Friday, July 31, 2009

Roadblocks in Kuala Lumpur ahead of ISA Gatherings

Best to stay away from the city tonight. The traffic is like what you see on the image this afternoon along Jalan Cheras according to The Star.

Better to stay at home tomorrow. There would be a lot of traffic downtown. Hopefully, nothing untoward happens tomorrow.

Ashton Kutcher has 3 Million Followers!

Some updates on some celebs, if you are interested, that is. No wait, don't go away. It's got news on Harry Potter. Now we're talking. This video is from Ashton Kutcher's site. By the way, he's got more than 3 million followers on Twitter. Incidentally, when I checked in on him, the counter read 3,003,000. Gosh! What does one do with that many followers? Oh well, it's only a number. Right? Right?!! Enjoy the video..

It's Friday and I lurvvvvvve Fridays!!

Car Lost and Found, Lost and Found Again..

I agreed to meet up with a girlfriend the other day to pass her something, so I went to her place. The number of cars parked alongside the main road leading to her house totally caught me by surprise and I thought that would be like a paradise for car-thieves.

Car thefts are not uncommon here. We all know people who have lost their cars or some parts from it ranging from hub-cabs to car grills to tyres. Have you seen a car being balanced on bricks and other supports like bottles? But that's for another story. I have a girlfriend who lost her car twice or was it three times. I've lost count. But each time, she found it back. What luck, eh?

2009 PIKOM PC Fair is Back.. Check out Schedule

If you are looking into buying electronics or anything to do with technology, you may want to head on down to the PIKOM PC Fair. Yep, the PC Fair is here again, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, KLCC. The fair starts today, ending on Aug 2, Sunday.

As usual, there would be lots of bargains but you would have to contend with the crowd. But hey, it may still be worth the effort. But if you are looking for wholesale equipment such as wholesale computers, computer software, accessories, etc., there are better places, of course. Shop online..

Btw, you may be interested in the PC fair elsewhere in the country. Below is the schedule from the PIKOM PC Fair website:

31 July - 2 August 2009 (11:00am - 9:00pm)
- KL Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur - Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50888 Kuala Lumpur
- Village Mall, Sungai Petani - Kedah
- Dewan Perbandaran Taiping - Perak
- Batu Pahat Mall, Batu Pahat - Johor

7 August - 9 August 2009 (11:00am - 9:00pm)
- Penang International Sports Arena, Penang - Jalan Tun Dr Awang, 11900 Relau
- Mahkota Parade Melaka, Melaka - Jalan Merdeka, 75000 Bandar Hilir
- Sabah Trade Centre, Kota Kinabalu - Sabah
- Berjaya Megamall, Kuantan - Pahang

13 August - 15 August 2009 (11:00am - 9:00pm)
- KB Mall, Kota Bharu - Kelantan
- Terengganu Trade Centre, Kuala Terengganu - Terengganu

14 August - 16 August 2009 (11:00am - 9:00pm)
- Persada Johor International Convention Centre, Johor Bahru - Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim, 80000 Johor Bahru
- Stadium Indera Mulia, Ipoh, Perak - Jalan Ghazali Jawi, 31400 Ipoh

Happy shopping..

Friday Frolics - What Type of Transportation Are You?

Here in Kuala Lumpur, we are able to experience every kind of transportation except for two. One is a boat, the other a trishaw.

KL being an inland city has no real waterway though there are two rivers running through the city. As for the trishaw or pedicab, the place is too bustling and destinations too far away that trishaws just do not fit in.

For the general public, buses and trains are the most popular and convenient modes of transportation which brings us to this week's quiz. Find out what type of transportation are you and does it fit your personality.

HappySurfer is A Train

You are a true romantic. You have big dreams about how life should be.

You take life at a slow and steady pace. You try to appreciate every moment you have.

You are a very visual person. You are always on the lookout for beauty and inspiration.

You are able to relax and let go more than most people.

Other Personality Quizzes

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Thursday Potpourri

Kuala Lumpur may not be as expensive as Tokyo or London but things here are getting to be pretty costly. And if you take the bus to work, there's more bad news as bus fares will become higher Sept 1..

RapidKL raises bus fare from Sept 1 by 100 percent but those who opt for monthly pass will get betweeen 60 and 80 percent discount.

Perfumes make great gifts. Unfortunately, not all perfumes do what they are supposed to do and not all perfumes are safe these days as some office workers found out in Fort Worth, Texas. 34 hospitalized after co-worker sprays perfume.

There has been a lot of hype about going organic or rather eating organic food over conventional food. You may be surprised that studies show that Organic food is no healthier.

Organic or conventional, here are 101 Simple Salads for the Season that you can try out.

Finally, hope you are enjoying your summer. Hey, it's a great day for digging ponds.. or landscaping your garden. Psst..don't forget a place for that hammock..

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Latest on the H1N1 situation in Malaysia - July 29

Latest Oct 11 - A(H1N1) still active despite reduction in cases
Latest Sep 27 - No new H1N1 deaths as at Sep 27
Latest Aug 10 Update on Statistics on infections and death toll
Latest Aug 9 update on Health Ministry's strategies

H1N1 flu virus may be just another flu strain, nevertheless it should not be taken lightly. What is the latest situation in Malaysia then?

