Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Our nation celebrates its 48th year of independence today. It seems a little bland this year as if it's just another holiday, nothing special to suggest it is the anniversary of the formation of our nation but can we blame Malaysians for not feeling very patriotic about it?

What does 'merdeka' or freedom mean to you? Are we any closer to acheiving a Bangsa Malaysia or Rakyat Malaysia or a Malaysian Malaysia? We are still identified through our ethnicity in this country as much as we want to be just called Malaysians. We were born to this sovereign state in the same circumstances but treated on different terms. We were born after the independence of the Federated States of Malaya and the formation of Malaysia but we are still not considered equal citizens and do not share the same privileges. Read what Wikipedia have to say about the definition of bumiputera. In actual fact, we are now farther than we were from the very beginning. It seems as if non-bumiputeras have slowly come to accept this divisive policy. We talk about the external threats of neocolonism but the threat of oppression from within is staring right in our face. On the anniversary of our nation's independence, it is a time of reflection.

Today is regarded both as our National Day and our Independence Day. However, that is only half true. In actual fact, today should be celebrated as our Independence Day or Merdeka Day only, as it is correctly referred to. However, our National Day or also known as Malaysian Day should be celebrated on the 16th of September, the day Malaysia was formed back in 1963, a date many Malaysians do not bother to remember. If it all sounds complicated, it is.

I had wanted to play Sudirman's rendition of 31 Ogos to commemorate this day but I felt that lively tune would be really inapproapriate now that we should seriously think where our nation is heading to. So, I chose Negaraku instead to keep that patriotic fire in us and hopes for a better future alive and strong.

Selamat Hari Merdeka to all Malaysians!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Moving Day

My labmates and I, along with the help of some lab assistants, toiled throughout the day to move our equipment and facilities from the old Fish House (where we run our feeding trials and make our feeds) to the new Aquaculture Centre. Someone must have stepped on some important toes as we have been virtually banished to a dark, secluded corner of USM! I'm actually too tired to write about it as I have a few injuries on my body and my muscles are aching like mad so I'll just keep it simple. :P

We were expecting at least to move everything today but since we started late and also the lab assistants were not willing to work beyond office hours (they came up with the reason that they were too tired to 4.30pm....*roll eyes*), we had to find another day next week to continue moving the rest of the stuff. I did bring along my camera but didn't dare bring it out to snap a few photos and risk a tongue-lashing from my boss - "So free ah....can take pictures...want more work?" - so no pictures. I was surprised that he was sort of nice to me too and was not so warm with another student (that's a story for another day).

Well, we're quite close to being able to start work (hopefully within the next two months!) so I'm quite happy and relieved about the whole situation. It really bugged me for awhile that I couldn't do anything but just sit on my sorry ass until we complete the move to the new facilities. The thought that we could start work soon really motivated us to work through the pain barrier and get the job done as soon as possible. Well, as usual I have to do the shopping and marketing. So while others are already freshening up and taking a rest (or even having a nice warm dinner), I'm at Tesco getting supplies for the lab with my dirty clothes and all (well, the good thing is, none of the promoters dared to offer me any of their products while I was dressed so shabbily). Worse still, so that I could have a good rest on Merdeka Day, I went back to USM to settle some stuff later in the night! What a day indeed....

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the lab assistants for their help today although we didn't exactly achieve all our objectives. Well, till next week and another tiring day.....

Monday, August 29, 2005

Graduates Blog

I've been thinking of this idea for awhile now. Wouldn't it be great to have a group of graduates contribute to a single blog? It could discuss about the current education system and how to improve it, current issues, daily research life and all that stuff. It could also be a place to release your emotions (erm....maybe that's not such a good idea). I dunno....I'm also thinking of making podcasts and a million and one other things are in my mind at the moment but I truly want to kick-off the graduates blog thingy. What say you guys? It doesn't actually have to be about all those crap I talked about above, but membership exclusive to graduates. At least we are heeding the call by the Prime Minister to use our brains for the good of the country, no? if I don't already have too much on my hands at the moment.... :P

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Van Helsing

I just watched Van Helsing on HBO and I'm quite impressed with the movie. I truly didn't know what I've missed until now. I thought it would just be some silly show like the rest about vampires, werewolves and the sorts but I think this was quite well written and the acting was not bad at all. The special effects were done quite well and it wasn't really that obvious it was all computer graphics. I didn't know it was that advanced back then. What happened? If they were capable of such things in the past, I'm sure the world would be a much different place by now but I guess it's just fiction. I didn't know vampires and werewolves were sort of like sworn enemies either. I guess I've not read enough about that, just watched it through some movies. It is however ingrained in me now that these two creatures don't get along. Just shows you the power of television, no? I hope I've not missed too many shows like this. I wouldn't say it's the best movie ever but it was truly a good watch. Enjoyed myself. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Is This Gurney Plaza?

