Saturday, March 31, 2012

Klang flooded after heavy downpour

I remember my late grandmother used to say that rainy weather is associated with this time of the year, among a few other occasions throughout the year. This is based on the Lunar calendar. My observations tell me that these weather condition predictions linking to the months of the year are pretty accurate.

These few weeks of the third lunar month mark the time for tomb-sweeping or the annual ritual where families of Buddhist/Toaist faith visit ancestral grave-sites to clean up the site(s) and to make offerings - of food, drink, flowers, incense and candles and 'gold paper' (currency in the afterlife) as well as other papercraft items to ensure the spirit of the deceased has lots of good things in the afterlife.

Of late, heavy downpour has been wreaking havoc in a lot of regions in Malaysia. The latest being the Klang district, located about 32km to the west of Kuala Lumpur.

A downpour coupled with high tide caused widespread flooding in Klang and Port Klang and forced banks and businesses to turn away customers. Ten schools were forced to cancel classes and hundreds of families were badly affected as drains overflowed and the water entered houses and shops.

Water is not the only thing to contend with as the sudden rise in water level caused reptiles to come out from the drains onto the roads. Nine pythons have been caught in the town area and a man caught six monitor lizards making him a happy man as he could sell them for money.

It has been said this is the worst flood in 45 years. Some images from The Star..

Source: The Star..Floods wreak havoc in Klang

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Frolics - Do You Fight Fair?

I dislike arguments and rarely get dragged into one and when I do, I always fight fair. Coincidentally, there is such a quiz about fighting fair and it's this week's personality quiz for Friday Frolics.

Do you fight fair too? Take the quiz to find out.

You Fight Fair

For you, a fight is not about proving you're right.

Instead, it's about discussing and resolving difficult issues.

You don't look for fights, but you don't avoid them either.

You realize that clearing the air is good, when you go about it the right way.

Sometimes we talk different

I am always fascinated by jargons, be it trade jargons, sports jargons, or others. You pick up something new everytime you hear a conversation or a discussion among people in the same field.

The other day, I was seated in a restaurant next to a table of medical professionals and I heard something like an ekg machine and other difficult-to-pronounce machines that sounded alien to me.

Along the same tone on jargon, a girlfriend gets agitated every time her husband talks insurance-gibberish at home. LOL

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Duck and her black eggs are soon parted

There is a duck here in Kampung Seri Murni in Kuala Pegang, near Baling, Kedah, that is getting a lot of attention. No, she did not lay golden eggs but laid two black eggs instead. A trader offered RM30,000 for the eggs but offer was declined.

What does it tell you when a duck lays black eggs when her neighbours are geese and turkeys? :O
Read the story here..

Image source: The Star

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Online-Shopping provides the Best Prices

There are certain items that are cheap here in Malaysia but eyeglasses certainly aren't among them. I was googling for something related to eyes and eyesight when I came across this eyeglasses site that has a pair of glasses for just $9.99! Now, there's a bargain, I was telling myself. Here's proof.
It's common knowledge that the best prices can more often be found online. It's not only the pricing that's the draw for online-shopping. Variety and convenience are reasons people prefer to shop online.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CNNGo's Asia's 10 greatest street food cities

Penang has done it again! Penang tops CNNGo's list of Asia's 10 greatest street food cities. Others in the list are Taipei, Bangkok, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Singapore, Seoul, Xi'an. Manila and Phnom Penh.

Penang's best street dishes on the list include

1. Penang assam laksa

2. Hokkien mee
3. Wonton mee
4. Nasi kandar
5. Rojak

6. Lor bak
7. Curry mee
8. Char kway teow

9. Koay chiap
10.Ice kacang

Visit CNNGo for information on where to find these lip-smacking food in Penang. Although these food can be found all over Malaysia, they may taste slightly different from the ones served in Penang.

Image source:

Whitney Houston died of accidental drowning

I read the day that it is confirmed that there was no foul play in the death of Whitney Houston but she died of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine use and heart disease, according to a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman. She was found submerged in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room on February 12, the eve of the Grammy Awards.

