Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stay safe, wear Sterling silver jewelry instead

My girlfriends are into wearing more sterling silver jewelry nowadays as opposed to flashing their gold and diamond pretty things. The latter are safely stashed away for special occasions only.

Recently, one girlfriend showed off her brand new sterling silver necklace she bought to celebrate some achievement. Sterling silver jewelry can be just as beautiful though at a fraction of the cost of gold. Best of all is they are not target for snatch-thefts putting the wearer to very much less or even no risk.

Safety first, I say.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Malaysia has 3 beaches on CNN's World's 100 Best Beaches

What a glorious morning this is! Blue skies and bright sunshine and on a Sunday too!

Malaysia is like this most of the time if you're wondering about the weather here. Humid, yes. Haze, not right now, but great to be outdoors most days - perhaps to a beach?

25. Sun Island Beach, Maldives

Speaking of the beach, three beaches in Malaysia made it to CNN's updated list of the World's 100 Best Beaches. Better yet, all three are in the top 50.

Coming in at..

49. Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Malaysia

49. Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Malaysia
CNN says:
Most tourists on Langkawi flock to Pantai Cenang beach, but the quieter Tanjung Rhu has an earthy beauty and serene atmosphere. The long beach area is surrounded by ancient limestone caves, rippling waterways and dense mangroves.

Highlight: The Four Seasons Resort offers boat tours around the mangrove forests.

If you are planning your next island holiday or a Malaysian holiday, here is CNN's 10 best islands for a Malaysia holiday to check out.

21. Juara Beach, Tioman Island, Malaysia

CNN says:
Less developed and less polished than Thailand, Tioman Island's Juara Beach brings an all-natural, quiet vibe to the beach experience. This isn't the place for parties or nightlife, unless you like your parties hushed and your nightlife nonhuman.

Worth knowing: Various travelers report sand flies on the beach.

And at
13. Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

Now will you look at that! Yep, that's right here in Malaysia.

13. Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

CNN says:
Malaysia's Perhentian Islands are to beach bums what Kobe beef is to carnivores; once you've experienced it, nothing else quite matches up.

The two main islands are the backpacker-happy Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island), and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian Island), which has slightly more expensive accommodations.

Highlight: The blue waters off Pulau Perhentian Kecil invariably contain turtles and small sharks.

I'm sure you'd want to know which beach tops the list of the World's best beach. It's

1. Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles

CNN says:
Secluded and easy to skip because it takes some effort to get here, Grand Anse on La Digue is the archetypal beach, the benchmark against which others must be judged. It's a must, especially if you're a surfer.

Worth knowing: The waves can be boisterous and there's not much shade.

Hey Rurousha, the Boulders Beach in Cape Town comes in at #22!

CNN says:
Boulders Beach is home to 3,000 jackass penguins, which are often spotted waddling in and out of the sea. The best place to see the penguins is from a viewing boardwalk constructed on nearby Foxy Beach.

And another one in South Africa, coming in at

78. Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

CNN says:
Jeffreys Bay's legendary breaks attract top surfers to the annual Billabong Pro ASP World Tour surfing event. Nearby lagoons make ideal venues for boardsailing and canoeing. The Seekoei River Nature Reserve, a haven for rare birds, is nearby.

Highlight: Migrating whales pass by the bay to give birth every season.

You're scoring another one too for Japan..

58. Akajima, Okinawa, Japan

The islet of Akajima is popular among Japanese day-trippers during summer, but foreign travelers are a rare sight. It retains a sequestered charm even during peak season. The beaches are spotless, usually dotted with just a handful of surfers.

Highlight: Further inland, a quaint Ryukyuan heritage house is open to visitors.

Ai Shiang, Bondi Beach makes the cut too.

44. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

CNN says:
For an iconic all-round great city beach you can't miss with Bondi. The wide curving crescent of white sand can get incredibly busy, but that's only because the surfing is gnarly, the sands are clean and the nearby eateries are fantastic.

Highlight: After a day in the sun you can chase down the day with a meal at Bondi Trattoria, one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.

Here's another..

88. Byron Bay, Australia

CNN says:
Pubs, cafes and bookshops host buskers, musicians, artists and drift-ins who walk the streets barefoot and bleary eyed. There's a lingering scent of the Flower Power generation, while surfers wait for perfect waves.

Highlight: Every year, the Byron Bay Bluesfest attracts some of the biggest names in world music, and with it, thousands of Sydneysiders.

PandaB, Fiji is also on the list. So is one in Hawaii..

46. Natadola Beach, Fiji

CNN says:
Probably Fiji's finest beach, Natadola Beach is one of the few places in the country that's good for swimming 24 hours a day. A luxury resort backs onto the beach and attracts vendors selling coconuts and beach fashion accessories, so you'll need to put distance between you and the resort if you like solitude.

