Yesterday I went to one of Singapore's many shopping centres. At the ground floor, I couldn't help not to notice a very big, enticing sign. It said, "CD Sale - $3 each!" There was even a crazier price tag below it, "$1 each for 5 CDs!" Drawn inside by the very cheap price (as one CD would normally cost you $20 - $25 here in Singapore), I glanced over the plain of CDs, arranged on a very big table.
The names on the CD covers seemed promising: Michael Bolton, George Michael, ABBA, Coldplay, even Robbie Williams and Norah Jones to name a few. But then, I noticed something peculiar about the covers: I'd never seen any of them in any other CD store! All of them were also labeled as "The Best of" albums and I noticed that The Best of George Michael had a rather pixelated photo of the singer on its cover.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
A few nights ago, I turned my hand to Indonesian fried rice, or nasi goreng. Parenthetical note: I'm typing this post in MS Word before posting it on Blogger, and MS Word insists on automatically changing "goreng" to "goring." Me, I like to type words and have them stay the way I typed them. I guess it's a control thing.
Anyway, back to nasi goreng. Nasi goreng is the Indonesian method of using leftover rice to create a meal. It seems as though all Asian countries have their own versions of fried rice, i.e., a meal reusing previously-cooked rice. Thai fried rice has really captured my affection because the use of fish sauce adds a bracing quality to the dish. It ends up being very clean and simple, and puts the emphasis on the ingredients. On the other hand, if there's a Japanese version of fried rice, please enlighten me! I can't remember coming across such a recipe during my Japanese cooking excursions. The closest thing I can think of is salmon tea rice, which is not the same thing at all.
The new HP iPAQ rw6828 Multimedia Messenger is one hell of a feature packed mobile device that is powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Phone Edition. It has tri-band GSM, GPRS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Pushmail, Pocket MSN, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Philips LifeVibes 3D sound effects from dual-stereo speakers, a 2 mega-pixel camera, FM radio and PocketMusic MP3 Player. Phew, did I miss out anything? Oh and most important of all, damn it sure looks attractive.
Previously: Unwrapping my new baby
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
"The problem with Indonesia is that you have an area of intense seismic activity coinciding with a very densely populated part of the world," said Gary Gibson, professor of seismology at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
"It means there will always be some terrible loss to earthquakes in Indonesia."
The plates of the planet's crust that float on the molten core of the Earth smash against each other constantly, but while those plates usually move only a little bit each year, those that meet at Indonesia move more quickly.
"These are probably the most active plates in the world -- one is moving at around seven centimetres (nearly three inches) a year," said Mark Leonard, seismologist at Geoscience Australia.
"That's incredibly fast and as a result it produces a lot of energy that has to be dissipated somehow," Leonard said. "And that is usually through earthquakes."
Monday, May 29, 2006
Krishna Bharat, a principal scientist for Internet search engine giant Google, warned editors that the web was going to reshape their industry.On behalf of my fellow bloggers, I say - Bring them on!
"With each previous new technology, the face of journalism changed and we reinvented ourselves, but the heart of journalism -- the editorial process, editorial objectivity and values did not change," Bharat said.
He warned that bloggers -- people recording their lives, the events they witnessed first-hand and what they thought of it -- were going to grow increasingly significant.
Bharat said that as the number of bloggers rose, those churning out valuable journalism would too -- which editors had to take into account.
The official death toll from the 6.3 magnitude quake reached 5,136. The tremor early on Saturday was centred just off the Indian Ocean coast near Yogyakarta, the former Javanese royal capital.
Government figures put the number of injured at 2,155, but the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said there were 20,000 injured and more than 100,000 homeless.
"I am still traumatised, especially when it rained last night," said Sartoyo, who had come to Yogyakarta's main hospital from a nearby village. "I heard help is on the way," he added. "We badly need tents, please note that. Do not forsake us."
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Me: Hello razzi. Thanks for talking to me. Tell me what happened in Yogyakarta early this morning.
razzi: I was already awake at 5am to get ready to drive to Mount Merapi to take some photos of the volcano in action and then go to the Borobudur Temple nearby to Merapi. Around 10 minutes before 6, while I was taking a sip of my coffee, I noticed that some cats out of my home were acting weird. They were running around all over the place. And then my house started to shake.
Me: Cats? Interesting. I have heard of reports of animals that can sense an impending earthquake and other natural disasters. Maybe the cats you noticed were reacting to something only they can feel. Can you describe to me the shaking that you experienced?
razzi: My house shook really bad. This lasted for I think more than 5 minutes. It was really frightening. Parts of my ceiling dropped. There's a big mirror that was facing me and it cracked into hundreds of pieces. I thought Merapi just erupted. I quickly ran out of the house. I stay in a house that is two storeys high. It is one of the newer and better constructed homes in the area so damage was minimal.
Me: Were you alone?
razzi: Yes I was. I'm actually working in Jakarta. This is my father's house. Thank god that he was out of town.
Me: So you were back in Yogyakarta for?
razzi: I wanted to take some photos of Merapi for a story I'm working on.
Me: What do you see when you ran out of your house?
razzi: Panic. Lots of people running out of their house. Screaming. Crying. I heard some of them shouting, "Merapi! Merapi!" I tell you everyone thought it was the volcano erupting. We then realised only an hour later that it was actually an earthquake. There are many who then decided to run to higher grounds because they feared a tsunami.
Me: I'm sure the damage was incredible?
razzi: The area in which I'm at is not too bad. The worst is over in Bantul. Most of the houses there collapsed. Roads cracked. I saw bodies being pulled out of rubbles. People lying out of their homes, most of them in pain because they were injured.
Me: Reports I've read say that more than 2,000 people died. In your opinion, is this true?
razzi: I think the number of people dead will be close or more to 3000. I was with two men helping an old lady to the nearby hospital. I saw a lot of dead bodies. I saw ten people that I know dead. In the hospital, there were so many people being brought there. There are not enough rooms and beds for everyone. Hundreds had to be treated by doctors and nurses outside this hospital. I'm sure there are thousands more in other hospitals.
