Archive | May, 2009

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary – Sabah, Malaysia

It’s been a while since my last Sabah post (Sepilok Jungle Resort – Checking in And Relaxing & Review), but seen as though I went recently it’s spurned me to continue.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is somewhere everyone should visit at some point in their life, people come from all over the World to see it and alongside probably Sipadan, it’s one of the places that puts Malaysia on the map globally.

Now if you live in peninsular Malaysia and you haven’t been there it’s a bit of a shame right?

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was set up in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned baby Orang Utan and at the time we visited there was about 80 in total living in the Sanctuary. Some in the wilder part and some still under rehabilitation.

The Orang Utans are fed twice a day at 10am and 3pm and you can go for either or both, if you’re a photographer I’d recommend the morning viewing as the light is slightly better. The light isn’t ideal at either time as it’s rather harsh and the feeding area is in shadow, so a fast telephoto would help (300mm f/2.8 please!).

You can expect it to be pretty busy at either feeding time. You can go in a little earlier (which the guide will recommend) to watch the introductory video. Entrance fee is RM5 for MyKad holders (locals) and RM30 for johnny foreigner (me). Cameras are charged at RM10 per camera.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - Sabah, Malaysia

You can expect them apes to come flying out quit promptly about 5 minutes before the scheduled feeding time.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - Sabah, Malaysia

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Continue Reading · 12 Comments · Malaysia, Photography, Trips & Travel

We Ate This Updated – The Apartment – The Curve

Fast becoming of my favourite places for the mussels and the delicious chicken liver pate.

Kannichikan Yakiniku with Jacob’s Creek

Do check out the duck and mango salad and the sinful pavlova for dessert.

More here:

The Apartment – Urban Fusion Food – The Curve

BTW please leave your comments over at We Ate This and not here – Thanks!

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Continue Reading · Comments are closed · Food/Eating

Movie Review – Star Trek – Excellent!

Star Trek (2009)

The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals. One, James Kirk, is a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy. The other, Spock, was raised in a logic-based society that rejects all emotion. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, their unlikely but powerful partnership is the only thing capable of leading their crew through unimaginable danger, boldly going where no one has gone before.

This is a true franchise reboot and quite easily the best film of 2009 so far, although the summer blockbusters haven’t really started coming out yet (Terminator Salvation – w00t) this is going to be hard to beat. Unsurprsingly it’s shot straight into IMDB top 250 at #71.

I have to admit I’m not a hardcore trekkie, never was and even after this movie I never will be. I used to watch the original Star Trek series and I enjoyed it a lot, I never got into TNG/DS9/Voyager and I haven’t watched any of the previous 10 Star Trek movies since The Final Frontier (which was terrible).

The casting was spot on, Chris Pine had the perfect swagger and charisma to play the cocky but heroic James Tiberius Kirk.

Some might have some trouble accepting Sylar (Zachary Quinto) as Spock but I thought he played the role very well, I love how they used a lot of figures from popular culture to play the well known characters.

I couldn’t wait to see Simon Pegg as Scotty and he really didn’t disappoint, I was a little surprised to see John Cho from Harold and Kumar as Sulu but it worked really well.

And of course Zoe Saldana was as hot as Uhura should be!

You really don’t have to be a trekkie to enjoy this film, it’s extremely well paced, everything is well explained, there are references for the Star Trek geeks but you can enjoy the film without knowing them.

The plot is good and it’s a really good setup for a new generation of Star Trek fans to be born. Reintroducing all the characters that are somewhat familiar to everyone and setting up the great chemistry between Kirk and Spock.

The cast are signed on for another 2 sequels so we can look forwards to the next one most probably in 2011.

I give it a movie of the year 9/10 – if you haven’t watched it yet go and do it NOW.

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Continue Reading · 16 Comments · Movies

The People On The Streets Of Jakarta

Sometimes I go back through the pictures I haven’t uploaded or processing and yesterday I discovered these from a trip to Jakarta back in 2007.

The people there were incredibly friendly and even though it was a hardcore poor area (like a slum) I felt safe at all times.

Everyone was really happy to have their picture taken and most posed willingly. It was quite an experience, I was staying around the Ciputra area in Jakarta.

There are of course the Indonesian versions of the venerable Thai tuk-tuk known as a ‘bajaj’.

Indonesian Bajaj

And this industrious fella on his bike fully loaded up.