70. Punalu'u, Hawaii, United States

CNN says:
No sugary sands and idyllic swimming conditions, but you will find a dramatic black basalt shore and might spot green and hawksbill turtles, as well as dolphins and whale sharks, if you snorkel off this Big Island beach.

Highlight: Getting here involves a 20-minute trek through a wooded dirt trail, underlining the remote and undeveloped beach.

Alright, here's the list of World's 100 Best Beaches for your holiday-planning. Happy holidays!

Image source: CNN

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Epiphone bass guitars

If it's a bass guitar you're looking for, online is where you'd want to look. The wide selection of epiphone bass guitars can be mind-boggling but it can be worth the while checking our various sources of bass guitars from the different makes ranging from the Epiphone Thunderbird Pro-IV Bass, the Epiphone Allen Woody Limited Edition Bass, the Epiphone Thunderbird Classic-IV PRO Electric Bass Guitar and the popular Epiphone Jack Casady range of Signature Bass Guitars to name a few.

If you don't need a brand new bass guitar if you're just starting out, used bass guitars are also available and for a great price too.  There is certainly a bass guitar for every budget. Happy shopping for a bass guitar!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Frolics - The Bookshelf Test


Your Bookshelf is Inspiring

You collect books because they're beautiful and unique. You like to look at your books as much as you like to read them.

If a book comes in a rare or special edition, it's hard for you to resist it. You shop for books the way most people shop for art.

Your favorite books are full of pictures and things to look at. You are a very visual person and a very visual reader.

You read when you are looking to spark creativity or new ideas. You enjoy books that are original or artistic in some way.

You are a true lover of books of all sorts. You're just as likely to collect atlases as you are to collect fiction.

You own a lot of special books, and you enjoy putting them on display for others. They're much more than 'coffee table books' to you.

Last Week's Quiz: Are You Creamy or Chunky Peanut Butter?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Royal baby is named George Alexander Louis

What's in a name? Lots - with some cultures maintaining the family name or surname. If you were born into a traditional Chinese family, there is a certain sequence to naming an offspring based on the family lineage. In a normal three-character name, the centre character of the name is determined as charted. It's quite a complicating process but one that is recorded somewhere filed away for reference for when the need arises. But this tradition is slowly fading away with the new generation.

Britain's new prince born on Monday, July 22, has been named. The naming is relatively quick by British royalty standards as Charles and his first wife Diana took a week to announce William's name in 1982, while the world had to wait a month after Charles was born in 1948.

The new royal baby is named George Alexander Louis, sticking firmly to royal tradition with a first name used by six previous kings. He is third in line to the throne and will now officially be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, after his father and mother the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The baby will not automatically be King George VII when he comes to the throne, however, as there have been reports that William's father Prince Charles may take that title when he succeeds the queen.

A little understanding of how the name was chosen:

Louis is one of William's middle names and was also the first name of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India and a mentor to Prince Charles. Mountbatten was killed in 1979 when the Irish Republican Army blew up his boat off the coast of Ireland.

Alexander meanwhile puzzled the pundits, apart from the fact that the queen's middle name is Alexandra.

But George, which was the 12th most popular name for baby boys in England and Wales in 2011 and derives from the ancient Greek word for farmer, was widely predicted.

"George is obviously a tribute to the Queen's father and will, I imagine, give her majesty great pleasure," historian and royal biographer Robert Lacey said.

British bookmakers said they had taken a loss on the name but the size of the betting market on the royal baby compensated for it.

Congratulations have poured in from around the world, while Chinese fortune tellers predicted the baby will grow up to be determined but introverted - and a hit with the ladies. The new prince was born on Monday, Jul 22 at 4:24pm. The lunar calendar date is the 15th day of the 6th lunar month - a fullmoon day.

By the way, have you seen the Oscar-winning film "The King's Speech"? It is the story of George VI, Queen Elizabeth II's father, whose birth name was actually Albert and was known as Bertie. The film portrayed George VI's struggle to overcome a severe stutter and lead his nation during World War II. Colin Firth, one of my favourite actors, was cast as George VI.

Source: The Star..Britain's royal baby named George Alexander Louis

5 Tips to avoid heartburn and indigestion

Have you sometimes experienced heartburn and indigestion after a hearty meal? Perhaps it was the chilli from the curry laksa or the assam gravy from the assam fish meal?

Here are 5 tips from Marica Caposaldo on how to avoid heartburn and indigestion as well as the kinds of food to avoid and the food to replace them with.

