Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cool Pumpkin Carvings - Happy Halloween

Okay, some ideas here for pumpkin-carving. More pumpkin carvings..

Happy Halloween!

All That Glitters is Gold in the End

Gold, who can resist owning it. It is a precious metal loved from over the centuries and is getting more popular today as the man on the street sees real value in this precious metal.

Gold in the form of gold coins or gold bullion can be purchased and are much sought after as one of the ways to preserve savings and the purchasing power in the face of inflation.

Over the years, the value of gold and other precious metal bullion has increased hundreds of times thus making them, gold, especially, an asset to have in one's retirement account. Ever thought about buying a gold coin a month? In a year, you would be having twelve gold coins.

The Gold Coin Gain site says it all:

Gold is the ultimate asset. It is the purest form of money, and the oldest, most durable wealth-preserving asset on the planet. Governments can’t devalue it. It has no debts, no board of directors, no politicians or central bankers that can mess with its value. That’s why gold has survived every economy history has ever witnessed, and preserved investors’ purchasing power over a span of some 5000 years.

Credit Cards and Debit Cards are a Necessity

In this day and age, you would find it limiting to be still using cash alone. Even though cash may be king, cash would not get you very far unless you only intend to spend your life at home or just in your little town.

Some of us may not admit it but credit cards or debit cards are the answer to life beyond your comfort zone. They are no longer a luxury but a necessity in contemporary times. Our current environment calls for a safer, more secure means of carrying cash. You wouldn't want to carry those wads of cash shopping for big-ticket items like air-tickets or that diamond ring.

After that 5% government tax to be implemented from Jan next year, we would still require at least two cards, one Mastercard, the other Visa card - should one doesn't work; and a charge-card if you wish.

Credit cards are sometimes used to serve as loans but if the balance is not paid in a timely manner, one would have to bear a higher interest on that loan.

Debit cards are gaining popularity and for the public at large, it is a great way to curb impulsive spending. A prepaid debit card allows you to spend only when you have funds in your account making it an invaluable budgeting tool. More and more banks here are switching to prepaid debit cards replacing ATM cards.

If you are looking for a prepaid Mastercard or a prepaid credit card, check out the AchieveCard. They do not do credit check, no bank account is needed, they are safe and a secure card-issuer, and they approve 100% of the time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Installing a New Garage Floor

It doesn't concern me directly but besides neighbours moving in (versus moving out) that makes me happy, neighbours doing renovation or remodelling of their property gives me that happy feeling too. Weird, huh?

A neighbour down the road is doing something new to their garage. They are having a new garage floor installed and I can think of only good reasons. It would be cool if the garage looks something like in the picture.

I Saw "Michael Jackson: This Is It"

I watched Michael Jackson: This Is It yesterday (second day of screening) but I missed MJ's special message to his genuine fans as tipped by Anonymous in his comment on my Oct 13 post - This Is It - Michael Jackson's New Song.

So, if you are going to watch it, stay back for MJ's special message to all his genuine fans. Too bad I read Anonymous's comment too late.

What do I think of This Is It? If you are a fan or if you are like me, interested in behind-the-scenes kind of stuff, this documentary is for you. Some of the numbers MJ sang include Jam, Bad, Billy Jean (with a very brief moonwalk), Earth Song, Black or White, Thriller (great set), Smooth Criminal, Man in the Mirror and a medley of Jackon 5 hits. You'll also get to see the dancer selection - sexy - and dance practices including suggestion of the right way of holding the crotch! LOL!

Looking at Michael perform, even though they were rehearsals, you wouldn't think he was sick though I think making it through 50 rounds of such a gruelling routine would have been tough. MJ was so thin that he could pass for one who is a user who has gone overboard on one of those best weight loss pills. Oops!

The beginning was touching. It got me welled up as the principal dancers spoke about how they felt. A few even got choked up.

Go see it just to see the man alive, albeit in rehearsals. It'll be two hours well-spent. I believe the actual concert in London would have been a blast! The movie/documentary will run for two weeks only.

Oh, I was amazed at how Michael was spoken to - so much respect there, and how much he knew his music. Eye-opening.

Btw, do you think MJ's death is a hoax? Check out comment left by Anonymous in my Oct 13 post - This Is It - Michael Jackson's New Song.

Friday frolics: The Chair Test

Ahh.. it's Friday again and another round of Friday Frolics.

What does your choice of chair say about you? Find out..

You Are Freaky and Funny

You're the type of person who can sit all day without feeling bored or boring others.

You find the world entertaining. There's always something going on that you can riff on.

You give a first impression of being eccentric. Luckily, most people find your weird ways to be highly entertaining.

You are an armchair philosopher. You are constantly developing your unique, quirky take on life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Make It A Cancun Holiday! Yeah!

Holiday-makers who normally take time-off for a vacation end of the year would have made their reservations already. We were talking about vacation time and places to visit the other day and the place that got us all excited is Cancun, Mexico.

A visiting colleague from Mexico City will be taking his family to Cancun for Christmas. How can you not love Cancun. I mean, take a look at its location.

There are even some cancun hotels that allow you to book now and pay later. How cool is that!

So, have you made reservations yet?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Free Movie Tickets from GSC IOI Mall

Whoa! Spanking new movie theatre! This is one of four new theatres at the new extension of GSC IOI Mall and starting Oct 31, they are giving away free movie tickets. You read right, free tickets will be given away to the public from Oct 31 onwards for the following movies:

- Knowing,
- Terminator: Salva­tion,
- Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak (Malay), and
- Where Got Ghost (Chinese).