Fully Loaded Bike

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Continue Reading · 11 Comments · Indonesia, Photography, Trips & Travel

Pulau Ketam Dog Rescue Mission – Save The Dogs!

Pulau Ketam Dog Rescue Mission
https://www.furryfriendsfarm.org/

How cruel humans can be astounds me sometimes, help the effort, donate your money or your time or your spare dog food/cages etc.

The residents of Pulau Ketam sent some 300 stray dogs to exile on a remote island where the harsh conditions almost certainly guarantee a horrible death. Of the 300 dogs sent there, more than three-quarters are presumed to be already dead. I traveled to the island with Sabrina Yeap of Furry Friends Farm and managed to save only one dog on this reconnaissance trip. We did see several other starving and dying dogs along the mangrove shore.

I am mounting an urgent rescue mission to capture and transport the remaining survivors back to Sabrina’s Furry Friends Farm animal shelter. But time is running out and there might be only skeletons and carcasses left to collect on our next trip. Boat hire is expensive there. It is a tourist area and it has already cost me a few hundred ringgit for boat hire alone, so far. The rescued dogs cannot be transported on the regular ferries.

Help now! Spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, any forums you use etc.

https://www.furryfriendsfarm.org/

Furry Friends Farm
CIMB 1457-000-1182-05-6 (Current Account)

For online interbank transfer, if it prompts for Recipient ID/Business Reg: Just type in 5766

PLEASE do not send funds to ANY 3rd parties whoever they claim to be.

If you have made a donation via ANY form, please send the receipt details to Sabrina at yeapwen@yahoo.com.

You can find further updates from those involved here:

pummkin
Donald GH Tan
Furry Friends Farm

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Continue Reading · 10 Comments · Serious Issues

Why Twitter is SO Popular

You might have heard of Twitter, you might even be using it, you might even be an addict (like me).

If you have no idea what Twitter is, it’s basically a ‘microblogging’ service which allows you to push out small bite sized updates (no more than 140 characters). It started out as an SMS based service, but has really moved onto the data platform now with mobile clients improving and data plans becoming more affordable.

Twitter

If you’re interested you can read more on Wiki here and the CNET here. The best guide I’ve found is here – The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter.

My general thought it Twitter has struck at the right time, it’s brought back the spontaneous and fun nature of bloggers. Twitter has really exploded in Malaysia lately and well pretty much World wide (even though with @Oprah joining some say it’s the end..)

Then there was the whole CNN vs Ashton thing that went on and a whole bunch of other celebs jumping on the bandwagon.

Blogs have matured, they have gotten serious, correctly spelled, good grammar, nice pictures. Certain expectations have been nurtured.

  • I don’t post camera phone pics of food any more (and sometimes I miss that).
  • I don’t post one line posts about what I’m doing
  • I don’t post one liners with a picture I took casually
  • I don’t post just a couple of interesting URLs I found
  • I don’t post anything that I don’t feel is ‘high quality’

In a way this makes my blog less personal and more like a publication, but well that’s how I like it and I like to maintain the quality. I sometimes feel like having a second blog where I can just rant and post any old junk I like…but now I don’t need it because Twitter has given me back that power and more.

  • I can rant about being stuck in a traffic jam
  • I can post a crappy cameraphone picture of what I’m eating for lunch
  • I can share cool URLs I found
  • I can just simply tell people what I’m doing
  • I can converse with likeminded people on all kinds of topics (politics, music, movies, technology etc.)

That’s what makes Twitter such a versatile tool, it’s really what YOU make it. Twitter has returned the original pleasures of blogging in an informal more instantaneous format.

You could say, well there are already places for these things in blogs such as ‘Asides‘. I toyed with installed Asides on my blog a few times or some kind of “Short Talk” thing but it never really motivated me enough to do it.

You could say Tumblr is the solution, but I beg to differ. Tumblr is great and definitely extremely cool…but I personally find it quite useless.

Most Tumblr blogs are a jumble of quotes, pictures, articles and videos. It’s hard to process the information contained within and if you want to ‘follow’ someone you have to subcribe their RSS and then read their posts in the RSS reader or open a web page to read it (when it might just be one line) – that seems horribly inefficient to me.

Honestly speaking I think Tumblr has a limited lifespan.

Some people are discussing if Twitter is replacing RSS and I would firmly say NO it’s not. They are entirely different platforms.