5 tips to avoid heartburn and indigestion

1. Avoid alcohol and stop smoking. It’s ok to have a drink from time to time, but don’t overindulge on alcohol. Try to find the drink that makes you the least acidic, and always eat before you go out. If you are a smoker, try to quit. Start with a daily cut down, and see if it makes you feel better. Once it does, you won’t want to go back to it.

2. Don’t overeat. Try to have smaller meals spread out during the whole day, and try to especially avoid eating too much in the night, before going to bed or right before lying down. Take a walk instead.

3. Avoid drinking soda and coffee. They’re not healthy anyways, so you might as well avoid them as much as you can. Alternatively, drink your coffee with a lot of milk, and drink your tea once it’s cooled down.

4. Stay away from spicy and fatty foods. You will want to keep this in mind, if you don’t want to roll around the floor in pain. Don’t eat very spicy foods at all, and cut down on the fried foods as much as possible.

5. Work out more. This applies especially if you are the right candidate to shed some pounds; but generally speaking, exercising increases your metabolism, which in return will help your stomach work better.

Ultimately, if nothing works, and you are experiencing some excruciating pain and discomfort, there is still hope. In case of emergency, try Gaviscon.

Gaviscon is a medicine that fights indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux. It helps keep acid down in the stomach, where it belongs, by creating a foam barrier on top of the stomach acid. This foam barrier helps reduce the number of reflux episodes and provides longer lasting action against heartburn and indigestion than ordinary antacid products. And the best thing about it is that it works in only 3 minutes, and provides a long lasting relief of up to 4 hours!

You can get it in the form of tablets, liquid, and liquid sachets. Take a look at the list of products here.

Stay healthy..

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Royal baby is a boy

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy, Kensington Palace has announced - and the names of the baby would be announced in due course. The baby was delivered in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's where the world's media had been camped outside St Mary's for days in anticipation of the birth.

The baby was delivered at 16:24 BST at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, weighing 8lb 6oz.

The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth of his son, who will be known as the Prince of Cambridge and who is third in line to the throne.

In line with tradition, the news has been displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace - as in the picture above.

More on baby: Kate gives birth to boy

Looking forward to checking out the range of souvenirs that will go on sale to celebrate the birth of the royal baby. There are lots to choose from if you want a momento. The Harrods branch in KLCC will be a good place to check out some.

Source: 123greetings

Related article
Royal Birth Plan for arrival of royal baby of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Monday, July 22, 2013

Haze in Kuala Lumpur.. but Earthquake in China..

Stepped out of the office this afternoon to go to lunch and whaddayaknow... the haze is back! The unmistakable smell of smoke is in the air. Reports said more than a hundred hotspots (from just 1 when the haze was under control) have been spotted, most of which are at the Riau province. As a result, Bukit Rambai in Malacca being closest to that part of Sumatra is getting the smoke as the wind carries it over the Straits of Malacca.

A few other places in the Peninsula Malaysia are beginning to get unhealthy PSI readings. At 3pm, Cheras in Kuala Lumpur had a PSI reading of 117 while Banting in Selangor at 111. Bandaraya Malacca was at 105 while Bukit Rambai (Malacca) at 126.

By comparison, the haze is insignificant as opposed to the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred at 7:45 this morning at Gansu province in China. 54 people have died. A second 5.6 earthquake struck the same region about 90 minutes after the first, Xinhua said, the most significant of several aftershocks.

People stand outside their homes after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit Dingxi, Gansu province, July 22, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

Eight towns in the remote, mountainous area sustained serious damage in the quake and subsequent flooding and mudslides. About 380 buildings had collapsed and 5,600 sustained damaged in Zhangxian county.

More: The Star..China quake death toll more than doubles to 54, hundreds hurt

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Letters and packages found in ravine in Ukay Heights

Ulu Kelang in Kuala Lumpur has been associated with two high-profile landslides in the city's 'natural disaster' history. One is at Highland Towers on Dec 11, 1993, in which one of the three apartment blocks collapsed killing 48 people.  I remember I watched this news in the hotel room in Penang.

The other landslide, in Dec 2008, was at Bukit Antarabangsa where many houses were destroyed. Three people confirmed dead, 15 injured, more than 2000 evacuated. A former colleague's home in a bungalow was among those destroyed.

Ulu Kelang is home to a mountain range where many housing estates have sprung up recently. Among them is Bukit Antarabangsa. From the elevation in this area, you can catch a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur and is one of the main draws in property investment in this prestigious neighbourhood this side of the city.

Ulu Kelang is just a 20-minute drive to the city and is right beside the MRR2 (Middle Ring Road 2). It is also served by the DUKE (Duta Ulu Kelang Expressway) Highway. If you are on the way to the National Zoo via Jalan Ampang, you will pass by this neighbourhood of lush greenery.

