Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta & Formula One weekend

Looking for a family activity today? Why not head on over to Putrajaya for the International Hot air balloon Fiesta now in its 6th year. How to get there..

Take a ride in the popular Darth Vader balloon.

Many attractions await you including helicopter joy rides, shows and performances, night glow, Mountain Dew Extreme Zone and many others.

Also, this is the Formula One GP weekend - Sepang International Circuit.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes takes a ride on a local rickshaw and uses the opportunity to tell us about his week in Malaysia and his hopes for the race weekend ahead. Get a glimpse of KL and the Petronas Twin Towers and the Aquaria that located inside.

Lewis Hamilton raced to his second straight pole position of the 2014 season and his 33rd overall in a rain-delayed qualifying session in Sepang on Saturday.

Today's F1 final will start at 4:00pm. Hope the weather cooperates unlike yesterday when rain began falling heavily around 35 minutes before the start of qualifying which finally started at 4:50pm.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Frolics - The Five Factor Values Test

Woh, it's a really hot and sunny day outside! Eco-friendly aside, if you are in an aircond environment, count yourself lucky, and if you've got water in your taps, that's doubly lucky because some of us here in the Klang Valley (KL included) are going through water rationing, still. Bummer!

This week's quiz is interesting.  Take it to find how much you value loyalty, honesty, generosity, humility and tolerance.

Happy Friday everyone.  Today is the 28th day of the second lunar month and starting this weekend Chinese Buddhist/Taoist families would be engaged in the annual tomb-sweeping activities.

You are Honest, Generous, Humble and Tolerant


You don't really value loyalty.

In your opinion, friendship should be earned.

If you don't agree with someone, it doesn't matter how close you are.

You'll let them (and everyone else know) exactly what you think.


You value honesty a fair amount.

You're honest when you can be, but you aren't a stickler for it.

If a little white lie will make a situation more comfortable, you'll go for it.

In the end, you mostly care about "situational integrity."


You value generosity a fair amount.

You are all about giving, as long as there's some give and take.

Supportive and kind, you don't mind helping out a friend in need.

But you know when you've given too much. You have no problem saying "no"!


You value humility highly.

You have the self-confidence to be happy with who you are.

And you don't need to seek praise to make yourself feel better.

You're very modest, and you're keep the drama factor low.


You value tolerance highly.

Not only do you enjoy the company of those very different from you...

You do all that you can to seek it out interesting and unique friends.

You think there are many truths in life, and you're open to many of them.

Last week's Quiz: The Spring Test

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Flight MH370 confirmed lost - in the Indian Ocean

Malaysia Airlines has issued a text message to the families deeply regretting that MH370 has been lost and none of of the 239 passengers and crew on board survived.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced live over TV that the flight ended in the Indian Ocean based on confirmation from British investigators from its Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

The text message to the families read:

"Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."


Where the MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean was based on new analysis by UK investigators and the British satellite firm Inmarsat. Inmarsat used new techniques to detect the plane's course.

The PM's announcement..

The search for the plane is ongoing.

Deepest condolences to the families.

Related articles:
Missing MH370 - the 9th day
Missing MH370 - Two weeks and a day
The MH370 crash timeline

Image source: The Star

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Missing MH370 - Two weeks and a day

Yes, it's been two weeks and a day since a Boeing 777-200ER MAS flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board. Updates today via videos..

Malaysia acting Transport Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, at the latest daily press briefing informing that Chinese satellite captures image of floating object. Plane search widens on new images of 'debris'.

Air Asia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has taken to Twitter to praise the efforts of acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in handling the search for the missing MH370 plane.

Two days ago, there was some commotion at the press conference, a mother of a passenger was seen wailing at the press conference. She denies mistreatment. Watch video of the interview with her for what she has to say.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday there was "increasing hope" of finding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, after a plane spotted unidentified debris including a wooden pallet in the Indian Ocean search site.

The long, largely fruitless search for the aircraft has been especially agonising for the relatives of the 227 passengers - two thirds of whom were Chinese - and 12 crew.

China has dispatched seven ships to the hunt for the plane, adding to British and Australian naval assets involved.

The latest Chinese satellite images showed an object measuring 22.5m by 13m (74 by 43 feet).

