Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Frolics - The Weirdo Test

'Weirdo' is a term that makes me cringe whenever I hear people using it, but just for this week's Friday frolicking, let's do The Weirdo Test for the purpose of knowing a little bit more about ourselves.

I'd give this a 3 rating..

Rating Guide
1 = Absolutely not true
2 = Some truth
3 = 50% true
4 = Mostly true
5 = Close to 100% true

Happy Friday everyone and to Malaysians, Happy Merdeka Day too!

Today, Malaysia celebrates her 55th year of Independence from Britain.

You Are Reserved

Some may find you to be a bit harsh, but if anything you are a realist. You see things as they are.

You are shy when it comes to romance. You are the type of person who waits to be approached.

You are both practical and courageous. You are willing to act boldly when it really matters.

You like to think before you talk or act. You want to do the right thing, and you refuse to be rushed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Do's and Don'ts - Hungry Ghost Festival Pt 2

Continuing from the previous post, Hungry Ghost Festival 2012..

The 7th lunar month or more commonly known as the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival is normally regarded as not an auspicious time of the year. In the Taoist Chinese community, weddings and engagements do not take place during this month. House-moving is also out of the question. Buying property or a vehicle or even buying a bed is avoided if the custom is to be followed to the letter. Times have changed and customs like these are sometimes ignored.

For the staunchest of believers, primarily the older generation, signing contracts and agreements are also avoided. People also avoid long-distance travelling, if possible. It is believed that bad luck is associated with the month of the Hungry Ghosts, thus anything major done could face failure or will be wrought with problems. Same applies to starting a new business venture or opening shop for a new business.

Although ghosts/spirits are around during the daytime, they are believed to be more active at night. However, there are some don'ts that can be observed to prevent from bumping into them.

These don'ts are more specific to the Hungry Ghost month..

1. No Swimming. Swimming is taboo in the 7th month. Camping trips and jungle trekking are to be avoided as well.

2. No staying out late. Best to be home by 9pm. For small children, keep them off the streets especially street corners before nightfall.

3. Never pass comment or complain about the smell of burning incense or joss-paper (currency for the afterlife).

4. Do not step on or kick the offerings you find by the roadside. If stepped upon accidentally, you just need to apologise aloud to make it alright.

5. Never take any of the offerings meant for the spirits. The food spread is normally left behind after the prayers.

6. The word "ghost" is never uttered so as not to offend them as it sounds crude. They are normally referred to as "buddies" or "brothers" whose local equivalent is "ho heng tai" in Cantonese or "ho hia ti" in Hokkien.

7. Do not occupy any of the front-row seats at the Ko Tai performance. They are meant for the unseen guests.

8. Do not wear red during the Hungry Ghost Festival month as spirits/ghosts are attracted to red, so avoid anything red, including underwear.

9. Stay away from drugs and alcohol. It is easier for spirits to take over those who are intoxicated. Staying alert at all times makes it difficult for a spell to be cast on you. This one is commonsense.

10. Avoid cutting your hair, shaving, going out or hanging clothes outside at night or leave clothes outside. Not quite practical for shaving, I guess.

The following are applicable at all times:

11. If you are outside, no singing and whistling as these actions are said to attract spirits.

12. Don't answer to your name when you are out walking on your own at night. Likewise, don't call anyone by name at night in the open.

13. From young, boys (and girls alike) are often reminded not to pee anywhere they like. If one needs to go badly, one needs to cup one's hands together as in prayer and mutter an apology at the same time requesting spirits (buddies) in the vicinity to move aside.

14. Keep away from walls as it is believed that spirits like sticking to walls. You don't want to go under a tree at night either.

15. Good to leave the forehead exposed as it is believed that the light from the forehead can ward off evil spirits.

There, these are the do's and don'ts (more of them) to observe during the Hungry Ghost Festival and for other times that I know of. If you have more, please share them in the Comments box.

It is believed that women are more prone to seeing spirits than men as women are of Yin category (as in Yin and Yang philosophy) and as spirits are also Yin, both are more attuned with each other.

We are known to be afraid of the unknown thus spirits being unknown tend to make us fearful of them. In reality, spirits are more afraid of humans in the ratio of 30:70. Does this make sense.