View Larger Map

Ulu Kelang has added another unfavourable incident to its name.

Thousands of letters and packages have been reported found in a ravine in Ukay Heights. If you are still waiting for that important letter or a package from a loved one, this could be one of the reasons?

A Pos Malaysia staff member collecting the discarded letters and packages at Ukay Heights in Ampang, Selangor.

The Star frontpage report: Ravine of junked mail..

KUALA LUMPUR: Hidden near a posh housing area in Ukay Heights in Ampang is a lush green ravine with a dirty secret.

The site has been a dumping ground for irresponsible postmen who have earmarked the secluded spot to get rid of mail they did not deliver.

Yesterday, two residents found thousands of undelivered mail in the ravine and called The Star, which in turn informed a passing postman.

One of the two, Ismail W.O., said he was driving past the area when he saw three postmen loitering by the roadside next to the ravine.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Went shopping at Courts Mammoth

The purpose of my last visit to Courts Mammoth was to pick out a washing machine to replace the one that quit on me. Besides the section on washing machines, the fridges section got my attention as well that day.

We all know that Samsung is now the world leader in smartphones. Did you know they also have super nice-looking and super efficient refrigerators as well? I had a good time checking out all the refrigerators that visit. What a range!  By the way, I opted for a Samsung washing machine, one of their latest designs, the one with Wobble technology and I am happy, happy, happy with my choice.  


Chinese Almanac - Good Day for a Wedding

The Chinese Almanac - once available in every traditional Chinese home is now hardly visible in the home.  This reference book is sort of a go-to source before the family embarks on a major activity such as a wedding, an engagement, house-moving, shop-opening, making a trip, prayer-altar cleaning, even going for a haircut.

For non-believers, this could be pure superstition but for those who believe, the Chinese community primarily, this is a way of life, part of Feng Shui as practised by the Chinese for thousands of years. A culture, if you will.

It is believed that executing something on an auspicious day can mean reaping positive results while doing something major on an inauspicious day can mean disaster as a consequence.

I came across Lilian Too's calendar of Good Days to Wed in 2013. They at WOFS (World of Feng Shui) have investigated the Tung Shu/Tung Sheng (Chinese Almanac) to identify the most auspicious days to get married, as well as unfavourable days which must to be avoided at all costs.

Below is sample for July. You can view the rest of the pre-calculated auspicious wedding days of the year on to Good Days To Wed on the WOFS website.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Most Memorable 'Glee' Performances of Cory Monteith

star Cory Monteith's unexpected death on July 13th (from heroin and alcohol overdose) leaves a legion of Gleeks in mourning and the show's future up in the air. We can't turn back the clock but we can certainly celebrate his life and appreciate the legacy of his talent. RollingStone put together a few of his most memorable performances on Glee. Enjoy!

"Can't Fight This Feeling," REO Speedwagon
Monteith literally made a splash in the Glee pilot when his character, Finn Hudson, sang this 1980s power ballad in the locker room shower and glee club coach Will Schuester overheard it. The discovery prompts Finn to join New Directions – and the rest, as they say, is TV history.

"Just the Way You Are," Bruno Mars

Season Two of the show focused a lot on Kurt Hummel's struggle with being gay in small-town USA, a fact that soon-to-be stepbrother Finn couldn't quite accept. At their parents' wedding, though, Finn asked Kurt to dance with him during "Just the Way You Are" as a touching apology for the way he had lashed out.

"We've Got Tonite," Bob Seger
In the Valentine's Day-themed episode in Season Four, glee club coach Will Schuester and guidance counselor Emma were set to tie the knot, but didn't. However, Finn and Rachel, who experienced a roller-coaster romance, rekindled their relationship with the help of this duet.

More videos on Cory Monteith's Most Memorable 'Glee' Performances.. RollingStone

Friday Frolics - Are You Creamy or Chunky Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter sandwich. Yum! I like my sandwich slathered with that thick layer of gooey goodness. Coffee. Must have coffee to go with it. Creamy peanut butter is my preferred choice but this week's Friday Frolics quiz says I'm Chunky Peanut Butter.  Take the quiz to find out what's yours.

Happy Friday, everyone!
It's still a hazy Kuala Lumpur today.
Hope the weather at your end is what you want it to be.

You Are Chunky Peanut Butter

You think there are many true paths in this life. You don't expect anyone else to follow yours.

You are a very visual person. You don't judge a book by it's cover, but you definitely notice the cover!

You are shy at first but talkative with people you know extremely well. You open up over time.

You are always keenly aware of your environment. You notice every sight, sound, and smell.