I've not been inside Gurney Plaza for awhile now. My past few visits to Gurney Plaza would mostly just involve the parking lot and the alfresco dining area outside. You can imagine my look when I walked into the shopping area this afternoon (think eyes wide opened and jaw dropping look). It has changed so much, I couldn't recognise the place anymore. There's so many new shops around and some of the old shops have been moved around. I felt as if I just came out from the jungle! Gurney Plaza has changed so much since my last visit and they are still changing it still! There's renovation at every part of the shopping mall to 'upgrade Penang's premiere lifestyle shopping mall' or something like that. Luckily I had my mom to guide me around *blushes*. Anyway, I was sort of like her designated driver yesterday, that's why I was inside the shopping area instead of my usual hanging-out at the alfresco dining area. It's a stark reminder of how outdated I am nowadays with what's in and what's not. The world is truly leaving me behind and I have a lot of catching up to do. Sigh.....

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hokkien Podcast

Recently, I was listening to the podcast on It's an initiative by a Penangite who was born and bred in Penang but now studies, works and lives in the United States. I found out about that podcast from another blog which I follow and have introduced it in my blog previously - Wa Si Hokkien Lang. It started off with a somewhat small group of listeners which were mostly his friends but I'm sure after being mentioned on WSHL's blog, he would probably be having more than the 'small group' of usual listeners. It's kinda funny listening to a Hokkien podcast and some of the topics brought up can really crank you up. However, the host's laugh can be SO annoying! After listening to all the episodes including the previews, it starts to get boring as it just turns out to be friends who just gossip among themselves and reminisce about their schooling days. I would advice potential listeners to listen to the podcast with a handful of salt and an open mind. I will still be following the podcast though and hope they will improve on the topics at hand (and a personal request to cut down on that laugh just a few notches :P). The host also has his own show at Ongline Podcast, which is pretty much about his daily life and is in English. Recommended listening if you have time to spare. :)

UPDATE: Apparently, episodes 1 and 2 are considered beta recordings too. I've now listened to episodes 3 and 4 which can be considered the true shows and they are pretty good and much improved from the earlier shows. If you want to have a good laugh or enjoy listening to Hokkien conversations, this is one podcast to listen to. I absofuckingnabehponatslutely enjoy listening to it every week. By the way, you can put away that bag of salt of yours. Not required for this podcast. :D (updated 05092005)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Beware File Swappers!

Antipiracy watchdog Business Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association have joined Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) in urging the Government to set up a special unit to surf the Internet for local websites distributing illegal copies of movies, music and software. The unit could comprise Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry officers and would deal solely with online piracy.

RIM also warned home PC users who illegally share MP3 songs to beware. If the association gets its way, the police will be knocking on the doors of these filesharers. RIM intends to lobby the Government to act against all illegal filesharing activities and not just those that profit from such swaps. Should you be clearing your hard drive now? :P

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Talk

When Google talks, everyone listens and Google is talking loud and clear this time around. Google has just released (about a few minutes ago) their new communications tool, Google Talk - their very own instant messaging client that allows you to chat, email and make quality calls to your friends on Google Talk. It's only 900k in size so downloading the installer is fast. Installing it is simple too and it will prompt you to uninstall Gmail Notifier since Google Talk has that incorporated already. You need to login using your Gmail username and password. Once you are in, you will be greeted with a minimalistic design. The clean, neat and simple interface will surely appeal to many. It doesn't support file transfer and those other functions found in other IM clients at the moment but knowing Google, they will add more functions to this baby in the future. Let's not forget, this is still in BETA! (hmmm...what isn't?!?) The auto-update function ensures you have the latest stuff offered by Google. Anymore reason for me to keep Skype on my system? Nope! Bye-bye Skype! Let's see if I can say the same for Yahoo! Messenger in the near future! :)

(picture from Google)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wanted: Dead or Alive!

Oh dear....they've successfully tracked me down. They probably have a sizeable reward on my head too. Somehow, my (overly) critical comments of MSN Messenger has found its way to the ears (eyes?) of the Redmond giant. I was contacted by someone from the MSN Messenger Development team yesterday through my blog asking for some feedback on my 'dysfunctional experience' using their instant messenger. What I had to do was reinstall MSN Messenger onto my machine just so I could respond to them. Of course, now it's non-existent on my system anymore. I listed ten stuff that really irked me while using MSN Messenger. I'm not sure if they will look into the matter or not but at least they were open to feedbacks. Kudos to them for that.