A third death has been reported three days ago signalling a worsening of the situation in the country. It is the first influenza A (H1N1)-related death from a local transmission.

The 42-year-old man, who died on Monday, is the third victim to have died from the flu. The two earlier deaths were linked to imported cases. The two were a 46-year-old Malaysian man, who had worked in Belgium and died last Sunday and a 30-year-old Islamic finance student from Indonesia who died on July 21.

All private clinics and hospitals have been directed by the Health Ministry to be vigilant and be on high alert as well as to have Tamiflu, the anti-viral drug, to handle the H1N1 cases. Anyone having flu and cough to take it seriously, said the Health Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai . He advised the public to wear a mask, take care of personal hygiene and try to practice social distancing if you are having sore throat and cough.

Image source: NY Times
US President, Barack Obama, advocates the following guidelines at last Wednesday's news conference when discussing the H1N1 flu.

“Wash your hands when you shake hands; cover your mouth when you cough. “I know it sounds trivial, but it makes a huge difference. If you are sick, stay home. If your child is sick, keep them out of school. If you are feeling certain flu symptoms, don’t get on an airplane, don’t get on a — any system of public transportation where you’re confined and you could potentially spread the virus. You can read article here.

Meanwhile on the local front, more closures have been ordered - Schools, colleges and NS camp have been closed. In Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Putra Ma-laysia will start their mid-term break today, two weeks earlier than scheduled. This is to control the spread of the virus among its students as four students have tested positive for the virus so far.

Worldwide, the H1N1 flu situation is not getting better..

- Hong Kong reported its second swine flu-related death after a Filipino housekeeper with the disease died. Hong Kong now has 2,855 swine flu cases.

- New Zealand has been hard hit by swine flu, with 2,662 confirmed cases reported, including 14 deaths.

- El Salvador meanwhile decided to close schools nationwide for two weeks to combat the spread of swine flu. El Salvador has confirmed 545 cases of swine flu, including seven deaths.

- Israel has suffered its first death in the global swine flu epidemic.

- It has hit the United States harder than anywhere else, having likely infected more than 1 million Americans.

There have been 302 deaths and nearly 44,000 laboratory-identified cases in the United States, according to numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, most of those who have died from it in the United States have had other health problems, such as asthma.

Health experts believe that because the swine flu virus is new, most people haven't developed an immunity to it. The virus has caused an unusual number of serious illnesses in teens and young adults, unlike the seasonal flu, which is usually most dangerous to the elderly and very young children.

- Saudi Arabia also reported its first swine flu death Monday.

Here's an insight into what's it like catching the flu in Beijing.

Hope you are still moving ahead with your plan to vacation in Malaysia. This is the time where Malaysia plays host to holiday makers and this year is no different. The streets are bustling and hotels are fully-booked. This is the time of the Mega Sale Carnival afterall. Welcome to Malaysia!

Malaysians consume 26 teaspoons of sugar every day

Looks like all the posts I've written about diet pills and weight loss pills and such may not be in vain. Some people may be able to use the products afterall.

There is an article in The Star today that indicates Malaysians consume 26 teaspoons of sugar every day, says CAP (Consumer Assocation of Penang).

And this is on a DAILY basis mind you, as revealed in a 2005 survey. That's not the end. Early this year, the country was ranked the world’s eighth highest sugar user.

Here's balance of the article:

In the 70s, Malaysians only consumed 17 teaspoons of sugar per person per day.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president S.M. Mohamed Idris said the consumption might have increased further by now, as the last research was done in 2005.

He said Malaysians consumed sugar in the form of, among others, soft drinks, condensed milk, flavoured drinks, junk food and even breakfast cereals. A CAP survey revealed that some drinks and food contained 10 teaspoons of sugar in one serving.

Idris said a brand of orange juice contained 40.8 teaspoons of sugar in a two-litre pack while a brand of cordial syrup had 200 teaspoons in a two-litre bottle.

He also said former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad revealed earlier this year that Malaysia was the eighth highest sugar users in the world.

He said the International Diabetes Institute recorded Malaysia as having the fourth highest number of diabetics in Asia with 800,000 cases in 2007, which was expected to increase to 1.3 million in 2010.

“Sugar is linked to over 60 ailments such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart problems, osteoporosis, kidney problems, asthma and allergies.

“According to the Health Ministry’s statistics, 11.6 million of the 16 million adults nationwide are sick with a non-communicable disease like diabetes, hypertension or cancer.

“Malaysia has the most overweight and obese people in Asia with 54% of the adult population either being obese or overweight,” Idris told a press conference at CAP office yesterday.

“Thus, CAP calls on the Government to work with food manufacturers to avoid sugar in their products,” he added.

He also urged the Government to make it a requirement for manufacturers to graphically display the sugar content in their products by the number of teaspoons as well as colour labelling with red, orange and green indicating the sugar level as high, medium or low respectively.

“The Government should also stop advertisements of highly-sugared drinks and food during children’s television viewing hours, and educate schoolchildren and the public on the dangers of excessive sugar intake,” Idris said.

Image Source

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brand's Essence of Chicken now in Tablet form

Most if not all of us are familiar with Brand's essence of chicken. This chicken essence concoction has been around for as long as I can remember. I know the elders in the Chinese community swear by it for that extra boost to energy levels.