Last Week's Personality Quiz: What's Your Personal Style?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Royal Birth Plan for arrival of royal baby of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Source: US Weekly

Britons and fans of British royalty around the globe are waiting anxiously for the arrival of the royal baby of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

I imagine Britain must now be basking in festivity, especially in London where fans and photographers camp outside St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, hoping for first news of the baby's arrival. It was reported that more than 180 photographers and journalists camped outside the hospital 24/7 as of July 8.

This royal baby, whether it's a boy or a girl, will be an heir to the throne due to a recent law change that a girl can ascend to the throne.

There is a lot of speculation as to when the baby will arrive as well as to the sex of the baby. Even big bets are being placed on their names. The big favourite if it's a girl is Alexandra due to the fact that is the current Queen's middle name and has historically been a royal name. If it is a boy, James is the favourite, again because of historical connections, as well as it is Kate's little brother's name.

There are strong rumours that it is a girl. The baby's due date was Jul 11 so the royal family is anxiously awaiting the baby's arrival. But of course, there is a royal birth plan in place.

What's the Royal Birth Plan like?  Here's a gist of it:

Needless to say, the palace staff is on call every day and night in July.

As soon as the duchess feels her first contraction, she'll alert her private secretary who will then ring the duchess's doctor on his palace-issued mobile. There's no way anyone can intercept it because it's an encrypted signal.

The doctor will then hop into his BMW 6 Series, throw a flashing green emergency beacon light on the roof, and drive the seven-mile, 26-minute route from his Muswell Hill, North London home to St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

In view of the scores of photogs and journalists camping outside the hospital, the duchess will be swept through one of three side entrances into a suite in the fourth-floor Lindo Wing. The $1,500-a-night room -- outfitted with WiFi and satellite TV -- was sanitized and sealed off July 1 in preparation for her arrival, then monitored daily by security.

Read more about the Royal Birth Plan (US Weekly).

Prince William and Kate Middleton married on April 29, 2011.

Related articles:
- Expecting a baby
- Prince William and Kate on Far East tour
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee: Guide to the weekend of events
- The Royal Wedding - Prince William & Catherine Middleton
- A Royal Wedding next year - Prince William and Kate Middleton

Hazy Kuala Lumpur today, Jul 18

We are seeing haze today in Kuala Lumpur though the air is not wreaking of smoke. PSI readings on DOE charts show good readings for every part of Malaysia, including East Malaysia.  No sun today, not yet.

Source:  DOE

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Glee star died from alcohol and heroin

The sudden death of Glee star, Cory Monteith, on Saturday shocked friends and fans around the world and got people wondering as to the cause of his death.

After the autopsy on Monday, a coroner in British Columbia announced that he died from a heroin and alcohol overdose.

The 31-year-old Canadian actor, who played Finn Hudson in the Fox TV hit, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday.

Monteith, who had been in the musical comedy since its 2009 start, was treated for drug addiction in April.

Fox TV officials had described Monteith as "an exceptional talent".

In a statement, the coroner's office said: "There is no evidence to suggest Mr Monteith's death was anything other than a most tragic accident."

It said a post-mortem examination had determined "a mixed-drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol" was the cause of death.

Monteith is thought to have been alone when he died because video footage and other evidence suggested he had returned to his room at the city centre Pacific Rim Hotel by himself after spending time with other people.

The alarm was raised when he failed to check out at midday on 13 July. He had been staying at the hotel for a week.

More on BBC..Cory Monteith: Glee star died from alcohol and heroin

Related articles:
- Lea Michele "Didn't Know" Cory Monteith Had Relapsed With Heroin
- Cory Monteith Cremated After Autopsy, Father Joe Not Invited

San Diego Comic-Con International 2013 - Jul 18 to 21

Source:  Google

Comic-Con takes place this weekend. If I were in the U.S. specifically in the San Diego area, I would be there any one or even all days of the 4-day exhibition.

San Diego Comic-Con International, commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or "SDCC", is a multigenre convention held annually in San Diego, California, United States. It is a four-day event (Thursday-Sunday) held during the summer. On Wednesday evening, there is a preview for professionals, exhibitors, and some guests pre-registered for all four days.

Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television, and related popular arts, the convention now includes a larger range of pop culture elements, such as horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. According to Forbes, the convention is the "largest convention of its kind in the world"; it is also the largest convention held in San Diego. In 2010, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with over 130,000 attendees. (Wikipedia)

This year, for the first time, Hello Kitty is making an appearance on Comic-Con, storming it as TIME magazine puts it.

Hello Kitty may have reached the Final Frontier, but she’s never been to Comic-Con before. That all changes this weekend, when Sanrio brings its beloved Kitty and her friends to San Diego for the annual comic convention, which runs from July 18 through the 21st.