Well, anyhow it doesn't look like I'll be going back to MSN Messenger anytime soon especially when rumours are flying around that Google will be releasing their very own Google IM as early as this Wednesday! (woohoo!!!) During the release of their new Google Desktop, Google executives were quoted as saying they plan to unveil on Wednesday a communications tool that is potentially a clear step beyond the company's search-related business focus. They could have been referring to the widely speculated Google Talk or it could also refer to Google's foray in other communications fields which has attracted much attention, both with its purchase of fiber optic cable capacity and with several quiet moves it has made in experimenting in wireless technologies, dubbed Google WiFi.

So, what would it be - Google Talk or Google WiFi? Please...please let it be Google Talk! :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bloody Spammers

I can't express in words how much I detest spammers. Not only do I have to tolerate them in my mailbox (although they are automatically detected as spam and moved to the spam folder), the damn spammers have now found a new medium to spread their poison. Enter the blogosphere! With blogs becoming more popular by the day, these spammers (being the parasites that they are) have decided to spread their spam in the comments section of blogs. I've personally received a few and have removed them. As much as I am an advocate for freedom of speech, I think my readers would appreciate not having to sift through spam while reading my blog. I've also realised that there are some blogs which 'specialises in advertising'. These blogs totally does not have a purpose and it's contents are just keywords used to generate the ads for that so-called blog. For this, we can use Blogger's new service to flag that particular blog so that it will be reviewed and removed if necessary. Recently, I came to know about this site, which provides free anti-spam solution. It allows you to create a temporary email address which will expire after a determined life span. It even has a Firefox extention. This could probably help you tackle spam finding its way to your mailbox. Let's fight spam hand-in-hand and destroy those parasites for good!

UPDATE: I'm listening to a podcast of this WEEK in TECH and found out Blogger has implemented a captcha word verification process to counter the comment spam that is spreading like cancer! I've activated mine and so should you. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Very Un-Savvy

During the past few days, I've noticed some Proton Savvy on the streets. All black so far (and one blue). First impression: This car is so small and expensive when compared to a similar sized car such as the Perodua Kelisa and a similarly priced Proton Saga. The Perodua Myvi stands heads, shoulders and feet even, above the Proton Savvy. The only credit I can give to this car is that the exterior design is quite pleasing to look at but I was proven wrong again when I was right behind one. The more I look at the car, the uglier it gets! Usually, you would come to accept something the more you see it but this is totally the opposite. I feel sorry for those of you who have chosen the Proton Savvy instead of other similar models in that price range/size.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Say Cheese!

We had our family portrait taken today at Shalom, along Kelawei Road. It was the same place where I took my graduation photos. My brother had recently graduated and returned from Singapore (and might leave again soon), so my mom managed to squeeze a schedule for this evening. Of course, I don't have the photos yet but I will upload them when I get my hands on them. It's a little pricey though but I guess it's OK since it's a family portrait and it is a once in a lifetime thingy. :)

After the photoshoot, we had dinner at Amandari. We decided on that venue since it is also on Kelawei Road and we've so far enjoyed each and every dining experience we had there. The food was absolutely sumptuous and the atmosphere - lovely, since we were the first customers. I'll just let the photos do the talking. ;)

Dinner at Amandari

Amandari Dish

Amandari Dish

Amandari Dish

Amandari Dish

Amandari Dish

Amandari Dish

Amandari Dish

Amandari Ais Kachang

Friday, August 19, 2005

Fries Heighten Cancer Risk

Very young children who eat French fries frequently have a much higher risk of breast cancer as adults. A study of American nurses found that one additional serving of fries per week at ages three to five increased breast cancer risk by 27 percent. A high-fat diet has been linked with breast cancer, which affects more than 200,000 US women a year and is expected to kill 40,000 this year. This is a little scary indeed! Fortunately, my family was not that fortunate to be able to chomp down fries at the age of three to five. Peas and carrots, anyone? :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005


That's how I feel when I read the new findings on the circumstances that lead to the gruesome killing of an innocent man mistaken for a suicide bomber. ITV News based its report on secret documents and photographs the network said it obtained about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, an immigrant electrician who was shot eight times after being cornered in a subway car on July 22, a day after four failed attempts to bomb the city's transport system. Police later admitted de Menezes had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks and apologised to his family and the Brazilian government.

It turns out that de Menezes was not carrying any bags when he entered the Stockwell Tube station and was wearing a denim jacket, rather than a bulky coat as police had previously said. De Menezes walked at a normal pace, did not vault any barriers and even stopped to pick up a newspaper. He descended to the train slowly on an escalator, then ran toward the open subway car and took a seat, according to ITV, which based its account on a document outlining what was captured on surveillance footage. At about the same time, armed officers were provided with positive identification that de Menezes was either Hamdi Issac, also known as Osman Hussain, one of the suspected bombers from the day before, or another suspect, at which point he was shot. The crucial mistake that led to de Menezes' death may have occurred that morning as he left his apartment, when surveillance officers spotted him and he was misidentified as a possible terrorist.