More details from The Star:

To enjoy this screenings, the public need to catch any movie at GSC IOI Mall (Old Wing) from Oct 22 to Oct 29 and they will be given two coupons which entitles them to two free tickets per coupon, on a first-come, first-served basis while tickets last.

Each person is limited to four tickets (maximum) per movie.

The redemption exercise will start from Oct 31 onwards.

Tickets can only be redeemed for the movie screenings on the same day of redemption as no advance redemption will be entertained.

Movie schedules can be downloaded from the GSC website

Time well-spent at Kindergarten Concert

I watched a kindergarten concert at a shopping mall the other day quite by accident and I might add that I was pleasantly entertained by the very little ones. With their colorful and pretty costumes, they all look simply adorable.

I wonder if its adhd in children that makes them talk and jump about non-stop or are all children naturally energetic. It was an hour well-spent, I should say.

Picture source:

Experience with a Hacked Account

Most of us have at least two email accounts, one at work, the other a personal account. The other day, a girlfriend found that she was locked out of her Gmail account. Apparently, someone hacked into her account.

To make matters worse, that someone sent out an email in her name asking for financial assistance. All of us who are close to her found the email strange. We later received an SMS from her informing us of the real situation.

Considering how advanced technology has become and more people being IT-savvy, we really do need an antispyware software that is capable of removing all manner of spyware and malware from our computers.

Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize 2009

Prizes for the Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize 2009 were presented to the winners in Stockholm last Thursday.

Journalist Chin Mui Yoon made The Star proud by clinching the third prize for the Asia and Pacific region for her story Living With Bombs, which was published in StarMag on Nov 30 last year.

Winning this prestigious Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize makes The Star the first Malaysian newspaper to win at the prestigious awards organised by the European Commission in association with Reporters Without Borders and the World Association of Newspapers.

The Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize was created in 1992 by the European Commission to honour written press, radio and television journalists from all over the world committed to human rights, democracy and development.

It is named after Lorenzo Natali, a former vice-president of the European Commission, who was in charge of cooperation and development between 1985 and 1989.

The first prize for the Asia and Pacific region went to South China Morning Post reporter, Fiona Tam, for her article Deadly Harvest, documenting China’s black corpses market; while Massoud Ansari of the Herald, Pakistan, picked up the second prize for The Ticking Bomb on the assault of girls in his country.

The best: Muhammad Yunus (third from left) posing for a group photo with (from left) Tam, Chin and Massoud Ansari in Stockholm on Thursday.
Nobel Prize 2006 laureate, Muhammad Yunus, gave away prizes.

The Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize went to Chinese journalist, Lee Yee Chong, for his television documentary for Now TV news channel on the deadly earthquake in Sichuan on May 12 last year which claimed 50,000 lives.

Relatives of victims maintained that the huge death toll was due to bad quality constructions. Yee-Chong Lee and his camera crew headed back to the epicentre to investigate the latest development in the issue of substandard construction. While the Chinese government denies any responsibility, relatives of the victims are trying to make their voices heard. Watch the video below for the story..

The Star
NataliPrize2009 website

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apartments in Gentings could do with a Heater or Fireplace

Due to the rain, the weather has been kind (as in not hot and humid) these past few days, with temperatures below the 80s - right now it's 75deg F. If one were to be in Genting Highlands, it would be cold outdoors and colder even from dusk onwards.

I remember putting up in one of the apartments in Gentings a few years back and wishing there was a heater or a fireplace in the apartment. These days, heaters come in very creative designs, such as these Amish fireplaces.

They are not only pretty, they are of high quality too, mobile and inexpensive to maintain.

There's Plenty of Money in Africa

Interesting! I'm in someone's list again. After not receiving one for so long, two days ago I received an email requesting assistance to help transfer out more than $8 million from Africa for which I get a cut. No diamonds, just money. Sigh!

Do people still fall for this kind of stuff? Apparently, people still do. Several months ago two people fell for it, one in East Malaysia, the other from Australia. Yep, you read right, from Australia.

Man Poured Acid on Wife and Daughter

Human nature is unpredictable, scary even. Did you read about the man who poured acid onto his sleeping wife and daughter in Penang?

Though the wife has been badly burned, she will not need any help with disability appeal because she succumbed to her injury ten hours later after going into a coma.

The daughter may lose her eyesight. It is still unknown why the man did what he did. So sad.

Image source: The Star

Kudos to You if You Are in Sales

I've always marvelled at people who are in the sales line and doing a great job at it. I have a girlfriend who is selling life insurance. She has been at it for years now but is only doing it part-time though she is doing very well meeting her quota annually and going on a twice yearly vacation overseas too, I might add.

I suppose if she were to have access to life insurance leads, she would be doing much better.

Are you in the sales line too? What do you sell?

Securing One's Future with Gold Purchase

The share market is up and people are talking about it. Gold is up too and people are talking about it. Strange that when share market is down and gold is down, there is less talk about them.

At a dinner function last night, one of the topics that came up was, you guessed it.. share market and gold and how the latter would be one of the ways to preserve one's savings and purchasing power.