Sanrio will make its official debut with “Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland,” an interactive experience loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, but starring Hello Kitty. The weekend’s Hello Kitty event will feature a pop-up shop, offer Sanrio nail art, and, of course, will feature a visit by Kitty-chan herself. It is open to the public at Comic-Con’s Interactive Zone at Petco Park.

Read more: Hello Kitty Storms Comic-Con

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Palestinians stranded in KLIA

Tom Hanks of The Terminal came to mind when I first read on Saturday about a 22-year-old Palestinian passport-holder and another case of a Palestinian family of six (teacher, Kaled Ali, his wife, Rwalda Shahada, and their four children) being stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for more than 50 days.

Today, The Star frontpages news of KLIA being a base for refugee racket.

From The Star:

KUALA LUMPUR: People fleeing from countries torn by strife are being duped by international syndicates which have been using the Kuala Lumpur International Airport as their base.

Palestinian ambassador to Malay­sia Abdelaziz Abughoush said these syndicates abused the kindness shown by the Government in allowing Muslims to enter the country without visas.

“There are Mafia-type groups taking advantage of desperate people, not just Palestinians, by promising them travel documents and visas to enable them to enter any country of their choice.

“We are constantly warning our citizens about these crooks and urging them not to fall prey to them,” he told The Star. More..Syndicates prey on refugees

The article also tells how the stranded family of six landed in Malaysia.  Their case is being looked into by the authorities.

Meanwhile, it's a happy ending for Ahmed Kanan, the 22-year-old Palestine passport-holder.  He has been allowed into Malaysia on a 30-day special pass while the Immigration Department studies his case.   His embassy has offered to help him enrol into a local university.

Monday, July 15, 2013

R.I.P. Cory Monteith

I was shocked and saddened by news of the death of one of my favourite actors on Glee.

CANADIAN actor Cory Monteith, 31-year-old heartthrob of Fox's musical-comedy television series Glee, was found dead on Saturday in his Vancouver hotel room (Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in the city centre) in Canada, police said.

There were no signs of foul play according to Police and paramedics and the cause of death was not immediately apparent, British Columbia Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver.

Monteith had talked about his problems with substance abuse.

In response to a question about whether Monteith died of a drug overdose, Vancouver Police Department acting chief Doug LePard said he would "not discuss anything that we might have found in the room at this time".

An autopsy was set for Monday.

More: The Star..Video: Cops say no foul play suspected in Cory Monteith's death

R.I.P. Cory Monteith.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Planet Waves and Japanese Art

Japanese poster in restaurant - Click on it to see a clearer image
Planet Waves. Heard it being brought up continuously from the table next to ours at dinner the other night. One of the best places to pick up new terms and new information has got to be in an eating place when conversations spill over (not always unwelcome though) from the next table. We were in a crowded popular restaurant downtown that serves a wide Japanese buffet spread and with great Japanese art-prints for decoration to boot, like the one shown here. Will be posting the rest of these art prints - they are too beautiful not to be sharing them. So, watch out for them.

Found out from the Internet that Planet Waves is a company reputed for manufacturing quality guitar cables and accessories including tuners, straps, picks, humidification products, cloths and polish products amongst others. Planet Waves products promise to be the most innovative professional musician’s tools available. It has been said that Planet Waves cables are built for life. I suppose the best place to shop for Planet Waves products is online. Duh! 

Prewar buildings in Singapore and Malaysia

At first glance, I thought this is in Kuala Lumpur but it is not. It's a corner coffeeshop in Keong Saik Road in Singapore. I was mistaken because there are coffeeshops like this here in Kuala Lumpur. As a matter of fact, KL and Singapore share the same history of immigrant Chinese coolies arriving on these shores and the lifestyle and types of building styles that emerged from those early days.

Today, this type of buildings can still be found in Malaysia, even in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, in Chinatown. There is a pub (don't remember the name) in Jalan Tun H S Lee formerly known as Jalan Bandar and prior to that High Street, that looks quite like the outfit in the picture. Customers sit at the five-foot way on high chairs at the bar. There is live music at this bar popular with foreign tourists, mostly Caucasians, I noticed. Worth checking out if you are in this part of town.

This building in the image dates back to prewar 1939 and the coffeeshop/cafe business in this premise has been around for four generations.

FOR about 75 years, Tong Ah Eating House has stood out in Keong Saik Road for its distinctive red-and-white facade and shape as it sits on a triangular plot of land.

But from tomorrow, this old-school coffee shop will head out to a new shophouse, even if it is just a few doors down the same road. More..Pre-war coffee shop moving out

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Always pack Swimwear..