There are already calls for the London's police chief to resign over this unacceptable incident. Pressure was growing as a panel investigating the shooting death of de Menezes met with his family's lawyers. Once again, this shows that unfortunately, the terrorists have achieved their objectives.

Water Crisis Looming

Just as we thought we've overcome the recent haze problem, another crisis presents itself. A water shortage in the country is looming as major dams are recording low levels, some critical. Added to the concern is the weatherman’s forecast that the dry spell could last until October. Malaysians have been advised to be prudent in the use of water to prevent a crisis. I would seriously advise you all to just go to the 'longkang' outside to take your baths and do your 'businesses'. That would really help conserve enough water for my daily use! :P

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Care for a Voice Chat?

I've just installed the new Yahoo! Messenger with Voice and dumped both MSN Messenger and Skype in one full swoop. I've always wanted to get rid of MSN Messenger ever since I was forced to use it just so I could meet and discuss about the project with those who were involved. Now that the project is over and Yahoo! has come out with a much improved long, MSN!!! I was damn pissed that Google didn't come out with their own IM fast enough. Y! Messenger now incorporates so many functions that were speculated to be in the Google IM that all the thunder has probably been stolen already unless Google still has other things up their sleeves.

I like Skype but due to me having just a small contact list (who are also on Y! Messenger) and recently, more and more unknown people are sending requests to be added on my contact list although I've requested anonymity, I guess I have to say goodbye to that too. Unless....unless Y! Messenger doesn't support multiple users conference calls! I've not tried that feature yet but Skype (and Google IM) might still have a chance after all! There's a whole load of new features and you can read all about it on their webpage. If you've not upgraded, it's time you did. Well, I'll be enjoying Y! Messenger until my wish for a Google IM comes true. Please...please make it soon! ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

She's Safe

Once again, I scare myself with how accurate my instincts can be. The SMS about a girl that urgently needed O-negative blood turns out to be really true. The hospital was able to source enough blood for her procedure and she's now safe and recovering from surgery. Her mother, who is a nurse, sought help from two Chinese dailies to highlight her daughter's plight and need for the scarce blood type after learning that her daughter needed surgery to remove a benign tumour in her heart. Some good samaritan(s) who thought that spreading the word through SMS could get the message through faster turned into a slight farce when her mother received constant messages and calls conveying their concern and verifying the message. There were a few 'mistakes' though in the SMS. Yau Jia Xin is nine years of age but was described as a four year old child in the SMS. The hospital she was residing in was Lam Wah Ee but it was called Nam Hwa Yi in the message. Anyhow, glad to know she's safe.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Beware the Zotob Worm

A new Internet worm has been detected that can infect Microsoft's Windows platforms faster than previous computer worms, according to Trend Micro. The Zotob worm appeared shortly after the world's largest software maker warned of three newly found 'critical' security flaws in its software, including one that could allow attackers to take complete control of a computer. The latest worm exploits security holes in Microsoft's Windows 95, 98, ME, NE, 2000 and XP platforms and can give computer attackers remote access to affected systems. The latest virus drops a copy of itself into the Windows system folder as BOTZOR.EXE and modifies the system's host file in the infected user's computer to prevent the user getting online assistance from antivirus web sites. It can also connect to a specific Internet relay chat server and give hackers remote control over affected systems, which can be used to infect other unpatched machines in a network and slow down the network performance. Computer users should update their antivirus pattern files and apply the latest Microsoft patches to protect their computer systems.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

URGENT: Blood Type O-negative Needed

Usually, I would just ignore these type of messages and think it's some spam or hoax but I just don't know why somehow I feel that this is genuine. I received this from a friend through SMS a few minutes back. Please try to spread the word around. Thanks.
A four year old child by the name of Yau Jia Xin urgently needs O-negative blood at Lam Wah Ee Hospital. If you would like to help or require more information, please contact +6012-4275813 or +6012-4930031.
Please remember that a person with type O-negative blood can safely donate to a person with any ABO blood type and is called a 'universal donor'. However an O-negative person can only receive blood from another O-negative person and there's only about 7% in the world who are O-negative.

UPDATE: The child's safe. Read this for further details.

I Can See Clearly Now....