Gold bullion can be purchased from various sources. One of them is through Monex Deposit Company (MDC) that has been America’s gold, silver and precious metals investment leader and they have a large and dedicated staff of hard asset professionals committed to serving every customer's needs.

You can purchase silver, gold or other precious metals and coins for immediate personal delivery or arrange for convenient and safe storage at an independent bank or depository. Now is as good as any time to buy gold for a more secure future.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

KL Tower BASE Jumping

In my post dated Oct 17, I talked about the BASE Jumping event in Penang. If you are in Kuala Lumpur and are interested in witnessing this activity, now is your chance.

The Annual KL Tower International Jump will be held tomorrow, Oct 25. The jump will be from the top of KL Tower located at 2, Jalan Punchak, off Jalan P.Ramlee. For more details, you can call 03-2020 5444.

This is no fat burner activity but at least it will give you an adrenaline rush with your feet still firmly planted on the ground.

The Biggest Loser Reality Show

I haven't seen this show on tv yet but I read that auditions for this reality show, The Biggest Loser, were held in August. The above photo is courtesy of MSN. Sarimah Ibrahim is the host of the show.

Looking at the long line of people turning up for the audition, the show must be doing well. People are more concerned about health these days but not everyone knows how to choose the right food. Plus, not everyone is aware of how their choices (of food) affect their body - appearance, health and mind. From this show, participants and viewers alike would have been introduced to ways of staying healthy and fit through proper nutrition and exercise and that staying trim may not necessarily require weight loss products.

I'm A Contemporary Furniture Kind of Person

I was browsing through a home decoration magazine the other day and thought about IKEA which reminds me I haven't received a copy of IKEA's 2010 catalogue. Have you?

The IKEA catalogue is fabulous, chockful of furnishing trends and exciting new ideas. I like their wide selection of contemporary furniture which includes some really wonderful pieces for one to create any desired home environment.

Btw, did you know that the very first IKEA catalogue was published in Sweden in 1951 and is still published annually and that IKEA catalogue is translated into 27 different languages and is distributed to homes around the world between August and September every year which I haven't received mine, of course.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Buying Gold to Preserve Wealth and Purchasing Power

In an earlier post, we talked about the Dow Jones and the local share market. We even talked about investing in gold to preserve one's savings. In fact, buying gold has been recognized for centuries as one of the best ways to preserve one's wealth and purchasing power.

You can buy gold , silver or other precious metals and coins for immediate personal delivery or arrange for convenient and safe storage at an independent bank or depository through Monex Deposit Company (MDC). For over 30 years, the Monex companies have been America’s investment leader for gold, silver and precious metals.

Gold is available in coin or ingot form as an investment product. Ingots are generally gold ingots of pure bullion cast in a convenient size and shape. Coins have a currency value or they are actually defined as ingots.

If it is silver you are interested in, silver is also available in coin or ingot form. Ingots are generally silver ingots of pure bullion cast in a convenient size and shape. Like gold coins, silver coins have a currency value or they are actually defined as ingots.

There may never be a better time for buying silver bullion than right now as world demand for silver now exceeds annual production, and has been every year since 1990.

The 2010 Budget

Are you happy with the Budget?

From The Star:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has tabled Budget 2010 with the theme "1Malaysia, Together We Prosper". Totalling RM191.5 bil, he said it would be the foundation of a new economic model and precursor to the 10th Malaysia Plan.

These are the main highlights of the speech as per delivery.

* Time for country to move to an economy of innovations to face the challenges of the future

* GDP for 2009 expected to be -3%, better than previous projections of -4% to -5%

* Focus of Budget 2010 will be on well-being of the people

* Three strategies:

- driving the country towards a high-income economy,

- ensuring holistic and sustainable development,

- focusing on the well-being of the rakyat.

* Government to make it easier for skilled/qualified people to get permanent residence status. Visa to be granted for family within 14 days.

* CSR Fund of RM100mil to be set up to carry out social programmes.

* Tax breaks for registration of patents and copyrights.

* Big scale factory outlets to be set up to boost tourism besides having major events like KL Grand Prix Fest, National Water Festival, Malaysia International Golf Exhibition and Rain Forest Eco-Challenges

* Taxpayers will get tax relief on broadband subscription fee of up to RM500 from 2010 to 2012. Civil servants can apply for computer loans up to a maximum of RM5,000 from the govt once in every 5 years.

* RM6bil for agriculture sector for irrigation of paddy fields, fish production, fruit farming, livestock farming infrastructure, training

* RM2bil subsidy for farmers and fishermen including subsidies for fertilisers, incentives for padi yields and allowances for fishermen

* RM9bil to finance infrastructure projects including road and bridges projects and rail, sea ports and airports facilities

* RM1.5bil fund to promote green technology by providing soft loans to companies that supply and use green technology

* RM200mil Creative Industry Fund to finance film, drama, music productions, animation, advertisements through Bank Simpanan Nasional

* RM30bil to be allocated to enhance primary and secondary school education nationwide

* Rewards for students who excel in studies:

- 30 National Scholarships for the creme de la creme of students, stictly based on merit

- Conversion of PTPTN loans to scholarships for students who graduate with 1st class honours degree, beginning from 2010,

- Offer of netbook package, including free broadband service, to university students for RM50 per month for 2 years.

* The Permata programme, which emphasises on early childcare and education, including the gifted child programme, to get RM100mil

* Insurance industry to be improved to meet market demand.