Spirits are at their most powerful during the 7th month but if it's any consolation, those released during this month are not the harmful ones. The harmful ones are the restless spirits that roam the earth freely throughout the year which accounts for the hauntings and possessions.

It is also said that during the Hungry Ghost month, spirits of ancestors will try to contact their living descendants to either make a request or warn of an impending danger.

Most of us may never have any encounter with a spirit in our lifetime. Observing the above may be helpful to ensure an incident-free life. Call me superstitious but I choose to continue observing these do's and don'ts. Being a Chinese, they are a way of life.

I wish you all a very good and safe 7th lunar month which ends on September 15. I look forward to sunny skies again once this month is over.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hungry Ghost Festival 2012

"That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." -- The man who said these famous words that have since been etched in history has died.

American astronaut, Neil Alden Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the Moon passed away on Saturday, August 25, 2012. He was 82.

He was not only an astronaut. He was also an aerospace engineer, U.S. Navy pilot, test pilot, and university professor before becoming an astronaut. He was also one nice and humble dude preferring to stay low-key and out of the limelight. At one point when he found out that his autograph was fetching a tidy sum on eBay, he stopped signing.

Talk about landing on the moon, I remember my uncle teasing my late grandmother as she was setting up the altar table during one Mooncake/Lantern Festival. My uncle remarked that man has landed on the moon which made offering prayers to the Moon meaningless. Ignoring that and quite skeptical about man's landing on the Moon, my beloved grandma continued with the same prayer ritual right to the end. Such is the power of customs and traditions.

Customs and traditions bring us to a Chinese festival of the month. We are currently in the midst of the 7th lunar month. For the Taoist/Buddhist Chinese community, this is the time to make offerings to hungry and stray ghosts, thus named Hungry Ghost Festival. It is believed that during the 7th lunar month, the gates of Hades open to allow spirits to move about freely in the human realm.

For families who observe this Hungry Ghost Festival, two days are designated for prayers. The two days are the 14th and 15th days of the 7th month which is tomorrow and day after. The session begins at dusk. Different dialect groups pray on specific days every year - either the 14th or the 15th.

Offerings of joss-sticks and candles, money, gold and silver, and clothes (these are in paper form which will be set alight at the end so that the offerings can be received), real food and drinks will be laid out outside the house by the roadside. It is believed that once a family starts this custom, the practice has to be continued yearly because the spirits would come back every year to receive the gifts.

The Hungry Ghost Festival or commonly-referred to as Phor Thor (pronounced Por Tor), is celebrated on a grand scale here in Malaysia - so much so that the state of Penang up north is in the process of applying for this Hungry Ghost Festival to be gazetted as an intangible cultural heritage.

During this month, which started on Aug 17 lasting until Sep 15, one will see makeshift altars erected along roadsides for a grand feast for the spirits. The offerings are to thank the spirits for a bountiful year the previous year and to request blessings for another good year.

Stage or opera shows (called Ko Tai) are also part and parcel of the Phor Thor festival. Front row seats are usually left unoccupied, meant for the spirits. With Chinese opera being a dying artform here in Malaysia, most of the Ko Tai performances come in the form of just singing or puppet shows. Performers used to dress in sexy scanty outfits but the dress-code has been regulated in the last few years to make it children-friendly as these stage shows are open to the public.

If you are in Penang, you can experience a Penang Hungry Ghost Festival from a series of traditional Chinese performances and setups throughout the month for this celebration. Hokkien and Teochew Operas, as well as puppet shows will be shown at various places, such as Penang Road, New Lane, Mount Erskine Road, Fettes Park, Batu Lanchang Market, Thean Teik Road in Air Itam, Padang Brown on Datuk Keramat Road, Anson Road Market and more.

Superstitious or not, the Chinese do observe a lot of superstitions and this Hungry Ghost Festival certainly has its fair share of do's and don'ts. As this post is already too lengthy, let's save the Hungry Ghost Festival Do's and Don'ts for the next post, shall we? So stay tuned..

Part 2..Do's and Don'ts

Image sources:
- The Star
- Visit Penang website

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do you "Karaoke"?

