Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jurong BirdPark - to sum up

A visit there just proves that I'm no nature photographer. Even with the caged birds, I failed to snap quality photos. Or if I managed to do so, I did it after many attempts.

For example this one of scarlet ibises. I swear they're such speedsters. (Right. Scarlet. Speedster. See how many get the reference. Heh.) By the way, the circles were not a special effect or something. It's just rain water on the glass.



Of course some of the birds were just plain friendly. Or simply hungry and got used to be fed by visitors. Like these two lories--the birds with amazingly almost technicolor feathers. Taking their photos was a snap. Literally. I didn't have to re-take it.



Some photo was no challenge at all. Like this sleepy Malay Eagle Owl. (Note that the link leads to a page in Malay that's because I can't find details in English). What amused me was not the sight of the bird, but the sound when it yawned. And it yawned a lot. Got to upgrade to a video cam soon.


If a diving duck is not diving, is it still called a diving duck?

Apparently yes. And apparently plenty visitors to the Jurong BirdPark had raised such a question in the past to the dismay of the staff.

Behold, the answer is now prominently displayed by the cage:



And this is how a diving duck looks like (well-fed indeed):



PS. a more interesting, albeit irrelevant question would be "If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around, does it make a sound?"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Apocalypto. Maybe later.

The channelnewsasia.com review rated Apocalypto 3 out of 5. Not much. But I always love shows featuring a Native American. (Why else did I watch a French film, Le Pacte Des Loups or Brotherhood of the Wolf?)

What interests me, though, is reading this part of the review. Quoted:

Thus begins Jaguar's journey into the heart of darkness as the prisoners are marched into the Mayan city, only to discover they're being offered up as human sacrifices.

Especially the phrase, 'heart of darkness' which I vaguely know I've read it somewhere. Yes, I came across it last time when reading the Wikipedia article about the movie, Apocalypse Now. Quoted:
Although inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the film deviates extensively from its source material. The novel, based on Conrad's real experiences as a steam paddle boat captain in Africa, is set in the Belgian Congo during the 19th century.

And my point is? Nothing really. Just like this kind of little coincidence. =)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Now I long for yesterday (pause) (pause) (pause) Not!

Heh. The above use of 'Not' reminds me to Borat. Any of you (above 21 years old) watched the show?

Can't help comparing the movie with the banned TV series, South Park. I wish the ban would be lifted soon. I reckon the movie, Borat in some sense is worse than the cartoon. (Okay, perhaps some South Park episodes are indeed completely unacceptable by certain subjective standards. Then why can't those specific episodes be banned? Why take the easy way of because-a-few-episodes-are-Bad-let's-ban-the-whole-series?)

Borat makes fun almost about anything. One example is about politics. I just love it when Borat addressing the American people during the rodeo game: "We support your war of terror." Even more ticklish when those people were cheering him. They don't get the joke, do they?

Another instance is about religion. But I will refrain from commenting about it here. Oh well, the good old self-censorship. *shrug*

Back to the intended topic. About what else? The gloomy weather. The constant rain. The perpetual damp in the air.

To make matter worse, I realize it's not right to complain about the abundant blessing of the free water from the sky. Singapore has the water issue, doesn't it? Even the 'classic' movie such as The Gods Must Be Crazy came to mind to prompt that some countries are unbearably arid & that water is very precious there.

It shamed me.

To be fair to the Great Weatherman Up Above, the wet weather--in fact, any kind of weather--is perfectly alright if I don't have to go working. I know I'm tired. I know I'll shake my head when one day I read this article again. Whatever happens to Responsibility, man? Soaked by the rain & awashed down the drain?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Vxxxxity

Visited Novena Square yesterday & realized the name of the shopping center is Velocity. Kind of remind me to VivoCity & made me wonder which came first. Both were impressively new & sparkling, you see. (A quick check revealed that Velocity was opened on 23/11/06, while VivoCity at a later date, 01/12/06).

Velocity boasts quite wide-ranging shops. Didn't really explore them (shopping's not my vice), though. And you have to sit on those chairs for the shoppers to take a breather. Comfy.

What puzzles me is that despite all these, I cannot find any cinema there. Not that it's a must but it would be perfect if they have one. Oh well...

Anyway, what's next? A mall named VeracitY? Or VINOsity? How about ViCiNiTy?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Oh...It's 2007 already?

Time for another set of new year resolutions. Bleah. Seriously I couldn't even recall whether I did have any before.

To partially quote from the above Wikipedia link:

The new year resolution is one example of the rolling forecast-method of planning. According to this method, plans are established at regular short or medium-term time intervals, when only a rough long-term plan exists.

Right. Not that difficult. Just stick to be a better man.[1] That's it. Resolution for this year - done. Nothing fancy. Nothing too complicated. Just some rough plan which may require more than a year indeed. Hope by the end of 2007, I'll look back to this article & grin & say to myself "I've been trying, haven't I? To be a better man and I've done it my way." [2]

So Happy New Year--perhaps like Oprah Winfrey said: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Note:
[1] This song is darn whiny, don't you agree?
[2] This song isn't.

(Almost) Random Photos At The Chiang Mai International Airport

Four of the images were taken using 'sunset' mode. Didn't really like how the pictures turned out with a tinge of red. By the way, the 'Normal' mode is sufficient with the Flash disabled.

Like the first silhouette picture. The rest, well, they're mostly just to document to descent of the sun.

The photo with the crowd was shot after the announcement that passengers could start entering to the plane. I recall I was chuckling as I thought "So much for the renown discipline of orderly queueing of Singaporeans". (Of course I over-generalized. They were not necessarily Singaporeans just because they're flying from Chiang Mai to Singapore. But still...)

I took the last image when I was in the plane. Not good. The photo was blurrish & confusing due to the my reflection from the window glass.