Ms Houston's death this way is sad indeed for one who shared such beautiful music with the world. It is sometimes unfathomable that US being so advanced with so many drug rehab centres (one of which being the san diego drug alcohol rehab treatment center) that people with substance abuse are not taking advantage of the expertise and facilities.

Over the course of a 30-year career, Whitney Houston won six Grammys, 30 Billboard awards and 22 American Music Awards.

Image source: Wikipedia

Monday, March 26, 2012

Looking for a Backpack?

If you are contemplating between having a backpack or a shoulder bag or what's commonly-known as a messenger bag, a backpack is a better option. That is because the weight of the backpack is evenly distributed across your body. Supporting the pack are the strongest muscles in the body, i.e., the back and the abdominal muscles. That should be reason enough for the sake of your body, your health.

The different compartments in a backpack are great for organizing things. There are many brands of backpacks in the market today.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix

If you were in the city the past week and have noticed that the malls and shopping complexes were rather crowded with foreign visitors, there was a good reason why. Formula One was in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend. All 5-star hotels would have been booked months ahead and Formula One roomrates apply.

SEPANG, (Reuters): Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of Sauber's Sergio Perez in a race that was stopped for 51 minutes as officials red flagged the race after just eight laps due to torrential rain at the Sepang circuit.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton finished third for the second race in a row in his McLaren with Red Bull's Mark Webber behind him in fourth.
More..The Star..Ferrari's Alonso wins Malaysian Grand Prix

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Frolics - The Waves Test

Let's do a simple personality test this week, The Waves Test.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend, everyone!

You Make Beautiful Waves

Life would be boring if you just sat back and watched it unfold.

You like to make things happen, but in a very ordered and interesting way.

You don't really like chaos. You tend to plan throughly and execute your plans well.

You are very creative, eloquent, and expressive. You know how to accomplish great things, even if you're just playing around.

Your turn.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Steel workshop buildings - a better alternative

It is one thing to have an office well-maintained but quite another having to smell paint for a number of days and feeling queasy in the process. Our office building just had a new coat of paint. It's looking like new now though a few colleagues are ranting about the strong smell of paint that will most probably linger on for another week or so.
Besides the new coat of paint, some extension for more storage space is also in progress. It helps when there is ample room for expansion. Talk about ample room, I was looking at a site the other day on steel workshop buildings and how simple they are to assemble besides being durable and attractive-looking. These structures can be used for many purposes including as a garage, backyard storage, warehouse, heavy equipment storage, workshop, classroom, aircraft hangar, a gymnasium, an ice-skating rink, even as a grain storage facility. The options are quite endless really, and best of all, no painting required.

Wear more clothes..

Have you ever noticed that people somehow will get around to talking shop, even during break times, and/or in social gatherings after work? Yesterday we were talking about an article about a freshman at a Singapore Polytechnic who made a plea on an online forum to his female coursemates to "wear more clothes"? This is what The Star reported:

China Press reported that a freshman at Singapore Polytechnic made a plea on an online forum to his female coursemates to “wear more clothes”.

He said he had worked hard to enter the institution and he needed to concentrate on his studies without being distracted by girls.

“Can ask them not to be too revealing? Shorts, mini skirts, sleeveless ... how can I concentrate in class?” he wrote.

He also complained that the girls “loved to show off their cleavage and long legs”.

“It's okay if they are ugly. But they are all very pretty!” he wrote.

His post has attracted much criticism, with some people labelling him a monk while others called him hopeless.

Male colleagues generally found nothing wrong with the dresscode of the female coursemates while female colleagues thought there must be some restraint in an education environment. The discussion got quite excited when all of a sudden someone digressed and asked about some motor spare parts for a certain machine, a three phase motor, I think. See what I mean about talking shop?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

7.4-magnitude earthquake in Mexico

The Star reported that a major earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, unleashing panic as it damaged hundreds of buildings and caused homes in the capital to bounce like "trampolines".
Bridge falls on minibus in Mexico quake
Source: By the CNN Wire Staff

The 7.4-magnitude quake that shook Mexico City for more than a minute sent office workers fleeing into the streets. Cell phone lines went down, building were evacuated, traffic snarled and the stock exchange had to suspend trading early.