Karaoke has really caught on here. Many homes nowadays have their own karaoke sets in their dedicated karaoke room to hold regular karaoke sessions with family and friends. They just need the slightest excuse to hold such a gathering which is not a bad thing in the name of family-bonding.

I had the pleasure of testing out a new set at a girlfriend's karaoke session the other day. I must say, karaoke systems have come a long way. For starters, the quality of sound is way better than the older sets. Did you know that you can buy karaoke machines online? But you already knew that. Still, if you are looking to buy one, check out a karaoke machine at, reputed to have the world's largest karaoke selection. Don't just take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

Friday, August 24, 2012

China bridge collapse

Source: The Star

Oh dear! Early this morning, an 8-lane suspension bridge in northeast China, only nine months after it opened, collapsed killing three people (two killed on the spot, a third later), injuring five.

The bridge which is part of an airport expressway in Harbin city, only opened last November after two years of construction that cost 1.9 billion yuan ($300 million) according to China News Service.

A 100-meter (320-foot) section broke off when four heavy trucks drove onto the bridge, plunging them to the ground and crushing them, said a CCTV news reporter at the scene. The bridge was designed to handle up to 9,800 vehicles per hour.

More: The Star..Three die in China bridge collapse

Friday Frolics - The Desert Test

Yay! It's Friday again!

The weather is great today in Kuala Lumpur. I see huge clusters of cumulus clouds in the wide expanse of blue across the sky. Hot is the word today, and humid. I haven't been to a desert so I have no idea how the heat in the desert compares to the heat here even though the latter is no more than mid-30's. Either way, it is a relief to be indoors, away from all that heat and sweat and sunburn.

Let's do a personality quiz about the Desert this week and see what it says about us.

You Are Thoughtful and Happy

You have an optimistic outlook. When troubles come your way, you try to see how you will grow and learn from them.

You have a few friends and family members that you are especially close to. You can count on them to be there for you.

You feel relieved about your past and those you have loved. You are happy to be moving on with the future.

You succeed by counting on others for support. You could never do what you do without your friends and family.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cloudy skies over Kuala Lumpur and More..

I'd say this is one moody sky or should I say, there is a lot going on up there. It's like lots of conversations and thoughts jamming together all at the same time. Picture was taken this morning. The weather here has been like this almost everyday for the past week. Certain parts of the Klang Valley have been receiving more rainfall than anticipated, resulting in flash floods occurring.

Parts of the Kuala Lumpur were flooded two days ago including Kampung Kasipillay in Jalan Ipoh. A day before that, Klang, located southwest of the city, was hit by floods.

On a more severe level elsewhere, I just read that California Governor, Jerry Brown, has declared a state of emergency in three Northern California counties on Wednesday after a wildfire that has already destroyed 50 buildings advanced with 75-foot flames on a tiny community at the doorstep of a national park.

And in Haiti, Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened over the Caribbean on Wednesday, threatening to slam into impoverished Haiti - still reeling from a devastating 2010 earthquake - and Cuba, US forecasters said.

In China in the Three Gorges Dam area, the threat of landslides along the dam's banks are forcing tens of thousands to move again. China relocated 1.3 million people during the 17 years it took to complete the Three Gorges dam. The $59-billion project was just finished last month.

The sun is still not shining this part of the world but at least we are thankful that we don't have to battle fires nor prepare for storms bashing our shores nor move people by the thousands to safer grounds. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone out there battling one catastrophe or another.

Source of the bottom three images: The Star

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Everton beat Manchester United 1-0

Shucks, I stayed up to watch Everton beat Man United 1-0 at Goodison Park this morning, Malaysia time. A lot of people must have lost money, I was thinking.

That wasn't a good opening match for MU, neither for Van Persie, who joined United from Arsenal for 24 million last week. He was forced to watch the opening 68 minutes from the substitutes bench before coming on 11 minutes after Fellaini’s header goal.

Results of the first matches of the new EPL season is as follows.. Click to enlarge

Current standings.. Click image to enlarge

Image sources:
- The Star
- Premier league

Monday, August 20, 2012

Extreme Couponing - What is it?

