Friday, June 27, 2008
Ripping straight out of Portal, i've made a homemade black video with lyrics to sing along with....
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Looking back, I remembered back in my childhood days on how i was so fascinated about bugs - although i am terrified of them. All those books, those mags and all those pitfall traps i set around the house which annoyed my parents.
Recently, I came across an old gift from my dad. it was a book. Ants of Sabah. It was an exclusive book, one that you cant buy in stores. Its issued to forestry officers and my dad decided that i should have it.
Somehow, i tried to re-live those childhood days by doing a field research on a common species of bugs around my home. Ants. Or specifically, the Kerengga.
Oecophylla Smaragdina or the Weaver Ant ( also known as the Kerengga) is one of the most common and conspicouos species of ant in Southeast Asia. They can be found at the fringes of lowland forests, inside forests and most importantly, your backyard. These ants are relatively large, with its body length up to 8mm long, and they are exclusively arboreal. Arboreal means that these ants live on plants and trees; as opposed to epigaeic (lives on ground surface, sometimes underneath soil) and subterranean (obviously underground). The workers are orange or rusty red in colour while the queens (surprisingly and unusually) are green in colour. Green is an unusual colour among ants. I had once managed to obtain a queen (by coincidence) and it is amazingly beautiful. It has a green velvety shine to its body. When observed from a top-down view, it looks like a piece of jewelery, with emeralds and gold linings crafted into the shape of an ant. The males of this species are black and they can be seen during mating seasons (the time when they swarm towards sources of light at night, annoying).
Beautiful the queen is, it is also known - need I remind you - that the Weaver Ants are considerably aggressive, if not as aggressive as the dangerous Fire Ants. Recently, I had myself swarmed when came in close contact with a large nest. The countermeasures that I have taken: squealing, running, jumping, flailing and flapping my arms against my clothes. O.Smaragdina does not sting like some species of ants but the bites produced by its strong mandibles are quite painful, which is then intensed by irritating secretion from its mandibular glands. Its abdomen can also release formic acid which also can cause irritation to our skin. I picked one with tweezers and teased it into biting. When it's mandibles snap, you could hear a small clicking sound produced on contact. Powerful. Quite powerful. Don't let yourself be swarmed.
So far I have found at least six nests around the perimeter of my home. Most of the nests are built on our mango trees. It is observed that the mango tree provides these ants with abundant food supply - but they do not feed on the fruits, rather from other pests and the sap oozing from the bark. The leave - which are large, flexible, and clustered - allows them to build and expand their nests. The Weaver Ants "weave" their nest using silk produced by their larvae. Its is not the larvae that constructs the nest, however. The worker carries the larvae around like a living spindle, back and forth while they secrete strands of sticky silk. I believe that the construction of communal silk nests is the key to the success of the Weaver Ant or Kerengga, aside from being aggressive. Success refers to their ability to be abundant across the region. These ants are very resourceful and are capable of construction nests in many locations.
Its ferocious nature contributes much to agriculture. It has the most potential use as a biological control agent against pest on mango, coconut and cocoa trees because it attacks pests while not compromising the quality of the produce.
And there you have, ladies and gentlemen. The KERENGGA.
Flirtmates are like sex buddies, with the sex part left out. Lets say, a lighter version of sex buddies. Flirtmates are, like, people who exchange flirty words and gestures with each other without any intent of sex or love. Flirtmates may also go out on a "innocent" date - having fun, laughing, eating out and stuff. Flirting with the opposite sex is an expression of joy and excitement.
Flirtmates could also be considered as a commitment-free flirting. Touch and go, Fire and Forget.
Lets be "Flirtmates".
A real man must have the strength and skill, not to dominate his woman. But to take her on a journey. The nature of the journey depends entirely on man himself, to be either magical, mystical or just plain routine......
The nature of the journey depends entirely on man himself, to be either magical, mystical or just plain routine......
I should learn ballroom dancing.......
Pretty shiny, eh? Everyone, meet Guitar. Guitar, meet everyone. Acoustic steel string, built-in pick up, 21 frets, solid top finish.
Its a good thing getting this guitar: i get to learn something about my dad. He used to jam a lot back in his glory days. I was convinced when he helped me tuned the damn thing, which took him a couple of minutes. He also told how he always pulling pranks on other people and other stuff. He was quite the "bad boy" back then.
Now, i gotta figure out how to play this thing. Im supposed to do something with the strings, rite?
Saturday, June 14, 2008
My hands...My spirit...My sky...My forest...and this earth of mine.
What must I say besides. These are the words. This is the answer.
I stand here on the summit of a mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of my quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for my being, and I need no words of sanction upon my being.
It is my eyes that see, and same sight of these eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears that hears, and this hearing that gives the its song to the world. It is my mind that thinks, and the judgement of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect.
Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which points the way. The all point in but one direction. They all point to me.
Many words have been granted to me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy:"I Will It!".
Back to our beloved country. A week ago, my dad and I went shopping at a local hypermarket - for groceries of course. It was quite unusual to see a 20' x 20' space in the hypermarket was empty. We asked the staff and the said "Its been, like, 3-4 days since this store had any rice and sugar". 3 to 4 days? If it was your local sundry shop, I surely would be surprised at all. But the hypermarket? Especially our nation's favourite hypermarket? Where did all the white rice and sugar go? Who ate all the rice and sugar? I wonder how will it be until we experience shortages of Pepsi? Or soap and shampoo?
I have about shortages in supplies from the news - yeah, i also read in the paper that they were planning of using yam and tapioca as replacement nutrition. Then again, it could be some sneaky opportunist scum trying to make big profits out the situation. Lets do some economic revision: Overwhelming demand equals reduce in supplies. Reduce in supplies equals price hikes. Price hikes plus overwhelming demand equals tons of money. Price hike plus overwhelming demand multiply with scumbag equals a rich scumbag. I would like to conclude that some businessperson gets a headstart and starts stockpiling supplies in their warehouses. They would wait until prices start to skyrocket, then deliver the stockpiling to the desperate consumer and rake the cash. Well, can't blame them for it. It is BUSINESS - two things: opportunities and max profits.
If i would have to blame someone, it would be those smuggling scumbags. To smuggle such goods, especially in large quantities, is an act of treason. They're ruining the economy and stability. Someone shoot them.
2. Fuel Prices
It was a surprise which many had expected. Fuel prices had spiked, upwards. 78 sen for petrol and some RM 1 hike for diesel (RM 2.70 and RM 2.50). Many are upset by this decision. I would like to urge the people out there to not organize any demonstration whatsoever. The government has spoken. They can't and will not take it back. I remember during election there was this politician who said that if this party was in charge, they'd make sure that oil prices will not go up, instead, it would go down. You know what I think? BULL-HORSE-DONKEY-SHIT! Oil prices are not determined by a single nation alone. It is determined by the global market and supplies. And our low fuel is price is thanks to the subsidies provided by the ruling government.
How lucky are we? Very Lucky. We are looking at the natural laws of economics kicking in: Low Supplies = Higher Price. We are running out of fossil fuel as we speak.
I say it is a good move for the government to take away the fuel subsidies. Are you angry because you did not benefit from your tax money? You shouldn't. There are scumbags, dirtbags, and douchebags that are making a quick buck from the fuel subsidies by smuggling at the borders. And they are making profits from YOUR tax money. And they could be laughing all the way to the bank right now. So, is RM 2.70 per litre so much to pay for? Stop being the ungrateful child because in Singapore, it cost S$ 2-3 per litre which is about RM 6 per litre. Imagine that. We have the best price in the region. Thats why the [insert witty attachment here]bags are flocking into ours and stealing our fuel.
Our nations are experiencing, as of this month, about 12% inflation due to the shortages. It is expected to rise to 25% by the end of the year. This means stuff would cost more. The government has ways to make you feel mixed feelings. First, they give you the goods new and put a hefty increment in your paychecks. Then, they dish out the bad news telling you stuff would cost 50% more. Boy, I was damn excited when I got an unbelievable increment in my monthly allowance. Now it barely made any difference. Im still grateful though.
Malaysia, we have an excellent economy compared to other nations in the region. 25% inflation a bad thing? Other countries have unbelievable inflation rates you would not believe: some up to 300%. For example, an ex-USSR country, you would have to be a millionaire just to buy vegetables from a local grocery because they cost you millions of Rubles.
I love this country.
"We love you".
But then they frowned and shook their head and looked at us helplessly.
"No", they whispered, "that is not what we wished to say".
They were silent, then they spoke slowly, and their words were halting, like the words of a child learning to speak for the first time:
"We are one...alone...and only...and we love you who are one...alone...and only".
We looked at each other's eyes and we knew that the breath of a miracle had touched us, and fled, and left us groping vainly.
And we felt torn, torn for some word we could not find".
- Anthem, by Ayn Rand
To speak the Unspeakable, even if both knew what they felt but without the words, what is felt could not be expressed.
Friday, June 06, 2008
A hole in the sky
A supernatural nightlight
So full but often right
A pair of eyes a closin' one
A chosen child of golden sun
A marble dog that chases cars
To farthest reaches of the beach and far beyond into the swimming sea of stars
- Bella Luna, Jason Mraz