Abbott said it was "consistent" with one of the objects identified in the Australian satellite images, but it was not clear if they were believed to be the same. - AFP (The Star)

Snapshots of MH370 passengers and crew

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Frolics - The Spring Test

Yes, Spring is in the air, i.e., if you are living in a temperate region in the Northern Hemisphere. Over here, we do have some trees that typically bloom this time of the year too, though not as awesome as those cherry or plum blossoms in Japan, still they are quite a site amidst just plain greenery.

This week's Friday Frolics personality quiz is about the Spring. Pick your favourite Spring image below and see what it says about you.

Happy Spring!

You Are Active

One breath of fresh, cool spring air, and you're ready to get started with your day.

You love that spring is all about renewal and new beginnings. You are excited to tackle your projects and goals.

You like to stay busy, but that doesn't mean you don't take time to smell the flowers. You live in the moment and do what's right.

By seeking out balance in your life, you are able to get more done. You don't burn out, and you have plenty of energy for everything.

Last week's Quiz: The Poppy Test

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Missing MH370 - Two objects found in Indian Ocean

13th day Missing MH370..

Malaysia Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak received a call from Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, about “two possible objects” identified in the southern Indian Ocean based on satellite information.

The two objects, the larger of which was measured at 24 metres (79 feet), are found floating in the Indian Ocean according to Australian officials. The larger piece could be the tail section of an aircraft suspected to be the missing MAS flight MH370 according to officials. However, they cautioned that the images may not be from the plane. There can be other debris out there, from ships, for example. The images of the objects were captured by satellite and were being assessed by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation.

An Australian air force Orion had already been diverted to look into the objects with three more surveillance planes to follow.

Australian, US and New Zealand long-range surveillance planes have been scouring a vast tract of the southern Indian Ocean since Tuesday, with the search focused on an area of 305,000 sq km (122,000 square miles), some 2,600km southeast of Perth.

Experts say it can take up to 48 hours to confirm if debris belongs to plane.  It takes four hours for an aircraft flying out out base in Perth to reach location.

However, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, warned against drawing any premature conclusions.

"We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370," he said.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 disappeared, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, about an hour after leaving the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8.

It was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.

According to satellite data, the plane made a turnaround but veered off towards the Indian Ocean.

How big is a Boeing 777-200ER actually, the one used on MAS flight MH370? The basic dimensions according to Boeing's website are as follows:

Wing span - 60.9m
Overall length - 63.7m
Tail height - 18.5m
Fuselage diameter - 6.19m

According to published data, each wing measures to about 27.4m long, after adjusting for the width of the fuselage.

The battery in the black box typically runs for 30 days.

Sources - The Star:
Missing MH370: Two objects spotted, says Australian PM
Missing MH370: Largest "object" could be aircraft tail, says report
Missing MH370: Dimensions of Boeing 777

Image source: The Star

Monday, March 17, 2014

Missing MH370 - the 9th day

Malaysia has made it into the 10 Aviation Mysteries when a MAS flight MH370 vanished in the morning of Saturday, March 8, hardly an hour after take-off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The jetliner, a Boeing 777-200ER, with 239 on board took off at 12:41am scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6:30am. The plane has yet to arrive. There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board that Boeing 777 jet reputed to have a formidable safety record.

Source: The Star

Many countries are involved in the search for the missing MH370 which began at the South China Sea near Vietnam where the plane was reported missing at the border of Malaysia and Vietnam airspace. With new information about the plane making a flight turnaround, search efforts have been expanded to include the Straits of Malacca and the seas beyond the Andaman Sea. 22 countries are now involved in the search with a count of 43 ships and 58 aircraft scouring the seas in this ninth day since the plane disappeared.

One week after the disappearance, Prime Minister, Najib Razak, with new information gave a press conference. He said evidence pointed to a deliberate diversion of the flight and that it was no accident that MH370 went off radar. You can hear his speech below.

More inputs todate has pointed to the pilots who are now the focus of the probe. Investigators are also wondering whether there was a struggle on board as available data shows a sudden ascent to 45,000 feet and a dive to 23,000 feet before it went back up to 35,000 feet.