The good news is no deaths were reported and the quake caused no major disruptions to air travel or to oil installations, but it scared many residents.

A map from CNN showing the location of the earthquake..

The White House says President Barack Obama's oldest daughter, Malia, is safe and never was in danger during a strong earthquake Tuesday in Mexico.

Malia, 13, accompanied by Secret Service agents, has been in Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico for a school-sponsored service project. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was felt strongly in Oaxaca.

The quake was followed by an aftershock that shook southern Mexico, swayed buildings in Mexico City and sent frightened workers and residents into the streets. (The Associated Press)

A video indicating how far the earthquake was felt..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

London Olympics torch route revealed

Olympic Games 27 July-12 Aug 2012

The London Olympics torch relay route has been unveiled. There will be no international torch relay. The International Olympic Committee decided to make it a domestic event after the 2008 controversial Beijing torch relay in which protesters used the event to demonstrate against China's human rights abuses.

8,000 local, inspirational torchbearers will take the torch on the 70-day relay beginning on May 19 from Land's End ending at the Olympic Stadium on July 27.

The torch relay will come within 10 miles of 95% of the population which will get a lot of the people excited. The prospect of being a part of an event that may not happen again in their city or in their lifetime makes participating in it more meaningful.

Of the 8,000 torchbearers, 7,300 unsung heroes were named after being nominated for the contribution they had made to their community. The remaining 700 will be revealed later. They are expected to include celebrities.

Dinah Gould at 99 is the oldest torchbearer. She will turn 100 when she carries the flame through the London borough of Barnet.

The runners will be dressed in a new white and gold outfit designed by Adidas. Dinah Gould is second from left in the two images below.

Some people are griping about how the tracksuit looks like pyjamas. You think?

Here's a map of the route the torch will take. (Source:

There is also an interactive map that plots every street the torch passes through. Seven islands will be visited. They are the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Guernsey, Jersey (the southernmost point the torch relay covers), Shetland, Orkney (the northernmost point) and the Isle of Lewis. Derry or Londonderry in Northern Ireland is the westernmost point of the torch relay.

The 8,000-mile journey of the torch relay will cover some of the UK and Ireland's most dramatic spots including Edinburgh, Land's End, the Needles on the Isle of Wight, as well as the land of Robin Hood, Notthinghamshire.

A little information about the London Olympics torch.. The winning design connects the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to each of the 8,000 Torchbearers and their community. The Torch's triangular, gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 circles representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to their local community which will be celebrated during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay -
For more information on the London Olympics Games, tickets, torch relay sights and stops, shopping, etc, visit


Monday, March 19, 2012

How to tell when a tire was manufactured

I heard a shriek of delight in another cubicle in the office this afternoon. A colleague managed to win a bid on a watch he's been eyeing.

Nowadays, we can buy almost anything online, watches, fishing rods, golf clubs, even Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires, the latter you may even be able to get them on a sale price plus free shipping.

On the subject on tires, I read that tires can be used for up to six years which is a conservative estimate some people believe. Did you know you can check when a tire was manufactured? The identification number on the side of the tire has the information. The last four numbers designate the week and year the tire was made.

Rotating tires will help them last longer by maintaining more even wear but you already knew that.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Confucius's Advice to married men

Once in a while, you get something in the mailbox, something short yet meaningful, funny sometimes, and worth sharing. The following is one of them. Wish I could credit the source but it isn't indicated on the email, as always. All the same, thanks to the source.

Confucius was a wise man..

I wonder what he would have advised about the use of testosterone boosters. Would he have recommended this site? --

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Retirement Age to be extended - proposal

What do you think about retiring at 62 instead of 55?