What grabs my attention on tv nowadays, besides the EPL football matches, is a new program called Extreme Couponing currently airing on the TLC Channel. We are currently viewing Season 1 of the series which is in its Season 4 in the US.

How would you like to go grocery-shopping and ending up paying a mere 5 or 10% of the total bill or even getting all your purchases for FREE? That can only be achieved through Extreme couponing and that, my dear Malaysians, is never going to happen here. Extreme couponing is only happening in the United States, and it's a lot of hardwork though gratifying for the people who are doing it.

What is Extreme couponing, you might ask.

Extreme couponing is an activity that involves combining shopping skills with couponing (collecting and using coupons) in an attempt to save as much money as possible while stockpiling groceries that will see you and your family having food readily available or have more than enough to contribute to a community food bank. One couponer from Kentucky, Nathan Engels, has even assembled 1000 military care packages. Nathan also contributes to a local food bank.

Watch Extreme Couponers at work..

or know more about Couponing on the Krazy Coupon Lady channel..

The increase in the real-world practice of extreme couponing is attributed to the television show and a difficult economy. If you go online, there are many websites that offer tutorials on extreme couponing, including sources for coupons. Just like any other trends, extreme couponing does have its pros and concerns. A knowledge of Coupon Etiquette could give you a good start to couponing or extreme couponing.

Other articles to provide further information to get you started if you are interested - in the US, of course..

- How to Coupon Effectively

- Where to find coupons

- How to organize your coupons

or learning extreme couponing in ten days in..

- A Beginner's Guide: 10 days to become a Krazy Coupon Lady. Here you will also learn the jargon involved in couponing and the nitty-gritty of this artform. Yes, extreme couponing is really a lot of detailed hardwork.

Happy extreme couponing!

P.S. This author is happy just to get a 20% off an item during a regular non-sale period. Btw, talk about savings, currently Malaysia is having its annual Mega Sale Carnival, where discounts are as much as 70%. Take advantage of it, go shopping now! That's extreme savings in our local context!

Image source: Wikipedia

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Owning a Communication headset - Scala Rider G9

A convoy of motorbikes vrooming down the highway is a sight to behold - flashy outfits, flashy bikes, flashy helmets and visors. Such convoys can normally be seen during festive seasons particularly during Hari Raya and Chinese New Year.

Gone are the days when two riders on a motorbike were just that - plain riders, and not able to communicate without the sound of traffic or the wind distorting voice subsequently meaning.

If I were a rider, even riding pillion at that, I would consider owning one of those headsets that enables rider-to-passenger communication. I hear the Scala Rider G9 is a good buy.

I read that this G9 is the evolution of the G4 from Scala Rider and it can pair with up to 8 other Scala Rider headsets and toggle between them. In order to activate the capability, you program the names of your riding partners into the headset and when you want to talk to them you speak their name and you will connect to them instantly for a full duplex intercom conversation. How cool is that!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Selamat Hari Raya - Kuala Lumpur is deserted for a good reason

It's Saturday past midday, and the sun is up! Thank goodness for that because we haven't had much sun here in Malaysia the past week or so with the haze refusing to let up. "It's like that", most of us would say this time of the year - dry weather and land-clearing for the planting season taking the rap.

The city is deserted this weekend and will be for the entire week because most people are out-of-town, celebrating Aidil Fitri. The exodus began a few days ago. All tickets for public transportation were all sold out way ahead of the festival, as always.

Roads that are usually congested in and around KL are visibly less jammed up as evidenced by this combo of realtime CCTV traffic shots around the city.

Aidil Fitri or commonly-known here as Hari Raya Puasa is celebrated widely here in view of more than 60% of the 28 million population being muslims. There's a 2-day public holiday gazetted for this festival. Here in Malaysia, two days is the max allotted for any public holiday. Chinese New Year is the other festival that also comes with a 2-day public holiday.

Let me take this opportunity to wish friends and readers who celebrate this festival a Selamat Hari Raya and for the rest, happy holidays. Hotels and resorts in the country are also fully-booked as families take advantage of this long stretch of holidays to spend some quality family time. School is also out for a week.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Fair / BookFest @ Malaysia is back!