Did you know that this elixir of health now comes in tablet form? No kidding! You can now get an instant energy boost by just popping chicken essense tablets like weight-watchers popping weight loss pills for quick results. Now isn't that time-saving?

Water-saving Dual Flush System

Global-warming has caused serious iceberg and glacier melting at the Poles. Logically, this would translate to increased water for the world, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it does not. In fact, more and more countries are experiencing drought and crop devastation which in turn translates to shortage of food for many. Many countries do not have running water.

Water is an important resource which most of us take for granted. Perhaps it is time that we pay attention to conserving water and finding ways to minimise usage as best we know how.

A good place to start is our toilets. There is now a toilet design that can help all households save water, saving household expenses in the process. Statistics indicate that we may be able to save a whole swimming pool of water each year with this new dual flush toilet system.

How this dual flush toilet system works in saving water is that there is a choice to activate either a rinse flush or a full flush. No need to buy a new toilet flush system because the existing toilet can be installed with the valve. SelectAFlush dual flush conversion kit fits most existing two piece toilets. The dual flush conversion kit will convert your toilet into a dual flush enhancing the performance of your current toilet for a fraction of the price of a new dual flush toilet. Saving water and saving money in the process is never easier.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yasmin Ahmad, 1958 - 2009

I am reading Yasmin Ahmad's blog. News of Yasmin's collapse and subsequent death on July 25 has been in the local papers the past few days. The cause of death is believed to be due to brain hemorrhage.

Yasmin Ahmad, film and advertising director was responsible for great ads like those of Petronas's - those ads that touch us as humans and as Malaysians. Those ads that are along the lines of OneMalaysia, indeed. Perhaps the films Sepet and Gubra are more familiar to you?

Yasmin Ahmad was laid to rest yesterday at noon. She was 51. Hundreds bade Yasmin farewell.

Malaysia has lost a true Malaysian..

Let me share two of Yasmin Ahmad's creative works. You can view more on YouTube.

OBITUARY: Yasmin Ahmad, the film legend

May you Rest in Peace, Yasmin Ahmad.

A health guide about HANDBAGS

Ladies, when was the last time you wipe or wash your handbag(s)? Never before? Here is an insightful piece of information which will definitely make you see handbags in a different light from now on. Here's the email in its entirety:

Have you ever noticed girls who set their handbags on public toilet floors, then go directly to their dining tables and set it on the table? Happens a lot !

It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach distress. Sometimes 'what you don't know will hurt you'!

Read on.............

Mom got so upset when guests came in the door and plopped their handbags down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up food. She always said that handbags are really dirty, because of where they have been.

It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know what's inside our handbags, do you have any idea what's on the outside? Women carry handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without their handbags, but did you ever stop to think about where your handbag goes during the day.

'I drive a school bus, so my handbag has been on the floor of the bus a lot,' says one woman. 'On! The floor of my car, and in toilets.'

'I put my handbag in grocery shopping carts and on the floor of the toilet,' says another woman 'and of course in my home which should be clean.'

We decided to find out if handbags harbour a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake , and then we set out to test the average woman's handbag.

Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at home they usually set their handbags on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared.

Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be surprised if their handbags were at least a little bit dirty.

It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.

Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the handbags tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria.

Pseudomonas can cause eye infections

staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections

and salmonella and e-coli found on the handbags could make people very sick

In one sampling, four of five handbags tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. 'There is faecal contamination on the handbags' says Amy. Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than cloth handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role.

People with kids tended to have dirtier handbags than those without, with one exception.

The handbag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all. 'Some type of faeces, or possibly vomit' says Amy.

So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. Use hooks to hang your handbag at home and in toilets, and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop.

Experts say you should think of your handbag the same way you would a pair of shoes. 'If you think about putting a pair of shoes on your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing when you put your handbag on the countertops.'

Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have walked, sat, sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated, emptied bowels, etc!

Do you really want to bring that home with you?

The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a handbag will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather handbags.


Original source of article unknown

Most Citizens Concerned over High Crime Rate

There is never a day that goes by without the newspapers reporting a crime on the local scene. Is the crime rate in Malaysia on the rise? What do you think?

Our Home Ministry set up a poll on its website recently and the results are discouraging. The Star has the results as follows:

* The majority of Malaysians who responded to a poll say that they feel unsafe in the country at the moment. According to the Home Ministry’s website, as at 6pm yesterday, 97% of 6,678 respondents to its poll said they did not feel safe due to the high crime rate.

* More than half of the respondents formed this opinion because they or their family members were victims of crime while 36% of the respondents were influenced by news about crime.

* Only 1% said they felt safe while the remaining percentage were uncertain.

The poll started on Saturday is to gauge the public’s views on the level of safety in the country and the Government’s performance in safe-guarding the people’s safety and security.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein called on Malaysians to participate in the poll saying that he appreciated their views, comments and complaints.

Join in the poll and submit your feedback to for further action.

* On the level of safety in the country, 95% of 5,209 respondents felt that it was not guaranteed as compared to 3% who felt that it was still guaranteed.

* To a question whether the Government has done its best to ensure that the safety of the people was at the best level, 95% of 6,155 respondents replied in the negative.