Me: What kind of injuries did you see?
razzi: I think most have head injuries and fractures of the hands and legs. I saw a lot people bleeding from the head.
Me: What is the situation now over there?
razzi: It is very quiet now. Very eerie. Electricty that was cut after the earthquake is slowly coming on again. People can also start using the phones now. I know many people are sleeping out in the open and under temp shelters because their homes were destroyed and some that are not destroyed, are too dangerous to get into.
Me: Has the government come to the aid quickly?
razzi: There are a lot of government officials and NGOs located in the northern part of Yogyakarta. They are already there for weeks now because of Merapi. I'm not sure how fast they came south to help but what I see straight after the earthquake are only locals helping each other and pulling bodies out of the rubble.
Me: There are reports of aftershocks. How many have you felt?
razzi: I felt a few. Nothing as scary as the actual earthquake. There's one aftershock I think at around 6 plus that is the strongest.
Me: Many of us who are reading this blog have not felt an earthquake before. Can you tell us how it felt to be in one?
razzi: It is like someone grabs the ground you stood on and shakes it violenty sideways. The shaking itself is not dangerous. What is scary is your house falling down on you. And only after the earthquake will the shock, horror and sadness start affecting you when you see the damage and the injured and dead people. I don't think I can sleep tonight.
Me: Ok mate. I know it's a tough time for you. I'm sorry about what happened. Do take some rest and thanks again for talking to me. Take care and keep in touch.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
The National Disaster Coordinating Agency said 2,091 of the deaths occurred in the area of Bantul, a district south of Yogyakarta near the Java coast. Deaths have also been reported in Yogyakarta and other communities.The earthquake jolted the area where the active Mount Merapi is located. Scientists now say that the earthquake may intensify the volcanic activity of Mount Merapi. And if Merapi finally erupts within the next few days, I fear there will be more pain and chaos in Yogyakarta. The government of Indonesia may be overwhelmed if they have to deal with two natural disasters at the same time.
Thousands of injuries have been reported, with 1,892 hurt in Bantul...
Search-and-rescue teams in Yogyakarta said they saw extensive damage to buildings and homes and noted that communications were down and electricity was out.
Weisman-Ross said he was "shaken rather violently from my bed with furniture flying and chunks of concrete falling from the walls of my hotel room."
Outside, Weisman-Ross said he saw large cracks in the walls of the hotel and other buildings in the area. As he rushed across town to check on his staff, he saw small, older buildings with collapsed roofs or walls.
Update: Yahoo News has photos of the earthquake here.
Update: I will be talking to regular IZ Reloaded reader razzi who lives in South Yogyakarta, in 10 minutes time. Will post the interview with him later. Read it here.
Update: Channel NewsAsia says that one Singaporean woman is injured in Yogyakarta. Other Singaporeans there have been accounted for.
Well, I guess Christmas comes real early for me this year. Look at what I got :o)
Presenting my new baby, the HP iPAQ rw6828 Multimedia Messenger. And I tell you it rocks! I'll post more real soon.
(Thanks Santa ;oP)
Last year a friend of mine upgraded from GirlFriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0 and found that it's a memory hog leaving very little system resources available for other applications. He is now noticing that Wife 1.0 is also spawning Child Processes which are further consuming valuable resources. No mention of this particular phenomena was included in the product brochure or the documentation, though other users have informed him that this is to be expected due to the nature of the application.
Not only that, Wife 1.0 installs itself such that it is always launched at system initialization, where it can monitor all other system activity. He's finding that some applications such as PokerNight 10.3, BeerBash 2.5, and PubNight 7.0 are no longer able to run in the system at all, crashing the system when selected (even though they always worked fine before). During installation, Wife 1.0 provides no option as to the installation of undesired Plug-Ins such as MotherInLaw 55.8 and BrotherInLaw Beta release. Also, system performance seems to diminish with each passing day.
When you stick a music CD into your computer, you shouldn't have to worry that it will turn your PC into a hacker's plaything. But that's exactly what Sony BMG Music Entertainment's music discs did in 2005. The discs' harebrained copy protection software installed a rootkit that made it invisible even to antispyware or antivirus software. Any moderately clever cyber attacker could then use the same rootkit to hide, say, a keylogger to capture your bank account information, or a remote-access Trojan to turn your PC into a zombie.
Security researcher Dan Kaminsky estimated that more than half a million machines were infected by the rootkit. After first downplaying the problem and then issuing a "fix" that made things worse, Sony BMG offered to refund users' money and replace the faulty discs. Since then, the record company has been sued up the wazoo; a federal court judge recently approved a settlement in the national class action suit. Making your machine totally vulnerable to attacks--isn't that Microsoft's job?
Friday, May 26, 2006
This is one of the new NUS Business School ads that is airing on TV (via Balderdash). American mum (to her daughter who got accepted into the school) said,"You know they don't sell chewing gum there...And I hear the boys are way too cute for my liking."
bakuretsu10shi is just one of many who thinks that the NUS ad is poorly conceived and suggested that it would be more believable if they used an Indian or African family instead. From bakuretsu10shi:
I can't believe foreigners (or to be precise, Caucasian foreigners envision years in drab boring air-conditioned Singapore as something to look forward to when they've got better business schools in their own countries. Note how the mother's eyes glaze over when the word Singapore comes to mind, as if she's trying to figure what the hell her daughter was referring to... Singapore... ? Oh, that's that island with the really clean toilets! I'm amazed at the mother's highly detailed and accurate knowledge of my island nation. I'm so proud of Singapore, tiny and gum-free, with boys so cute Caucasian mothers don't like them. *sob*Vox Iuvenium looks deeper into NUS' marketing strategy. From Vox Iuvenium:
Advertising is advertising but this marketing campaign is poorly conceived, and a business school ought to know better: The top students who are considering an undergraduate business education are likely to prioritize placement statistics and salary ranges - they want to see how many from the current graduating class are in which firms, at what average salaries. They want to see lists of on-campus recruiters. They want to see summer internship and graduate school placement numbers. When the claims in the ads have very little correlation with those numbers, the campaign may even be counterproductive.Everybody now: SO DARK THE CON OF NUS.
