Food and Books

Let me ask you one question:

What is the connection (whatever you can think of) between these two words – food and book?

Other than both have a double ‘o’ in them, these two things are related in such a harmonious and unexpected way in my life – at least for this coming six months.

Guess what, my final year research dissertation is on Carbon Footprinting of Food, and of course for such a module that worths 50 credits, I gotta read loads, indeed piles of books. OK, I didn’t manage to get the Nuclear Energy topic, but this one is equally interesting and guess what, it is challenging too. Since it is very, very new, all this carbon footprinting stuff, I expect to find fewer reading materials about it. Well, nobody really cares about how ethical or sustainable their eating habit is twenty years ago.

My supervisor was sorry that I could not get that title on nuclear energy (it goes to my ex-lab partner, just for your information) but to me, to get her to be my supervisor is the most important bit. Why not, she is totally impressive. With a research grant of 8.5 million pound, you cannot ask for a more knowledgeable supervisor in this area. And to continue my bragging about her- she’s invited to this environmental conference this December in Penang – to give the keynote lecture.

I guess I am so lucky.

So can you see the link? Food and book. A good combination.

Oh, yes. Include in that equation another module called ‘Book Module’ which requires me to choose a book (related to my project, or chemical engineering generally), read it, master it, write a review about it and later sit an exam in January.


The first part seems the hardest, and right now I am in the middle of choosing one book out of so many interesting titles! The list still goes on – and tomorrow I am off again to the library to borrow some other books which seem pretty good.

Dr Campbell is right – fourth year is extremely exciting!

p.s. I am going to work with a female supervisor and a female PhD student for this project. That is pretty cool.

p.p.s. My supervisor kindly asked me about the henna on the back of my left hand. My artwork seems to be noticeable eh?

p.p.p.s. Expect more entries on books after this. Books get me excited.



  1. waaahh menariknya! i wished i had the chance to do that. 4th year for me is kids, pregnant women, crazy dudes, broken hips, blood, and more blood LOL! haih…

  2. Zaid,

    Now I feel lucky that I went against my parents seven years ago, just to do engineering. At least I’m not stuck with crazy dudes and broken hips.

    Ape2 je la,

    No, I haven’t heard that but as far as I know (and from what I checked) henna, either applied to hands or fingernails is not forbidden for Muslim women.

  3. MsRizal,

    Thanks a lot.

    I never heard that, but applying henna here is very common among muslim women, especially when celebrating Eid and weddings.

    I checked on the hukum years ago, and now i re-checked and confirmed and this is what i found, from

    we cite for you the fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:

    "Muslim scholars ruled on the use of henna by both men and women. They regarded it desirable and recommendable for women to use henna on their hands and legs, as this was a pre-Islamic practice that Islam accepted. This is highly recommended for a married woman if her husband likes it. But if the husband dislikes it, then it is not recommended. It is a mutual right for both husband and wife that they beautify themselves for one another. The use of cosmetics or makeup nowadays falls within this category, and a wife will be rewarded for using it if her intention is to please her husband by beautifying herself for him provided that it is not harmful and she does not use it extravagantly. As for dyeing the hands and legs with henna for men, Imam ash-Shafi`i views that this is forbidden unless there is a medical necessity for using it, as Islam forbids men from copying women. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has cursed men who copy women as well as women who copy men.”

    Probably the ruling becomes haram according to certain scholars if the woman is unmarried.

    Allahu a'lam.

  4. maybe unsuitable for our custom..

    "SEVERAL religious and cultural experts have voiced their concern over the growing trend among Muslims of using henna to “tattoo” their bodies, saying this is forbidden in Islam, although the use of henna is permitted by the religion.

    Mingguan Malaysia interviewed experts who said the act of “painting” one’s body was wrong, particularly if the “tattoos” depicted animals or humans.

    Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said the practice, which was a current craze among young Malays, mimicked unhealthy western culture, adding that since tattooing was prohibited by the religion, they resorted to using henna to paint their bodies.

    “Even the use of the longer-lasting henna is prohibited because henna is only supposed to last for a short period of time. This trend certainly does not reflect Malay or Islamic culture,” said Dr Asri.

    Cultural expert Prof Dr Siti Zainun Ismail said the use of henna freely today was an abuse of culture."

    which one to choose? it depends..

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