Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Canadian is Miss Universe 2005

Natalie Glebova of Canada was crowned Miss Universe 2005 in Thailand today. Glebova, 23 was picked over runner-up Cyntia Olavarria of Puerto Rico after answering a final question about what she considered the biggest challenge of her life. Beauties from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela completed the Top 5 finalists. Earlier, judges narrowed the field of 81 contestants to 15, then 10 during the competition as the Miss Universe hopefuls modeled evening gowns and swimsuits.

(picture from rediff)

AMD Athlon 64 X2 - The Power of Two

AMD unveiled their dual-core desktop processor in response to Intel's launching of their own dual-core chips, recently. Dual-core chips, which contain two separate processing cores, can run more than one application at once, or run many single applications much faster. Computers with a dual-core chip can also outperform computers containing two single-core processors, although the difference can be hard to discern. Dual-core computers will consume about half the energy and cost less to buy and maintain than computers with two single-core chips. Early tests have shown that the AMD processors have an edge over Intel's processors. Another advantage of the AMD processors over their rivals is that their chips can be incorporated with current motherboards with only an update of the BIOS whereas Intel chips requires a change of its motherboards. I was recently a AMD convert after my 3-4 year Intel system kaput. It looks like my decision to migrate over to AMD was spot on.

5-Day Week for Civil Service

Good news for the country's 1 million civil servants. Soon, they will be working a 5-day week after the Government has agreed in principle to the proposals of a 5-day working week and the reintroduction of COLA (no...they won't be getting a free can of COKE....it's the Cost of Living Allowance which was scraped in 1974).

However, this does not mean working hours will be shortened as an extra half an hour would be added to the weekdays. Currently, civil servants do not work on the first and third Saturdays. The announcement surprised many as they had not expected for both proposals to be accepted by the Government. Reactions so far were positive. Read more here.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Save the Whales!!!

2137 whales could be hunted this year....what are you doing about it? Can you do anything about it?!? You can....by taking part in the Greenpeace Virtual March to be held on June 19 at Ulsan, Korea. All you need to do is select a slogan, print it, take a photo of yourself holding the slogan and send it back to them. It's as easy as that. So, act now...SAVE THE WHALES!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I've seen it. It's RUBBISH!!!

I have to agree 100% with the statement made by Marvin, the Paranoid Android with an over-sized head in the movie..."I've seen it. It's RUBBISH!!!". How The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy managed to be the top-grossing movie of the weekend in the US and Canada at that time amazes me. The humour was dry, the plot was dumb, just a waste of time and money if you asked me! And they are thinking of making it into a trilogy? Please spare us the agony!!! Fortunately, Malaysians will only be able to catch the movie at the cinemas on June 23rd, enough time to warn fellow Malaysians not to be fooled into watching the movie. Hopefully, Malaysians are smart enough not to waste their time and money, not even on a pirated VCD. Luckily, I didn't have to spend a single sen watching it.

How is it that I was able to watch this movie when it wasn't even available in Malaysia yet? Alright, I downloaded it through a peer-to-peer (P2P) technology called Bittorrent, although I'm using a different client which I find more suitable for my needs. Downloading that movie was just a waste of my bandwidth! Some other movies I've watched recently with the help of this technology and how I grade them (like anyone's going to give a damn since everyone would probably have watched them by now):
Of course, I've also benefited in watching the whole Season 1 of Desperate Housewives and catch-up with some of the CSI: NY episodes I've missed using this P2P technology.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

CM: Stop Harping!!!

The Penang CM has finally responded to the suggestion of his office being rotated among the Barisan Nasional component parties. He has called on all quarters to stop harping on the issue and let it lay to rest as it has already been resolved. It took the CM close to a week to respond to the suggestion made by the Bukit Mertajam UMNO Division chief for his position to be rotated. He had to wait for the PM to speak his mind first before he made a comment. I admire his gentleman ways for keeping quiet all these while but it actually reflects a weak leadership. He can't even fend for himself! Is it surprising at all they are always bringing up this issue every now and then? When will he put his foot down once and for all? Penang needs a strong and tactful leader at its helm if Penang is to progress. Is KTK the answer? Was KTK ever the answer?

Previous posts on this matter:

Ugly Duckling

It's just an 'ugly duckling'. That's what the Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib thinks of the controversial structures at the Jalan Udini roundabout which Penangites find 'ugly and obsence'. Despite great opposition, the beautification project will proceed. He assures critics the project will be beautiful when completed at the end of June. A reader suggested to the council to 'replace 'art' with plants at Penang roundabout'. So, until we see the transformation of the ugly duckling to a beautiful swan, we will have to endure the ridicule from neighbouring states and be blinded for yet another month (at the very least!). Can you believe that?

Related articles:

Friday, May 27, 2005

PM: Rotation Unnecessary

The PM has finally come out to comment on the suggestion of the Penang CM post to be rotated among the Barisan Nasional component parties. The honourable PM, who hails from the state himself, does not see the need for such a rotation as any CM or MB is responsible for the welfare of the people regardless of race or religion. He went further to state that it is the principle of Barisan Nasional to look after the needs of everyone. That should be able to shut them up!

Previous posts on this matter:

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Carrie Underwood is 4th American Idol

As I blog this, Carrie Underwood has just won the title of the next American Idol beating south rocker Bo Bice. It was one of the best final ever with country music going head-to-head with southern rock music. Carrie has been delivering consistent performances week-in week-out throughout the competition and is surely a worthy winner. With my favourite idols Vonzell Solomon and Constantine Mouralis eliminated, Carrie Underwood received my support for the American Idol title.

Early Americans=Asians?!?

This is interesting news indeed! A report states that:
Members of American Indian tribes and millions of their counterparts in other regions of the Americas may be descended from as few as 70 people who crossed to Alaska from northeast Asia to Alaska during the last Ice Age, according to new research by a Rutgers University geneticist.
Read more on the findings of this research here.

Myvi: My Vehicle, My Vision

The new Perodua Myvi was launched by the DPM yesterday at the JW Mariott Hotel. Car-buyers and car enthusiasts alike have been eagerly awaiting for the launching of this car which is a product of a successful and continuing collaboration between Perodua and Daihatsu (a subsidiary of Toyota). The model is expected to contribute 27% of total Perodua sales. If you can't get to the Perodua site, you can read up more on the specs here.

(picture from Perodua)

Six Minutes of Madness

Trailing by three goals at half-time, Liverpool fought back to level the score with three goals in six minutes to shock AC Milan and take the match to extra-time which they eventually won on penalties 3-2. Liverpool is the new European Champions (argh! It hurts so much!). Some are suggesting this 'great escape' is comparable if not better than the two famous goals that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the most thrilling Champions League Final ever between Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Another final decided on penalties...how tragic! Liverpool is now requesting for a place in next year's Champions League (which they didn't qualify) so they could defend the trophy. Anyways, congratulations to the Reds for being crowned the new European Champions...