It is thought that people hunting chimpanzees first contracted the virus - and that cases were first seen in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo - the nearest urban area - in 1930...Bloody chimps! It's them! Reading this made me recall a conversation I had with a friend many years ago. He was saying that some crazy and horny Africans went on a sex rampage with some infected chimps and that's how HIV spread to the human race. Funny. I kinda believe him.
This study, carried out alongside experts from the Project Prevention du Sida au Cameroun (PRESICA) in Cameroon, involved analysing chimpanzee faeces, collected from the forest floor in remote jungle areas....
Lab tests detected SIVcpz specific antibodies and genetic information linked to the virus in up to 35% of chimpanzees in some groups...
Chimpanzees in south-east Cameroon were found to have the viruses most similar to the form of HIV that has spread throughout the world.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
You will catch many Filipinos expressing a wish that we here had a leader like Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, the chief architect of the Singapore success story and now called the Minister Mentor. The worse it gets here, the more you will hear fellow Filipinos wishing that we were being led by Lee Kuan Yew...The article got some good response from readers. Here's one. From INQ7.net:
In our country, people are desperately looking for jobs. In Singapore, people seem never to stop working. Singaporeans who are well into retirement age are all over the place engaged in post-career work. Many of them are driving taxi cabs while some are providing services in world-class Chiangi Airport...
What impresses me most about the leaders and citizens of Singapore is their drive to excel. Singapore is a country that is ready to compete globally, a country that will not rest on its laurels. Alas, this attitude is very much missing in our country. Filipino individuals here and there do manage to make their imprint on the world stage but by and large we as a people are plagued by that “pwede na yan” (“That will do”) mentality.
I read your article regarding how impressive Singapore is. I've been here since November on an assignment basis with Deutsche Bank, and I'll be staying until the end of June. Sadly, I agree with your article.
Although I've been battling with homesickness ever since I got here, I can't seem to stop admiring how wonderful this place is. The transportation system is organized, the routes and directions are clear; heck, even their maps are accurate to a certain granular degree.
Some of it is really about basic attitude. Cross the streets on the proper pedestrian lane, wait for the signal to cross, don't block the intersection points, don't push your car when the street across is full -- some basic things that should be done.
I can't really say that the people here are conscious of cleanliness, because most of them are such "slobs," but the place is always in order because of the number of people they hire to clean up after people. Taxis are not picky with their passengers, they will bring you wherever you want, and some even will suggest routes that you might prefer.
It's so amazing that the unemployment rate is only 3.4 percent, and that a lot of elderly are still working, as fast-food crew or maintenance service personnel. We have more able-bodied personnel in the Philippines, and yet we deride the thought of working menial jobs, or maybe it's the pay. (My apologies if I'm drifting out of topic as I'm writing free-hand).
There are still a lot of things that I wish we could do back home, and I'm sure a whole day of ranting will not be enough. One of the more fascinating points that I've heard from a cab driver is that Singapore is so small that communicating development to the far reaches of the island is so easy, unlike in the Philippines.
But you're right: Attitude is the more crucial argument here. Singapore had to bridge cultural/racial gaps, which I think it has done successfully. Everything really boils down to having the right attitude.
After tonight, I realised something about myself. I don't think I'll ever be an electrician. One of my kitchen lights went dead earlier so I decided to try to fix it. Did I? Well, nope. Not only did I not fix it, I nearly short circuit the entire house, blew another light in the kitchen, broke one of the glass pieces from the light and the best of all, I stepped onto one of the broken glass bits and I didn't know about it until 15 minutes or so later when I saw drops of blood in the kitchen.
"What the hell?"
"Why are there blood all over the place?"
There was also blood in the living room. Apparently I was walking all over the house with a bleeding foot and I was too engrossed and occupied with fixing the light problem that I did not realise I hurt myself.
Damn it! I hate fixing lights! Arghhh!!!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Here's a short transcript:
Rebecca Henschke (reporter) : She (Catherine Lim) says two forces have taken the PAP by surprise.
Catherine Lim: Globalisation and the internet. Ahhh, my goodness. You know, I think they have underestimated the impact of social .... (inaudible) of the young people here you know, chattering and so on. Young people suddenly alert. Young people seeing what's happening in the rest of the world and say, "Hey! Why is it not happening in Singapore? It is a democracy like in any other country but hey why is it accepted there and not allowed here?" So, you have a whole lot of questioning and I think this government knows that if they don't deal with this problem then they will be in trouble. So here are young people who will be now regarded as a force to be reckon with and I'm glad about that. I'm really glad about that.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Looks like I will be the only one left in the family that needs glasses. Today, my sis will be doing a LASIK on one of her eyes. The other eye will be done tomorrow. All the best sis and enjoy your new and clear vision. Yesterday, she told me that she has been having problems with her eyes because of wearing contact lens. Well, hopefully after tomorrow, all her eye problems will be a thing of the past. This is a photo of her with her new MacBook Pro. Dang. That thing is a beauty! After the LASIK, she will be heading for a 2 weeks holiday at Abu Dhabi. Lasik, new MacBook Pro, holidays.... I'm beginning to think that SIA pays her really well.
Ever wondered how your favourite cartoon character may have looked like through an x-ray machine? Well, check out Michael Paulus' amazing art work. He drew the skeletal systems of cartoon characters such as Pikachu, Betty Boop, Charlie Brown and Hello Kitty.