....the haze has gone. When I woke up this morning, it was still a little hazy outside but at least it is much better compared to yesterday. I can breathe easy! (Ok, maybe using two song titles in a single blog entry is going just a little bit too far. :P) I hope the situation remains the way it is, if not better. A repeat of yesterday's situation would be disastrous! Don't take my breath away!!! (Damnit...there I go again....that's the third time now. :P)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Red Moon Over Sydney

Red Moon Over Sydney

No, it's not the red planet - Mars. This is a genuine photo depicting a fiery red moon taken by my friend Alvin Oh from his room in Sydney, Australia just minutes ago. This beautiful and rare sight is a major contrast to what we are experiencing here in Malaysia with the haze situation and all. I cropped the sides just to make it more focused. Click on the photo to enlarge.


I woke up this morning and saw in horror the conditions outside. It was as if Penang was going through a fallout. The skies were covered with smog and the surroundings blenched with a shade of orange as if it was sunset. No it's not caused by a nuclear fallout, it's caused by the worsening haze. The freaking haze have finally hit Penang and it hit it real hard. The Indonesian Government claims Malaysian companies in Sumatra are also involved in the slash-and-burn activities that were the cause of the haze but that does not interest me a bit. Who cares if they are Malaysian, Arabian, European, American or Russian? It's still in Sumatra, part of your vast and proud country you call Indonesia. Don't come telling us that Malaysian companies are involved. Go tackle the problem. Prosecute them with your laws! Do you expect us to do your dirty job?!? Blame it on your corruption and ineffective government for what has happened and not try pushing the blame to someone else! This is a yearly event and soon, there would probably be a Haze Festival officially created to commemorate it.

The haze emergency on Kuala Selangor and Port Klang has since been lifted after API readings at both areas dropped below 500. However, the API at 7am indicates the reading for Penang is only at a moderate level. WTF?!? You look at the photos I managed to snap below before my batteries went dead and tell me that's 'moderate'.

Penang Haze August 2005
Can you see KOMTAR?

Penang Haze August 2005
Take a closer look!

Penang Haze August 2005
Tell me this is 'moderate'

Penang Haze August 2005
Northam Tower

Penang Haze August 2005
No activity on a field usually filled with people at Jalan Utama

Penang Haze August 2005
By right, you should see Penang Hill behind the State Mosque

Penang Haze August 2005
Penang Free School shrouded by the poisonous smog

Penang Haze August 2005
Nothing visible behind Chung Ling High School

Friday, August 12, 2005

Haze Hits Penang

My worst fears came true when the haze finally hit Penang. I woke up to clear blue skies and thanked my lucky stars for not having to go through what my fellow Malaysians in the central region are experiencing. Unfortunately, at around 2pm my nose detected the smell of haze. Yeah, I have that 'ability'. :P Slowly but surely, the surroundings outside became more and more whitish. My clear blue skies were no more. Hills were disappearing under the choking smog. My eyes started to get irritated and watery. My nose was starting to get stuffy. My throat was getting very parched. The bloody haze was getting to me again! However, by around 5pm, the haze started to disappear and the situation was getting better. My symptoms were clearing. Probably with the help of the wind, we were spared the worst effects of the haze. I was however very shocked and angry to see that the Air Polutant Index (API) for Penang was still so low at the 5pm reading although it was so plain obvious that we were already hit quite badly by the haze! What are these people doing? Why release the API if they will not be updated or contain accurate information? We don't need to have the API to know that the air is bad. We have our eyes and noses to come to that conclusion. We don't need you to fool us with those inaccurate values. If you want to tell us the index, let it be accurate....let it be real. If not, you can just keep the index to yourself and save us from all that BS. It's night time now and the haze is getting bad again. Probably because of the lack of wind at night and the air being more moist and densed (correct me if I'm wrong). Please spare us from this agony!!! Punish those idiots that cause this suffering!

24: Day Four

Another marathon ends and time for my 'round-up' of events. :P

This has got to be the best season of 24! The United States of America was outfoxed time and again by the most dangerous and successful terrorist, so far. This man is the ultimate mastermind and if there is ever such a person, the US is seriously doomed. As usual, the season is somehow related to the previous seasons and is most related to Season 2. No surprise though since Season 2 was my choice for the best 24 series before Season 4. For the first time, Jack's daughter Kim is not involved in anyway. No appearance from her this time. Although President Palmer is no longer the US President, he did make an appearance in the last few episodes when he was called in to assist the lame-duck Vice-President who was appointed the new president after President Keeler was incapacitated after the attack on Air Force One.

First, there was the train attack. Then the abduction of the Secretary of Defence. Then the online trial of the Secretary on war crimes against humanity just to divert attention away from their aim to take over all the nuclear power plants on US soil. Then the meltdown of nuclear power plants all over US. There's also the stealing of a stealth fighter jet and the attack on Air Force One. After that, the nuclear football was stolen followed by a nuclear warhead. And finally, the launch of a cruise missle capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Target? Los Angeles again. What does the terrorists have against the City of Angels? Why not Washington or New York? Why Los Angeles? Why the obsession on that city?!? However, it's still the most complex and comprehensive terrorist attack on the United States. Good job! (I mean, well done for the planning la...not the ideology...killing innocents bad...aggression bad!!!).

