Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No Haze yet in Malaysia

Yay! We have blue skies today after a week of overcast weather. You've guessed it. The haze is back or rather we are seeing the beginning of the haze season.

Indeed, the haze is back. Though not spotted in Malaysia a few days ago, hotspots were spotted in Sumatra and Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

The Star has this picture, two days ago, of a helicopter from the Indonesian National Disaster Management agency (BNPB) dropping water on a fire in Ogan Ilir, near Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Reuters

And the game must go on... Indonesian youths play football in a local tournament as the haze shrouds Pulau Mentaro village in Muaro Jambi. Photo: Reuters

Hotspots in Indonesia's Western Kalimantan province are on the rise with a haze blanketing the region, even as authorities assess the situation as harmless

Over here, we are very careful not to exacerbate the situation. The authorities have nabbed a number of people committing open burning.

The air quality is still good in the country. To give you an idea, here's the API reading for today.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Easy piano songs to play

Source: Wikipedia
Perhaps it's a bit early to be putting your piano to work on "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" or "Jingle Bell Rock".

Here's good news. What if I say you can now play

easy piano songs at woodwinds and brasswinds with a collection of simplified Christmas piano arrangements? Now we are talking!

Pianists of all ages will enjoy this big collection of titles including:

* All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth * Angels We Have Heard on High * The Annual Animal Christmas Ball * Auld Lang Syne * Away in a Manger * Believe (from The Polar Express) * Blue Christmas * Celebrate Me Home * The Christmas Waltz * The Coventry Carol * Deck the Halls * Even Santa Fell in Love * Fel­z Navidad * The First No«l * Frosty the Snowman * The Gift * God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen * Good King Wenceslas * Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer * Happy Xmas (War Is Over) * Hark! The Herald Angels Sing * Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas * (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays * Saw Three Ships * I'll Be Home for Christmas * and more.

With arrangements by acclaimed piano arranger Dan Coates, the arrangements are a pleasure, because they are easier to play than standard sheet music arrangements, but full-sounding enough to stand on their own as piano solos or to provide accompaniment for singing along.

With 60 popular titles, this book provides pianists with enough material for a lifetime of musical Christmas gatherings!

By the way, this ships to Malaysia too, in case you are wondering.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Singapore rejoices over first Olympics gold

Well done, Joseph Schooling of Singapore!

Joseph Schooling of Singapore with the gold medal on the podium after winning the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug 12, 2016. 

Singapore exploded in celebration Saturday after homegrown swimming hero Joseph Schooling beat US legend Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly in Rio to win the tiny republic's first ever Olympics gold.

The 21-year-old Asian champion set a new Olympics record of 50.39sec as he edged out his American idol Phelps, who ended in a sensational dead heat for silver alongside South Africa's Chad le Clos and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary.

Continue reading on AsiaOne..Olympics: Singapore rejoices over first Olympics gold

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Safety guidelines for Pokemon Go players

For Pokémon Go players and parents of players, some safety guidelines for a positive Pokémon Go playing experience..

The Star.. MCMC comes up with safety guidelines for Pokemon Go

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has issued safety guidelines for Pokemon Go players, warning players and parents that the game collects and shares the personal data of its users.

"The game requires you to register and share personal information, including information from the phone's Global Positioning System. Consider whether you are willing to share such personal information, and parents should be aware that their children's data is collected as they play Pokemon Go," said the MCMC in a press release on Wednesday.

It added that people playing Pokemon Go should be aware of online and offline fraud while playing the augmented reality game.

"Be careful of fake and suspicious mobile applications that are offered to you. Such applications could be malware or expose you to hackers," added the MCMC.

The MCMC also advised players to be mindful of how much money was being spent while playing the game as there were incentives to encourage players to spend up to USD99.99 (RM403.86) to buy 14,500 PokeCoins.

It also advised gamers to be mindful of how much of their data plan was being consumed by Pokemon Go and to carry a power bank.

"Bring a power bank or a power source in case you need to call your family in an emergency," said the MCMC.

The MCMC also advised gamers to not wander into dangerous or forbidden areas and places of worship while playing the game and to be careful when meeting with people.

"Don't play the game alone and don't agree to meet strangers who contact you through the game. Be careful while using your phone, and don't ride a bicycle, motorcycle or drive while you play Pokemon Go or messaging your friends and family," said the MCMC.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

First Rio2016 medal for Malaysia

Malaysia has got her first medal in the Rio Games.

Divers Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong bagged an Olympic silver medal in Brazil in the Women's Synchronized 10m Platform. Well done, girls!

Jun Hoong and Pandelela compete during the women's Synchronized 10m Platform Final at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pandelela-Jun Hoong scored a total of 344.34 points after five dives at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

Lying in third place after the third dive, the Malaysian pair upped the ante to finish strongly behind China's Chen Roulin-Liu Huixia who won the gold medal with 354.00 total. Canada's Meaghan Benfeito-Roseline Filion settled for bronze with 336.18.

As Olympic silver medallists Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong will share a RM300,000 cash incentive and a monthly pension of RM3,000 following their winning feat.

Image source: The Star

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pokemon Go has come to Malaysia

At last..

As of today, the game is available for free download in both the App Store for iOS users and Google Play for Android users.

Besides Malaysia, the game has been made available in 14 other Asian countries, i.e. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

The game was first launched in the United States Australia and New Zealand on July 6. Japan, home country of the game, only got activated last week. Pokemon Go has since been released in over 30 countries.

Happy Pokémon-hunting!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Road closure for KL Marathon

If you are planning a trip to the city (Kuala Lumpur) this Sunday be forewarned that about 24 roads including two highways here will face partial or full closure this Sunday.

This is due to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. The Start and Finish points will be at Dataran Merdeka - shown on the left in picture below. By the way, the building you see on the right is one of KL's landmarks, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

There are about 35,000 participants and over 2,000 foreign runners from 70 countries participating this year.

Best to plan your travels accordingly on Sunday and use public transport whenever possible.

The roads that are expected to be closed are the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh), Duke Highway, Jalan Raja (Dataran Merdeka), Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim (Jalan Duta), Jalan Langgak Tunku, Jalan Bukit Tunku, Jalan Tunku, Jalan Tun Ismail, Jalan Dato Onn, Jalan Sultan Sallehudin, Jalan Parlimen, Jalan Damansara, Lebuhraya Sultan Iskandar, Jalan Kinabalu, Jalan Sultan HIshamudin (KTM) and Jalan Tanglin.

Source: The Star

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Corpse flower blooms in a decade

For horticulturists and nature-lovers, here's an image of a rare Indonesian flower known as the “corpse flower” named thus for it emission of a pungent odour of rotting meat, luring pollinators that feed on dead animals.

Visitors flock to the New York Botanical Garden all summer long for whiff of its fragrant blooms.

The six-foot plant - it grows much taller in its natural habitat of Indonesia - has not bloomed for a decade, and has been carefully tended by horticulturalists here in the Bronx every day.

The “Amorphophallus titanum” was last on display in bloom at the botanical garden in 1937, the first time it was showcased in the western hemisphere. It takes years to conserve enough energy to go into bloom, during which the yellow “spadix” - the spike of the plant - self-heats to human body temperature to emit the rotten smell - and it is all over within about 36 hours.

After the plant withers back over the weekend, we will have to wait years before the unpredictable bloom takes place again.

Source: The Independent