a mound of stinking rubbish which covers every centimetre of the floor around him.Yeap's mother left him 18 months ago and he has no one to take care of him. He comes from a broken family and only had his mother.He does not even know if he has siblings.
To him, his brothers and sisters are the pigeons that have made the drying yard of the apartment their home."I do not know who my father is and the last time I saw my mother, she gave me an ATM (automated teller machine) card and said she would deposit RM30 a week for my expenses," said Yeap.His mother stopped depositing the RM30 into the bank account two weeks ago."I panicked when I ran out of money and began loitering in the neighbourhood to seek help. I always hoped that she would visit me but there's no news of her. I want to see her," he said in between tears.Thankfully, a good Samaritan has provided him with food for the past two weeks."He was starving so I took care of his needs," said the woman, who wished to be identified only as Lau.Asked whether she had seen Yeap's mother, Lau said: "I have not seen her. I think she has some problems, otherwise she would not have left the boy alone ."Lau has informed the state Welfare Services Department of Yeap's situation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Journey in Life - Anwar Ibrahim's Trial

The Sinister Campaign on Anwar Ibrahim

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Do you believe in Karma? I do.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Journey in Life - Hunger for success destroy her?

Until a week ago, her instinct was always the same: any time she was away from home, Halimahton Yusof would scan the streets, hoping to catch a glimpse of her daughter's face.
"I always looked for her. For the past few years I didn't even know whether she was alive," she says, her eyes moist with tears.
"Every time there was a story on the news about an accident, or a death, I feared the worst. I just wanted to know she was alive."
Scroll down for more...
Child genius and now prostitute: Sufiah Yusof attended Oxford University at just age 13
Then, last weekend, she got the confirmation she desperately craved — although in an unimaginably sad way.
Halimahton, a devout Muslim, was confronted by graphic Sunday newspaper pictures of her daughter selling sex from the dingy basement of a Salford flat.
Styling herself "Shilpa Lee", it emerged 23-year-old Sufiah Yusof was advertising her services on the internet as a £130-a-time prostitute. It would be a distressing discovery for any mother, but for Mrs Yusof it is all the more heart-wrenching.
Ten years ago, the girl she still calls "Sufi" was admitted to Oxford University to study maths, at the age of 13 the youngest undergraduate to do so at the time.
Brilliant and determined, she seemed destined for great things — expectations that were brutally dashed when she ran away at the age of 15 and asked to be admitted into the care of social services.
In a bitter email to her elder sister Aisha, she accused her father Farooq of making her childhood a "living hell" by "hothousing" her in pursuit of academic success.
There have been many more twists and turns to Sufiah's story since then, too.
Just three years ago, aged 20, she was back living at the family home, apparently reconciled with her father.
Yet within weeks, a bitter argument over something minor — the family don't know what — led her to flee again, and she has not seen her mother or siblings since.
Until their discovery last weekend, none of them knew where she was or what she was doing.
Nor is this the only unsettling development.
Just a week before Sufiah was unmasked on Sunday, her father Farooq was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty at Coventry Crown Court to two charges of sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls.

Seeds of despair: Sufiah in 1997 on her first day at Oxford with her father Farooq and sister Aisha
Halimahton is in the process of divorcing Farooq, her pride having finally forced her to act against the man with whom she shared her life for more than 30 years.
She has had to ask herself difficult questions about whether she could have done more to safeguard Sufiah from the expectations of the domineering Farooq.
"I was shaking when I found out what had become of her," she says in her first interview since her daughter's lifestyle was exposed.
"No mother expects that, and part of me is haunted by the notion we had driven her to that.
"I have no idea what is going on in her mind, but I refuse to judge her and I want her to know my door is always open, that I am here for her.
"We have been through so much, but I have to believe that at some point in the future we can become a family again."
All week she has been trying to reach her daughter, but Sufiah's old mobile number has been ringing unanswered.
Halimahton says: "I haven't seen the pictures in the papers, and I don't want to see them. My sons have told me it's not good for my heart. I want to think of her as I remember her.
"I have no idea why she's doing this, whether she's trying to make her father angry or whether it's just desperation.
"I only wish I knew her state of mind but she asked me to let go of her and I did.
"I asked my solicitor if there is anything I can do to help her, but she's an adult and beyond my reach. I can only pray that she comes to her senses.
"My friends are shocked but they remember our relationship, how close we were and they have told me she needs help."
So does she lay the blame at her husband's door?
"I'm not the blaming kind. There's no use trying to point the finger. All I can hope is Farooq and Sufi look at themselves and sort out the issues they have. Deep in her heart, Sufi is a kind and gentle girl and I just hope she finds her true self again."
One comfort is that with the exception of Sufiah and now Farooq, the family remain close.
Three of Halimahton's other children — Abraham, 26, Iskander, 21, and 14-year-old Zuleika — live at the comfortable five-bedroom family home on the outskirts of Coventry, while her eldest daughter Aisha, 25, lives nearby with her husband and visits regularly.
All fiercely intelligent — Iskander attended Warwick University from the age of 12, and Aisha at the age of 15 — they seem to have escaped the tortured circumstances their sister finds herself in, and do not seem a dysfunctional clan.