I've often read that the one piece of clothing not to be missed when packing for a holiday is the swimwear or a pair of swimming trunks if you are a guy. Unless you don't swim, of course. Still.

I came across this website of a la blanca swimwear sale the other day and thought you might also be interested to keep the site in view for your next swimwear shopping.  Nice pieces they have.   If you are in the market for a swimwear, now's a good time to check it out to enjoy their great discounts.

What to look out for choosing your Toothpaste

For those of you who didn't know about this..

What brand of toothpaste are you or your family using? Humans are a creature of habit and we often stick to a particular brand once we think it agrees with us. But is what we choose good for us or our health? Take toothpaste, for instance.

Take a look at the base of the tube of your chosen brand of toothpaste. Does it have a green, blue, red or black colour bar?

Here's what the colours mean:

Green: Natural
Blue : Natural + Medicine
Red : Natural + Chemical composition
Black : Pure chemical

(Colgate is red, hence the foam according to the email.)

Now you know enough to pay attention when replenishing your toothpaste stock next. The email says to pick one with either a green or blue colour bar.

Source: Unknown - Info was received via email.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Harmonica

A harmonica sure is one handy musical instrument. I remember a few of my classmates in school had one in their schoolbag. Over here in Malaysia, harmonicas can be bought not only from a music store but also from the older bookstores operated by Chinese companies. No kidding!

Did you know that the mouth organ or harmonica originates in Vienna, Austria in around 1820? Early American players included President Lincoln and Wyatt Earp. Popular artists from the 1960s such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon also integrated the harmonica into their music, with exciting results.

Friday Frolics - What's Your Personal Style?

Style, in every aspect of it, is such a personal thing, don't you think? What works for one may not work for another. Ever thought about what's your personal style? Take the quiz to find out.

Happy Friday, everyone! Yay, another no-haze day here in sunny Kuala Lumpur.

Your Style is Eclectic

For you, anything goes style wise. You are very good at fusing influences together.

You draw inspiration from many sources, and you don't have any strict rules when it comes to what you love.

While your preferences can be a bit off the wall, everything always works well together. You have good taste.

You are open to the world and enjoy sampling as much as you can. You are truly international and cosmopolitan.

Last Week's Quiz: The Cafe Test

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cheap costume jewelry

The trend nowadays in this country is to play down real jewelry. People wear costume jewelry more than the actual gold chain, for instance. Gold and diamond jewelry stay more at home than out in the open unless they are retrieved for some special occasion like attending a formal dinner.

Costume jewelry costs a lot less and does not put the wearer at risk in these unsafe times. Is it just in this country?

Here's a site for cheap costume jewelry if you are looking for new pieces. The prices are unbelievable!

Take for instance this stunning necklace featuring 14KT white gold plating, a genuine African Amethyst stone and clear cubic zirconia stones. Necklace is 18 inches long with a 1 1/2 inch extender. Pendant is almost 1 inch and it costs only $5.99.

Unusual uses for Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold just about everywhere - in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in every country except Cuba and North Korea.

Often referred to simply as Coke, Coca-Cola has been found to be useful for cleaning purposes. But you already knew that.

With its acidic nature, Coke has been found to be effective in getting rid of rust, grease on clothes, that black crust in your pot or pan. It can even be used for cooking, as a painkiller, as well as for entertainment.

Here, watch this video for an idea to liven up your next party..

And here's proof Coke does get rid of rust..

Check out the Top 10 Unusual Uses For Coca Cola and be amazed.

Image source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You can Sell Textbooks online

I read that the annual Book Festival at KLCC will be back again in August. For book-lovers, this is one book fest not to be missed but is there such a thing as buying too many books? What do you do with all the books that you have finished reading and will not likely be reading them again?

There are a number of options we can get rid of the books, of course. Did you know that you can sell them online? You can even sell textbooks online. Now that is a seriously great solution. Selling textbooks can also mean letting other students have a go at textbooks for a much cheaper price than having to buy them brand new.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon beating Novak Djokovic in three straight sets

What a day it must be for Andy Murray and his country.

Winners: Andy Murray, left, poses with the Wimbledon trophy alongside Novak Djokovic - All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon - Daily Mail

Andy Murray has got Britain celebrating after winning the men's singles tennis title at Wimbledon beating Novak Djokovic in three straight sets - a long 77-year wait.

The Telegraph..
The front pages of British newspapers celebrating Andy Murray's success at Wimbledon - The Telegraph

Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph has caused a worldwide stir. The Telegraph looks at what the British and international press have made of the Scot's historic win over Novak Djokovic.