(Thanks Mr Big)
Concert goers weren't let down as Axl Rose and band mates Tommy Stinson (bass), Richard Fortus (guitar), Robin Finck (guitar), Chris Pitman (keyboard), Dizzy Reed (keyboard) and new guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thall (who has only been in the band for two weeks!) burned through Guns N' Roses classics such as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City," "My Michelle," "Mr. Brownstone," "November Rain" and "Sweet Child O' Mine." The final show at Hammerstein found the band joined by one time Guns' guitarist Izzy Stradlin on "Think About You," "Patience" and "Night Train," which also included an enthusiastic Kid Rock coming onstage to join the band.
Over the four nights, audiences were also treated to nearly half of the band's upcoming new album, Chinese Democracy, with live performances of "Chinese Democracy," "Better," "There was a Time," "Madagascar," "IRS" and "The Blues."
The four shows, which took place on May 12, 14, 15 & 17th, were the talk of New York City, with fans and famous faces such as Matthew Perry, Mickey Rourke, Drea De Matteo, Lenny Kravitz, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Fred Durst, Sebastian Bach, Ethan Hawke, Jay Z, Jimmy Fallon, Maxwell and Sean Penn to name a few, paying homage to one of the greatest bands in Rock n' Roll. Each night was a celebration on stage, which would then continue off stage with parties at Sixes and Eights, Bungalow 8, Butter, G Spa, The Marquee Lounge and The SoHo House.
The band ended their New York jaunt with a surprise acoustic performance at The Plumm for actress Rosario Dawson's birthday party. The band's scorching performance, which left the way beyond capacity crowd screaming for more and gasping for air well into the wee hours of the morning, had birthday girl Dawson commenting of Rose: "They've never played all acoustic, this is history in the making, how much does this man rock?!"
The N.Y. concerts were warm up shows for the European leg of the band's forthcoming tour, which starts May 25th in Madrid at Juan Carlos Arena.
For the upcoming tour, Guns N' Roses are playing a mixture of headline Festival appearances including Rock In Rio in Portugal, Download at the UK's famed Castle Donington, Rock Am Ring in Germany, Gods Of Metal in Italy, Novarock in Austria, Graspop in Belgium, Roskilde in Denmark, A Heavy Day In The Park in Holland as well as their own headlining indoor shows in Madrid, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Paris, Zurich, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki, most of which have been instant sellouts.
But nothing beats the home turf of the US or New York City. W. Axl Rose commented, "We've just finished our 4 shows in New York and had an amazing time. New York has always been special and it feels great to be doing this again particularly in front of so many friends. I am very excited about Europe and getting back over here in September."
No official word yet on the release date for Chinese Democracy but Axl said in an earlier radio interview that the album will be out this year.
Here are some fan videos of the concerts: I Used to Love Her, November Rain (Live and acoustic at The Plumm), Welcome To The Jungle/Rocket Queen , Think About You with Izzy! (Live at Hammerstein) and lastly a video with photos from the Hammerstein show.
(Thanks Sanctuary Artist Management)
Previously: I wanna work for Google!
Monday, May 22, 2006
Reader Giselle Loh sent me a Yahoo news story about a study published in a British journal which reveals that women look at men's faces to find out if they are suitable for a long term relationship or a short fling. From Yahoo News:
In the study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers looked at a group of 39 men, ages 18 to 33, at the University of Chicago. Each man was shown 10 pairs of photographs and silhouettes, one of an adult and the other of an infant, and asked to rate their preferences. Meanwhile, their saliva was tested to determine testosterone levels.Giselle also included in the email to me, my photo which I posted on my blog and Flickr sometime back with an analysis on how I would fare based on those four qualities. She wrote, "Nice jaw, nice goatee....highly attractive..... hmmmmm... I rate you high on masculine which means based on the study, you fare very well as a short term romantic partner."
Photographs of the men's faces were then shown to 29 women, ages 18 to 20, at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The women were asked to rate the men on four qualities: "likes children," "masculine," "physically attractive" and "kind." Then they were asked to rate how attractive they found each man for short-term and long-term romance.
The study found women did well at rating men on their interest in babies, and those they rated masculine generally had higher testosterone levels than the others...
The higher the women rated the men for masculinity, the higher they were rated as potential short-term romantic partners. The higher they rated men for their interest in children, the higher they were rated for long-term romance.
The features that research has suggested denote high testosterone levels include a prominent jaw and a heavy beard.
Bloody hell! ;op
(Thanks Giselle Loh)
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Last night, I closed in on the mountain to get a look at the lava. A group of students studying English at the school I’ve been attending offered to sneak me up to a spot about 6 miles from the crater. The outer edge of the predicted danger zone is 4 miles from the summit. The group was comprised mostly of Indonesian guys who like to play army with air rifles. Think paintball geeks, and you’ll have the right picture.According to his latest post on Saturday, Mount Merapi is still throwing out a lot of smoke.
The Nintendo Amusement Park is an idea by three dudes to replicate the fun that is Super Mario. Player will be attached to a power assisted harness while he jumps up and down in a real life obstacle course. The creators of the Nintendo Amusement Park is currently looking for collaborators, sponsors and investors for the next phases of the project. Those who are in New York can give the Nintendo Amusement Park a try tomorrow May 22nd, 2006. Check out their website for more details.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
A prolonged slouch over many years causes the disc space to narrow, which in turn can cause nerve irritation that spreads underneath the shoulder blades, down the arms and down the back...
Its concentration in the fourth thoracic spine leads some to refer to it as "T4 syndrome" because it can cause numbness to nerves in the back and arms, and radiate pain to the upper and lower back. Despite the differences in terms, all doctors and physical therapists agree: The human body was not meant for sitting or working in one position all day, and prolonged work at the computer can eventually cause the body to short-circuit.
