Monthly Archives: December 2007

2 days after Christmas

Boxing Day, 26th was a “rest day.” On the 27th, activities picked up again.

First there was Christmas presents opening at the house. The tradition of opening presents on New Year’s eve was broken. Still, there will be gift-exchanging on New Year’s Eve (read: the cheaper presents :-)). Opening presents NOT on New Year’s Eve where there are not so many people has its advantages though – the were *only* 6 kids opening their presents simultaneously, so it was easier to handle.

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Then I was off to Promenade Hotel to attend a farewell lunch to our boss, the Deputy State Secretary, Datuk John Maluda who’s retiring, or as he put it, not really retiring, but rather entering the next phase of life.

Some members of my team with the boss.

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Then I was off to attend my cousin’s engagement in Putatan.

Here’s wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year folks.

The top selling music album in the Malay – Indonesian language: Peterpan: Bintang Di Surga (2004)

This, Peterpan’s 2nd album was released August 2004. After only 2 weeks, it had sold a staggering 350,000 copies.

By end of 2005, it had sold 2.7 million copies. Songwriters aiming to make it big can do well to analyse this album, to learn what makes people want to buy it.

It was so successful that at the height of their popularity, Peterpan’s songs transcended cultural barriers, their songs being played at record shops targeting Chinese audiences, and their songs were even translated into other languages like Hindi and Mandarin.

And perhaps your next album should have the word “Bintang” (star) in it – both this and Dewa 19′s most successful album had that word in their album title.

Click here to listen to the songs from the album

A demonstration of how NOT to sing Pelangi’s “Biarku Menjadi Lilin”

Today we will have a music lesson. For that, we will choose a frequently requested song, which can be found in any karaoke bar in Malaysia. That song is “Biarku Menjadi Lilin” by the group Pelangi.

A little background about the song: it was released in 1986, composed by A. Ali with lyrics by Habsah Hassan, and has been covered quite a few times.

Our lesson for today is entitled “get your key right.” Do this BEFORE you start singing, preferable after rehearsing the song well ahead. This is of utmost importance, because once you start singing, you CANNOT stop the performance and ask for a different key in order to repeat the song from the beginning. That is unprofessional and most likely will turn your audience off.

Bearing that point in mind, should you find the key to be incorrect, you’d be forced to do the “tinggi rendah” (high low) move i.e. shifting between higher and lower octaves as you sing the song.

Observe (and of course enjoy) how this guy made a huge mess of the song, without probably even realising it. It was recorded in a nightspot somewhere in Sabah a few nights ago:

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Suffice to say, listening to the audio is enough. If you saw the video too, like I did, I am sure you’d think that the guy needs to start reading wrinkle cream reviews.

Benazir Bhutto’s suicide bomb explosion caught on camera: this could well be the photographs of the year

There’s no time to compose, no time to change lens, no time to do manual setting.

Everything happened in a flash, then total chaos.

20 yards in front of the car, still stunned by the 3 shots being fired at Ms Bhutto and witnessing her slumping back into the vehicle she was in, John Moore, Getty Images photographer captured the following images as the explosion happened and the first few seconds after it:

Photos taken while being pushed around by panicking thousands

The only special thing is perhaps the motor drive being used: professional-grade digital still cameras from Canon and Nikon can take 10 pictures per second.

Source
CNN

Benazir Bhutto was one of the world’s youngest ever prime ministers

Love her or hate her, the late Benazir Bhutto was a remarkable woman.

She attended the most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard and Oxford. She graduated from Harvard at the age of 20, then completed a course at Oxford at age 24.

In 1976 she was elected president of the Oxford Union, becoming the first ever Asian woman to head the prestigious debating society.

In 1986, at the age of 33, when she returned from one of her self-imposed exiles, 3 million people received her at Lahore airport. She wrote in her memoirs: “The 8-mile drive from the airport to the Minar-i-Pakistan in Iqbal Park usually takes 15 minutes. On the unbelievable day of April 10, 1986, it took us 10 hours.” Not even the world’s top politicians / Hollywood celebrities / sporting heroes / rock stars can command a welcoming party of 3 million!!!

She was 35 when she first became Prime Minister of Pakistan in December 1988. That’s absolutely amazing – she’s the youngest ever person — and the first woman — to head the government of a Muslim-majority country in modern times.

That same year, she’s probably the first ever head of government to make People Magazine’s list of The Fifty Most Beautiful People.

Her family indeed had many enemies, she’s the 4th member of her family to die of “unnatural causes”, after her father and 2 brothers.

Probably the last clear photo of her, as she adjusts her scarf [pic source]



Probably the last photo of her, as she waved to her supporters [pic source - apparently taken by John Moore, Getty Images photographer]

A few seconds later she was shot, around 5pm (local time), then the explosion. It was 2 days after Christmas. She was pronounced dead a little after an hour later.

A journalist at the scene was reported to have said the shooter’s (and suicide bomber, if indeed they were the same person) head was found 70 feet from where he detonated himself.

Video of her leaving her last rally and going into the bulletproof and bombproof white Toyota:

Click here to see the video

Christmas Day 2007 activity roundup

On Christmas Day there will be so many invitations and open houses that by the end of the day, you’ll be so full you could hardly think straight.

In the afternoon, I went to 3 open houses, including the Ongkili open house, hosted by Dr Jimmy Ongkili. Patricia Raymond, the 2002 Unduk Ngadau was there too:

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A friendly local posing for photos with 3 singing guests:

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Papier Mache and a bamboo orchestra played live music.

Here’s the the band, first backing Jasper on “O Holy Night”:

Click here to see the video

Nourishing the skin from inside out

Logic dictates that it would be better if you could take care of your skin from inside out and not merely from the outside. Apparently that’s the hot thing now.

If the idea of basking in the sun makes you immediately think of sunscreen, that’s what people usually do, right? Well, the new thing is a dietary supplement dubbed R.G. Skin Revitalizer.

As you can guess from the name, it’s from the tropical “superfruit” Gâc, from which oil is extracted, and full of carotenoid antioxidants. Even if you’re not a health nut, you should know that carotenoid antioxidants not only make your immune system stronger but helps skin rebuild itself from damage and makes it stronger.

The fruit called Gâc (pictured above) can be as large as a cantaloupe. It grows on vines and can be found from South China to North Australia, but particularly Vietnam. It is commonly grown in home gardens.

Best of all, apart from the usual benefits of eating fruits as part of one’s daily diet, this particular fruit also nourishes one’s skin that does not merely work at the surface, but literally from the inside out. And may I add, this can’t be found in diet pills.

Now one could rightly ask, there are other, more established fruit supplements such as noni, mangosteen and acai. What is the big deal with Gac then?

First thing, is RG is oil, not juice. Being an oil has its advantages: fat soluble nutrient digestion is assisted by natural fruit oils. Meaning to say, the other fruits and vegetables might be equally rich in carotenoids, but because they come in juice form, they are hence almost devoid of fat, and this could limit the human body’s ability to absorb some of these nutrients.

The greatest performance and music video of “O Come All Ye Faithful” ever?

Not to be left out of the holiday cheer, I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Currently, on Yahoo! Music, leading the pack of the top holiday videos chart is aging shock rockers Twisted Sister. Wow, the last time I heard their songs was about 15 years ago!

Surprisingly their last album was made up of Christmas songs, in heavy metal style of course, called A Twisted Christmas. It was released 17th October 2006 and was a commercial success.

Here they are performing one of the songs from that album, definitely one of the best “O Come All Ye Faithful” performance ever.

Dee Snider and gang: you look as hideous as ever, ROCK ON!

Click here to see the video