(picture from Soccernet)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Perodua Myvi Official Launching

Tonight will see the launching of Perodua's latest model, the Perodua Myvi. It will be an interesting model since it is the company's first 1.3 model and it will also feature safety specs such as front airbags and ABS with a price range of RM41,200 to RM51,300. Proton's TRM model which has been postponed many times is currently being heavily advertised as potentially a bigger hit than the Perodua Myvi and is persuading potential car-buyers to wait for their model and not regret by buying the Myvi. I doubt that will be the case. If the TRM is that good, why didn't they launch it in February when it was expected to be launched? Perodua has a better reputation compared to Proton and everyone knows that. Time for Proton to admit defeat and do something to change their image once and for all. Hmmm...maybe it's time to trade-in my SLK (no, not that one....I meant my Small, Little Kancil!).

Road to Istanbul

The journey ends with the match between AC Milan and Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League Final. Who will end up with the much coveted trophy? Who will be crowned European Champions? Find out on ASTRO's live coverage on ESPN at 2.30am tomorrow morning. As much as I want an English team to win it, I would prefer having AC Milan win it so Liverpool fans won't taunt me with this victory. Go rossoneries!

Country vs Rock

That was the theme for the American Idol Season Four final performance with South rocker Bo Bice competing with country girl Carrie Underwood for the coveted title of the next American Idol. I've just watched the both of them sing competitively for the last time and Carrie was much better although they were both good. Simon Cowell even commented that Carrie had done enough to win the competition. With one of the closest finals ever concluding the best American Idol season ever featuring a great line-up of contestants, support for both idols are split right in the middle. Bo Bice was the better performer but Carrie carried her vocals better (no pun intended). It all depends now on how America votes and with only 2% of the votes seperating these two in the previous round, it will never be any more accurate to say now that every vote counts! With my favourite rocker Constantine and my favourite female vocal Vonzell Solomon voted out, I will be supporting Carrie for this one. Bo Bice's songs just didn't connect with me and in the words of my grandma, "What else does he know except to carry and swing that stick (mic stand) around". The next American Idol will be announced tomorrow at the Kodak Theatre in a 2-hour finale.

CM Rotation: Mere Suggestion

The DCM came out to explain that the recent call for the Penang CM post to be rotated among Barisan Nasional component parties during the Bukit Mertajam UMNO division meeting was merely a suggestion and not a motion, reported The Star newspaper today.

He explained that only a motion passed during the meeting can be brought forward to a higher body in the coalition party. However, I would like to remind the learned DCM that the Senator intends to present this motion at the Dewan Negara. It doesn't matter if it was just a suggestion or a motion, or it was to be presented to the UMNO Supreme Council or the BN Supreme Council or the Dewan Negara, it's still a signal of intent and a stupid suggestion that will not benefit Penang at all. Will they not learn from the failure of the Sabah CM rotation debacle?

Earlier posts related to this issue:

Penang's Second Link Will Bring Changes

The last installment of The Star's three-part series on the Penang's Second Link today highlighted the changes that this bridge will bring. These changes include the good and the bad. Among the changes will be the development of the Batu Kawan township and the southern part of Penang island, and also the fears of sea pollution causing the displacement of fishermen.

Penangites were also urged to express their views on the Penang Structure Plan 2005-2010 to help chart effective development strategies for the state.

Earlier posts related to this issue:

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Just Impossible...

That's probably the best way to describe my 'boss'. Initially, I've planned to write a very long and nasty post but being a wiser man now, I know how time can help heal stuff so I took the higher road and let Father Time do his job.

However, I would still like to comment on a few stuff. I have to admit my supervisor has changed a lot recently (for the better of course). However, sometimes....the character that we all hate so much will creep back, somehow. I had a torrid time when I first join his lab but later, when I learnt to cope with his character, life was then much easier. At times, the words that he uses are just too blunt although he probably meant otherwise.

Knowing he would probably make a comment on my recent absence from the lab (due to the time spent at the hospital caring for my grandma), I tried my best to avoid seeing him so there wouldn't be a scene. Being a result-orientated person that he is, I took the opportunity of all the spare time I had especially during the recent long weekend holidays (and also the one before) and countless tiring nights to complete my analytical work so that he would be happy to see results and not make my absence into something which is not. However, we unfortunately met in the lab earlier today and as predicted, his blunt comment came. I promised myself earlier to just follow the route I've always used - to just smile and swallow the bitter words he uttered - but due to the emotional roller-coaster I've just gone through and the sacrifice of my much needed holidays just to please him, I had to let him know he was wrong to judge me that way. However, after a few rounds, I stopped myself and ignored him before I was dropped as his student.

Throughout the day, I felt crappy. He must understand that not seeing someone in the lab, does not mean he is not working. There's always the time when you are not around that people are working. Other students will only work during office hours or on working days just to show that they are working but I'm not that type of person. In the evening, he dropped by the lab and saw me washing up some glassware (and probably realised I was actually working). I just ignored him just so I wouldn't get pissed off and probably get my butt kicked-out of USM. Suddenly, I realised he was calling me repeatedly. He wanted to know if I've collected my keychain souvenier that he brought back from Bali. I told him I didn't and I chose the hat. He looked sort of 'concerned' that I didn't get my keychain and questioned my labmate about it. I explained that I was fine with not having the keychain since I have just too many of them already! He walked off to go home only to come back and remind me to help out in planning for our new wet lab facility. Only then did I realise that he still does value my contribution to the lab and it reminded me that the incident this morning was just a flash of his old character and not to take it to heart.

There are still some matters that I would want to point out such as not compensating me for my tutoring the lab classes (which he did the previous time) and also not wanting to give me a copy of the photos I took for him during the recent seminar but I'll keep them for another day. Today, I'm feeling better already and I don't want to spoil my mood spending more time on these stuff.

P/S Thanks to those who 'volunteered' to listen to me rant about this and probably kept some of you behind (later than you would probably have wanted) in doing so. Really appreciate it...

Response to CM Rotation Suggestion

The Sun newspaper gathered feedbacks on the recent proposal to rotate the Penang CM post. Most interviewed agreed that a rotation will bring more harm than good to Penang as I've suggested yesterday with only the DCM supporting such a move. Is that surprising at all? When will these people come to their senses and stop dreaming of power? Their top priority when holding public office is to serve the rakyat, not their own interests. Politics should never be used this way! Shame on you!

Penang's Second Link: Alternatives

Coverage on the Penang Second Link continues today in The Star's second installment of a three-part series which attempts to rationalise the RM2.6b project or find alternatives to resolving the traffic woes on the Penang Bridge.

The CAP's suggestion was similar to the one made by me yesterday which stresses the importance of an efficient and sustainable public transportation system.

Another article quotes lecturer Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fathan Mohd. Sadullah from the School of Civil Engineering in USM. He suggests that a bus shuttle to and fro the island and mainland could help resolve the current traffic condition on the Penang Bridge. He envisions that a bus capable of carrying 60 passengers could translate to having 60 less cars plying the bridge. It is similar to my opinion that a monorail linking the island and mainland would help reduce traffic on the bridge but his idea is more suitable for implementation in the near future and probably more cost-effective.

Both are noble ideas which must be explored immediately if we are to tackle the traffic woes in Penang and the bridge, in particular. The Penang Municipal Council and Penang State Government should stop wasting time and public funds on silly things like the 'ugly cones' and start working on important matters such as this. Can't they set their priorities straight?