The house is warm and comfortable, strewn with the usual paraphernalia of family life.
2004: She marries Jonathan MarshallAt its centre, Halimahton clearly retains a close bond with her children. Yet it is within this same family that, as a teenager, Sufiah, in that angry email written after she had run away from Oxford, claimed she had been subjected to "years of physical and emotional abuse".
Her father, she said, bullied his children intellectually and physically, flying into fits of rage if he felt they were not working hard enough.
The routine was so effective that at 12 Sufiah had already passed three A-levels.
Today, her siblings agree their father could be difficult but insist he was not fundamentally violent.
"It was like he had something to prove, as if he wanted to use us to get back at the world," Iskander, a computer programmer, says.
"He would be fine but then he would scream and shout. It was the thought of it that scared us as much as it happening."
On occasions he smacked them.
For a woman clearly devoted to her children, it seems odd Halimahton did not intervene — but while she considered leaving, she felt trapped by financial worries and the belief that her husband, at heart, had good intentions.
Theirs was not the most conventional of romances.
Halimahton, 51, had arrived in this country from her native Malaysia as a 19-year-old to take up a sponsored study course at Oxford College of Further Education.
Within months she had met Farooq Yusof, also a student who was living in the same block of rented accommodation.
Both Muslim, the couple quickly married in a small ceremony in Oxford in 1975.
By the mid-Eighties, they had produced four children, who were all remarkably bright, but Sufiah particularly so.
"When she was barely 18 months she could sing whole nursery rhymes.
"She could recognise numbers and letters at ten months old, and do a 20-piece jigsaw upside down.
"Farooq said she was a little genius even when she was a baby."
Eventually all the children were home-schooled, after Sufiah had told her mother at the age of five: "I don't like it at school, I want you to teach me."
Her siblings apparently felt the same.
But life at home was under a dark cloud.
In 1989, Farooq had gone on the run, implicated in a £1.5million mortgage fraud, leaving Halimahton alone to rear four children.
"I didn't even have the energy to be angry with him," she says. "I was exhausted trying to make ends meet and look after the kids."
Three years later, in 1992, her husband was arrested on his return to this country and given a three-year prison sentence for obtaining mortgages by deception.
When he was released, there was inevitably a difficult period of occurred to me to separate, but I had this belief that children need both parents,' Halimahton says.
"In hindsight, I can see this was perhaps the wrong decision, but I kept asking myself: 'If I was one of the children, what would I want?'
"I was exhausted, and I had four children who I felt needed their father."
Within months of Farooq's return she had conceived again, later giving birth to daughter Zuleika, now 14.
"Farooq could be difficult and I would try to talk to him, but I would not have picked Sufi out as suffering — she was the one who got criticised least," she says.
"But I realise now she kept everything bottled up."
Nonetheless, it is not difficult to imagine the impact this pressured environment had on a clever adolescent mind.
So brilliant was Sufiah that by 12, she had been accepted to study maths at Oxford.
"Whenever we asked her, she was adamant she wanted to go," Halimahton says.
But the family did not take into account the fact that Sufiah was still a child — on the day she enrolled she chipped her front tooth while riding on a seesaw.
When asked how she was coping with her degree, Sufiah would maintain she was "fine".
In fact, she was struggling under what she felt was an increasing pressure to perform.
"My father found out she had not been doing as well as he hoped and he took it very badly," Iskander says.
"He became obsessed with her getting back on track. For Sufi it only exacerbated the pressure she put on herself. She felt she couldn't get away from him."
But any danger signals passed by largely unnoticed by the family until it was too late.
On June 22, 2000, the day she should have boarded a train home from Oxford after finishing her third year exams, Sufiah got on a train to the South Coast instead, leaving most of her possessions behind.