* Only 2% felt that the Government has taken the necessary measures to ensure public safety.

* A total of 79% of 6,244 respondents also disagreed to a statement posted on the website that crime was a global issue and that Malaysia was not the only country faced with the increasing crime rate, while 17% others agreed to it.

Source: The Star

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Theme Parks

When was the last time you went to an amusement park? It was so long ago, I don't remember when. Coming across the following pictures brought back some fond childhood memories, not that I was keen on those rides. On the contrary, I just enjoyed watching people on them though not envying their position. The games stalls were my favourite hangouts.

Even though there is no amusement or theme park here as huge or as exciting as Disneyland or Disney World or even Six Flags, what we have here are equally a real treat for kids and the kids-at-heart.

Sunway Lagoon tops the list of theme parks here in Malaysia. Opened in April 1993, Sunway Lagoon is Malaysia's Premier Theme Park and has become the most visited tourist destination in the country. An entire day can be spent on this sprawling fun-filled theme park that comprises three major themed lands, each boasting its own exciting attractions. If surfing is your thing, indulge in your favorite sport at the World’s Largest Man-Made Surf Beach, backed by the World’s Largest Wave Churning Machine which is capable of churning out perfectly shaped waves up to a height of 8 feet!

Another thrills and spills park is the Cosmo's World Theme Park, smack in the city center located inside Berjaya Times Square, the largest mall in Malaysia. This theme park is the largest indoor theme park in the country and offers a 7-storey high roller-coaster. Located along Jalan Imbi (Imbi Road), Berjaya Times Square is easily accessible.

Another indoor amusement center in KL is the one inside The Mall - Putra Place Complex, a walking distance away from the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC).

Of course, one mustn't forget the theme park uphill at Genting Highlands so aptly named City of Entertainment. While adults try their hand at the Gentings casino, kids can enjoy themselves at the theme park.

Wheeee......! Would you try this ride?

Ah... Maybe this is more like it. This Ferris wheel ride may not be as exhilarating as a ride up on the Eye of Malaysia, it can be just as exciting or maybe scary for some of us.

A train-ride would be nice to see the entire park. I remember getting on one of these at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. Haven't tried the train at our National Zoo though.

By the way, can you tell what park this is? The picture below is a clue.. Come on, surely you must have seen this picture lately.

One more clue..

Here's the answer...

Michael Jackson's Neverland, of course.

View more pictures of Neverland.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Frolics - What tropical fruit are you?

I enjoy eating avocadoes. What is there not to like about this lovely and smooth-tasting fruit, eh?

Compared to other fruits, avocadoes are expensive here. One fruit would normally cost RM4.99. They used to cost a lot cheaper. Over the weekend, I was surprised to see them at RM1.59. I couldn't pass this up, so I bought more than usual. I like avocadoes ripe, so I'm waiting anxiously for them to ripen before they go into the fridge and ready for digging in.

One other local fruit I enjoy is mangoes. About a month or so ago, there were many different types of mangoes in the supermarkets and all at just RM0.39 per 100gm. Even though we grow mangoes here in Malaysia, we also import them from Thailand and India just like we import durians from Thailand even though we have all the delicious durian strains here.

Mangoes are sweet and delicious but it's best to eat them in moderation as like most tropical fruits, any excess will cause heatiness (not to be confused with being in heat though. LOL!) Your throat would act up as a result. You get a sore throat, that is.

This week's personality quiz is about tropical fruits and it says I am an Avocado. What a strange coincidence. What tropical fruit are you?

You Are an Avocado

You are casual, laid back, and totally easy to get along with.

You are compatible with many different types of people, even those with strong personalities.

You are creative and inspired. You don't put yourself in a box, and you aren't into labels.

You are open-minded and diplomatic. People find your "middle of the road" ways comforting.

Other Personality Quizzes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jalan P Ramlee is So Happening!

Drug abuse can be staring us in the face and yet we may not be aware of it. A newspaper reported a raid last week at an unnamed club and found street pills (methamphetamines, I think) all over the floor. Police staked out that club for a week before they moved in. Looks like a lot of people here need help or drug rehab.

Speaking of clubs, the other day, I was driving along Jalan P Ramlee (KLCC area) and was surprised at the number of clubs that have sprung up along that short stretch. It was like the Las Vegas Strip. Alright, not that posh but still so happening! Have you been to that part of the world?   If you visit Kuala Lumpur and enjoy clubbing, that is the place to check out - where the fun starts when the sun goes down.

A Motorhome Holiday

Malaysia is not a big country but still going around the country on a vacation with friends or your loved ones could be a fun affair. Imagine taking in the sights along the way from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi or to Kota Bharu in the east coast or to Singapore in the south.

A motorhome holiday could be an exciting experience. Of course, do ensure that your emergency road service membership is still valid should your holiday be interrupted with a breakdown and you need help with motorhome towing. Being prepared for the worst will give you peace of mind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

View Live Webcast of the Solar Eclipse Tomorrow

We may be advised not to be exposed to the eclipse tomorrow morning, all is not lost however. For those who would like to watch the eclipse, you will be able to view the live webcasts of the eclipse through these two websites:,

Read article from The Star:

KUALA LUMPUR: This century’s longest total solar eclipse can be observed as a partial solar eclipse in Malaysia between 8:23am and 9:48am on Wednesday.