Wisteria Lane Hysteria

I've finally watched the Season Finale of Desperate Housewives Season 1. Man.. this series is a must-watch! Why men should watch this series too? The same reason why men should watch 'Sex And The City' (although I've only watched some episodes). Season 2 should be as great!

P/S This picture taken from the Desperate Housewives homepage is so HOT! Unfortunately it wasn't part of the final episode. :(

Monday, May 23, 2005

CM Musical Chairs?

Once again, some idiot comes up to make the stupid and controversial call for the Penang CM post to be rotated among Barisan Nasional parties. Bukit Mertajam UMNO Division chief Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir made the call at the division's meeting. If the Chinese or Indians were to make similar calls for the Selangor or Perak MB positions to be rotated, for example, they would probably be shot and ridiculed in public!

He claims that if Sabah was 'successful' in rotating the CM post in the past, Penang should have no problems carrying it out also 'to prove there is tolerance and understanding among the coalition parties'. What rubbish! How about rotating the PM position to show such 'tolerance and understanding'? Does his racist soul, corrupted heart and unlearned mind want to see Penang rot even further with such a rotation? Has he forgotten why it was UNSUCCESSFUL when it was implemented in Sabah and was scraped off in the end?

He even went further to claim that 'most Malay entrepreneurs could not get contracts from factories in the state because they were not given the opportunity to break into the market'. What is he trying to say here? Is he even suggesting that if a Malay was to take up the position of Penang CM, Malay entrepreneurs will then be able to get 'opportunies'? If I'm not mistaken, that sounds very much like corruption to me! If the factories does not award them the contracts, they should reflect at themselves or even question the decision of the factories. What does that have to do with the CM position?

As you all know, I'm not such a fan of the current CM anyway, so you should know that I'm not defending him here. I am not against any race taking up the post of CM. I'm not a racist. As long as the person is capable enough and deserves being in the position, and there is no such rotation, I'm fine with it. Rotation brings chaos, uncertainty and there won't be a continuity which is vital for progress. If he truly loves Penang so much, he shouldn't have made such wild claims. More details here.

Live from Parliament House

If you are interested in seeing how your statesmen are performing in Parliament and wondered if they are worth being paid tax-payer's money, or just to see the antics of their debates, you will be able to see them live on the internet soon enough. However, only sessions in the Dewan Negara will be aired first. This should spark the elected representatives/appointed statesmen to perform better in fear that the rakyat will smite them if they would to fall below standards during the live sessions. I've seen some sessions of the Dewan Rakyat before and some were very boring and the issues brought up were quite silly or irrelevant. With the live sessions, hopefully both the Houses will now be under the microscope and the rakyat will be able to monitor the performance of their representatives more effectively. Read more here.

Still No Inkling on Penang's Second Link

Penang Bridge is congested, congested, congested....
Penang Bridge is congested, where's my Second Link....

(Sung to the tune of 'London Bridge is Falling Down')

Penangites would be singing to this tune soon if the current situation continues. The North section of The Star today highlighted the plight of motorists plying the Penang Bridge during the recent long holiday weekend and once again called upon the authorities to act and rectify the problem fast.

The Federal Government recently approved the expansion of the current Penang Bridge from 4-lanes to 6-lanes and postponed plans for a second bridge between the island and the mainland to after the completion of the expansion. The question here is, can we truly afford to wait any longer? For 10 years now the current Penang Bridge has been running on over-capacity on a daily basis. The situation of the Penang Bridge is very much like a blocked artery and this is causing Penang to lose its charm when attracting foreign-direct investments (FDIs).

I agree that Penang probably has too many cars/motorists for its own good but the two things that can help reduce the number of motorists (the implementation of a new and efficient public transportation system and the construction of a monorail system) are yet to be seen. As such, Penangites will still have to wait for a long time before the situation gets any better and more people will rely on cars to get to their destinations on time.

In my opinion, the Penang State Government should act quickly to revamp the current embarassing public transportation system and make it a priority to implement the monorail system immediately. Maybe then, we wouldn't need a second bridge and the proposed RM2.6b to be used for the Second Link would have been used effectively in elevating the traffic woes in the state through an efficient public transportation system with the monorail as its backbone.

Desperate for 'Desperate Housewives'

As I blog this, viewers in the US East Coast would probably have just finished watching the Season Finale of Desperate Housewives Season 1. Spoilers are popping up everywhere on the Internet and I shall resist the temptation to read them (although last night I've read some mini spoilers....). Can't wait to downlo....I mean, watch the Season Finale! Damn keyboard! ;)

I've already watched all previous 22 episodes and it seems this episode will carry us through to Season 2. Will someone seed the Season Finale already?!?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Home At Last

My grandmother was discharged from the Penang Adventist Hospital this morning after a weeks stay under the care and supervision of the doctors and nurses there. It has been the day we were looking forward to for so long and none other will be more excited than my grandmother herself! She is recuperating well and hopefully she will be jumping up and down soon (figuratively speaking)!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the caring and dedicated doctors, nurses and staff of PAH for a job well done. Again, I thank all well-wishers, family and friends for their care and support.

Ugly Cones Receive Editorial Support

The saga of the 'Ugly Cones' continues today with an editorial comment in The Star. 'On the Beat' with Wong Chun Wai, a Penangite himself, highlighted the issue of inappropriate structures/beautification projects and explains such wastage of public funds by the local governments is not confined to the Penang Municipal Council only. The Page 28 article is graphically supported by a comic of the 'artistic' structures at the Jalan Udini roundabout by Reggie Lee.

Related articles:

Luckless Devils

Arsenal clinched their 10th FA Cup victory after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out, the first ever to be decided by a shoot-out, in a game dominated by Manchester United. The result tells the tale of MU's season where they couldn't find the back of the net and finish off opponents in games they have dominated. Alex Ferguson took a swipe at Arsene Wenger's 'boring' tactics after seeing the self-proclaimed attractive-attacking Gunners playing awfully dull football. MU answered criticisms especially from the Higbury camp that MU wouldn't survive in a football match if they stopped playing 'determined' English football and were to play attractive attacking football. Arsenal had to eat their own words in a game where they were frequently troubled by the attacking flair of MU, the entertaining side on the night. However, Lady Luck wasn't to shine on MU. Jens Lehmann (the best performer for Arsenal on the night) saved Paul Scholes' penalty kick during the shoot-out after a 0-0 draw in extra-time and the 2005 FA Cup Final was decided in the worst and cruelest way possible, through a penalty shoot-out.

I'm not too disappointed with the outcome (although I stayed awake until close to 1am watching my team lose knowingly I have to wake up at 6am to go to campus). Positives from the match:
  • MU showed Arsenal how to play attractive attacking football
  • MU proved to Arsenal they can be superior without playing 'dull' determined football
  • MU's young players were more effective on the night
  • MU players will be more determined and prepared for next season and not cover-up the underachievement of the team this season (like last season)
  • MU won't need to play in the Community Shield next season especially with an already packed pre-season schedule and Champions League qualifiers
  • Shows the importance of having a top-class goalkeeper (go get one already!)
There will always be next season and MU will be more prepared!