At the moment, the Employment Act 1955 does not state any age for retirement, while the only regulation on age is the withdrawal of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which is set at 55 under the EPF Act 1991.

The Government is looking at the possibility of officially setting the private sector's retirement age to 60. This move comes following the proposal to raise the civil service retirement age to 60 from 58 last October.

Job seekers and employees believe that pushing up the retirement age for the private sector will necessarily mean fewer employment or promotion opportunities which experts say is more fallacy than truth.

Government would need to facilitate a conducive environment for firms to invest and expand so that job opportunities open up for talented and experienced employees to have the chance to move up the corporate ladder as business expands.

The Star said, according to reports, the Private Sector Retirement Age Bill will be tabled in parliament soon, with provisos to allow those who reach 60 to renew up to 64 and may contain a clause allowing people to retire earlier.

Here's something interesting..

Deloitte Consulting Malaysia executive director Andrew Lee says a recent study in Britain shows that a one-year extension of working life implemented increases real gross domestic product by around 1% after about six years following its implementation.
Dr Ong says the ‘fallacy of labour scarcity’ is not true.

“On the upside, two benefits are immediately clear. Firstly, because people work longer, raising the retirement age increases revenues coming into the social security system. Secondly, because people retire later, the payout to retirees falls,” he says. (Source: The Star)

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Abilene Paradox

Source: YouTube
I always look forward to attending conferences and seminars. You learn something new all the time. Even if we pick up a new idea or a new lesson, I figure the attendance is worth it.

In one of our internal seminars/training sessions, I first learned about the Abilene Paradox. Ever heard of it? We watched a video in connection with it. I'll let Wikipedia tell you what the Abilene Paradox is.

The Abilene paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of any of the individuals in the group. It involves a common breakdown of group communication in which each member mistakenly believes that their own preferences are counter to the group's and, therefore, does not raise objections. A common phrase relating to the Abilene paradox is a desire to not "rock the boat".

The story goes like this:

On a hot afternoon visiting in Coleman, Texas, the family is comfortably playing dominoes on a porch, until the father-in-law suggests that they take a trip to Abilene [53 miles north] for dinner. The wife says, "Sounds like a great idea." The husband, despite having reservations because the drive is long and hot, thinks that his preferences must be out-of-step with the group and says, "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go." The mother-in-law then says, "Of course I want to go. I haven't been to Abilene in a long time."

The drive is hot, dusty, and long. When they arrive at the cafeteria, the food is as bad as the drive. They arrive back home four hours later, exhausted.

One of them dishonestly says, "It was a great trip, wasn't it?" The mother-in-law says that, actually, she would rather have stayed home, but went along since the other three were so enthusiastic. The husband says, "I wasn't delighted to be doing what we were doing. I only went to satisfy the rest of you." The wife says, "I just went along to keep you happy. I would have had to be crazy to want to go out in the heat like that." The father-in-law then says that he only suggested it because he thought the others might be bored.

The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably, but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon.

On a lighter note, I say if they had a ceiling fan and a set of mahjong, they wouldn't have thought about making that 53-mile journey to Abilene!

Friday Frolics - What Kind of Brownie Are You?

I prefer brownies to the regular cake. There was a time I used to order brownies by the tray from a cake-shop and I would bring them to work for my colleagues. The brownies were that good. The cake-shop moved away and my little activity stopped.

Let's do a brownie personality quiz this week. Hope your Friday and the weekend will be as sweet and as lovely as a brownie.

You Are a Hazelnut Brownie

You are a sophisticated person with worldly tastes. You demand more from a brownie than it just being a brownie.

Of all the types of brownies, you are the one who is the true foodie. You take food seriously.

You would never settle for a brownie from a mix, and you like all of your food to have an unexpected twist.

You are bold and dramatic. It's pretty much impossible for a brownie to be too chocolate-y for you.