However, it would be difficult to view the phenomenon with naked eyes as only 17.8% of the sun would be obscured by the moon, head of Angkasa space science research unit Mhd Fairos Asillam said.

The northern part of Peninsular Malaysia would be the best place to observe the eclipse, he said in a statement.

The total solar eclipse, which would last for six minutes and 39 seconds, would pass through Ryuku Islands in Japan and through the Pacific Ocean, he said.

Mhd Fairos said the moon’s umbral shadow would begin covering India and then Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China.

Mhd Fairos said Angkasa, the national space agency, would sent three officers to carry our research and take data as well as images of the eclipse in Jinshan, Shanghai, China.

Several groups would also carry out expeditions in China, among them University of Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysian Islamic Development Department, Malaysian Syarie Astronomy Association, Stargazer Scientific and Falak Online, he said.

Malaysians would be able view the live webcasts of the eclipse through the websites, and

Malaysians would be able to observe a partial solar eclipse on Jan 15, 2010, March 9, 2016 and Dec 26, 2019, he said. -- Bernama

Related article:
Total Solar Eclipse on Wed, July 22 2009 - Stay Indoors or Not..

Monday, July 20, 2009

Total Solar Eclipse on Wed, July 22 2009 - Stay Indoors or Not..

According to the Lunar Calendar, some years there are double months as a way to adjust the lunar years. This year, we encounter a double 5th lunar month ending on July 21, July 22 being the beginning of the 6th lunar month.

A newsletter I received today from this site indicated that the 6th month is seen as a month related to some negativity, eg., fear, helplessness, emotional tiredness and even an inclination to inflict hurt or pain. All these negative feelings could result in one being more defensive than usual and have more temper flares. People might tend to argue or quarrel. There will be more displays of rage, both verbal and even physical.

It goes on to say that for people who are residing or traveling to countries that have lax laws towards possessing weapons, it would be best to avoid getting into any arguments or disputes. An appropriate way to describe this month's situation: The sound of a balloon bursting will cause a fight in a tense room.

In addition, most of us will have weaker concentration than usual. We will tend to overlook details or forget things. It will be more challenging to pick up new skills during this month. It also means that if there is an argument, you might not want to try to reason things out. as it will not work during this month. It might be better to take a step back and allow things to cool down before trying to convince the other party.

What a coincidence that the beginning of all this coincides with the upcoming total solar eclipse, Wed, July 22.

According to NASA -- On Wednesday, 2009 July 22, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses half of Earth. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. After leaving mainland Asia, the path crosses Japan's Ryukyu Islands and curves southeast through the Pacific Ocean where the maximum duration of totality reaches 6 min 39 s. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes most of eastern Asia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Ocean.

On the same note, another article, Another eclipse by The Star's Senior News Editor, T. Selva, stated that a dark red shadow will creep across the sun and this can be observed in Malaysia from 9.07am to 9.48am on July 22.

Astrologically, this eerie dark light is viewed as inauspicious and it will cause some form of discomfort. Any eclipse signals a time to be wary and this is especially true if the sun is involved because all living beings are dependent on the sun for light.

Here is something else which most of us or non-believers of fengshui might scoff at. Fengshui master, Joey Yap, advocates that being under the eclipse for just one minute will bring one one whole year of bad luck. Of course, the choice is yours to either believe it and stay out of the way of the eclipse or risk the consequences.

Alright, enough of that eclipse talk. Anyone going for seconds to the Manchester United game tonight? Yep, I know people who are fans enough to be there again after watching the game yesterday. Good things come in twos?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Manchester United or Bon Odori?

So, will you be watching Manchester United play the Malaysian side at the National Stadium Bukit Jalil or will you be dancing the evening away at the Bon Odori in Shah Alam?

Well, whichever party you've picked, may you have a wonderful time!

Picture source: The Star

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Frolics - What Bathroom Product Are You?

For some unknown reason, I have been losing track of the days this week. When it was Tuesday, I thought it was Thursday and continued messing it up. I guess I need the weekend badly and finally Friday is here at last and a chance to be silly again with a quiz. Imagine, I am a comb! hah... Your turn.

You Are a Comb

You are expressive and outgoing. You like to experiment with your personal style.

You are imaginative and very visual. You like to look good, and you're attracted to beauty.

You are creative and design oriented. You redecorate often, and you like to make yourself over.

You are inventive and extremely original. You do things differently just because it feels good.

Other Personality Quizzes

Auto coverage for teenagers

In the previous post, we talked about the importance of having medical supplement insurance so that we don't get bad surprises when it comes to settling medical bills.

Let's now talk about auto insurance, in particular, teens auto insurance. Nowadays, finding cheap auto insurance for a new driver is almost impossible, especially where rates are higher for young or teenage drivers.

But by shopping for discounts and incentives and teaching your teenager about safety on the road, car insurance can be less of a financial burden. You can now obtain instant quotes from and be able to compare rates instantly and buy a teenagers auto coverage for less. Buying auto insurance was never this easy nor more affordable.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Importance of Medical Supplement Insurance

Have you ever experienced having to top up on medical bills just because your medical insurance does not cover certain items? For some strange reason, medical insurance is never enough to cover everything. I suppose the way around it is to also sign up for a supplement insurance.