* Govt to clamp down on the abuses committed by Ah Longs by enforcing Anti-Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing Act 2001. Moneylenders Act 1951 to be also reviewed.

* Allow 100% foreign equity participation in corporate finance and financial planning companies compared with the present requirement of at least 30% local shareholding.

* To ensure rapid development of financial services, the existing tax incentives to be extended to 2015.

* Among steps to combat corruption is to set up 14 Special Corruption Sessions Courts and 4 Special Corruption Appeal High Courts.

* Tax of 5% to be imposed on gains from the disposal of real property from Jan 1, 2010. Existing tax exemption will be retained for gifts between parent-child, husband-wife, grandparent-grandchild.

* To promote prudent spending, a service charge of RM50 a year to be imposed on each principal credit card and charge card; and RM25 a year on each supplementary card, effective from Jan 1, 2010.

* To ensure that fuel subsidies only benefit targeted groups, Govt will implement a fuel subsidy management system in early 2010, which will utilise the MyKad.

* All ministries and govt departments are required to provide day care and education centres for children of civil servants.

* The maximum income tax rate for individuals to be reduced to 26% from assessment year 2010. Personal relief increased to RM9,000.

* Police force to get RM1bil to improve its services in govt's efforts to reduce crime. Major measures include to increase police presence, including mobile police stations in 50 crime hotspots.

* To promote house ownership, Govt will launch a scheme that enables EPF contributors to utilise current and future savings in Account 2.

* Employees' EPF contribution to be increased to 11% again, on a voluntary basis, effective immediately. However, from Jan 1, 2011 employees' EPF contribution will revert to 11%.

* Personal relief for EPF and life insurance schemes to be increased to RM7,000.

Keeping Trim and Healthy

It's amazing the number of diet pills available in the market and most of them claiming to be the best diet pills. I suppose the ratings must be reliable if they are being done by consumers/users based on a certain criteria. Still, I think being careful about one's diet and the portion, plus working out combined is still the best bet to keeping trim and healthy. I'm sure you'll agree.

Friday Frolics - What Color of the Rainbow Are You?

Quiz for this week is about the rainbow. Find out what color of the rainbow are you.

You Are Orange

You are a creative, interesting person who's always looking to spice things up. You are a little wild!

You love new endeavors and adventures. You are fearless, and you love the thrill of doing something completely foreign to you.

You are spontaneous, and you sometimes end up doing the strangest things. If you have a gut feeling, you just go with it.

You may be a bit eccentric, but your enthusiasm is catching. People want to live as freely as you do.

Other Fun Quizzes

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teoh Beng Hock's Death - 80% Homicide

So, the truth is out that it is an 80% probability Teoh Beng Hock's death was a homicide, and

Thai forensic pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand is willing to conduct a post mortem on Teoh Beng Hock if his remains were to be exhumed.

Easy Car Purchase at Austin DriveTime

If you are in the market for a used car and you are in Austin, Texas, you are a lot luckier than people here. Even if you have poor credit, you would still be able to buy a used car from Austin DriveTime.

DriveTime is the United States' largest dealership with 77 locations specializing in selling Used Cars to people with credit problems. At Austin, there are five DriveTime store locations with a team of employees who are ready to find an auto that suits every lifestyle and budget. They are also the bank, so an auto buyer will still be able to get a car regardless of his credit history.

You will find that Drive Time is in many ways different from other auto dealers. At DriveTime, they put every vehicle through a rigorous 53-point inspection to make sure that it meets their high quality standards. If they don’t pass the inspection, they never even make it onto their lots.

They also provide an industry-leading warranty with the purchase of every vehicle, to help set their customer’s minds at ease. Additionally, at DriveTime they offer customers innovative ways to improve their credit score and lower their interest rate when they purchase their used car.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rihanna's New Song - Russian Roulette - & Pink Floyd

From an unknown song and artiste to one that's making headlines..

Rihanna's fans would be happy to know that Rihanna has a new album coming up to be released next month. In the meantime, here is her new song, Russian Roulette. See if you like it..

Something new, something not so new. Pink Floyd - a few of my favs here. Enjoy if you like rock. If you don't, give them a listen anyway, you might learn to like it, rock, that is. hmm..

So, so you think you can tell....
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Through My Window - Song that causes a Buzz at

When I read about this, Song causes a buzz article this morning, I thought uh-oh, this sounds like a chain-letter of some sort.

You know how chain-letters give you this disgusting and wary feeling to just be on the lookout for danger. It turns out, it's not a bad thing.

It's just a new song that has been anonymously being catapulted into the limelight and has been played on radios and talked about and discussed on Facebook, tweeted and doing its rounds around the blogosphere which yours truly has also joined the bandwagon by way of this post. What's wrong with chipping in for a good cause, eh(?) - I hope it is.

Anyway, this new number has got simple and catchy lyrics. If you like punk rock or some bubblegum music, this one's for you. Or if you are a fan of Sum 41, this one's for you too. No one knows who's the singer or the band. Doesn't it remind you of The Archies - cartoonish and mysterious and great music too. This one, okay lah.

Enough said, listen to the song on with lyrics below. Enjoy..