Apple's new iPad 3 goes on sale in 10 countries today

A friend across the Causeway in Singapore was mulling over whether to join the line and be one of the first people in Singapore to own Apple's new iPad.

Singapore is among the 10 countries that the new iPad goes on sale today, Friday. Other countries include the United States (but of course), Canada, France and Britain, with diehards lining up overnight in front of Apple stores in Munich, Paris, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The new iPad though not marketed as a revolutionary product like earlier versions are still being snapped up by Apple fans, or devotees rather. The iPad competes with Samsung Electronic's Galaxy and Motorola's Xyboard, among others.

Apple's new iPad, this third generation 4G-ready tablet computer is slightly heavier than its predecessors and comes with a more powerful CPU and screen and better camera.

A teardown of the new device shows key parts from Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Samsung Electronics as in previous versions.

Apple's new iPad proved to be another hot-seller, with hundreds queuing at stores across Asia to be the first to get their hands on the tablet computer as the company's share price hit $600.01 for the first time, easing back to $585.56 at Thursday's close. If you own a share of Apple stock, you could easily buy the new iPad and with change back. The stock is far more expensive than the $499 starting price for a Wi-Fi iPad.

Source: The Star..Apple touches record high as iPad 3 sales run hot

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Indonesian maids will no longer do multi-tasking

There is finally good news for employers who have been waiting patiently for their Indonesian maid(s) to come on board. But this time, there is a twist to the employment. Maids will no longer do multi-tasking.

Indonesian maids will be employed to handle only one task - cooking or baby-sitting or taking care of the elderly or housekeeping.

This was concluded at the Malaysia-Indonesian Joint Task Force for Deployment, Placement and Protection of Indonesian Maids' meeting here on Thursday.

The first batch of 106 Indonesian maids bound for Malaysia are now undergoing the four skill-training courses for 21 days and will be paid at least RM700 a month.

More on The Star.. No more multi-tasking for Indonesian maids

For Apidextra reviews and more..

The Internet has made information so readily available that one can look up on anything from Andy Warhol and his paintings to planting and gardening to famous buildings around the world to events in history, even cherry blossom season in Japan and more. For dieters, there is a whole lot of information out there from the types of diet pills and their prices for comparison, even something as specific as apidextra reviews, and more, of course.

For a quick find on general topics, Wikipedia is where I would go to mostly. What's the site that you always go to for information?

Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta


The Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is back for a fourth year. Held at Putrajaya from Mar 15 (today) right up to Mar 18, visitors to the fiesta can also look forward to activities such as a para motor exhibition, a bicycle exhibition, helicopter joy rides, tethered hot air balloon rides, a remote controlled aeroplane model demonstration, meet-and-greet sessions with the participating balloonists, and the Mountain Dew Extreme Zone for the adventurous visitors.

There will not be any pre-booking service as the hot air balloon rides for the public are dependant on the weather. Children must be above four feet (1.22m) to go on the ride.

Admission is free.

Advice from The Star:

Visitors are encouraged to use the KLIA Transit from the KL Sentral station, and make use of the bus services provided from Park & Ride points and around Putrajaya to the fiesta grounds.

To find out more about the fiesta, log on to or call AKA Balloon Sdn Bhd at 03–7981 8769.

Balloons prepare to take off for their first flights at the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, at Putrajaya, Malaysia, Thursday, March 15, 2012. More than 26 balloons from 13 countries are competing in the annual event now in its fourth year. - AP - 15 March, 2012

Balloons up in the air..
Image source: The Star

How to Make Money on the Internet

There are many ways of making money online (if one is interested) - I'm just talking about the basic idea of making money, regardless of the amount.

You can sell products, your own or somebody else's as in affiliate marketing; write articles; offer ad spots if you have a website or blog; place ads onto own site such as Adsense and/or any other; submit images to stock-sites; host videos... frankly, the options are wide and varied if one care to look.