Officially called BookFest @ Malaysia, this is a Book Fair or book exposition not to be missed..

Established since 2006, the aim of BookFest @ Malaysia is to showcase leading publishers, exhibit the latest most innovative stationery, CD and Multimedia products. This much-anticipated book fair, deemed one of the largest book expositions held in the region, has more than 600 booths, allowing hundreds of publishing houses, book and stationery distributors from all over Asia and beyond to present and display their goods.

The fair will feature publishers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia. Millions of titles in English, Chinese and Malay will be available, housed in two pavilions know as the Chinese Pavilion and the English Pavilion.

This year, BookFest @ Malaysia will occupy a total space of 125,000 square feet of Hall 1 - 5 and Grand Ballroom 1 & 2, Level 3. The Chinese Pavilion will be located at Hall 1 & 2, English Pavilion in Hall 4 & 5 as well as a Lifestyle Pavilion in the Grand Ballroom 1 & 2, Level 3 of the convention centre.

This mega book fair/exposition will take place over a period of 9 days, from Aug 18 (tomorrow) right up to Aug 26, coinciding with the school holidays. For those who are visiting, you can look forward to a wide range of fun-filled exciting activities including performances, contests, as well as meet-the-authors sessions throughout the entire duration of the exposition. Chinese-inclined events will be held in Main Stage @ Hall 1 while the English-inclined events will be held in Stage @ Hall 5.

Officially launched today, Aug 17, BookFest @ Malaysia 2012 will open from 10 am to 10 pm daily from 18 - 26 August 2012. Admission is RM 2.50 per ticket. FREE admission is given for students 18 years & below and senior citizens 60 years & above.

Source: Book Fest

Friday Frolics - What does your wallet say about you?

One of the items I recently redeemed from the reward redemption catalogue is a wallet. We all have our preferences for choice of wallets. For example, I would go for a wallet or a purse with ample space for dollar notes - wide enough that you don't have to struggle to put in the notes and high enough so the notes don't show. A compartment for loose change is also a consideration when choosing a wallet.

What about you? What do you look for when choosing a wallet?

This week's Friday Frolics personality quiz is about Wallets. Take the quiz to find out something you might not know about yourself.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Your Money Personality is Reasonable

You are likely very financially savvy. You probably track your purchases down to the penny.

Even if you have money problems, you try to avoid letting them stress you out. You try to stay on top of your finances.

You are a careful and reasonable person. You think clearly before you make a decision.

You are the type of person who likes to clean up often and get rid of dead weight. You live a streamlined life.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

English Premier League season again

The 2012 Summer Olympics have just come to a close a few days ago and from one Games to another, the Barclay's Premier League, England's premier football league, is about to begin. What a treat for sports fans including sports fans in Malaysia who have access to live games on tv either at home or at mamak shops (food outlets), some of which operate around-the-clock.

The first game (six of them actually) kicks off this Saturday, Aug 18. The schedule of the first games of the Barclay's Premier League is as follows. Click on image to enlarge it.

Notable new signing for Manchester United is 29-year-old Robin van Persie from Arsenal. Media reports indicate that 24 million pounds will change hands for van Persie's 4-year contract with Man United.


Robin van Persie, is last season's Player of the Year also winning the Golden Boot award with a goal score of 30. Van Persie wears the Number 20 jersey at Manchester United.

Here's a look at EPL's Player Performance Index, i.e. player ranking.

Full list can be viewed on the Barclay's Premier League website.

Manchester City won last season's Premier League title with a win over Manchester United in the finals. Are you rooting for the same team this year?

- The Star
- Premier League (including images)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Monorail drama downtown Kuala Lumpur

There was some drama downtown yesterday afternoon when a monorail coach suddenly stopped on the tracks due to a malfunction. It happened in Brickfields in front of Wisma Monorail and near Siew Dor apartments as reported yesterday.

A total of 183 people were left stranded for close to an hour before they were rescued by firemen using two Skylift cranes.

Three passengers, including a pregnant woman, reportedly fainted when the air-conditioning system failed due to a power loss.