Through My Window

Don’t want much, I just want everything
Thought that I could, do almost anything
One step in front of the other
Thought that I could do it alone

In the blink of an eye, it's just another day
Telling me why, I'll find another way
Got this feeling, got me reeling
I can almost start believing

Now there's me and you
And we are not alone
You and me
We are together now
Through my window, I can see there's
More than you and more than me
Me and you
And we are not alone
Different view
We are together now
Through my window, I can see
Our wildest dreams could be so real

I see a spark, it starts a fire
Is this the one worth waiting for?
Thought that I could do it without you
Can’t exist like this anymore

Now there's me and you
And we are not alone
You and me
We are together now
Through my window, I can see there's
More than you and more than me

Now there’s me and you, you and me
We are not alone and we are together
Through my window I can see
Our wildest dreams could be so real

Source: The Star

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beyonce postpones concert in Malaysia

Those who have bought tickets to Beyonce's concert on Oct 25 will be disappointed to know that the concert has been postponed. The Star has the story:

KUALA LUMPUR: Pop star Beyonce Knowles has postponed her widely anticipated Malaysian leg of her tour scheduled for Sunday, Oct 25, to a date that will be announced soon.

Organisers Marctensia Sdn Bhd said that the official postponement statement by Beyonce’s Artiste Management, Music World would be released by this week.

“The postponement is solely the decision of the Artiste and has nothing to do with other external reasons.

“The Organisers sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Marctensia said in a statement.

Fans who have bought the tickets but can’t wait for the announcement of the new date, can get their refunds between Oct 26 and Nov 14 at Ticket Axcess head office in Petaling Jaya.

For more details on ticket refund, fans can contact the official ticketing agent Axcess through its hotline 03 7711 5000 or log on

Beyonce’s “I am…” live concert was originally scheduled to be held at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Durian - that Funky Smelling Fruit

A friend from Thailand recently brought me a packet of preserved cuttlefish. This is a popular snack in this part of the world and you know how this food messes up the air quality of a confined space. So, the following day, I had to seriously work to get rid of the fishy odour in my car. No regrets though because the cuttlefish is worth it.

The other foodstuff that requires special attention is the durian fruit. How do you get rid of odors? There are three ways that work for me.

Lighting a match-stick is one way. If one doesn't work, strike a few more. The sulphur will be sure to rid the smell. The second method is to use charcoal. I have them in my fridge. Leave a few chunks (charcoal pills work too) in the car and the odor will be removed. The third method, however, needs a little bit more expenditure. Install an ionizer in your car. I used to have one in the car and the air quality was excellent. Everyone that I gave a lift to commented about the fresh and odorless air in my car. I'm not an air-freshener person so the ionizer worked perfectly. But after it broke down, I was not able to get a replacement so charcoal is the next best.

Our King of Fruits, the durian, is so famous that even Nat Geo think it necessary to do up a video of it and they even share a hotel's way of getting rid of the durian odor. Check it out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maldives government dives for climate change

Maldives is a popular holiday resort but if nature has its way (with the help of mankind, of course), this cluster of beautiful islands may disappear from the map altogether in a forecasted hundred years from now... all because of climate change causing ice caps melting.

Desperate times call for desperate measures as Members of the Maldives' Cabinet donned scuba gear and used hand signals Saturday at an underwater meeting staged to highlight the threat of global warming to the lowest-lying nation on earth.

President Mohammed Nasheed and 13 other government officials submerged and took their seats at a table on the sea floor - 20 feet (6 meters) below the surface of a lagoon off Girifushi, an island usually used for military training.

With a backdrop of coral, the meeting was a bid to draw attention to fears that rising sea levels caused by the melting of polar ice caps could swamp this Indian Ocean archipelago within a century. Its islands average 7 feet (2.1 meters) above sea level.

Continue reading..The Star

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Outsourcing is a Positive Move

Nothing stays the same forever, indeed. Not through her doing, a sister of a colleague had to switch company because the entire logistics department has been outsourced.

Whether we like it or not, the world around us is constantly changing. Technology advancement and business ideologies are changing the way corporations operate.
Many organizations are moving away from doing everything themselves. To reduce overheads and realize better profits, many organizations nowadays outsource certain support functions of their business to a fulfillment company. It's a win-win situation for both parties ultimately.

Auto Insurance Rates and Quotes

I couldn't help admiring the fast and good repair job done on my neighbour's car.

Just last week, I saw the car with dents and broken headlights and the missing front bumper. Yes, the accident was that bad that the bumper fell off but when I saw the car yesterday, it looked as good as new. His auto insurance company must have done a great job or in other words, he could have bought an auto insurance policy that covers his car damage adequately to be able to have the repairs done so expeditiously.

Securing the right auto insurance can be tricky. A car-owner needs to understand the basics of auto insurance to be able to tell the kind of auto insurance needed.

There are in fact a few different types of auto insurance policies, including Liability Policy, Collision Cover, Theft Policy, No Fault Policy and the Comprehensive Policy. Knowing the best policy that meets your requirement for your car will save you anguish in the event of an accident.

We over here are not there yet, but in the U.S., once you have decided on what you need for your car, auto insurance rates and quotes are easily available online where you can make comparisons and adjustments later on.

No matter where we are, the right auto insurance makes for a smooth ride, don't you agree?

Happy Deepavali

To All Readers who celebrate Deepavali,

Best wishes,

BASE Jumping 2009 in Komtar, Penang, tomorrow

Every time I read in the papers about the jumping event in KL, it was always after the fact. The strange thing about that is that there was never a time when I read about the event before it so that I could go see it firsthand.