I don't want to comment too much about this season but it's definitely the best so far and I do have lots to comment about....both good and bad. The show's getting a little predictable though but I guess that's to be expected when you are in your fourth successful season. It should be a really interesting season come January 2006. It would have to address the issue of Jack's 'death', the lame-duck President, Kim's life after his father's 'death', the pressure from China for the unresolved intrusion into the Chinese Consulate, the planned retirement of Tony and Michelle, and some other issues. The most intriguing would be those involving the death of Jack Bauer, rogue agent! Can't wait for the next season!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

State of Emergency Declared

A state of emergency has been declared in Kuala Selangor and Port Klang. The haze emergency takes effect immediately and will last indefinitely. However, the emergency does not involve a curfew. All work places are to remain closed except for essential services, food shops and supermarkets. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the emergency status was declared only for the two areas as the API had breached the 500 mark. He also issued a series of guidelines that had to be followed.
The guideline reads:

When the Haze Emergency has been declared, the State Management and Disaster Committee must take the following actions:

a) Issue an order for the closure of all government and private offices and other work places including factories, plantations, construction and quarries.

The closure order does not apply to:

i) shops that sell food stuff, drinks, markets and supermarkets;

ii) clinics, pharmacies and medicine shops; and

iii) essential services

b) Ensure that earthwork and earth movement are stopped

c) Advise the reduction of the use of private vehicles

d) Ensure the closure of all schools

e) Ensure the frequent dissemination of information of the pollution index to print and electronic media

f) Get the media to advise the public to remain at home and steps that needed to be taken by the people

g) Information Ministry must ensure that information are disseminate directly

h) Ensure strict enforcement against open burning

i) Ensure that this emergency declaration does not include declaration of curfew (except for certain situations as provided for under the appropriate laws.
So far, Penang has not been affected by the haze yet (Thank God!) and I hope it doesn't.

What Could Have Been.....

Don't worry. It's not as bad as the title suggests it to be but I just can't stop wondering what it could have been if I've trusted my instincts. Flashback to the blog entry I made a few weeks back concerning an email invite I received. The results are out and I'm just so gutted. Looking at the winning entries, especially the male category, I just can't stop feeling that I would have stood a much better chance compared to them! If they are THE selected new faces of Samsung, I believe I could have been among the winners too if I've participated (judging from the compliments I always receive :P). Man, a brand new SGH-E530C and a (modelling/photoshoot) contract (as long as $$$ is involved :P) just slipped through my fingers!!! Not to mention my face flashed on Samsung ads nationwide (I feel my head getting bigger and bigger now...hehehehe). Sigh, the money would have been useful for me and the phone could have been a good gift to my mom who has been kinda hinting about her 'old phone'. I guess I can take solace in knowing I was travelling back from Singapore at that time and would probably not be able to participate in the photoshoot in KL anyway. Oh, well....there goes my chance at stardom.... :P

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hello, this is Daddy...

(((ring))) (((ring-g-g-g-g))) *** pick up ***
"Hi honey, this is your Mummy near the phone?"
"No Daddy, she's upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Frank."
After a brief pause Daddy says,
"But you haven't got an Uncle Frank, honey!"
"Oh Yes I do, and he's upstairs in the bedroom with Mummy, right now!"
"Uh Okay's what I want you do. Put down the phone, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy and Uncle Frank that Daddy's car just pulled up outside the house."
"Okay Daddy!"

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.
"Well I did what you said, Daddy."
"And what happened?" he asks.
"Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming, then she tripped over the rug and went flying out the front window and now she's all dead."
"Oh my God!!!!! And what about your Uncle Frank?"

"He jumped out of bed with no clothes on too and he was all scared and he jumped out the back window into the swimming pool..... but he must have forgot that last week you took out all the water to clean it, so he hit the bottom of the swimming pool and now he's all real dead too."

*** long pause ***

Then Daddy says, "Swimming pool????
Is this 555-7039?
"No! This is 555-7093" the little girl said.
"Oooooppppssss....sorry wrong number!"

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Always Give 100% At Work

Received this from a friend today. I believe I'm capable of following that philosophy. ;)

Monday, August 08, 2005


No, it's not one of those numbers thingy again. The truth is, I've been involved in this project for the past month or so and today was the official launch. Like the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand I'll let you go experience it yourself. ;)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

PC Fair Bargains

I was actually hoping to grab some stuff from the PC Fair today, that's the reason why I refrained from blogging about my visit to the Fair yesterday until after the visit today. My mom wanted to get a thumbdrive and also loads of CD-R which we've run out but unfortunately, we were just too busy and unable to do make that last minute dash and grab.