If you are looking for one, why not check out Medicare supplement insurance. Take a look at their supplement guides to better understand the Medicare benefits and how to best shop for a Medicare supplement to ensure you get the right coverage without overpaying.

Bon Odori 2009 in Malaysia - Sat, July 18

The above shots are of last year's Bon Odori Festival held at the Matsushita Centre, now renamed Panasonic Sports Complex.

Have you been to a Bon Odori Festival? If you have, would you like to go again? And if you have not, would you like to attend one at least for the fun and experience of it?

Yes, I said 'fun' because a Bon Odori Festival can be a rather fun and enjoyable affair. I have not been to one but a girlfriend who attends it every year is one devoted fan of this yearly fiesta.

Bon Odori is a Japanese celebration but it is also celebrated in other countries including Brazil, China, the United States and Canada, and yes, even in Malaysia where it is hosted in the island state of Penang and Selangor.

Bon Odori in Malaysia is the brainchild of the Japanese Expatriate & Immigration Society in Malaysia. The celebration here is less associated with the religion (Buddhism) but more with the Japanese culture as it is held mainly to expose locals to a part of Japanese culture. The festival provides the experience of a variety of Japanese food & drinks, art and dance.

Would like to experience Bon Odori in Malaysia? This year's celebration in Shah Alam will be held this Saturday, July 18. Details are as follows:

Bon Odori Festival 2009 (Malaysia, Selangor)

Venue: Panasonic Sports Complex (formerly Matsushita Centre)

Address: Lot 4, Persiaran Perkilangan, Seksyen 21, Shah Alam,Selangor

Date: 18th July 2009

Time: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets: Free Admission

Phone: 03-2274 2274 (Japanese Club of KL)

Transport: Free Shuttle Bus from Shah Alam KTM Station to Matsushita Stadium is provided.

Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind to make your participation a pleasant and enjoyable memory-making experience.

● Strictly no smoking except for designated areas.
● No high-heels allowed in the dancing field.
● No wearing stuff like Goth lolita and any stuff that are considered not polite you would not want people to insult your ancestors would you.
● NO COSPLAYING. Respect the Japanese culture and tradition please.

Have a wonderfully memorable Bon Odori Festival!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival is Back

If you need to buy or replace a big-ticket item, there is no better time than now. Yes, the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival is back and promises to be yet another grand shopping fiesta with discounts as much as 70%.

This year's Mega Sale is from July 4 to August 31, two whole months of shopping till you drop. I haven't gone downtown to the shopping district of the Golden Triangle Bukit Bintang area yet so I'm not sure whether the malls and streets are still as crowded as they used to be as in previous years.

More and more people these days prefer to shop online. Online shopping deals are available all year round. Online or armchair shopping provides one the luxury of shopping without even having to leave home. It works great for people living far away from town. Online shopping further adds to savings where gas, time, and parking are concerned. Another advantage of shopping online is the ease of comparison shopping whereby you have the chance to make comparisons and buy from the best site.

To add further savings, one can shop at sites that provide cash back rebates. How this works is that when you shop at these sites, they share with you the commission they receive from the vendor. It is something like earning money the same time you are spending it. Nice. Extrabux is one such shopping site and you registration is free.

Hazy Kuala Lumpur again

If you think you have blur vision, it may not be your vision but air quality in the country has indeed deteriorated today. Below is how Kuala Lumpur looks like. From my office, the Petronas Twin Towers are nowhere to be seen and colleagues are complaining of teary eyes due to the allergy.

According to New Straits Times, the Department of Environment statistics showed that as at 5pm yesterday, Teluk Intan registered the highest reading of 107 and Port Klang 91. These two places had registered readings of 35 and 87, respectively, at 11am.

Among the areas registering good readings in the later part of the day included those in Sarawak and Sabah. Kuching and Miri registered readings of 35 while Sarikei posted a reading of 36. Kota Kinabalu saw a reading of 38.

Areas that registered moderate readings in the later part of the day included Petaling Jaya 59, Shah Alam 62, Kajang 60, Kuala Selangor 59, Pasir Gudang 59, Malacca city centre 54, Kota Baru 53, Nilai 59 and Bintulu 58.

Air quality is good when the API reading is between 0 and 50, moderate (51-100), unhealthy (101-200), very unhealthy (201-300) and hazardous (above 300).

Source: New Straits Times

Amazing Food Creations

Japanese food is getting popular in this part of the world with lots of Japanese restaurants springin up all over town (Klang Valley). What I marvel most about Japanese food is the way the food is arranged. Great pains are taken by the chef to make sure every piece is neatly placed making the dish a work of art, sort of.

Like art, the piece is created to be admired. One would not think of eating something so beautiful as art, would one? Would you have the heart to eat any of these Bento lunches? Alright, you would in the end.

More amazing Bento food art creations to whet your appetite..

Monday, July 13, 2009

Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival is Back!

I was reading on Twitter that the air wreaks of smoke like something's burning and that the haze is back over Kuala Lumpur. The Star confirms that peat fires in Bestari Jaya, Banting, Pulau Kempas, Jalan Kebun (all in Selangor) are causing the haze in Klang Valley.