I don't know, there might be people like me out there who would also like to see jumpers at work. I'm talking about BASE jumping here. Here in KL, these jumps are done from the KL Tower.

So, if you are interested to watch this event and if you are in Penang, then you are in luck.

Komtar International BASE Jump 2009 is set to take place this Sunday, i.e. tomorrow, with a total of 23 jumpers, the largest group of jumpers in the event’s four year history.

It's open to the public and the event will be from 8.30am to 5.30pm at the Komtar Dome located on the fifth floor. It is organized by the state government, Penang Develop-ment Corporation and Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd.

Jumpers will make continuous jumps from Komtar’s 62nd and 64th floor, located about 180m above sea level, throughout the day.

Out of the 23 participating jumpers, 13 are foreigners from Norway, New Zealand, India, Russia, Sweden, Holland, United Kingdom, Den-mark, Australia, Turkey, France and the United States. Six are women - two local and four foreigners.

BASE is an acronym for ‘buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs)’ indicating the locations the jumpers are leaping from.

The slightest change in wind changes everything and since the landing sites are nearer to the jump sites (compared to sky diving), the jumpers have to be very experienced, and jumpers have to complete at least 150 sky-jumps before being allowed to try BASE jumping.

Jumpers are between 26 and the late fifties, and most of them are very skilled and experienced so it should be a great show.

It is also possible to see it from afar as, if you are located anywhere on the island with a clear view of Komtar, you could keep an eye out on it tomorrow. Jumpers will be dressed in bright outfit and they will be seen from miles away. No roads around Komtar will be closed but there will be officers on traffic control.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dow’s Rally hit above 10,000 Points

Even though the Dow is some 4,000 points off its record high, hitting 10,000 points on Wednesday has caused an impact in Asian markets and markets elsewhere. KLSE recorded a double-digit gain yesterday though it's in the red a little today. Japan’s Nikkei index rose more than 2 percent after the opening before sliding back some.

Picture below shows Specialists Michael Scavone, left, and Michael Sollitto reacted as the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 10,000 on Wednesday for the first time in over a year.

If the share market is not for you, perhaps investing in gold would be another option; some say a better and probably a safer bet. Currently, gold price is hovering at around $1065 an ounce.

Source: NY Times

Siesta Time

We think nothing of having a stray cat or a dog resting in our backyard or fore-court. Snakes and other reptiles are a different story, however. But what about having a hippo taking a siesta in your home? That's not a hippo, you think?

I saw this cute picture on evl's site so I thought I'd borrow it to share with you. Evl being in South Africa, I suppose this photo must have been one taken there.

Maybe Mr or Ms Cutie is someone's pet. Eh? I wonder what's the cat thinking..

Have you had any experience of a stray animal visiting your home?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis

According to Wikipedia, Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating disease that affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other. MS affects approximately 400,000 people in the US and an estimated 2.5 million worldwide.

Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability and neuropsychiatric disorder. Between attacks, symptoms may go away completely, but permanent neurological problems often occur, especially as the disease advances.

Sadly, there is no known cure for MS. Treatments attempt to return function after an attack, prevent new attacks, and prevent disability. MS medications can have adverse effects or be poorly tolerated, and many patients pursue alternative treatments, despite the lack of supporting scientific study.

How would you like to financially help people with multiple sclerosis? By purchasing a shirt or a mug, you will help support an MS artist and a donation is made to National Multiple Sclerosis Society or to other MS research Groups.

Most t-shirts are at $14.95 or less and there is a variety of categories to choose from. Here is a chance to own a piece of art and contribute to a good cause at the same time.

Love You Anyway

I can't get enough of this Boyzone number. Just as well, treat it like a tribute to Stephen Gately.

Tell me what you want from me
So I can try to make you see
That I’m in no position for giving
Cos’ all I see you do is lie
And I can’t help but close my eyes
And wonder ’bout you in my life
I’m drowning in your tears

I’m delirious
Are you serious?
What goes on in your head?
I’m just curious
Cos’ I’m hanging here
Got me dangling here
Think your love, oh your love has got off my head

It’s unbelievably hard to love you
But I love you anyway
I’ve been trying too hard not to love you
But I love you anyway

Oh, I should’ve known
That you’d go and steal my eyes
Oh, I should’ve known
From then on I’d lose my life

I’m delirious
Are you serious?
What goes on in your head?
I’m just curious
Cos’ I’m hanging here
Got me dangling here
Think your love, oh your love has got off my head

It’s unbelievably hard to love you
But I love you anyway
I’ve been trying too hard not to love you
But I love you anyway
It’s so incredibly hard to love you
But I love you anyway
And every time I try too hard not to love you
I love you anyway

I don’t get it, I really don’t get it
I try to walk away but my feet won’t let me
I don’t get it, I just don’t get it
I try to walk away but my feet won’t let me

You have me baby
You drive me crazy
You have me baby
You drive me crazy

It’s unbelievably hard to love you
But I love you anyway
I’ve been trying too hard not to love you
But I love you anyway
You have me baby
It’s so incredibly hard to love you
You drive me crazy
But I love you anyway
And every time I try to hard not to love you
But I love you anyway

I don’t get it, I really don’t get it
I try to walk away but my feet won’t let me
I don’t get it, I just don’t get it
I try to walk away but my feet won’t let me.

This Is It - Michael Jackson's New Song

Michael Jackson fans would be happy to know that a brand new song was released on the late singer's Web site early Monday.