P/S On another note, Kimi Raikkonen wins the Monaco Grand Prix to move up to second spot in the overall driver's championship standings, behind Renault's Fernando Alonso.

Wesak Day

This is the most important day of the Buddhist Calendar as it marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Buddhist devotees will gather in temples throughout the country to release doves and to offer prayers. Wesak is also an occasion to offer alms to monks and give free meals to the needy.

Some 12,000 devotees are expected to take part in the Wesak Day procession at Penang today. The devotees from 43 Buddhist temples and associations will start the procession at 6pm at the Malaysian Buddhist Association's premises at Jalan Burmah and wind 7km through several streets before ending at the same venue some three hours later. The route will cover Jalan Pangkor, Jalan Kelawei, Lorong Burmah, Peel Avenue, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Anson and Lorong Madras. Celebrations committee chairman Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun said 21 decorated floats would join the procession. The main float will be decorated with 300,000 stalks of flowers, centring on a three-metre tall sitting Buddha statue. The theme for this year's celebration is "Do Good for Harmonious Co-Existence".

Saturday, May 21, 2005

FA Cup Final

The 2005 FA Cup Final will kick-off soon between the two most successful sides in FA Cup history. This Final will most likely be the last held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff with the new Wembley Stadium scheduled for completion by the next FA Cup Final come next May. The teams will be featuring in their 17th Final tonight, a record appearance. Obviously, I'll be supporting my team, Manchester United to a record-extending 12th FA Cup victory. Go Red Devils!!!

'We Will See Tomorrow'

That was the answer given by the doctors when asked when my grandmother can be discharged. It seems all indications point to a sure discharge tomorrow which is very good news. Apart from the occasional coughs, everything else is fine. She is even eating rice now instead of broth!

Well, since others could care for her today, I took the opportunity to do some lab work today. Since it will take at least 4 days due to the lack of funnels (not the lack of desire on my part), it will be a long, long working weekend for me considering that it is suppose to be a long holiday weekend.

Saddam 'Exposed'

The British tabloid, The Sun's front-page picture of the fallen dictator Saddam Hussein in his underpants has drawn criticism worldwide with human rights groups and Muslim groups condemning the US for violating the Geneva Convention over the treatment of prisoners. More details here.

(picture from The Star)

Friday, May 20, 2005


Another of those 'special' dates we adore so much. Earlier this month, 050505 was the craze. Just two weeks down the road, another pops up and everyone goes mad doing things to 'commemorate' the day. I still feel the most significant of these 'special' dates was on 20.02.2002 at 20:02 PM. You just can't beat that....ever! Unless you live to 21.12.2112, 21:12 PM. :)

'Much Better'

I've been hearing this over and over again, day after day. This is the prognosis given by the doctors on my grandma's condition. As much as I'm glad to hear those words (probably not as much as 'soft foods' cos that was really a big development!), I'm actually getting bored and tired of hearing it. Isn't there anything else to say? Anyway, I'll take it anyday. :)

She's only hurting when she coughs which started yesterday. Apart from that, she's good....she's 'MUCH BETTER'. ;)

Miri City: Malaysia's 10th

Miri celebrates its city status today following an extravagant proclamation ceremony held last night at the city centre. Miri is Sarawak's third city and Malaysia's tenth. However, Georgetown - historically, officially and legally Malaya's/Malaysia's first ever city since January 1st, 1957 - is still considered just a municipal today although its city status was decreed under Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Charter. What gives?

This will only make Penang (and Georgetown in particular) fall further behind, lacking the funds to improve this historical city. The Penang State Government lacks the foresight to see the importance, pride and urgency of this matter. I can't wait for KTK and his cronies to move up to the federal level or just disappear altogether so that the dropping standards and stagnation of my beloved Penang will finally end.

It took the lose of Penang to then-Opposition party, Gerakan during the 1969 general elections for others to sit up and take notice of Penangites. Do we need a repeat of that to be taken seriously again?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

'Soft Foods'

You can't imagine how glad I was to hear those words. Not that I liked soft foods, those words mean my grandma has moved to the next phase of her recovery. 'Full Fluids' was quite a horrible phase, so 'Soft Foods' was a welcome development. Her condition throughout has improved quite a lot and that's really good news. However, I received some not so good news in the afternoon. She had somehow developed a condition. It seems it is normal to develop such a condition after surgery for people her age. At the moment, only 3 souls know of this including me. Since it wasn't as serious as first thought, the status quo should remain that way unless new development arises but I have to admit I felt all my strength seep away from my limbs when I first heard it without the detailed explanation. All in all, I'll put today as a good day with good progress.

The Saga is Complete

"Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away....."

It's finally here, the final installment to the Star Wars saga opens in cinemas worldwide. Fans and critics' opinions on the movie are divided with some claiming it was as bad as Episode I and II, and others saying it was better than expected. One thing they agree upon though, it's the darkest chapter among the double trilogies. The moment I can find the time, I'll make a trip to GSC Gurney. An earlier post regarding this can be found here.

Ugly Cones: Council Finally Responds

The Penang Municipal Council may decide to remove some of the hibiscus structures at the Jalan Udini roundabout, reports The Star today. Finally, they have come to their senses. THANK GOD!!!

Related articles:

River Terrapins: Prof Chan to the Rescue

Once again, turtle expert Prof Chan Eng Heng aka 'Turtle Chan', makes it to the limelight with her well-known conservation efforts for turtles and river terrapins. Her wish for the river terrapins to be classified as an endangered spesies could soon be realised with the front page news of The Star today. Frankly speaking, they are really very ugly and smelly but I support the conservation efforts nonetheless.

'lce' Clean-up Near Completion

The 'Snowing in Penang' phenomenon will soon come to an end with the cleaning up operation set to finish, claims an article in The Star today. More on this can be found at the following links:

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More Updates from the Hospital

Was planning to run some analysis at the lab today since my aunt was on leave and was able to care for my grandma, but I only woke up at noon. There goes my plan. Went to visit my grandma at the hospital after fetching my cousin from school. Turns out she didn't get much sleep last night because she was having a lot of 'wind'/air in her stomach (I forgot the term used to refer to that condition). She has been uncomfortable and moaning ever since and didn't want to take anything causing the stomach discomfort to get worse culmunating in a vicious cycle. She also vomitted once. On the bright side, she walked twice today and she felt better after she 'pang sai' (more like just releasing air) in the evening. Oh...did I mention that the husband of the patient (yup, she's out of ICU) mentioned that he thought my mom was my sister? Well, that really caps my day... Anyway, I get that a lot, so I'm very used to that comment already. :)

Public Transport in Penang Set to Improve?

The CM of Penang announced yesterday that efforts are underway to improve the disgraceful and inefficient bus services in Penang, reports The Star. He is also confident the Penang monorail project will still be implemented as talks are still ongoing. I've heard this talk too many times to know that Penangites must still wait for awhile more before this becomes a reality.