Read what they are saying on The Telegraph: Andy Murray wins Wimbledon men's singles title to end 77 years of British hurt - world press reaction

BBC: Andy Murray's Wimbledon win: What the papers say

Andy Murray's first Wimbledon title dominates the front pages of Monday's national newspapers in England and Scotland, while there is also widespread coverage in the international press.

Headlines range from 'The History Boy' in the Times to 'Champion' in the Guardian.

'The thought of a Scot winning Wimbledon was not even an impossible dream', according to the Scotsman.

The Guardian:
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon with emphatic victory over Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray shook free 77 years of unwanted history as we suspected he might, unaware of exactly how it happened and grateful for the affection of a nation that helped him beat Novak Djokovic in three pulsating, ragged sets to win Wimbledon on the sunniest of Sundays.

It was one of those moments that will forever be bathed in a glow of palpable warmth, from the crowd and the skies above the opened roof of Centre Court.

Daily Mail: He's done it! Murray the Magnificent becomes first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years after beating Djokovic in straight sets

Andy Murray sensationally became the first British man to be crowned Wimbledon champion in 77 years today, after beating Novak Djokovic in three straight sets in the men's singles final.

The 26-year-old is the first home player to lift the men’s singles trophy since Fred Perry in 1936 after winning the match 6-4, 7-5 and 6-4. Murray, who has spoken of the importance of crowd support during the tournament, was greeted with a standing ovation and cheers as he beat the world number one.

The Scot threw his hands in the air, smiling before embracing his Serbian opponent. He kicked a tennis ball into the crowd and then dropped to his knees, shaking. His girlfriend Kim Sears jumped out of her seat in the players' box at All England Club's most famous court as Murray secured his victory.

More pictures available on the Daily Mail.

Looking for an Electric violin?

Cute and unconventional shape for a violin, don't you think? This is actually an electric violin, a Yamaha SV-130 Series Silent Electric Violin Outfit.

A friend recently bought a piano for his son who all of a sudden decided to pick up music. When one buys a musical instrument, one is really making an investment in one's art, passion and life. In the case of my friend, he's investing in his young son's.

Back to the violin, if you are in the market for an electric violin, there are lots of choices available to meet every budget. This Yamaha retails for $1250 but is now going for $874.99, a 30% saving of $375.01. Plus, you can even buy it on installment making monthly payments of as low as $30. Definitely an offer hard to beat. That's not all. This instrument ships free.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Seeing Kuala Lumpur on the KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour

It's a bit hazy here in Kuala Lumpur today. We are seeing blue skies with white clouds but no sunshine. As for air quality, no worries as DOE is recording good to moderate PSI readings all over the country including KL and the Klang Valley.

Was downtown this morning and while waiting for the light to turn green, caught sight of this KL Hop-on Hop-off bus along Jalan Sultan Ismail near Shangri-la. Getting on one of these is a great way to see Kuala Lumpur and what a day to see KL in this lovely weather today!

It was just after 10am when the coach was spotted so it was a full coach. Notice the open top deck and all seats taken.

Two types of tickets are available for the KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour - 24 hours and 48 hours. Just like the name suggests, you can hop on and hop off at any point of the city attractions and there are more than forty of them. Operations hours are from 9am to 8pm. Below is the schedule on rates to give you an idea. The rates have been revised with effect from this month. Still, it is a good price to see all the popular attractions in KL.

Click on image for an enlarged print..

Below is the route the city tour takes. For booking or more information, visit the KL Hop-on Hop-off website as well as the KL Hop-on Hop-off Facebook page for updates. (By the way, this article has been linked to from their Facebook page. Thank you, KL Hop-on Hop-off.)

Ramadan, the fasting month, is just around the corner. The first day is on Wed, 10 Jul.

You may want to note that during the month of Ramadan, the bus operation of KL Hop-On Hop-Off will be from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

For 1st Syawal (8th August 2013) operating hours will be from 10:30am to 8:00pm.

Office hours are from 8:30am to 5:00pm during these times.

Operating and working hours will be back to normal after the holy month of Ramadan and 1st of Syawal (starting on 9th August 2013).

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!

Get your Blue Snowball USB Microphone - world's first professional USB mic

If you are looking for a superior mic to record your acoustic guitar in your living room or for recording your band in a professional studio, here's one for you: The world's first professional USB mic which offers plug and play, accurate, versatile input for your computer.

This excellent blue snowball at musicians friend is an easy-to-use USB condenser microphone where you can plug-and-play it with you PC or Mac with no added software. The Snowball mic is ideal for podcasting as well.

The Snowball mic has 3-pattern switches allowing you to choose from cardioid, cardioid with -10dB pad, and omnidirectional. If you are into recording, you'd know how useful this feature is. Plus, no refrigeration necessary!