The song titled, This Is It, will play at the close of the film, which will feature Jackson's career highlights and last rehearsals.

However about 45 seconds of "This Is It" did the rounds online on YouTube Sunday after being leaked ahead of its scheduled release on They were promptly taken down.

"This Is It" will be followed by a limited edition two-disc set to be released on October 27.

The package includes a 36-page, commemorative booklet featuring exclusive photos of Michael from his last rehearsal along with an 11"x17" (approx. 28cm x 43cm) movie poster. This set is priced at USD19.99 and can be purchased online.

The album features music that inspired the film "Michael Jackson's This Is It," which is scheduled for release October 28.

If you prefer it in vinyl, a 4-disc vinyl set will be relased November 10. This Deluxe FOUR VINYL LP (180g) set contains the original album masters of some of Michael's biggest hits, previously unreleased versions of classic tracks plus two versions of the never-released "This Is It." This set is priced at USD49.99 online.

Give the new song a listen here..

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Big Bibik and the Little Nyonyas - Video Webisodes

Many of us love Peranakan or commonly-known as Nyonya food. Unfortunately, there are not many restaurants that serve this type of delicious fare.

Fret not, as you can now cook some of the dishes at home yourself with the how-to's and recipes provided by QuaChee on his blog. Let The BIG Bibik and the Little Nyonyas webisodes show you how to cook up some yummy Nyonya food.

There are 10 webisodes in all, below are five that have been shown so far. Watch out for the rest either on QuaChee's blog or on the Bookmarqc blog.


Episode 1 - The Big Bibik and the Little Nyonyas

Episode 2 - Cincalok Egg Omelette

Episode 3 - Choosing the right blue ginger

Episode 4 - Ayam Pong Teh

Episode 5 - Sambal Bendeh

Best Jobs in America

If your current job is one of those listed above, then you are having one of the best jobs in the United States. CNN has a list of 50 Best Jobs drawn up based on certain criteria.

I'm sure you'd want to know how the Best Jobs are picked, so here's the selection process.

Here's the list of Best Jobs in America.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

R.I.P Stephen Gately reported that Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has died while on holiday in Majorca at the age of just 33, bringing an end to a varied and successful career on stage.

Gately was born in Ireland in March 1976 and joined Boyzone in 1993 after answering an advert in Dublin to audition for the country's first boy band.

Sharing lead vocals with Ronan Keating, the band enjoyed huge success with 17 top five singles - six of them number ones, including All That I Need in 1998.

Gately went on to forge a successful career on the West End stage in a series of musicals, taking the lead role in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and playing the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Adored by millions of female fans, Gately sent ripples through the pop music world in 1999 when he announced that he was gay.

In 2006 he married his long-term partner Andrew Cowles in a civil partnership ceremony in London in 2006. The pair were on holiday together on the Spanish island when he died.

n recent years, Gately had been writing a children's fantasy novel called The Tree of Seasons. His last message on the social networking site Twitter, posted on 6 October, said: "Still busy – lots going on. Focusing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here.”

R.I.P. Stephen. Thank you for your wonderful music.

Stephen Gately: His Life -

Warehouse Book Sale & Floating Bookshop

Head on over to the Pearson & Penguin books warehouse sale, which will be on until Oct 11, at Pearson Malaysia, Lot 2, Jalan 215, Off Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya, between 10am and 7pm. Many good books are available at great discounts.

While we are on the subject of books, here's your chance to visit a Floating library docked at the Pasir Gudang Ferry Terminal in Johor Bahru. Hurry, today is their last day there before the MV Doulos, the international floating bookshop, moves on to another port.

You can find many types of books inside the world’s oldest ocean-going passenger ship. It is open between 2pm and 10pm. Entrance fee is RM1. For more information, contact 016-7204773 or log on to

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Frolics - What Type of Art Are You?

Do you love art? It would be hard not to because every single one of us is actually an artform - the way we are formed, from head to toe, the way we walk, the way we think, speak, laugh, cry, the way we dance (or not), the way we behave, the things we navigate towards, the way we love...

I love art and I love the things I see around me and the people I cross paths with. I know it's Friday but life IS a blast! Life itself is art! I luvvvvvvvvvv.........

Well, for whatever I believe in, what type of art am I?

I Am Ceramics

You are open to the world and it's possibilities. You are able to start something without knowing how it will end.

You trust your intuition above everything else. Going with your gut often works out.

You believe that every day objects can and should be art.

The best art allows ordinary life to be more stylish and beautiful.

America's Smartest Cities—From First to Worst

Which metropolis has the most intelligent residents? Sorry, we are talking just about the U.S. The Daily Beast ranked the major American cities using two criteria: education level and intellectual environment.

Only 55 cities made the list based on metropolitan areas (the cities and their suburbs) of 1 million people or more, using Census data, with the definition of each greater metropolitan area defined by Nielsen.

The winner is Raleigh-Durham. The loser is Fresno. But what falls between?

Below are the top five. How did your hometown rank?

The criteria.


San Jose




America's 55 smartest cities - from first to last..

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Buying Term Life Insurance Online

When it comes to technology, we are still lagging behind the West. Take buying insurance, for instance, just filling in a simple form, someone in the United States is able to get comparison quotes for a term life insurance or auto insurance.

FinancialOne.Com makes buying term life insurance online simple and easy. Their goal is to empower and educate consumers about term life insurance and then assist them in choosing the most appropriate life insurance policy that meets their needs.