More Coverage on Ugly Cones

The now infamous cones erected (no pun intended) at the Jalan Udini roundabout has received more coverage in The Star today. The man-made hibiscus structures, part of the RM300k beautification project, has drawn more flak from Penangites and visitors alike, with one reader even writing in to condemn the state councillor for daring to question the intelligence of Penangites. Read more on the article here.

Related articles:

Snowing in Penang

Or so it seems. This is what an article in The Star had to say.

Celcom Launches 3G Services

Celcom, a subsidiary of TM Bhd, marked World Telecommunications Day yesterday by launching their 3G services, the first mobile operator in Malaysia to do so. Maxis Communications will launch their 3G services sometime early July.

Personally, l welcome this new development since so many other countries have been enjoying this technology, notably Japan. However, it will probably be a few years before l adopt this technology since 3G handsets and subscription rates are still costly, and usage and coverage not widespread enough yet. I would rather get a PDAphone and use Skype at a WIFI hotspot whenever available to make FREE calls and surf the web. Video calls? Not practical yet on handphones at current 3G environments in Malaysia.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

i'm lovin' it!

For dinner, I tried the new McD offering of Grilled Chicken Foldover (can't they come up with a simpler name?). For ala-carte, it costs RM6.50 exclusive of tax. It was really a big helping. It is packed in a box and you would have to remove the top portion of the box to eat it. The bread tasted very much like nan bread, probably garlic nan. There's lettuce, onions and tomatoes, and of course the two lightly grilled white chicken meat patties, all topped with creamy garlic mayonsaise, and tighly tucked in the tasty toasted flatbread. I have to say it is delicous and I liked it very much. It wasn't oily at all and they should probably market it as a healthy meal, in my opinion. Another good offering from McD. Why can't KFC follow them? Their latest Curry Chicken is horrible and to think that they replaced Hot & Spicy with that! I will take Hot & Spicy any day! I guess I won't be going to KFC anytime soon. If you guys have not tried the foldover thingy, go try it.

Another Day at the Hospital

Woke up at 5am again today. Got myself ready and made a trip to campus and do some stuff at the lab and reading room. It turns out my supervisor brought back gifts from the latest conference he attended in Bali. I chose the bushman's hat. I already had too many caps and keychains. The tie was just not my taste.

Travelled all the way to the hospital using the Jelutong Expressway...I expected Jalan Masjid Negeri would had experienced a bad traffic jam with so many schools located along the road. From then onwards, it was just routine. Grandma getting better but still on fluids. Probably soft foods from tomorrow. Was asked to try walking but she was still groggy, I guess from the morphine, when she tried in the morning. However, she did walk with assistance in the evening but was in a lot of pain after that.

There were two new 'tenants' in that ward today. A young girl and a young lady. Didn't know what the girl was in for but the lady had abdominal pain. The Indonesian lady opposite my grandma's bed had not returned from ICU yet. She went in for surgery (removal of her uterus) at 5pm the day before and the surgery was expected to take 6 hours. Ever since after that, she has been in the ICU. Hope all is well.

Oh yeah....there's this old lady in this ward which lights up the room with her comical character. She's the old conservative type and practically anything that comes out of her mouth would make everyone in the room laugh, sometimes probably due to her naviety....well, maybe not laugh out loud but a snicker or smile (and laughing inside). She was quite difficult to handle and fortunately, she is in good hands. The person caring for her was a patient lady and was able to persuade her in many ways. Sigh....I can't go into details or it will take up too long a time to write it all out but what I can say is that her character lights up the room from time to time. Apart from my mp3's, work I brought to do and materials I brought to read, that kept my day going. Tomorrow I'll be taking a rest from the hospital but I'll have to go to my lab. I guess that's not counted as rest! So, time for me to rest now... :)

Monday, May 16, 2005

'Ugly and Obscene'

An article in The Star today featured the cones recently put into place as part of the beautification project of the area. It looks like Penangites especially the residents around the area concur with the comments made in this post ranging from ugly, useless, waste of money and obsense (all mentioned earlier in this blog too). Remember...you heard it first from this blog.... ;)

Related articles:

A Day at the Hospital

Phew! What a day indeed! Woke up at 5am and got myself ready to go to the hospital. The occasion? My grandma was about to get her swollen, infected gallbladder removed (sorry for the grossly detailed description...). Had an MRI scan at 8am, talked a bit with the doctor and he told me the procedure was something-scopy, (I've heard of many other -scopies, just not that one...) and open surgery was the last option. He was confident open surgery wasn't necessary at all.

She was taken to the OT slightly before 10am and I had to wait for 2 hours before I got any news on her procedure. Turns out, open surgery was necessary after the scopy thingy didn't work out. I had the 'honour' to see the removed gallbladder. It wasn't really a pretty sight, trust me. It was the size of about an adult's palm when opened up. According to the doctor, a normal gallbladder would measure just half of that size. Now, that's swollen!

Had to wait another 2 hours for her to recover in, yup...you guessed it...the recovery room before she was transfered back to the ward at around 2pm. She was still moaning from the pain since after surgery. Oh yeah, there was this nurse that told me my grandma was on painkillers when I informed her about my grandma's moaning in the recovery room. Guess what, that wasn't true! I found out that the painkillers were just administered at 3pm at the ward, none at the recovery room! Ooooh...she has a pretty face but she really has to change her attitude (as I also found out from my mom over dinner!). I guess I wasn't the only person who felt she had an attitude problem. Anyway, the morphine really helped and she was feeling much better after that.

Well, the morphine was also to help her get the rest she need to recovery and heal. Fortunately (or unfortunately...depends on how you see it), relatives came pouring in. We felt grateful, of course but I could see she didn't really get the rest she should be getting. Well, the rest of the day was routine...so fast-forward to just an hour ago, I finally reached back home. Had earlier planned to drop by my lab and maybe do some lipid extraction but my exhaustion just got the better of me. Well, that's all my brain can remember for now. Tomorrow's another day...

P/S Thanks to all who have conveyed their well wishes. Really appreciate it.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

WBA's Great Escape

Former England and MU's Captain Marvel, Bryan Robson managed to keep WBA in the English Premier League for another season after defying all odds on the last match day of the season. WBA were bottom of the league during Christmas and Premiership history tells us those unfortunate clubs will be relegated. However, strikes from Horsefield and on-loan winger/midfielder Richardson kept the door open for WBA. Norwich, with destiny in their own hands before the match knowingly a win will keep them in the Primiership regardless of the results elsewhere, were thrashed 6-0 by Fulham while Crytal Palace were held 2-2 at The Valley and Southampton ended their 31-years in top flight football with a loss to MU. Congratulations to the Hawthorns.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another Sumatran Earthquake

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit West Sumatra at 1.05pm earlier today according to this report. I did feel a short tremor at my lab around that time but after not being able to get any news or information online reagarding an earthquake, I figured I was probably just tired. I guess not!

P/S I was writing this post when I felt the tremor. Check the timestamp.


I'm talking about food again. Well, not comfort food this time. A lunch banquet (sort of) organised by Prof. Roshada (my supervisor and her share the same lab...we work in the same field, Fish Nutrition) and her husband as a treat for obtaining their Professorships. Well, actually they have been Prof. for a long time now but only now did they take the opportunity to organise a banquet.

