Monthly Archives: January 2009

How to pose for emo portraits

The trend among youngsters today is NOT to smile when posing for photographs.

In fact, from my observation at least, one’s supposed to look downwards while bringing one’s eyes upward to meet the camera, all the while keeping a sad face.

A typical example:

Hence the following (at least the person on the left) is an anthesis of the emo pose:

Over the last few months, my 9-year old daughter Aiai and I have being doing a little experiment: how far can one go before the pose becomes ridiculous i.e. can’t see the face at all.

The following photo, taken May 2008, her face somewhat obscured by her hair is an okay-ish emo pose:

By December 2008, she has perfected it:

And another one, taken in the same month:

Taking it a bit further we would get probably the ultimate emo pose:

Darkening things a little bit, we’re firmly in Dark Water territory:

But be careful not to overdo it, this is what happens if you do so:

… does she look like she needs acne treatment?

Pictures of the solar eclipse, first day of Chinese New Year (26 January 2009)

There was a solar eclipse in Malaysia that coincided with the first day of Chinese New Year 2009.

The best view is from Tawau at almost 82% obscurity. From Kota Kinabalu it’s about 75%.

From Kota Kinabalu, it was supposed to be visible from around 4.30pm until sunset, with its peak at around 5.50pm.

The last time such an event happened in the country was in 2002, about 7 years ago.

I took the following photos as I was heading back to Kota Kinabalu from Tuaran around 6pm on the day of the eclipse. It wasn’t rainy as was usual, but was cloudy. I didn’t sense anything different; I didn’t feel that it was 75% darker than as is usually expected at that time of the day, in fact it seemed to be brighter than usual.

Along the Penampang – Kota Kinabalu bypass, 6.08pm:

Here are some better pictures.

First, taken by fawwazkmd around 5.47pm at Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur:

Here’s another one by My Adha:

Yahoo! News

… do some of the images look like led light bulbs to you?

Chinese New Year 2009 activities

25th January 2009 (Chinese New Year eve)

It’s the usual pre-CNY family dinner. Highlights include several rounds of angpow (red packet containing cash) giving. Apart from watching fireworks, this is one of the kids’ all-time favourite activities.

A typical scene:

Then there was an impromptu lion dance show by the kids.

This is what happens when the lion dance meets the Melbourne Shuffle:

Click here to see the video

Sabah is Malaysia’s number 1 destination but nowhere to be seen in the New York Times’ 44 Places to Go in 2009, unlike Penang

Back in mid-December 2008, Sabah defeated Penang. At the Diplomatic Tourism Awards night, we won the prestigious Celcom “Favourite Tourist Destination” gold award: ambassadors and senior diplomats voted, about 70 of them.

Malacca, Penang and Langkawi were also nominated in the same category. Later it was between Sabah and Langkawi but in the end Sabah prevailed.

Now, there’s an ongoing “contest” in the New York Times, to find the top places in the world to visit in 2009.

And why should we be concerned?

The New York Times is no ordinary newspaper: it’s a daily newspaper with the biggest circulation in the USA. It is regarded as a national newspaper of record and has won 98 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper.

As I write this, in the “Times recommendations,” the only South East Asian destination in the top 44 are Phuket (12th) and Penang (22nd).

No Sabah yet…

Best ever cover version of Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers’ “Islands in the Stream”

That seems to be the general consensus: Canadian rockers Constantines (Bryan Webb on lead vocals) and Leslie Feist teamed up in April 2008 for this one, a cover of the original 1983 classic written by the Bee Gees.

I think even a hardened, world-weary San Jose motorcycle accident attorney would like it…

Some comments:

The best version EVAR

The most honest version I’ve ever heard. Beautiful.

Please tell me what you think.

Click here to listen to the song

Peter Cetera & Chicago live in Kota Kinabalu, 27th February 2009

6 Feb 2009

Sorry, it’s cancelled.


Sabah has shown yet again that it’s an extra special place, at least in the country.

For his Malaysian stop of his 2009 world tour legendary pop vocalist Peter Cetera of Chicago fame chose 2 venues only: the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands and… Kota Kinabalu. In fact, he’d be doing KK first on the 27th of February, before heading over to the peninsula.

I think this is his first ever show in Malaysia.

What makes this show extra special is that for the first time in at least 15 years the frontman is performing with his band, Chicago.

Hence, it’s a given that the songlist would at least contain these all-time classics:

(i) Glory of Love
(ii) Forever Tonight
(iii) If You Leave Me Now
(iv) Baby What a Big Surprise
(v) You’re the Inspiration
(vi) Hard To Say I’m Sorry

For those who know the songs above, I am sure you will not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Place: Chancellor Hall, University Malaysia Sabah
Ticket prices:
- Numbered seats: RM353, RM283, RM233
- Free seating: RM173 & RM123
Details: 03-9223-3667 / to

… some people might be so frustrated by this that they gain superhuman strength and start overturning cars without even using car lifts …

Some observations on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series Masters Finals at Kota Kinabalu, 18-21st December 2008

The BWF Super Series Masters Finals at Kota Kinabalu was held on 18-21 December 2008.

Pic courtesy of Donald.

It’s been some time since a world-class badminton event was held in Sabah, and being a badminton fan, this was something I’d try my best not to miss.

Pic courtesy of Donald.

It was also a chance to observe how to organise a world-class event, something that’s being broadcast live worldwide: on TV and the internet.

I observed there were 8 videocameras, 6 next to the courts and 2 further away.

For the 2 scoreboards next to the courts, they used state government PCs (I thought they’d get brand new sponsored ones?!) and Samsung flat screens. They used a wired LAN setup, cables were hidden under the blue carpet.

I think they utilised the State Cultural Board’s sound system, technical personnel and cheerleaders. I must say they did a superb job. Everything was pin-point precise.

A popular 70s singer, perhaps most famous for the classic “Ingin Bersua“, was spotted at the VIP section:

Pic courtesy of Donald.

It was also a good idea to set up 2 warm up courts in the gymnasium next door. That way:
(i) the players could start warming up earlier, rather than having to do so on the match courts. This enabled matches to be started quicker, hence keeping the crowd’s enthusiasm going, as after the WWE-like introductions, complete with loud music, they could start the match straight away.
(ii) it enabled fans to watch the players from up close, literally only a few metres away! It was very exhilarating watching some of the very best badminton players in the world doing their jumping smashes, returns and drives at eye level.

The running of the event was very smooth, I didn’t notice any delays or technical glitches. Kudos to the organisers.

I guess this is where they catch the drugs cheats:

I spent two afternoons (+ night) at the venue, during the semis and the finals.

The atmosphere was electrifying, whom even the Indonesian players equated with the famed Istora Senayan match day roar. No quiet during play here, unlike in the west. It’s football stadium-like noisy!

Malaysia won all 3 events in which it made the finals, but for many, including myself, the enduring memory of that event would be Koo Kien Keat’s (KKK) triple smash seated return with the score at 19-16 when he and partner Tan Boon Heong played against the higher-ranked Koreans.

The Koreans were riding high on confidence, having beaten reigning World and Olympic champions and the world’s top ranked pair, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan the day before.

For those of you who missed it, user “badmintonluver1511″ has posted it on youtube. The action starts at 6:16 as KKK serves to Lee Yong-dae, who’ve been called “the new Park Joo-bong,” then denies Jung Jae-sung’s desperate attempts to kill the bird.

Click here to see the video