I am still an avid RSS user and will continue to be, there’s no way Twitter can fulfill my requirements 100% when it comes to what RSS is delivered.

RSS is a pull mechanism, it lets me know when sites I am interested in update. Twitter is a push mechanism, I get told about sites I may or may not be interested in – either way I find stuff I wouldn’t normally see (somewhat like StumbleUpon, or del.icio.us but even more instant).

Google Reader

I adore Google Reader and couldn’t live without it. Which is another reason why Twitter is so popular, it’s not pushing anything away or replacing anything – it’s supplementing.

As for the opposite, how people follow me – I could well see Twitter overtaking, according to Feedburner I have 591 subscribers as of today and I have 276 Twitter Followers, which is almost half way there.

Which is interesting, people obviously favour easily digestible information (which I have written about before – diminishing attentions spans).

The other major reason Twitter is so popular is the amount of services and apps that have spawned around it, the popular examples being:

There are of course many more, those are just a sample of the popular ones plus there are those for specific platforms like WordPress plugins (I use Twitter Tools). If you want a really long list check here.

Then are the clients, once you use a proper Twitter client it will really change the way you use Twitter as you can effectively monitor, engage and influence. Twitter is about communicating not broadcasting, so to use it well you have to engage in conversations.

When using something like Tweetdeck that becomes easy (and addictive).

Tweetdeck

If you want to check out some of the top Twitter desktop clients I’d suggest:

Then on top of that you have a whole bunch of mobile clients for Twittering on the go, this is where the real fun comes in with Twitpic and mobile Tweeting.

All in all microblogging brings back the best parts of blogging without the baggage, I enjoy it again. There’s no pressure to perform, no expectations, no rules or bars – just put out what you want and people will hear it.

If they reply or Retweet or not is another matter entirely, but who cares? Just enjoy it.

And well, I think that’s enough reasons why Twitter is popular no? Remember to follow me @ShaolinTiger!

With my expertise displayed in this post, can I be a New Media Douchebag now?

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Continue Reading · 21 Comments · Internet & Tech

We Ate This Updated – The Friday Wine Lunch @ Kannichikan Yakiniku with Jacob’s Creek

Nom nom, wine and food again. This time charcoal grilled Wagyu beef with sparkling rose wine!

Kannichikan Yakiniku with Jacob’s Creek

A bargain for RM80 nett!

More here:

The Friday Wine Lunch @ Kannichikan Yakiniku with Jacob’s Creek

BTW please leave your comments over at We Ate This and not here – Thanks!

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Continue Reading · Comments are closed · Food/Eating

Proton Satria Neo CPS High Line – Test Drive

So Proton has launched a new model of the popular Satria Neo with the much awaited Campro CPS engine pushing out 125hp (up from the standard Campro’s 110hp).

It comes with an aggressive body kit and some subtle changes to address the oversteer problems the original Satria Neo had (they made the front track slightly narrower and the back wider).

Handling is dealt with by Lotus, as with the old Satria GTi (the car I drive incidentally) and it’s certainly taken some styling cues from the Satria GTi (like the flared and riveted wheel arches).

Proton Satria Neo Campro CPS H-Line Front

It looks fairly aggressive from all angles, especially with the single centrally placed exhaust.

Proton Satria Neo Campro CPS H-Line Back

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Continue Reading · 17 Comments · Advertorial, Cars/Motorsport

Hannah Tan Promo Shoot in Genting

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you should know I’ve shot Hannah Tan quite a few times in an events setting, the first time (when I got to know her) was the Hannah Tan Private Session at Mardi Gras (1-Utama) where she later found my pics and blog post and e-mailed to thank me for the pics and find out if she could perhaps use some of them for a magazine interview.

Shortly after that I shot a portrait session with her (yes it was that long ago) for some promo shots she could use for premiums, a while after that I shot Live and Loud where she sang.

Then in 2008 there was the Intimate Acoustic Session with Hannah Tan at Somo, Mon’t Kiara and well that’s just about my Hannah Tan history.

Anyway if you’ve received any of her gift CDs, postcards, calendar or seen her buntings at events you will have seen some of these pictures.

This shot seems to be well liked, it was used as a full page broadsheet spread in Berita Harian (front page of the youth/entertainment section HIP).

Hannah Tan

I like this one, it made me think of some funky kind of Japanese album cover.

Hannah Tan

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Continue Reading · 22 Comments · Photography