Either computer parts are real bargains (read: super cheap), people are getting more tech-savvy, people have a higher spending power, or people are just too free nowadays. It was just jam-packed at the Fair and it was so difficult to find a parking space. There were so many bodies bumping into each other in the exhibition hall, it was just such a farce. Fortunately, I have a certain preference to certain shops/booths so I just browsed through the other booths (which I usually wouldn't find real bargains). I would like to highlight some stuff that caught my eye:
[Mobile HDD + Case] RM259 + RM32 = RM291
[256MB Thumbdrive] RM69
[512MB PC3200 DDR400] RM185
[ADSL Ethernet Modem] RM129
[USB Mini IRDA Wireless Adapter] RM37
[12" iBook G4] RM3999
Man....some of these stuff are so dirt cheap! For a portable storage device, I'm looking at the mobile HDD option instead of the thumbdrive which I just don't trust. It's kinda cheap compared to just a few months ago! Yeah, I still don't have a thumbdrive, so sue me! I feel like upping my RAM to 1GB now since it's so cheap but I'm hanging on for it to drop to RM150 at the very least. The ADSL modem is for my aunt. She opted for the Package88 by Streamyx which comes with a free modem. My usage being more than 1000x of hers and I'm just on the Package66 (and the ADSL modem is so damn cheap now!), I think it's such a waste. :P

IRDA adapter? Well, that's for my handphone but if I get a notebook, it would probably have one already, so should I get one now and turn it into a useless paper-weight later on? Hmmm...I wonder. Now to the ultimate 'prize'! Apple's 12" iBook G4 ~drool~. I've always been searching for a sub-RM4000 laptop and this definitely fits my requirements very well, plus it's Apple! Oh, the aesthetic looks...the cool Mac OS X, it's heavenly! Unfortunately (fortunately?), I'm dead broke so I couldn't get my hands on this 'prize'. Maybe it would be wiser to 1) wait for the iBook fitted with an Intel processor, and 2) get a job first! :P

Sigh....there goes my dream to own an iBook. :(

Related Articles:

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Art of Insults

I found one site today that is very interesting and was going through it for quite sometime just now. Well, me and my friend were hurling insults at each with some help from the website so it did last for a couple of hours! Hehehe....

Insultmonger contains insult jokes, insult slang and a Swearsaurus. It was the Swearsaurus that caught our attention and it compiles the many swear words of the various types of languages and dialects known throughout the world.

It was interesting to learn the different types of swearing used around the world and proved to be a very funny experience indeed! Well, as long as you don't take it personally, I think it is safe to use on your friends once in awhile. That stoned look on the face will be priceless! Hahaha....

Some sound really funny and I couldn't resist a laugh. There's even an article regarding 'A Study of Swearing in Modern English'. Quite interesting. Well, if you are looking for something to use on a person and not wanting that person to know what you mean, you know where to look! ;)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Gates of Hell Opens

Tonight, the gates of hell will open for a month and the hungry ghosts will roam this realm among mortals according to Chinese beliefs. It's the Hungry Ghost Festival. There are those who can see these entities and they would try their best not to leave their houses unnecessarily during this time as they are too afraid to see the overwhelming amount of these entities roaming around freely. Many claim to have experienced/seen such entities especially along Scotland Road near the Penang Turf Club. The 'population' is so densed, it puts to shame the packed pubs/clubs during weekends. This is of course a very 'popular' place for fatal road accidents and it is also near the crematorium and cemetary at Jalan Batu Gantong. Believers would burn incense, jossticks and candles outside their homes to appease these souls. They would also leave sweets and cakes as offerings to both gain good luck and prevent the hungry ghosts from harming/disturbing them. More importantly, the reason why the Chinese celebrate this festival is to remember their dead family members and pay tribute to them. Whether you believe in this or not, it won't hurt to be that extra careful during this period.