There were prawns (not the largest I've seen but still good enough), chicken and mutton. The mutton was delicious! It was so tender and juicy, it makes you want to go back for more and more and more! Well, overall the food was good. Heck, free food is always good....oh, wait a minute, free food can suck too...oh, well this round, it was good. :)

Congratulations on the Professorship!

I was in an accident....

...ALMOST! Left home for my lab early this morning (before 7am) and took the Yeap Chor Ee Road to USM. It was raining, something more than a drizzle and I was cruising at a constant speed of 60-70 kmph on the road, as usual. I saw this very old pakcik riding his bike slowly at the side of the road. I took precaution by slowing down a bit. Close to the end of the school, suddenly this pakcik cut into my lane just right in front of me with an intention to go to the opposite side of the road! Hell, I slammed on my brakes and my car skidded on the wet road. I tried hitting my brakes again and again while trying to gain control of my car but the tyres still had no grip and kept moving forward. The pakcik swerving left and right didn't help in the situation either! I honked my horn repeatedly hoping the pakcik will be smart enough to accelerate ahead instead of stopping! The brakes kept schreeching and probably that and the persistent honking forced the pakcik to accelerate and move away from my car. Finally, my car stopped, at least 50m from the time I starting braking. My car was stationary in the middle of the road for about 10 seconds. Fortunately, there weren't any cars around (behind/opposite road/etc.) and I looked at the pakcik who had stopped his bike at the side of the road by now. He looks as much shaken from the incident as I was. He's one lucky man, probably his time wasn't up yet. I was so sure my car was about to hit his bike then. Just imagine if I had not slowed down initially as a precaution. I slammed the brakes so hard, my leg still hurts hours after the incident. This incident just reinforces my belief that old people should be kept away from the roads after a certain age. As radical or controversial as this may sound, not only can it ensure the safely of the old folks themselves, it can make the roads a safer place for other motorists too. This is not my first incident with old folks behind wheels that were not able to make the right judgements. I was able to avoid any unfortunate incidents at each of those occasions. Will I be so lucky the next time?

P/S No, uphoryx....I was not taking photos while driving at that time! :P

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th again. Are you feeling superstitious? Try out this quiz to check how superstitious you actually are.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Countdown to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The countdown begins! On May 19th, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith will be screened worldwide and bring the epic saga of Jedi Knights and Sith Lords to an end. Yes, that's just 7 days away and cinemas worldwide will be packed with fans and fanatics alike. I'll be watching the movie, that's for sure but I definitely do not fall in any of those two categories. Listen to this short clip of dialogue between Darth Vader and his son, Luke Skywalker.....in Hokkien.

And since we are talking about the Hokkien dialect, I recommend this blog to you all - Wa Si Hokkien Lang. I'm sure you'll enjoy it (if you understand it, of course). :)

Is Your Laptop Really Safe?

You have a Kensington lock and you feel that your laptop is safe, secured and theft-proof. THINK AGAIN! In this video clip, the guy demonstrates how quick and simple it is to open/disable the lock using just the spindle from a roll of toilet paper and in mere seconds, your laptop is gone. Another popular method is the use of a pen and these methods demonstrates how simple and fast it is to pick these locks using cheap and available 'tools', without employing any physical force and will not leave a single forensic evidence behind. You have been warned. Even if you have to go to the loo, bring along your laptop along!

EPIC 2014

This flash movie tries to predict the future and the actions of Google in particular in the next 10 years. What will 2014 be like and how will Google influence our lives then? Most importantly, what is EPIC? View the movie here to find out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Story About The Poor NS Dodger

Ahmad Hafizal, a Form Two dropout, was yesterday jailed for 14 days in lieu of his RM600 fine for skipping the National Service (NS) programme. He has been working in the paddy fields to help his divorced mother make ends meet, thus missing the NS programme. He is the first of many to be brought to court for dodging NS. His story evoked a wave of sympathy throughout the nation after seeing how poor his family was from an interview with the mother.

Earlier today, Ahmad Hafizal was freed by the police after a representative from the office of the Perlis Menteri Besar paid the fine of RM600 at a magistrate's court in Kangar.

What caught my attention was not the sympathy of a poor boy jailed for skipping NS and unable to pay the fine but what the mother, Noraini Said, had to say about the situation. It was very much in contrast of what we would expect from other parents who will vehemently defend their sons and daughters while wallowing in self-pity. Instead, she actually welcomed the sentence and wanted it to be an example for others. She also hoped that others will not use the issue of poverty as an excuse to skip the NS programme. I agree with her on this. Parents nowadays will over-protect their children even when they are in the wrong, blaming others for their misfortunes and using every single excuse available to them. Noraini Said was different, she stood for what was right even if it meant seeing her son going to jail for it. For this, I salute her.

(picture from The Star)

Records Broken

United were defeated 1-3 at home to the new champions, Chelsea although taking the lead through Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal early on in the game. There were some shoddy decisions by the linesman but the Red Devils were beaten by the better team on the day although United didn't lack passion or confidence throughout the match.

The match will be remembered for many things, one of them being the Chelsea players greeted by a guard-of-honour comprising United players as the new champions took to the field. With their 29th win of the season and their eighth consecutive away league success, Chelsea also broke the Premier League points record of 92 set my United in the 1993/94 season. They are currently at 94 points with one match to go. The win also stopped the run of games United were unbeaten after scoring the first goal and the stretch of unbeaten home games at Old Trafford. It is a sad day but there will always be next season and of course, the FA Cup Final to look forward to.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

UPM in Crisis

The title might be a little dramatic but that's the condition of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) at the moment.
Siakap senohong, Gemala ikan duri;
Bercakap bohong, Bolehkah jadi menteri?
This infamous pantun (rumoured to have targeted the Higher Education Minister) has contributed to the recent crisis in UPM which has escalated to the point that the V-C has being asked to resign by the university Board of Directors. Among the key issues involved are the transfer of the Aerospace Engineering programme from UPM to University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the appointment of two DV-Cs (both names not in the list recommended by the V-C) and of course, the pantun above. Why is this issue important to us and why should we care at all? The autonomy of the Malaysian institutions of higher learning is now at stake. Now then, do you feel that this issue is important enough for all Malaysians to take notice?

To know more on this issue, read these articles:

What is it?!?

This photo was snapped (while driving) at the Gelugor round-about. It has been there for a while now and they have even added another one nearby. It seems that this is part of the ongoing efforts by MPPP to upgrade and beautify Penang island. I really do not know what it is but one thing I know is that it is hedious and a waste of public funds. One of my friends even suggested something naughty when I asked her what it was! I suppose she too doesn't know what it is, do you?

Related articles:

Sumatra Rocked by Earthquake Again

A magnitude 6.4 quake shook the seabed southwest of Indonesia's Sumatra island approximately 8am this morning. For more details, read this article from The Star.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Miss Phuket after the Tsunami?

A picture I received from my aunt in the mail. Is this how Miss Phuket looks like after the tsunami? Just for laughs....

What's Your Blood Type?

An interesting article I found. Your blood type will be able to tell your personality traits. Read more about it here.

DiGi Sparks Next Round of Prepaid War?