"It's not a life-or-death situation," Palmer said. "It just sucks to have to live with it."
A password which consists of at least eight characters with a mix of upper case, lower case and numbers is a good start. If the minimum requirement is too long staff may be encouraged to be lazy and use repeat characters or obvious strings: ABCDEFG123456789.
However, a minimum with a reasonably high upper limit would allow staff to be creative. One suggestion is to use phrases rather than words. Certainly 'mYd0g1sCALLEDf1d0' is less likely to be guessed that 'Fido'. Again, it's a step in the right direction towards creating more secure passwords.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The Khu family had arrived a day earlier trekking for a month from their village.I find it strange that the US, the UN and the world takes the global fight on terror so seriously but they do nothing to prevent the terrorist Burmese government and military from killing, raping and torturing its people. The ASEAN countries are also turning a blind eye towards the atrocities of their neighbour. Countries like Singapore do nothing but continue to invest heavily in Burma through joint ventures with the military regime. How many more people in Burma have to suffer and die before the world acts? Here's my message to the UN. Wanna fight terror? Let's do it in Burma before it is too late.
The father, Sawmaw, said Burmese government troops had burned every house and killed some of his neighbours.
The family then fled with a bag of rice and a blanket. Thirteen-year-old Sayploe helped carry his younger brothers.
Another man, Sawwysher, told me Burmese soldiers had ordered his village to watch them torture a suspected rebel.
They tied him to a tree and beat him to death.
In the past few months, government troops have launched a major new offensive.
That has triggered an exodus of civilians, perhaps as many as 15,000, who are either hiding in the jungle or heading for the border with Thailand.
HHHüürrRRRRRRRRn hhhh! HHHurrRRRRR RRRn hhhh. UUUHHH GGG-rrrr! UUUHHH GGG-rrrrRRR! RRRR RRR-DDDDD! HHHurrRRRRRUü HHHGGG-rrrr! UüüHHHGGG-rrrrRRR! huurrrrrr! uhhn.I reckon that's Wookiee language.
RRRRRR! RRRRRR! GGLL LLRRRR-rrrRRR! GGLL LLRRRR-rrrRRR! RRRRR aar GGllrrrrnnn uhnnnn!
UUUHHHGGG-rrrrRRR! HHHüürrRRRRRRRRn hhhh! HHHurrRRRRR RRRn hhhh. UUUHHH GGG-rrrr! UUUHHH GGG-rrrrRRR! RRRR RRR-DDDDD! HHHurrRRRRRUü HHHGGG-rrrr! UüüHHHGGG-rrrrRRR! RRRRRR! RRRRRR! GGLL LLRRRR-rrrRRR! GGLL LLRRRR-rrrRRR! RRRRR aar GGllrrrrnnn uhnnnn!
(Thanks Mr Big)
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
My first encounter actually in 1992 when Mt Merapi erupted with massive lava flow. I was just graduated from high school which I used to be a member of hiking club. I climbed Mt Merbabu where lied across the Mt Merapi. On that day I heard about Merapi. Like today's news, everybody flocked into Mt Merapi. But I decided watching it from far. I drove motorcycle went to the highest place I can find. Someone told me that the flyover (recently built) was a favorite for people seeing lava at night. Oh yes I was there. The beauty but deadly lava flew brightly. We were amused and wondered in same time.
Then about end of 1993 the University that I went moved to the new location -Jalan Kaliurang about 8km from the last village of Merapi. During that year I experienced so many volcanic earthquakes that I get used to it. Sometimes when you lying on the floor you feel the earth moving, but did not caused any destruction. I used to go to the villages for walking or simply get out from buzzy life as a student. Having noodle soup at the hiker warung (food stall) with my trusty Honda motorcycle. I experienced the 1994 eruption when most of the victims been carried through Jl Kaliurang with badly damaged skin from wedhus gembel ( pyroclastic flows- an extreme hot cloud that flew along with lava). In total 43 people of Mt Merapi died on that day.
Here is the classic video of the BBC TV program in which they interviewed the wrong guy. Newswireless.net editor Guy Kewney was supposed to be interviewed during the show but Guy Goma, who was at the BBC office to apply for an IT position, was mistakenly brought on air. Check out his expression when he's being introduced. I wonder what he was thinking. Maybe along the lines of, "Shit man, I'm not Guy Kewney. Oh nevermind, let's play along." HA!!! Seriously, you have to hand it to the guy. He did a fantastic job. I do hope he gets the IT job though. Come on BBC. Give it to him.
(via Boing Boing)
Monday, May 15, 2006
I don't really believe in heaven. I have always thought that heaven is more of a fairy tale. But if there is really one and when I do die and if I get to choose the five people I'm supposed to meet in heaven, I'd choose my beautiful mum as one of them.
So this is how I want my own version of The Five People You Meet In Heaven to be:
"You have to live without love for many years, didn't you?"
I said nothing.
"You felt that it was snatched away, that I left you too soon."
I lowered myself slowly. Her lavander dress was spread before me.
"You did leave too soon mum," I said.
"You were angry with me."
Her beautiful eyes flashed.
"There was a reason to it all," she said.
"What reason?" I said. "How could there be a reason? You died mum. You were taken away from me. I didn't get a chance to thank you for all you have done for me. I didn't get a chance to take good care of you and give back to you. You were the only person I think of everyday since you were gone. You died. You lost everything and I lost everything. I lost my mum."
She took my hands. "No, you didn't. I was right here. And you loved me anyway. Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, thats all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move then around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. Your nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it."
"Life has to end," she said. "Love doesn't."
I thought about the years after I buried my mum. It seems like only yesterday. It was like looking over a fence. I remembered my mum told me when I was a little boy, of another kind of life out there, even as I knew I would never be a part of it.
"It is so unfair mum. You shouldn't have gone," I said quietly.
"I know," she said.
"I miss you so much."