The API reading in Kota Baru, Malacca, Nilai, Kapit, Kajang, Port Klang and Kuala Terengganu have dropped to moderate levels as of 11am this morning.

Where I am, the sky is lovely, blue with some nice cloud formations.

I'd say it's too nice a day to be cooped up indoors. Outside, I can imagine people milling around in crowds in Chinatown, in shopping malls, in market squares all looking for a good bargain. And why not, this being the time again for Malaysia's Mega Sale Carnival which is already in full swing. Started on
July 4, it will stretch right up to August 31 - eight full weeks of shopping and bargains galore.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, the country’s biggest shopping event, is back again offering more exciting bargains, discounts, promotions and activities. This much anticipated annual event promises a grand shopping fiesta for locals and visitors alike.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Professor Randy Pausch, Ladies and Gentlemen

Books are expensive here. All because they are mostly imported and our currency value or lack of it rather. So finding unexpected books and at a reduced rate at that, makes for a double bonus and a real delight. I picked up three books yesterday and one of them is definitely a gem. It's the late Professor Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture. This book has been published in 35 languages.

On September 18, 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor and alumnus Randy Pausch delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that made the world stop and pay attention. It became an Internet sensation viewed by millions. To this day, people everywhere continue to talk about Randy, share his message and put his life lessons into action in their own lives.

This month marks the first anniversary of the professor's death. Randy Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008 at age 47. He lost the battle to pancreatic cancer.

CBS reported his death..

Below are some videos from YouTube for your viewing pleasure..

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals. For more of his lectures, visit

This video talks about the book, The Last Lecture

A shorter version of the inspirational speech on Oprah Winfrey Show

Lecture on Time Management at the University of Virginia in November 2007.

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch

Loafers to Give Your Feet a Break

Wearing heels is taxing on one's feet (and backbone), so I decided to fill my shoe-closet with a few more pairs of loafers the other day. I didn't buy just a pair or two. I have a strange habit of getting into a binge when shoe-shopping. To cut a long story short, I bought four pairs. My record is seven pairs of shoes at one go. Yeah, But they stretched for months and gave me a good rotation of shoes. Did you know that your shoes last longer if you give them time to take a break? Shoes need some time-off too.

"What are loafers?" This is a query I received on one of my posts. So as to be able to provide an accurate answer, I checked up an online dictionary and Wikipedia.

Before we go into the word loafer or loafers, let's look at the word 'loaf' and we are not talking about the bread or the meat here.

Loaf means to spend time idly, to pass time at leisure, to lounge around or simply bum about. Taking it real easy. Okay, lepak, if you will in our local lingo.

So, loafers would be shoes that you can just slip on - easy to put on and take off.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about loafers:

Slip-on shoe
Slip-ons, are low, leather lace-less shoes. The style most commonly seen, known as a loafer in American culture, has a moccasin construction. First appearing in the mid-1930s from Norway, they began as casual shoes, but have increased in popularity to point of being worn in America with city lounge suits, though these still require lace-up shoes in more conservative locations such as Britain. They are worn in many situations in a wide variety of colours and designs, often featuring tassels on the front, or metal decorations (the 'Gucci' loafer).

So, do you wear loafers?

Btw, how do you break in a new pair of loafers or shoes for that matter. An old Chinese belief always works for me. You may scoff at the idea but it really works. You may want to try it.

Before we start wearing a brand new pair of shoes, we'd first give them a little nibble (both shoes). It's actually symbolically indicating that we'd bite the shoes so that they can't bite us. Yeah, laughable but it's worth a try nevertheless.

Image source: Wikipedia

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Frolics - What's Your Medieval Profession?

Some of us believe in rebirth and that we have come back to Earth in human and other forms over the years. Ever thought about what you were doing in medieval times? Any inkling? Here's a quiz to find out. All in the name of fun, of course.

You Are an Astrologer

You tend to be a fanciful, spiritual person with many interesting theories.

You are always trying to figure out how all the pieces of the world are connected.

You have a knack for predicting the future and reading people.

In modern times, you would make a good self help guru or a director of a non profit.

Other Fun Quizzes

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Diet Pill Reviews can be useful

More and more people are turning to diet pills for that quick-fix to weight-loss. Is it wise? There seems to be an unending list of brands available in the market and the task of trying to select one can be daunting.

If however, you are looking for a diet pill, taking the trouble to go through diet pill reviews will at least reduce the risk of you making a wrong choice. There are some very reliable reviews that provide detailed write-ups on each and every brand in the market. For example, these ultra 90 reviews will tip you off that this brand is to be avoided. Be forewarned.

Great Prizes to be Won

Most if not all of us have at least once in our lifetime attempted to win a prize by trying our luck in a contest. Correct me if I am wrong.

See the ads above? All of these three ads will give you a chance at winning something, even space travel. No kidding. The prize of a space travel and other exciting prizes are sponsored by Guinness in conjunction with their 250th anniversary this year.

Seems like travel prizes are the trend here. And if you will take a look at the ad (the red/pink one on the left) with the picture of Manchester United players, you can win a trip to Old Trafford courtesy of Smirnoff, the vodka people.