DiGi today launched its DiGi Prepaid MTV Powerpack that gives you free unlimited SMS to your 6 'Friends & Family' and free unlimited MTV downloads (but you still have to pay for the GPRS charges...the contents are free though). You will enjoy many other value-added service which you can check out at their website. The catch? You pay RM5 every month for the service. If you ask me, that won't really harm Maxis Hotlink's service much, if any at all but who am I (a Maxis Supplementary Line subscriber) to tell you that. Go check it out and decide for yourself if the deal is worth it. I still feel Maxis campuszone for prepaid and postpaid is more pocket-friendly to the university/college students.

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Penangites woke up to a heavy downpour this morning which started in the wee hours of the morning. This helped to cool down the island a bit which has been experiencing unbearable hot weather recently. A report on Page 2 of The Star today says that the water levels of the dams in Penang are down to below 50%. Hopefully, the rain helps in increasing the water levels although the report also claims that 80% of the state's water supply were derived from the Sungai Muda in Seberang Perai.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

My plans to have a family Dim Sum on Mother's Day morning didn't work out so I had to go out and buy them back. Unfortunately, my grandma wasn't able to eat any due to her inflamed gallbladder and the oily nature of Dim Sum (but that's why we love it!). We have to observe her condition till Monday morning. With the day coinciding the 1st day of the month in the Chinese Lunar calendar, those who temporarily turned vegetarians for the day had to wait till later that day to feast on the dishes I've brought back. Too bad...(followed by a sinister laugh....).

My webcam arrived today. It's a very low-end model from Genius which we redeemed through Bonuslink. Plugged it in but couldn't see my face! The room was too dark. The webcam needed more light to function properly. There goes our plans to do video-conferencing with our relatives in KL and Singapore (for the time being at least...). For free telephony, you guys should try Skype. The quality is very good.

Also, my virtual football team at Hattrick was crowned league champions again today although never reaching the pinnacle of the league before the last match of the season. It was just surprising and unbelievable that one of my rival teams lost and I overtook him at the top of the table on the very last day. Yippie! You can view my team at this page.

In the real world however, Kimi Raikkonen wins the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona (hurray!) ahead of Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher retires on the 46th lap (cue sinister laugh....).

UPDATE: Arsenal defeated Liverpool 3-1 sealing second spot and confirming Everton's participation in the Champions League qualifications next season. Juventus beat title rivals AC Milan 1-0 which moves them three points clear with three matches remaining.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sinful Cravings

I have a confession to make...I love food! Especially those 'sinful' ones which make you regret eating them later on and probably get a real bad case of heartburn! Have a look at some of the dishes we had for our 'Pre-Mother's Day Celebrations' (if there is such a thing...) and you would understand what I mean...

Chicken Cordon Bleu...one of my all-time favourites...cheese, ham, chicken fillet and rich butter all rolled up into one...also known as the 'Meat Karipap'. Taken with special tartar sauce, the cheese will ooze out with every cut you make.... ~*~yummm~*~

Fish in Butter and Lemon Sauce...another favourite of mine...grilled fish fillet topped with a piece of rich butter and lemon juice, supplemented with tartar sauce...the fillet absorbs the flavours so well, it's heavenly... ~*~drooooool~*~

Chicken Chop...a common dish but a favourite among many...chicken meat deep-fried and topped with special trademark sauce...just by looking at the other person piercing the juicy and tender meat with a pair of fork and knife, you want to dig in yourself!!!

Satay...an all-time favourite for Malaysians and tourists alike...marinated meat BBQed over charcoal fire to juicy perfection...eaten with spicy, chunky peanut sauce, cucumbers and onion slices.

Would you have been able to resist these temptations? ;)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Royal Hawaiian Island Assam Masala Supreme Laksa Chicken?!?

Today is my brother's birthday. Had Pizza Hut to celebrate the occasion. However, the @#$% outlet mixed up my orders AGAIN! This has happened before and I don't know why we still go to the same outlet for take-aways. I ordered Royal Masala and Assam Laksa but they gave me Island Supreme and Hawaiian Chicken instead. Is it so difficult to differentiate the pizzas? I think this would probably be the last time I visit this outlet. Again, I stress...this wasn't the first time this has happened to us. The next time I go to a Pizza Hut outlet for take-aways, I'm opening up the box to check first!

I was suppose to get the pizzas earlier though (but I reached home just in time....PHEW!). I was stuck at my former school teacher's house repairing her computer. I had earlier feared that it could possibly be a hardware failure. Fortunately, it was just a corrupted 'config.sys' file. Used the Windows XP CD I brought to repair and fix the problem. She is now a grandmother and I can see how proud she is of her grandson who is yet to reach 6 months. Congratulations to her.

Following up on yesterday's posting where I predicted that 080808 will be a really desirable day for weddings, an article in The Star reports that 83 Chinese couples tied the knot in Penang yesterday. I guess my prediction is right on track!

Earlier today, the Labour Party led by Tony Blair was returned as the next Government of Britain albeit a much smaller majority compared to the 2001 elections. Apart from making history for the Labour Party with an unprecedented third consecutive term, he has a chance to beat Margaret Thatcher as the longest serving PM of Britain. Would he survive the full 5-year term? Time will tell...

Oh yeah....this evening, while leaving the campus, I saw a certain lecturer hopping into a new black Mercedes-Benz (PGH ****)!!! Not surprising though. Do you guys know who? I bet some of you do. ;)

Thursday, May 05, 2005


What does these numbers mean to you? For me, ZIT....NOTHING! There will be a 060606 next year, 070707 the year after, 080808 the year after that and so forth. So what? These sequential numbers will be there till December 2012 (121212), so there's nothing so special about it. If you 'miss' this year's...there's always next year to look forward to. Probably the fengshui masters will go into hyperdrive when we get closer to 080808. Hmmmm....let me be a seer now and tell you their forecast for that day... "it will be a prosperous day...... a very good day...... a very auspicious day..... yada..yada..yada". Not surprising, isn't it? Probably many people will get married on that day too although it would fall on a Friday. Let's see 3 years from now, shall we?

Since today is such a 'special' day, let me jot down some stuff to 'mark' this day. Was discussing with my supervisor on my experimental results today. Results were good and not good. Go figure! After further analytical work, I should proceed with my next feeding trial. I noticed however, that my 'boss' was wearing a new pair of glasses! Yikes....he's changing his image! Phew...I'm glad I didn't make my new glasses yet (still tentative though...). At least now, I know which design NOT to choose. Wouldn't want to be wearing the same design, you get what I mean?

Today also marks the day that petrol and diesel prices were increased as mentioned earlier. Also, a heavy downpour in the afternoon gave Penangites some reprieve from the recent unbearable hot weather.

Apart from that, today will be a significant day for the Britons as they go to the polls with Tony Blair seeking his third consecutive term for the Labour Party. Although I'm not too keen to see him win (partly due to his part in the Iraqi invasion), I'll probably put my money on him to win it. If he succeeds to win a third term, it would be a historic feat for the Labour Party as they had never won a third consecutive term before. Will he make history for the Labour Party?