"I know." She nodded. "I felt it."
"Here?" I asked.
"Even here," she said smilingly. "That's how strong lost love can be."
She stood and opened a door, and I blinked as I entered behind her. It was a dimply lit room. There was no ceiling, only glittering stars above us.
"I was saving this one," she said.
She held out her arms. It was a small white tube that is roughly around a metre in length. The words EduScience was written on it. A telescope! It was the first telescope that my mum bought for me back then I was 12.
"I thought I will never get to see it again," I said.
"Well, you thought wrong. You did get to see me," she said.
"I never said this to you before mum but thanks for the telescope. Without it, I would have never grew up with a strong passion for astronomy. You know after your death, every night when I looked up at the night sky and when I gazed at the stars, it brought me closer to you. It's like you were looking down back at me, mum."
"Well," she whispered, taking my shoulder, "you always loved those expensive hobbies."
We both smiled.
"Can I ask you something?" I said.
"How come you look the way you looked like when you are young?"
"I thought you would like it this way."
I thought for a moment. "Can you change it?"
"Change it?" She looked amused. "To what?"
"To the end."
She lowered her arms. "I wasn't so pretty at the end."
I shook my head, as if to say not true.
She took a moment and then she changed. The web of lines beside her eyes, the thinner hair, the looser skin beneath her chin. She smiled and I smiled and she was to me, as beautiful as ever, and I closed my eyes and said for the first time what I'd been feeling from the moment I saw her again: "I don't want to go on. I want to stay here with you mum."
When I opened my eyes, my arms still held her shape but she was gone, and so was everything else...
Happy Mother's Day mum, wherever you are now. I miss you badly.
A staggering 97 percent of people working in IT claim to find their life at work stressful on a daily basis.The survey also revealed that workload is the number one work stress that these workers faced. Feeling undervalued came second, followed by deadlines, type of work people have to do, having to take on other people’s work, lack of job satisfaction, lack of control over the working day, having to work long hours, frustration with the working environment and targets.
Four out of five IT consultants feel stressed before they even enter the workplace, in anticipation of another day juggling complaints, pressure from managers and daily targets.
And a quarter of IT experts are under such enormous pressure to perform at work they have taken time off suffering with stress.
The poll also revealed that a third of IT professionals say it is difficult to get the work done when managers are constantly on their backs.
One IT respondent said: “I spend most of my day fielding calls from people who don’t even have a basic knowledge of computers and printers.
# Never answer your mail. 99 per cent of those who write to you are in an inferior position. Why else would they write? However, requests for reprints of your articles should be answered immediately to ensure rapid propagation of your brilliance.
# When reviewing a book be certain to find at least four errors in judgement or fact. Remember, as a book reviewer your superior position has already been acknowledged - it is your task to justify that trust.
# Never address an audience without a piece of chalk in hand. The listener's eyes are glued to this weapon waiting for it to strike.
# Never give a talk without a mathematical derivation.
# If anyone in your audience is not taking notes, glare at him unmercifully. the gems of your oral utterances deserve to be recorded for posterity.
# Learn the music of at least half a dozen early composers, preferably all before Bach.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Bookmakers believe that even if a criminal gang did not sabotage the Spurs players’ food, there was a leak of vital information that gave the syndicates a head start...Previously: We were poisoned!!!
A lawyer working for a London bookmaker, who asked not to identified, said: “The big money on West Ham started just before 8am. Serious chunks of cash were being waged, enough to win £1m or more on a single bet. Millions will have been won in Asia.
“We think it is suspicious because at that time there had been no public announcement about the illness. We don’t know if it was a gambling syndicate trying to ring the game or inside information.”
A court of appeal in Canada is being asked for the first time to determine whether legal decisions made in Singapore are sufficiently fair and impartial to meet the standards of justice of other developed countries.
In documents tendered to the appeals court in the province of Ontario, Singapore's judicial reputation has been subject to scathing attack. Lawyers have alleged in court documents that the Singapore legal system is an "utterly politicized component of executive rule" in which there is no guarantee of fairness even in commercial cases. The Singaporean Ministry of Law rejects these claims.
The case, now before the Ontario Court of Appeal, has also become a forum for some critics of Singapore's political and justice system and served to resurrect grievances about old legal cases brought against opponents of the People's Action Party, which has been in power since 1959.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
A Malaysian peddler of pirated DVDs has been busted after unwittingly offering his wares to Consumer Affairs Minister Shafie Apdal as he sat at a popular restaurant strip, a report said.(Thanks Farid)
Shafie, who is masterminding Malaysia's campaign to crack down on piracy ahead of negotiations with the United States for a free-trade agreement, was offered a range of the latest movie titles, the New Straits Times said.
He then organised a sting operation which saw the peddler arrested after he sold DVDs to officers posing as buyers, it said.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I'm really honoured to be in the company of other wonderful photobloggers Imran from Singapore, Ziboy from China, Hayath from India and Leslie who is backpacking in China till Christmas, in the awards' Best South East Asia Photoblog category. If I'm one of the judges, I will give the award to Foto by Imran. Imran's works are simply stunning. Well done mate.
Lastly, many many thanks to all those who took the trouble to nominate my photoblog. You guys are the best! Here's something for all. Just click the play button, listen and enjoy.
powered by ODEO
Thanks again and lots of love.
Dude dances to various genre of music from the likes of MC Hammer's Can't Touch This to N'Sync's Bye Bye Bye. This dude is da bomb! I just can't stop laughing while watching him over and over again. Kinda reminds me of the dance steps I used to do and still do today. Ha!
Hmmmm. I don't know about you but to me, the iVibe looks like and acts like a vibrator. Crikey, what are they going to think of next?