PIKOM PC Fair 2005 (II)

It's here once again. PIKOM is organising another round of PC Fairs throughout the country. This weekend, it will be held in Kuala Lumpur and Penang concurrently at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Penang International Sports Arena (PISA), respectively from 11am to 9pm daily. I plan to drop-by one of the days to check some stuff out and probably make a purchase or two. My friend also asked my help to check on some blank DVD+R prices for him too. What is deterring me from making a purchase for myself is my empty wallet. Good deterrent, no? :)

Related Articles:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

This I Promise You

No, I'm not referring to the sappy love song by the now defunct pop group, 'N Sync. However, I'm referring to the love-hate relationship between al-Qaeda and the United States and its allies. Osama bin Laden's No. 2 man in al-Qaeda has threatened more destruction in London, saying that British Prime Minister Tony Blair would be to blame. In a video broadcast Thursday on Arabic-language TV station Al-Jazeera Ayman al-Zawahiri also issued a warning for the United States.
'Our message is clear - what you saw in New York and Washington (in 2001) and what you are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq, all these are nothing compared to what you will see next. To the British, I am telling you that Blair brought you destruction in the middle of London and more will come, God willing,' he said.
He also warned the United States to 'stop stealing our oil and wealth and stop supporting corrupt rulers.' Al-Zawahiri reminded the United States and its allies of the 'hudna' (truce) that bin Laden offered last year in return for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Muslim lands.
'If you continue your politics against Muslims, you will see, God willing, such horror that you will forget the horrors of Vietnam. Didn't Osama bin Laden tell you that you would never dream of peace until we actually live it in Palestine and before all the infidel armies withdraw from the land of Mohammed? Instead (of accepting the truce), you spilled rivers of blood in our countries, and we exploded volcanoes of anger in your countries.'
He told the American people that their leaders are lying to them about the Iraq war and called for an immediate withdrawal of US forces.
'The truth that has been kept from you by (President) Bush, (Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice and (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld is that there is no way out of Iraq without immediate withdrawal, and any delay on this means only more dead, more losses. If you don't leave today, certainly you will leave tomorrow, and after tens of thousands of dead, and double that figure in disabled and wounded.'
After watching Fahrenheit 9/11, you come to think that there might be some truth after all in what this al-Zawahiri fella is trying to say. I have to admit that the documentary did look like a political hatchet job aimed at attacking and discrediting President Bush but can we deny the facts that are stately so clearly in the movie? Of course there are those whodisagree with what Michael Moore is trying to portray in the movie and even provides a point-to-point rebuttal. Each has their own ways of connecting the dots. So, who do we follow? Who do we believe? One thing is for sure, there will be more chaos in the world.....this I promise you.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Life After Death

A brain-dead pregnant woman who has been kept on life support for nearly three months to give her fetus more time to develop has given birth to a baby girl. There were no complications during delivery and the baby is doing well. The baby, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, weighs one pound 13 ounces and is 13 1/2 inches long and was delivered via caesarean section. Susan Torres, a 26-year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, lost consciousness from a stroke May 7 after aggressive melanoma spread to her brain. Her husband, Jason Torres, said doctors told him his wife's brain functions had stopped. It really gives a whole new meaning to the term - 'Life After Death'.

Mighty Mouse...Apple Style

'Here I come to save the day....' Still remember that superheroic rodent shouting that phrase? Yup, it's that cartoon and comic character that has entertained us once before that is pictured on the left (taken from However, today I'm not referring to that mouse. I'm talking about Apple's new mouse (yes, the pointing device for computers), the Mighty Mouse. Is Apple trying to save the day for Macheads by offering them for the first time a mouse with more than one button? But wait a's more like no buttons to me!

Well, like other Apple models, you press down on the entire mouse to click. But if you press on left side, you get a left click; if you click on the right side, you get a right click. Mighty Mouse also has touch-sensitive 360-degree scrolling (you can run a finger around on the upper part of the mouse's surface). It's a corded model that costs USD49 and it's from Apple, so the aesthetics look to be impeccable.

(picture from Apple)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Mysterious SMS

Again, I received an SMS from this number - +60129548***. It's three SMS long, same with the previous one and contains those supposedly cute bear type messages. Of course, it would be cute if you knew who were sending them to you but this is just plain creepy. I've checked my phonebooks, organisers and all those places where I would scribble down telephone numbers and other contact information but I just can't put a name on this number. I know it is an east coast number (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang) and it is possible I do know the person since I was in Terengganu for three years. I could message back to ask who it is but the backlash could be quite bad; 1) if I know the person, that person will definitely give me a good tongue-lashing for losing his/her number, and 2) if I don't know the person (and it turns out to be a stalker! :p), I would have created a problem I could have avoided easily.

My policy so far has always been to ignore and not respond to them. Of course, there was this one time that I kept receiving calls from this particular number but I just didn't pick up. It later turned out to be my friend using his company line, trying like mad contacting me. :P

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oil Climbs to New Highs

Oil rose above USD61 a barrel in New York after the death of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, ruler of the world's largest oil exporter, heightening concern about supplies following refinery disruptions in the United States and Europe. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which supplies about 40% of the world's oil. The kingdom is the only member of the 11-country group that has enough spare capacity to compensate for an output disruption of about one million barrels a day. Are we to expect another increase in petrol prices due to this sudden spike?!? I hope not, I'm already drowning here!