Hey, look! I'm posting this at 5.05pm. Coincidence?!? Hmmm....I wonder....

ScienceDirect Back Online

For those who are not in the know, we now have regained full access to ScienceDirect within USM. I guess USM library has finally paid their subscription dues. You may proceed to download your backlogged journals now!

UPDATE: Blogger uphoryx informs me ScienceDirect was operational as early as the week before. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fuel Price Increase CONFIRMED!!!

There were earlier rumours that there will be a fuel price increase for both petrol and diesel, 10 and 20 sen respectively, starting midnight tonight. However, according to Screenshots at 7.10pm, the price hike will only involve diesel, increased by 10sen per liter. You may get more updates on this matter at Screenshots. Anyhow, it wouldn't hurt to fill up if your tank is near empty, right? I'll drop by the petrol station on my way back since I'm nearly dry and was planning to fill up tomorrow anyway.

UPDATE: It has been confirmed that there will be an increase of 10 and 20 sen for petrol and diesel respectively starting midnight tonight. Screenshots made the update after announcements made by Bernama and TV3. My trip to the petrol station wasn't futile after all! ;) (updated 20:45)

Good Old Friend of Mine

Today, I made a 'surprise' visit to my friend who just got back from UK a couple of weeks ago. We were from the same primary and secondary schools and were fortunate enough to work together in scouting and prefectship. Although he is slightly short in stature (no offense...) but he definitely makes up for it with his huge character. Spent a bit longer than I anticipated (what's new?) catching up and discussing stuff before we went out for some early dinner.

Derek, was a great pleasure meeting up with you again. Always a nice person to talk to or discuss things with. You made my life that little bit more colourful during our days in PFS and for that, I thank you and will always cherish those memories (especially the real lawak ones!).

P/S I was suppose to look at my former high school teacher's computer which prompted her to repair/configure using a Windows XP installation CD (which I don't carry around, you know...). However, I wasn't able to make it to that 'appointment' before the deadline of 'before late afternoon' due to me meeting up with my good old friend here. From my personal experience though, it could probably be hardware failure in the form of RAM/processor/MoBo and to a lesser extend, HDD or AGP. Hope all's well now.

Liverpool In The CL Finals

Although I'm an MU fan, I was ecstatic to hear that Chelsea was dumped out of the Champions League semifinals by a controversial 4th minute goal by Luis Garcia. This is because Jose Mourinho has to eat his own words now and gets a taste of his own medicine. Also, he won't be able to gloat whatever bullshit that usually comes out of his arrogant mouth. He claims that the best team lost that night but didn't he claim that Porto was the better team when they beat MU last year (with his players diving and playing shameful football) and he ran, jump and holler like a crazy baboon on drugs down the touchline of Old Trafford?!? Come on, the goal was scored in the FOURTH minute. You still had 86 minutes plus whatever injury time to level the scoreline and go through on the away goals rule. The same scenario happened during the League Cup final when Liverpool were up as early as the first minute but still Chelsea won the cup in the end. Mourinho is becoming a sore loser very much in the mould of Arsene Wenger. We can only hope he will learn to accept defeat more graciously as how Wenger has changed through the years. Congrats to the Reds for reaching the final (although we are suppose to be rival clubs). Enjoy your success as much as you can now...MU will be back stronger next year!!!

UPDATE: Milan will play Liverpool in Istanbul after proceeding to the finals through the away goal ruling, losing 3-1 to PSV Eindhoven in the second leg with an aggregate score of 3-3.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Can I Get Some Popcorn Here?!?

Today's topic: MOVIES. Was watching the Extended DVD version of ROTK, the movie that completes the epic trilogy of LOTR. Some of the clips that didn't make it to the big screen definitely helped make the story more complete but some were rightly left out. They just dragged the movie longer (as if the movie wasn't long enough!). I guess Titanic (1997) set the precedence for long movies during the modern era. It was rumoured the movie was suppose to run about 5.25 hours! Fortunately, the editors were sensible enough to cut it down to ONLY 3.5 hours! The package includes Appendices for the movie and I liked the Atlas feature the most as it guides you through the journey of the various characters. For those whom have yet to watch the extended version, I do recommend you to do so soon.

Bloomberg reports the latest Disney movie 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' opened as the top-grossing film over the weekend in the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, Malaysians will only be able to catch the movie on June 23rd at GSC cinemas nationwide. Movie buffs will be looking forward to the conclusion to the epic story Star Wars when it opens worldwide on the May 19th. With 'Episode III: Revenge of the Sith', this epic comes full circle and the transformation of Anakin Skywalker to the dreaded Darth Vader is complete. I've marked my calendar, have you?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Peaceful May Day

There were no untoward incidents during the May Day celebrations yesterday as earlier feared. There were no strikes or demonstrations and Malaysians celebrated their long weekend holiday travelling and resting. However, workers in other Asian and European countries 'celebrated' this holiday by hitting the streets and participated in 'peaceful rallies', mostly asking for better wages and more condusive working conditions.

This actually shows you two things about Malaysians; 1) they are better off than their counterparts in other countries and 2) Malaysians really know how to enjoy a good holiday. Either that or Malaysians are just too care-free to bother but personally, I prefer to think we are the former rather than the latter.

Union leaders took this opportunity to call on the Government to provide workers with a better deal, with Cuepacs requesting for civil servants to be paid 13 months a year instead of the current 12 months.

Some wierd and interesting news that made it to today's papers:
Well, back to work tomorrow everyone!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Labour Day

Workers Day, Labour Day, May Day....call it what you want but it's a public holiday as a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. Since May 1st falls on a Sunday this year, this can only mean that tomorrow will be a holiday too! Hurray!

There has been 'threats' that this year's Labour Day celebrations will be marred by strikes from taxi drivers (demanding an increase in taxi fare) and lorry, factory bus and bus drivers (over the diesel crisis). I hope that these strikes and demonstrations will be peaceful in nature and not cause any harm or trouble to all Malaysians. It's a holiday, dude...CHILL OUT!!!

Apart from that, Malaysians will take this long weekend to have a good rest before returning to the rat race on Tuesday. Let's hear how you spent your Labours Day weekend.

Have a nice holiday...

In The Beginning....

Yes, I have finally gotten myself a blog after much pestering from friends. You can even hear them rejoicing now but others have dreaded this day, the very day that I will get my own blog and speak my mind out. It's not enough that they have to listen to my views in person, now they have to confront with them online?!? Surprisingly, many are very keen to hear my thoughts, however mind-boggling, provocative or controversial they may be at times, hence the title of my blog - "Making Waves". I guess sometimes people just like to hear the naked truth that they have so often avoided in their daily lives and the thought provoking themes I've provided gives them just the right adrenaline rush they needed so dearly. Go figure.

The thought of having my own blog has crossed my mind a couple of times now but I was hesitant at first because knowing me, I will just put too much time into it, defeating the purpose of having one in the first place.

So, after much thinking...here's my blog. It's not the finished article yet, let me remind you. Similar to moving into a new and empty house, I'll be making some renovations so please bear with me during this period. In all, I hope you would enjoy the entries I make in this blog and hopefully receive comments from you too, however simple or cynical they may be.