Previously: iGallop Supreme
8. Yomogi MushiYomogi Mushi for you ladies? Hehe.
This centuries-old therapy is imported from Korea and basically involves wafting steam into the privates of females for the purpose of enhancing their reproductive capabilities. How does the steam reach its destination, you ask? Well, you sit naked, legs akimbo, on a chair with a hole in the seat. Then an assistant puts a small tent over your head and adds boiling water and herbs to a basin underneath you, whereupon steam billows up through the tent and poaches your accoutrements. Obvious, really.
“It cleans the uterus,” explains therapist Eiko Nomichi. “Women use it if they have a problem, or just to maintain good health.” Professor Keum Pang of Howard University in Washington, DC adds, “This practice enhances general homeostasis, circulation and vital energy, leading to healthy fertility with hygiene.” In the end, it made no difference to my homeostasis, but I’d certainly recommend it to any woman seeking an unusual way to dry-clean her lady-garden. Rakuzaya, ¥2,010 for 30min.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
1. At the end of the week, specifically Friday and Saturday, many locally employed walking ATM machines will come to your bar, choose carefully! Some have money, but others do not! If he is wearing a suit and tie, check that the tie is not a Pratunam special and check that he isn't wearing trainers. If he is, forget him because he is most likely an English teacher, and they will only give you peanuts, if they give you anything at all.
2. No matter how fat and ugly he is, no matter how bad he may smell, no matter how drunk he is, make sure you always tell him he is handsome. Sit close to him and run your hands over his body, arousing him. As soon as he has paid the bar fine, you can stand clear of him. Even if he knows that you despise him, he'll still pay you. The hard part is getting him to pay the bar, and as soon as he has done that, the rest is easy.
Walk through the Ferrari factory towards the end of the working day - its hours are like regular office hours, Monday through Friday - and it can seem almost like you're in Willy Wonka's candy factory. On the line where they make V8-engined F430s, young workers in full Ferrari-red regalia circle around their work stations, smiles on their faces, and a tune whistling from their lips.(Thanks Reed)
Most of the people working on the factory floor are in their 20s and 30s, as a whole chunk of older workers - hired in the sixties - retired recently, all at the same time. So as if building Ferraris wasn't enough, the whole place buzzes with a lot more energy than your typical car factory. Workers have decorated their stations with Ferrari stickers, Schumacher posters, and other automotive memorabilia; they're free to wear what they want, but they're all wearing something red.
One thing I hate about deep frying is those disgusting looking black food particles left in the cooking oil. Draining the oil is such a chore so most of the time, I will just throw it away. Now thanks to this cool Japanese video, I finally found a brilliant way to clean the cooking oil so that I can reuse it for future cooking. You'll need to make a starch paste, put it in the microwave oven and then put it into the oil to attract the particles.
Step 7 Cooling the Wort
Congratulations! At this point you have wort (pronounced wert). Wort is simply unfermented beer. Quicker is better when it comes to cooling. One method for cooling is to create a cold water bath in the sink to partially submerse the brew pot in. Adding ice to the bath will help accelerate the cooling process. Gently swirl the brew pot in the cold bath water. Once the sides of the brew pot become cool to the touch you're ready for the next step but first a word on sanitation.
Monday, May 08, 2006
The dreams of my beloved Tottenham Hotspur football club (Spurs) were over last night in an almost unthinkable dramatic manner. Needing a win against West Ham to cement their fourth spot in the English Premier League which guarantees them entry to Europe's most profitable competition, the Champions League, Spurs lost 2-1 in the end. To make matters worse, their biggest rival Arsenal won their last game to take the fourth spot.
Actually I feel the writing is on the wall even before Spurs kicked a ball at West Ham. BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson who frequently predicts a lost for Spurs but they win anyway, surprisingly decided to pick a win for them against West Ham. A sign of bad luck coming from him maybe. Then just before the game started, news came in that 10 of Spurs players suffered from food poisoning. The game was in doubt but it did go on after Premier League officials told Spurs that they cannot postpone the game. From ESPNsoccernet:
Michael Dawson, is generally a pale faced individual, yet he looked close to collapsing on a couple of occasions. Trying to stretch out his hamstring, the centre-back collapsed head first into the pitch at one point and with Spurs officials desperately trying to administer bottles of fluid to their stricken stars, it was clear that this was no scare story. From the moment referee Chris Foy blew his whistle for the first time, their efforts their biggest league game in almost 30 years were doomed.The Telegraph has a better account on what actually happened. From the Telegraph:
'I have never experienced anything like this in my career before,' stated Jol after the game. 'We have ended up finishing fifth, but this cannot be considered a fair situation. The Premier League said we could delay kick-off, but I wanted this match to be played on Monday. By then, the food poisoning would have been out of our system and we could have tried properly, but it wasn't to be.
At that moment, 10 first-team Tottenham players, including their leading scorer, Robbie Keane, and Michael Carrick were violently sick with food poisioning. For hours it seemed that Tottenham, who had a squad of 17, were not even sure they could field 11 players at West Ham. Indeed, when I arrived at Upton Park at 1.30pm, one Tottenham director told me: "We will have to field 10, have you got your boots?"I'm no sour grapes. A loss is a loss but do think about this. 10 of our players mysteriously struck with food poisoning before the most important game of the season and our rivals, Arsenal needing a victory to claim the fourth spot from us, manage to win their game. This defeat is so hard to swallow. If we had our players fit and healthy and lose out to West Ham, I think most Spurs fans will admit we are not good enough and we will give credit to Arsenal for taking the fourth spot on the very last day.
...Then, from about 1am, virtually Tottenham's entire team were violently sick: Davids, Tainio, Keane, Dawson, Carrick, Lennon, Cerny, the reserve goalkeeper, Davenport, Barnard and Lee. Carrick, the most ill, was hardly able to walk.
To say that someone (maybe one of those Arsenal fans) deliberately contaminated pre-match meal that was given to Spurs is a serious allegation but if this is true, then I pray that the guy who poisoned the meal has a lifetime of diarrhea. And as for Arsenal, I hope Barcelona kick their asses come the Champions League final next week. Man, I'm going to be sick.