With so many avenues available, how do we have access to them all or get wind of new outfits? Some smart marketing is making sure we have access to such information. There are companies out there that collect and disseminate news about new players in the market. One such is sterkly network. If you have an outfit that needs some exposure, this site may be able to help.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Google doodle: Akira Yoshizawa: 14 March 1911 – 14 March 2005

Today, March 14, Google honours Akira Yoshizawa, on the occasion of his 101st birthday.
According to Wikipedia:

Akira Yoshizawa was an origamist, considered to be the grandmaster of origami. He is credited with raising origami from a craft to a living art. According to his own estimation made in 1989, he created more than 50,000 models, of which only a few hundred designs were diagrammed in his 18 books. Yoshizawa acted as an international cultural ambassador for Japan throughout his career. In 1983, Japanese emperor Hirohito named him to the Order of the Rising Sun, one of highest honors that can be given to a Japanese citizen.

Some samples of dollar bill origami or rather Moneygami..

Floating Yoga is the new fad in Yoga

Browsing through bath mats and toilet stuff online the other day, took me to a site on exercise, yoga and yoga mats. Didn't know there are even yoga mats for children. Anyway, a yoga mat would definitely be a better gift for the girlfriend who received that box of condoms I commented about in the previous post, The Weirdest Gift.

Talk about yoga, there is now a new form of yoga. I read about floating yoga a few days ago.

Suspended mid-air on a hammock with your feet in stirrups, looking like a puppet on strings or a flying trapeze. This is floating yoga, the latest form of yoga currently the rage in Singapore. It is offered exclusively at the newly-opened Celebrity Fitness gym at Rochester Mall near Bouna Vista.

Floating yoga is an exercise programme developed by the gym’s fitness development director, John J. Sweeney. It joins a long list of other yoga fads that include hot yoga, lunar flow yoga and even baby yoga.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Weirdest Gift

What am I going to do with this pentair pool light she asked. That's a girlfriend who got this little surprise from a lucky draw she participated at a home-ownership launch one Sunday.

Have you ever experienced the same about getting gifts you have no idea what to do with? I suppose in my friend's case, anyone with a swimming pool or a spa pool may have a use for it.

Just out of curiosity, what's the weirdest or most unusable gift you have ever received? I can't wait to hear what you have to share. In the meantime, check out some unusual gifts received in the comments below.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Andy Lau applying for PR status in Malaysia?

If you are an Andy Lau fan, how would you like living next-door to one of Hong Kong's Cantopop Heavenly Kings, or even in the same neighbourhood?

That can become a reality as there is talk that Andy Lau may apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) status in view of their (he and his wife, Carol Chu) wanting to have their baby girl being brought up in Malaysia to be away from media attention in Hong Kong.

According to The Star, a Chinese language daily reported that Lau might place his daughter with Chu's family to avoid the Hong Kong paparazzi.

Andy Lau's wife Carol Chu, 45, is seven months pregnant and is expected to deliver in May in Hong Kong. Carol Chu is a former beauty queen and a Malaysian.

Recently, it has been reported that they have bought a house (of two units) along Jalan Ampang which he has denied.

Image source: The Star

Wedding Bells are Ringing

After the busy first month of the Lunar calendar, weddings are coming back into the routine. The second lunar month is a good month for weddings along with a few other auspicious months of the year for the Chinese community.

Over the weekend, I saw a number of wedding entourages. Though Spring may be in the air in the northern hemisphere, over here, it's wedding bells are ringing again. Being so, jewellers and goldsmith shops here would have new stocks of wedding bands and other jewellery. One would have more choices if one is looking for a diamond engagement ring or a wedding band, for instance.

Man United top of the table

Manchester United beating West Brom 2-0 coupled with Manchester City's loss to Swansea 0-1 put Man Utd top of the English Premier League table. This is something to celebrate about for MU fans, me included. Yay!

Image sources:
- Man Utd site
- EPL site

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remembering Japan - One Year Later

March 11 2011 will forever be remembered as the day a devastating earthquake and tsunami changed the lives of thousands in Japan.