The two-car train, which was packed with people commuting to the city, stalled at around 2pm yesterday after leaving the Tun Sambathan station.

More in The Star..Rescue drama after monorail malfunction

Image source: The Star

London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony - 9pm BST Aug 12


Tonight's Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games promises to be the biggest Olympics closing show ever! Expect an extravaganza of singing, dancing and silliness.

The Closing Ceremony celebrates the achievements of athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It also includes a handover from one host city to the next. In 2012, London will hand over to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. The Closing Ceremony also features the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, signalling the end of the Games.

To celebrate the fact that music has been one of Britain’s strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years the Closing Ceremony has been titled, ‘A Symphony of British Music’.

Broadcast worldwide, the Closing Ceremony will start at 9pm (approximately 4am Malaysian time, August 13) and will feature more than 4,100 performers, including 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six east London Host Boroughs.

March of the athletes will begin with the flag-bearers of the participating delegations entering the Stadium in single file, closely followed by the athletes. In the tradition that began at the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games as a way of bringing the athletes of the world together, at the Closing Ceremony, athletes march together, not by nationality.

Three flags will be hoisted, one at a time - the flag of Greece to honour the birthplace of the Olympic Games; the host nation flag (UK) and the flag of the next Summer Olympics host (Brazil). The corresponding national anthem will be played as each flag is being hoisted. On the rostrum, the Mayor of the Host City will join the President of the IOC and hands him back the flag. The President of the IOC then symbolically presents the flag to the Mayor of the next Host City of the Olympic Games. The President will then make a speech declaring the Games closed.

The Olympic Flame, which has been burning in the Cauldron since the opening of the Games on July 27, will then be extinguished. Extinguishing of the Flame can be a moving moment for all those involved in the Games and possibly for everyone else watching the event. The Olympic Stadium will then come alive for one last time in these Games with celebrations.

Closing Ceremony Director Kim Gavin said: 'We want it to be the best after-show party there has ever been.'

Everyone is guessing as to who will be performing at the Closing Ceremony. The London Symphony Orchestra will be joined by some of the biggest pop artistes from the past 50 years. According to the BBC, George Michael has already confirmed his participation and the Spice Girls and Tinie Tempah are among acts reported to be performing. Other sources have suggested Adele, Take That, Paul McCartney (of course).

Malaysia too has a home-grown talent performing at the Closing. Samantha Tan will be one of about 100 professionals “peppered among the volunteers” at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.

Let the party begin!


You can watch the Closing Ceremony live. Live-streaming of the London 2012 Olympics Closing ceremony available here at the Official Olympic Channel by the IOC - 9pm BST / 4am Malaysian time, August 13. Here's a Time Zone Converter if you'd like to know your local time.

See you in Rio de Janeiro in 2016!

p.s. Check out Google doodle for the Closing Ceremony


Closing Ceremony - Last one of the Google Olympic Doodles

Google Doodle presents its last doodle of the Olympic doodle series today, Aug 12, which is the last day of the London 2012 Olympic Games and in which more records have been broken on the last day of the Summer Games.

The last doodle is dedicated to the Closing Ceremony slated to start at 9pm BST, approximately at 4am Malaysian time, August 13, if you could stay up to witness what promises to be the best closing ever, an extravaganza of singing, dancing and silliness.

See the entire series of the Google Olympic doodles.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Google Olympic doodle Number 16 - Rhythmic Gymnastics

Google's Olympics doodle today features Rhythmic Gymnastics. This is the 16th in the Olynpics doodle series. This should be the third last Google doodle before the London 2012 Olympics come to a close tomorrow.

Check out all the other Google Olympics doodles.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Floods in Philippines - No respite from rain

CNN reported that
The death toll from five days of heavy rains and floods in the Philippines jumped to 60 on Friday, disaster officials said, with the forecast calling for even more showers across the main island of Luzon.

Most of the deaths were from drowning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said. Others died from electrocution or in landslides associated with the rain and floods.

Rain is forecast for a fifth day in a row and the flooding exacerbated by recent Tropical Storm Haikui following Tropical Storm Saola. Authorities said it could take days or even weeks for the waters to recede in the lower-lying areas.