You can tell theirs is not a lead generation site as you are able to contact them on their toll-free number for customer support and secondly, they provide real-time quotes.

If Malaysia is as large in size as the U.S. or as advanced in technology, perhaps we too would be buying term life insurance online.

Dried Fruit Products (containing lead) on Level 5 alert

Recently, CAP (Consumer Association of Penang) highlighted that dried cuttlefish poses a danger to consumption due to its high content of cadmium. In fact, most food contains a certain amount of poisonous or carcinogenic elements and we console ourselves with 'everything in moderation'. However, there are some elements that if accumulated over time can be a danger to one's health. Lead is one of them.

It has been found that lead, in cumulative amounts over time, causes nervous system disorders and distorts brain development, especially in children.

Major newspapers today carry the article below on dried fruit products to avoid as they contain high levels of lead which has been placed on a Level 5 alert.

From The Star:

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has put dried fruit products, particularly plum and prune products, from China, Taiwan and other Asian countries, on Level 5 alert because of their high levels of lead.

Ministry staff will be on the lookout for these products at entry points for 16 manufacturers and distributors to ensure the products do not come into the country, Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said on Thursday.

With a Level 5 alert, the Ministry would hold the products to test them for lead content before they can be released into the market.

The highest alert, Level 6, involves an immediate rejection of the product.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the monitoring was started following an Oct 1 US Food and Drug Administration report warning people not to consume dried fruit, including dried plums and prunes, due to lead contamination.

“If a product by a manufacturer or distributor is found to contain more than the permitted two parts per million (ppm), legal action will be taken under the Food Regulations 1985,” Liow told reporters after launching the ministry’s management conference on Thursday.

If convicted, guilty parties can be fined up to RM100,000, jailed for up to 10 years or both.

Lead, in cumulative amounts over time, causes nervous system disorders and distorts brain development, especially in children.

Here's the list of products affected.

Go Pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink is in!

Yes, October is here again and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

It is a prime opportunity to remind women to be breast aware for earlier detection. Early detection saves lives.

Corporate companies around the world are chipping in in full support of this breast cancer awareness, research, prevention and cure initiative.

If you think breast cancer is only confined to women, think again. According to the BCRF,

- In 2009, 1,910 new cases of breast cancer in men are expected in the U.S.
- In 2009, 440 men are expected to die from breast cancer in the U.S.

Some more insightful information from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation site:

- Women are at higher risk if they are obese, especially after menopause
breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer)
- Women are at higher risk for breast cancer if they have a personal or family history of the disease
- In the U.S., a women is diagnosed with breast cancer, on average, every 3 minutes
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer)
- Women aged 20-39 should have a clinical exam every 3 years
- All women 40 and over should get an annual mammogram and clinical exam
- The biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and aging

There you have it. You may ask Why Should We Support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation?

* The money works right away:
* The donation is activated immediately to support the finest and most promising research project around the world.
* More than 85 cents of each dollar donated to BCRF goes directly to breast cancer research and awareness programs.
* For more information about BCRF, visit

Here's a graphical interpretation of how the funds are being used:

The BCRF Mission:

BCRF support from more than 110 corporate partners have helped them raise over $250 million since inception in 1993. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and their partners have come together in their mission to bring breast cancer out of the darkness by supporting top researchers in groundbreaking studies across the globe.

We can all help in this effort in various ways, the easiest being shopping in stores that are contributing to this initiative.

We can go Pink Shopping..

Shop at Sony stores.
Sony Electronics will be donating a maximum of $110,000 from their breast cancer initiative this year to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in connection with the following products:

* VAIO® W Series notebook bundle (VPC-W111XX/PC)
* Reader Pocket Edition™ bundle (PRS-300RC/B)

In addition, shop at your local Sony Style store between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday, October 20, and a maximum of $15,000 will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (*excluding COMCAST Center)

Or shop at any one of the other BCRF corporate alliances.. and become a part of this campaign to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Something else you could do..

Join the Estée Lauder Companies' 2009 Breast Cancer Awareness campaign by spreading the word about the World Pink Mosaic - an online photo mosaic of breast cancer survivors and supporters all united in their support for breast health and the desire for a world without breast cancer.

Follow this link to see the World Pink Mosaic and submit your own image by clicking on "Join the Cause."

Estée Lauder's support of Breast Cancer Awareness has always been very visible. I remember seeing our very own KL Tower last year being illuminated by a huge purplish pink banner running down the entire span of the tower making it visible for miles around.

The Global Illumination effort included landmarks such as :

The Harbour Bridge - Sydney Australia
The Hangzhou Department Store - Hangzhou China
Niagara Falls - Ontario Canada
The Eden Project - Cornwall England
The Majestic Hotel - Cannes France
The French Affiliate Building - Paris France
The Angel of Peace - Munich Germany
City Hall - Reykjavik Iceland
Azrieli Towers - Tel Aviv Israel
Constantine's Arch - Rome Italy
The Arena - Verona Italy
Tokyo Tower - Tokyo Japan (image above)
City Hall Square - Seoul Korea
The Dam Square - Amsterdam The Netherlands
The Skytower - Auckland New Zealand

If you'd prefer to contribute directly, here's where you can donate.

Have a wonderful October but not forgetting to give a thought to supporting this good cause.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation