Monday, December 26, 2016

R.I.P George Michael

What a year it has been. We have lost so many icons in the entertainment industry this past year. The latest being George Michael who passed on on Dec 25.

Rest in Peace, George Michael!

British pop singer George Michael, who shot to fame in the 1980s with Wham! and continued as a solo artist, died yesterday, Dec 25. at his home in Oxfordshire, England. He was 53.

According to George Michael’s manager Michael Lippman, the singer died of heart failure, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Read more at The Star: Last Christmas singer George Michael dies

Related articles:
The Star: George Michael, the guy who always had faith in himself

BBC: George Michael: Pop superstar dies at 53

CNN: The sun goes down on beloved pop star George Michael

Top image courtesy of CNN.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kuala Lumpur today

If you have been to Malaysia or Kuala Lumpur for that matter, you would have experienced the unpredictable weather pattern here - sunny one minute, downpour the next. We had sunshine yesterday.

But that's the weather here for you - tropical and with not one, but two monsoon seasons. As we speak, we are now going through the northeasterly monsoon which affects mostly the east coast states of the peninsula. Heavy rainfall do bring floods to the region.

I'm having a cool view of downtown KL today or rather the skyline. Look... Passing clouds over the PETRONAS Twin Towers. You don't see that everyday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dongzhi or the Winter Solstice Festival - 21 December 2016

Today, 21 December, 2016, is Winter solstice and for people of Chinese descent around the world, today is celebrated as what is known as Dongzhi or the 'Tung' Festival.

It marks "the arrival of winter") and this festival is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese community and other East Asians. This Winter Solstice or Dongzhi Festival is celebrated either on December 21 or 22 of each year. This year it falls on December 21, today.

Most mothers (as like mine too) would be cooking up a storm in the kitchen as this day is a time for a family to get together. It is also the last major Chinese festival of the year, the next one being the Chinese New Year. Incidentally Chinese New Year will be on Saturday, January 28.

Borrowing from Wikipedia on the Dongzhi Festival..

One activity that occurs during these get-togethers (especially in the southern parts of China and in Chinese communities overseas) is the making and eating of tangyuan (湯圓) or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion.

Tangyuan are made of glutinous rice flour and sometimes brightly coloured. Each family member receives at least one large tangyuan in addition to several small ones. The flour balls may be plain or stuffed. They are cooked in a sweet soup or savory broth with both the ball and the soup/broth served in one bowl. It is also often served with a mildly alcoholic unfiltered rice wine containing whole grains of glutinous rice (and often also Sweet Osmanthus flowers), called jiuniang - but this one is probably still practiced in China.

More about Dongzhi - courtesy of Bing..

In northern China, people typically eat dumplings on Dongzhi. Wikipedia has this to say about its origin..

It is said to have originated from Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty. On one cold winter day, he saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears. Feeling sympathetic, he ordered his apprentices to make dumplings with lamb and other ingredients, and distribute them among the poor to keep them warm, to keep their ears from getting chilblains. Since the dumplings were shaped like ears, Zhang named the dish "qùhán jiāoěr tāng" (祛寒嬌耳湯) or dumpling soup that expels the cold. From that time on, it has been a tradition to eat dumplings on the day of Dongzhi.

And more..
Old traditions also require people with the same surname or from the same clan to gather at their ancestral temples to worship on this day. There is always a grand reunion dinner following the sacrificial ceremony.

The festive food is also a reminder that celebrators are now a year older and should behave better in the coming year. Even today, many Chinese around the world, especially the elderly, still insist that one is "a year older" right after the Dongzhi celebration instead of waiting for the lunar new year.

Here in Kuala Lumpur, we are nowhere near winter, of course. It's a sunny day with blue skies today..

KL skyline in the distance. More and more highrise buildings are springing up downtown. It used to be just the PETRONAS Twin Towers and one or two blocks but look at it now, and more to come. The KL Tower is actually to the right of the twin towers covered from view by that tall tree.

I wish you all a Very Happy Dongzhi!
Courtesy of Google images

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ableton Suite 8

If you are a music-maker, this you have to check out... the ableton live 8 which comes with 10 virtual instruments ideal for live performances as well as composing and arranging.

Ableton Suite 8 is a software package that gives you a rich world of sound, perfectly complementing the music production tools and features in Live 8, plus 10 virtual synthesizers and a huge collection of multi-sample instruments and drums.

Here's the spectrum of what's included in the software package:

* Sampler (sampler)
* Operator (frequency modulation synth)
* Electric (classic electronic piano emulator)
* Collision (physical modeling instrument for authentic mallet sounds and creative percussion Tension (physical modeling string synth)
* Analog (vintage analog synth emulator)
* Drum Machines (classic drum machine sounds)
* Session Drums (acoustic drums)
* Essential Instrument Collection 2 (wide range of acoustic and electric pianos, guitars, bass, drums, orchestral instruments , and more)
* Latin Percussion (Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and African acoustic percussion instruments).

Fyi, a user's comments:

- 100% recommended!
- I got this software about 2 years ago it keeps impressing me!
- I do not DJ much, i use this software mainly to record my band and other bands through a Focusrite saffire 6 usb.

There you go!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mysterious object found on Muriwai beach in Auckland

Everyone loves a mystery. Add this to your list.

The large, mysterious object below, covered in barnacles was spotted on Muriwai Beach in Auckland by local resident Melissa Doubleday.

The strange object washed up ashore is sparking a social media debate about what it could be.

A shocked Ms. Doubleday added that she spotted the object about 5 kilometres down the beach from the creek, adding: “[I] drove past and [was] like what the?”

“It looks like worms with shells I’ve never seen before with these funny creatures that are just [coming] out.”

She told “I actually thought it was a washed-up whale as I approached it, so weird.”

Exactly what the object is has sparked a debate on social media, with commentators speculating it could be anything from art to part of an old ship wreck.

What do you think it is? Your guess is as good as mine. Let's look out for more updates.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Harith Iskander wins Funniest Person in the World competition

Yay! Harith Iskander wins Funniest Person in the World competition!

The Star..
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian comedian Harith Iskander (pic) is the funniest person in the world after emerging triumphant in the finals of the Funniest Person in the World competition held in Levi, Finland on Saturday

He beat out four finalists - Alex Calleja from The Philippines, Katerina Vrana from Greece, Mino van Nassau from India and David Kilimnick from Israel - to win the title.

"Congratulations @HarithIskander- #LaughFactory's Funniest Person in the World for 2016," said contest organiser Laugh Factory on their official Twitter account on Saturday.

As the winner of the "The Funniest Person in the World" title, Harith will receive the grand prize of USD$100,000 (RM444,845).

The Funniest Person in the World competition is organised by Laugh Factory, a global comedy chain in the United States.

Harith and the other comedians had performed in the competition finals at the Hullu Polo Arena in Levi, Finland on Dec 8.

The winner was chosen through global online fan voting, which was open for 24 hours after the finals.

Harith had previously defeated 88 other comedians from all over the world, including fellow Malaysian Dr Jason Leong to reach the finals of the competition.

Little India in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

A friend sent me this picture of a sort of a procession that took place yesterday downtown Kuala Lumpur in the part of the city known as Little India.

I have no idea what's the occasion, perhaps the blessing of a new chariot. It's a beautiful one, no doubt.

Little India in Kuala Lumpur is located in Brickfields, a residential neighbourhood just outside central Kuala Lumpur. Brickfields as the name suggests used to be the centre for brick-making in the early days of Kuala Lumpur.

From Wikipedia..
In 1881, a flood swept through Kuala Lumpur, in the wake of a disastrous fire. These successive problems destroyed the town's structures of wood and atap (thatching). As a response, Frank Swettenham, the British Resident of Selangor, required that buildings be constructed of brick and tile.[2] Hence, Kapitan Yap Ah Loy bought a sprawling piece of real estate for the setting up of a brick industry which would spur the rebuilding of Kuala Lumpur. This place is the eponymous Brickfields.

Later the area was developed by Yap Kwan Seng, the fifth and last Kapitan Cina of Kuala Lumpur. As a businessman, he foresaw an increased demand for bricks in fast-growing Kuala Lumpur and established a kiln in the district. The area soon became the centre for brick-making in the early days because the whole area was a clay pit and good quality bricks are made from clay. Therefore, Brickfields became synonymous with good quality bricks.

Brickfields also houses historical government quarters built during the British era which are under threat from rapid development.

Brickfields is popular for its Indian food delights especially the unique banana leaf rice and thosai (Indian pancake made from fermented rice flour).

Also tagged as a "Divine Location", Brickfields is home to many religious structures, some over 100 years old, are concentrated in the area, particularly Jalan Berhala. The aptly named road ("Berhala" means shrine) houses the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple and the Sri Sakthi Karpaga Vinayagar Temple.

Sri Kandaswamy Kovil on Jalan Scott

The Sri Kandaswamy Temple is one of the most prominent Sri Lankan Tamil or Ceylonese Tamil temple located along Jalan Scott. It is huge and showcases rich Tamil Architecture and has become a popular tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. This temple was built in 1902.

The Lutheran Zion Church

A sprinkling of churches of different denominations can also be found here. Among the larger churches in the area are the Holy Rosary Church (est. 1903), Our Lady of Fatima, and the Zion Lutheran Church. Most of which are located along Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad. There is also an Indian orthodox church called the St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral in Jalan Tun Sambanthan Satu.

There is a Surau (small mosque) located on Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad called Madrasatul Gouthiyyah. This mosque is mainly attended by Indian-Muslims, and the sermons are sometimes conducted in Tamil.

Finally, another major landmark in Brickfields is the 50-year-old Three Teachings Chinese Temple along Jalan Thambillay.

Read more about Brickfields on Wikipedia.
How to get to Brickfields and more..

Source of images and information: Wikipedia

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Frolicking again

It's Friday again. Nice! I've always loved Friday, and why not, I'm a Friday's child.

Actually what I have in mind for today's post is... a quiz. Let's do one today after all the last quiz we did on Friday Frolics is way back in March. If you haven't taken that last quiz you can go here to find out What Flavor Jelly Bean Are You? and know something about yourself that may surprise you along the way, maybe?

Today's quiz is on Color Code. It's got an interesting set of questions too - thought-provoking a little.

This quiz says my Color Code is Yellow..

Your Color Code is Yellow

You are a ton of fun, no matter what is going on in life. You feel like you were put on this planet to have a good time.

You see each moment as an adventure, and you refuse to get stuck in a rut. You are always up for doing something new.

You are a very persuasive person, but you convince with your actions - not your words. Everyone wants to be living the kind of life you live.

You have friends pretty much everywhere you go, and if not, you make new ones easily. You always prefer life as a shared experience.

Now, your turn..