Scientists at the Defence Intelligence Staff, part of the Ministry of Defence, reportedly described how glowing "plasmas" of gas were created by charges of electricity. Air flows then sculpted the plasmas into aerodynamic shapes which appeared to fly at extraordinary speeds through the sky.(Thanks seow)
The researchers were emphatic that UFOs did not come from alien civilisations, but equally did not dismiss those who claimed to have seen them as fantasists or hoaxers, the newspaper said.
Instead, they said such plasmas could play tricks on the mind, creating vivid impressions. They noted that "local [electromagnetic] fields...have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the brain."
As a result, people who thought they'd seen a UFO were instead suffering from "extended memory retention and repeat experiences" induced by the plasmas.
The Voice Of America repors on Singapore's very small steps toward a more liberal society. From VOA News:
While strict limits remain on freedom of the press and assembly, his government now allows gatherings, in hotels, of more than five people. He has liberalized somewhat the ability of people born abroad to acquire Singaporean citizenship.The Sydney Morning Herald puts out the headline "Opposition makes waves in Singapore" and highlighted the Prime Minister's apology to an earlier statement he made. From smh.com.au:
These are not the sweeping changes the government's critics would like to see. But Sinapan Samydorai, president of the Think Centre, which promotes greater political openness in the country, speaks favorably of Mr. Lee.
"So, I think, under him, he does want to open up a little bit more, and, I think, he wants to relate with the younger generation," said Sinapan Samydorai.
It is clear Mr Lee expects to lead the country for many years to come, and comments he made last week showed he does not want a pesky opposition getting in the way.The Standard, a business newspaper in China talks about the doubts remaining in Singapore's political system and the arrest of James Gomes from the opposition, The Workers' Party. From The Standard:
"Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in Parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I'm going to spend all my time thinking what's the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters' votes," he said on Wednesday.
He later apologised, saying he had meant he would have to spend time countering the opposition rather than addressing issues of state...
"No party lives forever. The PAP's overwhelming dominance is making them less battle-ready," Sylvia Lim, chairwoman of the Workers' Party, said on election day. "The PAP has an arrogance towards the opposition. When we released our manifesto, they told us to change it because it was politically not acceptable."
The Workers' Party ignored the Government's demand. With its slogan "You have a choice", it tapped a new desire in Singapore for a more open, inclusive political environment. It won recognition in the electorate for the calibre of its candidates and the organisation of its campaign, polling 38.4 per cent of the vote in the seats it contested.
"You have a political system where one-third votes for the opposition and yet only has two out of 84 seats," said Garry Rodan, head of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. "So one-third is under-represented in parliament and large numbers of those are probably losing out in the economic restructuring...."The International Herald Tribune carrying a report by Agence France-Presse focuses on the hard-line campaign tactics and financial incentives that the PAP uses to retain control. From International Herald Tribune:
An opposition politician was arrested Sunday for allegedly threatening the country's election officials, a day after he failed to win a seat. Workers' Party candidate James Gomez was arrested Sunday for alleged "criminal intimidation," his aide Jacob George said.
Gomez was attempting to leave the country but was stopped by immigration officials, who turned him over to the police.
Before the election, the government - which denied buying votes - announced cash handouts ranging from 200 to 2,600 Singapore dollars, or $127 to $1,650, to adult citizens as their share of national surpluses resulting from economic growth under the PAP.Previously:
Despite this strategy, 44 percent of voters in a working-class district supported political newcomers fielded by the Workers' Party against a more experienced PAP slate led by George Yeo, a former foreign minister. As a result, the Workers' Party, which has attracted professionals to its ranks, is entitled to a nonelected seat in Parliament under a "best loser" provision, in addition to the one held by its re-elected leader, Low Thia Khiang...
Sinapan Samydorai, a human rights advocate, said the PAP's share of seats was not representative of popular sentiment because of the "winner take all" political system in Singapore.
"There is a sign of hope" that if the opposition "can get more than 30 percent of the vote," he said, adding, "People recognize that there is a need for an opposition, but they are not getting the seats yet."
How to win the General Election
Voting in Singapore is compulsory... really!
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Ultrasound technology has revealed that there are far fewer milk ducts in the breast than previously thought. As a result, experts believe the loss of only a few ducts in cosmetic surgery can seriously affect the capacity to breastfeed...(Thanks Shy)
...the glandular tissue is concentrated nearer the nipple, not evenly distributed in the breast. The findings could change the surgical strategies for women who want their breasts either enhanced or reduced, as tissue is often taken from near the nipple area.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
China expects 100 million bloggers to be writing about their life, love, angst and inspirations on the country's cyberspace by 2007...
The paper said there will be more than 60 million bloggers in China by the end of this year. The word "blog" was one of the most searched words on the Internet in China last year, the report said. A survey by Baidu.com, a major Chinese search engine, shows that there are 36.82 million blog sites in China that are kept currently by 16 million people.
Zhang Xiaorong, strategy development director of "Bokee", one of the first blog service suppliers in China, said his company adds about 100,000 blogs a day.
A total of 3,738 mothers simultaneously nursed their babies for one minute yesterday in Manila to break the world record for such an activity and to make Filipinos aware of the importance of breast-feeding and its health benefits.
The attempt to break the Guinness world record was successful.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the previous record was held by Berkeley, California, where 1,135 mothers simultaneously breast-fed their babies for a minute on Aug. 3, 2002.
A flying ghost at Changi Hospital, a playful tree spirit at Bedok Reservoir and the ghost of a girl who died at the famous Yellow Tower at...
You can watch an almost live webcam (30 secs delay) of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant which suffered major damage from the 9.0 earthqu...
Meet Xu Rong . She's an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and judging from her photos posted on her blog an...