Reuters has this final picture of the missing Boeing 777-200ER jet taken in February above Polish airspace.

Source: DailyMail

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has decided to retire its MH370 and MH371 flight codes on the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route.

In their place, MH318 would be used for the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing journey while MH319 would replace the Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route beginning Friday.

“As a mark of respect to the passengers and crew of MH370 on March 8, 2014, the MH370 and MH371 flight codes will be retired from the Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur-Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route,” the Malaysian national airlines announced on its website.

MAS flies twice daily to Beijing.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Frolics - The Poppy Test

This week's quiz is about the Poppy flower.

According to the Wikipedia:

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep.

A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death.

Pick the poppy that appeals to you most, and see what it says about you. Mine says I am protective.

You Are Protective

You're a fighter, but you pick your battles extremely carefully. You have a long fuse.

You know a lot in this world isn't worth getting worked up about, but some battles do need to be fought.

You are quite protective of your family and friends. You'll step up and fight to defend them.

You may seem quiet and still on the outside - but on the inside you are always ready and prepared.

Hazier in Kuala Lumpur

The air over Kuala Lumpur is not getting any better. Took this shot of the sun this morning. Today is the third day of such a heavy haze enveloping the city and surrounding areas. Peat fires and land-clearing are the causes. Same old, same old.

Best to stay indoors. Need to do some shopping? Shop online!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lace guitar pickups

Shopping online provides the chance of a much wider choice of products available.  Not only would you get multiple choices to meet your need, there is also the price range to suit every budget.

If you are in the market for a guitar pickup, lace pickups at Guitar Center may be a good place to start. Lace pickups have been around and popular for a long time. At Guitar Center you will be totally spoilt for choice. Check them out, their Green Tag event offers products at deep discounts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Haze update - Kuala Lumpur - March 4

Haze. I woke up to a very much hazier sky this morning. It's darkish grey. The rain yesterday afternoon didn't help. Here's what the Met Department says about the API reading, the haze level. Worst hit is the Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur included.

Here's where you can get haze reading updates for the country.

You can take a look at how it's like here in the Klang Valley/Kuala Lumpur.

Perhaps a quick look at some video-grab shots of KL and the surrounding areas..

If you are interested, The Star today talks about the triple whammy of dry spell, water shortage and the haze: Triple whammy as haze hits the Klang Valley

Monday, March 3, 2014

Haze in Kuala Lumpur, Hazier in Penang

Dateline: Kuala Lumpur

If you are outside of a building today, it would feel like being in a giant pressure cooker. It's stuffy outside even though the sun is nowhere in sight. The air is still, the leaves too, of course. The haze is back, as if I'm heralding the start of Spring. Tsk. Though not as bad as the haze of last year, it could become worse in this dry weather. To add insult to injury, some parts of the Klang Valley are also hit by water rationing the result of low levels in the dams.

Here's a glimpse of the situation in KL. The picture below was taken this morning. Look, Ma, no Petronas Twin Towers as compared to the inset in which the KL skyline is clearly visible and the iconic twin towers glistening in the morning sun.

Hot spots in the area caused by the dry spell have been cited as the cause of this smog. Unthoughtful open burning has exacerbated the situation. What we need is a heavy downpour. Cloud-seeding is supposed to happen this week but there doesn't seem to be any clouds up there.

Let's take a look at Met Department's Air Pollution Index, it shows reasonably good readings except for Port Klang with a poor quality reading of 110, (highlighted yellow).

In Penang, it's no better or probably hazier than it is in Kuala Lumpur. The Star has the following image of the haze over at the Penang bridge but not sure if this is the main bridge or the new second bridge..

The Star reported that Penang's air turned hazier Monday although the Air Pollutant Index (API) has yet to breach unhealthy levels.

The API at 11am indicated moderate quality, but visibility has been reduced and there is a slight smell of the smoke.

Prai and Seberang Jaya recorded API readings of 88 and 94 respectively. Seberang Jaya had registered a reading of 64 at 5pm Sunday.

At Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the reading was 79, compared with 59 a day earlier.

According to the Meteorological Department, visibility in Penang was at 4km, at 2pm.

An API reading of between 0 and 50 is considered good; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and 301 and above, hazardous.