"I had spoken to her in the morning and she sounded flat, which I couldn't understand. I offered to pick her up and she said: 'I'm OK momma, I'll make my own way.'"
And she did, to Bournemouth, where she found work as a waitress, finding the time to send that bitter email to her parents.
When traced by the police three weeks later, she asked to be taken into foster care. It was a desperate time for her mother.
"I was deeply upset," she says. "I didn't understand why it had got to this, why she had not tried to talk to me.
"But I didn't want to fight her. I thought: 'If she's unhappy, let her go, let her do what she needs to do.'
"My main concern was that she was safe."
Halimahton's eyes fill with tears, her thoughts tormented by what might have been.
"Maybe this was a mistake. Perhaps if I had been firmer, then perhaps what has happened now, well …"
In fact, there was to be reconciliation: Sufiah was happy to allow her mother and siblings to visit her, but not her father.
"If I tried to talk to her about what had happened, she would say: “It's fine now, I don't want to upset you”, her mother recalls.
Sufiah seemed to be getting back on her feet.
She was studying again at the local college, and talked of going back to Oxford, returning aged 18 to take the final year of her four-year course.
There, shortly after arrival, she met Jonathan Marshall, a law student four years her senior.
He converted to Islam for the sake of his young girlfriend, and the couple married within months.
With her newfound happiness, Sufiah agreed to introduce her fiancé to her father after three years of estrangement.
"She was anxious, I could see, but it all unfolded very calmly," Halimahton remembers.
"Her father hugged her and she hugged him back."
All the family attended the civil wedding dinner in July 2004, and when, in the spring of 2005, Jonathan was posted to Singapore on a short-term job contract, Sufiah, who had been working for a building contractor in Oxford, moved back to the family home.
The events of the past, however, were clearly never far from her mind: her brother Iskander recalls how, during one emotional discussion, his sister demanded an apology from her father for his behaviour in the past.
"He said he was sorry, and she seemed happy with that, but I remember wondering if it was enough," he says.
It clearly wasn't. Within days, an argument was sparked between Sufiah and her father and she packed her bags and left the family home for good.
"They had a row and I heard Farooq tell her to shut up, then within minutes she had packed her bags and was out the door," Halimahton recalls.
"I rang her and she was getting a train to London. She said: 'I'm fed up with him, he needs psychiatric help.'"
Astonishingly, she has had no verbal contact with her daughter since.
Voicemails and emails passed unanswered, the only contact a terse email, sent in August 2005, in which Sufiah revealed that she and her husband Jonathan were separated.
She said she wanted no further contact with any member of her family under any circumstances.
"I felt numb," Halimahton says. "I didn't understand why she felt this way. I always thought her quarrel was with her father, not us.
"But I knew it was pointless to fight her, I had to respect her decision. I could only hope she would come back to us."
So far, of course, that hasn't happened.
Instead, Sufiah has gone down the most depressing path imaginable, reduced to selling her body to strangers — presumably to fund an economics course she is pursuing in London.
It seems the final desperate act of a profoundly troubled girl, who can only have been further distressed by news of her father's recent misdemeanors.
Halimahton is as bewildered by her husband's conviction as she is her daughter's behaviour.
"At first I thought there must have been a mistake," she says. "There was never anything to suggest..." she blinks.
"I thought these two girls weren't telling the truth. But after he pleaded guilty, I had to accept they were. I have to accept he has confessed."
His incarceration has, at least, encouraged Halimahton to divorce him.
And without Farooq in the house, Halimahton hopes Sufiah might feel able to return — and that she might finally be able to prise from her daughter quite how her upbringing came to wreak such psychological damage.
For now, however, it seems the brilliant little girl who could do jigsaw puzzles as a baby remains hopelessly incapable of pulling together the pieces of her own fractured life.