One Year Later, Pain of Tsunami Lingers (New York Times)

Teruko Sto, 73, prayed at the site where her son's body was found in Kesencho, Japan, following last year's earthquake and tsunami. Shoichi Sto, 47, died while helping evacuate elderly residents of the village.
Published: March 11, 2012

NIHONMATSU, Japan — Nobody knows whether Hiroshi Yokoyama’s elderly parents tried to outrun the tsunami waves that engulfed their home in Namie on the Fukushima coast a year ago.

But Mr. Yokoyama does know that he would have searched for them high and low, if not for a second disaster that unfolded at the nuclear power plant just a few miles away, forcing him to abandon his search.
More..Effects of Japan’s Disaster Are Still Unfolding

Japan marks quake and tsunami anniversary (BBC)
Emperor Akihito: "We shall never forget those who gave their lives in rescue missions"

Japan is marking the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the north-eastern coast, leaving 20,000 dead or missing.

The magnitude 9.0 quake, Japan's most powerful since records began, also triggered a serious nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Thousands of people were evacuated as radiation leaked from the plant.

There were memorial services, and a minute's silence was observed at the moment the quake hit, 14:46 local time.
More..Japan marks quake and tsunami anniversary

Japan: A Year After the Tsunami, A Coastal Town Comes Together (TIME)

Driving into Minamisanriku, it’s hard not to feel a little discouraged. A cold drizzle falls over what used to be a thriving, picturesque fishing village but is now a barren swatch of gray cement foundations. The twisted hulks of smashed cars are piled up at the edge of town, still waiting to be hauled out. A helix of painted metal from some long-gone building floats in a waterway that runs through town.
More..Japan: A Year After the Tsunami, A Coastal Town Comes Together

Japan mourns tsunami dead; grapples with aftermath (The Star)
Taketo Endo (R), 12, and his brother Haruto, 10, offer prayers for their parents, who were killed in the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, at a seaside which was damaged by the disaster in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, March 11, 2012, to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

With a moment of silence, prayers and anti-nuclear rallies, Japan marked on Sunday one year since an earthquake and tsunami killed thousands and set off a radiation crisis that shattered public trust in atomic power and the nation's leaders.

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake unleashed a wall of water that hit Japan's northeast coast, killing nearly 16,000 and leaving nearly 3,300 unaccounted for, and the country is still grappling with the human, economic and political costs.
More..Japan mourns tsunami dead; grapples with aftermath

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Frolics - What's Your European Summer Vacation?

How does a summer vacation grab you? I know, we don't have summers here but just the sound of "summer vacation" rings happiness. LOL!

This Friday's quiz says Rome is the place I should be heading to for a European summer vacation. What's your European summer vacation destination? Take the quiz to find out..

Your Summer Vacation is Rome

You are warm and welcoming. You will go the extra mile to make someone feel included.

Hospitality is important to you. You like to feel welcomed by strangers.

You are people focused and extroverted. You know what's going on in everyone else's life.

You are family oriented. Some of your best memories revolve around the family dinner table.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Civil servants' salaries to increase by 7% to 13%

What does it tell you when the PM announces that:

Civil servants will get a salary adjustment of between 7% and 13% under the Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM) which will be reintroduced with improvements.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday announced that the SSM would replace the controversial New Remuneration Scheme for civil servants (SBPA).

Najib said staff in the management and professional group would enjoy a 13% adjustment in their salaries.

He said Jusa grades A, B and C officers would get a 9% adjustment while staff in Grades 2 and 3 will see a 8% hike.

Grade 1 staff and the Chief Secretary to the Government would get a 7% adjustment.

Najib also announced that the Cost of Living Allowance (Cola) had been increased from RM200 to RM250 for those working in the B area, and from RM100 to RM150 for those in the C area.

The salary adjustment and new Cola rates are expected to be backdated to Jan 1.