Friday Frolics - The Doodle Test

With all that Olymmpics goolging and doodling, I thought we won't go wrong with a doodle quiz this week. Take the quiz to find out what your doodle has to say about you.

Have a wonderful doodling day, everyone!

You Are Having an Exciting Day

You have a high opinion of others and yourself. You give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

You are a very organized and even scientific person. You like figuring things out.

Your thoughts are very far away from what's going on right now. You have something important on your mind.

You are very outgoing. You have a big personality, and you're very bold.

Google Olympic doodle Number 15 - Soccer

Google has churned out yet another Olympic doodle that is interactive. This is the third interactive Google Olympic doodle after Hurdles and Slalom canoe. Soccer gets the honour today and this is the 15th Google doodle in the series for the London Olympics.

Going to the Google Search page today will take you to the Soccer Google doodle. After today, you can still continue to play Olympic soccer.

Other Google Olympic doodles include the earlier doodles for archery, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, fencing, table tennis, shopt put and the opening ceremony; pole vault; synchronized swimming; javelin; hurdles; slalom canoe and today's doodle, soccer.

Pandelela Rinong wins a Bronze medal for Malaysia

Yes! Pandelela Rinong won another medal for Malaysia. She secured the bronze in the 10m platform event.

On the podium for gold, silver and brozne winners of the women's 10m Platform Diving
Silver medallist Brittany Broben of Australia, gold medallist Chen Ruolin of China, and bronze medallist Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia on the podium for the women's 10m Platform Diving final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre.

Winning a gold, Chen Roulin, the 19-year-old Chinese diver, completed a sweep of the platform events for the second straight games.

With a silver and now a bronze puts Malaysia at #53 on the Medal Count together with Estonia, Indonesia, Serbia, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Tunisia.

Well done, Pandelela! We are so proud of you.

Wikipedia has more about Pandelela Rinong and her achievements.

Source: London2012

Related article:
Pandelela wins historic diving bronze in 10m platform..The Star

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More Olympic Games medals for Malaysia?

We read everyday of records being broken at the London Olympics - of the best this and the best that. Malaysia too has her fair share of bests and firsts.

Yesterday, The Star carried an article that said Ken Nee is first Malaysian to reach diving final in the Olympics.

The article said..
YEOH Ken Nee continued to make Malaysian diving history yesterday – becoming the first Malaysian to qualify for the final of an individual event in the diving competition at the London Olympics.

On Monday, he became the first Malaysian diver to qualify for the semi-finals when he was placed ninth out of 29 divers in the men’s 3m springboard event. Only the top 18 made the semi-finals.

This means the hope of another Olympic medal after the silver medal win by Lee Chong Wei in badminton, is still alive.

Yet another glimmer of hope comes from Pandelela Rinong who has made it into the semis of the 10m platform.

Pandelela, Malaysia’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony on July 27, qualified in second place in the qualifying session. She scored a total of 349.00. China’s Chen Ruolin was the top qualifier with a score of 392,35.

Germany’s Christin Steuer was the third best qualifier with a score of 341-75.

Another Malaysian diver everyone is watching is Bryan Nickson Lomas. We will see him in action on Aug 10 (tomorrow).

In the evening, The Star reported that Pandelela makes it to 10m platform final

The Sarawakian lass finished a creditable fifth in the field of 18 contestants in the semi-finals, with a score 352.50 points.

The top 12 qualified for the final, which will be held at 2am Friday (Malaysian time). We shall know the result in the morning papers.

Image source: The Star

Google Olympic doodle Number 14 - Slalom canoe

Today's Google Olympic doodle, number 14, is dedicated to Slalom canoe. Just like the earlier two doodles for Hurdles and Basketball, this Slalom canoe doodle is also interactive allowing you to try your hand at canoeing. You can play Slalom canoe here..
A little extra information on Slalom canoe at the London Olympics from Wikipedia..

The canoeing races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London are being contested in two main disciplines: the slalom, from 29 July to 2 August, and the sprint, from 6 to 11 August.[1] The slalom competition was held at the Lee Valley White Water Centre and the sprint events will be staged at Eton College Rowing Centre also called Dorney Lake.