Last but certainly not the least, is the prize of a trip for two to Europe worth RM38,000 courtesy of Hyundai. There are other exciting prizes to be won as well, including 10 units of iPod Touch. No purchase required.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on, try your luck. All these three ads randomly appear on my site but may not on others. When you see them, all you have to do is to click on them and you will be taken to the contest page. May I wish you Good Luck!

Disclaimer: This post is not an intentional attempt to add more clicks on the ads or to increase traffic to the site but rather to bring to my readers' attention the opportunity of winning some great prizes.

Michael Jackson - Memorial Service - Speeches and Songs

750 million viewers watched Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding, 400 million watched the Live Aid concert. But an estimation of more than one billion people watched Michael Jackson's Memorial Service yesterday (Tuesday) in Los Angeles.

About 20,000 people were present in the Staples Center in LA to attend the memorial service for Michael Jackson, to pay their last respects to the greatest entertainer of this era. People were there to celebrate MJ's life and the legacy he left behind.

People who assisted the Michael Jackson Memorial service such as Usher, Chris Brown and the Kardashians received a Program booklet that contains pictures of the King of Pop along with quotes from family and friends. I wonder if more will be printed for sale. It certainly is a collector's item for fans of MJ.

At the memorial service, friends and family paid tribute either with a speech or a song of one of Michael's hits. Mariah Carey sang I'll Be There joined by Trey Lorenz, Usher sang Gone Too Soon. Others who performed included Lionel Ritchie and Stevie Wonder. Jermaine Jackson, one of Michael's brothers, sang MJ's favourite song, Smile, written by Charlie Chaplin for Modern Times.

Queen Latifa gave a speech tribute and a poem while Brooke Shields told of her friendship with Michael. Kobe Bryant, the NBA star, highlighted that MJ made history (as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records) as the entertainer who made contributions to the most number of charities. Perhaps the most moving of all the tributes is the speech his (MJ's) own daughter made.

Here in Malaysia, besides being able to watch it live on the Internet, people with cable tv had the chance to catch it on CNN and E! Entertainment channels. Even Channel 8 (free network) carried it live so you can expect many people here stayed up late watching the memorial service from 11-nish right up to around 4am in the morning. I was one of them and I had both the tv and the Internet on at the same time, and with Kleenex in hand.

As anticipated, there are lots of reports, videos and photo galleries of the memorial service this morning. Fans, friends and family paid tribute to the King of Pop. The tribute that will be remembered for years to come is the one from Michael's 11-year-old daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. For more details, you may want to read the following articles.

Evening Buzz: Jackson Farewell - AC360

There were a lot of tears at Michael Jackson’s memorial service in Los Angeles. Perhaps the most emotional moment came when Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter stepped up to the microphone to talk to the crowd. Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, the second of Jackson’s three children, was surrounded by her grandmother, aunts and uncles and two brothers as she spoke near the end of the service.

“Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine”, Paris said sobbing. “And I just want to say I love him so much.”

At Jackson Memorial, Music and Mourning - New York Times

Thousands of fans — selected by lottery from the 1.6 million who applied for seats — came dressed on Tuesday in variations of Michael Jackson’s famed costumes over the years, but mostly in black. They cried, swayed, laughed and gawked in a memorial service that was religious pageant meets awards show.

Daughter Paris Pays Tearful Tribute to Michael Jackson - US Magazine

Michael Jackson's daughter Paris, 11, paid tribute to her father at the end of the singer's memorial Tuesday at L.A.'s Staples Center.

Fighting back tears, she approached the microphone with the help of Janet Jackson (who told her gently to "speak up").

"Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine," she said.

Before leaving the stage, she added: "I just wanted to say I love him so much."

One Last Big (Yet Moving) Show for Michael - Time Magazine

The coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial began early on cable news this morning, with nonstop helicopter video footage from a "private" ceremony for Jackson's family, while commentators vamped for time and guessed at what was going on behind closed doors.

It was symbolically fitting: Jackson, after all, spent most of his life in the public eye while his private life remained mostly a mystery. Fitting too, that his farewell ceremony should be a gaudy public spectacle—with Jackson himself onstage, in a flower-shrouded golden coffin—since he seemed most comfortable engaging the world through spectacle.

Spectacle, though it was, though, the Staples Center memorial ended up being more tasteful, moving and apt than the week and a half's media circus that led up to it.

Of course, some skeptics are saying that MJ faked his death. Perhaps some fans are wishing that he is still alive but the fact remains that Michael Jackson is dead, died at age 50 at 2:26pm on June 25 2009 . Gone too soon, indeed! A death certificate would put to rest any doubt or speculation about his death and confirm that we shall never see Michael Jackson moonwalk again.

However, there is still no indication from the family as to where Michael Jackson's body will be buried. Will it be at Neverland where they have just obtained a permit or will it be at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills where other celebrities lay in rest.

Tell me, in your opinion which do you think is a more fitting burial ground for a King of Pop?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Malaysia Made Top 10

10. Mexico
9. Switzerland
8. Spain
7. Malaysia
6. Italy
5. Poland
4. China
3. Russia
2. Brazil
1. Greece

Make a guess. What do you think these ten countries have in common? A mish-mash of countries big and small, European and Asian.. Haven't the faintest idea?

These countries top the list of Horniest Countries. Yep! Malaysia made the cut. Oh boy!