(Source: The Star)

No prizes for the correct answer.
I read somewhere that Malaysia is quite like Greece in that there is a high percentage of citizens in the civil service.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One in four eligible M'sian Chinese not a voter, situation 'serious'

A gentle reminder for the Malaysian Chinese if you have not registered to vote. It takes only five minutes to register according to the Election Commission chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof.

From The Star..

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA has urged all Malaysian Chinese who are eligible to vote to register for the coming general election, as some 1.1 million individuals from the community have yet to register.

Secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said that according to Election Commission, as of September 2011 a total of 4.89 million Malaysian Chinese are qualified to vote but up to 1.1 million have not registered.

"This means that one in every four Chinese has yet to register as a voter," said the Transport Minister, calling the situation "serious".

"In view of the challenging current political situation in the forthcoming general election, eligible Chinese voters should register as quickly as possible to fulfil a responsibility.

"If a Malaysian Chinese is eligible to go to the polls but does not register as a voter, he or she will be giving the impression that the Chinese community is politically apathetic, which is not the case," he said in a statement on Wednesday. More..

Trailer hitch got my mind astray..

The other day, I saw a trailer hitch or what appears to be one installed at the end of a pickup truck. My mind strayed a little wondering what the truck owner would be towing with such a robust-looking trailer hitch.

It's common sense that different weights to be towed require different kind of hitches. The trailer hitch to tow bicycles would be entirely different from the one used to tow a campervan, for instance. If you are looking for a trailer hitch, the experts at the shop would be able to help you choose the trailer hitch that meets your needs.

DJ Controllers and Counterfeit mobile phones

Overheard some colleagues at the office yesterday, comparing notes about their clubbing activities - music, sound systems, drinks, DJs, and such. Vaguely heard Zouk Club being mentioned, so was numark mixtrack and some other DJ Controller. Been to Zouk Club? Worth a visit.

On another note about gadgets, came across this little snippet in The Star..

Sin Chew Daily reported that the level of radiation emitted by some China-made counterfeit mobile phones was six times higher than branded phones. The daily said the designs and functions of these phones were similar to the branded phones and were much cheaper, but they emitted much higher radiation.

Image source: Zouk Club website

Water-cut next week in the Klang Valley

So, will you be affected when more than a million people in the Klang Valley will face water-cut next week. The disruption will be for 36 hours, from 8am on March 14 to 8pm the following day.

The water supply disruption on March 14 and 15 is due to maintenance work at the Sungai Selangor Phase 1 water treatment plant. Consumers in 153 areas in Hulu Selangor, Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Shah Alam and Kuala Langat will be affected.

According to The Star, in Kuala Lumpur, the areas are the National Civil Administration Institute (Intan) Bukit Kiara, Royal Selangor Club, Bukit Kiara Resort, Bukit Kiara Sports Centre, National Science Centre, Securities Commission, Sime Darby Convention Centre, Jalan Segambir, Jalan Belimbing, Jalan Setia Bistari, Jalan Setia Murni 1 to 12, Jalan Setia Budi, Jalan Setia Rasa, Jalan Setia Raya, Jalan Setia Jaya, Jalan Medan Setia, Jalan Setia Bakti, Jalan Setia Kasih, Plaza Damansara and Taman Seri Beringin.

In Petaling, the areas are from SS1 to SS6, Kelana Jaya, SS8 free trade zone, Sungai Way, Damansara Kim, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Taman Megah, Taman Mayang Mas and Taman Mayang.

For full list, check out The Star.. One million in Klang Valley to face water cut next week

Consumers can contact Syabas customers service centre hotline at 1-800-88-5252.

Trailer hitch got my mind astray..

The other day, I saw a trailer hitch or what appears to be one installed at the end of a pickup truck. My mind strayed a little wondering what the truck owner would be towing with such a robust-looking trailer hitch.

Different weights to be towed require different hitches. The trailer hitch to tow a bicycle would be entirely different from the one used to tow a campervan, for instance. If you are looking for a trailer hitch, the experts at the shop would be able to help you choose the trailer hitch that meets your needs.