A total of 330 athletes are expected to take part. The men's 500m races will be replaced by a 200m race; in addition, the men's C2 500m will be replaced by a women's K1 200m race.[2] This was confirmed at an International Canoe Federation board meeting at Windsor, Berkshire, on 5 December 2009.[3] For the first time, women will have two individual events in sprint canoeing. Because of the changes, the finals will now be spread over a three-day period instead of the traditional two days which had been in effect since the 1976 Olympic Games. - Wikipedia

Dorney Lake, the venue for the sprint discipline

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Google Olympic doodle Number 13 - Basketball

Google celebrates the Olympics today with their Google Olympic doodle Number 13 featuring Basketball. This is the second interactive doodle after yesterday's Hurdles doodle and allows you to shoot balls into the hoop within a timeframe of 24 seconds.

Here’s how to play the game. After clicking the “play” button, you have 24 seconds to shoot as many basketballs into the hoop as possible. Tapping the space bar sets the shot and tapping it again shoots the ball towards the basket. Clicking on the left side of the mouse also works. Play the Basketball game..
Basketball is a team sport, the objective being to shoot a ball through a basket horizontally positioned to score points while following a set of rules. Usually, two teams of five players play on a marked rectangular court with a basket at each width end. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports. - Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Manila is badly flooded

Not only is Penang flooded, Manila, The Philippines capital city of 15 million is brought to a standstill caused by floods forcing at least 20,000 people to flee their homes as floodwaters covered half the sprawling city, according to the authorities.

Schools, financial markets and most government offices were shut as key roadways in Manila - a metropolis of some 15 million people - were made impassable by waters that in some areas reached neck-deep.

Residents of low-lying slums fled the huge shantytowns lining Manila's rivers and sewers for the safety of schools, gymnasiums and government buildings.

The death toll from eight days of sustained rains has risen to 53 with more than 268,000 people forced to flee their homes across the country, according to disaster authorities.

More from The Star..Philippine capital brought to standstill in floods

Kuala Lumpur could use more rainfall to alleviate the possible water shortage as well as clear the air from the haze caused by the burning hotspots.

Flash flood in Penang

In Penang, many households were affected by an early morning flood after a downpour that started at 3am.

Parts of Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sungai Pinang, Jalan Patani, Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Datuk Keramat were flooded. The water level was knee-deep in some areas, and the situation was made worse by the high tide yesterday.

More from The Star..Thousands in Penang hit by morning floods

Samsung phone discount tomorrow

If you are thinking of buying or replacing a handphone, here's some good news..

From The Star..

PETALING JAYA: Those planning to get their hands on a new Samsung Galaxy S3 should take advantage of a one-day-only 10% discount on the smartphone tomorrow.

The offer is limited to one smartphone per customer, and will only be available at 35 Samsung Elite Partner (SEP) brand shops nationwide.

Samsung Malaysia Electronics said that the discount was in celebration of Datuk Lee Chong Wei's inspiring sportsmanship.

Lee won the silver medal at the badminton men's singles at the London Olympics.

Interested customers can visit to locate their nearest SEP brand shop that offers the discount.

Related article:

Discount sees spike in sales of Samsung Galaxy S3

Google Olympic doodle Number 12 - Hurdles

The Google Doodle team is getting better with their Olympic doodles. Google doodle no. 12 is for Hurdles. What makes this doodle interesting and unique so far is that this doodle is an interactive doodle that lets you 'compete' in hurdles.

To get started, just click on the "play" button. Use your keyboard arrow keys to start running down the track and the spacebar to jump over a hurdle. You can time yourself and share your result on Google+. Depending on how well you do, you will be rewarded with one, two or three gold coins.

Perform a Google search today will take you to the hurdles doodle.

Here is where you can play the interactive hurdles doodle later on:

You can also use a game controller to play the hurdle doodle. It works with Google's Chrome browser and very recent versions of Firefox. Very cool, check it out!

Google Doodles for the 2012 London Games so far include for archery, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, fencing, table-tennis, shot put, pole vault, synchronized swimming, and javelin. There is even a doodle for the Opening Ceremony.